Archive for the 'Microsoft' Category



Microsoft to launch Xbox One in China on Sept. 23 for $599

Wednesday 30 July 2014 @ 6:16 am
Microsoft to launch Xbox One in China on Sept. 23 for $599

Above: The Xbox One with the new controller and Kinect motion sensor.

Image Credit: Microsoft

SHANGHAI — Microsoft announced today that it will launch the Xbox One video game console in China on Sept. 23 for 3,699 renminbi (RMB). That amounts to $599, or $100 more than what Microsoft charges in the U.S.

Xbox One is the first game console approved by the Chinese government since it banned game consoles as harmful to children back in 2000.

Microsoft said it will build the machine with China’s BesTV in a joint venture. More than 25 developers are building 70 games for the Xbox One in the Chinese market. Microsoft said the content will include exclusive titles from Microsoft Studios as well as titles from Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and the 2K Games label of Take-Two Interactive.

Chinese developers include Perfect World, Gamebar, and Tencent. Microsoft also launched the ID@Xbox program in China in an effort to stoke indie gaming on the Xbox One in China.


Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!


Microsoft Corporation is a public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through ... read more »











Selfie-lovers, Microsoft is making a Windows Phone just for you

Tuesday 29 July 2014 @ 10:43 am
Selfie-lovers, Microsoft is making a Windows Phone just for you

Above: Ellen Degeneres takes a selfie at the 2014 Academy Awards


Despite revealing that its Nokia purchase cut into its bottom line this past quarter, it looks like Microsoft will be releasing two more Windows phones in the near future.

The two phones in question will be one so-called “selfie” phone and one “affordable high-end phone” with a PureView camera, according to The Verge’s sources. Microsoft’s devices chief Stephen Elop apparently showed off the phones during a company meeting, during which he also screened a teaser video for the phones.

The first phone, codenamed “Superman” and described as a “selfie” phone by Elop, will have a 5-megapixel, forward-facing camera and 4.7-inch display, making it a prime tool for the folks looking to take self-portraits and admiring them on a large screen. Its existence first surfaced in late April.

Other selfie-optimizing phones on the market include Sony’s Android-based Xperia Z1, which the company debuted at this year’s CES conference and which sports a 20.7-megapixel camera and 5-inch display. The Huawei Ascend P6, unveiled at the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, has an 8-megapixel camera on the back, a 5-megapixel on the front, and a 4.5-inch screen. The HTC One (M8) phone also has an 5-megapixel front camera, along with several photo-focused features and capabilities. HTC is planning on releasing a Windows Phone version of the phone through Verizon in August.

The second phone, codenamed “Tesla,” will be in the higher-end of the spectrum with a PureView camera. PureView is a Nokia-developed, high-end camera that landed on Windows phones about a year a half ago, and Microsoft appears to now be pushing it down to its lower-priced handsets. Tesla is likely a Lumia 720 replacement, though it will look like a slimmer Lumia 930 phone. Photos of it leaked earlier this month.

The new phones will likely be coming out soon, and Microsoft is expected to release Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 to developers and device makers soon. A few days ago, Microsoft smartphone chief Jo Harlowe said in an internal memo that the company is planning to release “other high-end products … very soon.”

And for the power selfie-takers out there, there was no mention, as far as we know, of Microsoft-branded selfie extenders. Your arms will have to suffice for now.



Microsoft Corporation is a public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through ... read more »

Nokia’s mission is simple: Connecting People. Our goal is to build great mobile products that enable billions of people worldwide to enjoy more of what life has to offer. Our challenge is to achieve this in an increasingly dynamic an... read more »











Rising Share Prices Could Ignite A New Tech Acquisition Spree

Monday 28 July 2014 @ 12:03 pm
moneybags In early 2014, a number of high-profile acquisitions were locked in at prices that many found confusing. The good times are probably coming back. Companies that compete across numerous technology strata like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook are trading near record highs — or at least, the highest prices they’ve seen in a decade. Those same companies are all incredibly cash-rich. Read More



The VP of Devil’s Advocacy

Sunday 27 July 2014 @ 12:46 pm
Film-Speedy Zombies In the 2013 film, World War Z, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is riding through the streets of Jerusalem as Jurgen Warmbrunn (Ludi Boeken) explains how the city was able to avoid the zombie apocalypse: The tenth man. If nine of us look at the same information and arrive at the exact same conclusion, it’s the duty of the tenth man to disagree. No matter how improbable it may seem, the tenth man… Read More



China Telecom will sell Microsoft’s Xbox One game console to Chinese gamers in September

Friday 25 July 2014 @ 10:30 am
China Telecom will sell Microsoft’s Xbox One game console to Chinese gamers in September

Above: Xbox One intro

Image Credit: Microsoft

Disclosure: The organizers of ChinaJoy are paying for my trip to Shanghai. Our coverage remains objective.

Like Richard Nixon, the Xbox One is going to China.

China Telecom will sell Microsoft’s new video game console starting in September under an exclusive contract, Reuters reported. China Telecom, the third-largest telecommunications company in the country, said today that the console will be offered to China Telecom’s 30 million broadband customers.

The deal could be a good one for Microsoft, which needs to find Chinese partners to help make its launch successful. PC and mobile gaming are hot in China, where game consoles have been banned by the government since 2000. But the government has relaxed that policy. Microsoft has not yet set a price for the console, which sells for either $400 (without Kinect) or $500 with Kinect in the U.S.

Market researcher Newzoo expects China to overtake the U.S. as the world’s biggest game market by 2016 with $25 billion in revenue, according to market researcher Newzoo.

The Chinese launch will be a hot topic next week at ChinaJoy, a huge game conference which I will be attending in-person and reporting on for the first time.

Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner and analyst at Niko Partners, said, “I know China Telecom has been experimenting in the console-alternatives market for some time now. It would be strange if Microsoft and BesTV limited their audience to China Telecom’s customers only, so it seems they will also sell through other channels. The comment by the Microsoft China spokesperson indicates that as well, though the word ‘exclusive’ is confusing.”

Last year, Microsoft reached a deal with Chinese internet TV set-top box maker BesTV New Media Co, Ltd., to form a joint venture to manufacture the consoles in Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone.

Released in November, the Xbox One hasn’t sold as much as Sony’s PlayStation 4. Sony also apparently wants to sell the PS4 in China, but it has made no detailed announcements on that.

In a statement, Microsoft said, “China Telecom announced that Xbox One will be available for purchase through China Telecom as part of its broadband Internet data plan packages. The company selected Xbox One to be the exclusive console of choice for their Smart Home initiative, making it available to its 30 million China Telecom broadband customers. When Xbox One launches in September, in addition to the China Telecom consumer offer, it will be available to the general public for purchase at retail and online.”

 


Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!


Microsoft Corporation is a public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through ... read more »











How Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 Stacks Up A Month Later

Friday 25 July 2014 @ 9:48 am
surface-pro-3f Microsoft has a new Surface tablet/PC hybrid, and it’s a departure from their first- and second-generation versions of the Surface line, with an all-new design and a bigger, better display. The device is basically the perfect partner for Windows 8 and the Modern Windows UI, but your appreciation of this device (or lack thereof) will depend heavily on what you want to do with your computer. Read More



To help Europeans become more ‘forgotten,’ Google has removed over 100,000 links

Friday 25 July 2014 @ 8:14 am
To help Europeans become more ‘forgotten,’ Google has removed over 100,000 links

Above: Google HQ

Image Credit: Photo: Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP

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Details are emerging on that meeting yesterday in Brussels between the big three search engines and European privacy regulators.

Regulators called the meeting to find out about how the search companies are implementing the “right to be forgotten” ruling and to get input for future guidelines.

Google told the regulators that it has fulfilled slightly more than 50 percent of the requests it has received to remove links, according to a story in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, which cited “a person familiar with the matter.” This represents about 100,000 now-gone links.

Microsoft and Yahoo were also in that meeting, but no details have emerged on their implementations.

Google also reportedly said that it rejected a bit over 30 percent of the requests – no word on why or the standards used – and that it has asked for more information for 15 percent of requests. Google has received requests from about 91,000 individuals since late May, concerning about 328,000 links.

Over Two Dozen Questions

According to a press release from the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party on the Protection of Individuals, the data protection authorities asked over two dozen questions, including:

–”Do you delist search results based only on the name of the data subject or also in combination of the name with another search term (i.e. Costeja and La Vanguardia)?”

–”Do you notify website publishers of delisting? In that case, which legal basis do you have to notify website publishers?”

A Yahoo spokesperson has confirmed that Yahoo was involved in the Brussels meeting but declined to provide other details. Google has not responded to our request for comments. A Microsoft spokesperson, while saying the company had no comment on the meeting, issued this statement to us:

“On July 15 we launched an online form for residents of the European Economic Area and Switzerland to request blocks of specific privacy-related search results on Bing in light of the recent ruling by the European Court of Justice. We continue to work out the details of the process we’ll use to evaluate the requests.”

As the dominant search engine in Europe, Google’s implementation appears to have gotten the main attention of the privacy regulators and is apparently being watched by Microsoft, Yahoo, and others.

Court Ruling

European officials have been wary of Google’s practice of notifying websites when links to their content are removed, since this practice has drawn more attention to the removal and resulted in stories about whether the “right to be forgotten” is jeopardizing the public’s right to know and free speech.

Additionally, the regulators asked about another reported issue: Google has been removing results only from its search engines with European domains, such as google.co.uk, and not from outside ones, like google.com.

The search engines’ implementation of the so-called “right to be forgotten” is the result of a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

In response to a 2009 complaint by a Spanish lawyer that Google searches led to outdated bankruptcy notices about him, the court ruled in May that any requesting user could have links removed that result from a search on his or her name if they were inadequate or irrelevant/no longer relevant. The content still remains; only the link resulting from that search is removed.

Via The Wall Street Journal


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Microsoft Corporation is a public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through ... read more »

Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major glob... read more »

Yahoo! is the premier digital media company. Founded in 1994 by Stanford PhD candidates David Filo and Jerry Yang as a way for them to keep track of their personal interests on the Internet, Yahoo! has grown into a company that hel... read more »











Here’s Yammer co-founder David Sacks’ goodbye memo to Microsofties

Thursday 24 July 2014 @ 4:39 pm
Here’s Yammer co-founder David Sacks’ goodbye memo to Microsofties
Image Credit: Robert Scoble/Flickr

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Today Yammer co-founder and chief executive David Sacks gave his farewell to Microsoft, two years after the tech giant bought the business-focused social network for $1.2 billion. On his way out, Sacks hit send on a long Microsoft-style memo.

In the email, Sacks talks about how Yammer started off tiny, with its first deal coming in at “just $25K,” and has grown so large that Tesco is about to roll out the software to 250,000 users. And he says the world has come to validate Yammer’s “original beliefs” about consumerization in enterprise software and other subjects.

Corporate culture apparently has gotten the better of Sacks, who seems to have spent some time in the Microsoft School of Long Memos. (Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella himself seems to have graduated from that school, having dashed off a memo of his own spanning more than 3,000 words earlier this month.)

Like Nadella, Sacks didn’t say all that much, but he di align with Microsoft’s latest strategic positioning. Sacks also dutifully pays tribute to Nadella.

“Yammer has also made a huge impact on Microsoft’s leadership in cloud, influencing how Microsoft builds software for the cloud-first, mobile-first, data-driven world, and this focus will only accelerate with the changes Satya is driving,” Sacks writes.

Read the entire memo below.

Dear team-
Almost six years after founding Yammer, and two since our acquisition by Microsoft, the time has come for me to move on and do new things. Building Yammer with all of you has been the best experience of my career, so first and foremost I would like to thank all of you for joining with me on this unique adventure. At every step, I’ve felt privileged to be working with the highest caliber teammates — from Adam and our exec team, to the original Team That Moved (from LA), to our teams at 410 Townsend, 1355 Market, and our field offices, to our VCs and board members, and finally to our champions and coworkers at Microsoft, with whom we joined forces.
Starting a company always tests the line between belief and delusion. One of our first VCs likes to ask entrepreneurs what they believe that the rest of the world doesn’t. In the case of Yammer, we believed that social networking would become a major tool for enterprise communication, at a time when it was generally (mis)perceived as a form of amateur media (or “user-generated content”). Furthermore, we believed that employees, thirsting for the openness brought by this software, would pull it into their companies from the bottom up. The idea that enterprise software could be made viral stood in sharp contrast to traditional top-down distribution models at the time.
Today, thousands of companies are using social to transform their organizations, and consumerization is a major trend in enterprise software. So our original beliefs are no longer controversial. This stands not in contravention of the work we did, but as the ultimate testament to it. We all know how hard it was to get here.
It’s amazing that in just a few years, Yammer could grow from a small band who set out to win TechCrunch40, to a fledgling enterprise startup virtually begging for our first deal (just $25k), to a 400-person organization closing multi-million dollar deals across the globe and signing up over 10 million corporate users.
Over the past two years at Microsoft, we’ve continued to see enormous growth as a result of both Yammer innovation and integration with Office 365, the largest paid commercial cloud service. We recently signed one of our largest deals ever, a 250,000 user sale at Tesco that will roll us out beyond traditional knowledge workers to every grocery store employee. Yammer has also made a huge impact on Microsoft’s leadership in cloud, influencing how Microsoft builds software for the cloud-first, mobile-first, data-driven world, and this focus will only accelerate with the changes Satya is driving.
More than any specific milestone or accomplishment, however, I’m most proud of the culture we have created. Yammer has always sought to embody the openness, agility, and esprit de corps that we wish to encourage at other companies. We’ve always tried to foster dissent because we know that diverse points of view keep a company strong and competitive in a world changing faster than any one person can keep track of. When Microsoft’s own Yammer network exploded in the wake of the acquisition, it was gratifying to see that there was no shortage of vigorous debate taking place within the larger company – but perhaps that shouldn’t be surprising at the company founded by Bill Gates, a man known for running the ultimate Socratic organization.
Moving on from a company one’s founded is always bittersweet, but I will always be proud of what we did together. I look back at those years we spent building as the most fulfilling time of my life. I am grateful that all of our hard work will continue to live on in the product long after I am gone. I hope future generations of employees will not only continue our mission but stay connected to the founding generation and the values and ideals it represents. I cannot thank you all enough for marching by my side, believing in our cause when no one else did, and giving Yammer 120%; for that I am forever grateful. I am excited to see all of you continue to experiment, evolve, integrate and grow Yammer to transform how every organization works including Microsoft.

David



Microsoft Corporation is a public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through ... read more »

Yammer (acquired by Microsoft in 2012) is the leader in enterprise social networking, providing a secure way for employees to communicate, collaborate, and share information. The basic version of Yammer is free, and customers can pay t... read more »

David has been involved in the Internet space for 10 years as an entrepreneur, executive and investor, starting with PayPal in 1999. He was PayPal's Chief Operating Officer and product leader, taking the company from startup to IPO and... read more »











Yammer’s David Sacks Departs Microsoft After Two-Year Tenure

Thursday 24 July 2014 @ 1:54 pm
Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 2.41.43 PM Today Yammer’s founder and former CEO David Sacks announced that he will depart Microsoft, the software company that purchased his social enterprise startup for $1.2 billion. His exit, which comes two years after the June 2012 acquisition of Yammer, follows standard timing. When companies are purchased, existing employees are often given two-year contracts, sometimes with earnouts attached. Read More



Yammer’s David Sacks Departs Microsoft After Two-Year Tenure

Thursday 24 July 2014 @ 1:54 pm
Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 2.41.43 PM Today Yammer’s founder and former CEO David Sacks announced that he will depart Microsoft, the software company that purchased his social enterprise startup for $1.2 billion. His exit, which comes two years after the June 2012 acquisition of Yammer, follows standard timing. When companies are purchased, existing employees are often given two-year contracts, sometimes with earnouts attached. Read More



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