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IT Channel News Briefs, Oct. 27

Today's headlines: The Microsoft PDC 2008 kicks off in L.A., and Samsung's profits are almost cut in half.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Monday, Oct. 27, 2008.

Microsoft PDC 2008 has packed agenda

Microsoft has said (or hinted) that it will disclose more about its Live Mesh development platform, the Windows 7 and Windows Cloud operating systems and other future products at its big Professional Developers Conference this week in Los Angeles. And, given the reception to Windows Vista, company execs are probably really, really glad that it's time to talk about something else.

During keynotes today and tomorrow, chief software architect Ray Ozzie, Live guru Steven Sinofsky and server and tools chief Bob Muglia will all take their respective turns in the spotlight. Microsoft bloggers expect Windows 7 to be real sometime next year.

Samsung profits plummet, SanDisk bid withdrawn

Samsung Electronics' profits fell 44.4% last quarter because of the economic downturn and lower prices for semiconductors and flat screens, according to the Associated Press. The news sent shares spiraling down 14% Friday.

Samsung said it earned $869 million in the quarter ending Sept. 30, down from $1.56 billion a year ago. Despite lower prices, overall sales rose 15.4% to $13.7 billion. Samsung also withdrew its $26-a-share bid to acquire SanDisk but said it would still consider acquiring the company at a lower cost. On a brighter note, the company reported strong mobile handset sales, selling 51.8 million handsets in the three months and breaking a company record for quarterly sales. Samsung expects to sell 200 million handsets in 2008.

Cox Cable gets into cellular

Cox Cable will launch its own cellular network that will be up and running by next year, the Associated Press reported today. Cox has spent $550 million on spectrum licenses that cover the areas around Atlanta, New Orleans, San Diego, Las Vegas, Omaha, Neb., and much of Kansas and southern New Mexico. Those areas have about 23 million people.

Cox will partner with Sprint Nextel to extend network coverage to other areas. Cox, which already has 6 million customers, is amping up its war with the telecom companies that it already battles to sell Internet and phone services. It is questionable how successful Cox will be since it made a failed foray into cellular in the '90s and ended up selling its networks to Sprint.

Microsoft joins open messaging group

Microsoft is now a member of the Advanced Message Queuing Protocol Working Group, an organization that promotes open standards in messaging software. The company said it joined the group, at the request of existing members, to develop a specification that will promote interoperability and increase customer choice. Other group members include vendors Cisco Systems, Novell and Red Hat, as well as The Goldman Sachs Group, J.P. Morgan and other customers in the financial services industry.

Check out Friday's IT channel news briefs.

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