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Windows 10 lags 7, 8 … and even Vista in the channel race

Windows 10 is not proving as popular as Microsoft’s earlier clients – even the hated ones – among the channel. The number of PCs pre-installed with Windows 10 moving through western Europe’s distribution channel in the four months since launch is lower than for Windows 7, and the hated Windows Vista and Windows 8 over the same …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Dec 2015
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

At last, UK customers are buying PCs again

The Brit PC market showed signs of life in Q3, according to official stats from distributors – but the same could not be said for much of the rest of Western Europe. Sales-out data tracked by Context showed a little over one million (1.056m) notebooks, desktops and workstations found their way into the loving arms of a …
Paul Kunert, 20 Oct 2015
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How many Win 10 PCs were in distribution the week before launch?

In the week leading up to the launch of Windows 10 there were zero PCs pre-installed with the new operating system sat in a warehouse awaiting a new home. Not one. For past releases of Microsoft OSs at least 20 per cent of computers at wholesalers came loaded with the software, but times have changed. Context Research – which …
Paul Kunert, 06 Aug 2015
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Notebooks drag PC sales out the toilet, fondleslabs still falling

The PC market bounced back in the first quarter of 2015, mainly thanks to a big uplift in notebook sales. According to research from tech distribution sales data compiled by Context, the market rose by seven per cent on the year. Notebook sales were up 26 per cent to 644,304, while desktop sales remained flat at 237,700, and …
Kat Hall, 01 Apr 2015
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Fujitsu channel boss Simon Worsfold steps down

Simon Worsfold, channel and enterprise director at Fujitsu, has left his role after half a decade at the Japanese enterprise biz. The company confirmed Worsfold has "stepped down" but refused to reveal who will be filling in until a permanent successor is found. A spokeswoman said it will make public Worsfold's replacement in …
Kat Hall, 23 Oct 2015

How many pre-loaded Win 10 PCs did disties have 7 days after release?

No PCs pre-loaded with Windows 10 made their way into distributors’ warehouses in the week before launch of the OS – but by golly, they did in seven days after the 'big event'. Venerable number cruncher Context reckons a whopping 150 machines were in distribution a week after launch. The firm gets its data direct from European …
Paul Kunert, 14 Aug 2015
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Blighty tablet sales plunge 31 per cent in saturated market

The free fall descent of the tablet distribution market accelerated for the second quarter of 2015, with channel fondleslab sales plunging by 22 per cent to 2.3 million across Western Europe. Sales in the UK nosedived by 31 per cent to 410,100 units, according to the quarterly research on distribution sales compiled by analyst …
Kat Hall, 28 Jul 2015

Work has started on VMware's secret security disruptor

Late in 2014, VMware's network virtualisation guru Martin Casado suggested that his next move after getting network virtualisation up and running as a business might be to try a new approach to enterprise security. Casado, who is credited with inventing OpenFlow and led Nicira, the company that morphed into VMware's NSX …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Sep 2015
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HPE finds new Azure czar lurking in channel biz

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is rejigging the management team to power up Microsoft Azure sales after shuttering its own public cloud service at the start of this month, El Chan can reveal. The firm has cuddled up to Microsoft and its cloudy service, rather than competing with public cloud players on price, as seems to be the …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jan 2016

Barracuda kills CudaDrive and Copy cloud storage services

Barracuda Networks' financial woes look to be biting, as the company has announced it is killing its cloud storage services, CudaDrive and Copy.com, and focussing resources on stuff that really matters. The company has blogged the news, with Rod Mathews - veep and general manager of the company's storage business – saying …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Feb 2016
Godzilla toy in pieces

Intel sprinkles Saffron on its chips, to satisfy its Big Data appetite

Intel's slung some spare silver at Saffron, a cognitive computing business with customers in aerospace, healthcare, insurance and manufacturing. It's yet another Big Data play, with Intel new technology senior veep Josh Walden blogging that the company offers a “fresh look” at big data anlytics. It's almost a copy of today's …
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About that IBM hardware revenues dive: Blame storage, says CFO

IBM's storage hardware revenues declined by 19 per cent year-on-year in its third 2015 quarter, continuing a four-and-a-half year fall. IBM_Storage_HW_revs_to_Q3fy2015 IBM Storage hardware revenues to Q3 2015. IBM CFO Martin Schroeter put IBM's revenue declines in the context of IBM switching from declining businesses to …
Chris Mellor, 20 Oct 2015
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Fujitsu ushers another ex-HPer into channel ranks

A enclave of former HP execs is amassing at Fujitsu with Paul McLean the latest to turn up at the company as enterprise boss for indirect sales in the UK and Ireland. This is the first appointment that Fujitsu’s channel overlord Kevin Matthews - who once ran HP’s British partner business for some years - has made since rocking …
Paul Kunert, 08 Jan 2016

Oracle slices $50m off Rimini in bloody battle over cut-price support

Rimini Street, which touts bargain-basement software support for apps from Oracle and others, must pay US$50m to the database giant after losing a five-year legal fight. Nevada-based Rimini offers support for Oracle's enterprise products at rates as much as 50 per cent lower than Oracle's own, including support for JD Edwards …
Chris Williams, 14 Oct 2015

Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away

The good citizens of Britain are still giving Windows 8 and 8.1 fondleslabs a wide berth, official figures from disties has confirmed. More than 596k slate tabs were shipped out to UK resellers and retailers in Q2, up 27.8 per cent year-on-year with the vast majority of them (nearly 406k) were running on Google’s Android …
Paul Kunert, 30 Jul 2014

Win10 PCs still stuck on slow boat from China, warehouses empty

Windows 10 consumer PCs will not show up in big numbers at Brit retailers’ stores until the middle of next month, multiple sources have told us. The reason for the scarcity is that Microsoft didn’t allow the OS to be pre-loaded on to PCs until launch day on 27 July, and lead times including sea shipment were eight weeks from …
Paul Kunert, 27 Aug 2015
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HP storage results borked by bleeding currency rates

With its latest results, HP's third-quarter storage revenues went down 2 per cent on the annual compare, not being pulled up by industry standard servers' revenue which rose 8 per cent. But at constant currency – ignoring foreign exchange rate changes over the year – they rose 7 per cent. The Enterprise Group's revenues were $ …
Chris Mellor, 21 Aug 2015

Retailers toast welcome return of Back2School notebook biz

The Back2School sales fest that deserted the retail notebook industry a year ago has returned with a bang… sort of. According to distie sales numbers crunched by Context, shipments across Western European wholesalers jumped 12.5 per cent in the first two months of Q3 and were up 17.5 per cent in the UK. The sales are flattered …
Paul Kunert, 12 Sep 2014
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Capita and private equity biz circling, sniffing around Xchanging

What a place employees at troubled Xchanging find themselves this morning: both Capita and private equity firm Apollo Global are bidding to buy the LSE-listed tech biz. The insurance market BPO specialist and software provider confirmed to the City this morning it has permitted both businesses to look under the hood. …
Paul Kunert, 05 Oct 2015
Stained glass angels

Gods of tech distribution smile on Blighty in Q1

Distributors in almost half of the countries across Western Europe failed to register sales growth during Q1 but those with ops in Blighty were not among them. Sales out data from Context reveals UK market revenues climbed 12.4 per cent in the three months to €2.5bn, making it the largest sector in the region for the past four …
Paul Kunert, 06 May 2014
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

Fujitsu channel man prepares for war on enterprise rivals

Fujitsu UK’s latest channel czar, Kevin Matthews, has promised tighter account management as he struggles to force his way into corporate clients dominated by enterprise rivals. The former HP enterprise man was last month given control of both the channel and the internal direct sales force, following a year of declining sales …
Paul Kunert, 20 Nov 2015

Death knell for Windows with Bing, licences carved up

Microsoft is effectively killing off the Windows with Bing notebook market less than a year after it was created. The low-cost portables released last summer were Redmond’s competitive response to Google’s Chromebook, giving PC OEMs the Windows OS licence at a heavily discounted rate, and consumers responded positively. However …
Paul Kunert, 11 Feb 2015
Toshiba Encore Windows 8.1 tablet

Windows tablet price war FINALLY has 'em prying open wallets

Microsoft is, er, fighting back in the UK tab tussle stakes after grabbing market share from OS rivals, although the small victory could be seen as a bit hollow. According to Q4 tech distie sales data compiled by Context, a little over 120,000 Windows 8/8.1 fondleslabs were shifted to customers - 8.3 times more than the …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jan 2015
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Tired tablets don't tickle the imagination, so sales fall again

Box-counter IDC's latest Quarterly tablet tracker has more bad news for fondleslab fans: sales are down and the market is fragmenting. The firm's preliminary data for 2015's second quarter finds 44.7 million fondleslabs and typoslabs shipped, down seven per cent on 2014's shipments. Q2's never a cracker – it contains no major …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jul 2015

Brit enterprises still wolfing down PCs post-XP support death

Tech disties feasted on a relative PC sales banquet in Q2 as businesses and to a lesser extent consumers made a belated dash to rid themselves of systems running on Windows XP. Abacus stroker Context collated the sale-out figures from wholesalers and found more than 844k desktops, notebook and PC workstations were adopted by UK …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jul 2014
Apple iPad Air

Nice try, Apple. The Maxi Pad is no laptop killer – and won’t scratch the Surface

Apple’s Maxi Pad is no laptop or Surface Pro killer – even though it holds up comparatively well for general workforce usage. This is the prognosis from some in the analyst community and those who will compete against it. The view from the Mac channel understandably differs somewhat. A relatively late market entrant - not …
Paul Kunert, 22 Sep 2015
Blackhat

'Traditional' forms of thuggery decline in UK, cybercrime on the rise

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released information suggesting cybercrime incidents are growing more prevalent in British society than traditional criminal incidents, and has noted that this may be due to more criminal enterprises transitioning to the digital world. Included for the first time among the ONS's …
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Oracle releases antidote for VENOM vulnerability

Oracle has released patches for its virtualisation software to crimp the VENOM vulnerability that allows attackers to break out of virtual machines to attack hosts. The company follows a host of others including KVM and Xen which have patched the buffer overflow bug. VMware, Microsoft, and Bochs are immune to the problem. …
Darren Pauli, 19 May 2015
Plug, image via Shutterstock

Dell CEO: Very few will survive the PC bloodbath

Texan Mick, founder and CEO at Dell – the PC company which took his surname – reckons in five to seven years it will be game over for most of the stragglers currently selling computers. The three biggest shifters of such tin – Lenovo, HP and Dell – already account for more than 50 per cent of shipments globally, but that will …
Paul Kunert, 08 Sep 2015

Win8 inventory glut? Yep, it's all Microsoft's fault, says HP

HP has criticised the way Microsoft rolled out the latest OS, claiming it was the root cause of an inventory pile-up of Windows 8 consumer PCs across the industry that will take time to “flush” through. Channel analyst Context recently revealed that no computers pre-installed with Windows 10 were sat with European distributors …
Paul Kunert, 21 Aug 2015

Lenovo sings distie initiation song, adds Westcoast to line-up

Industry eyes may be on Lenovo’s swollen server digits after wolfing down IBM’s System x biz but the Chinese dragon is upping the numbers in its PC distie ranks to pull in more sales across Blighty. Reading-based Westcoast today took on the professional side of the portfolio, adding to the Lenovo consumer clients it already …
Paul Kunert, 12 Jan 2015
George Osborne, photo: HM Treasury

Google UK coughs up £130m back taxes. Is it enough?

Google is to pay £130m to settle a tax dispute with the British Government over how it account for revenues booked in the UK. More importantly for Treasury coffers Google will now "pay tax based on revenue from UK-based advertisers, which reflects the size and scope of our U.K. business,” a Google spokesman wrote in an email …
Drew Cullen, 23 Jan 2016
Boeing's CST-100 space capsule

Big Yellow brings in Boeing bods to bolster Big data bid

Symantec is acquiring 65 security engineers from Boeing as a part of a deal to beef up its expertise in Big Data, prior to a split between its security and storage divisions later this year. As part of the deal Big Yellow is also licensing technology from Boeing's Narus security division, which develops network-monitoring …
John Leyden, 13 Jan 2015
Sparta

Safe Harbor ripped and replaced with Privacy Shield in last-minute US-Europe deal

European and US legislators have hammered out a last-minute deal to allow data flows across the Atlantic to continue without breaking the law. "For the first time ever, the United States has given the EU binding assurances that the access of public authorities for national security purposes will be subject to clear limitations …
Iain Thomson, 02 Feb 2016
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Lenovo topples Apple from PC summit by declining less slowly

In what could be seen by some as a slightly hollow victory, Lenovo knocked Apple off the top spot in the global PC race by declining more slowly than its rival. Canalys stats show the total market dropped 11.8 per cent year-on-year in Q2 to a little over 109m desktops, notebooks and tabs. For the record, this equates to 1.46m …
Paul Kunert, 06 Aug 2015

Lenovo UK boss exits for EMEA supply chain glory

The arrival of Eric Cador at the top of Lenovo’s EMEA business has signalled a slight reshuffle, with UK boss Marc Godin elevated to a vitally important role running the supply chain in the region. In a note to partners, Godin said the acquisition of IBM Systems x and Motorola means the business profile is “very different to …
Paul Kunert, 04 Jun 2015
Doomsday clock

Safe Harbor 2.0: US-Europe talks on privacy go down to the wire

United States and European Commission officials have promised they are doing everything possible to reach agreement over transatlantic data-sharing before a critical deadline at the end of this week. After the Safe Harbor agreement – put in place in 2000 – was struck down by Europe's highest court back in October due to NSA …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 Jan 2016

Acer bags its 4th – yes, 4th – UK boss in just 20 months

The revolving door at Acer is spinning furiously as the company confirmed it has appointed Preben Fjeld as its fourth UK MD in 20 months. Fjeld, who will continue to run Acer Norway, replaces Gavin Parish after he quit the business to rejoin HP’s PC and print division. A spokesman at Acer sent us a minimalist statement: “Gavin …
Paul Kunert, 05 Jun 2015
Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Ultrabook

Intel tests definition of insanity with (leaked) typoslab Skylake CPUs

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. And it appears Intel is testing that definition – if these internal Intel Powerpoint slides that made their way to a blog called FanlessTech this month are the real thing. The slides suggest that Intel is still plugging …
Chris Williams, 28 Jul 2015
David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah

Mutant upstart Nimble embiggens revenues – and losses, too

Hybrid array storage start-up minnow Nimble Storage saw revenues grow strongly in its latest quarter, though not enough to trouble mainstream storage vendors. Revenues in its first fiscal 2016 quarter, ended April 30, were 53 per cent higher than a year ago at $71.3m, with a net loss of $29m: it was $19.6m a year ago. …
Chris Mellor, 27 May 2015

Tech disties: What the HELL happened to our sales growth in Q1?

Tech disties’ sales growth across Europe almost halved in Q1 as the XP migration factor ran out of steam, PC business dwindled and weaker demand for Apple slabs and IBM big iron came to bear. The quarterly figures – based on sales-out data from the suppliers – collated by Context’s SalesWatch tracker, indicate turnover from the …
Paul Kunert, 11 May 2015
Empty racks awaiting customer kit at HP's Aurora data centre

Server market grew at its fastest rate since 2010, say Gartner's mystics

Hard-pressed server slingers have finally got some news they want to report – sales are growing at the fastest rate since 2010 and the value of them is up by double digits too. Has the world gone mad? The worldwide market expanded by almost 18 per cent in calendar Q1 to $13.39bn, as unit shipments bounced 13 per cent to 2.66 …
Paul Kunert, 28 May 2015

This EMC is bereft of expansion, it is formerly increasing ... it is ex-growth

Analysis EMC is now an ex-growth stock. It pulled out its traditional hard-selling fourth quarter, but it achieved 0.7 per cent less than the year-ago quarter. Full-year results, published on Wednesday, were ahead in the annual compare by just 1 per cent. It's been a hard year for the world's number one storage supplier. Fourth …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2016
HDD_heads

Will the PC glory days ever return, WD asks as its finances slip

Are the glory days gone for good? Will the PC market ever come back? AS WD rues the damage that declining PC disk sales have done to its revenues, that’s a question that will be exercising its product strategists as they ponder its latest results. Revenues for its fourth fiscal 2015 quarter were 14 per cent down from a year …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jul 2015
Professional carbon drone with GPS. Pic via Shutterstock

Intel aims for PC-style position in drones, robots and wearables

CES 2016 The need to control not just the processor itself, but the whole surrounding software and connectivity platform, was very clear in Intel’s launches and keynotes a last week's Consumer Electronics Show. While the PC and smartphone processors or SoCs have been premium products, in semiconductor terms, in the IoT the hardware …
Wireless Watch, 13 Jan 2016
iPad Mail app

Tab for Xmas, Mr Consumer? Yes please. And Mr Busin... NOPE

The slab revolution in UK consumer land continued over Chrimbo but many biz customers are still struggling to justify wider deployments and most of those that did steered well clear of Windows 8. Disties shipped a total of 1.5 million tabs in Q4, a hike of 53.1 per cent on a year ago. Some 16.4 per cent of these went via biz …
Paul Kunert, 26 Feb 2014
Windows 10

'One Windows' crunch time: Microsoft tempts with glittery new devices

Microsoft is announcing new Windows 10 devices at an event in New York today. This is crunch time for the “One Windows” strategy, the idea that presenting developers with something like a single platform across many device types will stimulate a strong ecosystem of applications. The company is expected to announce a range of …
Tim Anderson, 06 Oct 2015
Nimble Storage array

Nimble flashes the all-flash array as ‘intense’ consolidation period approaches

Comment Hybrid array supplier Nimble is going to introduce an all-flash array, joining other hybrid vendors in riding two horses at once, against a background of coming intense supplier consolidation in the storage industry. Nimble, Tegile and Tintri are the three main new-style hybrid disk/flash array vendors taking business away …
Chris Mellor, 18 Sep 2015
AWS Senor VP Andy Jassy shows off web services growth

AWS jabs at rivals, proclaims cloud the 'new normal'

AWS Reinvent "This is not intended to be a sales and marketing conference, it’s really intended to be an education and training conference," said Amazon Web Services (AWS) Senior VP Andy Jassy at the keynote for Reinvent under way in Las Vegas. Yet marketing dominated his keynote as he jabbed at competitors. The truth is, AWS does have an …
Tim Anderson, 08 Oct 2015

Opinion

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Chris Mellor

A VC with startup agenda slams established suppliers. Surprised? Neither were we
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Boy writes a letter to Santa. Pic via Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Cornwall's win over BT should be a cautionary relationship tale

Features

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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