HP targets business mobility with new enterprise, education and healthcare devices

HP targets business mobility with new enterprise, education and healthcare devices

HP Elite x2 1011 G1 Split

It is important to remember that the world marches to the beat of many drums. In other words, what works for you, may not work for everyone. While a tech-writer can get by with a Chromebook or iPad, what about doctors? teachers? office professionals? For some professions, there are very specialized needs.

Luckily, HP understands this, and today it announces new solutions for commercial use; enterprise, education, healthcare and more. Recognizing that there are many different needs, some of the devices run Android, some Windows and of course, they come in different shapes and sizes. BetaNews was at the announcement, getting a hands-on look at the products. Which is right for your company?

"HP is taking a modular approach featuring secure, purpose-built devices. By supporting multiple operating systems, HP is giving business customers a choice of application ecosystems and user experiences. When coupled with the new software offerings from HP and its partners, the company has created a complete mobility solution for all businesses — including education, field service, healthcare, public safety and retail industries", says HP.

The manufacturer further explains, "new tablets and 2-in-1 devices running Microsoft Windows operating system, along with new tablets built on Google’s Android operating system, all feature built-in security and can be tailored to meet specific use-case requirements with a focus on embracing business mobility".

HP ElitePad 1000 Healthcare Solution Front

On the medical front, HP reveals the HP ElitePad 1000 G2 Healthcare Tablet. It is not an entirely new tablet, but instead the existing ElitePad in a medical frame. The magic is the silver ions in the white frame, which can kill germs on contact. Obviously, in a hospital setting, germs, blood and other gross stuff will be bountiful. My favorite feature, however, is the integrated bar code scanner, which can be used on a patient’s bracelet. This will not only save time, but increase accuracy too. There are also additional rugged ElitePad configurations for other industries too.

HP Pro Slate 10 EE SplitHP Pro Tablet 10 EE Left with pen

For education, the company announces a pair of tablets that look very similar, but are quite different. How so? The HP Pro Slate 10 EE runs Android, while the HP Pro Tablet 10 EE is powered by Windows. This allows the school to select the operating system that it prefers. Best of all? The accessories will be interchangeable, as the form factors are the same. The coolest option, however, is the stationary keyboard dock, which is powered by the tablet. It is meant to stay on a table or desk, so a student can just pop it on when needed. Because it is not wireless, there are less headaches by avoiding Bluetooth-pairing hell.

HP Elite x2 1011 G1 Lifestyle

The star of the show, however, is the HP Elite x2 1011 G1; a Surface Pro 3 clone that proves even more versatile than Microsoft’s offering. Not only can it be used with a floppy type cover like the Surface, but also a rigid keyboard that offers a traditional laptop clam shell experience. It also bests the Surface Pro 3 in that it has a Core M processor, rather than the previous-generation Haswell.

HP Elite x2 1011 G1 Form Factors

Below are some of the specs.

  • Processor Family — Intel Core M processor
  • Maximum Memory — 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3L SDRAM
  • On-board memory — 4 GB or 8 GB module
  • Internal Storage — 128 GB up to 512 GB M.2 SSD
  • Display — 11.6 inch diagonal HD BrightView IPS eDP ultra-slim LED-backlit touch screen (1366 x 768); 11.6 inch diagonal FHD BrightView IPS eDP ultra-slim, LED-backlit touch screen (1920 x 1080)
  • Available Graphics — Integrated: Intel HD Graphics 5300


Business users in particular will love the optional wireless dock. Once paired with the HP Elite x2 1011 G1, the dock will activate when in close proximity. This includes USB ports, HDMI, DisplayPort, Ethernet and VGA. HP tells me that this can wirelessly drive two 1080p displays in addition to the device’s built-in display. Whoa.

HP Pro Slate Front w Pen

HP also announces two new Android tablets, the Pro Slate 8 and 12, that come with an amazing new pen called the Duet. What makes it so amazing? It uses a special technology which enables it to be used on the capacitive screen, or on actual paper. Yes, it will transmit your handwriting on paper to a digital format on the tablet. It truly is a great way to bridge the gap between paper and digital. Besides that, they are typical Android slates with impressive build quality. I was impressed by how light they both are.

HP Pro Tablet 408 Front

Lastly, the company announces the HP Pro Tablet 408 G1, which is a run-of-the-mill 8 inch Windows tablet. In my hands-on, it proved to be very solidly built and fast. Sadly, unlike HPs other new business products, which are unique and exciting, this is just your typical slab. That isn’t a bad thing, however, if that is what you want. Unlike other tablets of this size, it comes with Windows 8 Pro, making it ideal in a corporate setting.

So, which of these products do you like the best? Please tell me in the comments.



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Microsoft acquires text analytics firm Equivio ready to boost Office 365

Microsoft acquires text analytics firm Equivio ready to boost Office 365

It seems as though there have been quite a few acquisitions by the big names in tech recently, and the latest addition to Microsoft’s portfolio is Equivio. The Israeli company specializes in text analytics, focusing mainly on helping other businesses with legal and compliance issues with data, counting the Department of Justice among its clients.

What Microsoft is particularly interested in is Equivio’s machine learning technology and information governance tools, and aims to improve the eDiscover feature of Office 365. For any company managing large quantities of data, this will help to make life a good deal simpler, and help to eliminate the need for manually sifting through documents and emails.

Rajesh Jha, Corporate Vice President for Outlook and Office 365, broke the news of the acquisition in a blog post. He explains businesses currently spend too long searching for documents that are relevant to compliance or legal matters and that Equivio uses "machine learning to help solve these problems, enabling users to explore large, unstructured sets of data and quickly find what is relevant".

Text analytics performed by the system make it easier to group documents together and to link them together in ways that would otherwise not be possible. The eDiscover system is already trusted by numerous law firms and Microsoft hopes that by taking control of Equivio, existing tools can be made not only more powerful, but also easier to use.

A post on the Equivio website is glistening with excitement:

When we launched Equivio, we had a vision to deliver innovative text analysis software to the legal market. It’s been an amazing ride. Along the way, our machine-learning technology has transformed the business process of e-discovery. By joining Microsoft, we will now have the opportunity to help many more customers layer these technologies into their standard operational and business practices.

For the time being things will continue as they currently are, but in the months ahead there will be changes coming to Office 365.

Photo credit: Asif Islam / Shutterstock



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Microsoft Azure Update Brings Docker Image on Ubuntu Server

azure 300x150 Microsoft Azure Update Brings Docker Image on Ubuntu ServerMicrosoft continues to enhance its Azure platform with several new features that are already available. The company has added Azure virtual machines using the new processors Intel Xeon, Azure Key Vault security service and SQL Server Connector.

Microsoft introduces Azure G-Series virtual machines (VMs) for public cloud applications. Azure G-Series VMs consist of memory, processing power and local solid state drive (SSD) storage. Azure G-Series VMs consist of 32 vCPUs that make use of the E5 v3 Intel Xeon processors. They also have 448 GB of memory and 6.59 TB local SSD space. This allows organizations to run heavy workloads and applications, such as relational database servers (MySQL and SQL Server) and NoSQL databases (Cassandra, Cloudera and MongoDB) plus big data solutions.

By the time the G-Series are available in the US, the company plans to expand the service, with prices, of course, from $0.67 to $9.65 an hour depending on the selected configuration.

The second Azure development is the availability of the Azure Marketplace Ubuntu Server with a built-in application virtualization Docker image, Docker on Ubuntu Server by Canonical and Microsoft Open Tech. Users can now easily select a Docker gallery item and provision an Azure Ubuntu VM with the latest Docker engine immediately ready to use. Previously, the process required users to install the Docker extension to a running Linux VM.

The next development is the introduction of Microsoft Azure Key Vault, a service designed to manage passwords and cryptographic keys used to encrypt data and access applications. Security, which was one of the main barriers to the uptake of cloud, is back on everyone’s mind. Azure Key Vault, which competes with AWS Key Management, also can be used to support Azure Rights Management Service, which enables organizations to access protections specified file level.

Azure Key Vault helps users safeguard and control keys and secrets using HSMs in the cloud, with ease and at cloud-scale. Key Vault can be configured in minutes, without the need to deploy, wait for or manage an HSM and has a single programming model across HSM-protected and software-protected keys. Microsoft described the Azure Key Vault service as a proposal for bring-your-own-key (BYOK), and ensures that you can speed up access to an application and that the service can be configured in minutes.

The preview of Azure Key Vault also includes support for SQL Server Connector, which allows the SQL Server database running on virtual machines protected by Azure Key Vault. It also includes support for SecureVM Link Cloud solution. Initially integrated with Microsoft Azure in July 2014, SecureVM allowed users to manage Azure virtual machines encryption based on Windows and Linux. Now, with the integration of Azure Key Vault, SecureVM allows customers to have control over their own encryption keys.

In October last year, Microsoft added support of real-time analytics for Apache Hadoop in Azure HDInsight, Apache Storm and new machine learning capabilities in the Azure Marketplace. Microsoft’s approach is to make it easier for users to work with data of any type and size — using the tools, languages and frameworks they want — in a trusted cloud environment.

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Microsoft is holding a Windows 10 event in three days, here’s what to expect

Windows 10

Back in September, Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 to the business-orientated world. In just three days (January 21), the company will be unveiling Windows 10 again, but this time for a different audience. Consumers are about to get a taste of what’s to come with Windows 10, and let me tell you, you’re in for a good time. But what exactly can we expect from Wednesdays event?

A new consumer-focused Windows 10 build

Microsoft said back in November that build 9879 would be the last build of 2014, and that a new build would be pushed to Windows Insiders in January 2015. Microsoft will demo this new build at the event, and talk about what’s new over the previous builds. Some new features include Cortana, an updated user-interface, tablet mode, Office for Windows 10 and more.

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New ZX Spectrum Goes On Sale In April

New ZX Spectrum Goes On Sale In April

A remodelled version of the classic 1980s ZX Spectrum console is to go into production in Nottinghamshire.

SMS Electronics will manufacture the device – renamed the Sinclair Spectrum Vega – at its factory in Beeston.

Five million of the original consoles were manufactured and sold by Sinclair Computers in 1982.

The latest iteration of the console will look the same as the original, and comes pre-loaded with more than 1,000 classic games.

The console was best-known for titles including Jetpac, Manic Miner, Jet Set Willy, and Ant Attack.

Bob Pitchford, sales and marketing director for SMS Electronics, said: "A lot of these games are known to people who have followed the gaming industry for many years.

"There has been a tremendous amount of research which shows the gaming market has become more sophisticated – which means it’s also become more expensive.

"The graphics these consoles deliver may require you to buy a new TV but what about the huge market for Joe Bloggs who just wants to play Pac-Man?"

The updated system was developed by Luton-based Retro Computers.

The first run of 1,000 machines has been financed by a crowdfunding campaign – which offered people the chance to have their names included on a roll of honour installed on them.

It is expected to sell for less than £100 when it goes on sale in April.