By Tim on
Thursday, December 22, 2011 9:09 AM
Adobe released its quarterly and full year results last week; I am catching up with this now after a week in China.
The company is doing well. Revenue is up by 11% year on year and it generated $1.5 billion in cash. It is buying back shares, usually a sign that a company has more money than it knows what to do with.
Here is the comparison with the equivalent quarter last year:
Creative and interactive
Print and publishing
In other words, all business segments grew – impressive in uncertain economic times. See this earlier post for a rough breakdown of the segments.
A couple of observations. First, Adobe is benefiting from the big trend in IT towards web, cloud and device. Many companies regard apps (as in mobile apps) as vehicles for marketing, and Adobe’s tools are a natural fit, with or without Flash. We are in a more design-centric IT world than...
By Tim on
Wednesday, December 21, 2011 9:06 AM
Patent blogger Florian Mueller quotes a statement filed by Oracle in its legal dispute with Google over its use of the Java language in Android:
Android’s growth in the mobile device market has been exponential, steadily diminishing Java’s share. For instance, Amazon’s newly-released Kindle Fire tablet is based on Android, while prior versions of the Kindle were Java-based. Android has been gaining in other areas as well, with Android-based set-top boxes and even televisions appearing this year. These are markets where Java has traditionally been strong but is now losing ground to Android. The longer Android is allowed to continue fragmenting the Java ecosystem, the more serious the harm to Java becomes, and the more difficult it is to try to unwind. Oracle suffers harm in the form of lost licensing opportunities for its existing Java platform products, and the enterprise-wide harm from fragmentation of Java, which reduces the ‘write once, run anywhere’ capability that has historically provided Java...
By Tim on
Tuesday, December 20, 2011 9:11 AM
I am just back from Beijing courtesy of Nvidia; I attended the GPU Technology conference and also got to see not one but two supercomputers: Mole-8.5 in Beijing and Tianhe-1A in Tianjin, a coach ride away.
Mole-8.5 is currently at no. 21 and Tianhe-1A at no. 2 on the top 500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers.
There was a reason Nvidia took journalists along, of course. Both are powered partly by Nvidia Tesla GPUs, and it is part of the company’s campaign to convince the world that GPUs are essential for supercomputing, because of their greater efficiency than CPUs. Intel says we should wait for its MIC (Many Integrated Core) CPU instead; but Nvidia has a point, and increasing numbers of supercomputers are plugging in thousands of Nvidia GPUs. That does not include the world’s current no. 1, Japan’s K Computer, but it will include the USA’s Titan, currently no. 3, which will add up to 18.000 GPUs in 2012 with plans that may take it to the top spot; we were...
By Tim on
Monday, December 19, 2011 9:18 AM
Adobe has told a group of Flex developers, invited to San Francisco for a special reconciliatory summit following the sudden announcement that Flex is moving to the Apache Foundation, that Flash Catalyst will be discontinued. Developer Fabien Nicollet was there and posts:
CS5.5 version of Catalyst is the latest version of Flash Catalyst. It is compatible with Flex 4.5, but compatibility will not be ensured for future versions.
Flash Builder will also have features removed in future versions. Adobe’s slide talks of:
Removing unpopular and expensive to maintain features: Design View, Data Centric Development (DCD) and Flash Catalyst workflows.
The Monocle profiler, shown at the MAX conference as a sneak peek, “continues as a priority”.
The FalconJS project, to compile Flex to HTML5, will be discontinued, though possibly donated to Apache at a date to be determined.
AIR on Linux will not be given to Apache because it would mean sharing the proprietary Flash Player...
By Tim on
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 5:44 AM
In his keynote at the GPU Technology Conference here in Beijing NVIIDA CEO Jens-Hsun Huang presented the simple logic of GPU computing. The main constraint on computing is power consumption, he said:
Power is now the limiter of every computing platform, from cellphones to PCs and even datacenters.
CPUs are optimized for single-threaded computing and are relatively inefficient. According to Huang a CPU spends 50 times as much power scheduling instructions as it does executing them. A GPU by contrast is formed of many simple processors and is optimized for parallel processing, making it more efficient when measured in FLOP/s (Floating Point Operations per Second), a way of benchmarking computer performance. Therefore it is inevitable that computers make use of GPU computing in order to achieve best performance. Note that this does not mean dispensing with the CPU, but rather handing off processing to the GPU when appropriate.
This point is now accepted in the world of supercomputers. The computer...
By Tim on
Wednesday, December 14, 2011 1:51 AM
I’m in Beijing for NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference; I attended last year’s event in San Jose and found it fascinating, partly because it has an academic and research flavour with a huge variety of projects on display.
This year the event is in Beijing, reflecting the level of HPC (High Performance Computing) activity in this region.
By Tim on
Friday, December 09, 2011 11:07 PM
Microsoft has has announced the release of Silverlight 5.0.
Silverlight is a cross-platform, cross-browser plug-in for Windows and Mac. It is relatively small size – less than 7MB according to Microsoft, though the Mac version seems to be bigger, with a 14MB compressed setup .dmg and apparently over 100MB once installed:
By Tim on
Friday, December 09, 2011 6:56 PM
HP has announced that webOS, the mobile operating system acquired with Palm, will become an open source project:
HP will make the underlying code of webOS available under an open source license. Developers, partners, HP engineers and other hardware manufacturers can deliver ongoing enhancements and new versions into the marketplace.
HP will engage the open source community to help define the charter of the open source project under a set of operating principles:
The goal of the project is to accelerate the open development of the webOS platform
HP will be an active participant and investor in the project
Good, transparent and inclusive governance to avoid fragmentation
Software will be provided as a pure open source project
Despite the upbeat language, the fact that HP does not state that it will actually manufacture any webOS devices suggests that this is more a retreat than an advance. What kind of investment will HP put into webOS, if it is not selling devices?
By Tim on
Wednesday, December 07, 2011 8:38 AM
Microsoft’s Ted Dworkin, Partner Progam Manager, has posted details of how the forthcoming Windows Store will work. There is also detailed new information on MSDN. It is a key piece if you care about the next version of Windows, including details of how enterprises will be able to deploy apps as well as the terms of business for independent developers.
Here is a quick summary:
The store is both an app and a web site. The same content will automatically appear in both.
The store is for Metro-style apps, which run on the Windows Runtime. No word about desktop apps; my presumption is that they are...
By Tim on
Tuesday, December 06, 2011 8:32 PM
Once again people are asking why Microsoft has not allowed OEMs to build tablets running Windows Phone 7. Matthew Baxter-Reynolds says it is to do with income from OEM licenses:
Now, Microsoft charges OEMs far less for Windows Phone licenses (about $15 per unit) than for full-on Windows licenses (on average, working out to about $56 per unit) … But for Ballmer and the team, this is the bad news scenario. Only $15 per licence? And even less in profit? Compared to $37 in profit? It’s a money-loser, people.
While I agree that Microsoft has a problem with its business model in the new world of mobile devices, I do not follow this reasoning. There is nothing to stop Microsoft charging more for Windows Phone OS on tablets than on phones if it could get away with it. Nor is it necessarily true that Microsoft will succeed in charging as much for Windows 8 on tablets as it does for Windows 8 on PCs. In fact, that is unlikely to be be true; they will be cheaper, especially on ARM.
If it is not this...