Hewlett-Packard, the world's largest IT company, announced moderate financial results tonight -- quarterly turnover up by 2% to $31.2 billion -- then dropped a couple of bombshells.
News and comment on what's happening in the technology industry, and the direction it's heading.
Jack Schofield spent the 1970s editing photography magazines before becoming editor of an early UK computer magazine, Practical Computing. In 1983, he started writing a weekly computer column for the Guardian, and joined the staff to launch the newspaper's weekly computer supplement in 1985. This section launched the Guardian’s first website and, in 2001, its first real blog. When the printed section was dropped after 25 years and a couple of reincarnations, he felt it was a time for a change....
Netbook shipments in Western Europe halved in this year's second quarter, with problems at the market-leading Acer contributing to a major market slump, according to Gartner's provisional estimates. The industry research company reckons that, in this geographical area, PC shipments fell by 18.
Apple hasn't announced this year's launch of the iPad 3, but even if it had been going to, it won't now. Apple has "recently canceled its iPad 3 supply schedule for the second half of 2011," according to Taiwan's DigiTimes, partly because Sharp cannot manufacture enough high-resolution LCD screens.
Google's $12.5 billion all-cash acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the mobile arm of the pioneering phone maker, will prompt all the other Android phone suppliers to assess their positions.
Amazon and Argos are still the UK's top online shops, with Next overtaking Tesco and Play.com to claim third place in the latest quarterly UK top 50.
It's 30 years since IBM launched the IBM Personal Computer, setting a standard for business computing that is still recognisable today. Indeed, the PC has become a platform for the vast majority of home computing, for education, and for all kinds of industrial and commercial purposes from the factory floor to digital signage systems -- the ones that are meant to say Flight 647 is about to depart from Terminal 5 but we all love to see displaying an odd Windows command or a Blue Screen of Death.
Windows 7 will become the leading PC operating system by the end of 2011, running on 94 percent of new PCs, and 42 percent of all PCs, according to Gartner, Inc. While the industry research company predicts that Apple's Mac OS will be on 4.
Rebecca Rickwood, a 15-year-old pupil at Sawtry Community College in Cambridgeshire has been offered a £100,000 job at Course Academy, "after she finishes school, of course!" The promised job is based on her becoming World Champion in Microsoft Excel 2007 at a competition run by Certiport in San Diego, California.
Facebook and YouTube dominate the UK social networking scene, according to Hitwise numbers for July 2011, though we're still waiting to see the impact of Google Plus. The hit-tracker also notes that Microsoft’s Bing has regained its position as UK’s second favourite search engine, but it's so far behind Google that it doesn't make any difference.
America's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency is trampling over the rights of non-American internet companies, damaging their businesses. Worse, an American federal judge apparently thinks this is perfectly OK, even though the Electronic Frontier Foundation reckons that "the court's First Amendment analysis is flatly wrong" and "the Supreme Court doesn't agree".