Tech news, earnings edition
No blockbuster news events, but this was the big week for area tech companies to report their quarterly results. Here’s a quick roundup:
Amazon.com: The company that typically draws the most emotional reaction to numbers, Amazon didn’t disappoint. Profit was down, but it beat expectations. Both the reaction and the stock price shot up.
Getty Images: There’s little doubt that the Internet has rocked the foundations of the advertising industry, and Getty’s disappointing results are one testament to it. Kim Peterson explains how, with more dollars going toward online ads, Getty’s specialty — high quality images — are in less demand, so it’s finding it has to shift its business and institute some layoffs.
Microsoft: The numbers scored a trifecta, beating expectations in sales, profit and earnings per share, with Microsoft’s server business giving a big push. But, as Ben Romano reports, the reaction was a touch muted because all eyes are on the road ahead, as the company rolls out a closet full of products over the next several months.
Amazon has been known to fiercely protect its intellectual property, especially its One-Click patent, but it’s on the other end of two suits filed by IBM , which claimed the Seattle company infringed on five IBM patents. Part of the suit deals with one technology Amazon is known for: making recommendations based on past purchases.
You won’t find these coupons in your Sunday advertising inserts. Ben reported that Microsoft, as expected, is offering upgrade discounts to customers who buy PCs before Vista rolls out . The exact amount is up to the PC maker or retailer. Whether they help spur PC sales during the holiday sales is the 64-bit question.
The Bellevue wireless carrier may be in its competitors’ shadows when it comes to being at the cutting edge, but it consistently carves out a niche. Now it’s doing it with phones designed to kick between Wi-Fi and the cellular network. Tricia Duryee wrote about how the company is attempting to push more subscribers to give up the land line.
The Seattle Internet traffic management company is one of dozens nationwide being investigated over practices surrounding options-granting. In a story by Kristi Heim, the company said it found errors and may be required to record compensation expense of $30 million over a period of six or more years.
Charles Simonyi, one of the most distinguished engineers to come out of Microsoft, is heading to space with Russian cosmonauts on March 9. Brier Dudley reported on his press conference, held in the more terrestrial setting of the Museum of flight.
Another blow for the local biotech industry. Luke Timmerman reports that GlaxoSmithKline is shutting the vaccine-research operation in Bothell that it acquired almost a year ago from Vancouver, B.C.-based ID Biomedical.
Quote of the week
“I might be the first nerd in space.”
— Charles Simonyi in a made-for-sound-bite remark at his Thursday press conference. Not surprisingly, the Slashdot crowd disputes that.
If you missed it
If you have a sense that everything has a mobile component these days, you’re probably not imagining it. In our quarterly venture report, Tricia discusses how more money appears headed to communications (read: wireless development) companies..