As the April deadline for Microsoft ceasing support of Windows XP looms, technophobes and changeophobes have been quaking in their boots, contemplating a life without the veteran 13-year-old operating system. But there’s life in the old dog yet it seems, as Microsoft has given in and offered to support some anti-malware products until summer next year. But if users thought this was a green light to get another 12 months out of XP, they were soon disabused of that notion by Microsoft and its channel band of XP naysayers, who struck up again insisting that THE END REALLY IS NIGH. OK, OK – we get it.
If enduring 11 series of Duncan Bannatyne barking “I’M OOT” at hapless entrepreneurs wasn’t enough, the channel now has its very own version of Dragons’ Den. Launched by IT consultancy The Tech Crowd, “Channel Dragons” sees a panel of 10 distributors assess the potential of vendors and their products, and compete to sign up those that make the grade. Vendors must stump up £3,500 to take part but the pay-off could be limitless. Just ask jerk sauce magnate Levi Roots, whose Reggae Reggae business is now reportedly worth £55m.
Public procurement chiefs
Public sector bodies in need of a job lot of enterprise software in the not-too-distant future received good news this week in the shape of a nine-month extension to the £1bn-plus SAS software framework. The contract recently reached its EU-mandated four-year limit, but the Cabinet Office looks to have wangled some leeway from the bods in Brussels as it continues to put together a trio of big-ticket new commodity IT procurement vehicles. Now fast approaching is the 28 February end date of the £6bn Commoditised IT Hardware and Software framework. Suppliers – and procurement chiefs too, no doubt – have long been discomfited that, with no successor yet in place, the deal’s four-year term ends during the public sector’s most hectic buying period. As CRN went to press whispers were abounding that CITHS could be green-lighted for a six-month extension.
IBM hardware devotees
Just a decade ago IBM remained one of IT’s biggest hardware players in both datacentre and desktop. In late 2004 Big Blue sold off its client business to Lenovo and rumours have circulated over the past year that it may jettison its x86 server unit. The new year has brought fresh reports of advanced talks concerning such a deal, with Lenovo once again fingered as a potential acquirer, alongside Dell. Moving away from tin may benefit profitability, but we do worry that International Business Software, Services, Consultancy, Cloud and Enterprise Transformation Projects – or IBSSCCETP – is a less catchy moniker.
The Ministry of Defence recently revealed it needed to spend an extra £50m-plus to rectify faults with the online system for its Army recruitment programme and then pay someone else to handle the whole thing anyway. Last year, Capita was awarded a £1.3bn 10-year deal to oversee the Army’s recruitment campaign, with various IT functions being handled in-house on the MoD’s legacy Atlas platform. Having admitted last summer that the platform was encountering technical boo-boos, MoD bods have fessed up they need to write off £6.7m as well as cough up another £47.7m to move from Atlas to a Capita platform over the next year. In the meantime, if you want to join the Army, leave your name and number with the receptionist at Whitehall.
According to Dionne Warwick’s song, love is the only thing in the world that there is just too little of. But Cisco was inclined to disagree this week, with the networking giant claiming that there is a world shortage of, not love, but security experts. Obviously. Apparently some one million security bods are needed right now to combat the growing success of cybercriminals. And if the latest list of the most popular passwords of 2013 is anything to go by, their first job will be to educate the masses on selecting a decent codeword, after “password” and “123456” topped the charts. Clever. Reports of Cisco reworking Ms Warwick’s classic to focus on the security staff shortage were still unconfirmed at the time CRN went to press…
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