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Windows 7 concerns, spear-phishing attacks, a blockchain skills drought and more: Research round-up

All the facts and figures that matter to you and your business from the past month in technology news.
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1 of 12 TechRepublic Premium

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.

For more see: Research: Blockchain must overcome hurdles before becoming a mainstream technology

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2 of 12 Gartner

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

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3 of 12 IDC

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.

For more see: How the demise of the headphone jack led to ear buds boom

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4 of 12 IDC

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.

For more see: How the demise of the headphone jack led to ear buds boom

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5 of 12 Canalys

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. 

For more see: Demand for smartwatches and fitness trackers is exploding – so why isn't Fitbit doing so well?

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6 of 12 US Digital Analytics Program

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?

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7 of 12 Microsoft

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%.

For more see: Microsoft: Spear-phishing email has doubled in a year, so here's how to beat it

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8 of 12 Mozilla

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. 

For more see: Web developers reveal what they really hate about their jobs

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9 of 12 We Are Social/Hootsuite

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.

For more see: Tech in Egypt: Here's what you need to know about Middle East's biggest market

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10 of 12 We Are Social/Hootsuite

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.

For more see: Tech in Egypt: Here's what you need to know about Middle East's biggest market

Three out of four employees do not give training videos their full attention zdnet
11 of 12 Kaltura

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.

For more see: Three out of four US employees do not give training videos their full attention

Online fake news costing us $78 billion globally each year zdnet
12 of 12 CHEQ

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.

For more see: Online fake news is costing us $78 billion globally each year

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