Gavin Clarke

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Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?

What is being described as the "biggest round of job cuts" to hit Microsoft for five years is on its way, or so we've been told. The software mammoth “could” unveil staff cuts that were alluded to by chief executive Satya Nadella in his flabby PR-authored communication last week. The cuts are reported to be the biggest in five …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Jul 2014
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos

Blighty's Amazon Cloud Lord: It's a battle of men vs boys, and I ain't no boy

Apple and Google haven't won the cloud yet, according to one particularly chest-thumping interview with Microsoft's chief executive Satya Nadella this week. But who has? Is it ... Amazon, perhaps? We talked to Amazon's top UK & Ireland cloud kingpin to get an insight. So here's the background to the battle. First, there's …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Jul 2014
Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella: Microsoft's new man presses all the old buttons in LONG memo

Comment Six months into his new job as Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella has penned what we're supposed to believe is a memo to his troops. Corporate missives to employees are generally hush-hush affairs, something enterprising journalists land by luck or skill. The appearance of the document on the company's website means this is not an …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Jul 2014

Profit-free Box trousers $150m in funding. So much for an April IPO

Loss-making enterprise startup darling Box.com has swallowed another $150m in venture funding. The cloud collaboration announced the funding Monday as part of a deal that reportedly boosts the company’s value from $2bn to $2.4bn. The shot of private equity comes despite the company’s plan, announced in March, to go public with …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Jul 2014
Sign outside the National Security Agency HQ

Don't panic! Mega cloud biz group says NSA just one among many threats

Enterprises are being told to not abandon the cloud out of fear of possible threats to their data security posed by US government snoops. The Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA) has advised big companies the benefits of cloud – escaping their legacy IT – far outweigh risks of the National Security Agency pilfering their secrets. …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Jul 2014

Amazon sues former employee who took Google cloud job

Amazon is taking a former employee responsible for managing its cloud partners to court over an alleged breach of contract after he joined Google. The e-tailer claims former AWS strategic partnerships manager Zoltan Szabadi joined Google too soon after leaving. The company alleges that by doing so, Szabadi broke the non-compete …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Jul 2014
paper cut-out men holding hands in linked semi-circle

HP and shareholders to gang up against 'Brit Bill Gates'

Hewlett-Packard and its disgruntled shareholders have settled three lawsuits related to the $10.7bn acquisition of British search specialist Autonomy. But the Autonomy fight is not over – far from it. Both sides have now agreed to co-operate in "potential litigation" against Autonomy’s former CEO Mike Lynch and members of his …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Jul 2014
slow_sign

Pension quango's £18.5m project FINALLY goes live... 2 months late

Exclusive An £18.5m project carried out on behalf of the UK's Pension Protection Fund (PPF) has finally gone live - two months late. A comprehensive IT infrastructure overhaul and modernisation of hardware and software was due to be installed and running by 28 February. However, The Register has learned that CGI missed both the February …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Jul 2014

You WON'T spend as much on IT in 2014 as we thought - Gartner

Global spending on IT is not growing as much as anticipated, according to Gartner. Price pressure thanks to increased competition, a growing lack of product differentiation, and the availability of viable alternatives are all dampening spend for 2014. Worldwide IT spending this year will therefore grow by just 2.1 per cent from …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Jun 2014

HP in 'serious' settlement talks over Autonomy legal bust-up

Hewlett-Packard seems poised to settle a lawsuit with shareholders over its $10.7bn purchase of Mike Lynch’s software company, Autonomy. The computer company said in a statement that it is in “serious discussions” to settle the suit, brought in November 2012 by angry shareholders. “No final deal has been reached yet,” HP said …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Jun 2014

I/O: New Google design language will RULE OVER 'DROIDS

Google has unveiled a new look for the next version of Android, Android L, dubbed "Material Design". So what, you ask? Well, Android runs on around 70 per cent of the world's smartphones. Material Design specifies the UX (user experience) for all things Google and “smart” - from the outline to the fundamentals. Material Design …
Gavin Clarke, 26 Jun 2014

Microsoft's Online Exchange fixed after going titsup for NINE HOURS

Microsoft has fixed a nine-hour outage in its online Exchange service that crippled North American customers’ Office 365 and hosted Outlook accounts. The outage struck companies in US, Canada and Mexico, leaving entire organisations unable to read, write or retrieve emails or seeing their email slow down to a snail's pace. …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Jun 2014

Oracle makes Sun-sized $5bn grab for Micros Systems

Oracle is buying systems maker and consulting shop Micros Systems for $5.3bn to counteract the slowdown in its hardware and software business. The giant Monday confirmed reports it is buying Micros, which builds and delivers integrated systems including point of sale systems for the retail and hospitality sectors. Oracle …
Gavin Clarke, 23 Jun 2014
NPL Large Pressure Tank, photo: Gavin Clarke

Measure for measure: We visit the most applied-physicist-rich building in the UK

Geek's Guide to Britain Shielded by lime trees in a quiet corner of south-west London, a low, modern building constructed of green glass sits on rolling lawns behind a high metal fence. It’s a discreet facility save for a huge white sign facing the road with an blue official crest and three large letters that spell out NPL – the National Physical …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Jun 2014
Photo of the KitKat mascot among the Android lawn statues

Jellybean dominates Play, still seated atop rising KitKat

The KitKat edition of Android now accounts for 13.6 per cent of all devices hitting Google’s Play store, the colossal advertising firm has disclosed. KitKat is the fourth most popular edition of Android, eight months after it was released by Mountain View. The data comes courtesy of Google’s Dashboard. Jellybean, released July …
Gavin Clarke, 06 Jun 2014

The enemy of my enemy is my, well, temporary ally: Apple and Microsoft in pact against Google

WWDC Apple has used its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, held this week in San Francisco, to play internet giants against each other. On Monday, the iPhone maker revealed a pact with Microsoft to make Bing the default web search engine for its desktops and devices – swapping out Google. The change will affect Spotlight in the …
Gavin Clarke, 03 Jun 2014
Windows 7

Microsoft's NEW OS now runs on HALF of ALL desktop PCs

One of Microsoft’s newest operating systems now runs on half of desktops – but it’s not the one Redmond might have wished. Windows 7 accounted for 50.06 per cent of operating system market share in May according to Netmarketshare’s running monthly tally. The operating system expanded its share from 49.27 per cent in April. …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Jun 2014
Marc Benioff

Microsoft, Salesforce thump table in cloud tie-up talks – report

Salesforce is in talks over a cloud tie-up with Microsoft, a company its chief once branded the "evil empire". The two enterprise staples are reportedly in the closing stages of talks about a deal that would let users of the Windows Azure cloud use Salesforce’s apps: Bloomberg reports Salesforce’s CRM-as-a-service will be made …
Gavin Clarke, 29 May 2014
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft's 'CEO of no' on Xbox: NO SALE

Microsoft’s new chief executive has told us what he’s not going to do - sell Bing or Xbox - but not what is he going to do. So far, all we’re hearing is a lot of "no". Speaking at a technology event in California, Nadella has been reported and quoted on Twitter to have ruled out the sale of both Xbox and Bing. On Xbox, Nadella …
Gavin Clarke, 28 May 2014
 Dummy hand grenades are used by the Marines from the 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion, for practice before throwing the M-67 Fragment Grenades at the firing range.jpg

Microsoft boffins: Now even LAWYERS can grok Bing code's privacy compliance

Boffins at Microsoft Research have devised a way to automatically check code for compliance with privacy laws – and, according to Redmond, it's so simple that even non-techies can use it successfully. Microsoft Research (MSR) has developed a programming language called Legalease, to be used together with its data inventory …
Gavin Clarke, 23 May 2014
Kirk and Spock contemplate castles built in the air

HP's $1bn 'Linux for the cloud' dream: Will Helion float?

Analysis Hewlett-Packard has committed $1bn to OpenStack, a Linux for the cloud, over the next two years. The cash is going on R&D, products, engineering and services, HP said. The company will iron out the kinks in the OpenStack code and make it work and try to sniff out OpenStack clouds on HP hardware out of the box. To grease up the …
Gavin Clarke, 23 May 2014
Star Wars: The Complete Saga

JJ Abrams and Star Wars: I've got a bad feeling about this

“Boys are only interested in pirates and Star Wars,” my daughter tells me. She is four and speaks with the confidence and clarity only a four-year-old can manage. Star Wars Thirty-seven years on, and the Star Wars franchise still captures kids' imaginations Her proof? The games played, toys brought in and the clothes worn by …
Gavin Clarke, 21 May 2014
Tools in Office Touch

'Microsoft Research slides' show touch-enabled Office - report

Leaked screenshots have been posted online purportedly showing the UI for Office Touch for Windows 8. The slides are part of a presentation posted by Microsoft Research that is now no longer available. Versions of slides were still on mirror sites at time of writing. The presentation was caught by Winsupersite’s Paul Thurrott. …
Gavin Clarke, 20 May 2014
Azure icon

Microsoft: Take a seat over there, SAP, on the AZURE CLOUD

SAP’s business applications have landed on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud infrastructure service. The German software giant and the Redmond IT juggernaut said on Monday that a number of SAP’s business applications will be certified on Microsoft’s cloud by the end of June. Among this software will be SAP's Business Suite, All- …
Gavin Clarke, 19 May 2014
A boat full of Fail

Stock and awe: Top City biz takes £32m hit after software upgrade axed

A leading City firm has halted the roll-out of software that was supposed to streamline its business but became more trouble than it was worth. Specifically, £32m of trouble. Brewin Dolphin, in Smithfield St, London, alleged to investors it encountered “issues” with the "robustness" of a specialist financial application. It …
Gavin Clarke, 19 May 2014
Windows 8.1 Start screen

Charity: Ta for the free Win 8.1, Microsoft – we'll use it to install Win 7

Exclusive In November, Microsoft started offering free copies of Windows 8.1 to non-profits and charities. Redmond called it a "donation"; the more cynical saw it as a handy way to boost deployments of the new OS and migrate desktops away from dead-end Windows XP. Today The Register can reveal Microsoft has struck a deal with members of …
Gavin Clarke, 14 May 2014

SAP tightlipped on job cuts in cloud rejig bid

SAP is swinging the axe and cutting a number of staff as it re-shapes itself as a provider of cloud services. The software biz would not say how many of its 66,750 employees will be laid off as part of its latest restructuring exercise, nor when the jobs would go – but called the losses “unavoidable”. Yet the company claimed it …
Gavin Clarke, 14 May 2014

Botched SAP billing system helps Npower reach No 1 on gripes list

Failure to fix problems with an SAP-based customer billing system has seen UK energy giant Npower earn the most complaints for a power supplier during 2013. One in every 326 customers lodged a complaint against Npower, putting it top of a UK energy supplier league table released today by Citizens Advice and Citizens Advice …
Gavin Clarke, 13 May 2014
Azure icon

Virtually yours: Microsoft unveils Windows-as-a-service

Microsoft has uncanned its desktop-a-service, giving mobile users a preview edition of Windows apps on the go. The software giant yesterday announced the pilot of Azure RemoteApp, previously codenamed Mohoro. It was announced in a slew of news from at the company's TechEd North America conference in Houston, Texas. The Azure …
Gavin Clarke, 13 May 2014
Jersey cow

Internet of Stuff: Cleaner washing, more milk ... fewer COW FARTS?

Future World Symposium Regulating cow farts to control the greenhouse effect? That’s the thing about the Internet of Things – and technology in general: you can never tell where your work will end up. Speaking at the recent Future World Symposium, ARM’s director of IoT platforms, Simon Ford, reckoned this is one of the problems facing IT vendors right …
Gavin Clarke, 13 May 2014

Goodbye HANA daddy, assorted cloud bods: SAP gets corporate

Analysis The cloud “talent” is leaving SAP and the suits are taking over. Is it time to panic for SAP? The mastermind of SAP’s Hana in-memory architecture has gone and so has yet another cloud hire. Vishal Sikka, executive board member of products and innovation, has left the giant immediately for "personal reasons". Sikka’s legacy is …
Gavin Clarke, 09 May 2014

Cost-cutting Barclays bank swings axe on 5,600 IT and ops bods

Barclays will axe about 5,600 IT and operations staffers in 2014 in a massive restructuring effort. The at-risk techies work across the retail and investment arms of the British banking group. The plan is to achieve £1.6bn in savings by scrapping about 14,000 full-time staff over the next 12 months, a move unveiled on Thursday …
Gavin Clarke, 08 May 2014
workman in high vis jacket bent over, super-imposed on cloud background

HP drops $1bn, two-year OpenStack cash bomb

Hewlett-Packard is has unveiled a $1bn, two-year campaign promoting its open-source cloud, now rebranded as Helion. The PC maker says it will be spending on R&D, the development of cloud products and hiring “hundreds” of experts in a new OpenStack professional services practice. Experts are being hired to cover planning advice, …
Gavin Clarke, 07 May 2014

RBS Group hopes £750m IT shakeup splurge will prevent next bank mainframe meltdown

RBS Group has spent £750m overhauling its IT – which includes replacing the systems at the heart of its mainframe mega-meltdown in 2012. The banking giant has established three separate batch schedulers to process transactions at NatWest, Ulster Bank Northern Ireland, and Ulster Bank Republic of Ireland. It's hoped this will …
Gavin Clarke, 06 May 2014
neelie kroes

Steelie Neelie's 'Airbus of chips' plan taxis for June take-off

Plans for an “Airbus of chips” – aimed at doubling the number of processors made across Europe by 2020 – will be unveiled next month. A group of 11 tech sector chiefs commissioned by the EU will publish a detailed roadmap designed to expand the block’s manufacturing between 2020 and 2025. The goal is for European technology …
Gavin Clarke, 02 May 2014
workman in high vis jacket bent over, super-imposed on cloud background

Amazon veep: We tweak our cloud code every 16 seconds – and you?

AWS Summit 2014 A top Amazon bloke has scoffed at rivals who claim they can build Amazon Web Services-like systems in their customers' private data centres. Stephen Schmidt, Amazon Web Services security veep, bragged during the London leg of Amazon’s worldwide AWS Conference tour on Tuesday that these private clouds are years behind his company …
Gavin Clarke, 29 Apr 2014
Ubuntu RHS teaser

Top tip, power users – upgrading Ubuntu may knacker your Linux PC

Canonical says it is working to fix a problem that's crippling some Ubuntu PCs after they've been upgraded to the latest version of the Linux distro. A spokesperson for the company told The Reg it is aware of a "small number" of "power users" are seeing their PCs crash following the move to 14.04. Until there's a fix, the …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Apr 2014
Fake photo of Satya Nadella shaking hands with Stephen Elop

Awkward? Elop now answers to ex-junior Nadella as Microsoft closes Nokia buyout

Microsoft has closed its $7.1bn garbage-trucks-colliding deal to buy Nokia’s struggling mobile handset business. The software giant announced the successful completion of a seven-month campaign to take ownership of the Nokia unit, announced last September. Nokia now becomes the Microsoft Devices Group, headed by Nokia’s former …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Apr 2014
Broke - empty pockets

Microsoft: The MORE Surfaces it sells, the MORE money it loses

The more Surfaces slabs Microsoft sells, the more the Redmond giant has to shell out. Microsoft Thursday trumpeted $494m in revenue made from sales of Surface during its third fiscal quarter. But Microsoft also notched up $539m in costs associated with selling Surface, thereby cancelling out any profits and forcing it to post a …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Apr 2014
HP cloud

Microsoft's 'evil open source' man on life as HP's top cloud-wrangler

He brought Microsoft the open source it had viewed with such dread and now former Redmond man Bill Hilf is challenging the thinking at Hewlett-Packard. Microsoft plucked Hilf from IBM in 2004 to become its general manager for open source and platform strategy at a time when Microsoft was waging a war on open source, calling it a …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Apr 2014
Texting by TarahDawdy

Teen student texter busts 20-second tongue-twisty SMS barrier

The nimblest texting fingers on the planet belong to a 15-year-old US student named Gaurav Sharma. Youtube Video Sharma has landed a Guinness World Record for typing a 25-word text message on a touchscreen of a mobile phone by writing his message in just 18.44 seconds. That message: The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Apr 2014
SAP

SAP's on-site apps fumble for the gearstick as cloud stamps pedal

The decline in SAP’s software sales has accelerated while the company’s smaller cloud operation has continued to expand. For the tech giant's first quarter of 2014, revenue from sales of on-premises business applications fell five per cent, year on year, to €623m ($860m), under IFRS rules, according to its latest financial …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Apr 2014

OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs

Microsoft has fixed a snafu with Windows Defender that took down thousands of business PCs and servers running Windows XP and Server 2003. The software giant responded to sysadmins complaining on TechNet that large numbers of their machines were borked after they’d installed Microsoft’s latest set of antivirus definitions. Once …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Apr 2014
cloud computing Fight

Thanks, Amazon – we'll take it from here: SAP muscles in on cloud subscriptions

SAP is putting its entire business applications suite online and selling the lot through subscription. The on-premise giant last week announced SAP Business Suite via the SAP Hana Enterprise Cloud service. Underpinning the service is Hana, SAP’s in-memory database technology. Subscriptions are a huge deal for SAP. The world's …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Apr 2014

Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?

A programming blunder appears to have landed the cash-strapped Co-op Bank an unexpected bill for £110m. In its financial report [PDF] for 2013, which last week revealed a £1.3bn loss, the bank said it had to stump up nine-figure "costs relating to breaches of the Consumer Credit Act". Specifically, the scandal-hit bank noted: " …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Apr 2014

Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68

Obituary Sue Townsend, queen of adolescent nerds and confessional publishing, has died. She was 68. Townsend is best known for her creation Adrian Mole, protagonist of The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole aged 13 3/4 in 1982 and Growing Pains of Adrian Mole in 1984. The works, which tapped into the greasy, moist seam of teenage boy angst, …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Apr 2014

Scandal-hit Co-op Bank's CIO hits eject button after one year

The Co-op Bank has lost its chief information officer about a year after he took up the role. Pete Coleman will leave at the end of April, a bank spokesperson told The Reg. Coleman’s LinkedIn profile says that he’s already gone and looking for other CIO roles. The spokesperson did not explain why Coleman had ejected from the …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Apr 2014
Leo 3

How Brit computer maker beat IBM's S/360 - and Soviet spies

IBM announced the System 360 in 1964 and started selling its family of modern mainframes 12 months later. But how do you outsell a problem like IBM? The S/360 cost IBM $5bn to develop, overshooting its estimated budget in 1962 by more than $4bn. Yet IBM need not have worried. Such was rate of sales for the S/360 family that …
Gavin Clarke, 09 Apr 2014

Windows XP is finally DEAD, right? Er, not quite. Here's what to do if you're stuck with it

Today will be like no other day because it’s the last Patch Tuesday for Windows XP. Yet there's good news if you're still using XP. For starters, you're not alone. Thirteen years after it was released, Windows XP remains the world’s second most popular PC operating system. It's running on 27.69 per cent of consumer machines, …
Gavin Clarke, 08 Apr 2014
An original member of the System/360 family announced in 1964, the Model 50 was the most powerful unit in the medium price range.

Why won't you DIE? IBM's S/360 and its legacy at 50

IBM's System 360 mainframe, celebrating its 50th anniversary on Monday, was more than a just another computer. The S/360 changed IBM just as it changed computing and the technology industry. The digital computers that were to become known as mainframes were already being sold by companies during the 1950s and 1960s - so the S/ …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Apr 2014