MediaFile

Tech wrap: Apple taps Eddy Cue to boost iAd, iCloud

Apple promoted veteran exec Eddy Cue to oversee Apple’s advertising service called iAd and iCloud, according to a leaked memo published by 9to5Mac. Cue played a major role in creating the Apple online store in 1998, the iTunes Music Store in 2003 and the App Store in 2008, new CEO Tim Cook said in the email to employees.

An Apple employee once again appeared to have lost an unreleased iPhone in a bar, CNET reported. Last year, a misplaced iPhone 4 pre-production model was bought by Gizmodo. Today, two men pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor theft charges relating to that 2010 incident. The latest missing iPhone prototype, which disappeared in San Francisco in late July of this year,  sparked a scramble by Apple security to recover the device over the next few days, CNET wrote, citing a source familiar with the investigation.

A U.S. judge rejected a jury award of $1.3 billion to Oracle in a copyright infringement lawsuit against SAP, paving the way for a possible new trial in a years-long legal dispute. In a ruling released on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton found that Oracle had proven actual damages of only $272 million. She called for a new trial unless Oracle agreed to accept that amount.

An Ohio judge dismissed antitrust claims in a case against Google, handing the company a victory as it faces a separate federal investigation into its search results. MyTriggers.com, an Ohio-based shopping comparison search website, accused Google of giving preferential treatment in its search results to Google’s own services. It also accused Google of making unfair agreements with other sites to exert control over search advertising.

IBM is buying Toronto-based risk analytics software firm Algorithmics for $387 million in cash to enhance its financial services capabilities. IBM said the deal, expected to close before the end of October, expands its business analytics capabilities by helping clients manage financial risk.

Where’s Leo? At HQ, want a picture?

US-ORACLE-SAP-LAWSUITAfter weeks of sometimes comical coverage on the whereabouts of new HP CEO Leo Apotheker — a farce that had come to be know as “Where’s Leo?” — the company was likely happy that the subject was almost ignored in the aftermath of its earnings report on Monday. Almost.

Apotheker’s precise location became an issue when Oracle made it known that it was trying to subpoena HP’s head man as part of its high-profile lawsuit against SAP, where Apotheker was previously CEO. Oracle, waging a skillful PR war against its newest foe, claimed Apotheker was ducking the subpoena, which would have put him on the stand in federal court in Oakland, California. Oracle even hired private investigators to track him down.

HP, for its part, refused to divulge his location, and accused Oracle of harassing Apotheker. SAP called the hunt for him a “sideshow.”

from DealZone:

Playing in Larry’s sandbox

Having spent more than $42 billion to buy about 60 companies, Larry Ellison’s Oracle has set something of a daunting standard for merger activity in the business software industry. So while SAP’s plan to buy smaller business software maker Sybase for $5.8 billion may not roil markets, it could certainly shake up things in an already  busy infotech sector.

With Sybase, SAP gets a boost in mobile technology, but will also end up with a big database business that provides steady revenues but little else on which SAP can grow its business.

The database chunk is by far the bigger earner for Sybase, with the mobile aps business accounting for only a little over a quarter of annual revenue, so it could make an attractive business for SAP to hive off. Breakingviews columnist Robert Cyran points out that keeping a hand in the database world could also prove awkward for SAP as it exacerbates competitive friction with its allies, Microsoft and IBM.

Oracle is SAP’s own Lord Voldemort

It’s been a while since German business software maker SAP has stated exactly how much of a market share it has.  And no matter how much journalists prod and badger SAP CEO Leo Apotheker he will not divulge that figure. Even when analysts say they believe that SAP’s main rival Oracle has been taking market share from the German company, Apotheker will not be moved to shed some light on the issue.  In several TV interviews on Wednesday, the day SAP presented its second-quarter results, and in a call with analysts, Apotheker not only declined to provide even a range, in fact he could not bring himself to call his company’s fiercest rival by name. “We have about twice as much market share as Number 2,” he said.  In the Harry Potter series the hero is the only one who calls his nemesis by name – Lord Voldemort - instead of ”he who must not be named”.  C’mon Leo, if Harry Potter can do it, so can you.

from Commentaries:

I am thinking of rebranding myself as Zing

Some tech links to start the week:

I am seriously considering changing my byline to Zing, what with all the media attention a certain search engine is getting.

Bing search for Eric Auchard

The New York Times looks at the ups and downs of turning brands into verbs. The jumping off point is Bing, Microsoft's effort at verbal one-upsmanship over Google, Twitter and over generic daily activities. The software giant must alter deeply ingrained computer habits to succeed. In the meantime, my original questions about Bing remain.

The more substantial news this week would be if Microsoft finally inks a search and advertising partnership with Yahoo Inc. It's not easy to overcome deal speculation fatigue -- it's been a year-and-a-half since Microsoft sought to acquire Yahoo outright, and a year since it dropped back to Plan B and sought out a more limited partnership deal. Boomtown reported Friday that Microsoft is down to a few short strokes away from signing.  Henry Blodget makes the point that Microsoft may have to pay up far more than the $1 billion it was offering a year back for such a deal.  Closing a deal now suggests renewed desperation on Microsoft's part after the paltry gain it received from Bing in June market share statistics for U.S. web search.