PC sales are still shrinking but they aren’t shrinking as quickly as previously feared. The latest numbers from IDC show that PC sales declined by 7.6% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2013, although this is actually an improvement from IDC’s original projection of a 9.5% decline. The world’s three biggest PC makers led the charge in the not-as-bad-as-expected quarter, as Lenovo, HP and Dell all posted modest year-over-year increases in sales in Q3 2013. But while sales from the PC industry’s big three have stabilized, sales from smaller players Asus and Acer continued to plummet year-over-year by more than 34% each during the quarter. IDC’s full press release follows below. More →
Every time you think that the PC market may have bottomed out, it just keeps getting worse. IDC came out with new PC shipment numbers on Thursday projecting that PC shipments will shrink by 9.7% year-over-year in 2013, a downward revision from their earlier forecasts. The big reason that IDC is further lowering its 2013 PC shipment numbers is because tablets have started eating into PC demand in emerging markets, where consumers are much more keen to buy up cheaper mobile computing devices. More →
It’s been a very bad year for PC sales but a new survey from Strategy Analytics suggests that the worst may be over for now. The firm’s latest poll on consumer buying intentions has found that “nearly 23% of respondents are very or somewhat likely to buy a portable PC during the next year, compared to less than 17% in Q4 2012.” Strategy Analytics analyst Jia Wu says that tablets have been eating into PCs‘ market share over the past few years, especially as the global economy has struggled to recover from the fallout of the 2008 market crash. But now that consumers’ finances are slowly starting to improve, Wu says that they “are still ready and willing to buy PCs.” Any improvement in PC sales would be welcome for many Windows OEMs, many of which have seen their PC shipments plummet by 20% or more year-over-year.
One of the more frustrating parts of buying a personal computer comes when you fire it up and realize that the OEM has larded it up with storage-clogging bloatware that degrades your PC’s performance. However, startup Jumpshot thinks it has the perfect solution in the form of its USB stick-delivered software that can comb through your PC for little-used software that nevertheless takes up significant resources when you turn on your machine. Once it discovers this apparent bloatware, it removes its icons from your home screen and prevents it from automatically running whenever you switch on your PC. Jumpshot got its start last year as a Kickstarter project that received funding of more than five times its original funding goal.
Rovio on Wednesday announced that its Angry Birds franchise has surpassed one billion downloads across Android, iOS, Windows and Mac OS X, with 350 million downloads having been served in 2012 alone. The latest Birds installment, Angry Birds Space, was downloaded more than 10 million time in less than three days and a whopping 50 million times in 35 days, making it the fastest growing mobile game of all time. The immensely popular franchise generated $106 million for the company in 2011 and drew in 200 million active monthly users. Rovio’s video announcement follows below. More →
LG on Monday announced the beta release of its own iCloud competitor, dubbed LG Cloud. The service allows users to manage and consume all types of content across Android smartphones, PCs and smart TVs. “Most companies today only see the cloud as a storage device or in the case of YouTube or Flickr, only for one type of content,” LG’s Home Entertainment President and CEO Havis Kwon said. “LG makes the devices that millions of people watch content on so we can set a new yardstick for ease of use by setting up our own cloud service. Tomorrow’s consumers don’t want to go to one cloud for music, another cloud for video, another location for photos and yet another cloud for their office files. In the end, our solution is about making life more convenient.” LG Smart TV or smartphone owners may be eligible to receive 50GB of free LG Cloud storage for six months. The company’s cloud service will be offered in both free and paid versions, with each member allotted 5GB of free storage. Read on for LG’s press release. More →
Samsung’s iCloud competitor, dubbed S-Cloud, may be unveiled at next month’s Galaxy S III announcement in London on May 3rd, a South Korean newspaper reported on Friday. The service is similar to Apple’s offering but without any limitations on the type of content users can upload. The service is also expected to have access to popular TV shows, movies and music with free and paid content that will be available across a range of Samsung devices. The amount of storage allotted to users is rumored to be “more than 5GB,” although it isn’t clear if that will be free or is there is an associated charge. Earlier rumors suggested Samsung would delay the service after having trouble developing a suitable infrastructure for the global market. According to Maeil Business, however, the company has partnered with Microsoft to support its S-Cloud service. More →
NVIDIA sees its mobile system-on-a-chip graphics solutions surpassing the performance of the Xbox 360 in the coming years. A new graph the company shared with AnandTech highlights the performance of Tegra chips in comparison to those found within PCs and gaming consoles. The solid lines are estimated performance, while the dotted lines are trends. NVIDIA estimates that at some point in 2013, mobile graphic performance will match the Xbox 360 and by 2014, mobile performance will surpass that of the Xbox 360. Of course processor performance is hardly the only piece of the puzzle when it comes to gaming, and Microsoft and Sony will each have new consoles on the market in 2014. More →
The Pew Internet & American Life Project’s latest poll indicates that one in five adults in the United States still doesn’t use the Internet. “Senior citizens, those who prefer to take our interviews in Spanish rather than English, adults with less than a high school education, and those living in households earning less than $30,000 per year are the least likely adults to have Internet access,” Pew Internet said. Almost half of those adults who don’t use the Internet found the technology irrelevant to them, with most having never used it before. About one in five adults claimed they didn’t know enough about technology to start using the Internet on their own, and only 10% were interested in using the Internet or email in the future. Overall Internet adoption rates have leveled off, however adults already online are using the Web more often than ever before. Pew’s study also showed that 88% of American adults have a cell phone, 57% have a laptop, 19% own an eReader, 19% have a tablet and 63% access the Internet wirelessly with one of these devices. More →
Microsoft products fit into two different life cycle stages — mainstream support and extended support. With mainstream support, users receive free security updates, stability improvements, bug fixes and occasional new features. In the extended support phase, security updates are available for free but other fixes require paid support. Microsoft reminded Windows XP users earlier this week that XP is now in the extended phase, and it said support for the operating system and Office 2003 will be officially discontinued by April 2014. Mainstream support for Windows Vista has also officially ended as of Tuesday, along with support for Office 2007. Both Windows Vista and Office 2007 will be in the extended support phase from now until April 2017. Microsoft recommends that users with PCs running Windows XP and Office 2003 should migrate to Windows 7 and Office 2010 before support is completely cut off and systems are left vulnerable to new forms of malware. More →
On April 4th, 1975, two young programmers named Bill Gates and Paul Allen formed a partnership called “Micro-soft.” Gates was 22 years old at the time and Allen was just 19. The two young men had been friends since attending high school together in Seattle and after Allen took a job with MITS in Albuquerque, New Mexico in January 1975, Gates dropped out of his sophomore year at Harvard and moved to Albuquerque to form what would later become Microsoft. The pair moved from New Mexico to Bellevue, Washington in January 1979, and Microsoft would go on to incorporate on June 25th, 1981. The first Microsoft-powered IBM PC was unveiled later that year running Microsoft’s 16-bit MS-DOS 1.0 operating system, and the rest as they say, is history. Gates and Allen’s Microsoft went on to drive the personal computing boom that has taken place over the past three decades, and the firm’s upcoming Windows 8 OS looks to continue what the company’s founders started through the post-PC era and beyond. Happy birthday, Microsoft.
Android users who are looking to sell their old devices should be wary of the possible consequences. McAfee identity theft researcher Robert Siciliano warned that personal data from Android devices is not completely removed after a user activates the built-in wipe option, The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday. “What’s really scary is even if you follow protocol, the data is still there,” Siciliano said. If you have a BlackBerry or Apple device, Siciliano said your data can be fully deleted by following the manufacturer’s directions. As for smartphones running the Android operating system and computers running Windows XP, Siciliano recommends that people don’t bother with selling them at all. “Put it in the back of a closet, or put it in a vise and drill holes in the hard drive, or if you live in Texas take it out into a field and shoot it,” he said. “You don’t want to sell your identity for 50 bucks.” To test the security of various platforms, Siciliano purchased 30 smartphones and computers from Craigslist. The researcher was able to access personal data from 15 of the 30 devices through his own hacking efforts and the help of a forensic expert. The data obtained included bank account information, Social Security numbers, child support documents and credit card account log-ins. More →
The International Data Corporation on Wednesday announced that shipments of smart connected devices —including PCs, tablets and smartphones — reached 916 million units and surpassed $489 billion in revenue in 2011. “Whether it’s consumers looking for a phone that can tap into several robust ‘app’ ecosystems, businesses looking at deploying tablet devices into their environments, or educational institutions working to update their school’s computer labs, smart, connected, compute-capable devices are playing an increasingly important role in nearly every individual’s life,” said Bob O’Donnell, vice president of Clients and Displays at IDC. The firm estimates that worldwide shipments of smart connected devices will top 1.1 billion in 2012 and double to 1.84 billion by 2016. IDC’s numbers represent a compound annual growth rate of 15.4% over the next five years. The firm also predicts that the number of Android-powered devices running on ARM CPUs will grow from 29.4% in 2011 to a market-leading 31.1% share in 2016. Apple’s iOS-based devices, on the other hand, are estimated to grow from 14.6% share in 2011 to 17.3% in 2016. IDC’s press release can be found after the break. More →