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The Ticker

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said at Gartner ITXpo that the company will start rolling out products on six- to nine-month cycles, as well as its traditional "every-few-years cycles" for major releases.

IBM is acquiring DataPower, which makes hardware to speed processing of XML messages. Intel bought a similar device maker this year, and Cisco also is in that market.

The price companies can charge for VoIP calls "will trend toward zero" in coming years, eBay CEO Meg Whitman said last week. eBay owns VoIP provider Skype.

EMC Corp. bought Captiva Software Corp., maker of input-management software, to extend its EMC Documentum content-management platform.

Apple Computer updated its top-end machines, putting dual-core PowerPC processors in G5 desktops. The PowerBooks are likely the last to sport IBM-made chips, as Apple moves to Intel.

SAP reported a 13% jump in revenue to $2.4 billion for its third quarter and a 15% uptick in net income. It credited strong software sales--up 20% from a year ago-- and U.S. sales.

In podcasting's latest move into the mainstream, launched a service to podcast film synopses and alerts to eager fans.

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