So why doesn’t Microsoft just come out and say Zune – its iPod wannable MP3 player – is dead?
Actually, earlier this week it did. It put up a note on the Zune support site re-iterating past comments that its focus is now on Windows Phone 7 – which contains a Zune section for media playback. It also said it will no longer be making Zune players, but that anyone who buys one will be supported through the lifetime of its warranty.
And then it yanked that message.
Yesterday, it said the note had been posted in error. In a Tweet from @ZuneSupport, MS said: "No official info has been released stating hardware is being discontinued."
n what appears to be a crucial false-positive, Microsoft’s security tools are removing Chrome from Windows machines, marking it as a variant of the notorious Zeus (Zbot) malware family.
Encouraging employees to buy their own laptops, or bring their mobile phones and iPads from home, is gaining traction in the workplace. A survey published on Thursday by Forrester Research found that 48 percent of information workers buy smartphones for work without considering what their I.T. department supports. By being more flexible, companies are hoping that workers will be more comfortable with their devices and therefore more productive.
“Bring your own device” policies, as they are called, are also shifting the balance of power among electronics makers. Manufacturers good at selling to consumers are increasingly gaining the upper hand, while those focused on bulk corporate sales are slipping.
A similar B.Y.O.D. program at Citrix Systems, a software maker that also helps its clients implement such programs, saves the company about 20 percent on each laptop over three years. Of the 1,000 or so employees in Citrix’s program, 46 percent have bought Mac computers, according to Paul Martine, Citrix’s chief information officer. “That was a little bit of a surprise.”
Bing, Microsoft’s two-year old search engine, is losing nearly a $1 billion a quarter, with no sign of letting up.
Microsoft has lost $5.5 billion on Bing since the search service launched in June 2009, but the company’s search losses actually pre-date that. In fact, the software giant has never made money in its online services division. Since Microsoft began breaking out that unit’s finances in 2007, the company has lost a total of $9 billion.
Perhaps, just like Google, they can create their own browser so that people would use Bing more since it’d be tied in.
I haven’t looked at it myself (yet), but apparently this is the video to watch to learn about Window 8 Metro apps
August 24, 1995:
The idea came up at the time when I was completely bereft of ideas. I’d been working on my own music for a while and was quite lost, actually. And I really appreciated someone coming along and saying, “Here’s a specific problem — solve it.”
The thing from the agency said, “We want a piece of music that is inspiring, universal, blah- blah, da-da-da, optimistic, futuristic, sentimental, emotional,” this whole list of adjectives, and then at the bottom it said “and it must be 31/4 seconds long.”
I thought this was so funny and an amazing thought to actually try to make a little piece of music. It’s like making a tiny little jewel.
In fact, I made 84 pieces. I got completely into this world of tiny, tiny little pieces of music. I was so sensitive to microseconds at the end of this that it really broke a logjam in my own work. Then when I’d finished that and I went back to working with pieces that were like three minutes long, it seemed like oceans of time.
I asked Microsoft whether the video is legit and received an official no comment. I have to say I think it’s the real deal. It has all the hallmarks of a real Microsoft production, including the fact that the name on the company doors that Gmail man opens when visiting an office is Contoso Ltd. As Microsoft customers, partners and watchers know all too well, Contoso is Microsoft’s favorite fake company name, and is used in demos for all kinds of Microsoft products.
The 343 changes made by Microsoft developer K. Y. Srinivasan put him at the top of a list, created by LWN.net, of developers who made the most changes in the current development cycle for Linux 3.0. Along with a number of other "change sets", Microsoft provided a total of 361 changes, putting it in seventh place on the list of companies and groups that contributed code to the Linux kernel. By comparison, independent developers provided 1,085 change sets to Linux 3.0, while Red Hat provided 1,000 and Intel 839.
In other news, Clippy is now a kernel module.
Apple, Google, Microsoft, Cisco, and a host of US megacorps are lobbying hard for a massive tax break – and they’re gaining powerful friends in business, government, and labor in support of that effort.
"This is about creating jobs, expanding US businesses and strengthening American companies," representative Kevin Brady (Rep-TX) told The New York Times, lauding his bill that would lower the amount of tax US companies pay on profits made overseas then brought back to the US, from 35 per cent to 5.25 per cent.
When profits made overseas are brought back to the US, it’s called repatriation. When a tax break such as the one outlined by Brady’s Freedom to Invest Act is instituted, it’s called a repatriation holiday.
Since this will encourage companies to make more profit outside US borders, I fail to see how this would create jobs within the US. That leaves “expanding US businesses and strengthening American companies”. At the tax payers expense, of course.
Here’s a website — Windows Phone Tattletale — dedicated to documenting poor retail treatment of Windows Phone 7 devices. This sort of dismissive treatment can be devastating to a platform. This was the problem facing the Mac during the ’90s.
IconThe German city of Hamburg will soon be getting one of the biggest Apple Stores in the world. Construction isn’t complete yet, and a group of people calling themselves the ‘.WAV Collective’ decided it was time for a practical joke. Posing as construction workers, they planted an interesting logo on the store’s facade. In broad daylight. And they videotaped it.
Microsoft gets $5 for every HTC phone running Android, according to Citi analyst Walter Pritchard, who released a big report on Microsoft this morning.
Microsoft is getting that money thanks to a patent settlement with HTC over intellectual property infringement.
Microsoft is suing other Android phone makers, and it’s looking for $7.50 to $12.50 per device, says Pritchard.
Ballmer doesn’t now and never has understood Apple. He doesn’t understand what Apple does, what it aspires to, or what consumers see that’s so appealing about Apple’s products. But he understands Google, including the ways that Google’s products threaten Microsoft’s.
If you’re living in Hell, you may want to put a sweater on, as it’s likely to be getting colder by the second: Apple has now passed Microsoft in both revenue and earnings for the first time since Ronald Reagan was president. On Thursday, Microsoft announced revenue of US$16.43 billion and earnings of $5.23 billion for the March quarter, well behind Apple’s revenue of $24.67 billion and earnings of $5.99 billion.
Apple passed Microsoft on the revenue side in the September quarter of 2010, as you can see in the chart below. It took three more quarters for Apple to pass its erstwhile foe in profits, however, in part because of the disparate nature of the two companies’ business models.
Oh well, at least Microsoft still sales more copies of Windows than Apple sales Macs. That’s something, right?
It has been a tradition ever since Firefox 2: Whenever we ship a major Firefox release, the Microsoft Internet Explorer team sends us a congratulatory cake.
The first rule of using social networking as a marketing tool should be: Know when to do it and when not to do it.
The aftermath of an unfathomable natural disaster should be Example No. 1 of when not to do it.
Ouch! According to Jorma Ollila, chairman of Nokia’s board, there will be no Windows 7 phones from the once-mighty phone maker until 2012. At least that’s what Ollila told Finnish TV, which Reuters picked up.
Stick a fork in them, they’re done.
But the strangest part of the presentation was the assertion, from Steve Ballmer, that Windows Phone 7 will be the most operator-friendly OS available. That contrasts rather with earlier statements that the platform was entirely focused on the needs of the end user.
Microsoft would no doubt argue that the two parties ultimately want the same thing, but in reality they have very different needs and Microsoft will have to decide to whom it most wants to pander.
Nokia on Sunday hinted that Microsoft essentially won a bidding war against Google to supply software to the world’s largest handset maker and that the software giant agreed to pay “billions” of dollars for the privilege.
How’s that for “OS license fees”?
NOK adoption of WinPhone provoking a response on NOK fan sites equivalent of what Mac users might have sounded if AAPL embraced Win NT in 97
If you want to understand the existentialist despair of many Nokia staff today, then you need to understand how thoroughly its entire business has been about avoiding Microsoft.
This is soaked into its identity, its culture, and its business model: Nokia has defined itself differently. But the economics underpinned everything. Nokia spent tens of billions of Euros over 15 years to avoid becoming a Windows licensee, for one over-riding reason. The reason hasn’t changed.
Windows Mobile licensees scrape by on profit margins of less than 10 per cent, and possibly closer to 5 per cent. Nokia’s own devices command over 30 per cent margin. (Apple’s gross margin for iPhones is estimated to be close to 60 per cent, leaving plenty of room for a managed decline.) And you can’t support an €8bn-a-year R&D habit on 5 per cent margins, unless you sell an awful lot of phones.
Has Microsoft been spying on the Google searches of Internet Explorer users in order to use the data to enhance their own Microsoft Bing search engine, to make it more competitive with Google? According to Google, who claims to have caught MS watching their own IE users, tapping their Google searches and using the information gleaned from those searches to make their Bing searches more accurate.
According to Google, by manually seeding their Google search results with false data, they have caught Microsoft copying their data. They compare it to someone cheating on an exam by looking over someone else’s shoulder.
By now, you may have read Danny Sullivan’s recent post: “Google: Bing is Cheating, Copying Our Search Results” and heard Microsoft’s response, “We do not copy Google’s results.” However you define copying, the bottom line is, these Bing results came directly from Google.
I’d like to give you some background and details of our experiments that lead us to understand just how Bing is using Google web search results.
…Just in time for Web use to go mobile and touch-based.
We’ve already done a full breakdown of Google’s clarification of their H.264 pullout today. But buried in their post is another interesting nugget worth highlighting by itself: WebM plugins are coming shortly for Safari and IE9.
This is both humorous and terrifying on a few levels. First and formost, the point of all of this H.264/WebM stuff is so that the web can shift to an HTML5 video standard going forward. Of course, since neither IE nor Safari will support Google’s, Mozilla’s, and Opera’s preferred codec for that standard, we’re right back to plugin land! Why don’t we just call WebM, Flash 2.0?
Earlier today, computer maker Asus kicked off the Consumer Electronics Show a day early by announcing four upcoming tablet computers. Three of them run Google’s Android operating system. One runs Windows 7. See if you can guess which one is the outlier:
* Eee Pad MeMO: starts at $499
* Eee Pad Slider: starts at $499
* Eee Pad Transformer: starts at $399
* Eee Slate: starts at $999
For developers, the weakness in Microsoft’s DRM for Windows Phone 7 applications has been well known for quite some time, and there have been calls for Microsoft to address these concerns.
Since then, a "white hat" developer has provided WPCentral with a proof-of-concept program that can successfully pull any application from the Marketplace, remove the security and deploy to an unlocked Windows Phone with literally a push of a button. Alternatively, you could just save the cracked XAP file to your hard drive. Neither the app nor the methodology is public, and it will NOT be released (please don’t ask).
That’s kind of selfish, why should the only other owner of a Windows Phone 7 have to pay for their apps?
"I opened up this Word document in Word," writes Matt, "and it looks like someone embedded a Word document in the Word document. When I tried to open that, Word told me I needed to install Word."