You know that feeling you get sometimes after returning from time off, like you’re working in slow motion and struggling to get back up to speed? This was a very bad week to have that feeling if you cover the SMB technology world, because vendors large and small had bucket loads of news for us. Here’s just some of that deluge our vacation-addled brain simply couldn’t get around to writing about.
Let’s start on a positive note. We actually managed to keep up with the announcements Hewlett Packard Enterprise made on day one of its Discover conference in Las Vegas. Day two, alas, was more than we could handle. As a result, we didn’t tell you that:
- HPE has created two new converged systems specifically designed for Internet of Things solutions. Named the Edgeline EL1000 (pictured) and Edgeline EL4000, they’re designed to provide all the compute, storage, and management resources businesses need to capture and analyze data from internet-enabled devices in real time.
- HPE’s Aruba ClearPass security policy management solution is now equipped to safeguard IoT gizmos.
- Companies interested in the Internet of Things but unsure of how to get started can now attend an HPE IoT Transformation workshop, formulate a vision and strategy, and plot out a few initial projects.
Big-time disti Avnet, meanwhile, broke news of its own at Discover, unveiling a series of resources, tools, and services aimed at helping partners sell and implement “Composable Infrastructure” solutions based on HPE’s Synergy platform.
Two can play at that game. Not to be outdone in the headline-grabbing press release stakes, and just days after making waves in the world of software-defined storage, HPE rival Lenovo issued several noteworthy mobility-related announcements at its second annual Tech World event in San Francisco.
Specifically, and as expected, they introduced the first smartphone based on Google’s Project Tango platform, the PHAB2 Pro (pictured). Drawing on Tango’s motion tracking, depth perception, and location-sensing capabilities, the premium handset enables a variety of cool new augmented reality experiences. A new app from home improvement retailer Lowe's, for example, will show you what your kitchen is going to look like after you’ve filled it with new appliances, countertops, and cabinets. Lowe's, somewhat oddly, is the first place PHAB2 Pros will go on sale in the U.S., this September.
Also making their debut at Tech World were the:
- PHAB2 and PHAB2 Plus. The former smartphone boasts a 13MP camera and entry-level price tag. The latter boasts two 13MP cameras and the same Fujitsu image signal processor found in Leica cameras.
- Motorola Moto Z smartphone family, which users can customize with the help of interchangeable “Moto Mods.” Want to turn your Moto Z into a mobile sound system? Snap on the JBL SoundBoost mod. Want to transform it into a 70-inch movie projector? Attach the Moto Insta-Share Projector. There’s also a Power Pack mod that adds 22 hours to your phone’s battery life.
And with HPE and Lenovo soaking up all that media attention…there was precious little left over for what would have been reasonably big news from Microsoft most weeks. Like, say, the release of:
- Microsoft Planner (pictured), a new online project planning solution that users of Office 365 Enterprise E1 through E5, Business Essentials, Premium, and Education subscription plans will gain access to automatically and at no additional cost over the next several weeks.
- Enhanced SharePoint document library functionality.
- Two new goodies for fans of both Microsoft Azure and open source technology: Hyper-V virtual machines running the FreeBSD operating system and support for the Apache Spark big data engine.
- An iOS version of Sprightly, Microsoft’s SMB-focused marketing content design system, and a new preview edition of the GigJam collaboration tool.
And there was much more where that came from. I mean, we’re really just scratching the surface here as we tell you that:
- BlackBerry took the next step in its shift from mobile hardware to mobile management by rolling its BES12, Good Dynamics, and WatchDox solutions together into a unified, multi-OS EMM platform, releasing a new WatchDox Email Protector solution, and integrating WatchDox File Sync and Share with both Salesforce and Microsoft Office Online.
- Dell rolled out a collection of four-socket servers powered by Intel’s new Intel Xeon E7-8890 V4 processors.
- Epson added two new products to its BrightLink Pro Series of interactive collaboration devices.
- Fujitsu shipped new PRIMEQUEST servers equipped with those same shiny new Intel processors Dell used as well as a new service called ScanSnap Cloud that sends scans directly from ScanSnap document imaging scanners to Dropbox, Evernote, OneDrive, and other cloud solutions.
- Intel, in addition to issuing those aforementioned Xeon processors, made a bunch of enhancements to its Unite videoconferencing solution.
- Polycom introduced its new RealConnect solution, which lets Skype for Business users meet and share content with people on competing platforms.
- RingCentral announced new tools for extending its RingCentral Meetings video conferencing system to wall monitors and other devices in conference rooms.
- Slack added voice calling functionality to its eponymous and oh-so-buzzy collaboration/messaging/workflow solution.
And elsewhere from the Realm of Vendors. There came:
- A new PSA buying guide from Autotask. Just a wild guess, but we have a hunch it recommends taking a close, hard look at one product in particular...
- A new CertMaster course for the latest CompTIA Server+ exam.
- Word that Fortinet has acquired network security monitoring and analytics solution maker AccelOps, and that Trustwave and CounterTack are now partnering on efforts to help businesses minimize the impact of data security breaches by speeding incident detection and response times.
This week’s stats ticker:
- Global PC shipments will dip 7.3 percent this year, according to IDC.
- Smartphone sales will grow seven percent in 2016, a steep drop from the 14.4 percent growth recorded in 2015, according to Gartner.
- DDoS attacks were up a little over 125 percent in the first quarter of 2016 versus the same three months of 2015, according to Akamai.
- 66 percent of U.S. consumers say they’re likely to stop doing business with companies that have been hacked, according to security vendor Centrify.
It’s healthier, I suppose, than smoking a cigarette. But an equally bad habit. Thanks to a new study of smartphone usage from online coupon code site Coupofy, we now know that one in three millennials checks their phone immediately after sex. Worse yet, 14 percent of millennial men and eight percent of millennial women say they’ve checked their phone during sex. Worse still: “millennials who sext and take naked selfies think they make more meaningful connections with people and lead better social lives.”
On the other hand, 64 percent of millennials say they don’t sext or send naked selfies…which would be encouraging if it didn’t leave us wondering about the other 36 bleep-ing percent.