TechSummit Rewind 114

This is the TechSummit Rewind, a daily recap of the top technology headlines.

Microsoft Q1 2017 earnings: Revenue of $20.5B, Intelligent Cloud up 8%, OEM revenue flat, phone revenue drops 72%


Microsoft has posted its 2017 fiscal earnings, reporting revenue of $20.5 billion and net income of $4.7 billion. Highlights come from both Office and Cloud. Office commercial revenue grew five percent, with Office consumer revenue growing eight percent in the latest quarter. Revenue in Microsoft’s “intelligent cloud” was up eight percent, with Azure revenue up 116 percent, and server revenue up 11 percent.

On the Windows front, OEM revenue was flat year-over-year, but phone revenue has decreased 72 percent. Gaming revenue declined by five percent due to “lower Xbox console revenue.” Xbox Live’s active user count has risen to 47 million in the quarter, up from 39 million a year ago.

Surface revenue hit $926 million in the quarter, up 38 percent from $672 million last year, helped by sales from Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company plans to finalize its deal with LinkedIn next quarter, and the professional social network will be incorporated into the productivity and business segments of its earnings.

Kodak announces Ektra Android smartphone, available in Europe later this year


Kodak and the Bullitt Group introduced the Ektra smartphone on Thursday, which will be the first mainstream handset with the Kodak brand. The phone inherits the Ektra name from Kodak’s mainstream cameras from the 1940s, and is designed to cater to digital photography enthusiasts, emphasized by overall design, a large assembly of lenses, and a dedicated shutter button. The Ektra will launch exclusively in Europe for €499 (£449).

Kodak licensed two of its trademarks to Bulltt (which also has the rights to produce phones under the CAT and Land Rover brands) to create the phone, and then developed photography software and the optical lenses assembly. Bullitt designed the hardware itself.

From a hardware perspective, the Ektra is your typical mainstream smartphone, with a five-inch 1080p Gorilla Glass display and is based on MediaTek’s Helio X20 processor. There’s 3GB of RAM, 32GB of flash storage (expandable up to 128GB with a microSD card), 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1, and a 3000mAh battery. The phone also sports a USB Type-C port for both data and charging.

The main camera uses Sony’s 21MP Exmor RS sensor and a dual LED flash. Kodak designed the imaging software with a SLR-like UI to select the scene type (HDR, landscape, portrait, macro, sport, night-time, panorama, bokeh, and a smart auto mode). In addition, the phone has a manual mode that allows for adjusting exposure, ISO, focus, white balance, and shutter speed. Kodak also added a special coating to the lenses to maximize their luminous transmission. As for the front-facing camera, Bullitt opted for a 13MP sensor with an f/2.2 lens.

NSA hacking tools found among data stolen by contractors

A National Security Agency (NSA) data gathering facility is seen in Bluffdale, about 25 miles (40 kms) south of Salt Lake  City

According to the New York Times, documents stolen by NSA contractor Harold Thomas Martin III (who was arrested in August for the crime) include the NSA’s top secret hacking tools posted online by Shadow Brothers earlier this year.

Slack user growth slows slightly to 33% rise in DAUs in five months


Enterprise chat app Slack is still growing rapidly, by about a third in daily users and paid seats over the last five months. However, that speed is down slightly from the 50 percent DAU growth and 63 percent paid seat growth from Dec. 15-May 25.

According to a blog post from the company, four million people now use the service daily with 5.8 million using it weekly. There are over 1.25 million paid users, and 33,000 paid teams. That gives Slack a current annual run rate of $100 million.

AMD earnings: Revenue of $1.3B


AMD posted solid third quarter earnings, reporting revenue of $0.03/share on revenue of $1.307 billion.

Revenue was up 23 percent year-over-year, primarily because of its record semi-custom SoC and higher GPU and mobile APU sales. However, lower client desktop processor and chipset sales partially offset that.

“Our third quarter financial results highlight the progress we are making across our business. We now expect to deliver higher 2016 annual revenue based on stronger demand for AMD semi-custom solutions and Polaris GPUs. This positions us well to accelerate our growth in 2017 as we introduce new high-performance computing and graphics products.”

-Lisa Su, AMD president and CEO

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company’s Computing and Graphics segment brought in revenue of $472 million, up nine percent sequentially and 11 percent from Q3 2015.

Enterprise, Embedded, and Semi-Custom segment revenue hit 4835 million, a 41 percent increase sequentially and 31 percent year-over-year, due to higher sales of semi-custom SoCs.

For Q4, AMD is forecasting revenue to decrease 18 percent sequentially, plus or minus three percent.


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