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Aug 12, 2013
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Plummeting BlackBerry would stain any buyout

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By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

At the rate BlackBerry is plummeting, it would stain any buyout. A clean balance sheet makes the $5.4 billion Canadian company an enticing takeover candidate. Like Dell, it’s a technology icon in need of a turnaround. BlackBerry’s cash flow is worse, though, meaning applying leverage would be extra risky. And the Palm precedent should scare corporate buyers.

Aug 2, 2013
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Flawed Dell compromise saves faces all round

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By Robert Cyran

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

A flawed compromise on the buyout of Dell will save faces all round. Letting the $24 billion transaction fade away would have hurt most shareholders, the board and the company’s eponymous founder. A 2 percent hike in the offer price by buyers Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners in return for a tweaked voting procedure won’t delight anyone – but it should seal the deal.

Jul 24, 2013
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Facebook answers questions rivals can’t

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By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Facebook is answering questions that its rivals can’t. Big technology firms have mostly reported subpar second-quarter earnings, with desktop software giant Microsoft the leading victim of the shift to mobile computing. By contrast, Mark Zuckerberg’s social network is thriving on portable gadgets, and Facebook’s revenue growth – 53 percent to $1.8 billion in the quarter – was the fastest since its initial public offering in May last year. There’s more fuel here.

Jul 24, 2013
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Apple overcomes China blues for now

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By Robert Cyran

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

Apple has overcome its China blues for now. One of the tech giant’s most reliable engines for growth has been booming Chinese demand. It flamed out during the quarter ended June 29, however, with revenue from the Middle Kingdom shrinking 14 percent. Solid sales in the larger U.S. market helped compensate, leaving revenue flat compared with the same period last year at $35 billion. But the performance shows just how badly Apple needs new products if it wants to shine again.

Jul 23, 2013

Breakingviews- Shrinking mobile gadgets fuel creative destruction

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, July 23 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Creative
destruction underpins the technology industry. Big names in the
sector, former beneficiaries of the phenomenon, are now
suffering from it. Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research), Intel (INTC.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Google
(GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) all reported disappointing quarterly results. The shift
from PCs to mobile devices is the root cause of their problems.
But Microsoft is in the most parlous position, which explains
the $30 billion decline in its market capitalization since it
reported earnings last Thursday.

Jul 22, 2013
via Breakingviews

Dan Loeb’s Yahoo exit hurts investors twice over

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By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Dan Loeb’s Yahoo exit hurts investors twice over. The Internet company is buying back two-thirds of the hedge fund mogul’s stake, owned by his firm Third Point, for $1.2 billion. That sucks up most of the cash Yahoo reserved for repurchases. It also heralds the departure of three Third Point-approved directors, robbing Yahoo of some much-needed advisers.

Jul 11, 2013
via Breakingviews

Microsoft needs focus, gets bigger org chart

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By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer says the software giant must speed up and focus on what customers want. That at least is the gist of two sprawling memos justifying a sweeping restructuring, unveiled on Thursday. Yet the Microsoft organization now looks more complex. And the company is vague about its purpose.

Jul 8, 2013

As smartphone battle subsides, OS war heats up

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, July 8 (Reuters Breakingviews) – The end of the
smartphone battle may be coming into sight, but the operating
system war is heating up. As the clash between handsets running
Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Apple (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) software winds down, the
fight to provide the brains for game consoles, watches and other
gadgets is heating up.

Jul 8, 2013

Key proxy adviser accepts Dell bid reality

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, July 8 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Institutional
Shareholder Services has accepted the Dell (DELL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) reality. The
influential proxy voting adviser could have backed Carl Icahn’s
opaque alternative rather than support the $24.4 billion bid for
the computer maker from Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners.
But the founder’s bid is the percentage choice for shareholders.

Jul 2, 2013

Zynga founder puts second set of hands on wheel

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions
expressed are his own.)

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK, July 2 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Zynga’s (ZNGA.O: Quote, Profile, Research)
founder is putting a second set of hands on the wheel. Mark
Pincus, who controls the flailing online gaming firm through
super-voting stock, has replaced himself as chief executive with
Microsoft’s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) Don Mattrick. That sounds good for regular
shareholders. But Pincus will still be hovering in the corner
office. That could make Zynga harder to fix.

    • About Robert

      "Robert Cyran, U.S. tech columnist, joined Breakingviews in London in 2003 and moved four years later to New York, where he continues to cover global technology, pharmaceuticals and special situations. Robert began his career at Forbes magazine, where he assisted in the start-up of the international version of the magazine. Before working at Breakingviews he worked as a market researcher and reporter covering the pharmaceutical industry. Robert has a Masters degree in economics from Birmingham University and an undergraduate degree from George Washington University."
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