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Windows 8.1 Update  Storeapps Taskbar

Windows 8.1 Update: Throws desktop drones a bone but still as TOUCHY as ever

After months of slowly inflating expectations, Microsoft recently released its follow-up act to Windows 8.1 – the Windows 8.1 Update.
Chinese Buffet self-service

Technology is murdering customer service - legally

Opinion When someone tallies up all the good and bad things that the tech mega-explosion of the last 50 years has brought us, there’s one item I expect to see right at the top of the second column: the slow but steady death of customer service.
An original member of the System/360 family announced in 1964, the Model 50 was the most powerful unit in the medium price range.

Why won't you DIE? IBM's S/360 and its legacy at 50

IBM's System 360 mainframe, celebrating its 50th anniversary on Monday, was more than a just another computer.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

Sysadmin blog What if Microsoft announced it's not ending support for Windows XP next Tuesday after all, and instead will offer perpetual updates (for a small fee, of course).
Ciscoblood

Q: Just why are AT&T, banks snubbing kit from Cisco & co? A: Control

Analysis Relationships between big data-center buyers and IT providers are dramatic, and on Monday AT&T strode onto the stage and bellowed out a great betrayal.

Lenovo and IBM's System x biz: It'll be just like 2005's PC buyout

Analysis Successes? Oh, we've had a few...

Indirect proposition: Inside IBM UK software supremo's profit plan

Interview Partners and tackling that PC myth...
Punk-styled girl with piercing gazes at an apple

Apple loses sauce, BlackBerry squashed and Microsoft, er, WinsPhones (Nokia's)

Year in Review It was a year where Apple slurped down enormous profits but lost some of its bleeding-edge-tech street cred, while Samsung marched inexorably on. But behind the scenes there was much more going on. Here are the year's trends put through the blender.
Scott Guthrie, photo: Tim Anderson

Microsoft's cloudy chief: Azure reliability knocks your own kit for six

Interview Microsoft ships an update to Azure every three weeks. Scott Guthrie, Microsoft's vice president for Windows Azure, reckons it's adding features and capacity in an effort to catch up with Amazon.

Excise Xmas prezzie indecision MISERY with El Reg’s gift guide²

Christmas is special. When else will you spending lots of money you don’t have buying things they don’t deserve for people you don’t like?

Company selling you out? You've been TUPE-ed

Everyone on your team is called into an obligatory meeting by the boss, and no one knows what it’s about. Just for once, there really is something worth hearing: your manager announces that you and everyone you work with are on your way out.
Ciscoblood

Amazon, Facebook, Google give Cisco's switches the COLD shoulder

Analysis Networking giant Cisco lost around $10bn in market value last week as investors sold out in response to weak earnings and poor growth projections. Worse yet, some of its biggest customers – from Amazon and Google to social network giant Facebook – are implementing technologies that will allow them to reduce their dependence on the networking giant.

Every man, woman and child in the UK paid HP £21 last year

The government spends billions of pounds on IT every year. While individual projects often make the news when investigated by auditors and select committees, the overall picture is less well-known.
Intel Smart City

Intel on Europe: The Internet of Things could SAVE US ALL

Feature How will Europe lift itself out of current and future economic woes - and help save the planet while it’s about it? According to chip giant Intel, with hi-tech carrots rather than government sticks.
Surface 2 teaser

It's NOT an iPad - but that's FINE: I learned to LOVE Microsoft's Surface 2

Review Microsoft’s first take on Surface RT was a disaster, culminating in a $900m stock write-down in July.
HP EcoPOD

Is storage kicking servers in the battle of the bundles?

Converged infrastructure products, integrated computing platforms, single-stack solutions, data centre in a box: whatever you call them, the benefit of buying storage, servers and networking in a single, pre-engineered bundle is that, vendor-wise, when something goes wrong, you've only got one butt to kick.
Rolex in Live and Let Die

Cool cars, cat-crushing chronometers, cashmere ... is this your IT boss?

The story goes that one day a printer vendor rep turned up at a distributor of IT gear. The rep had a message to deliver: “Your sales of our printers are not good enough".

How Novell peaked, then threw it all away in a year

Netware 4.0 Anniversary One grey morning in the mid 1990s, your writer was bundled on a plane and flown to somewhere in Germany - it might have been Dusseldorf - to attend the Olympics. Not those Olympics. The inaugural Certified NetWare Engineer Olympics.
Pigeon crapping on statue

Tears, laughter and bankruptcy: How not to go bust

Feature Bankruptcy? You don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Titsup 2e2's data centre dustup gave UK users the CLOUD FEAR

When 2e2 Group suddenly collapsed earlier this year, owing over £400m to trade creditors and stranding a rake of customers from NHS trusts to the Bank of England, a gigantic question mark instantly formed over the cloud.

McDonalds-card-toting Softcat boss: I couldn't tell you how a computer works

Feature The much-lauded chairman of software reseller Softcat has carved out a high-flying career selling tech - but paradoxically Martin Hellawell can't explain how a computer computes nor the inner workings of a mainframe.
Square Group new premises

The reshaping of Apple-cored Square: Leaving high street is a GOOD sign

Feature It's a well-worn phrase that appearances can be deceptive, but when a flagship business disappears from public view after years on London's premier high street, most people would assume this isn't a sign of progress.

Happy dealers, solid managers. So what's wrong at HP?

What’s going on at HP? CEO Meg Whitman has pulled out the scythe and is whipping it through the troubled hardware titan, chopping out the weak and underperforming bits and clearing a path back to a market-leading position.
BT Openreach van

So: 6,500 Win 8 laptops later, how are BT's field engineers coping?

Feature An unheard-of decline in PC sales figures since launch, a grumbling press and a user base that struggles without a touchscreen: Windows 8 is easy to take a swipe at. Yet BT announced in November last year it was deploying 5,900 Win 8 Panasonic Toughbooks for its "last mile" Openreach division – the engineers who walk the line from telephone exchange up to customer’s premises.
distribution_channel

Why mergers LOSE money, but are GOOD for the economy

So the distribution sector has had yet another round of consolidation. Mergers, takeovers - these are the things that make an M&A banker's heart* thumpety-thump with joy.
Garbage dump (pic from US National archive)

Forget value-added broker jokes: Could YOU shift nuclear plant scrap?

Why do brokers exist? All we ever do is just sit around and talk to people, so what value do we add to the economy? Or what value do “asset managers” like the late Howard Strowman add? And will the existence of such be a permanent feature of the tech distribution landscape?
Electronic waste dumped in developing world

Will Westerners soon be getting their IT direct from Asian players?

Analysis Singapore’s money is made of plastic, which makes it incredibly hard-wearing but also slightly slick and unreal. Which is just as well, given the amount of cash which was moving around when the Asia Pacific region’s channel players descended on the city state for the Canalys Channels forum last month.
Our intrepid party playmonaut on a sofa, surrounded by blondes

Think Xmas bashes in your biz are scary? Try partying with the Channel

Etiquette experts Debrett’s has extensive advice for how to negotiate the work Christmas party, including retaining one’s professional gloss and never doing anything one might regret in the morning.

Can supermodel minx Heidi Klum SAVE Windows 8? NOT SO FAST

Feature This year's MTV European Music Awards had everything: slinky supermodel presenter Heidi Klum, swathes of preposterous pop stars, and, er, an enormous Windows 8-powered video wall.
Comet Siding Spring. Pic: NASA

Why did Comet fail? Hint: It wasn't just the credit insurers

Comet's fiscal light was burning less brightly well before OpCapita entered its orbit, but the venture capitalist's involvement snuffed it out entirely.

Opinion

Chris Mellor

Drives nails forged with Red Hat iron into VCE's coffin
Sleep Cycle iOS app screenshot

Trevor Pott

Forget big-spending globo biz: it's about the consumer... and he's desperate for a nap
Steve Bennet, ex-Symantec CEO

Chris Mellor

Enormo security firm needs to get serious about acquisitions

Features

Windows 8.1 Update  Storeapps Taskbar
Chinese Buffet self-service
Chopping down the phone tree to scrump low-hanging fruit
An original member of the System/360 family announced in 1964, the Model 50 was the most powerful unit in the medium price range.
Big Blue's big $5bn bet adjusted, modified, reduced, back for more
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Redmond needs to discover the mathematics of trust