About the author  ⁄ Suril Amin

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

Scott Guthrie, well known among developers for his red polo shirts, has been promoted to EVP of Cloud & Enterprise. This is now CEO Satya Nadella’s old position. eWeek snagged his first interview since his promotion. Scott talks about Windows Azure, how they worked with Dev division for lots of integration, competing with Azure, unique position Microsoft holds in this game and more. Here is an excerpt from it. How does all this added together set you up to compete with AWS? I think we’re in a good place right now. The team is executing in Agile. We did a bunch of mobile service announcements. It’s kind of nice because it is kind of rapid and it has the team on its toes. And the quality bar goes up. The biggest thing for us is with the things like BizTalk and Active Directory, it shows us getting very pointy with a ...

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An update late last night by VLC’s twitter account revealed they are re-submitting their app to the Window 8/8.1 Store “soon.”  It seems they are close to squashing whatever bugs that caused their app to be rejected last week. Now I believe the original plan was to get VLC working on full Windows 8 first and then WinRT due to some minor api differences.  Hopefully if the team is able to submit the app tomorrow we may be able to download the app within a week’s time. Just a quick refresher on the timeline: VLC asks for funding via Kickstarter in late November of 2012 By late December 2012 VLC has raised nearly $75,000 Update on 90% completion in early April 2012 Update on unforeseen challenges in early June 2012 Further updates in Oct & Dec 2013 of Audio Bug Audio stack re-written in January 2014, UI revamped Failed submission ...

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The VLC team has faced another setback in their efforts to publish a comprehensive video player in the Windows 8 Store.  After an initial wave of enthusiasm in a successful kickstarter campaign the team has faced setback after setback.  The VLC decided to take an unorthodox approach in developing their Win8/WinRT app which would allow them to maintain much of their old code base.  The last update we heard from the VLC team was that they ended up rewriting their entire audio stack. A update from their Twitter account on February 1st revealed that their latest app submission had failed again.  The team is unsure why, but have said they are working on fixing any problems and will re-submit the app.  This may give the team some more time to work on the UI and make it look even closer to the Zune player. The VLC team has stated an ...

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GeekWire has a great post containing interviews with a number of former Microsoft employees who have worked with Satya Nadella: Scott Moore, president of Seattle startup Cheezburger, the former MSN executive producer on Satya Nadella “Satya is thoughtful, articulate and well-spoken but quite low-key,” said Scott Moore whose tenure at Microsoft gave him a window into Nadella’s leadership of Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Online Services group. “He possesses vast technical knowledge and expertise and unlike many senior execs, he understands the products he oversees at a deep level.” Despite his outward demeanor, Nadella is an “aggressive business leader” who is willing to take on difficult challenges, Moore said. John Connors, the former Microsoft CFO who now works as a venture capitalist at Ignition Partners on Satya Nadella “Nadella is not the type of leader who would pound the table with his fist, instead taking a more thoughtful approach to ...

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Satya Nadella is currently trending on twitter and it seems like everyone and their dog has analysis/opinion on him. I’m curious as to what YOU, our readers, think of the board’s decision to name Satya Nadella as Microsoft’s new CEO.  Please comment below. My thoughts: Just to briefly share my thoughts, I have mixed feelings on Satya “Nutella” Nadella.  On the one hand, as an Indian myself, I’m extremely proud that an Indian is the CEO of Microsoft.  I have deep respect for his enterprise work, first in e-commerce, creation of bCentral, then head of Business Solutions, and recently work on Windows Azure. However, I’m concerned that what his pick means for Microsoft as a consumer focused company.  He did do some work on Live Search, but a lot of it was on the backend services.  Does Nadella have a vision for mobile, contextual, wearables, automobiles, home automation and more? It’s ...

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Microsoft stock is up almost 1.3% ($36.94) on the news that Satya Nadella has been named CEO.  This is a good sign that Wall Street seems to be accepting the board’s pick.  Wall Street sees this pick as a sign Microsoft will be more enterprise focused considering Satya Nadella’s old position was EVP of Cloud & Enterprise. Microsoft has not commented on who will be replacing Satya Nadella’s old job as head of Cloud & Enterprise, although there is some speculation that Scott Guthrie might be a good candidate. ...

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While Bill Gates will be stepping down as chairman of the board, Steve Ballmer will remain on the board.  In Ballmer’s short youtube video on Satya Nadella he also mentions Kevin Turner will continue as Chief-Operating Officer.  Often CEO will pick their own executive teams, much like Terry Myerson putting his own people in positions of power.  We’ll see in the coming months if Nadella feels any changes are needed to be made. In many ways I am sad Ballmer is leaving, no one will ever had the passion and love for Microsoft that he had. *Just to clarify, Bill Gates will still remain on the board of Microsoft, he will just no longer be chairman of the board. ...

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Well credit to Hal Berenson who nailed this a few weeks back, but Bill Gates will no longer be chairman of the board at Microsoft.  His new role will be Technical Advisor focusing on products and technologies.  Bill Gates claims he will now spend a third of this time at the company, up from 20 – 25% previously.  Gates will still retain a seat on the board, but he will no longer be chairman.  I think Mary Jo Foley nailed it earlier this week when she said this was likely more for PR than reality. ...

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From: Satya Nadella To: All Employees Date: Feb. 4, 2014 Subject: RE: Satya Nadella – Microsoft’s New CEO Today is a very humbling day for me. It reminds me of my very first day at Microsoft, 22 years ago. Like you, I had a choice about where to come to work. I came here because I believed Microsoft was the best company in the world. I saw then how clearly we empower people to do magical things with our creations and ultimately make the world a better place. I knew there was no better company to join if I wanted to make a difference. This is the very same inspiration that continues to drive me today. It is an incredible honor for me to lead and serve this great company of ours. Steve and Bill have taken it from an idea to one of the greatest and most universally admired companies in the world. ...

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Frank Shaw tweeted moments ago that Satya Nadella has become CEO of Microsoft. Official statement from Microsoft: “As Satya Nadella becomes the third CEO of Microsoft, he brings a relentless drive for innovation and a spirit of collaboration to his new role. He joined Microsoft 22 years ago because he saw how clearly Microsoft empowers people to do magical things and ultimately make the world a better place. Many companies, he says, “aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance.” Satya Nadella on Satya Nadella Bill Gates on Satya Nadella Steve Ballmer on Satya Nadella John W Thompson on Satya Nadella With a perspective based on more than two decades at Microsoft as someone who pushed to make dynamic changes happen, both in the company’s products and its culture, Satya Nadella says he is both “honored and humbled” ...

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The world’s first 4K tablet will begin shipping in the US shortly. At CES 2014, Panasonic announced the Toughpad 4K Tablet lineup called the “Toughpad 4K performance model”. This upgraded version of the Toughpad 4K Tablet will be available in Spring 2014. Panasonic had both the standard and performance models of the Toughpad 4K Tablet on display at CES this year. The Toughpad 4K Tablet performance model has a few key differences compared to the standard model: Intel Core i7 CPU (Standard has Core i5) NVIDIA Quadro K1000 GPU (Standard has NVIDIA GeForce GT745M) Increased internal battery volume An added 5 MP rear camera Upgraded ports including full-size Ethernet and mini-DisplayPort out Full specs: HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE Microsoft® Windows 8.1 Pro, Intel® Core™ i5-3437U GHz vPro™ Processor – 1.9GHz with Turbo Boost up to 2.9GHz, NVIDIA GeForce GT 745M, 2GB dedicated VRAM, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, HD 720p webcam with ...

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PCs have long been known for their great value.  This is part of the reason Microsoft was so successful.  Affordable PCs were produced at high scale and sold at a high volume allowed Microsoft to gain a large amount of marketshare in the early days of the PC industry.  Of course in an effort to make more money on low margins, build quality on PCs suffered along with a ruined experience with the introduction of crapware.  There was practically no innovation from the OEMs after laptops became mainstream.   The higher end of the PC market typically appealed to gamers.  The two leaders in that market , Alienware and VooDoo were bought by Dell and HP, respectively. Historically Apple maintained a nice niche on the high end of the market pushing well designed hardware.   The success of the ipod and then iphone are of course well known to our readers ...

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Screenshots leaked by the well known Wzor show our first glimpse of Windows 8.1 Update 1 that is expected to be released at the Build conference in early April.  Nothing new in the screenshots really other than a slightly updated IE11.  We may get more leaks after Microsoft distributes new builds more widely internally. This is our first glimpse into Terry Myerson’s vision for Windows 8.x. Source: Wzor   ...

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Film site “One View With A Room” has a nice series on best films never made.  Among them was the Halo movie which would have been co-produced by Peter Jackson, of Lord of the Rings/Hobbit fame, and directed by Neill Blomkmap best known for District 9.  The script was written by Alex Garland most recently known for the highly successful Dredd 3D film.   What ultimately killed the project was Microsoft’s inexperience in the movie business coupled with a greedy and controlling movie studios Fox and Universal.  Here is an excerpt: In amongst the dusty annals of the best films never made, one blockbuster lies atop the pile. Widely known and anticipated for the last 8 years, the ultimate videogame film/adaptation, and the one film that could never make the final jump to our cinema screens: Halo. So what if one of the biggest videogame franchise had made it to the big screen? ...

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Most consumers are familiar with “2-in-1″ PCs, which can either be a tablet or laptop.  But Toshiba has stepped it up a notch and unveiled a 5-in-1 PC concept.  Toshiba calls it a “shape-shifting” PC and it has three parts, a screen, keyboard and kickstand.  The kickstand contains the motherboard and the three parts can be arranged for different usage scenarios. As expected the PC take the form of a traditional laptop.  It can also take the form of a tablet, one with the keyboard detached and one with it folded back.  Two other modes include a “Presentation/TV” mode that involves using the kickstand, and a “Canvas” mode that lets the user flip the attached keyboard 270 degrees, making the device better for drafting with a stylus. As this is just a concept, there is no word on pricing or availability.  Other PC makers also are promoting convertible devices. At CES, ...

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Today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Sony announced they had sold a record 4.2 Million PS4 consoles.  The data was from launch, November 15, 2013 to December 31, 2013.  Sony choose a staggered launch and the PS4 was available in 53 countries by the end of the year.  Reports from analysts predicted Sony would sell 5 million units by Spring 2014 and they seem on pace to do this. “The momentum of the PS4 system keeps getting stronger and we couldn’t be more thrilled gamers worldwide are enjoying the incredibly immersive gaming experiences along with deep social capabilities and entertainment provided by our network,” said Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “After a remarkable launch, we look forward to bringing even more exciting content and continuing to explore the power of the PS4 system by adding new features and services, including PlayStation Now, in ...

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