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Microsoft was trying to build an Amazon-killer called Project Brazil

Big news this afternoon from the Wall Street Journal, which reports that Microsoft “recently” explored creating an e-commerce marketplace that would compete with Amazon and eBay. Sources told Greg Bensinger and Shira Ovide that the Redmond, Wash.-based company held discussions with potential partners about such a venture, but it “recently pulled the plug” on the… Read more →

Semiconductor inventory falls during Q1, outlook for demand rises: IHS

Analysts at IHS are predicting some good news for the electronics industry. A recent briefing suggests that inventories held by semiconductor suppliers have declined significantly in the first quarter as excess stockpiles which accumulated during 2012 were cleared away. This was done in anticipation of a revival in demand for electronic expected by the second… Read more →

Larger screens driving smartphone display growth: NPD

Over the course of the last two years, worldwide smartphone display shipments have increased 120 percent, and this is down primarily to sales of larger, higher resolution displays, according to a new report from NPD DisplaySearch. Two devices in particular are driving growth. These are the iPhone, with its 960/1136 by 640 display, and the… Read more →

France, Italy pile on privacy, data pressure on Google; fines likely

Google’s New York City headquarters. (Credit: ZDNet/CNET) France’s data protection agency has ordered Google to change its consolidated privacy policy, more than a year after the company merged 60 individual policies into one single document.  In a press release issued Thursday, the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL) said that following a year-long investigation,… Read more →

Cisco to acquire Composite Software for $180M

(Image: CNET) Cisco stated on Thursday its intention to acquire data virtualization software and services company Composite Software. The networking giant said it hopes to include its Smart Services portfolio and extend its services platform by connecting data and infrastructure. It said that its recent acquisition of SolveDirect will help forge the path into a unified software… Read more →