Analysts speculate that Facebook may want to use the drones to bring Internet connectivity to the two-thirds of the world that are not connected.
The social networking company is reportedly paying $60 million for Titan Aerospace, according to TechCrunch, which cited unnamed sources.
Neither Titan Aerospace nor Facebook responded to requests for confirmation.
The aerospace company builds light-weight, high-flying drones that can take off at 20 mph and remain aloft for five years. The company’s Solara 50 drone, for instance, can fly as high as 65,000 feet above Earth.
“Drones are the latest rage with tech companies these days,” said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. “Amazon, Google and Facebook, plus a whole lot more seem to be looking for ways they can shoehorn drones into their business plans. And what young geek didn’t dream of having a remote control flying machine that could do anything they wanted it to do?”
But could Facebook use these drones to bring Internet connectivity to remote areas? Sure, but it’s not the only way they could go about it.
Last June, Google’s research arm, Google X, announced that it was working on affordable Internet connectivity through the use of a fleet of high-altitude balloons. The company tested its plan by launching 30 balloons that flew twice as high as commercial airplanes with 50 users trying to connect to the Internet from below.
Amazon.com had another use for drones, and in December announced plans to use the machines to deliver merchandise to customers. Possibly taking a page from Domino’s old promise of delivering pizzas in 30 minutes or less, Amazon said with drones, some customers could get their purchases within half an hour.
“Could drones be the way to provide net connections in Third World countries?” asked Olds. “Yeah, maybe, but wouldn’t a set of non-sexy, long-range cell towers or low-power, cost-optimized microwave repeaters be a better solution? Sure, there are some drawbacks to physical infrastructure on the ground, but they can be worked around.”
He reiterated that drones simply are the cool new tech tool. How could a tech company with very deep pockets resist?
Worldwide sales of tablets to end users totaled 195.4 million units, fueled by sales of low-end, smaller screen devices, and purchases by first time buyers, the company reported.
Android has become the biggest tablet operating system with 62% of the market. In 2012, Google’s OS trailed Apple’s iOS by a margin of about 8 million tablets, but by the end of last year had turned that into a 50 million-unit lead.
The Android camp led by Samsung sold almost 121 million tablets, for a 61.9% share, compared to 53.3 million units and a 45.8% share in 2012. Apple’s tablet sales increased from 61.5 to 70.4 million units, but because the overall market grew faster, the company’s share dropped from 52.8% to 36%.
Microsoft’s Windows tablet sales improved but the share remained small at 2.1%, with shipments growing from 1.2 million to 4 million units. To compete, Microsoft needs to create a more compelling ecosystem for consumers as well as developers across all mobile devices, Gartner said.
Apple’s strong fourth quarter helped it maintain the top position among the manufacturers. Samsung, ranked in second place, had the biggest growth of the worldwide tablet vendors, at 336 %. The expansion and improvement of its Galaxy tablet portfolio, together with a lot of marketing, helped Samsung shrink the gap with Apple.
Samsung sold 37.4 million tablets for a 19.1% slice of the market.
The rest of the top 5 was made up of Asus, Amazon.com and Lenovo. Of those three companies, Lenovo did particularly well with tablet sales growing by 198% to 6.5 million units, or a 3.3% market share. The company’s success was due to a combination of new tablet models launched during the second half of last year, and sales of its Yoga model and its Windows tablets doing particularly well, Gartner said.
However, Lenovo is still behind Asus, with 11 million units sold, and Amazon, with 9.4 million. Asus’ market share grew from 5.4% to 5.6%, while Amazon’s share declined from 6.6% to 4.8%.
As the tablet market becomes even more competitive, this year it will be critical for vendors to improve user experience, technology and ecosystem value beyond just hardware and cost, Gartner said.
The little known firm said the proposal for Barnes & Noble as a whole would be for $22 per share, which would value the top U.S. bookstore chain at $1.32 billion. It comes after earlier proposal in November for $20 per share, its second.
G Asset, which not did detail how it would finance a deal, also made an alternative offer to buy Nook for $5 per share, saying spinning off the digital books and device business would create “substantial shareholder value.”
The latest offer for the whole company would value Barnes & Noble at $1.32 billion, while the proposal for Nook would value that unit at about $300 million.
The firm has previously pressed the company to spin off its Nook unit from Barnes & Noble’s bookstore and college units.
Michael Glickstein, G Asset’s Chief Investment Officer, and the only person listed on the firm’s website, did not immediately return a request for comment.
Barnes & Noble shares were up 5.8 percent at $17.75 in afternoon trading after going as high as $19.12 after the news was released, suggesting Wall Street analysts were doubtful a deal would get done.
A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman declined to comment beyond confirming that the company had received G Asset’s offer.
The original Nook device was launched in 2009 to help Barnes & Noble fend off Amazon.com Inc and allowed the retailer to win as much as 27 percent of the U.S. e-books market.
But the company lost hundreds of millions of dollars trying to keep pace with deep-pocketed rivals such as Amazon, Apple Inc and Google Inc. It has scaled back its Nook business and focusing more on content and software.
Two years ago, Microsoft Corp invested $300 million in the Nook unit for a 17.6 percent stake, valuing the division at $1.7 billion. In late 2012, Pearson PLC took a 5 percent stake in Nook for $89.5 million.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd is preparing to launch a U.S. e-commerce website through its subsidiaries Vendio and Auctiva, which are in turn part of the Alibaba.com business group, the company told Reuters on Tuesday.
The 11 Main (11main.com) site is an online shopping business that offers “interesting, quality products” from “hand-picked shop owners” such as fashion, tech and jewelry goods.
Alibaba has been ramping up its international expansion with various acquisitions, including leading a roughly $200 million investment round in U.S. retail site ShopRunner Inc, setting up an investment division in the United States and offering more of its e-commerce and online payment products overseas.
At the same time China’s dominant e-commerce company is gearing up for an expected public offering later this year which will value the company at around $140 billion, according to a Reuters poll of eight analysts.
The foray into boutique e-commerce was conceived and created by Vendio and Auctiva, which Alibaba.com acquired in 2010 and helped businesses sell on eBay Inc’s and Amazon.com Inc’s websites.
“Alibaba is happy to support 11 Main,” an Alibaba spokeswoman told Reuters in an e-mail. “Alibaba is run by entrepreneurs and firmly believes in supporting entrepreneurs with great vision and a strong sense of mission for their companies.”
The company is investing in original content to attract customers to its $79-a-year Amazon Prime service, which competes for online viewers with services such as Netflix and Hulu.com. Prime also includes free two-day shipping for Amazon products.
The new pilots include three comedies and two dramas for adults, plus five children’s shows. Amazon will make a decision on how many to put into development after customers have their say by leaving online comments and ratings.
Malcolm McDowell stars in the comedy “Mozart in the Jungle,” a story about “sex, drugs — and classical music,” an Amazon statement said.
A science-fiction show, “The After,” was written and directed by “The X-Files” creator Chris Carter.
Amazon chose the pilots after looking at the genres that are popular with its customers, said Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios.
“Customers have responded really well in the past to sci-fi,” Price said in an interview. “We start with some areas that customers are responding to and try to develop shows that fit in there.”
Other pilots include “Transparent,” a dark comedy about a dysfunctional family that stars Jeffrey Tambor and Judith Light, and “Bosch,” based on best-selling novels about a Los Angeles homicide detective.
The new pilots are available for a month in the United States on Amazon.com and through the Amazon Instant Video app, and in Britain through Amazon’s Lovefilm streaming service.
Last year, Amazon released two comedy series, “Alpha House,” starring John Goodman as a senator, and “Betas,” about a tech start-up, after considering customer input on 14 pilots.
Three children’s series also were selected during that process, which brought in thousands of customer reviews within a few days, Price said.
Samsung also revealed that all four of its new tablets will uses its somewhat controversial custom interface Magazine UX, a display mode that loads the screen with tiles that show information from different apps. Analysts expected Samsung to downplay the Magazine UX, as a way of staying closer to true Android from Google.
Prices will start at $399.99 for the 16GB Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4. The Tab Pro 10.1 is priced at $499.99 for 16 GB and the Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 will cost $749.99 for 32 GB and $849.99 for 64 GB. Samsung said the fourth tablet recently announced at International CES, the Galaxy Tab Pro 12.2, also running KitKat, won’t be available until March.
The models that go on sale Feb. 13 will be Wi-Fi-only, but Samsung also said that Verizon Wireless will be the first to offer a 4G LTE version of the Note Pro 12.2 later this quarter. Samsung posted more information about pre-orders on its website. The Note Pro and Tab Pro tablets come in black or white.
Samsung advertised the four models as ideal for use at work or play. Both 12.2 models (with 12.2-in. displays) as well as the Tab Pro 10.1 (with a 10.1-in. Display) come with virtual keyboards that mimic the size and appearance of a physical keyboard for faster typing. Both 12.2 models also have 2560 x 1600 LCD displays, making them the first with such high resolution. Both also allow users to view up to four applications at once for better multitasking.
The Note Pro 12.2 also has a Samsung S Pen, a digital pen for handwriting to text, and functions called Air Command and Pen Window for quicker access to apps and information.
All the new tablets will run Magazine UX, a new custom user interface that runs in the home screen layout and that Samsung says will bring users’ their favorite and most-frequented content, such as apps,email and games “to the forefront, offering direct access to content with a single touch.”
Some analysts said Samsung might drop or de-emphasize the Magazine UX in upcoming products in favor of the standard Android UI after recent negotiations between the two companies. after reports of recent negotiations between Samsung and Google were believed to result in future Samsung products with the same look as standard Android backed by Google.
The Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 (with an 8.4-in. display) runs a Snapdragon 800 2.3 GHz quad-core processor, which makes it “built to handle high-powered games and video,” Samsung said.
With the range of Android tablets Samsung has already shipped to market and the latest round of new tablets, it is no wonder that Samsung is the largest Android tablet maker. IDC said Samsung shipped 14.5 million tablets in the fourth quarter of 2013, grabbing an 18.8% market share, second only to Apple’s 33.8% share in shipping 26 million iPads running iOS.
The next biggest tablet maker is Amazon.com, shipping 5.8 million Android core tablets for its Kindle Fire line and making up 7.6% of the market. After Amazon, Asus shipped 3.9 million Android or Windows 8 tablets for 5.1% of the market, while Lenovo shipped 3.4 million tablets running Android or Windows 8 for 4.4% of the market.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the U.S. are reaching high levels of consumer saturation and while emerging markets continue to show strong growth, this has not been able to sustain the dramatic worldwide growth rates of years past,” said Tom Mainelli, an IDC analyst.
Recent trends “point to a more challenging environment for tablets in 2014 and beyond,” he added.
IDC said there were 76.9 million tablets shipped in the fourth quarter of 2013, up 62% over the third quarter but just 28% higher than the fourth quarter of 2012. The rate of growth from the fourth quarter of 2011 to fourth quarter 2012 was actually 87%, well ahead of the 28% figure and the reason that Mainelli described a tablet market slowdown. “While the market’s growth rates remain impressive, they’re down dramatically,” IDC said in a statement.
With so many tablet makers competing for the same dollars, the consumer tablet market will be soft, although purchases by schools and businesses will accelerate, IDC said.
Apple led in the fourth quarter, shipping a record 26 million tablets, up from 14.1 million in the third quarter and higher than the 22.9 million it sold in the last quarter of 2012. IDC noted that its year-over-year growth was “well below the industry average” and indicate the challenges Apple faces from many competitors and in markets outside of the U.S. and other developed countries.
Apple had 33.8% of the tablet market in the fourth quarter, down from 38% a year earlier. Samsung was in second places, grabbing 18.8% of the market, an increase from its 13% share at the end of 2012. Amazon had 7.6% of the market in the final quarter of 2013, Asus had 5.1% and Lenovo 4.4%.
Lenovo benefited from low-priced tablets sold in emerging markets. It has just 1.3% of the tablet market in the last quarter of 2012.
Gears of War will continue to turn, as Microsoft has acquired the sci-fi shooter franchise from Epic Games. Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer confirmed, saying the deal covers the intellectual property, all existing games and assets, and the rights to continue the franchise in the future.
As for who will make the Gears of War games with Epic out of the picture, that task has been entrusted to Microsoft’s Vancouver-based Black Tusk Studios, under the leadership of the studio’s general manager Hanno Lemke. Spencer called it “a big vote of confidence” for not just the studio but the Vancouver development scene. (Microsoft closed its nearby Victoria development studio last month.)
Future development on the franchise will be led by Rod Fergusson, who was a producer on the first three Gears of War titles. While Fergusson has a long history with Gears of War, his appointment at Black Tusk has to be considered surprising. Just four months ago, Take-Two announced that Fergusson was launching a new Bay Area studio to work on a new project for the publisher.
“It’s kind of nice he can tie the franchise, the culture, bring it all together, and really help with the talent we already have up at Black Tusk to get the franchise going with a new organization,” Spencer said.
Fergusson released a statement on his new appointment, saying, “I’m extremely excited to be joining Black Tusk Studios to oversee development on the Gears of War franchise. I’ve been privileged to work on a lot of great games with a lot of great teams, but Gears has had the most impact on me professionally and personally, so this really feels like a homecoming. I can’t wait to share more with you all soon.”
“[I]f you look at what we did with 343 and getting them up to speed for Halo 4, you can maybe anticipate some things that are similar to that.”
This isn’t the first time Microsoft has had to find a new studio to take over a blockbuster sci-fi shooter IP. In 2007, Bungie struck a deal to split off from the Xbox maker, leaving the Halo franchise in need of a new developer. Spencer said there were lessons to be learned from the successful transition of the Halo series to 343 Industries, and mentioned Lemke would be speaking with 343′s Bonnie Ross about her experiences.
“We’re not announcing anything right now, but I think if you look at what we did with 343 and getting them up to speed for Halo 4, you can maybe anticipate some things that are similar to that,” Spencer said. “But it does give me confidence knowing that we’ve done this once with 343.”
343 cut its teeth on the Halo franchise with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, an Xbox 360 remake of the original Xbox launch title Halo: Combat Evolved.
Whatever else changes with Gears of War, one thing that will likely stay the same is the technology powering the franchise. Spencer declined to say whether the deal requires Microsoft to use the Unreal Engine for future Gears games, but he did say the company was a big fan of the technology.
“We’ve used the Unreal Engine in our development of the Gears franchise and other franchises,” Spencer said. “Unreal is important for us. So I don’t see us moving away from Unreal. I have confidence in the Unreal Engine going forward, and it’s important to the franchise.”
Spencer also noted that a Black Tusk teaser trailer shown at E3 was built using Unreal. And even though that clip–a man rappelling down the side of a present-day skyscraper before swinging in an open window to clobber a gun-toting guard–looked decidedly unlike Gears of War, Spencer called it a concept piece, and not a project that is being shelved as a result of the IP acquisition.
“This obviously isn’t something that started yesterday in terms of our discussions with Epic,” Spencer said. “Hanno’s been involved for quite a while, so he’s known that this is something we could land. And the leadership team there obviously knew as they started to build their road map for what they would be focused on. I wouldn’t say things have been shelved. Obviously, this will become a big focus of the studio and something that will be critical to them driving forward. There’s not really something that was on the road map that all of a sudden goes away.”
When Microsoft opened Black Tusk in 2012, studio representatives said it was not working on an existing franchise, but instead was “looking to build the next Halo” from the ground up.
Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
So when Amazon announced last Thursday that it would cut its S3 (Simple Storage Service) and Elastic Block Store (EBS) prices by up to 22%, Microsoft followed suit the very next day.
“We are matching AWS’ lowest prices (US East Region) for S3 and EBS, reducing prices by up to 20% and making the lower prices available in all regions worldwide,” Microsoft posted in its official blog.
For Microsoft’s “Locally Redundant Disks/Page Blobs Storage,” the company is reducing prices by up to 28%. It is also reducing the price of Azure Storage service by 50%.
Amazon’s new prices take effect Feb. 1. Microsoft’s price cuts begin March 13.
“We’re also making the new prices effective worldwide, which means that Azure storage will be less expensive than AWS in many regions,” Microsoft said.
Amazon said it dropped its prices for its S3 storage by 22% and its EBS standard volume storage and I/O operations by up to 50%.
The idea is still at a very early stage, and it might not go ahead, the newspaper said, without disclosing its source.
Amazon is one of several companies that already offers on-demand movies and TV shows, but live TV would put it squarely in competition with existing cable and satellite TV providers.
Some of those providers already offer live TV over the Internet, but only as an extension of an existing pay TV subscription.
After news, music and video rentals, live TV is seen by many as the next big area that will be disrupted by the Internet. Amazon’s moves could be part of industrywide posturing in preparation for that.
The report came on the same day Verizon Communications, a major broadband Internet provider, said it is buying OnCue, a cloud TV service developed by Intel.
Sony recently said it would begin offering live television through a video service to be delivered through Sony PlayStation and connected TVs later this year, although offered no other details.
Over-the-air broadcasters are also moving toward the Internet. But in a twist on services offered in other countries, some local TV stations require a cable or satellite TV subscription in order to access live streaming programming over the Internet, despite it being broadcast free of charge over local airwaves.
One company that is attempting to break up this model, Aereo, has found itself targeted by lawsuits. Aereo receives and relays local TV broadcasts to subscribers over the Internet without the approval of the broadcasters. Aereo says it doesn’t need their approval, but TV stations disagree. That battle is heading to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Wall Street Journal report noted the difficulty Amazon might face in getting access to content, especially if media conglomerates want to avoid upsetting major cable and satellite providers.
For all of the different brands familiar to consumers, today’s pay TV market is dominated by a handful of large companies that own many of the channels.
General Electric, for example, owns the NBC and Telemundo over-the-air networks, cable channels including CNBC, NBC Sports Network, USA Network and SyFy, cable TV and Internet operator Comcast, and a third of online streaming service Hulu.
Amazon did not immediately comment on the Wall Street Journal report. In a statement late Tuesday to the newspaper, it said it was not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service. The company said it continued to build selection for Prime Instant Video and create original shows at Amazon Studios.
Dropbox suffered a major outage over the weekend.
In one of the more bizarre recent incidents, after the service went down on Friday evening a group of hackers claimed to have infiltrated the service and compromised its servers.
However, on the Dropbox blog, Dropbox VP of engineering Ardita Ardwarl told users that hackers were not to blame.
Ardwari said, “On Friday evening we began a routine server upgrade. Unfortunately, a bug installed this upgrade on several active servers, which brought down the entire service. Your files were always safe, and despite some reports, no hacking or DDOS attack was involved.”
The fault occurred when a bug in an upgrade script caused an operating system upgrade to be triggered on several live machines, rendering them inoperative. Although the fault was rectified in three hours, the knock-on effects led to problems that lasted through the weekend for some users.
Dropbox has assured users that there are no further problems and that all users should now be back online. It said that at no point were files in danger, adding that the affected machines didn’t host any user data. In other words, the “hackers” weren’t hackers at all, but attention seeking trolls.
Dropbox claims to have over 200 million users, many of which it has acquired through strategic partnerships with device manufacturers offering free storage with purchases.
The company is looking forward to an initial public offering (IPO) on the stock market, so the timing of such a major outage could not be worse. Dropbox, which includes Bono and The Edge from U2 amongst its investors, has recently enhanced its business offering to appeal to enterprise clients, and such a loss of uptime could affect its ability to attract customers.
Amazon.com introduced a new portal with the goal of aiding developers in creating Android apps for its Appstore and take advantage of its cross-platform APIs with the help of better tools and documentation.
The retailing giant seems hell-bent on giving Google a run for its money with the Appstore. In the last 10 months it has made its competitor to the Google Play Store available worldwide, adding the ability for developers to submit Web apps and sell physical goods in their apps.
The new developer portal is the latest step in Amazon’s mobile push. First of all, the company has streamlined the application submission process. Developers can simply drop their APK application package file in the updated testing widget and see if what they have written is compatible with the Appstore. When an app has passed the test, the submission process can start directly from the results page, Amazon said in a blog post on Thursday.
Amazon has also made an effort to improve the portal’s documentation section. There is now a page where developers can find all of the Appstore APIs, and see what platforms they are compatible with. Developers can see that the Analytics API is compatible with both Android and iOS apps, for example.
There is also a dedicated page for the tools and services that Amazon thinks game developers will find helpful, including game engine plug-ins and cross-platform APIs, according to the blog post. The portal has dedicated pages for HTML5 and iOS developers, as well. Amazon’s API and services for the latter includes analytics, testing and GameCircle, which lets developers add features such as leader boards.
Amazon realizes the importance of mobile and making itself relevant to developers is an important part of that, said Tim Shepherd, senior analyst at Canalys. He said Amazon’s Appstore has become a credible alternative to the Google Play store.
The 28-inch model will be able to display images at a 4K — or a 3840 x 2160 pixel — resolution, which is considered the next high-definition standard. The monitor, announced on Sunday, is one of two 4K displays being shown by Lenovo at International CES in Las Vegas this year.
Most high-definition TVs and monitors shipping today are capable of high-definition resolutions of 1920 x 1080 pixels, but the 4K resolution provides four times the depth. 4K TVs were the first to appear, and were soon followed by monitors, which are still priced above $1,000.
Sharp’s 32-inch PNK321 is on sale for $2,995 on B&H Photo and Video, Asus’ PQ321Q 31.5-Inch 4K monitor is priced at $2,940 on Amazon, while Dell’s 24-inch UltraSharp 24 Ultra HD Monitor is priced at $1,299.
Lenovo also wants to quickly bring 4K to its customers as it expands its product lineup, thus the aggressive pricing, said Matt Bereda, marketing director for Lenovo’s Think Business Group.
“It’s an ideal device for someone working with high-end graphics,” Bereda said.
The ThinkVision Pro2840m has DisplayPort, mini-DisplayPort and HDMI ports. A stand allows the monitor to be adjusted in multiple orientations. It also supports MHL (mobile high-definition link) for display of content from mobile devices.
The monitor will ship in April this year.
Lenovo also introduced the ThinkVision 28, a 4K monitor that doubles up as an Android all-in-one. Lenovo insisted that the device is first a 4K monitor and can be an Android desktop when needed. The monitor has Nvidia’s Tegra processor and a stock version of Android.
The monitor will be able to run Android apps and games, and also stream 4K content if available. Wireless features allow it to access data from Android smartphones and tablets. The monitor has three HDMI ports, one Displayport and five USB 3.0 ports. The company did not provide a price, but said the monitor will ship in April.
San Mateo, Calif.-based Fixya mined 10,000 user-generated reports related to Apple’s iPad Air and Retina-equipped iPad Mini, Amazon’s Fire HDX and Microsoft’s Surface 2, the second-generation tablet that replaced the poorly-received Surface RT of 2012, to come up with its conclusions.
Browser gripes topped the charts of the iPad Air and the 8.9-in. Fire HDX, said Fixya, while the surfing app tied for second on the iPad Mini’s top-five-beef list.
Nearly a third — 30% — of the reported problems with the Air and 25% of those with the Fire stemmed from the tablets’ bundled browsers, Safari and Silk, respectively. On the Retina iPad Mini, 20% of complaints targeted Safari, the same percentage as aimed ire at the paucity of storage space on the least expensive model.
“A relatively common issue with mobile Apple devices, especially those using Safari — the browser that comes pre-packaged with the device — is a crashing browser,” said Fixya. “Users report that opening certain Web pages (most likely those that use [Adobe's] Flash [Player]) and opening multiple tabs on the browser can cause the browser to crash and kicks users onto the home [screen].”
Famously, Apple has never supported Flash Player on iOS, the mobile operating system that drives the iPad. Before his death, co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs was adamant about banning Flash, going as far as to publicly trash the media software in a 2010 diatribe.
But Safari on iOS is not supposed to crash when it encounters a website that calls on the Adobe software.
Fire HDX owners pummeled Silk with similar laments. “Silk … has a variety of issues, most notably choppy performance and tendency to crash,” Fixya noted.
Only the Surface 2 escaped owners’ disgust with their device’s mobile browser. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) is bundled with Windows RT 8.1, the OS that powers the tablet.
Instead, Microsoft customers tapped a shortage of quality apps as their No. 1 complaint, with 25% of the reports focused on the issue. Users’ gripes matched those of analysts who have cited the app issue as the platform’s weakest link since long before Microsoft started selling Windows 8.
Fixya recommended that iPad and Fire HDX owners regularly clear their browser’s history and delete cookies to keep Safari or Silk as stable as possible. But it had no answer for the Surface 2′s app problem. “App support is an issue with the device that … users can’t fix on their own,” Fixya pointed out.
HP’s CEO Meg Whitman has been given a pay rise of $1.5m, despite ongoing job cuts and protests at the firm, as the giant enterprise IT company starts to show signs of recovery under her leadership.
A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) noted that Whitman will draw a £1.5m salary for the year, on top of her stock options, having previously earned a symbolic $1 per year salary.
The firm said it did this to “bring Whitman’s salary to a competitive level among the salaries of the chief executive officers of HP’s peer companies”.
The pay increase is backdated to 1 November 2013 and comes amidst an ongoing turnaround at HP that has seen the firm post a $1.4bn profit in the last quarter as it managed to improve its results in several core areas.
However, news of the pay rise likely will anger many HP workers worldwide as the firm makes huge layoffs around the globe. The Unite union claims that over 1,100 jobs will be cut in the UK.
Spanish workers also recently protested outside the firm’s annual Discover event in Barcelona, angered at job cuts the company is making in the country.
HP has gone through some turbulent times recently and is embroiled in a legal dispute with its own Autonomy subsidiary over accounting practices that allegedly overvalued the company. Autonomy founder and former CEO Mike Lynch has denied any wrongdoing.