What’s Left of Nortel Today?

Almost a year after Nortel filed for bankruptcy, we take a look at what’s left of the 114-year-old company that began as Northern Electric and Manufacturing to sell telephones to Canadians. All that remains are some patents and an IP phone joint venture with LG.

Microsoft: No Restrictions on Windows 7 Version for Netbooks

win-7-starterMicrosoft has confirmed to tgdaily that OEMs will be free to install any version of Windows 7 on netbooks. This is a change from the original policy that stated only Windows 7 Starter or Basic Editions would be allowed on low-end notebooks such as netbooks.

“OEMs and ODMs have the choice to install any version of Windows on a netbook,” said a  Microsoft UK spokesperson. “[But] Starter is an entry version and doesn’t have many of the consumer or business features. The three application limit isn’t there anymore.”

The reaction to the three application limit was largely negative when it was first announced by Microsoft, and this limit is primarily the main difference between the Starter and Basic Editions. OEMs will no doubt still be looking at keeping the OS licensing cost down on low-margin netbooks, but at least they have the option to install a more complete version of Windows 7.

Windows 7 Starter lacks advanced features of the OS, with desktop personalization, Aero, DVD playback and Internet Connection Sharing chief among them.

Nortel Won’t Be Coming Back from Bankruptcy

logo_purpleNokia Siemens Networks has offered to buy several business units of  bankrupt telecommunications gear provider Nortel (s NT), according to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal reports that Nokia Siemens has bid on Nortel’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) R&D unit and its carrier networks business, to help expand its sales in the U.S. The paper also reports that Avaya and Siemens Enterprise Communications are interested in Nortel’s business telecommunications unit, which includes VoIP gear.
Executives at Nortel, which filed for bankruptcy back in January, had said the company planned to emerge from bankruptcy, but as the process continues that scenario looks less likely. Instead, the Canadian company is being dismantled and sold for parts, pending approval from the bankruptcy court. Other vendors circling Nortel’s carcass include Genband, a maker of media gateways for telecommunications networks, which is said to be bidding on Nortel’s gateway business; and Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm interested in the business communications assets coveted by Avaya and Siemens Enterprise.
In March, Radware (s RDWR), an application delivery optimization company, sealed the deal for Nortel’s application delivery assets. It paid $18 million for a business unit that cost Nortel $7 billion back in 2000.

Let the Breakup of Nortel Begin

masterawhiteRadware (s RDWR), a maker of application delivery equipment, wants to buy a business unit of bankrupt gear maker Nortel Networks (s NT). The unit in question is known as Alteon; it makes application switching and WAN optimization products for the data center. Nortel bought Alteon for $7 billion back in 2000. Light Reading reports the Radware bid may be closer to $50 million.

Wireless area network optimization and application delivery, which provide visibility into networks, are becoming more relevant in data centers as software as a service and cloud computing becomes more accepted. Venture firms are investing in the space, and it looks like Radware would like to as well. Because Nortel filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, any deal would have to go through the bankruptcy court approval process.

The Zombies Are After Our iPhones

If you’re a security company like Radware, it’s your job to find and create patches for vulnerabilities, but it’s also your job to poke and prod in the hopes of finding some newsworthy exploit to get your firm’s name in the paper. Radware struck media gold with its findings of a vulnerability in the iPhone browser. According to Radware, the iPhone Safari browser version 1.1.4. is vulnerable to a denial-of-service attack after a user clicks through spam email or spam texts that could crash the browser or the phone.