Microsoft must issue a written statement to China within 20 days
Around the same time China banned Windows 8 from government use over concerns that there could be built-in spying mechanisms, authorities also began investigating Microsoft for antitrust violations. The latest in China's antitrust probe over Microsoft's business practices has the State Administration for Industry and Commerce giving the Redmond outfit 20 days to issue a written explanation. What for, you ask?
China's own operating system could be ready by October
After banning Microsoft's Windows 8 software for use on government PCs, China is now reportedly planning to cook up its own operating system. The home brewed OS could see a launch as early as October, and it would have the full backing of the Chinese government. China's motivation in building an OS of its own is to alleviate concerns that imported software from the likes of Microsoft, Google, and Apple could have spying mechanisms built into the code base.
The Chinese government decided to delist security firms Symantec and Kaspersky from its list of approved vendors, thereby blacklisting each company's antivirus products. It's the latest in what appears to be an ongoing effort to lessen the reliance on foreign technology. Only five AV products are now on the list, all of which are from China -- Qihoo 360 Technology, Venustech, CAJinchen, Beijing Jiangmin, and Rising.
The Chinese government doesn't just keep a tight grip on the Internet, it has a firm hold on the games market, as well. So, it doesn't come as a total shock that China just banned Battlefield 4 while pointing an angry finger at publisher Electronic Arts (EA) for pushing content that government officials claim is a threat to national security. But wait, there's more. China also considers BF4 a form of cultural invasion.
Second generation Nexus 7 shipments may be lower than expected
Google recently launched its second generation Nexus 7 tablet, once again tapping Asus to manufacturer the popular slate. This time around, the new model Nexus 7 comes with an upgraded 1920x1200 display, a faster SoC (1.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor), twice as much RAM (2GB), the addition of a rear-facing 5-megapixel camera, and a few other praise-worthy enhancements, but even so, shipments may not be as high as Google hoped.
Earlier this month we said that China was poised to sit atop the supercomputing summit with its Tianhe-2, a system built by the Chinese National University of Defense Technology (NUDT). Armed with over 3 million physical processing cores and 1 petabyte of memory, there was no way this thing wouldn't shoot right to the top, and so it did, taking pole position on the TOP500 chart.
Tianhe-2 notches up 30.65 petaflops during benchmark test
China scaled the supercomputing summit in late 2010, when a 2.507-petaflop machine named Tianhe-1A (or Milkyway-1) was ranked as the fastest supercomputer by TOP500, which publishes a list of the fastest 500 supercomputers twice a year. Its stay there, though, was brief, lasting all of six months. But if you think it was just a flash in the pan, the Chinese National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), the organization which developed the Tianhe-1A, is building the Tianhe-2 in order to prove you wrong.
IDC readjusted its PC sales forecast after seeing weak shipments in February.
Weaker than expected February PC shipments prompted International Data Corporation to reassess the market and adjust its expectation for the first quarter. Whereas IDC previously expected PC shipments to decline by 7.7 percent in Q1, the market research firm now says the drop could hit double digits, followed by a mid-single-digit decline in the second quarter before a recovery is in sight.
In China, it's not usual for factories to pluck students from nearby schools to help with increased orders.
Heweltt-Packard, the world's largest supplier of PCs (just ahead of Lenovo), is demanding that its Chinese suppliers follow a new set of guidelines as it pertains to student labor. Factories in China have come under heavy scrutiny during the past couple of years due to complaints of labor violations, underage workers, and employee suicides, all of which are at least partially related to the rabid demand for electronic products from the likes of Apple, HP, and others.
Samsung wasted no time in sending a team of executives to one of its suppliers' factories in China to investigate claims that it may be using child labor. The in-house investigation is in rapid response to a China Labor Watch (CLW) report alleging to have found issues of underage workers and student labor exploitation at HEG, which builds mobile phones, DVDs, stereo equipment, and MP3 players for Samsung.