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Dead battery

Microsoft releases firmware fix for faulty Surface Pro 3 batteries

Frustrated Surface Pro 3 customers unable to properly charge their batteries have been offered a fix by Microsoft. Last month Microsoft 'fessed up to its battery woes, saying they were down to software problems rather than a hardware fault. Some Surface Pro 3 devices have been working as long as the power is plugged in, but …
Kat Hall, 30 Aug 2016
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and Dell CEO Michael Dell at VMworld 2016

Michael Dell promises new EMC/Dell/VMware engineered systems

Michael Dell today told VMworld 2016 in Las Vegas that as soon as the deal to acquire EMC closes “you will see a whole new series of engineered solutions we have been working on together.” The “we” is Dell, EMC and VMware, as Dell made the remarks while sharing a stage with VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger. Dell, the man, didn't say …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Aug 2016

Corporates ARE sniffing around Windows 10, says Computacenter

Bulky corporate enterprise punters are starting to fall for the, ahem, charms of Windows 10, Computacenter's chief executive claimed today as he flashed his firm’s calendar first half-year trading figures. Mike Norris, boss of the London-listed services-based reseller, said the pending contract sign-off for managed services …
Paul Kunert, 26 Aug 2016
LInux nutella

Linux turns 25, with corporate contributors now key to its future

On August 25th, 1991, an unknown Finnish developer posted the following to the comp.os.minix newsgroup: Hello everybody out there using minix - I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing since april, and is starting to get ready. I'd …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2016
Robots, image via Shutterstock

Microsoft buys Genee's lamp, tips it into Office 365, smashes lamp

Microsoft has bought aspiring digital assistant start-up Genee and will roll it into Office 365. Billed by Microsoft as an “artificial-intelligence-powered scheduling service,” Genee uses natural-language queries to set up tasks. In its beta phase the service was available free of charge. The service will now, however, shut …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Aug 2016
Smartphone user photo via Shutterstock

iPhone: Apple's Mac battle with Windows rebooted

Apple under Tim Cook has delivered six new makes of iPhone, with a further four derivations based on the overall brand. The future, according to Cook this week, looks an awful lot like Apple’s recent past – especially if you happen to live in India, which is the new China in terms of tech firms looking to tap a vast and …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Aug 2016
Amazon Workspaces on an iPad

Amazon now renting cloudy desktops for $0.22 an hour

Amazon Web Services' “Workspaces” desktop-as-a-service offering can now be paid for by the hour. Workspaces are a cut of Windows Server 2008 with a Windows 7 skin and are consumed with a custom client application. Until today, the service was sold by the month for a fixed price that included storage. That's now called the “ …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2016

The calm before the storm: AMD's Zen bears down on Intel CPUs

AMD is continuing to drip feed information about Zen, its long-awaited designed-from-scratch x86 processor microarchitecture. Zen is a big deal, or rather needs to be a big deal, for AMD because its previous Bulldozer microarchitecture was, well, bulldozed by Intel's Core series. Thus, AMD needs Zen to succeed in order to win …
Chris Williams, 18 Aug 2016

Adapt is finally bought by American biz Datapipe

Struggling London-based managed service provider (MSP) Adapt has fallen into the arms of acquisitive US firm Datapipe for an undisclosed amount. After its acquisition of cloudy startup DualSpark last year, Datapipe has now purchased UK-based pure-play MSP Adapt to offer itself a bit more in the European market. New Jersey- …

Hyper-converged top-of-the-pops list is out: Guess who hasn't crushed it?

Surprise, surprise: EMC is not top of the hyper-converged charts … yet. Forrester’s Hyper-converged Infrastructure (HCI) Wave report for 2016’s third quarter looks at the top dozen HCI suppliers and rates them into four categories – leaders, strong performers, contenders and challengers. A square sectioned into four quarter- …
Chris Mellor, 17 Aug 2016
Data_image_via_Shutterstock

Summer of Salesforce: CRM cloud swallows tiny pattern-recog firm

Salesforce has made its second acquisition of the month, and its fourth since June. The CRM-as-a-service player is buying business analytics provider BeyondCore for an undisclosed sum. BeyondCore examines data sets using pattern-recognition technology using a set of patented algorithms that combine machine learning and …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Aug 2016
Girder photo via Shutterstock

Microsoft: Why we had to tie Azure Stack to boxen we picked for you

Microsoft has explained the rationale behind last month’s announcement that you won’t be allowed to simply download Azure Stack and get going. In July Redmond informed fans the only way they’d be able to get Azure in their own data centres would be on hardware of its choosing. Specifically, Azure Stack will only come pre- …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Aug 2016

How do you securely exchange encrypted-decrypted-recrypted data? Ask Microsoft

Microsoft researchers are working to enable secure data exchange in the cloud for applications. The work is designed to resolve the dilemma that to store data in the cloud it needs to be encrypted but to process this data it needs to be decrypted, leaving it potentially open to attack. This tradeoff between data usability and …
John Leyden, 12 Aug 2016
azure_cloud_in_a_box

Azure clusters use 880 servers. Azure Stack-in-a-box will run on four

Microsoft has revealed that its forthcoming Azure Stack will be able to run on as few as four servers and will also be able to play nice with its earlier cloud-in-a-box efforts. Azure Stack is designed to distil Redmond's public cloud into on-premises hardware, a task Microsoft's group program manager for Azure Stack …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2016
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

Adobe stops software licence audits in Americas, Europe

Adobe has stopped doing software licence audits in most parts of the world, according to Gartner research director Stephen White. White recently blogged about Adobe's decision, writing that “These programs were closed in the North America, Japan and Latin America markets as of November 2015. Closure of the EMEA program is …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2016
Exploding Kitten Goal Cartoon

Business users force Microsoft to back off Windows 10 PC kill plan

Microsoft has backed down on its plan to hustle owners of certain PCs to Windows 10 by crimping support options. Redmond revealed the plan last January, when it decreed that PCs running 6th-generation Core i5 or Core i7 CPUs and Windows 7 would only get limited security and stability support until mid-2017. By March it backed …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2016
Virtual servers

Reds are infiltrating VMs, says new x86 virt Supernatural Square

Gartner's annual Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure has escaped into the wild, with a suggestion the Reds are taking over. One Red, Red Hat, has moved from the “niche players” category of the quadrant into the visionaries square, on the strength of “a strong tie between KVM adoption and OpenStack, as …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2016

Bungling Microsoft singlehandedly proves that golden backdoor keys are a terrible idea

Updated Microsoft leaked the golden keys that unlock Windows-powered tablets, phones and other devices sealed by Secure Boot – and is now scrambling to undo the blunder. These skeleton keys can be used to install non-Redmond operating systems on locked-down computers. In other words, on devices that do not allow you to disable Secure …
Chris Williams, 10 Aug 2016
Tape over mouth, image via Shutterstock

Rackspace CEO: Yes, Brexit has hit us, yes we sold our Cloud Sites biz

Rackspace execs confirmed the sale of its Cloud Sites hosting sub to Liquid Web but ignored the white elephant in the room that Apollo Global is reportedly in talks to slurp the entire organisation. The private equity house might well end up taking Rackspace private again in a deal valued at up to $4bn, buying the company time …
Paul Kunert, 09 Aug 2016
Metropolitan police image via Shutterstock

London's Met Police has missed the Windows XP escape deadline

London’s Metropolitan Police has missed its deadline to dump Windows XP, with tens of thousands of copper still running the risky OS. The force, on the front line against terrorist threats and criminals in the capital city, is running Windows XP on around 27,000 PCs. At last count, in May 2015, the Met had a total of 35,640 …
Gavin Clarke, 09 Aug 2016

Windows 10 Anniversary Update is borking boxen everywhere

Users are reporting that upgrading to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update renders their PCs unusable. A lengthy Reddit thread explains the problem: the Anniversary Update installs just fine, but when users re-start their PCs after the upgrade … nothing happens. Users report that their PCs simply hang on restart, sometimes …
Team Register, 08 Aug 2016
Tarah Wheeler

Symantec appoints first cybersecurity czar to woo hacking talent

DEF CON Hardcore hackers and the corporate security industry have never really got on that well. Symantec is looking to change that after hiring Tarah Wheeler to act as its website cybersecurity czar. Wheeler has a long career in the IT industry, including stints at Microsoft and Blackphone-maker Silent Circle. Both of her parents …
Iain Thomson, 06 Aug 2016
Boy two fingers, photo via Shutterstock

Microsoft: You liked Windows 10 so much, you'll get 2 more in 2017

Microsoft is planning two releases of Windows 10 in 2017. The giant has said there will be no new features coming for the rest of 2016, so the plan is for “two additional feature updates” in 2017. Microsoft folded the news inside the overall headline grabber on Windows 10 Anniversary Update on August 2. There were no more …
Gavin Clarke, 05 Aug 2016
Nerd super hero photo via Shutterstock

Quip away, but Microsoft Excel 365's REST APIs win the day

Salesforce has splashed out $582m on what some hail as its alternative to MS Word. Without spending anything, Microsoft has shown the true meaning of power. For years, it has been macro makers who have done the daily work of making Office more and more useful to end users, embedding it more into daily working life. Now, as …
Gavin Clarke, 05 Aug 2016

Microsoft has stopped cutting sales fees for resellers? Yep

Microsoft has quit hacking into fees paid for channel software sales, and reselling clouds is getting more profitable – these seemed to be the major takeaways from top brass at Insight Enterprises in an enterprising Q2. Revenue at group level went up two per cent to $1.46bn, but this top line expansion was driven purely by the …
Clodagh Doyle, 04 Aug 2016
Privacy

Microsoft adds new 'Enterprise Products' section to privacy policy

Microsoft has updated its privacy policy and, for the first time, added a section devoted to “Enterprise Products.” The new section is the listed last in Microsoft's privacy policy and covers “those Microsoft products and related offerings that that are offered or designed primarily for use by organizations and developers.” …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Aug 2016
Elvis in Las Vegas. EDItorial use only - photo by Maridav via Shutterstock

VMworld 2016: What happens in Vegas ... could be just a desert trip

Sysadmin Blog VMworld 2016 is just around the corner. While some are giving VMworld a pass in 2016, things are looking up from earlier this year. If you don't mind Vegas in the summer, it might be worth your while. VMworld's return to Vegas marks something of a turning point for VMware. Over the past several years VMware has seemed to be in …
Trevor Pott, 03 Aug 2016
Microsoft's HoloLens Augmented Reality headset

Microsoft debuts VR management suite as it expands HoloLens sales

Microsoft has started selling its HoloLens virtual reality headsets to all of its business customers and developer partners in the United States of America and Canada. Redmond's still not offering the finished product – only a “Development Edition” is on sale for now. But at least the hardware is now being offered to anyone …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Aug 2016

Windows 10 Anniversary Update: This design needs a dictator

Hands on If you’ve travelled at all around suburban or rural Greece, Turkey or North Africa you’ll wonder why almost every other house seems to be permanently under construction. There’ll be a house extension underway that can take decades to complete. Sometimes it’s because there just aren’t enough builders or because more tax has to be …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Aug 2016
Windows 10 Anniversary Update, showing the new three-column Start menu

Windows 10: Happy with Anniversary Update?

The Big Review One year after the launch of Windows 10, Microsoft has released the Anniversary Update, bringing new features as well as usability tweaks to the operating system. Windows 10 was always more than just another release. Notable innovations include the concept of Windows-as-a-service, with regular updates (free for consumer …
Tim Anderson, 02 Aug 2016
Spritam 3D printed pills

Tablet sales remain bitter, but Nougat tipped to sweeten the market

Tablet computer sales are sliding, sharply, again. Analyst firms IDC and Canalys both today released their assessments of recent sales and the numbers are ugly. IDC was able to count 38.7 million shipments for Q2, 2016. That's a year-over-year fall of 12.3 per cent. Canalys' numbers found 35 million shipments, down 16 per …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Aug 2016
handshake_648

Salesforce's US$582m giggle: It buys cloud collaboration biz Quip

Salesforce has decided there's money in boring stuff: it's bought into office productivity with the acquisition of document/spreadsheet collaboration outfit Quip. That purchase means the cloudy CRM vendor is trying a move that's failed many times before, namely trying to find a profitable niche for a Microsoft Office …
Ten fingers with windows flag

Windows 10 grabs 22 per cent desktop market share in a year

Windows 10 has grabbed more than 20 per cent of the world's desktops in its first year, according to the web-watchers on which The Register relies for regular assessments of operating system market share. Those watchers are Netmarketshare and StatCounter, which now have data covering the entire year since Redmond shoved …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Aug 2016
recruitment_hired

Ognall quits NetApp, heads to Microsoft ERP biz QuantiQ

Industry veteran Simon Ognall is quitting as head of NetApp’s channel to conduct the sales orchestra at Microsoft ERP specialist QuantiQ. Ognall was one of the early hires at Microsoft enterprise licensing outfit Bytes Technology Group that was eventually sold to USKO and he subsequently set up rival Teksys which was bought by …
Paul Kunert, 01 Aug 2016
dollar_graph_648

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

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'