Oracle buys Sun for $7.4B

Oracle, known for its database business, has announced today that it will buy Sun Microsystems for$9.50 per share in cash. The valuation of the deal is $7.4 billion, or $5.6 billion net of Sun’s cash and debt. Weeks ago IBM approached Sun for a buyout, but Sun rejected IBM’s offer because they did not like the terms IBM was offering.

Sun brings several benefits to Oracle through the acquisition. First off, Oracle has not had a hardware or server OS business to date and this is the area of IT where Sun earned its reputation during the dot-com boom. In addition to hardware, Oracle’s most important product to acquire is Sun’s best-know technology: Java software. Java is the most important software Oracle has ever acquired because it’s one of the computer industry’s best-known brands and most widely deployed technologies. Java is also critical to Oracle because its fastest growing business, Oracle Fusion Middleware, is built on Sun’s Java language.

Another important product Oracle acquires with Sun is Solaris, the successful platform for Oracle’s database business; which is Oracle’s largest business. Acquiring Sun’s two key software assets will ensure Oracle continued innovation for the benefit for the customers.

Oracle is mainly focused to tackle large-scale business intelligence problems along with Sun and its enterprise servers and server software. If you are a small business or medium sized business, you would probaly be more interested in tower servers.

Vevo: New Music Video Site To Be Launched By Google And Universal Music

YouTube

YouTube

Last week, Universal Music Group and Google announced they were working together on a new music and video entertainment service set to launch sometime this year. The new website will be called Vevo.

Google-owned YouTube will handle the technology side while Universal Music supplies all the content; and the two plan to split the revenue generated by ads. Currently, YouTube visitors use songs from Universal Music and will continue to be allowed to do so. Moving forward, the professionally made videos from Universal Music will only appear on the new site, Vevo.

Doug Morris, Universal Music’s chief executive, originally wanted to build his own music and video site with better quality video and additional features, but decided to partner with Google seeing how it would be difficult to find a bigger audience than that of YouTube’s.

The test of time will tell us if a stand-alone music-video site can earn the needed visitors and ad revenue. What do you think? Is Vevo a website you would want to visit?

Writers from CNET commented on the website to be launched and listed, in their opinion, five features that would make Vevo work.

Microsoft Pushes Users to Upgrade to IE8 and One Day to Windows 7


Lately, there has been a lot of chatter about Microsoft and its products. Last month the big news was the release of the latest version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Web browser, IE8.

While the latest edition was released on March 19th, 2009, a lot of people have yet to upgrade from IE6 or IE7.  Microsoft announced they would start sending notifications via Auto Update to their entire user base beginning in the third week of April. They have already pushed auto-updates to anyone who previously downloaded the beta version. Now, Microsoft is sending out notification to those users still running IE6 or IE7 on Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008.

I just received an email notifying me of the update with a link to download Internet Explorer 8 today (see image below).  You don’t have to upgrade to IE 8, but it will be much more secure than IE6 and possibly IE7. The notifications do not auto-install the software on anyone’s computer,  so don’t worry. You must opt-in to install the update so you can wait if you would like to.

Download Internet Explorer 8

Download Internet Explorer 8

Additionally, Microsoft is working on their new Operating System, Windows 7. There are many people in the industry that believe the final version will be completed soon. They believe this because versions of Windows 7 have leaked on the internet and it appears to be almost complete. Windows 7’s performance is promoted to be far superior than XP and Vista’s performance.

Hopefully this holds true, but we will not see until later this year when it is released. If you are looking for laptops, I would personally choose from one of the operating systems out on the market and currently loaded on laptops today. Even if the OS is releases this year, you will want to wait until they have worked out the kinks and improved upon it – unless you enjoy being in the test group. If you have XP you can upgrade your software now. If you would prefer not to upgrade now you do have some time, but eventually Microsoft plans on killing XP, so you will need an exit strategy in the foreseeable future.

Skype iPhone App Now Available!

Courtesy CNET

We’ve been waiting forever it seems, or at least since Skype announced it was coming at CES, but it’s finally here! What you ask? The Skype VoIP phone service we all know and love and use on our desktop PC’s is now available as an app on the Apple iPhone.

Today, Tuesday, March 31st, you can now download Skype for iPhone through Skype’s website or Apple’s iTunes / App store direct. The Skype iPhone app allows you to make calls over a Wi-Fi network and save money by skipping AT&T’s wireless phone network. You can make free calls to other Skype users using Wi-Fi and use your Skype account to call landline phones at a reduced price. The problem with making calls using only Wi-Fi and not the traditional phone network is that you depend on being close to a wireless network. As we all know sometimes you have a strong connection and sometimes you don’t so in the later scenario, you probably wouldn’t be able to make a call.

For full details, read CNET’s review on Skype for iPhone. They have a lot of great images for a sneak peek at the Skype iPhone display.

Intel Drops Prices on Desktop PC Processors and Launches New Models

Last Thursday, DigiTimes reported they got wind from sources from motherboard manufacturers that Intel is going to drop prices 10-20% on several desktop PC processors. They also announced that Intel plans to launch new desktop PC processors later this year.

This is good news for anyone looking to buy desktops. If you just wait a few more weeks, you can save up to 20%! That’s even if you’re looking to buy top-of-the-line hp desktops.

The reason is, if they are cutting processor prices and launching new PC processors, then prices of current desktops with “old” processors will be driven down by the market. Now when I say “old” they aren’t really old, obviously, but they aren’t the newest, fastest processors out there anymore. This is the perfect scenario to buy any tech product; get it while it’s discounted the most and still a fabulous product and value.

Here’s the schedule as released by DigiTimes:

Intel: Desktop CPU price schedule, April-July 2009 (US$)

CPU

Old Price

New price

Reduction

April 19

Core 2 Quad Q8400 (2.66GHz)

N/A

183

N/A

Core 2 Quad Q8400S (2.66GHz)

N/A

245

N/A

Core 2 Quad Q9300

266

213

19.92%

Core 2 Quad Q9550S

369

320

13.28%

Core 2 Quad Q9400S

320

277

13.44%

Core 2 Quad Q8200S

245

213

13.06%

May 31

Core i7-975 (3.33GHz)

N/A

999

N/A

Core i7-950 (3.06GHz)

N/A

562

N/A

Core 2 Duo E7600

N/A

133

N/A

Pentium Dual-Core E6300

N/A

84

N/A

Celeron Dual-Core E1600

N/A

53

N/A

July 19

Core 2 Quad Q8300

183

163

10.93%

Core 2 Duo E7500

133

113

15.04%

Pentium Dual-Core E5400

84

74

11.90%

Pentium Dual-Core E5300

74

64

13.51%

Celeron Dual-Core E1500

53

43

18.87%

Apple iPhone Bluetooth Headset Discontinued

Courtesy of Apple Inc.

Courtesy of Apple Inc.

I got word of a rumor from The iPhone blog that Apple had discontinued its iPhone Bluetooth headset and confirmed this was true after a quick visit to the Apple website.

I’m not sure I’m sad to see it go since it was released late 2007 as a barebones model compared to all the other neat Bluetooth headsets out there, such as my favorite plantronics headsets or motorola bluetooth headsets.

The Apple Bluetooth headset received pretty good reviews when it was released, but those reviews quickly followed with user reviews dinging the performance. Issues included poor sound quality and battery life. But does this mean Apple is going to release some new Bluetooth headsets or are they bailing out of the Bluetooth accessory game?

My guess is the first option since Apple seems to dominate most fields. They will probably come out with something pretty competitive to what’s out there now. However, I am pretty fond of the Bluetooth headsets out there now. And considering the hands-free headset laws in many states, it’s important to have bluetooth headsets in all your cars.

New iPhone 3.0 Software

Courtesy of Apple Inc.

Yesterday, March 17th, Apple presented an extremely detailed preview of the next operating system for the iPhone. iPhone’s OS 3.0 is in beta phase and has been given to the iPhone Developer Program to access and test the software.

iPhone OS 3.0 is supposedly equipped with over a hundred new features (most importantly the copy and paste feature which the phone frustratingly lacked before). Here are a few:

  • Search your iPhone
  • Cut, copy, and paste
  • Send photos, contacts, audio files, and location via MMS (only available on iPhone 3G)
  • Read and compose email and text messages in landscape

Technologizer.com has tried to list out the 100 new iPhone 3.0 features they could remember, but couldn’t seem to figure out all 100 (my guess is because the features are so minuscule in the grand scheme of things and Apple was just trying to hit the number 100). Apple also has a weak update on their sparse iPhone 3.0 info page.

All and all an update much needed. Although I would also guess that they have had these fixes for quite some time now and just wanted to wait to accumulate more apple buyers before launching it. I say this because they are going to charge an upgrade fee for all the non 3G iPhones.