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Openreach split could damage broadband investment, says BT's chief exec

BT's chief exec Gavin Patterson has claimed an Openreach split would make future UK broadband investments more challenging and increase the firm's already-ballooning pension deficit. Speaking at the Broadband World Forum event, he denied any conflict of interest between BT's retail business and wholesale business. Contrary to …
Kat Hall, 19 Oct 2016
Woman packs up contents of desk. Image via shutterstock

Dell/Quest Software plans layoffs and relocations – source

The deal restoring the independence of the entity formerly known as Dell Software is expected to close in early November, which is when The Register understands things are going to get very interesting for customers and staff alike. The new Quest Software, as the former Dell Software will be known, comprises the assets of …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Oct 2016
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Big Mickey Dell is wrong: Cloud ain't going to eat all of IT

Storage architect Public cloud will not consume all of IT. At least that’s what Michael Dell is claiming. In his opinion, cloud will become just another form of computing and a choice will be made by users to do cloud on-premises or rent from a cloud provider. Bearing in mind Dell is in the hardware business, we can hardly expect a comment …
Chris Evans, 12 Oct 2016
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Brace yourself, Samsung: Activist investor Elliot's in an arm-twisting mood

Analysis Activist investor Paul Singer's Elliott Management is not shy about on taking on the world's biggest companies, and now it wants Samsung to bend to its will, splitting in two and paying shareholders an eye-watering $27bn. Elliott famously tried to seize an Argentinian war ship in its pursuit of a payout from the embattled …
Chris Mellor, 10 Oct 2016

Bloke gets six years in slammer after fessing up to £4.75m tax scam

A businessman from Essex, UK, has been jailed for six years for claiming back sales tax on computer memory sold overseas in a deception also known at carousel fraud. Robert Waterman funded a lavish lifestyle of expensive houses, luxury cars and a Marbella holiday home through a scam in which he pretended to trade memory sticks …

‘Inflexion point’ BlackBerry washes hands of hardware biz

Here’s your chance to design your own BlackBerry. BlackBerry today ended its 17-year adventure as a phone-maker with CEO John Chen announcing “a new strategic direction focussed on licensing our secure device software and the BlackBerry brand.” There will still be BlackBerrys – a new one is imminent - but BlackBerry won’t make …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Sep 2016
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Watch out, Openreach: CityFibre swallows Redcentric's network for £5m

Plucky Openreach challenger CityFibre has gobbled £5m worth of service provider Redcentric’s network - adding 137km of fibre to the upstart’s network. The deal will extend CityFibre’s growth by three more cities to 40, a move it reckons positions it as an "increasingly powerful national competitor to BT Openreach.” The biz …
Kat Hall, 26 Sep 2016

HPE crams unloved software down Brits' throats – then charges them $9bn to swallow it

Hewlett Packard Enterprise will eject its non-core software business in what it calls an $8.8bn "spin merge" deal with UK-based Micro Focus. HPE's big data, security, and IT management products – including some of its ex-Autonomy assets – will be spun out into a new company that will merge with Micro Focus. That's a software …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Sep 2016

Spinning that Brexit wheel: Regulation lotto for tech startups

The reality of running a new business or doing something innovative is that you're hunting for cracks and niches that others have not yet filled – spaces too small for the big girls and boys already in the market. And many of those niches are fragile, formed in part by chance, opportunistic spaces in the current markets and …

Kaspersky 'terminates' deal with security reseller Quadsys

Kaspersky Lab is the first big vendor to publicly rip up its contract with disgraced security reseller Quadsys in the wake of the hacking scandal that the company’s bosses recently admitted to. On 22 July, Quadsys owner Paul Streeter, MD Paul Cox, director Alistair Barnard, account manager Steve Davis and security consultant …
Paul Kunert, 02 Sep 2016

Brocade broadcasts financial success. Well, if you call an 89% profit drop 'success'

Helped by two months of Ruckus Wireless ownership, Brocade's revenues for the third quarter of fiscal year 2016 were up seven per cent annually to $591m, a 13 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase. The company posted profits of a paltry $10.5m, 89 per cent down on the year-ago quarter's $91.7m, and 23.3 per cent less than the …
Chris Mellor, 26 Aug 2016

Cops to let the private sector chase after cybercrims' assets

The City of London Police is piloting a scheme to allow the private sector to chase after miscreants in civil courts in return for a share of the loot. The scheme, which is set to run for two years, has been launched explicitly because of the lower standard of proof necessary for the recovery of assets in civil courts. City …
Man throws briefcase in the air happily on the beach. Photo by Shutterstock

HPE Software memo: We ARE several senior sales veeps lighter

The global and EMEA sales leaders of Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s software organ – the bit that is in discussions with potential buyers – have each left in the space of a week, insiders have told us. Frank Vella, vice president of worldwide sales who reports to Alan Fudge (himself the number two at HPE Software) exited on 29th …
Paul Kunert, 10 Aug 2016
Image by Maksim Kabakou

SAP whacks application cracks, shutters baker's dozen of potential hacks

SAP has issued a baker's dozen of high, medium, and low-severity patches. The fixes cover four denial of service vulnerabilities, two sets of directory traversal and missing authorisation holes, a cross-site scripting and a SQL Injection flaw, and four miscellaneous security shortcomings. SAP does not include any detail about …
Darren Pauli, 10 Aug 2016
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Rackspace CEO: Yes, Brexit has hit us, yes we sold our Cloud Sites biz

Rackspace execs confirmed the sale of its Cloud Sites hosting sub to Liquid Web but ignored the white elephant in the room that Apollo Global is reportedly in talks to slurp the entire organisation. The private equity house might well end up taking Rackspace private again in a deal valued at up to $4bn, buying the company time …
Paul Kunert, 09 Aug 2016
British sterling in flames

Outsourcery burned through more than £20 MEEEELLION in cash before it crashed

Defunct cloud infrastructure and apps provider Outsourcery Plc attracted interest from 12 bidders before it was offloaded to GCI Telecom for £4m, in a pre-pack administration handled by EY. The Statement of Affairs filed at Companies House revealed the final weeks of the failed Manchester-based, AIM-listed corporation that …
Paul Kunert, 02 Aug 2016
mergers and acquisitions

EMC staffers: We are crashing into Dell within weeks

Staffers at EMC and its subsidiaries are to get Dell email addresses from the start of next month as the proposed mega buy edges closer, insiders have told The Register. EMC shareholders last night approved the $62.4bn bid – somewhat lower than the original $67bn offer due to a slide in VMware’s share price – and Chinese anti- …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jul 2016
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Three pence in a pound awaits Steljes' trade creditors

Unsecured creditors of audio visual distributor Steljes that are owed £6.72m by the fallen specialist will likely receive just three pence in the pound, according to the company’s administrator. Steljes collapsed in late May after cash flow dried up and directors were forced to call on AlixPartners, which decided the only …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jul 2016
BT Openreach van

MPs tell BT: Lay more fibre or face split with Openreach

BT has "significantly under-invested" in IT infrastructure subsidiary Openreach and a full split should go ahead if it fails to offer "appropriate reforms and investment assurances", according to a report by MPs. The report (PDF) published by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee concluded the shortfall in investment …
Kat Hall, 19 Jul 2016

Shelfware wars should be conceded, admits Microsoft compliance boss

The UK head of Software Asset Management (SAM) and Compliance at Microsoft, Mark Bradford, admitted at a recent seminar held by one of its enterprise licensing sellers Bytes that Shelfware issues “should be conceded”. Bradford said his group, responsible for working with channel firms to perform reviews of customers, didn’t …
Martin Thompson, 18 Jul 2016

UKFast owner slurps app security biz Pentest

Secarma, the cyber security business owned by UKFast chief exec Lawrence Jones, has bought application security specialists Pentest Limited reportedly for £10m. The CHECK and CREST accredited company, whose 45-strong team work with global blue chip organisations, will add a team of ethical hackers to Secarma's roster. John …
John Leyden, 18 Jul 2016

Openreach boss Clive Selley wants Ofcom to wrap it up already

Interview The Sword of Damocles has not entirely disappeared from above Openreach. Earlier this year, the UK communications watchdog Ofcom stopped short of recommending a full decapitation of the British broadband provider from its parent BT. Crucially, though, it has kept the option on the table. In the next few weeks the regulator is …
Kat Hall, 14 Jul 2016

Infosec bods NCC walk away from the domain services biz

UK-based infosec consultancy NCC Group is withdrawing from the domain services biz while retaining domain security capability. The tactical switch was announced as NCC reported revenues up 56 per cent to £209.1m in the 12 months to 31 May 2016, compared to £133.7m in its previous financial year. NCC’s adjusted pre-tax profits …
John Leyden, 07 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
Raining money

Dell close to selling software division for $2bn – reports

Dell is close to agreeing the sale of its software division for more than $2bn as it digs behind the settee cushions to fund its mega-acquisition of EMC. A consortium including Francisco Partners and Elliot Management are “in advanced talks” to acquire the division, Reuters reported today, citing “three people familiar with …

Dabs founder Dave Atherton returns to techland

Dave Atherton, the founder, one-time CEO and owner at Dabs has returned to the IT industry as chairman of distributor Entatech, with a turnaround mission in mind. Atherton, who sold his online tat bazaar to BT for £24m a decade ago, has since worked on numerous projects including property development and more recently a site …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jun 2016
Little girl looks at camera with an "I told you so" attitude. Photo by Shutterstock  Release Information: Signed model release filed with Shutterstock, Inc

Outsourcery to perform ULTIMATE outsource as it enters administration

Manchester-based failing cloud biz Outsourcery is to undertake a pre-pack administration with Vodafone partner GCI Network Solutions waiting in the wings to buy the company’s assets. The move, exclusively revealed by The Register last week, was confirmed by AIM-listed Outsourcery to the London Stock Exchange this morning. “ …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jun 2016
 Can't See You... by  cc 2.0 attribution sharealike generic

Half of Brit small biz hit by cyber crime. 10% spend zilch on infosec

Almost half (48 per cent) of Britain's small businesses were hit by cyber-crime in the last year, with 10 per cent targeted many times. Despite this only one in five see cybersecurity as a business priority, and just 15 per cent are confident that they have adequate measures in place to prevent cybercrime, according to a …
John Leyden, 14 Jun 2016

Microsoft and LinkedIn: What the CEOs are planning

"Remember that dystopian view of the future in which technology displaces millions of people from their jobs? It's happening." So begins the less-than-cheery explanation of the huge $26.2bn acquisition of LinkedIn to staff by its CEO Jeff Weiner. Weiner appears to recognize that for many of his employees, being acquired by …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Jun 2016

Dragons' Den-run cloud biz Outsourcery close to sale – sources

Cash-strapped AIM-listed infrastructure services biz Outsourcery – co-run by former Dragons' Den badass Piers Linney – is close to wrapping up a pre-pack administration, multiple sources have told The Register. Trading in the firm's shares was suspended on Friday after top brass postponed publication of last year's results and …
Paul Kunert, 07 Jun 2016

Outsourcery: We've had offers for our assets (and, er, shareholders might get nothing)

Investors in beleaguered cloud biz Outsourcery may well take a bath after the company confirmed it is in talks with suitors who made offers for its assets that will leave them little or no return. The Manchester-based biz, set up by former Dragon Den's luvvie Piers Linney, revealed in April it was again running out of cash and …
Paul Kunert, 03 Jun 2016
Mark Lawrie of CSC and Meg Whitman of HPE in the video announcing the merger of their services operations

HPE spins out enterprise services business into CSC

HP Enterprise (HPE) has spun out its enterprise services business into CSC, creating an entity with US26bn of revenue. HPE has made lots of noise about turning around its services division, largely by aggressively reducing its headcount. In this move, HPE will be senior partner in the new entity by revenue and headcount but …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2016
BT Openreach at work

Comms providers call on Ofcom to get tough on Openreach

Communications providers Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone have called on Ofcom to dramatically reform BT's Openreach in a "10 point plan" published today. The action plan published by membership body the Federation of Communication Services (FCS) follows a decision by Ofcom not to recommend a structural separation of Openreach …
Kat Hall, 16 May 2016
management management4

I'm in, says insolvency expert, grabs chair on board of Dragons’ Den star's firm

An insolvency and restructuring veteran has taken a seat at the board of moribund cloud services firm Outsourcery as one of the requisite Ts&Cs to secure a funding lifeline from Vodafone. The AIM-listed firm run by former Dragons’ Den badass Piers Linney and joint-CEO Simon Newton revealed David Duggins, senior advisor at …
Paul Kunert, 12 May 2016
Big cloud, image via Shutterstock

Outsourcery inks Vodafone finance deal as selloff rumours grow

Sickly slinger of cloud services Outsourcery has signed a finance deal with Vodafone to keep the wolves from the door as it prepares to restructure – or do what some are interpreting as readying itself for a sale. The AIM-listed bringer of infrastructure, apps and UC services revealed at the start of this week it is again …
Paul Kunert, 27 Apr 2016

SecureWorks' sorry IPO falls $48m short of aim

In the first initial public offering of the year in the technology sector, Dell's infosec subsidiary SecureWorks has raised much less than expected. Despite plans to raise $160m with the IPO, Dell has pocketed only $112m after selling eight million shares at $14, merely 70 per cent of its aim. The squib of an IPO is …
The CST-100 descends by parachute with airbags deployed. Pic: Boeing

Oh dear, IBM. Storage isn't looking like a cash cow any more, is it?

IBM's storage hardware revenues continue falling as growth businesses stay submerged under the declining ones. In its first quarter of 2016 results, IBM's storage hardware revenues were, at $433.5m, six per cent down year-on-year, continuing the now familiar trend. This was a billion-dollar-a-quarter business in the fourth …
Chris Mellor, 19 Apr 2016
Man on bicycle talks on mobile on busy Brussels street. Photo by Alredo Cerra via Shutterstock

Europe's new privacy safeguards are finally approved, must invade EU nations by 2018

Analysis The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been ratified by the European Parliament. The final seal of approval follows successful passage through the EU Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. Following four years of discussions and amendments, the GDPR is now officially EU law and will …
John Leyden, 14 Apr 2016
Suitcase full of money

Dell infosec unit SecureWorks given $1.42bn price tag in IPO

Dell's cyber security subsidiary SecureWorks has been valued at up to $1.42bn ahead of an initial public offering. SecureWorks filed to go public in December 2015. The S-1 form placed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the time offered a $100m placeholder figure before the valuation, though this …

Brexit: Time to make your plans, UK IT biz

Analysis The Brexit debate continues and, with the Leave and Remain camps neck and neck, it looks likely that the undecided few will carry the result. It seems that we can expect more headline-grabbing soundbites until the vote on June 23. The polarised nature of this debate is throwing up some interesting oddities, so you might be …
Frank Jennings, 31 Mar 2016
Iain Duncan Smith. Pic: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Iain Duncan Smith's Universal Credit: A timeline

Universal credit, the proposed one online benefits system to rule them all, has always been Iain Duncan Smith's brainchild – but with his shock departure from the Department for Work and Pensions, will the government finally put a bullet in the troubled project? Announced with great fanfare in 2011, the programme intended to …
Kat Hall, 21 Mar 2016

Dell plans sale of non-core assets to reduce EMC buy debt

Dell and EMC have agreed on the documentation to be put to the latter's shareholders at a forthcoming meeting that will vote on the merger of the two companies. And the document reveals that Dell plans to sell off some non-core businesses after the merger. The document in question is a Form S-4, one of the many regulatory …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Mar 2016

Array biz's figures leave little to the Imation

Well, we were expecting diminished revenues and growing losses – and storage biz Imation didn't pull off any last-minute surprises. The Minnesota-based outfit's revenues were down 52 per cent year-on-year in its final quarter of 2015 as it divested itself of everything except its Nexsan array business and the acquired …
Chris Mellor, 08 Mar 2016
Chi Onwurah MP

How will Ofcom reduce our reliance on BT if it won't break them up?

Opinion The publication of Ofcom’s 2005 Strategic Review of Telecoms was preceded by many long evenings of intense debates within Ofcom and with BT and other stakeholders. The review took 18 months and resulted in the UK having the most competitive broadband market in the world. It’s worth remembering why that happened – because Ofcom …
Chi Onwurah, 26 Feb 2016

Got Oracle? Got VMware? Going cloud? You could be stung for huge licensing fees

Oracle has been telling a number of organisations running its database software that they are breaking the company's licensing rules – and therefore owe it millions of dollars in unpaid licence fees. The issue hit the headlines in January after US confectionery giant Mars took Oracle to court in the US over claims Mars had …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Feb 2016
Leopard kill

WD CEO: We ain't getting Unisplendour's $3.8bn. But we'll buy SanDisk anyway

Western Digital is facing an investor revolt over its SanDisk buyout and has had the $3.8bn wad it expected from Unisplendour halted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Unis (Unisplendour) is a Chinese corporation, owned by the Tsinghua Unigroup, that proposed to invest $3.8bn in WD thus getting a 15 …
Chris Mellor, 23 Feb 2016

Ingram Micro set for $6bn sale to Chinese enormo-corp HNA Group

The world's largest tech distributor, Ingram Micro, is set to be acquired by the Chinese conglomerate HNA Group for approximately $6bn. Ingram Micro has announced that it has accepted the terms of a merger agreement with Chinese shipping company, Tianjin Tianhai, and will become part of the Chinese mega-firm HNA Group – an …
Axe, image via Shutterstock

Vodafone puts hundreds of Brits on the 'at risk of layoffs' list

Vodafone has embarked on a major cost purge that could see hundreds of workers laid off, insiders have told The Register. El Reg was contacted by staff at the telco who told us around one-fifth of those put at risk of redundancy are techies, but that many more in “customer-facing” roles will go too. Vodafone employed 12,391 …
Kat Hall, 17 Feb 2016
Microsoft's Project Natick underwater data centre

Microsoft sinks to new depths with underwater data centre experiment

Microsoft has revealed that it's trialled an underwater data centre. Project Natick saw Redmond sink a capsule about a mile offshore from Seattle, an approach felt to have potential because about half of humanity lives on or near coastlines. Microsoft's thinking is that it's a good idea to put data centres near their users, …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Feb 2016
AMD bloodbath

Is that light at the end of AMD's dark tunnel, or God sparking up a cig?

Analysis AMD claims there is light at the end of its tunnel, but the beleaguered chip maker is having a hard time pointing it out. The Intel rival's share price was down 6.15 per cent to US$1.83 in after-hours trading on Tuesday; investors quickly moved after AMD published the financial figures for its final quarter of 2015, and for …
Chris Williams, 20 Jan 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


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe