Partnerships and new technologies dominated the hardware landscape, as vendors battled for market share and dollars from customers slowly shedding budgetary shackles. Buyers -- from IT executives to home-office users and gamers -- had plenty of choices, ranging from the iPad and new competing wares, to the latest in IBM mainframes, and practically everything in between. Not surprisingly, several vendors have followed Apple's lead, quickly offering tablets designed to tap into the iPad's momentum
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In the face of Oracle's acquisition of Sun, HP and Microsoft announced their plans to jointly spend $250 million to strengthen the integration of their hardware and software in a move geared toward the cloud. The two companies teamed up on areas such as virtualization, systems management, and storage. Mark Hurd, then-CEO of HP, countered critics' claims that it was merely a bundle, saying the pact marked a deep level of integration and collaboration. And Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer confirmed the company would continue partnering with other vendors, stating both businesses would team up with the others' competitors. Ironically, today, Hurd is at Oracle, taking on HP and Microsoft.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.