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The big split

Systemax flogs German sub to CANCOM

The break up of Systemax’s European operations may have just started after it brokered a “definitive agreement” to sell the Misco German subsidiary to CANCOM for an undisclosed sum. Under the terms of the deal, staff and customer lists will be transferred to the new owner. The deal is subject to closing conditions and is …
Paul Kunert, 25 Jul 2016
A businessman in handcuffs

IT boss 'set up fake companies to charge his employers $2.4m'

A former lead systems engineer with a US software development company has been accused of laundering $2.4m (£1.8m) in an IT consulting scheme. The office of the Texas Attorney General has filed 11 counts of fraud and money laundering against Albert Shih-Der Chang, who worked at One Technologies, a Dallas-based firm that …
Shaun Nichols, 22 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

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
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
Woman at gym lifts weights with arms. Photo by Shutterstock

Softbank promises stronger ARM: Greater overseas reach and double the UK jobs

Brit-tech success poster child ARM holdings is to be acquired by Japanese telecom multinational Softbank. ARM, whose chip designs drive the majority of the world’s smartphones, is under offer for a remarkable £24.3bn - a premium of 43 per cent over current stock price. Softbank, whose last yearly revenue totalled 19.5 …
Gavin Clarke, 18 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
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
recruitment_hired

Dell and EMC name the captain who'll run their $36bn channel biz

Dell has chosen one-time AMD exec and its current veep of sales John Byrne to head up its near-$36bn turnover global channel biz, once it has swallowed EMC in the coming weeks. The $67bn buy of the storage giant is due to close late in July or early August, sources close to the situation told us, when the enlarged organ will …
Paul Kunert, 13 Jul 2016
Stranded_ships

Falling PC tide strands Seagate's disk drive boats. Will WDC follow?

Comment Seagate has announced its latest quarterly results will be unexpectedly good but there will be employee bloodshed. Another 6,500 layoffs on top of the 1,600 announced in June will take place. WDC did say it was cutting 507 US staff in June but these are the tip of an expected iceberg, which will see thousands of positions …
Chris Mellor, 12 Jul 2016
Smashed computer

Apple crumbles: Mac sales slump while Dell, HP Inc, Lenovo shift PCs

Apple was the biggest loser in a Q2 that saw PC shipments down across the board. Research house Gartner reports that on the year-ago quarter, global shipments fell by 5.2 per cent overall, though the North American market showed some signs of life with a modest 1.4 per cent gain. Globally, Lenovo remained the single biggest …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Jul 2016
A large hand flicks an icon of a little red man. Image via shutterstock (Lasse Kristensen)

Seagate defrags 14% of workforce: 6,500 axed

Seagate is cutting 6,500 staff, or 14 per cent of its 46,000-strong workforce, across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Those losing their jobs will shown the door over the next 12 months; the redundancies will cost the hard drive maker US$164m. These layoffs are on top of the 1,600 heads put at risk at the end …
Chris Williams, 11 Jul 2016
The British Pound - Sterling currency tumbles post Brexit

HP Inc: Double-digit bounce due on PC prices next month

HP Inc has blamed the wobbliness of the British pound for a double-digit price hike in the UK due to kick in from the start of next month on all its commercial PC kit – but for some reason the print range is to avoid the upward swing. Sterling has slumped to a 31-year low following the outcome of the EU referendum and some …
Paul Kunert, 11 Jul 2016
sale_648

HPE dumps software biz into the bargain bin

HP Enterprise (HPE) has reportedly begun entertaining offers to sell its software business. A report from Bloomberg cited sources familiar in claiming that CEO Meg Whitman is looking to sell some or all of HPE's software brands, including Vertica, Autonomy, and Mercury. Talks are said to still be in the early stages with no …
Shaun Nichols, 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
 Good GCSEs should cost parents a Jesus-phone

RM: School spending on tech is soft, soggy and downright subdued

School spending on tech remains “subdued”, according to specialist education supplier RM at the half-way stage of its fiscal year 2016, ended 31 May. Revenue slid 3.8 per cent year-on-year to £76.8m, but excluding the disposal of SpaceKraft, which made sensory learning devices for children with special needs, sales fell 1.4 …
Paul Kunert, 04 Jul 2016

Seagate axing 1,600 staff amid PC sales slump

Seagate is flinging about three per cent of the workforce overboard to cut its cloth to match crappy PCs sales. The drive maker lodged a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last night that stated a restructuring plan had been approved to “reduce its cost structure”. “The plan includes reducing the company’s …
Paul Kunert, 30 Jun 2016

Dixons, UK's fifth 'emergency service', brushes off Brexit scare stories

Dixon Carphone - which, god help us, wants to become the fifth emergency service in the UK - this morning played down the personal impact of market “volatility” that a post-Brexit vote will “inevitably” cause as it reported bumper profits for fiscal ’16. The retailer said like-for-like group sales edged up three per cent year- …
Paul Kunert, 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 …
sale

Intel mulls sale of Intel Security – reports

Opinion Intel is reportedly looking to offload its Intel Security arm. The IT giant is investigating options for Intel Security cyber security business, the FT reports. These options include selling off the security software business formerly known as McAfee that the chip-maker bought for $7.7bn back in August 2010. Intel is yet to …
John Leyden, 27 Jun 2016
angry_woman_mobile_cropped_648

Dev boss: What will Microsoft do with Windows 10 Mobile? Surprise – it's for work!

One of the puzzles about Microsoft’s platform in 2016 is Windows 10 Mobile. In the run-up to the launch of Windows 10 in July 2015, the plan seemed to be that a unified operating system across PC and mobile, combined with applications developed for the Universal Windows Platform (UWP), would boost Windows Phone and create a …
Tim Anderson, 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
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
Horses stampede, image via Shutterstock

Plump Dell lays its table for the upcoming HPC Stampede

Michael Dell is getting out the good china as his firm prepares to dine on a slice of the world's supercomputer market. Dell’s PC and server shop has rolled out a series of High Performance Computer Systems targeting applications in life sciences, manufacturing and research. They are: the HPC System for Life Sciences, …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jun 2016
Credit card theft

You Acer holes! PC maker leaks payment cards in e-store hack

Acer's insecure customer database spilled people's personal information – including full payment card numbers – into hackers' hands for more than a year. The PC maker has started writing to customers [PDF] warning that their personal records were siphoned off from its online store by crooks between May 12, 2015 and April 28, …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jun 2016

Fujitsu UK calls time on Entatech distie deal

Fujitsu has given Entatech their marching orders following a review of the UK line-up designed to tackle over-distribution, but it has granted a reprieve to Ingram Micro and Arrow ECS to get their act together. Kevin Matthews, UK sales director for Fujitsu’s Technology Products Group, said the review criteria involved sales, …
Paul Kunert, 14 Jun 2016

Fresh hell for TalkTalk customers: TeamView trap unleashed

TalkTalk customers are getting caught up in the TeamViewer remote-control PC seizure storm. Customers of the ISP with TeamViewer accounts say they are being hit by opportunists trying to seize control of their PCs. Faced with this fresh assault on their long-suffering customers’ privacy, TalkTalk’s board will discuss the …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Jun 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Dell slips into a slimmer red dress after sales diet

Dell had an unremarkable Q1 of fiscal 2017, with its parent Denali Holding Inc today reporting revenues down 2 per cent year on the year to $12.5bn, but greatly reduced operating losses, trimmed 52 per cent from $335m to $161m. The company burned through $63m in cash in the three months ended April 29 but this pointed to " …
Drew Cullen, 10 Jun 2016
 Good GCSEs should cost parents a Jesus-phone

Here's what six storage suppliers will be doing for the next year or two

Analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus' MD, Aaron Rakers, has had some fireside chats with senior execs from Brocade and QLogic, Pure and Nimble, Seagate and WDC at a Stifel Nicolaus Technology, Internet & Media Conference in San Francisco. The execs gave their thoughts on HDD demand, HAMR HDD tech, NVME over fabrics, Gen 6 Fibre …
Chris Mellor, 10 Jun 2016
hand with thumb up

Crysis creeps: Our ransomware locks network drives and PCs. Bargain

Cybercrooks have put together a new strain of ransomware that lifts corporate data as well as encrypting files on compromised computers. Crysis grabs admin privileges, collects the victim computer's name and some encrypted files before uploading them to a remote command and control server. The ransomware encrypts files on …
John Leyden, 10 Jun 2016

Microsoft offers Surface-as-a-Service from its own stores

First Microsoft turned Office into software-as-a-service. It's currently transforming Windows into Windows-as-a-service. And now it's decided that its Surface Pro typoslab should become Surface-as-a-service, to help businesses buy more of the hybrid machines. Surface-as-a-Service, or "Surface Membership" to use its proper name …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016
Slippery slope sign

PC market sinking even faster than first thought, thanks to Windows 10

The abacus-shufflers of analyst firm IDC have revised their 2016 PC sales forecasts downwards. The firm now says PC shipments “... are forecast to decline by 7.3% year over year”. That's “roughly two per cent below earlier projections as conditions have been weaker than expected.” The firm names “weak currencies, depressed …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jun 2016
Lenovo Phab2 Pro Tango phone

It takes two to Tango: Lenovo bets on phabs, snap-on smartphones

Lenovo hopes its new smartphones and new phablets will help reverse its tumble in the mobile market. The Chinese computing giant took the stage in San Francisco Thursday to unveil its long-awaited Phab 2 family – which includes its Google Project Tango-enabled phablet – as well as a revamped line of Moto Android smartphones. …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jun 2016
Lenovo_runners

Lenovo embiggens storage offerings with Cloudian and Nexenta

Chinese smartphone, tablet, notebook, PC, server and storage vendor Lenovo is spreading its storage wings, striking software deals with Cloudian and Nexenta. It has announced factory-integrated products in OEM-style deals using Lenovo servers: DX8200C – Cloudian-based object storage DX8200N – Nexenta-based unified file and …
Chris Mellor, 07 Jun 2016
Intel experience store Taipei

Windows 10 market share jumps two per cent

Microsoft's sometimes hard-ball tactics to get people running Windows 10 look like they're working. All three of the desktop OS market share data sources we track report a nice bump for Win 10 in May. Desktop OS market share March to May 2016 Desktop OS market share March to May 2016. Click here to enlarge There's the …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Jun 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Michael Dell bought his PC biz for a bargain, must get checkbook out for stiffed shareholders

A small number of former shareholders in Dell could be getting a sizable payout after a Delaware court ruled the IT biz was undervalued when it went private. Delaware Vice Chancellor Travis Laster ruled that the fair price for the company's shares at the time it went private was $17.62 per share, 22 per cent more than the $13. …
Iain Thomson, 31 May 2016
Laptop user, photo via Shutterstock

These big-name laptops are infested with security bugs – study

Computers from many of the biggest PC makers are riddled with easy-to-exploit vulnerabilities in pre-loaded software, security researchers warn. The research from Duo Security shows that bloatware is not just a nuisance that causes a lag in system boot-up, but a security risk. Laptops from Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo all …
John Leyden, 31 May 2016
Facepalming statue

Samsung: Don't install Windows 10. REALLY

Updated Samsung is advising customers against succumbing to Microsoft’s nagging and installing Windows 10. The consumer electronics giant's support staff have admitted drivers for its PCs still don’t work with Microsoft's newest operating system and told customers they should simply not make the upgrade. That’s nearly a year after …
Gavin Clarke, 31 May 2016
Iguazu_falls

Disk death: Three-quarters of PCs will run SSDs by 2020

Total disk drive shipments are going to plummet by 2020, with raw SSD cost getting cheaper than disk and SSDs taking over from disk in notebooks. Analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus's MD, Aaron Rakers, has taken a close look at Gartner’s HDD and SSD projections over the next few years. He writes: “Gartner is currently forecasting …
Chris Mellor, 31 May 2016
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

Three UK cloudy firms promise CMA they'll be 'fairer' to customers

The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) has found cloud storage providers were using contract terms and practices which could have breached consumer protection law – and has secured a “commitment” from three companies to not be naughty. Following the CMA's 218-page consumer law review of the sector (PDF), and “engagement …
Lenovo TinyOne PC and monitor

Lenovo: Markets for our products 'will remain challenging'

Mergers and acquisitions and restructuring costs led to Lenovo booking its first annual loss since 2009, but crappy demand for PCs and smartphones didn’t exactly help to wax the bottom line either. The Beijing HQ’d biz reported sales for fiscal ’16 ended 31 March of $44.9bn, down three per cent year-on-year, after ending the …
Paul Kunert, 26 May 2016
Runner photo, via Shutterstock

Dropbox gets all up in your kernel with Project Infinite. Cue uproar

Dropbox is on the defensive after revealing its file-sharing service will in future tap into the very heart of your computer’s operating system. Project Infinite, unveiled in April, will take Dropbox out of the browser on the PC or Macs and integrate it directly with your machine’s local file storage. Items stored in your …
Gavin Clarke, 26 May 2016
HP CEO Meg Whitman

Whitman deletes another chapter in HP history as CSC and ES borg

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman is dismantling another legacy bequeathed to her by a predecessor as she waves goodbye to Enterprise Services. The first lady of Palo Alto has already closed the chapter opened by one-time CEO Carly Fiorina who had signed off the buy of Compaq, only for HP's PC business to be ejected …
Paul Kunert, 26 May 2016
HP's Multi Jet Fusion 3D printer

HP Inc-eption: Our new 3D printers print themselves, says CEO

Just like Leonardo DiCaprio and his photogenic pals crafted dream worlds out of dream worlds in the hit flick Inception, we're told HP Ink prints its 3D printers using its 3D printers. Take one of HP Ink's new and expensive 3D printers, and you can print out half of the components needed to build another one, CEO Dion Weisler …
Chris Williams, 26 May 2016
Surface Book

Booming sales of flippy detachables offers hope to glum PC market

Booming sales of computers and tablets with detachable and rotating keyboards brought some cheer to the ailing PC market in the first quarter of 2016, according to research. Sales of detachables and convertibles rose 40 per cent to 3.6 million units in the first quarter of the year, offering a boon to the shrinking computer …
Kat Hall, 24 May 2016

Cock fight? Not half. Microsoft beats down Apple in Q1

Microsoft won bragging rights over Apple in Britain’s biz slab sales stakes following the first full quarter the two rivals went head to head with their Pro devices. The iPad Pro, released in last October, sold 107,000 units in the UK in Q1 versus 275,000 Surface Pro devices, which was up on the 83,000 units Microsoft flogged …
Paul Kunert, 23 May 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'