Windows Server 2003
Like a nasty smell you can't get off your fingers, it appears Windows Server 2003 will be sticking around way past its 14 July end-of-life date.
According to HP's UK server boss, 30 per cent of the UK market have "done nothing" to migrate off the 12-year-old OS and are "hoping the problem goes away", despite the related security implications.
"Customers are waiting for Microsoft to say on 14 July, ‘we've changed our mind; we're going to extend it for 12 months'," HP's Angela Cross told CRN. "There is a potential challenge looming and HP is concerned that customers are leaving themselves exposed."
With only a week tomorrow to go before Microsoft pulls support, we don't know what to recommend, although Mr Muscle All Purpose Cleaner normally does the job.
Avnet and Arrow
Avnet and Arrow brought some glamour to the IT distribution market last month when the duo featured on a map of the largest US companies, by state.
In turning over more than any other company in their respective states of Arizona and Colorado, Avnet and Arrow achieved what Apple and Microsoft - who were edged out in their native California and Washington by Chevron and CostCo, respectively - failed to.
Although to be fair, there's not much else in Colorado other than dinosaur bones, cheeseburger joints, Bighorn sheep and snow-capped mountains.
Anti-piracy enthusiast BSA announced recently that in 2014 it saw a 50 per cent increase in the number of reports from whistleblower employees about unlicensed software use.
The industry body made the claim at the launch of its Fact or Fiction initiative, which is designed to bring SMBs up to speed on the risks associated with being underlicensed. Not least the fact that "more employees are prepared to shop their bosses", according to BSA bod Warren Weertman.
Proof once and for all that your parents lied to you - some people do like a tell-tale.
There was bad news for anyone supplying IT kit or services (so pretty much all of us, then) as Gartner warned that IT spend is now falling faster than a bad on Masterchef.
In a development that in no way suggests its previously glowing forecast was composed on the back of a fag packet, Gartner now believes global IT spending will nosedive by 5.5 per cent this year to $3.5tn, due to the strong dollar.
"We want to stress that this is not a market crash. Such are the illusions that large swings in the value of the US dollar versus other currencies can create," snarled Gartner's John-David Lovelock.
Wiping several hundred billion dollars from the value of a market with one stroke of a keyboard - now that's an illusion even David Copperfield would be proud of.
To paraphrase poet and critic George Edward Woodberry, to not have tried is a worse failure than to have tried and been defeated.
Colt, however, may well feel differently after calling time on its ill-fated sortie into the IT services market. The comms giant's decision to gradually exit its activities in this space, which generated €78m of its €1.5bn 2014 revenues, will force it to absorb an eye-watering €45m to €55m in exceptional cash costs alone. Ouch! It will now focus on its tried-and-tested network, voice and datacentre activities. Good call.
When new pro-flexible working rules came in a year ago, the prospect of flogging more remote working IT kit sent pound signs spinning in the eyes of many IT firms.
Last June, the government ruled that all workers - not just parents and carers - were able to request to work flexibly. Employers are obliged to consider, but not grant, those requests.
A year on, Microsoft declared the rules a damp squib after its research found the majority of UK workers still have to go to the office within set hours.
"Productivity levels in the UK are stagnant," sulked Microsoft.
Reports of a surge in headsets and webcams hitting local car boot sales remained unconfirmed as CRN went to press.
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