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What's Niu? No longer profitable, revenues down... but we're hiring!

Once-profitable managed services business Niu Solutions is now burning cash and CEO Shaun Ledgerwood reckons the company will take three years to get back in the black. Based in Surrey, Niu Solutions flogs services to the retail and financial sectors, collecting monthly fees on contracts ranging from one to five years. …
Crowd watches fireworks at night in the field. Photo by Shutterstock

WD disk revenues spin slower as its flash fireworks go off

WDC beat its own better-than-expected preliminary results estimates with a $3.495bn quarter but swung to a $351m loss with fewer disk units sold. Layoffs are coming. Revenues for the fourth fiscal 2016 quarter, ended July 1, were 9.2 per cent higher than a year ago and 24.8 per cent up on the previous quarter. This quarter …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jul 2016
i_am_the_law

HP awarded £1.95m in reseller grey market fraud case

Hewlett Packard Enterprise was this week awarded £1.95m after a UK High Court judge ruled against reseller minnow International Computer Purchasing over allegations it abused special bid pricing. The US giant told us the successful claim against ICP and director Matthew Archer was for “fraud, conspiracy and inducement of …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jul 2016
Raspberry Pi Zero

Avnet sees Dätwyler's bid for Raspberry Pi slinger, raises to £868m

Avnet, the American technical component distributor, has come in at the 11th hour to outbid an existing offer for Premier Farnell, distributors of the Raspberry Pi. Farnell was all set to be sold to Swiss group Dätwyler Holding for £792m, including debt, but a new offer from Avnet with an enterprise value of £868m has now been …
Man weighs himself on imperial scale. photo by shutterstock

BT sees 35% sales gain as it digests hearty EE meal

Sales jumped by 35 per cent for BT's first quarter to £5.7bn, with profit before tax up 16 per cent to £802m - mainly due to its £12.5bn slurp of EE. The mobile operator contributed £1.2bn for the quarter and £84m in operating profit. Elsewhere other parts of the biz were lacklustre. Its Wholesale biz fell 10 per cent to £ …
Kat Hall, 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
Q in James Bond

NATO holds up £2.5bn platter of IT procurement deals: Help yourselves

Anti-Soviet defence pact NATO's IT division wants to award €3bn (£2.5bn) worth of “cyber, air and missile defence” contracts, spanning everything from buying new keyboards to improving space satellites. The NATO Communication and Information (NCI) Agency's bumper pack of potential deals includes a £2bn (€2.5bn) satellite …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Jul 2016
Reese witherspoon as Elle Woods from the film Legally Blonde. Photo copyright MGM Studios

Openreach to split from BT... so they'll be 'Legally Separate'

UK comms regulator Ofcom has said today Openreach must become a "legally" separate company from BT – with its own independent board – under plans to reform the former state monopoly's infrastructure division. In February, Ofcom identified serious failings with BT's ownership model of Openreach. However, it stopped short of …
Kat Hall, 26 Jul 2016
Poison pill

Micron sets a canary to watch over its stock in case of takeover

A filing in the Securities Exchange Commission has set the hounds running on speculation that Micron Technology is the latest takeover target in the ongoing consolidation of the chip business. The filing, in the arcane language of SEC documents, gets to the point in this statement: “[N]o person will become an Acquiring …
phishing_648

Is digital fraud big in UK? British abacus-botherers finally have some answers

Reports of fraud have doubled, according to official statistics – because the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is now including cyber crimes in its figures. The UK's ONS reckons, in crime statistics released last week, that more than two million computer misuse offences and 3.8 million online fraud offences took place in …
John Leyden, 25 Jul 2016
Woman looking sceptical. photo by shutterstock

They kept that quiet. PC sales via distributors DID rise in Q2

It is a Friday and El Reg is pleased to be able to answer the burning question on the lips of readers across the land - just how did PC sales via distribution do in the second quarter? They went well. Though retailers and wholesalers bought in stock conservatively, as recorded by Gartner and IDC, channel analyst Context …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jul 2016
shutterstock_184661174

Oh dear, Vodafone: Sales dip in UK

Sales at Vodafone in the UK dropped 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of its financial year to €1.84bn (£1.5bn) - with the biz pointing to issues with its new billing system. Overall revenue dropped by 4.5 per cent to €13.37bn (£11.2bn), with sales in Europe also dipping by 3.5 per cent to €8.7bn (£7.3bn). The biz blamed its …
Kat Hall, 22 Jul 2016
Shouting match

XtremIO heading for the bin? Total BS, thunders CTO Itzik Reich

Storage industry jungle drums heard by El Reg suggest EMC is axing XtremIO product line development and putting it into maintenance mode due to scalability and data availability issues. EMC vehemently denies this, saying it's absolute FUD. Three independent sources say XtremIO is headed for a maintenance-only retirement home …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jul 2016

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
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
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
brexit_crashing_pound_currency

ASUS first Asian PC maker to warn of price hikes... in 2.5 months

Exclusive ASUS has confirmed the UK list price of computers are expected to rise on average by nine per cent in the Christmas quarter due the weakening of the British pound versus the US dollar. Unlike American rivals Dell and HP Inc, the Asian PC makers have been far slower to react to currency swings, with Lenovo and Acer still unable …
Paul Kunert, 19 Jul 2016
results

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

IaaS revenue to triple by 2020, to $43.6bn

Infrastructure as a service sold by public clouds will become a US$43.6 billion market by 2020, according to abacus-rattling firm IDC's new Worldwide Public Cloud Infrastructure as a Service Forecast, 2016-2020. In 2016 the firm expects infrastructure as a service (IaaS) hauled $12.6 billion through the door in 2015, meaning …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2016
DJ at mixing deck. Photo by Shutterstock

IBM puts Global Tech Services staff at risk in 'skills remix'

A second round of UK redundancy consultations are set to kick off for IBMers working in the Global Business Services (GBS) division, company insiders have told us. Big Blue initiated numerous job-cutting programmes this year as it reacted to fewer big ticket outsourcing deals and the rise of cloud computing by sending more …
Paul Kunert, 13 Jul 2016
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
jigsaw_puzzle_648

NetApp CEO Kurian: Buying SolidFire was a long-term strategic bet

Interview Chief executives of multi-billion dollar corporations have to have several characteristics, including steel, the ability to see things as they are, and possession of a personal value system that meshes with their corporation’s culture. Some CEOs, when promoted to the top chair after long employment in a corporation, sometimes …
Chris Mellor, 11 Jul 2016
Dr Werner Vogels, Amazon CTO, speaking in London

Next big thing after containers? Amazon CTO talks up serverless computing

AWS Summit London Amazon CTO Dr Werner Vogels talked up the value of serverless computing at the AWS (Amazon Web Services) London Summit last week. "What we’ve seen is a revolution where complete applications are being stripped of all their servers, and only code is being run. Quite a few companies are ripping out big pieces of their …
Tim Anderson, 11 Jul 2016

Is Pure Storage a solid business or is skepticism justified?

Analysis BTIG analysts attended Pure Storage Live, a customer and partner event, in New York City on Thursday, June 27, and came away thinking Pure is the real deal and not another ultimately doomed storage wannabe. Their note points out that: "The market continues to be extremely skeptical that the differentiation is sustainable; it …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jul 2016
Kevin Turner

Farewell to Microsoft's Sun Tzu: Thanks for all the cheese, Kevin Turner

Kevin Turner’s departure as Microsoft’s chief salesman after 11 years marks the final passing of the Redmond old guard. Chief operating officer Turner - KT, as he was known - was a chief of the old-school corporate kind; sales, marketing and Microsoft’s stores all reported into Turner. His departure is part of a massive sales …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Jul 2016

Gartner: Brexit cluster-fsck has ballsed up our spending forecast

Tech spending forecasters at Gartner are all in a tizzy – Brexit and currency fluctuations are both to blame. At the start of this year, the crystal ball stroker estimated the industry would grow 0.5 per cent in 2016, then flip flopped and reduced this prediction by a full percentage point to $3.49 trillion, blaming the …
Paul Kunert, 07 Jul 2016

Avast woos AVG shareholders with $1.3bn buyout offer

Avast is offering to buy anti-virus rival AVG for $1.3bn. AVG shareholders are being offered $25.00 per share in cash, a 33 per cent mark-up on the closing share price on Wednesday. AVG, Avast and rival Avira are the three main players in the market for freebie anti-virus scanners for Windows. All make their money by offering …
John Leyden, 07 Jul 2016

EU uncorks €1.8bn in cybersecurity investment. Thirsty, UK?

The EU Commission has launched a public-private partnership on cybersecurity that is expected to trigger €1.8bn ($2bn) of investment by 2020. The EU is promising to invest €450m ($502m) in a bid to spur innovation in cybersecurity with the remainder coming from the private sector. Some security commentators reckon the Brexit …
John Leyden, 05 Jul 2016
The British Pound - Sterling currency tumbles post Brexit

Sterling's post-Brexit dollar woes are forcing up tech kit prices

Tech vendors don’t want to admit it but CIOs will need to return to their spending plan spreadsheets: hardware is going to get more expensive post-Brexit as sterling slides against the US dollar. The UK currency fell 12 per cent on 24 June when the outcome of the EU referendum emerged, and this week the pound plunged to a 31 …
Paul Kunert, 01 Jul 2016
Grab The Controls

Microsoft hands interim global partner chief the controls PERMANENTLY

Microsoft has decided to make Gavriella Schuster the overlord (or corporate veep if you prefer) of its Worldwide Partner Group after what seems like a short trial period - she was made interim boss in May. Schuster was supposed to replace previous incumbent Phil Sorgen on a temporary basis until a “permanent replacement” was …
Paul Kunert, 01 Jul 2016
Wind turbine, image via Shutterstock

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

Big Blue finds big green in derailing transport

The transport sector is a booming lucrative playground for cyber criminals that is increasingly fragmented, IBM researchers say. The findings in a report Security trends in the transportation industry reveal that airlines, trucking, and parking sector companies are being hosed for credit cards and sensitive information. Big …
Team Register, 30 Jun 2016
Lenovo_Think_Server_RD_Series

Lenovo HPC bounces back after IBM spinoff

When IBM sold off its System x division to Lenovo Group in the fall of 2014, some big supercomputing centers in the United States and Europe that were long-time customers of Big Blue had to stop and think about what their future systems would look like and who would supply them. It was not a foregone conclusion that the Xeon- …
Uncle Sam's money

Want $50bn from Uncle Sam? Put in a bid on these IT contracts

The US government's General Services Administration (GSA) has opened bidding on what it says will be a $50bn IT services contract package. The federal agency is now accepting applications for the Alliant 2 and Alliant 2 Small Business contracts to create what it describes as a "large, diverse pool of industry partners." The …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Jun 2016
Sun shines on the clouds. Photo by Shutterstock

Oracle: Cloud-first for 12.2 update – on-prem world will have to wait

Oracle is cranking up the pressure on customers to consume its wares as-a-service by initially distributing the updated 12.2 database on a cloud-only basis. Talk of the shift - that will prevent the company’s existing installed base of on-premise punters from accessing new multi tenancy functions - was first spotted across the …
Child in shock in front of computer. Photo by Shutterstock

Tech firms reel from Leave's Brexit win

BREXIT Tech firms are reeling at British voters’ decision to leave the single European market. Firms are rattled as Gartner has forecast that Britain’s tech buyers will now stop spending in 2016 and 2017, turning earlier growth numbers negative. Also of concern, hiring of EU workers, uncertainty over VAT levels and possible new …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Jun 2016

Gartner: Brexit to wipe $4.6bn off tech spending in Blighty

BREXIT Crystal ball strokers at Gartner have calculated Brexit will wipe $4.6bn off the value of tech spending in the UK this year, and the resulting Sterling currency volatility will force US vendors to hike prices. Gartner hit the emergency button this morning following the vote, and re-forecast earlier projections from 1.7 per …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Jun 2016

Vendors suspend tech orders as Brexit slaps Brit pound

BREXIT If there is one thing the IT industry despises it is uncertainty and there was lashing of the stuff poured across the UK following the Brexit vote. Most major vendors already came out in favour of the Remain camp - including Microsoft, IBM, HPE, SAP, EMC, Cisco and many others - the result was so unexpected for the community …
Paul Kunert, 24 Jun 2016
huawei store in shanghai , china   http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-511162p1.html?cr=00&pl=edit-00 by J. Lekavicius /Shutterstock - EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Huawei: Come 2017, we'll also deal in pure, uncut software

OPNFV Summit Huawei is poised to make its big push into flogging pure software products next year - an area its cloudy chief architect believes will come to dominate other parts of the biz. Speaking at the the open-source network function virtualisation (OPNFV) project summit in Berlin, Uli Kleber, chief architect of cloud platform for its …
Kat Hall, 23 Jun 2016
Poster for the movie Cable Guy. Copyright:  Columbia Pictures Corporation,

Linux's NFV crew: Operators keen to ditch clunky networks, be 'cool' like, er, Facebook

OPNFV Summit Network operators have a jealous eye on the likes of Facebook and Google and want to ditch their clunky networks to compete for "cooler" consumer services, the head of the open-source network function virtualisation (NFV) project has said. Heather Kirksey is director of the collaborative Linux foundation's OPNFV project – the …
Kat Hall, 23 Jun 2016
Woman cuddles 'sly-looking' Fennec fox. Photo by Shutterstock

Put storage inside the individual hosts of a virtual cluster? You're CRAZY... Like a fox

Sysadmin blog Hyperconvergence, putting storage inside the individual hosts of a virtual cluster, was supposed to save us from the cost and expense of centralized storage. Thus far, mainstream providers of hyperconvergence have largely failed to deliver on this promise. 2016 looks set to be the year this finally changes. Nutanix has been …
Trevor Pott, 23 Jun 2016
shutterstock_184661174

Dell tempts hordes with MASSIVE DISCOUNTS on PCs

Dell is charming PC punters with a promo and the reaction is much the same as that of the ambassadors' guests when they were handed spherical balls of hazelnut goodness in the Ferrero Rocher ads. A Reg reader who is helping to prop up the PC industry by buying one, chanced upon the latest hot promo for an Inspiron 15 5000 …
Paul Kunert, 22 Jun 2016

Vanishing EMC golden handcuffs could cause brain drain

Stock option-incentivised EMC staff could brain drain out of the company as the Dell acquisition will cash-out their stock options, de-incentivising them. We're told by an EMC insider that: "All EMC golden handcuffs disappear at the Dell acquisition. That is, immediately prior to the acquisition, all EMC restricted stock units …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jun 2016
Girl and computer, photo via Shutterstock

UK's education system blamed for IT jobs going to non-Brits

Immigration is an issue swaying electorates around the world, including Britons, who will next week decide whether to leave the European Union and Americans, who will soon decide whether to vote for Donald Trump as president in November. While this is generally assumed to affect low-pay, low-skilled jobs, it can affect those in …
SA Mathieson, 17 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
recruitment_hired

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
Xerox split

Xerox lays out BPO breakup plan

Xerox has detailed the plans that will see the legendary compute company split itself into two different branches. The former photocopy king says that it has named Ashok Vemuri as the CEO of what will become the Xerox Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company. "Ashok's deep industry experience and proven track record of …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Jun 2016
 Can't See You... by https://www.flickr.com/photos/12023825@N04/  cc 2.0 attribution sharealike generic https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

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
A partially-eaten langos

Cisco is to spend $10m on infosec scholarships to 'widen talent pool'

Cisco is setting up a $10m scholarship fund to train the next generation of IT security staff. The Global Cybersecurity Scholarship Program will run for two years and will pay for 10,000 applicants to be trained in the art of cyber security. It includes a mentoring program to provide specialist knowledge. The basic coursework …
Iain Thomson, 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

Opinion

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
Stranded_ships

Chris Mellor

Thousands of layoffs announced as spinning rust enters its death spiral

Features

STRASBOURG, JUNE 29, 2016: The seat of the European Parliament. by Marco Aprile for shutterstock. EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Plan b, image via Shutterstock
EU workers, new markets: post-Brexit pressure on May & Co
Tough question, pic via Shutterstock
Honest mistake with your licensing? Audit police look at it on a 'case by case basis'