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World’s biggest tech buy complete

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Dell Technologies has announced the completion of the acquisition of EMC Corporation. The merger, is said, creates “a unique family of businesses that provides the essential infrastructure for organisations to build their digital future.”

The combination creates a $74-billion market leader with an expansive technology portfolio that addresses complex problems for customers in the fast-growing areas of hybrid cloud, software-defined data center, converged infrastructure, platform-as-a-service, data analytics, mobility and cybersecurity.

Dell Technologies serves 98 percent of the Fortune 500 and comprises several market leading businesses. The two largest, and most well-known, are the Dell client solutions business and the Dell EMC infrastructure solutions business – both of which are supported by Dell EMC Services. In addition, Dell Technologies contains Boomi, Pivotal, RSA, SecureWorks, Virtustream and VMware.

This structure, according to a Dell Technologies statement, “combines the focus and innovation of a startup with the global scale and service of a large enterprise.

“Dell Technologies’ scale will enable it to deliver more innovation and investment in R&D, sales and marketing, services and support and deliver more efficient and cost-effective solutions for customers. Furthermore, while the company will publicly report its financial results, it is privately controlled, enabling it to better focus investments on its customer and partner ecosystem over the long term.”

Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies, said, “We are at the dawn of the next industrial revolution. Our world is becoming more intelligent and more connected by the minute, and ultimately will become intertwined with a vast Internet of Things, paving the way for our customers to do incredible things. This is why we created Dell Technologies. We have the products, services, talent and global scale to be a catalyst for change and guide customers, large and small, on their digital journey.”

Dell Technologies “blends Dell’s go-to-market strength with small business and mid-market customers and EMC’s strength with large enterprises and stands as a market leader in many of the most important and high-growth areas of the $2 trillion information technology market”.

Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase, commented, “Financial services is one of the first-movers in embracing technology to better serve our customers, and the next wave of digitalization continues a trend that’s been occurring my whole lifetime. As one of the world’s biggest users of Dell and EMC, we spend approximately $9 billion a year on technology, including infrastructure as well as cloud computing, big data analytics and cybersecurity.

“We make sure we spend wisely and select our partners very carefully. I’ve known Michael Dell for 30 years. He’s top notch, ethical, and deeply cares about everyone he works with – both internally at his company and across the industry. I’m thrilled for Michael and the new company, and we are eager to see everything they create in the future.”

Marc Benioff, Chairman and CEO, Salesforce, added: “Salesforce’s partnership with Dell and EMC has been instrumental in pushing innovation across the industry. Michael is an incredible visionary and one of the most important leaders in our industry. He has been an amazing partner contributing to our success. Now with Dell Technologies, he is once again reshaping the technology industry.”

As part of today’s announcement, the company unveiled its new branding. A video along with additional information on the new brand is available here.

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Android Go puts reliable smartphones in budget pockets

Nokia, Vodacom and Huawei have all launched entry-level smartphones running the Android Go edition, and all deliver a smooth experience, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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Three new and notable Android Go smartphones have recently hit the market, namely the Nokia 1, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 and the Huawei Y3 (2018). These phones run one of the most basic versions of Android while still delivering a fairly smooth user experience.

Historically, consumers purchasing smartphones in the budget bracket would have a hit-and-miss experience with processing speed, smoothness of user interface, and app stability. The Google-supported Android Go edition operating system optimises the user experience by stripping out non-important visual effects to speed up the phone. Thish allows for more memory to be used by apps. 

Google also ensures that all smartphones running Android Go will receive feature and security updates as they are released by Google. This is a major selling point for these smartphones, as users of this smartphone will always be running the latest software, with virtually no manufacturer bloatware.

Vodafone Smart Kicka 4

At the lowest entry-level, the Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performs well as a communicator for emails and WhatsApp messages. The 4” screen represents a step up for entry-level Android phones, which were previously standardised at 3.5”.

The display is bright and very responsive, while the limited screen real estate leaves the navigation keys off the screen as touch buttons. It uses 3G connectivity, which might seem like an outdated technology, but is good enough to stream SD videos and music. Vodacom has also thrown in some data gifts if the smartphone is activated before the end of September 2018. 

Its camera functionalities might be a slight let down for the aspirant Instagrammer, with a 2MP rear flash camera and a 0.3MP selfie snapper. Speed wise, the keyboard pops up quickly, which is a huge improvement from the Smart Kicka 3. However, this phone will not play well with graphics-intensive games. 

Nokia 1

Next up is the Nokia 1, which adds a much better 5MP camera, improved battery life and a bigger 4.5” screen. It supports LTE, which allows this smartphone to download and upload at the speed of flagships. It also sports the Nokia brand name, which many consumers trust.

Although the front camera is 2MP, the quality is extremely grainy, even with good lighting. This disqualifies this smartphone for the social media selfie snapper, but the 5MP rear camera will work for the landscape and portrait photographer. 

The screen also redeems this smartphone, providing a display which represents colours truly and has great viewing angles. Xpress-on back covers allows the use of interchangeable, multi-coloured back covers, which has proven to be a successful sales point for mid-range smartphones in the past. 

Huawei Y3 (2018)

The most capable of the Android Go edition competitors, the Huawei Y3 (2018) packs an even bigger screen at 5”, as well as an improved 8MP rear camera and HD video recording. The screen is the brightest and most vibrant of the three smartphones, but seems to be calibrated to show colours a little more saturated than they actually are. 

Nevertheless, the camera outperforms the other smartphones with good colour replication and great selfie capabilities via the 2MP front camera – far superior to the Nokia 1 despite the same spec. LTE also comes standard with this smartphone and Vodacom throws in 4G/LTE data goodies until the end of September 2018. The battery, however, is not removable and may only be replaced by a warranty technician.

Comparing the 3

All three smartphones have removable back covers, which provide access to the battery, SIM card and SD card slots. The smartphones have Micro USB ports on the bottom with headphone jacks on the top. The built-in speakers all performed well, with the Y3 (2018) housing an exceptionally loud built-in speaker. 

Although all at different price points, all three phones remain similar in performance and speed. The differentiators are apparent in the components, like camera quality and screen quality. It would be fair to rank the quality of the camera and battery life by respective market prices. The Vodafone Smart Kicka 4 performed well, for its R399 retail price. The Nokia 1, on the other hand, lags quite a bit in features when compared to the Huawei Y3 (2018), bwith oth retailing at R999.

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SA gets digital archive

As the world entered the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth on Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, South Africa celebrated the launch of a digital living archive. 

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The southafrica.co.za  site carries content about the country’s collective heritage in South Africa’s eleven official languages.

Designed as a nation building,  educational and brand promotion web based tool, the free-to-view platform features award-winning photographic and written content by leading South African photographers, authors, academics and photojournalists.

The emphasis is on quality, credible, factual content that celebrates a collective heritage in terms of the following: Cultural Heritage; Natural Heritage; Education; History; Agriculture; Industry; Mining; and Travel.

At the same time as reflecting on the nation’s history, southafrica.co.za celebrates South Africa’s natural, cultural and economic assets so that the youth can learn about their nation in their home language.

Southafrica.co.za Founder and CEO Hans Gerrizen conceptualised southafrica.co.za as a means for youth and communities from outlying areas to benefit from the digital age in terms of the web tool’s empowering educational component.

“We can only stand to deepen our collective experience of democracy and become a more forward planning nation if we know facts about our nation’s past and present in everyone’s home language,” he says.

Southafrica.co.za, with sister company Siyabona Africa, is the organiser and sponsor of the Mandela: 100 Moments photographic exhibition that runs until 30 September at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront-based Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island.  The 3-month exhibition, which runs daily from 08h00 until 15h00, is showcasing one hundred iconic Nelson Mandela images taken by veteran South African photojournalist and self-taught lensman Peter Magubane.

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