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Microsoft employees working in the cloud

Seventy percent of the 40,000 people who work on software at Microsoft are in some way working in the cloud, CEO Steve Ballmer said Thursday at the University of Washington. In a wide-ranging talk to computer science students at the university, Ballmer explained why he thinks cloud computing is important and how Microsoft aims to take advantage of the trend toward hosted computing services. All Microsoft products including Windows, Office, Xbox, Azure, Bing and Windows Phone are driven by the idea of being connected to the cloud, he said. While some recently introduced products like Windows 7 included a lot of work that is not cloud-based, the inspiration for the product starts with the cloud, he said.

Sony making Playstation-capable smartphone

Sony is countering Apple by developing its own handheld products that include a tablet-like device and a smartphone that can download and play PlayStation games, The Wall Street Journal said in a news report on Thursday. The tablet-like device being developed will include netbook, e-book reader and gaming functions, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter. The device could compete with Apple’s iPad, which offers Web browsing, multimedia, e-reading and gaming functions. Sony is working with Ericsson on the handset

Gartner raises PC shipments forecast

Gartner has raised its worldwide PC shipment forecast for this year, predicting growth of 20 percent compared to 2009, partly driven by growth in shipments of mobile devices like laptops and netbooks. The analyst firm in December predicted worldwide PC shipments to grow by 13.3 percent this year. Gartner is now saying PC shipments will total 366.1 million units in 2010, compared to 305.8 million units shipped in 2009. Mobile devices accounted for 55 percent of all PC shipments in 2009, and will account for close to 70 percent of shipments by 2012.

EMC jumps on virtualization bandwagon

EMC’s RSA division is embracing the virtualization trend that its VMware spinoff helped kick off, announcing Thursday that three of its core security products will work in VMware virtualized environments. On Thursday, RSA announced that its SecurID authentication product, enVision security monitoring software and DLPEndpoint all work with VMware virtualized environments in their latest versions.

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