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Trillian chats to a depressed Marvin the Robot in the 2005 film version of Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy. C Walt Disney Pictures

Food for Deep Thought: 42 is IBM's answer to Life, the Universe and Everything...

Analysis Deep Thought calculated the number 42 to be the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything. Over at IBM it was the frequency the word "transform" was used to explain another dire quarter. The supercomputer in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy took 7.5 million years to determine the importance of …
Paul Kunert, 29 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

Oof! Acer suffers 25 per cent hit to PC sales in turbulent Q1

Acer and Lenovo's PC sales tumbled during the first three months of 2016 as the EMEA market contracted by 10 per cent, according to Gartner. While everybody except Asus was down compared to 12 months ago, Acer was the single biggest loser. The ailing notebook maker shipped 26.4 per cent fewer PCs – 1.5m units – leaving it …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Apr 2016

Server vendors? Pah, they're mere resellers

Comment A few days ago Dell announced that they are reselling hyper-convergence solutions bundling software coming from Nutanix and VMware – and possibly others, too. From my point of view this is not a good strategy. Yes, it will boost some sales in the short term, but what is your differentiator in the long term? What is your value …
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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 ( …

Dell/EMC will rule the cloud, for a while

Once Dell gobbles EMC for good, the combined company will rule the cloud. That's The Register's conclusion after grabbing analyst firm IDC's abacus and having somee fun with its latest Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker, the data it publishes after combining sales of servers, storage, and Ethernet switches by …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Apr 2016
Afraid of the dark, image via Shutterstock

Shall we? Shan't we? Nutanix inches towards IPO

Background + Comment Nutanix has filed an updated pre-IPO document indicating it could IPO sooner rather than later this year. The hyper-converged systems market, in which single scale-out products combine server compute, storage, networking and hypervisor software in one orderable entity with virtual SAN capability, is hot. In recent weeks: …
Chris Mellor, 08 Apr 2016
Terry Jones and John Cleese perform the Monty Python Whicker Island sketch

SimpliVity slips Hyper-V into its hyper-converged party

The “V” in SimpliVity now stands for Hyper-V as well as virtualisation, with the startup adding Microsoft hypervisor support to its existing vSphere and KVM use. Its OmniStack is a hyper-converged product, combining and integrating compute, network and storage with ASIC-accelerated X86 server base hardware, and, up to now, the …
Chris Mellor, 06 Apr 2016
Horse_racing

Hyper-converged prospects? Thanks to firm-gobbling habit and OEM deal, Dell has 3

EMC-Dell deal Dell has three horses in the hyper-converged system race: VMware’s VSAN colt, EMC’s ScaleIO mustang and OEM’d Nutanix’s filly. Come 2017, VMware and EMC should be inside Dell and eyes will look quizzically at the Dell Nutanix OEM deal. Specifically, Dell says it has the broadest hyper-converged stable offering available from …
Chris Mellor, 05 Apr 2016

HPE adds power-fail-protected NVDIMM tech to servers

HPE's ProLiant Gen9 servers now support Persistent Memory, non-volatile memory, enabling customers to expand in-memory app usage and get faster analytics and database processing by avoiding disk and SSD IO. HPE says it will provide up to two-times-faster SQL Server database logging performance and up to four-times-faster SQL …
Chris Mellor, 31 Mar 2016
Lenovo_RD450_detail

Nexenta wins Lenovo as server partner

Lenovo and Nexenta are developing combined System X X86 server/DAS/NexentaStor software offerings, joint go-to-market strategies, and Lenovo service and support. Lenovo is the third-largest server shipper worldwide. Nexenta’s NexentaStor offers open source storage software offering file and block access scalable out to …
Chris Mellor, 30 Mar 2016
Railway line split. Pic: Ian Sane

Troubled Acer is going to chop itself into three bite sized chunks

Management head-to-wall banging at Acer has seemingly inspired a novel idea to fix the things that are wrong the business - more restructuring. Well done, C-suite execs! Bonuses all round! The new design for Acer, if Digi Times is right, is to turn itself into a holding company to attract new investors and carve the business …
Paul Kunert, 23 Mar 2016
A cute cat in a jumper waves goodbye.... Pic via Shutterstock

Lenovo says bye-bye to key exec amid massive spring reorganisation

Lenovo is embarking on the mother of all spring cleans after digesting the acquisitions of Motorola and IBM’s volume server biz. The group is re-arranging execs and the business units they steer amid numerous sector challenges, including the weakened state of demand for traditional PCs, tabs and smartphones, or the sales hit …
Paul Kunert, 21 Mar 2016
Amazon data center

2015 server sales hit all-time record of 9.7m machines

The global server industry is in rude health, clocking up a record 9.7 million shipments in 2015 and hauling US$55.1 billion through the door along the way. That's eight per cent more revenue and 4.9 per cent more shipments than recorded in 2014, according to analyst firm IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker. Cloud is …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Mar 2016
China

ODMs feast on server sales bonanza as IT buyers ignore price rises

The march of Far East Original Design Manufacturers into a server industry traditionally dominated by the big brands continued in Q4, official stats revealed today. According to abacus fondler Gartner, global server sales climbed by 8.2 per cent year-on-year to $15.13bn on the back of a 9.2 per cent spike in shipments to 2. …
Paul Kunert, 09 Mar 2016
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Lenovo, Juniper in hyper-converged mashup.... hang on, who's doing storage?

Lenovo and Juniper have set up a strategic alliance to build converged, hyper-converged and hyper-scale data centre infrastructure products for enterprise and web-scale customers. Lenovo contributes x86-based servers and switches. Juniper has a portfolio of routers, switches, network management software, network security …
Chris Mellor, 09 Mar 2016
K2

HPE has released a Gen 2 hyperconverged... er, thingy. Here's the lowdown

HPE is nothing if not persistent. Having launched a hyperconverged appliance that was half the price of Nutanix last August it’s now going to launch a better one – one that’s 20 per cent lower than Nutanix's cost. Sounds odd, and that’s not the only odd aspect. The new HCIA was described in HPE’s Q1 fiscal year 2016 earnings …
Chris Mellor, 07 Mar 2016
Stop Light by Horia Varlan, CC license from Flickr

Broker DP Data Systems calls time on selling grey imports

Manchester-based broker DP Data Systems will no longer trade in “grey” market tech, according to its boss. Of course, this will only be the case once a new home is found for existing inventory already in the warehouse. The company told us it has just “ceased” buying grey market kit, which IT vendors term as any product …
Paul Kunert, 07 Mar 2016
china_future_648

Tech Data signs data centre kit slinger Quanta in big local sales deal

Mega hardware vendors beware: the big gun Taiwanese contract manufacturers are stepping from out of the shadows to build local sales channels for their own branded hyper-scale bit barn gear. Tech Data, the world’s second largest IT distie, has inked a deal with Quanta Cloud Technology to sell servers, storage, network switches …
Paul Kunert, 02 Mar 2016
Hulk_Hogan

Cisco flexes its HyperFlex hyper-converged muscles

Cisco Partner Summit Let battle be joined; Cisco has re-entered the storage market via the hyper-converged infrastructure appliance door, with its HyperFlex* system able to separately scale performance and capacity. It uses Springpath HALO software, as many thought it would, and places Cisco in direct competition with other HCIA vendors, …
Chris Mellor, 01 Mar 2016
Liberty_by_Delacroix

Huawei, DataCore fire torpedoes into SPC-1 storage box benchmarks

Huawei has broken the 3 million IOPS barrier in the SPC-1 storage performance benchmark. Meanwhile, DataCore has shot past 1.5 million IOPS with staggeringly low latency and $/IOPS numbers. These two suppliers are virtually rewriting the future of SPC-1 performance. The Storage Performance Council's SPC-1 benchmark measures, …
Chris Mellor, 27 Feb 2016
Man runs as a fire engine pulls up to a burning building. Pic by Shutterstock

Official: Toshiba pulls out of European consumer PC market

Exclusive Scandal-hit Toshiba is slashing jobs across Europe as it beats a retreat from the region’s consumer PC market. Retailers are honouring existing orders for the first quarter of this year but are not placing any further ones, sources told us. Staff have been notified of the planned redundancies and a number put at risk. “We are …
Paul Kunert, 26 Feb 2016
recruitment_hired

Lenovo set to hire fresh top bod to run UK biz

Lenovo is tipped to make John Harber its next UK managing director, according to well placed industry sources. Harber is presently veep of global sales at wearables and peripherals vendor Jawbone but has agreed to join the Chinese biz and is understood to be working out his notice at his current employer. A change at the top …
Paul Kunert, 25 Feb 2016

Public enemies: Azure, Amazon, Google, Oracle, OpenStack, SoftLayer will murder private IT

Analysis On-premises IT is facing decimation by six public cloud enemies: Amazon, Azure, Google, OpenStack, Oracle and SoftLayer, who are on course to have the majority of customers' IT spend by 2018. An Internet retailer, started up as an online book store, and a website search facility have kickstarted an IT phenomenon which could …
Chris Mellor, 16 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
UK PC repair shop

Shopping for PCs? This is what you'll be offered in 2016

The personal computer market has been in the doldrums for years, with global sales falling under 300 million a year, slipping nine per cent in 2015 alone. But there are also some rays of light in the market, as Intel's predictions of a sales rebound were confirmed by a nice little bump in sales over Christmas, due in part to …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Feb 2016

Lenovo: China biz down, PC and mobile down

The relatively weaker economy in China and slumping demand for gadgets puts Lenovo between a rock and a hard place. The company spent last year swamped with PC stocks as it had failed to recognise the oncoming slowdown, but has of late started to clear the decks helped in part by write-downs in Europe. Evidence of this can be …
Paul Kunert, 04 Feb 2016
recruitment_hired

Azlan crowns Tomlin

Notorious self-licker Rob Tomlin has got even more reason to be pleased with himself after bagging the top job at Azlan UK, the enterprise distribution arm of Tech Data. The remit handed to Azlan’s former biz development director is to make more of IT security, the emerging software defined infrastructure space, and cloud …
Paul Kunert, 02 Feb 2016

Shocker: Clearing 2015's vast PC backlog was 'costly' for vendors

Stuffing European retailers and distributors’ shelves with PCs proved to be a pricey gamble that didn’t pay off for major suppliers: it took eleven months of last year and hefty price cuts to clear. Some 76.3 million computers were shipped into EMEA channels in 2015, down 18.2 per cent year-on-year, according to numbers from …
Paul Kunert, 26 Jan 2016
The Seeing Eye by Valerie Everett, Flickr, CC2.0

Computer sales not a matter of life and death, they're more important than that

Warmer business sentiments towards Windows 10, Intel’s latest chip architecture and stabilising currencies still won’t translate into swelling PC sales this year. The entrail pokers at Gartner have spoken, and while device shipments are tipped to grow 1.9 per cent in 2016 to 2.44bn units, it won’t be the classic computer that …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jan 2016
Microsoft monopoly

Microsoft herds biz users to Windows 10 by denying support for Win 7 and 8 on new CPUs

In a stunning example of consensus-building, Microsoft has somehow persuaded the big names of silicon that it would be better for all concerned if they quietly euthanize Windows 7 and 8.1. Accordingly, Redmond, Intel, Qualcomm and AMD have occupied the same room without injury long enough to promise that future products like …
Schoty_Abacus

IDC's abacus fiddlers say a third of all IT spend goes on cloud

IDC abacus acrobats have worked out that a third of IT infrastructure spend is going to the cloud, up from just under a quarter a year ago. In IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker it’s revealed that $7.6 Bn was spent on cloud IT infrastructure in the third 2015 quarter. IT infrastructure spend …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jan 2016

Intel Skylake delays, Win10 and stock glut blamed for Q4 PC sales shrinkage

PC sales into the EMEA channel bombed in Q4 - it was partly the fault of Microsoft for releasing a free upgrade to Win10 but mostly due to high stocks levels that continued to plague retailers and disties. The mages at Gartner estimated that 22.5 million boxes were shipped into third party sellers in the final quarter of 2015 …
Paul Kunert, 13 Jan 2016
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

The designer of the IBM ThinkPad has died

The ThinkPad’s answer to Johny Ive has died. Richard Sapper, a German industrial designer who orchestrated the look of the iconic laptop for IBM, was 83 years old. He designed lots more stuff - you can read his obituary here. We shall focus our commemoration on the IBM ThinkPad, which hit the business world in 1992 and …
Drew Cullen, 06 Jan 2016

Thinking of buying a Surface? Try a modular OLED Thinkpad first

Review Lenovo has announced almost two dozen new and refreshed models for 2016, including new arrivals to its staple Thinkpad X1, T series and X series business ranges. The most eye-catching of these is a serious Surface competitor, the X1 tablet. In the premium business segment – where Microsoft’s Surface is stealing all the oxygen …
Andrew Orlowski, 05 Jan 2016

Surface Pro 4: Will you go the F**K to SLEEP?

Review Against all predictions, Microsoft has made a profitable multi-billion dollar business out of a boutique tablet. It has also turned a bog standard commodity Thing - a Windows laptop - into something desirable. And it has done it all without fully answering the question “Why should I have one?” The Surface began life only three …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Dec 2015
Mountain. Pic: Henry Hemming

Seagate rolls storage kit for manufacturers down Dot Hill

Seagate is pushing out OEM products from its eyrie atop Dot Hill. These are for storage array suppliers, and based on its Dot Hill acquisition in August. It’s also tweaked the existing RealStor 6004 product. The acquisition cost was $694m, so Dot Hill, now in Seagate’s CSES (Cloud Systems and Electronics Solution) business …
Chris Mellor, 10 Dec 2015
Lenovo's HX series of hyperconverged appliances

Lenovo reveals its Nutanix hyper-spawn

Lenovo's relationship with Nutanix has been consumated, with the Chinese kit-maker revealing its hyperconverged boxen running the latter's software. There are three models in the “HX Series” of hyperconverged appliances. The HX3500 is a “compute-heavy” appliance aimed at desktop virtualisation and smaller virtual machine …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Dec 2015
storage arrays superimposed on cloudy sky

IBM, NetApp lose ground amid global storage systems growth, says IDC

IDC's quarterly storage tracker* has revealed that IBM and NetApp have lost the most ground, and HP and ODMs have gained most. Total worldwide enterprise storage systems factory revenue grew 2.8 per cent year on year to reach $9.13bn during the third quarter of 2015. In the total disk storage systems market EMC led the field …
Chris Mellor, 07 Dec 2015

Lenov-lol, a load of Tosh, and what the Dell? More bad holes found in PC makers' bloatware

In brief Lenovo laptops and PCs can be hijacked by visiting a malicious website – and Dell and Toshiba machines suffer vulnerabilities, too, we're told. If you're running the Lenovo Solution Center bundled with Lenovo gear, and you browse by an evil webpage, scripts on that page can run code with full system privileges on your computer …
Chris Williams, 05 Dec 2015
Horse_racing

Gartner: EMEA server market is two-horse race between Dell and HPE

The EMEA server market looks to be a two-horse race between Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell, according to Gartner. There was a relative spike in demand during calendar Q3 as shipments went up 1.4 per cent to 533,106 units and the value of those sales increased 3.7 per cent to an estimated $3bn - this followed a shrinking …
Paul Kunert, 02 Dec 2015
Windows Logo

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

Enterprise vendors get into the swing of Black Friday sales

Enterprise IT vendors are getting to the swing of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday discount consumption orgies. Dell has knocked 70 per cent off the US price of its PowerEdge T110 II, which at US$229.00 offers a Core i3 processor and 4GB of RAM but no OS or disk. That offer, and other discounted servers can be found here. …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Nov 2015
shutterstock_183801788_container ship

Brocade wrings profits from a steady-as-she-goes business

Analysis Brocade has jogged along nice and evenly for four years now, at around $2.25bn annual revenues with steadily rising profits, and its fiscal 2015 added a similar fifth year of pretty decent results. It saw $2.26bn in revenues and a $340m profit, while in full year 2014 it saw $2.21bn in revenues and a $238m profit, indicating …
Chris Mellor, 25 Nov 2015
recruitment_hired

Lenovo grabs HP Inc exec to run EMEA product and channel teams

Lenovo has scored a small win in its battle against big rival HP Inc by poaching an exec to run the product and channel teams across EMEA. Pascal Bourguet has left his HP post as veep for consumer PCs and mobility and will get his feet under his new desk from 1 March, Lenovo confirmed. The newbie will report to regional chief …
Paul Kunert, 24 Nov 2015
Dell Inspiron 15-7537

Superfish 2.0: Dell ships laptops, PCs with huge internet security hole

Dell ships computers with all the tools necessary for crooks to spy on the owners' online banking, shopping, webmail, and more. The US IT titan installs a powerful root CA certificate, including its private key, on its Windows notebooks and desktops. These can be abused by eavesdropping miscreants to silently decrypt encrypted …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Nov 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
Fujitsu Arrows NX F-04G

We are not getting out of PCs, says Fujitsu exec

Fujitsu is the latest bit part PC player to state its commitment to the product line, as it prepares to spin off the computer and mobile businesses into two separate subsidiaries. The units were part of the Ubiquitous Solutions division but at some point in the next 12 months will be distinct entities sitting under the Product …
Paul Kunert, 17 Nov 2015

Opinion

Walking on water, image via Shutterstock

Chris Mellor

IDC stats reveal who's who in the backup appliance bearpit
Carry on Cleo

Gavin Clarke

Infamy, infamy, Amazon and Microsoft have all got it in for me!

Tim Anderson

Also signals stronger cross-platform tools, access to new markets

Features

Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock
Shouting match
Single market vs. rest of the world
hacker
Mostly it's financial crime. Here's what all the cool kids' terms mean in English
Apple logo. Pic: Blake Patterson
Plenty of bumps in the 40-year road for Mac makers