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Dell’s all Intel tablets and laptops targeting the evolving mobile workforce even with their most consumer specific Android tablets

Dell is 100% committed to Intel (“for speed, responsiveness, and battery efficiency”) from now on which was, nevertheless, not discovered by the media. Otherwise the essence was well expressed by these Oct 2, 2013 media reports (being similar to others):

Read also: The long awaited Windows 8.1 breakthrough opportunity with the new Intel “Bay Trail-T”, “Bay Trail-M” and “Bay Trail-D” SoCs? [‘Experiencing the Cloud’, Sept 14-26, 2013]

Conspicuously missing from Dell’s lineup is any trace of Windows RT, the stripped-down version of Windows designed for ARM processors. Dell was the last remaining Windows RT supporter outside of Microsoft, at least until the company discontinued its XPS 10 last month. When we asked Dell’s director of tablets, Bill Gorden, he said the company’s still considering its options. “We’re very happy with the direction of Windows 8.1, and we have multiple screen sizes and capabilities there,” he said. “We’re not sure what our plans are for Windows RT at the moment.”

However, Gorden suggests that we should take the Venue launch as a sign that Dell isn’t planning to abandon the consumer market after it goes private. “I think the introduction of all these devices is really a signal of how important end-user computing is to Dell,” he toldThe Verge. “I think you’re going to start seeing Dell start being prominent in the consumer space.”

What was announced (according to Dell’s press release, available here at the very end):

The Dell Venue 7, Venue 8, Venue 8 Pro, and new XPS 15 will be available from October 18 on www.dell.com in the United States and select countries around the world. The Venue 11 Pro, XPS 11 and the updated XPS 13 with touch will be available in November. Starting prices are as follows:

  • Venue 7 [Android]: $149.99
  • Venue 8 [Android]: $179.99
  • Venue 8 Pro: $299.99
  • Venue 11 Pro: $499.99
  • New XPS 15: $1,499.99
  • XPS 11: $999.99
  • New XPS 13: $999.99

All Dell Venue tablets are based on Intel processing power for speed, responsiveness, and battery efficiency. The Dell Venue 7 and Dell Venue 8 [Android tablets] feature Intel Atom Z2760 (“Clover Trail”) processors, while the Dell Venue 8 Pro and Dell Venue 11 Pro [Windows 8.1 tablets] feature the new Intel Atom quad-core processors, code named “Bay Trail.” The Venue 11 Pro offers up to 4th Generation Intel Core [”Haswell”] i3 and i5 processor options and Intel vPro for manageability.

Dell messages:

From the press release:

  • New Dell Venue tablets offer the ability to connect, share, and access content with ease
  • XPS 11 is the world’s thinnest, lightest and most compact 2-in-1 in the world with the world’s first Quad HD display on an 11.6-inch 2-in-1
  • XPS 15 powerhouse laptop offers the world’s first 15.6-inch Quad HD+ display for jaw-dropping visuals and the ultimate experience

Dell Venue tablets are designed to give people on-the-go a wide-selection of sizes and options to meet their varying needs. From 8 and 11-inch Windows-based tablets complete with keyboard and stylus options, to the 7 and 8-inch Android tablets, Dell has created a dedicated brand of tablets to meet the needs of customers who are the epitome of the evolving workforce.

For New Dell Venue 7 and 8 Tablets [DellVlog YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

Stay connected with Venue 7 and 8 tablets featuring fast Intel processors and easy to use Android OS.

For New Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet [DellVlog YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

Connect to what you need easily, quickly and securely with the Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet [powered by Intel quad-core processor].

For New Dell Venue 11 Pro Tablet [DellVlog YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

http://www.dell.com/tablets
The no compromise tablet for those that expect more and do more [featuring Intel Core processors].

For Enabling the mobile workforce with Dell [DellVlog YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

Learn more about the evolving mobile workforce, bring your own device (BYOD) trends and the opportunity they present you as a Dell partner.

For Dell Venue 11 Pro Tablet for Work and Home [DellVlog YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

See how the Venue 11 Pro goes from your home life to work life, with no compromises.

Only here, and only inside there is a Microsoft related message (while Intel is everywhere here and especially in the above videos):

    • Stay connected with the Intel Core based Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet.
    • Keep in touch with loved ones across the globe.
    • Portability and performance in one device.
    • Chair projects with the stunning Full HD wide angle screen.
    • Run Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Office powered by Intel processors.
    • Interact like never before with near-field communication.
    • Present new ideas with Miracast technology.
    • Designed for on the go or on the couch.
    • Do more with the do it all Dell Venue 11 Pro tablet.

While at least one media source, CNET was much more Microsoft/Windows focussed:

The Dell Venue 8 Pro delivers full Windows 8.1 in a $299 package [CNETTV YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

http://cnet.co/19ZguLY
Dell’s Venue 8 Pro is a full Windows 8.1 tablet with an 8-inch screen.

The Dell Venue 7 and 8 mark Dell’s return to Android tablets [CNETTV YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

http://cnet.co/1bw0Mdk
Dell finally moves beyond the Streak with two new Android tablets.

Get accessorized with the Dell Venue 11 Pro [CNETTV YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

http://cnet.co/173mhOm
The 11-inch Venue 11 Pro from Dell features a removable battery and plenty of accessory options.

The Dell XPS 11 and 12 feature unique hybrid designs [CNETTV YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

http://cnet.co/1fJpImK
Both the Dell XPS 11 and 12 are take traditional hybrid design and throws it on its ear.

The Dell XPS 13 and 15 feature high-end specs and thin designs [CNETTV YouTube channel, Oct 2, 2013]

http://cnet.co/1brtC1U
Dell goes ultra high-end with its XPS 13 and 15 laptops.

Press release from the company:

Dell Introduces New Line of Tablets and Updated XPS Laptops: Create, Share and Access Content from Virtually Anywhere [Oct 2, 2013]

  • New Dell Venue tablets offer the ability to connect, share, and access content with ease
  • XPS 11 is the world’s thinnest, lightest and most compact 2-in-1 in the world with the world’s first Quad HD display on an 11.6-inch 2-in-1
  • XPS 15 powerhouse laptop offers the world’s first 15.6-inch Quad HD+ display for jaw-dropping visuals and the ultimate experience

Dell today took a bold step in unveiling a new family of tablets and new laptops, including a 2-in-1 Ultrabook. The Dell Venue line of tablets is comprised of four new ultrathin models designed to address the changing way people live and work today. Dell’s “damned sexy” tablets, as described by leading Enderle Group analyst, Rob Enderle, deliver leading performance and quality, backed by Intel processing technology. With compact designs that make it easy to stay connected on the go, the Dell Venue tablets have an exquisite fit and finish.

In addition to the versatile new Dell Venue tablets, Dell is introducing new XPS laptops, each with breakthrough displays for a phenomenal viewing experience with vibrant, crisp images in any available screen size. The new XPS 11, the thinnest, most compact 2-in-1 in the world, also features the first Quad HD (2560 x 1440) display on an 11.6-inch 2-in-1. The XPS 15 multimedia powerhouse boasts a stunningly thin design, and offers as an option the first 15.6-inch Quad HD+ (3200 x 1800) display in the world, which is the highest resolution available on a laptop of that size. Dell is also refreshing its award-winning XPS 13 Ultrabook with faster processors, touch Full HD (1920 x 1080) display and improved battery life. With these three laptops, Dell is leading the industry with the highest resolution displays possible.

“People today expect the best experience possible from their technology – they are counting on it to keep them connected and move with them, wherever they are,” said Sam Burd, vice president Dell Personal Computing Group. “The new Dell Venue tablets and XPS laptops give customers the stellar experience they expect from us, with performance that allows them to work how they want, when they want, in a design they’ll be proud to show off and own.”

Dell Venue Tablets: Connect, Share and Access Content with Ease
Dell Venue tablets are designed to give people on-the-go a wide-selection of sizes and options to meet their varying needs. From 8 and 11-inch Windows-based tablets complete with keyboard and stylus options, to the 7 and 8-inch Android tablets, Dell has created a dedicated brand of tablets to meet the needs of customers who are the epitome of the evolving workforce.

  • The Dell Venue 8 Pro and Dell Venue 11 Pro Windows 8.1-based tablets combine the level of performance, design and responsiveness end-users love while giving IT departments what they need – the ability to integrate into an existing corporate environment with full compatibility with current Windows applications and Microsoft Office integration. Both tablets feature optional advanced security features and services such as TPM and Dell Enterprise Services.
  • The lightweight Dell Venue 8 Pro runs Windows 8.1, has a bright HD IPS display, advanced connectivity options and provides long battery life so range anxiety is no longer an issue. People can also stay productive with Office 2013 Home & Student, included with the device, and the optional Dell Active Stylus.
  • The Dell Venue 11 Pro, also based on Windows 8.1, provides ultimate 2-in-1 flexibility with the power of an Ultrabook, convenience of a detachable keyboard and experience of a desktop. Unlike competitive tablets, it has a user removable/replaceable battery, and its large, Full HD display with wide viewing angles makes it easy to read and create content while staying mobile. It is also available with a variety of keyboard and stylus options:
    • Dell Active Stylus makes it easy to annotate, draw or take notes.
    • Dell Slim Keyboard, designed for travel, also serves as a cover for the screen when folded up.
    • Dell Mobile Keyboard with integrated battery provides all day productivity with a full-sized keyboard while extending the battery life.
    • Dell Tablet Desktop Dock delivers full productivity on a desk with USB 3.0 ports, and dual display out ports for display extension.
  • The Dell Venue 7 and Dell Venue 8 Android-based tablets are affordable, feature-rich tablets for people who want to be constantly connected wherever they are. Both tablets have an upscale fit and finish, and are designed with longevity in mind with the right components so that customers will be just as delighted with their tablet one year from now, as they are on the day they take it out of the box.

All Dell Venue tablets are based on Intel processing power for speed, responsiveness, and battery efficiency. The Dell Venue 7 and Dell Venue 8 feature Intel Atom Z2760 (“Clover Trail”) processors, while the Dell Venue 8 Pro and Dell Venue 11 Pro feature the new Intel Atom quad-core processors, code named “Bay Trail.” The Venue 11 Pro offers up to 4th Generation Intel Core i3 and i5 processor options and Intel vPro for manageability.

Dell XPS Laptops and 2-in-1: The Ultimate Experience with Gorgeous Displays
Dell’s award-winning XPS laptop line just got even better with the new XPS 15 powerhouse laptop, the introduction of the XPS 11 2-in-1, and an update to the flagship XPS 13 Ultrabook. In keeping with the XPS tradition of offering the best computing experience in any product category, the XPS laptops and 2-in-1 feature machined aluminum, carbon fiber, vibrant displays, and Corning Gorilla Glass NBT for performance, durability and the ultimate experience.

  • Starting at 2.5lbs[i] and just 11-15mm thin, the XPS 11 is the world’s thinnest, lightest and most compact 2-in-1 Ultrabook available today, offering a tablet-first design with laptop functionality. It easily transitions from tablet to laptop with a 360 degree rotating hinge design, and an innovative solid surface backlit touch keyboard that provides a superb experience from lap to bag. With a Quad HD (2560 x 1440) display, the highest resolution display in an 11.6-inch 2-in-1 today, the XPS 11 has a bright, crisp viewing experience. The display also features True Color viewing powered by eeColor, which enables customers to enjoy true, rich consistent color in nearly any lighting environment.
  • The XPS 15 continues to be a multimedia powerhouse delivering the highest resolution in its class, and incredible power in an ultra-thin, light wedge design, starting at 4.44lbsi. The XPS 15 is the first 15.6-inch laptop in the world to feature a Quad HD+ display, and also available with a touch option, boasts over 5.7 million pixels – five times the amount of standard HD – for jaw-dropping resolution. Designed for creative enthusiasts, the XPS 15 packs 4th Generation Intel Core i5 and i7 quad core processor options and NVIDIA discrete graphics options. Every XPS 15 boots and resumes within seconds with hard drive configuration options from 500GB to 1TB[ii], both with a 32GB mSATA SSD, to a 512GB solid state drive, all including Intel Rapid Start Technology[iii].
  • The award-winning XPS 13, with its 13.3-inch, edge-to-edge display that innovatively fits into a footprint similar to an 11-inch laptop, is razor thin and light, starting at under 3lbsi. It is now even faster with 4thgeneration Intel Core processors, Intel HD 4400 graphics, and has longer battery life for the mobile professional who values a sleek design, responsiveness and ultimate mobility. Its Full HD display provides a brilliant viewing experience and is now even more versatile with a touch option.

“Dell appears to have its innovative mojo back,” said Tim Bajarin, President of Creative Strategies. “These new products clearly emphasize Dell’s commitment to create innovative mobile solutions for businesses and consumers and I believe represent some of the best products they have made in many years.”

Personal and Professional Content Anytime, Anywhere
The Dell PocketCloud application is pre-installed on all XPS and Venue products, helping users build their own “personal cloud” and remotely manage personal and professional content. By combining PocketCloud with the portability of the new Venue tablets and XPS laptops, mobile workers will be able to enjoy an easy and connected experience with access to all of their apps and content from virtually anywhere.

Get the Most Out of Your Technology with Dell Services
Dell customers can get the most out of their technology with Dell Services, dedicated to keeping them connected and productive, whether they’re using their Dell Venue tablet or XPS purchase for work or home. In addition to the Dell Limited Hardware Warranty, consumers can elect to include additional protection such as Accidental Damage Service[iv], Premium Phone Support and Rapid Return for Repair after Remote Diagnosis[v], which means that their system will be repaired and returned to them within 3-5 business days after remote diagnosis. Likewise, business customers can be rest assured that their devices will fit seamlessly and securely into their corporate IT environment with Dell Enterprise Services like ProSupport[vi] on the Dell Venue 8 Pro and Venue 11 Pro tablets.

Availability and Pricing
The Dell Venue 7, Venue 8, Venue 8 Pro, and new XPS 15 will be available from October 18 on www.dell.com in the United States and select countries around the world. The Venue 11 Pro, XPS 11 and the updated XPS 13 with touch will be available in November. Starting prices are as follows:

  • Venue 7: $149.99
  • Venue 8: $179.99
  • Venue 8 Pro: $299.99
  • Venue 11 Pro: $499.99
  • New XPS 15: $1,499.99
  • XPS 11: $999.99
  • New XPS 13: $999.99

About Dell
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

Dell World
Join us at Dell World 2013, Dell’s premier customer event exploring how technology solutions and services are driving business innovation. Learn more at www.dellworld.com and follow #DellWorldon Twitter.

Dell, Dell Venue and XPS are trademarks of Dell Inc. Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.

[i] Weights vary depending on configuration and manufacturing variability.
[ii] Hard drives: GB means 1 billion bytes and TB equals 1 trillion bytes; actual capacity varies with preloaded material and operating environment and will be less.
[iii] Intel Rapid Start Technology: Requires a Solid-State Drive (SSD) or properly configured HDD + SSD.
For copy of Limited Hardware Warranty, write Dell USA LP, Attn: Warranties, One Dell Way, Round Rock, TX 78682 or see http://www.dell.com/warranty
[iv] Accidental Damage Service excludes theft, loss and damage due to fire, flood or other acts of nature, or intentional damage. Customer may be required to return unit to Dell. For complete details, visitwww.dell.com/servicecontracts
[v] Remote Diagnosis is determination by online/phone technician of cause of issue, which may take multiple extended sessions. If issue is covered by Limited Hardware Warranty and not resolved remotely, shipping instructions will be provided. Next Business Day shipping not available in all areas, which may delay repair and return times. Other conditions apply. For complete details about Rapid Return for Repair after Remote Diagnosis Service, visit Dell.com/servicecontracts.
[vi] Availability and terms of Dell Services vary by region. For more information, visitwww.dell.com/servicedescriptions.

Android to overtake the overall PC market?

I came to this after the recent posts of mine (between July 20 and August 17, 2013):

as well as after the accumulated contents of my separated website on the whole issue of ‘USD99 Allwinner’ devoted to a multifaceted disruption to not only the traditional PC market but even to the current tablet market as the analyst companies are viewing that.

Those analyst companies are already hinting indirectly to the possibility of Android (sooner or later) overtaking the overall PC market via the following headlines which I derived from their recent press release contents:

  • IDC: ‘Tablets will surpass portable PC volumes already this year’
  • Gartner: ‘Traditional PC shipments to decline as tablets are becoming the primary consumption device’
  • Digitimes Research: ‘Overtaking iPad will happen in 2H13’
  • Canalys says ‘Yes’
  • EnfoDesk (Analysys International) from China says ‘For sure, as it is already happening against the iPad in China even at a nascent stage of the local tablet market’

You can read those release in the detailed sections given below.

Before that first note: Everything is rooted in the established fact that: TrendForce: iPad Marked Historically Low Market Share 35% of Global Q2 Tablet Shipment [press release, July 25, 2013] (although the exact number differs between the different market research organisations, as you will see in the detailed sections below)

image

According to the survey by WitsView, the display research division of the global market intelligence provider TrendForce, the global shipment of the 7” tablets with WSVGA resolution and above attained 41.1 million units, dropping 12.4% from the previous quarter. The seasonal factor, the generation shuffles for some mainstream products, and the inventory adjustments amid the weakening sales were all key reasons for declining shipments.

WitsView’s research director Eric Chiou says that Apple, as one single brand that controls the most volumetric tablet shipment, saw its 9.7” iPad entering the end of life cycle in Q2, and iPad mini’s relatively selling prices caused slow sales and the impacts from the inventory adjustments, leading to a dropping shipment of 14.6 million units compared with 19.5 million units in Q1. On top of the quarterly drop as high as 25%, its market share has dropped to 35.5%, the new historical low.

Samsung’s ambition of boosting the tablet shipment was also shown on the Q2 shipment. Despite its slightly decreased shipment of 8.8 million units from the previous quarter, the Korean maker’s market share, supported by the newly launched 8” model, grew from 20.2% to 21.5%, still a remarkable result. As for the two leading PC brands, Asus and Acer, their business cores both were placed on the under-$130 7” products, and the price-cutting strategy helped them become the two of a few brands counter to the declining trend, seeing excellent QoQ growth of 60% and 36%, respectively.

“The two long-term winners of the entry-level tablet segment, Amazon and Google, showed unideal shipment results, holding shipment volumes of only 1.1 million and 0.9 million units, respectively,” Chiou indicates. Amazon’s 2013 new models are all concentrated after September and the brand is in an empty-product period, while Google’s fighter model Nexus 7 had the 1st generation approach the end of life cycle in Q2 and saw a significantly dropping shipment. The single-quarter shipment will bounce back to more than 2 million units in Q3 as the 2nd generation product is projected to ship smoothly.

The white-box tablet couldn’t avoid the decline in Q2. The price increases and the short supply for the key component RAM led to double strikes of cost increase and insufficient supply to white-box tablets that had smaller production scales, in addition to brands’ strongly promoted entry-level tablets that squeezed their room for survival. Under both the internal and external impacts, the white-box tablet saw a shipment volume of only 9.7 million units, declining 7% QoQ

Based on WitsView’s analysis, on top of Amazon’s yearly new 7” model and the 2nd generation of Nexus 7, several highly-anticipated models will be revealed in Q3, including Apple’s heavyweight Generation 5 iPad and the new Android 10.1” tablet intensively designed by PC brands. With the stimulation of improved spec and tempting prices, the Q3 shipment is projected to reach an amount of 49.6 million units, challenging a QoQ growth of 21%. The tablet shipment for the entire 2013 is estimated at 196.5 million units, including 153.2 million units of brand tablets and 43.3 million units of white-box tablets.

The second well established fact affecting the future is that Surface RT was a huge market failure first recognized indirectly via the FORM 10-K submission of the Microsoft on July 18, 2013.

… The general availability of Surface RT and Windows 8 started on October 26, 2012. The general availability of Surface Pro started on February 9, 2013. …

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

includes a charge for Surface RT inventory adjustments recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013, which decreased operating income by $900 million, net income by $596 million, and diluted earnings per share by $0.07. …

RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

  • Cost of revenue increased $2.7 billion or 16%, reflecting increased product costs associated with Surface and Windows 8, including an approximately $900 million charge for Surface RT inventory adjustments, higher headcount-related expenses, payments made to Nokia related to joint strategic initiatives, royalties on Xbox LIVE content, and retail stores expenses, offset in part by decreased costs associated with lower sales of Xbox 360 consoles and decreased traffic acquisition costs.
  • Sales and marketing expenses increased $1.4 billion or 10%, reflecting advertising of Windows 8 and Surface.

Windows Division

Fiscal year 2013 compared with fiscal year 2012

Windows Division revenue increased $839 million. Surface revenue was $853 million. …

Cost of revenue increased $1.8 billion, reflecting a $1.6 billion increase in product costs associated with Surface and Windows 8, including a charge for Surface RT inventory adjustments of approximately $900 million. Sales and marketing expenses increased $1.0 billion or 34%, reflecting an $898 million increase in advertising costs associated primarily with Windows 8 and Surface.

The possibility of such failure was already recognized in my other posts:


IDC: ‘Tablets will surpass portable PC volumes already this year’

IDC Forecasts Worldwide Tablet Shipments to Surpass Portable PC Shipments in 2013, Total PC Shipments in 2015 [press release, May 28, 2013]

image

According to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, tablet shipments are expected to grow 58.7% year over year in 2013 reaching 229.3 million units, up from 144.5 million units last year. IDC now predicts tablet shipments will exceed those of portable PCs this year, as the slumping PC market is expected to see negative growth for the second consecutive year. In addition, IDC expects tablet shipments to outpace the entire PC market (portables and desktops combined) by 2015. (A press release summarizing IDC’s latest PC market forecast can be found here.)

“What started as a sign of tough economic times has quickly shifted to a change in the global computing paradigm with mobile being the primary benefactor,” said Ryan Reith, Program Manager for IDC’s Mobility Trackers. “Tablets surpassing portables in 2013, and total PCs in 2015, marks a significant change in consumer attitudes about compute devices and the applications and ecosystems that power them. IDC continues to believe that PCs will have an important role in this new era of computing, especially among business users. But for many consumers, a tablet is a simple and elegant solution for core use cases that were previously addressed by the PC.”

While Apple has been at the forefront of the tablet revolution, the current market expansion has been increasingly fueled by low-cost Android devices. In 2013, the worldwide average selling price (ASP) for tablets is expected to decline -10.8% to $381. In comparison, the ASP of a PC in 2013 is nearly double that at $635. IDC expects tablet prices to decline further, which will allow vendors to deliver a viable computing experience into the hands of many more people at price points the PC industry has strived to meet for years.

“Apple’s success in the education market has proven that tablets can be used as more than just a content consumption or gaming device,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Research Analyst for the Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. “These devices are learning companions, and as tablet prices continue to drop, the dream of having a PC for every child gets replaced with the reality that we can actually provide a tablet for every child.”

In addition to lower prices, another major shift in the tablet market has occurred around screen sizes. Apple’s first generation iPad, which included a 9.7-inch display, was perceived by many as the sweet spot for tablets. That is, until 7-inch Android-based tablets began to gain traction in the market. Apple responded with the iPad mini in the fourth quarter of 2012, and in the space of two quarters the sub-8-inch category exploded to overtake the larger-sized segment in terms of total shipments.

Worldwide Tablet Market Share by Screen Size Band, 2011 – 2017

Screen Size

2011

2013

2017

< 8″

27%

55%

57%

8″ – 11″

73%

43%

37%

11″+

0%

2%

6%

Total

100%

100%

100%

Source: IDC Worldwide Tablet Tracker, May 28, 2013.

* Forecast Data

Table Notes:

  • Shipments include shipments to distribution channels or end users. OEM sales are counted under the vendor/brand under which they are sold.
  • IDC considers all LCD-based slate devices with screens between 7 and 16 inches as tablets, regardless of whether or not they include a removable keyboard (such as the Surface RT). Convertible devices with non-removable keyboards (such as Lenovo’s Yoga) are not counted as Tablets.

Tablet Shipments Slow in the Second Quarter As Vendors Look To Capitalize on a Strong Second Half of 2013, According to IDC [press release, Aug 5, 2013]

image

As expected, worldwide tablet shipment growth slowed in the second quarter of 2013 (2Q13), according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation (IDC)Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker. Worldwide tablet shipments finally experienced a sequential decline as total volumes fell -9.7% from 1Q13. However, the 45.1 million units shipped in the second quarter was up 59.6% from the same quarter in 2012, when tablet vendors shipped 28.3 million devices.

Lacking a new product launch in March to help spur shipments, Apple’s iPad saw a lower-than-predicted shipment total of 14.6 million units for the quarter, down from 19.5 million in 1Q13. In years past, Apple has launched a new tablet heading into the second quarter, which resulted in strong quarter-over-quarter growth. Now, Apple is expected to launch new tablet products in the second half of the year, a move that better positions it to compete during the holiday season. Meanwhile, the other two vendors in the top 3 also saw a decline in their unit shipments during the quarter. Second-place Samsung shipped 8.1 million units, down from 8.6 million in the first quarter of 2013, although up significantly from the 2.1 million units shipped in 2Q12. And third-place ASUS shipped a total of 2.0 million units in 2Q13, down from 2.6 million in 1Q13.

“A new iPad launch always piques consumer interest in the tablet category and traditionally that has helped both Apple and its competitors,” said Tom Mainelli, Research Director, Tablets at IDC. “With no new iPads, the market slowed for many vendors, and that’s likely to continue into the third quarter. However, by the fourth quarter we expect new products from Apple, Amazon, and others to drive impressive growth in the market.”

Not all vendors experienced a slowdown during the quarter. PC stalwarts Lenovo and Acer both re-entered the top five this quarter. Lenovo continued to make headway into the world of mobility and for the first time had shipments surpass the million unit mark in a quarter, shipping a total of 1.5 million devices. This was up 313.9% from a year ago and enough to capture 3.3% market share. Rounding out the top 5 was Acer, which shipped 1.4 million tablets in 2Q13 for 247.9% year-over-year growth and an increase of 35.4% over the first quarter of 2013.

“The tablet market is still evolving and vendors can rise and fall quickly as a result,” said Ryan Reith, Program Manager for IDC’s Mobility Tracker programs. “Apple aside, the remaining vendors are still very much figuring out which platform strategy will be successful over the long run. To date, Android has been far more successful than the Windows 8 platform. However, Microsoft-fueled products are starting to make notable progress into the market.”

Top Five Tablet Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Second Quarter 2013 (Shipments in millions)

Vendor
2Q13 Unit Ship-ments
2Q13 Market Share
2Q12 Unit Ship-ments
2Q12 Market Share
Year-over-Year Growth
1. Apple
14.6
32.4%
17.0
60.3%
-14.1%
2.Samsung
8.1
18.0%
2.1
7.6%
277.0%
3. ASUS
2.0
4.5%
0.9
3.3%
120.3%
4. Lenovo
1.5
3.3%
0.4
1.3%
313.9%
5. Acer
1.4
3.1%
0.4
1.4%
247.9%
Others
17.5
38.8%
7.4
26.2%
136.6%
Total
45.1
100.0%
28.3
100.0%
59.6%

Source: IDC Worldwide Tablet Tracker, August 5, 2013.

See additional Table Notes following the last table.

Top Tablet Operating Systems, Shipments, and Market Share, Second Quarter 2013 (Shipments in Millions)

Vendor
2Q13 Unit Ship-ments
2Q13 Market Share
2Q12 Unit Ship-ments
2Q12 Market Share
Year-over-Year Growth
1. Android
28.2
62.6%
10.7
38.0%
162.9%
2. iOS
14.6
32.5%
17.0
60.3%
-14.1%
3.Windows
1.8
4.0%
0.3
1.0%
527.0%
4. Windows RT
0.2
0.5%
N/A
N/A
N/A
5.BlackBerry OS
0.1
0.3%
0.2
0.7%
-32.8%
Others
0.1
0.2%
N/A
N/A
N/A
Total
45.1
100.0%
28.3
100.0%
59.6%

Source: IDC Worldwide Tablet Tracker, August 5, 2013

Table Notes:

  • All data are preliminary and subject to change. Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.
  • Some IDC estimates prior to financial earnings reports.
  • Shipments include shipments to distribution channels or end users. OEM sales are counted under the vendor/brand under which they are sold.
  • IDC considers all LCD-based slate devices with screens between 7 and 16 inches as tablets, regardless of whether or not they include a removable keyboard (such as the Surface RT). Convertible devices with non-removable keyboards (such as Lenovo’s Yoga) are not counted as Tablets.


Gartner: ‘Traditional PC shipments to decline as tablets are becoming the primary consumption device’

Gartner Says Worldwide PC, Tablet and Mobile Phone Shipments to Grow 5.9 Percent in 2013 as Anytime-Anywhere-Computing Drives Buyer Behavior [press release, June 24, 2013]

Traditional PC Shipments to Decline 10.6 Percent in 2013, While Tablet Shipments Increase 67.9 Percent

Worldwide devices (the combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones) are projected to reach 2.35 billion units in 2013, a 5.9 percent increase from 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. The market is being driven by sales in tablets, smartphones, and to a lesser extent, ultramobiles, as PC shipments are on the decline.

Worldwide traditional PC (desk-based and notebook) shipments are forecast to total 305 million units in 2013, a 10.6 percent decline from 2012 , while the PC market including ultramobiles is forecast to decline 7.3 percent in 2013 (see Table 1). Tablet shipments are expected to grow 67.9 percent, with shipments reaching 202 million units, while the mobile phone market will grow 4.3 percent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units. The sharp decline in PC sales recorded in the first quarter was the result in a change in preferences in consumers’ wants and needs, but also an adjustment in the channel to make room for new products hitting the market in the second half of 2013.

“Consumers want anytime-anywhere computing that allows them to consume and create content with ease, but also share and access that content from a different portfolio of products. Mobility is paramount in both mature and emerging markets,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

Table 1
Worldwide Devices Shipments by Segment (Thousands of Units)

Device Type

2012

2013

2014

PC (Desk-Based and Notebook)

341,273

305,178

289,239

Ultramobile

9,787

20,301

39,824

Tablet

120,203

201,825

276,178

Mobile Phone

1,746,177

1,821,193

1901,188

Total

2,217,440

2,348,497

2,506,429

Source: Gartner (June 2013)

Demand for ultramobiles (which includes Chromebooks, thin and light clamshell designs, and slate and hybrid devices running Windows 8) will come from upgrades of both notebooks and premium tablets, such as the Apple iPad or Galaxy Tab10.1. Analysts said ultramobile devices are gaining in attractiveness and drawing demand away from other devices. This will be even more evident in the fourth quarter of 2013 when the combination of new design based on Intel processors Bay Trail and Haswell running on Windows 8.1 will hit the market. Although these devices will only marginally help overall sales volumes initially, they are expected to help vendors increase average selling prices (ASPs) and margins.

The tablet and smartphone markets are facing some challenges as these devices gain longer life cycles. There has also been a shift as many consumers go from premium tablets to basic tablets. The share of basic tablets is expected to increase faster than anticipated, as sales of the iPad Mini already represented 60 percent of overall iOS tablet sales in the first quarter of 2013.

“The increased availability of lower priced basic tablets, plus the value add shifting to software rather than hardware will result in the lifetimes of premium tablets extending as they remain active in the household for longer. We will also see consumer preferences split between basic tablets and ultramobile devices,” said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner. “With mobile phones, volume expectations for 2013 have been brought down as the life cycles lengthen as consumers wait for new models and lower prices to hit the market in the Fall and holiday season. The challenge in the smartphone market is also that, as penetration moves more and more to the mass market, price points are lowering and in most cases so do margins.”

“Although the numbers seem to paint a clear picture of who the winner will be when it comes to operating systems (OS) in the device market (see Table 2), the reality is that today ecosystem owners are challenged in having the same relevance in all segments,” said Ms. Milanesi. “Apple is currently the more homogeneous presence across all device segments, while 90 percent of Android sales are currently in the mobile phone market and 85 percent of Microsoft sales are in the PC market.”

Table 2
Worldwide Devices Shipments by Operating System (Thousands of Units)

Operating System

2012

2013

2014

Android

505,509

866,781

1,061,270

Windows

346,464

339,545

378,142

iOS/MacOS

212,878

296,356

354,849

RIM

34,584

25,224

22,291

Others

1,118,004

820,592

689,877

Total

2,217,440

2,348,497

2,506,429

Source: Gartner (June 2013)

Additionally, with enterprises’ growing acceptance of bring your own device (BYOD), there is an increase in consumer-owned devices in the computing world. Gartner forecasts that computing devices bought by consumers will grow from 65 percent in 2013 to 72 percent in 2017. This signifies the growing importance of designing for the consumer inside the enterprise.

Gartner’s detailed market forecast data is available in the report, “Forecast: Devices by Operating System and User Type, Worldwide, 2010-2017, 2Q13 Update.” The report is on Gartner’s website athttp://www.gartner.com/resId=2524916.

Gartner Says Worldwide PC Shipments in the Second Quarter of 2013 Declined 10.9 Percent [press release, July 10, 2013]

PC Industry Continues to Shrink as the Installed Base Restructures to Accommodate Tablets as the Primary Consumption Device

Worldwide PC shipments dropped to 76 million units in the second quarter of 2013, a 10.9 percent decrease from the same period last year, according to preliminary results by Gartner, Inc. This marks the fifth consecutive quarter of declining shipments, which is the longest duration of decline in the PC market’s history.

All regions showed a decline compared to a year ago. The fall in the Asia/Pacific PC market continued, showing five consecutive quarters of the shipment decline, while the EMEA PC market registered two consecutive quarters of double-digit decline.

“We are seeing the PC market reduction directly tied to the shrinking installed base of PCs, as inexpensive tablets displace the low-end machines used primarily for consumption in mature and developed markets,” said Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner. “In emerging markets, inexpensive tablets have become the first computing device for many people, who at best are deferring the purchase of a PC. This is also accounting for the collapse of the mini notebook market.”

HP and Lenovo’s neck-and-neck competition continued. This time, Lenovo was back in the top position by only a small difference in share (see Table 1). Lenovo showed mixed regional results, as it experienced strong growth in the Americas and EMEA, while showing a major decline in Asia/Pacific. Weakness in China was most likely the contributor of Lenovo’s shipment decline in the region as the majority of Lenovo’s volume came from China.

While HP was slightly behind Lenovo, HP is a market leader in key regions including the U.S., EMEA and Latin America. Asia/Pacific has been a weakness the last three years for HP, but preliminary second quarter results suggest an improvement of their performance in the region.

Table 1
Preliminary Worldwide PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q13 (Units)

Company
2Q13 Ship-ments
2Q13 Market Share (%)
2Q12 Ship-ments
2Q12 Market Share (%)
2Q12-2Q13 Growth (%)
Lenovo
12,677,265
16.7
12,755,068
14.9
-0.6
HP
12,402,887
16.3
13,028,822
15.3
-4.8
Dell
8,984,634
11.8
9,349,171
11.0
-3.9
Acer Group
6,305,000
8.3
9,743,663
11.4
-35.3
ASUS
4,590,071
6.0
5,772,043
6.8
-20.5
Others
31,041,130
40.8
34,675,824
40.6
-10.5
Total
76,000,986
100.0
85,324,591
100.0
-10.9

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.

Source: Gartner (July 2013)

Dell’s shipments declined compared to a year ago, but its 2Q13 results showed a smaller decline than the past several quarters. Dell showed good growth in the U.S. and Japan, but struggled to increase shipments in Asia/Pacific and EMEA. Both Acer and ASUS showed steep declines compared to the second quarter last year. The decline was partly affected by their strategies to exit the mini-notebook market.

“While Windows 8 has been blamed by some as the reason for the PC market’s decline, we believe this is unfounded as it does not explain the sustained decline in PC shipments, nor does it explain Apple’s market performance,” Ms. Kitagawa said.

In the U.S. market, PC shipments totaled 15 million units in the second quarter of 2013, a 1.4 percent decline from the second quarter of 2012 (see Table 2). This decline was less than the past seven quarters, and the market grew 8.5 percent sequentially.

“Our preliminary results indicate that this reduced market decline was attributed to solid growth in the professional market,” Ms. Kitagawa said. “Three of the major professional PC suppliers, HP, Dell and Lenovo, all registered better than U.S. average growth rate. The end of Windows XP support potentially drove the remaining PC refresh in the U.S. professional market.” 

Table 2
Preliminary U.S. PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q13 (Units)

Company
2Q13 Ship-ments
2Q13 Market Share (%)
2Q12 Ship-ments
2Q12 Market Share (%)
2Q12-2Q13 Growth (%)
HP
3,957,761
26.4
3,976,041
26.2
-0.5
Dell
3,681,725
24.6
3,458,736
22.8
6.4
Apple
1,740,500
11.6
1,818,959
12.0
-4.3
Lenovo
1,515,562
10.1
1,266,109
8.3
19.7
Toshiba
848,984
5.7
1,006,900
6.6
-15.7
Others
3,230,717
21.6
3,659,220
24.1
-11.7
Total
14,975,249
100.0
15,185,965
100.0
-1.4

Note: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.

Source: Gartner (July 2013)

PC shipments in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) were weakened in the second quarter of 2013, with a 16.8 per cent decline over the same period last year, marking the fifth consecutive quarter of decreasing shipments.

“The sharp decline in the second quarter of 2013 was partly due to the shift in usage patterns away from notebooks to tablets, and partly because the PC market was exposed to inventory reductions in the channel due to the start of the transition to new Haswell-based products,” said Isabelle Durand, principal research analyst at Gartner. “Touch-based notebooks still account for less than 10 per cent of the total consumer notebook shipments in the last quarter.”

“Shipment levels remained weak in Western Europe in the second quarter of 2013 as PC replacement rates continued to be extremely low, while the challenging economic environment is muting spending in consumer markets,” said Ms Durand. “Shipments in Eastern Europe also remained low as this is typically a quiet quarter for business buyers in the region, and consumers are predominantly looking for Android-based tablets. In the Middle East and Africa, tablet and smartphone adoption also continued to draw demand away from PCs in the second quarter of 2013.”

Despite the steep shipment decline, HP retained the top position in EMEA due to better results in the professional PC market. Lenovo was the only top five vendor to exhibit shipment growth, recording a fourth consecutive quarter of growth and taking second place in the EMEA PC vendor rankings in the second quarter of 2013.

Acer exhibited the worst performance of the second quarter with a shipment decline of 38.5 percent year-on-year. Most of Acer’s decline resulted from its portfolio shifting away from netbooks to Android tablets. ASUS also experienced a PC shipment decline in the second quarter 2013. The drop of its netbooks continued to impact its overall notebook results.

Table 3

Preliminary EMEA PC Vendor Unit Shipment Estimates for 2Q13 (Units)

Company
2Q13 Ship-ments
2Q13 Market Share (%)
2Q12 Ship-ments
2Q12 Market Share (%)
2Q12-2Q13 Growth (%)
HP
3,779,160
17.8
4,683,376
18.3
-19.3
Lenovo
2,641,622
12.4
2,180,362
8.5
21.2
Acer Group
2,456,255
11.5
3,995,518
15.6
-38.5
Dell
1,979,895
9.3
2,173,552
8.5
-8.9
ASUS
1,743,345
8.2
2,670,268
10.4
-34.7
Others
8,675,143
40.8
9,864,285
38.6
-12.1
Total
21,275,420
100.0
25,567,361
100.0
-16.8

Notes: Data includes desk-based PCs and mobile PCs, including x86 tablets equipped with Windows 8. All data is estimated, based on a preliminary study. Final estimates will be subject to change. The statistics are based on the shipments selling into channels.

Source: Gartner (July 2013)

In Asia/Pacific, PC shipments surpassed 26.8 million units in the second quarter of 2013, an 11.5 percent decline from the first quarter of 2012. All country markets across the region showed weakness, but India performed slightly better due to a state PC tender fulfillment. China’s PC shipment remained weak as the consumer market was hampered with lack of new demand generation programs, such as subsidized PC program in the rural cities.

These results are preliminary. Final statistics will be available soon to clients of Gartner’s PC Quarterly Statistics Worldwide by Region program. This program offers a comprehensive and timely picture of the worldwide PC market, allowing product planning, distribution, marketing and sales organizations to keep abreast of key issues and their future implications around the globe. Additional research can be found on Gartner’s Computing Hardware section on Gartner’s website at http://www.gartner.com/it/products/research/asset_129157_2395.jsp.


Digitimes Research: ‘Overtaking iPad will happen in 2H13’

Digitimes Research: iPad sees its first on-year shipment drop in 2Q13 [July 29, 2013]

image

Global tablet shipments reached 29.32 million units in the second quarter of 2013, down 8.2% sequentially, but still up 46.6% compared to the same period a year ago. As overall market demand is declining, both iPad and non-iPad product shipments have been impacted. Because of the iPad mini’s significant shipment drop, Apple’s tablet shipments in the second quarter were only 14.6 million units, down 25.1% sequentially and 2.7% on year, according to Digitimes Research’s latest figures.

As for non-iPad tablet shipments, non-Apple brand vendors’ new products and the second-generation Nexus 7 have both contributed to the volume, helping it to grow 18.5% on quarter and reach 14.72 million units. However, since Samsung Electronics and Lenovo have both increased their in-house production rates, Taiwan’s share of global tablet shipments dropped below 70% in the second quarter with shipments of only 20.38 million units, Digitimes Research figures showed.

In terms of brand vendors’ ranking, Apple and Samsung Electronics were the top-two players, followed by Asustek Computer third, Lenovo fourth and Acer sixth. As for processor rankings, MediaTek was the third-largest supplier in the second quarter thanks to its strategy of pushing mainly in the entry-level segment, only behind Apple and Texas Instruments (TI). Nvidia was the fourth largest with Samsung and Intel following closely behind.

Digitimes Research: Tablet shipments to grow 17.7% on year in 2H13 [Aug 6, 2013]

image

Tablet shipments in the second half are expected to reach 82.07 million units, up 17.7% on year; however, several changes will also occur during the period: hardware brand vendors will dominate the small-size tablet segment; non-iPad tablet shipments will surpass those of iPad; closed Android platforms will be impacted by the official Android platform; and Qualcomm and MediaTek will replace Texas Instruments (TI) and Nvidia in the non-Apple camp, according to Digitimes Research’s latest figures.

Small-size devices are expected to become mainstream products of the tablet market, accounting for 70% of total shipments in the second half. Non-iPad tablet shipments are also expected to surpass those of iPad and reach 45.07 million units. With the non-iPad camp’s strong shipments, over 50% of global tablets will adopt the Android operating system in the second half, Digitimes Research estimates.

Android’s large market share will also strongly impact closed Android platforms such as Amazon’s operating system for its tablets due to lack of key application support.

The Retina display-featured iPad mini may not appear before the end of 2013 due to the panel’s weak yield rate and the possibility that the device may undermine sales of the new high-end iPad. As a result, Apple’s shipments in the second half may drop to 37 million units with an on-year growth of 3%.

As for Windows-based tablets, although Microsoft is offering more price cuts for its Small Screen Touch (SST) program, the deal is unlikely to help push vendors to release Windows-based devices and the platform will only account for 3.8% of second-half tablet shipments.

Qualcomm became the processor supplier of the second-generation Nexus 7 and the third-generation Kindle Fire, replacing Nvidia and TI. Qualcomm will ship close to 10 million processors in the second half of 2013, becoming the largest CPU supplier of the non-Apple camp. MediaTek, thanks to its hardware brand clients’ small-size tablet orders, will become the second largest supplier, followed by Samsung Electronics and Intel, both of whom will ship over seven million units.

Taiwan makers’s tablet shipments will reach 59.45 million units in the second half, but as Samsung and Lenovo are increasing their in-house production rates, Taiwan makers’ share of global tablet shipments will drop to around 70%. As ODMs are aggressively competing for orders, Apple, Amazon and Asustek Computer will no longer place most of their orders with only Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) and Quanta Computer and will spread out their orders more evenly, Digitimes Research believes.


Canalys says ‘Yes’

Small tablets drive big share gains for Android [Canalys press release, Aug 1, 2013]
– Android overtakes iOS with 53% market share in tablets

Over 34 million tablets shipped in Q2 2013, a 43% year-on-year increase. Tablets now account for 31% of worldwide PC shipments. But Apple’s performance faltered. Its tablet shipments declined 14% on Q2 2012 and its market share dropped to 43%. The chasing pack of Samsung, Amazon, Lenovo and Acer each grew annually by over 200%, driven by increasing demand for small-screen tablets. Canalys estimates that 68% of tablets shipped in Q2 had a screen size smaller than 9″. ‘Consumers have been evaluating tablets and the results are now in,’ said Tim Coulling, Canalys Senior Analyst. ‘With touch-screens contributing to a high proportion of the build cost of a tablet, small-screen products can be priced very aggressively.’

image

Apple’s decline in shipments and share has been partly attributed to its aging portfolio. But Canalys believes that new product launches will have less impact on its shipments in future. ‘When Apple does decide to refresh its iPad range it will not experience the buzz of previous launches,’ said Canalys Analyst James Wang. ‘Tablets are now mainstream products and hardware innovation is increasingly difficult. With branded Android tablets available for less than $150, the PC market has never been so good for consumers, who are voting with their wallets.’ The move to smaller tablets has sparked a price war that has real consequences for the entire supply chain. These products generate little absolute margin for channel partners, vendors or component manufacturers. Content, applications and accessories (especially cases and keyboards) are now even more important to boost margins – areas where Apple remains a leader.

In addition to disappearing margins, inventory management is emerging as a major challenge. If a vendor overcommits at the product planning stage, unsold inventory can play havoc with a company’s balance sheet, even with other hit products in a portfolio. The market for full-sized tablets has stalled and even Apple has found it harder to sell its larger iPads in recent quarters. ‘Microsoft’s inventory issues with the Surface have been well publicized,’ said Coulling. ‘Heavily discounted Surface RTs will fly off the shelves. Expect prices to continue to fall though, as the starting price of $350 is still too expensive to spark an HP TouchPad-style buying frenzy.’

Despite its 53% share, Android still lags far behind iOS in the availability of fully-optimized tablet apps, and tablet app downloads from the Apple App Store dwarf those from Google Play. But Android is expected to continue to close the ecosystem lead iOS has in tablets and increase share in coming quarters. ‘Developers can and will quickly switch their priorities as different opportunities evolve and improve,’ said Canalys Senior Analyst Tim Shepherd. ‘We expect to see a substantial increase in the quantity, as well as the quality, of apps built or optimized for Android tablets over the next 12 months, as Google brings more attention to them through improvements to the Play store, and as the addressable base of devices continues to soar.’

While it is true that Apple is losing its stranglehold on the tablet market in terms of volume, it will remain its most profitable vendor for years to come. Apple has already faced a similar battle in the smart phone market, and it now looks increasingly likely that it is readying a product that can address lower price tiers and high-growth markets in that space. If this is indeed the case, Apple could replicate a similar portfolio play in the tablet market. It will be in no rush – after all, the launch of the iPad mini was designed to address this segment. But its hand could be forced if competitors’ prices continue to plummet. The margin models in the smart phone and tablet markets are very different. It will still make good margin on a cheaper iPhone but will struggle to do so with a cheaper tablet, and would instead need to rely increasingly on accessory sales and, likely, subsidy from apps and content purchases.

PC market flat in Q2 2013, despite tablet growth [Canalys press release, Aug 6, 2013]
– Android takes 17% of PC market in Q2 as PC vendors turn to Google for tablets

The worldwide PC market experienced a quarter without growth, as a 42.9% increase in tablet shipments was offset by declines in desktop and notebook shipments, which fell 7.4% and 13.9% respectively. Despite tablet growth slowing in Q2, Canalys still believes that tablets will outsell notebooks by Q4 of this year.

image

PC shipments in EMEA fell by 3% year-on-year in Q2, the first decline after two successive quarters of double-digit growth. Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe continue to be challenging for vendors, with annual declines of 10% and 3% respectively. PC shipments in the Asia Pacific region declined 0.5% year-on-year to just over 40 million units. The region was badly affected by slow shipments in the People’s Republic of China, which accounted for almost 45% of the region’s shipments and declined by approximately 6%. Demand for smart phones and tablets is increasing around the world. Faced by an industry in transition, channel partners are exercising caution when planning and placing orders.

Apple remained the top PC vendor in Q2, with a 4.5 million unit lead over second-placed Lenovo. But Apple’s share fell more than two percentage points to 17.1% from 19.4% in Q2 last year due an annual decrease in iPad shipments. Desktop and notebook shipments only accounted for around 20% of its total PC shipments. With tablet vendors attacking Apple on price it must bring fresh innovation to future generations of its iPad range if it is to maintain the lead it has built in the PC market.

Lenovo had a strong quarter, gaining share in its core notebook and desktop categories, as well as tablets. Its performance in Q2 was helped by strong annual growth in EMEA (34%), the US (28%) and Latin America (93%). Lenovo’s tablet business also performed well – it shipped around 1.5 million units. ‘It is striking how successful it has been in globalizing its PC business and breaking the 1 million unit barrier is an important milestone for its tablet shipments,’ noted Canalys Analyst James Wang. ‘Lenovo is on an upward curve with its tablets, expanding in mainland China and Latin America, where there is little competition from the likes of Google or Amazon.’

HP has overtaken Samsung to regain third place. HP has recently changed its tablet strategy and launched its first Android tablet in Q2, the Slate 7. ‘HP has a broad enterprise portfolio, channel relationships and global reach that others still cannot match,’ said Canalys Research Analyst Pin-Chen Tang. ‘To increase its market share it should look to leverage its strengths in the enterprise to advance Android in business.’

iOS and Android have profited from the shift to tablets, as they have proved to be the only type of PC with any momentum. Android’s share of the total PC market increased to 17% in Q2 2013 from 6% a year ago. With the likes of HP, Lenovo and Samsung looking to use Android to compete with iOS in the tablet space, the platform is well placed to continue increasing its share. Google is targeting the consumer market and has its sights set on beating Apple in the smart phone and tablet space. Android remains weak in management and security, which is preventing commercial uptake. Google, or its partners, must address this shortfall quickly if it is to penetrate the enterprise

There has been rapid innovation in the Windows category, as vendors such as HP, Lenovo, Toshiba and Acer have built PCs using a variety of new form factors. These products are struggling to take off as the difference in price between Android and Windows-based tablets remains high. ‘Component pricing has been an issue, particularly with multi-touch screens, though scale economies make this less of an issue as demand increases. The price of Windows itself is a contributing factor and one that Microsoft must address as a matter of urgency. Its PC OEM partners are in an increasingly difficult position and consolidation in the PC market is inevitable within the next 12 months,’ said Tim Coulling, Canalys Senior Analyst.

Half a billion PCs to ship in 2013 as tablet sales rocket [Canalys press release, June 11, 2013] – Tablet shipments to grow by 59% this year to reach 182.5 million units

Canalys’ latest forecasts for the PC market (desktops, notebooks and tablets) predict that 493.1 million units will ship in 2013, representing 7% year-on-year growth. The key driver behind this growth will be tablets, which will account for 37% of the market, up from a quarter in 2012. Looking ahead to 2017, Canalys expects that 713.8 million PCs will ship worldwide (a CAGR of 9.7%), with 64% being tablets and 25% notebooks.

Worldwide demand for tablets has gone from strength to strength, while that for desktops and notebooks has waned. In the first quarter of 2013, the desktop market fell 10.3% and the notebook market declined 13.1%. The size of the tablet market, however, more than doubled in Q1 2013, with a 106.1% increase in shipments to 41.9 million units. Shipments show no sign of slowing and Canalys forecasts that in 2013 tablet shipments will reach 182.5 million units, with global tablet shipments surpassing those of notebooks in the final quarter of the year.

The reception to Windows 8 has not reinvigorated demand for Microsoft-based PCs but there is a glimmer of hope for OEMs with Microsoft’s plan to release Windows 8.1 as a free upgrade. ‘Microsoft will continue to innovate. New versions will come and its OS release cycle will gain speed. But it must address some of the criticisms that have been directed at the OS’s user interface or it risks losing even more ground to iOS and Android in the PC space,’ said Tim Coulling, Senior Analyst at Canalys.

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A plethora of PC vendors have now come to market with cheaper Android devices, notably Acer, Asus and HP, but these vendors are joining a crowded market. ‘Shipment numbers can be high but absolute margins on these products are expected to be small. Low-priced tablets will not be lucrative but it is necessary to compete or a vendor will simply lose relevance and scale. In fact, accessories, particularly cases, as well as the new generation of high-tech ‘appcessories’ will likely provide higher margins than the products themselves,’ said Pin-Chen Tang, Research Analyst. ‘This new influx of Android devices will provide a boost to the platform and Canalys therefore expects Android to take a 45% share this year, behind Apple at 49% [this prediction failed already for Q2 results as was reported on Aug 1 by Canalys: ‘Android overtakes iOS with 53% market share in tablets‘]. The iPad mini is expected to continue selling well, becoming more significant in terms of the product mix and spawning a further increase in consumer demand for smaller tablets.’

The great hope for Windows 8 was that it would unleash new PC form factors, combining the best of both PCs and tablets. But James Wang, an Analyst at Canalys, noted, ‘These convertible products have disappointed so far. Convertibles are too heavy in tablet form and too expensive when compared with clamshell products. Canalys therefore expects that, for at least the next 18 months, consumers will buy separate products, rather than compromise on a Windows 8 convertible or hybrid PC. Even for Android products, alternative form factors are not expected to grow rapidly due to the category being sandwiched between low-cost slates and more familiar Windows-based clamshell notebooks.’ Out of the 388.1 million mobile PCs (notebooks and tablets) that Canalys forecasts will ship in 2013, it estimates that less than 2% will be hybrids or convertibles.

Another ray of light for PC vendors is that PC sales to businesses are, and will continue to be, far stronger than those to consumers. This trend favors the likes of HP and Lenovo, though competition will increase as others shift resources toward the commercial channels to maximize their opportunity.

Canalys definitions

Appcessories: Products that connect to applications on smart devices (smart phones, tablets and notebook PCs).

Clamshell: A notebook with keyboard/second screen fixed with a one-directional hinge only enabling movement up to 180⁰.

Convertible: A notebook with keyboard/second screen that can be converted to a tablet form factor.

Slate: A tablet that is not designed by its manufacturer to be fixed to a keyboard accessory with a hinge.

Hybrid: A tablet that is designed by its manufacturer to be fixed to a keyboard accessory with a hinge.

About Canalys

Canalys is an independent analyst firm that strives to guide clients on the future of the technology industry and to think beyond the business models of the past. We deliver smart market insights to IT, channel and service provider professionals around the world. Our customer-driven analysis and consulting services empower businesses to make informed decisions and generate sales. We stake our reputation on the quality of our data, our innovative use of technology, and our high level of customer service.


EnfoDesk (Analysys International) from China says ‘For sure, as it is already happening against the iPad in China even at a nascent stage of the local tablet market’

Industry data: 2013Q2 Chinese Tablet PC market sales of 3.58 million, the rapid expansion of domestic [products], apple [products] decline significantly [enfodesk.com, Aug 14, 2013] as translated by Google and Bing, with manual edits:

According to Analysys think tank EnfoDesk latest monitoring data shows that in the second quarter of 2013 tablet PC sales in China reached 3,576,000 units, up 5.2% Q/Q growth.

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According to Analysis think tank EnfoDesk in the last quarter of 2013 sales growth on the tablet PC market in China slowed down to only 5.2% Q/Q growth rate, mainly due to weak sales of Apple’s tablet computers, as its sales fell for the first time. And Samsung had eye-catching performance this quarter, after N5110 Galaxy Note 8 has been released, and sought after by the market, so the Samsung Tablet PC overall sales increased dramatically, pulling the overall market growth. Worth mentioning this quarter is that domestic brand tablet PCs, such as Teclast (台电) [see Teclast’s Tmall site in Chinese, or Pandawill’ Teclast global online site in English] and ONDA (昂达) [see ONDA’s global site in English] have gained more market share with their low prices, ultra high yield of price/performance, and best selling online channels.

Throughout the three major tablet platforms, iOS declined significantly, it will be difficult to stop its market share erosion trends; Windows was tepid, the release of Microsoft Surface and continuous price cuts did not enhance the Windows market activity; Android cut right through the market, by virtue of many manufacturers to compete, high performance models being abundant, covering all price points of consumer groups, and with product prices constantly being refreshed, quickly seized the tablet PC market. If Apple can not launch innovative tablet PC products in the near future, [the event of] Android surpassing iOS market share is around the corner.

Compare this to the situation in 2012:

Apple occupied 71.6% of consumer tablets sold in the China market during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to China-based Analysys International.

For business-use tablets alone, Eben had the largest market share at 41.9%, followed by Samsung Electronics with 21.0%, Asustek Computer with 6.6% and Lenovo with 4.5%, Analysys indicated.

Vendor

Market share

Apple

71.6%

Lenovo

10.2%

Eben

4.0%

Samsung

3.9%

Acer

2.3%

Asustek

1.5%

Teclast

1.0%

Source: Analysys, compiled by Digitimes, April 2013

According to the Quarterly Survey of China’s Tablet PC Market 2012Q3, 2.60 million sets tablet PC have been sold in Chinese market in Q3, 2012. Apple occupied 71.4% market share with a slight drop, Lenovo ranked second, reaching 10.52% and Ereneben ranked third with its market share being 3.61% and Samsung ranked fourth, taking up 3.53% market share.

image

EnfoDesk, Analysys International finds that 4 factors require our attention concerning China’s tablet PC manufacturers’ market layout in Q3, 2012:

  1. Compared with last quarter, Apple’s market share dropped from 72.66% to 71.42%. New iPad marketing promotions were made mainly in Q2. In Q3, iPad 2and The New iPad were in normal sales.
  2. The sales volume of Lenovo tablet PC rose considerably with its market share being 10.52%. Such a growth is resulted from the issue of its new products S2107 and S2109 and promotions when new semester begins for students.
  3. Ereneben issued its new product T5 in Q3, which drives the overall sales volume, and the price of T4 came down slightly in some provinces, thus increasing the sales volume of Ereneben.
  4. Samsung tablet PC enjoyed relatively stable sales in Chinese market. The company doubled their efforts in the marketing of tablet PC Note series (7 inches or above versions). Its branding effects gradually brought about and increased its sales in the Chinese market.

Besides, the research on e-business tablet PC market conducted by EnfoDesk, Analysys International shows that Ereneben ranked first with market share being 41.07%. Samsung offered Galaxy Note 10.1 e-tablet PC to consolidate its positioning in e-business tablet PC market. Its market share was 19.66% of total e-tablet PC market. Lenovo’s Thinkpad was in normal sales, only occupied 3.89% market share.

image

Analysys International: iPad took up 73% of Tablet PC Market 2012Q2 [Analysis International, published in English on May 16, 2013]

According to the Quarterly Survey of Tablet Market in China 2012Q2, released by EnfoDesk, Analysys International, market share of Apple rose to 72.66% with a sequential growth rate rising by 20.06%. Top 2 was Lenovo that witness a drop of its market share (Its market share was 8.38%). Eben ranked third with its market share being 3.63% and the market share of Samsung came down to 3.59% with its sequential growth rate dropping by 7.69%.

image

image

EnfoDesk Analysys International believes that three aspects should be noticed concerning the market layout of tablet PC market in Q2, 2012.

First, the market share of Apple has risen from 65.21% in Q1 to 72.66% in Q2. New iPad came into the market in March; however, since no substantial improvement has been made on the new products, consumers would rather wait to buy in Q2. The price reduction of iPad 2 promoted the sales volume of Apple products, allowing its market share to grow.

Second, compared with Q1, market share of Lenovo shrank. On one hand, it was a dull season; on the other hand, it was caused by its internal policy. In September, Lenovo will launch its promotion of new products when new term begins in September (during the peak season) and the company would rather clean up stocks of its other products in Q2.

Finally, iOS tablet PC suffers less seasonal factors than Android tablet PC. Currently, Android tablet PC market is getting stabilized. Solely relying on traditional sales channel to educate consumers was too slow and manufacturers could carry out more promotions to increase brand influence and brand concentration, grab the market share of smuggled products and clarify market layout of Android tablet PC. In addition, other tablet PC manufactures except Apple should consider its own market position and offer its unique products, gradually getting rid of homogenization of Android tablet PC. Eben as a leader in business tablet PC market offers unique products and its market positioning is clear.

According to the statistics recently released by Analysys International, 2.34 million tablet PCs were sold in China in Q2, 2012. The sequential growth rate has reached 7.8%.

image

Analysys International holds that sales growth of China’s tablet PC in Q2, 2012(The growth rate has reached 7.8%) is due to the following factors:

iPad directly triggered the market fluctuation. The price reduction of iPad forced the average price of tablet PC to go down. As a result, consumers with cash in hand developed their desire to buy and such a desire transformed into procurement, which allowed the sales volume to grow in the dull season.

EnfoDesk, Analysys International predicts that the future market layout will be even clearer. Android manufacturers and others will target middle and low-end consumers with an attempt to avoid direct competition with Apple. Even though the sales volume of Apple will increase, its market share will continue to shrink. The market share of Android manufacturers is expected to grow and the market concentration will increase. The smuggled products will face the question of survival and the market will get further standardized.

Research Definitions

Tablet PC is a portable mobile internet device accessible to the network. It has independent mobile OS and is able to expand its applications. The screen ranges from 5 to 11 inch. Touch screen or pen is served as a basic input device.

The Sales Volume is tablet PC manufacturers’ sale in China, including some overseas brands which are sold by a purchasing agency (OEM labeling products is regarded as the labeled brand. Some device manufacturers also sell some products to market abroad. This part of sales volume is not calculated in the said report).

Research Statement

The industrial analyses, provided by Analysys International, mainly reflect the current situation, trend, inflection point, commercial law and manufacturers’ situation. The figures and statistics are drawn by adopting a unique industrial analysis model combined with the research and study methods used by market, industry and manufactures. All the data are based on industrial macro and historical data, seasonal end-users’ and business information.

It is believed that data concluded from research into market and trade is within acceptable errors. It can reflect the trend and commercial laws accurately.

Results obtained by the means of professional research methods are for reference. The actual data can be obtained by checking on financial report issued by manufacturers.

About Analysys International

Analysys International is a leading advisor on the technology, media and telecom (TMT) industries in China. We provide data, information and advice to 50,000 clients worldwide representing 1,500 distinct organizations, deliver over 150 consulting engagements a year, and hold more than 20 events that draw in over 8,000 attendees. Our clients include executives from companies as technology vendors, vertical information technology users, as well as professionals from professional service companies, the investment community and government agencies. Our mission is simple and clear: we help our clients make better business decisions. For more information, please visit our website at http://english.analysys.com.cn.

About EnfoDesk

EnfoDesk is an industrial data base for subscription offered by Analysys International. It aims to help you perceive opportunities and risks in the Internet age with online database search, analyst interaction, market alarms and other functions. EnfoDesk can help you get information in time and know more about:

–        The business mode and trend of the Internet and mobile web market

–        The trend in policy towards the Internet and Internetized market

–        The activities and preferences of Internet and mobile web users

–        The potential clients and commercial opportunities

–        The more valuable partners and cooperation mode

–        The trend and effects of e-marketing

Microsoft betting on boosting Windows RT demand with top level ARM SoCs from its SoC partners, Windows 8.1 enhancements, Outlook addition to the Office 2013 RT and very deep tactical discounts to its OEM partners for tablet offerings of more value and capability

… especially valuable for small businesses, and even enterprises of different, larger sizes thanks to new enhancements in manageability, networking, and security announced at TechEd North America 2013 (see “Cloud first” from Microsoft is ready to change enterprise computing in all of its facets [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, June 4, 2013]).

Relevant excerpts from Nick Parker, Tami Reller, Antoine Leblond and Steve Guggenheimer: COMPUTEX 2013 Keynote Transcript [Microsoft, June 5, 2013]

The full record of the keynote from Notebookitalia which contains the below excerpts between [10:49] and [19:50] as indicated.

Tami Reller, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Windows:

[10:49] Bringing the power of Windows to tablets is a really big part of the vision of Windows 8 and of Windows RT, really a new class of tablets that offers more value and capability than today’s tablets. […]

[15:00] Windows tablets are an important part of the Windows 8 vision, and Windows tablets do more.

Completing that promise of do more, I’m pleased to announce that starting with the back-to-school lineup, and in some cases even earlier, Windows x86 tablets will come with Office. That’s Word, that’s Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote in the box. We’re making that possible through new OEM offerings that were introduced earlier this spring.

Even with the value of Office built-in to these Windows tablets, these new offerings are going to allow our partners to build opening price point tablets, as well as great premium tablets.

Additionally, we’ve opened up support for small tablets with Windows 8, and we’ll do more with Windows 8.1. You’ve seen the first of those tablets here at COMPUTEX. Congratulations to Acer on their announcements earlier this week.

And coming with 8.1, building on our support for small tablets, we’re really committed to completing the scenario, including full portrait support.

One of the top requests from Windows RT customers has been Outlook. I’m very pleased to announce that with the Windows RT 8.1 update Microsoft Outlook will be in-box.

With 8.1 we’re again embracing the very latest technology, and the very latest on the silicon roadmap. Specifically this includes Bay Trail-T, Qualcomm 8974 [one of Snapdragon 800 SoCs coming in commercial devices of H2 2013, see more details in Snapdragon 800 Product Brief], and NVIDIA T40 [or Tegra 4 first in the already announced HP SlateBook x2 to be available in August 2013].

And we’re expanding our ARM program to provide more component flexibility, creating more opportunities for partners to build competitive ARM tablets running Windows. [17:15 …]

[19:10] Windows 8.1 is easy for our customers to get. It’s free to Windows RT and Windows 8 customers so that whether a customer has Windows 8 today or is buying a PC or a tablet or any other device in the near future, it will be one click away and very easy to get Windows 8.1. We’ll deliver it through the Windows Store, including the preview, which will come at the end of June. And the final product will be available later this calendar year. [19:50 …]

New ecosystem opportunities, Windows 8.1 updates shared at Computex [Blogging Windows from Microsoft, June 5, 2013]

Antoine Leblond, corporate vice president of Windows program management joined Tami and other top Microsoft executives on stage to give our very first public demo of the upcoming Windows 8.1 update – touching upon many of the exciting improvements Antoine highlighted in his blog post from last week. You can see some of the highlights of what to expect in Windows 8.1 for yourself in this short demo video featuring Jensen Harris from the Windows User Experience Team:

Jensen Harris from the Windows Team shows some highlights of what to expect in Windows 8.1 coming later this year as a free update for Windows 8 customers. http://bit.ly/10OM2Th

Additionally, Tami announced that Outlook 2013 RT will be coming to Windows RT tablets as part of Windows 8.1. Windows running on ARM architectures has enabled an exciting new category of mobile-first, instant-on tablets that are thin and lightweight, with amazing battery life. We know that the addition of Outlook for those using ARM-based Windows devices such as the Surface RT, Dell XPS 10, Lenovo Yoga 11, and ASUS VivoTab RT as well as new tablets to come in the future has been a popular request from consumers and businesses alike. As Tami said in her keynote address, we’ve listened and Outlook will be joining the other Office applications currently available on Windows RT, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.

Our commitment to Windows on ARM doesn’t stop with the addition of Outlook 2013 RT. We announced a number of other enhancements with Windows 8.1, earlier this week at TechEd North America, including new manageability, networking, and security capabilities that will make Windows RT an even more compelling option for enterprises.

Eight questions about Windows 8 for Microsoft manufacturing chief Nick Parker [PCWorld, June 5, 2013] 

IDG: So you just announced you’ll be including Outlook with the next version of Windows RT, what was the thinking behind that?

NP: Outlook is one of those apps people love, and when you start thinking about RT in the small business environment, or for heavy email users, Outlook is one of those high value solutions. That was the one we got the most feedback about.

IDG: The reception for Windows RT has been a bit lukewarm, what are some of the reasons for that and to what extent will adding Outlook will improve the situation?

NP: If you look at what we did with RT—it’s completely new silicon, a new hardware platform, and Windows 8 is a new OS. So first you just have a natural growth curve when you’re starting at zero. Then you start seeing new apps appear, the killer apps that people want, like Outlook. And the ecosystem gets more familiar with it—they learn how to code to it and how to certify parts for it.

We get so used to the tremendous success we’ve had on PCs for years, you just think you can flip a switch and the platform’s going to change. I think it’s just the incremental growth of a new platform. And we should be a bit humble about how we go to market and talk about the new capabilities. I think we could maybe have inspired people a bit more with some of the RT devices and some of our marketing.

IDG: There’s a lot of downward pressure on tablet pricing—Asus showed an Android tablet this week for $129. Do you expect to see Windows 8 tablets getting down to those sort of prices?

NP: That’s a question to ask our OEMs [original equipment manufacturers, or basically PC makers]. I think people are prepared to pay for value and we see tablets with higher price points having better capabilities and features. I think buyers are getting smart about what’s good quality. But OEMs will choose their own prices.

imageThe Acer Iconia W3-810 tablet

IDG: We saw the first 8-inch Windows tablet launch this week from Acer. What are some of the things you’re doing to provide a better Windows experience on those smaller devices?

NP: For any device you can hold in one hand, one of the things you need is portrait mode—so, the ability for the apps to work in the same way, to move and to flow nicely. And for our OEMs, we’re giving them the ability to have buttons on the side of the device, because when you’re holding it in one hand you might want to push a button on the side. You have to make the OS extensible. So those are the types of things.

IDG: Will that all be part of Windows 8.1?

NP: Yes, we talked about that today.

IDG: I’ve never thought of Windows as being designed for smaller screens; the netbook experience wasn’t particularly great. What are you doing to improve the software experience?

NP: In terms of how the display scales up and down, and in terms of the zooming capabilities—as soon as the preview [of Windows 8.1] comes out you should play with it.

IDG: There’s a tremendous variety of form factors out there right now—all kinds of laptops and tablets and convertibles. When you look ahead a few years, do you expect them to coalesce around a few winning designs or will there always be that much variety?

NP: In terms of capabilities, I think touch is going to be the new standard. People aren’t going to want to carry around hundreds of devices. You’ll have a phone, and I think the phablet is an interesting space. But for two-in-one detachables—I’m seeing the interest in those ramp. People want the best of both worlds. You can have a tablet and sit there and surf, then you plug it into a keyboard and you’re off working.

IDG: Is the keyboard here to stay, or will people eventually get used to typing on touchscreens?

I think the keyboard is here to stay, you’ve got that physical feedback. You may see a lot of innovation around keyboards but I think they’re here to stay.

Google search on “Computex Windows ARM discount” between June 5 and 6 was yielding the following items:
One year after debut, Windows RT is a Computex no-show | The Verge | OSNews | I4U News
New ecosystem opportunities, Windows 8.1 updates shared at Computex | Blogging Windows [from Microsoft]
Microsoft to include Outlook app with update to Windows 8 RT | ARN [Australia]
Microsoft Aims to Lure More Users to Windows | WSJ.com
Microsoft To Give More Tablet Makers Windows 8 Discounts | NASDAQ.com | 4-Traders | Capital.gr
Microsoft to Offer Discounted Windows and Office for Small Tablets | AllThingsD | CELLIFONE.com
AMD breaks from Windows exclusivity, adopts Android and Chrome OS | Facepunch.com
Forget Haswell: Why tablet processors mean more to Intel at Computex | The USA News Online 
Computex 2013: low-cost tablets, high-res laptops steal the show | Techgoondu
Microsoft says Outlook is coming to Windows RT this year | ZDNet
Microsoft demonstrates Windows as a platform for small tablets, touch and mobility at Computex 2013 | Virtualization Journal [replica of Microsoft press release]

Windows RT is a Computex no-show:

Three days into Computex Taipei, Asia’s biggest computer show, not a single manufacturer has announced a Windows RT device. … The Computex show floor has been dominated by devices running Windows 8 on Haswell and other chips from Intel, but ARM-powered units have been conspicuous in their absence.

However, the upcoming Windows 8.1 update and its RT counterpart could provide a shot in the arm to the fledgling OS. Qualcomm has pledged support for RT 8.1 with its new Snapdragon 800 processor, which president and COO Steve Mollenkopf described in a presentation today as offering “about 75 percent better performance than the S4 Pro.”

The Verge has heard that manufacturers may be holding back RT devices for Qualcomm’s new chip and the 8.1 update, which is also designed to improve the experience on smaller-screened devices.

include Outlook app with update to Windows 8 RT:

Outlook will be included with version 8.1 of Windows RT, previously dubbed Windows Blue, Microsoft announced at the Computex trade show in Taipei on Wednesday. The 8.1 update is scheduled for release later this year as a free update to Windows 8.

“We’re always listening to our customers and one piece of feedback was that people want the power of Outlook on all their Windows PCs and tablets,” Microsoft said. […]

Support for RT from hardware makers has been limited, however, with several PC makers, such as Acer, Asustek Computer and Hewlett-Packard, not yet supporting the OS.

Microsoft hopes to change that by addressing one of the criticisms of Windows RT — that it doesn’t include a version of its popular Outlook email client. Nvidia CEO Jen Hsun Huang has been vocal about the importance of adding Outlook to RT.

“If Outlook were to show up on RT, my life would be complete,” he said recently, lamenting the slow sales of Windows RT tablets. “I am one Outlook away from computing nirvana. Outlook god, please…”

Lure More Users to Windows:

Until now, people with Windows RT devices—which use different kinds of computer chips than those common in personal computers—have only been able to use a new type of email app that has been panned by users.

A Microsoft executive, speaking at the Computex computer trade show in Taiwan, also acknowledged the company is cutting the prices it charges computer makers for Microsoft software.

The executive, Nick Parker, didn’t detail the size of the software discounts. But people familiar with Microsoft’s pricing strategy have said for Windows RT devices, Microsoft is cutting by two-thirds the cost to license Windows and Office software, or roughly $100 before marketing rebates Microsoft offers to PC makers.

Microsoft’s discounts apply to tablets smaller than 10.1 inches, Mr. Parker said. The company said it started offering discounts to some tablet makers in April.

The discounts and addition of Outlook underscore how hard Microsoft is trying to boost the appeal of devices that run Windows RT, a product whose development marked a major break from company tradition. […]

“This is an exciting development that we believe will deliver a much more robust and full-featured experience to Windows RT users,” wrote Mark Aevermann, an Nvidia product manager, in a blog post.

Microsoft executives have said they would push harder to bolster sales by explaining more clearly the attributes of Windows RT and ARM chips.

We are very committed to ARM,” said Tami Reller, the Windows chief financial officer and chief marketing officer, in an interview last month.

Windows executives also recently suggested Windows RT devices might in the future lose the dual modes that have been a polarizing feature of the new Windows.

Windows 8 and Windows RT devices operate in both a traditional Windows “desktop” and a new mode that looks and functions more like a smartphone screen. The Windows executives, Jensen Harris and Antoine Leblond, suggested in a May interview that it might be appropriate to junk desktop mode entirely on Windows RT devices.

Windows 8 Discounts:

Nick Parker, vice president of Microsoft’s OEM division, said at the Computex trade show in Taipei Wednesday that the Redmond, Wash. company is now expanding its discount program to include tablets that run on Windows RT, a version of Windows 8 running on ARM Holdings PLC (ARMH, ARM.LN) chips. The discount will also apply to an upgraded version of its Windows 8 system dubbed Windows 8.1. The discounts will only apply on tablets that are between 7 and 10.1 inches. The executive declined to comment on the size of the discounts but Mr. Parker said they will come in the form of a cut in licensing fees and free Office software for hardware makers.

Microsoft said it started offering discounts to some tablet makers in April and there is no specific time frame for when the discounts might end.

The Wall Street Journal reported in early March, citing people familiar with the situation, that Microsoft had been offering price breaks on its Windows 8 and Office software to help spur the development of small, touch-enabled laptop computers.

In the latest discount program, tablets with screens bigger than 10.1 inches will not be eligible for the discount, Mr. Parker said. But he didn’t elaborate.

Analysts said the discounts could help bring down retail prices of smaller Windows tablets and help Microsoft better compete with Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Google Inc. (GOOG).

Discounted Windows and Office for Small Tablets:

Second, Microsoft is cutting some sort of deal with computer makers that want to bundle Windows 8 and Office Home and Student onto a seven- or eight-inch tablet. Microsoft isn’t going into detail on what it is charging PC manufacturers, but it is clearly low enough to enable some pretty inexpensive tablets.

The first of these tablets to be announced, Acer’s Iconia W3, has a $379 sticker price. That’s pretty darn cheap for a machine that includes full-blown Windows and Office.

Microsoft isn’t saying which other computer makers may also be working on small tablets, but with the PC market struggling, it seems reasonable to think we will see a number of such tablets in short order.

And while Microsoft’s bundle program appears limited to small tablets, one could conceivably hook up the tiny tablet to a monitor and keyboard and use it as a home PC.

low-cost tablets, high-res laptops steal the show:

Since Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Asus’ Nexus 7 came out last year, the idea of a cheap, small tablet has taken hold like few expected. This year, the cheap is going to get cheaper, with Asus’ MeMo Pad HD7 starting from just US$129 for an 8GB version.

image

Now, this may not be as cheap as some models you’d find in Shenzhen, but this model from Asus will win over many users looking for an affordable but well-made tablet.

The new MeMo Pad HD7 also seems like an updated version of the successful Nexus 7. There is the 1,280 x 800 screen, now coupled with a quad-core Arm Cortex A7 CPU, and a microSD card slot to pop in memory cards, which the Nexus 7 did not have. No idea of when this is coming, but expect to save some money for a budget tablet this holiday season. […]

An interesting idea, which may not turn out to be a major trend, is small Windows tablets. Acer surprised many visitors with its 8-inch Windows 8 tablet, probably the first such mobile option.

The Iconia W3 runs an Intel Atom chip, has 2GB RAM and either 32GB or 64GB storage. The 1,280 x 800 resolution is not too bad on the small screen.

image

What’s a little hard to see is the Windows desktop, when you fire up your traditional Windows programs, like Excel. During a quick hands-on, I can tell that the screen was too small for serious editing. Don’t even think of sharing programs on the screen. It’s just too small.

Which leaves you in mostly the Metro touch interface on Windows 8. Sadly, there aren’t many apps here yet, compared to either an Apple iPad mini or an Android tablet.

Not just that, while the US$379 asking price isn’t unreasonable for the hardware, the question is on usage. If you’re using the machine mainly as a small tablet, Android tablets are getting cheaper all the time, as Asus’ MeMo Pad HD7 shows.

Outlook is coming to Windows RT:

Owners of existing RT devices will receive the updates for free.

Despite weak sales of its own ARM-powered Surface and even more tepid support from hardware partners, Microsoft doesn’t appear to be backing away from Windows RT. The addition of Outlook will undoubtedly convince some previously recalcitrant business buyers that Windows RT tablets make sense, as will the announcement at the Tech-Ed conference this week of management tools that allow greater control over Windows RT devices. And Microsoft also announced support for additional types of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) on Windows RT.

But there are still dealbreakers that stand in the way of widespread deployments of Windows RT. Office 2013 RT has many of the same features as its x86/x64 counterpart, but it lacks the ability to handle custom macro code. In addition, some features are missing from the RT programs, including the ability to embed audio and video in OneNote notebooks.

And Office is the only desktop app that Microsoft has officially ported to Windows RT. Third-party developers don’t have that option, which means any business that requires a third-party desktop app or a browser plugin other than Adobe Flash is out of luck. Likewise, Windows RT still doesn’t support some widely used third-party VPN clients.

There’s also the pesky issue of licensing. The version of Office included with Windows RT is Office Home and Student 2013, which is licensed for noncommercial use only. If you want to stay in the good graces of Microsoft’s licensing agreement, you need to add commercial use rights, through a volume license or by way of a subscription to a business edition of Office 365.

Today’s announcement is also noticeably silent on the question of when Microsoft plans to release native tablet versions of its Office programs, for both Windows 8.1/RT as well as alternative platforms like the iPad and Android tablets. The fact that the desktop version of Outlook is a key part of this fall’s update suggests that Office for tablets won’t appear until 2014, and one recent rumor says late 2014 is the likely target date for those apps.

Windows as a platform for small tablets [Microsoft press release replicated]:

“We want to be the best partner to all hardware manufacturers, from the way we engage and invest on new product designs to the experience we jointly deliver to customers,” Parker said. “This new wave of Windows devices from our partners, combined with our software, apps and services, reflects that commitment.”

Most notable of the devices Parker showed were the new 7-inch and 8-inch Windows tablets: the Acer Iconia W3 that launched on June 3 in Taipei, and three other small tablets from top original device manufacturer (ODM) and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners expected to ship for the holiday season. These small tablets provide a Windows experience with Office Home & Student 2013 delivering even more options to experience all that Windows can offer in a smaller form factor. […]

Tami Reller, chief financial officer and chief marketing officer of Microsoft’s Windows Division, joined Parker onstage … “Windows 8.1 furthers the bold vision of Windows 8 by responding to customer feedback and adding new features and functionality that advance the touch experience and mobile computing’s potential,” Reller said.

As part of this commitment, Reller announced that Outlook 2013 RT will be available on Windows-based ARM tablets with the Windows 8.1 update later this year. “Windows on ARM is a core part of our strategy today and moving forward, and the addition of Outlook further enriches this world of new on-the-go opportunities for partners and customers,” Reller said.

Windows RT Buzz: only the naming will disappear?

Microsoft defends Windows RT as necessary disruption [CNET, March 21, 2013]
vs.
Microsoft to merge Windows RT into next-generation Windows OS [DIGITIMES, March 27, 2013]

These headlines tell everything. And don’t forget, end of March is the end of PRISM when all top level decisions for the next fiscal year have already been taken. Now put these two media reports against each other:

[Michael] Angiulo [corporate vice president, Windows Planning, Hardware & PC Ecosystem] says Microsoft has good reason to stick with the platform.
“It was a ton of work for us and we didn’t do the work and endure the disruption for any reason other than the fact that there’s a strategy there that just gets stronger over time.
Looking at things now like power performance and standby time and passive [fanless] form factors. When we launched Windows 8, it was really competitive with a full-sized iPad. A lot of that was made possible by the ARM [chip] architecture.
If you look forward a year or two and you look at the performance output of ARM chips, those are some really capable chips. I think it has a very bright future.
People are talking about legacy desktop software not running, but they don’t think about the customer benefit of only running modern apps. The only apps that you install from the Windows store are the kind, that as a customer, you can manage your rights to.
Let’s say you drop that PC in a pool. Well, you get a new one and then you just redownload [the apps]. That’s the kind of model people are used to with a phone or tablet today. I can maintain all the apps in the [Microsoft] store and reset with a single switch.
So, on Windows RT, the user experience stays consistent over time. That’s a big benefit. And as the number of apps grow in the store, that value promise only gets stronger.
And on the ARM side, there is a propensity for a much higher percentage of PCs that are going to ship with mobile broadband [3G/4G], precisely because ARM PCs have even longer battery life [than Intel PCs] on connected standby [when a device is in standby mode but still connected to e-mail, social networking sites, and the Internet in general].”
Microsoft will no longer launch products under its Windows RT line and will instead merge the product line into the software giant’s next-generation Windows, codenamed Blue, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.
Although the PC supply chain had pushed the Windows on ARM (WoA) platform aggressively, the Windows RT’s name, which has misled most consumers into believing that the operating system is able to support all existing x86 Windows programs, the lack of apps, as well as compatibility issues have all significantly damaged demand.
The next-generation of Windows is expected to make its first appearance at the Microsoft Build Developer Conference 2013, hosted from June 26-28 in San Francisco, the US.
The sources believe that Wintel PC demand is likely to drop significantly before Intel and Microsoft’s next-generation products show up in the second half of the year.

With that the strategy to stick to Windows RT as a product, but not as a name, is crystall clear. Nevertheless between these two news dates we have other news articles in the world which are casting doubts on the future of Windows RT as a product.

Look at the bulk of news headlines between March 21 and March 28 to see the kind of mixed reporting. As these headlines coming from the proper Google search:

BYOD trends vs. Mobile enterprise platform trends

With the literal explosion of mobile computing devices there is a huge challenge both on the enterprise computing vendor and customer sides. The easiest way of looking at those challenges is analyzing the so called BYOD (Bring your own device) and mobile enterprise platforms trends on the market where customers and suppliers meet each other.

Note as well that these are all parts of a bigger trend, the so-called “consumerization of IT” which I already covered from an overall leading vendor point of view in the Pre-Commerce and the Consumerization of IT [Sept 10, 201] post on this site. Please read that before looking at the current trends discussed here in the below detailed sections. Then I will recommend to read The Changing Of The Enterprise Guard [TechCrunch, Jan 19th, 2013] article by the CEO of Box.com, the most successfull rising star in the enterprise IT vendor space. Even the ex MS leader Steven Sinofsky was recommending it in his Twitter meassage as:

Interesting thoughts on enterprise computing http://techcrunch.com/2013/01/19/the-changing-of-the-enterprise-guard/ … from Aaron @levie

Note that the BYOD trend I will present mostly through the Middle-East area where to solve the BYOD issue properly for the true enterprise space is the most pressing one in the world.


BYOD trends

Bring your own device [Wikipedia article, started on Jan 1, 2012]

History

BYOD first entered in 2009 courtesy of Intel when it recognized an increasing tendency among its employees to bring their own devices to work and connect them to the corporate network.[5] However, it took until early 2011 before the term achieved any real prominence when IT services provider Unisys and software vendor Citrix Systems started to share their perceptions of this emergent trend.

In 2012 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission adopted a BYOD policy, but many employees continued to use their government-issued BlackBerrys because of concerns about billing, and the lack of alternative devices.[6]

Issues

BYOD has resulted in data breaches.[citation needed] For example, if an employee uses a smartphone to access the company network and then loses that phone, any unsecured data stored on the phone could potentially be retrieved by untrusted parties.[7]

It is important to consider damage liability issues when considering BYOD. If an employee brings their personal device to work, and it is physically damaged through no fault of their own it is unclear whether the company is responsible for repair or replacement.[citation needed]

Pros

Business

A business that adopts a BYOD policy allows itself to save money on high-priced devices that it would normally be required to purchase for their employees. Employees may take better care of devices that they view as their own property.[citation needed]Companies can take advantage of newer technology faster.[citation needed]

Employees

Employees who work for a business with a BYOD policy are able to decide on the technology that they wish to use for work rather than being assigned a company device. This is thought to improve morale and productivity.[8] Exclusive control of features is given to the employee.

Cons

Business

Company information will often not be as secure as it would be on a device exclusively controlled by the company.[citation needed] (Security professionals have termed it ‘Bring Your Own Danger‘ and ‘Bring Your Own Disaster‘.[9]) The company may have to pay for employee devices’ phone service, which they use outside company time. BYOD is an extreme case of the end node problem.
Employees

Due to security issues, the employees often do not have true full control over their devices[citation needed], as the company they work for would need to ensure that proprietary and private information is secure at all times. It is an out-of-pocket expense for the employees. They would be responsible for repairs if their devices were damaged or broken at work.[citation needed]

Businesses that fall under compliancy rules such as PCI or HIPAA must still comply when using BYOD.[citation needed]

Prevalence

The Middle East was reported to have one of the highest adoption rates of the practice worldwide in 2012.[10]

[10] El Ajou, Nadeen (24 September 2012). “Bring Your Own Device trend is ICT industry’s hottest talking point at GITEX Technology Week”. AMEinfo.com. Retrieved 26 September 2012.

Frost & Sullivan: Consumerisation of Smart Phones and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are the biggest trends driving the Network Security Market in the Middle East [Frost & Sullivan press release, Nov 12, 2012]

Dubai, the U.A.E., 21 November, 2012 – With an increase in the number of Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs), information security risks are becoming a major concern for organisations globally. Enterprises are swiftly adopting and deploying applications and new services to combat the same. In their quest to obtain high levels of security assurance and develop advanced intelligence technologies, organisations in the Middle East are increasingly adopting methods such as virtualisation and cloud computing. Over the past few years, this has led to increased Government investment in information and communication technology (ICT)-related projects in the Middle East and this is expected to proliferate further in future. To address these threats to enterprise security and brainstorm best-in-class Enterprise Security Solutions and Strategies, Frost & Sullivan convened the best minds in enterprise security at its Middle East Enterprise Security Summit 2012 on November 21, at Habtoor Grand Beach Resort, Dubai, U.A.E.

Held for the first time in the Middle East, the Summit was attended by CIOs, CISOs, CTOs, Vice Presidents, General Managers, Network Managers, Enterprise Security Architects, Internet Security Architects, Compliance Officers, and Department Heads from across a variety of industry sectors such as Banking, Finance & Insurance (BFSI); Telecom; IT; Manufacturing; Government; Education; Healthcare; Media and Entertainment; Retail; and Automotive and Logistics.

According to Frost & Sullivan, consumerisation of smart phones and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are the biggest trends driving network security issues in the Middle East today. The network security market is in a high-growth stage. Frost & Sullivan anticipates that technology convergence, regulatory compliance, and continuous growth of network infrastructure will continue to drive up sales for security suppliers in the Middle East during the period 2012-2018.

Frost & Sullivan’s Middle East Enterprise Security Summit 2012 Summit began with an inaugural address by Andy Baul-Lewis, Director, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan, describing the prevalent enterprise security landscape in the Middle East. “Building security for electronic assets is one of the most critical tasks facing organisations today. In a converged world, where the threats of each system are multiplied; getting advice, sharing best practice, and talking to partners is a vital part of the construction process. This is what Frost & Sullivan endeavours to provide through this interactive Summit,” stated Mr Baul-Lewis at the Summit.

The Summit included in-depth discussions and case studies on enterprise security management. The first of these was, ‘The Evolving Role of a Chief Information Security Officer’ by Roshan Daluwakgoda, Senior Director – Security Strategy Planning Risk Assessment and DR at Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company, du, Dubai, the U.A.E. This was followed by a thought-provoking presentation on ‘Information Security Management – When the Going Gets Tough,’ by Kamran Ahsan, Head of Information Security, Injazat Data Systems, the U.A.E. Bashar Bashaireh, Regional Director, the Middle East, Fortinet, gave a presentation ‘How to Make your Security Aware in a BYOD World’. Thameem Rizvon, IT Director, Kamal Osman Jamjoom Group LLC (KOJ) presented, ‘Learn from your Peers: Security Implementation in a Retail Environment’. The session on Secure the Cloud,’ by Joe So, VP Business Sales, Huawei;was followed by a panel discussion on ‘Security Convergence and its Impact on Business.’

Speaking on the occasion, Kamran Ahsan stated, “Information security is increasingly emerging as a critical concern in today’s modern business environment. This trend is very much evident in the Middle East, where enterprises have experienced information-related threats such as infiltration, data leakage, and cyber warfare among others. Injazat Data Systems will highlight how enterprises can proactively address these challenges and mitigate risks associated with business assets and services of enterprises. Moreover, with the best minds in enterprise security attending this Event, we expect to have an in-depth discussion of new trends and developments in information security in the Middle East.”

Sharing his views on the Summit, Bashar Bashaireh said, “Information Technology has become central in driving the business processes of enterprises. However, as trends such as mobility, cloud computing, and BYOD are fast gaining momentum in the U.A.E., helping drive business profit and innovation; they are also bringing forth new challenges to IT security. Organisations in the U.A.E. should act now to regain control of their IT infrastructure by strongly securing their network and applying granular control over users, devices, and applications. The Summit organised by Frost & Sullivan is a great platform for us to share with end customers our insights on the new approach aimed towards IT security.”

Talking about Securing the Cloud, Dong Wu, Vice President, Huawei Enterprise Middle East said, “As organisations roll out cloud-based models into their business infrastructure, the issue of security becomes an ever increasing concern.  The Middle East Enterprise Security Summit is a way for Huawei and other industry leaders to come together and discuss how businesses can be better secured and protected from the fast-evolving cyber threats that exist today. At the summit, we look forward to sharing our insights on how organisations can improve their planning processes before making their move into the cloud.”

The Summit was supported by Injazat as Platinum Partner, while Fortinet and Huawei were the Event’s Silver Partners. Telecom Review, Teknotel and Connect-World Magazine supported the Summit as Media Partners; with Tech Channel MEA as the Online Partner for the event.

If you are interested to know more about insights shared at the Middle East Enterprise Security Summit 2012 then send an e-mail to Tanu Chopra/Deepshri Iyer, Corporate Communications, at tanu.chopra@frost.com/deepshrii@frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, and country.

For more information on the Summit, please visit: http://www.frost.com/EnterpriseSecurityMiddleEast

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today’s market participants.

Our “Growth Partnership” supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

  • The Integrated Value Proposition provides support to our clients throughout all phases of their journey to visionary innovation including research, analysis, strategy, vision, innovation, and implementation.
  • The Partnership Infrastructure is entirely unique as it constructs the foundation upon which visionary innovation becomes possible. This includes our 360-degree research, comprehensive industry coverage, career best practices, as well as our global footprint of more than 40 offices.

For more than 50 years, we have been developing growth strategies for the global 1000, emerging businesses, the public sector, and the investment community. Is your organisation prepared for the next profound wave of industry convergence, disruptive technologies, increasing competitive intensity, Mega Trends, breakthrough best practices, changing customer dynamics, and emerging economies?

Mobile application management [Wikipedia article, started on Oct 17, 2011]

Mobile Application Management (MAM) describes software and services responsible for provisioning and controlling access to internally developed and commercially available mobile apps used in business settings on both company-provided and “bring your own” smartphones and tablet computers.

Mobile application management differs from Mobile device management (MDM) in the degree of control that it has over the managed device. As the names suggest; MAM focuses on application management, but stop short of managing the entire device. MDM solutions manage the down to device firmware and configuration settings and can include management of all applications and application data.[1]

History

Enterprise mobile application management has been driven by the widespread adoption and use of mobile devices in business settings. In 2010 IDC reported that smartphone use in the workplace will double between 2009 and 2014.[2]

The BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device”) phenomenon is a factor behind mobile application management, with personal PC, smartphone and tablet use in business settings (vs. business-owned devices) rising from 31 percent in 2010 to 41 percent in 2011.[3] When an employee brings a personal device into an enterprise setting, mobile application management enables the corporate IT staff to download required applications, control access to business data, and remove locally cached business data from the device if it is lost, or when its owner no longer works with the company.[4]

Use of mobile devices in the workplace is also being driven from above. According to Forrester Research, businesses now see mobile as an opportunity to drive innovation across a wide range of business processes.[5] Forrester issued a forecast in August 2011 predicting that the “mobile management services market” would reach $6.6 billion by 2015 – a 69 percent increase over a previous forecast issued six months earlier.[5]

Citing the plethora of mobile devices in the enterprise – and a growing demand for mobile apps from employees, line-of-business decision-makers, and customers – the report states that organizations are broadening their “mobility strategy” beyond mobile device management to “managing a growing number of mobile applications.”[5]

MAM system features

An end-to-end MAM solution provides the ability to: control the provisioning, updating and removal of mobile applications via an enterprise app store, monitor application performance and usage, and remotely wipe data from managed applications. Core features of mobile application management systems include:

  • App delivery (Enterprise App Store)
  • App updating
  • App performance monitoring
  • User authentication
  • Crash log reporting
  • User & group access control
  • App Version management
  • App configuration management
  • Push services
  • Reporting and tracking
  • Usage analytics
  • Event management

The Middle East angle #1:
Mitigating the Risks of BYOD with MAM [ITP.net, Nov 14, 2012]

Organizations need to decide how to manage BYOD, says Johnny Karam, Regional Director, Middle East and French Speaking Africa, Symantec

According to a recent Symantec survey, 59% of enterprises are making line-of-business applications accessible from mobile devices in an effort to increase efficiency, increase workplace effectiveness and reduce time required to accomplish tasks.

The average annual cost of mobile incidents for enterprises, including data loss, damage to the brand, productivity loss, and loss of customer trust was $429,000 for enterprise. The average annual cost of mobile incidents for small businesses was $126,000.

According to Symantec’s State of Mobility Survey, 67% of companies are concerned with malware attacks spreading from mobile devices to internal networks. In addition, Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report highlighted that mobile vulnerabilities increased by 93% in 2011.

To manage or not to manage:

The first question every business must ask around BYOD is: How much management of user-owned devices connecting to corporate resources does the company want? This is critical because the degree to which an enterprise is involved in managing various aspects of user-owned mobile devices has consequences. For example, a key anticipated benefit of implementing BYOD means often no longer having to fully manage employees’ mobile devices. In return, support costs are hopefully reduced.

However, fully managing user-owned devices often results in intruding on the personal information and activity of those devices. This might include enforcing device-level authentication and encryption policies and complete device remote locking or wiping, including users’ personal content.

Delivering corporate [apps and] resources

Securing corporate [apps and] resources once they are delivered

The Middle East angle #2:
BYOD is not a new problem
[Gitex Review 2012 published on ITP.net, Nov 18, 2012]

Cloud and big data were the big talking points during GITEX Technology Week 2012. Leading UAE and global companies discuss those trends.

Florian Malecki, head of product marketing at Dell SonicWALL, says that enterprises need to be prepared to allow employees to use their toys.

Ilike to be a bit controversial over the growing BYOD trend. If you listen to the analysts; IDC, Gartner, Forrester; they are all predicting that the number of smartphones being sold by 2014-2015 will outgrow the number of laptops being sold.

We all say that the employees want to use their own device, but if you look at what they want to use, it is either a tablet or a smartphone, so companies and IT managers have to accommodate all users needs.

We did a survey and we looked at what devices our customers are supporting or are open to support, and there is no clear winner. If you look at it from a device point of view, there are people who want to use tablets (about 60%), people who want to use smartphones and people who want to use laptops.

How to start
A good way to start BYOD and try to minimise risks is by using an SSL VPN gateway. The beauty of an SSL VPN gateway is that you are able to identify the user and the user profile as well as identifying the device and setting up a profile for the device. You could have a profile that is a managed device or a personal device, but registered within the corporate ID system. Any organisation whether an SMB or enterprise, if they don’t really know where to start the BYOD journey, if they start looking at implementing an SSL VPN solution like the Dell SonicWALL solution then they probably meet 90% of employees requirements when it comes to BYOD.

How to control BYOD
The threat of personal devices on a corporate network is a big problem, according to Darren Gross, EMEA senior sales director, Centrify, and companies must be able to control information on those devices.

Security compliance experts Centrify have released mobile device management software, which integrates one single identity for each individual employee within an organisation, so wherever they go the company can control where they are going and what they are doing, through policies and security settings.

“There is a lot of competition in that space, but we are quite unique because we come from an angle of joining the system to Active Directory, so if I leave my iPad on the train, help desk can go and remotely wipe that device so there is no threat to the enterprise,” says Darren Gross, EMEA senior sales director, Centrify.

Enterprises also need to look at mobile device configuration to prevent viruses from accessing the corporate network.

… <LONG>

People that use mobile devices tend to have no passcodes on them. Centrify is able to enforce passwords and encryption on a personal device accessing the corporate network.

Cloud
The company is also developing authentication for off premis cloud software and service type applications so for example SalesForce and WebEx.

“Users will be able to sign on with one identity within Active Directory so you control what a user is doing and see where they are going, there is full accountability to what individuals are doing within the organisations,” said Gross.

Disaster recovery in the region
Yasser Zeineldin, CEO, eHosting DataFort, says the company is offering regional enterprises the opportunity to develop DR sites.

We offer clients both in UAE and the Middle East region the ability to have a hot disaster recovery site where data is replicated between their production system and the disaster recovery system that is hosted with us. This means that in real time if there is a failure in the primary system they can switch over to the secondary system.

<BIG DATA PART OF THE REPORT>


Mobile enterprise computing platform

Hal’s (Im)Perfect Vision on a possible (and much needed) further direction by Microsoft :
There is no ARM in Windows RT [Jan 2, 2013]

Windows RT is the name of Microsoft’s version of Windows 8 for ARM processors, right?  It’s aimed primarily at Consumers, right?  It’s role in business is primarily in the BYOD realm, right?  That’s so 2012!  Let’s talk about strategy and where I think Microsoft will go with Windows and particularly Windows RT.  And how their strategy may become more obvious in 2013.

The name Windows RT wasn’t chosen to convey a message about Windows moving to ARM processors.  Nor was it chosen to convey that it was a Tablet OS.  The name appears to have been chosen primarily for one reason, it is an operating system devoted to running Windows RunTime apps.  It splits the mainstream Windows product into two families.  Windows for running Win32 “desktop” and Windows RunTime applications and Windows RT that drops the legacy Win32 application support.  Windows RT is Microsoft’s go forward client operating system, while Windows is the operating system Microsoft will need to keep selling and enhancing for a transition that will last a decade or more, but it will eventually be considered a legacy.

I know I just sent a lot of people’s blood pressure through the roof because today they either (a) dislike Metro/Modern/whatever-you-call-it ,Windows RunTime, or the Start Screen and/or (b) the new environment isn’t really suitable for their usage scenario.  But keep in mind I’m talking about where things are going over several releases of the re-imagined Windows.  There will be many refinements, improvements, and changes before Windows RT replaces Windows as Microsoft’s primary client operating system offering.

The desktop lives forever, right?  Well, on Windows yes but not on Windows RT.  Today Windows RT only needs the desktop for two reasons.  First, many traditional utilities from the File Explorer to much of system management are only available as desktop apps.  Second, Microsoft Office is only available as desktop apps.  But in each release going forward this will become less true.  A Metro File Explorer will become standard.  More and more system management will move to the new model.  And eventually Microsoft will remove the desktop from Windows RT.  Then it will be able to remove many pieces of legacy (including Win32), making Windows RT smaller, faster, and more secure (via smaller attack surface) than it’s Windows sibling.

Microsoft started the ball rolling with Windows RT on ARM because that was the most practical thing to do.  With ARM unable to run existing x86 apps Microsoft had to decide if it would evangelize conversions of existing applications to ARM or put the energy into getting developers to write new Metro/Modern apps.  And without a library of Modern apps it was unlikely that any of the x86-oriented OEMs would create an x86 Windows RT system.   No rational amount of pricing difference on Microsoft’s part would encourage a OEM to use an operating system with no applications when they could just as simply use one with a huge, if aging, library.  ARM thus became the obvious place to introduce Windows RT.

As the library of applications in the Windows Store grows it becomes more and more likely that Microsoft will introduce Windows RT for x86 systems.  Will that happen in 2013?  By the end of 2013 the Windows Store will likely have in excess of 150,000 Apps.  Perhaps in excess of 200,000.  Assuming that the quality is there (meaning they are the apps people want and are equal to their iPad and Android equivalents) the market for systems with no need to run legacy desktop apps will have grown dramatically.  Microsoft, many of its OEMs, and Intel (of course) will want the option of using Clover Trail (and its follow-ons) in those systems.  So it is quite possible that Microsoft makes Windows RT available for Clover Trail-based systems in 2013, and it seems a certainty for 2014.

As a side note this is something that Paul Thurrott will probably not be happy about.  Paul has called on Microsoft to use Clover Trail in its next generation of the Surface so that it would have the full Windows experience.  But I expect that if Microsoft did use Clover Trail in a Surface (as opposed to Surface Pro) replacement that system would still run Windows RT.  Sorry Paul :-)

If Windows RT for x86 is speculative in 2013 here is something I think is a surer bet.  Windows RT will expand into a family that mirrors the editions of Windows.  I expect that in 2013 we will see a Windows RT Enterprise (and perhaps Pro as well) edition.  Why?  Well the current edition of Windows RT is missing some key functionality that would accelerate its adoption within Enterprises.  And I’m not even talking about UI or Windows RunTime changes that would increase the application space it was applicable to.  I’m talking purely about lower level operating system features.

Being able to participate in a domain is part of Microsoft’s secret sauce for enterprises, and today Windows RT can’t do that.  A Windows RT Enterprise edition would bring the ability to join a domain, use DirectAccess, use BitLocker, fully participate in Microsoft’s management capabilities, etc.  Whereas the solutions introduced in 2012 are acceptable for BYOD situations and some limited application scenarios, an Enterprise edition would allow Windows RT systems to participate as full members of the enterprise computing environment.

Windows RT Enterprise will not allow side-loading of desktop applications, but it may allow side-loading of limited types of system software.  As great as DirectAccess is (and given my involvement in it I’m biased, but then I also lived with it as my “VPN” for a year so know how fantastic the user experience is) most enterprises use Cisco VPNs.  And while Windows RT is certainly adequately protected with Windows Defender, IE SmartScreen, etc. most enterprises will want at least the management capabilities of enterprise-oriented security products and probably the ability to use their corporate standard (i.e., Symantec, McAfee, etc.) products and infrastructure.  Unless Microsoft addresses these adoption of Windows RT will be much slower than desired.

And what about requirements for access to desktop applications on Windows RT systems?  Many, perhaps most, enterprises are fine with using VDI to allow users of these systems to access desktop applications.  Some are downright enthusiastic.  But many do not want that access occurring off their corporate network.  Hence the need for the ability to join a domain, and use DirectAccess or VPNs when users need remote access.  You then run VDI over the corporate network.

Now we get to another wildcard in all of this, Office.  Today’s situation with Office being a desktop Win32 application on Windows RT, and only being available in the Home and Student edition, represents a major drag on Microsoft’s ability to move Windows RT forward.  Microsoft needs to either allow upgrade of the edition of Office on Windows RT to an Enterprise edition (including, for example, making Outlook available) or to move Office fully to Metro/Modern (likely in multiple editions).  They may do both given the time it could take to create a true Office RT.

An Office RT would benefit the entire Windows RT  and Windows 8 market and is the logical direction for Office to go.  But I find it hard to believe they can get to full equivalence with the Win32 Office apps in a year, let alone in a traditional longer release cycle.  We’ll see some, perhaps substantial, movement in this direction in 2013 but I don’t know how far Microsoft will get.  In the mean time they may find it prudent to release Office 2013 Enterprise (standalone and/or as based part of Office 365) for Windows RT systems.  However this rolls out, Microsoft will substantially improve the Office for Windows RT situation in 2013.

Finally, let me reinforce a point I’ve blogged about before.  Microsoft is moving to annual (or more frequent) updates as a (at least unofficial) corporate standard for release cycles.  There may be exceptions from time to time, but I’d expect pretty much every actively developed product to have annual releases.  That means faster evolution in smaller chunks is the norm.  You don’t like how the Start Screen works today?  By the end of the year there will no doubt be improvements that address major complaints.  Windows RunTime missing an API that keeps you from creating a Metro/Modern version of your App?  You might have it later this year.  Can’t stand that the Share contract doesn’t work with Outlook?  Again, a solution may appear faster than Microsoft customers have ever imagined possible.

2012 was an exciting year for Microsoft and its customers.  2013 may be even more exciting, and delightful.

But there are new contenders for the enterprise IT space not based on any earlier paradigms, neither on the enterprise desktop and notebook (like Microsoft’s Professional and especially Enterprise editions of Windows) evolved from the PC platform, nor on the web browser based enterprise thin client (from the Java-like Apex code programmable Force.com PaaS platform usable along with standard HTML, JavaScript and CSS in the browser, to a wide range of JavaScript frameworks of a kind of “enterprise quality” which include even versions for mobile browsers) evolved from the web platform.

A typical new contender, differing from both of the two earlier platforms in that by its very nature of cloud based file sharing can best exploit the power of new mobile computing devices, is the Box (service) [Wikipedia article, started on Nov 15, 2006]

Box (formerly Box.net) is an online file sharing and Cloud content management service for enterprise companies. … A mobile version of the service is available for Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, iPad, WebOS, andWindows Phone devices.[4]

Products

The core of the service is based around sharing, collaborating, and working with files that are uploaded to Box. Box offers 3 account types: Enterprise, Business and Personal.[12] Depending on the type of account, Box has a number of features such as unlimited storage, custom branding, administrative controls and 3rd party integrations with applications like Google apps, Gmail, NetSuite and Salesforce. The service also has a variety of social features such as discussions, groups and an update feed.

Sharing

Box is a file sharing network, which saves and stores the information uploaded by the customer to their web site. They have the full legal right to demographic information about their customers, sales, and traffic to their partners and advertisers. Even though this company does not have the right to give, sell, rent, share or trade any personal information uploaded to their web site by their customers unless consent is given by the user of an account, a third party may be able to view some information. For which some terms and policies have been set forth, to protect the web site as well as the customers alike to establish a full functioning informative and well organized sharing network.[22]

With the users consent, and if they are to choose they can share their private details with other customers such as:[22]

To see your name, Email address, Photo, Profile information

Chosen files to share –where comments can be made, and others can contact the user by email. People you invite as editors can also edit your shared files, upload documents and photos to your shared files, share those documents outside of Box, and give other users rights to view your shared files.[22]

On the website its platform services for Enterprise IT are described in the following framework:

Consolidate File Services: Consolidate All Your Content Services on Box

Box – the single, secure solution for content access, sharing and collaboration – lets you replace a myriad of file transfer systems and unsecured, consumer-focused tools like YouSendIt and Dropbox. Bottom line: You reduce content silos, lower costs and give users the simplicity and functionality they want with the security IT requires. Learn more

  • Replace NFS, FTP, MFT and consumer file-sharing and sync tools
  • Streamline system administration and reporting
  • Reduce IT resource requirements while effortlessly meeting increasing storage needs

Enterprise Mobility: Support Mobile Content Management

Box works with any mobile device, giving remote workers access to critical content they need to succeed. Simultaneously, Box features a comprehensive and sophisticated security suite – and its seamless integration with third-party mobile device management tools like Good Technology and MobileIron provide an additional layer of data protection.Learn More

  • Users get anywhere, anytime access to critical content; and that content is synced across all their devices
  • IT enjoys remote device management coupled with auto logout and locking while sanctioning the use of specific mobile devices and apps
  • IT also gains a new level of content visibility, with insight into how content is managed and accessed in the organisation – and beyond

Cloud Content Management: Discover Content Management in the Cloud

As a Web-based service, Box is up and running in minutes and deployed in days. There’s no hardware to maintain or software to update and it complements existing content management platforms.
Learn more

  • Start working in the cloud immediately: no on-premise installation, provisioning, maintenance or DMZ setup
  • Enable employees to access and share enterprise content quickly and securely, both internally and with external partners and vendors
  • Significantly lower hardware and storage costs

Security and Architecture: Ensure Your Corporate Information is Secure

It’s true: Box is a leader in content management security and makes ongoing investments in the safety of our data centres and corporate operations. Box has been issued an SSAE 16 Type II report, and our solution also features Safe Harbor certification and provides easy-to-use configuration tools, so you can tailor Box to meet your security requirements. Learn More

  • Global permission controls and detailed audit trails
  • Full data encryption plus data centre backups and redundancy
  • Guaranteed 99.9% uptime

The Box Platform: Extend Box With Our Platform and Integrations

Box is more than just a Web application; our comprehensive yet flexible platform lets you easily integrate, extend and customise your cloud deployment. Connect Box to the leading SaaS applications you already use, integrate it into your IT infrastructure or build apps designed to do whatever your business needs. Learn more

  • Easily connect to other business applications like Salesforce, NetSuite and Google Apps
  • Extend Box to meet additional needs with our 120+ Box Apps including eFax, DocuSign, FedEx and mobile Box Apps like Quickoffice
  • Create custom mobile, Web and desktop applications powered by Box

Professional Services: Deploy Easily With Professional Services

Our Customer Success team offers a comprehensive range of professional and client support services, from end-user training to systems integration and performance tuning. Learn more

  • Content migration services transfer your existing data to Box quickly and securely
  • Custom implementation road maps streamline deployment across the enterprise
  • A dedicated Customer Success representative gives you the responsive, personalised support you deserve

The current state was described in Box Platform: Announcing v2 API in GA and Year in Review [on box blog by Chris Yeh, VP of Platform, Dec 14, 2012]

2012 has been an amazing ride for the Box platform, and I’m excited to announce that we’re ending the year on a high note with the general availability of the Box v2 API. First released back in April in beta, we’ve made tremendous strides to bring our partners, developers and customers a simple, elegant and intuitive API that will power the next generation of business collaboration.

Our v2 API represents a major step forward for Box. It is RESTful, implements the OAuth2 spec to standardize user authentication, has much improved error handling and it is well documented. Our Platform Manager Peter Rexer has a deep dive into all the details of the v2 API here. We’re also introducing Box developer accounts, which offer developers access to all of Box’s enterprise features through both the Box web app and the API. In celebration of our new API, we’re offering 25GB of Box free for any developer account created before January 18, 2013.

API Momentum in 2012

Our new API is being launched at a time of tremendous platform growth for Box. In 2012, every API metric that we tracked grew significantly. Here’s just a sample of some of the massive traction we’re seeing with the Box API:

  • 129%: growth in third party developers using Box
  • 140%: growth in number of third party API calls per month
  • 133%: growth in apps in the Box Apps Marketplace
  • 200%: growth in number of weekly users of third party apps on Box

Of course, we wouldn’t have seen such strong platform growth and API engagement without the efforts and work driven by the amazing Box platform team and our ecosystem of third party developers. We built industry-first products including Box OneCloud and Box Embed, travelled the world meeting amazing companies along the way and got together as a community to hack some pretty cool projects. Here’s a brief look back at an amazing 2012.

Box OneCloud

In April, we introduced Box OneCloud for iOS, the first mobile cloud for the enterprise. OneCloud helps you discover useful productivity apps that are deeply integrated with Box for productivity on common business tasks like document editing, PDF annotation, e-signature, etc. We launched on iOS with 50 apps and shortly thereafter brought this to Android. By year’s end we’ll have nearly 300 OneCloud app integration partners across both iOS and Android. 40% of all Box’s Fortune 500 customers are using Box OneCloud.

Box Platform on the Road – New York & London

In New York this spring, we announced our v2 API in beta, 100 new OneCloud apps and partnerships with General Assembly and TechStars. We welcomed over 650 attendees to Skylight West to hear from Box CEO Aaron Levie, Take Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick and former Editor-in-Chief of Wired Chris Anderson. Later, everyone danced to cool tunes spun by Elijah Wood. Our friends in New York include the Bizodo team, which makes a great form-filling app that puts content into Box. We also hung out with the Handshake team, which created a rich order-taking app useful in many business and retail settings. When the Handshake logo appeared on our OneCloud billboard on the 101, they tweeted that it was the startup equivalent of your voice dropping. One of the most interesting things about New York is the concentration of enterprise-focused startups. For example, we’re really pleased to support Jonathan Lehr’s NY Enterprise Technology Meetup and Nick Gavronsky’s New York City Startup Weekend, which just occurred last weekend.

In late August, we parachuted into the middle of Carnival week in London to talk to analysts, press, London-based startups and supporting government organizations. We hosted a developer meet-up at Shoreditch House and were awestruck by the energy in London, particularly in Tech City. We spent time in Google’s shared space in London, where we first met Ben Wirtz, CEO of Unifyo, which brings together multiple sources of customer data to provide enterprises with a singular view of customers. We wandered down to Chelsea to meet Will Lovelace, CEO of Datownia, a company that allows the easy translation of Excel spreadsheets into APIs for external consumption. And we visited the lofty digs of the Chelsea Apps Factory, a super high quality app consultancy and production company.

It’s great to meet with so many wonderful people and even better when you can get together and build some really cool things.

Box Hack Event

Full disclosure, our first public hack event at Box HQ was not intended to be thematically linked to astronauts shooting each other, but that’s another story. At this event, called “Redefine Work,” 150 hackers stayed overnight creating more than 40 contest entries. Participating technology partners included TokBox, Firebase, Mashery, Twilio, Parse, Iron.io and SendGrid. Our winning hack, called OMGHelp, is an application that improves the technical support experience by allowing a customer to use a smartphone camera to show a technical support person what they’re doing. If you’re interested, here is a really nice recap of our event that was created by Mashery’s Neil Mansilla on Storify.

We closed out our active year in October with…

BoxWorks Dev Day

At BoxWorks, we announced a brand new technology that lets you quickly and easily extend the full Box experience anywhere you work. We call it Box Embed, our robust HTML5 framework for adding Box directly into the user interfaces of other applications. We launched with ten partners, including NetSuite, Jive, Conur, Oracle and others and we plan to continue adding to that number. Box Embed is particularly exciting to us because it’s one of the easiest ways for our partners to help make the content you have stored on Box accessible from anywhere.

We also ran an un-conference-like Developer Day where hundreds of developers joined us to hear about the latest web development technologies and learn about enterprise development. We ran a well-attended startup camp with Boxers from various departments (design, sales, marketing in addition to developer evangelists) providing consulting. And we concluded with one of my favorite reporters/writers, Drew Olanoff of TechCrunch, interviewing one of my favorite “startup” CEOs, Jeff Lawson of Twilio, about the ways that developers should think about using APIs in their apps.

We were fortunate to have many of our platform partners join us at BoxWorks this year. Jesse Miller and the attachments.meteam met with Box customers on the main show floor. David Klein and the SlideShark team presented in one of our sessions, as did Milind Gadekar from CloudOn.

As you can see, we’ve had an amazing year. Thanks to all of our platform partners, big and small, for working with us. We look forward to reaching the next level in the new year.

2013: Looking Forward

As 2013 approaches, we’re working on making it even easier for developers to work with Box by focusing on our SDKs and other developer tools. We’re also excited to be building new platform products. On one front, we’re working on new developer-focused metadata tools. On another, we’re looking at allowing developers to hook into workflow products that will allow content to move through Box in various business flows.

We’re sure that it will be a fun ride. Happy holidays to all and we’ll look forward to working with you in 2013!

Regarding the most demanding enterprise customers of Box.com here are few excepts from Why Box.com is king of enterprise cloud storage [CNET, May 15, 2012]

It may be known to some as the Dropbox-for-the-enterprise, but Box.com could be forgiven for insisting on its own identity.

With more than 120,000 customers, including 82 percent of the Fortune 500, the company has made a name for itself as one of the leaders in the enterprise cloud storage and data management space. And though Box.com has Microsoft, and more recently, Google breathing down its neck, CEO Aaron Levie doesn’t appear the least bit nervous.

That may be because the company has spent seven years building its business and solidifying a technology platform that gets more sophisticated — and cost-effective — every day. And as it has evolved into occupying a sizable Silicon Valley building, and employing more than 400 people, Box is now setting its sights on new businesses, including providing customers with the infrastructure on which to build cloud-based applications.

Last week, the 27-year-old Levie sat down with CNET in a conference room at Box.com headquarters for an interview about the state of his company, the competitive landscape in the cloud storage and service space, and even the value of wearing a hoodie in a meeting with potential investors.

How do you pitch Box.com to customers?
Levie: So many different kinds of businesses out there are all going through the exact same challenge and transition. It’s almost counterintuitive how predictable everybody’s situation is. Because whether you’re in construction or finance or real estate or consumer or media tech, every CIO we talk with, and these are companies that are 5,000, or 10,000, or 50,000 employees, they’re going through the same kind of transition and they’re at the same junctures as organizations, where they have decades of legacy technologies that they’re still managing. And it’s, How am I going to build an IT and technology strategy for the next five to ten years. And often, if you look at how vast the change has been in the landscape, the technology strategy they’re going to end up with is very different than the one they just came from.

So what is Box.com?
Levie: The vision of Box is to make it easy for customers to share, manage, and access information from anywhere. That means we need lots of different kinds of technologies to make that happen, including technology that will sit on your iPhone, your Mac, your Android device or your Blackberry. And we just announced something with Nokia with their Windows Phones and tablets. We’re a 100 percent enterprise-focused company, and all the technology we’re building goes towards asking how do we make it easier or more scalable, or simpler, and just a better way for businesses to share and manage and access this data.

Any regrets on being 100 percent enterprise?
Levie: God, no. Our thesis is basically that if you look at the cost of storage, it goes down roughly about 50 percent every 18 to 24 months. So our hard costs are about a tenth of what they were when we started the company seven years ago. And you can predict that in the next five to ten years, we’ll have another 10x improvement in storage density and performance. Eventually you’ll get to a point where storage is infinite and free, because companies like Google, and Microsoft, and Apple can essentially subsidize the cost of storage for their consumers because it’s so cheap and the value of keeping people locked into their system is so great for them. But in the enterprise, storage is critically important, so we had to give people lots of space, but what you pay for is the security, the platform value, the collaboration, and the integration into your enterprise, and this is where we can build differentiated technology instead of just being measured on how much storage we give you and at what price.

Who poses the biggest threat to your business?
Levie: I would say Microsoft knows the most about the enterprise of any of these players. Google has a phenomenal brand, but it’s getting to be a broader brand, because it’s everything from your wallet to your car to your TV to your phone. The other thing that gets lost in the entire conversation because Google and Microsoft and Apple are so aggressive about this space, is the big transition companies are going to do from Oracle, IBM, EMC, and a lot of these traditional enterprise infrastructure players. Because as these dollars, and as your computing goes to the cloud, it moves away from implementing on-premise systems. It’s not going to be that Dropbox or Apple or Google loses. It’s going to be a lot of the legacy systems that we were spending lots of money on. As the $290 billion enterprise software market moves to the cloud, an entire new landscape of players and vendors are going to be the beneficiaries of that, unless these legacy vendors really get their act together.

Exynos 5 Octa, flexible display enhanced with Microsoft vision et al. from Samsung Components: the only valid future selling at CES 2013

[5:30 – 5:39] of the video embedded in ‘Details’ section below:
Samsung Components [the proper name is Device Solutions Division, Samsung Electronics]: a $16B operation just for Q3 2012 alone.

WTF are 8 cores for? How the mobile battery will cope with that? And the fundamental (technical only) answers to both questions (objections) are:
[24:00 – 24:50] of the video embedded in ‘Details’ section below:
demo and illustration of the big.LITTLE
Warren East, CEO, ARM:

[24:57] It is providing roughly twice the performance of today’s leading edge smartphones at half the power consumption when running common workloads [25:07]

Add here just the following illustration in order to avoid the (unfortunately) quite typical misunderstanding of having 8 core in Exynos 5 Octa, when in fact there are 4 cores used for different workloads:

WTF is a flexible display for?
[48:53 – 54:00] of the video embedded in ‘Details’ section below:
How Microsoft is using Samsung components to enhance their solutions, Eric Rudder, chief technical strategy officer, Microsoft:

image
[51:37] We actually have a prototype of Windows Phone and how would look on one of those screens [51:41]
image

[51:41] And Microsoft’s vision is that sensors like Kinect combined with flexible, transparent and projected displays will bring us to a point when any object can be a Surface and can be a computer. I’d like to close with a short video from Microsoft Research which extends interactivity to every surface in your living room. Last year you’ve may seen some videos with precomputed projections. What we’re demoing today is both real-time and fully interactive. And while you may find it hard to believe the footage shown here is exactly what’ve appeared in the lab without any special effects being added. Some companies talk about reality distortion field we’ve actually built one. [52:32]

[52:35 – 53:20] IllumiRoom Projects Images Beyond Your TV for an Immersive Gaming Experience [MicrosoftResearch YouTube channel, Jan 8, 2013]

IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept Microsoft Research project designed to push the boundary of living room immersive entertainment by blending our virtual and physical worlds with projected visualizations. The effects in the video are rendered in real time and are captured live — not special effects added in post processing. IllumiRoom project was designed by: Brett Jones, Hrvoje Benko, Eyal Ofek and Andy Wilson

[53:24] This is just a glimpse of what our future may hold in store for us. We’re excited that this technology can be used in many different ways: to enhance a TV or movie experience, or increase the reality of a flight simulator, or make educational scenarios more exciting. We look forward to our continued partnership with Samsung to deliver the next generation of devices and services. [53:49]


Details

<CES 2013 “warm-up” clips, worth to skip> [3:10]
<Gary Shapiro intro, might be skipped> [6:00]

Samsung Exynos 5 Octa & Flexible Display at CES 2013 Keynote [SamsungTomorrow YouTube channel, Jan 9, 2012]

Samsung introduced its Exynos 5 Octa, Green Memory Solution, Flexible OLED and Green LCD at CES 2013. This is the keynote speech of CES 2013 with the theme of ‘Mobilizing Possibility’ presented by Dr Stephen Woo, President of Device Solutions Business for Samsung Electronics. He talks on how Samsung’s innovative components technology has been bringing future into present at CES 2013.

Samsung Highlights Innovations in Mobile Experiences Driven by Components, in CES Keynote [Samsung press release, January 9, 2013]

Samsung’s President Introduces Broader Partnerships, New Products and the Possibilities They Enable

LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today redefined the story of consumer electronics from its perspective beneath the surface of mobile devices at the 2013 International CES keynote address.

“When you want multiple applications to perform at their best, you want the best application processor currently available—the Exynos 5 Octa.”

Dr. Stephen Woo, president of System LSI Business, Device Solutions Division, Samsung Electronics, shared the company’s vision of “Mobilizing Possibility,” highlighting the role of components as the engine behind innovation across the mobile landscape. The keynote event illustrated possibilities that Samsung envisions offering through its component solutions, and introduced new products that will herald such expectations.

“We believe the right component DNA drives the discovery of what’s possible,” said Woo. “Components are building blocks—the foundations on which devices are built. We at Samsung’s component solutions are creating new, game-changing components across all aspects of devices.”

Guests from partnering companies, such as Warren East, chief executive officer, ARM; Eric Rudder, chief technical strategy officer, Microsoft; Trevor Schick, senior vice president, enterprise group supply chain procurement, HP; and Glenn Roland, vice president and head of new platforms and OEM, EA; also took part in the event, echoing Samsung’s mission to offer breakthrough products and create shared value (CSV) for both manufacturers and end-users.

Woo opened by presenting Samsung’s goal for Mobilizing Possibility that takes big ideas off the drawing board and brings them to life for end-users, especially in the areas of processing performance, energy-efficient memory solutions and display technology. He emphasized that the limitless possibilities presented by consumer electronics will be based on component innovations by the company.

Processing Power

The first of Samsung’s new products announced at the keynote was the Exynos 5 Octa, the world’s first mobile application processor to implement the ARM® big.LITTLE™ processing technology based on the Cortex™-A15 CPU. Following the Exynos 5 Dual, which is already on board of market-leading products such as the Google Chromebook and Nexus 10, the successor is the newest addition to the Exynos family of application processors.

“The new Exynos 5 Octa introduces a whole new concept in processing architecture…designed for high-end smartphones and tablets,” said Woo. “When you want multiple applications to perform at their best, you want the best application processor currently available—the Exynos 5 Octa.”

To expand on the big.LITTLE concept, Warren East, chief executive officer, ARM, joined Woo on stage and introduced the new technology that has just become available in silicon through the Exynos 5 Octa. Housing a total of eight cores to draw from—four powerful Cortex-A15™ processors to handle processing-intense tasks along with four additional Cortex-A7™ cores for lighter workloads—the application processor offers maximum performance and up to 70 percent higher energy efficiency compared to the previous quad-core Exynos.

Glenn Roland, vice president and head of new platforms and OEM, EA [Electronic Arts], helped Woo demonstrate the processing power of the Exynos 5 Octa by showing off one of EA’s latest 3D racing games, Need for Speed™ Most Wanted. Atop the reference device, the application processor delivered an elevated real-life gaming experience within the mobile platform, rendering stunning graphics performance and real-time response speed.

Green Memory Capabilities

As advanced processing power on mobile devices accelerates easier data creation by the masses, the mobile experience will increasingly become more dependent upon datacenters largely responsible for the proliferating data traffic. Growing in size and capacity, IT systems face challenges both in performance and power savings to secure sustainability moving forward. Memory devices, the main products for servers that make up these datacenters, can deliver substantial gains by adopting cutting-edge technology available from Samsung.

Woo pointed out that managing the power consumption in these datacenters have become crucial and that Samsung’s green memory solutions with solid state drives (SSD) and advanced DRAM (dynamic random access memory) are addressing this key issue with their powerful, yet energy-efficient processing capabilities. Compared to traditional datacenters that incorporate hard disk drives (HDD), server and storage solutions equipped with green memory pull the data processing speeds up six-fold while operating with 26 percent less electricity.

Display Technology

As components on the surface that interact directly with users, display solutions bring the technology advancements to life and make them tangible through the device interface. Woo presented the future possibilities of Samsung’s displays along with Brian Berkeley, senior vice president of Samsung Display. While crystal-clear picture qualities become a reality, the two Samsung speakers were pleased to share that the innovations do not sacrifice energy efficiency.

Woo and Berkeley described the 10.1-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) panel that is currently adopted by the Nexus 10. With a 2560×1600 resolution and 300 pixels per inch (ppi), the panel renders stunning picture qualities while consuming only 75 percent of the energy used in previous display solutions.

Using Samsung’s energy-efficient green LCD technology, the company is currently developing a 10.1-inch model that would lower power consumption even further by 25 percent, while offering equal resolution qualities as its predecessor.

Prototypes and real-life scenarios for Samsung’s line of flexible organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays were also showcased, promising various mobile application opportunities for consumer electronics manufacturers. Dubbed “YOUM,” the flexible display line-up uses extremely thin plastic instead of glass, making it bendable and virtually “unbreakable.” Berkeley featured a smartphone prototype equipped with a curved edge that showed contiguous content along the side of the device.

“Our team was able to make a high-resolution display on extremely thin plastic instead of glass, so it won’t break even if it’s dropped,” said Berkeley. “This new form factor will really begin to change how people interact with their devices, opening up new lifestyle possibilities … [and] allow our partners to create a whole new ecosystem of devices.”

One of Samsung’s partners that bring the company’s state-of-the-art components together is Microsoft, adding more layers of value to the final product with its software solutions, devices and services. Eric Rudder, chief technical strategy officer, Microsoft, took the complete ATIV family of devices as an example through which Samsung’s component solutions and Windows 8 together present new potential in user interfaces. Rudder reported that Microsoft Research has been continuing its work on next-generation display technologies, enabling new modes of human-computer interaction.

Possibility for All

Creating a better world with its resources is one of Samsung’s core values. Samsung’s flagship corporate social responsibility initiative, Samsung Hope for Children, was launched in this spirit, through which the company provides its products, expertise and financial support to tackle the needs of children around the world for education and healthcare. Woo emphasized that Samsung’s innovation in components share the same thread as a driver that truly mobilizes possibility without boundaries or barriers.

“When [Samsung’s] technologies harmonize, amazing things happen. Advances in components are giving rise to a whole new era of possibility,” said Woo. “At Samsung, we are passionate about Mobilizing Possibility. Not just for the privileged few, but possibility for all.”

For more information about Samsung’s 2013 International CES keynote, visit www.samsung.com/2013ceskeynote or www.samsungces.com.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in consumer electronics and the core components that go into them. Through relentless innovation and discovery, we are transforming the worlds of televisions, smartphones, personal computers, printers, cameras, home appliances, medical devices, semiconductors and LED solutions. We employ 227,000 people across 75 countries with annual sales exceeding US$143 billion. Our goal is opening new possibilities for people everywhere. To discover more, please visit www.samsung.com.

ARM TechCon 2012 – Warren East, CEO ARM Keynote [ARMflix, Nov 2, 2012]

Warren East, CEO of ARM gives industry keynote at TechCon 2012 Presentation Title: Low-Power Leadership for a Smarter Future

More essential details:
Cortex-A7 OR Low-Power Leadership for A Smarter Future – The Legend of ARM Cortex-A7 [USD 99 Allwinner, Jan 7, 2013]
Fast 3d party IP OR the external Intellectual Property which makes Allwinner’s unprecedented pace of further next-gen SoC introductions possible despite of the company size of only 500 employees [USD 99 Allwinner, Dec 28, 2012]
Samsung Exynos 5250 [Dec 6, 2011]
– for Samsung semiconductor foundry operation: see inside the Qualcomm’s critical reliance on supply constrained 28nm foundry capacity [this same ‘Experiencing the ‘Cloud’ blog, July 27 – Nov 13, 2012]
Intel targeting ARM based microservers: the Calxeda case [this same ‘Experiencing the ‘Cloud’ blog, Dec 14, 2012]
Intel’s biggest flop: at least 3-month delay in delivering the power management solution for its first tablet SoC [this same ‘Experiencing the ‘Cloud’ blog, Dec 20, 2012]

Windows RT must work with more chips to take off, ARM CEO says [CNET, Jan 9, 2012]

LAS VEGAS — Microsoft’s newest operating system that runs on cell phone chips is off to a slow start, but it’s only a matter of time before it gains more traction, the chief executive of chip technology designer ARM Holdings said.

Warren East, speaking today in an interview with CNET at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, said that for that to happen, Microsoft needs to make its software, dubbed Windows RT, work with more ARM-based processors. He said it eventually will do so, but it’s unclear when that will be.

Currently, Windows RT runs only on Qualcomm and Nvidia chips (it also used to work with Texas Instruments’ processors, but that company decided to move away from providing chips for mobile devices). And only four PC makers ultimately built Windows RT products.

“If Microsoft wants to benefit from the ARM business model and the ARM world, then they’ll have to support multiple players,” East said. “Otherwise, there’s no real advantage for them in working with ARM.”

East today noted that when Microsoft first started talking with ARM about making a tablet/PC operating system that works with its processors, Microsoft wanted to work with only one ARM-based chip partner.

“We said, ‘no, no, you need to work with a few, because we have found over the years it helps to work with a few, or otherwise you end up getting too channeled into the requirements of one customer,” he said.

Microsoft Research at CES: IllumiRoom [Next at Microsoft blog, Jan 9, 2013]

Earlier this morning at CES, Eric Rudder, Microsoft’s Chief Technology Strategy Officer, joined the Samsung keynote to share Microsoft’s vision for extending computing interactions to any surface in your home. This wasn’t a product launch but I’m excited by the potential shown in the research that we shared.

Imagine a space like your kitchen or a classroom achieving that same level of interactivity as your phone – this will happen through a combination of embedded devices and sensors such as Kinect for Windows. Our research demo only covers educational and entertainment scenarios but the possibilities are endless.

It’s rare for a company to pull back the curtain and share research in such raw form at the world’s largest technology tradeshow. However, we think it’s vitally important to get the next generation of students excited about Computer Science – and what better way than to show off research that makes gaming more fun! 

While magicians never share their secrets, researchers have to publish, so, a bit of explanation about the demo is in order. You may have seen interesting 3D-mapped projections over the past few years – Microsoft partners like Nokia and Samsung have both used pre-rendered footage in recent marketing efforts. What’s new in this work is that our researchers used Kinect for Windows to map the room in real-time in order to make projected illusions fully interactive. Most importantly, the effects shown in the video were captured live as they appeared in the living room environment and are not the result of special effects added in post processing.

For more on the science behind this demo, check out the MSR IllumiRoom project site from Hrvoje Benko, Andrew Wilson, Eyal Ofek, and Brett Jones – they’ll have more to come at CHI 2013 in April.

IllumiRoom: Peripheral Projected Illusions for Interactive Experiences [Microsoft Research, Jan 9, 2013 ]

image

IllumiRoom is a proof-of-concept system from Microsoft Research. It augments the area surrounding a television screen with projected visualizations to enhance the traditional living room entertainment experience.

IllumiRoom uses a Kinect for Windows camera and a projector to blur the lines between on-screen content and the environment we live in allowing us to combine our virtual and physical worlds. For example, our system can change the appearance of the room, induce apparent motion, extend the field of view, and enable entirely new game experiences.

Our system uses the appearance and the geometry of the room (captured by Kinect) to adapt the projected visuals in real-time without any need to custom pre-process the graphics. What you see in the videos below has been captured live and is not the result of any special effects added in post production.

Stay tuned for more information and a paper explaining all the details coming up at ACM CHI 2013.

Intel’s biggest flop: at least 3-month delay in delivering the power management solution for its first tablet SoC

This is all despite the fact that Intel had already the following slides back in April on the IDF2012 in Beijing:

imageimage
image

i.e. the slide on the left was explicitly stating these Mobility Features:
9+ Hours Battery Life
~30 Days Standby
as well as among the Experience Features:
Connected Standby 
The last two features are still (Dec 20) not met even for available Acer & Samsung devices!Source of the slides: Developing for Microsoft Windows 8 on Intel Architecture Based Tablets and Hybrids [Intel Developer Forum 2012 in Beijing, April 11, 2012]

In my Windows 8 gaining smartphone like “connected standby” capability [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, Nov 12, 2011] post I summarized the feature as:

New power state called “Connected Standby”

  • Windows coalesces all the timer and network requests, turns the radio on periodically to satisfy them, then goes back to very low power consumption.
  • But because app requests are getting satisfied they are up to date as soon as you press “ON”

Microsoft was clear as early as in 2011 in its Building a power-smart general-purpose Windows [Building Windows 8, Nov 9, 2011] post that:

For Windows 8, we’ve built a new device power framework that allows all devices to advertise their power management capabilities and integrate them with a special driver called the Power Engine Plug-in or PEP, designed for SoC systems. The PEP is provided by the silicon manufacturer and knows all of the SoC-specific power management requirements. This allows device drivers like our USB host controller or a keyboard driver to be built once, and still deliver optimal power management on all platforms from SoC-based PCs to datacenter servers.

We are hard at work with all of our ecosystem partners to deliver the low-power and long battery life technologies we all want in our Windows 8 PCs.

In Collaborating to deliver Windows RT PCs [Building Windows 8 blog, Aug 14, 2012] post Microsoft was even reporting that for ARM based Windows products:

The following chart shows some of the measurement ranges we are seeing as we test early production PCs for the connected standby and power scenarios.

The measurements are based on firmware still undergoing final optimizations, and the just released Windows RT RTM code, and will only improve as the PCs move towards manufacture. To provide context on the significance of the measurement, it is important to understand how the scenario was measured. In this case, the PC was playing back in full screen a local HD video at full resolution with a screen brightness of 200 nits. It was also configured for one email account using the Microsoft network. Finally, these numbers are also influenced by the different PC form factors themselves, which include both tablets and laptops, screen sizes that vary from 10.1” to 11.6”, and battery sizes spanning 25 Whr to 42 Whr.

Scenario

Early production range

HD Video Playback

8 hours to 13 hours of scenario run time

Connected Standby

320 hours to 409 hours of scenario run time

Then in NVIDIA Powers Amazing Windows 8 Experiences [NVIDIA press release, Oct 25, 2012] the number for connected standby on the Windows RT delivery was reported as:

Windows RT marks the first time that PCs have been able to take advantage of incredibly efficient ARM-based processors like Tegra 3, enabling two weeks of connected standby time. The majority of Windows RT devices at launch use NVIDIA Tegra 3, including the ASUS Vivo Tab RT, Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 and Microsoft Surface RT.

Note: For Android tablets similar results are available, if any. The Chinese made V971 tablet from Onda with an AML8726-MX SoC (dual Cortex-A9 CPU cores at 1.5GHz and dual core Mali 400 GPU), for example, has a “longest standby time” (最长待机时) of 360 hours. So even relatively unknown SoC vendors, like in this case Amlogic, in cooperation with Google were able to meet similar kind of power efficiency results in connected standby terms as Microsoft was able to meet with its selected ARM SoC partners, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments for the new Windows release.

Nevertheless almost a year later than the original public information about Windows 8 gaining smartphone like “connected standby” capability [this same ‘Experiencing the Cloud’ blog, Nov 12, 2011], in September 2012 Bloomberg reported that:

Intel Corp. (INTC) Chief Executive Officer Paul Otellini told employees in Taiwan that Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Windows 8 operating system is being released before it’s fully ready, a person who attended the company event said.

Improvements still need to be made to the software, Otellini told employees at a company meeting in Taipei yesterday, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the meeting was private.

Then despite an Intel Statement in Response to Unsubstantiated News Reports [Sept 26, 2012] Bloomberg BusinessWeek soon reported that Intel Software Snag Said to Hamper Windows Apple Response [Oct 1, 2012]

Intel Corp. (INTC)’s delayed delivery of software that conserves computer battery life is holding up development of some tablets running the latest version of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Windows operating system, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

Microsoft hasn’t yet approved any tablets featuring an Intel processor code-named Clover Trail because the chipmaker hasn’t produced necessary power-management software, said the person, who asked not to be named since the process is private.

ZDNet clarified the issue as:

Clover Trail introduces two new power management states, called S0i1 and S0i3. S0i1 is described as an “active” sleep state that kicks in when the user stops using the device but hasn’t yet put it to sleep, while the S0i3 sleep state is called a “connected” sleep state [rather: Windows 8 connected standby] and this allows the device to enter a state where it consume microwatts of power but can still wake up in a matter of milliseconds.

These new sleep states mean that the standby battery life of Z2760-powered hardware can be as much as three weeks.

Here we are talking about the driver programming for two power management units, each with its own microcontroller, as shown on the Clover Trail block diagram below:

image

which is related to new ultra low power states introduced into this next-generation Atom SoC:

image
which look like under thermal imaging as follows:
image  imageimage  image
Source of the slides: Tablet Platforms with Next Generation Intel® Atom™ Processors and Microsoft* Windows* 8 [IDF2012 San Francisco, Sept 12, 2012] by Joseph Nielsen,Tablet Platform Marketing Engineer, Intel Corporation and Mark Ewert, Tablet SoC Si Architect, Intel Corporation.

From Microsoft point of view, in addition to the already referred post, there is a follow-up Improving power efficiency for applications [Building Windows 8, Feb 8, 2012] post as well  which summarizes the Windows 8 SW part as:

Connected standby and sleep-capable machines

By the time Windows 8 is released, there will be a broader range of PCs available than ever before. Many of these will have similar power options to those running Windows 7 today. Besides turning off completely, they will be able to go into a “sleep” state, either on demand, or after a period of inactivity. During sleep, all system activity is completely suspended.

image

The chart above shows how, as the PC idles just prior to sleep, desktop apps continue to run in the same way as they have in prior versions of Windows, while Metro style apps run in the managed way I described earlier. When the PC goes to sleep, both desktop apps and Metro style apps are fully suspended. This is great for battery life—when the machine is asleep, it consumes very little power. It’s not as great for a data-freshness though, since when the machine is asleep, it isn’t getting live tile updates, downloading new mail, or getting ready to alert you with alarms or other notifications.

As Pat covered in his post [i.e. in Building a power-smart general-purpose Windows [Building Windows 8, Nov 9, 2011] referred earlier], we’ve enabled a new smartphone-like power state for a new class of PCs that rarely get turned off completely. Typically based on “System on Chip” (SoC) architectures, these PCs are interesting because instead of turning off during periods of inactivity they go into a very low power state while still running. This new state is referred to as “connected standby.” This enables some great connected scenarios, such as always having email up-to-date, and being able to receive instant messages or phone calls, while still delivering amazing battery life. The chart below shows behavior for both desktop and Metro style apps during connected standby. For this to really work effectively though, we had to consider both Metro style apps (which, as you saw earlier, we can very effectively ensure are conservative with system resources), as well as desktop applications, which presented a tougher challenge because they have been designed over the years to expect either full access to system resources (when running in the fore or background) or no access (when the PC is asleep.)

image

To this end, we have added a new component to Windows 8 called the “Desktop Activity Moderator,” which only runs on these new connected standby-capable platforms. This component is designed to help reduce the resource utilization of desktop apps when the device goes into connected standby. If we allowed apps to continue running unchecked in this low-power mode, the PC would run down the battery more quickly. Instead, we suspend desktop applications, stopping their resource use and maximizing battery life. From the applications’ perspective, it will appear as if the PC has simply been put to sleep. When the PC is woken from connected standby, the app will resume as if the PC had been woken from a sleep state.

However, there are actually several components on the system that are required for connected standby, which we cannot suspend. These include drivers, some inbox and 3rd party services, and of course, the Metro style apps that use the background features mentioned earlier. Many of these provide functionality such as responding to user input when you return to your device, or providing network functionality. We enable these to run in connected standby after careful evaluation to ensure they do not have a significant impact on battery life. In addition, there are a set of processes that need to run in response to activity on the system. These processes are throttled to only run for short periods of time until a background activity is initiated, at which point they are allowed to run unimpeded. A great example of this is an antivirus product, which is often scanning in response to activity on the system. When there is background activity occurring such as receiving an incoming email via the background affordances, antivirus can run unimpeded during this time. But during the majority of the time when incoming network activity is not occurring, there is very minimal activity and therefore these components will be throttled to minimize their impact on battery life.

More about that see:
Windows 8: Connected Standby [Jerry Nixon, Microsoft Developer Evangelist, April 17, 2012]
Introduction to Connected Standby [Microsoft whitepaper, Oct 5, 2012] from which it is worth to include here the following definition of the value as measured by Microsoft:

Systems that support Connected Standby must meet the Connected Standby Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK) requirement for battery life. This requirement specifies that all Connected Standby systems must drain less than 5% of system battery capacity over a 16-hour idle period in the default shipping configuration. A certification test for this can be found in the Windows Hardware Certification Kit (HCK).

which means a 320 hours connected standby time as a minimum to pass the certification test.

So Microsoft did its job as well demonstrated by ARM based Windows RT tablets, such the Microsoft Surface. This cannot be said about Intel even two months after the Windows 8 launch.

It is also notable for this whole story that the ultra low power consumption to be achieved by the above hardware+driver software solution was indicated as one of the most important feature of Intel® Atom™ Processor Z2760: Tablets that Move as Fast as We Do [channelintel YouTube channel, Sept 27, 2012], that is right, back in September when the Z2760 platform was officially announced by Intel:

From Sandor Nacsa: This video was published when Intel announced the Clover Trail Atom as Z2760. It is remarkable that the first two testimonials are from Sansung and Acer, then there are other two testimonials from ZTE and Lenovo, whose Z2760-based tablets are still not on the market as of Dec 19, 2012. There are still no answers about their availability from the vendors.

Now we are close to Christmas and Dell and HP hit by Windows 8 tablet delays; Clover Trail could be the problem [Dec 19, 2012]

The first Intel Atom and Clover Trail Windows 8 tablets from Dell and HP were slated to launch in late 2012, but now look set to arrive as late as the end of January 2013.

News broke as Dell pushed back the shipping date of its Latitude 10 Windows 8 Pro tablet more than a month to January 22 with HP in turn now expecting its Envy x2 tablet to reach customers by December 21 at the latest.

Dell announced the delay by tweaking the availability date on its website but rumors had been flying around the availability beforehand, with a Dell customer telling InformationWeek that he had been informed the Latitude 10 was delayed.

HP, meanwhile, informed tech website CNET that its convertible Envy x2 Windows 8 Pro tablet, initially set to launch on November 14, will reach customers in time for Christmas.

“Customers can expect to receive an Envy x2 in January, if they order today,” said a customer representative, in an email to the source.

“Customers who ordered their units on Dec. 3 or prior are expected to receive their PC by Dec. 21 at the latest. HP expects additional units to ship in January.”

The exact cause of the problem is unclear, although the InformationWeek report suggests that PC makers are struggling to build Clover Trail drivers stable enough to pass Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Quality Labs testing (WHQL). Devices must pass this certification before being offered for sale.

Talking of Intel-powered Windows 8 tablets and the status of Lenovo’s own ThinkPad 2 also looks unclear.

The tablet has twice been delayed from its original launch date of October 26 but did pass FCC two weeks ago. The slate is listed on the Microsoft Store but its availability is not listed.

TabTimes has reached out to Lenovo for a comment on the matter but is yet to hear back from the Taiwanese PC maker.

Intel-based Windows 8 tablets see spotty availability [CNET, Dec 18, 2012]

Overall availability of Intel-based Windows 8 tablets and hybrids is spotty. While products based on the Intel Z2760 from Samsung (ATIV Smart PC 500T) and Acer (W510) are already available, others from Lenovo, Dell, and HP aren’t.

They are available indeed (note that those tablets corresponf to Intel’s refernce design):
http://www.provantage.com/acer-nt-l0kaa-001~AACEN1KA.htmimage

Acer Iconia W510-1422 vs. SamsungATIV Smart PC 500T [CE Arena, Nov 29, 2012]

The Acer Iconia W510-1422 and the Samsung ATIV Smart PC-500T are two of the more serious contenders of ASUS’s Transformer Pad series. They both feature the same processing unit, the brand new  Intel® Atom™ Z2760, which is running on the Clover Trail platform – specially designed for mobile devices running Windows 8 on a 32-bit architecture. Thus, performance wise, there are literally no differences between the two tablets: same RAM size, same storage space, same graphics unit, etc. However, minor fault lines start to appear when we take into consideration screen size, battery life and portability. That’s all there is between the two gadgets. Also, they essentially cost the same: $750 at the time of this review.

http://www.excaliberpc.com/621516/samsung-ativ-smart-pc-500t.htmlimage

However, in terms of the mobility and experience features mentioned in the introduction even these devices are not ready for the market! Here are quotes supporting that statement for the Samsung device* (as this was under more scrutiny because of higher expectations):
* for the other available Z2760 based device see: Acer Iconia W510 Win 8 Tablet gets 7/10 and 16hrs in Full Test [UMPCPortal, Dec 6, 2012]

Battery Life
[from here, but a lot of other sites contain this initial specification from Samsung, curiously now removed from the Samsung site, but originally was there according to this 3d party webcache]

  • Browsing (8Hrs), Video Playback (11Hr), Charging Time (320Min), Standby Time (600min [i.e. 10 hours]) [vs. Intel’s target of ~30 Days Standby]

BATTERY 
[From Microsoft Store, note that for Acer Iconia W510 there only “up to 9 hours”]
| 2-cell lithium-polymer (up to 14.5 hours)*

Samsung Ativ Smart PC 500T: Don’t Expect Any Miracles [Gizmodo UK, Nov 15, 2012]

The battery performance varied. When using it strictly as an RT tablet, the 500T was pretty efficient, making it through a whole day. But when using a bunch of browser tabs and apps in desktop mode, it drained a lot faster.

Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T [Review] [CNET, Dec 4, 2012]

Pros

Great battery life! 8-10 hours easily,
Full sized USB port, mini HDMI port, micro SD memory port
Great screen, S pen digitizer, stereo speaker placed well, and sounds great, Windows 8 very responsive, Very peppy dual core Atom processor, yes peppy!.

Cons

Once in a while when coming out of sleep mode I have to refresh the wireless connection since it stalls with a limited connection. Windows network diagnostic handles that as well. Screens a finger print magnet, but aren’t all touch screens?

Hands-on Review: Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T [Marketnews Canada, Dec 17, 2012]

Battery life is rated at 10 hours. In practice, it seemed very good. A single charge got me through most of my testing, and didn’t dissipate over many hours of idle ‘sleep’ time.

One other oddity: the 500T doesn’t come on instantly, like an Android or iOS tablet. Instead, there’s about a ten-second pause while Windows 8 resumes from Sleep [vs. the ms level latency from connected standby given in September by Intel, as could have seen above].

Customer Reviews for Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T [Samsung US]

Nov 19, 2012 … Cons: Poor quality, Did not meet expectations, dock is unusable as it constantly disconnects, glitchy drivers = frozen pc = reboot often

Nov 29, 2012:

I was very excited to finally be able to buy this x86 Win8 tablet.
Unfortunately, the tablet has a WiFi problem that occurs after waking from sleep or a power on. Basically, it can’t connect to WiFi for about 2-3 minutes. Usually, you have to turn on/off AirPlane mode to get WiFi to work again.
For 2 weeks, I was installing every Samsung update but the issue was never fixed.
Other users have reported problems with the keyboard dock (I only had the tablet).
So, unless you want to go through a lot of frustration, wait for Samsung to resolve these issues before purchasing.

 

Dec 3, 2012 … Problems:
When I press the sleep button the tablet decides to automatically turn its self off completely. So basically I have to save everything before I turn the screen off expecting to have to turn it on from cold again. The only reason I’m not returning it because of this is how fast it boots up, but if its not fixed by the time my return date gets close it will go back.

Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T [Softpanorama, Dec 15, 2012]

The tablet is way too fresh and, unless you are a beta addict, it might be beneficial to wait a couple of months and give time to Samsung [rather Intel] to fix the bugs. So buying it in the second quarter of 2013 is better then in 2012. Currently if you want just the Samsung tablet, go for it. But avoid the tablet + keyboard combo till Q2 of 2013.

CONTINUED: Intel-based Windows 8 tablets see spotty availability [CNET, Dec 18, 2012]

Intel-based Windows 8 tablets and hybrids from the world’s two largest PC vendors, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard, have been experiencing delays.

A tablet from Hewlett-Packard running the full version of Windows 8 is expected to finally ship to customers, though a full Win 8 tablet doesn’t appear to be imminent from Lenovo.

HP’s Envy x2 laptop-tablet hybrid “convertible” was originally slated for November 14 availability but is now expected to reach customers soon, HP said.

“Customers can expect to receive an Envy x2…in January, if they order today. Customers who ordered their units on Dec. 3 or prior are expected to receive their PC by Dec. 21 at the latest,” an HP representative told CNET via e-mail.

“HP expects additional units to ship in January,” the representative added.

The Envy x2 uses a new power-efficient dual-core “Clover Trail” Z2760 system-on-a-chip from Intel that can run the full 32-bit Windows 8. This sets it apart from Windows RT devices, such as Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet, that run a limited version of Windows 8 and are not compatible with older Windows 7 software.

Overall availability of Intel-based Windows 8 tablets and hybrids is spotty. While products based on the Intel Z2760 from Samsung (ATIV Smart PC 500T) and Acer (W510) are already available, others from Lenovo, Dell, and HP aren’t.

HP, for instance, is also prepping an ElitePad tablet using the Intel Z2760 and the full 32-bit Windows 8, but that won’t be available until late January.

And Lenovo’s ThinkPad 2 Tablet — also based on the Intel Z2760 — has been delayed since October.

A Lenovo representative told CNET in November that the ThinkPad 2 Tablet would ship to consumers during the first week of December. But that doesn’t appear to be happening. For instance, the Microsoft Store’s ThinkPad 2 Tablet page gives no indication of availability.

And calls to Microsoft Store representatives today yielded two responses. One rep said the unit wouldn’t ship until January 31 and another said there is no shipment date at all.

As of this afternoon PT, Lenovo had not responded to a request to clarify the shipment date for the ThinkPad 2 Tablet.

Dell’s Latitude 10, also built around the Intel Z2760, lists an “estimated ship date” of January 21.

Dell, HP Windows 8 ‘Atom’ Tablets Delayed Until 2013 [InformationWeek, Dec 19, 2012]

Dell Latitude 10 among Windows 8 systems not yet available, as tablet makers struggle with drivers for energy-efficient Intel Clover Trail chip.

Dell and other vendors have pushed back until January the launch of Windows 8 tablets that use a new, energy-efficient Intel chip that was supposed to put Windows devices on an even footing with the iPad and Android tablets in terms of performance and battery life, but which is apparently causing big headaches for system builders.

Dell’s Latitude 10, which runs Intel’s Atom Z2760, or “Clover Trail” chip, was, as of early Wednesday, not available for shipping until Jan. 22nd, according to the company’s Web site. Only a month ago, Dell had been advertising a pre-Christmas ship date of Dec. 12. The tablet starts at $649, features Windows 8 Pro, and is aimed at business users.

A Dell customer who contacted InformationWeek said company representatives told him last week that the Latitude 10 is delayed. The customer, who asked not to be identified, originally placed his order on Nov. 28, paid for two-day expedited shipping, and was given a mid-December delivery date. Now, Dell is telling him the system won’t be available until January.

“Dell Latitude 10 is not officially launched. As soon as it will be launched it will be sent to you,” a Dell rep told the customer via live chat on Dec. 11, according to a transcript of the session. Dell’s Web site is continuing to accept orders for the Latitude 10, and does not indicate it is available only as a preorder. A Dell spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Dell isn’t the only vendor having trouble with Windows 8 systems built around Intel’s Clover Trail chip. Hewlett-Packard’s site shows that its Envy x2 convertible is not available until Jan. 8. The company originally said it would ship in November, within weeks of Windows 8’s launch on Oct. 26.

ASUS and Lenovo have not announced specific launch dates for their Clover Trail systems, the VivoTab Smart and ThinkPad Tablet 2, respectively. Of the top 5 PC makers, only Acer’s W510 Clover Trail tablet is available for immediate purchase, but it can only be had in limited quantities from Amazon and Microsoft’s online store.

Intel designed Clover Trail to take full advantage of Windows 8’s capabilities, including a key feature called Connected Standby. Connected Standby is supposed to give tablet users a smartphone-like experience by ensuring that their devices are always up to date with new e-mails, messages and other data, even when their systems are powered down. Clover Trail also promises all-day battery life.

But PC makers are having trouble building Clover Trail drivers that are stable enough to pass Microsoft’s Windows Hardware Quality Labs (WHQL) testing, sources say. Under Microsoft’s licensing terms, Windows systems must receive WHQL certification before they can be offered for sale. Intel has not responded to repeated inquiries about the situation.

Cindy Shaw, an analyst with research firm DISCERN, said the delay could hurt PC makers that specialize in enterprise sales. “HP and Dell are conceding they’ve given up on the consumer, so missing the holiday season is not that big of a deal. They’re not missing that magical time of the year,” said Shaw. “But the longer it takes for businesses to get their hands on evaluation units, the longer it’s going to take to translate into enterprise sales.”

Most PC makers currently offer Windows 8 systems, such as the Dell XPS 12, that use Intel’s older Core architecture instead of Clover Trail. Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet also runs an Intel Core chip. Core packs more power than Clover Trail, but does not support Connected Standby and consumes batteries more quickly. A Microsoft spokesperson said the company could not immediately offer a comment.