CINGULAR OFFERS THIN PHONE WITH i-TUNES MUSIC PLAYER
Cingular Wireless, the No. 1 U.S. mobile provider, has started offering its customers the Slvr, an ultra-thin phone from Motorola Inc.loaded with the popular iTunes music-playing software from Apple Computer Inc., the companies said on Tuesday. Cingular already sells the Rokr, Motorola's first iTunes music phone, which disappointed some fans of Apple's iPod music player and Motorola's flagship Razr phone as it resembled neither. Cingular is charging customers who sign up for a two-year contract $199.99 for the phone. Cingular, which enjoyed a sales boost as the first U.S. provider to sell the Razr at the end of 2004, has a similar agreement to be the only U.S. operator to sell the Slvr for an undisclosed period. The Slvr currently works only on networks based on GSM, the world's most popular cell phone technology standard, which is used by Cingular and European and Asian operators.Verizon Wireless, which uses CDMA wireless technology, waited about a year before it began selling the Razr. Cingular is a venture of AT&T Inc. and BellSouth. Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group Plc.
NAPSTER IN TALKS WITH GOOGLE
Internet giant Google is in talks with digital music service Napster over an "extensive alliance" that could include an "outright acquisition," according to a Tuesday report in the New York Post, citing anonymous sources. Shares of Napster surged more than 30 percent in premarket trading on news of the report. Napster told Reuters last week that it was not on the block. "The company is not looking to be sold, the management is not looking to step out. It's simply not true," a Napster spokesman said on Jan. 23. Napster shares rose $1, or 32.05 percent, to $4.12 in premarket trading, from a close of $3.12 on the Nasdaq on Monday. Google shares rose 75 cents to $427.57 in premarket trading from a close Monday of $426.82 on the Nasdaq.
FREE IS THE NEW ‘CHEAP ‘ FOR SOFTWARE TOOLS
Microsystems, once quipped that the average software developer spends more on cafe lattes than on tools. Two years after Gosling deadpanned that one-liner, software developers appear to have even more spare change to feed their caffeine habits. Free entry-level products are rapidly become de rigueur in many areas of software, notably in programming tools where there are hundreds of thousands of freely available goods. On Monday, IBM introduced DB2 Express-C, a free database aimed squarely at software developers. It is a trimmed-down version of its commercial product, and IBM limits its deployment to two-processor servers.
SIEBEL SHAREHOLDERS OK TAKEOVER BY ORACLE
Siebel Systems Inc. shareholders on Tuesday approved Oracle Corp.'s $5.85 billion takeover of its one-time rival, giving the business software maker a stronger foothold as it challenges industry leader SAP of Germany . At a special meeting Webcast on the Internet, Siebel shareholders nearly unanimously approved the September deal that gives Oracle a bigger share of the market for customer relationship management software that helps companies manage sales forces. Oracle has aggressively sought takeover targets to help it better challenge SAP AG, the leading maker of enterprise software used by big companies to aid in automating everything from humans resources to accounting to inventory management.