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July 26, 2016 / 20 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Cisco Acquired its 11th Israeli Company

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #175.

1.   “Israeli defense exports for 2012 are expected to show an increase, despite the global economic crisis…. Israeli defense exports for 2012 may cross the $7 billion line…. 10% to 15% higher than 2011 exports, though it will not match the peak of more than $7.5 billion recorded in 2010…. A substantial effort is currently under way to increase sales mainly in countries such as India and several other countries in Eastern Asia, South American countries, Australia, Africa and Canada, where Israeli defense exports have recorded a growth trend” (IsraelDefense, Dec. 31, 2012).  Israel is ranked between fourth and sixth in the world for weapons sales. The U.S. and Europe are Israel’s leading markets.

2.  “Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that even though there is only one Silicon Valley, ‘Israel is among the second tier of innovative places’ — akin to Microsoft’s hometown, Seattle…. Ballmer said that “the range of innovative things that Israel is doing is remarkable. There is such a wide scope of exciting things going on here. Israel is a start-up center, and there is always something to challenge us there, or one that we can acquire.’ A number of MS technologies are ‘Made in Israel,’ Weisfeld explained in a previous interview: These include Microsoft gateway VPN technology; Microsoft Security Essentials anti-virus suite; and the newest product, the recommendation system for Xbox systems…. Israel was the first Microsoft R&D center outside the US, which opened in 1991. Today, the company has centers around the world, but… there are only four places in the world where the R&D centers get involved in general and innovative projects: the US, China, India, and Israel” (Times of Israel, Nov. 5, 2012).

3.  The Swiss-based Institute for Management Development (IMD) has ranked the Bank of Israel in the top five among central banks for its efficient functioning in its 2012 World Competitiveness Yearbook for the third year in a row. The report also ranked Israel’s economy 9th highest for its durability in the face of the global financial crisis (http://bit.ly/Xf6Cr9).

4.  The $110BN Cisco acquired Israel’s IntuCell for $475MN, Cisco’s 11th Israeli acquisition, including NDS which was acquired in March, 2012 for $5BN  (Globes, January 24).  Israel’s Keryx BioPharmaceuticals raised – on NASDAQ – $70MN, its 4th IPO (Globes, Feb. 4). Israel’s MedGenics raised $29MN on NASDAQ (Globes, Feb. 11).  DKPartners hedge fund joined York Private Equity, investing $55MN in Elbit Imaging bonds (January 24).

5.  In 2012, 575 Israeli high-tech companies raised $1.92 billion from local and foreign investors, a 10 percent decrease from $2.14 billion raised by 545 companies in 2011 (Israel Venture Capital Research Center).  The Georgia-based EndoChoice merged with Israel’s Peer Medical, raising $43MN in a round of private placement led by Sequoia Capital(MarketWire, January 4).  Benchmark Capital, Battery Ventures and HPV Investmentinvested $16MN in Israel’s Panaya (Globes, Jan. 9).  Sequoia Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Norwest Venture Partners invested $15NM in a round of private placement by Israel’s Ravello (Globes, Feb. 7). The NYC-based Millennium Technology Value Partnersinvested $12MN in Israel’s WatchDox (Globes, 31).  Orbimed invested $8MN in Israel’s Medigus (Globes, Jan. 7). $5.5MN invested in Jonathan Medved’s OurCrowd (Globes, Feb. 7).

6.  Israel’s natural gas potential.  Jonathan Baron and Dr. David Wurmser, (Forbes, September 27, 2012): “With in excess of 25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas discovered since 2009, Israel now enjoys historic opportunities to produce domestic, affordable, and secure energy…. Under any realistic scenario, Israel possesses ample supplies to ensure energy security in the power sector for a generation…. The well-established pattern of such development suggests that the natural gas discoveries to date represent only a fraction of the total recoverable resource. Based on other basins, current discoveries in the Israeli Levant Basin likely are only a fraction of the total technically recoverable resources….”

7.  Kinetic Energies – Alternative Electrical Energies, owned by Isaac Sutton, leads a 250MN Euro investment in the construction of 120 megawatt 50 wind-turbines in the Golan Heights (Globes, January 24).

Visit The Ettinger Report.

Yoram Ettinger

Microsoft CEO: Israel Is the High-Tech Country

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

1. “[Australia’s] $30BN Woodside Petroleum is looking at taking an interest in the giant Leviathan gas field off the coast of Israel…. The Leviathan field, discovered in 2010, has an estimated 17 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas, making the biggest deep water gas discovery of the past ten years. 50-75% of the gas is slated for export….  Woodside Petroleum Ltd. bids for 30% of the rights to the Leviathan licenses. It is 50% higher than their market value. Woodside is one of the finalists in the licensees’ choice for a strategic partner.

“Woodside’s bid reflects a value of $7.5 billion, compared with analysts’ estimates of $4.7-5.5 billion for the gas field…. ‘Petroleum Intelligence Weekly’ reported that [Russia’s] GazpromWoodside and apparently South Korea’s Korea Gas Corporation (Kogas), are finalists in the Leviathan process…. [The Houston-based] Noble Energy [which controls 39.66% of Leviathan] prefers a Western partner for Leviathan.

“Woodside would fit the bill for Noble Energy: it is a veteran company with deep water expertise as well as building liquefied natural gas facilities for gas exports from its fields off Australia’s northwest coast. This area is considered the most developed in the world, attracting hundreds of billions of dollars in investment in onshore and floating LNG facilities” (Globes Business Daily, October 22, 2012).

2. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s CEO 4th visit to Israel: “I’ve arrived to Israel, the high-tech country…. The integration between Microsoft and Israel is natural, because Israel’s high-tech industries are among the global leaders…. I’m energized and inspired by Israel’s innovative capabilities, which have made Israel an important arena for Microsoft….” (Globes, November 2).

3. Intel Corp. CEO Paul Otellini is in Israel: “We are perhaps the largest private employer in Israel (about 8,000 employees in the company’s development and production centers), and most of those employees have technological know-how. Some of our most sophisticated engineering efforts are carried out in Israel…. We have been in Israel for 40 years and we have done many things. We’re here for the long term and we will decide next year regarding our next factory.”

Otellini visits Israel in order to launch the company’s $5 million investment in Israeli high schools over the next four years, in partnership with the Ministry of Education. The project’s aim is to double the number of high school students completing their science and technology matriculation certificate (Globes, November 2).

4. According to the $56BN Swiss bank, UBS – which is currently expanding its Israel wealth management operations – Israel is among the top five promising economies with the highest growth potential.

5. “The UK law firm Berwin, Leighton Paisner (BLP) LLP, Britain’s fifth largest, with 1,000 attorneys worldwide, is expanding to Israel, opening an office in Tel Aviv as part of the expansion of its international operations. The firm’s customers include 59 companies on the Global Fortune 500 list. Its decision is a vote of confidence in Israeli economic growth…. ‘We’re here because the Israeli business world is heading in directions which we see as markets of the future, like China and the Far East…. BLP sees the steady business growth of Israeli companies’ activity in international markets….(Globes, Oct. 30).’”

Visit The Ettinger Report.

Yoram Ettinger

Smell the Grass

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

When was the last time you walked across a field of grass?

Wait, a whole bunch of you just looked up at the ceiling and thought…what the heck is she talking about? You probably walk through a field of grass every day, don’t you? Well, if not a field, a lawn, right?

Israel is a land that was, according to the Bible and logic, very fertile. I believe I read somewhere that when the Romans conquered Judea and sent the Jews into exile, they salted the earth to prevent our return. I googled it…yeah, google is now a verb… and there are more than 50,000,000 references to it. I didn’t click on them to see if it was true or not. The bottom line is still the same.

Much of Israel is short on water – we have desert as our southern half and even towards the north, we don’t really have lush, green mountains. Where we have fields of grass, they are usually cultivated and watered. Otherwise, they aren’t really grass, but rather weeds that grow in the winter months and die in the summer.

I went to a Microsoft conference today – they put on a light and dance show that was incredible. I have to write about the amazing technologies I saw there, the wonderful things Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer said about Israel. I want a Surface computer SO badly… I would love a Windows 8 phone. I ache for a convertible laptop and have given up the idea of buying a laptop until I can afford one. Just wow…

And with my head filled with the wonders of what Microsoft is bringing to the world… I began the walk back to my car. And, as I crossed the road, I opted for the shortcut so many others were taking…across the grass.

I grew up in America – where there is so much grass – we all had front lawns and back lawns and had to cut the grass regularly. I can still remember the smell of cut grass, of grass after a rain. I stopped thinking of Microsoft and looked down at the grass – there were people in front of me, people behind me. I couldn’t stop to touch it, though deep down I longed to.

I don’t know if you’ve ever stopped to think about the wonders of grass (the legitimate kind, naturally) – but it’s important to take that time in life – to feel the grass under your feet as you walk. I’ll remember Microsoft’s products from today… but I think part of me will also remember the grass.

Visit A Soldier’s Mother.

Paula R. Stern

Microsoft, Israel To Sign Strategic Partnership

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Just ten days after the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer arrived in Jerusalem to discuss a memorandum of understanding between his company and Israel’s Finance Ministry to form a strategic partnership to develop and promote technology.

Steinitz and Ballmer heaped praise on each other’s endeavors during the Monday meeting.  Ballmer was set to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later in the day.

In September, Microsoft completed its Israeli innovation center in Ra’anana, one of its 31 centers worldwide.

Malkah Fleisher

Hurricane Sandy takes out Major NYC Internet Provider

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Hurricane-downgraded-to-Post-tropical storm Sandy has taken out Internap, which operates a global content delivery network and data centers.

Internap has emailed its customers the following warning:

Please be advised that Internap’s LGA11 facility is experiencing significant flooding in the sub-basement of the 75 Broad Street building as a result of Hurricane Sandy. The flooding has submerged and destroyed the site’s diesel pumps and is preventing fuel from being pumped to the generators on the mezzanine level.

The available fuel reserves on the mezzanine level are estimated to support customer loads for approximately 5-7 hours. Once this fuel supply has been exhausted the generator will no longer be able to sustain operation and critical customer power loads will be lost.

According to The Register, a Microsoft employee reported that submarine cables have gone dark. The Service Help Dashboard at Amazon Web Services reported all is well, as did Rackspace.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Technion Sues Microsoft for $6.5 Mil. over Intellectual Property

Monday, June 11th, 2012

The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology has filed a NIS 25,000,000 ($6,500,000) lawsuit against the Microsoft Corp, reports the website Calcalist.

The lawsuit, filed last week in the District Court in Petach Tikvah, alleges that Microsoft used intellectual property developed by Technion professor Ran Smorodinsky.

The extraordinary lawsuit opens: “For years, Microsoft has taken aggressive enforcement steps against anyone who held software belonging to Microsoft without legal permits, regardless of from whom and when it was purchased, their geographic location and whether they were rich or poor.”

The Technion is going up against the technology giant, citing illegal uses of technology which was developed by the institution’s staff.

This is a unique suit with which the Technion is marking its overall intent to receive a portion of intellectual property developed by its faculty.

The suit was submitted two and a half years after the state of Israel had filed a similar suit against the drug company Omrix and its founder Robert Taub, arguing that the development of “biological glue” is a product of research done by Prof. Uriel Martinovic, a state employee at the Tel-Hashomer medical center.

In 2008, Microsoft acquired the intellectual property of the startup YaData for approximately $150 million. The Technion now argues that all the intellectual products of the company resulted from research work done by Rann Smorodinsky, a full-time tenured professor in the School of Industrial Engineering.

“Intellectual property rights, technology and knowledge products belong to the Technion – like all fruits of the labor of faculty members,” reads the lawsuit.

The suit alleges that the restriction on the transfer of intellectual property did not escape the notice of the original company founders. In September 2006, the Technion gave a limited approval to Professor Smorodinsky to transfer the company’s intellectual property, provided that the counseling that he himself gave was limited areas of commercial business.

“If the request to expand the areas of counseling beyond the scope of commercial business, please fill inform us and the issue will be explored,” says the same permit.

In retrospect, the Technion now argues, the company violated the permit and engaged the professor in developing its products. Smorodinsky contacted the Technion in October 2007 to extend the permit, without success.

The Technion says that all one has to do to refute “the claim that there is no connection between the scope of Professor Smorodinsky’s area of specialty at the Technion – game theory (the study of strategic decision making) – and his activity at YaData and later at Microsoft, is to quote the professor himself.”

Microsoft Israel has issued a statement saying they were studying the suit and will respond shortly.

Jacob Edelist

The Face That Launched A Thousand Apps: Yours

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Israeli startup Umoove will soon offer a gesture-recognition technology for mobile devices that will control and steer devices by reading gentle facial and head movements, according to a report by NoCamels.

The mechanism uses a front-end camera, which is available on most smartphones, to detect and read facial and eye movements such as smiles, winks, or stares in real time, using those signals to operate games, TVs, computers, applications for reading, tablets, or phones.

According to the NoCamels report, Umoove CEO Moti Krispill told Israeli website Newsgeek that the company hopes to revolutionize the use of mobile devices like Kinect technology did with gaming.  The company is currently focusing on optimization for Android platforms, and is cooperating with Microsoft for the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

Malkah Fleisher

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