Intel, EU spar over probe, Dell makes a big buy

Dell hopes to beef up its IT services after it revealed plans to buy Perot Systems this week. Dell hopes the purchase will give Perot Systems an international presence and provide the PC manufacturer with more customers for its hardware. The European Union's antitrust probe against Intel became interesting this week when the E.U. released e-mails detailing the deals the chip maker made to control the market. Finally, Google's Android celebrated its first birthday this week. Instead of cake, we have an analysis on how it is faring in the competitive and crowded mobile-phone space.

1. FAQ: What the Dell-Perot merger means for the IT industry, Dell-Perot deal: Big price tag, small industry impact and

Dell-Perot deal spells trouble for tier-two outsourcers: Dell will spend US$3.9 billion to buy Perot Systems and expand its IT service offerings. The deal, announced Monday, further increases the rivalry between Dell and Hewlett-Packard. The companies currently face off in the hardware market and will now compete on services. HP purchased Electronic Data Systems in 2008 to bolster its services division. Some analysts praised the deal, saying Dell needs additional revenue streams as hardware sales are decreasing.

2. EU reveals 'smoking gun' e-mails from Intel antitrust probe and Intel slams EC over antitrust evidence: The E.U. and Intel on Monday squared off on the government's antitrust probe against the company. The E.U. revealed e-mails from computer makers showing how Intel tried to block rival Advanced Micro Devices from the hardware market. One e-mail discussed a deal between Lenovo and Intel that resulted in AMD's chips being excluded from Lenovo notebooks. Intel responded the same day and accused European regulators of trying to find the company guilty and ignoring evidence that went against its "predisposed view."

3. FCC chairman calls for formal net neutrality rules and FCC net neutrality proposal is 'dramatic shift' in policy: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission chairman will seek to formalize net neutrality rules that bar Internet service providers from blocking or hindering traffic on their networks. Current FCC broadband policy allows the regulator to investigate supposed net neutrality violations on a situational basis, but official regulations are lacking. In a new move, applying net neutrality to mobile broadband would be studied under the FCC's proposed terms. Predictably, telecom carriers questioned the need for regulation and claimed the rules would stifle innovation while public-advocacy groups cheered the measure.

4. IE8 runs 10 times faster with Google plug-in: A Google plug-in speeds up the way Internet Explorer (IE) handles JavaScript, according to a test Computerworld conducted. Results showed that Microsoft's IE 8 worked 9.6 times faster with the Chrome Frame plug-in, which uses the WebKit rendering and JavaScript engines from Google's Chrome browser to give a speed boost. Google claimed that the plug-in will speed up the lethargic IE and allow it to support additional standards, both of which are necessary for running Google's online collaboration applications.

5. Intel's Otellini: PC industry on brink of recovery and Intel ports Linux netbook OS to desktops: As chip shipments stabilize and computer shipments increase, the PC industry should see an end to the fiscal malaise brought by the recession, Intel's CEO told attendees at the company's developer forum. Paul Otellini predicted that the PC industry will see flat or improved shipments compared to last year. An improved economy means more capital for buying machines with Intel chips and its Linux-based OS, Moblin. Fortunately for future buyers, Intel also used the conference to announce plans for versions of Moblin to run desktops and mobile devices.

6. Reports: Microsoft's 'Courier' tablet to compete with Apple: The latest gossip from the tablet PC space reached strange levels this week after a report emerged that Microsoft is allegedly working on a tablet PC. Images and video of the device, which is dubbed "Courier" and opens like a book, appeared on the Internet this week. Talk of the Courier inevitably sparked comparisons to Apple's tablet PC, another mythical piece of hardware. As analysts, bloggers and the IT sphere discussed these fictional machines, Apple and Microsoft were silent on their tablet PC plans.

7. Drudge, other sites flooded with malicious ads: Criminals targeted popular Web sites with malicious advertisements last weekend, resulting in the sites attacking their visitors, according to security research company ScanSafe. The ads were placed on three Internet ad services, including Google's DoubleClick, and delivered ads to sites such as The Drudge Report, and The ads launched a nearly invisible window containing a malicious PDF document with the attack code of a Trojan horse program. ScanSafe determined that the ads comprised 11 percent of all Web pages the company blocked, meaning that issue affected many Web users.

8. One year on, Android's not quite there yet: After one year on the market, Google's Android platform is still trying to find its place in the mobile-phone arena. Although the OS hasn't met Google's expectations yet and isn't a serious iPhone challenger, analysts aren't writing off the platform. They need to see more innovation with Android's development and increased dedication from Google, which has been quiet on the system lately. The coming months will help determine Android's success as a possible 12 handsets running the platform debut.

9. Yahoo will shell out $100 million to promote its brand and products: Yahoo announced plans to launch a $100 million marketing campaign to show users why its site should serve as their hub for online activities. The marketing will highlight the changes Yahoo made to its home page, search engine and Webmail service, and promote its social-networking and personalization features. Analysts questioned if Yahoo can match the promises made in its ads and said the company needs to offer top services if it hopes to compete against social-media champion Facebook.

10. AT&T slates iPhone MMS launch for Friday: AT&T chose this week to roll out its MMS (multimedia messaging service) for the iPhone. Although the iPhone debuted two years ago, AT&T's network required updating before it could handle the service, much to the dismay of iPhone owners. Calls for MMS only increased in June after Apple announced that its updated iPhone software could support the service, further pressuring AT&T to prepare its infrastructure. AT&T selected Friday for the service's official launch, but some users have claimed that the company turned on the service earlier this week while others began using the feature a few weeks ago.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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