Windows 7 concerns, spear-phishing attacks, a blockchain skills drought and more: Research round-up
Blockchain must overcome hurdles before becoming a mainstream technology
Let's start with our special feature on blockchain and TechRepublic Premium research, which shows the majority of respondents (87%) believe blockchain will have a 'positive' effect on their industry. But despite the enthusiasm for the technology, only 10% of those respondents actively use blockchain at their company. Blockchain now appears on 13% of the strategic roadmaps for respondents' organisations, compared to 7% in 2018.
CIOs are struggling to find the blockchain expertise they need
The special report also focuses on the adoption of blockchain by IT decision makers. Gartner research suggests just 1% of CIOs report any blockchain adoption and only 8% are in short-term planning or active experimentation. Skills shortages and IT culture/structure issues are likely to be major barriers to blockchain adoption. The analyst says 18% of CIOs report that blockchain skills are the most difficult to find.
For more see: How Blockchain Will Disrupt Business
How the demise of the headphone jack led to ear buds boom
The returns to technology vendors for ditching the headphone jack are becoming increasingly clear. IDC reports that global shipments of wearable devices including ear-worn buds hit 84.5 million units in the third quarter, up 94.6% from a year ago. IDC says wearable market share gains are being driven by hearables, also know as ear buds.
Wearables: Apple leads the pack with Xiaomi expanding its reach
IDC's results show that Apple leads the wearable pack with its Apple Watch, AirPods and Beats headphones. AirPods Pro will further drive sales. Xiaomi's Mi band continues to expand its reach into Europe and the firm now ranks number two in wearable shipments.
Fitbit has suffered the immediate consequences of its competitors' success
Xiaomi now holds 27% of the overall smartwatch and basic band market; the largest share, even overtaking Apple's 15% share, according to technology analysis Canalys. The same cannot be said of Fitbit, which has suffered the immediate consequences of its Chinese competitor's success. Fitbit faltered in Q3 2019, and was the only vendor in the top five not to grow shipments over the past year.
How many PCs will still be running Windows 7 in 2020?
We looked at how many PCs are still running Windows 7. If our estimates are accurate - 1.2 billion Windows PCs worldwide, with 1 billion running Windows 10 - then Microsoft will have successfully migrated more than 80% of its active customers to Windows 10 by the middle of 2020. Roughly 200 million PCs worldwide will still be running older Windows versions, mostly Windows 7. That estimate lines up nicely with the most recent real-time traffic reports available from the United States Government's Digital Analytics Program. Based on U.S. Government website traffic, nearly 1 in 5 visitors who use PCs are running Windows 7.
For more see: How many PCs will still be running Windows 7 in 2020?
Spear phishing emails continue to climb
Microsoft warns that advanced spear-phishing attacks have become so targeted that it refers to them internally as 'laser' phishing. According to Microsoft's data, the percentage of inbound emails associated with phishing climbed from 0.31% in September 2018 to 0.62% in September 2019. Microsoft's analysis of 470 billion emails per month in 2018 found phishing messages increased 250%.
Browsers marketshare by developer support
Mozilla has offered a different snapshot of browser marketshare than usage by consumers, which typically show that Google Chrome rules by a long mile. Mozilla's survey instead looks at browsers that developers support. Chrome is still the lead browser, with 97.5% of developers supporting it, but it's followed by Firefox, supported by 88.6% of developers, and then Safari with 59.6% of support.
Mobile connections in Egypt account for 93% of the population
With just under half of Egyptians online, 49 million or 49% of the population, there remains considerable scope for growth. One player, Vodafone Egypt, has stated it will invest about €250m ($277m) in the country next year. And although 4G only launched in the country in 2016, operators are already discussing timelines for 5G. Improved infrastructure, coupled with cheaper data packages – 87% of mobile connections are pre-paid – and handsets, may encourage more Egyptians to come online.
Egypt online: Looking to the future
Egyptians spend an average of nearly eight hours – seven hours and 53 minutes – a day online, some way ahead of the world average of six hours and 42 minutes. However, with less than half of the population online, Egypt's full digital potential will go unrealised until that situation changes. Although the Egyptian government's own data suggests mobile and internet penetration has levelled off, and in some cases declined, there's still a lot of optimism for the future.
Three out of four employees do not give training videos their full attention
Despite preferring video as a way to learn in the workplace, employees admit not giving video training sessions their full attention, according to a recent survey by technology provider Kaltura. More than nine out of 10 (91%) respondents reported that their company is using video for learning and development. But almost three out of four (72%) of employees do not give training videos their full attention.
Online fake news cost the global economy $78 billion globally each year
Finally, research by cybersecurity firm CHEQ and the University of Baltimore reveals that fake news is costing the global economy $78 billion each year. The study reveals that fake news has contributed a loss in stock market value, amounting to $39 billion a year. According to the study, at least $400 million annually is set to be spent on fake news in political races.