Software innovation in healthcare round up

software healthcare

The healthcare sector is benefitting immensely from going digital. Recent eHealth announcements show how cloud-based solutions and collaborative platforms are pushing future medical discoveries, cross-border healthcare, and patient care into the
21st century.

Cloud-based open source platform inspires genetics research collaboration

Writing in Wired, Commis­sioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, Robert M. Califf, MD, discusses a new open source R&D portal called precisionFDA, where “nearly
2100 individual members from 568 organi­sations are sharing and comparing data, software tools, and testing methodologies on the site.”

Designed to spur collaboration among next-generation sequencing (NGS), an advanced DNA testing process, researchers, the cloud-based portal will accelerate NGS technology development, increase collaboration, and ensure the medical community can develop data collectively rather than indi­vidually, reducing the need for duplicative clinical studies.

Another benefit “besides helping to accelerate the development of NGS technology, [is] it puts the agency at the centre of ongoing discussions, allowing us to stay up to date on issues and breakthroughs in the field,” Califf wrote.

NGS tech­nology will be able to chart almost all of a person’s genome in a single run, much quicker and more economical than current methods. Genetic markers for diseases can help inform prevention efforts and improve diagnoses.

Common IT platform connects rare diseases specialists across the EU

In similar news of online collaboration, Dublin-based software company OpenApp has announced its software will aid 24 European Reference Networks to connect over
370 hospitals and nearly 1000 specialist rare disease centres across 25 EU Member States.

The Irish eHealth firm will develop and manage a common IT platform to support the ERNs.

The platform will allow teams of multi-disciplinary medical specialists to meet as a virtual clinical board. Some 30 million patients across the EU suffer from rare diseases, and will now be able to benefit from specialist diagnostics and suggest treatments wherever they are in Europe.

“Seeing this embedded in a pan-European effort to address rare diseases is exciting and will revolutionise equity of access to high-quality care.” commented Professor Alan Irvine, Crumlin Children’s Hospital Ireland.

Investments in diabetes management software

Atlanta’s Grady Health System, operator of Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital and numerous health centres, has begun implementing Glytec’s eGlycemic Management System® (eGMS), a personalised diabetes therapy management solution.

The diabetes management software system is made up of a set of modules that helps healthcare professionals better regulate insulin dosing for the care of patients with acute diabetes, hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

eGMS is integrated with Grady’s Epic electronic medical record (EMR), allowing users direct access from a patient’s chart without the need for a separate login.

Also included in the software systems is a surveillance solution, which the hospital relies on for rapid identification of patients in need of insulin therapy. GlucoSurveillance® interfaces with Grady’s laboratory information system to perform continuous real-time surveillance of blood glucose values, flagging patients who meet
pre-defined criteria for persistent hyperglycemia.

“Our rate of hypoglycemia among critically ill patients was not at a level we were comfortable with,” said Dr. Robert Jansen, Grady’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief of Staff. “As we worked to improve our care model, the clinical research conducted by
Dr. Umpierrez using the Glytec system showed that the system has real merit. We were unanimous in our decision to use eGMS.”

 

 

[Source:- softwaretestingnews]

 

Iran rounds up 450 social network users

Facebook and Twitter are officially banned in Iran but applications such as Instagram, Telegram and WhatsApp are available and v

Iran has “arrested or summoned” around 450 social media users over their online activities, a website linked to the powerful Revolutionary Guards said on Tuesday.

Gherdab, the cyber arm of the Guards, said the people targeted administered pages on social networks including smartphone applications such as Instagram, Telegram and WhatsApp.

“These people were carrying out immoral activities, insulted religious beliefs or had illegal activities in the field of fashion,” said Gherdab.

It said the suspects would be put on trial without specifying how many exactly have been placed under arrest.

Isna news agency carried a similar report.

Iranian authorities have for years tried to impose curbs on its citizens using social media.

Facebook and Twitter are officially banned in the Islamic republic, although users can gain access with easily available and cheap software.

But applications such as Instagram, Telegram and WhatsApp are available to Iranians and very popular.

More than half of Iran’s population of 80 million is online, with Telegram, an instant messaging app alone having more than 20 million users.

President Hassan Rouhani, a moderate, has repeatedly pointed to the ineffectiveness of measures to limit access to social media.

In May, state news agency IRNA reported that a committee headed by Rouhani had set a one-year deadline for foreign social media to hand over data on their Iranian users.

That same month, the head of Tehran’s cybercrimes court said on state television that authorities had arrested eight people for working in “un-Islamic” online modelling networks, particularly on Instagram.
[Source: Phys.org]

Microsoft Store offering up some serious savings on Surface Pro 4 Essentials bundles

Those looking for some big savings on Microsoft’s Surface product line are in for a treat, as the company has slashed up to $399 off the price when purchased as part of an Essentials Part, including a Type Cover.

The bundles that include NFL Type Covers are seeing the biggest discounts, which would normally cost $159.99 each. The bundle can be customised with the following steps being available:

  • Select the NFL Surface Pro 4 Type Cover
  • Choose a variation of the Surface Pro 4, which includes:
    • Intel Core i5 / 128GB / 4GB RAM
    • Intel Core i5 / 256GB / 8GB RAM
    • Intel Core i7 / 256GB / 16GB RAM
  • Choose a HEX Surface Pro 4 Sleeve that has a rear pocket
  • Add the Office 365 Home subscription for one year
  • Opt for the Microsoft Complete Accident Protection plan

Here are the exact discounts being made available:

  • NFL Surface Pro 4 Type Cover – $129.99 (was $159.99)
  • Surface Pro 4 Intel Core i5 / 128GB / 4GB RAM – $849 (was $999)
  • HEX Surface Pro 4 Sleeve – Free (was $49.99)
  • Office 365 Home subscription – $79.99 (was $99.99)
  • Microsoft Complete Accident Protection – Free (was $149)

Savings on the above items can be up to $398.99. This brings in a total cost of $1,058.98. However, choosing a different Surface Pro 4 model will only save you $328.98.

If you’re interested in making use of these steep discounts, you can grab the NFL AFC teams Type Covers here, or for the NFC teams go here.

Not an NFL fan? Not to worry. There are also some discounts to be had here, too. Using a similar process as above, follow these steps:

  • Select a Surface Pro 4 model
  • Select any Type Cover that isn’t NFL related
  • Choose a HEX Surface Pro 4 Sleeve. Must be either black, blue or gray
  • Add the Office 365 Home subscription for one year
  • Opt for the Microsoft Complete Accident Protection plan

With these options, you could see discounts of up to $368.99, bringing the total cost to $958.98.

 

[Source: Winbeta]

 

Apple Q3 2016 financial results | Apple earnings report: iPhone and Mac sales fall, overall revenue down, but Tim Cook talks up ‘encouraging signs’

Apple announced its financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2016 (the three months ended 25 June 2016) on Tuesday 26 July. Here, you’ll find out how many iPhones, iPads, Macs and Watches Apple sold during the past few months, how to listen again to Apple’s earnings call, and what the numbers mean – for you, for Apple’s product portfolio, and for Apple’s corporate health

Apple earnings report Q3 2016: Summary

For Q3 2016, the quarter ended June 2016, Apple reports:

  • Quarterly revenue of $42.4 billion, compared to revenue of $49.6 billion in the equivalent quarter a year ago.
  • Quarterly net income (profit) of $7.8 billion, or $1.42 per diluted share, compared to profit of $10.7 billion, or $1.85 per diluted share a year ago
  • Gross margin of 38 percent, compared to 39.7 percent a year ago
  • International sales accounted for 63 percent of the quarter’s revenue.
  • Apple’s board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $.57 per share of common stock. The dividend is payable on 11 August.

Not brilliant numbers, in other words, even though (as we’ll see in the next section) Apple predicted this a while ago. And Tim Cook said the results were “way better than we expected from so many different points of view”.

Cook went on to argue that there were “encouraging signs” and offered some explanations for the dip in revenues overall and in many key product areas, including the economic slowdown in China, a key growth market for Apple.

Apple earnings report Q3 2016: Podcast discussion

The UK Tech Weekly Podcast team discuss Apple’s latest financial results – among other things – in their 25th episode, embedded below. The Apple earnings section starts at the 26-minute mark.

The UK Tech Weekly Podcast comes out every Friday. Follow them on Twitter for links to new episodes.

Apple earnings report Q3 2016: How does this compare with Apple’s predictions?

It’s about what was expected. While posting Apple’s Q2 results back in April, Tim Cook offered the following guidance for Q3:

  • Revenue between $41 billion and $43 billion
  • Gross margin between 37.5 percent and 38 percent
  • Operating expenses between $6 billion and $6.1 billion
  • Other income (expense) of $300 million
  • Tax rate of 25.5 percent

In other words, as Cook pointed out in this quarter’s earnings call, Apple performed near the top of its expectations.

Apple earnings report Q3 2016: How many iPhones did Apple sell?

Apple sold 40.4 million iPhone units in Q3, generating revenue of $24bn. That compares to 47.5 million units in Q3 last year for a revenue of $31.4bn: the iPhone’s performance is down 14.9 percent in terms of unit sales and down 23.6 percent in terms of revenue.

Apple financial results: How many iPhones did Apple sell?

The iPhone is by far the most important and valuable product in Apple’s portfolio, and it’s worrying for Apple shareholders that the meteoric rise in iPhone sales appears to have peaked. Particularly worrying since these lower numbers take into account the launch of a new iPhone (the iPhone SE), while Q3 2015 did not.

But Tim Cook was keen to emphasise that the iPhone SE is doing well, and that customers who are new to the iPhone ecosystem account for a very high proportion of buyers: Apple has added millions of first-time smartphone buyers to its ecosystem, Cook stated. “Switchers accounted for the highest percentage of quarterly iPhone buyers we’ve ever measured,” he said.

Cook added that the active iPhone install base “is up, double digits, year over year”.

Apple earnings report Q3 2016: How many iPads did Apple sell?

iPads sales have looked stagnant in recent years, but Q3 was a little brighter for Apple’s tablet division. Cook called it “our best iPad compare in 10 quarters”.

Apple sold 10 million iPad units in Q3. That’s a drop of 9 percent compared to Q3 2015 – when Apple shifted 10.9 million iPads – but because of the higher unit price of the new iPad Pro, Apple actually made more money this time round. iPad revenue in Q3 was $4.9bn, up 7.4 percent on the $4.5bn made by the iPad department a year ago.

Cook said that roughly half of iPad Pro purchasers are buying them for work, which bodes well for its future as a business device and laptop replacement.

Apple earnings report Q3 2016: How many Macs did Apple sell?

Apple sold 4.3 million Macs in Q3, generating revenue of $5.2bn. That compares unfavourably to 4.8 million units in Q3 last year for a revenue of $6bn.

Apple financial results: How many Macs did Apple sell?

Apple earnings report Q3 2016: How many Apple Watches did Apple sell?

We don’t know for sure, since Apple continues to fold Apple Watch sales into its Other Products category, which we report on in a later section. (Of course, this does tell us that the absolute maximum revenue Apple can have made from the Apple Watch this quarter is a pretty minor $2.2bn, and that the true figure is presumably considerably lower than this.)

According to research from IDC, Apple sold 1.6 million units of the Apple Watch in Q2 2016, which corresponds to Apple’s fiscal Q3. That would generate revenue of at least $478m, based on the cheapest available model.

Tim Cook put a positive gloss on all this by pointing out that “Apple Watch continues to be the best-selling smartwatch in the world”, but that isn’t saying much right now. The same piece of IDC research cited above suggests the smartwatch market is in a bit of a slump, with shipments down 32 percent year on year.

Apple earnings report Q3 2016: Services

Apple’s Services division, which includes iTunes and the App Store, Apple Pay, and the AppleCare warranty and repairs division, continues to perform well. Services revenue for Q3 2016 was $6bn, up from $5bn a year ago. This is down to a 37 percent revenue jump from the App Store and “strong increases” in Music, iCloud and AppleCare revenue.

Cook said that for the past 12 months, services revenue is up almost $4bn year on year to $23.1bn.

Services earnings pale in comparison with the iPhone, admittedly, but this is still an excellent showing from Apple’s up-and-coming division. Tim Cook boasted that the company expects Services to be the size of a Fortune 100 company next year.

Apple earnings report Q3 2016: Other Products

Apple reported Q3 revenue of $2.2bn for Other Products (which includes the Apple Watch and Apple TV, as well as iPods, mice and keyboards, routers, accessories and the like). That’s a drop of 16 percent compared to Q3 2015, which saw Other Products revenue of $2.6bn.

 

[Source: Macworld]

Stellaris’ Asimov patch certain, beefs up the mid-game

Stellaris is a recreation chock complete of sci-fi ability however underfed inside the mid-game. The Asimov patch (1.2), due closer to the stop of June, ambitions to restore that. Paradox revealed the first chunk of Asimov remaining week, and in a brand new dev diary, it gives us the overall image.

fortunately, Asimov addresses maximum of the grievance Phil unleashed on Stellaris in our review. no longer will you be trapped on your lonesome pocket of area at the same time as your galactic neighbours deny you get entry to to fight area beasts and such. Borders will be open via default, final via (a lack of) international relations or due to rivalries.

The underwhelming ‘Embassies’ characteristic, which gave you an ongoing bonus to your rep with other empires without value, has been eliminated. alternatively, retaining relations will require active international relations, consisting of trade agreements or protecting pacts. Burgeoning superpowers will even face ‘Diplomatic Incidents’ that shake up relations, so attempt now not to probe some thing you shouldn’t.

Wargoals have also been elevated, allowing you to stand for and acquire ethical victories, just like the abolition of slavery. as a substitute, you can pressure the enemy to completely abandon a planet, committing genocide as you do.
Battles will look less like beeswarms, as Paradox puts it, in which each deliver wades into the fray and starts blasting. Weapon degrees have been extended, and ships with ‘Bombardment’ concentrated on computer systems use their shortrange weapons as a closing inn.

Asimov looks set to add many layers of complexity to Stellaris. i am involved in needing greater caution in a darkish, unknown galaxy.

How to clean up your online reputation

AP Explains: How to clean up your online reputation

Messy party photos, offensive tweets, pepper spraying student protesters … sometimes, you just want a do-over when it comes to your online presence. And for a hefty price tag, you can.

The University of California, Davis is under fire for contracting consultants for at least $175,000 to clean up its online reputation after a November 2011 incident in which campus police pepper-sprayed peaceful protesters, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee. If that PR campaign worked at all, it’s now backfired. Here’s how this sort of reputation scrubbing is supposed to help—and some ways in which it might have the opposite effect.

___

CALL THE PROS

Services such as Reputationdefender.com and Naymz.com offer to clean up your name, or, as the latter advertises, achieve your “professional and personal aspirations.” A company called ICMediaDirect advertises reputation control for $6,300, in which the service will try to “push down” your undesirable search results by populating Google with friendly links instead. These companies didn’t return messages seeking information about their services.

Instead of lawsuits, for example, the companies promise that search results will turn up your LinkedIn profile, business website or other sites that portray you in a more positive light. Of course, there’s no guarantee any of this will work; it’s awfully hard to delete anything permanently from the Internet.

___

OR JUST ASK, IF YOU’RE CONTINENTAL

If you happen to be in Europe, you can also exercise your “right to be forgotten.” This entails filling out a form that asks search engines like Google to remove certain links when people look up your name. Of course, this means nothing if someone Googles you in the U.S.

___

SOME THINGS JUST DON’T ERASE

Just ask Justine Sacco, the former IAC media relations representative who lost her job after an unfortunate tweet—one widely seen as racist, although Sacco said she was aiming for irony—raised the hackles of the Twitterverse. Three years later, the incident still turns up first when you search for her name on Google.

You also have to consider the possible blowback when and if your cleanup attempts see the light of day. That’s the pickle UC Davis is in now. Some California legislators have called for the resignation of university chancellor Linda Katehi, who approved the PR campaign.

___

GET OLD-FASHIONED, IF YOU HAVE CLOUT

For companies and public figures like celebrities and politicians, putting a positive spin on the negative can be as simple—or as complicated—as getting a friendly story in the news. Being proactive is key.

Terry Corbell, a business performance consultant, recommends “shameless self-promotion” as a way to build a positive online reputation before disasters happen. Be active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If you have a strong reputation to begin with, it’s easier to deal with the bad stuff if and when it happens. And if it does?

“If an organization is at fault, they need to come clean,” he says. “First is admission of guilt.” Katehi did apologize for the original pepper spraying—but so far hasn’t followed suit in the current controversy.

[Source:- Phys.org]

How to set up Raspberry Pi 3 with a Mac: Use Mac OS X to install the Raspbian operating system

The Raspberry Pi is a superb microcomputer designed to help people learn about computing. Rather than a fully contained computer, like the Apple Mac, the Raspberry Pi is just a bare-bones board that you can hack into all kinds of electronics projects, but it offers huge potential at a price that’s manageable for kids, students and amateur enthusiasts.

For just £30, it’s no wonder that the Raspberry Pi has sold so well (it’s currently the biggest-selling British computer). The latest model, the Raspberry Pi 3, features a much faster processor as well as on-board Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It doesn’t have a hard drive, however. Instead, you install the operating system directly on to an Micro SD Card and insert this into the Raspberry Pi. Several different operating systems are available, but most users opt for Raspbian (the recommended OS).

To set up Raspbian on a Raspberry Pi, you’ll need a computer – a proper, conventional computer – to begin with. This is where Mac OS X steps in. It’s really easy to set up a Raspberry Pi 3 using OS X on a Mac. You use OS X to format the SD Card, download Raspbian from the Raspberry Pi foundation and install the files on to the SD Card. This can then be plugged into the Raspberry Pi and booted.

There are two ways to set up Raspbian on a Mac. The first is to use NOOBS (New Out Of Box Software) and the second is to use the “dd” command in Terminal. In this simple tutorial we’ll look at both options.

 

[Source:- Macworld]

Will AMP really speed up your website?

featured_speed

There’s been a lot of talk lately about AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). From February 24th onward, Google search results began to include links to mobile-page versions that were built with this open-source project. When Google begins openly backing a technology, you know that it’s going to be a big thing, but what exactly is AMP?

AMP is all about the mobile user experience. Specifically, the initiative is meant to make mobile pages faster than ever before, which is a surefire way to improve the UX. Ideally, AMP proponents want to be able to create mobile content only once—and then already have it load immediately everywhere else.

As with all new initiatives, we need to separate the truth from the hype…

Making your sites faster

Since Google’s public push in favor of AMP last year, many high-profile companies who publish on the web have also begun to back AMP. Some of these names include the BBC, the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, Twitter, Pinterest, the New York Times (itself in the middle of an ad-wars controversy), and Buzzfeed. Naturally, they want to be on the bandwagon because they’re saying to themselves that any initiative that Google supports is bound to impact our SEO rankings.

However, is it really worth it for these companies to support AMP at this time? Does AMP deliver on its promise to make your site faster?

if you already understand UX…AMP may not prove to make such a big difference after all

To begin to answer that question, we have to put it in context: If you’re comparing your site to a media-rich site that only has average optimization, then it’s likely. Yet if you’re comparing your site to one featuring minimal design and good optimization, then the jury’s still out. In other words, it’s case-sensitive.

If you’ve been one of those early AMP fans who’s already bought into its apparent speed, consider the following: AMP isn’t a new type of technology. Why, even Google admits that AMP was created out of already existing Internet technologies, for the purpose of creating lightweight pages. So, no, there isn’t anything exactly revolutionary about it. Understanding this will help in putting into proper perspective the speed hype surrounding AMP.

So if you already understand UX intimately and know how to integrate the latest performance enhancements into your site design and development, then AMP may not prove to make such a big difference after all.

What exactly is AMP?

This open-source project was born from discussions between tech companies and publishers about the need to better mobile UX for everyone involved with content: consumers, publishers, creators and users.

AMP, it’s important to point out, isn’t a radically new kind of HTML. In fact, as the Project explains, AMP are like other HTML pages, the only difference being a limited set of permissible, technical functionality that’s governed and defined by the AMP spec. AMP will load in any app web view or modern browser, just like ordinary HTML pages, but speed’s a priority due to different, architectural approaches.

AMP also promises greater speed because of the reduced amount of code. For example:

  • You have less than 50 kb of CSS
  • You don’t need your own JavaScript (there’s no JS-powered tabs, alerts, tooltips or modals)
  • You don’t have code for various ad providers and analytics services

All this boils down to lighter pages, which in turn means faster speeds and loading times.

Then, there are AMP’s custom elements that put a priority on loading and optimization. What happens is the content on any AMP page that’s above the fold will load first. After you’ve viewed this content, that’s when the remainder below the fold begins loading in earnest. Other times, AMPs can be loaded prior to users landing on it, which makes loading seem all the faster.

There are different methods that help AMP do these things. They are:

  • Lazy loading
  • Preconnecting
  • Prefetching
  • Prerendering

Interestingly, you can also optimize your non-AMP pages separately for each of these speed-boosting optimizations.

So, again, not using AMP doesn’t mean that you can’t design and tweak your site for speed.

Finally, AMP makes page layout more efficient. How so? Media needs to always have its width and height properties specified when added to an AMP page. While it’s still a possibility to have both responsive and resizable images, AMP’s going to know how exactly to lay out a page prior to loading said media. End users then don’t have to wait as long since images aren’t first loaded, then recalculated, and then rendered.

Only faster in some cases

The truth of the matter is that AMP will only make your site faster in some, specific situations. It all depends on the site’s tech considerations, but also the needs of the business that the site supports.

not using AMP doesn’t mean that you can’t design and tweak your site for speed

Here’s when AMP can make your site faster:

  • If your site is so media-rich that it will automatically benefit from the optimized loading processes
  • If you want AMP to be in charge of optimizing your site’s speed and performance instead of you handling it yourself

So to be perfectly clear, it’s not AMP in and of itself that automatically makes your sites faster. Instead, it’s really that AMP provides the techniques and approaches to make your sites faster. Again, while you can make your sites faster using your own optimization processes, AMP simply provides speed and performance optimization in a neat and handy package.

What you have to know

For all of its fanfare, especially from Google, AMP is still in its infancy, which is a significant reality. This means that it’s still evolving, and people are far from being able to say with 100% certainty what it can only be used for. In other words, its impact for your search rankings, its performance, and even the demands of using AMP could still change abruptly.

Although it’s not the magic bullet to instantly cure all slow-loading site issues, or even the only solution, it’s still worthwhile for designers and developers to spend some time with it. At the very least, AMP serves as a wellspring of potentially new and effective ideas that designers can harness to meaningfully improve page load times across the entire web.

The fact that Google has rolled out AMP into its search results pages also provides an opportunity for early user feedback. It’s going to be very interesting to see what the early adapters of this initiative think about the improvement, if any, to the UX of mobile pages. If the results are good, and AMP leads to more traffic and income for big-name sites, you can bet that it’s going to get a bigger push from Google and others than ever. If the opposite happens, then AMP may well not ever get off the ground in any meaningful way.

 

[Source:- webdesignerdepot]

Windows comes up third in OS clash two years early

windows android

Microsoft’s Windows, which in 2015 fell to third place among the world’s operating systems, will continue to lose share this year to both Android and Apple’s combined OS X and iOS, Gartner said today.

Not until 2017 will Windows begin to recoup some of the losses it’s sustained since 2013, Gartner said in its latest device forecast.

The continued decline of Windows makes Microsoft’s job of pivoting to explorations of cross-platform opportunities all the more pressing. And it goes a long way to explain Redmond’s drumbeat of new strategies, including this week’s announcement that it will pursue a “conversations as a platform” initiative that aims to put automated assistants, or “bots,” front and center on not just Windows, but also Android and iOS.

According to Gartner, which provided Computerworld with its forecast broken out by operating systems, Windows will power about 283 million devices shipped in 2015, a 3.4% year-over-year decline. The 283 million represents 11.7% of the total of 2.4 billion devices shipped, over 80% of that number smartphones, and the majority of those smartphones running Google’s Android. Six months ago, Gartner’s forecast had pegged Windows in 2016 at 308 million devices, or 12.9% of the total.

Gartner regularly downsized its estimates of both total devices shipped and Windows’ portion of those shipments throughout 2015. The trend continued into 2016.

In fact, last September, Gartner predicted that Windows would not slip behind Apple’s combined OS X and iOS until 2017. But according to the research firm’s latest data, Windows dropped to No. 3 in 2015, thanks to Apple shipping 297 million OS X/iOS devices — 4 million more than Windows — and grabbing the second spot behind way-way-out-there Android and its leading 1.3 billion devices.

In Gartner’s current forecast, Windows will dip 3.4% in 2016 to 283 million devices shipped while Apple’s OS X/iOS will climb 2.1% to 303 million. By the end of the forecast window — the calendar year 2018 — Windows will be even farther behind, shipping 298 million devices compared to Apple’s 334 million.

If Gartner’s prognostications are on target, Apple will ship more OS X/iOS devices in 2018 than OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) did of Windows systems in 2013.

Overall, Gartner’s latest forecast continued the trend of pessimism not only for Windows, but for all device shipments. The researcher now believes 2.41 billion computing devices will ship in 2016 — 80.4% of them smartphones — compared to a same-year prediction of 2.46 billion made in the fall of 2015.

Not surprisingly, the majority of the forecast reduction was pegged to smartphones, whose growth will slip into single digits for the first time.

“The double-digit growth era for the global smartphone market has come to an end,” said Ranjit Atwal, a Gartner analyst, in a statement. “Historically, worsening economic conditions had negligible impact on smartphone sales and spend, but this is no longer the case. China and North America smartphone sales are on pace to be flat in 2016, exhibiting a 0.7% and 0.4% growth respectively.”

Traditional PCs, more mobile designs, and tablets will also take beatings of various kinds this year, Gartner asserted.

The most bruised? Traditional personal computers. Shipments of those machines will slump to just 228 million, a 6.6% decline. Although what Gartner called “ultra-mobiles” — such as Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Air notebooks, and Microsoft’s Surface Pro 2-in-1 — will climb 26.7% to 57 million this year, even that hot design category won’t make up the difference. Together, the two categories are expected to result in 285 million shipments, 1.4% fewer than in 2015.

Gartner, like Microsoft and Windows OEMs, bet on Windows 10 to drag the ever-broader “PC” category out of the doldrums next year. Analysts assumed that in 2017, shipments will increase by 3.9% to 296 million.

“In 2016, the PC market will reach its last year of decline before returning to growth in 2017,” Atwal said. “The biggest challenge, and potential benefit for the PC market, is the integration of Windows 10 with Intel’s Skylake architecture. It has the potential for new form factors with more attractive features.”

If that sounds vaguely familiar, it should. Nine months ago, Gartner forecast that 2016’s PC + ultra-mobile shipments would rise 3.7%. Then, Atwal hedged his bet on Windows 10, saying, “Windows 10 could boost replacements during 2016 [emphasis added],” but anticipated that growth would return to the PC business in the year.

Nope.

Device shipments through 2018Data: Gartner
Shipments of Windows-powered devices — personal computers, 2-in-1s, tablets and smartphones — dipped beneath those of Apple’s iOS and OS X devices in 2015. Microsoft won’t recover the No. 2 spot during the forecast period, which runs through 2018.

[Source:- COMPUTERWORLD]

Advanced Phone System Rings Up Savings, Efficiency

Phone System

What holds many firms back from migrating to a unified communications system is hesitation over leaving their familiar phone system … but that didn’t stop ELSA.

Sometimes circumstances give a business the push it needs to take that leap to a new technology. That was the case with ELSA, an Elwood, Ind., automotive component manufacturer that specializes in fuel tanks, exhaust systems, and structural components for original equipment manufacturers.

As Bob Bakehorn, ELSA Information System Group leader, explained, his business was compelled to look into a new phone system after 17 years. Their provider warned them that their voicemail would stop working on the setup they had. However, the options offered by that provider were designed for larger corporations than their 430 employee outfit.

At that point ELSA was compelled to shop for a new provider with no frame of reference for expectations and current costs. As ELSA was not in the habit of switching providers every few years, Bakehorn said that they wanted to be sure their selection would be one they could live with for a decade or more.

In the course of shopping for the system—which took close to a year and involved researching many reviews of services, licenses and bids—Bakehorn found that many phone vendors offered very low upfront costs, but that didn’t make them a sound value. For example, one offered a deal of no upfront costs at all, rolling everything into a monthly fee.

While that can appear attractive to a business that doesn’t have a lot of capital to invest, a closer investigation showed that it would be false economy. Assessing what the cost would be over time for such a system reveals that the costs escalate, particularly in a package that requires additional licenses for each phone feature—such as one license for voicemail over the phone and another for access to voicemail over the computer.

Though other companies offered cheaper packages, ELSA’S management concluded that Digium’s business phone system best met their needs—and did so at the best price. It offered “the best deal for everything we needed,” Bakehorn recalled. He said that the reliability of the system and the simplicity of the licensing were particularly appealing.

The company transitioned to Digium over the course of a couple of months. It had the system run in parallel with its existing phone system from April to June 2015 and then completed the switchover in July.

Phone System Provides More Efficient Communications

As a result of the migration, ELSA now has more efficient communications. The identifying information on a call in the new system lets the recipient know which call is important and/or urgent, and it  provides direct access to new messages, Bakehorn explains.

In contrast, the old system didn’t sort and prioritize the voicemails in the same way, forcing people to listen through all the old voicemails to get to the latest message. The improvement is important in a business in which employees and managers have to keep in touch and learn about a problem with a part right away.

Digium’s system also costs less than the old system—even after factoring in the cost of network installation and fiber—because it eliminates the need for costly labor maintenance and repairs.

For the setup, ELSA opted for fiber to cover long distances, as they have 500- and 700-foot runs between cabinet locations. The fiber is protected and armored, which is reassuring in the automotive supply environment that has welding equipment, lift trucks and other potential hazards to delicate wires.

Overall, Bakehorn is very pleased with the performance of the new UC system. He’s also satisfied with the outlook for the system, which meets their needs now and can grow with the company in the future.
[Source:- Internetnews]