Companies will likely be hesitant to comply
The Russian government has proposed that two Western companies, Apple and SAP, grant access to their source code so it can determine whether or not products are tools for spying on state organizations and/or the public, Reuters reports. Russia's communications minister, Nikolai Nikiforov, is said to have made the request when he met last week with Apple's local general manager, Peter Nielsen, and SAP's local managing director, Vyacheslav Orekhov. In an official Communications Ministry statement, Nikiforov comments that "Edward Snowden's revelations in 2013 and US intelligence services' public statements about the strengthening of surveillance of Russia in 2014 have raised a serious question of trust in foreign software and hardware."
SAP doesn't see BlackBerry as strategic fit
The chief financial officer of SAP has dismissed the idea of the German business software group buying BlackBerry. Werner Brandt made the statement to a European magazine this week, according to Reuters, saying that acquiring BlackBerry would not fit in with the company's vision, as SAP does not have any gaps that need filling with regard to mobile solutions. Along with Google, Samsung, and others, SAP was seen by some as a potential bidder to buy some or all of BlackBerry.
HP, SAP claim quote by SAP CEO misinterpreted by paper
A pair of contradictory reports have surfaced today, regarding the potential sale of HP's troubled acquisition Autonomy to German software powerhouse SAP. Initially, the Times of London reported that HP had tried to sell the company to SAP, but a follow-up report from HP refutes all reports, with backup by SAP saying that an executive had a quote given in an interview misinterpreted by the UK paper.
HP reorg of PC and printers would trim costs
HP is looking to merge its PC and printer groups in an attempt to consolidate its efforts, insiders divulged Tuesday. The Imaging and Printing Group, along with the Personal Systems Group, were said by one AllThingsD informant to make "more operational sense" together. They would cut costs and have more truly integrated, unified strategies in the market.
HP board may vote to fire Apotheker early
HP's board of directors is near holding a meeting that could fire its CEO Leo Apotheker less than a year into his stint, a pair of sources said Wednesday. The group is said by Bloomberg to be unhappy both with nine months of consecutive forecast drops and plans to drop mobile hardware and PCs. Under one proposal, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman would take over, at least temporarily.
HP thinks separate PC outfit best strategy
HP in a statement Monday said its possible separation of its PC business would more likely involve a spinoff than a sale to someone else. A representative said that HP had theorized a truly distinct company would be in the "best interests of HP's shareholders, customers and employees." The company still had to take the 12 to 18 months to explore the costs of such a move, including whether or not the offshoot would need to take on new staff with HP not providing some of the resources.
HP rumored breaking out Personal Systems Group
A potentially landscape-altering rumor emerged Thursday that HP was about to split off the Personal Systems Group that controls its PC business. Contacts with "direct knowledge" claimed the division could happen just as it was set to announce its spring quarter results in the afternoon. Bloomberg suggested HP was hoping to reduce its dependence on computers, where its emphasis on a low profit margin was being hurt as more buyers were opting for iPads instead.
SAP to test 200 BlackBerry PlayBooks
SAP has given RIM's enterprise hopes for the BlackBerry PlayBook a lift with plans to test 200 for use at work. As part of the trial, they would be used to run the company's HTML5 web apps as well as the Flash code written specifically for Android and PlayBook devices. Workers would be testing them to see how well they would work for enterprise-grade performance management apps.
BlackBerry PlayBook gets business side video
RIM today pushed the business side of the BlackBerry PlayBook in a demo video. Similar to what we saw at CES, the tablet can pair with a BlackBerry phone to get push e-mail in real time. The clip also showed checking Office documents using a third-party app and viewing controllable presentations with SAP's BusinessObjects Explorer.
HP reveals fourth quarter profits, is up overall
Computer and accessories maker HP revealed its fourth-quarter results on Monday, with a five percent operating profit increase compared to the same quarter last year. The net revenue for the time period was set at $33.3 billion, or $2.5 billion higher (eight percent) than the same time period last year. HP's PC business revenue increased four percent to $10.3 billion, with global unit shipments growing by two percent as desktop revenue grew by 13 percent while notebook revenue shrank by three percent.
HP's Hurd leaked secrets pre-exit
HP's recently departed CEO Mark Hurd may have revealed still-secret deals to his accuser Jodie Fisher, a pair of leaks divulged Friday night. In addition to the core claims that Hurd sexually harassed Fisher, a letter from Fisher's attorney alleged that he revealed HP's plans to acquire the enterprise service company EDS in March 2008, two months before it was made public. The leak could have been illegal if Fisher had spread the information to people who could trade on it, the WSJ said, although this doesn't appear to have happened.
HP recruits Leo Apotheker as CEO
HP today hired SAP's co-chief Leo Apotheker as its replacement CEO. The change debunks rumors of an internal-only hire and brings in a 20-year veteran from the business app maker as well as a former member of the frequent tech investment group KPCB. Apotheker will come onboard with new board chairman, KPCB Managing Partner Ray Lane, on November 1.
Microsoft offering bonds
The world's largest software vendor, Microsoft, is selling bonds for the first time as of today. Despite having $25 billion in cash, the company has at least enough demand for $15 billion in bonds, an investor says. According to a Monday WSJ report, the company will sell notes that mature in five, 10 or 30 years. The prospectus says net proceeds from the sale will be used for general corporate purposes such as working capital, capital expenditures and repurchases of capital stock.
SAP, Sybase join on iPhone
SAP and Sybase are collaborating on applications for the iPhone and other cellphones, says Reuters. SAP's business management software is in the process of being shrunk by Sybase, which already produces generic scaling tools for the broader market. The latter company is also known for developing iAnywhere, intermediate software used to bridge iPhones with corporate e-mail networks that have stricter security standards.
iPhone enters corp. space
The iPhone is gaining popularity with businessmen and corporations in spite of its focus, Reuters writes. The phone is nominally a combination of an iPod with typical smartphone applications, but its execution is such that major companies -- like SAP and Salesforce -- have allowed sales and finance teams to use it for work outside the office. SAP recently announced that it would release an iPhone version of its customer relationship management software, but more importantly, before new versions were available for traditional "business" phones such as the RIM BlackBerry or the Palm Treo. The cause of this was reportedly SAP's own salespeople, who were demanding the iPhone due to ease-of-use.