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Google revenue jumps 19 percent but still disappoints

IDG News Service

Google reported a 19 percent increase in revenue for the first quarter, but results from its advertising business were mixed.

Revenue for the quarter ended March 31 was $15.42 billion, Google reported Wednesday. That was a healthy jump from last year but less than the $15.52 billion analysts had been expecting, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Google’s earnings per share, excluding costs like those from the sale of its Motorola Mobility division, were $6.27 per share, which was better than last year but also lower than expected.

The results hurt Google’s share price in trading after hours. Its stock was down about 3 percent at the time of this report, to $541.13.

The number of paid clicks, or clicks on ads paid for by advertisers, climbed 26 percent from the first quarter last year, Google said. But the cost of those clicks, or the amount advertisers paid, dropped roughly 9 percent.

Subtracting traffic acquisition costs, or the money Google pays to partners that run its ads or direct traffic to its websites, the company’s net revenue was $12.19 billion.

Read more…

LinkedIn tackles China with a startup approach

IDG News Service

China has been a tough market for U.S. Internet companies to crack, but LinkedIn has high hopes it can buck the trend and increase its user base in the country to as high as 50 million over the next five years.

“This is a very long-term investment, it’s not an experiment,” said Derek Shen, head of LinkedIn’s China operation on Friday.

The social networking site officially entered the nation’s market back in February, and is targeting China’s growing number of working professionals, numbered at over 140 million, according to the company. To reach those users, it launched a Chinese language site called Lingying.

LinkedIn, however, wants to avoid the same fate as other U.S. Internet companies that have struggled to take off in the nation’s competitive market. Google, eBay and Groupon have all come up against local roadblocks, including stiff competition from domestic rivals, and China’s notorious online censorship.

In LinkedIn’s case, the company studied the Chinese market for four years before finally deciding to enter the market, Shen said at China 2.0 Forum, an event in Beijing organized by the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Currently, the site has about four million users in China.

The failure of some international companies in China may be due to their structure or lack of incentives for the operation to succeed, Shen said. “So we decided in China, we wanted to do a startup,” he added.

Continue reading…

World Tech Update- April 17, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week Google buys drone maker Titan Aerospace, NHK shows off 8K television and we go inside the world’s most powerful X-ray laser.

 

BlackBerry plans to renew enterprise focus to lure back customers

IDG News Service

BlackBerry is not going to bail out of the handset business, but needs to return to its enterprise roots to reverse its slide, according to CEO John Chen.

“We’re committed to the handset business and we’ll make it work,” Chen said at a media briefing Thursday in New York.

Chen’s comments about staying in the handset business clarified a statement he made earlier to Reuters, which carried a news report Thursday that quoted him saying, “If I cannot make money on handsets, I will not be in the handset business.”

BlackBerry’s years-long dominance of the enterprise handset market succumbed to the popularity of iOS and Android. Worldwide shipment of devices with the BlackBerry OS totaled 19.2 million in 2013, falling by 40.9 percent compared to 2012, with a market share of just 1.9 percent, according to IDC. BlackBerry was behind Android, which had a 78.6 percent market share, Apple’s iOS at 15.2 percent and Windows Phone with 3.3 percent.

BlackBerry is looking to put recent handset and OS struggles behind it and is increasing focus on enterprise services and premium handsets. Customers want the BlackBerry of old, Chen said.

Continue reading…

World Tech Update- April 10, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week Microsoft ends support for Windows XP, Sony debuts a 4K point-and-shoot and we check out robots in Silicon Valley.

 

World Tech Update, April 3, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week Microsoft debuts its Cortana voice assistant, the Apple-Samsung trial kicks off in Silicon Valley and the mainframe celebrates 50.

 

World Tech Update- March 28, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week, Microsoft finally debuts Office for iPad, Facebook makes a big buy into virtual reality and NASA’s secret space plane breaks a record.

 

Box to go public, hoping to raise $250M

IDG News Service

IDG News Service (Miami Bureau) — Box, the eight-year-old company that has taken on industry giants to become a leader in cloud storage and file sharing, will seek to raise US$250 million by selling shares publicly for the first time.

The Los Altos, California, company announced on Monday that it had filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed IPO (initial public offering) of its common stock.

The company revealed in the filing that it has 25 million registered users, but it also says it has been losing money and might not post a profit for the foreseeable future.

Box has capitalized on the growing popularity among businesses of storing data in the cloud, where it can be accessed from a variety of devices including smartphones and tablets, giving employees more flexibility.

“Probably the biggest move in Box’s trajectory was the decision to focus exclusively on business users,” said Rob Koplowitz, an analyst at Forrester Research.

“That decision clarified their purpose and allowed them to be very direct and purposeful in hiring and technology investments. The strategy and platform they’ve been investing in will make or break them as an enterprise vendor,” he said.

In the filing, which runs for about 150 pages, the company disclosed that it has more than 34,000 paying corporate customers and 25 million registered users.

The paying customers include more than 40 percent of the Fortune 500 and 20 percent of Global 2000 companies, according to Box.

Read more…

World Tech Update- March 20, 2014

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week Sony debuts Project Morpheus, Google gets into wearables and IBM’s Watson looks to cure cancer.

Google shrinks Drive cloud storage prices

IDG News Service

Google has slashed the price of some Drive plans, as it battles Microsoft, Dropbox, Box and others in the red-hot cloud storage market.

Google still offers 15GB of Drive storage free with a Google account, but it cut the monthly price of the 100GB plan from $4.99 to $1.99 and the 1TB plan from $49.99 to $9.99.

[ Control your storage requirements by eliminating data redundancy. InfoWorld lays it all out in our Deep Dive Report on Data Deduplication. | Keep up with the latest approaches to managing information overload and compliance in InfoWorld'sEnterprise Data Explosion newsletter. ]

The company was able to cut the plans’ prices thanks to “recent infrastructure improvements,” said Scott Johnston, director of product management, in a blog postThursday.

Now that 1TB of Drive storage costs radically less, more people are bound to consider it, so Johnston offered them some perspective about use cases for the plan. “How big is a terabyte anyway? Well, that’s enough storage for you to take a selfie twice a day for the next 200 years and still have room left over for… shall we say… less important things,” he wrote, influenced possibly by his company’s Calico project, whose goal is to radically extend human life.

Google also introduced new Drive plans with 10TB of storage for $99.99 per month, 20TB for $199.99 per month and 30TB for $299.99 per month.

Google will automatically adjust the accounts of existing subscribers to the plans whose prices were cut.

The price cuts apply only to individual Google accounts for consumers and not to Google Apps customers.

Google Apps for Business and Google Apps for Education subscriptions include 30GB of Drive storage per user, and domain administrators can purchase more space if necessary, but the plans and prices vary from the ones for individuals.