Tablet sales through the channel in western Europe shot up in the first half of Q2, with Android-powered machines proving the key to growth, according to analyst Context.
Shipments of the strokeable form factor through disties rose 101 per cent year on year, with Android machine volumes growing sixfold.
In more good news, Lenovo is launching 7in and 10in Android tablets this summer and plans to make a major land grab for the UK tablet channel. Although the vendor's UK boss Marc Godin took pains to tell us he sees Windows 8 as "a fantastic OS". If only more customers felt the same way...
London tech start-ups
Technology collective (no, we don't know either) Digital Shoreditch, along with a string of other London bodies, has backed the Million Pound Startup competition to find the next big tech or digital firm.
The group is opening the competition to firms younger than 10 years old with annual turnover of less than £1m. The winner will bag the cash plus dedicated support as it sets up its HQ in the capital.
But if the winners thought securing the investment was the hard part, they should know that the investors expect the winners to turn their cash into £100m over time. Might be worth studying the form for the 3.30pm at Kempton.
And, as if to show what can be achieved if you stick around this business long enough, Computacenter announced it will reward its loyal shareholders with a £75m return.
The UK's largest VAR is offering investors a 48.7p-per-share payment, equating to 10.8 per cent of its market capitalisation. The reseller closed the quarter with net cash - exclusive of customer-specific financing - of £98m. CEO Mike Norris explained that his firm has "a net cash balance in excess of our current needs".
Which is not a position in which anyone on the CRN newsdesk has ever found themself.
The anti-piracy space
A recent BSA report claimed that if everyone in the UK was correctly licensed, it would not only mean getting that warm feeling of being compliant, it would also earn the UK economy £1.53bn a year. Yay!
But vendor License Dashboard hit out at the BSA, claiming it was "missing the point" and that firms want to be compliant for their own sake, not the economy's. It also questioned the BSA's number-crunching skills and demanded full transparency on how it arrived at its figures.
Not one to take criticism lying down, the BSA said it "stood by the study's rigour".
Oh, OK. Regardless of the validity of its figures, we think it needs to work a bit on its comebacks.
The hardware channel
Any hardware resellers feeling the pinch from the decline of the PC market who are banking on the high-end server space should look away now.
Data from Gartner last week revealed "severe weakness" in the enterprise arena had caused EMEA server shipments to fall 6.8 per cent year on year in Q1.
Dell was the big winner, as HP, IBM and Oracle all posted double-digit declines.
"Budgets are restricted and server infrastructure spending is not the highest priority for many firms," said Gartner man Adrian O'Connell.
Perhaps channel firms should start looking elsewhere. With the great British summer (supposedly) on the way, maybe they could boost sales in the short term by moving into lager and disposable barbecues?
Mimecast was left more than a little red faced recently after a hardware fault resulted in a huge service outage, making a mockery of its 100 per cent SLA offer, and angering a wave of customers who took to Twitter to blast the vendor.
Some users claimed the problem was "a disaster" for their business, while rival cloud vendors were keen to stick the boot in too.
Mimecast's head honcho Peter Bauer used the company blog to repeatedly apologise, while tech staff updated customers on their progress. If Twitter was anything to go by, it seems staff were up all night dealing with frustrated customers. We hope Mimecast stumped up for a bacon sarnie and a cuppa in the morning, at least.
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