Chromebooks rise: WitsView
Adoption of Google Inc’s Web-based Chromebook computers could hit 3 or 4 percent of the global market this year, market researcher WitsView said, adding that penetration of Chromebooks looks ready to pick up as clients become more reliant on Google services. Many major brands have started developing their own Chromebooks, and more retail channels have boosted product exposure and consumer choice.
Boeing wins 71 orders
US aerospace giant Boeing said on Thursday it had won 71 new orders for its best-selling 737 commercial jetliner in a week, with more than half for its new 737 MAX. Boeing did not disclose the name of the buyer or the buyers of the short to medium-haul aircraft in the week through Tuesday. The Chicago-based company said it had a total of 176 net new orders since the year started, including 170 orders for the single-aisle 737. The first flights of both planes are scheduled in 2016, with deliveries to customers beginning in 2017, Boeing said.
Sony plans TV series
Sony’s PlayStation Network has followed online media giants Netflix and Amazon in commissioning its first original drama series, a spokesman said on Thursday. Powers, based on a comic book of the same name, combines the genres of superhero fantasy, crime noir and police procedural, and is produced by Sony Pictures, he said. Sony, aiming to compete with its main video games console rival Microsoft’s Xbox Live in offering TV-style programing, has ordered 10 episodes of the show, according to CNN.
Symantec fires president
Security software maker Symantec on Thursday fired its president and CEO Steve Bennett and named director Michael Brown as his temporary replacement. It is the second time in less than two years that Symantec has fired its CEO. Bennett became president and CEO in July 2012, when Enrique Salem was fired after three years in charge of the company. The Mountain View, California, company behind Norton Antivirus software did not cite a precise reason for Bennett’s ouster.
Toyota to end lockout
Toyota said that it would lift a lockout next week on its Indian assembly plants after a meeting with labor groups and a local government mediator to resolve a pay dispute. A total of 17 workers have been suspended for alleged misconduct and indiscipline over the protests at two factories in southern India. Toyota decided to resume production on March 24 after talks with its workers’ union and a senior state labor official on Thursday.
Hitachi eyes London move
Japanese electronics giant Hitachi will move its global rail business to London, as it seeks expansion in Britain and elsewhere in Europe, the firm said on Thursday. The group appointed London-based Alistair Dormer, the former head of Hitachi Rail Europe, as the new chief executive officer of its global rail systems business with effect from April 1, it said in a statement. Hitachi aims to bid for lucrative contracts on Britain’s new ￡50 billion (US$82.5 billion) High Speed 2 railway.
Study tracks UK closures
The gap between store closures and openings in Britain’s 500 largest town centers fell by 80 percent last year as the economy improved, though 16 stores a day are still closed, according to a survey published by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Local Data Company yesterday. The survey found fashion shops, banks, video libraries, travel agents, mobile phone outlets, recruitment agencies and shoe shops were falling in numbers. However, charity shops, convenience stores, betting shops, check cashing, sports good shops and coffee shops were bucking the trend.