Thurrott Daily: April 19

Thurrott Daily: April 19

Tech tidbits from around the web.

4/19/2016 1:28:07 PM

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Intel Apollo Lake schedule hints at 2017 for Surface 4

Over the weekend, Intel announced its next-generation Atom chipset, codenamed Apollo Lake. And I was intrigued to see that Brad came to the same conclusion I did—since we hadn’t discussed it—that this could possibly the the platform Microsoft will use for its Surface 4.

Here’s why that’s interesting: Surface 3 was released a year ago, and many are wondering when (if ever) we’ll see its successor. But with Apollo Lake not shipping until late 2016, that means that a Surface 4 (assuming it does use Apollo Lake) couldn’t ship until then at the earliest.

The more likely timeframe then, is early 2017, which as you’ll recall Mary Jo has pegged as for the next major set of Microsoft hardware releases. I had previously expected this to mean new Surface Pro and Book updates, plus a possible Surface phone, but maybe it means (non-Pro) Surface too.

Speculation is fun, and of course Microsoft could simply announce Surface 4 this week, dashing my expectations. But that’s where I think things are right now.

Intel is faltering along with the PC market

And speaking of Intel, the microprocessor is in a tough spot: It still derives over half its revenues from PC sales, and PC sales are … well … not going well. Worse, the expected make-up revenues from datacenter chipsets hasn’t materialized. The Wall Street Journalreports, with lots of chip jokes:

The chips are down for Intel. For shareholders, this is too much to process.

Intel Corp., a longtime leader in supplying chips for personal computers, hasn’t had nearly as much success in mobile devices.

Making matters more complicated, Intel is in the midst of several leadership changes. Chief Executive Brian Krzanich, who took the helm nearly three years ago, has elected to hire more external managers, breaking from Intel’s long-standing tradition of promoting from within.

Altogether, Intel’s stock is down about 10% this year.

Intel reports its quarterly financial results this week.

Bill Gates opines on secret government email searches

Industry seer Bill Gates has chimed in on the secret government orders which Microsoft is now legally challenging. Let me ruin the ending: He’s against them. Reuters reports:

Bill Gates said on Monday that no one was an “absolutist” on either side of the digital privacy debate, but the co-founder of Microsoft said he supports his company’s lawsuit against the U.S. government seeking the freedom to tell customers when federal agencies have sought their data.

“There probably are some cases where (the government) should be able to go in covertly and get information about a company’s email,” Gates said at a Reuters event in Washington.

“But the position Microsoft is taking in this suit is that it should be extraordinary and it shouldn’t be a matter of course that there is a gag order automatically put in,” he said in an interview with Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen Adler.

It’s hard to remember that we used to turn on his every word: Entire markets were created and destroyed.

Apple WWDC set for June 13

I look forward to WWDC like I look forward to all Apple events, since it’s a great time for product announcements and I get to riff on Apple’s over-inflated belief in its own perfection. But I’m looking forward to this year’s show for a new reason: I’m curious to see where Apple takes Swift, which I think is the programming language of the future, much like Java was in the mid-to-late 1990’s. Here’s what Apple has to say about the show; note the Swift-ness of it.

Apple® today announced that it will hold its 27th annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), hosting the creative talent behind the world’s most innovative apps, from June 13 through 17 in San Francisco. At WWDC, Apple’s developer community comes together from all corners of the globe to learn about the future of Apple’s four software platforms — iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS.

“With four innovative operating systems and a new, intuitive programming language powering over 1 billion devices worldwide, there has never been a more exciting time to bring our developer community together,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “WWDC 2016 is going to be a landmark event for developers who are coding in Swift, and building apps and products for iOS, OS X, watchOS and tvOS. We can’t wait for everyone to join us — in San Francisco or through the live stream.”


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