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Microsoft Build 2014 keynote: the highlights

Microsoft Build 2014 keynote: the highlights

Microsoft’s Build keynote this year included plenty of surprises, from universal apps that can run on Windows devices as well as the Xbox One to the impending return of the Start Menu.


Attendees at Microsoft’s annual Build summit last night were treated to a three-hour keynote speech in which the company announced some dramatic diversions from the norm – including free copies of Windows for phones and tablets, the return of the Start Menu, and Windows apps on the Xbox One.

It’s usual for Microsoft to queue up announcements for the Build event, which is the biggest in its calendar; it’s not usual, however, for it to have quite so many announcements to make as during its keynote session at last night’s opening. Some of the changes, in particular the release of free copies of Windows for mobile devices, will likely have a heavy impact on the future of the company – and it’s not hard to see new chief executive Satya Nadella, a man who has already bemoaned the company’s delayed entry into the mobile market, as the driving force behind much of what occurred last night.

Windows 8.1 Update 1
Microsoft announced the impending launch of Windows 8.1 Update 1, the first major overhaul for what was previously known as Windows Blue. Much of the changes are user experience oriented, rather than under-the-hood overhauls, and many will be welcomed by users: the Desktop and Modern UIs are to be more closely linked, with Modern UI apps being accessible in windowed form from the Desktop interface – allowing a mixing of old and new which was previously verboten.

The new update will also include faster access to the Windows Store – more on which later – by pre-pinning it to the taskbar, and the ability to power off or restart your PC, perform searches and access settings are now available on the main Start Screen instead of hidden off to the side. The update, Microsoft has confirmed, will launch on the 8th of April – the same date, coincidentally, that Windows XP enters official end of life (EOL) status.

The biggest change, however, will have to wait for a future update: the reintroduction of the Start Menu, the absence of which is many users’ biggest bugbear surrounding Windows 8 and newer. Based heavily on the Windows 7 Start Menu, the new version will integrated selected functionality – like Live Tiles – from the Start Screen in an attempt to create a hybrid that will appeal to all. No formal date has been offered for its availability, however.

Mobile Push
A large portion of the keynote was dedicated to Microsoft’s increasingly heavy push to mobile users, where is software is in a distinct minority. As well as new Windows Phone 8.1 devices from Nokia and Samsung, the company confirmed that the new release – a free upgrade to all Nokia Windows Phone 8 handsets – will include an Action Centre which appears to riff on the similar functionality available in Google’s rival Android platform.

The company also announced Cortana, its answer to the popularity of voice-activated assistants Google Now and Siri. Based on the artificial intelligence from the Halo series – which, as a major plot point, went crazy, so that’s an interesting marketing angle to take – Cortana will be a standard feature of Windows Phone 8.1.

Finally, Microsoft made what could possibly be the only announcement that could give it real impetus in the fight against Google: Windows will now be licensable at zero cost on all smartphones and tablet devices with a screen size of less than nine inches. Although Google’s basic Android OS is also free – and, in fact, largely open-source – the company has charged for access to the Google Play app store and other Google-specific functionality, while Microsoft’s impressive portfolio of patents has been used to ‘encourage’ Android licensees – including big names like Samsung – to pay Microsoft a fee for every handset shipped.

To put it bluntly: Microsoft’s free Windows for mobiles is cheaper than Google’s free Android – no mean feat.

Universal Apps
The final surprise of the event was confirmation of a long-held rumour that Microsoft’s Xbox One console will be able to run Windows applications. Using a new cross-platform runtime environment, Microsoft explained, developers will be able to build apps that can run on Windows, Windows RT, Windows Phone and Xbox One – and buyers can pay once to run the app on any of the aforementioned devices.

The move doesn’t exactly open up the Xbox ecosystem – apps available on the Xbox One will be even more heavily curated than those available on Windows Phone, with developers needing to seek Microsoft’s approval – but with promises that DirectX 12 will lead to similar cross-platform functionality for games, it’s hard to see it as bad news.

If the above summary isn’t enough for your appetite, the full keynote session featuring speakers David Treadwell, Joe Belfiore, Stephen Elop, Terry Myerson and new leader Satya Nadella is available for your three-hour viewing pleasure.

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Games Workshop’s Mordheim getting the digital treatment

Games Workshop’s Mordheim getting the digital treatment

Playable races include all of the basic races featured in the original Mordheim.


Games Workshop’s cult classic specialist game Mordheim is getting its own digital version with Mordheim: City of the Damned.

The game will be a turn-based strategy game where players lead small bands of warriors into skirmishes in a blend of RPG and tactical combat gameplay.

The miniatures-based war game Mordheim is based on Games Workshop’s highly successful Warhammer franchise. Instead of fielding large armies, players would build small gangs that would then level up and grow depending on their performance in battle.

Mordheim: City of the Damned sounds to be faithful to the game’s setting with warbands squabbling over Wyrdstone fragments in the ruins of the ruined city in the same way as the tabletop game.

The digital version will include playable gangs from the Skaven, the Empire, the Possessed and the Sisters of Sigmar with more factions to follow.

The game is being published by Focus Home Interactive, the independent French studio that was also behind the digital rendition of Games Workshop’s fantasy football game Blood Bowl. The company also has Cities XL, TrackMania and Farming Simulator in its portfolio.

Mordheim: City of the Damned is scheduled for a late 2014 release.

Several games in Games Workshop’s back-catalogue have made the transition to video games in recent years. Space Hulk, Warhammer Quest, Talisman and the aforementioned Blood Bowl have all seen a digital release on various platforms.

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It’s a ‘Star Wars’ snack! Admiral Ackbar cupcakes aren’t a trap

Even Admiral Ackbar would agree no one could repel the cupcake tastiness of this magnitude!

Even Admiral Ackbar would agree no one could repel the cupcake tastiness of this magnitude.


(Credit:
JustJenn)

Transforming an ordinary cupcake into Admiral Ackbar’s head is simple with a few yellow candy melts, coffee sprinkles, black icing, and cocoa-cinnamon butter cream frosting.

Jenn from the JustJenn Recipes food blog explains how to make Admiral Ackbar cupcakes. “These cupcakes are sweet and delicious if you can get past Ackbar’s giant eyes staring back at you begging you not to eat him,” Jenn wrote on her blog. “Don’t fall for it — it’s not a trap, IT’S A SNACK!”

Jenn is quite the Jedi Master chef when it comes to creating “Star Wars” treats. She’s paid tribute to both the Millennium Falcon and its pilot Han Solo in Jell-O. She’s baked a gruesome-yet-tasty severed Wampa arm cake. She’s paid homage to Princess Leia in cupcake form with adorable Oreo hair buns. So Ackbar cupcakes are a nice addition to her portfolio of pastries, cakes, cookies, and other desserts for this galaxy and one far, far away.

“For Ackbar there are four main characteristics to make him recognizable: oval head, giant yellow eyes, flappy mouth, and a weird soul patch,” Jenn wrote in her blog.

Once the basic characteristics are figured out, it’s easy to decorate a cupcake so it looks like everyone’s favorite Mon Calamari, right down to his distinct skin tone.

“Ackbar’s distinct coloring is orange-brown and kind of patchy,” Jenn explained. “Cinnamon butter cream has nice flecks of brown already mixed in, plus it’s a delicious pairing with Brown Sugar Cupcakes.”

The yellow candy melts and black icing serve as his eyes. More black icing add nose and mouth details. And the sprinkles serve as his soul patch.

“Creating a character likeness can be tricky, but my approach is to make things simpler and focus on unique characteristics,” Jenn added. “Once those are exaggerated you have a pretty good chance that it will be recognizable and it makes it easy for people to follow along and create their own too.”

When I start a character design for food I always do a lot of different of sketches, Jenn posted on her blog.

“When I start a character design for food I always do a lot of different of sketches,” Jenn posted on her blog.


(Credit:
JustJenn)

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Doc Brown finally admits Funny or Die hoverboard video is fake

Funny or Die should at least give out those hats.


(Credit:
Screenshot by Nick Statt/CNET)

To everyone’s dismay, the future has not actually arrived. Folks, hoverboards are not real.

At long last, actor Christopher Lloyd of “Back to the Future” fame conceded Wednesday in a Funny or Die apology video that the strange and still confounding online viral campaign promoting a working hoverboard was indeed a hoax, throwing in the towel on what has been a drawn out, exhaustive social-media time suck for the last 24 hours.

HUVr, the company purported to be behind the groundbreaking new technology, is fake, as are its “Back to the Future”-inspired hoverboards. The effort — seemingly concocted by Funny or Die and aggressively pushed on Facebook using the likes of Tony Hawk, Terrell Owens, and others — has now come to a somber end. What we’re left with is nothing but a deep sense of disappointment that hoverboards are nowhere near real, and an even deeper sense of shame that we spent time debunking this instead of, you know, becoming physicists specializing in superconductivity.

Lloyd at least approached the admission with a sense of humor. “Hey there hoverheads,” he says, wearing a fantastic purple HUVr promotional hat that one can only hope surfaces on eBay soon. “Those rascals over at Funny or Die tricked you and me both into thinking hoverboards were real,” he adds, appending a list of “tricked” synonyms including “flimflammed” and “hoverduped,” which is now a necessary addition to modern vernacular. He proceeds with a semi-sincere apology for leading people on, to overtly dramatic background music.


Los Angeles rapper Schoolboy Q was one of many celebrities to participate in the HUVr hoax. Here he is in a self-aware parody photo posted to the company’s Facebook page.


(Credit:
Funny or Die)

The original HUVr product teaser, which went up on YouTube on Monday accompanied by a decently well-made company Web site, quickly went viral as online news outlets began writing about it and its questionable veracity. It was easy to pick the video apart: Internet sleuths spotted shadows of cranes, deduced mathematical discrepancies with the hoverboard’s tech specs, and surfaced the portfolio Web sites of nonfamous actors and production crew members involved with the video.

Still, HUVr kept up the act, taking to its increasingly popular Facebook page, now at 112,000 likes, to assert that its product was in fact real. Though as the attention mounted, whoever was in charge of the social-media efforts either became bored or was told to have some fun with it, because the page began posting self-aware gems that perpetuated a quasi-naive understanding of the Web.

There’s still no explanation for why Funny or Die, or any of the multiple celebrities involved, got together to make the video. Is it evidence of the existence of “Back to the Future Part IV”? A viral ad campaign for the new Tony Hawk mobile game? Or a Nike-influenced plug for the company’s upcoming self-tying shoes? We don’t know right now, and it’s highly unlikely anyone will really care if and when we do find out.


One lucky Facebook commenter who feels compelled to own a piece of this disappointing Web history can attempt to win the above, non-functioning hoverboard.


(Credit:
Screenshot by Nick Statt)

Lloyd did close out his apology with some good news. A lucky Facebook user will get the chance to win a signed hoverboard used in the video — specifically the 1980s pink one stylized after Marty McFly’s “Back to the Future Part II” hoverboard. Apparently, the video will soon be posted to the HUVr Facebook page where a commenter on the post will be chosen to receive the prize. Lloyd didn’t disclose how the winner will be picked.

“This belongs to the people…at the very least, one person will be happy after so many of you have been sad,” Lloyd says. “Part of me is happy about my involvement. Because if we inspire one person to get into the hover sciences, I consider that a victory. Here’s to hoverboards being actually real one day. Go, do it! Make it happen! For all of us.”

At least Doc Brown is right about one thing: Hover sciences are the next frontier for humanity. Let’s all use this as a lesson and get to work revolutionizing transportation, most importantly pizza delivery.

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This ‘Back to the Future’ hoverboard will blow your mind

Tony Hawk pulling a “360 Hoverboard Hoax McTwist” for the well-produced, but ultimately phony, HUVr product teaser.


(Credit:
Screenshot by Nick Statt/CNET)

A hoverboard, like the wondrously 1980s pink variety Marty McFly cruises on in “Back to the Future Part II,” is universally accepted as the most awesome thing we don’t yet have. The wheel-less skateboard that floats above the ground and travels as if by magic has even become a bit of a pop culture trope recently for semi-sarcastically lamenting the slowness of technological innovation, of wanting the future right now. Sure, we have cell phone computers,
car-sized roving science labs on Mars, and gigantic particle accelerators capable of recreating miniature versions of the Big Bang, but a hoverboard? Now that will be the day.

Unfortunately, anyone who stumbled onto a quickly-going-viral video Tuesday from a mysterious company called HUVr were probably devastatingly disappointed to learn, almost immediately depending on your incredulousness, that it was too good to be true. The hoverboards in the video don’t just surpass the most advanced superconducting research of as little as three years ago, but blow it completely out of the water.


(Credit:
HUVr)

The board not only sustains more weight than the 100kg limitation of “Mag Surf” — a hovering technique developed in 2011 that employs a liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductor and a magnetic track — but it can also be controlled by a smartphone, lift a person off the ground, travel at high speeds, and seemingly extend a electromagnetic field to curved objects like ramps. “The Future Has Arrived,” the company’s site reads, with a product launch this December. As far as hoaxes go, this one is well-produced and elaborate.

In an attempt to make it even more believable, demonstrations include Tony Hawk whirring in mid-air, Terrell Owens being vaulted four feet off the pavement from a flat-ground standstill, and Moby convincing us that even he, the tech noob that he is, can use HUVr.

There’s a good number of tip-offs throughout the video that we’re being hoodwinked, namely that ensemble cast of awestruck celebrities that also includes Los Angeles rapper Schoolboy Q, Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino, and Back to the Future’s very own Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd). In fact, it’s likely that a good number of celebrities were roped into the stunt both because it’s hilarious and also because it acts as a solid point of distraction from the fact that no actual members of the supposedly real MIT-spawned company are identified.

Claiming to have developed it at MIT’s Physics Graduate Program in the summer of 2010, the team behind HUVr is showcased on the Web site stereotypically folding their arms. In an enjoyable and pointed skewering of a startup’s standard hyperbolic nonsense, they describe their hoverboard with enough buzzword runarounds to make even the most skeptical of Y Combinator diehards clap with joy.

They also look like Hollywood’s version of “nerdy startup folk,” like the people whose faces it actually put in front of the camera at Google headquarters for the filming of “The Internship” or the actors that made the cut to be in Amazon’s “Betas.”

This group of arm-folding smart people totally could have invented a hoverboard, Los Angeles producers think.


(Credit:
Screenshot by Nick Statt/CNET)

The contact page for HUVr has a company e-mail, though no one replied to my request for comment. Neither did MIT, which probably thought having to debunk a viral hoverboard hoax video ridiculous. Don’t worry, so did I.

There’s a few other, more telling hints. Ignoring of course the video’s opening disclaimer — “The following demonstrations are completely real” — one only has to wait until the last third of the video when things get really wild. With montage music playing, Owens is there catching a football, Moby is filming himself riding the board with his iPhone, and Hawk is doing his best re-creation of what his facial expressions looked like ten years ago at the peak of a halfpipe exit mid-900. All of the stunts look impossible, even if HUVr was remotely resembling modern hover technology, and the whole scene devolves into a self-aware parody.


Terrell Owens just invented a new sport.


(Credit:
Screenshot by Nick Statt)

So what’s actually going on here? Some postulate that it’s a “Back to the Future IV” teaser. That sounds plausible, though that film has never been officially announced, having been endlessly wrapped up in debunked rumors for years. However, with Lloyd’s involvement in the video, alongside the DeLorean he arrives in, there’s a chance a viral marketing operation of this magnitude really is proof the long-awaited film is on its way to production.

There’s another point of film history that also lends credence to the fact that this might be related to an official announcement of the fourth installment. Let’s recall that the Back to the Future series’ director Robert Zemeckis perpetuated a hoax after the release of the second film, claiming in a behind-the-scenes feature that hoverboards were real and not available to the public because of safety concerns. He kept that up, making sure it was featured in the “extras” section of the trilogy DVD box set.

Whatever the purpose of this, Internet debunkers were quick to suss out the source of the video’s production. On the online portfolio site of Lauren Biedenharn — a costume designer and an artist based in Los Angeles where, as well as being the home of Hawk, Schoolboy Q, and Consentino, the video was shot — the most recent line of her resume reads, “Commercial: Back to the Future HUVR BOARDS.” Her employer and the producer of said commercial: comedy video Web site Funny Or Die.

And so it goes. Another day, another wasted 24 hours without real hoverboard technology. Let’s hope that “Back to the Future IV” is the real deal, so that the time exhausted on HUVr at least results in a much-needed Dr. Emmett Brown reprising.

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Ken Levine winds down Irrational Games

February 19th, 2014 No comments

Ken Levine winds down Irrational Games

Irrational Games, the studio behind the hit BioShock franchise, is to close with founder Ken Levine taking a handful of staff to a new internal venture at owner Take Two.


Irrational Games, the studio behind the BioShock franchise, is to close with the loss of an estimated 185 jobs, with founder Ken Levine opting to start a new, smaller studio within Take Two instead.

Seventeen years is a long time to do any job, even the best one. And working with the incredible team at Irrational Games is indeed the best job I’ve ever had,‘ claimed Levine in an update posted to the official company blog. ‘While I’m deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished together, my passion has turned to making a different kind of game than we’ve done before. To meet the challenge ahead, I need to refocus my energy on a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers. In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience.

‘I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it. I’ll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavour at Take-Two. That is going to mean parting ways with all but about fifteen members of the Irrational team. There’s no great way to lay people off, and our first concern is to make sure that the people who are leaving have as much support as we can give them during this transition.’

The move will see some 185 people, a team responsible for the hugely successful BioShock Infinite less 15 Levine is taking across to the new studio, losing their jobs. Levine has indicated that they will receive support, however, including access to the studio for an undisclosed period to ‘say their goodbyes and put together their portfolios,’ discussions of transfers to other Take Two-owned studios, financial support and a recruiting day in which selected third-party studios will be invited to interview departing staff.

In time we will announce a new endeavour with a new goal: To make narrative-driven games for the core gamer that are highly replayable. To foster the most direct relationship with our fans possible, we will focus exclusively on content delivered digitally,‘ Levine explained of his new team’s purview. ‘When I first contemplated what I wanted to do, it became very clear to me that we were going to need a long period of design. Initially, I thought the only way to build this venture was with a classical startup model, a risk I was prepared to take. But when I talked to Take-Two about the idea, they convinced me that there was no better place to pursue this new chapter than within their walls. After all, they’re the ones who believed in and supported BioShock in the first place.

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Sid Meier Humble Bundle launches

February 6th, 2014 No comments

Sid Meier Humble Bundle launches

The Humble Sid Meier Bundle currently has an average price tag of $8.10, slightly higher than most previous bundles.


The Humble Bundle team has put together a pay-what-you-want package featuring several strategy games from Sid Meier’s portfolio.

The Humble Sid Meier Bundle includes the complete editions of Civilization III and Civilization IV, Ace Patrol and Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies and Railroads! Paying more than the average will also unlock Civilization V and its Gods and Kings expansion.

As a special companion deal, paying more than the flat rate of $15 will also grant buyers the Brave New World Civilization V expansion which launched last year.

Notably, the average amount paid for the bundle is slightly higher than previous bundles. Whilst the average normally sits around the $6 mark, the Sid Meier Bundle currently has an average payment of $8.10.

The Bundle has 13 and a half days left on the clock and has already raised $923,700 from 114,000 buyers. The charity that is on the receiving end of a portion of donations this time round is Action Against Hunger.

Running alongside the Sid Meier Bundle is Humble’s weekly sale which currently features a Codemaster’s bundle. This includes Overlord, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising and Rise of the Argonauts with Dirt 3 and Overlord 2 available for paying above $6.

The Humble Sid Meier Bundle coincides with the launch of Civilization V’s complete edition featuring both expansion packs mentioned above along with an updated scenario, ‘Conquest of the New World Deluxe’ which expands on the original by adding more civilizations and a larger policy and technology tree.

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Google sells Motorola arm to Lenovo

January 30th, 2014 No comments

Google sells Motorola arm to Lenovo

Google has sold the bulk of its 2011 Motorola Mobility acquisition to Lenovo at a considerable loss, but retains selected portions including patents and the Project Ara RD arm.


Google has surprised investors with the news that it is to sell its Motorola Mobility division, purchased back in 2011, to Lenovo at a considerable loss – but claims it’s keeping enough back to make the investment worth the deal.

Google completed its acquisition of Motorola’s mobile arm, signalling that company’s exit from the smartphone, tablet, cable modem and set-top box markets, back in November 2011 in a deal valued at $12.5 billion. In December 2012, following office closures that lost 4,000 former Motorola staffers their jobs, Google announced the sale of the division’s cable modem and set-top box arms for $2.35 billion but retained the core focus of smartphone development.

Since then, Motorola has released just two major products: the Moto G and Moto X smartphones, both – unsurprisingly – running Google’s Android operating system. Those, however, could be the last to feature the brand as Google has flogged Motorola Mobility to Chinese technology giant Lenovo for $2.91 billion – an apparent loss of $7.24 billion in under three years.

Google, however, claims that it is in fact gaining from the deal. While most of Motorola Mobility’s various assets are heading to Lenovo as a result of the deal, Google is hanging on to the bulk of the company’s patent portfolio. Additionally, Motorola’s Advanced Technologies and Projects research and development arm is staying with Google and being folded into the Android team.

The latter means Google retains ownership of Project Ara, the Phonebloks-inspired effort to create an open and modular smartphone platform which users can upgrade and modify at their leisure. Originally due to ship development kits by the end of 2013, it’s not known how the deal will affect the already very vague release timescale for the project.

For Lenovo, it’s a serious commitment to the so-called post-PC era, following the company’s decision to sell off its own smartphone and tablet division in 2008 for $100 million, only to change its mind and buy it back a year later for $200 million.

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Microsoft joins Open Compute Project

January 28th, 2014 No comments

Microsoft joins Open Compute Project

Microsoft has officially joined the Open Compute Project, offering its internal server specification blueprints with claims of a 40 per cent cost reduction and 15 per cent efficiency gain over traditional designs.


Microsoft has announced that it is officially throwing its lot in with the Open Compute Project, making its cloud computing technologies available to all in order to boost efficiency.

Founded by Facebook as a means of encouraging cross-vendor support for improving the efficiency of its data centres, the Open Compute Project has already seen some major contributions from its various members. Early last year, AMD and Intel announced the Open 3.0 modular server design and a new silcon photonics interconnect respectively, publishing information on the technologies to the project’s publicly-accessible GitHub page for all to view.

Now, Microsoft is joining the project, and brings an offering of its own to the table: hardware designs from its own data centres which power the Azure, Office 365 and Bing web-based services. ‘The Microsoft cloud server specification essentially provides the blueprints for the data centre servers we have designed to deliver the world’s most diverse portfolio of cloud services,‘ claimed Microsoft’s Bill Laing, corporate vice president, of the move. ‘They offer dramatic improvements over traditional enterprise server designs: up to 40 per cent server cost savings, 15 per cent power efficiency gains and 50 per cent reduction in deployment and service times. We also expect this server design to contribute to our environmental sustainability efforts by reducing network cabling by 1,100 miles and metal by 10,000 tons across our base of 1 million servers.

By publishing the plans through the Open Compute Project, Microsoft allows anyone – including its competitors – to benefit from its engineering work and improve their own infrastructure, but it’s not giving away the crown jewels: the company’s designs are tailored specifically for Windows Server software, meaning anyone wanting to get up and running with the high-efficiency architecture as quickly as possible will be tied in to the company’s proprietary software platform.

Details of Microsoft’s contributions to the project are due to be published on the official website following the conclusion of the Open Compute Summit tomorrow.

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Toshiba completes OCZ acquisition

January 23rd, 2014 No comments

Toshiba completes OCZ acquisition

The bankrupt OCZ Technologies is reborn as OCZ Storage Solutions, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toshiba with Ralph Schmitt still in charge.


Toshiba’s planned purchase of bankrupt solid-state storage specialist OCZ has been approved by the courts, with the former stand-alone company being integrated as a wholly owned subsidiary dubbed OCZ Storage Solutions.

Toshiba confirmed its plan to purchase OCZ’s assets in a $35 million deal following the company’s filing for bankruptcy protection late last year. Although OCZ – or, more accurately, its creditors – was happy to sell, the bankruptcy court was required by law to listen to alternative offers, including those that would see the company broken up and its individual pieces sold to the highest bidder.

Thankfully for Toshiba, that hasn’t happened with the court approving the company’s buyout plan. ‘The acquisition of OCZ further expands our solid-state storage capabilities and represents Toshiba’s commitment to this high-growth area,‘ claimed Toshiba’s Seiichi Mori at the announcement of the deal. ‘Our goal is to offer a leading edge portfolio of solid state solutions to address the storage challenges faced by both client and enterprise customers, and the acquisition of OCZ is an ideal addition to our team in realising this strategy.

We are very excited to be part of the Toshiba family where we will continue to develop new and unique solid-state storage technologies that position the new entity as a market leader,‘ claimed an undoubtedly relieved Ralph Schmitt, who retains his position of chief executive in the newly-formed OCZ Storage Solutions company. ‘With Toshiba’s financial strength and portfolio of leading-edge NAND flash memory, OCZ is now in a advantageous position as one of the few companies in the SSD industry with advanced controller IP and NAND flash supply under one global organization, which in turn will help enable more robust and competitive solid-state solutions going forward while expanding our market presence in the rapidly growing SSD market.

Thus far, the new company has not detailed how it will handle warranties held by customers of the previous OCZ Technologies company – but, hopefully, will honour all commitments.

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