Build opens Wednesday, here’s what to expect
At Microsoft’s Build developer’s conference—starting in San Francisco on Wednesday—look for a focus on Windows 10 phone, and tools for building universal apps that run not only across the huge installed base of Windows PCs but also on mobile devices, says PC World. It’s also likely that Microsoft will make the app store available on all of your devices, and it may outline plans for third-party app development for Office. Finally, don’t be surprised if there’s talk of Windows as a service; CEO Satya Nadella likes the idea of recurring revenue from subscriptions.
Oracle faces antitrust probe in South Korea
Oracle is in the crosshairs of South Korea’s competition regulators, who have previously targeted the likes of Google and Microsoft. The investigation by Seoul’s Fair Trade Commission apparently centers on Oracle’s insistence that customers pay for maintenance services for all the Oracle software they use, even if they would rather choose another vendor for support.
IBM moves the quantum-computing ball down the field
IBM has developed error-correction techniques for quantum computing, a critical step in making the technology more practical for real-world computing. Quantum computing is one of the more promising paths to continued progress in power and performance, and could be the way forward once silicon and conventional techniques reach their maximum practical potential.
Samsung profits down again, for the sixth time
Samsung Electronics reported its sixth straight quarterly decline in profits in the first quarter, reflecting increased competition both at the high end from Apple and from Chinese makers at the low end of the market. Revenue in its mobile division was down by about 20 percent while operating profit in the division fell by 57 percent year-on-year. One bright spot: Even though the company lost market share, it has overtaken Apple in smartphone shipments in the quarter, said Strategy Analytics. The two companies were tied in the fourth quarter rankings.
Lawmakers try again to rein in NSA bulk data collection
A bipartisan group in the U.S. Congress has reintroduced legislation aimed at ending the National Security Agency’s dragnet collection of telephone records across the country. The new bill would end all bulk collection of records under the Patriot Act, but would create a new surveillance program focused on phone call metadata in cases related to international terrorism.
Windows 10 PCs probably won’t make it back to school
Don’t expect to buy any devices preloaded with Windows 10 to take back to school in September, analysts tell Computerworld. While word is that Microsoft will ship the new OS in late July, it will still take PC manufacturers at least one to two—or even three to four—months to get operating software loaded on machines and shipped to stores in time for a shopping season that starts in late summer in the U.S.
Amazon opens business marketplace
Businesses have been shopping on Amazon.com for years, but now the e-commerce giant is going the extra distance to meet their needs and capture more of their spending. The Amazon Business marketplace sells items ranging from paper clips to lab supplies and tractor parts, and provides more business-friendly features like quantity discounts.
LG’s new G4 phone wraps a nice camera in leather
LG’s new fourth-generation flagship device, the G4, has a premium feel that you won’t find on other high-end smartphones: the vendor is offering a choice of eight different leather backings. PC World found some worthy features under the skin, including a 13-megapixels rear-facing camera that uses an f/1.8 aperture lens and a camera app that offers fully manual shooting mode. There’s a 5.5-inch high contrast QuadHD display, and yes, the battery is removable, for those fans of high-end Android phones annoyed that Samsung did away with that feature on the Galaxy S6.
Europe mandates emergency calling in cars
Automatic emergency call systems are a luxury in most vehicles, but in three years they will be mandatory in all cars and light vans in the European Union. The wireless eCall system voted in by the European Parliament will automatically alert emergency services in case of an accident, aiming to prevent deaths from crash injuries and cut the cost of traffic jams. Concerns about privacy were overcome by adding a clause to the law that precludes tracking of an eCall-equipped vehicle before an accident occurs.
Your smartphone’s NFC capabilities could make you vulnerable to hackers. Here are some tips to help secure your phone.
One last thing
Give access to business analytics to people throughout the company and you can eliminate a layer of management, argues Christopher Mims at the Wall Street Journal.