Posts tagged Microsoft
Instagram is finally headed to Windows Phone and it is about time. Development for a mobile app for Windows Phone 8 is underway. Nokia executive vice president Chris Weber said that Instagram is coming to Microsoft’s mobile platform. What he did not say was a when it is coming. There are no specific release dates for the sharing app. Windows Phone is still missing a whole host of apps such as Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Google Maps, YouTube and Flipboard.
Steve Ballmer has been the the worse CEO Microsoft could have gone with. Ballmer was handed the keys to a Bentley and repetitively crashed it into a wall. Under Ballmer Microsoft lost the lead in the smartphone, tablet and search. These are all categories that Microsoft at one time had no competition. In fact they were the only ones in the game. At one point you had BlackBerry and PocketPC as the only options for users that wanted a smartphone. Now Steve Ballmer is preparing to call it quits.
This announcement came as a complete but welcome surprise. Microsoft shares jumped by around 9% in pre-market trading immediately following the news. Microsoft said that Ballmer will retire within the next year and that it is still deciding on how will replace him CEO. Steve Ballmer said that while there is never “a perfect time” to make a transition, he felt that now was as good a time as any. The Microsoft’s full press release follows below.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to retire within 12 months
Board of directors initiates succession process; Ballmer remains CEO until successor is named.
REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 23,
2013 /PRNewswire/ — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company that empowers people for the activities they value most.
“There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,” Ballmer said. “We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.
The Board of Directors has appointed a special committee to direct the process. This committee is chaired by John Thompson, the board’s lead independent director, and includes Chairman of the Board Bill Gates, Chairman of the Audit Committee Chuck Noski and Chairman of the Compensation Committee Steve Luczo. The special committee is working with Heidrick & Struggles International Inc., a leading executive recruiting firm, and will consider both external and internal candidates.
“The board is committed to the effective transformation of Microsoft to a successful devices and services company,” Thompson said. “As this work continues, we are focused on selecting a new CEO to work with the company’s senior leadership team to chart the company’s course and execute on it in a highly competitive industry.”
“As a member of the succession planning committee, I’ll work closely with the other members of the board to identify a great new CEO,” said Gates. “We’re fortunate to have Steve in his role until the new CEO assumes these duties.”
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
The Xbox One will have 23 games at launch this November. Maga hits like Battlefield 4 and the highly anticipated Watch Dogs should help set things off. For the kids they have Peggle 2. Just for fun we have Just Dance and Zumba Fitness. The full list of all the games are below.
- Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag (Ubisoft, Ubisoft)
- Battlefield 4 (DICE, Electronic Arts)
- Call of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward, Activision)
- Crimson Dragon (Grounding/Land Ho!, Microsoft Studios)
- Dead Rising 3 (Capcom Vancouver, Microsoft)
- FIFA 14 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
- Fighter Within (AMA Ltd., Ubisoft)
- Forza Motorsport 5 (Turn 10 Studios, Microsoft Studios)
- Just Dance 2014 (Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft)
- Killer Instinct (Double Helix, Microsoft Studios)
- LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (TT Games, Warner Bros. Interactive)
- Lococycle (Twisted Pixel, Microsoft Studios)
- Madden NFL 25 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
- NBA 2K14 (Visual Concepts, 2K Sports)
- NBA LIVE 14 (EA Sports, Electronic Arts)
- Need for Speed: Rivals (Ghost Games, Electronic Arts)
- Peggle 2 (Popcap, Electronic Arts)
- Powerstar Golf (Zoe Mode, Microsoft Studios)
- Ryse: Son of Rome (Crytek, Microsoft Studios)
- Skylanders: Swap Force (Vicarious Visions, Activision)
- Watch Dogs (Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft)
- Zoo Tycoon (Frontier Developments Ltd., Microsoft Studios)
- Zumba Fitness: World Party (Zoë Mode, Majesco)
AMD stands to make a lot of money these next few years. If the current game system life cycles are any indication, they could be in the money for a good 10 years are more. The more PS4 and Xbox One sell the more they will make. They have the contract to build the chips that will power Sony’s next game system, the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One. AMD will supply an eight-core Jaguar chipset for Microsoft’s next-generation video game console. A similar chipset will be in the PS4. How much is all this worth to AMD and it’s shareholders? A very nice sum.
Former AMD executive Bob Feldstein who now works at Nvidia gave way too much information on his LinkedIn profile than needed. Feldstein played a big part in the delivery of the custom AMD Jaguar processors to Microsoft. He revealed that the XBOX One project is worth more than $3 billion to AMD over the lifetime of the contract. Below is a snapshot captured by Gamechup.com of the details from Bob before he removed them. The PlayStation 4 processor is just a tab bit more powerful than the Xbox One. Wonder how much Sony is shelling out for that chip. Too bad Mr. Feldstein didn’t go into to detail about that contract.
Apple blocked updates to Microsoft’s SkyDrive app for iOS. The reason is money. Apple is wants a 30% cut of revenue from the users who sign up for a SkyDrive subscription. Apple does this with all apps in the App Store. It’s that pay wall. It is one of the risk you run into when you develop apps for sale in the Appstore. Microsoft’s app lets you sign up for free SkyDrive account. Then later if you wish you can sign up for a paid subscription. at a later time. Since Microsoft is not paying Apple’s required 30% of sales on all subscriptions. Apple has blocked all updates to the app. It even has gone as far as to block out updates to apps that integrate with SkyDrive. They too cannot update until Microsoft and Apple work things out. Microsoft tried to push an update that removes all subscription options from its SkyDrive app but Apple still rejected that version. The last update to SkyDrive was released this past June. I can see stopping Microsoft but when you go after other developers that can not control the API, it is a problem.
Some people may think that the price of Microsoft’s Surface is too high. That maybe it has priced it’s self out of the tablet market before it even entered. I for one don’t think two-party systems work in any area. Politics to electronics, you need a 3rd party to give people options. Seems there were a lot of people who agree with me. The launch-day preorders for Microsoft’s Surface have sold out. The base model sold out in less than 24 hours. The stand-alone Surface has 32GB and no keyboard. Shipping times for Microsoft’s Surface has slipped to 3 weeks. Microsoft did tell everyone that inventory would be limited. What Microsoft calls “limited” is not yet known because they did not give out any numbers. The Surface launches at midnight on October 26th. The 32GB Surface is $499. The 32GB Surface with a black Touch Cover is $599 and the 64GB Surface with a black Touch Cover $699 was still available.
- VaporMg™ casingMade with VaporMg, Surface is precision crafted to be tough yet elegant, without excessive bulk. At less than 1.5 pounds, with a watch-like finish that’s incredibly smooth, and durable, Surface is a delight to hold and touch.
- Integrated KickstandIntegrated Kickstand provides uncompromised support and flexibility. Flip out the Kickstand for hands-free entertainment. Whether you’re watching a movie, or shooting video, Surface stands on its own.
- Touch CoverThe cover you can type on. Touch Cover clicks in to Surface in an instant, and offers a sleek, spill-resistant exterior for working – no matter where you find yourself. When folded back, Touch Cover automatically disables keystrokes for a full touchscreen experience; when closed, it turns off your display. Give Surface your personal touch with a color that matches your style.
- Ports and ConnectivityBring your entire media collection with you wherever you go. A microSDXC card slot lets you add up to 64 GB of extra storage. Show off everything on the big screen using the HD video out port. Full-size USB port and Bluetooth 4.0 provide clutter-free connections with wireless mice and headsets. Dual 2×2 MIMO antennas provide reliable internet connectivity.
- Windows RT and Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT PreviewWork anywhere, anytime with Windows RT and Office 2013 RT2. Keep tabs on news, friends, and entertainment with pre-loaded Microsoft apps. Visit the Windows Store3 to discover more apps and games.
- Front and rear-facing 720p HD video camerasCapture life from all sides with LifeCam. The rear camera is angled to shoot straight ahead when the Kickstand is flipped out. The Kickstand also enables hands-free Skype video chat or recording. Custom lens design and an ambient light sensor maximize light intake while providing sharp focus so you’ll never miss a shot.
In the box
- Surface with Windows RT and Office Home & Student 2013 RT Preview2
- Black Touch Cover (not included with 32 GB without Black Touch Cover)
- Power supply
- QuickStart Guide
- Safety and warranty documents
Microsoft unveiled Xbox SmartGlas at 3E this past summer. It was hyped as a new vision for enjoying entertainment at home. Xbox SmartGlass is an app for Windows 8, Windows Phone, Android, iOS, PCs and tablets that connects to your Xbox 360. What it does is make your more interactive. One of the games that was showed off was Madden. The EA Sports rep posed a question “What if you could use your tablet to draw up a play in Madden NFL and then perform it to perfection on your TV?” With SmartGlass you will be able to do just that. To be fair. WiiU is betting that you will do this over and over again. However I bet you didn’t know you can already do this with some iOS games such as MetalStorm pictured below.
I am constant defender off almost all things Apple. (Sorry, MacBook Air cost just too much compared to a Ultra Book) Is the Galaxy S III a better phone than the iPhone 5? If you just go by specs, than yes. However if you use both you will be pro Apple iPhone. It is not about what is on paper it is about the whole experience. I had a friend text me and ask how to make folders. I explain how to do it. They texted me back asking; How does it know the name I wanted to give the folder? That is the staple of Apple. Thing just work naturally. That said, I, like many of you can remember a time before iPhones. One of the things I remember and miss was the ability to have an extra battery for travel. Sure I own a Mophie Juice Pack (Product) Red™ edition that fully charges by battery when critically low but it’s not the same as a quick switch. Also the extra wait is bothersome and you lose the beauty of the phone under cumbersome a case. As Android users like to remind me at every opportunity iPhones do not have a removable battery. Well turns out that Apple offers a battery replacement for $79, plus $6.95 shipping. I know it’s not the same as a quick switch but at lease Apple even disposes of your battery in an environmentally friendly manner. Sorry, FanBoys, Android phones win this round. So you may have already knew that. Here is what you didn’t know. Even in iOS 6, Siri is still beta form.
Apple completed testing of LTE in August 2012 using preproduction iPhone 5 units. They were all using iOS 6 beta software. They used LTE on GSM and CDMA networks. The internet part of the LTE test were done on a over dedicated web server. iPhone 5 did not get to go on the wild wild west of the internet instead the iPhone 5 browsed snapshot versions of 20 popular web pages. The iPhone 5 also set to receive mail once an hour. The Wi-Fi feature Ask to Join Networks and Auto-Brightness were turned off but all other settings were default. One wonders if this is the best setting to use to extend battery life.
Apple said it played nice with Microsoft by licensing it iOS Design Patents but Samsung didn’t want to play
The drama that is the Apple vs. Samsung keeps giving the public more and more internal information. An Apple employe has testified that Apple’s patent licensing director, Boris Teksler revealed in court that Apple iOS design patents have been licensed to Microsoft. Apple did a good job of showing that they do work with competitors and are not the wall garden everyone thinks. AllThingsD’s reports: “Teksler noted that Apple and Microsoft have a cross-license agreement that does cover the design patents at issue in this case, but said that there are also special “anti-cloning” provisions in the agreement between those two companies. We couldn’t copy each other’s products.”
Reuters also reported that Apple’s decision to license its design patents to Microsoft was consistent with its corporate strategy, Teksler said, “because the agreement prohibited Microsoft from manufacturing copies. There was no right with respect to these design patents to build clones of any type.”
In 2010 Apple offered Samsung a license to its patent portfolio but Samsung refused. Microsoft has started making its own hardware business with the Surface. The deal that Microsoft has with Apple will keep it out of court with Apple should the Surface takes off. It should be interesting to see if the Surface does take off will Apple change its mind.
Microsoft has now officially jumped into the tablet market again. They were one of the first but clearly Apple has taken over with a vengeance. Microsoft will try again with the Surface. In typical Microsoft fashion, the tablets whole name is pretty long. It’s called the Microsoft Surface for Windows RT and the Microsoft Surface for Windows 8 Pro. If Steve Ballmer’s last stand does not prove to be a success. It may also be his curtain call as head of Microsoft. It seems at one point that anything that Apple did Microsoft would just copy and make better. The trend started with the Apple II which Microsoft countered with DOS. However it has been a long time since we have seen them do that well. Sure they had the Zune. While I was one of the few people that liked the Zune better than the iPod it did not compare to the droves of people that loved the iPod.
Apple ignored the home console while Microsoft took steps to take over the industry with Xbox and finally accomplished this goal with Xbox 360. On the flip side, Microsoft ignored the smartphone industry that it once dominated with Windows Mobile. Today it struggles to even find a foot hole. Apple embraced the market. Apple not only made people use a smartphone it made it cool to own one. Apple did the same thing in the tablet market. Microsoft was first in the industry with Tablet PC but never innovated. Apple stepped in. Made it easy to use and cool to own. Microsoft is taking big steps to enter the tablet market again. I think that Surface is a real tablet that may have a chance to grab some market share.
For the Surface to do well its going to need some help. It’s 1st going to come down to the price point. iPad is not cheap but it is more affordable than most other tablets that are Android based. Apple has the type of success that is not going to go away over night. It’s suppliers are not going to be able to put up a fight if Apple wants lower prices on a part. Microsoft on the other hand is a software company first and hardware 2nd. The Xbox is made to sell software games and as of late media content. It’s no wonder that Microsoft did not have pricing information or availability at all about the Surface.
The 2nd thing that Surface needs to do well is a store. Not just any store. A store that is easy to use, full of content and has a majority of its applications priced at the golden 99 cents mark. For any of that to happen the developers need to trust that consumers will buy this hardware. Thus far the Devs do not trust Microsoft. Their mobile app store is a nowhere close to the size of the Apple’s AppStore or Google Play.
Can Microsoft pull it off? Well let’s see HP, Motorola, RIM and Google have all failed. That said not one of those companies are as dominant as Microsoft is. Windows 8 will take over most PC’s by the end year. It’s a given. There is not a 2nd option. Apples Mac’s are just too high priced for most people. With that “Window” of opportunity Microsoft will push Surface for all it’s worth. iOS 6 on the iPad is sweet but Windows 8 will be more familiar as more people have no choice but to use it. We still have to wait to see what Google shows us at Google I/O 2012 but I’m pretty sure it won’t be as connected to the PC market as Windows 8 on Microsoft Surface is.
Surface is made out of VaporMg. Pronounced Vapor-Mag. The casing is created by molding metal and depositing particles that creates a solid finish. The casting uses magnesium that let parts be molded as thin as .65mm. So that is why the Surface can be strong, 10.6″ and still weigh in at 32 ounces. Surface also has Corning Gorilla Glass protecting the front. iPad is lacking any protection at all and is has a smaller screen by almost a full inch. The Surface has dual microphones and a very sharp front camera. Rumor has it that it will be 8 megapixel camera. As it stands now, iPad only has a 5 megapixel in back and a VGA camera on the front.
While some might say that the Surface is an iPad copy, I disagree. While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and Apple should feel flattered. It should however not feel mocked.The Surface is it’s own device and should do well in the market. Although iPad will continue to dominate. The winner in this fight will be the customer. Competition is the mother of all invention not necessity.
Microsoft has applied to patent a magnetic power plug. The power-only MagSafe should be interesting. The plug works like very much like the Apple plug that is used for their laptop. I’m thinking that it would snap onto phone and offer data and power at the same time. The only problem I see is that this plug does not seem to be a micro or miniUSB port. This is a an application not a final product. We will see if this come out and when it does. What will Apple have to say about something so similar to what they already have on the market. We already see how hard they go after Samsung.