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Will AMD Bring Two New GPUs To Market In 2016?

November 18, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

AMDs’ head graphics guy, Raja Koduri promised that AMD will have two new GPUs out next year.

Koduri was talking to Forbes about how AMD needed to get some new architectural designs and create brand new GPUs into the shops.

He added that this is something that AMD has been pretty pants about lately.

He promised two brand new GPUs in 2016, which are hopefully going to both be 14nm/16nm FinFET from GlobalFoundries or TSMC and will help make Advanced Micro Devices more power and die size competitive.

AMD’s GPU architectures have gotten rather elderly, he said.

AMD also wants to increase its share in professional graphics. Apparently this is so low that any competition it brings Nvidia could significantly help their market share in this high margin business. The company has hired

Sean Burke to help drive this forward. Sean was a president at Flex and Nortek and a senior executive at Hewlett-Packard, Compaq and Dell. For those who came in late he was the father of Dell’s Dimension and Compaq’s Prolinea.

Koduri’s cunning plan is to capture consumer and professional graphics will be by providing fully immersive experiences that range from education and medicine to gaming and virtual reality with plenty of overlap in between.

He is also interested in expanding into “instinctive computing” applications which involve medicine, factory automation, automotive and security. These are computing applications that are more natural to the environment and less obvious to the user and should come as natural user experiences.

Koduri has three make attack plans. The first is to gain discrete GPU market share in 2016 and 2017 as well as win the next generation of consoles, which will be 4K. Ironically the AMD chips in the consoles on the market at the moment can handle 4K but they don’t.

Koduri wants console makers will continue to stick with Radeon IP for their next generation consoles and give Advanced Micro Devices an even bigger advantage in the gaming space.

DirectX 12 in the latest shipping version of Windows does seem to give Radeon GPUs a significant performance uplift against Nvidia, he said.



Will AMD Go Back To Black In 2016

November 12, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

AMD’s EMEA component sales manager Neil Spicer is “confident” his outfit can return to profitability in 2016.

Talking to CRN Spicer said he is sure that profitability will return as long as the company sticks to its principles.

“From a personal stance, I am confident [AMD can be profitable]. I believe we are working with exactly the right customers, and over the last few years we have become much simpler to execute and do business with.”

He said that in order to achieve profit, the company must ensure it is investing in the right areas.

“Moving forwards to 2016, we have to have profitable share growth,” he said. “So it’s choosing the right business to go after, both with the company itself and the ecosystem of partners. There is no point in us as a vendor chasing unprofitable partners.

“We want to focus [in the areas] we are good at – that’s where we are going to invest heavily. That’s things like winning the graphics battle with gaming and so forth, and we want to be part of this Windows 10 upgrade cycle.”

Spicer so far has been a little optimistic this year. He thought that Windows 10 would drive an upgrade refresh, particularly as AMD works so well with the new OS.

He also thinks that the combination of Windows 10, the advent of e-sports – competitive online gaming – and new technology and products AMD is launching, means “PC is an exciting market”.

Of course Spicer was extremely enthusiastic about Zen which he thinks will help its play in the high-end desktop space, and the server area. More cynical observers think that Zen will be AMD’s last roll of the dice.



Kaspersky Stops CoinVault

November 6, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Kaspersky has found that attacks by gits on gewgaws have increased and that mobile malware is popular in the mean streets of Malicious Town.

Russian security firm Kaspersky is behind the revelation, and the firm’s IT Threat Evolution Q3 2015 report showed significant increases across the board. All this keeps the firm on its toes and very busy.

It’s not all bad news, and Kaspersky has claimed scalps on the infamous CoinVault and Bitcryptor ransomware systems. The firm said that things have been shut down and people pinched for their roles. Kaspersky has also released the relevant keys so that locked out users can reunite themselves with their kidnapped content.

“The CoinVault story is ending: the remaining victims can retrieve their files and the cyber criminals have been caught, thanks to collaboration between the Dutch police, Kaspersky Lab and Panda Security,” said Jornt van der Wiel, a security researcher at Kaspersky’s Global Research & Analysis Team.

“The CoinVault investigation has been unique in that we have been able to retrieve all the keys. Through sheer hard work we were able to disrupt the entire business model of the cyber criminal group.”

Kaspersky’s three-month information harvest showed that the firm repelled 235,415,870 malicious attacks from online resources all over the world, and saw 38,233,047 unique malicious scripts, exploits, executable files and viruses.

A huge 323,374 new malicious mobile programs were found, a threefold increase over the previous quarter, along with 1,583,094 malicious installation packages.

“The developments in Q3 demonstrate that the global threat landscape is continuing to evolve at a fast pace. Malicious mobile programs are on the rise and in countries where online banking is popular, people are at considerable risk from trojans looking to target them,” said David Emm, principal security researcher for Kaspersky’s Global Research & Analysis Team.

“With 5.6 million cases of attempted theft from online bank accounts, and cyber criminals continually developing sophisticated attacks, the use of high-quality cyber security products has never been more important. It’s vital that all those using the internet – individuals and organisations – protect themselves from these growing threats.”

So there are new problems and old threats, some of which, like the Turla method for hacking downstream satellite connections, continue to flourish.

Turla not does make its way in the direction of the UK or US, but Kaspersky said that it could lead to problems if other hacker groups adopt the technique.

“If this method becomes widespread among APT groups or cyber criminals it will pose a serious problem for the IT security industry and law enforcement agencies,” the firm said.


Windows 10 Growth Stalls Again

November 3, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Computing

Three months after its official launch, Windows 10 now runs an estimated 132 million PCs, according to data published by an analytics vendor.

Numbers just released by U.S. metrics company Net Applications showed that Windows 10′s user share — a proxy for the portion of all systems worldwide that ran the OS — grew 1.3 percentage points in October to 7.9%.

Microsoft launched Windows 10 on July 29, making October the third full month that the free upgrade for Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 devices was available to download and install or was pre-loaded on new devices.

October’s user share increase was slightly smaller than September’s gain of 1.4 percentage points, and far below August’s record 4.8 points, when massive numbers of users took advantage of the free upgrade.

Windows 10 accounted for 8.8% of all Windows devices in October, a higher number than its raw user share number because Windows powered 90.4%, not 100%, of all systems tallied by Net Applications. During October, Windows 10′s share of all Windows devices climbed by 1.5 percentage points.

Net Applications’ user share represented nearly 132 million Windows 10 PCs, assuming a total of 1.5 billion Windows devices globally, a figure that Microsoft regularly cites.

Microsoft has not publicized its own Windows 10 number since Oct. 6, when a top hardware executive said that 110 million devices were running the OS worldwide.

Net Applications’ Windows 10 user share data showed the same broad trend as another analytics developer, Ireland’s StatCounter, which has also depicted the OS’s growth as slowing for the second month running. By StatCounter’s measurements, Windows 10 gained 1.4 percentage points of usage share — an activity indicator, as it counts web page views — in October. However, StatCounter’s numbers indicated that Windows 10′s usage share growth had decelerated more sharply than did Net Application’s, as the former pegged September’s gain at 2.4 percentage points, a full point larger than October’s.




Oracle Goes Elastic To Take On Amazon’s AWS

November 3, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Oracle has launched a direct rival to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud with its own Elastic Compute Cloud.

The product was revealed amid a flurry of cloud-related product announcements, including five in the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) space, at the OpenWorld show in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Oracle Elastic Compute Cloud adds to the Dedicated Compute service the firm launched last year. The latest service lets customers make use of elastic compute capabilities to run any workload in a shared cloud compute zone, a basic public cloud offering.

“Last year we had dedicated compute. You get a rack, it’s elastic but it’s dedicated to your needs,” said Thomas Kurian, president of Oracle Product Development (pictured below).

“We’ve now added in Elastic Compute, so you can just buy a certain number of cores and it runs four different operating systems: Oracle Linux, Red Hat, Ubuntu or Windows, and elastically scale that up and down.”

Oracle has yet to release pricing details for the Elastic Compute Cloud service, but chairman and CTO Larry Ellison said on Sunday that it will be charged at the equivalent or lower than AWS pricing. For the dedicated model, Ellison revealed on Tuesday at OpenWorld that firms will pay half the cost for Oracle Dedicated Compute of the equivalent AWS shared compute option.

It is not surprising that Oracle would like the opportunity to have a piece of the public cloud pie. AWS earned its owner $2.08bn in revenue in the quarter ending 30 September.

Kurian shared current use details for the Oracle Cloud as evidence of the success it has seen so far. The firm manages 1,000PB of cloud storage, and in September alone processed 34 billion transactions on its cloud. This was a result of the 35,000 companies signed up to the Oracle Cloud, which between them account for 30 million users logging in actively each day.

However, Oracle’s chances of knocking Amazon off its cloud-leader perch, or even making a slight dent in its share, seem low. The AWS revenue was only made possible by the fact that Amazon owns 30 percent of the cloud infrastructure service market, with second and third-ranked Microsoft and IBM lagging behind at 10 and seven percent respectively.

Google and Salesforce have managed to capture less than five percent each. Indeed, realising how competitive the market is and Amazon’s dominant position, HP has just left the public cloud market.

Despite Oracle going head to head with AWS in the public cloud space, Amazon has been attempting to attract Oracle customers to its own platform.

“AWS and Oracle are working together to offer enterprises a number of solutions for migrating and deploying their enterprise applications on the AWS cloud. Customers can launch entire enterprise software stacks from Oracle on the AWS cloud, and they can build enterprise-grade Oracle applications using database and middleware software from Oracle,” the web giant notes on its site.

Amazon describes EC2 as letting users “increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days. You can commission one, hundreds or even thousands of server instances simultaneously”, making Oracle Elastic Compute Cloud a direct competitor.

Oracle has also added a hierarchical storage option for its archive storage cloud service, aimed at automatically moving data that requires long-term retention such as corporate records, scientific archives and cultural preservation content.

Ellison noted that this archiving service is priced at a 10th of the cost of Amazon’s S3 offering.

Kurian explained of the archive system: “I’ve got data I need to put into the cloud but I don’t need a recovery time objective. So you get it very, very cheap”, adding that it costs $1/TB per month.

The firm also launched what Kurian dubbed as its “lorry service” for bulk data transfer. This will see Oracle ship a storage appliance to a customer’s site, where they can then do a huge data transfer directly onto that machine at a much quicker rate than streaming it to the cloud. The appliance is then sent back to Oracle via DHL or FedEx, Kurian explained, for Oracle to then do the transfer on-site to the cloud for storage.

“This is much faster if you’re moving a huge amount of data. One company is moving 250PB of data. To stream that amount of data to the cloud would take a very long time,” he said.

Bulk data transfer will be available from November, while the archive service is available now.

“You can go up to as a customer, enter a credit card and you can buy the service, all the PaaS services and the storage service. We’re adding compute over the next couple of weeks,” Kurian explained.

“You pay for it by credit card or an invoice if you’re a corporate customer and pay for it by hour or month, by processor or by per gigabyte per hour or month for storage.”

Oracle Container Cloud, meanwhile, lets firms run apps in Docker containers and deploy them in the Oracle Compute Cloud, supporting better automation of app implementations using technologies like Kubernetes.

Oracle also launched additional applications that sit in its cloud, including the Data Visualisation Cloud Service. This makes visual analytics accessible to general business users who do not have access to Hadoop systems or the data warehouse.

“All you need is a spreadsheet to load your data and a browser to do the analysis,” Kurian explained.

Several new big data cloud services are also aimed at letting users more easily prepare and analyse data using Hadoop as the data store, for example Big Data Preparation and Big Data Discovery.

“With Big Data Preparation you can move data into your data lake, you can enrich the data, prepare it, do data wrangling, cleanse it and store it in the data lake. Big Data Discovery lets a business user sit in front of Hadoop, and through a browser-based dashboarding environment search the environment, discover patterns in the data, do analysis and curate subsets of the data for other teams to look at. It’s an analytic environment and complete Hadoop stack,” Kurian said.



Microsoft To Make It Easier For Counterfeiters To Get Genuine Windows

November 2, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Computing

Microsoft will make it somewhat easier for machines running counterfeit copies of Windows to get legal as they upgrade to the newest edition, Windows 10, the company’s top OS executive said.

“We’ll offer a one-click opportunity to get Genuine via the Windows Store or by entering an activation code purchased elsewhere,” said Terry Myerson, who heads Microsoft’s Windows and devices teams, which were recently reorganized under the “More Personal Computing” umbrella.

“Genuine” is Microsoft’s nomenclature for a legal license to its software.

Myerson said that the move, which he called experimental, would debut “soon” in the U.S. and would be expanded to other markets if it works here. “We’d like to welcome as many of these customers as possible to the legitimate Windows ecosystem,” he added in a post to a Microsoft blog.

The company will not give away Windows 10 to those whose PCs are powered by a pirated version, sticking with the decision it made earlier this year after some considerable back and forth.

In March, Myerson was quoted by Reuters as saying that pirated copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 could be upgraded to Windows 10 under a just-announced free upgrade program that Microsoft later kicked off in July. At the time, Microsoft confirmed that Myerson’s comments to the wire service were accurate, leading to conclusions that the company was offering an unprecedented amnesty.

But within hours, the Redmond, Wash.-based company took back that confirmation, saying that although pirates could upgrade to Windows 10, the operating system would still be stamped as counterfeit.

Microsoft is able to streamline a get-legal move by pirates because of a recent change to the way Windows 10 activates, a process that pairs a device with a legitimate copy of the operating system.

The same mechanism will be used to activate a non-Genuine copy of an older version upgraded to Windows 10. Users will purchase a license, and thus a product key code, from Microsoft or third-party retailers like Amazon and, then enter it into Windows 10 to make their software legit.




AMD’s Bet On ARM Does Not Appear To Be Helping

October 20, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Buried in the AMD results was a note which seemed to hint that AMD’s plan to flog ARM based server chips was not going very well.

Chief executive Lisa Su admitted that ARM-based server chips have experienced slower-than-expected reception from the owners of data centres and server farms.

AMD delayed its own ARM-based Opteron microprocessor, code-named Seattle, until the fourth quarter of this year. ARM was having a harder time proving itself to the multibillion-dollar market for high-end server chips.

An engineering sample of AMD’s long awaited 8 core server SOC code named “Hierofalcon” has been spotted and tested and according to WCCTech it looked pretty good. Itis based around 8 ARM-64bit A57 cores running at 2.0Ghz. And although Hierofalcon maxes out at frugal TDP of 30W.

So even the promising reviews aren’t enough for AMD to be optimistic about the ARM based gear.

Su said in an analyst conference call that the company expects to see “modest production shipments” of Seattle in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, AMD’s Intel-compatible “x86″ server chips will be the company’s mainstay product offering for data centres.

She said that AMD was continuing its ARM efforts and is seeing them as a longer term bet.



AMD Giving More People The Boot

October 5, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

While we want AMD to do well to balance the Intel and Nvidia empires, it does seem that the outfit cannot get a break.  Today it announced that it is letting 500 staff go and will begin another wave of restructuring.

Of course, we predicted  this would happen. The company is betting the farm on its coming Zen chip, but this will not appear until next year.  Meanwhile it is facing shrinking sales and nearly impossible competition.

Under the restructuring AMD will outsource some IT and application development services.  It will give 500 people, or five percent of its staff, their pink slips and P45s. The company will take a charge of $42 million, with $41 million of that recorded in the just-ended third quarter. AMD said it expected savings of about $58 million in 2016 from the restructuring plan.

This is about the same time AMD hopes to clean up with its Zen chips.

AMD said it will cut white-collar jobs and is not shutting or idling any fabricating operations. The jobs will be lost across AMD’s global operations, including Austin, Texas, and company headquarters in Sunnyvale, California. AMD only has 9,700 employees at the end of last year, so 500 is rather a chunk.

AMD reported its second-quarter revenue fell 35 percent from the year-earlier period, claiming that no one wanted to buy PCs.

The company has been shifting to gaming consoles and low-power servers, but it really has not moved fast enough or come up with the sort of “wow” technology which is needed to see off Intel.



Windows 10 Breaks 100M Device Mark

October 5, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Computing

Windows 10′s user share growth slowed considerably in September, but by the month’s end approximately 110 million customers were running the new OS, data released today signaled.

According to U.S. analytics company Net Applications, Windows 10′s user share — a measure of the fraction of unique users who ran the OS when they went online — grew 1.4 percentage points in September to 6.6%.

Microsoft launched Windows 10 on July 29, making September the second full month that the upgrade for Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 devices was available to download and install.

September’s user share increase was substantially smaller than August’s record setting 4.8 percentage points.

Windows 10 accounted for 7.3% of all Windows devices in September, a slightly higher number than its raw user share number because Windows powered “just” 90.5%, not 100%, of all systems tallied by Net Applications. During September, Windows 10′s share of all Windows devices climbed by 1.6 percentage points.

Net Applications’ data represented 110 million Windows 10 PCs, assuming a total of 1.5 billion Windows devices globally, the figure Microsoft typically trumpets.

Microsoft has not publicized a Windows 10 download or installed data point since late August, when it said that 75 million devices worldwide were running the OS.

Net Applications’ Windows 10 user share portrait backed up the findings of another analytics developer, Ireland’s StatCounter, which has also portrayed the OS’s growth as slowing after its first month of availability.

By StatCounter’s measurements, Windows 10 gained 5.9 percentage points ofusage share — more of an activity indicator, as it counts web page views by OS — in the first four weeks after its launch. During the most recent four weeks, or from Aug. 31 to Sept. 27, Windows 10 grew by a much smaller 1.4 points.

Net Applications’ numbers also validate the slowdown in a different way. During the final three weeks of August, an average of 1.8 million devices were added to Windows 10′s rolls daily. But in September, the average daily increase dropped to less than half of that, to about 794,000 devices.

Even so, Windows 10 continued to best Windows 7′s performance during a similar stretch. In 2009, the then-new OS had accumulated a 6.2% share of all Windows personal computers through its second full month, or more than a point under Windows 10 at the same post-launch moment.

With about 110 million devices now running Windows 10, Microsoft is at the 7% mark toward reaching its goal of putting the OS on 1.5 billion systems by mid-2018.




Is Oculus Going Cheap With VR?

September 29, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Around The Net

Oculus and Samsung had a few milestone announcements to make at yesterday’s keynote for the Connect 2 developer event. Gear VR got an update and halved in price. Oculus signed a few important content partnerships.

Samsung Gear VR, the wearable accessory that allows you to strap a compatible Samsung phone to your face and see the virtual worlds within, got a new version that now costs only $99. That’s without the phone of course, so you will have to BYOD.

Oculus, on the other hand, is bringing some much needed expansion to the content side of the equation. There’s games, movies, TV shows, streaming video, all becoming available in the next few months. This is widely expected by our tech journalist colleagues to finally bring VR into many more homes. We tend to agree that that’s a very real possibility.

Among the more important content partnerships are that with Fox, who’s bringing over 100 of its movies to the Oculus VR Cinema, and Lionsgate. But what’s really expected to bring VR into your average Internet-connected living room is the fact that Netflix follows suit, as will vimeo and Hulu in the fall.

Kids will be able to stare like zombies for hours on end into a VR version of their favourite gamers’ video feeds via Twitch. Hooray!

Facebook also announced 360 degree videos that will become available on the news feed. Disney, Vice, GoPro, Saturday Night Live and others have already been signed up to produce content.

We expect a version of VR goggles to come out soon enough with an Intel Realsense or similar technology, so we’ll be able to tune into someone’s surroundings in realtime. Microsoft’s Hololens seems like a perfect tool for such scenarios.

It’s without a doubt exciting times in the area of VR. Now, whether it will falter like 3D TV has, or live on to see another “day”, it’s too soon to tell. We will be following the developments closely.



Red Hat Releases Fedora 23 To Address Security Issues

September 25, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Red Hat has torn the roof off the sucker once again with the release of Fedora 23 in beta form.

Coming in three incredible versions, Fedora 23 Cloud, Fedora 23 Server and Fedora 23 Workstation, this new edition picks up where the old one left off and runs with it.

The biggest news for fans is the use of compiler flags to help improve security. These are designed to help protect Fedora 23 beta binaries against memory corruption vulnerabilities, buffer overflows and similar issues.

This is the latest iteration of Red Hat’s Linux-based operating system that likes to think of itself as the leading-edge open source operating system across all use cases. It’s hard to believe, but absolutely true.

The dazzling array of updates starts with Red Hat Fedora Server Beta, which offers a new role through the rolekit service in the form of a cache server for web applications, with the underlying functionality delivered by memcached.

Also new is the fact that rolekit can now be triggered by anaconda kickstart to determine what function should be started with the next reboot, and I think we can all agree that’s been a long time coming.

Cockpit also sees some big changes, including a basic cluster dashboard for Kubernetes, Support for SSH key authentication and support for configuring user accounts with their authorised keys and compatibility with multipath disks.

Meanwhile in Fedora 23 Workstation Beta, the fun keeps coming with a preview of GNOME 3.18. Changes to the software application will allow it to offer firmware updates and access to Libreoffice 5. Improvements have also been made to Wayland, with the ultimate aim being to make it the default graphic server in a future release.

Sadly, that’s where the thrillride ends as Cloud Beta contains very little new of note – but we are warned to stay tuned for news of Fedora 23 Atomic Host, said to be coming soon. We’re literally on the edge of our seats and will bring you the news as soon as we get it.


Microsoft Offering Office 365 For Half Price

September 24, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Computing

One of the obstacles Microsoft is presented with is that some users haven’t upgraded their Office suite for several years, despite the company’s releasing new versions.

Customers pay a relatively large sum for access to apps like Word and Excel, and once they have the functionality they need, there’s little incentive to upgrade. It makes sense from a consumer standpoint, but it means Microsoft isn’t making as much money as it could from the widespread use of Office.

That could be the impetus behind a promotion Microsoft announced Tuesday: Customers who have Windows 10 on their computer but are still running Office 2010 or earlier can now get a one-year Office 365 Personal subscription for $35. That’s half the price Microsoft usually charges for the Personal package, which lets users install its productivity suite on one tablet, one computer and one phone.

It comes the same day that Microsoft launched Office 2016, the latest update to its productivity suite. The update includes a variety of new features, such as integration with Bing search and a “Tell Me” search box that helps users find functionality inside the Office apps without having to comb through a maze of menus.

What’s more, the update enhances collaboration between Office users. One of the marquee features is real-time co-authoring in Word’s desktop app, which lets multiple people work on the same document at the same time and see the edits of other users in real time. The success of that feature relies on the use of Office 2016, which means it’s in Microsoft’s interest to get more people onto Office 365.

Of course, the promotion is only good for a year — users have to pay the full $70 for an Office 365 Personal subscription once their promotional period is up. It’s not clear when the deal will end, either, though it seems unlikely that Microsoft will keep it around forever.





Microsoft Admits To Secret Windows 10 Upgrades

September 15, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Computing

Microsoft has acknowledged that it has been pre-loading the Windows 10 installation bits onto devices whose owners have not “reserved” a copy or expressed interest in the new OS.

The move has upset some users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, who have complained that the unsolicited downloads have caused them to exceed their Internet providers’ data caps or seized storage space without their consent.

In a statement, Microsoft  confirmed the practice, which was first reported by The Inquirer last week.

“For those who have chosen to receive automatic updates through Windows Update, we help customers prepare their devices for Windows 10 by downloading the files necessary for future installation,” a company spokeswoman said in an email. “This results in a better upgrade experience and ensures the customer’s device has the latest software. This is an industry practice that reduces time for installation and ensures device readiness.”

If Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 device owners have Windows Update set to the default — and Microsoft-recommended — option that lets the operating system download and install security and other bug fixes automatically in the background, Microsoft will push the Windows 10 upgrade files to the drive.

The upgrade, which can range in size from more than 3GB to nearly 6GB, is placed in the hidden “$Windows.~BT” folder, a long-used destination for Windows upgrades. It will sit there, presumably until the user expresses some kind of desire to install Windows 10.

Microsoft has been pre-loading the Windows 10 upgrade on systems since late July, but it was thought that the practice had been limited to PCs whose owners had accepted Microsoft’s free offer and “reserved” a copy through an app the Redmond, Wash. company automatically installed this spring and early summer on virtual all consumer PCs running Windows 7 Home and 8.1 Home, and on many machines powered by Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 Pro.



Microsoft’s Edge Browser Not Winning Over Windows 10 Users

August 20, 2015 by mphillips  
Filed under Around The Net

Microsoft’s new Edge browser is being used by a small percentage of those running Windows 10 — between one-sixth and one-third — according to data from a pair of analytics vendors.

The early returns on Edge not only hint at Microsoft’s failure to get the earliest adopters to rely on the new browser, but also question Mozilla’s contention that Windows 10′s setup will result in defections from its own Firefox, or by association, other non-Microsoft browsers.

During July, Edge accounted for just 0.14% of all browsers tracked by California-based Net Applications. With Windows 10′s user share standing at 0.39% for July — and because Edge works only on Windows 10 — the browser was run by about 36% of its potential users (0.14% divided by 0.39%).

Net Applications measures user share using visitor tallies to its customers’ websites. The result is a rough estimate of the percentage of the world’s online users who run a specific browser.

Data from StatCounter, an Irish metrics vendor, also showed that Edge was far from the universal browser of choice among people who have upgraded to Windows 10.

Over the first 16 days of August, Edge’s global average daily usage share was 0.7%, far below the 4.4% average daily share of Windows 10. In other words, StatCounter pegged Edge as accounting for about 16% of the online activity of all Windows 10 owners.

The low percentages of Windows 10 users currently running Edge signaled that Microsoft has not made its case for the new browser, at least among those who have jumped on the OS and its free upgrade. That’s troubling, since Microsoft has positioned Edge as its browser of the future, and put in considerable effort to making it more compliant with standards, while relegating Internet Explorer (IE) in general, IE11 specifically, to a legacy support position.




Windows 10 Growing Faster Than Windows 8

August 12, 2015 by Michael  
Filed under Computing

Windows 10 has grown faster in two weeks than its predecessor managed in its first six months.

In the two weeks since release, the new ‘Windows-as-a-service’ has been installed on an estimated 27 million machines, or 3.78 of the market, according to analysts at StatCounter. This is up from 0.39 percent from the beginning of the month. In the UK, the uptake is even speedier, with 7.56 percent of machines updated.

That means that Windows 10 is already beating Windows 8 (not including 8.1).

Digging back into the INQ archives we can see that it took until April 2013 – a full six months after release to hit this saturation, according to Netmarketshare.

As the great hope for a Microsoft revival, following the lukewarm reception for the tile-clad predecessor, this bodes well. With another three weeks before the next Netmarketshare figures, there is a realistic chance that Windows 10 will overtake Windows 8 marketshare within the first month.

The combined Windows 8.x marketshare for July was just 15.86 percent, and with so many users still waiting for their upgrade, there is every chance that Windows 8.x will be annihilated by its successor within months, leaving it as a footnote in history like Vista before it.

Windows 10 has achieved near universal acclaim for its blending of familiar and new elements. Demand for the new OS is such that Microsoft servers have been, at times, overwhelmed. Users have been advised that their upgrade request could take “weeks” and even once installed, it could take time to activate the free upgrade licence.

Mozilla, makers of the popular open source Firefox browser, isn’t so impressed, and has already made it clear that it is not amused by Windows 10 with an open letter to CEO Satya Nadella criticising the company’s move to a process of silent, background security updates.

Microsoft has described the enormity of the task of offering free updates to Windows 10 as akin to “buying pizza for 1.5 billion people”.