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Lenovo Names ex-HP Exec EMEA Head

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Lenovo announces a leadership shuffle as it moves EMEA president Aymar de Lencquesaing to N. America. Replacing him from the end of the month is ex-HP Personal Systems Group Senior VP Eric Cador.

Eric cadorCador has a 30-year history of leadership positions in the IT industry, and was part of the team behind the integration of Compaq with the HP PC business.

"In Eric, we have attracted a unique talent to our company," the company says. "An industry veteran with an incredible track record for delivering growth, deep insights into our industry, and a strong competitive spirit.”

IDC: PC Shipments Drop Below 2009 Levels

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IDC reports global Q1 2015 PC shipments total 68.5 million units with  -6.7% Y-o-Y decline-- the lowest recorded volume since Q1 2009, if still "slightly ahead of previous projections" according to the analyst.

Such declines are due to multiple factors, including inventory build-up of Windows Bing-based notebooks, post-XP refresh commercial slowdown and constrained demand caused by currency fluctuation and unfavorable economic indicators.

IDC Q1 2015 PCs

As a result, EMEA sees shipment declines and rising ASPs, not to mention a difficult Y-o-Y comparison following the end of support for Windows XP.

"Although shipments did exceed an already cautious forecast, the market unfortunately remains heavily dependent on pricing being a major driver, with entry SKU volume masking a still tenuous demand for higher priced systems that is needed to sustain a more diverse PC ecosystem. Pricing pressure is bringing many premium SKUs into formerly mid-level pricing tiers," the analyst says. "As more vendors find it increasingly difficult to compete, we can expect additional consolidation in the PC market."

HGST Goes for Object Storage Archiving

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Western Digital subsidiary HGST presents a take on object storage archiving-- the Active Archive System, a means for customers to store up to 4.7PB of raw data in a single rack.

HGST storageObject storage technology views files as objects. Storage takes place in a flat, folder-free space with the content forming the address, with erasure coding eliminating the need for RAID and data replication.

The Active Archive System uses 8TB HelioSeal HDDs and "tightly integrated, tuned and optimised" hardware, together with technologies from recent acquisition Amplidata. It features a plug-and-play scale-out design integrating object storage, networking, servers and storage within an Amazon S3-compliant object storage interface, and supports Avere NAS-to-object gateway.

Gartner: Rising Dollar Leads to Spending Drop

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Global IT spending will drop by -1.3% to $3.66 trillion in 2015 Gartner predicts-- however such decline is caused not by an economic crash, but by the recent, rapid rise of the US dollar against other currencies.

IT Spending"Taking out the impact of exchange rate movements, the corresponding constant-currency growth figure is 3.1%, only off 0.6% from last quarter's update," the analyst says. "Such are the illusions that large swings in the value of the dollar versus other currencies can create."

Such "illusions" (as Gartner puts it) mask a bigger issue-- every product or service with a US dollar-based component must have said costs covered at the lower exchange rate. This brings about price rises as other market forces, including pricing, partners and product management, come into play.

Cisco Tackles SMB Security

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Cisco shifts its attention towards the SMB segment as it launches addition to its ASA with FirePOWER Services, a threat-focused next-generation firewall (NGFW) aimed at midsize companies and branch offices.

ASA with FirePOWERASA with FirePOWER combines stageful firewall, application visibility and control (AVC), advanced malware protection (AMP) and next-generation intrusion prevention capabilities (NGIPS) into a single device. According to the company, it presents multi-layered protection and closes blind spots with many detection techniques, including continuous analysis, big data analytic and Cisco threat intelligence.

Furthermore it carries automated tuning and correlation capabilities while flagging previously unknown malware to reduce time to detection and time to resolution.

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