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The cloud ain't making it rain for Intel right now: Tech giants pause server chip sales

Analysis Intel's stock price fell on Wednesday after it became clear the processor maker is not selling quite as many server processor chips as investors had hoped. The Silicon Valley giant reckons its CPU sales into data centers will hit double-digit growth by the end of the year. So far, with half the year gone, we're staring at mid- …
Chris Williams, 21 Jul 2016
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Softbank promises stronger ARM: Greater overseas reach and double the UK jobs

Brit-tech success poster child ARM holdings is to be acquired by Japanese telecom multinational Softbank. ARM, whose chip designs drive the majority of the world’s smartphones, is under offer for a remarkable £24.3bn - a premium of 43 per cent over current stock price. Softbank, whose last yearly revenue totalled 19.5 …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Jul 2016
Privacy image

Cloud giants demand overhaul of America's privacy rules on overseas servers

Technology trade organizations have urged the US Congress to replace the country's antique privacy protection laws – after a New York court stopped American prosectors from seizing emails from servers offshore in Ireland. A Second Circuit Court in the so-called "Irish Warrant" case, brought by Microsoft against the US …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016

UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption

IPBill During a committee stage debate in the UK's House of Lords yesterday, the government revealed that the Investigatory Powers Bill will provide any Secretary of State with the ability to force communication service providers (CSPs) to remove or disable end-to-end encryption. Earl Howe, a minister of state for defence and deputy …
Partnership

IBM caps '20 years' of deep MS love with Surface deal

IBM has become the latest sometime hardware giant to agree to push software giant Microsoft’s client hardware - years after selling off its own client devices business. MS device marketing general manager Brian Hall said in a blog post that IBM had joined the Surface Enterprise Initiative along with consultancy and contracting …
Joe Fay, 12 Jul 2016
Smashed computer

Apple crumbles: Mac sales slump while Dell, HP Inc, Lenovo shift PCs

Apple was the biggest loser in a Q2 that saw PC shipments down across the board. Research house Gartner reports that on the year-ago quarter, global shipments fell by 5.2 per cent overall, though the North American market showed some signs of life with a modest 1.4 per cent gain. Globally, Lenovo remained the single biggest …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jul 2016
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Can Ireland's grid green satisfy Facebook and Apple?

When Facebook in January became the latest big-tech name to join Ireland’s roll call of data centre operators, its chief broke out the green flag – renewables. At the announcement in County Meath, company chief executive Mark Zuckerberg boasted the planned new facility would be “one of the most advanced and energy efficient …
Billy MacInnes, 01 Jul 2016
Johnny Carson as Carnac

Disco, Pogs, and the Microsoft Surface 3

Microsoft is wrapping up production of its Surface 3 tablet, with no successor in sight. The Redmond giant has confirmed reports that it will be ending production of the Atom-powered tablet at the end of the year and selling out its current stock of hardware. The Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book remain available. "Since …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Jun 2016
The Palace of Westminster. Pic: Misko, Flickr

Parliament is building a new website – and it doesn't want GDS anywhere near it

The UK Parliament is hiring a load of web developers, analysts and UX folk as it prepares to revamp its website – and it's keeping the whole project well away from the Government Digital Service, The Register has learned. Parliament's website, while functional and reasonably clear, is a bit long in the tooth – and its …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Jun 2016
German battleship sinking at Scapa Flow

Quantum is shutting down sync'n'share biz Symform in July

Storage firm Quantum bought the Symform cloud consumer/small business file sync and share business in August 2014 – and is going to close it down on July 31. It has gone from acquisition to closure in 23 months. Why? According to a Quantum FAQ: "Quantum is discontinuing the Symform service due to its strategic business focus …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jun 2016

Friends with benefits: A taxing problem for Ireland in a post-Brexit world

Britain outclasses anywhere in the EU for attracting inward investment, partly because it is in the EU, and Brexit will leave some of those tens of billions looking for a new target. Since Ireland already does well in this, Brexit could turn out rather well for the emerald isle. On the surface, a UK exit from the EU could mean …
Dominic Connor, 16 Jun 2016
JC Boyle saluting device patent

Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you

Opinion In 2017, the EU is going to open the Unified Patent Court. This court will make it much easier for patent trolls and corporations in the US – armed with dodgy patent applications and IP attorneys – to reach into the UK and strangle your startup at birth. Think about it. Last week the Financial Times reported )that two-thirds …
Andrew Fentem, 15 Jun 2016

Man-in-the-middle biz Blue Coat bought by Symantec: Infosec bods are worried

Analysis Symantec’s deal to to buy Blue Coat, the controversial web filtering firm, for $4.65bn will bolster its enterprise security business. But some security experts are concerned about the potential for conflict of interest created by housing Symantec’s digital certificate business and Blue Coat’s man-in-the-middle SSL inspection …
John Leyden, 14 Jun 2016
Trump placard, image by Olya Steckel via Shutterstock

Why everyone* hates Salesforce's Marc Benioff

Opinion Technology has been replacing men with machines for over 200 years. It’s a good thing, except for the men and women whose jobs get replaced. We laugh at the Luddites who sought to destroy power looms and frames in the 1810s. We thrill to Mary Shelley’s story from that same decade, of science as a malevolent force creating …
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Salesforce's data centre team 'fought' AWS cloud outsourcing

Analysis Salesforce’s cloud server staff, those behind its flagship SaaS cloud, fought tooth and nail against their employer’s embrace of Amazon’s cloud. Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s chief executive puffed last week he had a “great meeting of minds” with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos on embracing AWS. Salesforce has chosen AWS to power its core …
Matt Asay, 03 Jun 2016

Foxconn to slurp loss-making Smart Technologies for $200m

Loss-making interactive display vendor Smart Technologies has agreed to sell up to Foxconn for $200m. Under the terms of the deal, the Chinese contract manufacturer will fork out $4.50 per Smart Tech share, equating to a 21 per cent premium on the average trading price in the last 90 days. The buy gives Smart access to a “ …
Paul Kunert, 27 May 2016

Cock fight? Not half. Microsoft beats down Apple in Q1

Microsoft won bragging rights over Apple in Britain’s biz slab sales stakes following the first full quarter the two rivals went head to head with their Pro devices. The iPad Pro, released in last October, sold 107,000 units in the UK in Q1 versus 275,000 Surface Pro devices, which was up on the 83,000 units Microsoft flogged …
Paul Kunert, 23 May 2016

Ireland's tax arrangements are as clear as a pint of Guinness

Comment Ireland has repeatedly been in the spotlight for its favourable and controversial tax incentives - which have attracted numerous large tech companies to its shores. However, the country has also been accused of being less than transparent in some of its tax arrangements. The European Commission is currently investigating the …
Kat Hall, 09 May 2016
Tim Cook, photo by JStone via Shutterstock

Tim Cook signs SAP for iOS – SANA app pact

Apple and SAP are partnering to create native iOS apps for the enterprise firm's HANA platform. The pair plan an iOS SDK for HANA Cloud Platform, targeting those building enterprise apps on Apple’s iPhones and iPad using SAP’s platform-as-a-service. SAP will develop native apps using Swift, Apple’s two-year-old programming …
Gavin Clarke, 06 May 2016
Ireland and Great Britain map, image via Shutterstock

Sayonara, Brits! The Irish tech sector could benefit from Brexit

There appears to be a broad consensus that a Brexit would be bad for Ireland: that Ireland’s economy would be seriously affected if the UK decides to leave the EU on June 23. A report by Irish business lobby group Ibec has warned of “the far-reaching impact on Ireland if our nearest neighbour, key trading partner and close …
Billy MacInnes, 06 May 2016

EMC makes a LEAP forward with Virtustream and more

EMC World The first day of EMC World in Las Vegas caused announcement overload, with the Unity array top of the list, closely followed by a Virtustream storage cloud and more. The Virtustream Storage Cloud (VSC) is for enterprises and service providers to store data in the cloud, mission-critical data, says EMC. The data can come from …
Chris Mellor, 03 May 2016
Sony Xperia Go rugged Android smartphone

Q. What's the difference between smartphones and that fad diet you all got bored of? A. Nothing

For those wondering if we've reached Peak Smartphone: global smartphone shipments saw their first ever quarterly drop, say analysts. Research house Strategy Analytics says that shipments in the first quarter of 2016 declined by three per cent over the same period in 2015. This marks the first time analysts have recorded …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Apr 2016

Smartphone growth? Not in Q1, says IDC

Prospects for handset-makers just got worse, with the smartphone market recording its worst quarterly growth ever. Remember how at the end of March, Gartner predicted a mere seven per cent smartphone growth for 2016, the first time the market hadn't managed double-digit growth? That forecast is starting to look like rose- …
Walking on water, image via Shutterstock

Ding-dong, reality calling: iPhone slump is not Apple's doom

The sky is not falling. This is not as bad for Apple as 2003 or 1996. But neither does Apple walk on water. For the first time in 13 years, Apple’s reported falling revenue – down 13 per in the last three months to $50.6bn. Cruelly, it was the growth engine that was winding down: iPhone sales fell for the first time in the …
Gavin Clarke, 27 Apr 2016
Shouting match

Blighty's SMB tech ranks bitterly divided on Brexit

Britain’s membership of the EU has small tech firms divided. A survey of owner-managed businesses by accountant Moore Stephens found 60 per cent of SME owners would vote to stay in the EU with less than one-in-five (17 per cent) supporting Brexit. Mark Lamb, a partner at the firm, said: “Owner-managed businesses are concerned …
Marcus Gibson, 27 Apr 2016
Tim Cook

Shares down?! But, but, but ... Apple just made $50bn – that's the way the Cookie grumbles

Apple has confirmed analysts' fears of a drab quarter, reporting its first year-over-year sales decline in more than a decade. Its share price is down 8.2 per cent to $95.76 in after-hours trading – dipping below the magic hundred-buck mark. The Mac maker said that in the three months to March 31 – the second quarter of its …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Apr 2016

HTC 10: Is this the Droid you're looking for?

Review It’s only two years since HTC was the darling of the fanDroids. Distinctive, thoughtfully made and a cut above the rest in style, the HTC One M8 gathered the kind of plaudits an obscure band gets. A few things have changed since then – and I don’t realise how much until I opened the box. Erstwhile market leader Samsung, which …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Apr 2016
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Official: EU goes after Google, alleges it uses Android to kill competition

The EU's competition authority thinks it has a smoking gun against Google. Consumers suffered because Google’s contracts with phone OEMs prevented the market from creating a better Android, the EU Commission alleged today. It has sent a formal Statement of Objections to Google that forces Google to come up with remedies or …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Apr 2016

Surprise! Tech giants dominate global tax-dodging list of shame

Tech firms are the largest corporate tax dodgers in the US, according to a new report from Oxfam. The charity has published a special report on "how America's dysfunctional tax system costs billions in corporate tax dodging" called Broken at the Top [PDF], and at the top of the top are computer companies. Apple is the number …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Apr 2016

HTC 10: Flagship goes full Google – but the hardware's top notch

Hands On HTC has unwrapped its make-or-break flagship for 2016, the Ten, and we’ve had a look. The successor to the hit M8 and flop M9 features much-improved cameras front and back, sports a close-to-stock implementation of Android, and packs one major surprise... it’s the first non-Apple phone to license Apple’s AirPlay. TVs and …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Apr 2016
European commission photo via Shutterstock

EC cooking up rules change for aggressive tax avoiders

The European Commission is reported to be updating its planned rules for tackling aggressive tax planning. Brussels’ legislators are understood to be updating existing tax plans that would force companies to say where their money is held. Under the proposed rules, firms operating in EU member states with a turnover of more …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Apr 2016
graveyard_648

PC market shambling towards an unquiet grave

The ongoing decline in PC shipments has continued in Q1 2016, according to Gartner and IDC. Depending on which set of numbers you prefer, the cold number is that between 60.6 million (IDC) and 64.8 million (Gartner) machines shipped in the quarter. The misery is clear in the table below. Vendor Gartner Q1 shipments ( …
Apple logo. Pic: Blake Patterson

Apple Fools: Times the House of Jobs went horribly awry

Apple at 40 Today marks the 40th anniversary of Apple's official establishment. Since 1976, the House that Steves Built has pushed out some of the most beloved personal electronics products in the world. There will no doubt be plenty of articles waxing poetic on the many successes that have dotted the last four decades for the Cupertino …
Shaun Nichols, 01 Apr 2016

Gartner: RIP double-digit smartphone growth. 2016 has killed you

Remember the rapacious smartphone growth that turned once-troubled Apple into the world’s most valuable company? That’s over. Smartphone sales will grow seven per cent in 2016, to 1.5 billion units. It’s the first time sales of this once must-have piece of personal tech has grown by a mere single digit percentage, according …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Mar 2016

Microsoft's Brad Smith on encryption: Let the politicians decide

Microsoft's president and chief legal officer Brad Smith wants to let the politicians decide, when it comes to the tricky balance between privacy, security and technology. Speaking at the opening ceremony of RightsCon in San Francisco, Smith trod a careful line in front of the audience of digital rights activists, praising …
Kieren McCarthy, 30 Mar 2016

Tech's big dogs snarl at UK.gov over Snoopers' Charter

IPB The biggest internet businesses in the free world have written to the British government to politely urge that its Investigatory Powers Bill is improved. Written evidence submitted to the committee looking over the Investigatory Powers Bill, from Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo!, has been published today …
Photo by Michael Vadon

Apple stuns world with Donald Trump iPhone

Shy and modest Apple today unveiled a pair of small iPhones and iPads for people with itty-bitty hands. The Cupertino slinger of iStuffs summoned hacks to a brief hour-long conference in California to unveil the four-inch iPhone SE handset as well as a 9.7-inch iPad Pro slab. Both are powered by the now-available iOS 9.3 …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Mar 2016
Apple iPod touch

Apple's largest UK reseller Jigsaw24 is for sale

The UK’s largest Apple reseller, Jigsaw24, is for sale, multiple industry contacts have told The Channel. The Nottingham-based B2B seller has hired Deloitte to run the process, a move that comes just three years after private equity outfit NorthEdge Capital (NEC) moved in to back a roll up by the management team. In recent …
Paul Kunert, 18 Mar 2016

Microsoft Surface Book: Shiny slab with a Rottweiler grip on itself

Review I've always wondered what people who pay more than £2,000 for a Windows laptop are thinking when they boot the machine. It's a bit like paying a fortune to gain admission to a secret and exclusive members club, only to discover once you're in, that it's run by the bloke who does the pub quiz on a Tuesday night at your local …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Mar 2016
Empty office space, image vIa Shutterstock

Tech biz bosses tell El Reg a Brexit will lead to a UK Techxit

Analysis Immigration is one of the main concerns for advocates of Brexit. Some IT firms from Britain and abroad who we spoke to share this concern – but in the other direction. One UK tech firm has told The Register it could be forced to leave the country if Britain votes to leave the European Union on June 23 – a Techxit, if you will …
SA Mathieson, 11 Mar 2016

Is there anything left to ask Bill Gates? (Other than gissus a million?)

One of the things about being the world's richest man and also one of the most famous is that people tend to be interested in the minutiae of your life and in just about every thought you express. And so it is, with him recently hitting his 60th birthday, we are forced to ask: is there anything left to ask Bill Gates? On …
Kieren McCarthy, 08 Mar 2016
Graph of US dollar going up CC 2.0 https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/ 401kcalculator.org.

LCD price fixing settlement helps sweeten Tech Data's bottom line

A $35m settlement from LCD vendors over price fixing coupled with some general belt tightening on operating costs helped Tech Data bank a double digit profit bounce in Q4 of fiscal ’16. The world’s second largest tech distributor reported sales of $7.48bn for the three months ended 31 January, up two per cent year-on-year. In …
Paul Kunert, 04 Mar 2016
(c) Rama, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr

Q&A: Bruce Schneier on joining IBM, IoT woes, and Apple v the FBI

RSA 2016 Security guru Bruce Schneier is a regular at shows like RSA and his talks are usually standing-room-only affairs. Schneier has written some of the definitive texts for modern cryptography teaching and his current book, Data and Goliath, examines the perils and solutions to government and corporate surveillance of internet …
Iain Thomson, 04 Mar 2016

Pure pleasure with stonking final fiscal 2016 quarter

It was pure pleasure as Pure Storage reported a final fiscal 2016 quarter with revenues up higher than expected and losses down. The company reported fourth-quarter revenues of $150.2m, a 128 per cent increase from the year-ago quarter and a 14 per cent rise from the third quarter's $131.4m. There was a net loss of ‑$44.3 …
Chris Mellor, 03 Mar 2016

Phew! No evidence found for global criminal hacker conspiracy

Trend Micro security bods have 'capped' their epic research efforts to catalogue the world's regional cybercrime undergrounds. The mammoth effort saw researchers crawl through criminal forums in five countries, documenting the nuances of each as they went. The security outfit's forward-looking threat research team detail the …
Darren Pauli, 02 Mar 2016

Microsoft urges law rewrite to keep US govt's mitts off overseas data

Microsoft today badgered the US House Judiciary Committee for changes to the law following Europe's safe harbor collapse and Redmond's data center search warrant battle. Microsoft wants legislation governing America's ability to seize data on overseas servers modernized. It's resisted a US Department of Justice (DoJ) warrant …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Feb 2016
Taylor Swift

IBM tailors Swift for cloud, gets into bed with VMware, Github

Big Blue has used its IBM InterConnect conference in Las Vegas to announce cooperative deals with Apple, VMware and GitHub, as the venerable commuting giant seeks to suck in more cloudy business. "Businesses are adopting cloud-based applications to accelerate innovation, but they are still struggling to combine those cloud …
Iain Thomson, 22 Feb 2016
Exit sign. Pic:  Lukas Kästner

Toshiba denies it will exit the PC market

Toshiba is denying Japanese reports that it will exit the PC business. The company is restructuring in the wake of an accounting scandal in which it overstated profit by $2bn over seven years. To any outsider, the cutthroat PC market would seem a good place to start, The company is the world’s seventh biggest PC maker, …
Drew Cullen, 16 Feb 2016
Carly Fiorina

Carly Fiorina makes like HP and splits – ex-CEO quits White House race

After her campaign garnered just four per cent of the vote in the New Hampshire primaries, Carly Fiorina has announced that she has suspended her run to be US commander in chief, but will carry on campaigning. "I've said throughout this campaign that I will not sit down and be quiet. I'm not going to start now," she said in a …
Iain Thomson, 10 Feb 2016

ARM pumps fist as profits soar, warns of weaker hand in 2016

Chip designer ARM once again posted bumper annual results, with profits up 31 per cent to £414.8m on revenue of £968m, up 22 per cent. During the year the company shifted 14.8 billion ARM-based chips, up 16 per cent on 2014. But the company warned that increased economic uncertainty during 2016 "may influence consumer and …
Kat Hall, 10 Feb 2016

Opinion

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Stranded_ships

Chris Mellor

Thousands of layoffs announced as spinning rust enters its death spiral

Chris Mellor

BTIG analysts ponder Pure's position and fall in (qualified) love

Features

Tough question, pic via Shutterstock
Honest mistake with your licensing? Audit police look at it on a 'case by case basis'
Kevin Turner
Last of Steve Ballmer's old guard heads for the exit
Wind turbine, image via Shutterstock