Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Microsoft to Windows XP: Please Die, Already

Microsoft is eager for Windows XP, its 10-year-old operating system, to fade into computing history. The sooner the better, in fact. But for that to happen, the Redmond company needs millions of XP users to drop creaky, old XP and migrate (hopefully) to Windows 7, or even to Windows 8, which won't arrive until next year.

Windows XP's demise may be proceeding steadily, but Redmond wants to pick up the pace. According to analytics firm Net Applications, XP finished September 2011 with a 50.5 percent share of all desktop operating systems, a drop of nearly 10 percent from just ten months earlier.

Microsoft has made it clear in recent weeks that it will be ending support for XP in April 2014, a hard deadline the company hopes will light a fire under enterprise customers still running XP on aging iron.

Redmond usually supports its operating systems for 10 years after their introduction. However, it made an exception in XP's case, extending the OS's lifespan by three years due to XP's popularity in the enterprise market.

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Is Microsoft gunning for Yahoo again?

Computerworld - The will-they-or-won't-they questions are heating up again.

For weeks now, the blogosphere has been awash with speculation that Microsoft may make a new play to acquire Yahoo, which has seen significant upheaval since the firing of CEO Carol Bartz early last month.

The Wall Street Journal reported early Thursday that Microsoft execs are discussing a Yahoo acquisition. Citing unnamed sources, the Journal reported that Microsoft is working with Silver Lake Partners, a private equity firm, to put together a bid for Yahoo.

Silver Lake Partners., a tech investor, has bought stakes in Skype, Seagate Technology and Avaya.

The newspaper reported that the deal being considered would include funding from banks and Silver Lake, along with a major investment from Microsoft.

After the report, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang said during a conference in Hong Kong that the company isn't up for sale.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ballmer feels lucky Microsoft didn't buy Yahoo in 2008

DG News Service - Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer feels intensely fortunate that his company's US$44 billion bid for Yahoo back in 2008 never materialized.

"Sometimes you're lucky," he said with a smile at Web 2.0 Summit, responding to a question from conference co-chair John Battelle.

Careful not to offend his search market partner, Ballmer put his comment in context, saying that any CEO would feel grateful for not making a major acquisition in the months prior to the global financial collapse that started in the second half of 2008.

"We would have been closing [the Yahoo deal right after] Lehman Brothers," Ballmer said, referring to the historical collapse of one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. Microsoft made its offer for Yahoo in early 2008 and withdrew it several months later.

Of course, Yahoo has continued to struggle since 2008, when Microsoft made its acquisition bid, and this year Yahoo's fortunes have taken a more steep downturn. CEO Carol Bartz was fired last month, and this week the company announced that CTO Raymie Stata has been replaced, as the company struggles to emerge from years-long financial and technology funk.

Although Ballmer made a point of saying that "there are a lot of great things about Yahoo" and that he's very satisfied with Yahoo as a search partner, it's clear that Yahoo would be worth much less than what Microsoft offered for it in 2008.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Gartner: Lenovo Now 2nd-Largest Worldwide PC Vendor

Lenovo is now the second-largest PC vendor in the worldwide market for the first time.

ZoomWednesday Gartner Research said that worldwide PC shipments actually grew 3.2-percent in the third quarter of 2011 compared to the same quarter in 2010, totaling 91.8 million units. However Gartner also said that the numbers are actually lower than its earlier projection of a 5.1-percent growth during Q3 2011.

"The inventory buildup, which slowed growth the last four quarters, mostly cleared out during the third quarter of this year; however, the PC industry has been performing below normal seasonality," said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. "As expected, back-to-school PC sales were disappointing in mature markets, confirming that the consumer PC market continues to be weak. The popularity of non-PC devices, including media tablets, such as the iPad and smartphones, took consumers' spending away from PCs."

Ouch. Yet despite all the talk about spinning off its PC division, Gartner points out that HP actually grew faster than the industry standard in the third quarter, and still reigns as the #1 worldwide PC vendor shipping over 16 million units, a 5.3-percent jump from the numbers seen in the same quarter last year. It's current market share hovers at 17.7-percent, just over 4-percent more than the new #2 PC vendor, Lenovo.

"Lenovo became the second-largest PC vendor in the worldwide market for the first time," Gartner said. "The company's expansion was boosted in part by the joint vendor with NEC in Japan. However, its aggressive marketing to both the professional and consumer PC markets accelerated its shipment volume."

According to the report, Lenovo shipped more than 12 million units in the third quarter and currently commands 13.5-percent of the market. The company has actually enjoyed a growth of 25.2-percent compared to the sub-10 million units and 11.1-percent market share seen in Q3 2010. Dell reportedly controlled 12.2-percent of the market during the same 2010 quarter, but didn't share the same growth into 2011.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Intel to Bundle Liquid Cooler with Sandy Bridge-E CPUs

Intel has confirmed that they will be bundling a sealed liquid cooling system with its next-generation Core i7-3000 series (Sandy Bridge-E) CPUs.

Intel has teamed with Asetek to provide an Intel-branded sealed liquid cooler for their CPUs. Intel becomes the first major CPU manufacturer to offer this as a base thermal cooling solution over the standard air cooler. In addition, it shows Intel's commitment to provided users with new, improved options, along with offering options designed with the overclocking community in mind.

The cooler will be sold as a bundle option with their Sandy Bridge-E series CPUs. Users will be able to purchase the Sandy Bridge-E processors with or without the bundled cooler. This allows the end-user to determine what thermal cooling solution they want to utilize with their new CPUs, without having to deal with the "basic Intel heat-sink" utilized through the years. This does mean that the end-user will need to make sure they either go with the bundled option or have a 3rd-Party cooling option chosen for their new processor. 

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Friday, October 7, 2011

Steve Jobs interview: One-on-one in 1995

Computerworld - In April of 1995, Steve Jobs, then head of NeXT Computer, was interviewed as part of the Computerworld Honors Program Oral History project. The wide-ranging interview was conducted by Daniel Morrow, executive director of the awards program.

From his early years -- when he says except for a few key adults 'I would absolutely have ended up in jail' -- to how he felt about Apple in the mid-'90s -- 'The Macintosh will die in another few years [under John Sculley]' -- to his predictions about how the Internet would change the world, this is a rare look at Jobs after his first string of innovations but before he returned to Apple.

Steve, I'd like to begin with some biographical information. Tell us about yourself. Steve Jobs (SJ): I was born in San Francisco, California, USA, planet Earth, February 24, 1955. I can go into a lot of details about my youth, but I don't know that anybody would really care about that too much.

Well they might in three hundred years because all this print is going to disintegrate. Tell me a little bit about your parents, your family; what are the earliest things you remember? In 1955, Eisenhower was still President. I don't remember him but I do remember growing up in the late 50's and early 60's. It was a very interesting time in the United States. America was sort of at its pinnacle of post World War II prosperity and everything had been fairly straight and narrow from haircuts to culture in every way, and it was just starting to broaden into the 60's where things were going to start expanding out in new directions. Everything was still very successful. Very young. America seemed young and naive in many ways to me, from my memories at that time.

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