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IBM close to deal with Sun

IBM and Sun Microsystems are close to a deal under which IBM will acquire Sun Microsystems for about US$9.50 per share, The New York Times reported in its online edition Thursday afternoon. Citing unnamed sources familiar with discussions between the companies, the DealBook column of the Times’ business section reported that the deal could be imminent and announced as soon as Friday.  The Wall Street Journal earlier Thursday afternoon reported that IBM had dropped its takeover price from $10 to $11 a share to $9 to $10, also citing unnamed sources. Sun agreed to the lower price “in return for strong commitments from IBM that it will complete the deal even if it faces intense regulatory scrutiny,” the Journal said, again citing anonymous sources.

Lenovo to focus on low-price products

Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing detailed his firm’s strategy to break into rising economies with low-price products before moving its focus to mature markets, at a press event Thursday. Lenovo will take a long-term approach to profits as it tries to open up emerging markets with products from its Idea line, Yang said. Lenovo may also wait for the economic crisis to pass before returning its focus to mature markets. The company lost $97 million in the last quarter of 2008 after demand went off a cliff in the U.S. and Europe. It has since announced nearly 3,000 layoffs and two reorganizations to cut costs and draw back from developed markets.

Conficker infects 4 per cent of computers, says IBM

IBM is the second company in two days to suggest that the number of computers infected by the Conficker.C worm may be higher than previously thought. After scanning 2 million computers over the past 24 hours, IBM’s Internet Security Systems (ISS) division said Thursday that it had spotted the worm on 4 percent of the IP addresses it monitored. Although Conficker is clearly the worst worm outbreak in years, IBM said, noting it expected to see an infection rate of 1 to 2 percent. Late last week, IBM researchers reverse-engineered Conficker and figured out a way to track infections by measuring peer-to-peer traffic on the network. They used that technique to reach their estimate.

Silicon Valley to get WiMax network

Clearwire is teaming up with Google, Cisco Systems and Intel to build a WiMax network in Silicon Valley for software developers to try out new applications on the fourth-generation mobile broadband technology.  The network will cover the three companies’ campuses and the region in between them and will span roughly 20 square miles. Clearwire plans to reach 120 million U.S. residents with a national WiMax network by the end of next year, but today it has only announced commercial service in two cities. There are only about 30 devices approved to work on that network, though the company expects 100 to be available by year’s end.

…And those are the top stories from the IDG Global IT News Update, brought to you by the IDG News Service. I’m Sumner Lemon in Singapore. Join us again later for more news from the world of technology.

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