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Google and Microsoft are playing catchup with AWS's cloudy power

AWS continues to dominate the cloud infrastructure market but Microsoft and Google are growing faster than the book-punting behemoth, research from Canalys shows. None of which will be much comfort to the hardware vendors who have been wrong-footed by the speed at which the cloud has been embraced by their traditional business …
Joe Fay, 29 Jul 2016
Microsoft Lumia 640 XL

Microsoft buries the bad Windows Phone news: Mobile sales collapse

Microsoft has revealed how badly its Windows phone business has crashed via paperwork filed with America's financial regulator, the SEC. Nokia was shipping 7.3 million Lumias per quarter when the deal to acquire its phone unit was announced in September 2013. Nokia was shipping over 90 per cent of Windows Phones sold. But in …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Jul 2016
I quit

Comparex boss Mike Chambers packs bags and heads for hills

Comparex's veteran UK boss has left the Microsoft enterprise licensing reseller, the business has confirmed to The Channel. Mike Chambers was one of the early employees at the Harrow-on-the-Hill-based organisation, branded PC-WARE when he joined as managing director in 2004. “We can confirm that Mike Chambers has decided to …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jul 2016

Microsoft axes 2,850 more Windows Phone, sales staff – a week after Justin Timberlake sang on stage for them

Vid Microsoft is laying off a further 2,850 smartphone and sales staffers on top of the 1,850 workers it axed in May. The job cuts were revealed in paperwork filed on Thursday with US financial watchdog the SEC. The doomed staff will leave the business by the end of next June. They all work in Microsoft's sales teams and its …

XtremIO soap opera latest: Cofounder Ehud Rokach steps aside

Ehud Rokach, XtremIO's general manager and previously CEO before EMC bought it, is going to take a break from the biz he cofounded. His replacement is Dan Inbar, once CEO at N-trig, which Microsoft acquired, and a SanDisk exec. EMC announced Inbar’s appointment as CEO of XtremIO this week in Israel, where XtremIO is …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jul 2016

Bezos bags bonkers bucks as almighty AWS astounds again

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is on a roll after closing a financial quarter in which its operating income more than doubled. Amazon as a whole posted a solid quarter, with net sales of $30.4bn, up from $23.1bn, and net income of $857m, up from $92m. Much of that was due to the success of the cloud computing business. For the Q2 …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jul 2016
Google's Sundar Pichai, speaking at Google I/O 2015

Google, er, Alphabet takes on 10,000 more staff, banks more and more billions from ads

Alphabet, the holding company for Google and the Chocolate Factory's other concerns, has reported strong growth in the second quarter ending June 30, with revenues up 21 per cent from this time last year. Google made up the vast majority of this revenue, accounting for $21.3bn for the quarter, with the other parts of Alphabet …
Iain Thomson, 28 Jul 2016
Cloudy server conceptual illustration. Photo by Shutterstock

Larry Ellison's Oracle swallows Larry Ellison's part owned Netsuite for $9.3bn

Database titan Larry Ellison’s Oracle is slurping NetSuite - a company he and his family already own a big slice of - for a cool $9.3bn (£7bn) to help him compete better with Salesforce, another firm he part owns. The buy will see Oracle splash $109 per share on the first ever purveyor of software clouds: NetSuite was set up …
Kat Hall, 28 Jul 2016
rebranding

Skyscape rebrands to UKCloud following legal challenge by Sky

Hosting provider Skyscape is changing its name to UKCloud, following allegations from Sky that it has infringed the broadcaster's registered trademarks. In July 2014, Sky's solicitors wrote to Skyscape alleging that Skyscape was infringing registered trademarks owned by companies within the Sky Group. Sky pointed to the …
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
Panic button

It's 2016 and your passwords can still be sniffed from wireless keyboards

Millions of low-cost wireless keyboards are susceptible to a vulnerability that reveals private data to hackers in clear text. The vulnerability – dubbed KeySniffer – creates a means for hackers to remotely “sniff” all the keystrokes of wireless keyboards from eight manufacturers from distances up to 100 metres away. “When we …
John Leyden, 26 Jul 2016

Failing projects pray blockchain works as 'magic middleware'

“This is the year of pointless blockchain projects” and anything you build with blockchain will need to be ripped out and replaced within 18 months, according to Gartner fellow Ray Valdes. Speaking to The Register in Sydney today, Valdes said blockchain is among the most secure technologies he's ever seen, having survived …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Jul 2016
Liam Neeson Taken

Euro cops, Intel and Kaspersky slay Shade ransomware

A joint operation by Europol, the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit, Intel, and Kaspersky has seized the command and control servers for the Shade ransomware strain and published code that allows anyone hit by the malware to decrypt their files. Shade has been in circulation since 2014, and has predominantly targeted …
Iain Thomson, 25 Jul 2016
Dell e-commerce site

Revealed: How Dell can afford $67bn for EMC – by selling $650k laptops

World exclusive Dell's ingenious strategy for financing its audacious $67bn acquisition of EMC is a secret no more. Dell is already facing a staggering debt mountain to fund the takeover. Now a crack Reg investigative team can reveal that the Round Rock computing giant has an ambitious plan in place to raise the cash necessary for the deal …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jul 2016
Twilight Zone, 'Time Enough At Last'

Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade offer runs out this Friday, 29 July 2016, one year after the initial release, and a few days before the Anniversary Update. "This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – …
Tim Anderson, 22 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
Goldfish, image via shutterstock

Oracle tools up for cloud wars with sales re-org

Oracle has shaken up its sales force to drive cloud business, multiple sources have told The Register. The task of pushing Oracle cloud services, flagship database and middleware was handed exclusively to Oracle’s field sales operation. On-premise apps - eBusiness Suite, PeopleSoft, Siebel - have gone to the phone-based direct …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jul 2016

Official: AMD now stands for Avoiding Miserable Death

AMD fans are over the moon today as their favorite processor designer has sold more chips than expected in the three months to June 25. The Sunnyvale, California, biz beat analysts' estimates on revenue and earnings per share in a billion-dollar quarter that ended in the black rather than the usual red: the Radeon maker banked …
Chris Williams, 21 Jul 2016

Microsoft ordered to fix 'excessively intrusive, insecure' Windows 10

Updated A French regulator has issued Microsoft a formal warning over Windows 10, saying the operating system collects excessive amounts of personal data, ships that information illegally out of the EU, and has lousy security. The warning comes from the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), an independent data …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2016
Tough question, pic via Shutterstock

Question: What's missing in Microsoft's data science professional degree?

Comment Microsoft grabbed the headlines this week when it announced a Professional Degree Program at its annual partner conference. It starts with data science. Microsoft claims to have consulted data scientists and companies that employ them in order to ensure students the core skills for a job in this extremely hot field of …
Andrew Cobley, 20 Jul 2016
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft Azure doubles up to $800m a quarter – and is wiped out by dying phone sales

Analysis All eyes were on Microsoft's cloud business today as it published its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results. Amid the numbers, Redmond boasted that its Azure revenues from the quarter were up 102 per cent year-on-year – we estimate the cloud service's revenue to be about $800m in total for the period. Meanwhile, …
Iain Thomson, 20 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
Chain expressing freedom (Stepph / Wikimedia)

VMware's past holds the key to the future of Microsoft's Azure Stack

By most accounts VMware's first stab at hyperconvergence, the EVO:RAIL software-defined Nutanix clone, was a decent set of software. But it failed, quickly, and has been quietly removed from the frontline. The reason why is simple: in its first incarnation VMware insisted that EVO:RAIL buyers acquire new vSphere licences. …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jul 2016

Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018

When Windows 10 launched, Microsoft claimed it would have the new operating system on a billion devices by mid-2018. That isn't going to happen, however, Redmond has now admitted. For the past year, Microsoft has offered the new OS as a free upgrade for both desktop and mobile users (provided the phone can handle it in the …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jul 2016
Privacy image

Cloud giants demand overhaul of America's privacy rules on overseas servers

Technology trade organizations have urged the US Congress to replace the country's antique privacy protection laws – after a New York court stopped American prosectors from seizing emails from servers offshore in Ireland. A Second Circuit Court in the so-called "Irish Warrant" case, brought by Microsoft against the US …
Andrew Orlowski, 15 Jul 2016
Upset man in suit and drinking liquor. Photo by Shutterstock

One in five consumers upgraded to Win10 for free instead of buying a PC

Microsoft’s free upgrade of Windows 10 hit PC makers where it hurt though the extent of this was apparently a surprise to the software giant, data druids at Gartner have claimed. According to a survey by the holders of the Magic Quadrant, one in five consumers that upgraded to the free version of the OS decided they didn’t …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jul 2016

Microsoft wins landmark Irish data slurp warrant case against the US

Updated Microsoft has won a landmark legal action against the US government over protecting the privacy of non-US citizens on non-US servers. The appeals court decision invalidates a key legal tool the US government uses to apply extraterritorially. The software company voluntarily put itself in contempt of court by challenging Uncle …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Jul 2016

Congrats, Linux users – you're finally officially alpha males... on Skype

Microsoft-owned Skype today released a new Linux client that hopes to address some of the complaints users have had with the chat app for months. The VoIP giant says the new alpha build of the Skype-for-Linux software can make and receive Skype calls from people running the latest OS X and Windows Skype clients and the alpha …
Shaun Nichols, 13 Jul 2016
Microsoft Windows Server 2016: launch and pricing details have been announced

Windows Server-as-a-service: Microsoft lays out Server 2016's future

Microsoft has released details of how Windows Server 2016 will be released and maintained, and as with Windows 10 it includes a "Windows as a service" model of frequent operating system updates. Windows Server 2016 will be launched at the company's Ignite conference, which runs from September 26 to 30 in Atlanta, Georgia. As …
Tim Anderson, 12 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
Windows 10 waterdrops, photo by Anton Watman via Shutterstock

You can buy Windows 10 Enterprise E3 access for the price of a coffee

WPC 2016 Microsoft is moving into new as-a-service pricing and bundling territory with the full-fat version of Windows 10 Enterprise. Today Redmond announced it is releasing Windows 10 Enterprise E3, which would normally be reserved for big operations and sold via Microsoft's volume-purchase programs, at a price of $7 per seat per …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Jul 2016

Don't doubt it, Privacy Shield is going to be challenged in court

Analysis The European Union's attempts to make data transfers to the United States compliant with privacy laws are an opaque exercise, so much is obvious, but will they work? It's clear that it is necessary to retain the Transatlantic data trade – in economic terms, but also as a means of preventing the Balkanization of the internet. …
Power outage

4-day Fasthosts outage: Customers' sites go TITSUP

Hosting provider Fasthosts has been hit with an outage lasting four days, which has knocked some customers' sites offline due a number of its cloudy services being out of action. According to the Gloucester-based provider's service update page: "Over the weekend one of our platform specialists, in conjunction with Dell and …
Kat Hall, 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
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
The revised Start menu in Windows 10 Anniversary

Win 10 Anniversary: 'We're beginning to check in final code' says Microsoft

Microsoft has released build 14383 of Windows 10 Anniversary, for both PC and mobile, in preparation for its public launch on August 2nd 2016. Most "Insider" builds feature a watermark on the desktop, showing the version and build number, but that has gone in this build. "This is because we’re beginning to check in final code …
Tim Anderson, 08 Jul 2016
Gridstore HCA

Gridstore eyes up container upstart DCHQ

Updated Hyper-V-based hyper-converged startup Gridstore is in talks to buy DCHQ. Gridstore had hoped to formally announce the acquisition today, but told The Register the deal is still being worked out. It also considered renaming itself Hypergrid after completing the transaction. Gridstore pressed the eject button for CEO George …
Chris Mellor, 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
Statler and Waldorf - copyright - The Walt Disney company - the muppets studio

Microsoft's cringey 'Hey bae <3' recruiter email translated by El Reg

This week, Microsoft tried to connect with college-age kids, and it did not go over particularly well. An after-party invite sent out to interns in San Francisco tried its best to be cool, like fresh straight from the fridge daddy-o cool. The end result was predictable. My roommate received this email from a Microsoft …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Jul 2016
Partnership

Microsoft boutiques club together for E5 licensing assault

A handful of Microsoft boutiques are linking arms in a bid to win E5 licensing deals against the bulky resellers and global integrators. E5, sold on a subscription, covers Azure, Enterprise Mobility Suite, Exchange, Office 365 and Office Delve, One Drive, Power BI, Project, SharePoint, Skype for Business, SQL Server and Yammer …
Paul Kunert, 06 Jul 2016
Car on Monopoly board. PHOTO BY Kamira, editorial use ONLY VIA SHUTTERSTOCK

Microsoft devolves sales ops powers to the UK

Microsoft has finally admitted its internal systems aren’t up to the job as it devolves control of sales operations from a centralised team in Europe to certain local country teams including the UK. Clare Barclay, GM for small, medium solutions and partners at the vendor, confirmed the shift will take place from “early 2017” …
Paul Kunert, 05 Jul 2016
Lawyer up

Prominent Brit law firm instructed to block Brexit Article 50 trigger

Law firm Mishcon de Reya has been instructed to launch a legal challenge to block Britain from leaving the European Union, in spite of the popular vote to leave the bloc. Solicitors and barristers from Mishcon de Reya are working with Blackstone, Matrix and Monckton Chambers to argue Article 50 of the European Union – the …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Jul 2016

Microsoft: Enterprise Advantage will be 'a step in quite a long journey to modernize our licensing'

Recognizing it has to do something about its tortuous licensing deals, Microsoft has come up with a new program: Enterprise Advantage. Enterprise Advantage – not be confused with an Enterprise Agreement – will be available from early 2017 to companies with a Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA). It's aimed at …
Chris Williams, 04 Jul 2016

Sources: Nutanix poised to gobble PernixData

Exclusive Four independent sources say hyper-converged poster child Nutanix is buying hypervisor flash-cacher PernixData, thus gaining crucial technology to speed up its appliances. A Nutanix spokesman told us: "No comment." A PernixData spokesperson added: "We are not commenting at this time." A PernixData insider told The Register: " …
Chris Mellor, 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
Man in suit counts out piles of dollars. Photo via Shutterstock

Embiggening AWS doubles its UK sales to £254m

Cloud slinging (and tax avoiding) Amazon Web Services nearly doubled its revenue in the UK last year, pulling in £254m. According to analyst TechMarketView's annual Software, IT & Business Process Services (SITS) report, the cloudy biz pushed up sales locally by 45 per cent, a foothold that will likely increase once AWS sets …
Kat Hall, 01 Jul 2016
recruitment_hired

Microsoft names Cindy Rose as first first lady of UK ops

The fires were lit and a chicken sacrificed at Microsoft’s Reading HQ campus today as new UK CEO Cindy Rose was sworn in* - the first female to run the business locally. Rose was poached from Vodafone where she was head of the consumer division. 1 July was her official start date though she won’t slip into the CEO hot seat for …
Paul Kunert, 01 Jul 2016
Sun shines on the clouds. Photo by Shutterstock

Brexit, schmexit: BT and Oracle join hands for a cloudy tryst

BT has hopped into bed with Oracle in a deal that promises to provide the underlying network connectivity for Oracle’s hybrid cloud. BT Cloud Connect for OracleFastConnect is built on BT’s IP Connect virtual private network (VPN) and will link customers' on-premises IT to Oracle data centres in London or Amsterdam. The deal …
Kat Hall, 29 Jun 2016
A man refusing

No means no: Windows 10 nagware's red X will stop update – Microsoft

Microsoft will change the controversial way it has been force-feeding people Windows 10 upgrades. The Redmond spreadsheet maker said that when someone clicks on the red "X" to close its infamous your-Windows-10-upgrade-is-ready pop-up, they will actually hold off the installation rather than accept it. One-way dialog ... The …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jun 2016

'I urge everyone to fight back' – woman wins $10k from Microsoft over Windows 10 misery

A California woman has won $10,000 from Microsoft after a sneaky Windows 10 update wrecked the computer she used to run her business. Now she's urging everyone to follow suit and "fight back." Teri Goldstein – who manages a travel agency in Sausalito, just north of San Francisco – told The Register she landed the compensation …

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'