Tech 2.0 for Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Yahoo is shutting down one of its former search engine competitors. AltaVista was a shell of its former self. It was introduced in 1995, three years before the founding of Google. In the early 2000's Google quickly surpassed AltaVista in popularity. It went downhill from there. The decline began after AltaVista expanded to become more like Yahoo, offering a bevy of online services instead of sticking solely with search. By the time the site reversed course, it was too late. AltaVista goes to the Internet graveyard to rest alongside order-almost-anything venture Kozmo.com and the butler from Ask Jeeves. Search industry expert Danny Sullivan likened AltaVista's fate to a bright child neglected by its parents.
Majority owner Sprint has completed its acquisition of wireless network operator Clearwire Corp. Sprint Nextel Corp. paid $5 per share for the 51 percent of Clearwire it didn't already own. Bellevue, Wash.-based Clearwire runs a mobile broadband network that Sprint uses to provide "4G" service on many of its phones. Clearwire shareholders voted to sell to Sprint on Monday. Its stock will stop trading on the Nasdaq after the market closes on Tuesday. Sprint hopes the deal will make it more competitive with rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. It raised its original bid for Clearwire to overcome a competing bid from Dish Network Corp. Meanwhile Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint has agreed sell 78 percent of itself to Japan's Softbank for $21.6 billion. That deal is expected to close Wednesday.
Lagging sales of the Nook e-reader are among the problems facing Barnes & Noble and the company's CEO, William Lynch, has announced his resignation. The news didn't surprise some analysts. Barnes & Noble earlier announced it would stop making its own Nook color touchscreen tablets because they failed to keep up with competitors. The company has been struggling to find its place as more readers have shifted to electronic books and competition has grown from discount stores and online competitors.
Research In Motion has won formal approval to change its name to BlackBerry. The Canadian company announced plans for the name change in January, when it unveiled new phones running a revamped operating system called BlackBerry 10. The company hopes the new devices will be more competitive with iPhones and Android devices. Since January, Research In Motion Ltd. has been going by BlackBerry in marketing materials. It has also changed its ticker symbol to "BBRY." But a legal name change required shareholders' approval at Tuesday's annual meeting. The new name comes as BlackBerry faces questions about how its growth and survival. CEO Thorsten Heins told shareholders that BlackBerry is in the second stage of its turnaround. Stage three, he says, includes profitability.