February 2014 saw Facebook make a big move with $16 billion acquisition of Whatsapp, which is probably good valuation news for Blackberry because its BBM product would be a direct competitor. Blackberry however had another rough month when IDC released its numbers as the company’s smartphones accounted for only 1.9% of sales in Q4 of 2013.
Another company with big news, although not necessarily positive was Sony. They appear to be reinventing themselves in their various niches as they are closing their eReader store and divesting themselves of their PC division (Vaio).
In other M&A news Comcast is making a $45 billion play for Time Warner Cable; Oracle paid a reputed $400 million for data management platform company Bluekai; LinkedIn paid $120 million for online job search company Bright; and Klout was bought for about $100 million by Lithium Technologies. Google made a couple of acquisitions, online fraud company Spider.io and secure logon company Slicklogin. IBM is buying database as a service company Cloudant; and Monster bought a couple of companies, social profile company Talentbin and job aggregation and distribution technology company Gozaic. current news
Other companies making news this month include Microsoft who announced a new CEO, Satya Nadella (who replaces Steve Ballmer) plus a new Board Chair John Thompson (who replaces Bill Gates). Dell started its new life as a private company with major restructuring, resulting in likely 15,000 job losses. On the good news front, jobs creation and infrastructure additions in Canada come in the form of new datacenters for Bell Aliant and for Telus.
In reports from various sources Android has about 80% of the mobile OS market share, with Apple a distant second. Samsung was the dominant handset hardware supplier with 32% share, with Apple second. Apple however accounted for approximately 1/3 of tablet sales in Western Europe last year, with Samsung second.
A Cisco study suggests that users will increase mobile data usage by a factor of approximately 8 over the coming 5 years… so make sure you have good data plans! The Canadian Federal Government announced an infrastructure investment to put broadband into rural communities and Gartner tell us that IT spending was flat year over year, for the 13th year in a row!
Economic news was generally mixed, with no major bad news and no big breakthroughs. Some job growth in Canada and the US, some positive confidence indicators and some not so good. One study seemed to sum it up for me, Careerbuilder found that 58% of employers feel the recession is still lingering!