After dominating the headlines in April with its Sun Microsystems Inc. acquisition, Oracle Corp. decided to open up its pocketbook again. CEO Larry Ellison and company purchased virtualization management firm Virtual Iron Software Inc. in a move to target Microsoft Corp. and VMware Inc.


But while analysts reacted positively to the deal initially — with Virtual Iron’s technology Xen-based technology fitting in nicely with Oracle’s existing virtualization products — many Virtual Iron customers expressed concern over the future of virtualization management products.


Microsoft also made a big splash in May with a US$100 million rebranding campaign for its online search engine. The company unveiled Bing late in the month, in a move that was aimed to cut into Google Inc.’s market share.


Early in the month, Research In Motion Ltd. and Cisco Systems Inc. kicked off a partnership to let enterprises integrate their BlackBerrys with Cisco IP phones, providing single-number capability and other features. The companies said RIM’s BlackBerry Mobile Voice System (MVS) Server for Cisco Unified Communications Manager would bring together the top enterprise mobile platform with the dominant networking vendor’s IP voice and messaging system.


RIM’s partnerships didn’t stop there either, as a few days later, HP Co. unveiled two new BlackBerry services, including a cloud-based mobile printing service and a BlackBerry Enterprise Server management tool.  


In layoff news, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced it would have to let go of 3,000 people, in a move that would complete the company’s 5,000 planned layoffs for 2009.


Around the same time, Microsoft continued its Windows 7 push, with one company executive urging customers to dump Vista deployments and concentrate solely on the Windows 7 Release Candidate.


A slight drop in revenue also caused HP to announced layoff plans of its own, with the company deciding to axe 6,000 employees within a 12-month period.


In the wireless market, both Telus Corp. and Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. said their overall operating revenues were almost flat because of the recession, with their wireless revenues going up less than four per cent.


Continuing its fight against Bell Canada, the Canadian Association of Internet Providers asked the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to reconsider its six-month old ruling that Bell can continue traffic shaping.


With Apple, Microsoft and Google all being rumoured to buy Twitter, co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams took their message on the road, appearing on The View, Oprah and The Colbert Report to deny the rumours.


At SAP AG’s annual Sapphire user conference, the software giant launched a new business intelligence search tool, BusinessObjects Explorer, aimed at business users who want to search through millions of company records without the help of IT. SAP co-CEO Leo Apotheker described the tool as being very “Google-like.”

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