By Tiernan Ray
Shares of Microsoft (MSFT) are down $1.46, or almost 5%, at $28.82, as the Street contemplates things that seem unthinkable, such as a breakup or a privatization, prompted by last night&’s terrible Q1 PC report, that showed a drop of between 11% and 14% in unit shipments, based on Gartner and IDC data.
But there&’s always another point of view. Raymond James&’s Michael Turits comes to the stock&’s defense, penning a note to clients that reiterates an Outperform rating on the shares and a $34 price target.
Writes Turits, &“While Windows 8 has failed thus far to deflect the downward trajectory of PC shipments, we remain optimistic about the positive impact of a larger number of cheaper touch-based devices over the next year.&”
His firm cut its own PC growth outlook to a decline of 2% for this year from a prior expectation for flat sales, and to a rise of 3% next year, better than the 1% growth they&’d previously been modeling.
Turits cut his estimates to reflect the PC drop, projecting fiscal Q3 (March) revenue of $20.17 billion and EPS of 64 cents versus a prior $20.6 billion and 75 cents. For the full year, he cuts his estimate to $78.48 billion and $2.65 from a prior $78.86 billion and $2.81.
Turits outlines things that could help a back-half-of-the-year PC pickup:
As we wrote in yesterday’s TMTalk, media reports indicate Microsoft and Intel are working to cut the price- gap between touch and non-touch PCs by roughly half ($133-167/unit). We also believe Microsoft is working with supply chain partners to lower touchscreen W8 components costs for the 2013 back-to-school and holiday seasons. Less expensive touch-screen enabled devices should spur demand for W8 devices which can take advantage of its touch-centric functionality. On the enterprise side, our channel conversations indicate a strong pipeline for W7 migrations (Microsoft reported >60% of the commercial base on W7 last quarter) with some limited enterprise W8 deployment.
More to the point, for Turits&’s purposes, he&’s looking at the other businesses aside from Windows, and believes they are holding up well:
We are reducing our F3Q non-GAAP MBD revenue growth to 2% y/y from 4% given persistent PC shipment weakness. Recall transactional revenues are 40% of division revenues and are correlated with PC shipment growth. Our checks, however, noted enterprise spend picking up for Office 2013 upgrades, Exchange upgrades, and Office 365. Lync sales continue to sound strong. With Windows XP end of support coming in April 2014, corporate upgrades to W7 remain strong. While those upgrades are not a Windows revenue event, resellers report strong pull-through of Office upgrades and SharePoint and Lync attach with the OS transition, plus increased attach of annuity contracts. Exchange 2003 Enterprise Edition also reaches end of support in April. As with XP, we believe about one-third of the installed base remains on Exchange 2003. We think upgrades to 2013 are driving annuity agreements around Exchange that were formerly transactional, and are driving migrations to Office 365 as well [...] We are expecting an in-line Server and Tools quarter following conversations with U.S.-based resellers that showed solid sales and strength in products across the server line driven by momentum around Active Directory and Hyper V, and increased capabilities of System Center for heterogeneous environment management [...] Speculation in industry media has included an announcement of the next-generation Xbox on May 21, before the E3 conference if not by year-end. The new Xbox will reportedly use AMD x86 chips to reduce costs and make it easier for developers to write new games. In addition, we think several new features from the console could include cloud-based gaming and increased functionality around non-gaming media entertainment apps. On the Windows Phone front, speculation in industry media suggests Nokia (NOK) is coming out with an additional lighter and thinner Lumia phone for Verizon, the Lumia 928.
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Enterprise architecture (EA) is one of the fastest growing career fields today, with organizations of all types seeking qualified individuals at all levels to fill architecture-related jobs. However, being a relatively new field, it can be hard for employers to find recent college graduates who possess an understanding of EA fundamentals.
Ryan Kroekel, a sophomore at Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST) recently landed an internship with a high profile company with the help of skills and knowledge he gained through a class taught by Brian Cameron, executive director of the college’s Center for Enterprise Architecture.
Kroekel will be interning this summer for John Cooney, CTO of Fidelity Information Services, at the company’s branch in Malvern, Pa. During his interview with Cooney, Kroekel said, the executive was astounded by his grasp of the fundamentals of enterprise architecture. Kroekel learned those concepts and practices by taking the first undergraduate EA course offered by the College of IST in the Fall 2012 semester. ”(Cooney) was completely floored that I knew anything about (EA),” Kroekel said.
The Center for EA, which launched in January 2011, seeks to gather intellectual resources across Penn State to address research concerns and questions that span the design, functioning and governance of contemporary, information-driven enterprises. EA applies architecture principles related to the “orderly arrangement of parts” to analyze the components, structure and connectivity of business architecture, data architecture, application architecture, technology architecture and security architecture, and identify their relationships to each other and to the strategy of the organization.
Starting in the fall 2013 semester, the College of IST will offer an EA course concentration that consists of 12 credits and is open to all IST and Security and Risk Analysis (SRA) majors. The student will earn a certificate in EA and will develop the skills that are in demand among prospective employers in all sectors. There will be two EA undergraduate courses offered in the fall of 2013, Cameron said.
Ryan’s experience is common for undergraduates that have taken EA courses, Cameron said. No other university in the country is teaching EA at the undergraduate level and interviewers are very surprised to find students that know something about the topic – it provides a definite edge in interviews. I have several other students with similar stories.
In addition to the lessons taught in the classroom, Cameron and Kroekel said, the students in the undergraduate EA class benefitted from working on real corporate projects. That experience, Kroekel said, combined with the theoretical knowledge, gave him a definitive edge while interviewing with Cooney.
“(EA) is such a blossoming field,” Kroekel said. “I knew things that (Cooney) had just learned within the last two years.”
Was a Texas Senate committees bipartisan enthusiasm for auditing the Texas Enterprise Fund a bipartisan dig at Gov. Rick Perry, the funds biggest champion?
Even if it were, would that make the bill a bad idea?
Not from a taxpayer-responsive, good-government standpoint.
Only the five senators who voted SB1390 out of the Senate Economic Development Committee on Wednesday know in their hearts what their political motivations were. But its notable that the group included more Republicans than Democrats.
Democrats Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, the bill sponsor, and Kirk Watson of Austin were joined by Republicans Bob Deuell of Greenville (the committee chairman), Brian Birdwell of Granbury and Kevin Eltife of Tyler.
Republicans Kelly Hancock of North Richland Hills and Troy Fraser of Horseshoe Bay missed the hearing.
SB1390 would require the state auditor to determine the efficiency and effectiveness of the multimillion-dollar job-creation fund and make sure it has adequate financial controls to maintain accountability for the public money it spends luring businesses to the state.
The Legislative Budget Board estimated the cost of the audit at $537,688.
Created in 2003, the fund has invested more than $487 million in 106 projects that have committed to create 66,094 jobs, but it has never been evaluated through an external audit.
The pool of money is a favorite Perry tool for enticing companies to Texas. They receive grants and agree to meet hiring goals within a specific timeframe. If they dont comply and terms arent amended, funds must be returned.
In a 2013 report to the Legislature covering the last biennium, the governors office said the fund gives Texas the competitive edge in attracting businesses and helping those already in the state expand instead of looking to move. (bit.ly/4quRC9)
The governors office does keep details about grants made to date on a website about the fund. According to the legislative report, grants made from January 2011 through December 2012 included $194,000 for 3M Co. in Angleton, $21 million for Apple in Austin and $550,000 for plastics recycler Coll Materials in Waco.
In Fort Worth, $450,000 went to Ferris Manufacturing, a medical supply company; $4.2 million to GE Transportations locomotive assembly facility; and $1.2 million to investment firm TD Ameritrade.
The report also includes information about grants that were terminated.
The legislation would provide for a comprehensive, independent analysis so taxpayers can be sure awards have followed proper procedures, recipients have complied with their contracts and money has been recouped when projects havent panned out as promised.
In a news release, Davis called it critical that we put the fund under a microscope to ensure that every penny of these grants is being best used to attract good-paying jobs to Texas.
The enterprise fund has found critics on the political left and right, with some questioning whether its a mechanism to reward cronies and others calling it wasteful corporate welfare. Without casting aspersions, Deuell has been quoted as saying lawmakers and the public need to be satisfied that the moneys being spent wisely.
That worthy goal should make this measure an easy vote in the full Senate and the House.
JACKSON, MI The Enterprise Group of Jackson decided to no longer book special events at Armory Arts Villages Grand Gallery, a management official said Thursday afternoon.
Peter Jobson of Excel Realty in Ohio, which manages the apartment complex, received an email in February from the economic-development agency that it no longer planned to facilitate events at the venue.
We would like to have the events; we are not opposed to them in any way, Jobson said. We have to have (the Enterprise Group) participating in those events also.
Jobson said the only involvement that the company has with Armory Arts Village is the management of the property.
Were not equipped to hold these events, Jobson said. Were really more about the real estate.
The village will still hold events such as monthly open houses for artists.
Armory Arts Village is owned by the Excel Artswalk Limited Dividend Housing Association Limited Partnership, which is registered in Michigan. The Enterprise Group, the countys economic-development agency, owns a very small portion of the village 0.00225 percent and does not have authority over the Grand Gallery, the agencys President and CEO Tim Rogers said.
The discussion on event-hosting at the site began in the fall when a woman, who was in a wheelchair, filed an Americans with Disabilities Act complaint because she could not gain access to the building.
We didnt feel it was appropriate for us to be the target of the complaint because we really didnt have anything to do with it, Jobson said. We dont want to be the target of lawsuits while these events take place.
The two groups were unable to come to an agreement on how the facility would be handled, and events that were booked for the venue for 2013 were canceled. Rogers said Jobson requested responsibilities from the Enterprise Group that the agency could not take on financially.
When MarkLogic Founder Christopher Lindblad started working on a database for unstructured data in 2001, his efforts were prescient. Since then, the database market has since seen a proliferation of non-relational, or NoSQL, startups to handle the wide variety of data types that new data sources such as web applications and digital documents generate. The space has grown so big, in fact, that it has already started to consolidate. Amid all this, MarkLogic has managed to stand out by generating more revenue than pretty much any other vendor, according to figures Wikibon released in February.
On Wednesday, MarkLogics success was validated again, as the company announced a $25 million round of venture funding, bringing the total it has raised to $71.2 million. Sequoia Capital and Tenaya Capital led the round; CEO Gary Bloom and other MarkLogic executives also contributed.
MarkLogic like to tout the fact that its geared for enterprise use. Features such as high availability, replication, clustering and ACID compliance help differentiate the company from other NoSQL databases, Bloom told me. And although the company is taking in revenue and looks robust enough to go public now, Bloom said he would rather boost revenues to the point that MarkLogic could sustain success after an IPO.
Rather than go after the revenues that open-source NoSQL databases generate, Bloom said he wants to take away database marketshare from legacy companies peddling SQL databases, including IBM, SAP and Blooms previous employer, Oracle. That means MarkLogic salespeople will have to convince slower-to-change enterprises on the reality that relational databases might not be the best choice if they want to take advantage of unstructured data. MarkLogic also will have to put up with fellow NoSQL players that are adding enterprise functions, such as MongoDB,
But if MarkLogics plan turns out to be fruitful, a public offering could come within a year or two, Bloom said.
Update: This story has been updated with the correct funding amount. It was $1.8 million, not $18 million.
What do Crossfit and RackWare have in common? They both aim to make their customers flexible and agile and get them running at optimal performance.
RackWare is a cloud startup that has raised $1.8 million in its first round of funding.
RackWare has developed a series of enterprise solutions to bring intelligence and automation to the cloud. The RackWare Management Module (RMM) helps businesses scale across private, public, or hybrid cloud environments, without changing applications.
As businesses migrate their operations to the cloud, there is a greater need for tools to help manage this infrastructure. RackWare launched in September 2012 with its management software that helps IT teams get the highest performing cloud throughout their applications lifecycle. The company touts the mobility and elasticity that RMM brings. The technology makes it easy to scale up or down, depending on demand, as well as disaster recovery.
Todays enterprise IT organizations need solutions that allow them to immediately benefit from deploying applications in the cloud within their current environment, said founder and CEO Sash Sunkara in a statement at the time. With RackWare Management Module, users can take full advantage of the cloud without comprising their current investment in infrastructure and applications. And once RMM is in place, it is easy to expand use of the cloud to increase cost savings to the business through greater availability and flexibility for application developers and users.
Sunkara was one of the cofounders of 3Leaf Systems and served as VP of marketing at QLogics Network Solutions Division. Her cofounder, Todd Matters, worked on networking at Unisys and IBM and founded SilverSteam. They founded RackWare in 2009 and at the time raised a small amount of angel funding. This $1.8 million is part of an intended $2.67 million, according to an SEC filing. The investors are undisclosed, although VentureBeat has reached out to RackWare for comment.
RackWare is based in Santa Clara, California. Read the filing.
Photo Credit: CrossFit Kandahar/Flickr
VC firm Andreessen Horowitz is announcing another major win for its powerhouse of talent—- Ken Coleman, enterprise tech veteran, is joining the firm as a Special Advisor. Coleman is a Silicon Valley pioneer and former chairman/CEO of ITM Software, and a trusted mentor to countless IT companies and entrepreneurs, including the firms founder Ben Horowitz. Coleman joins fellow special advisors, former Washington DC mayor Adrian Fenty and former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers at the firm.
Coleman has vast experience as an executive at some of the early technology pioneers in Silicon Valley. He is currently the chairman of publicly traded Accelrys, the developer of a scientific enterprise software for lifecycle management. Coleman was also the founder of ITM Software Corporation, an enterprise software company for which he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 2001 to 2006.
Previously, from 1987 until 2001, Coleman was a senior executive in Sales, Services and Marketing, at Silicon Graphics, which Horowitz calls the Google of its day. Prior to joining Silicon Graphics, Coleman was Vice President of Product Development at Activision. He is also member of the Board of Directors of MIPS Technologies, Inc., a licensor of microprocessor architecture, United Online, an Internet service provider, and City National Bank, a commercial banking institution.
It was at Silicon Graphics where Coleman became Horowitz own mentor. Coleman actually hired Horowitz out of college for a summer internship that ended up being Horowitz first job in Silicon Valley. The rest of his career was deeply shaped by his experience at Silicon Graphics and the mentorship Coleman provided, explains Horowitz in an interview. He taught me everything I know, he says.
For the firms portfolio companies, Coleman will help CEOs navigate the many challenges that CEOs face at all stages of growing a company, and developing a billion dollar business. While the former executive has considerable experience in enterprise technologies, he will be advising a broad spectrum of startups in various industries, including consumer.
The value add of bringing Coleman on is multi-fold, says Horowitz. Coleman understands the process of starting something from nothing, as well as being able to scale a startup into a business and then build upon that.
Coleman tells us, I can help startups get through many phases of growth. For example, when a company wants to go from $50 million in revenue to $100 million in sales, the structure and people have to change. I have lived through these growth changes.
He adds that hes especially excited about being part of the Andreessen Horowitz team, and the ethos that the firm promotes in helping founders build great businesses.
There’s no doubt that Andreessen Horowitz is a network within the firm with each hire it makes. The firm recently added Chris Dixon as an investment partner, and brought on Twitter marketing exec Elizabeth Weil to help portfolio companies with business development and marketing strategies. Special advisors expand on this network as well.
We modeled Ron Conway, Ken Coleman and Michael Ovitz in creating a valuable network for entrepreneurs, Horowitz says.
After that Ulsh worked for 30 years as an electrician for Conrail and Norfolk Southern.
Ulsh, 71, died April 4.
He was a graduate of Susquehanna Township High School, a lifelong member of St. Marks Methodist Church, served in the military and was a volunteer search and rescue fireman.
After he retired in 2001, Ulsh enjoyed skeet shooting, spending time with his railroad buddies, tinkering with old cars and especially working in his yard. He also spent time driving cars for Enterprise and serving as the president of Railroad Retirees Club of PA for five years.
Surviving are his wife, June; daughters, Susie Schultz and Jenny Ulsh, son-in-law Herb and granddaughter, Keely Schultz.
From his guest book:
What a treasure to know Skip. Even through his treatments, he was a gem. I will truly miss him.
– Debra Witwer, nurse navigator, Harrisburg
Skip was a dear man. I will miss him. He always talked about his family with love and pride in his voice, especially for his granddaughter. He always made me smile.
– Rhonda, Enterprise receptionist
Here at Enterprise, Skip was truly loved and admired. He was always quick with a joke and could put a smile on everyones face even on their worst day. We all will miss him dearly.
– Diane Smith, Harrisburg
To read more obituaries, click here.
Las Vegas — Microsoft is pushing Azure cloud service to the 5,000 attendees at its management conference this week, encouraging them to take advantage of the system now for specific tasks but to keep in mind that it fits into a full-blown hybrid-cloud framework that may become more attractive to them over time.
Should Azure customers worry about reliability?
Microsoft issues free tool it says will cut Azure costs
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2006, Margaret Thatcher wrote about the effects of privatizing
state-owned and operated businesses in Great Britain during her
tenure as prime minister (1979-1990) in
Reason Foundations Annual Privatization Report.
Privatisation shrinks the power of the state and free
enterprise enlarges the power of the people, she
The policies we introduced in the 1980s were fiercely opposed.
Too many people and industries preferred to rely on easy subsidies
rather than apply the financial discipline necessary to cut their
costs and become competitive. Others preferred the captive
customers that a monopoly can command or the secure job in an
overmanned industry, rather than the strenuous life of liberty and
But we understood that a system of free enterprise has a
universal truth at its heart: to create a genuine market in a state
you have to take the state out of the market.
View this article.