Eric Johnson

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AllThingsD Week in Review: Twitter’s Product Problem and Ballmer Keeps His Microsoft Shares

keep_calm_twitter_onIn case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week:

  1. It’s official: Twitter is now a publicly traded company, with its IPO pricing Wednesday at $26 per share, hitting the NYSE on Thursday with a first-day pop up to $45 a share, before closing the week at $42.50. Even at $26, Twitter still raised quite a bit of money, giving a hefty paper net worth to its top executives. But is Twitter agile enough to fix its product problem, now that it’s answering to both users and public investors?
  2. As of Monday, BlackBerry is no longer trying to sell itself and is in the process of replacing CEO Thorstein Heins. The buyout bid’s failure sent BBRY shares into the floor, while Heins’s exit package adds up to between $7 million and $22 million. Despite its recent struggles, BlackBerry will not shut down its mobile handset business, according to interim CEO John Chen.
  3. Google’s Nexus 5 is the first Android phone to run the latest version of the mobile operating system, KitKat. But are the phone and the OS any sweeter? Walt Mossberg writes, “I like both, though neither is an especially bold leap forward in features.”
  4. “Our business does not depend on collecting personal data,” Apple writes in a formal report on federal government data requests — the first such report published by a tech company in the wake of the Snowden/NSA scandal.
  5. CEO Steve Ballmer is currently slated to still be on the software giant’s board when he steps down from the CEO post, and is one of its largest shareholders with a four percent stake. And despite what one analyst may want, those two things will only change “when pigs fly,” according to a Microsoft insider.
  6. Brad Stone’s new book about Amazon and Jeff Bezos, “The Everything Store,” got a high-profile and very negative review — on Amazon, of course — from Bezos’s wife MacKenzie Bezos. But the company’s first employee, Shel Kaphan, fired back in his own review that the book is “as accurate as it is possible to be at this great a remove.”
  7. Apple and GT Advanced Technologies have inked a multi-year partnership to manufacture sapphire, now a critical component of the iPhone’s construction, in Arizona. Here’s why that’s a big deal.
  8. With an assist from Nokia’s Lumia devices, Windows Phone has overtaken the iPhone … in Italy. It’s also rapidly gaining market share elsewhere, according to research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, but still lags far behind Android worldwide and iOS outside of Italy.
  9. The biggest company in enterprise storage, EMC, has sued fast-moving upstart Pure Storage. Why? Because of an alleged “collusion with numerous former EMC employees” to steal trade secrets.
  10. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been aggressively pruning the company’s ranks of underperforming employees — a long overdue measure, some say — through a Quarterly Performance Review system. But now Yahoos are kvetching on an anonymous internal message board that the QPRs are punishing people who don’t deserve it.

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When AllThingsD began, we told readers we were aiming to present a fusion of new-media timeliness and energy with old-media standards for quality and ethics. And we hope you agree that we’ve done that.

— Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, in their farewell D post