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IDC: "Transitional" Q1 for EMEA PCs

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According to IDC Q1 2015 EMEA PC shipments total 20.2 million units-- a -7.7% Y-o-Y decrease caused by decelerating business renewals, currency fluctuations and political tensions across various CEMA territories.

Portable PCs see better results than desktops (-3.6% Y-o-Y decline as opposed to -14%) thanks to the final 15-inch portable with Bing shipments in W., C. and E. Europe, even if resulting inventories across different channels appear to be high. Meanwhile the decelerating commercial market reflects the end of 2014 renewal waves caused by the end of Windows XP support.

IDC Q1 2015 EMEA PCs

Thus, W. European PC shipments are down by -2% Y-o-Y, CEE declines by -23% and MEA by -10%. Curiously the consumer market shows better-than-expected results in W. Europe (thanks to the aforementioned Bing notebooks), while commercial PCs see "strong" increases in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

New Windows Weakness Found

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Security researcher Cylance uncovers a variation of an old Windows weakness, Reuters reports-- "Redirect to SMB," a potential means for hackers to steal login detains from "hundred of millions" of PCs.

Windows Vulnerability Redirect to SMB is similar to a 1997 vulnerability taking advantage of a Windows and Internet Explorer weakness allowing attackers to trick users into logging into a hacker-controlled server. However, while the previous vulnerability required clicking on a malicious link (from either email or website), the new variant does not even need that, as uses automated login requests sent by applications running in the background.

To do so it takes advantage of Windows Server Message Block (SMB) and 31 different applications, including Adobe Reader, Apple Quick Time, Apple Software Update for ITunes, Box Sync client, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11, Excel 2010 and Windows Media Player and Symantec Norton Security Scan.

Nokia Buys Alcatel-Lucent

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Nokia has the chance to become the second biggest telecom equipment maker in the industry since it plans to acquire Alcatel-Lucent in an all-share deal making the French company worth €15.6 billion.

Nokia AlcatelThe result will bring about a single company with sales reaching around €26bn, 114000 employees and global mobile equipment market share of 35%, following Ericsson (40%) and ahead of Huawei (20%), at least according to Bernstein Research. It also unites Alcatel-Lucent's famous Bell Labs with Nokia's FutureWorks, even if the Nokia Technologies research division will remain a separate entity.

"[T]he combined company will be in a position to accelerate development of future technologies including 5G, IP and software-defined networking, cloud, analytics as well as sensors and imaging," Nokia says.

File, Object Storage at a Crossroads

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Crossroads Systems announces a means to bring together file and object storage through LTFS tape-- the Strongbox 3.0 NAS for unstructured data, a solution described as "the first cloud tape."

StrongboxAccording to the company Strongbox 3.0 fuses the cost-effective scalable storage of LTFS tape with SSD/HDD performance, allowing for access, protection and storage at the lowest possible cost per gigabyte.

On the software side the system combines a standard object-based S3 interfaces with a RESTful API, allowing cloud-based applications to easily interface with it without need for special calls or APIs. It works either as a standalone storage solution or as part of existing storage, and users can easily access data via CIFS/NFS or S3.

Cloud Sherpas: Companies Lack Cloud Strategy

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According to the Cloud Sherpas 2015 Enterprise Cloud Report 70% of surveyed global mid-size companies see enterprise cloud software as central to their success, but only half have a formal cloud strategy or plan.

Marketing CloudThe report covers over 200 respondents across EMEA, N. America and Asia-Pacific within manufacturing, professional services, media, retail, real estate, utilities, transportation and healthcare organizations.

Respondents rate “provide agility for IT to keep up with the organization” as the most important driver for a move to the cloud, but just 50% have a detailed plan on how to do exactly that. This highlights an opportunity for solution providers in helping with not only the building of clouds, but also aspects such as software-defined datacentres and IT department agility.

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