Microsoft Makes Deal to Put More Enterprise Apps on Huawei's Cloud

Today’s topics include Microsoft’s deal to put more apps on Huawei’s cloud in China; Apple’s Craig Federighi taking over the development of Siri; the launch of the Linux 4.13 kernel; and a double-digit revenue drop of DRAM technology.

Microsoft and Chinese tech giant Huawei announced Sept. 5 that they have formed a strategic partnership that will bring more of Microsoft's enterprise applications to the Huawei cloud ecosystem.

The companies signed a memorandum of understanding, an early step in establishing the partnership, during a ceremony at the Huawei Connect 2017 conference in Shanghai, China. Huawei already serves up some Microsoft products on its cloud, including Windows Server and a relational database service that supports SQL Server.

In a Sept. 5 media advisory, Huawei said the expanded partnership will "bring more Microsoft enterprise-level products online."

Apple has a problem with Siri, but the iPhone maker is counting on Craig Federighi to fix it.

The voice-activated virtual assistant that has been built into Apple products since the iPhone 4 is losing ground to the competition, which includes Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. While Siri is available on most iPhones and iPads, its usefulness is limited compared to competing assistants and its integration with iOS and use of artificial intelligence haven’t been keeping up.

However, Apple has assigned Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president for software engineering who also runs the teams that develop iOS and MacOS, to oversee Siri development. Having Siri as part of the same group that’s developing Apple's operating systems means that the virtual assistant can be much more deeply integrated into the software and hardware that Apple sells, meaning Siri will be able to work with third-party apps that already work with the operating systems.

While most Americans were enjoying the Labor Day weekend, Linux creator Linus Torvalds was busy releasing the Linux 4.13 kernel on Sept. 3. Linux 4.13, which is the fourth new Linux kernel released in 2017, is noteworthy for a number of reasons, including multiple security-related enhancements and some health issues that Torvalds dealt with during the development cycle, which included seven release candidates.

Among the security-related changes in the Linux 4.13 kernel are a fix for a generic protocol issue and the debut of a new Kernel Transport Layer Security implementation.

Regarding his health issues, Torvalds said, "The other excitement this week was purely personal, consisting of seven hours of pure agony due to a kidney stone."

Personal computers appear to be making a mild comeback in the world market, but revenue from the dynamic memory modules that run them is seeing serious contraction. DRAMeXchange, a division of market analytics firm TrendForce, reported Sept. 5 that the global sales revenue of DRAM modules for 2016 totaled $6.9 billion, amounting to a decline of about 12 percent compared with the result of the previous year.

The depressed PC DRAM prices during the first half of 2016 and the continuing contraction of the do-it-yourself market were the main factors behind the revenue drop.

Kingston Technologies of Fountain Valley, Calif., has a stranglehold on the world market, owning nearly three-quarters of all DRAM revenue. SMART Modular Technologies and China’s Ramaxel are in a virtual tie for second place, but with only about 4 percent of the market each.