The tech business week: e-commerce programme expands, big financial results

2 Feb 2015

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the IE Domain Registry’s OPTIMISE e-commerce programme being opened to businesses with no previous web presence.

Small Irish businesses receive boost to OPTIMISE their online presence

For the first time, the IE Domain Registry (IEDR)’s OPTIMISE e-commerce programme is now open to businesses with no previous web presence.

The managed registry for .ie web addresses, IEDR has so far helped 60 SMEs and micro-business owners with consultation, training and e-commerce development support, including tailored e-tools and features, to “optimise” their existing online presence and grow their business via the Internet.

This year 15 more businesses will receive similar help through the scheme.

Apple Q1 revenues hit almost US$75bn – 74.5m iPhones and 21.4m iPads sold

The Apple juggernaut keeps on rolling as the Californian tech giant has posted first-quarter revenues of US$74.6bn and profits of US$18bn after selling a whopping number of iPhones and iPad devices.

The results compare to first-quarter 2014 revenues of US$57.6bn and profits of US$13.1bn.

During this most recent first quarter, Apple sold 74.5m iPhones, some 21.4m iPads and 5.52m Mac computers.

Google Q4 revenues up 15pc to US$18.1bn

Internet search giant Google reported fourth-quarter revenues of US$18.1bn, an increase of 15pc compared to the year-ago quarter, as the online advertising cash machine continued to spew out cash. The company reported a profit of US$4.76bn for the quarter.

Full-year revenue for 2014 amounted to US$66bn, up 19pc year-on-year.

Operating profits were US$4.4bn, or 24pc of revenues, during the fourth quarter, and Google’s sites generated US$12.43bn, or 69pc, of total revenues for the quarter.

Facebook is killing it on the mobile ads front – 69pc of Q4 ad revenues

Mobile ad revenue continues to pile in at Facebook, representing 69pc of its fourth-quarter ad revenues compared with 53pc a year ago. The social network reported revenues of US$3.85bn and profits of US$701m for the quarter.

Fourth-quarter revenue from advertising amounted to US$3.59bn.

For the full year of 2014, Facebook revenues totalled US$12.47bn, up 58pc on 2013.

Profits for the full year totalled US$2.94bn. There were 890m daily active users in the fourth quarter, of which mobile daily active users were up 34pc to 745m on average. Total monthly mobile active users amounted to 1.19bn, up 19pc on 2013. Facebook’s total community now stands at 1.39bn after growing 2.9pc quarter-on-quarter.

Microsoft hits US$26.5bn revenues in Q2 – momentum driven by cloud and devices

Gains in software giant Microsoft’s devices and cloud divisions drove second-quarter revenues of US$26.5bn and operating income of US$7.8bn.

Microsoft reported an 8pc increase in revenues from its Devices and Consumer group of US$12.9bn, which was driven by Surface revenues of US$1.1bn and phone hardware sales of US$2.3bn. The company sold 6.6m Xbox consoles and search advertising revenue grew 23pc.

The company reported Commercial revenues grew 5pc to US$13.3bn, which included a 114pc increase in commercial cloud revenues of US$5.5bn from subscriptions to Office 365, Azure and Dynamic CRM Online.

Office revenues declined by 1pc while Server products and service grew 9pc with double-digit growth of SQL Server and System Center.

Dropbox fosters the design community with acquisition of Pixelapse

Cloud storage giant Dropbox has acquired Pixelapse, a cloud and collaboration hub that tens of thousands of designers and creative teams use every day worldwide, for an undisclosed sum.

It is understood that Pixelapse will for the coming year continue to operate as a standalone product but will eventually migrate its customers over to Dropbox.

Pixelapse’s founders said they started the company with the mission of building the definitive version control and collaboration platform for creative.

“The prospect of developing products at Dropbox that expand this vision to millions of users is tremendously exciting,” they said. “Our new development efforts will be focused on bringing the same kinds of collaboration and workflow experiences that you’re used to in Pixelapse over to the core Dropbox product.”

Financial results this week

This week, Thursday is the day featuring the release of fourth-quarter and full-year 2014 financial results by tech giants, specifically reviews site Yelp, business social network LinkedIn and microblogging giant Twitter.

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