BlackBerry said it will be at least next week until it relaunches the BlackBerry Messenger service for Android and iOS.
The delay comes amid some drastic problems that are hitting BlackBerry, including slow smartphone sales, layoff plans and an offer by an investment firm to take the company private.
In a blog post late Monday, BlackBerry Messenger head Andrew Bocking said workers are now trying to completely block an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app that first appeared on Saturday.
The unreleased app "resulted in volumes of data traffic orders of magnitude higher than normal for each active user and impacted the system in abnormal ways," he said.
About 1 million active users of the unreleased app suddenly appeared on Saturday, and BlackBerry quickly realized that the "only way to address the issue was to pause the rollout for both Android and iPhone." Read more...
The man police suspect of a mass shooting Monday at the Washington Navy Yard was employed by an IT subcontractor working on a government network project. He got that job despite having an arrest record for gun violence.
Aaron Alexis, 34, who was killed by police, was upgrading the Navy and Marine Corp.'s network. He was working for a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based firm called The Experts.
There isn't much information available on Alexis' IT skills, but there is much detail about Alexis' prior arrest record of reckless gun behavior, and it's going to raise a lot of questions.
Because Alexis was employed on a military IT project, he almost certainly needed a security clearance with a background investigation. Read more...
Oracle's annual OpenWorld conference is less than a week away, and as usual the vendor is expected to make a slew of new product and strategy announcements.
This year's show is set to be bigger than ever, but it's not clear whether OpenWorld's energy level will match that generated by rival Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference, which occurs in November, said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research.
"Oracle's challenge is that it has to figure out how to take its current customer base and help them move to become a more innovative customer base," Wang said. "Salesforce has early adopters and people that believe in the religion, and Oracle has people that are just keeping the lights on and trying to cut costs." Read more...
Microsoft will release Windows 8.1, a free update for Windows 8, on 18 October. The plan had been for no pre-release code until then, but Microsoft has back-tracked.
The release to manufacturing (RTM) code is now available early to developers and IT professionals via Microsoft’s MSDN and TechNet subscription sites.
There are indications, though, the “release” build is not quite what will be released.
Company vice president Stephen "Guggs" Guggenheimer said: “The primary purpose of Windows 8.1 RTM and Visual Studio 2013 RC availability is for testing as our engineering teams continue to refine and update the product and tools in preparation for Windows 8.1 general availability on October 18.” Read more...
With Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s mobile business for $7.1bn, the Redmond software giant has finally become a phone and device maker.
The deal gives Microsoft Nokia’s global handset engineering, manufacturing, sales and distribution business; the family of Windows-Phone-powered Lumia smartphones; a war chest of 8,500 Lumia and Asha phone patents while licensing 30,000 utility patents; and a standing army of 32,000 Nokia employees. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.
Interestingly, it's not Microsoft’s biggest purchase: it’s second to the $8.2bn purchase of loss-making internet chat biz Skype in 2011.
The Nokia acquisition also potentially gives Microsoft its next chief executive officer: Nokia boss Stephen Elop who was once a senior suit in Redmond.
Announcing the deal on Monday night, outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer called it a “bold step into the future”. Nokia has talent in hardware design and engineering, supply chain and manufacturing management, sales, marketing and distribution, Ballmer told his employees. Read more...
EMC's VNX hybrid storage line is now built for flash first, with revamped software that can take full advantage of multicore processors, producing what the company calls a major boost in performance.
As the cost of flash media falls and more enterprises turn to it for faster access to at least some of their data, hybrid arrays of both SSDs (solid-state disks) and HDDs (hard disk drives) are becoming an enterprise storage mainstay. Getting the full benefit of flash in those platforms requires more than just installing SSDs in place of spinning disks, so EMC and others are upping their game to increase speed across the board.
EMC is unveiling the new generation of its more than two-year-old VNX line at an event in Milan on Wednesday and presenting it as a major advance for the midrange storage platform. Whereas the current VNX is designed for HDDs and can accommodate SSDs, the new platform was built from the assumption that all customers would put in at least some flash, said Eric Herzog, senior vice president of product management and marketing. As before, the system can also be configured entirely with flash. "It's designed to make flash as fast as possible," Herzog said. Read more...
Microsoft wants to build a better mobile phone through its acquisition of Nokia's mobile phone business. One way it hopes to do that? By improving its maps applications to better compete against Google's.
"An effective alternative to Google" and "more than one digital map of the world" are needed, Microsoft said in a presentation on the strategic rationale for the deal, which was posted to the company's website.
Microsoft will acquire several new mapping and location services as part of its acquisition of Nokia's Devices & Services business, announced Monday.
Chief among them are Nokia's Here Drive, Here Maps and Here Transit. All three were designed to help people travel more efficiently and reduce carbon emissions in the process. Read more...
Steve Ballmer's successor will have to do plenty to revitalize Microsoft. Here's what should be at the top of his list: Stopping the company's unhealthy reliance on Windows as the centerpiece of almost everything it does.
Microsoft has long relied on Windows to bully competitors and push its way into new markets. It was a technique perfected by Bill Gates, and helped the company gain a dominant browser share, as well as put an end to the dominance of competing productivity software including WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3, and Harvard Graphics. Steve Ballmer as CEO simply continued on the path set by Bill Gates. But it's been years since the strategy worked. By relying on it, Microsoft has fallen far behind in Internet search and mobile computing.
That's why Microsoft needs to finally end its reliance on Windows. And with a new CEO coming onboard, now is the perfect time to do that.
The first thing a new CEO should do is release versions of Office for Android tablets and the iPad as quickly as possible. Microsoft is holding out on doing that because it hopes that if Windows tablets can run Office but its competitors can't, that will give Microsoft an edge in tablets. Read more...
SDN (software-defined networking) promises some real benefits for people who use networks, but to the engineers who manage them, it may represent the end of an era.
Ever since Cisco made its first routers in the 1980s, most network engineers have relied on a CLI (command-line interface) to configure, manage and troubleshoot everything from small-office LANs to wide-area carrier networks. Cisco's isn't the only CLI, but on the strength of the company's domination of networking, it has become a de facto standard in the industry, closely emulated by other vendors.
As such, it's been a ticket to career advancement for countless network experts, especially those certified as CCNAs (Cisco Certified Network Associates). Those network management experts, along with higher level CCIEs (Cisco Certified Internetwork Experts) and holders of other official Cisco credentials, make up a trained workforce of more than 2 million, according to the company.
A CLI is simply a way to interact with software by typing in lines of commands, as PC users did in the days of DOS. With the Cisco CLI and those that followed in its footsteps, engineers typically set up and manage networks by issuing commands to individual pieces of gear, such as routers and switches. Read more...
Good Technology has integrated its Dynamics Secure Mobility Platform with Salesforce.com's Mobile SDK to help developers build mobile applications that are more secure and easily managed.
The growing popularity of smartphones and tablets combined with the BYOD (bring-your-own-device) trend presents several challenges to IT departments, including developing mobile applications and then efficiently managing and protecting them. Salesforce.com's Mobile SDK (software development kit) helps with the former and Good's Secure Mobility Platform offers the latter. Read more...
Google’s Android product chief is leaving Mountain View for an up-and-coming Chinese smartphone-maker.
Vice president of Android product management Hugo Barra has announced he’s joining Android smartphone maker Xiaomi as vice president of its global team to expand the device-maker’s product portfolio and worldwide reach.
The company, which developed its own Android fork under the direction of co-founder former Google engineering director Bin Lin, also makes other devices that are integrated with its MIUI-based firmware, including an internet telly set-top box called the Millet.
The Chinese firm, whose employees include other senior Googlers, last week raised $10m in venture funding. Read more...
Adding insult to injury after Wall Street boosted Microsoft's stock price when CEO Steve Ballmer announced he would retire, now a U.K. bookmaker is taking bets on Ballmer's replacement.
Ladbrokes, a 127-year-old bookmaking conglomerate that runs nearly 3,000 betting shops in the U.K., Ireland, Belgium and Spain, has opened wagers on Microsoft's next CEO with a list of 26 candidates that include current and former Microsoft executives as well as people from rivals such as Apple and Facebook.
"There is always interest in high-profile CEO vacancies and we feel that offering the odds gives our view of the likelihood of the chances various contenders have," said Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes in an email.
Current Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop was the favorite, at odds of 5 to 1. Betting $100 with Ladbrokes on Elop to get the CEO chair would return a profit of $500 if he was, in fact, named to the top spot.
Elop, 49, worked for Microsoft two years, running the group responsible for Office after another former executive, Steven Sinofsky, left that position to head up Windows development. Elop has been the CEO at Nokia since September 2010. Read more...
Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff says that Bill Gates should take the helm at Microsoft as interim CEO for three years as a way to turn around the company. That's exactly what Microsoft doesn't need. Here's why.
Benioff told CNet:
"There is no clear candidate with the visionary skills to turn company around other than Bill Gates. He wouldn't just be a magnet for a new vision, but for a talent pool of leadership."
He says that Gates should take the job for only three years, as a way to right the company, and then turn over the reigns to a hand-picked successor. He explained:
"He could come back with new ways to run the company, let (his wife) Melinda run the charitable foundation, make changes and identify the next leader to come, with a clear window of three years."
Let's start off with reality: It's not going to happen. Gates has clearly said that he's not interested in the job. And even though a U.K. bookie as put the odds at 50 to 1 of him becoming CEO, the odds are actually far longer than that. Read more...
Samsung plans to announce a new Galaxy device -- probably the Note III -- on Sept. 4 in Berlin, according to an invitation sent to reporters on Monday. The invitation includes mention of a live Webcast of the event, and the words: "Be the first to experience the next Galaxy."
There are Galaxy-branded tablets and smartphones, and also phablets.
In early September last year in Berlin, Samsung launched its Galaxy Note II large-screen smartphone. An annual refresh of the Note this fall has been expected, and the Sept. 4 event is timed two days prior to the start of the IFA technology conference in same city. The IFA conference is slated for Sept. 6-11. Read more...
More than five years ago, Cisco began warning wireless carriers and consumers about the coming barrage of video traffic over networks. Now that barrage is here and there's more to come.
When Facebook-owned Instagram added 15-second video snippets to its iOS and Android apps in late June, the company reported that 5 million videos were uploaded in the first 24 hours by many of its 130 million active users.
At one point, users were uploading 40 hours of video per minute, Instagram said.
Instagram, like Twitter's Vine application, is focused on allowing video sharing for the masses. Both models allow users to take video and then store and forward it. On the plus side, Instagram and Vine are not as burdensome on networks as video conferencing (sometimes called video chat), which is real-time and two-way. Read more...