IT Channel News Briefs, Sept. 30

Today's headlines: Nasdaq has its worst loss since the dot-com bust, and Nokia may dump its security and software businesses.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008.

Wall Street hits keep on coming

As if yesterday's 777-point swoon on the Dow Jones industrial average wasn't enough, the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell more than 9% to below 2,000 -- it's third-worst loss ever, percentage-wise. Of Nasdaq's nine worst days, the other eight all happened during the dot-com bust of 2000, according to The Wall Street Journal. Apple shares plunged 18% yesterday, and Google's fell below $400 a share.

It was apparent that tech favorites are not immune to tightened credit and the overall fearful atmosphere caused by the financial meltdown and Congress's failure to pass a bailout plan.

Nokia to dump security and software businesses

Nokia is near a deal to sell its computer security hardware business and stop making software for business customers, so it can focus on the consumer cellphone market, The Wall Street Journal reported today. Nokia wouldn't name the financial investor looking to buy the unit. Nokia makes marketing software that businesses use to support wireless email and other communications, but the company said it will focus instead on consumer email push technology. Nokia is also building offerings like music, games and messaging to compete with companies like Research in Motion and Apple. Nokia is still the largest cellphone maker in the world.

Oracle DBAs face security problems

Oracle database administrators (DBAs) are finding it harder to secure their increasingly complex databases, according to the results of a new survey reported by SearchSecurity.com. One out of five Oracle DBAs said they expect a data breach or other security incident within the next year, and only one in four said all of their databases are completely secure. The No. 1 risk, according to the respondents: insider threats, followed by malicious code and hackers.

The Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) conducted the survey, which Oracle paid for.

Open-Xchange rewrites collaboration

Open-Xchange has rebuilt its open source, on-premise groupware to better run more seats simultaneously. Open-Xchange Server Edition includes email, calendar, contacts, tasks and document sharing. It now borrows technology from the hosted version of the same product to better run large numbers of seats. The Tarrytown, N.Y.-based company claims a user base of 3,500 companies for the on-premise edition and 8 million users worldwide for its hosted version.

New report looks at UC hype vs. reality

A few specific unified communications (UC) features will enjoy strong and fast market penetration in the short term, but UC as a whole will take a generation to match the hype generated by the industry, according to a report by research firm In-Stat released today.

Industry hype "makes UC sound like it will cause seismic shifts across business worlds," In-Stat said in a statement. But that's because research analysts and vendors use an extremely broad definition of the technology, including everything from chat and messaging to database/telephony integration. According to In-Stat's study of VoIP users, "Unified Communications: A Clash of Titans," messaging is the most mature aspect of UC, and conferencing is the most compelling near-term opportunity for providers. Other applications could take much to longer to catch on.

Check out yesterday's IT channel news briefs.

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