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The end of the Surface Tablet?

Microsoft's Surface tablet has probably surprised some people that it has lasted as long as it has (3 generations so far), but if Digitimes has the story right the 3rd version might be the last version as it is being rumored that Microsoft is looking to get out of the tablet hardware market. It is being reported that Microsoft has lost over a billion dollars over the life of the Surface product line which is probably enough reason to call it quits.

Microsoft continues to see weak sales for its Surface Pro 3 tablet and is reportedly planning to cancel the product line since shipment performance has been far lower than expectations, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

Lacking a sufficient number of distribution partners, plus high prices, the first- and second-generation Surface tablets are estimated to have created losses of about US$1.7 billion, the sources noted.

Seeing large-size smartphones impacting tablet demand, the sources are concerned about upcoming demand for the Surface Pro 3.

Has Bill Gates unfriended Steve Ballmer?

An interesting report has come out over at Mashable indicating that the dynamic duo of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer isn't as dynamic as it once was. Apparently Steve and Bill aren't talking anymore after Steve's hasty retirement from Microsoft to focus on the LA Clippers basketball team that he recently acquired. According to the story the relationship became strained after Ballmer wanted to acquire Nokia and the board of directors for Microsoft (which Bill Gates was on) shot his idea down. Steve and Bill has been a team for many many years and the two names go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Mashable has more on this story.

Though Ballmer was the best man at Gates' wedding in 1994, the enmity between the two goes back at least to 2001. At their wives' request that year, the two had a "really awkward, terrible dinner," as Ballmer describes it, that resulted in a détente. At the time, Ballmer had been CEO of Microsoft for a year, but Gates was still a strong presence at the company. "I didn't feel completely in charge until Bill left [entirely in 2008]," Ballmer says in the profile.

The main cause of the latest friction appears to be a dispute over Microsoft's Nokia acquisition, which Ballmer first proposed in June 2013. The purchase was Ballmer's idea and he expected the board to approve it. Ballmer was so confident that the board would go for the idea that he skipped a post-meeting dinner to attend his son's middle school graduation. The next day, the board informed Ballmer that it was against the idea.

HP to split into two companies

The trend in recent years is for companies to become larger and acquire as many other divisions as possible but as of late that trend seems to be going the other way. Much like Ebay and Paypal announced their split a couple weeks ago, HP has announced that they will be dividing into two companies, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. One company will be dealing with the server and enterprise products while the other side will be worrying about the personal computing side. From the press release it seems like HP will be continuing business as usual and investors and customers shouldn't see too much of a change but only time will tell if this is the move that is needed to keep HP relevant. You can read the entire press release over here.

HP (NYSE: HPQ) today announced plans to separate into two new publicly traded Fortune 50 companies: one comprising HP’s market-leading enterprise technology infrastructure, software and services businesses, which will do business as Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, and one that will comprise HP’s market-leading personal systems and printing businesses, which will do business as HP Inc. and retain the current logo. Immediately following the transaction, which is expected to be completed by the end of fiscal 2015, HP shareholders will own shares of both Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. The transaction is intended to be tax-free to HP’s shareholders for federal income tax purposes. 

Today’s announcement comes as HP approaches the fourth year of its five-year turnaround plan. Over this time, the company has executed successfully against its turnaround objectives, keeping customers and partners at the forefront. HP has reignited its innovation pipeline, strengthened its go-to-market capabilities, rebuilt its balance sheet, and inspired its workforce and management teams. The company is now positioned to accelerate performance, drive sustained growth and demonstrate clear industry leadership in key areas.

2 for the price of 1 Smartphones

The trend for smartphones has been bigger, bigger, and bigger, but at what point do they become too large to be a phone? Alcatel has come up with a solution for the person who wants the best of both worlds with the Alcatel Pop Mega which is a 6" Smartphone and comes with a "buddy" phone that is more convenient to make calls on. Basically you get two phones for the price of one (suggested retail will be $250) which might be the solution for some people, but obviously now adds another device in your pocket. AndroidAuthority has the details.

The company has unveiled its combo idea – its 6 inch Pop Mega smartphone and an accompanying little Buddy feature phone. The Buddy connects up to the main device via a standard Bluetooth connection, and can be used for conveniently taking calls without having to fumble around with the Pop Mega. The Buddy can also control music, access contacts, and view call history stored on the primary handset. You may remember that HTC already tried something similar with its HTC Mini Bluetooth accessory.

WTU Episode #283 - Sucks to be Apple #Hairgate

We have just posted up Episode #283 of Weekly Tech Update. In this episode we are discussing another painful issue for iPhone 6 users, Netflix shuts down Redbox instant and the real reason why Windows 10 is not called Windows 9. We have those stories and more and the links below!


Download Episode #283
Show Notes
Subscribe to the feed.
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Plastc is Good!

We live in a world where we spend money on a daily basis. Some of us have a lot of cards that we would like to fit in our wallet. We may only use a few of them daily, but its nice to have your credit, debit and other plastic handy. In the near future, Plastc Card will be able to hold all your cards - from bank cards to gift and credit cards on a single piece of plastic. The goals is that it will pair with your phone so it knows if you lost it and can keep it more secure. It will be interesting to see how it works as Google wallet with NFC has tried to do something similar for a few years but it hasn’t caught on. 

Source: CNET, YouTube

Facebook Wants to Help You Hide (They Know Where You Are)


We all know Facebook for it’s social media, drama, selfies, games, pages, our day to day lives that we share with the world around us. It seems that almost everyone is using it from users such as you and me and even your grandma Jill. Every time there is a major update, we all scramble to check our privacy settings. I tend not to trust Facebook with my personal information too much and now they are trying to make anonymity even easier. I prefer to be known by people as “Ravlanda” from Soviet Russia. There. I’m anonymous. That was easy.

Now, it looks like Facebook's responding to complaints with a mobile app "that allows users to interact inside of it without having to use their real names." That's according to two people speaking with The New York Times, anyway; the sources also said the app is set to launch "in the coming weeks."

Source: Engadget

Build The Next Level

We've all played Angry Birds by now right? If you haven't played one of their many versions, then you should get your butt to the nearest App Store! Download it and try it out. There’s something for everyone as there are spinoffs from Bad Piggies to Angry Birds Racing. I have not beaten them all as I haven't been able to keep up with all the new versions and I've changed my phone a couple of times over the years. You now have a chance to help make the next level! Be infamous! Check out more details after the jump.

Get inspired by one of the themes below, send us your ideas as a sketch, painting or photo, before October 15th then we’ll pick our favorites and turn them into levels for the next Angry Birds episode! How flock-tacular is that? The answer is very. Very flock-tacular indeed!

Source: AngryBirds

S-Pen Feature Roundup

While not everyone wants a Galaxy Note or has a use for the S-Pen, it is still a pretty compelling addition to a large phone or tablet. The thing is that it can  be used for a lot more than writing notes and doodling on a picture. Check out the "Enhanced S Pen" video below.


Windows 95 Smartwatch

If you are a regular here at BCCHardware you've probably noticed that we aren't huge smartwatch fans, however, that might be about to change with someone figuring out how to put Windows 95 on a Samsung Gear Live smartwatch. It looks like there are still a couple bugs to work out, but just think of the possibilities?


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