DocuSign acquires Seal Software for $188M to enhance its AI chops

Contract management service DocuSign today announced that it is acquiring Seal Software for $188 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to close later this year. DocuSign, it’s worth noting, previously invested $15 million in Seal Software in 2019.
Seal Software was founded in 2010, and, while it may not be a mainstream brand, its customers include the likes of PayPal, Dell, Nokia and DocuSign itself. These companies use Seal for its contract management tools, but also for its analytics, discovery and data extraction services. And it’s these AI smarts the company developed over time to help businesses analyze their contracts that made DocuSign acquire the company. This can help them significantly reduce their time for legal reviews, for example.
“Seal was built to make finding, analyzing, and extracting data from contracts simpler and faster,” DocuSign CEO John O’Melia said in today’s announcement. “We have a natural synergy with DocuSign, and our

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Microsoft introduces Windows 10X for dual-screen devices

At its annual Surface hardware event in New York, Microsoft today announced the expected set of updates to its existing hardware lineup. The biggest surprise, though, was surely the announcement of the company’s dual-screen Surface Neo, which will go on sale before the 2020 holiday season. To make this kind of dual-screen device possible, Microsoft also built a new version of Windows 10: Windows 10X.
Microsoft says it’s announcing the hardware and software today in order to get it into the hands of developers ahead of the launch.
Just like HoloLens, Surface Hub and Xbox use the core technologies of Windows 10, the dual-screen Surface, too, will run this new version, as will dual-screen devices from Dell, HP, Lenovo and other partners. Unsurprisingly, these devices — and Windows 10X — will feature improved pen support (and a virtual keyboard).

Microsoft teases Neo dual-screen Surface, set to debut holiday 2020

Windows 10X is the result

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Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS comes to Dell Precision 5530 and 3530 mobile workstations

While many people and companies are jumping on the Linux bandwagon these days, it is important to remember that Dell has long been a proponent of the open source kernel. It has offered Ubuntu on some of its computers — a gutsy move being such a major Microsoft partner. It may not seem major these days, but when one of the largest makers of Windows computers embraced Linux, it was monumental. Dell remains a major Windows computer manufacturer, but its commitment to Ubuntu and open source ideology remains. The company has slowly been updating the pre-loaded version of Ubuntu from… [Continue Reading]

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Ubuntu Linux-powered Dell Precision 7530 and 7730 ‘Developer Edition’ laptops finally available

Back in May, we reported on several Ubuntu Linux-powered Dell Precision “Developer Edition” mobile workstations that would be released in 2018. At the time, only one of these laptops was available for purchase — the Precision 3530. Of course, the needs of all Ubuntu users cannot be met with just one machine. Thankfully, starting today, two more of these laptops become available for purchase. The Dell Precision 7530 and 7730, as they are called, are 15-inch and 17-inch laptops, respectively. “When it comes to pure power, these machines are unmatched. In fact, the 7730 is also the first AI/ML ready mobile… [Continue Reading]

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Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition now available with Ubuntu Linux and Intel Kaby Lake CPU

When you want a laptop running Ubuntu, you can always purchase a Windows machine and replace the operating system. Why bother with that hassle, though? Instead, it is smart to buy a machine pre-loaded with a Linux-based operating from a company like System76. While System76 sells brilliant Ubuntu-powered laptops and desktops, it is not the only game in town. Actually, believe it or not, Dell has long been a proponent of Linux, even before ‘Project Sputnik’. Its Ubuntu-powered XPS 13 Developer Edition laptops have been quite popular, and for good reason — they are built well and are very beautiful. Today, Dell… [Continue Reading]

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$67 billion Dell-EMC deal closes today

 Last Fall, rumors began circulating that Dell was interested in acquiring EMC. On October 12th, the rumors proved true when Dell announced it was buying EMC for an astonishing $67 billion, a record price for a tech acquisition. Almost a year later, for better or worse (richer or poorer), that deal is official today. While the parties might like to frame this as a deal with little drama, the… Read More

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Dell Venue 8 Pro 5855 is an attractive business tablet [Review]

Dell Venue 8 Pro front

The first generation of Dell’s Venue 8 tablet hit the market back in 2013. In January of this year the company launched the updated version that we have here, which comes with a faster Intel Atom X5 processor and 64-bit Windows 10 as standard.

So, how does this latest version measure up, and is it a good option for business users?

In the Box

The Venue 8 Pro is available as Wi-Fi only or you can have a mobile data connection too. It’s powered by a 2.4GHz Intel Atom X5 Z8500 — the old model had the 1.8GHz Z7340. You get 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a 64GB solid state hard drive and Wi-Fi as standard. Our review unit came with 4GB of RAM and the mobile data option, if you need more space, storage can be further expanded with a microSD card of up to 128GB. It’s worth noting that Dell uses eMMC storage — which is basically a built-in SD card — rather than a faster SSD disk.

The tablet measures 130 by 216mm and is only 9.45mm thick. At 377 g it gives an impression of solidity without feeling too weighty to carry around. The tablet has an 8-inch 1280 x 800 screen, a 5MP rear camera and 2MP front. The 5855 supports Miracast so you can wirelessly connect to compatible peripherals like screens and keyboards. The battery is a 19.5 WHr single cell unit.

Dell Venue 8 Pro back

You get a USB C cable and a mains adaptor in the package and, an attractive feature for business users, Microsoft Office Mobile is included in the price, and you can upgrade to the full version with an Office 365 subscription. Security is taken care of with the Dell Data Protection software.

Business Features

The Dell has a reassuringly solid feel and it should stand up well to the rigours of everyday business life. It comes with the Bamboo Paper digital notebook software that allows you to write and draw on the screen either with your finger or the optional stylus.

The fact that MS Office Mobile is included means you can start work almost as soon as you take it out of the box. You also get Dell’s Data Protection software which offers encryption and anti-malware features to keep your tablet and data secure. The Venue 8 Pro is also compatible with the Dell Client Command Suite, allowing IT departments to centrally manage BIOS and hardware configurations.

Dell Venue 8 Pro keyboard

In addition you get access to Dell ProSupport Plus as an option, which helps identify and resolve problems and keep your hardware running smoothly. There’s the option of Protected Workspace too, this opens applications likely to be targeted by malware in a sandbox environment to guard against attacks.

There are a number of accessories that will be attractive to business users too, including a docking, station that supports keyboard, mouse and dual displays, a case called “Folio” that converts into a hands free stand, plus an active pen stylus for writing and drawing on the screen. You can also get an adaptor that gives access to HDMI, VGA, Ethernet and USB 3.0 via the USB-C port. Software options include Adobe Create Cloud, Photoshop Elements and Acrobat.

In Use

There’s a power switch on the top along with a headphone socket. The bottom edge has a USB C socket and speaker grille. On the right are the volume control and a hard Windows button plus a slot for SIM and memory cards. Because it’s USB C it’s less fiddly to connect as you don’t have to get the plug the right way around, but you’ll need to get an adaptor if you want to attach a flash drive or other standard USB peripheral.

Dell Venue 8 Pro side

The back has a ridged finish which makes it pleasant to grip, though it does tend to show finger marks. While the Venue 8 is nicely weighty it isn’t too heavy to hold one-handed. The rear camera is in a slightly raised panel in the centre of the back towards the top. You do tend to place your fingers over this if you’re holding the tablet landscape, so you’ll need to wipe it clean before taking photos. The back of the machine does get warm in use, but not uncomfortably so. The performance of this tablet isn’t going to set the world on fire. but it’s perfectly adequate for everyday tasks.

The screen has quite a wide bezel — especially on the short edges — but the viewing area itself is a good size. The screen itself offer 283 ppi pixel density (an improvement on the 189 ppi of the previous generation). What this means in practice is that it has crisp colors, good contrast and delivers smooth video playback. Viewing angles are good too so its possible for two people to watch the screen at the same time. It isn’t quite bright enough to cope with outdoor use on sunny days but that’s a minor quibble. There’s only a single speaker but it delivers decent sound quality.

The number of megapixels doesn’t tell the whole story with the rear camera, as although it’s “only” 5MP it actually delivers pretty impressive results. There’s no flash, but it takes good pictures in both daylight and artificial light. It uses the standard Windows 10 Camera app which is basic but functional. The 2MP front camera is good enough for VoIP calling.

The most disappointing aspect of the Venue 8 Pro is its battery life. Even in relatively light use, like visiting websites or viewing documents you’ll struggle to get more than five or six hours on a charge. Watch videos or play games and you’ll eat through the power reserves much faster.


At £366 for the 64GB version with mobile data as tested — you can get the 2GB Wi-Fi only version for £259 — the Venue 8 Pro may seem a little pricey. As a business machine though it looks like an attractive package. It’s solidly constructed, has a good range of practical hardware and software options, and it looks smart in an understated way.

If you can live with the rather disappointing battery life and you value reliability over performance, it’s well worth considering.


  • Impressive display
  • USB C
  • Good range of business friendly features


  • Disappointing battery life
  • Non-SSD storage
  • Pricey

ITProPortal Review: 7/10

Published under license from, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.

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Dell releases new XPS 13 Developer Edition, launches Linux-based Precision laptops worldwide

Intel Skylake Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition

On the laptop side, Dell may be best known for its Windows devices, but, as some of you may already know, it also offers some killer Linux-based alternatives for prosumers. It all started out nearly four years ago with Project Sputnik, which led to the release of the first-gen XPS 13 Developer Edition, a Ubuntu-flavored version of the popular ultrabook, in late-2012.

Fast forward to today and Project Sputnik is more than just a one device effort, as Dell has expanded the reach of the program to also include some of its professional-grade laptops. Now, the company steps it up a notch by introducing the Intel Skylake refresh of XPS 13 Developer Edition, and making the Ubuntu-toting Precision laptops available worldwide.

What are the highlights of the new XPS 13 Developer Edition? Well, Project Sputnik lead Barton George says that it can be had with sixth-generation Core i7 processors, with a Core i5 option also on the cards, solid state drives with up to 1 TB of storage, up to 16 GB of RAM, InfinityEdge display (with fullHD and QHD+ versions), Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Long Term Support) and all the “necessary hardware drivers, tools and utilities” one might need.

If you are not familiar with what LTS actually means, it is a branch of Ubuntu which Canonical supports for five years from its release. In contrast, the standard version of the operating system is guaranteed to receive updates for at least nine months. LTS is, therefore, a better option for Project Sputnik devices, because such laptops are aimed at professionals who seek reliability over cutting-edge software features.

George notes that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (codenamed Xenial Xerus) will make its public debut in April, but there is no “date for when factory installation will become available” although support is planned. Those who wish to upgrade are advised to follow Canonical’s instructions, which are available here. Among the changes that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS brings are Linux 4.4, Python 3.5 and Golang 1.6.

When I first talked about Project Sputnik, I noted that Dell made a popular chose by opting for Ubuntu. This distribution is still among the most popular, currently ranking third on, behind Mint and Debian..

The new XPS 13 Developer Edition can now be purchased in US, with Canadian and European availability “being ready for launch as we speak”,  according to George. Prices start at $1,549 for a sixth-generation Core i7-6560U version with 8 GB of RAM, a 256 GB SSD and the QHD+ InfinityEdge display.

Regarding the worldwide availability of Ubuntu-based Precision laptops, Dell says that we are looking at Precision 5510, Precision 3510, Precision 7510 and Precision 7710 workstations. These devices can all be customized depending on the customer’s needs, but only the first two are available as of right now; the other two models will be offered “within a week”, according to George.

George also says that customers will see a number of over-the-air patches for these systems, which were not available early enough to be included in the shipping software.

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