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Vendor News

Microsft Enters Social Networks With LinkedIn Buy

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Microsft Enters Social Networks With LinkedIn Buy

Microsoft makes the 3rd biggest tech acquisition in history as it pays $26.2 billion for LinkedIn, a deal Microsoft hopes will bring together the cloud and the professional social network.

“The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals,” CEO Satya Nadella says. “Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics as we seek to empower every person and organisation on the planet.”

Post-acquisition LinkedIn will retain significant autonomy under current CEO Jeff Weiner, an arrangement similar to what was given to Minecraft developer Mojang.

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HP Splits... Again!

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HP Splits... Again!

Back in November 2015 HP split into two companies in the name of creating "smaller and nimbler" entities. Now it plans to repeat the process, as HP Enterprise sells its outsourced IT services segment to the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC).

The result is a services "spin-merger" known as SpinCo. CSC CEO Mike Lawrie leads, while HPE CEO Meg Whithman has a seat on the board. For the curious, the actual business comes from EDS, a company HP acquired for $14 billion back in 2008, and has 5000 customers in 70 countries.

“Our proposed merger with HPE Enterprise Services is a logical next step in CSC’s transformation,” Lawrie says. “As a more powerful and versatile global technology services business, the new company will be well positioned to innovate, compete and serve clients in a rapidly changing marketplace. We are excited by the great potential this merger brings to our people, clients, partners and investors, and by the opportunity to strengthen our relationship and collaboration with HPE.”

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Microsoft Sheds Rest of Nokia

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Microsoft Sheds Rest of Nokia

The Microsoft ownership of Nokia comes to an end-- according to The Verge an internal memo reveals Microsoft is writing off $950 million as part of the failed acquisition before slashing 1850 jobs.

Most of the job cuts (specifically 1350) affect the Microsoft Mobile division in Finland, and the company hopes to finish the culling by end 2016. Microsoft will still keep a small number of ex-Nokia staff, some in R&D roles and others in a Finnish sales subsidiary. Either way, $200m of the $950m impairment charge covers severence payments.

The news comes little more than a week after Microsoft sold off the Nokia feature phone division to HMD and FiH, not to mention Nokia licensing its brand for new mobile phones and tablets. Interestingly, the feature phone business sale announcement included a curious statement claiming Microsoft is not giving up on Windows Mobile-powered smartphones, and will continue supporting such devices and OEM partners.

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Google Reveals AI Chip at I/O

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Google Reveals AI Chip at I/O

Google I/O 2016 was about more than Android updates and Amazon Echo rivals-- the search giant revealed one of its mysterious custom-designed chips, specifically designed to power AI servers.

Dubbed a Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), the chip is the secret sauce behind AlphaGo, the machine able to beat professional human players at Go, the ancient Chinese board game. It also powers TensorFlow, the engine driving Google deep learning services used in anything from search to voice recognition and self-driving cars.

The technology started service in April 2015 to speed up the reading of street signs in the Google StreetView service. According to the company, the chip managed to process all text in the massive StreetView image collection in all of 5 days.

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EMEA Boss Eric Cador Leaves Lenovo

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EMEA Boss Eric Cador Leaves Lenovo

Former HP Personal Systems Group Senior VP Eric Cador is no longer Lenovo EMEA president, as he is replaced by Lenovo Latin American operations boss Luca Rossi, who will lead Lenovo business in both regions.

Lenovo does not tell the reasons behind Cador's departure, but a Linkedin post reveals it is due to "strategic disagreements." Post-Lenovo Cador returns to his consulting business.

As for the new EMEA president, Rossi is the former Acer EMEA president. He joined Lenovo in 2015, and his efforts in Latin America are described by the company as having "transformed our results and share in what are very complex and diverse markets."

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Hitachi Takes on IoT With Lumada

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Hitachi Takes on IoT With Lumada

Hitachi announces a $2.8 billion investment in the Internet of Things (IoT)-- one involving the creation of the IoT-focused Hitachi Insight Group and Lumada, an enterprise-grade IoT core platform.

The Japanese company already has a significant presence in IoT. At the IoT World conference it revealed related revenues were worth $5.4bn in 2015, generated by a portfolio of 33 IoT solutions covering a wide range of verticals, including energy, transportation, utilities, financial institutions, governments and cities. As such, the consolidation of such efforts and the Lumada platform represent something of a logical next step.

Designed to leverage on Hitachi OT and IT expertise and technologies, Lumada promises a "uniquely open and adaptable" architecture making it applicable to a variety of applications and partner technologies. The company also says security is top priority through the use of Pentaho data orchestration, visualisation and analytics software, as well as the Hitachi Streaming Data Platform (HSDP).

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WD Completes SanDisk Buy

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WD Completes SanDisk Buy

Western Digital clears the final hurdle in its quest to become the biggest storage vendor in the world-- the Ministry of Commerce of China (MOFCOM) approves its acquisition of SanDisk.

Announced back in October 2015, the merger hit a hitch earlier on February 2016 when Chinese investor Unisplendour Corporation Limited (Unis) scrapped a $3.78 billion investment deal with WD. The exit led to a mad scramble for funds on WD's part, until shareholders from both companies approved a deal valuing SanDisk for approximately $17bn (a couple of billion dollars less than the previous asking price of $19bn).

SanDisk is the 3rd biggest maker of flash memory in the world, and is both known for both consumer (namely memory cards and USB drives) and enterprise (SSDs, PCIe flash, 3D chip development, systems components) storage, with expertise in non-volatile memory (NVM), solutions and manufacturing.

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