Review Category : Microsoft

Almost two years ago now Microsoft gained approval from all governments, including the European Union, on its acquisition of Skype.  The European Commission allowed Microsoft to buy Skype without having to make any concessions. Cisco was not happy about this, as they have their own video conferencing solutions, and has been against Microsoft’s purchase from the beginning.  Cisco along with Italian fixed-line and Internet telephone provider Messagenet SpA is now going to the EU’s second highest court, in Lexembourg, to appeal the European Commission’s decision to approve the deal.  Cicso will argue that the Commission made several “manifest errors” in assessing the $8.5 billion Microsoft-Skype deal.  In addition Cisco will argue that the combined company’s dominant share in the communications market gave it the ability and the incentive to refuse to provide data that would allow rivals to work with the merged firm’s products. The last time a company successfully challenged the Commission decision ...

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In a large organization there are many individuals who may have valuable information, however, this information may not be getting to the write people. In a new survey commissioned by Microsoft, the solution to this problem has been found: Social Technology Adam Pisoni, Microsoft’s general manager of Yammer believes “Social is moving from a nice-to-have tool to a necessity in the workplace. As all companies are faced with the increasing pace of change, they need to leverage the ypower and knowledge of employees more than their current technologies allow. Just as email accelerated business in the 90s, social tools are driving a faster flow of knowledge and information within and across organizations.” There are now enterprise equivalents of Facebook, Twitter, etc., just for the workplace. These services can allow employees to privately share files, messages, ideas and more. These tools can help employees be more productive. With Yammer Microsoft is ...

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Blockbuster UK today revealed that Xbox One has broken  all previous pre-order launches in Blockbuster’s 24-year history. This comes after the announcement Microsoft made on its Xbox One next generation console last week. Blockbuster’s retailer head of games James Morton said that “We are delighted by the huge number of pre orders that we have received so far for the new Microsoft console,” . “At Blockbuster, we have a fantastic array of adrenaline-fuelled console games for sale or rental. Our expert staff know gaming and they know consoles and these pre-orders are testament to our customers’ trust in us as a leading gaming retailer. “With Sony releasing the PS4 in the near future, the next few months are going to be an exciting time for our staff and customers at Blockbuster and we can’t wait to hear more details from both Sony and Microsoft at the E3 Expo next month.” ...

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Wall Street’s top-ranked software industry analyst for nearly two decades, Rick Sherlund, the former Goldman Sachs now Nomura Equity research analyst has covered Microsoft since they went public in 1986.  Sherlund is a personal friend of Bill Gates & Paul Allen and was a liaison between Goldman & Microsoft during his time there. In a report he published today he recommends Microsoft sell Xbox and Bing: Sherlund of Bing: While we like Bing as a service, we need to look at this from an ROI and strategic perspective. If Microsoft could sell or even give Bing to Facebook or Yahoo and eliminate its operating costs and get a Traffic Acquisition Cost (TAC) back to monetize the traffic that Windows/Internet Explorer or Xbox in the living room can drive to Bing, this might generate perhaps $1.0bn of profit and positive FCF rather than be a drag of a similar magnitude. If this were returned to shareholders, this could add nearly 1% ...

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Satya Nadella is president of Microsoft Corporation’s Server and Tools Business (STB), a US$19 billion division that builds and runs the company’s computing platforms, developer tools and cloud services.  To put the $19 billion in perspective, it is greater than the combined revenues of Facebook, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Zynga, Netflix and a few other tech companies.  When Nadella was asked about this large number he commented, “We’re only doing 19 billion of 2.2 trillion dollars of IT.” Nadella is an extremely interesting person and longtime Microsoft insider, he joined Microsoft in 1992 and has now been working at the company for over 20 years.  Nadella is a native of Hyderabad, India, he has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mangalore University, a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from the University of Chicago. He recently gave an interview with VentureBeat: Q: What are the ...

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In a recent interview, Marc Whitten, Microsoft’s chief production officer of interactive entertainment, talked about the future of the Xbox One.  He shared his vision for a platform he calls Home 2.o, a service that will become the hub for all your interconnected devices. While Whitten notes this is still 3 – 5 years down the line, he imagines that Home 2.0 will allow the One to be more than an entertainment device for your living room. The Xbox One will become your home’s gateway to the Internet of Things.  This will be the missing link that will interconnect your lights, appliances, and much more. “You need those [devices] in a central hub as an experience to bring all these things together,” Whitten explained. Microsoft has been serious about Home Automation for quite some time and acquired a company specializing in home automation, id8 Group R2 Studios, earlier this year.  Home 2.0 could ...

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An official developer preview of Windows 8.1 is expected to be released in June at the BUILD conference, but in the mean time information has been leaking out.  Icons for the new ‘Alarms,’ ‘Sound Recorder,’ ‘Calculator,’ and ‘Movie Moments’ have been uncovered by PCPortal. On the latest episode of Windows Weekly, Mary-Jo Foley has confirmed with her sources that the start button along with “boot to desktop” is indeed baked in to the latest internal build at Microsoft. I think this is a huge step backwards, but that is a discussion for another blog post. Do you like the new icons? Let us know in the comments below. ...

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Microsoft has recently released an infographic that takes on privacy policies of Google. Few months back, Microsoft launched Don’t Get Scroogled by Gmail, a national campaign at http://www.scroogled.com to educate Americans about Google’s practice of going through the contents of all Gmail emails to sell and target ads. There was event an internal video of Microsoft’s “Don’t Get Scroogled” campaign that got leaked to the web. Today, they released an info graphic showing privacy measures by Microsoft and how Google screws up in that area. Have you switched to Bing? ...

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Ars Technica recently sat down with General Manager of Redmond Game Studios and Platforms Matt Booty to ask some questions about the Xbox One and cloud computing.   Booty  what “latency-insensitive computation” support from the cloud for the Xbox One means exactly. “Things that I would call latency-sensitive would be reactions to animations in a shooter, reactions to hits and shots in a racing game, reactions to collisions,” Booty said. “Those things you need to have happen immediately and on frame and in sync with your controller. There are some things in a video game world, though, that don’t necessarily need to be updated every frame or don’t change that much in reaction to what’s going on. One example of that might be lighting,” he continued. “Let’s say you’re looking at a forest scene and you need to calculate the light coming through the trees, or you’re going through a battlefield ...

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Sources close to Paul Thurrott have told him that Microsoft’s internal goal is to have the Surface maintain control 50% percent of all Windows tablet sales in the coming year. In fact, Microsoft already achieved this goal in Q1 2013. Even as OEMs come up with new and better products, Microsoft expects to maintain 50% market share of all Windows 8 tablets going forward! According to Paul Thurrott, here are Microsoft’s internal goals for fiscal year 2014, starting July 1, 2013: Surface sales. MS expects to sell 25 million Surface devices in FY2014. Enterprise tablets. Microsoft expects to become the number one enterprise tablets provider in FY 2014. Retail tablet sales. Microsoft expects to become the number two provider of tablets at retail in FY 2014. Education. Microsoft plans to at least bid for every available education tablet opportunity in FY 2014. Distribution. Microsoft expects Surface to become the top ...

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In an interview with OXM Magazine, Microsoft’s senior Vice President of Interactive Enertainment Business Yusuf Mehdi confirmed that Microsoft will continue to sell the Xbox 360 after the Xbox One’s release: “We believe over the next five years we can break a 100 million unit installed base. That’s something we’re shooting for, it’s not a financial plan as such, it’s just rough numbers if you will. To sell another 25 million, half of those will probably come from replacements, but half will come from new buyers.  And the way we’ll break into those segments is by hitting new price points, getting new classes of entertainment to come with the Xbox, and breaking into new customer segments. So you’ll see the Xbox 360 continue to exist, even as we launch the next generation Xbox One.” An announcement on the future of the Xbox 360 along with a significant dashboard update is expected to be outlined ...

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US office supply and electronics store Staples discounting all Windows 8 tablets and Win8 touch screen PCs $100.  Theoretically, you can get a SurfaceRT for only $399!  Valid in store, online, or over the phone until May 27th.  For those of you looking to buy an 8 inch device, you may want to hold off purchasing anything for another month. Source: Staples   ...

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  Bing has made significant improvements to its internal technology Satori which enables Bing to have a deeper understanding of the people, places and the relationships between them.  When searching for a notable person you can now see current events regarding that person and a visual carousel which allows you to explore important and timely topics related to the specific person you’re searching for: Related individuals to your search will now be displayed on the right-hand side. For example, how are Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift related? They both recently won awards at the Billboard Music Awards: Bing will now also increased its news article index timeframe two week to years.  This will give you relevant news articles from years back when making searches. ...

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Microsoft today announced two new mice designed specifically with Windows 8 devices in mind. These mice include a Windows button on them, giving you quick and easy access to specific features in Windows. Sculpt Comfort Mouse The Sculpt Comfort Mouse has a touch-sensitive blue strip on its side called the Windows touch tab that makes it easy to navigate Windows 8 with just the touch or swipe of a finger. You can press the strip to go to your Start screen. But it does more than just take you to your Start screen. If you swipe up on the blue strip, it cycles through all your open Windows Store apps in Windows 8. And if you swipe down, it will reveal all the open apps (on the left side of your screen) for you to select the one you want. You don’t have to worry about a tiny USB transceiver since the Sculpt Comfort Mouse uses ...

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In a new Windows 8 ad, Microsoft pokes fun of the iPad via Siri. The gloves are clearly off and Microsoft is taking the fight right to Cupertino.  Interestingly enough Microsoft opted to use an ASUS tablet instead of their on Surface in this advertisement. This marks one of the first ads where Microsoft directly goes after the competition, showing feature to feature comparisons. Is this the beginning of a more aggressive Microsoft, at least in terms of marketing?   Did you like the ad? Let us know in the comments below. ...

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The Xbox One will be bringing along many of the features found in the Xbox 360, but in new and improved ways. Skype will be included in the Xbox One and will now allow users to make group calls. The Kinect now also includes a 1080p camera, so full HD calls should now be possible. Microsoft also showed Live TV on the Xbox. The Xbox One can integrate with cable TV systems and even show users their TV Guide. Users will be able to switch channels by simply using their voice and naming a network. DVR functionality and a Blu-ray drive are now also built into the Xbox One. An newer build of IE was shown running on the Xbox One. “Snapmode” was shown using IE, wbich allows IE to be snapped to the side while using another app or watching live tv. It worked in a similar manner to ...

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