Friday, March 30, 2012

IT jobs will grow 22% through 2020, says U.S.

Computerworld - WASHINGTON -- U.S. officials on Thursday said that offshoring will hurt the growth of U.S. programming jobs in this decade, though expansion of healthcare IT and mobile networks will in turn increase demand for software developers, support technicians and systems analysts.

By 2020, employment in all computer occupations is expected to increase by 22%, but some IT fields will fare better than others, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) biennial update of employment projections.

Demand for software developers will be the strongest in this period, with increases ranging from 28% to 32%, depending on the type of software development.

The BLS update imagines what IT employment will look like through 2020.

The agency's forecasts, particularly for technology-related jobs, are often controversial because they can't account for rapid market changes and tech disruptions. But its estimates are often cited in various policy debates on issues ranging from education to immigration.

Read full story...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Asus Can Keep Selling Tablets Using "Transformer" Label

Asus can continue to use the "Transformer" label for now, says a federal judge.

A federal judge has ruled in favor of Asus in its battle with Hasbro over the use of the "Transformer" label, allowing the company to continue selling tablets using the robotic name. Hasbro filed a lawsuit against Asus late last year, claiming that the use of "Transformer" was trademark infringement, and causes consumer confusion even though the tablet doesn't convert into a truck or a bright yellow Mustang.

In the lawsuit, Hasbro said that it contacted Asus about the original Transformer tablet sometime around its release, requesting that the company not use the Transformer name. But according to the lawsuit, "Asus refused to comply." The lawsuit also points to December 2011 ads promoting the Transformer Prime which use imagery that "closely resembles imagery used in Transformers movies and video games, in particular evoking the Transformers home planet of Cybertron."

Read full story...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Microsoft: Google's SPDY is nice for a faster Web, but...

Apparently Microsoft isn't content leaving one potentially important speed boost for the Web to Google.

The company last night announced a plan to improve HTTP -- the Hypertext Transfer Protocol that browsers use to request Web pages and servers use to deliver them -- with a technology it calls HTTP Speed+Mobility. Google has proposed an idea called SPDY for speeding up HTTP and won an important ally at IETF, the group that oversees the standard and that's beginning work on a new HTTP 2.0.

But Microsoft wants a piece of the action, too. It thinks SPDY is OK but wants to augment it with the new WebSocket high-speed communications link between browsers and Web servers. WebSocket has begun arriving in browsers after a hiccup last year.

And Microsoft wants to extend the work so mobile apps, can take advantage of the performance improvement, too. "We think that apps -- not just browsers -- should get faster too. More and more, apps are how people access Web services, in addition to their browser," said Sandeep Singhal, program manager of Microsoft's Windows Core Networking group, and Jean Paoli, general manager of Microsoft's Interoperability Strategy, put it in a blog post about HTTP Speed+Mobility.

Read full story...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Microsoft's ads, humor boost consumer opinion of IE

Computerworld - Microsoft's recent campaigns touting Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), including a tongue-in-cheek promotion it unveiled last week, have moved IE's quality perception needle for U.S. adults, according to a brand quality measurement company.

"When we see an inflection [in the quality scores], we look at other events that are happening," said Ted Marzilli, the global manager for BrandIndex, a brand awareness and consumer perception service of U.K.-based YouGov.

While BrandIndex does not gauge reaction to specific ad campaigns, Marzilli called Microsoft's marketing moves "a contributing factor."

IE's perception index is at its highest level since January 2011, said Marzilli.

Read full story...

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

As ultrabook makers seek stronger sales, some opt for low cost

Ultrabook suppliers are still dealing with pesky market and profitability issues, according to a CNET source and two reports. And some will turn to low-cost designs as a result.

"The ultrabook adoption during the holiday season was ugly," an industry source, who speaks to ultrabook suppliers, told CNET. That source was speaking about sales for one particular ultrabook vendor.

The market for all ultrabook suppliers, however, is still challenging. "You've got a down market on the eve of a new operating system (Windows 8) at a price point that's fairly robust (high)," said the source.
And Acer, a high-profile ultrabook vendor, said today that it is not making a profit for lower-end models, according to a report in The Verge.

Acer's Aspire S3 ultrabook is priced generally at $899.99 but can go as low as $799.99 at Best Buy.

Acer's chairman said in December that ultrabook sales should be between 250,000 and 300,000 in the fourth quarter.

Other first-tier vendors like Hewlett-Packard and Dell have only just begun to sell ultrabooks so it's not clear how they are faring.

Read full story...