SILICON VILLAGE

Friday, June 5, 2009

Aegis likely to hire 12,000 staff globally

Essar Group's back office unit Aegis said it will augment its global workforce by 12,000, summing up the total headcount to 43,000, by end of this fiscal. The company plans to hire 1,000 people every month in India and across United States, Philippines, Costa Rica and Africa where it has operations.

"We will be recruiting a thousand people every month, so this year we will add 12,000 to our workforce globally. We have already hired 3,000 people since the beginning of this fiscal," Aegis Ltd managing director and Global CEO Aparup Sengupta said.

"The Ruias-led company has earmarked a capital expenditure of $30-35 million this year, excluding cost on infrastructure," he said. Despite the global downturn, Aegis is eyeing a turnover of over $550 million and aims to grow by over 50% in 2009-10. "There is still an opportunity for outsourcing," Sengupta said.

Agencies

Is Wal-Mart set to hire over 22,000 people in US?

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores will hire over 22,000 people this year, a move that will bring cheer to the country’s strained labour market grappling with rising unemployment woes. The retailer, which is one of the least unscathed entities amid the financial turmoil, would be recruiting people for its new and expanded stores nationwide. Wal-Mart has said it would “create more than 22,000 jobs in 2009 to staff new or expanded stores in the US”.

The company would be taking people for positions including store management, pharmacists, human resource managers, customer service associates, cashiers and sales associates. In a statement on Thursday, the retailer said it would create over 1,000 jobs in several individual states. Wal-Mart would generate nearly “1,300 jobs in Arizona; 1,000 jobs in California; 1,300 jobs in Florida; 1,500 jobs in Michigan; 1,200 jobs in New Jersey; 1,000 jobs in South Carolina; 1,200 jobs in Utah and 1,100 in Virginia,” it said.

Last october, Wal-Mart announced plans to open 142 to 157 new or expanded stores in the US. Eduardo Castro-Wright, who is vicechairman of Wal-Mart said the firm is proud to create quality jobs for thousands of Americans during this tough economic time.

“Job creation is just one way in which we’re working hard every day to help people across this country live better,” Castro-Wright noted.

Wal-Mart along with Indian business group Bharti opened their first store in India last week. The joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and Wal-Mart Stores Inc was inked in 2007.
Rattled by the raging economic crisis, the US has seen massive job losses in recent months and the official unemployment rate is well above 9%.

The jobless rate has been on the rise as companies have resorted to trimming their workforce as part of cost-cutting measures. US Federal Reserve chairman Ben S Bernanke on Wednesday said more number of jobs could be lost in the next few months. Wal-Mart has presence in many countries and employs more than 2.1 million associates worldwide.

Agencies

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Will Larry Ellison foray into netbook market?

Oracle Corp Chief Executive Larry Ellison is considering getting into the business of selling low-cost laptop computers, one of the fastest-growing sectors of the technology business.

Ellison said on Tuesday that he is looking at entering the market for so-called netbook computers after his software company completes its planned $7 billion purchase of computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc.

Sun also controls the Java computer language, which Ellison told programmers at a Java users' conference could be employed to run netbooks.

"I don't see why some of those devices shouldn't come from Sun," said Ellison, who runs the world's third-largest software maker. "There will be computers that are fundamentally based on Java."

That would put Oracle in competition with companies like Google Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co, Dell Inc and Acer Inc, which either make netbooks or develop software for them.

The netbook phenomenon took off in 2008 to the tune of 11.7 million units, led by companies such as Acer and Asustek Computer Inc that were quick into the market. Nearly every PC vendor offers them these days.

Analysts forecast 20 million to 30 million netbooks will be sold this year, making up an ever larger part of overall laptop sales and marking one of few tech sectors still experiencing robust revenue growth.

Ellison made the comments during his first public speech since Oracle announced plans to buy Sun.

Although netbooks are relatively new, Ellison deserves some credit for their rise.

More then a decade ago he introduced a lightweight alternative to the PC known as the Network Computer, which was built primarily to connect to the Internet. The machines, which competed with ones running on Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system, failed to take off after their launch in 1996.

Agencies

New lighter, power-saving Intel chips for laptops

Intel Corp has launched a lighter, power-saving microprocessor intended for use in ultra-thin laptops, a move by the top chip
maker to shore up its lead in mobile computing.

The new processor, dubbed the Pentium SU2700, comes amid investors' fears that cheaper processors such as the Atom, designed for use in ultra-cheap netbooks, are cannibalizing the market share for higher-margin, more expensive chips.

Acer and Asustek have said they will build laptops with the chip, and Microsoft will ensure its software supports it.

Intel expects that by the fourth quarter of 2009, about a fifth of its consumer shipments will be for the new-generation laptops, slimmer and more energy-efficient.

Intel is upbeat on the ultra-thin market and expects "explosive growth in 2009, very similar to the netbook growth," Intel's director of mobile platforms product marketing Uday Marty said on a conference call.

Asutek, which in 2007 pioneered the successful low-cost, no-frills netbook PC in 2007, is expected to unveil five new laptop models based on the technology this year.

Analysts say Intel's CULV platform may offer a cheaper - but virtually as powerful - alternative to the traditional processors it makes for laptops, while enabling laptops to begin to approach the diminutive size of netbooks.

Intel released three new Core 2 Duo processors and a new mobile chipset.

Agencies

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Amazon.com finds competitor in Google in e-books

Seeking to find common ground with authors, who have complained about copyright violations through search services, Google plans
later this year to begin distributing and selling e-books on behalf of its publishing partners.

"We've consistently maintained that we're committed to helping our partners find more ways to make their books accessible and available for purchase," Google spokesman Gabriel Stricker said confirming the move first reported by the New York Times.

"By end of this year, we hope to give publisher partners an additional way to sell their books by allowing users to purchase access to partner programme books online," he said in an e-mail to InformationWeek, a leading source for information technology news.

"We want to build and support a digital book ecosystem to allow our partner publishers to make their books available for purchase from any Web-enabled device."

Google is anxious to find common ground with authors, who have complained about copyright violations in the past through services like Google Book Search.

Formerly known as Google Print, Google Book Search was introduced in 2004 and targeted by publishers and their lawyers the following year for digitising books without the permission of copyright holders.

A proposed settlement of that lawsuit is currently being reviewed by the courts and the US Department of Justice.

Google's e-book sales service will be made available to participants in the Google Book Service Partner Programme, a marketing programme for promoting books through Google Book Search.

If Google succeeds in making peace with authors and publishers, it may find itself competing more directly against Amazon.com, the publication said.

Amazon gave up competing against Google Search in 2006 when it closed its A9 search engine, but Amazon Web Services, the company's on-demand computing infrastructure service, remains a strong contender against Google App Engine.

With its Kindle e-book reading devices, Amazon has been building the infrastructure and market for electronic texts on portable devices, a transition in reading technology that's been anticipated for a decade, but never fully realised.

Apple too will soon release its iPhone 3.0 operating system, which will bring e-book sales opportunities to the iPhone's many e-book reading apps, InformationWeek said.

Apple is rumoured to be working on tablet computing device, a form factor ideal for reading e-books. Other players, like Sony, see a future in e-books, too.

Agencies

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