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Sputtering storage space portends poorly for PCs

With sales of most hard drives down, the much-anticipated rebound of the PC market looks to remain on hold for the moment. Research firm IHS is reporting that shipments of storage drives for use in PCs fell over the course of the year with hard disk drives and optical drives continuing to fade while solid-state drive shipments …
Shaun Nichols, 05 Feb 2014

Brit enterprises still wolfing down PCs post-XP support death

Tech disties feasted on a relative PC sales banquet in Q2 as businesses and to a lesser extent consumers made a belated dash to rid themselves of systems running on Windows XP. Abacus stroker Context collated the sale-out figures from wholesalers and found more than 844k desktops, notebook and PC workstations were adopted by end …
Paul Kunert, 15 Jul 2014

Home Office terminates order for 16,000 PCs from Dell

The Home Office gave Dell just a fortnight to custom build 16,000 PCs but an admin cockup led to the order being shelved, and it is not clear if it will be re-tendered. A mini-auction took place in the first week of March with a build and delivery date set for the end of the month. Most of the tier ones competed on the deal but …
Paul Kunert, 03 Apr 2014
Windows 7

PSST! New PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled are out there – and will be into 2015, at least

It seems businesses will be able to order new PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled, rather than Windows 8, for a bit longer than we previously thought – although we don't yet know for just how long. According to an update to Microsoft's lifecycle policy first spotted by Redmond-watcher Mary Jo Foley on Friday, the date when OEMs must …
Neil McAllister, 14 Feb 2014

Windows XP fixes flaws for free if you turn PCs into CASH REGISTERS

A German web noticeboard has published instructions on how to keep getting the free Windows XP updates that enterprises are having to pay for. According to this thread at Sebjik.com, all that's needed for 32-bit Windows XP installs is to edit the registry so that it tells Microsoft you're using POSReady 2009. As Betanews notes …

THOUSANDS of UK.gov Win XP PCs to face April hacker storm... including boxes at TAXMAN, NHS

Thousands of PCs at Britain’s biggest public sector bodies will miss Microsoft’s April deadline to abandon Windows XP before open season for hackers begins. HMRC and the NHS in England and Scotland will still be running thousands of systems using Windows XP after Microsoft turns off the support lifeline on 8 April. HMRC has 85, …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Jan 2014

Not just websites hit by OpenSSL's Heartbleed – PCs, phones and more under threat

While most of the buzz surrounding OpenSSL's Heartbleed vulnerability has focussed on websites and other servers, the SANS Institute reminds us that software running on PCs, tablets and more is just as potentially vulnerable. Institute analyst Jake Williams said the data-leaking bug “is much scarier” than the gotofail in Apple's …
Windows 7

Microsoft's NEW OS now runs on HALF of ALL desktop PCs

One of Microsoft’s newest operating systems now runs on half of desktops – but it’s not the one Redmond might have wished. Windows 7 accounted for 50.06 per cent of operating system market share in May according to Netmarketshare’s running monthly tally. The operating system expanded its share from 49.27 per cent in April. …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Jun 2014

Lenovo to ship all new PCs with Start Menu replacement

You wanted the Start menu back in Windows 8.1. Microsoft listened ... and didn't give it to you. Now Lenovo says that if a Start Menu is what it will take to get you to start buying Windows 8 PCs, then by gum, a Start Menu you shall have. By now, everyone should be aware that the Start icon that's coming to the Windows 8.1 …
Neil McAllister, 22 Aug 2013

Dell charges £5 to switch on power-saving for new PCs (it takes 5 clicks)

Dell appears to be charging its customers almost a fiver to select power settings when it sells them a computer. Screenshot of Dell's purchasing page with the option to switch on power-saving settings Conserve power for a fiver and, what, save the rainforest? My, what a bargain! (click to enlarge) A reader wrote in to tip …
Jasper Hamill, 24 Apr 2014
Firefox OS RHS teaser

Dell charges £16 TO INSTALL FIREFOX on PCs – Mozilla is miffed

The Mozilla Foundation has begun an investigation after tech juggernaut Dell appeared to be asking customers to pay more than £16 ($27) to install its free web browser Firefox on newly purchased Dell kit. A dialog box that popped up while a reader was trying to buy hardware at Dell (click for the full enlarged glory) A …
Jasper Hamill, 05 Mar 2014

Debt hangs heavy on Stone: Yes we make PCs. For the public sector

Stone Computers would appear to be caught between a, er, rock and a hard place: it specialises in building PCs for the public sector, both areas of industry that have fallen on hard times of late. The general PC market has been in continual decline since the second half of 2010 and austerity measures brought in by the coalition …
Paul Kunert, 22 Oct 2013
Windows 8.1 retail packaging

Microsoft relents: 'Go ahead, install Windows 8.1 on clean PCs'

Microsoft says that in addition to offering Windows 8.1 as a free update for Windows 8 users in October, it will also be easier for customers to buy versions of Windows 8.1 that don't require an upgrade from a previous edition of the OS. Redmond launched Windows 8 in October 2012 as essentially an upgrade-only product. "System …
Neil McAllister, 17 Sep 2013

HP pulls its Kock out of Germany, slides him into European PCs

Eric Cador - the boss of HP's PC and printer biz in Europe, the Middle East and Africa - is hanging up his boots after 28 years service. The senior veep will be replaced by fellow Hewlett-Packard exec Herbert Kock, insiders told The Channel. Cador joined the US tech monster in 1985 as a product manager for the Personal Systems …
Paul Kunert, 06 Mar 2013

Windows 7 'security' patch knocks out PCs, knackers antivirus tools

Windows 7 users should uninstall a security patch Microsoft issued on Tuesday because some PCs failed to restart after applying the update. The software giant advised users of Win 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2* to roll-back a patch within MS13-036, a security update that closed two vulnerabilities in the Windows file system …
John Leyden, 12 Apr 2013

Gartner: RIP PCs - tablets will CRUSH you this year

PC sales are in terminal decline thanks to the continued popularity of tablets and there’s nothing an anticipated surge in ultramobiles can do to stop it. That’s according to beancounters at Gartner, who reckon the outcome will be anaemic growth rates for Microsoft’s Windows in 2013 as Google’s Android blows the doors off. …
Gavin Clarke, 05 Apr 2013

Tablet-types drive demand for all-in-one desktop PCs

More than a third of desktop computer sales in Britain are all-in-one machines, up from a quarter during the first half of the year. So says local market-watcher GfK, which noted a sudden jump in over-the-counter sales of AIOs in August and September. AIOs grew by 27.4 per cent in sales value, driven by a 6.5 per cent increase …
Tony Smith, 14 Nov 2013

It's 2014 and Microsoft Windows PCs can still be owned by a JPEG

Microsoft has fixed security bugs in Internet Explorer and Windows that allow hackers to remotely execute code on victims' vulnerable machines – one bug a result of poor JPEG handling. Redmond said the March edition of Patch Tuesday – out today, natch – tackles programming errors in the software giant's web browser, operating …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Mar 2014
sea_hp_sink

HP PCs 'n' printers boss steps down, replaced by Aussie

HP has snatched the reins of its bogged-down global PC and printer biz from exec Todd Bradley, just a year after stitching the units together, as it struggles to compete in the mobile slablet world. Confirmation came from HP HQ this afternoon that Bradley is being put out to pasture installed as exec veep for Strategy Growth …
Paul Kunert, 18 Jun 2013
Life of Brian

Unionised workers vote to become thorn in HP's side

Some HP workers in the Application Services (AS) division based at Lytham and Warrington have voted against plans to relocate 400 roles to regional delivery centres. According to numbers from HP and the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, 99 of the 331-strong base of unionised workers at the two sites returned a ballot …
Paul Kunert, 14 Jul 2014
Rather dirty PC interior

Are the PCs all getting a bit old at your office? You're not alone

Business PC refresh cycles are set to stretch even further, according to IDC analysis - heaping more strain on vendors and channel partners. This comes against a backdrop of declining global sales of desktops and notebooks, which fell by 4.1 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively in 2012 compared to 2011. No near-term uptick is …
Paul Kunert, 27 Mar 2013
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talked up the big changes he has in store for the company during a conference call with financial analysts on Tuesday. And among his plans were "universal" apps that can run on any Windows platform. There was little talk of layoffs, beyond what Nadella and new Microsoft phones boss Stephen Elop …
Neil McAllister, 23 Jul 2014
Dell logo

Reliant on Dell for PCs? Start looking around, says Gartner ball-gazer

Can it really be that enterprise customers should make sure they have an emergency raft ready to head to the shores of rival PC makers should Dell jettison its desktop and notebook portfolio when it goes private? Yes indeed, says Gartner research director Adrien O'Connell, who reckons Dell will not quit this year but may do …
Paul Kunert, 22 Mar 2013
Dark Blue Window - detail of Windows Server logo

One Win 8 to rule them all: Microsoft talks up 'universal apps' for PCs, slabs and mobes

Eight months after launching its pushbutton App Studio GUI development kit for Windows Phone, Microsoft has extended the tool to include support for building apps for Windows 8, too. The latest beta version of the web-based tool formerly known as Windows Phone App Studio, announced at Microsoft's Build developer conference on …
Neil McAllister, 04 Apr 2014

Intel prods PC market's corpse, corpse shouts 'I'M NOT DEAD!'

Chipmaker Intel has raised its revenue expectations after discovering that the PC market is less moribund than it imagined. Chipzilla said on Thursday that "as a result of stronger than expected demand for business PCs," it was raising its second-quarter growth revenue estimate from $13bn to $13.7bn. "Intel now expects some …
Jack Clark, 12 Jun 2014

Microsoft offers cut-price Win 8 PCs and fondletops to UK schools

British schoolkids and teachers are to be offered discounted Windows 8 laptops and tabs in a Microsoft programme to close the digital divide. Government-funded schools have become eligible to receive Windows 8 Intel-based laptops and tablets from Asus, Acer and RM Education that are loaded with software and that have had 30 per …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Nov 2012

Ministry of Justice IT bods to strike over outsourcing fears

Nearly half of the unionised techies at the UK's Ministry of Justice have voted to strike over proposals that could shift IT service work into the private sector. At the heart of the matter is the Cabinet Office's excitingly titled Next Generation Shared Services Strategy, which was published in March 2013: the strategy's …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jun 2014

What PC sales slump? That's ALL OVER, declares Gartner

An optimistic new report from Gartner suggests that the PC market may actually be returning to growth, with most of the sales going to top-name vendors. By Gartner's estimates, worldwide PC shipments were essentially flat for the second quarter of 2014, growing just 0.1 per cent when compared to the same period a year ago. But …
Neil McAllister, 09 Jul 2014

Report: Tablets to outsell ALL PCs by 2016

It was claimed by one market watcher this week that tablets will outsell notebook computers during 2013. By 2016, says another, slates’ share of the PC market will have surpassed all other devices combined. The research firm in question is Canalys, and it reckons Wintel’s share of the PC market will drop from 72 per cent in 2012 …
Tony Smith, 10 Jan 2013
arrow pointing up

Dell bundles Ubuntu Linux on PCs in China

Commercial Linux distributor Canonical and PC and server maker Dell are tag teaming to peddle Linux on PCs in China. According to a blog post, Dell and Canonical have announced a partnership to push Linux on consumer PCs in China through 220 retail stores operated by Dell in the country. Dell Ubuntu PCs in China Dell's Chinese …
Panic button on keyboard

Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!

With the not-quite-panic over the end of support for Windows XP behind us, you'd think it's a time to chill out for a bit. Not quite, and especially not if you're still using Windows Server 2003 R2: Microsoft's product lifecycle advisories suggest support for that operating system expires on July 14th, 2015. Which is 450 days …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2014
Intel's Next Unit of Computing bare bones PC

Intel plans Core i7 bare bones mini-PCs

Intel has launched the first unit in a range of bare bones mini-PCs it says will first appeal to system integrators creating digital signage solutions and then eventually excite businesses of almost any size. The new device is part of Chipzilla's Next Unit of Computing (NUC) range. Intel currently plans three NUC devices, each …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Nov 2012

500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?

Six months from now, on 8 April 2014, Microsoft will stop pushing out security updates for Windows XP – and that's going to be a big deal. At time of writing a whopping one-third of the world’s millions of PCs were still running Microsoft’s 13-year-old client operating system. According to Gartner, the global installed base of …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Oct 2013

Lenovo recalls 160,000 all-in-one PCs after blaze warning

Lenovo wants punters to send back a grand total of 160,000 ThinkCentre all-in-one desktop PCs because the machines' power supplies might overheat and burst into flames. The Mexico-made machines went out under the monikers M70z and M90z during the period May 2010 through January 2012, Lenovo said. Lenovo ThinkCentre M70z US …
Tony Smith, 08 Mar 2012
British snipers practice with L115A3 rifles. Credit: MoD

MoD signs Microsoft mega licensing deal for 180,000 PCs

The Ministry of Defence renewed a three-year Microsoft Enterprise Agreement late on Friday with Software Box Ltd (SBL) for 180,000 seats in a deal that sources value at roughly £15m per year. SBL has held the Microsoft EA with the MoD for the past nine years and channel folk are not surprised the Large Account Reseller won the …
Paul Kunert, 01 Jul 2013
For Sale sign detail

Chinese buying more PCs than Americans

China bought more PCs than the US in the second quarter this year, making it the largest computer market in the world for the first time, according to market research firm IDC. Long touted as the next biggest market for PCs, China finally managed to beat the US with 18.5 million units worth $11.9bn shipped compared to 17.7 …
Windows 8.1 Start screen

Charity: Ta for the free Win 8.1, Microsoft – we'll use it to install Win 7

In November, Microsoft started offering free copies of Windows 8.1 to non-profits and charities. Redmond called it a "donation"; the more cynical saw it as a handy way to boost deployments of the new OS and migrate desktops away from dead-end Windows XP. Today The Register can reveal Microsoft has struck a deal with members of …
Gavin Clarke, 14 May 2014
management management1

Tick-tock! 40% of PCs start Windows XP malware meltdown countdown

With one year to go until Microsoft kills free support for Windows XP, if you haven’t got a migration plan in place it’s time to start doing something about it... but don't panic, say the migration experts. One year from today, on 8 April 2014, Microsoft will stop fixing broken code and no longer release security patches for …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Apr 2013
axe_channel_teaser

VMware sharpens axe for PCs: Horizon boxset brings Windows to iPads

After eighteen months of hints, VMware has unveiled the final version of its “Horizon Suite” end-user computing stack. VMware has wanted more of a desktop presence for years, shelling out for Zimbra in 2010 in the hope enterprises liked the idea of webified email and calendars operating within their own data centres. Zimbra's …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2013
Happy woman at a computer

That AMAZING Windows comeback: Wow – 0.5% growth in 2015

With new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella keen to cram Windows into ever more devices, the operating system behemoth is now forecast to swell by no less than HALF a percentage point. Folks at Gartner told us Windows accounted for 13.96 per cent of the 2.33 billion devices shipped globally in 2013, and that they expect a dip this year …
Paul Kunert, 07 Jul 2014

First the PCs, now System X: Is IBM ready to flog server biz to Lenovo?

Is IBM selling all or part of its x86 server biz to PC giant Lenovo? Nothing has been confirmed by either party, but it sure looks like there’s something in the works. So what might this deal look like? I don’t see IBM selling off the entire System x division to Lenovo. What they’ll sell is the most commoditised and least …
bug on keyboard

Uh oh! Here comes the first bug in the Windows 8.1 Update

Microsoft has suspended distribution of April's Windows 8.1 Update to some enterprise customers after a bug was discovered that could bork affected machines' ability to receive future updates. The issue affects businesses that distribute software updates via Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0 Service Pack 2, which shipped …
Neil McAllister, 09 Apr 2014
medical_doctor_health_channel

Whitehall and Microsoft thrashing out 1-year NHS WinXP lifeline

The Department of Health and Microsoft are thrashing out a one-year support deal for tens of thousands of NHS PCs running Windows XP. The agreement would give hospitals, trusts and GPs across England and Wales time to back away from Windows XP and implement a newer operating system. A deal would mean Microsoft continues to …
Metropolitan Police's e-Smart

Straight to 8: London's Met Police hatches Win XP escape plan

The Metropolitan Police are bypassing Windows 7 and going straight to Windows 8 as they ditch Windows XP from nearly 40,000 PCs. But the force will not have finished the move before April’s end-of-support deadline from Microsoft. Rather, the Met has agreed a custom support agreement with Microsoft to keep Windows XP machines …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Mar 2014

IDC: Trying to flog PCs? It's not going to happen

Market analyst IDC now expects fewer PCs will be sold in 2012 than it had earlier predicted. The box-counter has also revised down its estimate for PC sales over the next four years. The world-wide PC market for desktops and portables will grow just 0.9 per cent during 2012, 367 million units, as mid-year shipments slow down, …
Gavin Clarke, 29 Aug 2012
HP CEO Meg Whitman at Discover 2012

HP hammered in servers, storage, and PCs in fiscal Q3

Remember a long time ago, how Compaq put the squeeze on its supply chain, dropped the boom on PC prices, and essentially made it impossible for IBM, the former market leader, to stay in the PC business? Well, Dell and other competitors in the PC, server, and storage rackets are trying to do the same thing to HP now, and its …
Dell logo in crosshairs

Dell's server, net bizzes do well, but PCs slammed as expected

If Michael Dell and his partners had hoped to turn in a bad quarter to help justify the relatively low price the Dell & Friends consortium wants to pay to take the IT giant private, Dell's sales force in the enterprise server, networking, and services units did not do their part to help. The PC business did – but not as much as …

HP workers under shadow of the axe edge towards ballot box

The Public and Commercial Services union is to ballot members working at HP over 600 planned job cuts to the services operation in the latest futile exercise to influence the company's decision making. As world + dog knows, HP's Make It Better Programme to rationalise the workforce is due to conclude by the end of October, by …
Paul Kunert, 01 Apr 2014
union_jack

Box shifters cram UK market with crusty PCs to make room for Win 8

PC shipments into the UK channel declined in the last quarter as vendors focussed on lobbing out Windows 7 machines ahead of the Windows 8 launch. However, in the midst of a recession, no one really noticed any shortages of computers. Abacus-fondling Gartner reckons 2.98 million desktops and notebooks were pushed into the UK …
Paul Kunert, 08 Nov 2012
ipad_big_teaser

iPad grabs lunch money from mobile PCs, pushes them in the stingers

iPad sales trounced sales for netbooks and notebooks in the first quarter of 2012 pushing Apple to the dominant position in the mobile PC market, show new figures from analysts NPD. NPD ran together tablets with netbooks and notebook PCs in their "Mobile PC category" and skyrocketing iPad sales of 13.6 million in the first three …
Anna Leach, 22 May 2012

Opinion

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
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Chris Mellor

Elliott Management sinks its teeth into retiring godhead
Satya Nadella
cloud computing Fight

Features

Failure to crack next-gen semiconductors threatens to set back humanity
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
SAP Match Insights
Vorsprung durch grossendatatechnik, as we like to say in Germany
Inside the Google Lab where surgeons prepare the human/dog experiment
Big Blue exec tells El Reg what to keep an eye on