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

Edit: Looks like my sources were correct: Microsoft Confirms: CEO Won’t Be Named Until Early 2014 I’ve been inspired by Dina Bass lately.  So take with post with a grain of salt, maybe mountains of salt.  Typically when original rumors are posted on msnews we like to have two other sources of independent confirmation.  The following information in this post is from multiple people, but only a “single source,” so no independent confirmation.  Individuals sending tips often have an agenda, so just keep that in mind. I received an anonymous tip early last week that Microsoft is considering making its CEO announcement late Q2 / early Q3: “[...] the board is now considering announcing the new CEO later than originally planned, most likely at the end of Q2 or maybe early Q3 [...]“ The information did not really make sense to me initially, Q3 would be way too late, giving Ballmer nearly ...

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Developing original series for Microsoft has taken a little longer than veteran TV executive Nancy Tellem had hoped, but her first slate of shows will launch on the Xbox videogame consoles early next year. “We’re hoping we will be able to put something up in the first quarter, at minimum second quarter,” said Tellem, president of entertainment and digital for Microsoft, at Variety’s Dealmakers Breakfast at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. “I’m incredibly ambitious and impatient,” said Tellem, who took the job to produce original content for the Xbox platform in 2012. Because of that, the time it’s taken to develop the first slate of series, including a high-profile project based around “Halo,” with Steven Spielberg producing, has been “slower,” but “reflecting on what we’ve done and what lies ahead, it’s been pretty good.” Tellem was attracted to joining Microsoft after spending years at CBS and the CW, ...

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We reported earlier that Amazon had some more Xbox One consoles, they are now sold out again.  Best Buy’s website is now showing that they have some Xbox One consoles in stock, guaranteeing delivery (with free shipping) by December 24th.  Grab them before they disappear. Best Buy: Xbox One In unrelated news, the PS4 is available in an additional 16 markets bringing the total to 48 markets, while the Xbox One will only remain available in the 13 launch countries until next year.  The PlayStation European blog says that the PS4 can now be bought by residents in the Czech Republic, Greece, Slovakia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, South Africa, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. via Neowin ...

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So Dina Bass is wrong again.  But whatever gets the most page views, right? The report that Qualcomm executive Steve Mollenkopf was being seriously considered as Microsoft’s next CEO was false.  Qualcomm is going through a rough patch as Apple & Samsung have begun manufacturing their own chips and relying much less on Qualcomm.  A CEO change at the company has been rumored for some months now and COO Mollenkopf was widely seen as the frontrunner. Microsoft’s new CEO will of course have to work closely with Qualcomm since they are an important partner for Windows Phone and rumored to be powering the 8-inch Surface mini. I do not want to delve too far into conspiracy theories, but I guess it is theoretically possible Mollenkopf leveraged Microsoft’s board and Bloomberg to get the promotion at Qualcomm. Here is the press release from Qualcomm: Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously approved a ...

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Numbers released by NPD show Sony sold more consoles than Microsoft for the month of November.  The PS4 did have an have an extra week on shelves, debuting on Nov. 15 compared to Nov. 22 for the Xbox One.  Approximately 909,132 Xbox One units were sold in the U.S. in the console’s first nine days, making it the fastest selling console on the market in the U.S. Xbox One sales averaged a volume of more than 101,000 consoles per day, “significantly outpacing the nearest competitor.” November 2013 NPD highlights include: Total retail spend on the Xbox platform (Xbox One and Xbox 360) in November (hardware, software and accessories) reached $1.21 billion, the most for any console in the U.S. (Source: NPD Group). During the month of November, Xbox (Xbox One and Xbox 360) held five of the top 10 spots on the console game title list (Source: NPD Group). During ...

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Microsoft has announced that the developer BUILD conference will be from April 2-4 in San Francisco.  Developers will be able to register for the event on January 14th at 12PM EST.  Mobile World Congress will be Feb 24 – 27, 2014.  I suspect Windows Phone 8.1 will be unveiled at MWC.  At the Build conference Update 1 for Windows 8.1 will likely be revealed.  With India unfreezing Nokia’s assets, it looks very likely that the Microsoft deal with Nokia will close in early January.  Maybe the Surface mini and plans for Xbox apps could be revealed at the 2014 build conference. Baller famously did the demos at the 2012 Build conference and shortly after it was announced that Steven Sinofsky was leaving the company.  This year it will be Terry Myerson’s show, but will the new CEO be announced before or after the Build conference?  Will Ballmer want to stay ...

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Similar to Windows Phone, Windows 8/8.1 is also having Red Red Stripe Deals on apps and games from the Windows Store.   In the spirit of the holiday season Microsoft is doing 12 Red Stripe Deals running through the rest of the month. You can take advantage of amazing deals on the following apps and games from the Windows Store: PacMan CD DX+ – 50% Off. Original price: $9.99. Sale price: $4.99. Collins Learn Thesaurus – 50% Off. Original price: $6.99. Sale price: $3.49. Game Dev Tycoon – 50% Off. Original price: $7.99. Sale price: $3.99. Bejeweled LIVE – 60% Off. Original price: $4.99. Sale price: $1.99. Sunny Hillride – 50% Off. Original price: $2.99. Sale price: $1.49. Supermarket Mania 2 (Full) – 57% Off. Original price: $6.99. Sale price: $2.99. Rayman Jungle Run – 50% Off. Original price: $2.99. Sale price: $1.49. Package Tracker – 50% Off. Original price: $2.99. Sale price: $1.49. Draw a Stickman: EPIC – 50% Off. Orig. Price: $2.99. Sale price: $1.49. Disney ...

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Steve Ballmer has been chatting with Mary-Jo Foley over the past few weeks.  “I pride myself on the fact that we do make a lot of money,” Ballmer said. He gave out some his top five management tips, that might help you do the same: Make sure you see the whole playing field “If the CEO doesn’t see the playing field, nobody else can,” Ballmer said. “The team may need to see it too, but the CEO really needs to be able to see the entire competitive space.” “Ten years from now, will devices look the same as they look today or quite different? And will they be funded primarily by gross margin on the device or will it all be just ads and commerce from guys like Google and Amazon” he asked. “The truth is, whoever sits in the CEO seat needs to have enough perspective to have an intelligent ...

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Hal Berenson is a former distinguished engineer at Microsoft who runs a great blog titled Hal2020.  Hal often provides a unique perspective given his experience working at the Redmond software giant during the earlier days of the company from 1994 – 2002 and decades previously spend at the Digital Equipment Corporation.  Mr. Bersenson is predicting that Bill Gates will resign from Microsoft as chairman within the year, I find this difficult to believe, but some logical reasoning is provided.  He also predicts what I have heard from my sources, Alan Mulally will be brought to the board: If you want to know why Bill was so emotional at the recent shareholders meeting it was probably because this was likely his last as Microsoft Chairman, not just Steve Ballmer’s last as CEO. First, this is not about pressure from a couple of investors as was reported a while ago. I believe Bill ...

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Satya Nadella was in Paris yesterday talking to Om Malik at Loïc and Geraldine Le Meur’s LeWeb’13 Conference in Paris, France.  Om Malik is a fairly well known anti-Microsoft blogger, but I thought his questions were relatively fair.  That being said, I did not find the talk super interesting and it mostly focused on Nadella’s area of expertise, the enterprise & the cloud.  But, this is a rare public talk by Satya, potentially Microsoft’s next CEO, sharing some of his thoughts on the future. Related Reading: A Brief Glimpse At Satya “Nutella” Nadella, Possibly Microsoft’s Next CEO My favorite statements by Nutella: “This business does not respect tradition, it respects you if you are innovating for the future” “Businesses and users will only use technology if they can trust it.  It is the responsibility of governments to restore this trust.  [...]The surveillance systems need to be reformed.  [...] Respect individual ...

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Last week Microsoft announced it would stop selling Windows 7 to OEMs on October 30, 2014.  But it appears that might have been a mistake and the Redmond software giant released this statement: “We have yet to determine the end of sales date for PCs with Windows 7 preinstalled. The October 30, 2014 date that posted to the Windows Lifecycle page globally last week was done so in error. We have since updated the website to note the correct information; however, some non-English language pages may take longer to revert to correctly reflect that the end of sales date is ‘to be determined.’ We apologize for any confusion this may have caused our customers. We’ll have more details to share about the Windows 7 lifecycle once they become available.” The company has however confirmed that the end of availability of boxed copies of Windows 7 sold at retail was indeed, ...

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Given some of Marrissa Mayers recent comments about the Yahoo/Bing search alliance, you may have believed that the money Yahoo was receiving from Microsoft amounted to a rounding error on the accountant’s spreadsheet.  But perception does not appear to be in line with reality as it was revealed today that the revenue from Microsoft accounted for nearly 1/3 of Yahoo’s revenue last quarter! I do not think I am exaggerating when I say that is much more than anyone expected.  Yahoo reported that it had $1.139 billion in revenue last quarter (GAAP), which means Microsoft gave Yahoo around $353 million as part of the search alliance. Yahoo agreed to disclose more details on its revenue tied to search and display advertising after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission sent letters to the company asking for clarification.  The company outlined the portion of revenue it gets from a search agreement with ...

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Microsoft has released an update for the Xbox One.  The update process works a little differently than on the Xbox 360. A. If you are using the Xbox One “Instant On” your console automatically checks for updates when it you turn it off. Once the update is found the following will happen: The console will automatically download the update after it is turned off. Once the update has been downloaded in the background, the console will power completely down. Please note: It will be necessary to manually power the console back on after the update has been downloaded. Because the update will power your console completely down, the “Xbox On” voice command won’t be available until after the update is fully installed. When the console is turned on, the user will see the update being applied. After that, the Xbox One will reboot. The update is installing when the user sees ...

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Microsoft is still remaining quiet on Xbox One sales, however, numbers released from NPD show the Xbox One winning the first sales round in Australia. In fact Microsoft’s Xbox One has been crowned the fastest-selling video game console to date in Australia, as its key rival, Sony, struggled to fulfil pre-orders for the PlayStation 4. Market research firm NPD Group said a total of 65,917 Xbox One consoles were sold in its first three days on sale in Australia, more than doubling the ­previous launch record for the ­Nintendo Wii in 2006, and beating out previous records for number of consoles sold in a week. Australia was among the 13 launch countries for the Xbox One.  Sony launched the PS4 a week after the Xbox One’s availability in Australia.  The Japanese entertainment giant said 700,000 units had been sold in Europe and Australia.  The company would not break out local sales, but industry ...

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Each day from Monday, December 9, until Friday, December 20, Microsoft’s gift exchange page will offer you a chance to win a surprise holiday present. After the gift pops up, Microsoft gives you the option to exchange it for something else. The grand prize of an online gift code worth $500 will end up in the stockings of 12 lucky winners.  To qualify, just fill out the form with your name, e-mail address, phone number, and zip code. Remember to check the box to certify that you’re a US resident. A mystery gift then appears, which you can keep or swap for something else.  Once you pick you will most likely you will get a message that says: “Bah Humbug. Sorry, you didn’t win this time but you can still take advantage of our great holiday deals going on now. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow and try you luck again.” Enter to win: Microsoft’s ...

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The NSA is not the only entity that is bringing competitive tech giants together. (See: Microsoft Joins Facebook, Google And Others Calling For Reforms Of Government Surveillance) From Microsoft and Google to Twitter and Facebook, the biggest names of the Internet are blasting a federal judge’s decision allowing an Arizona-based gossip website to be sued for defamation by a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader convicted of having sex with a teenager. In court briefs recently filed in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, the Internet giants warn that if upheld, the northern Kentucky judge’s ruling to let the former cheerleader’s lawsuit proceed has the potential to “significantly chill online speech” and undermine a law passed by Congress in 1996 that provides broad immunity to websites. “If websites are subject to liability for failing to remove third-party content whenever someone objects, they will be subject to the ‘heckler’s veto,’ giving anyone ...

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