Archive for ‘Misc’


Bash Shellshock – What Is It?

Shellshock is a serious security bug in Bash, a shell commonly used in computers running Linux, UNIX and OS X. Shellshock could allow an attacker to execute malicious commands across the Internet on remote computers, notably web servers.

The Threat

Cybercriminals are trying to exploit Shellshock to steal data and compromise servers with malware. SophosLabs has seen malware in the wild that seeks to exploit Shellshock to gain access to a server and call home for instructions.

This kind of malware could infect servers to create a botnet, which cybercriminals use to distribute zombie malware, or for turning the botnet into a weapon for launching distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on web servers.

Cure factors:

1- Antivirus blocks malware-related payloads exploiting Shellshock in Linux, UNIX and OS X

2- Web Application Firewall (WAF) and Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) rules that stops Shellshock requests before they reach the server

3- Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) that blocks malware call-home attempts, and creates a threat alert for malicious traffic


HBM Smart University – HBMSU – Cloud Campus


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eHosting DataFort Earns Double Accolades during GITEX week for Quality Managed Services at CNME’s ICT Achievement Awards & ACN Arab Tech Awards 2014


eHosting DataFort (eHDF), the region’s leading Managed Hosting and Cloud Infrastructure services provider, has bagged two distinguished ICT awards back-to-back this week for its delivery of successful and complex technology implementations that offer outstanding value to customers.

The company has been recognized as the ‘Managed Services Provider of the Year’ at Computer News Middle East’s (CNME) 5th ICT Achievement Awards as well as ‘Services Provider of the Year’ at the 10th Arabian Computer News (ACN) Arab Tech Awards – two well-known industry leaders annually celebrating top ICT achievements.

eHosting DataFort has earned industry awards for their managed services, hosted private cloud and data centre offerings for the last seven years in a row.

Yasser Zeineldin, CEO, eHosting DataFort, said: “We are humbled by the prestigious industry recognition accorded to our offerings and capabilities as the leading managed services and cloud provider in the region. Such achievements make us constantly raise the bar for ourselves to be creative and innovative in providing true value to our customers, who are at the center of everything that we do and entrust us to be at the forefront of technology and service delivery. To keep up with increased customer demand and expectations, we have invested heavily in our infrastructure and services in 2014 as well as launched new services for the SME segment. We also have an aggressive investment plan for 2015 and beyond to avail to our customers the latest innovations and its associated benefits. We are committed to helping enterprises in the country transform their IT infrastructure into competitive assets and focus on their core business.”

Both awards were held during GITEX week with CNME’s ICT Achievement Awards 2014 being held on October 12 at Jumeirah Emirates Towers and the ACN Arab Tech Awards 2014 being held on October 13 at Conrad Hotel. TheseAwards recognize individuals, end users and vendor organizations for their achievements across the year and all nominees were judged by a panel of industry experts on specific measurable results in innovation and accomplishments.

eHDF’s recognition at the ICT Achievement Awards 2014 and the ACN Arab Tech Award 2014 add to their list of accolades. In April this year, eHosting DataFort won the ‘Best Managed Service Provider of the Year’ at the fifth annual Network World Middle East Awards.

The company has witnessed a significant increase in its customer base over the last few years and has deployed crucial, customized managed services and cloud hosting projects for clients such as Geotab ME,, Dubai Financial Market, DUBAL, TRIMEX Group, Dunia Finance and Société Générale Bank, amongst others.

eHDF’s comprehensive managed services offerings include managed servers, managed storage, managed security, managed databases, managed backup, managed exchange, monitoring etc. It also offers both Hosted Private Cloud and Public Cloud services and has recently launched Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) services & Managed remote Backup services.

eHosting DataFort owns and operates world-class tier-3 data centers in Dubai with resilient and scalable infrastructure and round-the-clock managed operations offering customers the advantage of hosting all data within the UAE.
The company complies with industry standards and offers customers round-the-clock 24/7/365 support.


How to Job-Hunt While You’re Working


The Impact of the Internet on Print – Drupa Global Insights

The changing demand for print

Before the mid 1990s, virtually all publishing as well as personal and business communications were analogue in nature, in the main split

between print, broadcasting and telephony.

Print was the oldest medium and global demand for paper was strong and stable.The last 15 years has seen the arrival of digital

technologies and an ever-increasing proportion of communications is now digital not analogue.

It is important to examine how print companies across the globe have adapted and how their experience has contrasted with the wider impact

on the world of this fundamental transition.

Amongst the total drupa global expert panel 46% reported a decline in demand for conventional (non-digital) print over the last

five years, compared with 21% who reported an increase, an overall net balance reporting decline of 25%. When the answers were

analysed between sectors, Packaging came off by far the best, with a far smaller net balance reporting a decline of 14% compared with 33%

for commercial and 42% for publishing printers.

In terms of substrates, a net balance of 9% reported a decline in demand for paper over the last 5 years, compared with those that reported

an increase. This contrasts with net balances reporting growing demand for carton board, flexibles, metal, glass and fabrics.

Advertising pays for the majority of print so the steady drift away from print to other forms of digital communications has had a compound

effect over time. The relative decline of print is not across all markets but for some sectors it has been severe. Take newspapers, where in the

US demand for newsprint has dropped 62% between 1999 and 2012. Over the same period print advertising fell by 60% as marketers

swapped to digital channels.

In contrast packaging is forecast to grow at about 4% per annum to 2018 as the Internet has not removed the need to protect our goods and

promote them on the shelf. Equally industrial functional print is growing at an annual rate of about 13% albeit from a much smaller base.

The digital flood

To understand the radical changes in communications, we must understand the revolution in digital technologies over the last 25

years. The ever-reducing cost and everincreasing power of computer chips; the everincreasing network communications speed and

bandwidth and the ever-accelerating number of users connected has driven the astonishing growth in the Internet and the associated World

Wide Web. Add mobile communications (increasingly Internet enabled) and you see why digital communications increasingly dominate

and all other communications channels including print are in relative decline.

By 2012 it was calculated that 35% of the world’s population was connected via the Internet, although distribution is very patchy. As for

mobile phones, by 2013 there were 3.4 billion subscribers, equivalent to just under half the world’s population.

So print is now part of the broader communications industry, and printing companies need to be increasingly IT-led. Yet

only 23% of our drupa expert panel reported that IT expenditure had grown over the last five years and virtually all reported difficulties in

recruiting adequate IT skills.

The migration to digital


A range of factors explains the rapid migration to digital communications over the last 30-odd years:

• Digital communications are rapid, even real-time.

• Interactivity offers great advantages.

• The consumer has adapted to an ‘always on’ communications lifestyle.

• We are mobile with access to multiple touch-points and channels.

Marketers will therefore consider all the channels available and choose those that fit within budget and prompt the best (ideally

recordable) response. Regrettably, younger marketers may only consider digital channels.

Yet print can add huge value to multichannel campaigns.

The average response rate for standard direct mail is reported at 3.4%, compared with 0.12% for email. So direct mail that drives consumers to a digital channel,

ideally via an interactive element, is an attractive way forward.

So how have commercial printers on the drupa panel responded to these challenges?

Commonly they have sought additional revenue streams by adding new services such as web-to-print (W2P), customer database management, digital

asset management etc – most of which use the Internet to function.

Publishers of newspapers, magazines and books have faced equally stiff challenges from the Internet. In 2012 US online advertising overtook

the total print advertising in newspapers and magazines combined. And online advertising is certainly not migrating to newspaper publishers.

For every $25 of lost print advertising it is calculated that newspaper publishing gains just $1 of digital advertising.

Nevertheless, while digital revenues are growing rapidly for magazine publishers (particularly for business-to-business), it will be many years

before print advertising and circulation revenues cease to be the dominant source.

As for books, again the printed book will remain for some years the dominant revenue source for professional publishers. However in the book

publishing supply chain a radical transformation, enabled by ecommerce and digital print-ondemand (PoD), has taken place.

Furthermore use of ebooks is steadily increasing, but in complement to print, not as a full alternative. The other big features for books

are that with PoD no book need ever go ‘out of print’ and there is a huge growth in so-called ‘self publishing’.

Our drupa expert panel of printers who work in publishing has responded to these challenges by adding on-demand or short-run digital print;

adapting to ecommerce-led supply chains and adding a variety of new services e.g. customer database management, adapting files to

alternative output devices etc. Indeed, while conventional book production was reported as declining or at best stable, 59% reported growth

in short-run digital production and 51% reported growth in on-demand digital production.

Sustainability is an issue of increasing concern for publishers, marketers and the consumer.

As the comparative debate matures past naïve anti-paper slogans, and the environmental costs of digital infrastructure and use become better

understood, there can now be a more effective selection of the right combination of media channels for each occasion while considering

the sustainability implications. Reflecting this, our expert panel reported shifts in the paper purchasing habits of their customers, most

notably the rise in demand for accredited papers.

The rise and rise of ecommerce

Over 20 years the volume of ecommerce in many countries has grown from negligible to huge volumes that include virtually all

companies and most consumers. The growth figures are just astonishing; with even the most mature market, the US, still growing at 8% per

annum, with China due to overtake it in volume terms in 2015 and to triple its volume of online trading by 2020.

There are many advantages to ecommerce that explain this explosion in participation, and the pace will accelerate further with increasing

numbers of consumers using their Internet enabled mobile phones to participate in ‘m-commerce’.

The report highlights the huge impact ecommerce has had on vast industries such as music publishing, book publishing, retail and

banking. Yet print has struggled to exploit the opportunities.

While 51% of the drupa panel had web-to-print, only 14% reported they used it to transact more than 25% of their orders. Our commercial

printer panel members offer a variety of products for sale via the Internet, but while there are individual success stories, a recent US survey

reported that only one in four W2P installations was considered a success by the printers concerned.

In terms of catalogues, 47% of the panel reported a decline in demand for conventional print (versus 15% an increase), a net balance of

31% decline. However there was much better news for shorter run ‘versioned mini-catalogues,’ with 47% reporting growth and 60% reporting

growth in short-run digital production.

The reason is clear – marketers see that print catalogues drive online sales, so print is a valuable ally for ecommerce when it becomes

part of an integrated multi-channel process.

The shift to mass customisation

The industry has seen a dramatic shift from mass production of static print to an everincreasing proportion of small runs of digital

print and down further to individual runs of one.

Digital communications has driven this shift, supported by sophisticated data management and workflows.

Variable data print (VDP) is the essential prerequisite for customisation and the net effect is forecasts of a slow decline in static print

(0.5% per annum to 2017) contrasted with rapid growth of digital (electrophotographic at 1.5% pa – building on a large installed base and inkjet

at 14% pa – reflecting the small installed base) to double digital print’s share of total print volume to 14% by 2017.

72% of the commercial printers in the drupa panel offer VDP and 56% reported modest or fast growth, albeit from a low base. Indeed, last

autumn the panel’s commercial printers selected cut sheet digital electrographic presses as their top print investment.

Another striking development is the rapidly growing popularity of interactive print (QR codes, augmented reality etc) that enables print

to play a role in an online sales cycle. 32% of the expert panel offer at least one such service.

One key driver of mass customisation is the ever-increasing volume of digital data that is being held – so-called ‘big data,’ where

the volumes are so large that conventional analyses would struggle to cope. For example, online business data is forecast to grow at a

compound annual rate of 40%. However with the right software and skills to drive it, very exact segmented marketing, down to the level

of individuals, can occur – either digitally or by printing. Here is a great opportunity for printers (who are used to handling high volumes of

digital data) to manage and analyse customers’ data for them.

Packaging supply chains are responding to such opportunities to create just-in-time, on-demand business cycles that reduce lead times, cost and

waste. Technical issues such as exact colour management are being resolved and supply chains are becoming agile enough to exploit the

opportunities. Indeed, among packaging printers on the expert panel, 50% reported they offer interactive print of one form or another, 43%

offer variable content and 41% some form of personalisation, albeit only a low level of SKUs are involved at present.

The Internet has both increased the opportunities for personalisation and also the competition to win that business, as customers no longer have

to meet the printer and printers can compete in an ever-wider geographic market.

Customisation has added new products to the conventional list of personalised products (business cards, stationery etc) with items such

as photo books and calendars for commercial printers and décor items for industrial printers.

Over 50% of the panel’s commercial printers offer some products that are personalised, although some products involve a higher level

of investment in specialist equipment and marketing to compete successfully e.g. photobooks.

Direct mail is offered by 51% of the panel’s commercial printers and while there is plenty of evidence of a sharp decline in the total volume

of direct mail, strategically targeted direct mail is growing.

Overall, printers need to get much closer to their customers and end users, to capture data and understand how personalisation can be relevant,

timely and provide added value.

Managing with the Internet

Regardless of what you are printing or how, the Internet can assist printers in becoming more competitive. For example, it is fundamentally

changing the way businesses are conducting their sales and marketing. The drupa expert panel admitted to a very patchy adoption of such

techniques as customer database management (just 34% use it), website analytics (23%) and social media (25%) and only 17% use these in

integrated campaigns that are demonstrably the best way to exploit these techniques.

Turning to customer service and production, we have all been impressed with examples in our daily life of effective multi-channel ‘customer

journeys’ as well as painful examples of the reverse. But how many printers have assessed their own company’s ‘customer journeys’

objectively? Certainly 84% of the drupa panel reported use of FTP/upload portals, but only 55% use automated pre-flight testing and 44%

use digital asset management.

Surprisingly only 47% claimed integrated estimating, order processing and job bag production and only 21% reported a fully automated order processing

system from enquiry to invoicing.

As for other online business services, 68% used online purchasing and 54% of those with an MIS had remote access but less than half used online

training, recruitment, business intelligence and credit checking. It is puzzling to see the low take-up figures for all these online aids to

greater competitiveness and efficiency.


du announces Smart City WiFi plan


The Higher Committee for Smart Dubai Initiative has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with du, announcing the UAE’s integrated telecommunications company as the Smart City Official WiFi Provider in Dubai.

du will provide an end-to-end, fully managed WiFi solutions, which will be accessible in public areas such as public transport, malls, recreational and urban areas, and other top destinations.

The operator will expand its existing WiFi coverage in public areas. Customers of both operators will be able to access it with a common login and portal.

Dr Aisha Bin Bishr, Assistant Director of The Executive office of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and member of the Executive Committee of Smart Dubai Initiative, said: “We strive to ensure the rapid realisation of the Smart Dubai vision. This is only achievable with the right infrastructure in place, with connectivity being a vital component to provide Dubai’s public with unlimited access to all Smart City services, anywhere and everywhere. Having a strong WiFi service across all public areas will significantly contribute to Dubai becoming the world’s smartest city, which is a goal we are aiming for. With an existing public WiFi service that has proven successful and reliable, du is the natural partner for realising this ambitious goal.”

Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer at du, commented: “WiFi is the basis of any Smart City model, and we are honored to be selected by the Higher Committee for Smart Dubai Initiative to provide this crucial service.”


Apple’s new iPad Air 2 is less than half as thick as the origin al 1st generation iPad آيباد الجديد أكثر نحافة

These graphics is published with the permission of GRAPHIC NEWS


EMC to buy OpenStack cloud guru Cloudscaling


An EMC spokesperson this afternoon confirmed that the company will buy Cloudscaling, which builds clouds based on the OpenStack software.

The deal would mark the latest in a wave of consolidation in the cloud industry, with previous big acquisitions including HP snapping up Euclayptus and Cisco buying OpenStack vendor Metacloud. It also comes as there is some shakeup in the OpenStack community, with one of the forefathers of the movement, Joshua McKenty leaving his post as CTO of Piston Cloud Computing Co. and landing at Pivotal, the VMware/EMC spinout that is focused on the open source Cloud Foundry platform as a service. The move also comes just before the latest Juno release of the project and as the community gears up for its semi-annual summit to be held in Paris.

Cloudscaling has been a prominent member of the OpenStack community for years. The company’s co-founder and CEO Randy Bias is one of the outspoken leaders of OpenStack, evangelizing not only his company’s platform but the OpenStack project in general at industry trade shows and events.

Cloudscaling the company helps its customers build public or private clouds based on the company’s software, which is powered by OpenStack. Bias has talked about the company’s affinity for building web-scale distributed systems like those run by Amazon and Google. While some in the OpenStack community have considered Amazon a foe, Bias’s Cloudscaling seems to embrace AWS and wants to bring an AWS-like cloud to regular enterprises.

EMC buying OpenStack continues the company’s foray into the open source project. EMC is already a corporate backer of OpenStack and within the last year has hired some OpenStack talent, including former Rackspace evangelist Kenneth Hui.

EMC spokesperson Dave Farmer confirmed the news, which was first reported by Bloomberg. “To further extend EMC’s breadth of cloud platform support, including VMware and others, EMC signed a definitive agreement to acquire Cloudscaling.” He added that more details about the Clouscaling purchase will be released on Oct. 28 when the company has an event.


Better batteries ahead mean big changes for mobility


According to Science Daily, “Scientists [at Nangyang Technological University in
Singapore] have developed a new battery that can be recharged up to 70 per cent in only 2 minutes. The battery will also have a longer lifespan of over 20 years.” Furthermore, it can be charged up to 20 times more than current models.

While the context of the article relates to electric vehicle batteries, this is a new kind of lithium ion battery which will also apply to smartphones and many other objects requiring portable power.

How is this new battery different?

Lithium ion batteries were developed well over thirty years ago, and though they’ve advanced since their original versions the deficiencies are still painful. These new batteries contain titanium dioxide which is affordable, plentiful and safe. It’s currently in use within paint and solar panels, for instance. The titanium dioxide particles are turned into a gel which makes up nanotubes much smaller than a typical hair. The size and structure of the nanotubes and the properties of the gel – which is tough and resistant to deterioration – work more efficiently than current batteries to facilitate rapid battery charging.

Reports thus far don’t indicate that the new battery provides more power capacity or lasts longer after a full charge than contemporary batteries, but the breakthrough here is the quick recharge time and the long lifespan of the battery, allowing it to potentially be used for decades (and I hope this spurs cell phone manufacturers to standardize on one kind of battery which can be transplanted across various models both current and future).

Using existing power sources or portable rechargers a smartphone could be fully powered up in 3 minutes, according to the current projection of charging capability – although it’s not clear whether existing charger cables could possibly pass such a high amount of wattage within that time span. Cable upgrades may go hand-in-hand with this kind of battery. However, this is minor in the overall scheme of things. Since the battery will last much longer there will be fewer discards and less worry about the main battery dying on a road trip – which is why I carry two spares. Even desperate situations like recharging smartphones in an airport terminal while waiting to board a flight will be made easier.

This isn’t the only “new and improved battery” in the game, however – nor do they all seem to find the light of day. A year and a half ago a similar advance in lithium ion technology was announced (and about which the current status is unclear) which claimed to be “2,000 times more powerful, recharges 1,000 times faster.” And lithium ion may not necessarily be the only way to go; dual carbon batteries are also reportedly under development (as of last May) which claim to “charge 20x faster than lithium ion.” However, this battery developed at Nangyang Technological University may have an advantage going for it: it matches current manufacturing processes meaning these don’t need to be expanded or revised, and that will help further its development.

When will we actually start seeing these batteries in production?

Currently the inventors are planning a proof of concept for a prototype of the new battery, and it is expected to be available within two years. Hopefully it will be released as planned (or some other savior will appear – there is simply too much demand for this concept to remain in limbo) and our car chargers, extra batteries and archaic power-up strategies will allow us to scrape by until 2016!


Gartner Lays Out its Top 10 Tech Trends for 2015

Slideshow: The Future of Programming

The Internet of Things, and everything that’s part of its universe, including smart machines, pervasive analytics and 3D printing, are on Gartner’s annual list of strategic technologies for the year ahead.

The list, presented today by Garner analyst David Cearley at the firm’s annual Symposium/ITxpo, is focused on merging the real world with the virtual one, what that means for analytics and the type of IT that has to emerge to deal with it.

Here’s the Gartner list for 2015:

1: Computing Everywhere. To Gartner, this simply means ubiquitous access to computing capabilities. Intelligent screens and connected devices will proliferate, and will take many forms, sizes and interaction styles.

Cearley warned that IT departments are not well suited for the design challenges involved in ubiquitous availability, and said companies may need to acquire the expertise. (He may have been pointing to Capital One, which recently acquired Web design firm Adapative Path.)

2: The Internet of Things (IoT). Clearley’s advice to IT managers is to experiment, get ideas going and empower individuals in IT organizations to develop uses for connected devices and sensors.

Cearley believes IoT has enormous potential to deliver value to businesses, and said even small sensors that can detect problems in equipment before failure occurs, can save a business thousands of dollars.

3: 3D printing. The technology has been around since 1984, but is now maturing and shipments are on the rise. While consumer 3D printing gets a lot of attention, it’s really the enterprise use that can deliver value.

4: Advanced, Pervasive and Invisible Analytics. Every application is an analytical app today.

5: Context Rich Systems. Knowing the user, the location, what they have done in the past, their preferences, social connections and other attributes all become inputs into applications.


SWOT analysis

Click on the Photo to Start


Axios webcast – Key Challenges in ITSM Today – Discussing the 7 big trends


Xen Project discloses serious vulnerability that impacts virtualized servers

The Xen Project has revealed the details of a serious vulnerability in the Xen hypervisor that could put the security of many virtualized servers at risk.


Xen is a free, open-source hypervisor used to create and run virtual machines. It is widely used by cloud computing providers and virtual private server hosting companies.

The security vulnerability, which is being tracked as CVE-2014-7188 and was privately disclosed to major cloud providers in advance, forced at least Amazon Web Services and Rackspace to reboot some of their customers’ virtualized servers over the past week.

The issue allows a virtual machine created using Xen’s hardware-assisted virtualization (HVM) to read data stored by other HVM guests that share the same physical hardware. This breaks an important security barrier in multi-tenant virtual environments.

A malicious HVM guest can also exploit the flaw to crash the host server, the Xen Project said in a security advisory published Wednesday.

The vulnerability only affects Xen running on x86 systems, not ARM, and does not impact servers virtualized with Xen’s paravirtualization (PV) mode instead of HVM.

Even so, the issue is likely to affect a very large number of servers. Amazon was forced to reboot up to 10 percent of its Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) serversover the last several days in order to apply the patch and Rackspace’s similar effort affected a quarter of its 200,000 customers.

Amazon scheduled its reboots so they didn’t affect two regions or availability zones at the same time.

“The zone by zone reboots were completed as planned and we worked very closely with our customers to ensure that the reboots went smoothly for them,” the company said Wednesday in a blog post.

Things did not went as smooth for Rackspace whose CEO, Taylor Rhodes, admitted in an email sent to customers Tuesday that the company “dropped a few balls” in the process of dealing with the vulnerability.

“Some of our reboots, for example, took much longer than they should,” Rhodes said. “And some of our notifications were not as clear as they should have been. We are making changes to address those mistakes.”


Chromebooks for Work: More manageable for IT, more powerful for users


After an office flood displaced 40 workers from a regional site, Just Eat, a UK-based online food ordering company, found a simple way to work through the disruption. The company delivered dozens of Chromebooks overnight to its headquarters and configured them by the time workers came in the next morning.

The story highlights some of the key reasons why a growing number of companies are adopting Chromebooks: they offer easy manageability and heightened security as well as speed and simplicity for IT and end users. Companies such as Woolworths, Auberge Resorts and Chapters Health have equipped their workers with devices in a matter of days thanks to Chromebooks’ simple cloud-based architecture.

Today, we’re taking a big step toward making it even easier for companies to select Chromebooks as their device of choice by announcing features specifically focused on improving identity, manageability, virtualization, performance and pricing:

Simplified and enhanced identity: Single sign-on, a popular customer request, lets you log in with the same credentials and identity provider that you use in the rest of your organization. This feature uses the universal SAML standard and works with most of the major identity providers including CA SiteMinder, Microsoft AD FS, Okta, Ping Identity, SecureAuth, and SimpleSAMLphp. We’re also adding multiple sign-in, which allows you to securely and quickly switch between work and personal accounts on your Chromebook.

Improved certificate management for wireless networks: Businesses, schools and government institutions can now easily provision Chromebooks with client certificates to access 802.1X EAP-TLS wireless networks and mutual TLS protected web resources. Using the Admin Console, IT admins can pre-configure their secure networks, push certificate management extensions and pre-select certificates to be used with certain websites and networks. Partners such as Aruba Networks, Cloudpath Networks and Aerohive Networks have already integrated this functionality.

Expanded Chrome management for any device: Getting new workers or contractors provisioned with web apps on Chrome is now easier than ever. With the Admin Console, IT administrators can push a list of bookmarksand many other settings to signed-in workers on all platforms including mobile devices.

Improved virtualization options: We’ve worked with virtualization partners like Citrix and VMware to expand the boundaries of what’s possible on Chromebooks. Recently, Citrix released a new Citrix Receiver optimized for Chromebooks, which provides more direct integration with Chromebooks and enables new features including seamless integration with Google Cloud Print; cut-and-paste between local and virtualized applications; better audio and video playback; improved license and application usage monitoring; and protection from end-to-end SSL connections.

Rich graphics experiences: Chromebooks are perfect for web applications and they can support rich graphics and powerful 3-D applications. Google recently teamed with Nvidia and VMware and announced at VMWorld technology to speed the delivery of graphics-heavy virtualized applications to Chromebooks, allowing you to seamlessly run 3-D modeling and simulation applications often associated with heavier hardware.

More flexibility on pricing: Starting today, customers can purchase all of these advanced features, management, and support through a new annual subscription option of $50 per device per year. This new pricing option is available first in the US and Canada, with more regions to follow. We’re also supporting licensing portability, which means if you lose or replace a Chromebook you can easily apply your existing license to a new device.

These new features and options reflect our commitment to making Chromebooks an everyday business tool that both IT admins and users can rely on over the years to come.

Two of Google’s strategic partners for virtualization on Chromebooks have been VMware and Citrix. Earlier this year, at VMware’s Partner Exchange, a partnership was announced between Google and VMware, centering around the use of VMware Horizon DaaS for Chromebooks. Google also recently partnered with VMware and NVIDIA to make it easier to build graphical intensive applications for Chromebooks.

Citrix announced its Receiver for Chrome in a blog post in September, giving Chromebook users yet another option to access Windows apps in a virtual environment.

While this is a great option for companies looking to make the transition and maintain access to legacy systems, it’s unclear how it will stack up to the recently announced Windows connected laptop, the HP Stream, which obviously runs Windows apps natively.

Google also changed its Chromebook pricing model to be more friendly to enterprise customers. Chromebooks for Work users now have the option of a subscription price of $50 per device, per year. This gives businesses more flexibility in how they pay for their licenses.

“We had gone with a one-time perpetual license model for the advanced features and the management support, and that’s been in place for quite a while,” Sheth said. “That’s worked really well for places like education where you budget one time and you need to apply it, but in an enterprise environment you’d rather pay as you go.”

This new pricing option will hit the US and Canada first, but will eventually make its way to other markets. Google also mentioned that it is now supporting licensing portability, meaning users can port an existing license to a new device if their Chromebook is lost or stolen.

“You’re seeing that we are very serious about Chrome being a great platform for businesses, and this is just the beginning of many things that you’re going to continue to see us do to make it an even better platform,” Sheth said.

Security is also essential for an enterprise play and Google seems to be taking security seriously as this week it just ponied up more than $75,000 in bounty rewards to take care of 159 security bugs through its Chrome Reward Program.


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