Qualcomm CEO Says ARM CPUs to Power New Windows 10 Devices in Q4

Today’s topics include word that Microsoft is going to make another try at selling Mobile PCs with Qualcomm ARM chips, Google's latest transparency report that shows governments requests for user data spiked in 2016, Riverbed’s acquisition of Xirrus and the security risk posed by unmaintained open source code that is widely use in commercial software.

Microsoft’s track record with devices powered by mobile ARM chips isn’t ideal. In fact, it led to nearly a billion dollars loss due to poor sales of the Surface RT tablet in 2013.

However, now there is word the Microsoft is getting ready to test this market again. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf on April 19 revealed that mobile PCs featuring this company's ARM-based Snapdragon 835 processor will hit the market in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor uses a 10-nanometer microarchitecture that runs at up to 2.45 GHz. Physically, the chip is 35 percent smaller than its predecessors and uses 25 percent less energy that earlier version, helping to boost battery life.

Google's latest Transparency Report showed that in the 2016 second half, global governments’ requests for consumer data from Google reached an all-time high for any six-month period since 2010.

The activity in 2016 prompted Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel, to call for international standards covering government requests for customer data. Between July 1 and Dec. 31 Google received more than 45,500 requests for customer data worldwide, a year-over-year increase of 4,800.

However, the company responded, with at least partial data, to fewer requests in the latter half of 2016 than the first half. Overall, government demands for consumer data have been on the rise since 2014, according to Google. The U.S. continues to be the country with the most requests, followed by Germany.

Riverbed Technology recently acquired Xirrus, a WiFi network specialist, as part of the company’s continuing effort to expand its software-defined WAN portfolio.

The company early last year acquired Ocedo, which produced gateways, switches, access points and a management system for SD-WAN and software-defined networking environments. Then Riverbed rolled out SteelConnect, an SD-WAN and cloud networking platform lets businesses deliver applications through numerous channels.

The Xirrus acquisition will boost the company’s SD-WAN ambitions, and extend its capabilities around unified connectivity and orchestration in complex distributed networks, according to Riverbed officials.

Nearly two-thirds of applications using open-source components have unpatched code flaws that pose serious security risks, according to a report recently published by software development security firm Black Duck Software.

In an analysis of more than 1,000 application audits, Black Duck found an average of 27 vulnerabilities in each application, up from 23 percent in 2015, according to the report. More than half of the vulnerabilities had a severity rating of high.

Open-source code is a fundamental part of modern software development and comprises 36 percent of the application code base on average, Black Duck noted.

“One of the big key takeaways is that an organization will be focused on testing and finding vulnerabilities in their product, but that does not mean that the open-source components are safe as well,” Tim Mackey, Black Duck’s Senior Technical Evangelist, explained.