Researchers at the University of California, Davis, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering have developed 1000-core processor which will eventually be put onto the commercial market.
The team, from t developed the energy-efficient 621 million transistor “KiloCore” chip so that it could manage 1.78 trillion instructions per second and since the project has IBM’s backing it could end up in the shops soon.
Team leader Bevan Baas, professor of electrical and computer engineering said that it could be the world’s first 1,000-processor chip and it is the highest clock-rate processor ever designed in a university.
While other multiple-processor chips have been created, none exceed about 300 processors. Most of those were created for research purposes and few are sold commercially. IBM, using its 32 nm CMOS technology, fabricated the KiloCore chip and could make a production run if required.
Because each processor is independently clocked, it can shut itself down to further save energy when not needed, said graduate student Brent Bohnenstiehl, who developed the principal architecture. Cores operate at an average maximum clock frequency of 1.78 GHz, and they transfer data directly to each other rather than using a pooled memory area that can become a bottleneck for data.
The 1,000 processors can execute 115 billion instructions per second while dissipating only 0.7 Watts which mean it can be powered by a single AA battery. The KiloCore chip executes instructions more than 100 times more efficiently than a modern laptop processor.
The processor is already adapted for wireless coding/decoding, video processing, encryption, and others involving large amounts of parallel data such as scientific data applications and datacentre work.
AMD’s Zen chip will have as much as 32 cores, 64 threads and more L3 cache than you can poke a stick at.
Codenamed Naples, the chip uses the Zen architecture. Each Zen core has its own dedicated 512kb cache. A cluster [shurely that should be cloister.ed] of Zen cores shares a 8MB L3 cache which makes the total amount of L3 shared cache 64MB. This is a big chip and of course there will be a 16 core variant.
This will be a 14nm FinFET product manufactured in GlobalFoundries and supporting the X86 instruction set. Naples has eight independent memory channels and up to 128 lanes of gen 3 PCIe. This makes it suitable for fast NVMO memory controllers and drives. Naples also support up to 32 SATA or NVME drives.
If you like the fast network interface, Naples supports 16x10GbE and the controller is integrated, probably in the chipset. Naples is using SP3 LGA server socket.
The first Zen based server / enterprise products will range between a modest 35W TDP to a maximum of 180W TDP for the fastest ones.
There will be dual, quad, sixteen and thirty-two core server versions of Zen, arriving at different times. Most of them will launch in 2017 with a possibility of very late 2016 introduction.
It is another one of those Fudzilla told you so moments. We have already revealed a few Zen based products last year. The Zen chip with Greenland / Vega HBM2 powered GPU with HSA support will come too, but much later.
Lisa Su, AMD’s CEO told Fudzilla that the desktop version will come first, followed by server, notebook and finally embedded. If that 40 percent IPC happens to be across more than just a single task, AMD has a chance of giving Intel a run for its money.
Qualcomm has buried the hatchet with LG after the smartphone vendor agreed to pay more for its chips.
LG said the dispute with Qualcomm has been completely settled, although it did not say how much it had agreed to pay. Earlier it had claimed Qualcomm had overcharged for the chips under a licensing contract.
The news about the lawsuit settlement emerged following Qualcomm’s profit forecast for the second quarter in January, which was below what Wall Street’s tarot readers had predicted.
The company expected its mobile chip shipment to fall by 16-25 per cent in the second quarter. Additionally, it expected 3G and 4G device shipment to decline by 4 to 14 per cent. As for the first quarter of 2016, Qualcomm’s chip shipment fell 10 per cent , with a drop in revenue by 21.6 per cent. Revenue from licensing declined 10.4 per cent, suggests a Reuters report.
An LG spokesperson said that this kind of dispute was “actually nothing” and was similar to the ones that the industries had in the past.
“Qualcomm has lowered its royalty rate to LG in return for LG’s guaranteed purchase of Qualcomm processors, which are currently being used in its flagship handsets and will be used in upcoming flagship models,” added the official.
Qualcomm might have been a little nervy. LG has invested millions to develop its own chipset, in an attempt to cut down its dependency on Qualcomm for mobile processors.
Last week, a report in The Independent said that the Oculus Rift VR headset knows when it’s switched on and when its user is moving around. All this is a given, surely, but not so ideal are the parts about marketing and advertising, which is where most of the news site’s concerns lie.
Buried among the mundane it finds this: “We use the information we collect to send you promotional messages and content and otherwise market to you on and off our service. We also use this information to measure how users respond to our marketing efforts.”
Oculus has spoken out about the report. In a statement given to UploadVR, Oculus said that the policy is in place to ensure it offers the best virtual experience and made no suggestion that things would be changing.
“We want to create the absolute best VR experience for people, and to do that, we need to understand how our products are being used and we’re thinking about privacy every step of the way,” a rep for the company said.
“For example, one thing we may do is use information to improve our services and to make sure everything is working properly—such as checking device stability and addressing technical issues to improve the overall experience.”
Oculus also noted that, while Facebook owns it and runs some of its services, they are not currently sharing the collected data.
“We don’t have advertising yet and Facebook is not using Oculus data for advertising—though these are things we may consider in the future,” it said.
This isn’t the first time Oculus has ticked real people off, with the firm falling victim to a fallout over prices and upset Minecraft when it was only a flicker in the Zuckerberg eye and a rustle through the pages in his wallet.
The once loved and Kickstarter-funded Oculus Rift took a bit of a personality whacking after going through the Zuckerberg system and, while it was a market leading proposition, now finds itself at elbow, or temple, level with a range of competitors.
nVidia has opened virtual reality (VR) for professional use with the launch of its VR Ready program.
The gaming world is gearing up for VR with the release of the Oculus Rift and pre-orders for the HTC Vive, but Nvidia’s VR Ready is aimed at developers and companies looking to make VR software.
VR Ready consists of VR-certified GPUs and laptops, and an SDK called VRWorks. These should help developers create VR software for business use, such as enabling architects to provide virtual tours of a building.
Nvidia is working with hardware firms like HP and Dell to offer workstations certified as ‘VR ready’, as well as offering its Quadro M5500 mobile GPU that provides laptops with the graphics grunt to run VR software smoothly.
The M5500 is built around Nvidia’s latest Maxwell GPU architecture and has 2,048 CUDA cores. The company claims it to be the fastest mobile GPU in the world. The GPU can be found in the MSI WT72 laptop, which is the first mobile workstation to receive the VR Ready certification.
“It lets designers, engineers and others run VR-powered design reviews anywhere, improving product quality and speeding workflows. With it, companies can use immersive technology to train remote employees,” said David Weinstein, director of professional VR at Nvidia.
On the software side, VRWorks is stuffed full of complex sounding tools and tech to give developers the things they need to create VR apps that don’t resemble something plucked from Nintendo’s Virtual Boy.
These include multi-resolution shading, front buffer rendering, GPU affinity and GPU direct. We don’t really understand all that, but in essence the tech allows developers to harness the power of multiple GPUs and deliver high-res visual effects at the nausea-beating 90 frames per second.
This is definitely the year of VR. We have tried the HTC Vive and were very impressed. And with the likes of Nvidia creating the tools and tech to give developers the means to make a range of VR software, it looks like the tech’s future won’t just be limited to gaming enthusiasts and early adopters.
Intel’s cunning plans for computers that will recognize human emotion using its RealSense 3D camera, have been killed off in the short term by Apple.
RealSense is a mix of infrared, laser and optical cameras to measure depth and track motion. It can be used on a drone that can navigate its own way through a city block, but it is also good at detecting changes in facial expressions, and Intel wanted to give RealSense the ability to read human emotions by combining it with an emotion recognition technology developed by Emotient.
Plugging in Emotient allowed RealSense to detect whether people are happy or sad by analyzing movement in their lips, eyes and cheeks. Intel said that it could detect “anger, contempt, disgust, fear,” and other sentiments.
A few months ago the fruity cargo cult Apple acquired Emotient. Intel has removed the Emotient plug-in from the latest version of the RealSense software development kit.
It is not clear at this point if Apple told Intel that it invented the plug in and so it had to sling its hook, or if Intel did not want Jobs’ Mob anywhere near its technology.
The RealSense SDK has features that allow it to recognize some facial expressions, but it’s unclear if they’ll be as effective as the Emotient technology.
Microsoft reversed course from an earlier retirement date for Windows 7 and 8.1 support on newer hardware, saying that it would now support those OSes on PCs running Intel’s Skylake silicon until July 2018.
The decision is a partial rollback of a January announcement that Microsoft called a “clarification” of its support policy. Under the January plan, Microsoft would have ended support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on July 17, 2017, if the operating systems were powering machines equipped with its now-current Skylake processor family.
At the time, Microsoft credited the decision to Windows 7′s age and the hassle that Microsoft and OEMs would have to go through to ensure the 2009 operating system runs on Intel’s latest architecture.
“As partners make customizations to legacy device drivers, services, and firmware settings, customers are likely to see regressions with Windows 7 ongoing servicing,” Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s top Windows and devices executive, said in a Jan. 15 blog post.
Myerson’s solution: Shorten support for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 on the newest PCs by at least 30 months, and decree that, going forward, next-generation processors would require the “latest Windows platform at that time for support.” In other words, Windows 10.
The move was the first time Microsoft had mandated a broad restriction on what edition of Windows customers could run on which hardware. Some analysts saw it as yet another tactic in Microsoft’s strategy to coerce customers into adopting Windows 10.
Support for Windows 7 and 8.1 on certain Skylake PCs will now continue until July 17, 2018, a one-year extension from the original deadline. After that date, Microsoft and its computer-making partners will not guarantee that they will revise device drivers to support those editions of Windows on newer hardware.
Qualcomm has thrown its hat into the virtual reality (VR) ring with the launch of the Snapdragon VR SDK for Snapdragon-based smartphones and VR headsets.
The SDK gives developers access to advanced VR features, according to Qualcomm, allowing them to simplify development and attain improved performance and power efficiency with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor, found in Android smartphones such as the Galaxy S7 and tipped to feature in upcoming VR headsets.
In terms of features, the development kit offers tools such as digital signal processing (DSP) sensor fusion, which allows devs to use the “full breadth” of technologies built into the Snapdragon 820 chip to create more responsive and immersive experiences.
It will help developers combine high-frequency inertial data from gyroscopes and accelerometers, and there’s what the company calls “predictive head position processing” based on its Hexagon DSP, while Qualcomm’s Symphony System Manager makes easier access to power and performance management for more stable frame rates in VR applications running on less-powerful devices.
Fast motion to photon will offer single buffer rendering to reduce latency by up to 50 percent, while stereoscopic rendering with lens correction offers support for 3D binocular vision with color correction and barrel distortion for improved visual quality of graphics and video, enhancing the overall VR experience.
Stereoscopic rendering with lens correction supports 3D binocular vision with color correction and barrel distortion for improved visual quality of graphics and video, enhancing the overall VR experience.
Rounding off the features is VR layering, which improves overlays in a virtual world to reduce distortion.
David Durnil, senior director of engineering at Qualcomm, said: “We’re providing advanced tools and technologies to help developers significantly improve the virtual reality experience for applications like games, 360 degree VR videos and a variety of interactive education and entertainment applications.
“VR represents a new paradigm for how we interact with the world, and we’re excited to help mobile VR developers more efficiently deliver compelling and high-quality experiences on upcoming Snapdragon 820 VR-capable Android smartphones and headsets.”
The Snapdragon VR SDK will be available to developers in the second quarter through the Qualcomm Developer Network.
The launch of Qualcomm’s VR SDK comes just moments after AMD also entered the VR arena with the launch of the Sulon Q, a VR-ready wearable Windows 10 PC.
Intel is adapting its RealSense depth camera into an augmented reality headset design which it might be licensing to other manufacturers.
The plan is not official yet but appears to have been leaked to the Wall Street Journal. Achin Bhowmik, who oversees RealSense as vice president and general manager of Intel’s perceptual computing group, declined to discuss unannounced development efforts.
But he said Intel has a tradition of creating prototypes for products like laptop computers to help persuade customers to use its components. We have to build the entire experience ourselves before we can convince the ecosystem,” Bhowmik said.
Intel appears to be working on an augmented-reality headset when it teamed up with IonVR to to work on an augmented-reality headset that could work with a variety of operating systems, including Android and iOS. Naturally, it had a front-facing RealSense camera.
RealSense depth camera has been in development for several years and was shown as a viable product technology at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2014. Since then, nothing has happened and Microsoft’s Kinect sensor technology for use with Windows Hello in the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book knocked it aside.
Intel’s biggest issue is that it is talking about making a consumer product which is something that it never got the hang of.
RealSense technology is really good at translating real-world objects into virtual space. In fact a lot better than the HoloLens because it can scan the user’s hands and translate them into virtual objects that can manipulate other virtual objects.
Nintendo’s earnings report and briefing earlier this week were a bit of a damp squib for anyone hoping for more information on the company’s future plans; on NX and on smartphone games alike, the company remained utterly silent. We found out that you’ll be able to pre-register for the Miitomo smartphone app on the 17th of February, with the app itself to launch in March, but you’d have to be a truly ardent follower of Nintendo’s fortunes for that to create more than the slightest flicker of interest. What we actually knew by the end of the earnings report was this – Splatoon is really popular, people are buying an extraordinary number of amiibos, and there’s a special Pokemon-themed edition of the 3DS coming later this month to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pokemon, which is important news because it means it’s 20 years since Pokemon launched and we’re all really, really old.
The frisson of excitement that spread around the media at the comment that the publisher is “looking into” virtual reality, then, is understandable – for journalists and fans looking for something interesting in the otherwise barren briefing, this was a sip of ice water in hell. Nintendo and VR! VR and Nintendo! An opportunity not only to speculate wildly about NX, but to dust off some hoary old jokes about the Virtual Boy; who could pass up on such a thing?
The thing is, “we’re looking into VR” is perhaps the most lukewarm statement Nintendo or any other company could make about VR. On the blandness scale, it ranks alongside “we know it exists” and “we’ve looked it up and figured out what the letters stand for”. To say any less would have required an active dismissal of VR; simply saying that the company knows VR is happening, and is keeping an eye on developments, is the bare minimum that you’d expect from any company in the industry. “Nintendo aware that VR exists” isn’t much of a headline, I’ll grant you, but it’s pretty close to what was actually announced by the company.
Of course, Nintendo isn’t going to dismiss VR out of hand; the company knows, perhaps better than most, that technological disruption can come from the most unexpected directions and upset market segments in unforeseen ways. The 3DS will never match sales of the DS, not because it’s got a weak software line-up – the software line-up is downright remarkable – but because Apple, a company that spent decades making expensive computers for artists and designers and never had the slightest truck with the videogame market, invented a tiny computer with a touch-screen and sold about, oh, a billion of them, to people who promptly decided that they didn’t need another tiny computer just to play videogames on the train. Is VR going to do something similar to other market segments? Sure, maybe (I’d argue that VR’s potential to disrupt areas of “serious” computing is perhaps greater than its potential to significantly change the videogame market); either way, Nintendo is absolutely going to be watching it closely and making sure it’s not left looking stupid if things take off in an unexpected direction.
For now, though, watching carefully is all anyone should expect of Nintendo and VR. The reality is that, the company’s ill-fated experiments with early iterations of the technology notwithstanding, VR doesn’t fit with Nintendo’s philosophy as a company. Although the multiplayer and social networking aspects of VR are yet to be explored (remember that Facebook is, at great cost, a big player in this field), one thing is absolutely certain about VR interaction – it’s remarkably anti-social in a “people in the same room as you” sense. The whole point of putting on a VR headset is to immerse yourself in a different world; of necessity, this involves cutting yourself off from the world, and the people, around you. That’s not a bad thing, per se; if immersion is what you want, it’s actually a selling point. It’s also sharply contrary to the most basic nature of Nintendo’s design philosophy.
Nintendo is about social gaming; if there’s one core concept that sums up the brand and the appeal of Nintendo over the past couple of decades, it’s that one. Playing with other people, ideally in a physical, real-world context, is at the heart of the design philosophy that underlies both Nintendo’s hardware and its software. The company’s home consoles are designed to support multiple controllers easily (the sadly under-utilised core concept of the Wii U was to create asymmetric gameplay opportunities using the GamePad and a clutch of Wiimote controllers, for instance), while its handheld consoles are designed with communication features that enable online play, sure, but are most effectively deployed in enabling communication with nearby players. In software terms, of course, it’s not that Nintendo lacks games designed for one player – there’s not much social gaming mileage in Fire Emblem, Legend of Zelda or Xenoblade – but many of the core titles that support the company’s systems are deeply focused on social play. Mario Kart is perhaps the most obvious of these, but local multiplayer in racing games is nothing new; to see how deeply ingrained in Nintendo’s DNA social play really is, think of how the company reworked the role-playing game to encourage local multiplayer match-ups with Pokemon, its expansion of the beat ‘em up from a head-to-head experience to a four-player rumble with Super Smash Bros. or even, all the way back then, the reimagining of online FPS gameplay, still in its infancy, into the four-player split-screen of Rare’s Goldeneye.
If you’ve owned Nintendo consoles recently, as most of you probably have, think about what you’ve owned for them. In my own living room, there’s no question which console gets the most usage – in spite of our love for Splatoon, it’s the PS4 that’s used most, followed by the PS3 – but we own one PS4 control pad, and while there’s a second PS3 pad somewhere I don’t think it’s been plugged in since we moved house over a year ago. For the Wii U, meanwhile, we own a GamePad, two classic controllers and three Wiimotes – and the Wii U is always, always the console that gets turned on when friends come over for drinks. It occupies a very different position in terms of usage and context to the PlayStation consoles, and that is very much by design on Nintendo’s part, not by accident. Television advertising for Nintendo games, in Japan at least, strongly emphasises this social aspect; almost every ad features multiple people sitting on a sofa enjoying a game together (boyband members racing each other in Mario Kart, kids putting their heads together to design a fiendish Mario Maker stage that dad won’t be able to beat, etc.). The social nature of Nintendo games is front and centre, and strongly contrasts with ads for PlayStation games, which rarely feature any imagery of the (solo) player at all.
How would VR fit with that? It’s not a question of whether Nintendo’s hardware would be capable of it (we still don’t know what NX will be capable of at all) or whether the company would be able to make good VR games (the firm’s track record surely proves that it’s perfectly capable of making good games on just about anything). It’s a question of how the entire brand Nintendo has cultivated, the perceptions it has built and the philosophy it espouses, would fit with the image of someone not only playing a game entirely solo (which is just fine), but actively donning a headset to block out the world around them while they engage with that world. In Nintendo’s conception of fun, the entertainment value of a game extends beyond the screen to the physical world and the people around you with whom you’re competing, cooperating and sharing the experience. VR flies in the face of that, and undermines the nature of the games which Nintendo has been most successful with over the years.
This isn’t to say that some aspects of VR technology won’t be of interest to Nintendo. Augmented Reality, the technology underlying Microsoft’s Hololens, is a much more natural fit for Nintendo; the company has actually messed with AR technology on the 3DS, although it didn’t use it for anything markedly exciting, and it’s entirely probable that the NX will build on that to some degree (although I don’t anticipate anything even remotely like the Hololens headset). Virtual reality headsets, though, are not going to carry a Nintendo logo any time soon – and unless they become a truly disruptive force in gaming, they probably never will. The company has wide-ranging interests, but a clear vision of what it means for something to be a “Nintendo product” – and that’s a vision that simply doesn’t include VR.
Grey tin box shifter Dell wants to beef up security on its business laptops and PCs by introducing a new tool which helps to protect the BIOS from malware.
Attacks like this are rare and hard for software security to handle. Even wiping your harddrive and reinstalling software will not fix them.
Dell has introduced this new tool which makes a copy of the clean BIOS which is kept in the cloud, and compares it with snapshot with the machine’s BIOS every time it boots. If something’s been hacked or messed with it can be flagged up.
This allows the admin to be notified of the problem, and the system reverted to the clean BIOS. Dell wants to automate the entire process, but at the moment it still needs to be done manually.
Dell is making the system optional, and will cost extra for users. It will be available on Dell’s Precision and OptiPlex models, along with XPS PCs and Venue Pro tablets.
Rumors circulated this week that HTC is planning to set up a new company focusing entirely on virtual reality (VR), but the firm denied the reports on Tuesday.
The Chinese-language Commercial Times cited “unnamed industry sources” in stating that HTC chairwoman Cher Wang was planning to spin off the firm’s VR operations into an independent entity, but the company issued a statement on Tuesday saying that this is not true.
HTC said that it will chart a direction for the development of its VR operations with the goal of creating the best value for its shareholders, according to a report in Focus Taiwan.
Nevertheless, HTC stock rose 5.23 percent on Monday to NT$76.5 (£1.59) and remained unchanged on Tuesday.
The rumour came just a week after HTC confirmed that its Vive VR headset will be available to pre-order from 29 February and should still see an April shipping date as previously reported.
HTC unveiled the Vive Pre at CES 2016, a new and improved version of the headset that will soon go out as a development kit. The company promises to create “fully immersive experiences that change how we communicate, how we are entertained, and how we learn and train”.
The Vive Pre features components that have been redesigned from the ground up to provide better comfort, ergonomics and performance. There are also improvements in visuals and versatility, said HTC, to “create a world without limits”.
Wang explained in an interview with The Telegraph that the company had chosen to refocus on VR and away from smartphones, as it is now “more realistic”.
“Yes, smartphones are important, but to create a natural extension to other connected devices like wearables VR is more important,” she said.
The pre-order announcement comes a few days after VR rival the Oculus Rift finally went on sale to the general public. However, since the device’s official price of $599 was unveiled, the makers behind the headset have been criticized for underestimating its price in the past, and potential buyers have said that it is far more expensive than they were led to believe.
Most of the investment has been speculative and short term as traders are hoping for AMD to move above $3.50 before July but this is a little odd. AMD hasn’t traded above $3.50 since September 2014 and it is $2.94 now.
Last year was up-and-down year for AMD. The shares struggled during the summer months, but have rallied over 70 per cent during the fourth quarter. But until Zen arrives we can’t see much on the horizon for investors to get excited about.
But in share prices it is all about timing and if AMD’s cunning plan pays off there are going to be some seriously wealthy people out there. AMD has slowly entered the data centre market with a longer roadmap and enhanced architecture. “Zen” targeted at high growth markets such as data centres and HPC (high performance computers). Currently this is controlled by Intel which will once again find itself facing a better and cheaper rival. If it works then Zen’s stock would jump into the growth trajectory. The advantage is that if the shares are this low then the gains are going to be huge.
AMD is revamping its GPU product line to make it competitive with Nvidia. AMD has also secured three design wins for its semi-custom SoCs. These wins will start earning revenue beginning in the second half of 2016 with the first two wins expected to generate a combined revenue of $1 billion over a period of three years. The third design win is rumoured to be with Nintendo for its NX game console.
PricewaterCoopers expects worldwide console game sales to reach $28 billion by the end of 2016. However, it expects PC games, where Nvidia is King, to overtake console games. However that is assuming that AMD does not pull a rabbit out of its hat over discrete GPUs too and manages to claw back some sales fast.
Of course it could all go tits up. Zen might not work, or not produce what it is claimed. In which case there will be a lot of investor who lose money. But with AMD’s share prices this low, they are not going to lose that much.
For years Apple has been “king of the thin” producing ever more anorexic designs, for ever more dollars. But now it appears that task was not as difficult as the Tame Apple Press claimed, and even HP can do it.
HP’s EliteBook Folio will be in the shops for $999 in March and will be $300 less than Apple’s status symbol and will co-operate better with business networks because it runs Windows.
HP EliteBook Folio Piano HingeMeasuring 11.5 x 8.2 x 0.47 inches for the non-touch model and 0.49 inches thick for the touch version and weighing less than 2.2 pounds.
It’s slim body is made from CNC-machined aluminium. Jobs mob’s MacBook weighs more and is fatter at its thickest point (0.14 to 0.52 inches).
Unlike the MacBook, the EliteBook Folio sports a 180-degree piano hinge, which could come in handy for giving presentations for collaborating. HP’s effort also has Bang & Olufsen speakers which give a better sound quality than the Apple equivalent.
The screen can be a UHD screen (3840 x 2160 pixels). The MacBook has a disappointing lower-res 2304 x 1440-pixel panel. The Folio can have a similar screen in touch or non-touch if you want a better battery life.
The EliteBook Folio has two USB-C ports and an audio jack. It is still better than the one more USB-C port of the MacBook. HP has an optional Thunderbolt 3 dock for when you need more connectivity options, as well as various USB-C adapters for Ethernet, VGA and HDMI.
HP is offering a wide range of configuration options, including your choice of 6th-generation Core m5 and Core m7 processors, 8GB of RAM and 128GB, 240GB or 256GB SSDs. The average battery life is 10 hours.
Still Steve Jobs must be spinning in his gave to be outclassed by someone as historically pedestrian and reliable as HP.
Microsoft’s once dominant Internet Explorer browser lost its majority position last month, according to a Web metrics vendor, falling under the 50% bar for the first time since it thrashed Netscape Navigator and assumed control of the browser market.
By the estimates of Irvine, Calif.-based Net Applications, Internet Explorer (IE) ended 2015 with a user share — a measurement of unique visitors to the websites of the company’s clients, and one of the few proxies for real-world browser adoption — of 48.6%. That was a drop of 1.5 percentage points from November, the largest one-month contraction in IE’s share since October 2011.
At one point, IE held a user share as large as 89.4% in Net Applications’ tracking. That was in January 2005, when Computerworld began recording the firm’s metrics.
IE’s share had been even higher earlier in the decade, after it had forced Netscape out of the market in the early 2000s, and before Mozilla took up Netscape’s mantle with Firefox in 2004. Firefox was the first browser to challenge IE’s dominance of the browser space, and was widely adopted by those who viewed the then-IE6 as stuck in the past.
Microsoft responded to the threat from Firefox with a series of improved browsers — IE7 in 2006 for Windows Vista’s launch, IE8 in 2009 preceding the debut of Windows 7, and others — but its user share decline continued. IE flirted with falling below the 50% mark in late 2011; in October of that year, it posted a user share of 51.9%. But the browser recovered some of that lost share, scratching its way to 58.9% in November 2014.
Previously, IE’s position as the No. 1 browser seemed safe, in large part because it was the standard for businesses, particularly enterprises and other large organizations. But even that stronghold has been breached by Chrome, which will be the primary browser for two-thirds of enterprise users this year.