What's the tech equivalent of "I will lose 10 pounds by February? " Tech companies in the Seattle area haven't announced their New Year's...

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What’s the tech equivalent of “I will lose 10 pounds by February?”


Tech companies in the Seattle area haven’t announced their New Year’s resolutions. So we thought we’d help out by suggesting some good goals.


What could local techs aim for this year?


Amazon: Nail those earnings


The online retail giant missed analysts’ expectations more often than it met them over the past six quarters.


Though rather than pounce, analysts seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach.


Keeping watch


Spending on corporate governance and compliance matters will account for 10 to 15 percent of a company’s IT budget in 2006, according to a recent survey.

Source: Gartner


A smashing quarter is just what Amazon needs. Stopping short of releasing dollar figures, the company said Dec. 26 that its holiday sales worldwide set a record. Did Santa come through?


Microsoft: Avoid legal hot water


It’s not good to be scolded by federal judges. On antitrust issues. When you’re Microsoft.


But that’s what happened in October, when a judge bashed Microsoft for a proposal that asked that digital music players only use Microsoft’s music software.


Microsoft blamed a “lower-level business person” who didn’t understand the intricacies of the company’s antitrust settlement.


With much of its future riding on the new operating system due out this year, it might help Microsoft to stay out of the legal and antitrust spotlight.


RealNetworks: Hit the home run


This could be a big year for RealNetworks, in large part because of its recent antitrust settlement with Microsoft.


It’s getting $761 million in the deal but — perhaps more important — Microsoft will make it easier for its customers to use RealNetworks’ products.


Serious competitors are lurking in RealNetworks’ core areas of online music and games, and analysts continually fret that the company will be steamrolled.


The bases are loaded for RealNetworks — can it hit a grand slam?


aQuantive: Hold that lead


The online advertising company’s Avenue A|Razorfish unit buys more Web-search advertising than any other agency. But Wall Street isn’t cheering. A PiperJaffray analyst suggested a limited upside going forward and JP Morgan initiated coverage with a deflating “neutral.”


Competitors are everywhere, and for all its promise, the market is a volatile one. Having Google in the mix adds even more unpredictability. The company is surfing a tsunami right now.


Loudeye: Find a buyer


The digital music company put its money-losing Overpeer subsidiary out of its misery last month, shutting down operations. Loudeye faces delisting from Nasdaq because its share price hasn’t been above $1 since September.


Loudeye said in November it had hired a bank to advise on “possible strategic alternatives.” Sounds like a sale, or at least a reverse stock split, might be in the works.


InfoSpace: Ring in a good year


InfoSpace has had some well-documented ups and downs over the years.


Things were looking up again until July, when the Bellevue company said its margins were falling because customers were switching from basic tones to true tones, which use real snippets of a song and therefore cost more to produce. Since then, the company’s stock has fallen hard. To combat that trend, InfoSpace said it is investing in new products and services.


That’s a good resolution for all good companies to make.


Download is gathered by The Seattle Times technology staff. We can be reached at 206-464-2265 or biztech@seattletimes.com.