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IT Channel News Briefs, Nov. 10

Today's headlines: Circuit City files for bankruptcy, and Nortel loses billions.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Monday, Nov. 10, 2008.

Circuit City files for bankruptcy

Circuit City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today, in a move that will allow the electronics retailer to keep running and protect its remaining assets from creditors. The company's Canadian arm will seek similar action in Canada, according to a statement. Last week, the struggling chain said it is closing 155 of its 760 stores to streamline operations. The company's CEO has cited the overall economic downturn, as well as an overdue $75 million federal tax refund, as reasons for its troubles. It will ask the bankruptcy court for permission to roll its existing bank debt into a loan, which would free up cash to buy inventory.

Nortel loses $3.4 billion, will cut jobs

Nortel Networks reported a $3.4 billion loss for the third quarter Monday and said it would slash 1,300 jobs, or about 5% of its workforce. Several senior executives will be leaving the company as part of that plan, Reuters reported. Sales fell 14% to $2.32 billion, which executives blamed on the current economic crisis.

In the same quarter a year ago, Nortel reported a profit of $27 million. Nortel was trading at $1.02 a share Monday morning, and share value has dipped below $1 in recent weeks. The report marked Nortel's biggest loss in seven years, since the dot-com bust of 2001. Nortel never fully recovered from that downturn in the same way that companies like Cisco did.

Symantec recognized for partner management

The Service and Support Professionals Association (SSPA) has inducted Symantec into its STAR Awards Hall of Fame. The induction came after the SSPA gave Symantec an award recognizing the vendor's partner management capabilities. That was the fifth STAR award that Symantec has received from the SSPA.

Threat report: Less spam than usual

The good news -- so far -- is that spam levels have not risen as usual going into the November holiday season, according to the new MXLogic Threat Forecast. Instead, spam levels have remained relatively flat and are even lower than in previous years. Total spam volume actually fell 5% from September to November, and the ratio of spam to overall email decreased as well. But MXLogic, which provides managed security services for email and the Web, warned PC users not to assume that will remain the case. It also cautioned that e-commerce sites, driven by the economic meltdown, will juice their email campaigns and urged caution to users opting in to mailings.

Windows Server Update: No new features, only fixes

The next service pack for Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), the free patching component of Windows Server, will contain bug fixes but no new features, reported Friday. Marc Shepard, lead program manager for WSUS, said Service Pack 2 is still in the planning phases, but a beta will be out within months. The fix will install on Windows Server 2008 R2 and address top customer issues. Windows Server 2008 R2, also known as Windows 7 Server, is expected to ship sometime in 2010.

Check out Friday's IT channel news briefs.

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