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Bob’s Byte

What's a PC Dealer to Do?

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What's a PC Dealer to Do?

I may be one of the few voices that still argues the PC is not dead. At least I am a familar voice: I have stood on stage at many IT events during the last 20 years, defending the PC against death-sayers.

One speech last year is still worth listening to, if you like the tone and fact of this article: Thinking Outside the PC Box.

Listening carefully to the market, it seems while the PC is still alive, it is not cool to acknowledge it. How can I persist in believing in the PC when statistics show great decline in the PC market? Mainly because I believe the PC sales we are losing are the most unprofitable ones anyways.

Don't get me wrong-- I am not suggesting PC dealers, resellers and distributors should not change. We've always faced change in the PC business.

In fact, my discussion today centers on what changes PC dealers and distributors could possibly make to survive: an audit of the possible directions...

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Intel Launches Core M Processor

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Intel Launches Core M Processor

Intel launches the first commercially available “no-conflict” processor, Core M, and sends it directly into the battle for mobility. More front-line Intel innovations will fully arm laptops as they fight tablets & smartphones to win over the world’s 600 million owners of 4-year old laptops who are on the brink of change.

Six hundred million ageing laptops make an awfully big sales target. Each of those consumers faces a decision very different than the one when they bought their laptop four years ago. And Intel dedicated its IFA press conference to its battle plan to win over those hundreds of millions whose collective decisions may decide the fate of the PC.

And it’s no accident that Intel chose IFA as the place to announce Core M, its first processor brand since five years, and the man gun of their battle plan. The 14nm Intel Core M processor package is 50% smaller and, at 4.5 watts, has 60% lower thermal power than the previous generation.

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Found! The Worst Vulnerability in the History of the Internet

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Found! The Worst Vulnerability in the History of the Internet

500,000+ Affected... Maybe Yours... Maybe Your Customers… What SPs Need to Know, Need to Do

Heartbleed, the newly discovered Internet flaw breaking the heart of the web industry and giving heart attacks to consumers, affects a half a million or more web sites. That's right, at least 500,000+ affected in this colossal open-source failure.

Why do we say "affected" and not "infected?"

Engineers working for the Finland-based security firm Codenomicon were exploring new features for their new security test software when they discovered the bug-heard-'round-the-world that affects websites that use OpenSSL, a security software that supposedly protected users' data and passwords.

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As Windows XP Ends, So Goes PC Era

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As Windows XP Ends, So Goes PC Era

The end of Windows XP is also the end of everything we grew up with in the Personal Computing business.

We're also saying goodbye to the PC as the preferred hardware for the average user, Windows as the standard operating system and the power of Wintel in our business lives.

Obviously, the death of XP is an arranged suicide, with Microsoft attendant in all the funeral details.

The commercial advantage, for Microsoft and its partners, is that this should spur sales for Windows 8 (and upcoming Windows 9).

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Thinking Outside the PC Box

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How do you feel about the PC industry today?

Our Editor-in-Chief Bob Snyder discusses the PC industry with the UK dealer group of Synaxon.

Agree or disagree but at least Bob will help you focus on what it means today to be a distributor or retailer in consumer IT.

Enjoy!

What If Google Made a Free Chromebox?

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What If Google Made a Free Chromebox?

Here's a festive thought for the end of 2013: What if Google made a free Chromebox?

Google has made it BIG by expertly giving away its technology to earn an audience.

Google Search, of course.  But think about all the Google products you might know, love and use.

Do you use Gmail? That's free...

Google Maps? Yep, free, too.

Google Docs? Free..

Google Talk? Sure, free.

Google+? OK,maybe you don't use this yet but soon Helpouts will pull you in.  Yes, it's free.

YouTube, Picassa, Chrome Continue reading...

What Will Microsoft Look Like 2 Years from Now?

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What Will Microsoft Look Like 2 Years from Now?

Remember the famous high tech book, Crossing the Chasm?

Perhaps there should be a new book for high tech companies to follow: Sitting on a Precipice.

That might be appropriate because our "old" industry leaders in the PC business now sit on a precipice. For some, things look pretty grim. For others, it will soon look even grimmer-- if they don't act now.

A prime example of inaction can be drawn from the mobile industry where RIM has taken Blackberry into a free fall that will only end in a splat.

For Microsoft, it's a different story. There are actions that will be taken.

Here's one example of how Microsoft might look in a year or two.

First, meet the new CEO.  Yes, Stephen Elop...the loyal Microsoftie who insisted on Windows at Nokia until they had no other choice but look for an acquirer. Consider the CEO job as Elop's reward for bringing Nokia into the fold (because that's the way the Microsoft Board is looking at it).

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Microsoft: Malware on PCs Even Before Stores

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Microsoft: Malware on PCs Even Before Stores

 

The only people happy with this news will be the local system builders...

Microsoft's digital crimes division tells the court malware is being installed on PC machines in China before they’re even released from the factories.

What? That's right, your customers who import direct from China may be buying Trojan Horses. Even European importers who bring in unknown Chinese brands could be affected-- unless the importer (like many larger distributors already do) sets up his own security control. Continue reading...

RadioShack: It Ain't Working

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RadioShack: It Ain't Working

Under attack in the mobile category, Radio Shack struggles to find its place with today's consumers.

Its deal with 1500+ Target stores (the store-within-a-store that sells mainly postpaid wireless sales and limited higher margin accessory sales) created a loss of $25.4 million in Q3 and $38.2 million so far this year.  The company said it may pull out of Target stores if its contract terms aren’t renegotiated.

But that won't fix the bigger problem. RadioShack's Q3 loss of $47 million (versus a profit of $300,000 a year ago) came as

total sales fell from $1.03 billion to $1 billion. Same-store sales declined 1.6%.

The "Signature" segment accounts for about 30% of sales, which includes accessories (including mobile-related products such as headphones) and power and technical products and generates healthy margins. Sales growth is in the low single digits.

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