According to market research firm Canalys, Microsoft is now at 4th place in the UK tablet market with their Surface devices. Apple, Samsung and Amazon are above them and Google Nexus devices is following them in sales. Microsoft sold 71,540 units in the quarter, up 27.1 per cent on a year earlier, to grab a 3.3 per cent market share. Out of which, 58 per cent of these units were of the ARM-powered RT version with the Surface Pro devices comprising the rest. Canalys senior analyst Tim Coulling reckons channel partners helped Microsoft shift more devices, but added that weakness in consumer spending was hitting the Surface less dramatically than others. “There is more of a commercial opportunity for Surface,” he told The Channel, “plus Microsoft has a channel programme and is putting units into Authorised Device Resellers (ADRs)”. Relegated to fifth spot by Microsoft, Google struggled to gain traction, ...

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We’ve all complained about the price of the Surface Pro 3, myself included. It’s frustrating that the keyboard is an extra $130 and comparatively spec’d ultrabooks are less expensive. Maybe one lesson is that consumers appreciate form factor, aesthetics, and convenience over technical specifications. Microsoft spent a lot of time during the Surface Pro 3 press event comparing the tablet to a MacBook Air. After all the Redmond software giant is marketing this a “the tablet to replace your laptop.” Another beneficial comparison would have been with Google’s Chromebook Pixel.  The Verge wrote a rave review of the product giving it a 7.5/10, citing the “incredible design” and “excellent screen.” Interesting to note the original Surface Pro was given the same exact score by the incredible unbiased professional journalists at prestigious technology website “The Verge” Let’s see how the Chromebook Pixel stacks up against the Surface Pro. I’ll compare it to ...

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The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2014 was released today. The top 100 brands  added $310 billion to reach $2.9 trillion in brand value, a 12 percent increase. Prior to the BrandZ™ Global 2014 results, the Top 100 had increased an average of about 6 percent, $125 billion, annually since the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. Google for the first time came on top of the results replacing Apple which was in the top spot for past 3 years. Microsoft was ranked No.4 behind IBM. The market research firm estimates that Google’s brand value jumped 40% over the previous year to $158.8 billion, while Apple’s fell 20% to $147.9 billion. Microsoft’s brand value saw a strong growth to $90.1 billion with over 29% increase. ...

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Microsoft has organized Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 in Washington, D.C. from July 13-17 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. At WPC 2014, Microsoft’s partners can grow their professional network and their business by networking, learning business building best practices, and honing their expertise with Microsoft solutions. They can learn how Microsoft is betting big on the five trends of the modern IT industry—Cloud, Data, Leadership, Mobility, and Social—and discover where opportunities exist for their business to expand. Even though the conference is open to anyone who gets the passes, Microsoft every year restricts employees of certain companies from attending their events. Last year’s list included Google, Salesforce and VMWare. This year, Microsoft has added Amazon to the list. It is not a surprising move from Microsoft given the fact that they are competing against each other in Cloud Computing industry. The following companies and their employees and representatives are excluded from pre-purchasing ...

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Google has today released the Hangouts plugin for Microsoft Outlook. With this plugin, you can now schedule meetings and join Hangouts video calls from Microsoft Outlook. Schedule a Hangouts video call with other Outlook users in your company with a single click. Join a scheduled Hangouts video call by opening the meeting in Outlook and clicking the Hangouts video call link. Google Apps for Business users can schedule Hangouts video calls with other Outlook users in their company with the Hangouts Plugin for Microsoft Outlook®. This plugin is also used by Chromebox for meetings organizations that do not have Google Apps for Business. The plugin adds a video call name to the Microsoft Outlook event, and participants join the video call from a Chromebox for meetings device by entering the video call name using the remote control. Learn more about it and download the plugin here. ...

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  According to the recent data from Synergy Research Group, Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure grew by over 154% YoY which is almost 2.3 times faster than Amazon Web Services which recorded 67% growth. Amazon is still the cloud infrastructure business leader with 27% market share which is more than all the next 5 five competitors combined. IBM, Salesforce and Google are trailing behind Microsoft(8%) in which IBM, Salesforce, and Google, have 6.5%, 6%, and 4.5% share of the market, respectively. AWS has been forcing the cloud market to slash their margin every other quarter. Microsoft has been forced to reduce the price of their services in an effort to match the prices of Amazon. Given Microsoft’s strong brand among the enterprise, Microsoft is positioned better to compete against Amazon than anyone else. Microsoft Azure made price cuts that matched AWS’ cuts in many categories, and exceeded it in several others. The software giant chopped computing prices by ...

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Microsoft along with other web companies has raised their concerns about the new FCC rules that will allow network providers like AT&T to sell prioritized service to content companies like Netflix. Microsoft and other web companies are arguing that this rule would enable phone and cable Internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against Internet companies and to impose new tolls on them. FCC’s idea is to provide fast lane internet access to heart rate monitoring services, not to deliver speedy YouTube ads. However, these companies argue that there should be rules that provide certainty to all market participants and keep the costs of regulation low. FCC earlier responded to the same criticism on their blog as follows, The allegation that it will result in anti-competitive price increases for consumers is also unfounded. That is exactly what the “commercially unreasonable” test will protect against: harm to competition and ...

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A class action complaint was filed against Google yesterday for using secret deals by exploiting their Android monopoly by forcing smartphone OEMs such as Samsung and others to make Google search engine the default choice on their mobile devices. The lawsuit claims that this move by Google harms consumers by making the devices cost more. Because, Apple receives over billion dollar from Google for making Google as the default search engine. If any Android OEM wants to make similar deal with Microsoft or Yahoo for making default search engine, they will lose access to Google Apps and Google Play Store in Android. Under the secret MADA’s, device makers must allegedly include all of the following applications: Set-up Wizard, Google Phone-top Search, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, YouTube, Google Maps for Mobile, Google Street View, Contact Sync, Android Market Client (not products downloaded from Android Market), Google Voice Search, and Network Location ...

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In U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Google is facing a privacy lawsuit for its data-mining practices of students email in its Google Apps for Education program. Even though the ads are not served for Google Apps for Education users, Google itself admitted that it scanned emails sent and received by students who attend schools that use Apps for Education. Google is using the data to build a profile that could be used for ad targeting outside Google Apps. The data-mining practices behind Google’s Gmail electronic-messaging service violate federal and state wiretap and privacy laws. Gmail is a key feature of Google Apps for Education, which has 30 million users worldwide and is provided by the company for free to thousands of educational institutions in the United States. Student-data-privacy experts contend that the latter claim is contradicted by Google’s own court filings in the California suit. They ...

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Bing image search experience is one of my favorite web service that I use often. Microsoft today blogged about the Bing Image search quality providing us a behind the scenes look into how Bing is improving image search quality by exploring some additional techniques that they are employing to deliver high quality image results. Bing listed some of the techniques they use in deriving Bing Image search results, Understanding Image Quality Understanding Objects Understanding Color Filtering Image Characteristics Faces, Shoulders and Bodies Understanding Image Style Better Image Quality by Smart Cropping Better Thumbnail Visual Quality Building Hero Image Experiences For comparison with Google, check the images above. First one is the Bing image search result and the below one is from Google. For example with a query like “photos of yunnan”, where Yunnan is a beautiful resort in China, users expect to not only see relevant but also beautiful images ...

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Microsoft today announced that they have signed a patent licensing agreement with Motorola Solutions for usage of Android and Chrome OS products. Don’t get confused about this deal, Microsoft’s patent case was with Motorola Mobility and it is still going on in various countries around the world. REDMOND, Wash., April 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Microsoft Corp. announced on Monday a patent licensing agreement with Motorola Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of communication solutions and services for enterprise and government customers. The license provides worldwide coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Motorola Solutions’ devices running the Android™platform and Chrome OS™operating system. “Microsoft and Motorola Solutions share a respect for intellectual property and a commitment to fair and reasonable patent licensing programs,” said Nick Psyhogeos, general manager, associate general counsel, IP licensing of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. “Microsoft prefers licensing to litigation, since licensing is a more effective way ...

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Microsoft is fighting an uphill battle against Google in search advertising market. With Yahoo search deal, Microsoft is now providing the technology for both web search results and search advertising. According to the “State of Paid Search” report for the first quarter of the year, advertisers now spending more money on Bing than ever. In fact, Bing is now growing at a rate double that of Google. The increase in spend indicates that Bing is now becoming a more appealing network for advertisers to devote their marketing spend, in part because of its recent increases in click-through rate (CTR) combined with decreases in cost-per-clicks (CPCs). “Bing gains ground in overall search traffic and has proven to be an appealing alternative to Google,” said Delia Perez, SVP Marketing Strategy at the firm. “A number of factors are driving this growth as advertisers are drawn to Bing’s more flexible campaign management tools ...

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In March, we did an editorial on the current infotainment systems in Automobiles and how Microsoft is losing yet another opportunity/market even though it came too earlier than others. It seems, Microsoft is working on the same and they showed some of their concepts at BUILD developer conference last week. Microsoft’s current strategy is similar to that of Apple’s iOS in the Car and Google’s projected mode. It is based on MirrorLink which will allow you to use your smartphone to power your car’s infotainment system. MirrorLink is a device interoperability standard that offers integration between a smartphone and a car’s infotainment system. MirrorLink transforms smartphones into automotive application platforms where apps are hosted and run on the smartphone while drivers and passengers interact with them through the steering wheel controls, dashboard buttons and touch screens of their car’s In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system. Windows in the Car will adapt apps ...

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Microsoft has been under a storm of criticism lately over reading the emails of a blogger’s Hotmail account linked to an ex-Microsoft employee who leaked Windows 8 builds.  Microsoft looked through the Hotmail account without getting a court order.  However, this issue is slightly more nuanced than it seems.  A corporation, in fact, cannot get a court order to search themselves.  Microsoft Vice President and Deputy General Counsel released a statement clarifying the matter: Courts do not issue orders authorizing someone to search themselves, since obviously no such order is needed. So even when we believe we have probable cause, it’s not feasible to ask a court to order us to search ourselves. However, even we should not conduct a search of our own email and other customer services unless the circumstances would justify a court order, if one were available. Microsoft has issued some guidelines on looking customer data during ...

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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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Over $400,000 has already been given away at the annual Pwn2Own hacking contest where the world’s most popular browsers are exploited for cash prizes.  An item which has been getting very little media attention is a $150,000 prize for exploiting Microsoft Windows Internet Explorer 11 running on 64-bit Windows 8.1, with the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) turned on is still unclaimed. On the other hand, Google Chrome has been exploited twice, and a handful of exploits for Mozilla Firefox were also shown off.  Internet Explorer was successfully exploited once without EMET turned on. Source: @jmanici ...

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