Windows 8 powered almost 10% of all devices running Microsoft's OSes last month, even as its uptake pace slowed, according to analytics company Net Applications today.
Meanwhile, Windows XP's decline continued as customers, prodded by the upcoming April 2014 support deadline, again ditched the veteran operating system in droves.
Windows 8's user share of all computing devices running Windows, a tally that includes Windows 8.1, the update slated to ship in two weeks, jumped to 9.8% in September, Net Applications said. The 1.4-point gain was down from the record one-month increase set in August, but nearly double the OS's 12-month average.
The August-September surge of Windows 8 may have been driven by sharp back-to-school sales of touch-based notebooks, which accounted for a quarter of all sales from June 30 through Sept. 7, the NPD Group said last week. Read more...
Northeast Utilities in Connecticut Tuesday confirmed that it plans to turn over part of its IT operations to two India-based outsourcing firms, despite a recent push by state lawmakers to keep it from doing so.
NU says it employs some 400 IT workers, and "will retain about half of those employees" after turning some operations over to outsourcers Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services, two of India's largest IT firms.
Today's announcement makes official what had already been suspected -- the company had told its IT workers weeks ago that it was considering outsourcing tech work.
The utility, which operates New England's largest energy delivery system, today said it is "working with strategic business partners to help conduct the rest of the work - the majority of which will still be conducted locally."
NU said it expects that 40 of its affected IT employees will be rehired by the outsourcers "and will still work at NU facilities."
U.S. Dept. of Labor filings indicate that Infosys has been bringing foreign H-1B workers to an NU job site for the last two years. Read more...
Google is closing in on a deal with competition officials in the European Commission which stops far short of formal sanctions, after the EU's antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia said today that he was negotiating a settlement agreement with the ad giant.
Almunia's office is working on "the precise drafting of the proposed commitment text" with Google over the next few weeks.
The commissioner told the European Parliament this morning that he had concluded that the ad giant's revised offer of concessions on its search biz had "more appropriately” addressed "the need for any commitments to be able to cover future developments". Read more...
SSNDOB, the Russian hacker group that over the course of many months stole massive amounts of personal data from firms like LexisNexis and Dun & Bradstreet, apparently also infiltrated the servers of the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), according to security researcher Brian Krebs.
Last week, Krebs reported how SSNDOB broke into a number of business data brokers and set up botnets to look up customers' personal data, which it then sold via its own Web portal.
On Tuesday Krebs followed up that story with more details about how SSNDOB exploited unpatched server software to perform a similar digital ransacking on the NW3C, which Krebs describes as "a congressionally-funded non-profit organization that provides training, investigative support and research to agencies and entities involved in the prevention, investigation and prosecution of cybercrime." Read more...
Reactive programming, in which programs react to events, is gathering steam as a mechanism for programming on multicore processors and for Web development. The concept is growing in importance in the Java realm, in particular. Typesafe, which has built its Akka middleware stack around the Scala language and reactive programming, is an advocate, and Netflix has been touting functional, reactive programming with its RxJava library for asynchronous and event-based programs, based on Microsoft's Reactive Extensions project.
InfoWorld Editor at Large Paul Krill met with Typesafe Senior Software Engineer Josh Suereth at the recent JavaOne technical conference in San Francisco to talk about reactive programming. Suereth also commented on the importance of Lambdas in the upcoming Java Standard Edition 8 release. Read more...
Aruba Networks today announced a new Aruba Central cloud-based management service for Wi-Fi networks that could be valuable to companies with branch operations, schools and mid-sized networks where IT support is scarce.
Aruba still sells Wi-Fi access points but now is offering Aruba Central cloud management of local Wi-Fi zones, for which it charges $140 per AP annually.
The company also announced the new Aruba Instant 155 AP, a desktop model starting at $895 and available now and the Instant 225 AP for $1.295, available sometime later this month.
A new 3.3 version of the Instant OS is also available, and a new S1500 mobility access switch with 12 to 48 ports starting at $1,495 will ship in late 2013. Read more...
The arrival of Obamacare may make it easier for some employees to quit their full-time jobs to launch tech start-ups, work as a freelance consultant or pursue some other solo career path.
The insurance that's available for sign-up beginning Tuesday on the state health exchanges doesn't exclude people with pre-existing conditions or penalize them with high rates.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that anywhere from 19% to 50% of non-elderly Americans have some type of pre-existing condition. For older American, between 55 and 64 years of age, that figure may be as high as 86%.
Moreover, should you get sick, under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, you won't face possible loss of your health insurance or a rate spike. Read more...
Half of all American iOS users have now updated to the latest operating system, analysts have claimed, while Apple itself reckons 200 million devices worldwide are now running iOS 7.
Just a week after the release of iOS 7, eggheads from Chitika Insights found that 52 per cent of web traffic generated by Apple mobile devices came from people using the latest software.
This adoption rate is roughly the same as that of iOS 6, which was downloaded and installed by half of iOS users within a fortnight of its launch according to Chitika's figures. Read more...
The cyber criminals behind ZeroAccess, one of the largest botnets in existence, have lost access to more than a quarter of the infected machines they controlled because of an operation executed by security researchers from Symantec.
According to Symantec, the ZeroAccess botnet consists of more than 1.9 million infected computers and is used primarily to perform click fraud and Bitcoin mining in order to generate revenues estimated at tens of millions of dollars per year.
ZeroAccess has a peer-to-peer architecture where every infected computer can relay files, instructions and information to other computers -- peers -- in the botnet. This mechanism is used by its operators for command and control (C&C), making ZeroAccess more resilient to takedown attempts than botnets that depend on dedicated C&C servers. Read more...
Intel has signed a deal to acquire Sensory Networks, a provider of software pattern matching technology for network security applications.
Chris Kraeuter, a spokesman at the chip maker, said he could confirm that Intel has signed an agreement to acquire Sensory Networks, but couldn't comment on the deal terms. Some reports said Intel paid about US$20 million for the company.
Sensory Networks, with headquarters in Mountain View, California, also has a research and development office in Sydney, Australia. Read more...
As more people have come online, the way people search has changed - so Google has overhauled its algorithms to better deal with the vague, rambling questions we bombard it with.
The new "Hummingbird" update was announced by Google at a shock-and-awe PR event held in the Menlo Park garage where the ad-slinger spent its early years.
Though Google declined to discuss the technology underlying the algorithm – a depressing break with the past – it did tell us that Hummingbird "makes results more useful and relevant, especially when you ask Google long, complex questions."
According to Google, as time has gone on we have used more sophisticated, conversational queries, and moved away from short directed terms like, say: site:theregister 2009 + IPv6.
Today, people – knowledgable Reg readers aside, that is – are much more likely to write: IPv6 article on the register with pictures from 2009, or something equally hard to parse. Read more...
With a U.S. government shutdown looming, most everyone's asking: How will this affect me? The tech sector's no different -- and given how many government agencies deal with, use, or manage technology in some way, they've got good reason to be worried.
The good news: Not everything will be disabled. A shutdown doesn't affect the entire federal government, only those services which are deemed "nonessential" -- which works out to about 41 percent of the government's workforce; emergency management, the military, law enforcement, senators, and congressmen would stay on the job.
The bad news: A lot of what will get shut down can have a major impact on the technology world, either directly or indirectly. Read more...
A piece of malware designed to launch brute-force password guessing attacks against websites built with popular content management systems like WordPress and Joomla has started being used to also attack email and FTP servers.
The malware is known as Fort Disco and was documented in August by researchers from DDoS mitigation vendor Arbor Networks who estimated that it had infected over 25,000 Windows computers and had been used to guess administrator account passwords on over 6,000 WordPress, Joomla and Datalife Engine websites. Read more...
BlackBerry this weekend defended its ability to continue serving enterprise customers with smartphones and secure mobile management software, responding to a Gartner report recommending that its corporate clients stop using the Canadian vendor's products.
"We remain steadfast in our mission to deliver the most secure and powerful mobile management solutions and smartphones to our customers," BlackBerry said in a statement emailed to Computerworld on Saturday.
The BlackBerry statement called the conclusions by Gartner analysts in the report "purely speculative."
In the eight-page report released on Friday, Gartner urged its enterprise clients to find alternatives to BlackBerry smartphones and BlackBerry Enterprise Service servers within six months. Read more...
Current Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally has moved into second place behind former Nokia chief Stephen Elop in the betting pool as the next Microsoft CEO, according to an Irish bookmaker.
As of Monday, PaddyPower had Elop at odds of 4-to-11 in a listing of potential CEO replacements for outgoing chief Steve Ballmer, meaning someone would have to bet $110 for the chance to take away $40 in profit.
Mulally, whose name resurfaced last week as a serious candidate for the job, was at 3-to-1 odds, good enough for second on PaddyPower's chart: Wagering $100 on Mulally would, if he were named chief executive, return a profit of $300.
Kara Swisher of the AllThingsD blog, an offshoot of the Wall Street Journal, said on Friday that "sources close to the situation" reported Mulally, 68, had gone to the front of the line of potential CEOs.
Mulally has been the president and CEO of Ford Motor for seven years, and had been widely credited with guiding the automobile maker through the 2008-2009 industry crisis when the other two of the Big Three -- General Motors and Chrysler -- went bankrupt and required government bailouts to survive. Read more...