The Channel logo

Iain Thomson

Contact Mail Follow Twitter RSS feed
Satya Nadella

Microsoft kinda did OK this quarter – but whatever, Wall Street loves Satya Nadella

Microsoft's first-quarter results for its 2017 fiscal year reveal a four per cent year-on-year fall in profit and 10 per cent dive in operating income. Just before the quarterly results were announced, Microsoft's stock was down about half a per cent to $57.25 a share. Then when the figures landed, and despite the fall in …
Iain Thomson, 21 Oct 2016

Microsoft keeps schtum as more battery woes hit Surface sufferers

Updated Microsoft loyalists are up in arms over yet more battery grief with the Surface Pro 3 and that Redmond is, we're told, breaking promises on repair costs. These aren't the battery blunder reported in July, in which faulty software had a habit of draining batteries of juice. Microsoft fixed that issue with a software update in …
Iain Thomson, 19 Oct 2016
Photo by Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

In the name of love, don't scalp your U2 aka Dreamfest tickets, warns Salesforce

For the second time in three weeks, delegates are flooding into San Francisco for a big conference – last month it was Oracle OpenWorld and now the Salesforce Dreamforce conference kicks off on Tuesday. Dreamforce sold out early this year, with the $1,799 tickets getting snapped up more quickly than expected. As with anything …
Iain Thomson, 03 Oct 2016
HP 3D printer

HP Inc: No DRM in our 3D printers, we swear (unlike our 2D ones)

While HP Inc is getting a lot of flack over its DRM lockdown on 2D printing consumables, in the 3D world the company wants to address that it won't be setting the prices on consumables. Speaking at the 50th anniversary party for HP Labs, Tim Weber, global head of 3D materials for the firm, said that HP Inc would not be the …
Iain Thomson, 28 Sep 2016

Sad reality: It's cheaper to get hacked than build strong IT defenses

Whenever mega-hacks like the Yahoo! fiasco hit the news, inevitably the question gets asked as to why the IT security systems weren't good enough. The answer could be that it's not in a company's financial interest to be secure. A study by the RAND Corporation, published in the Journal of Cybersecurity, looked at the frequency …
Iain Thomson, 23 Sep 2016
Larry Ellison photo by drserg via Shutterstock

Oracle's cloud strategy is simple – woo and win the latecomers

OpenWorld Throughout this year's Oracle OpenWorld conference, the company's message has been fairly simple – the database firm is moving to cloud but can offer buyers either on-prem kit, full public cloud, or anything in-between. It's a tempting pitch for those who are somewhat nervous about diving into the cloud with their systems, and …
Iain Thomson, 22 Sep 2016

Larry Ellison today said really nice things about rival Amazon's cloud

OpenWorld Oracle’s founder and CTO Larry Ellison took to the stage for his second OpenWorld keynote today, and spent the bulk of his presentation pointing out flaws in his chief cloud rival Amazon. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has three database products running on its cloud (Redshift, Aurora and DynamoDB), and in terms of features they …
Iain Thomson, 21 Sep 2016
Mark Hurd OpenWorld

Lack of Hurd mentality at Oracle OpenWorld: Co-CEO's cloud claims fall flat live on stage

OpenWorld Once again, Oracle's co-CEO Mark Hurd was in a prognosticative mood during his OpenWorld keynote, but the crowd of attendees wasn't buying it. As he did last year, Hurd made some predictions as to where the industry was going on cloud computing by the year 2025, including that two companies would control 80 per cent of the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Sep 2016

McAfee's back! Intel flogs security software biz, pockets $3.1bn

Intel is selling off a majority stake in its security software arm – formerly known as McAfee – to private equity firm TPG, which will rename itself to, er, McAfee. Chipzilla absorbed McAfee Inc in 2010 for $7.68bn, and in 2014 it phased out the McAfee brand name. According to Intel, that software division is today valued at …
Iain Thomson, 07 Sep 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

What's Dell brewing the day before its EMC mega-slurp? A latte money? Oh, a flat white

Dell has reported near-flat revenues for its second quarter of the year, up just 1 per cent from its position 12 months ago. The company pulled in revenues of $13.1bn in the three months to July 29, compared to just under $13bn this time last year. This generated an operating income of $63m, up from a loss of $103m 12 months …
Iain Thomson, 06 Sep 2016
SGI in Jurassic Park

OMG: HPE gobbles SGI for HPC. WTF?

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has bought venerable computing firm SGI – formerly Silicon Graphics – for $275m. Over the past few years, SGI has concentrated on the big-iron end of the server market and high-performance computing. It's this technology that HPE wants to bolster its hardware lineup. "At HPE, we are focused on …
Iain Thomson, 11 Aug 2016
Tarah Wheeler

Symantec appoints first cybersecurity czar to woo hacking talent

DEF CON Hardcore hackers and the corporate security industry have never really got on that well. Symantec is looking to change that after hiring Tarah Wheeler to act as its website cybersecurity czar. Wheeler has a long career in the IT industry, including stints at Microsoft and Blackphone-maker Silent Circle. Both of her parents …
Iain Thomson, 06 Aug 2016
Kaspersky image

Kaspersky so very sorry after suggesting its antivirus will get you laid

Kaspersky has apologized for displaying a sexist pop-up advert in its security software. It's not sorry about showing adverts on people's PCs, however. The Russian giant's desktop software suite flings adverts, er, news items about Kaspersky products at users who have already paid for its applications. On Friday, one of these …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2016
Google's Sundar Pichai, speaking at Google I/O 2015

Google, er, Alphabet takes on 10,000 more staff, banks more and more billions from ads

Alphabet, the holding company for Google and the Chocolate Factory's other concerns, has reported strong growth in the second quarter ending June 30, with revenues up 21 per cent from this time last year. Google made up the vast majority of this revenue, accounting for $21.3bn for the quarter, with the other parts of Alphabet …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2016
Dead battery

Microsoft blames dying Surface Pro 3 batteries on software bug

Microsoft has admitted that the battery problems hitting some Surface Pro 3 owners aren't down to hardware failure, but rather a software issue. Redmond's support forums have been inundated with complaints about the high-end fondleslab's battery life. The problem only appears to affect hardware that uses batteries from third- …
Iain Thomson, 27 Jul 2016
Liam Neeson Taken

Euro cops, Intel and Kaspersky slay Shade ransomware

A joint operation by Europol, the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit, Intel, and Kaspersky has seized the command and control servers for the Shade ransomware strain and published code that allows anyone hit by the malware to decrypt their files. Shade has been in circulation since 2014, and has predominantly targeted …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jul 2016

Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Updated A French regulator has issued Microsoft a formal warning over Windows 10, saying the operating system collects excessive amounts of personal data, ships that information illegally out of the EU, and has lousy security. The warning comes from the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), an independent data …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft Azure doubles up to $800m a quarter – and is wiped out by dying phone sales

Analysis All eyes were on Microsoft's cloud business today as it published its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. Amid the numbers, Redmond boasted that its Azure revenues from the quarter were up 102 per cent year-on-year – we estimate the cloud service's revenue to be about $800m in total for the period. Meanwhile, …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Raised hands vote

Eat me, Michael: 98% of EMC shareholders back Dell mega-gobble

EMC shareholders have voted overwhelmingly to accept Dell's $60bn plus offer to merge the two companies into a new entity called Dell Technologies. At a special shareholder meeting at EMC's Hopkinton, Massachusetts, headquarters, 98 per cent of those present, representing 78 per cent of the shareholders, voted to approve the …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jul 2016

What's big, blue and red all over? IBM. Profit, z Systems down, cloud up

IBM today reported its second quarter financial results and the figures don't look good, with profits falling nearly 30 per cent. The venerable computing giant did perform slightly better than analysts expected, however GAAP revenues and profits are both down year-on-year. It's the 17th straight quarter of revenue declines for …
Iain Thomson, 18 Jul 2016

Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

When Windows 10 launched, Microsoft claimed it would have the new operating system on a billion devices by mid-2018. That isn't going to happen, however, Redmond has now admitted. For the past year, Microsoft has offered the new OS as a free upgrade for both desktop and mobile users (provided the phone can handle it in the …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016

Attention, small biz using Symantec AV: Smash up your PCs, it's the safest thing to do

If you're using Symantec's Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition (SEP SBE) then you can forget about security for a week or so, as the company won't be patching the "as bad as it gets" security holes in its software for a while. A Register reader who wishes to remain anonymous received an email from Symantec confirming …
Iain Thomson, 06 Jul 2016

Confirmed: Dell software sell-off

Dell has confirmed rumors that it is selling off its software division to private equity firms Francisco Partners and Elliott Management. "Francisco Partners and Elliott Management's deep passion for technology and proven track records in nurturing and building software businesses will enable Dell Software's loyal base of …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jun 2016

Official: Microsoft goes to pot, gives weed growers fix they need

Put this in your pipe and smoke it: Microsoft is offering pot growers software tools to help them stay on the right side of America's relaxed laws. Marijuana is legal in Microsoft's home state of Washington, as well as in Oregon, Colorado and Alaska, and is prescribed medicinally (with varying degrees of laxity) in California …
Iain Thomson, 17 Jun 2016
Cash in brown paper envelope CC 2.0 attribution

Ex-SAP exec and pals accused of $500,000 insider trading scam

A former SAP executive and his associates allegedly ran an insider trading ring to net hundreds of thousands of dollars. Chris Salis was, until recently, global vice president and general manager for procurement at SAP. US financial watchdog the SEC claims he used his inside knowledge of SAP's takeover of Business Objects in …
Iain Thomson, 16 Jun 2016


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


Suit-and-tie-wearing man tries to meditate, take deep breaths in faux yoga pose. Photo by Shutterstock
Emotional intelligence, not tech skills, is the way to woo suits
League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe