Four little words from Microsoft CFO Amy Hood describe the tragic state of Microsoft's mobile experiment: "negligible revenue from phones."Phone sales for the current quarter were bad, falling $730 million from the same period a year ago, Microsoft executives said Thursday during the company's second-quarter earnings call. But they can't fall much further: Hood was referring to a forecast of the current quarter ending in June, when sales of all Microsoft-branded phones will apparently trickle off into oblivion.Microsoft also said it suffered lower-than-expected sales of Surface Pro products, with an overall drop of 26 percent in Surface revenue. Third-party hardware partners appear to be doing better, however: Microsoft said that sales of its Windows 10 Pro operating systems grew by 10 percent, as more PC vendors were able to sell premium PCs that used Microsoft's more advanced operating system.Why this matters: Microsoft's hardware woes contrast sharply with the welfare of the company … [Read more...] about Surface sales sag and Windows Phones fade, as Microsoft’s hardware business takes a hit
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November 21, 2017 - Written By Nick Sutrich Easily one of the most beautifully designed smartphones ever.As one of the largest smartphone vendors in the world, Huawei has a lot riding on its shoulders with each flagship release. With its own processors, a very well defined hardware design and a big upgrade to its in-house developed EMUI Android skin, the Mate 10 Pro is looking to be Huawei’s best phone yet. The near bezel-less design, dual cameras with a monochrome sensor and Leica lenses, as well as improved knuckle touch functions and a new desktop-like projection function all put the Mate 10 Pro in an elite category.Video ReviewSpecs The Huawei Mate 10 Pro will initially launch in Europe for €799, sporting 128GB of internal storage and 6GB of RAM. The Mate 10 Pro comes in an array of interesting and attractive colors, including Midnight Blue, Mocha Brown, Pink Gold and our review model color, Titanium Gray. A 6-inch full-frame 18:9 Full-HD+ (2160 x 1080) resolution … [Read more...] about Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review
IT certifications are a hot topic. While the industry continues to invest in them as a way to validate an employee’s skill set and capabilities -- and while they’re often associated with salary increases -- they’re time-consuming and expensive to complete.A new report by Global Knowledge, an IT training and learning services company, explored the value of IT certifications in its 2017 IT Skills and Salary Report. How does your experience stack up? Here’s a look at its findings.IT certifications benefit the business Being certified improves workers’ performance, the report found. IT decision makers and staff reported direct benefits of certification, including performing work faster (44 percent), having sought-after expertise within their organization (39 percent), implementing system efficiencies (33 percent) and deploying products and services more efficiently (23 percent). They also benefit your walletIn the U.S. and Canada, certified IT staff … [Read more...] about Do IT certifications still matter?
If you’re a fan of Apple laptops, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news: Apple has finally updated its Pro laptop line with some genuinely new and powerful options. Even better, the new MacBook Pro has been shrunken down to the degree of serving as the MacBook Air’s spiritual successor, which is what many of us had been hoping for all along. The bad news? Apple isn’t just giving, it’s also taking away. At first blush, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, sans fancy Touch Bar, looks like the perfect replacement for my aged MacBook Air from 2013. It’s the thinnest and lightest Pro ever, and it provides the display and performance upgrades my three-year-old laptop has been in desperate need of. Costing $1,499, it sits right in the middle between Apple’s $1,299 MacBook and the new $1,799 MacBook Pro with a Touch Bar and four Thunderbolt ports. It’s like the Air, in that it bridges the gap between Apple’s most portable and … [Read more...] about MacBook Pro review: the Air apparent
The Surface Pro 2 is much improved over the original, but it’s still too heavy for a tablet and is no steal at a price starting around $900.With the recent announcement that it’s acquiring Nokia’s handset business and the imminent launch of the Xbox One, Microsoft feels more like a hardware company than it arguably ever has before. But it has a mixed track record on that front, with major successes like the Xbox 360 and Kinect, and not-so-successful ventures, like the Zune media players, the Kin smartphone line, and, well, the original Surface RT tablet, for which, the company had to take a $900 million loss.Don’t expect to use the Pro 2 comfortably in your lap with one of the keyboard covers attached.Though it’s hard to tell for sure, the higher-end, Intel-based Surface Pro seems to have sold better than the Surface RT tablet, with its smartphone-like internals. But Surface Pro certainly hasn’t snagged a huge amount of market share away from … [Read more...] about Hands On: The Pro 2 is a faster, more powerful Surface (but it’s still a Surface)
Google unveiled its cloud-dependent Chromebook notebooks almost two years ago … and things haven’t been going very well since. The company routinely trumpets numbers about Android device activations, but it has been remarkably silent about Chromebooks (sales figures reported a year ago were shockingly low). Sony was apparently working on a Chromebook, but we’ve yet to see it, leaving Acer and Samsung as the only manufacturers who’ve bothered to make the devices. Both companies launched new Chromebooks for the 2012 end-of-year season. While the Samsung Chromebook is seeing some success, few expect the new models to rocket Chromebooks to new heights of popularity. After all, mainstream consumers are focused on tablets.However, a report from Taiwan’s China Times says that Google may be planning to launch its own line of Chromebooks. What’s more, these Chromebooks will apparently feature a touchscreen. Since Google … [Read more...] about Can Google rescue the Chromebook by making it more like Surface?
Microsoft on Monday announced a slew of products and services for IT professionals and business at its first Ignite conference, being held in Chicago through Friday.It introduced the Microsoft Azure Stack, its next-generation hybrid cloud, which lets companies' IT departments blend enterprise software with distributed applications. It will be previewed this summer."Azure Stack transforms your data center infrastructure into automated resource pools that can be tailored to application service levels. This means that your app owners can quickly consume standardized IaaS/PaaS services using the same self-service experience as Azure -- and they can do it through a consistent app platform that spans on-premises and Azure," said Brad Anderson, corporate vice president, enterprise client & mobility (pictured above).The company also released the next preview of Windows Server 2016, along with Microsoft Operations Management Suite, or OMS -- a cloud-based solution that extends Systems … [Read more...] about Microsoft Fires Up Its Business Engines
Cloud Thunder: The Biggest Bang for the Buck, Part 1 Cloud deployment and delivery architecture offers many opportunities to reduce cost and improve service levels, sometimes too many for the beleaguered IT team. So how can your IT team identify what cloud components might be considered early opportunities for your infrastructure?In Part 1 of this two-part series, I examined a few examples of services in the cloud model, including internal Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and external IaaS. In this installment, I will highlight two additional examples of services in the cloud model -- Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). Let's look at these two cloud strategies, and consider benefits and speed-of-adoption possibilities.The SaaS model may offer IT the opportunity to seize a more immediate benefit, albeit by making a pool of infrastructure highly visible and possibly even eliminating or redeploying human resources. The SaaS provider has typically built … [Read more...] about EXPERT ADVICE Cloud Thunder: The Biggest Bang for the Buck, Part 2
After announcing last month that all of its Creative Suite apps would soon move to the cloud, Adobe on Tuesday made good on its promise and delivered the resulting subscription-based software.Now included under the umbrella name Creative Cloud, the latest versions of apps including Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Premiere Pro are now available exclusively to Creative Cloud subscribers for prices starting at US$19.99 per month.As a way to entice users of Adobe's existing software, Adobe is offering discounts of up to 60 percent for CS6 owners during a year-long period, or a 40 percent discount for those on CS3 to CS5.5."This could be attractive for the customer, but there will be some initial resistance," said Jagdish Rebello, research director at IHS iSuppli. "We're going to see more of these models, where the software is essentially leased to the customer more than sold."Adobe did not respond to our request for further details.Adobe is not the first company to go from selling … [Read more...] about Adobe Sends Creative Suite to the Cloud for Good
Apple has been developing a habit of putting out new stuff each Tuesday. Exactly what it comes out with is almost always a surprise, but since the beginning of the year, it's really taken a toll on the nerves of Apple followers who've been anxiously awaiting a refresh of the MacBook Pro.They finally got their wish; Apple has updated the MacBook Pro and the standard MacBook. Both now feature Intel's new Penryn processor, and the Pro model features the same multitouch track pad found on the MacBook Air. Also, the hardware divide between the two lines of notebooks is becoming thinner and thinner.For example, a top-of-the line MacBook now contains the same processor, L2 cache and front-side bus specs as the lowest-priced MacBook Pro. Of course, with the Pro you do get a bigger screen and a new Nvidia graphics processor. Due to this trend of putting out new stuff on Tuesdays this year, we're going to have to amend our prediction for iPhone 2.0's birthday. Previously we put it at May 5 -- … [Read more...] about PODCAST MacBook Gets Pumped, Microsoft Gets Fined, YouTube Gets Blocked