Respected analyst firm Gartner is set to recommend that all BlackBerry enterprise customers find alternatives to the struggling vendor's smartphones and enterprise management software over the next six months.
Garner's advice to users comes after BlackBerry today confirmed that it expects to lose $965 million in the second quarter amid slow sales of its Z10 smartphone since its release in March.
On Monday, BlackBerry had announced plans to sell the company to Fairfax Financial Holdings of Toronto for $4.7 billion. That came just days after BlackBerry disclosed plans to lay off some 4,500 of its 12,500 workers.
"Gartner recommends that our [BlackBerry enterprise] clients take no more than six months to consider and implement alternatives to BlackBerry," said Gartner analyst Bill Menezes today. "We're emphasizing that all clients should immediately ensure they have backup mobile data management plans and are at least testing alternative devices to BlackBerry." Read more...
The jarring combination of Microsoft's radical reinvention of Windows with old-style hardware caused the average satisfaction score of PC makers to slip in the last year, a pollster said today.
Meanwhile, Apple again took top honors by tying its own 2011 record in computing device customer satisfaction as measured by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), a consumer survey that's tracked opinions on technology for 18 years.
Apple's score of 87 -- out of a possible 100 -- was up one point from 2012 and seven points higher than its closest competitor.
The ACSI survey polled more than 2,700 Americans in April and May, asking them to rate their experiences with recently purchased devices -- desktop and notebook personal computers, as well as tablets -- sold by Apple, Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba. The rest of the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) were lumped into a secondary "All Others" category in ACSI's results.
With a score of 80, HP was Apple's nearest rival; other OEMs collected scores between 76 and 79. Read more...
There's a maxim in the data center business that you can't manage what you can't measure, and eBay has come up with the mother of all measurement systems for calculating data center efficiency.
The online auction giant has devised a methodology that looks at the cost of its IT operations in dollars, kilowatt hours and carbon emissions, and ties those costs back to a single performance metric -- in eBay's case, the number of buy and sell transactions its customers make at eBay.com.
The result is a set of data that provides the equivalent of a "miles per gallon" metric for data centers, which organizations can use as a baseline to improve on over time, said Dean Nelson, head of eBay's Global Foundation Services, which manages its data centers worldwide. Read more...
Zendesk said Thursday a hacker gained access to support information for some customers of its online help desk software.
"We've become aware that a hacker accessed our system this week," wrote Mikkel Svane, Zendesk's CEO. "As soon as we learned of the attack, we patched the vulnerability and closed the access that the hacker had."
The company has more than 20,000 customers, including large enterprises such as Sears, Xerox and Groupon. Svane wrote that the three affected customers have been notified, but he did not identify the businesses.
However, Twitter wrote that it was "emailing a small percentage of Twitter users who may have been affected by Zendesk's breach. No passwords involved." Read more...
IBM is making a renewed push into the burgeoning market for all things mobile, saying it can help its corporate customers grow revenue and become more competitive through mobile app development.
The effort pulls together a raft of IBM products and services, some recently acquired, under a new umbrella brand: ThinkMobile. It's aimed at a market that many view as ripe for expansion -- helping business turn the proliferation of smartphones and tablets from a management headache into an advantage. Read more...
The computer industry and the customers it serves have proven to be extraordinarily slippery during the past 45 years.
Though there have been plenty of mundanely accurate predictions of market share, technology development and adoption rates, the predictions that stick in the mind are those that demonstrate spectacular misjudgment, misunderstanding, overly optimistic hyperbole, self-delusion or wishful thinking.
At the time they're made, predictions that are grossly mistaken are rarely recognized as gaffes of historic proportions.
To remedy that, we've listed not only some of the better predictions, but also the changes that demonstrated that even the giants who bestride the computer world like colossi, or like robber barons, don't always know exactly what they're talking about.
"I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse." -- Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com, inventor of Ethernet, 1995. Read more...
Apple on Monday began reminding some iCloud users that they will soon lose the 20GB of free storage they'd received when they migrated from MobileMe.
The company has notified iCloud customers via email that the 20GB will expire Sunday, Sept. 30.
The move only affects users who had previously paid for MobileMe, the synchronization and storage predecessor to iCloud. While iCloud is free to all Mac and iOS device owners, MobileMe cost $99 annually for, among other things, 20GB of online storage space.
During the switch from MobileMe to iCloud -- a process that started in 2011 and ended June 30, 2012 -- Apple offered an additional 20GB of storage to MobileMe subscribers as a way to temporarily tide them over. The 20GB was atop the standard 5GB all iCloud users received as part of the free package. Read more...
With just two months to go before the retail launch of Windows 8, Microsoft has yet to price the new OS.
Analysts today blamed Microsoft's attempt to accommodate both desktops and tablets with Windows 8 for the lack of information.
"The delay in releasing pricing is all about uncertainty around the PC market and competition from Apple," argued Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy. "Microsoft needs to price Windows in a way that looks smart versus Apple's OS X, doesn't leave money on the table with commercial PC customers, and enables OEMs to compete better with the iPad."
The delay in pricing Windows 8 is real: During the Windows Vista and Windows 7 cycles, Microsoft unveiled retail prices weeks before each OS made the RTM, or "release to manufacturing," milestone, and four or more months before retail sales started. Read more...
Salesforce.com suffered a significant service outage on Tuesday, less than two weeks after another serious set of system problems.
The cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) vendor's systems are divided into many instances around the world, each serving customers in different geographic regions.
Seven instances went down at some time or another on Tuesday, starting with NA1, NA5, and NA6 in North America, according to a notice posted at 12:49 a.m. PDT on Salesforce.com's system status page. Shortly thereafter, the CS0, CS1, CS3, and CS12 regions, which are part of a set of "sandbox" instances Salesforce.com customers can use for development, testing and new feature previewing, were also affected, according to the site. Read more...
The data plan is folded into Verizon's new Share Everything Plans that's slated to roll out on June 28 for new and existing customers.
The Share Everything Plans will offer unlimited voice minutes, text, video and picture messaging for 10 Verizon Wireless mobile devices, the company said in a statement.
The plans call for customers to pick a monthly access fee per device, ranging from $10 for tablets up to $40 for smartphones. Each device must be added to an account. Read more...
EMC subsidiary VMware has acknowledged that a hacker has released some of the company's source code. The currently accessible code includes a file containing C macros for generating code on x86 platforms and a lightly documented Perl script that could be relevant for the processing of object code. VMware said that the files date back to 2003 and 2004 and are part of the ESX hypervisor, which has since been superseded by ESXi.
A post on the threatpost blog, run by security firm Kaspersky, shows a copy of an email which is nine years old and contains the subject line "code review: untruncating segments". The article continues by saying that a hacker who goes by the name of "Hardcore Charlie" downloaded 300MB of VMware sources. Read more...
Most of the 250 customers that have licensed Oracle's recently launched Fusion Applications so far have chosen a SaaS deployment model instead of running it on-premises, a senior executive said this week during the Collaborate user group conference in Las Vegas.
And they are doing so "in a coexistence fashion," running Fusion alongside their existing Oracle business software, such as E-Business Suite, and looking to add more Fusion modules over time, said Chris Leone, senior vice president of applications development, during a keynote address. Read more...
Workday is rolling out version 16 of its cloud-based ERP (enterprise resource planning) software to customers this week, an update that includes upgrades to the financials component that could help it steal away deals with large enterprises from the likes of Oracle and SAP.
The company has already gained notice for large contracts it has landed for its HCM (human capital management) module with companies like Flextronics and Kimberly-Clark. Read more...
Meg Whitman has spent her first six months at Hewlett-Packard talking to customers and employees and learning how the business works, but apparently she didn't get much of a history lesson.
"HP will be 70 in 2014," she said proudly at HP's annual shareholder meeting Wednesday. Few Silicon Valley companies can boast such longevity, she said, and her job now is to set HP up for "the next 70 years."
It's a line Whitman's been using for the past few months as she tries to drum up enthusiasm for the new, reinvigorated HP she hopes to build. The only trouble is, it appears to be wrong, as an elderly shareholder gently pointed out to her.
"I believe HP was founded in 1939," he said during the question-and-answer session after her talk. Wouldn't that make HP 75 in 2014? Read more...
Hewlett-Packard has expanded technology support options for its premium Elite PC customers, who will now be able to select a single tech support person to deal with over the life of a PC, the company said on Wednesday.
Under the new support plan, customers can get a single number and single point of contact for quick PC support. Business customers can schedule support calls at the time of their choice.
Other options include prioritized support and PC set-up options. The support plans extend to remote and cloud-based PC support. Read more...