Daily users of Microsoft Teams up to 115 million
The number of people using Microsoft Teams on a daily basis has now passed over 115 million – a 50% jump since May. The company’s CEO, Satya Nadella, made the claim in a Q1 earnings call. Teams and other collaboration platforms like Zoom have been boosted by the boom in home working – as have sales of laptops, displays, keyboards, mice, WiFi equipment and security products.
This trend looks set to continue as businesses and users look to optimise productivity while the pandemic continues and Teams, Zoom, Google and collaboration calls become part of the daily routine for many of us.
Other highlights of Microsoft’s Q1 were revenue growth of 31% year-on-year in what Microsoft describes as commercial cloud, which generated $15.2 billion in sales. Azure revenue growth was 48%. The company’s total revenues for the quarter were $37.2 billion – up 12% on last year. Interestingly, they are now split almost equally between software (Office and Dynamics), cloud, and ‘personal computing (Windows, Surface, Xbox).
Malware down but Ransomware up says report
An industry latest report has found that although Malware infections are continuing to decline, the scourge of Ransomware continues its meteoric rise, and a colossal 3.5 trillion intrusion attempts, emphasising how important it is for all organisations – large and small – to be protected from all kinds of threat.
The year-to-date findings from SonicWall Capture Labs – which run up to the end of Q3, included:
- 39% decline in malware (4.4 billion YTD); volume down for third consecutive quarter
- 40% surge in global ransomware (199.7 million)
- 19% increase in intrusion attempts (3.5 trillion)
- 30% rise in IoT malware (32.4 million)
- 3% growth of encrypted threats (3.2 million)
The SonicWall Capture Labs threat researchers collect data from more than one million global security sensors. It said that as well as these headlines the year-to-date findings through September 2020 highlight growing use of encrypted threats and attacks leveraging non-standard ports by cybercriminals.
On ransomware, researchers identified a significant increase in Ryuk attack detections in 2020. Through Q3 2019, there were just 5,123 Ryuk attacks. In Q3 2020, SonicWall detected 67.3 million Ryuk attacks — a third of all ransomware attacks this year. The company put this down to the increase of remote and mobile workforces.
Acer joins forces with Porsche Design to create super-cool laptops
Acer has teamed up with Porsche Design – an offshoot of the car company – to create a new range of high-end laptops. The flagship will be the Porsche Design Acer Book RS – a 14-inch, full HD machine with laser-cut, all-metal chassis, and carbon-fibre trim
The Acer Books RS will run Intel’s very latest 11th-generation Core CPUs and comes with 8GB or 16GB of memory, and either 512GB or 1TB of SSD. Standard graphics are provided by Intel’s integrated Iris Xe, and an upgrade to an NVIDIA MX350 GPU is available for gamers and designers. At 1.2kg, it’s ultra-light and can also be bought with a specially designed mouse and carry case.
Acer is also set to release several other updates to its laptop range, including a new version of the Swift 3X, which will be one of the first devices to make use of Intel’s new Xe Max GPU.
PC demand continues to boom in the wake of COVID lockdowns
The Western European PC market was strong in Q3, growing by 10.2% year on year, as the ongoing exceptional demand for notebooks drove high double-digit growth for mobile devices, said IDC.
Strong back-to-school demand and solid consumer orders for entertainment and gaming were the primary drivers. Interestingly, while the three major brands continue to dominate, others, such as ASUS and Acer, gained the most ground.
Western European commercial shipments declined 4.5% with desktops dropping off by 52.2%. Notebooks were in demand through, growing 24.8%. Mobile form factors remained the desired solution to address the ongoing necessity to work from home and also benefited from the large education tenders.
Across the wider EMEA region, growth in Q3 was 11.7% year-on-year and totalled 21.0 million units. Consumer growth was 29.3% – more than enough to offset the – 2.1% slide in commercial sales
Note, these figures are for EMEA rather than just Western Europe