Voices

Investor Jitters a Factor in Failed Seagate Deal

A few years ago, former Seagate Technology PLC Chief Executive Bill Watkins made an analogy comparing the hard-disk industry to Rodney Dangerfield. “I think it’s unfair not to respect a commodity,” Watkins told Newsweek in 2007. “There’s a tremendous amount of technology in this commodity.”

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Changes at HP Under Hurd's Hatchet Were Not All Great

The drama and mystery surrounding Mark Hurd’s abrupt departure as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co. have shined an unflattering light on the company as we learn how he really changed H-P. Wall Street loved his obsession with cutting costs, but employees did not. He brought even more major changes to the company’s once paternalistic culture, much like his predecessor Carly Fiorina, who pretty much killed the old H-P Way. With Hurd at the helm, H-P became an even tougher place to work, with even less emphasis on innovating anything new.

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Start-Up Crowd Decidedly More Upbeat Going Into 2010

The mood seems to be brightening among Silicon Valley start-up companies. The atmosphere last Friday night at the Crunchies, an awards show hosted by three popular and often competing tech blogs–TechCrunch, VentureBeat and GigaOm–was downright buoyant, especially compared with last year, and had hints of IPOs in the air.

Voices

Is Apple Getting Into the Chip Business?

A brewing battle between Apple Inc. and its frenemy, IBM Corp., over the role of an executive who at one time managed Big Blue’s PowerPC chip business may be an early sign that the Silicon Valley wunderkind is considering designing some of its own semiconductors.

Voices

The Web 2.0 Show Must Go On, Right?

On Wednesday, about 1,000 of the tech industry’s elite will begin schmoozing at a three-day conference here on Web 2.0 technologies, in what is now a vastly different business climate than a year ago. At the onset of the Wall Street meltdown, many in Silicon Valley seemed to have their heads in the sand. But in recent weeks, with lightening speed, venture capitalists are suddenly preaching to their portfolio companies to cut costs, generate revenues and become profitable, fast, or die.

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Cloud Computing Is Subject of Fierce Debate

Last month, Richard Stallman, the founder of the free software movement, came out swinging against the concept of cloud computing. His rant was reported by the Guardian newspaper, and a debate in the blogosphere ensued. Stallman argues that users will lose control of their programs, their data and their privacy.

Voices

Sun Micro's Struggles Worsen in Downturn

Sun Microsystems Inc. has been struggling ever since the last economic downturn to consistently regain its footing, and things are grim again. On Tuesday, the systems and software maker gave Wall Street a nasty surprise with the news that it expects to report a worse-than-expected loss in the fiscal first quarter. It is also conducting an internal “impairment analysis” because some its business units may be now worth less than their carrying value.

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Tech Start-Ups Make Cuts Amid Downturn

Many Internet start-ups are starting to heed the dire warnings of their venture capital investors, and last week, some began cutting costs in order to survive the economic downturn, including laying off employees. Two weeks ago, Sequoia Capital, Benchmark Capital, angel investor Ron Conway and other investors wrote some scary memos to their portfolio companies, warning them to conserve their cash, cut costs and start generating revenues.

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Apple and Intel Think Differently

This week, the technology world saw two opposing views on how to deal with the brewing economic downturn. Intel Corp., the world’s largest chipmaker, seems ready for an economic slowdown, with consumers gravitating toward cheaper goods.

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Only the Fittest Will Survive This Downturn

Silicon Valley was all a flurry late last week after reports that some respected venture capitalists woke up from their rosy daydreams to the fact that Wall Street’s meltdown is going to have a big impact on their future.