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Intel Wants Out of the PC Business

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Intel Wants Out of the PC Business

Intel appears to want out of the industry that made its fortune-- the company's latest 10-Q filing shows PCs no longer have a place in the Intel vision chart, being thrown under the "Things & Devices" umbrella.

Such a move might not come as so much of a surprise, seeing how the PC industry is currently all about woes related to sales declines. And since it failed to capitalise on the success of mobile devices (another product category currently going through less than stellar fortunes, mind), Chipzilla appears to be shifting attentions wholly towards datacentres and the myriad things making the Internet of Things.

"As more 'things and devices' become smart and connected to the cloud, there is greater demand for data centers to not only connect these devices, but also to capture and analyze the data they create," the filing reads.

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Toshiba Details European PC Plans

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Toshiba Details European PC Plans

Toshiba unveils its European PC plans for next financial year, with hopes for double-digit growth across key verticals through a "more focused" distribution strategy.

“For us, last year was about refocusing and ensuring we put ourselves in the best possible position to thrive in a competitive sector. We focused on laying the foundations for a structure that gives us the freedom to forge deeper and even more effective relationships with our partners and end-users," the company says. "This was crucial in informing the direction we take our range of dedicated business devices and future solutions, as we take the unique step of assuming complete control of the design and manufacturing process.”

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Incipio Buys Skullcandy

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Incipio Buys Skullcandy

Accessory maker Incipio buys into audio with headphone vendor Skullcandy, in a deal worth approximately $177 million in cash.

The deal covers the two headphone brands owned by the company, Skullcandy and Astro Gaming.

“We have long admired Skullcandy’s culture of innovation and ability to create pioneering audio experiences with quality and style," Incipio says. "Skullcandy and Astro amplify our dynamic mix of products and brands, while bolstering the technical and operational capabilities that serve as the foundation of our platform. The team at Skullcandy and its international presence will also allow us to accelerate the global impact of our multi-brand offense.”

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Intel Continues Fighting EU Antitrust Fine

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Intel Continues Fighting EU Antitrust Fine

In 2009 the European Commission fined Intel €1.06 billion for abusing of its dominant market position. Seven years on Intel is still fighting the ruling as it files a final appeal to get it overturned.

The decision came about through an EU probe on whether a company with very large market share "can pursue a commercial strategy, the focus of which is the marginalisation or even the elimination of its only competitor.” According to the EC was attempting to do so through loyalty rebates to lower retail prices, thus unfairly squeezing out AMD.

Other anti-competitive practices from Intel during the 2002-2005 uncovered by the probe include restrictive conditions on rival processor use on PC makers (specifically Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and NEC) and payments to retails who exclusively sold Intel Inside PCs.

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Software Updates Galore at WWDC 2016

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Software Updates Galore at WWDC 2016

Software takes centre stage at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2016, as the company announces enhancements to to the operating systems its devices, namely the iPhone, Watch, Apple TV and, of course, the Mac.

Actually the humble Mac PC got some of the biggest news at WWDC-- mainly because the "OS X" monicker is no more. Replacing it is "macOS," a title more in line with current Apple OS nomenclature (tvOS, watchOS, iOS). The name change comes with the announcement Sierra, an OS update featuring a desktop version of Siri allowing users to use their voices to search for files, switch between apps, search the internet and even use the calculator.

Speaking of Siri, the second biggest piece of WWDC news involves the voice assistant-- Apple follows Amazon's example in providing developers with a Siri SDK, allowing them to freely incorporate it in apps. The conference had a few versions of Siri-enabled apps on show, including WeChat, Slack and WhatsApp, and more should be available once the next version of iOS rolls out.

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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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Nokia Brand Makes Smartphone, Tablet Comeback

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Nokia Brand Makes Smartphone, Tablet Comeback

The Nokia brand is to make a mobile device return-- a Finland-based company named HMD Global Oy (HMD) gets the exclusive global license for Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets.

In a simultaneous announcement Microsoft starts shedding its mobile phone ambitions through the sale of its feature phone business (including brands, software, design rights and a Vietnam manufacturing facility) to HMD and FIH Mobile, a newly created Hon Hai/Foxconn subsidiary. The deal is worth $350 million.

However Microsoft insists it is not giving up on Windows Mobile-powered smartphones, and will continue supporting such devices and OEM partners.

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Apple to End Paid Music Downloads?

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Apple to End Paid Music Downloads?

According to Digital Music News customers will soon be able to buy and download music off the iTunes Store no more-- Apple is reportedly considering an "aggressive" two-year termination plan for the online music store.

“Keeping [iTunes music downloads] running forever isn’t really on the table anymore,” an anonymous source insists. Also in discussion is a plan to “ride the [iTunes music download offering] out for the next 3-4 years, maybe longer" once music downloads become an afterthought in a streaming-dominated industry. Another source bluntly states “if he were alive, Jobs would have killed it.”

In turn, Apple actually released a rare statement on a news story-- one insisting “our response is that it is not true, we are not shutting down iTunes downloads per [Digital Music News'] story." However the news website insists its sources are in the right, and the Apple reaction is more of a reassurance to music labels and artists, whose incomes will be wrecked even further with the loss of the paid download revenue stream.

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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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