Global tablet growth to slow this year

IDCThe much sought after tablet — the darling of the technology industry in recent years — is expected to grow just 19.4 percent this year. That’s a massive slow down from last year’s growth of 51.6 percent. According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, the reduction is due to slowing consumer purchases as hardware iterations slow and the installed base — particularly in mature markets — continues to grow.

Over the course of the past two years, average selling prices (ASPs) have declined rapidly in the tablet market, but this too appears to be slowing. In 2012, ASPs declined 18.3 percent from the previous year, and in 2013, prices dropped another 14.6 percent.

Price erosion has started to slowly bottom out, with ASPs forecast to drop a modest 3.6 percent in 2014. IDC believes ASP declines will slow for several reasons; chief among them are the growth of higher-priced commercial shipments and a consumer movement away from ultra-low cost products.

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Lower-priced products to drive devices growth in 2013

GartnerLower-priced devices are driving the growth of worldwide combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones in 2013, according to Gartner. The global devices market is expected to hit 2.32 billion units, a 4.5 percent increase from 2012.

Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desk-based and notebook) are forecast to total 303 million units in 2013, an 11.2 percent decline from 2012, and the PC market, including ultramobiles, is forecast to drop 8.4 percent. Mobile phone shipments are projected to grow 3.7 percent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units.

Tablet shipments are expected to grow 42.7 percent this year, with shipments reaching 184 million units. Premium tablets are faced with continued price decline in the 7-inch form factor as a larger number of consumers prefer smaller form factors when it comes to content consumption.

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NVIDIA GRID brings visual computing capabilities to Australia

NVIDIABusinesses across Australia can now deploy graphics-accelerated virtual desktops to their employees – cost-effectively, anywhere and on any device – with the adoption of NVIDIA GRID technology by leading technology partners.

Servers from Cisco, Dell, HP, IBM and others are now incorporating NVIDIA GRID into their desktop virtualisation solutions. Combined with enterprise virtualisation software from Citrix, Microsoft or VMware, these solutions can deliver GPU-accelerated applications and desktops to engineers, designers, architects, product design teams and special-effects artists throughout Australia.

Melbourne-based Xenon Systems was appointed as the first NVIDIA GRID Demo Centre for Australia and New Zealand earlier this year. 

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Samsung expands ATIV lineup

Samsung Ativ SeriesSamsung has boosted its ATIV lineup with four new Windows 8 devices — ATIV Book 9 Plus and ATIV Book 9 Lite notebooks, ATIV Tab 3 tablet and ATIV One 5 Style all-in-one desktop PC.

Also introduced is a new feature called HomeSync Lite, which transforms the PC’s hard drive into a personal cloud server. HomeSync Lite lets users to backup their personal files, photos and videos from portable devices to PCs and access them remotely via a mobile device anytime, anywhere.

The ATIV Book 9 Plus is the next generation of the ATIV Book 9, which is ultra thin and light. Its aluminium, uni-body design features several enhancements from the previous model, including a Windows 8 optimised touchscreen to give users a choice of inputs and a panel that flips 180 degrees so that users can change or share their perspective easily. The notebook will be available in mineral ash black from Q4 at major consumer electronics and IT stores and Samsung Experience Stores.

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Cellebrite introduces PC-based wireless retail solution

Cellebrite DeskTopCellebrite has introduced Cellebrite DeskTop, a PC-based version of its suite of applications that increase revenue, boost margins and improve customer satisfaction in the store and beyond.

Cellebrite DeskTop includes fast phone-to-phone content transfer, back-up, and restore, a fully automated phone trade-in programme, application content and delivery, and robust diagnostics to “detect and correct” phone problems, in an integrated solution running in a Microsoft Windows environment.

It reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) by offering retailers the flexibility of running on a general-purpose PC, eliminating the added cost associated with dedicated hardware. Users will also benefit from unprecedented system performance, including fast content transfer.

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NVIDIA GRID unleashes graphics for virtualised desktops

NVIDIANVIDIA has unleashed the full graphics potential of enterprise desktop virtualisation with the availability of NVIDIA GRID vGPU integrated into Citrix XenDesktop 7.

NVIDIA GRID vGPU technology addresses a challenge that has grown in recent years with the rise of employees using their own notebooks and portable devices for work. These workers have increasingly relied on desktop virtualisation technologies for anytime access to computing resources, but until now this was generally used for the more standard enterprise applications. Performance and compatibility constraints had made it difficult for applications such as building information management (BIM), product-lifecycle management (PLM) and video-photo editing.

Two decades ago, hardware-based graphics replaced software emulation. Desktop virtualisation solutions stood alone as the only modern computing form without dedicated graphics hardware. As a result, an already busy virtualised CPU limited performance and software emulation hampered application compatibility.

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Gartner: 2.4b PCs, tablets and mobile phones to ship in 2013

GartnerWorldwide shipment of PCs, tablets and mobile phones are expected to top 2.4 billion units in 2013, a 9 percent increase from 2012, according to Gartner. Device shipments are predicted to reach more than 2.9 billion units in 2017. However, the mix of these devices will significantly change over the forecast period.

The proliferation of lower-priced tablets and their growing capability is accelerating the shift from PCs to tablets.

“While there will be some individuals who retain both a personal PC and a tablet, especially those who use either or both for work and play, most will be satisfied with the experience they get from a tablet as their main computing device,” said Carolina Milanesi, Research Vice President at Gartner. “As consumers shift their time away from their PC to tablets and smartphones, they will no longer see their PC as a device that they need to replace on a regular basis.”

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Mugshot: Informix

Informix mugFounded as Relational Database Systems Inc in 1980, Informix Sofware was a leading developer of relational database management software across a variety of platforms, including Apple Macintosh, Microsoft Windows and Unix.

After selling its core database business to IBM in 2001, Informix was renamed Ascential Software. However, this too was subsequently sold to IBM in 2005. While the company is no longer in existence, the Informix brand lives on as IBM Informix.

This mug is a memory of Informix during its heydays in the 1990s.

 

Fencing your desktop

Fences groups icons to give a cleaner desktop for faster access.

Saving files on the desktop is supposed to make files easy to access without having to go through multiple clicks. However, if left unattended, this can lead to clutter and finding files may just be as, if not more, difficult.

Enter Fences, a nifty little app that groups desktop icons into categories, such as Recent Things, Files and Documents, and Programs.

This helps greatly in searching for files and gives the desktop a more organised feel.

Installation is easy too. Download here.