Author Archives: Funda

MWC 2015: ‘Smart’ was the name of the game

by Marie Christine, Senior Analyst

With around 90,000 visitors, almost 2,000 exhibitors and large sums of money spent on shiny stands, gadgets and demos, another Mobile World Congress (MWC) came to an end last week. This year, we saw big releases from the likes of HTC, Microsoft and Samsung to name just a few, with the latter revealing two new flagship devices.

In addition to these, smart wearables were of course all the rage at this year’s event with new fitness trackers, smartbands and smartwatches revealed and wrist technology stealing the show from smartphones.

LG for example, demoed its luxury wristwatch, the Watch Urbane LTE which comes with its own SIM card and allows users to make calls, receive emails and search the web from their wrist without any connectivity to a mobile handset.

But, it wasn’t all smartphones and wearables at MWC this year. Smart cars, homes, offices and travel were just some of the main themes in addition to plenty of new gadgets on display including:

  • Bluesmart: a connected carry-on bag which not only weighs itself but tells you its weight via an app. It also comes with a SIM card so you can trace it on a map if and when you happen to lose it.
  • Panasonic Nubo: the first 4G-connected home surveillance camera that allows you to monitor your home and property without the need for a Wi-Fi connection.
  • Oral-B SmartSeries: The new Oral-B app for its SmartSeries Bluetooth-connected toothbrushes delivers real-time brushing instructions as well as a series of ‘journeys’ such as Fresh Breath, Plaque Fighter, Whitening, Gum Health etc.
  • AT&T Digital Life & Drive: AT&T’s digital life and drive platforms now work together which means you can use your car’s voice control to issue commands to devices at home such as unlock your doors and turn on the lights before you actually get home.
  • LG Magic Mirror: Snow White style, this mirror uses an Android app that analyses your complexion and gives you a diagnosis of the condition of your skin.

These are just some of the releases. We look forward to seeing what 2016 brings us, particularly in relation to how some of the predicted trends at the event develop over the coming months.

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End of XP starts to show in security sales through European Distribution

Last month, Microsoft’s Windows XP came to the end of its lifecycle and with that Microsoft’s support for the operating system. Whilst this was positive news for sales of Business targeted PCs through European distribution, there were question marks for the reported 30%+ Small and Medium sized businesses that continue to rely on this software and no longer receive updates for XP Service Pack 3.

As anyone who has taken an interest in this development is now aware, without the regular Microsoft updates your system is far more vulnerable to Viruses, Spyware, Malware and other such nasties associated with cyber attacks, which leads to the crux of the issue, security. Can your system remain secure without the continued support of Microsoft? The simple answer is ‘No’, but then again, regardless of which operating system you use, whether that be Windows 7, 8 or 8.1, there will always be an element of risk as it is unlikely that you will ever be fully secure.

Leading Brands in the Security Software market have stated that whilst they will continue to provide robust security solutions which are XP compatible, the best course of action is to move away from XP and upgrade to a newer OS as soon as possible. But have SMBs taken heed? When looking into the CONTEXT distribution data we can see that there has been a small increase of 5.6% in unit sales of Endpoint Security products targeted towards SMBs versus the opening month of the previous year.  When focussing at territory level we can see that the key countries driving the growth were the UK, with a positive year on year performance of +17.4%, Spain with a 139% increase in unit sales and Germany with a +4.4% growth.

Another question that can be posed is whether or not Small and Medium sized Businesses are aware of the risks posed by the imminent cut off? The high number of companies still using XP suggests SMBs throughout Europe are not overly aware, prepared or equipped to deal with what’s about to happen.

So as an SMB, is security software a viable solution to combat the end of XP’s support? Absolutely not, but unless as a company you are in the position to either pay big money for Microsoft to keep your system protected or are willing to invest in your business infrastructure, you certainly wouldn’t be doing yourself any harm in having some.


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