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Gavin Clarke

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Skype U-turns on plan to kill off desktop API, spares foot from bullet

Skype has backtracked on a decision to terminate its desktop API next month, a move that would have broken the voice-chat service for millions. Microsoft’s Voice-over-IP unit has said it’s now “extending support” for the parts of the API that work with hardware and allow the user to record calls. Chat through third-party …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Nov 2013
Internet Explorer Logo

Google 'fesses up: Yup, we're KILLING OFF IE9 support for Gmail, Apps

Google has finally revealed its plans for Gmail and Google Apps to stop working with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9. The internet ads and search giant said it has stopped all testing and engineering work to make Gmail and Apps work with IE9. Microsoft’s customers will start receiving notifications in the next few weeks that …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Nov 2013
Alicia Keys at a red carpet event in a blue, jewelled gown with upswept hairdo. Photo by Keith Hinkle, licensed under creative commons attribution

Heins didn't have the beans. Can comeback king Chen fish BlackBerry out of jam?

BlackBerry’s plan for rebirth using the dream team of Alicia Keys and chief executive Thorsten Heins has failed. Sybase turnaround king and CEO-of-the-moment John Chen is now its new great hope. Heins lasted less than two years in the hotseat at BlackBerry. He was named CEO in January 2012, taking over from co-CEOs Mike …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Nov 2013

Microsoft CEO shortlist claim: It's just Elop, Bates, Mulally, Nadella and...

The shortlist for Microsoft’s next chief executive is apparently a bit shorter. Five people are now in the frame to run the world’s largest software company, it's believed. Ford Motor Company big cheese Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop are said to be the two leading outside candidates. “At least” three internal …
Gavin Clarke, 06 Nov 2013

Microsoft's Windows Azure Plan B: A hard drive, a courier and a data-centre monkey

Microsoft, Amazon and Apple have spent tens of billions of dollars rolling out state-of-the art data centres over the past few years. These companies are building massive facilities housing thousands of servers with dedicated fibre and Ethernet connections that shunt tens of gigabytes per second. But when customers are …
Gavin Clarke, 05 Nov 2013

How the W3C met its Waterloo at the Do Not Track vote showdown

The W3C has set some important rules governing the adoption of web technologies. Yet on the issue of privacy, the standards shop has met its Waterloo. By establishing things like XML and HTML as standards, the W3C has helped ensure the web works everywhere – no matter what web server or browser you’re using. Without HTML you’d …
Gavin Clarke, 05 Nov 2013
Dark Blue Window - detail of Windows Server logo

Want a Microsoft cloud subscription? You'll need to be 'committed'

Microsoft has updated its software licensing with a bundle to woo “highly committed” customers who build their clouds using Windows. Redmond’s November price list (PDF) gives loyal customers the option to consume a smorgasbord of serious server and tools software through subscription instead of using the usual site, server and …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Nov 2013

Salesforce dooms do.com, just can't do Do.com

Dependent on Do.com? Time to move on. Salesforce is killing the web-based productivity tool it inherited in 2010. The software-as-a-service provider said the service will shut down on 31 January, 2014. There was no word from Salesforce on why it’s killing the service but it called the move “a tough decision.” Salesforce is …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Nov 2013
Marc Benioff

Salesforce whips out private-public-ish 'iTunes app store' for enterprise IT

Public-cloud preacher Salesforce.com will deliver a white-label version of its enterprise "app store" for private clouds – so businesses can use it to distribute software to staff. The Marc Benioff-run online giant has dubbed the product Private AppExchange, which companies can individually brand and tailor as required. The …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Oct 2013
Fantasy Gadgets

Bucket? Check. Toilet plunger? Check. El Reg's 50 years of Doctor Who

Fifty years ago in November – on November 23, to be precise – the BBC broadcast its first episode of Doctor Who. It was the start of what, in the world of JJ Abrams, we’d call “a franchise”. Just two TV programs have matched the Doctor for endurance and survival: Coronation Street and Blue Peter. In five decades the Doctor’s …
Gavin Clarke, 31 Oct 2013
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)

SAP: We just can't gobble BlackBerry. We're stuffed with 'mobile solutions'

Business-software giant SAP has ruled out buying struggling handset-maker BlackBerry. Chief financial officer Werner Brandt is reported to have said that BlackBerry wouldn't be a good fit. “Blackberry doesn’t fit with our [company’s] strategy,” Brandt is reported to have told Euro am Sonntag. He pointed to the fact SAP already …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Oct 2013

Apple under CEO Angela Ahrendts? Hmm ... (beard stroke)

Cloud king Marc Benioff has hailed "future Apple CEO" Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s new head of retail and online sales, as "the most important hire Tim Cook has ever made". Some have interpreted the tweet by Benioff, chief executive of software-as-a-service success Salesforce.com, as more than just a bit of encouragement for his …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Oct 2013
Samsung Galaxy S III

Samsung is officially the WORLD'S BIGGEST smartphone maker

Samsung outsold every other smartphone maker combined during the third quarter of 2013, according to IDC. The consumer device maker shifted 81.2 million smart phones, giving it 31.4 per cent of the market and increasing its share by nearly half. Apple, Huawei, Lenovo and LG between them scraped up 69 million units. Nokia, the …
Gavin Clarke, 29 Oct 2013
eyeofSauron

Do Not Track W3C murder plot fails by handful of votes

The privacy-enhancing Do Not Track standard is wobbling badly after barely surviving a no-confidence vote by the W3C consortium. Held among World Wide Web Committee (W3C) working group members, the vote against drafting a Do-Not-Track (DNT) standard was narrowly defeated by a majority of just five. W3C members working on the …
Gavin Clarke, 28 Oct 2013

NetSuite's Nelson mocks SAP for halting work on its, er, 'NetSuite-killer'

NetSuite has slapped down business software rival SAP for abandoning mid-market customers hungry for Software as a Service (SaaS). Zach Nelson, NetSuite chief executive, said SAP’s decision to stop developing its Business ByDesign service proved the danger of relying on a “last generation provider” like SAP for cloud services …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Oct 2013
Tiit Paananen, boss of Skype Development labs, in front of Skype mural in the Estonia head office

Please, PLEASE, Skype... Don't kill our apps and headsets, plead devs

Third-party Skype developers are rallying against a Microsoft decision that threatens to break the voice-chat service for partners and millions of users. A Change.org petition has been launched that calls on Skype, and owner Microsoft, to reverse their decision to kill the nine-year-old Skype desktop programming interface in …
Gavin Clarke, 25 Oct 2013
Larry Ellison, photo by Oracle Corporate Communications

Oracle has swallowed BigMachines, but does Salesforce look queasy?

Oracle has scooped up a hosted CRM specialist and one-time Salesforce.com investment. Larry Ellison's database giant has bought BigMachines, a 13-year-old provider of hosted sales-to-order software that allows sales staff to create quotes, promotions and proposals using automated workflows. Financial terms of the deal were not …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Oct 2013
Microsoft Surface bomb

Surface 2 and iPad Air: Prepare to meet YOUR DOOM under a 'Landfill Android' AVALANCHE

Within just 24 hours, both Microsoft and Apple have refreshed their tablet lineups for Christmas. Microsoft tried to steal a march on Apple by launching Surface Pro 2 and the rebranded Surface RT, now called Surface 2. Dropping the RT from the outside, not the inside Apple dutifully followed suit on Tuesday night with two new …
Gavin Clarke, 24 Oct 2013

SAP cuts back on development of Business ByDesign software unit

SAP is halting development of its unwanted Business ByDesign hosted enterprise resource planning (ERP) service and swapping to services running on its HANA systems. The ERP giant has confirmed reports that Business ByDesign will no longer receive any more major feature updates and that it’s now slipping into maintenance and bug- …
Gavin Clarke, 22 Oct 2013

Google stays tight-lipped on IE9 Gmail, Apps death sentence

Google seems to have U-turned on providing Gmail and Google Apps support for Microsoft customers glued to an increasingly outdated version of the ever-unpopular Internet Explorer browser. Gmail, Apps, Apps for Business and Education, and Analytics currently look set to continue supporting three versions of IE: IE11, IE10 and IE9 …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Oct 2013
Surface 2

LIVE CHAT: You, El Reg, experts chat about Win 8.1 and Surface 2

By the end of next Tuesday – 22 October – Microsoft will have played all of its Christmas cards. Two new Surface slabs will have officially launched and Windows 8.1 will be working its way through shops, PC makers and download servers. Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 will bring new chips and graphics processors to make things …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Oct 2013
Pin to start in Windows 8.1

Here comes Windows 8.1! Microsoft grits teeth, pushes upgrade to world

Microsoft today unleashed Windows 8.1, the version to soothe folks ruffled by the touchscreen-friendly user interface. Crucially, the software giant really didn’t want to make this particular upgrade: it's effectively stepped back from the original Windows 8 blueprint. At 4am Pacific time (7am Eastern, 12 noon UK time), …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Oct 2013

Will you strap on a Google KitKat 4.4 smartwatch this month?

Android could be landing on wrists in its latest incarnation as a smartwatch in just two weeks. According to reports, Google is planning a 31 October release of its eagerly awaited wrist-computer at the same time as the release of version 4.4 of its Android operating system – KitKat. The watch is to be called Nexus, following …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Oct 2013

Luxembourgeois data protection watchdog probes Microsoft in Skype PRISM complaint

Microsoft is co-operating with regulators in Skype’s home country of Luxembourg over its possible participation in the NSA’s PRISM program, a spokesperson has confirmed. A Redmond spokesperson told The Register Microsoft is “happy to answer any questions” that Luxembourg's Commission nationale de protection des données (CNPD - …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Oct 2013
Steve Ballmer as Doctor Evil

Oracle brass past and present tapped for Microsoft CEO - report

Two Oracle execs past and present have joined the list of top industry chiefs who’ve been approached to become the next Steve Ballmer. The software giant’s current hardware chief and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd has joined a a list reported by the Wall St Journal of eight Redmond outsiders approached by a Microsoft power …
Gavin Clarke, 14 Oct 2013
Scotland

Scottish gov follows cutting-edge Italian Post Office with Win 8 trial

A small faction of IT bravehearts in the Scottish government are dabbling with Windows 8 – yes, you read that correctly – to see if Microsoft's much-maligned OS is suitable for a wider roll out. In a pilot scheme, the devolved administration is handing out 100 units comprised of Samsung Series 7, Dell Latitude 10 and Samsung …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Oct 2013

Best Buy: Bring us your cowering, unwanted Microsoft Surface masses

US retail giant Best Buy is taking back unwanted Microsoft Surface tablets under a trade-in programme. The company that helped launch Surface RT one year ago has added Surfaces to a list of other consumer computing devices you can now trade in. Best Buy is offering between $79 and $350 to buy back your unwanted first-edition …
Gavin Clarke, 11 Oct 2013
Ubuntu RHS teaser

Ubuntu JuJu voodoo casts Linux on Microsoft's Azure hoodoo

JuJu in Ubuntu 13.10, due for release next week, features tools to create and run Um Bongo Linux instances in Microsoft's Azure cloud. Previous versions of JuJu allow you to set up and manage Ubuntu instances on Amazon’s EC2 and systems running OpenStack. Now techies can use one toolkit to run Ubuntu Linux virtual machines on …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Oct 2013
By Veni Markovski - licensed under creative commons (attribution unported)

Web daddy Tim Berners-Lee: DRMed HTML least of all evils

Tim Berners-Lee has warned against the risk of not standardising digital rights management (DRM) in the HTML specification, saying an approach that “does the least harm” might be the best approach. Web daddy Lee said Wednesday unless the geeks take charge and devise an acceptable standard, delivering a universal answer to DRM, …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Oct 2013

Payday loans firm rapped for failing to register with Info Commissioner

A payday loans company and its director have fallen foul of the law by failing to register with data-protection officials at the Information Commissioner’s Office. The sole director of First Financial, Hamed Shabani, was convicted under section 61 of the Data Protection Act (DPA) at the City of London Magistrates' Court on 9 …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Oct 2013
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7-inch tablet

Amazon lures in Kindle Fire devs: Promises fame across devices

Amazon is promising to promote developers' apps written especially for its Kindle and Fire OS. The Jeff Bezos-run tech monster has vowed to cough up a range of marketing and “economic benefits” to independent software vendors under the Appstore Developer Select programme, unveiled on Tuesday. The programme targets existing …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Oct 2013

Expert chat: The end of Windows XP and IE6

In six months' time, it'll be open season for hackers, malware and virus-writers targeting people running Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6. The reason is after 8 April, 2014, Microsoft will no longer make the software patches needed to protect these people from the worst of the web. From the biggest to the smallest, nobody is …
Gavin Clarke, 09 Oct 2013
Larry Ellison

IPO-leery Avaya was hot to flog self to Oracle, but talks 'fizzled' – report

Avaya's owners tried to sell the networking and telecoms provider to Oracle rather than take it public, according to reports. Reuters says that Larry Ellison's biz behemoth held talks with Avaya's private investors in the first half of 2013, but talks "fizzled" in the last few months. Oracle and Avaya both refused to comment. …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Oct 2013
John Newton

Alfresco's IPO is bad news for tech stock junkies

UK open-source software biz Alfresco took a big decision in January when it named its first new chief executive in eight years, replacing the British John Powell with the American Doug Dennerline. Powell, who had been CEO since the founding of Alfresco, captained the British company from small fish to 1,300-customer whale, …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Oct 2013
html5_logo

Web Daddy Berners-Lee DRMs HTML5 into 2016

Digital Rights Management isn’t just coming to HTML5 but also HTML 5.1 in 2016 – despite objections from critics. World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) director Tim Berners-Lee has signed off on a new charter for the HTML5 Working Group that puts DRM as one of its goals. Support for “the playback of protected content” – W3C speak for …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Oct 2013

Stallman's GNU at 30: The hippie OS that foresaw the rise of Apple - and is now trying to take it on

GNU fans have celebrated their software movement's thirtieth birthday - a movement that started as rebellious bits and bytes of tools, and is now a worldwide phenomenon. Today, servers, PCs, mobile phones, tablets, and all manner of devices run operating systems and applications that owe their genesis to the idea of software …
Gavin Clarke, 07 Oct 2013

Poor miserable Ballmer's pay SLASHED to a measly $1.26m

Failings on Windows 8 and a crippling Surface writedown have seen Steve Ballmer’s pay docked for a second year in succession. Microsoft’s outgoing chief executive received a total package of $1.26m – a base salary or $697,500 and a bonus of $500,000, according to Microsoft’s 2013 proxy statement. Ballmer’s bonus was just 79 per …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Oct 2013

In defence of defenestration: Microsoft MUST hurl Gates from the Windows

Microsoft's investors are apparently sharpening their knives for company chairman Bill Gates. Three of the top 20 shareholders are said to be upset that Gates - tasked with picking the new CEO to replace Steve Ballmer - has too much influence over the Windows 8 giant despite only holding a 4.5 per cent stake. It was one thing …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Oct 2013
Thailand search

Britney-obsessed Ubuntu 13.10 DUMPS X Windows-killer Mir in desktop U-turn

The new touchscreen-friendly user-interface system promised for next desktop version of Ubuntu has been PULLED just weeks before its release. Mir and XMir – the Linux distro's replacement for the age-old X Windows graphics stack – will now NOT be enabled by default in the 13.10 desktop build - due out on 17 October. Mir is the …
Gavin Clarke, 02 Oct 2013

500 MEELLION PCs still run Windows XP. How did we get here?

Six months from now, on 8 April 2014, Microsoft will stop pushing out security updates for Windows XP – and that's going to be a big deal. At time of writing a whopping one-third of the world’s millions of PCs were still running Microsoft’s 13-year-old client operating system. According to Gartner, the global installed base of …
Gavin Clarke, 01 Oct 2013

Watch BLUBBERING BILLION-DOLLAR BALLMER: Microsoft goodbye love-gush leaks

Footage of a teary and emotional Steve Ballmer professing his love for Microsoft at a farewell bash has hit the web. The outgoing outgoing CEO told 13,000 workers that the company is like his fourth child, but that “children do leave the house... in this case, I guess I’m going to leave the house”. Ballmer opened his heart to …
Gavin Clarke, 30 Sep 2013

BOOGIE BALLMER: Steve Dirty Dances at tearful Microsoft leaving do

A tearful Steve Ballmer bid official farewell to thousands of Microsofties at a stadium bash with a booming sound track. Shy and (literally) retiring CEO Ballmer hosted the software giant's annual staff meeting at Seattle’s KeyArena yesterday, attended by 13,000 employees. This is the last mass gathering for Ballmer and his …
Gavin Clarke, 27 Sep 2013
Photo of smartphones running Ubuntu

Ubuntu penguins strain to squeeze out bug backlog by mobe OS deadline

Ubuntu Linux maker Canonical is rushing to finish the smartphone-friendly version of its distro for its 17 October launch. Um Bongo engineer Nicholas Skaggs, writing here, confirmed version 1.0 of Ubuntu Touch will be based on Ubuntu 13.10, which is code named Saucy Salamander. “As part of that release [Saucy Salamander], …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Sep 2013
Rebuilt Bombe Bletchley Park, photo copyrighted mubsta.com

Bletchley rebooted: The crypto factory time remembered

The Battle of Britain: it was won by the RAF and pilots in Hurricanes and Spitfires assisted by a new-fangled invention called radar that gave the enemy's position away. It was the first campaign of the World War II fought entirely in the air and was waged by Germany's Air Force, the Luftwaffe, against the UK's Royal Air Force ( …
Gavin Clarke, 20 Sep 2013

Final preview of IE11 for Windows 7 uncanned

A preview of the final build of Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 has been released by Microsoft, bringing "30 per cent more speed" than any of its rival browsers when run on the OS, according to Redmond. It also supports multi-touch, and although there aren't very many Windows 7 touch PCs out there, this might be useful for …
Gavin Clarke, 19 Sep 2013
The tweaked artwork of our two winners' signs

Oh snap – AWS daddy disses IT's 'old guard': You're so 2000-and-late

Amazon Web Services boss Andy Jassy has fired back at the technology "old guard" for coming late to cloud bearing "ill-advised" offerings while committing his team to a two-year features rollout to win big customers. AWS and Amazon infrastructure senior vice president Jassy on Tuesday said he reckoned traditional on-premises …
Gavin Clarke, 17 Sep 2013

'British Bill Gates' Lynch laments HP's Autonomy 'botch-up'

Mike Lynch, once billed as Britain’s Bill Gates, has lamented the handling of his former company Autonomy, saying Hewlett-Packard fumbled the acquisition. In a softball CNBC interview where he pushed his Invoke Capital venture fund, Lynch said Autonomy was the “next generation of software” until HP "dropped the ball". In …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Sep 2013

City of Munich throws Ubuntu lifeline to Windows XP holdouts

Windows XP users in Germany’s third largest city are being offered free upgrades to Ubuntu ahead of termination of Microsoft support for the OS next Spring. Administrators in the City of Munich have distributed 2,000 CDs carrying Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to libraries across the City, for users to borrow and download the Linux distro. …
Gavin Clarke, 16 Sep 2013

Hortonworks licks lips, sets sights on snaring fresh SI partners

Hortonworks' SAP reseller agreement is the prelude to a series of big deals with OEMs and SIs in coming months, the company has promised. The SAP agreement, announced on Thursday, will see the business software giant resell Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP). The platform includes Hadoop core, operational and data services. SAP …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Sep 2013
failtoptease

Data-centre biz Phoenix NAP's storage takes a nap, service goes titsup

Faulty hardware at data-centre operator Phoenix NAP has knackered storage systems for customers' virtual machines. A message on the cloud-hosting biz's status page blamed the outage on equipment at its data centre in Amsterdam. The service fell over at 5pm MST, or midnight UK time, on Tuesday. Amsterdam is one of three Phoenix …
Gavin Clarke, 12 Sep 2013