Steve Ballmer Reboots
With the stock hung for 10 years, no one thought to reboot Ballmer until now?!
Just got myself one, and I’ve been playing with it for 10 minutes, and I’m pleasantly surprised. Microsoft managed to create a decent user interface, and I like it. Now there’s an unexpected thing for me to say, right?
Microsoft is offering free Windows phones to Android malware victims, providing they are prepared to tell world+dog about their problems.
The marketing stunt – already given the hashtag #droidrage on Twitter – follows a run of publicity about android malware.
And in related news:
A security flaw has been discovered in Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS which allows hackers to disable a handset’s messaging system by SMS.
A malicious text can be sent which stops the SMS service from working, WinRumours reports. A factory reset is the only way to remedy the issue.
One way we can measure a company’s “evilness” is by how important litigation is to corporate strategy. We’ll open this series by comparing today’s three tech giants: Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Which company gets sued the most? And more importantly, which company sues others the most?
Microsoft has pieced together an HTML 5-based demo of its Windows Phone OS’ Metro user interface, giving iOS and Android users a taste of what life’s like on the other side.
If you’re an Android or iPhone user and fancy giving it a go, visit http://aka.ms/wpdemo from your handset’s browser. Let us know how you get on.
Very nice – first time I get to see bits of Metro. Looks like Microsoft came up with something good!
Microsoft has long been one of the most ardent proponents of expanding U.S. copyright law. But that enthusiasm doesn’t extend to the new Stop Online Piracy Act, which its lobbyists are quietly working to alter, CNET has learned.
It’s little surprise that Web-based companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter oppose SOPA, which is designed to make allegedly piratical Web sites virtually disappear from the Internet. They, and many civil liberties and human rights groups, worry that SOPA could jeopardize legitimate Web sites too.
Sad that the only reason this bill is going to die is because powerful corporations decided to “voice their displeasure”. The public doesn’t matter any more for law makers.
The questioner asked what Microsoft thought about the contention that we’re in the "post PC era."
Ballmer started off in his usual enthusiastic fashion: "We are in the Windows era — we were, we are, and we always will be."
We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia.
Windows Phone 7.5 is gorgeous, classy, satisfying, fast and coherent. The design is intelligent, clean and uncluttered. Never in a million years would you guess that it came from the same company that cooked up the bloated spaghetti that is Windows and Office.
Most impressively, Windows Phone is not a feeble-minded copycat. Microsoft came up with completely fresh metaphors that generally steer clear of the iPhone/Android design (grid-spaced icons that scroll across home pages).
You know, compared to this, the Microsoft video wasn’t all that bad after all.
So, in the future you have to go to a hotel in a different country just to participate in a teleconference where none of the people are in the same room. And nobody talks to each other, they just finger swipe through life. Got it.
Google’s complaints about patent-based attacks against Android don’t seem to be doing the company any good. We all know Steve Jobs pledged to destroy Android, claiming it stole its ideas from Apple’s iOS. Yet what is likely an even bigger threat comes from Microsoft, which claims that more than half of all Android devices are now subject to patent licensing agreements.
What does that mean? When you buy an Android phone, there’s a good chance either the vendor whose name is on the device or one of the manufacturers who contributed hardware to it is paying Microsoft a fee for each sale. Today, Microsoft announced an agreement with Compal, an original design manufacturer that produces smartphones and tablets for third parties and takes in $28 billion in annual revenue. This was the “tenth license agreement providing coverage under our patent portfolio for Android mobile phones and tablets,” and the ninth in the last four months, Microsoft lawyers Brad Smith and Horacio Gutierrez write in a blog post.
From the above screen shot, dear Microsoft, I can safely assume that you haven’t got a clue.
If you wanted to build a retail store with four curved tabletops at the front and rear side walls and a rectangular band displaying changing video images on the walls, well, Microsofts intellectual property department would like to have a word with you.
Microsoft is flying flags at half-staff today and tomorrow at its offices around the world in honor of Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder who died this week at the age of 56. The picture above is from the main entrance to the company’s main campus in Redmond.
Here is a photo taken of the Microsoft UK offices.
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.