IT Buyers Starting to Look a Lot Like Consumer Shoppers

IT Buyers Starting to Look a Lot Like Consumer Shoppers

During the dot-com boom many years ago, the then-called “New Economy” magazines boasted thick, 100-page folios chock-full of ads. At the Industry Standard, for example, there was a waiting list to buy advertising space.

Magazine salespeople weren’t really selling at all; they were merely well-paid order-takers. Customers already had done their research and knew what they wanted.

In this case, the business-to-business salesperson shared a lot in common with the retail salesperson at the local shopping mall.

In other words, consumers conduct their own research by reading third-party reviews, talking to friends, leveraging their social networks and weighing pros and cons. Apps allow them to do quick price comparisons. The teenage salesperson trying to earn some cash during the holidays factors little into the decision process.

B2B Beginning to Look a Lot Like B2C
Now Avanade, a managed services provider, has released results from a survey of 1,000 business and IT decision makers that show a blurring line between the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales process. That is, B2B buyers are starting to act a lot like consumer shoppers.

Sixty-one percent of business decision-makers report third-party sites and feedback from business partners, industry peers or social channels are more important than conversations with a company’s sales teams when making a purchasing decision, Avanade reports.

“The ‘consumerization of IT’ is dramatically transforming the traditional ways companies sell products and services to other businesses and consumers, says Mick Slattery, Avanade executive vice president, Global Service Lines. Businesses have lost control of the sales process, and B2B and B2C buying models are merging.”

Is this a modern-day version of a “Death of a Salesman”? The most startling statistic: 70 percent of respondents say they believe technology will primarily replace human interaction with customers in the next 10 years. All of this sounds a lot like an automated self-service and order-taking machine.

That’s not to say the customer experience is dead. On the contrary, how a company interacts with business buyers will be even more critical in the future. The company will have to invest in technology to meet customers where they are and where they’re doing their research. Think: mobile and social.

Non-sales departments will need to step up, says Avanade. According to the survey, 83 percent of businesses say departments such as IT, marketing and manufacturing will play large roles in directly managing customer experiences than they did three years ago.

Death Reports of Salespeople Premature
To be fair, salespeople aren’t going the way of Willy Loman overnight. The Avanade findings are a bit alarmist, a symptom of technology’s overzealous love affair with paradigm shifts. Sure, the dot-com boom had its share of over-paid order-takers, but the dot-com bust equally showed the value of great salesmanship.

The few sales pros who survived and rose to the challenge were able to close sales, transition to online sales and keep publishing companies afloat in spite of the constant negative drumbeat sounding in the ears of customers.

While new customer-touching technologies might impact the B2B buying experience, and companies should take note of this, salespeople still form the bedrock of the customer journey in America’s corporate culture.

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Microsoft takes off the gloves with Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1

Long list of updates answer criticisms and throw punches at virtualization, cloud foes

In Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1, Microsoft has released a combination of operating system updates that we find very compelling. Microsoft has joined much of the rest of the industry in annual release roll-ups with feature additions, and this time, they listened to the critics. More interesting are the one-upmanship features targeted directly at its virtualization and cloud competition. Some were stunning, despite a few strange and perhaps anecdotal basic problems that we found.

Windows 8.1 is the answer to loud and vociferous complaints regarding radical changes to the user interface found in Windows 8, and is currently a free upgrade for 8.0 users. What’s apparent in 8.1 is that Microsoft is committing strong changes to the tablet and touch user interface in its Surface devices first, in order to compete with Apple and Android. If 8.0 didn’t convince you, then 8.1 is a shot across the bows of those believing that desktops and notebooks rule IT.

Microsoft has targeted Windows 2012 R2 directly at data center and service provider use, along with baseline connectivity to Azure Cloud services and third party Azure services providers. Microsoft’s other targets are Oracle and VMware.

Microsoft offers a free add-in for Windows 2012 R2 of its Azure Pack to connect cloudlike constructs, and anchors it with various free and paid appliance services that battle competing IaaS/SaaS providers and other MSP/cloud competitors. Through gritted teeth, Microsoft is also supporting specific instances of commonly used Linux distros as manageable guests within the Hyper-V and Azure infrastructure.

By contrast to the heavy work done in 2012 R2, Windows 8.1 is a far lighter weight set of changes, and largely addresses criticisms of Windows 8.0.

Authentication and access enabling technologies are important in a BYOD universe. Many Windows users find Apple’s iTunes to be difficult to use as an authentication system under Windows, with frequent unthreaded new releases. Microsoft has responded with a unified identity method enhancement of its Windows Intune ecosystem and Active Directory-poised authentication methods.

The Good News
What we liked about Windows 2012 R2 is that it’s generally easier to use than Windows 2012 — fewer sharp edges — and 2012 R2 contains stronger networking, storage, and hypervisor skills, we found in testing. Microsoft has also made it almost fiendishly consistent and easy to join Windows 2012 R2 to Azure Clouds — and it’s practical if organizations have fast Internet pipes.

Both new Windows releases are highly targeting enterprise customers, although a Windows 2012 R2 Server Essentials Edition (traditionally limited to 25 or fewer users) is available, and not reviewed here. The Essentials Edition must live within three total VMs, which limits possible users, unless something unforeseen and magical happens in hardware.

If organizations want a control plane, Microsoft attaches System Center 2012 R2 releases of Ops Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, and Configuration Manager that are deeply intertwined into the depths of Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V.

During briefings with Microsoft, we had to constantly disambiguate what was a Server or Azure or System Center feature as Microsoft blends them together. In doing so, Microsoft wants its value proposition to be considered as a mixture of the three, but this review focuses on only the Server, Windows 8.1, and the free connection to Azure Pack.

For its part, Windows 8.1 solves the silliness of bringing back the familiar Desktop, along with ways to access applications in ancient and hallowed ways. While the Windows Start menu is gone (available from third parties if desired), there’s a method to show apps selections onscreen easily. Windows 8.1 is also faster than 8.0 — this additional speed makes the most impact when it comes to video drivers and the Server Message Block (SMB3) communications transport protocol.

SMB3 speed isn’t proprietary to Windows as SAMBA 4.1 — the open source SMB emulator that can be used by Mac OS, Linux, BSD, and other non-Windows operating systems, is now compatible with SMB3. However, SAN and NAS devices may not support SMB3 until vendors can get caught up.

Much attention in Windows 8.1 surrounds features that will be found in tablets, like Microsoft’s own Surface Pro. Multi-touch object manipulation and attention towards touch and tethered keyboard combinations abounds. We tested 8.1 and found an enormous variety of keyboard manipulations and touch motions that produced interesting effects.
Microsoft server 2012

2012 R2 and Hyper-V

Windows 2012 R2 contains a number of storage options poised towards Hyper-V, but we found that R2 can probably be booted from a wristwatch and store data on our sneakers — if we format them NTFS. We successfully booted local hardware (you may need BIOS updates), iSCSI, and virtual network storage. Many will be booting VMs, and Microsoft has made this especially simple under Hyper-V V3.

Hyper-V V3 has received much work, and Microsoft considers it a “Generation 2” hypervisor VM-hosting platform that delivers a higher degree of para-virtualization and cuts away much hardware layer specific driver emulation, although other OS versions/distros of hosted VMs can still find connection points.

Hyper-V V3 and its Windows 2012 VMs also boot UEFI, rather than traditional memory-location-specific BIOS. This gave us a few fits, but works. There is the capacity to move virtual machines from host to host using compression, and where compatible hardware is available to support it, very fast transports — 10Gigabit Ethernet, Infiniband, and other faster-than-10G Ethernet connections. The high-speed connections are crucial to VM movements among hosts in hypervisor fabrics.

We tested Microsoft’s virtual network switching component, and found it easy to manipulate, although we disconnected several remote hosts by making inept choices. The instructions weren’t clear to us, and we were able to crater the communications of two of our test servers with ease. The drive to our network operations center is a long one.

The SDNs inside Hyper-V V3 are more easily manipulated by System Center 2012. Microsoft includes IP Address Management/IPAM in Hyper-V, and as VMware has found, is heaven-sent for those with genuine desires to form virtualization platforms where VMs can be easily transported from host to host for either performance or isolation within a defined fabric/VM farm.


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Ballmer’s last decisions at Microsoft prove to be his best

Ballmer’s last decisions at Microsoft prove to be his best
Departing CEO Steve Ballmer knew needed to change Microsoft, but couldn’t change himself. So he fell on his own sword.

An amazing article in Monday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal gives insight into what happened to precipitate Steve Ballmer’s departure from Microsoft. As many have speculated, Ballmer is not leaving because he’s ready. But what is interesting is the process that led to his departure.

The Journal’s article is built on interviews with Ballmer and Microsoft board members, not a bunch of anonymous sources. The story begins in January 2013, with Ballmer on a conference call with the board, who were pushing him hard to make changes far faster than he had been prepared to make.

“Hey, dude, let’s get on with it,” lead director John Thompson says he told him. “We’re in suspended animation.”

(Seriously? These are adults talking to each other like that?)

RELATED: Microsoft employee on stack ranking and the company’s ‘most universally hated exec’

They were getting impatient with Microsoft’s repeated missing the boat on things like smartphones and tablets, not to mention Windows 8 stinking up the market. Ballmer had a vision but it was taking too long. The directors didn’t push Steve to step down “but we were pushing him damn hard to go faster,” Thompson told the WSJ.

Thompson isn’t a lightweight. He was a former IBM senior executive and was the long-running CEO of Symantec before retiring several years ago. He is now heading up the CEO search committee. So he’s someone who could speak honestly and bluntly to Ballmer.

Ballmer said “I’ll remake my whole playbook. I’ll remake my whole brand.”

But he couldn’t. Ballmer eventually told the Thompson and the board “At the end of the day, we need to break a pattern. Face it: I’m a pattern.” And that was what led his decision to retire earlier than he wanted to.

“Maybe I’m an emblem of an old era, and I have to move on,” Ballmer told the Journal. “As much as I love everything about what I’m doing, the best way for Microsoft to enter a new era is a new leader who will accelerate change.”

That is remarkable, especially when you contrast it to the buck passing going on in Washington over the epic fail of There you have a case of no one taking responsibility and no one resigning or being fired. Yet Ballmer, the number two shareholder at Microsoft who would not be easy to remove, looks around at a profitable company, says I am the problem, and steps down. You have to respect that and wonder if there isn’t another CEO or two who needs to make the same admission.

And in the process, he’s taking the loathed stack ranking employee rating system with him. Microsoft announced its demise last week, and that memo was promptly leaked to the entire world.

I checked with my contact that provided so much valuable insight the last time we discussed stack ranking. This person said most people were taking a wait and see attitude, because they had been made so many promises before. HR head Lisa Brummel, whom my contact called “the most hated exec” in Microsoft, was described as looking “happy, very happy…if not relieved to change the subject.”

Microsoft’s board is meeting this week to whittle the list of candidates down to three to five, with outsiders leading the charge. The feeling is that an outsider is needed to shake things up. I couldn’t agree more.

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TECH Products of the week

TECH Products of the week 11.04.13
Our roundup of intriguing new products from companies such as Service Mesh and Red Lion

Product name: Pertino AppScape
Key features: first app store for cloud-based network services. The first available app is GeoView, a real-time network-mapping tool. Future apps: network visibility, security, optimization and more. More info.

Product name – Pegasus2
Pricing – The Pegasus2 R4 4-bay costs $1,499 for 2TB HDD; the Pegasus2 R6 6-bay costs $2,299 for 2TB HDD and $2,999 for 3TB HDD; the Pegasus2 R8 8-bay costs $3,599 for 3TB HDD and $4,599 for 4TB HDD.

Key features – first storage solution with Thunderbolt 2 technology, and it provides fast transfer speeds that dramatically accelerate and simplify 4K workflows. More info.

Product name: SCALAR
Key features: a next generation cloud-based platform for organizing and analyzing complex machine data. More info.

Product name: Honey
Pricing: Free for teams of up to 10 users; $59/month for 11 – 25 users; $119/month for 26 – 50 users; $229/month for 51 – 100 users; custom prices for 100+ users.

Key features: admin analytics dashboard that allows execs to track, measure, export employee engagement metrics, plus a feature that allows sharing select information with external clients, stakeholders. More info.

Product name: Agility Platform 9.1
Key features: makes it possible for highly regulated global organizations to increase agility and innovation, control IT costs, and drive vendor contestability using a self-service, on-demand IT service delivery model. More info.

Product name: Revolution R Enterprise 7
Key features: integrating with multiple data management platforms for in-database and in-Hadoop capabilities. More info.

Product name: PTP 650
Key features: Microwave backhaul solution operating in sub-6 GHz frequencies, offering optimal spectral flexibility and throughput (up to 450Mbps). The only radio with a real-time onboard spectrum analyzer – Dynamic Spectrum Optimization. More info.

Product name- FireEye NX 900
Key features – protects remote/branch offices against advanced persistent threats and attacks. It is integrated with FireEye’s overall architecture to protect customers from threats across multiple vectors. More info.

Product Name – OpenBTS Development Kit
Key features – Educational and experimental tool – provides ability to deploy small cellular network in minutes. Lowest price cellular development kit available, allows users to test configurations, devices, mobile apps in simulated environment. More info.

Product Name: Zenoss Service Dynamics: Service Impact
Key features: It extends the scalability and performance of ZSD Service Impact to meet the needs of mid to large customers struggling with accelerating business demands and complexity of modern data center. More info.

Product name: ClustrixDB
Key features: A scale-out database for real-time analytics on live operational data that works across multiple clouds. More info.

Product name: CrowdFlower Platform
Pricing: Basic is suitable for individual users and available at no upfront cost with 33% markup on crowdsourced microtasks. Pro is suitable for companies with multiple users at a cost of $2,500 with a 20% markup on crowdsourced microtasks.

Key features: is a crowdsourcing platform designed for large-scale data projects. CrowdFlower lets users crowdsource massive, repetitive jobs to an immense workforce of contributors. More info.

Product name: Triumfant 5.0 Product Suite
Key features: combines Triumfant’s unique, patented malware detection software with new tools that can accurately track malware functionality operating in the volatile memory of the endpoint machine. More info.

Product name: SafeNet ProtectV with Virtual KeySecure on Amazon Web Services
Key features: encrypts EC2 workloads for Amazon Web Services customers and allows them to maintain full ownership of encryption keys, with no need for on-premise hardware. More info.

Product name – WhatsUp Gold 16.2
Key features – New features include integration with wireless network technologies from Meru Networks and Ruckus, Cisco WAP321 wireless access points, and Cisco Nexus data center switches as well as added seed discovery for the IPv6 protocol. More info.

Product name: CylanceV
Key features: is a new cloud and on-premise solution that instantly and mathematically determines what is safe and what is a threat in the broadening “grey list” spectrum of unknown data. More info.

Product name: Intralinks VIA
Key features: improves productivity through greater visibility into and faster access to information. More info.

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What Google killing IE9 support means for software development

Google’s announcement that it won’t support Internet Explorer 9 is a sign of a broader move toward rapid iteration in software development.

Let’s start with this: I am completely OK with this. Sure, it may be a bit of a drag for people running Windows Vista (as newer versions of Internet Explorer – 10 and 11 – require Windows 7 or 8) but, let’s be honest – nobody expects any company to spend the money and man-hours supporting every web browser for all eternity. And Vista users still have the option of installing another web browser, such as Firefox or Chrome.

So, if this isn’t all that big of a deal, why am I bringing it up?

Web browsers are, in essence, platforms for running software.
Internet Explorer 9 was released in 2011. It’s only two years old.

That means that we have reached the point where complete application platforms are being deprecated, and left unsupported, after having existed for only two years. And, while that does bode well for the rapid improvement of platforms, it comes with a pretty steep price.

The most obvious of which is that end users are put in the position of needing to upgrade their systems far more often. This costs a not-insignificant amount of time (especially in larger organizations) and money. It is, to put it simply, inconvenient.

This rapid iteration of new versions of these systems also takes a heavy toll on software development. More versions of more platforms means more complexity in development and testing. This leads to longer, and more costly, development cycles (and significantly higher support costs). The result? The software that runs on these systems is improved at a slower rate than would otherwise be possible, and in all likelihood they will be of lower quality.

These are some pretty major drawbacks to the current “Operating Systems and Web Browsers are updated every time the wind changes direction” situation. But is it really all that bad? The alternative, for Windows users, isn’t terribly attractive. Nobody wanted to be stuck with IE 6 for a second longer than was absolutely necessary.

I don’t have a solution to any of this, mind you. Not a good one, at any rate – maybe we should make a gentleman’s agreement to not release new Operating Systems or Browsers more often than every three years. (See? Not a good solution.)

I’m just not a big fan of how it’s currently working.

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19 Apple rumors that were just wrong

Some of the rumors about Apple over the years were just ridiculous.

Everybody loves to read about the latest Apple rumors, and while they sometimes provide us a little bit of insight into future Apple products, they are more often than not patently false. Sometimes, they’re even wildly and comically absurd.

Below are some of the more intriguing and notable Apple rumors we’ve seen in the past 10 years or so. While some may still come true (an Apple HDTV) some were downright laughable from the get-go (Apple to buy Twitter).
So, without further ado, here’s a trip down Apple Rumor memory lane.

Apple and Jay-Z to form their own record label
Say what?! Believe it or not, there was a rumor back in early 2008 that rapper Jay-Z and Apple were going to form a new record label. The rumor gained enough traction that it even appeared on outlets like CNN and CNBC. Early reports even went so far as to claim that Beyonce was set to join the label once her contract with Sony expired.
Not surprisingly, this rumor never came to fruition.

Apple to buy Waze
Apple’s foray into mobile Mapping with iOS 6 was famously fraught with problems. Since then, Apple has improved its Maps app and has even acquired a number of Mapping based companies. During the first half of 2013, rumors emerged that Apple was in negotiations to purchase Waze, a popular mapping and navigation app with a number of clever and fun social features.
As it turns out, Waze was eventually acquired by Google in June of 2013 for a reported $1.1 billion.

Apple to buy Disney
This rumor had a rather long shelf life, perhaps enabled by the fact that Steve Jobs for many years was the largest individual shareholder of Disney stock. And, oh yes, did we mention that he also sat on Disney’s board of directors? While a proposed Apple buyout of or merger with Disney was intriguing, if only because of the parties involved, such a deal never made much business sense and obviously never came to be.

Apple to launch a branded HDTV
This is a rumor that has persisted for quite a number of years and has taken on many different shapes and sizes. One second we hear Apple will be releasing a 55-inch OLED HDTV, and the next we hear that Apple may be releasing 55 and 65-inch models of a 4K TV sometime in late 2014. While the specifics of Apple’s alleged HDTV plans are always changing, the one thing that has remained the same is that Apple retail stores still remain HDTV-less.

Blu-ray coming to the Mac
Steve Jobs calling Blu-ray licensing a “big bag of hurt” didn’t stop a bevy of rumors from pointing to future Macs coming with Blu-ray support. This rumor especially gained traction once HD-DVD went the way of the dodo and Blu-ray licensing became a whole lot less complex. Nevertheless, it’s now 2013 and with optical drives on the Mac now being edged out completely, don’t count on this rumor ever coming true.

Special-edition yellow Beatles iPod pre-loaded with music
The Beatles catalogue of music arrived on iTunes in November of 2010. Long a favorite band of Steve Jobs, the absence of any Beatles music on iTunes was rather conspicuous beforehand. Over the course of a few years, there was no shortage of rumors indicating that the Beatles would be coming to iTunes. What’s more, there was even a rumor that Apple was going to commemorate the news with a special edition yellow iPod (yellow submarine-themed) pre-loaded with every Beatles song. While the Beatles did eventually find their way onto iTunes, this mythical yellow iPod never saw the light of day.

Apple to buy Twitter
Back in 2009 when Twitter was all the rage in Silicon Valley, rumors began circulating that Apple was interested in purchasing the company for upwards of $700 million. Never mind the fact that Twitter would be an absurdly odd fit within Apple and that Apple has never spent that much money on a lone company. Of course, logic often has no place when it comes to Apple rumors, so this one died just as quickly as it spread.

Justin Long was fired from ‘I’m a Mac’ ads
Apple’s famed “Get a Mac” ads — you know, the ones featuring Justin Long as a Mac and John Hodgman as a PC — had a nice three-year run from 2006 through 2009. But back in 2006, reports surfaced that Apple had fired Justin Long. The reason? Consumers felt the Long character was a tad too smug. The funny thing is Long himself was made aware of the rumor and squashed it via his own website, declaring “I’m literally setting my alarm right now to wake up for a Mac shoot tomorrow.” All told, more than 60 “Get a Mac” ads were released, all featuring Justin Long.

Apple to shift AX processor production from Samsung to TSMC
Every year, without fail, we’re treated to new reports claiming that Apple has moved away from Samsung and has instead tapped Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to manufacture its AX processors. We saw such rumors with the A5, A6 and the A7. With Apple clearly trying to distance itself from Samsung as much as possible, this rumor certainly makes sense, but has yet to materialize. Indeed, teardowns of the iPhone 5s reveal that Apple’s A7 processor is made by Samsung.

PowerBook G5
Rumors that Apple would be releasing a G5 PowerBook first emerged in 2003 following the release of the G5 Power Mac. Weeks passed. Months passed. And all the while, no G5 PowerBook was announced. While Apple executives intimated at various points that it was a product they would like to release in the future, they remained beholden to the G4 and were reportedly stifled by engineering challenges in keeping the G5 processor cool enough to run in a notebook-sized device.

Apple to buy Universal Music Group
Many Apple rumors center on alleged acquisitions, which is somewhat odd given that Apple, as opposed to companies like Google and Microsoft, is much more selective when it comes to corporate acquisitions.

All that said, word spread in 2003 that Apple was looking into acquiring the Universal Music Group record label. At the time, sources from both CNET and the LA Times reported that Apple had engaged in “very preliminary” discussions regarding such a deal. Much like the Jay-Z rumor, however, there wouldn’t be much for Apple to gain in managing its own record label. To be fair, this rumor did make a bit more sense because it preceded the launch of the iTunes Music Store.

iPad 3 to include advanced tactile feedback
This was a somewhat bizarre rumor that emerged in March of 2012, ahead of the iPad 3 launch. The rumor claimed that the iPad 3 would feature a new screen technology with advanced haptic feedback that could mimic the feel of various textures like wood and cloth.

A 4.8-inch iPhone, dubbed iPhone Math
In early 2013, Digitimes reported via the China Times that Apple was planning to release an iPhone with a 4.8-inch screen. Dubbed the iPhone Math, this rumored device was also going to sport a 12-megapixel camera. Not too long after, Digitimes retracted its initial report, though it did maintain that Apple is still developing larger-screened iPhone prototypes.

Apple to discontinue the iPod Classic and the iPod Shuffle
In a touchscreen world, there isn’t much room for devices like the iPod Classic or the iPod Shuffle. So when rumors emerged in 2011 that both products were poised to be discontinued, it certainly seemed more credible than the average Apple rumor. It’s now nearly 2014, and though the iPod Classic and iPod Shuffle don’t contribute a heck of a lot to Apple’s bottom line, they’re still available for sale and prominently featured on Apple’s website.

Apple to release netbook
This was a particularly odd rumor given that Apple executives never missed an opportunity to bash the shortcomings of what was once a popular consumer device. Throughout the first half of 2009, word spread that Apple was looking into releasing a 9.7-inch netbook with a touchscreen. The rumored pricepoint for this device? $800. A few months later, Apple did in fact release a 9.7-inch screened device – the iPad.

Apple to make a bid for Hulu
This rumor emerged in June of 2011, from Bloomberg no less, claiming Apple was considering making a bid to acquire Hulu. Today, one can watch Hulu via the Apple TV, but that’s about the extent of any relationship between the two.

iPhone to support NFC
With a number of NFC-related patents to its name, not to mention a number of interesting NFC-related hires, reports of an NFC-enabled iPhone have persisted for quite some time now. As the rumor narrative went, Apple will enable mobile payments via NFC functionality. With Touch ID now out and in use, Apple still likely has mobile payments on its radar, but may not use NFC to implement it after all.

Apple to acquire Barnes & Noble, TiVo, Palm, Nintendo, etc.
With so many Apple acquisition rumors, we figured it made sense to lump some of them together. Over the past few years, there have been all sorts of rumors involving alleged Apple acquisitions. From Palm to Sony and all sorts of companies in between, you’d think that the rumor mill would have learned long ago that Apple typically purchases smaller companies, like Authentec, that have a product or technology that it wants to integrate into a shipping product. Acquisitions that fall outside of Apple’s product wheelhouse simply aren’t in the company’s DNA.

The iPhone Nano
Thankfully, we don’t hear many iPhone Nano rumors anymore these days, but quite a few made it out of the Apple rumor mill back in 2007. Of course, some of these rumors were more the result of analysts’ wishful thinking than any actual evidence. Almost laughably, a JP Morgan analyst once noted that Apple was planning to release a smaller version of the iPhone, complete with a “circular touch pad control.”

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