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PC not ready to die

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ABI research has revealed that 163 million notebooks were shipped last year – debunking the myth that the personal computer is meeting its demise.

Market intelligence company ABI Research has found that 163 million notebook PCs were shipped globally during 2015. The majority of shipments were laptops, which constituted nearly 80% of the category. The data suggests that despite a floating myth speculating that it will only be a matter of time before personal computers meet their demise, the market is still going strong and shows no sign of slowing down in the immediate future.

“Industry experts greatly exaggerated the death of the PC,” says Jeff Orr, Research Director at ABI Research. “The platform is continuing to evolve its designs to provide flexibility for productivity purposes, while also adapting its shape to support tablet-like, touch applications. Chromebooks and ultraportable PCs will continue to drive the most growth within the notebook PC market.”

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Though ultraportable PCs hit the shelves at premium prices, consumer interest for the 2-in-1 systems is increasing due to the supreme versatility that the models provide. As such, ABI Research predicts that new, low-cost models will emerge from a broader range of system OEMs in 2016 and forecasts ultraportable PCs will constitute more than 24% of total notebook PC unit volume in 2021.

Meanwhile, ABI Research anticipates Chromebooks to continue to dominate the education market in 2016, as school initiatives drive toward 1:1 student deployments with a technology device. And though the majority of Chromebooks historically shipped in the U.S., the education trend is beginning to see growth in other regions, notably Western Europe. ABI Research predicts that Chromebooks will represent nearly 7% of all notebook PC shipments in 2021.

From an operating system standpoint, however, there remains room for further notebook PC development. “Intel architecture powers the majority of notebook PCs, and its introduction of the Core M SoC processor greatly enhanced the number of potential systems manufacturers that can participate in the 2-in-1 market,” concludes Orr. “With ARM processors dominating mobile devices, many in the industry wonder if an ARM-based PC will eventually surface. With no Windows 10 desktop support for ARM processor architecture, only a handful of Chromebooks are using ARM-based processors in their designs. As such, we do not expect ARM-based PCs to emerge during the forecast period.”

In all, data suggests regional growth from the notebook PC category will stem from Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa over the next five years as computing penetration in both the workplace and consumer markets expands.

These findings are part of ABI Research’s Tablets and Pervasive Computing Service, which includes research reports, market data, insights, and competitive assessments.

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Password managers don’t protect you from hackers

Using a password manager to protect yourself online? Research reveals serious weaknesses…

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Top password manager products have fundamental flaws that expose the data they are designed to protect, rendering them no more secure than saving passwords in a text file, according to a new study by researchers at Independent Security Evaluators (ISE).

“100 percent of the products that ISE analyzed failed to provide the security to safeguard a user’s passwords as advertised,” says ISE CEO Stephen Bono. “Although password managers provide some utility for storing login/passwords and limit password reuse, these applications are a vulnerable target for the mass collection of this data through malicious hacking campaigns.”

In the new report titled “Under the Hood of Secrets Management,” ISE researchers revealed serious weaknesses with top password managers: 1Password, Dashlane, KeePass and LastPass.  ISE examined the underlying functionality of these products on Windows 10 to understand how users’ secrets are stored even when the password manager is locked. More than 60 million individuals 93,000 businesses worldwide rely on password managers. Click here for a copy of the report.

Password managers are marketed as a solution to eliminate the security risks of storing passwords or secrets for applications and browsers in plain text documents. Having previously examined these and other password managers, ISE researchers expected an improved level of security standards preventing malicious credential extraction. Instead ISE found just the opposite. 

Click here to read the findings from the report.

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MWC: Next generation of inflight connectivity to be unveiled

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Next week at Mobile World Congress, the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal progress on its mission towards enabling the next generation of inflight connectivity. This follows a significant start for the Alliance, which has seen membership increase five-fold since the first meeting in June of last year. The Alliance has a new research laboratory setup and continues progress through its three working groups, writing specifications for the technology, requirements, and operations.

These developments represent a huge leap towards the goal of making connectivity as easy and enjoyable in the skies as it is on the ground. Appearing as part of the Airbus stand (Hall 6, stand 6G34), the Seamless Air Alliance will reveal specification topics that have been completed and published to its membership.

“The passenger experience with inflight connectivity remains one of the great technology challenges. From Day One we have been determined to deliver on our mission to bring industries and technologies together to make the inflight internet experience simple to access and a delight to use,” said the Alliance’s Chief Executive Officer, Jack Mandala.

“I have been tremendously encouraged by the enthusiastic and committed response we have seen and the widening areas of expertise we can call upon as more and more companies and organisations continue to join us,” he added.

Announced during MWC 2018, the Seamless Air Alliance has since grown to twenty-three membercompanies with more than one-hundred key personnel from across the membership participating in its three working groups, with numbers continuing to increase.

The Seamless Air Alliance was created by founding members Airbus, Airtel, Delta Air Lines, OneWeb and Sprint, and quickly joined by Air France KLM, Aeromexico, and GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes and global technology leaders including Astronics, Collins Aerospace, Comtech, Cyient, iDirect, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Latecoere, Nokia, and Panasonic. 

Today, the Alliance is pleased to announce five additional new members: Adaptive Channel, Etihad Airways, GlobalReach Technology, Safran, and SITAONAIR.

“We are extremely pleased to have these companies join and be a part of the companies driving the next generation of connectivity.” said Mr Mandala.

The Seamless Air Alliance will enable travelers boarding any flight, on any airline, anywhere in the world, to use their own devices to automatically connect to the Internet with no complicated login process nor paywall to scramble over.

The Alliance is also announcing the release of a new research study on the economic benefit of standardization on the inflight connectivity market at Mobile World Congress. This report is available for download at https://www.seamlessalliance.com/publications/

The Alliance is moving rapidly towards an expected demonstration of the technology later in 2019 and anticipates massive interest in Barcelona from the whole communications eco-system.

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