Computer Daily News

Daily News
Friday, April 1, 2011
Issue No. 5546
See page 4
It’s trillions galore,
as tablets boost IT
spending: Gartner
OSTON – Worldwide IT spending will reach US$3.6
trillion in 2011, up 5.6 percent on 2010, according to
the latest outlook by Gartner. That’s up slightly on
a previous forecast of 5.1 percent growth – but when you
look deeper only the last-minute addition of tablet sales
seems to have made much difference to last year’s figures.
Without them, spending would have declined.
(If, like CDN, you’re not too sure what a trillion is, we think
the figure could be expressed as $3600 billion. Or maybe not.
We consulted Wikipedia which put it at $3.6 milli
million, or alternatively $3.6 million million million, leaving
us not much wiser. Either way, it’s a lot).
Gartner has for the first time included what it likes
to call “media tablets” – ie, the hot-selling iPad and one
or two other minor sellers – to its computing hardware
spending estimates from the beginning of this quarter.
That has seen Gartner’s computing hardware growth
forecast for 2011 rise from 7.5 to 9.5 percent.
Worldwide tablet spending is projected to reach $29.4
billion in 2011, up from $9.6 billion in 2010, when the iPad
was pretty well the only major goer. With more players
in the field, it should increase by an average of 52 percent
a year through 2015, according to Gartner.
Addition of media tablets, reinforced by an expected
Continued on page 2
Arrivederci, Gianfranco: tablet
troubles see Acer CEO jump ship
TAIPEI – Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci has resigned from
the company, with immediate effect, following spats with
the Acer board over future directions. Chairman J T Wang
will fill in as CEO until a new candidate is found and says
the company has begun planning "organisational and operational adjustments for the sustainable future of Acer".
Lanci’s resignation was rubber-stamped at a meeting
of Acer’s board yesterday and his departure was communicated to worldwide employees.
Lanci, now 57, joined Acer from Texas Instrument in
1997 when the company bought TI’s portable-PC business.
He held radically different views on Acer’s future directions from a majority of the board members. Observers
note the company has so far failed to market a commercial tablet to compete with Apple’s iPad and the growing
number of Android devices.
According to research
house Isuppli, tablets –
principally the iPad – ate
into Acer ’s PC sales last
quarter, which saw Acer’s
sales plummet, allowing
Dell to overtake it and
regain second place in the
Bloomberg pic
global PC market.
A DigiTimes report says
Lanci and the board placed disagreed on matters of “scale,
growth, customer value creation, brand position enhancement,
resource allocation and methods of implementation”.
Acer says the change does not affect current operations.
Said Wang: “The personal computer remains the core of
our business. We have built up a strong foundation and
will continue.” But he added: “We are stepping into the
new mobile device market, where we will invest cautiously and aim to become one of the leading players.”
Conroy gives Cisco a push
MELBOURNE – If it was looking to make a convert in
Canberra, Cisco A/NZ invited the wrong politician to this
week’s big bash, the Cisco Live! conference and exhibition at Melbourne’s vast Southbank conference complex.
The pollie who got the guernsey was – natch – Comms
and Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy, who also glories
in the title of Minister assisting the PM on Digital Productivity. The Big Con needs no converting, it turned out: in an
address to gathered CIOs, customers, media and analysts
yesterday, he sounded like a Cisco salesperson extolling
the virtues of its Telepresence video conferencing service.
Telepresence, he said, saves him travelling round the
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world to tell Barack Obama’s top advisers, among many
others, about what’s happening Down Under, NBN-wise.
Indeed, “Telepresence is a game-changer,” quoth the
minister, bring a broader beam to the face of Cisco Down
Under CEO Les Williamson.
It works both ways. Williamson in an earlier session
with media had given a pretty ringing endorsement of
the National Broadband Network, the rollout of which
should see Cisco peddling quite a few more Telepresence
systems, not to mention HD video equipment and highend networking kit.
The significant pollies who might need convincing
but weren’t spotted at Cisco Live! were Tony Abbot and
Malcolm Turnbull, fierce critics both of the NBN, even
though – as Stephen Conroy reminded his audience – Abbott keeps telling us he’s “no Bill Gates” when it comes
to technical matters.
Rollout now ‘unstoppable’
As Conroy and at least some Cisco execs see it, the time
for the Libs threatening to put the stoppers on the NBN
rollout – as Abbott and Turnbull say they would like to
do – may have passed, along with this week’s passage of
the two NBN bills through Parliament.
Kevin Bloch, local CTO at Cisco, enumerating the Top
10 trends in the digital economy as Cisco sees them, put
the NBN at No. 7. The scene, he said is passing from the
political argument to an unstoppable rollout, with most
of the argument now being about who gets connected
first and how to score big dollars from the fast new net.
Bloch’s other trends included: mobile apps changing
the software game forever (No. 8); HD video sweeping the
download business (6); infrastructure upgrades to keep up
with the digital age (5); social networking (4); cloud computing (3); consumerisation (2); and No. 1 – “mobile computing
transforming absolutely everything”. – David Frith
Groundhog Day Down Under:
Slattery offers MacTel $1m bet
SYDNEY – Million dollar bet offers are becoming a habit
in the IT world – but it seems there aren’t many takers.
Nor is anyone, for all the bluster, actually putting their
million smackeroos on the table.
Last month it was publicity-conscious online shopping
entrepreneur Ruslan Kogan, seeking to tempt JB Hi-Fi
boss Terry Smart into a $1 million gamble on who would
survive the next few years: an offer ignored by Smart and
Trillions galore
Continued from page 1
FRI, APR 1, 2011
Nokia doubles warranty
SYDNEY – Nokia Australia – unlike Apple – has
bowed to the wishes of the Australian Competition and
Consumer Commission by increasing the warranty on
its smartphones and other mobiles from 12 to 24 months.
After a spate of complaints by consumers, ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel has been urging all mobile vendors
to have warranties that match the two-year period to
which most buyers are tied in by carrier contracts.
Many have complained that their phone has stopped
working, but under their contracts they still have to keep
paying for the dead device and no-one will fix it.
Nokia says its new 24-month warranty assures customers that they will not be charged for the cost of repairing
a faulty device for 24 months from the date of purchase.
Over to you, Apple …
Local online retailing is king
additional decline in the value of the Yankee dollar, accounts for the increase in top-line growth, said Gartner
veep Richard Gordon. “Absent the addition of media
tablets, the forecast would have slightly declined in
constant-dollar terms; however, with their addition,
there’s virtually no change in underlying forecast
growth at the level of overall IT,” he said.
generally seen as pretty worthless as Kogan made no
move to actually put up the purse.
Yesterday seemed like Groundhog Day, with reports that
NextDC founder Bevan Slattery had challenged Macquarie Telecom CEO David Tudehope to a bet of $1 million
following comments the MacTel boss made about the future
of the datacentre market,
and the risks ahead for
In a speech to a CommsDay function, Tudehope said the datacentre
industry was experiencing a glut which would
probably lead to some companies going broke.
In a following speech, Slattery appeared to take the comments personally. “An interesting point I heard yesterday
was David Tudehope said I’d be out of business in three
years time, and that was bit disappointing,” Slattery said.
“I got to sit next to David last night and he said basically
new entrants [to the datacentre market] will probably go
broke. I’m pretty sure David doesn’t believe that, but just
in case he does, today I’m going to bet David Tudehope
a million dollars that he’s wrong.
“So if David thinks I’m going to be out of business
then the bet is on – here’s a million dollars,” Slattery said,
though – to the disappointment of many – he didn’t in fact
put the moola on the podium then and there.
Macquarie, like JB Hi-Fi, was maintaining a dignified
silence last night. Words are cheap but if either party is dinkum CDN volunteers to hold the money. Yours, too, Ruslan.
SYDNEY – New research confirms exponential increases in consumer demand for online retail, ecommerce
and multichannel retailing but Australian retailers need
to do more, according to the Australian Centre for Retail
Studies (ACRS).
It says data from both Google and Salmat show Australian retailers’ push for ecommerce-enabled Web sites is
rapidly increasing. Consumers are said to be demanding
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that retailers provide pre-purchase research resources
and fully transactional Web sites – increasingly on mobile
platforms: a finding echoed by speakers at this week’s
Cisco Live! conference in Melbourne.
According to ACRS, retailers know they should be
investing in new media, but are apprehensive about
making those investments and are therefore missing out
on opportunities.
Mobile must also be a key consideration for retailers
in 2011. Over Christmas 2010, 17.5 percent of all Google
retail searches occurred on a mobile device.
And – good news for latecomer Gerry Harvey – despite
the increasing number of Australians browsing the Web
sites of international retailers, 68 per cent of Australians
still prefer to shop domestically.
Telstra offers green monitor
SYDNEY – Large organisations will soon be able to
measure their IT network’s energy usage through a new
Telstra service dubbed EnergyWise. It is being worked up
at the Telstra and Cisco Accelerated Engineering Laboratory in Melbourne.
Telstra exec John Paitaridis says the monitoring and
reporting service will offer functions such as the ability to
remotely switch off lighting, photocopiers and computer
monitors in the future.
l (CDN notes that’s a throwback to the early 1990s when
many companies employed night watchpersons to wander
through buildings switching off lights and fax machines
– much to the consternation of subscribers to CDN which
at the time was delivered exclusively on fax during the
wee small hours. Indeed, we still have a small number of
IT companies who like to get CDN that way, which is fine
by us. Watchpersons, please hold off. – Ed.)
Outsourcer sets up cloud centre
SYDNEY – IT outsourcing provider ASE IT says it is
transforming its datacentre infrastructure with equipment
from NetApp, Cisco and Citrix. ASE says it is incorporating virtual desktops with a system that unifies its storage,
computing, networking and virtualisation platforms.
KPMG embraces the trinity
SYDNEY – Finance firm KPMG Australia says it is
replacing a dated information management infrastructure
with a private cloud environment based on vBlock technology from the trinity of Cisco Systems, EMC and VMware.
VBlock is a cloud platform that consolidates virtualised
servers, storage and computing inside a centrally secured
and managed environment.
WA calls regional mobile tender
PERTH – Unwilling to wait for the NBN, the West
Australian Government is calling for tenders to build its
$39 million Regional Mobile Communications Project,
which seeks to improve comms reception in outback WA.
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Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls says
there’s a low level of mobile coverage and broadband
Internet available in regional Western Australia.
“The shortcomings of mobile telephone coverage on
the State’s major regional highways need to be improved,
not only for mobile telephone but also for radio communications coverage, which is essential for our police and
emergency services, business and recreational purposes,”
the Minister said.
Google restores privacy pledge
SAN FRANCISCO – Google has agreed to new privacy
rules in the USA, saying it will in future ask users before
sharing their data with outsiders.
This move is designed to settle a US Federal Trade
Commission complaint that Google violated its own
privacy promises with the launch of its social network
Buzz, which automatically shared information in Gmail
address books.
The proposed settlement requires Google to develop
a “comprehensive privacy program” and to submit to
independent privacy audits every two years.
In a blog post, Google’s director of privacy, Alma Whitten, admits the launch of Buzz “fell short of our usual
standards for transparency and user control.”
Amazon backpedals on music deal
SAN FRANCISCO – Facing the threat of legal action,
Amazon is said to now be wooing the world’s biggest
music companies, as it seeks licensing deals for Amazon
Cloud, an online “music locker” service it launched for
US users earlier this week (CDN, Tuesday).
Amazon had claimed it doesn’t need licensing by the
record companies for its locker service, which allows
people to store music they have already acquired on
Amazon servers.
The record companies claim Amazon gave them inadequate notice of its plans. Ominously, a spokeswoman for
Sony Music said the company was disappointed with the
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FRI, APR 1, 2011
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way the online retailer launched the new service – and
“we are keeping our legal options open”.
Amazon Cloud requires users to copy every song in their
music library to a remote server, which can play them back
to any Internet-connected PC and to Android smartphones.
New push for do-not-track plan
SAN FRANCISCO – Big advertisers and agencies are
reported to be having second thoughts about a “do-nottrack” system with Internet-browser makers in a shift from
the industry’s previous antagonism towards such a tool,
which user advocacy groups are demanding (CDN, Mar. 23).
Major ad-industry trade groups are talking to browser
makers including Microsoft and Mozilla, promoter of the
Firefox browser, about how to make a do-not-track tool work.
The tool would let Internet users indicate they don’t
want their online activity to be monitored, thereby preventing advertising agencies from bombarding them with
ads targeted to what is presumed to be their interests.
Microsoft and Mozilla have incorporated such features
into their latest browsers, but the tools rely on ad networks
and others’ goodwill to honour the requests.
SGI Altix gets nuke role
LONDON –Silicon Graphics has sold two Altix “UltraViolet” supercomputers capable of 18.5 teraflops to the
UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) and an Altix
ICE 8400 cluster to the South Korean Air Force.
The AWE makes warheads for the Trident nuclear missiles used by the Royal Navy in its Vanguard submarines.
Suicides take toll at Foxconn
HONG KONG – Taiwan-controlled Foxconn – which
makes laptops, tablets and other devices for major US
brands – posted a full-year net loss of US$218.3 million
that was wider than analysts estimated, as costs increased
and sales shrank.
Foxconn increased salaries at its Chinese mainland factories last year after a spate of suicides prompted clients,
including Apple, to investigate working conditions. It is now
expanding activities in China’s interior, where costs are lower.
Adobe 32.95
Alcatel-Lucent 5.72
Apple 348.63
Autodesk 43.60
BMC Software 49.73
Cisco 17.33
Citrix 72.24
Compuware 11.51
Concurrent 6.25
Dell 14.64
Electronic Arts 19.68
EMC 26.93
Epicor 11.01
Extreme 3.44
F5 Networks 100.70
Google 581.84
Informatica 51.25
Intel 20.46
Lawson Software 11.96
Level 3 Comms 1.46
Microsoft 25.61
NCR 18.90
NetApp 48.01
Netsuite 28.98
Novell 5.96
Oracle 33.05
Progress Software 28.79
Red Hat 46.10
RightNow 32.12
57.03 134.49
Symantec 18.05
Texas Instruments 34.74
Xerox 10.66
Yahoo! 16.74
- 0.06
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- 0.05
- 0.11
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- 0.13
- 0.35
- 0.26
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- 0.81
- 0.02
- 0.16
- 0.30
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- 0.01
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17.74 - 56.78
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4.64 - 6.88
17.70 - 25.68
28.82 - 51.61
16.97 - 27.74
40.33 - 73.99
6.99 - 12.25
4.32 - 7.31
39.61 - 56.61
11.34 - 17.52
14.06 - 20.24
17.10 - 27.59
6.36 - 11.40
2.53 - 4.25
60.50 - 145.76
433.63 - 642.96
37.32 - 54.75
116.00 - 167.72
22.10 - 51.97
17.60 - 24.37
79.08 - 108.99
6.56 - 13.06
0.83 - 1.77
31.69 - 48.07
22.73 - 31.58
11.30 - 20.62
30.53 - 61.02
12.11 - 31.32
5.06 - 6.53
21.24 - 34.10
17.64 - 31.47
26.69 - 49.00
13.21 - 33.49
42.53 - 75.40
73.91 - 151.26
40.95 - 62.23
82.74 - 135.45
12.04 - 18.80
28.00 - 51.40
2.55 - 3.46
22.65 - 36.71
51.23 - 97.61
17.04 - 41.32
7.67 - 12.08
12.94 - 19.12
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