Archive for the 'Microsoft' Category



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.”

 


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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 »











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



Microsoft’s new Lumia 530 is its cheapest Windows Phone yet

Wednesday 23 July 2014 @ 5:12 am
Microsoft’s new Lumia 530 is its cheapest Windows Phone yet
Image Credit: Microsoft

Only a few days after killing off Nokia’s experimental Android phones, Microsoft has unveiled its low-end alternative.

The company today unveiled the Lumia 530, a new budget Windows Phone with a 4-inch screen and a low price tag of around $115 (without taxes). It’s Microsoft’s cheapest Lumia device yet, but it’s mainly aimed at the European market where Windows Phone has managed to carve out a decent niche.

The Lumia 530 packs in a 1.2 gigahertz Qualcomm processor, a 5 megapixel camera, and it will also run Windows Phone 8.1, the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile OS. You’ll also be able to expand its storage capabilities up to 128GB with an additional SD card, and the phone comes with 15GB of OneDrive cloud storage. It’ll come in dual-SIM and single SIM variations (practically a requirement for new phones in Europe) and will be available next month.

For the most part, it looks like Lumia 530 packs in everything you’d want in an entry-level smartphone. It has a colorful design, competitive specs, and a decent price. But there’s little that truly differentiates it from other cheap smartphones, which seems to be Microsoft’s perennial problem with Windows Phone.


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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 »











Microsoft Sold 5.8M Lumia Handsets In Its FQ4, But That’s A Partial-Quarter Sales Figure

Tuesday 22 July 2014 @ 1:09 pm
Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 1.59.51 PM Today in its fiscal fourth quarter, Microsoft reported that it sold 5.8 million Windows Phone-based Lumia handsets. Last year, in the second calendar quarter — Microsoft’s then fiscal fourth quarter, welcome to the world of finance — Nokia sold 7.4 million Lumia handsets. However, Lumia sales didn’t fall 22 percent as those figures appear to indicate.… Read More



The good times continue at Nadella’s Microsoft

Tuesday 22 July 2014 @ 12:07 pm
The good times continue at Nadella’s Microsoft

Above: Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella.

Image Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft kept up its forward march last quarter following the much discussed appointment of chief executive Satya Nadella, barely beating analysts’ estimates of $23 billion in revenue with $23.38 billion, but missing expectations for 60 cents in earnings per share with $4.6 billion in net income.

The results come after a strong first quarter with Nadella at the helm.

Changes are coming to Microsoft, in the shape of layoffs and a broad strategic turn toward becoming “the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world,” in Nadella’s words.

Microsoft will have to keep putting up with Apple and Google in the mobile business.

And in the cloud world, Google and Amazon Web Services play big roles. Microsoft has its strengths, but Amazon leads the market and Google is coming up quick.

Results of Microsoft’s newest strategic shifts will show up in future earnings reports. For now, things are looking just fine, following a second quarter of 2014 with plenty of announcements (see sidebar).

Developing….

Kia Kokalitcheva contributed reporting.



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 »











Ex-Microsoft VP’s stealth Internet of things startup Tyto raises $7M

Tuesday 22 July 2014 @ 5:21 am
Ex-Microsoft VP’s stealth Internet of things startup Tyto raises $7M

Above: Tyto Life's logo mark.

Image Credit: Tyto Life

Tyto Life, a “stealth” startup which loftily aims to “improve human experience related to the Internet of Things,” has raised a $7 million funding round.

The new capital, announced in a public SEC filing, follows a previously raised round of more than $15 million in the last year. According to the filing, the company may raise another $1 million.

Tyto publicly describes itself as “a stealth silicon valley company dedicated to building consumer products that improve the human experience related to the Internet of Things.” According to the company, “the ultimate objective is to use said products to offer necessary disruption to traditional businesses ripe for modernization.”

Tyto is lead by founder and chief Sam Jadallah, a former vice president at Microsoft and investor in Jawbone.



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 »











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