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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
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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
Gmail icon photo by I AM NIKOM via Shutterstock

Google enlists Microsoft VoIP partner to unseat Office 365+Skype

Google's going after Office 365 and Skype users in a cloud telephony partnership with Microsoft VoIP ally RingCentral. The search giant and RingCentral on Wednesday announced RingCentral Office Google Edition, a package letting you make online calls from within Google's Apps. Apps are integrated using WebRTC, the real-time …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Jun 2016
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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

Man-in-the-middle biz Blue Coat bought by Symantec: Infosec bods are worried

Analysis Symantec’s deal to to buy Blue Coat, the controversial web filtering firm, for $4.65bn will bolster its enterprise security business. But some security experts are concerned about the potential for conflict of interest created by housing Symantec’s digital certificate business and Blue Coat’s man-in-the-middle SSL inspection …
John Leyden, 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
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
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
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
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
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

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
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The PC is dead. Gartner wishes you luck, vendors

The PC market is doomed. We know this. You know this. Gartner knows this, but it reckons vendors can bleed out a few more pennies if they start selling high-end rigs for gamers. "PCs are no longer the first or only devices users are choosing for internet access," said Meike Escherich, principal research analyst at Gartner. …
Tabby cat cuddles roll of one-hundred dollar bills. Photo by Shutterstock

Got $130,000 down the back of the sofa? Great. Grab an HP 3D printer

The first of HP Inc’s much-delayed (and cynics might say over-hyped 3D printer) is to hit the market “late” this year – launching into a crowded space with a challenger device the firm hopes will brighten its future. The Jet Fusion 3D 3200 will sell for $130,000 – add another $25,000 for services including post-processing …
Paul Kunert, 17 May 2016
4 arrows signs in arrow on wooden wall

Acer made less than £1m profits in Q1 as forex rates bit hard

Ailing Acer – one of the PC makers considered at risk of vendor consolidation – has made an inauspicious start to calendar year 2016 as sales and profits tumbled. The Taiwanese business today reported revenues of NT$56.32bn (£1.19bn) for the three months ended 31 March, down 17.1 per cent on the prior year’s stats. It didn’t …
Paul Kunert, 12 May 2016
Lenovo TinyOne PC and monitor

Lenovo's European prez quits over 'serious strategic disagreements'

Lenovo's European president Eric Cador is today stepping down from the firm after just 12 months in post, citing "strategic disagreements". Luca Rossi, currently president of Lenovo’s biz in Latin America, will succeed Cador. Prior to joining Lenovo in 2015, Rossi was EMEA president for Acer. Cador will return to his …
Kat Hall, 10 May 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Long term sick-note abuser Misco not losing nearly as much money

A pinkish hue has yet to return to the cheeks of sickly European reseller Misco but its latest financials indicate the patient is finally out of intensive care - the same cannot be said of its parent. Most of Misco’s vital statistics improved in calendar Q1, all but sales which slipped 5.3 per cent to $258.2m - or were down a …
Paul Kunert, 04 May 2016

Argos defection to Tech Data whips Ingram Micro's bottom... line

The loss of a retail supply contract with Argos helped push Ingram Micro’s European sales growth into the barrier’s during car crash Q1 financials. The US-headquartered tech distributor reported sales of $2.66bn on this side of the pond for the period ended 31 March. This was down 13.35 per cent year-on-year. Ingram is being …
Paul Kunert, 03 May 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Dell to change name to 'Dell Technologies'

Michael Dell has written to his staff to tell them that Dell will soon become known as “Dell Technologies”. Except for the bit of Dell that sells PCs, which will be called “Dell”, and the bit that sells to the enterprise, which will be called “Dell EMC”. Confused? Here's how Dell the man said it in his letter: “Dell …
Simon Sharwood, 03 May 2016
Small truck skids towards side of road as wheel comes loose. Photo by shutterstock

WD’s revenue wheels have fallen off. Profits are sinking, too

WD is experiencing global disk drive cooling as the slowing PC jetstream and flash El Nino jointly disrupt the HDD environment. But that's enough in the meteorological metaphor line. WD revenues fell 21 per cent year-on-year to $2.8bn in WD’s third fiscal 2016 quarter, which closed April 1. The quarter-on-quarter compare …
Chris Mellor, 29 Apr 2016
Carly Fiorina

Another failed merger, Carly? Ted Cruz to bring in ex-HP boss Fiorina as running mate

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz will announce his running mate at a campaign event on Wednesday afternoon – and the pick to revitalize his flagging campaign is Carly Fiorina. Fiorina ended her own bid for the presidency in February after a lackluster performance in which she proved herself to be factually challenged …
Iain Thomson, 27 Apr 2016

Microsoft fingered for Western Euro PC tragedy

Microsoft last year effectively murdered one part of the mobile PC market that was going gangbusters - Windows with Bing (WwB) - and unsurprisingly this is now reflected in weaker sales across Western Europe. The low-cost WwB portables reached distributors by summer '14, designed to counter what was seen as a growing threat to …
Paul Kunert, 27 Apr 2016
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
Godzila

Intel CEO Krzanich: PCs are things too!

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, presiding over flatlining performance, boardroom tumult and a one-in-ten slimming down of Chipzilla's workforce, has broken out the happy juice to promise better times ahead for the world's biggest sand-slinger. Krzanich has posted a blog in which he calls out the cloud (chips for data centres), the …
Storm

Microsoft's Azure and Office 365 growth slows

Analysis Microsoft has reiterated its belief in a mythical annual income of $20bn from cloud despite growth in Azure and its apps-as-a-service business slowing. Chief executive Satya Nadella Thursday reiterated the existing belief Microsoft will hit £20bn “run rate” in cloud business for fiscal 2018. That’s the fiscal year after …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Apr 2016
Sad man stares glumly over boxed contents of desk. Image via shutterstock (Baranq)

Intel literally decimates workforce: 12,000 will be axed, CFO shifts to sales

Intel will axe 12,000 employees globally – more than one in ten of its workforce – as it moves further away from being a PC chip company. The layoffs are among the biggest into the company's history, and come as PC industry continues to tank harder than Intel expected. The Santa Clara-based biz sees a lot of growth in the …
Chris Williams, 19 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
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

Web backup biz Monster Cloud monstered after monster price hike

London-based online backup biz Monster Cloud is under fire from customers after hiking its prices and switching up its subscription plans. We've heard from Register readers who say they paid £50 for a year's worth of "unlimited" cloud-based storage for their files, only to be told on Thursday that they need to pay an extra £30 …
Chris Williams, 15 Apr 2016
London - Iconic Red telephone box with Big Ben at the background and blue sky - UK, England. Photo by Shutterstock

Spear phishers target gullible Brits more than anyone else – survey

There’s been a sharp (35 per cent) increase in crypto ransomware attacks, with the UK ranked as the nation third most targeted with ransomware. The UK is also ranked as the most targeted nation for spear phishing attacks and the second most hit-upon country with social media scams, according to other findings from Symantec's …
John Leyden, 12 Apr 2016
rage meme

Hey, tech industry, have you noticed Amazon in the rearview?

Sysadmin Blog Dear readers, I apologize in advance for the cursing, horrible metaphors, similes and so forth that will populate this blog. I am writing this after a day of dealing with a network cryptolocker outbreak and finally hitting that wall where I no longer care about anything except venting unto the world that silent rage that has …
Trevor Pott, 12 Apr 2016
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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 ( …
Windows 10

Windows 7's grip on the enterprise desktop is loosening

Microsoft last week updated its Windows 10 usage data, claiming 270 million devices now run its newest operating system. We've updated our numbers, too, namely the three sources we use to assess desktop operating system market share. And on our numbers, if Windows 10 is on 270 million devices Windows 7 is on about 750 million …
Simon Sharwood, 05 Apr 2016
A cute cat in a jumper waves goodbye.... Pic via Shutterstock

Intel executive shake-up coming, with three big-name departures

Intel's lost more Cs from its C-suite, with reports emerging that two senior executives have left and another is on the way out the door. On the weekend, Bloomberg reported the imminent departure of mobile chip business chief Aicha Evans, and now, two more executives, Kirk Skaugen and Doug Davis, are on the way out. Evans' …

Gartner: RIP double-digit smartphone growth. 2016 has killed you

Remember the rapacious smartphone growth that turned once-troubled Apple into the world’s most valuable company? That’s over. Smartphone sales will grow seven per cent in 2016, to 1.5 billion units. It’s the first time sales of this once must-have piece of personal tech has grown by a mere single digit percentage, according …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Mar 2016
 Good GCSEs should cost parents a Jesus-phone

Microsoft announces Windows 10 Anniversary Update coming this summer

BUILD2016 Microsoft has announced an "anniversary update" to Windows 10, set for release this summer. The first release appeared in July 2015. Windows boss Terry Myerson, presenting the update at Microsoft's Build event in San Francisco, said that it is not only for PCs and tablets, but also for phones, Xbox, HoloLens (for which …
Tim Anderson, 30 Mar 2016
Railway line split. Pic: Ian Sane

Wobbly Acer goes two-legged to steady itself

Acer is to split into two in an effort to stabilize an uncertain recovery. The company will move its "core business" of PCs, servers, tablets and monitors under one umbrella and its "new business" of cloud services, smartphones and wearable devices under another. The restructuring is the same as we outlined earlier this week …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 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
Photo by Michael Vadon

Apple stuns world with Donald Trump iPhone

Shy and modest Apple today unveiled a pair of small iPhones and iPads for people with itty-bitty hands. The Cupertino slinger of iStuffs summoned hacks to a brief hour-long conference in California to unveil the four-inch iPhone SE handset as well as a 9.7-inch iPad Pro slab. Both are powered by the now-available iOS 9.3 …
Shaun Nichols, 21 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
Microsoft Surface Pro 3

One in five PCs will be a tablet with detachable keyboard by 2020

Tablets with detachable keyboards are set to capture a fifth of the PC market by 2020, in Western Europe at least, say the abacus-shufflers at IDC. The firm says Typoslabs, as we prefer to call the devices, accounted for just five per cent of PC sales in 2015. But by 2018 combined sales of typoslabs and pure tablets will …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Mar 2016
Asleep on the sofa image via Shutterstock

Symantec warns of serious security holes – in Symantec security kit

Symantec is advising users of its Endpoint Protection (SEP) software to update their systems, after three vulnerabilities were reported in the computer defense tools. Two of the bugs – a cross-site scripting (XSS) flaw, and a SQL injection vulnerability – are in the SEP Management Console, a web-based portal you can log into …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Mar 2016

How Microsoft copied malware techniques to make Get Windows 10 the world's PC pest

Microsoft uses techniques similar to aggressive malware to promote its “Get Windows 10” offer. As many readers have discovered, the persistent and constantly changing methods Microsoft uses to continually reintroduce its “Get Windows 10” tool, or GWX, onto computers means it’s extremely difficult to avoid. Windows users who …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Mar 2016

Microsoft Surface Book: Shiny slab with a Rottweiler grip on itself

Review I've always wondered what people who pay more than £2,000 for a Windows laptop are thinking when they boot the machine. It's a bit like paying a fortune to gain admission to a secret and exclusive members club, only to discover once you're in, that it's run by the bloke who does the pub quiz on a Tuesday night at your local …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Mar 2016

Millions menaced as ransomware-smuggling ads pollute top websites

Top-flight US online publishers are serving up adverts that attempt to install ransomware and other malware on victims' PCs. Websites visited by millions of people daily – msn.com, nytimes.com, aol.com, nfl.com, theweathernetwork.com, thehill.com, zerohedge.com and more – are accidentally pushing out booby-trapped adverts via …
John Leyden, 15 Mar 2016

Opinion

Memristor_wafer

Chris Mellor

Execution warrant close to being signed for Fink's folly
Woman cuddles 'sly-looking' Fennec fox. Photo by Shutterstock
Cartoon of employee asking wky boss makes hium wear suspenders (while pincer through open trapdoor remains poised above his head) illustration by Cartoon resource for Shutterstock

Frank Jennings

It's not like my boss painstakingly nurtured the contacts, right?

Features

Girl and computer, photo via Shutterstock
Middle-class terror of engineering also part of problem
Nerd fail photo via Shutterstock
Shouting match
Single market vs. rest of the world