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Tech scoreboard: Winners and losers of the week, July 29

Here's the first installment of our new scoreboard of the winners and losers of the week in tech. See why Microsoft, Apple, RIM, and Google made the list and what their scores were.

This is the first installment of a new feature on TechRepublic. We're going to give an honest -- if occasionally snarky -- take on four of the biggest stories of the week in the technology industry. Naturally, since business professionals make up most of our audience, we're going to lean toward the stories that most affect businesses. And, you'll notice that the big tech companies -- Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, HP, Dell, Cisco, etc. -- dominate a lot of the headlines since they wield a lot of influence. Oh, and did I mention that there will be scores involved?

Here's how it will work. Each Friday, we're going to select four developments from the past week (Saturday to Friday): two positive and two negative. We'll grade each development with a score from +1 to +8 or -1 to -8. Then, we'll total it all up to give a score for the progress of tech civilization for the week. These won't just be decided by me. Other TechRepublic editors will chime in as well, sometimes even writing the blurb for a particular development.

Let's get started.

Microsoft reports bullish balance sheet (+3)

Despite the fact that the company continues to be criticized for its lack of innovation and vision, Microsoft reported excellent earnings to Wall Street this week, exceeding expectations and growing by a bullish 8% over the same quarter last year. The challenge is that the company showed weaknesses in mobile, Internet, and its PC division, but those deficiencies were balanced by a very strong showing in its growing servers division and the fact that businesses keep buying licenses of Microsoft Office. Heck, the Xbox division even chipped in $32 million in profit. No matter what you think of Microsoft, a healthy Microsoft is a positive sign for the tech economy. (Also read Deb Shinder's ebullient take on Microsoft's performance.)

Apple opens B2B app store (+3)

This development flew under the radar last week, but word about it spread this week after Larry Dignan reported it on ZDNet on Monday. Apple officially calls this "App Store Volume Purchasing for Business," but it includes the ability for companies to buy apps in volume and then deploy them to employee iPhones and iPads (or give employees codes to download the apps themselves) and the ability to install private, custom apps built in-house or by a third-party partner. While businesses have been surprisingly bullish about iPhone and iPad in the enterprise, this move fills in one of the biggest gaps for those customers.

RIM lays off 2,000 workers (-2)

For BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion, the fact that it announced 2,000 new layoffs on Monday is a terrible sign for a company that operates in a mega-growth market (mobile). RIM has repeatedly been unable to come up with new products to counter the momentum of Apple and Android, and it has been powerless to win over developers to its mobile app platform. The one consolation for the workers who get laid off is that their services should be highly valued by other mobile bellwethers and up-and-coming mobile startups.

Google+ incautiously erases user accounts (-5)

Over the weekend, Google began unceremoniously disabling large numbers of Google+ accounts for usernames that violate the company's real-name "community standards" or terms of service. Google reportedly closed accounts that used fake names, company names, nicknames, stage names, and even people who were using multiple accounts. In some cases, the people whose accounts were affected were only blocked from Google+, but in other cases users were no longer able to acces their Gmail, Google Docs, or other Google products. Lots of apparently innocent accounts were caught in the crossfire, while there are still a zillion Lady Gaga impostors with Google+ accounts. Even worse than the way Google botched this was that it didn't communicate very well about what it was doing and why.

Progress of tech civilization this week: -1

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

36 comments
williamk3131
williamk3131

Quasi-controversial news rehashes + polarizing name brands + Lady Gaga = Increased hit count = higher ad revenue. hebergeur d'image

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Did it not pan out? Too much trouble? Not enough interest? Inquiring minds want to know.

jack6666
jack6666

... is all I can say - this whole business! Driveway Lights

john.folkes
john.folkes

I like the idea of a weekly tech summary. Not good news this week for either RIM or Google+. Too bad !

jaack4242
jaack4242

You have made some really valid points here. I read them and thought for a while. Vary nice and soothing color and design. I bookmarked it already. I will appreciate more posts.

jkiernan
jkiernan

Quasi-controversial news rehashes + polarizing name brands + Lady Gaga = Increased hit count = higher ad revenue.

PurpleSkys
PurpleSkys

doing on the side of my page...excuse me...more clutter? I think not...and you're wondering why folks are dropping off like flies around here...my 17 yr old can code a cleaner site...sigh...that's my two cents...for what it's worth..or not worth...

realvarezm
realvarezm

is like an RPG game played by big It corporations and the final result is the evolution or involution for another stage. Plus the info is very good and one can check some news that slip under the radar at least for me. Cheers!

jazzy5
jazzy5

Jason, good idea. Just hope to keep this scoreboard with fact not opinions. Also, on your first scoreboard you missed other high tech companies like HP, IBM, Dell, Cisco, etc. For example there is a report that HP is number one in Europe in laptop sales taking the position from Acer.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

TR : Best of Network Bar, -10!!! (octal) Off with its head!

dominoscr
dominoscr

Just for the record that bluetooth vulnerability is not platform specific. As for the battery thing, until Miller shows exactly how this is done I have to assume he needs direct access to the micro controller. That means he has to take apart the machine to compromise it. If that is true then who gives a spaghetti monster? Also, I can't wait for Mango!!! Mango Mango Mango

Carl.Lee4
Carl.Lee4

Google does not care about what their users want. they proved that when they moved the TABS in iGoogle to the left hand side of the screen robbing us of an inch of valuable real estate. Google+ will be no different, random changes that despite user complaints will be deployed and no looking back. Who cares that Johnny has 40 accounts?

rvgammill
rvgammill

Apple will invent antivirus software as an app. Then a second app will be sold to run a system scan on a schedule. Then a third app will allow the antivirus to scan email attachements. Subsequent apps will be sold to scan removable media. At some point, the Apple-istas will declare that Windows or Linux wishes it could do what Macs do in antivirus. Of course, there will be a drawback for Apple antivirus, in that the version of antivirus signatures will not update. Updating will require dragging all the apps to the trash can and buying new apps. Mac users will crow about their expertise in this and sneer at mere mortals running their non-Apple junk. Windows and Linux users will jealously weep and gnash their teeth while their antivirus runs in the background.

terry
terry

Great idea, this really sums up the week. Keep it up.

David Horowitz
David Horowitz

This new column is just a way to distribute info about what's going on, keeping us informed, and entertaining. The Google+ thing is unfortunate. What a botch job for them.

DnlCY
DnlCY

Google is getter eager and too much controller. And we (users) are letting them free to do what they want. I ask: do you want to put our life in their hands? I will say: use google but with moderation and cautions. They have good applications (bought well) but I don't want to be dependent of them.

Gisabun
Gisabun

How does Apple get a positive score with two serious enough vulnerabilities. First the possibility of malware getting into the system and killing the battery [and remember that many Mac users have no anti-virus/anti-malware software installed]. Then there is the issue where passwords are leaked when the system is in sleep mode by using a bluetooth device [or was it firewire]. All B2B is, is a subset of the regular app store. Nothing more. You think they'll sell something in the B2B and not in the regular store? Nope.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Although the 'two up, two down' format may be too restrictive. There will be weeks when everything is positive and you'll be discussing two '-1' stories at the expense of some '+5' or '+6' events. Consider going with the top four or five highest 'absolute value' stories.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

comparing apples and oranges, where no man has compared apples and oranges before. Ok, that last bit was a lie :D

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

assigning completely arbitrary numbers to items in a hot/not list. Or maybe someone realized that hot/not lists aren't properly techy :p

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

I do applaud anything that takes clutter out into the wasteland (empty space along the borders), on general principle, so the new social media bar has my approval - for that reason only. It's still clutter of course. And coupled with the best of network bar it's hard to bear. Soon they'll implement 3D technology so that we'll have to peer behind the ads to see the content.

Blaxxeven
Blaxxeven

I would like to see this vulnerability replicated also. Has it really not been replicated but still treated as a remote vulnerability?

mwclarke1
mwclarke1

ever since google main search page went to the dynamic content/menus I have had performance issues on certain machines I use other search engines that have kept things much more simple

jeffsilverm
jeffsilverm

According to the Wikipedia article on linux viruses, there were 865 linux viruses at the end of 2005. By way of contrast, there were tens of thousands of viruses for Windows. The wikipedia article goes on to say that there are linux antivirus scanners, but those scanners mostly protect not the linux server itself but MS-Windows machines that hook up to them. When UNIX was designed in the late 1960s, it was designed from the ground up to run in a multiuser environment. A lot of security test software was written, and still can be used, to verify the integrity of UNIX systems. Anybody who writes a new OS, such as Windows or IOS, won't have the benefit of 40 years of security test software development.

Frank-JH
Frank-JH

At some point in there you will have to reset to factory settings.

acmp
acmp

Maybe those mac users should open their eyes and get protected rather than sniping at Microsoft or believing their own hype about macs being secure and unaffected by viruses and malware. As for the b2b store, 'volume licensing'. That is the win there, allowing business to purchase discounted licences and distribute them to their staff. I want in on this, it is a real step forward for Apple. Posted from my iPad if you're interested.

nordgren
nordgren

...we will se apples compared to mangos - where will it end? ;)

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

...of security test software development by approximately ?100 times as many developers and at least 10 times as many users

Becca Alice
Becca Alice

...when the mangoes have been moved to the left side of the screen and taken up a full inch of screen real estate.

Richard-H
Richard-H

The comments are getting decidedly fruity ... which makes a nice change :-) I'll take freshly picked strawberries, raspberries and bluberries on my screen, please! hostgator coupon

jack6666
jack6666

... thought! You are very wise! Reverse Cell Phone Lookup

myhass
myhass

I like the idea. Thanks man, your iste is awesome, I will share for my mates and browse more throught your postings. jouets spielzeug

rmerchberger
rmerchberger

Then they'll dice up all the fruit and make some kind of Pistachio Fluff dessert... Mmmm.... Fluff. Kinda like this blog entry. "Merch"

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The Mango's will get moved off the right hand side of the screen and be replaced with Pineapples. Then they will compare Pineapples to Kiwi Fruit and come to the conclusion that Five Finger Fruit is actually better. Col

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Sooner than you think, I fear! And why on earth would anyone vote that down? I mean, sure it will suck when it happens, but it was still a funny remark.

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