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Microsoft Session at Cloud Expo Microsoft is killing off its Windows Essential Business Server 2008 (EBS) effective June 30 to "streamline" its server portfolio. It figures mid-sized businesses can virtualize and get to the cloud using Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft System Center and Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite. EBS packaged up Windows Server, System Center Essentials, Exchange and Forefront and priced it to appeal to SMBs with less than 300 computers. Register Today and Save $550 ! Explore Sponsorship Opportunities ! Microsoft will continue to support users for five years or migrate them. To make it up to customers Microsoft says they can get EBS' components for free from June 30-December 31. Microsoft's Small Business Server is not affected. ... (more)

Lenovo Earnings Up 88%

Lenovo, which passed Dell to become the second-largest PC vendor in the world by shipments and has designs on HP's first place, saw its earnings soar 88% in the September quarter on the back of acquisitions and sales to emerging markets like its native China. It realized a better-than-expected $143.9 million on revenues up 35% to $7.79 billion from $5.76 billion. It means to expand via acquisitions if it can find them and said "Uncertainties over global economic recovery, the renewed debt crisis in Europe, and tablet PC cannibalization of entry-level consumer PCs remain." It's currently scrounging for disk drives in the wake of the Thai floods. It recently bought the German PC maker Medion for cash and stock worth about $640 million and set up a joint venture with NEC to sell laptops in Japan. Separately the Chinese company, which acquired IBM's PC unit in 2005, said... (more)

Floods Lift HDD Prices Way Up

EMC is going to raise the price of hard disk drives 5%-15% starting the first of the year. It said in an advisory to its channel that the price hikes will last for the duration of the crisis that has seen an estimated one-third of the world's HDD supply effectively drown in the unforgiving Thai floods. That probably works out to something like 50 million-70 million drives. Senior VP of global channel sales Gregg Ambulos claimed that EMC had absorbed the cost increases produced by shortages in Q4 "to shield our partners and customers from the impact of higher drive pricing," but now that supplies and stockpiles have shrunk further and capacity demand keeps escalating EMC's going to have to pass the increases along "to offset the continued high drive prices we are seeing from our primary suppliers." The price hikes will apply to HDD list prices across all of EMC busine... (more)

Windows 8 RTMs

Windows 8 was released to manufacturing Wednesday morning, a hallelujah moment for Microsoft that nowadays means OEMs and manufacturing partners are getting the final code on which Microsoft's future depends. The new "re-imagined" operating system, with what Microsoft calls "thousands of new features," won't get to the broad market on PCs and online for another three months, October 26 to be precise. Developers with MSDN and TechNet subscriptions will get access to the code and the new Visual Studio on August 15 and companies with Software Assurance licenses will follow on August 16. Volume customers without the license will get it September 1. Existing Windows 7 users will be able to upgrade on October 26 for $39.99. Microsoft is encouraging developers to start selling Metro-style apps for the thing at the new Windows Store, which previously hosted only free apps. O... (more)

PCs in Free Fall; Worst Decline Ever

Global PC shipments dropped 13.9% in the first quarter according to IDC, which said it was the worse contraction in the market since it started keeping records back in 1994. The drop was worse than the 8% decline IDC had forecast. It blamed cannibalization by tablets and smartphones as well as the failure of Windows 8 on which fortunes hung. IDC said "it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only didn't provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market." Consumers and business customers alike appear to have rejected Windows new touch-sensitive design and its cost. PC shipments worldwide totaled 76.3 million units. HP remains in first place, despite seeing a 24% drop in shipments to roughly 12 million units. Dell was third, down 11% to nine million units. Lenovo, which shipped 11.7 million PCs, was second with sales flat year-over-ye... (more)

Microsoft’s Quarter Shrugs Off Falling PC Sales

Microsoft shrugged off the precipitous downturn in PC sales and the diffident reception given Windows 8 Thursday when it posted record fiscal Q3 results. It returned 72 cents a share, up 19%, on revenues of $20.49 billion, up 18%, beating expectations of 68 cents, but coming up light on the top line which Wall Street thought would be $20.53 billion or thereabouts. In the same period last year Microsoft did 60 cents on $17.7 billion. Earnings took a nine-cent-a-share hit because of the European Commission's latest $733 million fine. The company also said that CFO Peter Klein will be leaving by the end of this quarter after four years in the job and 11 years at the company. Microsoft expects to find a replacement among its financial staff in the next few weeks. The company has lost a lot of familiar faces. The Windows Division came in with revenues up 23% year-over-year... (more)

Delay & Mobiles Are Eating 7.8% of PC Sales: IDC

IDC has once again looked into its crystal ball and sees worldwide PC sales dropping by 7.8% this year as compared to last and figures next year they'll drop another 1.2% compared to this year, brutal news for the likes of PC and Dell. The researcher, which previously said PCs would only be down 1.3% this year and a gradual increase next year, finds that consumers are increasingly considering either delaying buying a PC or using tablets and smartphones as substitutes. By 2017, four and a half years out, it figures only 333 million PCs will ship worldwide compared to the 349 million that moved last year and the peak of more than 363 million in 2011. The updated forecast reflects the nasty double-digit drop in volume experienced in Q1, it said, "as well as the transitions happening in PC design as vendors bring products to market that are optimized for Windows 8, ... (more)

HP Removes Bradley as PC Chief

Todd Bradley, the former Palm CEO who's been running HP's PC unit since 2005 and added printing last year when the Printing and Personal Systems (PPS) organization was formed, has apparently been pushed aside. He is trading his job running half of HP's revenue for a newly created position as executive vice-president, strategic growth initiatives, where he's supposed to increase HP's business in China, extend its channel partner relationships worldwide and identify potential partners among early-stage start-ups. He will work directly with CEO Meg Whitman, who said in the Tuesday morning announcement that "There's nothing more important to HP than our channel partners and the future of our business in China. I've asked Todd to use his expertise to focus on these areas. I've also asked him to study the landscape of small companies and start-ups that could partner with... (more)

Intel to Exit Desktop PC Motherboard Market

Intel sent out a message Wednesday saying it will be abandoning the classic desktop PC and leaving it to rivals like Asus, Gigabyte and MSI, even AMD maybe, to supply the boxes' basic boards to HP, Dell and the other vendors. "We disclosed internally today," it said, "that Intel's Desktop Motherboard Business will begin slowly ramping down over the course of the next three years." It means to divert those resources to Ultrabooks, tablets and smartphones. It said "The internal talent and experience of 20 years in the boards business...is being redistributed to address emerging new form factors." "Intel will stop developing new Desktop boards once Haswell launch is completed," the company said. Haswell is due to start rolling out this summer. "Intel expects the broad and capable motherboard ecosystem...Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and many others...to fully support Intel's grow... (more)

Cougar Point Fallout

After Intel disclosed its billion-dollar Cougar Point chipset flub Monday, Samsung said it will offer the people who bought 2,000-3,000 of its PCs that carry the tainted widget a refund or exchange on Intel's dime. NEC told Bloomberg that it would probably delay shipping four new models. HP has canceled a business notebook announcement scheduled for February 10, stopped making desktops and laptops with the chip and halted shipments. It's offering refunds or exchanges. Dell's got kit impacted in its XPS, Vostro and Alienware lines and has halted production. It will either take machines back or replace the motherboards when it gets the fixed chipset from Intel. Asustek reportedly shipped a lot of product and is recalling it. According to Bloomberg it expects its February revenues to be off by $35 million. Apple is reportedly unaffected. Well, at least it's not saying ... (more)

SECUDE’s Secure Login Client Version 5.0 Enables Windows 7 Support

Security Journal on Ulitzer The need for an easy single, yet secure, login procedure has always been an elusive issue for many big organizations. Multiple user names and passwords, multiple logins, and the ensuing confusion and frustration consume much of a user's productivity in terms of time and energy. Secure Login Secure Login provides secure Single Sign-On and total landscape encryption for SAP supporting a variety of different authentication mechanisms including Active Directory, LDAP, SAP-ID, RADIUS, RSA SecurID®, SQL DB, and even smart cards. Secure Login is tightly integrated into SAP by making use of its Secure Network Communications (SNC) framework and by fully supporting SAP's Cryptographic Library (SAPCryptolib) which means that no third party or SECUDE components need to be installed on the SAP server. However, SECUDE also provides its own cryptograph... (more)