Tuesday, January 27, 2015

MSFT Q2 Earnings

As part of the company’s latest quarterly earnings announcement, Microsoft today revealed Surface revenue increased to $1.1 billion in Q2 2015, driven mainly by Surface Pro 3 and its accessories. The company also revealed phone hardware revenue of $2.3 billion, thanks to 10.5 million Lumia units sold in the quarter.

In Q2 2014, Microsoft reported $893 million in Surface revenue, meaning the figure has slightly increased (up 24 percent, to be exact). More importantly, this is the first quarter that the Surface line has generated more than $1 billion. The company started this fiscal year with $908 million in Surface quarterly revenue, meaning it has already sold $2 billion’s worth of Surface products in the first half of its fiscal year.

Over $1 billion in Surface sales is a lot for a software company that only recently got serious about making its own computers, but we still don’t know the exact number of Surfaces the company is selling. That’s because Microsoft lumps together accessories and older Surface devices along with the Surface Pro 3, which itself has models ranging from $800 to $1,950. That said, it couldn’t have sold much more than a million units, which is a long way off from market leader Apple and its 12.3 million iPads or even its 5.5 million Macs sold last quarter. Microsoft has quite a long way to go before it is a dominant force as a tablet or PC maker.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Clean Out Your Computer Day

Clean Out Your Computer Day is almost here! The holiday falls on Monday, February 9 in 2015 and iolo technologies has long been a huge fan of the holiday and regularly offered tips, promotions and giveaways to media outlets to celebrate the fun day. 

We'll have more on this in the next few days including some give away products!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A New Kickstarter Project

HYPER Launches iPin: World's Smallest Laser Pointer And Wireless Presenter For iOS And Android Via Kickstarter\

Sanho Corporation - the company behind the HYPER line of mobile accessories, in collaboration with Conary Enterprise, an opto-semiconductor company announces its Kickstarter campaign for 2 new iPin Laser Pointer and Wireless Presenter products to follow up on the award winning original iPin for iPhone.

Original iPin Laser Presenter for iOS
The original iPin is the world’s smallest laser pointer attachment for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. As the name suggest, it is as tiny as a pin which disappears completely into the audio jack of the iOS device with almost no protruding parts, turning the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch into a laser pointer and wireless presenter.

New iPin Laser Presenter for Android
The new iPin for Android connects to the micro USB port of compatible Android devices and just like the original iPin for iOS, it comes with a free app that can be downloaded from the Google Play store that turns the iPin connected Android device into a powerful laser pointer and wireless presenter. Through the free iPin app and WiFi connection, users can transform their Android devices into a fully featured presentation tool with intuitive gesture based controls to change presentation slides and move the mouse pointer on any Mac and PC computer.

New BTtogo Bluetooth USB Dongle
The new BTtogo adds another level of convenience to the iPin. Traveling to another office and presenting at another site may mean that WiFi connections are not guaranteed or firewalls may be in place. BTtogo solves the issue by allowing users to confidently connect their iPin enabled iOS or Android device to any computer for a reliable presentation, regardless of the WiFi or firewall settings. BTtogo features a USB connector that plugs into any Mac or PC computer and connects to the iPin enabled iOS or Android device via bluetooth with no host software required and almost zero setup. Users can store their presentation files on a micro SD memory card inserted into BTtogo to run presentations on any public computer, even with firewalls present.

HYPER is seeking $50,000 via Kickstarter to launch the 2 new iPin products. Funding begins January 5, 2015 at 8am PST/11am EST and ends on February 9, 2015. Upon successful funding, HYPER aims to ship the new iPin products in the same month of February 2015. This is HYPER’s 4th Kickstarter project after the successful CloudFTP, iStick and Pearl which combined raised over $1.4 million.

Product Specifications
iPin for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
Length: 16mm (standard version), 17.8mm (extended version, designed for iOS devices with case)
Diameter: 3.5mm (narrowest end) ~ 7.6mm (widest end)
Laser Wavelength: 635nm
Laser Power: <1 ii="" lass="" mw="" span="">
Supported iOS Devices: iPhone 3GS/4/4S/5/5C/5S/6, iPod touch 4/5, iPad, iPad mini
Supported Systems: Mac OS X 10.6 - 10.10 (Yosemite), Windows XP/Vista/7/8

iPin for Android
Dimensions: 47.2 x 14.7 x 10mm
Laser Wavelength: 650nm
Laser Power: <1 ii="" lass="" mw="" span="">
Supported Android Devices: Android devices with micro USB OTG (On-The-Go) specification
Supported Systems: Mac OS X 10.6 - 10.10 (Yosemite), Windows XP/Vista/7/8

Dimensions: 70.6 x 30.2 x 12mm
Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE mode)
Bluetooth RF Frequency: 2.40-248 GHz
Memory Card Reader: microSD
Supported Systems: iPhone 4S or later, Android 4.3 or later with Bluetooth 4.0, Mac OS X, Windows XP/Vista/7/8

Pricing and Availability
iPin for iPhone retails for $49.95 and is currently available.
Both iPin for Android and BTtogo will retail for $34.95 each and will ship in February, 2015.
Special pricing will be available for Kickstarter backers.

Kickstarter Project Page:

Friday, January 23, 2015

Even More from Storage Visions

More useful notes and generally relevant considerations from the Storage Visions Conference

Don Gabrel of EchoStar pointed out that Hong Kong, Singapore, and Seoul have outstanding connectivity that raises the bar for  the entire country.  In ech case, the government supports the development of the infrastructure and moving it forward.  Sentiment in the United States has been to keep government out of infrastructure development, with notable exceptions such as the national freeway system. With a few local exceptions, the government has been invited out of developing--and regulating--development and implementation of connectivity services.
Business, technology/engineering, and creativity/content need to be equally functional in order for each component to have meaningful results for the end-user mass market.
Signiant's Ian Hamilton pointed out that no security system can keep out someone who really wants in. The response to a breach needs to considered and included in planning from the start. Ben Bloom stated that server failure is part of the Akamai plan: they know stuff will break and include that in their
operating plans. That does not excuse people from excercising due diligence: user carelessness with passwords and security is still the source of the Net's biggest security problem.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Chromebooks

Students are often hard on their computer hardware—jamming them into backpacks as they rush to class, or throwing their school bag in the corner when they get home. To help Chromebooks stand-up to the casual punishment that students can mete out, Acer is introducing two new Chromebooks for the education market in February.

The Chromebook C740 and C910 have a number of special hardware features the company says will help the devices withstand punishment. Both laptops have reinforced covers that can endure up to 132 pounds of force, and the laptops' corners can withstand a fall of around a foot and a half. The clamshell hinges are reinforced against twisting and stress. The smaller-sized C740 also has extended metal hinges, which Acer says makes the device more rigid.

Why this matters: Chromebooks are a big hit in the education market and now Acer wants to improve its share of that market with promises of longer-lasting devices. Improving its laptop designs specifically for the education market is significant since it shows how important the Chromebook has become. The days when Chromebooks were simply half-baked versions of existing Windows laptops are waning. Acer is also paying attention to the regular consumer world too with the fancy—and large—Chromebook 15 (pictured above) announced during CES.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Win 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

It’s official, folks: Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for existing Windows users—as long as you claim it quickly.

Kicking off the consumer-focused Windows 10 event in Redmond on Tuesday, Microsoft operating system chief Terry Myerson announced that current users of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free for one year after the operating system launches. Once you’ve claimed the upgrade, Microsoft will keep you updated for the supported lifetime of the device.

“We think of Windows 10 as a service,” Myerson said.

The decision to make Windows 10 a free upgrade for existing users—at least for a limited time—makes sense. Windows 8 users have vocally expressed their displeasure with the operating system, prompting happy Windows 7 users to stay put on that OS. That hinders Microsoft's ability to execute its vision for a service-centric, cloud-connected future for Windows; making Windows 10 free could spur more users into embracing a modern Microsoft operating system.

And hey, it'd be weird to charge for Windows 10 after Windows 8 flopped so hard and Apple started giving away OS upgrades. Right?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Free Windows, oops, I Mean "Zero Dollars"

The Windows 8.1 with Bing SKU requires OEMs to set Bing search as the default (though users can still change the default once they buy machines with it included). It also requires OEMs to use MSN as the default setting on the home page or any browser, again, with users being able to change that default if they so desire.
Microsoft still hasn't gone public with how much it plans to charge its PC maker partners (OEMs) or customers with Windows 10.

But thanks to a document published on Microsoft's OEM Partner Center site, we do know how much it is charging PC makers for Windows 8.1 on Intel-based tablets. (And why Microsoft describes its under nine-inch screen pricing as "zero dollars" instead of free.)

Microsoft announced last year that it would make Windows 8.1 available for "zero dollars" to its OEMs for devices with screen sizes of under nine inches. Microsoft also made available a new Windows 8.1 version to its partners known as "Windows 8.1 with Bing" that was designed for devices with screen sizes of nine inches or more.