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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Memo to Microsoft: Keeping your promises is probably a good idea

Comment Back in the day, the old IBM was famous for never breaking a promise to customers. For example, when IBM bought Lotus it was to honour a commitment to provide customers with office group productivity software that its own teams of programmers couldn't keep. IBM kept Token Ring and OS/2 customers happy long after the products …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Sep 2017

Samsung keeps the smartwatch alive. Just

IFA Samsung has put its smartwatch on a diet in a bid to maintain dwindling market interest in the once-hot device category. Activity trackers don't have the stigma that smartwatches do – so Samsung has disguised the watch as a Fitness Thing™. Its new Tizen-powered Gear Sport will go head to head with Fitbit's new watch, and ( …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Aug 2017

Sony remembers it once made a great little phone

IFA Sony has been saving its powder for the giant IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, where it's finally updated its phone range. Having used March's MWC event as more of a demo showcase, it's been a long wait for punters loyal to the Sony brand. At one stage, a few years ago, Sony was cranking out products that obsoleted …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Aug 2017

LG teases us with svelte V30 but refuses to say if it's coming to Blighty

LG today duly unveiled the strongest contender this year to swipe Samsung's Android crown – but still won't say if it's committed to releasing the phone in the UK. To date, LG has not brought the first two generations of V series high-end devices to Blighty, but after two lacklustre G series flagships, it needs to stay visible …
Andrew Orlowski, 31 Aug 2017
Dead battery

Some positive news: LG, Hitachi, NEC charged $65m in li-ion battery price fixing shocker

Three battery manufacturers agreed to settle a lawsuit that claimed they conspired to fix the price of lithium-ion battery cells for more than a decade. LG, Hitachi, and NEC will join Sony (who previously settled) in a deal to pay out $64.65m [PDF] to Americans who purchased any device containing one of their cylindrical li‑ …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Aug 2017
space view of australia in arty green

Australians still buy 100,000 feature phones a quarter

Vendors shipped 2.16 million mobile phones in Australia during 2017's second quarter, 100,000 of which were feature phones. So says an analyst from IDC's Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, which says this year's total topped Q2 2016 by 330,000, for 18.4 per cent year-on-year growth. The feature phones were 3G‑capable, a …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2017

New York Police scrap 36,000 Windows smartphones

The New York Police Department will scrap 36,000 smartphones, thanks to a monumental purchasing cock-up by a billionaire's daughter. The city spent millions on the phones back in October 2016 as part of its drive to bring the police force into the 21st century. And the woman behind the purchase – Deputy Commissioner for …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Aug 2017
Dell XP3 13 2-in-1

Dell's flagship XPS13 – a 2-in-1 that may fatally frustrate your fingers

Hands-on When my kids were very little, they'd do something a tiny bit naughty and I'd wiggle my index finger as if to threaten a tickle for their naughtiness. They'd then make a great show of running away shrieking. And now I've discovered that finger has another power, namely making a premium laptop look bad. Said laptop is Dell's …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Aug 2017

Ad blocking basically doesn't exist on mobile

Ad blocking may prompt fearful publishers to seek help from consultancies, but it isn't actually interfering with the delivery of ads on mobile devices. According to Augustine Fou – a cybersecurity and ad fraud researcher who runs Marketing Science, an ad consultancy – the actual rate of ad blocking on mobile devices in the US …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Aug 2017

FTC told to cough up informants' memos in Qualcomm antitrust row

America's trade watchdog has been ordered to provide copies of the letters that led to its antitrust probe into California chip designer Qualcomm. In a San Jose district court ruling on Thursday, Judge Lucy Koh told the FTC it must give the Snapdragon giant copies of the "dual submission" documents in question – some of them …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Aug 2017
Woman falling with computer and coffe mug

PC sales to fall and fall and fall and fall and fall for the next five years

Analyst firm IDC has issued a forecast for PC sales from 2016 to 2021, and the news is bad: shipments slipping from 2016's 435.1 million units to 398.3 million in 2021, for five-year compound annual growth rate of -1.7 per cent. “Shipments could pick up if accelerators like economic conditions, adoption of gaming, VR, and …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2017

Nasty firmware update butchers Samsung smart TVs so bad, they have to be repaired

Owners of Samsung smart TVs say their swish sets are basically unusable after a bungled firmware update. In fact, the update was so bad, it looks as though it will require people to send or bring their televisions back to base for repair to correct the cockup. Folks on Samsung UK's support forums report that an update …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Aug 2017
HP building at 648

Despite being totally Megless, HP Inc stands on its own two feet

HP Inc continues to thrive in the PC and printer markets to the tune of double-digit revenue growth. The personal compute side of the Hewlett Packard breakup soared past analyst estimates to report a solid Q3 for FY 2017, ended July 31: Revenues of $13.1bn were up 10 per cent from the year-ago quarter and well beyond analyst …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Aug 2017

Hate it when your apartment block is locked to Comcast etc? Small ISPs fight back

A group of small ISPs is asking America's broadband watchdog to ban exclusivity deals that lock apartment buildings to a single broadband provider. Incompas, a Washington DC advocacy group for ISPs and telcos, told the FCC in a filing [PDF] that it should end the practice of landlords and building owners making deals with a …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Aug 2017

Samsung gains ground on smartphones

Following a rocky year of recalls and other exciting events, Gartner has found that phone-slinger Samsung could be doing quite well. Samsung sold about 82,535 smartphone units in the second quarter of 2017, compared to about 76,744 in the second quarter of 2016, according to Gartner research. Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta told …
Andrew Silver, 22 Aug 2017

Intel stuffs extra cores into latest mobile Series U Core i5 and i7 chips

Intel has wheeled out its 8th Generation Core processors, a refresh of its Core i5 and i7 chips, and their base specs wouldn’t look out of place in a desktop PC circa 2012. Cutting through the verbiage in this morning's announcement from Chipzilla, we learn that the mobile-focused 8th Generation Core i7 processors (the i7- …
Gareth Corfield, 21 Aug 2017
A crying child

LG schtum over whether Europeans can get the powerhouse phablet V30

Europeans, once so smug about the global success of GSM, have had to get used to advanced mobile networks and devices arriving in the US first. The American market was once the butt of all jokes, but no more. Take LG, for instance, which gives itself two bites of the cherry each year – once with the G series flagship and again …
Andrew Orlowski, 21 Aug 2017
Big bill

FTC wants AT&T to kick in $4bn to help balance US budget. Why? Some dodgy ads or something

America's trade watchdog is seeking $3.95bn in damages from AT&T over allegations of dodgy marketing by its DirecTV wing. The FTC this week dragged the US telco into a district court in Oakland, California, claiming the satellite TV biz lied to customers about subscription costs. The case will be heard and decided by Judge …
Shaun Nichols, 18 Aug 2017
Kit Kat bar

Atari shoots sueball at KitKat maker over use of 'Breakout' in ad

Atari has sued Nestle, accusing it of "blatantly" impinging on its intellectual property by featuring the 1970s video game Breakout in a Kit Kat ad without its permission. In a lawsuit filed yesterday in San Francisco, California, the games biz accused Nestle of "blatant invasion and misappropriation of its intellectual …
Kat Hall, 18 Aug 2017

So, Nokia. What makes you think the world wants your phones?

Interview For over 20 years The Register has covered the rise and fall of Nokia phones. The story took a new turn this week with the arrival of a flagship, the first for three years, from the brand's custodians HMD. We spoke to the top executives behind the venture about their plans. Strictly speaking, this Nokia flagship comes from an …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Aug 2017
Strike a match

Where there's smoke there's a Galaxy Note: Refurbished Model 4 batteries recalled

Samsung's got another combustible phablets SNAFU on its hands, after the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled the batteries used in its Galaxy Note 4. This time there's smoke but the fire's someone else's fault: the problem this time applies to “batteries placed into refurbished AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 4 …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Aug 2017
An engineer laying phone line

Judge yanks plug out of AT&T's latest attack on Google Fiber

AT&T's legal battle to stop Google rolling out broadband internet in Louisville, Kentucky, has been halted in its tracks. District Judge David Hale said on Wednesday the US telco giant must allow the installation of Google Fiber lines on the city's telephone poles. AT&T had challenged Louisville's "one touch make ready" rule …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Aug 2017
irritated woman submits to bag search

Apple bag-search class action sueball moves to Cali supreme court

Apple may have to pay its employees extra for time it spends rifling through their personal belongings at work, if it loses a long-running lawsuit that is now in front of the Californian Supreme Court. The American state’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is kicking the thorny question of whether employees are entitled to pay …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Aug 2017

Celeb-backed music gambit rebrands as 'Roxi', prays for IPO

The company behind what was dubbed the "most ridiculous digital music launch in history" is rebranding its product and hoping to raise $100m by selling shares to the public. Electric Jukebox finally launched, following several delays, last November, a year after it was first unveiled. It positioned itself as the music service …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Aug 2017
Man confused by laptop

Intel's 8th-gen CPUs are called Ice Lake. And so are the 9th-gen

Intel's leaked a little detail about its next-generation desktop chips. Chipzilla's codename deciphering page has of late added an entry for products called “Ice Lake” described as the “8th generation Intel Core Processor Family” and available only to early access users. A quick click on Intel's link to more information takes …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Aug 2017
Women having fun in convertible (no seatbelts though). Photo by shutterstock

10 minutes of silence storms iTunes charts thanks to awful Apple UI

A song that consists entirely of ten minutes of silence has cracked the top 50 on Apple's iTunes charts. The smash-hit, "A a a a Very Good Song" by New York-based reporter Samir Mezrahi, is in fact a rather clever trick to get around one of the more annoying bugs in the way iTunes syncs up with cars via Bluetooth. Drivers and …
Shaun Nichols, 16 Aug 2017

Nokia's comeback is on: The flagship 8 emerges

Hands On To understand the appeal of the first "Nokia flagship" in three years, the Nokia 8, think of what Google was doing with the Nexus line until it caught "Pixelitis"*. Stock Android, monthly updates, decent imaging, and competitively priced. And really no other frills or gimmicks. The phone does have some Nokia DNA, as it was …
Andrew Orlowski, 16 Aug 2017
Man looking at phone misses goal being scored.

Oh no, EE! More UK mobile customers face sluggish roaming abroad

EE customers not on the firm's top-end data tariff have complained they are receiving sloth-like speeds of 2Mbps when using data abroad. On its Free EU Roaming support page, EE said: "4GEE Max customers will get our fastest available speeds at home and abroad. But please note: maximum speeds will be dependent on the local …
Kat Hall, 16 Aug 2017

Sigh. Big Cable execs dominate FCC panel overseeing Big Cable's broadband upgrades

In just the latest example of how far America's telecoms regulator is in the pockets of the cable giants, its panel scrutinizing US broadband rollouts has been heavily stacked with industry executives. The Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC) was announced by FCC chairman Ajit Pai in January, and formally launched [ …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Aug 2017

Surfacegate: Microsoft execs 'misled Nadella', claims report

Veteran Microsoft-watcher Paul Thurrott has made the sensational allegation that Microsoft's senior management "misled" their CEO about the cause of serious launch issues with its flagship Surface Pro 4 PC. Microsoft defended the reliability of the Surface range after Consumer Reports withdrew its Buy recommendation last week …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Aug 2017

Chinese stealth outfit reckons the smartwatch isn’t quite dead

With fitness gadgets fading fast, and the smartwatch category gathering flies, it’s strange to report a blazing success in wearables. Even stranger, it hasn’t come from an established consumer electronics brand or even a “wearable company”. And it has sold tens of millions with few people noticing. The latest pair of products …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Aug 2017
Made in China

Alibaba: We're no haven for pirates – we'll yank fake goods from our web bazaars within 24 hours

Alibaba says it has taken significant steps to speed up how it cracks down on counterfeit goods sold on its online marketplaces. China's Amazon reckons its freshly overhauled intellectual property protection website can strip knockoff gear from its web souks within 24 hours of legit complaints from registered rights holders. …
Andrew Silver, 11 Aug 2017

Hey America! Your internet is going to be so much better this January

Special report In the last week of January, America's internet is going to get a long-awaited boost. More Americans than ever are going to have access to fast internet as well as a greater choice of providers. What's all the more amazing is that this improvement will come without requiring any extra investment by broadband providers and …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Aug 2017
surface laptop

Don't buy Microsoft Surface gear: 25% will break after 2 years, says Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports has a message for its readers: one in four of your shiny Microsoft's Surface laptops and tablets might not outlast their new computer smell. The US nonprofit consumer product review mag today U-turned on its recommendation of Redmond's kit. The last time Consumer Reports removed a recommendation for laptops …
Andrew Silver, 10 Aug 2017

We'll deliver 'in a few weeks' says troubled ZX Spectrum reboot firm

Troubled ZX Spectrum reboot firm Retro Computers Ltd has promised to deliver its Vega+ product in “a few weeks”. “We apologise sincerely for our forced radio silence (more on that) and delay in our promised updates, but please know we have been, and are still, working on the Vega+ final production and delivery,” said the firm …
Gareth Corfield, 10 Aug 2017

Fire and fury in Korea: Samsung burns Note 7 owners in lawsuit

Samsung has seen off a class action brought by Koreans burned-out by the need to return their flammable Galaxy Note 7 phablets. The Note 7 infamously included a battery that Samsung required to have unusually high energy density and nestled it into a space that gave it no breathing room. The result was numerous fires, airlines …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Aug 2017

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