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Yahoo eyes more cuts; eBay to sell Skype

Headlines: Yahoo layoff plans reported; eBay to spin off Skype; other IT channel news.

IT channel news briefs for April 15, 2009

Yahoo layoff plans reported

Yahoo is honing its ax for its first layoffs since Carol Bartz came aboard as CEO early this year, The New York Times reported on Tuesday night. Citing unnamed sources, the Times said that several hundred jobs would be eliminated. Yahoo had gone through several rounds of layoffs last year.

Bartz was the former CEO of AutoDesk Inc., and since joining Yahoo she has looked at selling off pieces of the company. In addition, she has reportedly reopened discussions with Microsoft, which tried unsuccessfully to buy Yahoo last year.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer pursued Yahoo with gusto but was rebuffed by then CEO Jerry Yang, who argued that Microsoft's $40-billion-plus offer undervalued the company.

EBay to spin off Skype

EBay plans to spin off Skype, the VoIP pioneer it bought for $2.6 billion four years ago. On its website on Tuesday, eBay said it is arranging an initial public offering for the first half of 2010.

Company President and CEO John Donohoe said the IPO will help eBay focus on its core e-commerce and online payment businesses.

"Skype is a great standalone business with strong fundamentals and accelerating momentum. But it's clear that Skype has limited synergies with eBay and PayPal," Donahoe said in a statement. "We believe operating Skype as a standalone, publicly traded company is the best path for maximizing its potential. This will give Skype the focus and resources required to continue its growth and effectively compete in online voice and video communications."

HP releases new security offerings

Hewlett-Packard. announced the launch of new security offerings today in its HP Application Security Center, a suite of software and services for securing Web applications.

The two new products, HP Assessment Management Platform 8.0 and HP WebInspect 8.0, are available now. HP Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Project Services for Application Security Center will be available in May.

In an HP company statement, Chenxi Wang, principal analyst in Security and Risk Management for Forrester Research Inc. said, "The cost of application security breaches, especially those that result in data being compromised, can be substantial. This cost can be prohibitively high for companies that handle hundreds of thousands or millions of data records."

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