INDUSTRY NEWS September 2020


30th September 2020, von in Industry News

Microsoft expected to introduce new perpetual license version of Office in second half of next year

While the cloud is still the destination, a new FPP version of the productivity suite should be available by the end of 2021

Microsoft looks to be preparing the launch of a new perpetual license version of Office for the second half of next year. According to a report on CloudPro, and one on the Hexus website, and another on ComputerWorld, the company will introduce the new full packaged product (FPP) version in the second half of 2021. If true, it will be a surprise to many as Microsoft had appeared to be committing itself to a cloud-only route with the release of Microsoft 365 earlier this year.

The question is why would Microsoft be doing this? The obvious reason would seem to be that there are some customers that either are not ready or do not want to move to a cloud-based solution. If this is the case, there must be a significant proportion of them, if Microsoft has been persuaded not to abandon the perpetual licence for productivity software just yet.

It may also be aimed at retaining customers who, if forced to switch to the cloud once the extended support period for Office 2019 ends in October 2025, might decide to adopt Google Docs or other rivals. Or maybe Microsoft had this planned all along and we all just assumed it would try to shift all customers into the cloud? To be fair, Microsoft had said when it launched Office 2019 two years ago, that it would deliver at least one more perpetual version of Office. But that is ancient history, and no-one expected the company to stand by that, given the runaway success of Office 365.

While there has been no big official announcement on this matter Microsoft did say in a blog post on that “Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021”, so there does not seem to be any doubt about it – a new perpetual licence version of Office is coming. The reports believe it will be called Office 2022.

Meanwhile, Microsoft’s cloud sales continue to soar. In July, the company announced better than expected Q4 figures thanks largely to commercial cloud sales which exceeded $50 billion in annual revenue. Azure revenues were up 47% year-over-year. If you want to take advantage of that growth, SYNAXON UK can help you get onto the Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider programme – just contact your account manager for details.

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Can the IT channel cope if Christmas comes early?

Webstores and retailers may need to start planning early to make sure they benefit from the expected rush of IT buying by consumers this Christmas

As a partial lockdown returns and concerns are raised once more about panic buying and the need to limit how many items people can purchase at supermarkets, it looks like the UK could be about to talk itself into having a pre-Christmas rush of online buying?

A report on the BBC website triggered a wave of coverage on the subject, after the IMRG – the industry body for online retailers – said that it was expecting much higher volumes of online buying this year. The implication was that suppliers and couriers would not be able to cope with demand. While they did not examine the potential impact for the IT industry, it’s something that retailers and online stores probably need to start worrying about now.

Distributor stocks of some products are already low with expected stock shipments already sold out on pre-orders. Stocks of laptops and home printers in particularly are perilously low and as the Christmas season approaches, demand for all kinds of IT products will surge.

SYNAXON UK’s Central Trading will be looking to assist members during this period by sourcing stocks of popular products in advance, at preferential pricing. If you would like to learn more about how we can help, contact your account manager.

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Acer’s new Spin 7 convertible will make heads turn

First to user powerful new CPU and first Acer device to offer 5G arriving at a time when mobility is driving sales for members

The latest addition to Acer’s family of mobile devices is the Spin 7 convertible notebook – and with its ‘steam blue’ colour and luxurious magnesium-aluminium alloy chassis, it is already making heads turn. As well as the sleek, professional looks, the Spin 7 offers a bold new take on productivity, with a powerful Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G CPU at its core and blazing-fast 5G connectivity. It is the first laptop on the market to use this processor and it is also the first Acer device to offer 5G

With a 360-degree hinge and a battery that will keep going for several days, it gives users total flexibility. The thin and light design (it weighs 1.4 kg and is 15.9mm thick), makes it attractive to use out and about or at home. It runs Windows 10 Pro and has a 14-inch IPS display.

This is an exciting new laptop arriving at a time when there is high demand for mobile products and we’re expecting it to be a big hit. SYNAXON UK’s new partnership with Acer will mean you can take full advantage of the Spin 7’s potential – and indeed of the whole Acer range. Contact your account manager for more details.

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Intel places bets on IoT to drive 11th Gen sales

Market for sensors and other edge devices expected to get big globally within three to four years

Intel has given its ‘11th Gen’ Core processors a bucketful of features designed to make them the first choice for IoT. The new Atom x6000E, Pentium and Celeron ranges all have new AI, security, functional safety, and real-time capabilities designed to appeal to makers of edge devices. Intel expects this market to be worth $65 billion by 2024.

While it is hard to see too many applications for IoT at the moment – certainly for resellers working in the SMB market – Intel reckons that, by 2023, up to 70% of all enterprises will be processing data ‘at the edge’. Though by ‘enterprise’ it probably means ‘very large’ businesses in which the centre and the edge of the network are some distance apart on the network.

Even so, this is a market that could present some good opportunities for resellers as it matures. It’s certainly one to watch. Intel has identified the following target markets for its CPUs:

  • Industrial: Real-time control systems and devices that meet functional safety requirements for industrial robots and for chemical, oil field and energy grid-control applications.
  • Transport: Vehicle controls, fleet monitoring and management systems that synchronize inputs from multiple sensors and direct actions in semiautonomous buses, trains, ships and trucks.
  • Healthcare: Medical displays, carts, service robots, entry-level ultrasound machines, gateways and kiosks that require AI and computer vision with reduced energy consumption.
  • Retail and hospitality: Fixed and mobile point-of-sale systems for retail and quick service restaurant with high-resolution graphics.

Intel says that there are already have over 100 partners committed to delivering solutions using the chips.

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BT aims to bridge the gap between FTTP and leased lines

New service offers a lower-cost direct fibre connection that is uncontended and can be installed in days

BT has launched an Ethernet FTTP solution which it is making available to wholesale partners in an apparent effort to bridge the gap between FTTP broadband services – which are not yet widely available – and fast but relatively expensive, Ethernet leased lines.

The Ethernet FTTP offering will connect the customer’s premise to the nearest Ethernet node, giving them speeds of enabling greater bandwidth at ultra-fast speeds of up to 1Gbps downstream. BT said that installs should only take five days and the services will be uncontended, which means no loss of speed at busy times. As the connection is direct and uses fibre, distance from the exchange or junction box won’t matter very much at all.

This could be a good option for mid-sized businesses that want much higher bandwidth to use cloud-based services, transfer large files and offer their own services online, as it will be more affordable than a leased line. Pricing details have not yet emerged through. More details should be available soon.

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