The Buzz

Fun with numbers.

ANTITRUST

Fun with numbers

The european union was threatening to fine Microsoft $2.4 million a day for antitrust violations. Thats a lot of change—for the average bear. But Microsoft isnt the average company. The EU fine is the equivalent of charging someone a quarter every day—it gets annoying, but it takes a long time to hurt. If the EU were to levy such a fine against Microsoft, it would take 14,458.75 days, or nearly 40 years, to eliminate the software giants $34.7 billion in cash and short-term investments as of Dec. 31. And that timeline assumes Microsoft never generates cash again—something that isnt going to happen.

SURVEYS

Whos hot ... and not

CONGRATULATIONS MICROSOFT, EMC, Cisco Systems, Oracles database business, Satyam and Symantec/Veritas. Novell, Computer Sciences, BEA Systems, Lexmark and BearingPoint have some work to do.

Those are the findings of SG Cowens latest survey of 500 IT buyers. This survey polls buyers to compose an index of spending intentions for vendors. A value above zero means that IT buyers plan to spend more money with a selected vendor. Below zero isnt good. Theoretically, if a vendor was going like gangbusters to the extreme, it could achieve an index of 100. If a vendor bombed, it would be -100.

Heres a look at some winners and losers.

WINNERS

Microsoft (+23): Vista delay? Who cares? Apparently, the software giant has enough products lying around to sell to the enterprise.

EMC (+21 hardware; +18 software): EMC gobbled up software companies such as VMware and Documentum in recent years to diversify from its traditional storage system business. Now, both sides of the business are doing well.

Cisco (+19): No CIO will get fired for going with Cisco gear. That still seems to be the case.

Oracle database (+15): The king of databases is still king. The applications side of the house, however, is lagging a bit at +11.

Satyam (+14): The Indian outsourcing company trumped rivals Tata Consultancy Services (+7), Infosys (+7), Cognizant Technology Solutions (+6) and Wipro (+4).

LOSERS

BearingPoint (-7): What happens when a consultant needs a consultant to help it comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act? Customers get wary. eWEEK sister publication Baseline chronicled BearingPoints internal turmoil in its February issue.

Lexmark (-6): Apparently, the printer maker is being dinged by the printing units of Dell (+14) and Hewlett-Packard (+12).

BEA Systems (-6): BEA has taken its lumps but may be improving. Lazard Capital Markets said in a recent report that BEAs core business of WebLogic Server and Tuxedo has stabilized, and efforts to diversify into new business seem to be on track.

Computer Sciences (-5) and Affiliated Computer Services (-3): These two companies are regulars on the merger and takeover rumor circuit. Maybe its having an effect, but Unisys services unit (-4), EDS (0) and IBM Global Services (+1) didnt do so hot, either. HPs services unit (+6) led the pack.

Novell (-5): Novell has been trying to migrate customers from NetWare to Linux. So far, results have been mixed.

BLOGS

BlogWatch

Footnoted.org (www.footnoted.org) is a must-read for those folks who love Securities and Exchange Commission filings. This entry is just ducky.

"Broadcom became the latest company to disclose its love for hockey, specifically the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. Broadcom disclosed the deal because the team is owned by Henry Samueli, who is also Broadcoms chairman and its chief technology officer. In the proxy, Broadcom notes that the company got a discount on the corporate sponsorship package, paying $90,000 for two dasher boards at the arena and getting 10,000 tickets to select games thrown in for free. Samueli, 51, bought the team last February from Disney for a reported price of $65 million to $75 million."