Industry observers have heralded the death of the PC for years now -- and it appears those prophecies are indeed coming to pass. The worldwide PC market is coming off of its worst quarter in history with shipments 13.9 percent lower than they were a year ago, according to IDC. The damage was far worse than the 7.7 percent decline the research company had predicted; it also marked the fourth consecutive quarter of year-over-year shipment declines.
Hewlett-Packard, Asus, Acer, Dell, and other prominent PC makers that have seen their pieces of the PC market pie steadily shrink can no longer blame the global recession. If they need to point fingers, they can lay some blame at Microsoft's feet for failing to inspire with Windows 8. They can blame (or credit) Apple for its lead role in accelerating the arrival of post-PC era, where tablets and smartphones have emerged as essential PC supplements if not outright alternatives. But most of all, PC makers have no one to blame but themselves for clinging far too long to the same old hardware designs while continually betting the farm on the success of Windows.
Research In Motion Limited, now doing business as BlackBerry, shipped about 1 million BlackBerry Z10 smartphones during its fiscal fourth quarter.
Anything more than a million in Z10 sales in the quarter can be considered a success for BlackBerry, anything less would have been disappointing, according to Ovum. The Z10 is the first BlackBerry 10 OS device.
BlackBerry shipped a total of 6 million smartphones in the quarter, the company said Thursday as it released its quarterly earnings.
Revenue in its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended on March 2, was approximately $2.7 billion, down 36 percent from the same quarter of fiscal 2012. Net income from continuing operations for the quarter was $94 million, compared to a net loss of $118 million during 2012. Read more...
The buying and selling of used IT equipment is not a trivial market, but it doesn't get enormous attention. In many cases, enterprises unload used equipment as a trade-in or at bargain price to a wholesaler because they just want the equipment off the floor.
A new Chicago-based startup says it has developed a system to help enterprises get as much value out of their old IT equipment as possible.
The company, MarkITx, is running an online system for selling equipment, but it's not a new version of an eBay-like system. The seller and buyer remain invisible to each other, the money goes in escrow, and the transaction may even involve third-party vendors to refurbish equipment. 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...
Two years after it managed to place a browser-related app on the iOS App Store, Mozilla last week announced it was retiring Firefox Home and yanked it from Apple's market.
The move was only the latest in a string of messages that the open-source company has sent over several years that it is not interested in developing a version of Firefox for the iPhone or iPad.
Firefox Home, which was approved by Apple on July 16, 2010, was not a full-fledged browser, but instead was a spin-off of the bookmark and tab synchronization technology Mozilla offered as an add-on, then later built into the desktop browser. The app gave users access to their browser bookmarks and history, to the open tabs from their most recent Firefox sessions, and to Firefox's "Awesome Bar" -- Mozilla's name for the address bar -- that let users search for previously-visited pages using keywords or characters in the URL or page title. Read more...
Apple's personal computers remained fixed in fourth place during 2012's second quarter, a spot it's occupied most of the year, a technical support franchise said today.
The cause, ironically, was the very success that Apple has had selling Mac laptops and desktops.
"It's due to Apple's increased market share," said David Milman, founder and CEO of Rescuecom of Syracuse, N.Y., in explaining Apple's spot in his company's repair and reliability rating.
"That increase has put some stress on their systems," Milman argued. "They've done a great job with their retail stores and the [in-store] Genius Bar, but Apple owners are telling us that they sometimes have to wait two, three or four days for an appointment, even when they have AppleCare. [Apple's] not as responsive, so some people are bypassing AppleCare because they don't want to wait."
The number of Mac owners who turn to Rescuecom for support directly impacted Apple's score. Read more...
As enterprise adoption of Hadoop booms, the pool of IT personnel able to build and maintain deployments hasn't kept pace. In May, analyst firm IDC pegged the compound annual growth rate for the Hadoop software market at more than 60 percent, forecasting an ascent to $812.8 million in 2016 from a base of $77 million in 2011.
The Apache Foundation's Hadoop distributed computing technology initially staked out a role in search engines. Yahoo helped get the software off the ground, announcing what it termed the largest Hadoop production application in 2008. Distributions of the open-source software have since boosted availability beyond the earliest adopters. Cloudera kicked off its Hadoop distribution in 2009, followed by Hortonworks and MapR Technologies.
As Hadoop penetrates a broadening range of industries, from publishing to agriculture, IT departments look to Hadoop distributors and specialized consulting firms to fill Hadoop skills gaps. CIOs and IT managers look for outside help to launch projects, write code, and generally navigate the Hadoop ecosystem. IT organizations also tap channel partners for training as they seek to grow in-house Hadoop talent. Read more...
Apple will continue to dominate the world's tablet market through 2016 if it launches a smaller iPad this year, according to research firm IDC.
In a revised five-year forecast, IDC said last week that the addition of a so-called "iPad Mini" into its model line-up will keep Apple's share above the 60% bar for the foreseeable future. Apple's tablet line overall would account for 60.8% of the market in 2016.
That's a huge turnaround from earlier IDC projections that just two months ago predicted the iPad would slip under 50% as soon as 2014 and fall to 47.8% by 2016. In May, IDC estimated that Android tablets would soon start to chew into Apple's lead and by 2015 would account for the majority of devices.
The difference between the two forecasts for the iPad was a whopping 14 percentage points. Read more...
The IT job market is either hot or lackluster, but mostly it is difficult for anyone who is seeking a job or hiring. There are plenty of companies searching for employees, but jobs are nonetheless elusive for many. It's a job market of contradictions.
Employers aren't making it easier for job seekers, and may be suffering from expectation inflation. Some employers want superstars, with resumes as rich as the high school student who not only quarterbacked the football team, but led the math club to a state tournament, played Lady Macbeth on stage and hit a 4.0 GPA.
And then there Crown Equipment, a manufacturing company that makes fork lifts and other types of systems used to move materials around. It has about 16 IT job openings in product development and business operations. The problem Crown faces in attracting candidates is its location. It's in New Bremen, Ohio, (Pop. 3,000). Thankfully, St. Marys is about 8 miles down the road, and Dayton, only 60 miles away.
"[New Bremen is] a great place to raise a family but if you want to go to Taco Bell you have to drive to St. Marys," said Jim Gaskell, director of global Insite products at Crown.
Insite is a name of a product line that helps customers track their forklifts and personnel, make better use of their equipment, and provide overall operational intelligence. Crown host the system in the cloud, and customers, if they chose to, can deploy independent of their internal IT. Read more...
Most tablets in use today are iPad-size. That's because most tablets in use are iPads.
This reality has led pundits to believe that iPad size is the right size for a touch tablet. But I've come to believe that in just two years, iPad-size tablets will represent a small minority of the market.
It's hard to believe now, but experts used to argue about whether there was room in the space between a phone and a laptop for any kind of consumer electronics device.
Now it has become clear that there are major markets for two sizes: An iPad size in the 10-in. diagonal range, and a smaller size in the 7-in. diagonal range.
Not only should these two form factors be considered distinct, but in many ways they should be considered opposites. The big one is portable (home, office, coffee shop) and the other is mobile (absolutely everywhere). Read more...
A Microsoft in-store program that scrubs "bloatware" from Windows PCs will also be offered when Windows 8 machines reach the market later this year, a company representative said Wednesday.
The service, which is offered only in Microsoft's small chain of retail stores -- it now has 21 operating or in the works -- is dubbed "Signature Upgrade," and costs $99.
"We take off all the bloatware on the PC," said a Microsoft store employee Wednesday when asked about the service.
On Microsoft's website, the company described the Signature Upgrade this way: "We'll install everything you need and remove the things you don't, for a faster, more efficient, and secure PC experience." Read more...
In September 2010, I wrote a post that ignited an absolute shitstorm around these parts. “Shitstorm” in this case meaning a post with a thousand comments, the majority of which were spewed up by rabid Android fanatics. The title of that post:
Is Android Surging Only Because Apple Is Letting It?
At the time, we were in the midst of a massive Android surge to the top of the smartphone ecosystem food chain. This was happening all around the world, but the focus of this particular post was the U.S. market. Based on some comments made by developer David Beach at the time, I wondered if, as the title suggested, Android was only doing so well in the U.S. because the iPhone was still only available on one carrier, AT&T? Read more...
Oracle moved quickly on Friday to lay out its plans for the HCM (human capital management) software market, a couple days after rival SAP did the same thing.
SAP and Oracle have each made significant acquisitions of cloud-based HCM vendors in the past few months, with SAP paying $3.4 billion for SuccessFactors and Oracle announcing plans to buy Taleo for $1.9 billion earlier this month.
While many companies have already invested in a core human-resources software system for areas like payroll and benefits management, Taleo will bring Oracle applications on the fringes of the HCM category, such as recruitment and employee onboarding, that can be sold into existing and new accounts. Taleo will also give Oracle increased relevance in the cloud software market as well as staff with hands-on experience running a SaaS (software-as-a-service) business. SAP is seen as getting similar benefits from SuccessFactors. Read more...
Back in December, Panasonic announced that it was preparing a full-on global assault on the smartphone market. Up first is Europe, where the company’s opening salvo will be fired in a 4.3″ shell. That phone has now gotten official as the Panasonic Eluga.
An interesting choice in names, to be sure, but it probably has something to do with the phone’s aquatic exploits (like the whale that rhymes with Eluga). It joins the ever-increasing list of waterproof and dustproof phones, though it’s anything but whale-like in terms of weight at just 103g. That makes it lighter than even the waifish NEC Medias N-04C. Hardware details are very thin at this point, but Panasonic has revealed that the Eluga’s 4.3-inch display packs 540 x 960 pixels — no word on whether it uses an OLED panel as previously rumored. Read more...
If you work as a Linux developer or system administrator, your pay should be increasing -- and so should your job offers -- according to a new survey of hiring managers.
The survey found that salaries for Linux developers, system administrators and those with related skills increased 5% last year, with bonuses averaging about 15%.
The survey of approximately 2,000 hiring managers and staffing agencies was conducted by The Linux Foundation, an industry group, and Dice, an employment jobs board. The study only looked at Linux and didn't benchmark gains across other platforms.
Dice has about 11,000 jobs posted on its site that require Linux experience to some extent -- an increase of 17% from last year, said Alice Hill, managing director of Dice.com. Read more...