They should have sniffed harder...
... when IBM were selling. They would have smelled a rat. No one gets rid of a division where future profits look great.
Lenovo's old guard Chinese management parachuted back into the boardroom yesterday as it released third quarter numbers that showed its shipments dropping faster than the industry average in every market except China. Sales at the Beijing-based PC vendor slipped 20.1 per cent to $3.6bn in the quarter ending December 31, while …
Perhaps not a fair comment. Chinese business has only really been outward looking beyond simple supply for a few years so. Maybe they'll learn for this (in fact, I think they will). On the flip side, some of the more cynical among us expected a credit crunch and global recession (though few if none foresaw a near total collapse of the global banking system and the end of the financial world as we know it - certainly gave me a fright).
I can understand why the profit margin is sinking is North America. Their desktop computers are CRAP. I work at a company where our head office forces us to use Lenovo computers. We had 12 installed about a year ago. So far, we have had 9 of them repaired, usually for the same problem. When I try to get IBM (who sells,warranties and repairs the Lenovo computers) to check the other computers, they say we will have to pay for that as it is not included under our warranty. I had a chat with the IBM tech that usually comes to repair them, and even he said the Lenovo computers were crap.
Those notebook manufacturers which have swapped the 'Fn' and 'Ctrl' buttons, i.e. 'Fn' in the left corner, will, like Lenovo, rapidly lose market share the coming years. As the average typing skills of the world's population are increasing, the need to reduce typos grows, and hence the need for consistent keyboards grows.
Likewise, those notebook manufacturers that have employed the intuitive 'Fn'+'Arrow' for 'Pg Up', 'Pg Dn', 'Home' and 'End' will be the most successful over time.
Lenovo has unveiled a small desktop workstation in a new physical format that's smaller than previous compact designs, but which it claims still has the type of performance professional users require.
Available from the end of this month, the ThinkStation P360 Ultra comes in a chassis that is less than 4 liters in total volume, but packs in 12th Gen Intel Core processors – that's the latest Alder Lake generation with up to 16 cores, but not the Xeon chips that we would expect to see in a workstation – and an Nvidia RTX A5000 GPU.
Other specifications include up to 128GB of DDR5 memory, two PCIe 4.0 slots, up to 8TB of storage using plug-in M.2 cards, plus dual Ethernet and Thunderbolt 4 ports, and support for up to eight displays, the latter of which will please many professional users. Pricing is expected to start at $1,299 in the US.
Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE has announced what it claims is the first "cloud laptop" – an Android-powered device that the consumes just five watts and links to its cloud desktop-as-a-service.
Announced this week at the partially state-owned company's 2022 Cloud Network Ecosystem Summit, the machine – model W600D – measures 325mm × 215mm × 14 mm, weighs 1.1kg and includes a 14-inch HD display, full-size keyboard, HD camera, and Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. An unspecified eight-core processors drives it, and a 40.42 watt-hour battery is claimed to last for eight hours.
It seems the primary purpose of this thing is to access a cloud-hosted remote desktop in which you do all or most of your work. ZTE claimed its home-grown RAP protocol ensures these remote desktops will be usable even on connections of a mere 128Kbit/sec, or with latency of 300ms and packet loss of six percent. That's quite a brag.
Analysis Lenovo fancies its TruScale anything-as-a-service (XaaS) platform as a more flexible competitor to HPE GreenLake or Dell Apex. Unlike its rivals, Lenovo doesn't believe it needs to mimic all aspects of the cloud to be successful.
While subscription services are nothing new for Lenovo, the company only recently consolidated its offerings into a unified XaaS service called TruScale.
On the surface TruScale ticks most of the XaaS boxes — cloud-like consumption model, subscription pricing — and it works just like you'd expect. Sign up for a certain amount of compute capacity and a short time later a rack full of pre-plumbed compute, storage, and network boxes are delivered to your place of choosing, whether that's a private datacenter, colo, or edge location.
China's internet regulator has launched an investigation into the security regime protecting academic journal database China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), citing national security concerns.
In its announcement of the investigation, the China Cyberspace Administration (CAC) said:
The party is over for PC makers as figures from Gartner suggest the market is on course for a breathtaking decline this year.
According to the analysts, worldwide PC shipments will decline by 9.5 percent, with consumer demand leading the way – a 13.5 percent drop is forecast, far greater than business PC demand, which is expected to drop by 7.2 percent year on year.
The PC market in the EMEA region is forecast to fare even worse, with a 14 percent decline on the cards for 2022. Gartner pointed the finger of blame at uncertainty caused by conflicts, price increases and simple unavailability of products. Lockdowns in China were also blamed for an impact in consumer demand.
China's government has outlined its vision for digital services, expected behavior standards at China's big tech companies, and how China will put data to work everywhere – with president Xi Jinping putting his imprimatur to some of the policies.
Xi's remarks were made in his role as director of China’s Central Comprehensively Deepening Reforms Commission, which met earlier this week. The subsequent communiqué states that at the meeting Xi called for "financial technology platform enterprises to return to their core business" and "support platform enterprises in playing a bigger role in serving the real economy and smoothing positive interplay between domestic and international economic flows."
The remarks outline an attempt to balance Big Tech's desire to create disruptive financial products that challenge monopolies, against efforts to ensure that only licensed and regulated entities offer financial services.
Updated Intel has said its first discrete Arc desktop GPUs will, as planned, go on sale this month. But only in China.
The x86 giant's foray into discrete graphics processors has been difficult. Intel has baked 2D and 3D acceleration into its chipsets for years but watched as AMD and Nvidia swept the market with more powerful discrete GPU cards.
Intel announced it would offer discrete GPUs of its own in 2018 and promised shipments would start in 2020. But it was not until 2021 that Intel launched the Arc brand for its GPU efforts and promised discrete graphics silicon for desktops and laptops would appear in Q1 2022.
The US Department of Defense said it's investigating Chinese disinformation campaigns against rare earth mining and processing companies — including one targeting Lynas Rare Earths, which has a $30 million contract with the Pentagon to build a plant in Texas.
Earlier today, Mandiant published research that analyzed a Beijing-linked influence operation, dubbed Dragonbridge, that used thousands of fake accounts across dozens of social media platforms, including Facebook, TikTok and Twitter, to spread misinformation about rare earth companies seeking to expand production in the US to the detriment of China, which wants to maintain its global dominance in that industry.
"The Department of Defense is aware of the recent disinformation campaign, first reported by Mandiant, against Lynas Rare Earth Ltd., a rare earth element firm seeking to establish production capacity in the United States and partner nations, as well as other rare earth mining companies," according to a statement by Uncle Sam. "The department has engaged the relevant interagency stakeholders and partner nations to assist in reviewing the matter.
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced a crackdown on investment fraud platforms on Friday in conjunction with the country's Ministry of Public Security.
"Since the beginning of this year, the Anti-Fraud Center of the CAC has investigated and cracked down on 42,000 counterfeit apps," declared the internet regulator.
The CAC said those apps have been added to a database that currently includes around 3.8 million fraud-related websites and 514,000 apps, which have collectively seen it issue over two billion alerts.
Lenovo has inked an agreement with Spain's Barcelona Supercomputing Center for research and development work in various areas of supercomputer technology.
The move will see Lenovo invest $7 million over three years into priority sectors in high-performance computing (HPC) for Spain and the EU.
The agreement was signed this week at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center-National Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS), and will see Lenovo and the BSC-CNS try to advance the use of supercomputers in precision medicine, the design and development of open-source European chips, and developing more sustainable supercomputers and datacenters.
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