Trust in the cloud is growing - but what is holding us back?
Construction output fell by 3.9% between the first and second quarters of 2012, new figures show today.
The fall is 9.5% when compared with the same period a year ago.
The volume of all new work fell by 4.6% compared with the first quarter of 2012 - and by 12.8% compared with 2011.
A spokesman for the Office of National Statistics, which released the figures, said the poor weather and the extra bank holiday for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee were likely to have been contributing factors, as well as moving the late May bank holiday to June.
Steve McGuckin, managing director of Turner & Townsend, said: “All the sunshine and Olympic feelgood factor in the world can’t hide the fact that these are black days for the construction sector.
“Stagnation has moved from the stuff of nightmares to the new norm.
“Despite Sir Mervyn King’s assertion this week that the economy is ‘slowly healing’, construction is still walking wounded. Output in the last quarter tumbled to levels not seen since the depths of the 2009 recession. The big drop in infrastructure output is of particular concern for the economy as a whole.”
Optimists who hoped 2013 would see an upturn in work were being forced into a drastic rethink, he added, and small and medium-sized firms were the worst hit.
- UK Second-Quarter Slump May Be Smaller as Building Revised - Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Slower construction fall signals GDP revision (telegraph.co.uk)
- Recession deniers should shut up as down we continue to go (newstatesman.com)
Microsoft's Windows 8 goes gold. Microsoft is readying the big launch.
Did you watch the London 2012 opening ceremony? I did, and it was glorious - but I bet there was a moment, just before it all kicked off, when Danny Boyle was absolutely bricking it.
After years of work, and no doubt lots of sleepless nights, there was nothing left for Boyle to do: all he could do was cross his fingers and hope things wouldn't go tits-up. All that effort, all that money, all that hard work could all too easily have ended in disaster.
I bet Steve Ballmer knows that feeling.
Olympic medals aren't the only important gold things kicking around this week: Windows 8 has gone gold too, which means it's been released to manufacturing (RTM). The feature set is locked down, the DVDs are being duplicated, the OEMs are making their installation images and there's nothing more to work on: all Microsoft can do now is cross its fingers and hope Windows 8 isn't another Windows Vista.
Boyle only had to wait a short while to see whether his project ended in triumph or trauma.
Ballmer has to wait until the end of October.
If I'm going to drag the Olympics analogy out a bit more - and, of course, I am - then Windows 8 is the third, faintly baffling bit of the opening ceremony, the sitcom bit that didn't work as well as the enormously exciting Industrial Revolution section (that, I reckon, would be Windows 95, or maybe XP). On tablets, Windows 8's groovy new UI makes sense; on PCs, though, the jury's still out.
Windows 8 cover
It's a brave move, and a very risky one: people have invested a great deal of time and effort in the familiar Windows UI, and they might not welcome Metro in the way many tech fans have. While Microsoft says there are 7 million PCs running the Release Preview and a further 9 million with the Consumer Preview, it doesn't have figures on how many of those people went "good god! This is awful!" and threw up in a bucket.
Will Windows 8 be a triumph? I've no idea; I'm still trying to make up my own mind about whether I love it or loathe it. What I do love, though, is that Microsoft is bringing its A-game: Windows 8 is big and bright and brave and bold, and the fact that it could go horribly wrong just makes it all the more exciting.
Whatever you think of Microsoft, you have to admire Steve Ballmer's balls.
Source: Tech Radar
- Jason Gilbert: Does Microsoft Need Even Bigger Changes? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Windows 8 Enters the Final Phase Before Release (mashable.com)
- Microsoft officially leaving Windows 8 Metro brand in the dust (slashgear.com)
- Microsoft Looks to Drop Metro Brand (pcworld.com)
- Microsoft Admits Surface Tablet May Anger Manufacturers, Endangering Windows 8 - PC World (pcworld.com)