Microsoft released Office for iPad apps in App Store after much delay. It became an instant hit with over 12 million downloads within weeks after the launch. Apple CEO Tim Cook said during a second-quarter earnings call on Wednesday, “If it had been done earlier, it would’ve been better for Microsoft.” He however acknowledged that Microsoft’s Office is critical software for the iPad, especially in enterprises, and customers are responding well. He also whole heartedly welcomed Microsoft for their move. “I do see that Office is a very key franchise in the enterprise,” “I wholeheartedly welcome Microsoft to the App Store.” Source: Apple ...

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Microsoft along with other industry-leading companies announced a new partnership for American innovation. Apple, DuPont, Ford, GE, IBM, Microsoft and Pfizer is partnering with Former U.S. Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) Director David Kappos to highlight the value of intellectual property and patents to U.S. jobs and the economy. Read the full press release below. NEW YORK, April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — A diverse group of industry-leading companies — Apple, DuPont, Ford, GE, IBM, Microsoft and Pfizer — which have staked their businesses on innovation, have launched the Partnership for American Innovation (PAI) to safeguard America’s position as a global innovation leader. Former U.S. Patent Trademark Office (USPTO) Director David Kappos, now a partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, is a senior advisor to the group. PAI members represent a diverse cross section of the economy; they have different business models, use their patent portfolios in very different ways, and are frequently ...

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Many years ago when Android started to become more popular and eat into the iPhone’s dominance, Apple made a decision to lessen their reliance on Google.  In what became a PR nightmare, Apple created their own mapping solution and stopped using Google Maps.  In addition on the backend, Siri is now powered by Bing.  This was done well over a year ago and an announcement was made at the time.  Up until now we have not had any numbers as to how many queries Bing receives from Siri users.   Qi Lu, the longtime head of Microsoft’s search and online services, shed some light on this in a recent interview with Recode: We haven’t heard a lot about search in a while. We’ve heard that Yahoo hasn’t been very happy with the partnership. Is it critical to Bing’s future to have that Yahoo partnership? We’re very happy with the Yahoo partnership. ...

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The Brand Finance US 500 2014 list was released today. It lists the value of Billion Dollar Brands in the US. Microsoft was ranked No.3 in the list with the brand value of 62,783 USD millions. Apple and Google are the No.1 and No.2 brands with brand value of 104,680 USD millions and 68,620 USD millions respectively. All these three companies saw great growth in brand value compared to last year. And Microsoft’s brand rating improved from being AAA- to AAA. You can find the full list from the link below. Source: Brand Directory ...

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Bringing smart technology inside the cars for infotainment is not a new innovation in 2014. Microsoft did it years back with its Windows Embedded in cars from Ford and others. Microsoft provided the platform for auto maker to build on and they were quite successful. In the era of smartphones, consumers are expecting more from their infotainment systems in their cars. Instead of trying to create a new platform for automobiles and expect developers to write applications for it, Apple and Google are going the other way around. They are trying to use the smartphone as the primary system with car’s infotainment system that will act like a thin client. For example, Apple’s iOS in the car will use car’s display to show a new UI of iOS optimized for driving experience will let drivers get access to Apple Maps, music, videos, Siri, voice calls, text dictation and more. Apple has signed up automakers like Honda/Acura, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan/Infiniti, ...

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Earlier this month, we ran a story titled Forrester Research: Microsoft Trumps Apple And Samsung In Consumer Mindshare in which we reported that Microsoft trumped both Samsung and Apple in the consumer mindshare survey. Here is an another report from Forrester Research, Microsoft passed Apple in a 2014 measurement of customer opinions of what it was like to deal with the company. In last year’s report, Microsoft was trailing behind Apple and now they have improved their scores to beat them. The survey attempts to quantify the somewhat squishy and hard-to-define criteria of customer experience. Forrester assigns each company a customer-experience index score based on a survey of how 7,500 U.S. consumers responded to these three questions: How enjoyable were they to do business with? How easy were they to do business with? How effective were they at meeting your needs? How was your experience with Microsoft in the past year? Did ...

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Microsoft was ranked 5th among the top 10 US patent winners of 2013. Microsoft totally was awarded with 2,660 patents. IBM was once again leading the list with 6,809 patents for 21st year, followed by Samsung, Canon and Sony. Surprisingly, there are only three US companies in the list which are Microsoft, IBM and Qualcomm. Microsoft is the only company on the top 10 list which primarily does software business while the other 9 companies deal mostly with hardware and services which are easily patentable. The Top 10 U.S. Patent Winners of 2013: 1)  IBM             6,809 2)  Samsung         4,676 3)  Canon           3,825 4)  Sony            3,098 5)  Microsoft       2,660 6)  Panasonic       2,601 7)  Toshiba         2,416 8)  Hon Hai         2,279 9)  Qualcomm        2,103 10) LG Electronics  1,947 Press Release: MADISON, Conn., Jan. 14, 2014 — IFI CLAIMS® Patent Services, the leading producer of global patent databases, analytic solutions and innovative web services, ...

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Today Forrester Research published a report in which Microsoft trumped both Samsung and Apple in the consumer mindshare survey. As part of Forrester’s TRUE Brand Compass research, Forrester conducted consumer Technographics research with 4,551 US online adults about the technology brands and their perceptions on it. This research is part of Forrester’s TRUE Brand Compass framework designed to identify which brands are winning the battle for consumer mindshare and to help marketers build a brand that is trusted, remarkable, unmistakable and essential (TRUE).  This framework has two core components:  1) An overall TRUE Brand Compass ranking gives a snapshot of a brand’s resonance – the emotional connection a customer has with a brand, and 2) The TRUE brand compass scorecard reveals a brand’s progress along each of the four TRUE dimensions. The most surprising part of the research is their results. Microsoft is one of the technology companies which is ...

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Two months back, we reported that Rockstar consortium which is jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony has sued Samsung, Huawei, HTC and Google for patent infringement in U.S. District Court in Texas. Rockstar consortium was formed by Microsoft, Apple and others after they won the Nortel’s patents in a bidding for $4.5 billion. Today, Google responded to this lawsuit in court that Google and Android OEM’s products does not infringe any of the patents cited in the lawsuit. They also mentioned about the Rockstar consortium’s status. Rockstar produces no products and practices no patents. Instead, Rockstar employs a staff of engineers in Ontario, Canada, who examine other companies’ successful products to find anything that Rockstar might use to demand and extract licenses to its patents under threat of litigation. I’ve no idea how Google went on to claim directly that Android devices does not infringe any of the patents because ...

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Both Nokia and Apple announced their new tablet devices a day before. Here is the comparison of both the devices in terms of specs. While both of them have almost similar specs and functionalities with their own merits and demerits, it comes down to price and the platform. Apple’s iPad Air is running on iOS where Nokia Lumia 2520 runs on Microsoft’s Windows RT 8.1. Nokia Lumia 2520 with 32GB storage and LTE costs $499 whereas Apple iPad Air with 32GB storage and LTE costs $729! As you can see, Lumia 2520 offers incredible value for money when compared to iPad Air. Feature Nokia Lumia 2520 Apple iPad Air Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 800 Apple A7 chip Display size 10.1” 9.7” Display Resolution/Pixel Density 1920 x 1080 // 218 ppi 2048 x 1536 // 264 ppi Size and Dimensions Length: 168 mm Width: 267 mm Thickness: 8.9 mm Weight: 615 g   Length: 240 mm ...

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Our very own Pradeep penned an excellent post yesterday: Reality Distortion Field: How Apple Assaulted Microsoft At Its Media Event It’s a great look at how Apple distorts the truth and blatantly lies at their press event.  This generally would not be a problem if you have unbiased and responsible press core.  But sadly this is of course not the case, and the majority of tech press has a love for Apple that is second only to their own ego. Apple’s announced yesterday that the next update to their OS, Maverick would be free.  You might think this is the first time a major technology has ever done this, if you ignore Android and Windows 8.1.  Apple also announced that the next iteration to the iWorks suite would be free to with the purchase of new Apple hardware.  Reading the mainstream tech press you may think this is the first time a major technology company has made some software ...

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  Apple had a media event yesterday in the US where it announced a new wave of updated products across its portfolio. During its presentation, Apple executives compared Microsoft’s strategy with theirs to make their point. I disagree with all three cases they made against Microsoft. Here are they, 1) Apple CEO Tim Cook made the following statement to make the point that they are clearly focused on developing MacOS and MacBooks. “Our competition is different: They’re confused. They chased after netbooks. Now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they’ll do next? I can’t answer that question, but I can tell you that we’re focused.” My take on it: Windows OEMs were focused on selling netbooks because it really sold well. In fact, totally 40 million netbooks were sold in 2008. Netbooks defined the category of companion device which will go along ...

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According to a new study by consulting firm Performance Inspired, Microsoft has become the most-inspiring company in the US. Performance Inspired surveyed nearly 5,000 consumers about five companies they find inspirational and why they think so. This is not the first time for Microsoft, they came in first place three years ago. Performance Inspired believes that people who are inspired by certain company tend to spend more with those companies, encourage others to do so as well, and they will be loyal as well. Other tech companies in the list were Apple, Google, Amazon and others. Apple, which topped the last two year results returned has dropped to 12th position this year. The top 25 most-inspiring companies: 1. Microsoft 2. Disney 3. Walmart 4. Chick-fil-A 5. Target 6. McDonald’s 7. Google 8. Amazon 9. Johnson & Johnson 10. Toms Shoes 11. The Coca-Cola Company 12. Apple 13. Starbucks 14. Costco 15. Ford 16. ...

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Microsoft today announced their participation in a cross-industry coalition dedicated to the creation of an effective European unitary patent system. This coalition includes 14 companies and users of the European patent system. Find the list of signatories below. adidas AG Apple Inc. BlackBerry Limited Bull SAS Cisco Systems Inc. Deutsche Post DHL Deutsche Telekom AG European Semiconductor Industry Association (ESIA) Google Inc. Hewlett-Packard Company Intel Corporation Microsoft Corporation Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Syndicat de l’Industrie des Technologies de l’Information (SFIB) Telecom Italia S.p.A. Yahoo! Inc. Microsoft along with all the above member companies have been working collaboratively for several months to suggest solutions that support the creation of an effective, balanced and harmonized Europe-wide patent system. You can read the letter sent by this group to European policy makers on recommendations to those solutions. Read about it in detail here. ...

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In 2012 Microsoft help the #1 spot for corporate brand perception in Japan.  This year Microsoft has fallen to third and Apple has gained the #1 spot for the first time.  Google has also moved from 8th to 5th.  According to Nikkei Research: Apple saw a “greater willingness of businesspeople to recommend its products.  And the U.S. company continues to rank high in “originality and brand premium.” The iPhone is selling well in Japan and the trend is expected to continue with the iPhone 5S.  More businesses and consumers are willing to recommend Apple products right now in Japan.  The No. 2 spot went to a Japanese company, Yamato Transport, a home delivery service.  Microsoft has a lot of work to do, but with the purchase of Nokia and increased innovation in the hardware space I believe Microsoft can regain the top spot when annual survey is done again next ...

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Yesterday, we saw a sudden burst of information about Microsoft’s next generation personal assistant codenamed ‘Cortana’. First, there was a report that Microsoft is planning to release it as part of Windows Phone 8.1 and it will take on Apple’s Siri. Later, there were some screenshots of the early prototype of Cortana running on a Windows Phone 8 device. The screenshots revealed that Cortana is more than a speech assistant, it takes lots of contextual data like location, wifi network, weather, calender appointments, etc to assist you. Cortana will be able to learn and adapt over time as it is relying on machine-learning technology and the “Satori” knowledge repository which now powers Bing. Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet reports that Cortana is not just a Windows Phone app, instead it is a shell that will span across Windows PCs, Tablets, Phones and Xbox. She reported the below to explain it. ...

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