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Tags ‘Windows Phone’
Ten months after Microsoft wrote-off its Nokia acquisition, the company has now announced that it is effectively out of the consumer phone business. It is cutting 1,850 jobs, and setting aside almost a billion dollars to cover the costs of exiting the business.
Microsoft on Wednesday announced plans to streamline the company’s smartphone hardware business, which will impact up to 1,850 jobs. As a result, the company will record an impairment and restructuring charge of approximately $950 million […]
“We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation â€” with enterprises that value security, manageability and our Continuum capability, and consumers who value the same,” said Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft.
The companyÂ recently saw its market share fall below 1%. While Microsoft is â€“ for now â€“ insistent that it has a future in the corporate smartphone business, the reality seems doubtful …
Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: Lumia, Microsoft, Nokia, Windows Phone
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When Microsoft announced its goal of unifying Windows 10 software across PC, tablets, phones, game consoles, and even Pi-powered micro computers, the future seemed promising. But there was one big problem with that vision: no one really wants a Windows smartphone.
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Opinion: With Blackberryâ€™s BB10 platform dead, enterprise has more reason than ever to adopt the iPhone
BlackBerry phones were once the default choice for enterprise, the combination of physical keyboard and secure messaging facility the two key selling-points. Those days are long gone.
The company dismissed the iPhone when it was launched in 2007, claiming that touchscreen phones could never compete with physical keyboards â€“ before doing a U-turn by launching its own touchscreen phone less than a year later. AÂ series ofÂ major service outages and a failure to deliver the promised BlackBerry 10 in 2011 sealed the company’s fate as a major player,Â and it todayÂ appears set to completely cede the secure messaging space to Apple.
BlackBerry CEO John Chen effectively admittedÂ in December that the company had a ‘backdoor’ into its supposedly secure messaging system, and the company hasÂ now stated that it will this year make only Android phones â€“ a platform not noted for its security credentials. This shortly after Microsoft’s Windows Phone looked even more irrelevant, the company reporting that revenues had halved year-on-year …
While BB10-powered phones remain on sale for the moment, there seems little prospect that BlackBerryÂ would make only Android phones this year before resuming production of BB10 phones later. The BB10 ‘secure’ platform is now living on borrowed time.
While BlackBerry is reportedly working hard to persuade government customers that its Android-powered phones can also be secure, there seems little realistic prospect of the company selling this message to corporate customers. Android’s history is littered with major security flaws.
We’re not talking flaws that affect a smallÂ number of apps, or issues that permit only limited access to attackers, but multiple examplesÂ of malware that impacts almost every app and allows an attacker to take complete control of a phone. Against this type of background, and a deliberate policy to build in a backdoor, it seems hard to see how BlackBerry could realistically present Android-powered phones as a secure platform.
Apple has a massive advantage over Android manufacturers, controlling both hardware and software and â€“ jailbroken devices aside â€“ deciding what apps are and aren’t allowed to run on iPhones. That level of hardware and software integration provides aÂ unique level of security, for example banking apps which can use Touch ID but have no access to fingerprint data, merely asking the Secure Enclave for a yes/no answer onÂ whether a validÂ fingerprint has been used.
That doesn’t mean that iOS devices are immune to malware â€“Â they aren’t. But significant issues are extremely rare, and on those occasionsÂ they do occur, Apple is able to act swiftly to solve the problem.
Apple has also adopted an absolutely unwavering commitment to the principle that user security and privacy overrides the desireÂ governments have for backdoor access. Apple’s attitude is, quite rightly, that if you deliberately build a weakness into a platform for use by the good guys, it’s only a matter of time before it is discovered and exploited by the bad guys.
That commitment is built into Apple’s systems. iOS 8 introduced strong encryption into iPhones and iPads, meaning that even if a law enforcement official comes knocking on Apple’s door with a locked iPhone and a court order demanding that Apple break into it, the company will be unable to do so.
The same is true of iMessages and FaceTime calls. Both use end-to-end encryption, meaning that not even Apple could intercept and decrypt the messages because â€“ as Tim Cook told Charlie Rose back in 2014 â€“ “we don’t have the key.”
Apple has been criticized for this approach by numerous government and law enforcement agencies â€“ among them theÂ United States Attorney General, the FBI, the DOJ,Â the Homeland Security Committee and CIA and more. Apple has been accused of everything from protecting child abusers to facilitating terrorists. To its credit, Apple has resisted all such pressure, Tim Cook saying last year that we should not “give in to scare-mongering.”
9to5Mac readers strongly support Apple’s position, some 93% of you stating that the company is right to stand firm on encryption, with only 3.5% opposed.
If enterprises aren’t satisfied with that, they also have the option of an even more secure platform built on top of iOS by some noted former jailbreakers.
With Windows Phone sliding into irrelevance; the BB10 platform on the way out; BlackBerry admitting to building in a backdoor vulnerability; and its switch to a platform which has a very poor track-record for security, it seems to me that iOS is now the only sensible choice for anyone â€“ enterpriseÂ and individual alike â€“ looking for a secure communications platform.
Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Android, Apple Inc, BB10, BlackBerry, Encryption, Government, iPad, iPhone, law enforcement, Security, Windows Phone
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Microsoft is doing a lot of things right these days and not just in the realm of enterprise software and services that have traditionally been its main strength. It's shown that it can have a very competitive hardware business thanks to not just gaming consoles like the Xbox One but also with touchscreen laptops like the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book. However, there's one serious weak spot in Microsoft's lineup that shows no signs of getting better anytime soon: Smartphones.
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Next week is Thanksgiving, so this weekâ€™s apps include a few that will be fun or useful for groupsâ€“whether youâ€™re delayed at the airport or sitting around the table after dinner.
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Iâ€™m really excited about this weekâ€™s apps. SwiftKey is trying to make its already great (and smart) keyboard smarter. The Podcasting app Overcast is now completely free, plus itâ€™s been updated. And the Truecaller app finally gave its Windows Phone community some much needed attention. Thereâ€™s also a pretty awesome calendar app that visualizes your schedule, a sweet app for making vectors and...well, Halo.
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