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Salesforce forks out $360m, slips SteelBrick in its Christmas stocking

Salesforce has bought itself an early Christmas present in the form of a $360m (£241m) acquisition of subscription billing apps biz SteelBrick. The acquisition is expected to be wrapped up by April 2016. Salesforce is already familiar with the company's business, having poured $18m (£12m) into its coffers during a 2015. …
Kat Hall, 24 Dec 2015
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Missed our Christmas crackers? Top stories from the break were...

Things might have slowed down for Christmas and New Year in your workplace but the news did not take a break. Whether you were away for the Christmas and New Year period or logged on but not exactly present, here are the biggest stories you may have missed from The Reg. The death of Debian GNU/Linux daddy Ian Murdock aged …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Jan 2016
Our plucky Playmonaut celebrates his riches with a bevy of beauties

Stop everything! PC sales did increase in the UK over Christmas

Finally some PC shipments have arrived on our desk that reveal the products customers are actually buying – and the real picture is far less negative than most other analysts’ stats state. Both IDC and Gartner track shipments into distributors and retailers, not actual sales to punters, and after a sustained period of channel …
Paul Kunert, 27 Jan 2016
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No £160m for you: BT to receive termination notice from Cornwall before Christmas

The High Court has ruled in favour of Cornwall Council's decision to ditch its 10-year £160m outsourcing deal with BT, following moves by the telco provider to stop the authority canning the deal. Back in August, BT filed an injunction preventing the termination of the agreement after Cornwall sought to formally can the …
Kat Hall, 22 Dec 2015

Working over Christmas? Government tech suppliers will be

The government’s tech procurement arm is asking suppliers to burn candles brightly over the festive season by filling in a 700-question Network Services tender after redrafting it. An OJEU contract notice for the framework, worth between £100m to £2bn over four years, was rewritten because suppliers claimed it was convoluted. As …
Paul Kunert, 22 Dec 2014
Boring Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, and Rossi was OUT!

Beleaguered notebook maker Acer has split with its EMEA president after he'd spent less than six months in the role. There’s never a better time to swap out top level execs than just before Chrimbo - or any other major holiday for that matter - and the Taiwanese firm did just this, parting company with Luca Rossi on 23 December …
Paul Kunert, 06 Jan 2015
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Microsoft: Yeah, about that 50% post-Christmas customer price hike...

Microsoft has cooked up a post-Christmas gift for service providers to prolong their festive cheer – price hikes of up to 50 per cent on volume licensing agreements. The move has been interpreted by channel partners and hosting firms alike as Microsoft upping the cost for on-premise wares to make its cloudy stuff look more …
Paul Kunert, 07 Oct 2014

NetApp sings to Solidfire: All I want for Christmas is buying you

NetApp is buying SolidFire to get scale-out all-flash arrays for cloud provider-like use cases – the sort of use cases that are closed to NetApp's all-flash E-Series and ONTAP systems. The acquisition was rumored this month, and had a $1.2bn price tag attached to it. NetApp is paying $870m in cash for SolidFire, a move …
Chris Mellor, 21 Dec 2015

Yet another music video treat from Insight Enterprises

Booze quaffed and mince pies munched, it’s time to get one's nose back to the grindstone for the IT industry’s great unwashed. But fear not those of you with post-holiday blues, we have a visual cracker for your delectation. Insight Enterprise’s marketing team were up to their old tricks again prior to Chrimbo, enlisting four …
Paul Kunert, 05 Jan 2016

Dixons Carphone CEO dances on rivals’ graves, swipes share from survivors

Christmas is unlikely to come early for Brit shoppers at Dixons Carphone. Essentially, the retail borg is awash with cash so it won’t on this occasion need to slash prices to counter a summer of soggy sales. Numbers at the half-way point of fiscal ’16 – ended 31 October – filed this morning, showed like-for-like revenue up …
Paul Kunert, 16 Dec 2015

Outsourcery wins a £1.1m project present. Well, it is nearly Christmas

A FTSE100 company has handed ailing cloudy biz Outsourcery an early Crimbo gift by signing a three-year contract worth an estimated £1.1m to rip out its ageing telephony system in favour of "voice services". It's been one hell of a year for the Manchester-based software-as-a-service and online infrastructure seller, co-founded …
Paul Kunert, 05 Dec 2014
warehouse interior - wide aisle, big shelves

Striking Amazonians warn: Don't rely on us for Christmas pressies

Amazon workers in Germany are preparing to go on strike once again, in the middle of the busy holiday period, backed by a delegation demonstrating outside Amazon HQ in Seattle. The Verdi trade union has said that workers would be striking in Amazon's warehouses in Bad Hersfeld, Leipzig and for the first time in Graben, while a …
Happy child at Christmas with a tablet

Microsoft 'cautiously optimistic' about Christmas sales

Microsoft is quietly confident it can avoid a repeat of the pantsing it took last Christmas with a triple consumer hit of Windows 8.1, Surface 2 and Xbox One. Terry Myerson, installed chief of all things Windows operating system at Microsoft in a massive Microsoft re-org during the summer, told Wall St yesterday there’s growing …
Gavin Clarke, 05 Dec 2013
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Cisco starts 2016 with a spring in its step, pours cash into Springpath

Cisco sources tell us the company has invested in hyper-converged infrastructure software startup Springpath and is preparing an OEM deal. It is now in a position to acquire Springpath if it wishes to do so. There were rumours and speculation, as reported on The Register, that something was happening between Springpath and …
Chris Mellor, 05 Jan 2016
Photo of billboard marketing Microsoft Surface with Windows RT

Microsoft loses grip on Christmas shoppers... despite XBox boost

Analysis Microsoft's second quarter results, posted on Thursday, reveal that the software giant struggled in the sexy world of devices during the all-important Christmas shopping period. These are the first numbers indicating how the battle between PCs and smart devices played out over the battleground for consumers' wallets that is …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Jan 2014
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Microsoft hires Aussie cloudy Transformer Man to run Brit channels

Microsoft has hired Aussie and self proclaimed “chief transformer” Martin Gregory as the next person to lead the UK channel – and the man has a very cloudy background. Former channel director Linda Rendleman – who was in the role for nearly two years – quit Blighty in August and moved to Florida to run a partner team unit …
Paul Kunert, 16 Oct 2015
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Dixons Carphone to shut down 134 shops

Dixons Carphone Warehouse is shutting 134 shops, a move it insists will have "no impact on colleague numbers". The retail borg is consolidating its stores following the merger between Dixons Retail, owner of Currys and PC World, and Carphone Warehouse in May 2014. The new stores will house its remaining outlets under one roof …
Kat Hall, 26 Jan 2016
Toilet

Viglen staff mark CEO Tkachuk's passing with a royal tribute

Now that Viglen boss Bordan Tkachuk has split, some of his underlings have marked his passing with some passings and markings of their own at the previously off-limits C-suite shower block. Tkachuk cleared his desk before Christmas, two years after Viglen was acquired by XMA – itself owned by Westcoast Holdings – as his earn- …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jan 2016
Wireless_Christmas_Tree

Comet staff should be for life, not just for Christmas

Dixons Retail is throwing a lifeline to beleaguered Comet staff awaiting the arrival of their P45s by offering some of them seasonal work in its PC World and Currys stores over the peak Christmas season. Administrator Deloitte took control of Comet late on Friday after the ailing retailer ran into insurmountable liquidity woes. …
Paul Kunert, 07 Nov 2012
Stanley Kubrick's The Shining

2015's horror PC market dropped nine per cent

PC sales ended 2015 on a low note, according to analyst firms IDC and Gartner. The former firm says 2015's final quarter saw 71,889,000 PCs fly off assembly lines around the world, -10.6 per cent growth compared to the same quarter in 2014. Gartner's numbers are similarly grim: 75.7 million shipped for the quarter, down 8.3 …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Jan 2016
Confused computer keyboard

Cheesy vid from inside Microsoft seller milks Office 365 for larffs

Vid El Chan has got hold of a video nasty by some senior execs at Microsoft licensing giant Insight Enterprises that appears to be a faint stab at humour over a customer’s migration to the fluffy white stuff. The short starts with Alexander Kaatz, veep of sales and marketing EMEA (he should’ve known better) acting as a sales rep, …
Paul Kunert, 10 Jul 2015
Boy writes a letter to Santa. Pic via Shutterstock

Dear Santa: Can gov.UK please stop outsourcing?

Comment Here's a cheerful factoid that gets gleefully wheeled out by family lawyers each year: the first Monday after Christmas is the busiest day for divorces. Contributory factors seem to be post-Christmas financial strains, holiday season stresses and misjudged prezzies ("why the hell did/didn't this person buy me a wearable - it's …
Kat Hall, 24 Dec 2015

Who will buy our darn DRAM? Micron smacked in wallet again

It was not a happy Christmas for Micron, as the numbers confirm it is suffering in the solid state memory and storage business with a fourth consecutive decline in revenues and fifth in profits. It made $3.35bn in revenues for its first fiscal 2016 quarter, compared to $4.57bn a year ago and $3.6bn in the preceding quarter, …
Chris Mellor, 30 Dec 2015
Files in manager's desk drawers: manila folder marked "Redundancies". Image via shutterstock

VMware to 'axe 900 jobs'

VMware is mimicking cost-cutting actions at alpha shareholder EMC by pushing through its own job cull: 900 roles, to be specific, or some five per cent of the 18k-strong global workforce. The axe is being shined by Virtzilla, reportedly to counter a weaker sales pipeline and share price drop. Let’s face it, nothing gets …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jan 2016
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Windows 10 won't come to old WinPhones until some time in early 2016

Microsoft has decided to delay delivery of Windows 10 for phones running Windows 8 or 8.1. Redmond's previously said that WinPhone 10 will appear in December, but is now issuing a statement to the effect that “The Windows 10 Mobile upgrade will begin rolling out early next year to select existing Windows 8 and 8.1 phones." …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Dec 2015
ho, ho, ho

A server bonanza is for Christmas, not for life: Xmas boost hides slump

One sequential bounce in EMEA server shipments and revenues doesn't a recovery make, but last year's Chrimbo quarter may have cheered hard-pressed suppliers, judging by the figures. The latest IDC data shows some 606,000 systems were sold across the region in the final three months of 2013, up 13.2 per cent on the previous …
Paul Kunert, 19 Mar 2014

Sorry Xchanging staff, only Capita at negotiating table now

Tiny cries of anguish might have been heard across the City today as one of the suitors for London-based Xchanging confirmed it is standing up from the negotiating table, leaving only Capita seated. LSE-listed Xchanging confirmed last month it had accepted Capita’s offer of 160 pence per share offer, valuing the BPO and …
Paul Kunert, 04 Nov 2015
Boring Christmas

Scrooges rejoice! Beancounters find formula for perfect Xmas party

If you’re planning a Christmas party and you’re the sort of miserly Scrooge type that doesn’t want to waste any money on excess Christmas crackers, science has got you covered. A trio of those party-loving statisticians has worked out the formula for the optimum number of crackers for a party to ensure that everyone wins one …
Team Register, 18 Dec 2014

Windows XP beats 8.1 in December market share stats

Windows 7 remains the planet's dominant desktop operating system, but Windows XP again claimed second place during December 2014 according to data from Statcounter.com and Netmarketshare. We've tracked the two firms' data for a year now and both have produced some odd dips and surges, reflecting their imperfect methods of …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jan 2015

Dell PCs to be never knowingly undersold by John Lewis this Chrimbo

Dell is to go head-to-head with Apple, HP and Lenovo for the affections of computer-seeking shoppers this Christmas - the XPS range will be never knowingly undersold to the middle classes by John Lewis. Sarah Shields, exec director and UK GM for channel and distribution claimed Dell could not afford to ignore the retail …
Paul Kunert, 20 Nov 2015
channel

Online Christmas orders from retailers go titsup

Looks like Christmas won't be delivered for hundreds of families this weekend who've shopped online at Sainsbury's and Fortnum & Mason, thanks to IT problems. Fortnum & Mason has blamed "severe" IT problems for its failure to deliver its famous luxury hampers in time for the big day. The high-end retailer is now no longer …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Dec 2011
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Former prez of Misco parent Systemax declared bankrupt

To say 2015 wasn’t exactly a vintage year for former Systemax EMEA president Perminder Singh Dale – AKA Pim Dale – is an understatement. He lost his job in the summer and by Christmas the man was bankrupt. According to the London Gazette, a bankruptcy petition was filed against Dale on 7 October by London Law Funding (LLF) Ltd …
Paul Kunert, 12 Jan 2016
Zombie rising from the grave

Could NetApp's purchase of SolidFire see the end of ONTAP?

Comment NetApp has finally bitten the bullet and bought an AFA vendor, plumping for the technology-driven SolidFire as opposed to some of the marketing-driven competitors in the space. At less than a billion dollars, it appears to be a very good deal for NetApp and perhaps with an ever-decreasing number of suitors, it is a good deal …
StorageBod, 22 Dec 2015
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IBM kills Hack A Hair Dryer women-in-tech vid after backlash

Updated IBM is killing a controversial web video that employed hairdryers to supposedly promote women in STEM following an online roasting. The video was part of a campaign to: “Reengineer misperceptions about women in tech”, in which hair dryers – performing functions not normally associated with the handheld hot air device – feature …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Dec 2015

Mega-firm Carphone Dixons toasts £375m profit forecast

Dixons Carphone Warehouse has raised its profit expectation for its first financial year 2014/15 to £355m-£375m, following a bumper Christmas trading period. The firm owns Currys, PC World and Carphone Warehouse and was formed by of a £3.7bn merger between Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse in May last year. In the nine weeks …
Kat Hall, 21 Jan 2015
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Dixons warns on crap Christmas

Dixons warned markets this morning that Christmas trading had been worse than expected with like-for-like sales down 2 per cent and margins down 0.2 per cent. The world's favourite IT retailer said it now expects profit before tax to be at the lower end of predictions – between £100m and £110m. Dixons shares fell almost 10 per …
John Oates, 13 Jan 2011
Trainspotting

Softcat set to open up Scottish operation as sales spike continues

Cuddly-named unstoppable reselling machine Softcat keeps on growing in double digits, is hiring more staff and setting up shop north of the border, according to its first trading update as a publicly traded entity. The Marlow-based tech supplier launched itself onto the London Stock Exchange last month. The listing price was …
Paul Kunert, 02 Dec 2015
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Windows 10 blamed (partly) for stalled PC sales recovery

The recovery in PC sales has been postponed until 2017 – and Microsoft and Windows 10 are partly to blame. Worldwide PC shipments will now fall by 8.7 per cent by the end of the year and growth won’t return for another two years, the IDC said. The number cruncher had expected that the arrival of Windows 10 in July would …
Gavin Clarke, 27 Aug 2015
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

Apple CEO visits EU regulator to discuss tax bill

Apple chief executive Tim Cook met European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager in Brussels last week, apparently to discuss the European Commission's investigation into the company's tax affairs. The Commission confirmed that a meeting had taken place but said it could give no further details. The Commission is …
OUT-LAW.COM, 25 Jan 2016
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Carphone Warehouse has peachy Christmas quarter

Those happy chaps at Carphone Warehouse are reporting the last three months of 2010 were top, with earnings at the high end of expectations and US expansion going well. An interim statement from the group reports UK sales rising more than two per cent compared to the Christmas period 2009, contributing to a more modest 0.7 per …
Bill Ray, 18 Jan 2011
arrow pointing up

Dixons warns of tough Christmas

Dixons Retail Group - better known as PC World - has warned of a tough and competitive Christmas season. Tech retailers, along with the rest of the High Street, are heavily reliant on the big boost given by Christmas to bring in the profits. Dixons said sales in the first half of the year had been flat, or up one per cent, at £ …
John Oates, 25 Nov 2010
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

It's FREE WINDOWS 10 time: 29 July is D-Day, yells Microsoft

Windows 10 will be coughed up by Microsoft on July 29, the company said on Monday morning – and Windows 7 and 8.1 users can reserve their free upgrade right now. Gratis upgrades to Windows 10 are pegged to last for 12 months, as previously announced by Microsoft. That gives you until the end of July 2016 to claim them. Also, on …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Jun 2015

Arista bullish for full year results after 47 per cent YoY growth in Q2

High-performance data centre switching upstart (and Cisco litigation target) Arista Networks has reported 47 per cent revenue growth year-on-year for the quarter ended June 30. The company's financial release says it recorded US$195.6 of revenue, and a GAAP net income of $24 million (up from $21.6 million for the corresponding …

Alphabet, cough, Google most valuable biz on Earth as it pours billions into 'other bets'

Alphabet, Google's new parent-holding-company-thing, has reported stellar end-of-year results: revenues in the final quarter of 2015 hit $21.3bn, and profit reached $4.9bn. The figures pushed Alphabet's stock price up eight per cent in after-hours trading, making it, for the moment, the most valuable company on the planet by …
Iain Thomson, 01 Feb 2016
Happy child at Christmas with a tablet

Time to bag a tablet bargain this Chrimbo – Brit stocks are high

British retailers will be looking to clear a tablet glut this Chrimbo, and falling sales prices and cooling consumer interest in slabs will mean they’ll need to shift more to stand still. According to Gartner, 83 million fewer slabs will be sold this year worldwide, with consumers sweating their assets for longer, renewed …
Paul Kunert, 04 Nov 2014
Lego, photo via Shutterstock

It's come to this for IBM: Watson is now a gimmick app on the iPhone

Remember when IBM's Watson was touted as a revolutionary machine learning platform that would help revolutionize the medical, science and business intelligence fields? Big Blue's expensive pet project has been showcased as a solution for everything from biomedical research to solving poverty to killing the spreadsheet. Now, …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Nov 2015
Boring Christmas

Happy Holidays! Misco axes ONE IN FIVE UK sales peeps: sources

Shape shifting Misco spread the cheer among its workforce in the run-up to Christmas by distributing P45s, with sources estimating that up to 20 per cent of UK sales heads rolled. The parent of the web tech bazaar, Systemax, which is trying to deal more with mid-market corporate enterprises and sell services, is cutting costs …
Paul Kunert, 09 Jan 2015
Happy child at Christmas with a tablet

Amazon DROPS next day delivery amid Cyber Monday MADNESS

Updated Amazon has suspended next day delivery in Blighty after reporting its busiest day on record. This decision could mean the families of last-minute present hunters will go without gifts on Christmas Day, said a Reg source, who says he was told express delivery would not begin until the New Year. Amazon denies this and claims the …
Jasper Hamill, 01 Dec 2014

Puppet Labs guards cash pile, gets chilly over IPO plans

Puppet Labs has laid out plans to scale up its R&D and sales operations, after tapping a credit line and apparently putting plans for a Spring IPO on ice. The IT automation vendor said last May that it expected to hit revenues of around $100m in 2015, and to make a stock market debut this spring. However, while last year saw …
Joe Fay, 20 Jan 2016

Opinion

Merlin Data Center Interior

Trevor Pott

Enterprises want them, but they're still a pain in the ASCII
WWI French tank picture via Shutterstock
Vinod_Khosla

Chris Mellor

A VC with startup agenda slams established suppliers. Surprised? Neither were we
ZenPad_RealRacing

Features

Eclipse image via Shutterstock
The Azure Portal: Microsoft is betting on cloud for its future business
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Michael Dell. Pic by Joi Ito
Cool Texas dude is just your average billionaire