Tag Archive: tablets



Microsoft Corp. is planning a global sales reorganisation to better focus on selling cloud software, according to people familiar with the matter.

The restructuring is scheduled to be announced as soon as next week and will impact the Worldwide Commercial Business under Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Courtois’ global sales and marketing group, the people said.

Job cuts are likely to result from the changes, said the people, who asked not to be identified speaking about unannounced plans. The shifts will be some of the most significant in the sales force in years and will also impact local marketing efforts in various countries, said one of the people. There may be other smaller personnel changes in other parts of the company too, one of other people said. A Microsoft spokesman declined to comment.

The company’s sales force has been trained for years to sell software for use on desktops and servers. Now it’s more important to convince customers to sign up for cloud services hosted in Microsoft’s datacenters. The Redmond, Washington-based company wants to accelerate this switch to add more revenue and catch cloud market leader Amazon.com.

Friday is the end of Microsoft’s fiscal year, the first in which Althoff and Courtois have run the sales and marketing organisations, taking over from Kevin Turner who left in 2016.

The Puget Sound Business Journal reported earlier than the company planned a companywide reorganisation around the cloud.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


After WannaCry and Petya, it seems like Microsoft has realised the potential harm that ransomware can cause to its operating systems and its customers’ sensitive information. This might partly be the reason why the Redmond-based company has now introduced new features that provide users protection from such malware with the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build.

Earlier this week, it detailed the end to end security features it would bring to Windows 10, and some of these features have been brought to the preview build.

With the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build, version 16232, Microsoft has introduced a new feature called ‘Controlled folder access’ to Windows Defender that protects users’ valuable data from malicious apps and threats (including ransomware), Dona Sarkar, head of Windows Insiders program at Microsoft, said in a blog post.

This new feature essentially monitors the changes that apps make to files in certain folders that are protected. If an app is blacklisted and tries to make changes to files in the protected folders, the user will get a notification about the attempt, Sarkar explains.

 

“You can complement the protected folders with additional locations, and add the apps that you want to allow access to those folders,” Sarkar said. In order to switch the Controlled folder access feature, Windows Insiders need to head to the Windows Defender Security Center and go to the Virus & threat protection settings section.

To allow certain apps through the feature, users need to click Allow an app through Controlled folder access and locate and add the app.

Apart from this feature, the company has also added ‘Exploit Protection’ with the latest build. “Starting with this build you can now audit, configure, and manage Windows system and application exploit mitigation settings right from the Windows Defender Security Center,” Sarkar said in her post. Notably, Exploit Protection has been described as a work-in-progress and might not be fully function yet, as per the blog post. There were also several improvements to the capabilities of Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG).

It is good to see that Microsoft is finally responding to the threats to Windows 10 in a constructive manner but the company will have to stay on its feet with the growing capabilities of hackers and leaks of state-sponsored hacking tools.

 

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Chip manufacturer Qualcomm has asked a US court to force Apple to pay up royalties for phone patents owned by Qualcomm.

Apple has stopped paying royalties to contract manufacturers for phone patents owned by Qualcomm over an “unresolved issue” – a move that will hit the US-chip maker’s financial results.

In a court filing, Qualcomm asked for a preliminary injunction against four of Apple’s suppliers – Foxconn, Pegatron, Wistron, and Compal – all of which it began suing for breach of contract earlier this month, The Verge reported on Thursday.

According to Qualcomm, Apple had instructed these companies in April not to pay royalties for devices they made using Qualcomm technology.

“Apple could litigate against Qualcomm indefinitely; it has virtually unlimited resources (more than $256 billion in cash reserves) and already has filed multiple cases against Qualcomm not just in this court, but around the world. And when those cases end, Apple can file more cases,” Qualcomm wrote in the court filing.

Qualcomm also alleged that Apple was trying to force a settlement by throwing its weight around.
“It goes on to say that Apple ‘has chosen commercial ransom over judicial process’ and that it’s trying to get an unfair deal on Qualcomm’s technology ‘through coercion enabled by its enormous market power,'” the report added.

Because of the missing payments, Qualcomm would suffer a loss of $500 million (roughly Rs. 3,222 crores) in revenue this quarter alone.

Earlier in April, the US chip manufacturer lambasted Apple for breaching deals between the two companies and urged that the lawsuit filed in January against it by the iPhone maker should be rejected.

Qualcomm also accused Apple of harming its business and sought unspecified damages.

Apple sued Qualcomm in January for nearly one billion dollars over royalties, with the Cupertino-based tech giant alleging the wireless chipmaker did not give fair licensing terms for its processor technology.

But Qualcomm refuted the allegations, saying that Apple had intentionally mischaracterised the agreements and negotiations, as well as the enormity and value of the technology they had invented, contributed and shared with all mobile device makers “through our licensing programme”.

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Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Google has confirmed that it is working on the successors of the Pixel and Pixel XL devices, and a recent report even outed their codenames – Muskie and Walleye. Now, a separate report tips that the tech giant is working on a third device as well, much larger than the other two, and this one is codenamed Taimen.

Taimen is another type of fish known for its large size, and Droid Life claims that Google is working on a third large-display device scheduled to launch this year. The device is codenamed Taimen, however, apart from that there is little else that is known about the device.
Android Police cites its internal source to claim that Taimen could be a phone, but the surety of this is very little. This Taimen device could be a tablet as well, or could be large Pixel-branded phone. Alternatively, it wouldn’t sport Pixel branding at all be a completely different device with a unique branding of its own. There is no clarity on this matter as of now. As time of launch nears, more details on this mysterious third device should be known.

As for Muskie and Walleye, they are tipped to be the codenames of the successors of the Pixel phones. Walleye is the name given to the base variant (Pixel 2), whereas Muskie is reserved for the larger model (Pixel XL 2). Previous leaks suggest that the Pixel 2 may come with an improved camera, a better processor, and be water and dust resistant as well.
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Amazon’s Fire tablets are getting the Alexa voice assistant.

The previously announced feature will start rolling out to customers Wednesday. It’s meant to complement what users get on other Alexa devices, such as the Echo speaker. Through voice commands, users can get the news read out to them or listen to music from services such as Amazon Music or Pandora.

The Fire tablets will go beyond Echo by offering full-screen cards with additional details. For instance, when you ask for the weather, Alexa will speak out the current temperature and offer the day’s forecast, just as she does on Echo. But the visual card will also display the week’s forecast. For news and music, the card offers playback control such as pausing and skipping.

For those with both Fire and Echo, making a request on Echo will trigger the Fire’s screen to turn on and present the detailed cards, as long as a Voicecast feature is enabled through the Alexa app.

Amazon says Alexa will differ from Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant in being designed for tablets first, rather than phones. That means focusing on tasks typically done at home, such as entertainment, recipes and timers. For tasks on the go, such as finding nearby restaurants, Alexa performs a standard web search or directs you to the Alexa app. Apple and Google have special interfaces with restaurant ratings, price ranges and more, and both integrate that information into their chat apps, too.
Although the overall tablet market has been slumping, Amazon.com Inc. has managed to stay strong by slashing prices and encouraging people to buy more than one. Its bare-bones base model costs just $49. Last month, Amazon introduced a new 8-inch tablet for $90, down from $150 for similar models in the past.

So far, Amazon is avoiding business-oriented tablets such as Apple’s iPad Pro and Microsoft’s Surface. Aaron Bromberg, a senior product manager for Fire tablets, said that while such devices work well as laptop replacements, “we also see an awful lot of people that want tablets to use around the house for entertainment.”

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


iBall on Friday launched a new entrant in its Slide tablet series – the Slide Cuboid. The voice-calling tablet comes in a Grey colour variant, and is priced at Rs. 10,499. Keeping the Indian customers in mind, iBall has introduced a total of 9 Indian system languages in the tablet, with support for 21 Indian languages for keyboard inputs.

The iBall Slide Cuboid offers 4G connectivity via its single SIM card slot, and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box, powered by a 1GHz quad-core SoC and a Mali-400 GPU. It has 2GB of RAM under the hood. As we mentioned, the tablet supports voice calling and also comes bundled with a handsfree.

The tablet sports an aluminium chassis over the edges, has front-end speakers for music and calling purposes. It packs an 8-inch HD (1280×800) IPS display with a pixel density of 189ppi.

Talking about the optics, the iBall Slide Cuboid has a 5-megapixel autofocus rear camera. There is a 2-megapixel front fixed-focus camera for video calling and front camera photography. The camera app offers features like Panorama, Face Beauty, Motion Track mode, Live Photo, Zero Shutter Delay, and many more.

The iBall Slide Cuboid bears 16GB of inbuilt storage that is expandable via microSD (up to 32GB). For connectivity, the Slide Cuboid is equipped with 4G, 3G, GPRS/EDGE, GPS, A-GPS, Bluetooth v4.0, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Micro-USB support, and FM radio with recording. You can tether Internet and files to PCs via Wi-Fi hotspots/ Wi-Fi Direct, USB, and Bluetooth as well. You also get USB On-The-Go support on the tablet.

The iBall Slide Cuboid packs a 4500mAh battery. It comes preloaded with social media apps like Facebook, WhatsApp. You also get preloaded games on the tablet like Asphalt Nitro, Bubble Bash 3, Spider-Ultimate Power, Midnight Pool, and Motorcross: Trial Extreme.

 
Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Archos has added another tablet to its Oxygen series by announcing the 13.3-inch Archos 133 Oxygen tablet at IFA 2016. The tablet will be made available by the company in November and will be sold by company’s official website as well as its worldwide distribution channel at EUR 179.99 (roughly Rs. 13,400).

As you might have predicted, Archos 133 Oxygen is the largest tablet in the Oxygen series and packs a full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) resolution IPS display. The tablet will run Android 6.0 Marshmallow out-of-the-box.

The Archos 133 Oxygen is powered by a 1.5GHz octa-core Rockchip RK3368 CPU, coupled with a PowerVR SGX6110 GPU and 2GB of RAM. The tablet sports a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel front camera. The device packs a 10000mAh battery and weighs around 1.17kg.

The 133 Oxygen comes with an inbuilt storage of 64GB, which is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). The company seems to be targeting families with the tablet as it said in its release, “Families can sit down and play games, watch movies, share pictures or surf the web together. It can also be put on display in the kitchen or the living room as a family organiser.”

In terms of connectivity, the tablet comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack, Micro-HDMI port, Wi-fi, and Bluetooth.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Google has updated its Google Play distribution data, providing figures for the seven-day period ending August 1. The data shows Android Marshmallow is now running on 15.2 percent of active devices.

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In July, Android Marshmallow was seen to be running on 13.3 percent of active Android devices – indicating a rise in adoption of 1.9 percent in a single month. To recall, Android Marshmallow in June was running on 10.1 percent active of Android devices.

While the growth in adoption of the Android Marshmallow version, whether in the form of updates or new devices running the version out-of-the-box, has been steady, it has also been very slow – to compare, Android 6.0 Marshmallow finally made it to 1 percent of active devices in February, five months after its release to Nexus devices. This factly is more sharply highlighted when one considers that Android 7.0 Nougat, the next Android version, is expected to release soon.

August’s Google Play distribution data shows that Android Lollipop has a total share of around 35.5 percent of active Android devices (with Android 5.0 Lollipop running on 14.1 percent of devices and Android 5.1 version at 21.4 percent), compared to 35.1 percent last month – indicating a rise in adoption of 0.4 percent. In the meanwhile, Android KitKat version 29.2 percent of the devices, dropping 0.9 percent from 30.1 percent last month.

As for Android Jelly Bean, it is seen to have a combined share of 16.7 percent, dropping 1.1 percent from July’s 17.8 percent. Android 4.0.x or Ice Cream Sandwich in the meanwhile was seen on 1.6 percent of active devices, down 0.1 percent from 1.7 percent in July.

Android Gingerbread (v2.3.3-2.3.7) is seen running on 1.6 percent of active devices, dropping from 1.9 percent, while Android 2.2 Froyo’s device distribution share is at 0.1 percent – the same as last month. To note, the figures are gathered from devices visiting the Google Play app, which supports Android 2.2 and above.

The Android distribution data also reveals that OpenGL 2.0 now runs on 46 percent of active Android devices, while OpenGL 3.0 runs on 42.6 percent, and OpenGL 3.1 on 11.4 percent.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Samsung extended its lead in the global smartphone market over Apple in the second quarter, gaining from the launch of its updated flagship handsets, surveys showed Thursday.

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The South Korean giant delivered 77 million smartphones in the quarter, up 5.5 percent from a year ago, for a market share of 22.4 percent, research firm IDC said.

That compared with a 15 percent drop in sales for Apple’s iPhones, which accounted for 11.8 percent, IDC said.

Samsung got a lift from the March launch of its Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge flagship models, with an upgraded processor, waterproofing and other features, IDC noted.

Apple, despite the launch of its more affordable iPhone SE, failed to keep pace and reported weaker sales compared to a year ago.

A separate survey by Strategy Analytics had a similar estimate, with Samsung at 22.8 percent to 11.9 percent for Apple.

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said he sees Samsung making further gains this year.

“With a new Galaxy Note 7 flagship model rumored to be on the way, Samsung will be able to strengthen its smartphone leadership into the second half of the year,” Mawston said.

“Apple continues to face iPhone fatigue among consumers and the new iPhone SE model has not been able to stem that trend.”

IDC’s Ryan Reith said the saturation of many markets has forced makers to rethink their strategy. “Apple is beginning to put more emphasis on ‘device as a service’ to try to prevent lengthening replacement cycles,” he said.

“This is a growing theme we have heard more about from PCs to smartphones. Additionally, the overall China market slowdown continues to ramp up competition in other high growth markets like India, Indonesia, and Middle East.”

Both surveys showed China’s Huawei the number three vendor with a 9.4 percent market share.

Other Chinese vendors were in the top five.

According to IDC, Oppo and Vivo were fourth and fifth with 6.6 and 4.8 percent respectively.

The Strategy Analytics report showed Oppo with 5.3 percent and Xiaomi fifth with 4.3 percent.

IDC said overall smartphone sales rose 0.3 percent to 343.3 million units, while the second survey showed a one percent rise to 340 million.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)


Microsoft released a firmware update for its hybrid Surface Pro 3 on Thursday, more than three months after releasing its last update for the product in April. The firmware update provides improvements to battery life during sleep mode, and also improves the keyboard’s stability as per the change log on the company’s website.

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According to the Redmond-based company, the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 firmware update also improves system sleep and hibernation behaviour when battery level is low and provides increased fingerprint touch stability when coming out of sleep. The latest update is also said to improve the setting driver’s stability for Surface Pen.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 update has begun rolling out over-the-air, and users can also check for the update manually via Windows logo > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update.

In January this year, Microsoft launched Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 4 together in India starting from Rs. 73,990 and Rs. 89,990 respectively.

Surface Pro 3 packs a 12-inch screen with a resolution of 2160×1440 pixels. The product comes in Intel’s Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processor configurations, and comes with 64GB of inbuilt storage which is expandable via microSD card. The laptop-tablet hybrid weighs just 800 grams and is highly portable.

In March, the company made Surface Pro 3 available for Rs. 58,990 for a limited time through Amazon India as part of a discount offer.

On Thursday, Microsoft announced that it will be selling Surface Pro 3’s successor, Surface Pro 4’s Core M variant for Rs. 58,890 as part of a limited-time exchange offer for any laptop or tablet exclusively through Amazon India.

 

Source : (gadgets.ndtv.com)