|Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison|
On Monday, HP reported solid fourth-quarter earnings, and new CEO Leo Apotheker showed his funny side in response to a question from TheStreet. HP comfortably beat Wall Street's estimates. Like its PC rival Dell ( DELL), HP noted an enterprise IT refresh. HP also gave healthy guidance and appears to be ramping up the pressure on rivals Cisco ( CSCO) and IBM ( IBM) with its networking and server products. Apotheker also explained that HP will be increasing its R&D. The company's R&D outlay grew to $814 million from $704 in the prior year's quarter, and the new CEO said that savings from HP's ongoing efforts to streamline its business will fund additional research. "There is always an opportunity to drive more productivity," he said during the analyst conference call. "We will use some of the savings that we generate from our efficiency initiative to invest more in R&D." HP shares closed down 54 cents, or 1.25%, at $43.20 on Friday.
Apple's ( AAPL) iOS 4.2 operating system made its debut this week, albeit to mixed reception. The consumer tech giant started offering free iOS upgrades to owners of iPads, iPod Touches and iPhones late Monday. The new software is designed to enable wireless printing from these devices, better HTML5 capability and AirPlay, a wire-free media sharing system. Some observers, including Daring Fireball's John Gruber, found the hotly anticipated AirPlay service not ideal at sharing videos from an iPhone to Apple TV for full-screen viewing. Wall Street analysts nonetheless saw the iOS upgrade as a big positive for Apple, especially over rivals including Google's ( GOOG) Android and Nokia's ( NOK) Symbian. Apple shares closed up 20 cents, or 0.07%, at $315 on Friday.
Taiwanese tech giant Acer announced a handful of mobile devices Tuesday, including two Google Android tablets. The Acer Androids, featuring 7- and 10-inch screens, are slated for release in April 2011. A third tablet, a 10-inch gadget running on Microsoft's Windows operating system, will be rolled out first, in February. Acer did not provide information about pricing or carrier distribution for the tablets, and the products have not been officially named, the company said.
Also in the mobile space, app tracking firm Distimo reported on Friday that paid apps at Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 store are the cheapest among all the mobile application stores. Microsoft shares closed down 12 cents, or 0.47%, at $25.25 on Friday. --Written by James Rogers in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com