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January IT Industry News

This is my monthly very high level look at events in the ICT industry over the month of December ... with a little commentary about 2007. More details will be available at the Eagle website over the next day or two.

A year ago, in January 2007 there was no talk of recession, and worker confidence was relatively high. We heard that spam was estimated to represent 94% of all email ... personally I don't think its that high, but its certainly too high! The big news was Microsoft's launch of Vista (I'm not a fan ... and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone). On the M&A front a year ago Verizon divested some traditional operations to focus on wireless and broadband offerings and AOL paid $1 Billion for Tradedoubler.

So ... what about January 2008? There are whispers (shouts?) of recession and the ECRI had its worst growth rating since the 2001 recession. IDC is still bullish that Canada's tech industry will flourish in 2008 and Gartner is predicting huge growth in the Indian IT Services Market. A surprising (to me anyway) result of a Dice survey suggests that women's salaries are not keeping pace with men's in the technology world and Asian internet services were hammered with three fibre cables cut ... does that seem strange to you?

Dell, Palm and Yahoo all announced plans to address poor performance, with both Dell and palm shutting retail outlets and Yahoo announcing major layoffs. Dell also continues its planned downsizing by shutting an Edmonton help desk and stopping plans for an additional Ottawa help desk.

The big M&A news should have been Oracle's eventual win in buying BEA for $8.5 Billion, however Microsoft stepped in with an offer to buy Yahoo for $44 Billion ... an offer that is under consideration, but given Yahoo's recent struggles it would be hard to envisage this not happening. There were some other deal worthy of mention ... again Microsoft (nice to have excess cash) paid $1.2 Billion for FAST, Sun Microsystems paid $1 Billion for MySQL. In the less than $1 Billion category, Amazon paid $300 million for Audible, Nokia Siemens paid $206 Million for Apertio, PayPal paid $170 million for Fraud Sciences and Nokia paid $150 Million for TrollTech.