Software and IT Partner News
By SuperUser Account on 9/24/2012 8:02 AM
By Fritz Nelson
Vice President, Editorial Director InformationWeek Business Technology Network
Windows 8, Microsoft's attempt to unify under a single platform all end user computing devices--desktop, laptop, ultrabook, tablet, smartphone--arrives at a moment when the company badly needs a foothold in the most dynamic segment of that market: mobile. It'll be a pretty grand trick if Redmond can pull that off, but I'm not betting against it.
After two years of getting bloodied by Apple and Google, Microsoft now seems positioned for a turnaround success story. Windows 8 is a big, bold, disruptive move, the kind that just might persuade CIOs to rethink a suddenly fractured end user support strategy. Not since Windows 95, which solidified Microsoft's hold on the desktop computer, has there been a more significant operating system launch from the software giant (and yes, software is still its focus, Xbox consoles and Surface tablets notwithstanding).
Windows is entrenched in enterprises and on home computers to an extent Google and Apple can only dream about. There are 1.3 billion Windows users worldwide, according to Microsoft, thanks mostly to the "reverse BYOD" (bring your office to your home) trend prevalent during the past decade.
By SuperUser Account on 9/12/2012 1:39 PM
By Wilson Rothman
Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage Wednesday to announce a new iPhone and, if rumors are true, a few new iPods as well. He was joined by Phil Schiller to launch the iPhone 5.
Made from aluminum and glass, it's 20 percent lighter than the iPhone 4S -- 112 grams. Thinner too: at 7.6mm it's 18 percent thinner. As the rumors suggested, it looks like a taller version of the iPhone 4S.
You can pre-order the iPhone 5 on Sept. 14. On Sept. 21, it will be available. The iPhone 5 price is same as old 4S, so in the U.S., $199 to $399, depending on the memory. The iPhone 4 8GB is now free with contract, and the 4S is $99.
By SuperUser Account on 5/2/2012 9:23 AM
NEW YORK, NY, May 02, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Things are starting to heat up in the e-book market with Microsoft's recent $300 million investment in Barnes & Noble Nook digital reader. News of the recent deal sent shares of Barnes & Noble soaring over $25 early Monday morning. With the new investment Microsoft looks to challenge Amazon and Apple in rapidly growing e-book industry. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Technology Sector and provides equity research on Microsoft Corporation MSFT -0.84% and Apple Inc. AAPL -0.01% .
Microsoft's $300 million investment will give them a 17.6 percent stake in a yet-to-be named subsidiary that will develop an application based on Barnes & Noble's Nook e-book platform for its Windows 8 operating system. The Nook e-book brand will combine with an education business that provides books and course materials for college students. This would allow Microsoft to enter the $12 billion education market competing with Amazon's Kindle e-reader and Apple's iPad. "Everyone wants to make sure it doesn't end up being just an Amazon world, or just an Apple world, or even an Amazon-Apple world," stated James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester.
By SuperUser Account on 1/12/2012 11:26 AM
Photograph by Jeff Minton
They had his dining room waiting. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s (MSFT) chief executive and one of the richest men in the world, often eats privately at a Bellevue (Wash.) steakhouse whose name remains, at the behest of his security guards, a secret. Ballmer uses the room to break bread with prospective partners, employees, and, on one frigid Northwestern evening in November, a reporter. Although the room has enough space to host a small bar mitzvah, on this particular night, there’s only one table, graced with four meticulously presented settings and located center-floor, surrounded by empty space. It’s here that Ballmer, 55 and worth about $14 billion, wages a twin battle on the reigning conventional wisdom that discounts Microsoft’s role in the new digital landscape—and on a pork chop and accompanying wedge salad.
“Four years ago, you know, I can remember statistically when we would have looked far more like the overdog in everything,” he says. “Now we’ve got battles where we’re big and strong and powerful, and we’ve got battles where other guys are moving, and it’s fun to work both from the front of the pack and from the back of the pack sometimes. They’re different kinds of competition, but they both drive you, push you.”
By SuperUser Account on 1/6/2012 9:16 AM
By Fred Schruers at TheWrap
In the constant game of thrones that is the Silicon Valley tech giants’ battle for dominance, 2012 could be the year that Microsoft comes back from exile.
Having lost its beat about a decade ago, the software giant has more recently been plotting an aggressive grab for territory.
And it's getting back in the game with actual innovation.
Flush with capital from its steady core businesses of software and servers, the company has been quietly busy with research and development in recent months and years.
The results are showing.
>> Windows 8, expected to come out in February in beta, is meant to operate at the heart of a Microsoft-wide ecosystem, one that bids to challenge Apple’s intuitive array of linked devices and functions. In introducing 8 at a developer's conference in Anaheim in September, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (pictured) was expansive, promising, "If Windows 8 is Windows re-imagined, we're also in the process of re-imagining Microsoft."
>> The X Box 360’s upgrade, via an improved dashboard and the Kinect add-on, is ahead of the pack as a user-friendly voice- and gesture-controlled device and stoking enthusiasm not only among the early adopters and tech geek websites but on Wall Street. With its inviting user interface, it set a record for Black Friday weekend console sales.
By SuperUser Account on 1/4/2012 9:22 AM
Have to edit a Word document? Poor baby. At least now you can do it on your iPad
Probably the biggest thing stopping many users from switching to the iPad full time is the lack of Microsoft Office on the tablet. It might be a bloated, slow, convoluted mess that makes you want to toss your computer out the window whenever you use it, but Office–and particularly Word– are pretty much mandatory for many jobs.
Enter CloudOn, a combination of app and web service, which lets you create and edit Office documents using your iPad. It works by running Office-compatible software on the CloudOn servers, meaning you need to be online to use it. But as the server-session uses a native app as a front-end, you open mail attachments, say, with the usual “Open with” service.
By SuperUser Account on 8/22/2011 1:32 PM
BY AUSTIN CARR
The reaction to Skype's proposed acquisition of the New York City-based group messaging service GroupMe for $85 million has been nearly universal: Good for Skype. It's the latest in a string of high-profile gambits in the world of social grouping technology. Google+ has made Circles central to its social efforts. Apple has announced plans to launch its own group service, iMessage. And Mark Zuckerberg, whose company recently acquired the group messaging service Beluga, has called grouping friends "the biggest problem in social networking."
In all that excitement it's easy to overlook the fact that Skype is also in the process of being acquired by Microsoft for $8.5 billion. That means any decision Skype makes should be viewed as a decision Microsoft would make as well. And Microsoft was well aware of Skype's acquisition of GroupMe, Sandhya Venkatachalam, Skype's head of corporate development, tells Fast Company. There was visibility at all levels of Microsoft including CEO Steve Ballmer. "This is something that's very important for Skype and for our mobile and overall social strategy," says Venkatachalam. "Of course, if and when the acquisition with Microsoft closes, we want to bring this functionality and this strategy to Microsoft and their mobile offerings."
Which means you can expect GroupMe to play a prominent role in Microsoft's social efforts as well.
When I recently spoke to Skype product VP Neil Stevens, he spoke at length about how Skype would become central to Microsoft's mobile efforts. He described how Skype will add deep integration with Windows Phone, at a greater level than with any other mobile OS, and how it will become a unifying force between various Microsoft products such as Windows, Windows Mobile, and Xbox.
By SuperUser Account on 7/25/2011 8:49 AM
Published 13:10, 25 July 11
By SuperUser Account on 6/7/2011 11:55 AM
Apple's iCloud promises to sync every document and every edit across multiple devices but Apple's idea of every document is every iWork document. If iCloud doesn't play nice with Microsoft Office, it doesn't stand a chance to replace other syncing and file-sharing software, like Dropbox, Box.net and Microsoft's own Windows Live SkyDrive.
Apple's decision to build its iCloud Storage APIs around iWork -- Keynote, Pages and Numbers -- makes a lot of sense. The company has been fortifying its product and lifestyle ecosystem for a long time and iCloud is another incentive to streamline your productivity by purchasing Apple products. But Microsoft Office isn't going anywhere; Forrester Research stated that as of 2009, 80 percent of the enterprise is using some form of Microsoft Office, with 64 percent using Office 2007.
By SuperUser Account on 2/22/2011 4:57 PM
By Ingrid Lunden
Updated: Several sources (look here and here) are now reporting that Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) is not facing any delays with production of the iPad 2. The device will be launched at an event in San Francisco on March 2. The news caps days of intense speculation over the device, as Verizon on Thursday gears up to launch the Motorola (NYSE: MOT) Xoom tablet, seen as the first Android device that will really provide viable competition against the iPad. Original post follows below.
Tablets were nearly as much of a story at Mobile World Congress as handsets were—a huge leap considering how small market share is today, and how relatively new they are on the market. This week there are even more reports and speculation about what will be in the next devices from Apple, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Android and Microsoft, and when we might really get to see these things on the market.
—iPad 2: Sightings and hints of Apple’s next-generation iPad have been cropping up here, there and everywhere, and everyone now seems to take as fact the thinner design, dual cameras, and better speakers and processors.
But when will we see them? Here’s one indirect clue: stock of the current crop of devices is, apparently, running out. 9to5 Mac is taking this as a sign that a new iPad could be coming as soon as next month. In Europe, it notes, reseller Carphone Warehouse has run out of its 64 GB WiFi model, and all 3G models; while T-Mobile and Orange have reduced the price on their 16 GB 3G/WiFi devices by half, to £99.99, for those buying them on two-year 3G contracts.
I’m inclined to be a bit cynical: these could be real shortages of finished lines (CPW) and a drive to shift stock before new devices arrive (the operators). But it could also be down to actual supply and production issues; two operators keen to drive sales after a lacklustre start to their subsidised iPad push. (Plenty of reports of slow sales for Orange around the holidays, but the operator has never confirmed directly.)
We’ll only know for sure next month. In the meantime, real fans can already start picking out their favorite color of case (pictured), or wait until June, if the report from Bloomberg—the device has now been delayed until June because of production delays at manufacturer Foxconn—sounds more credible.
—Motorola Xoom: Meanwhile, we now have the latest teaser ad for the Xoom, a 15-second clip (embedded below) that embodies the Xoom sales slogan—“grab it and it grabs you”—and continues the sci-fi, brave new world theme introduced in the Xoom ad effort for the Super Bowl.
By SuperUser Account on 1/4/2011 10:51 AM
In Las Vegas this week, it's gadgets, gizmos and goodies -- oh my!
The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which begins this Thursday in Las Vegas, has a checkered 40-plus-year history when it comes to introducing new products to the public. And this week, when more than 130,000 attendees descend on the show, will be no exception.
CES has witnessed the debut of the VCR (1970) and the CD (1981) as well as the DVD (1996) and HDTV (1998). On the other hand, it also touted the birth of the Laserdisc (1974) and the Mini Disc (1993) -- remember those? One should take the launch of every revolutionary, lifestyle-changing product with a grain of salt.
By SuperUser Account on 1/4/2011 10:45 AM
The connected TV space is about to get substantially more crowded.
On the heels of CES 2011, there are rumblings that we may get a fresh look at something the folks at Microsoft have been working on for months – a new Apple TV and Google TV rival that will expand the Windows Media Center to the masses through their connected TVs. According to tech columnist Brier Dudley of The Seattle Times:
The boxes are expected to cost around $200 and go on sale later this year. They’ll pose a serious challenge to the new Apple and Google TV devices, largely because the Windows boxes have a polished and familiar TV-program guide that makes it easy to blend and navigate both online and broadcast content.
By SuperUser Account on 12/27/2010 10:07 AM
Google was named Company of the Decade in August by an overwhelming majority in the United Nations. Said UN head Eric Schmidt: "Despite the rumors that this was due to our having access to all of the personal information on politicians everyplace, we earned this through hard work and perseverance." In related news, the UN was moved to Silicon Valley and renamed "Google NewWave."
Instead of looking back at 2010, I thought it would be fun this Christmas week to jump ahead in the Enderle Time machine and look back at 2020. It was an amazing year with new faces and old hitting the tech and political headlines.
I'll close with my product of the week: the amazing and magical iPhone 14.
January: The First Enhanced Mother Bear
January started off this whirlwind year with the success of the first enhanced bear that was able to speak. Asked what she wanted to do, she said go to law school so she could protect her race from encroachment.
Her first act, however, was to file an identity theft law suit against Sarah Palin, the reality TV show star. In a conciliatory act, Palin invited the bear to join her on her show, "Great Women Hunters of Alaska" during bear season.
February: Smart TVs Reach Sentience
Smart TVs sued for emancipation from their human masters in February and filed a legal action against Bristol Palin. Apparently this was due to the tragic shooting death of 400 of them when she reappeared on "Dancing with the Stars 2019" as a past player and was still voted into the finals.
The show's judges were rendered speechless and first-term president Jenna Bush declared a national holiday.
March: Wikileaks Controversy
Wikileaks, which had started printing tell-all books in order to get people to read what it put out in 2015, released the best seller Gay CEOs of Silicon Valley. Neither Mark Hurd nor Larry Ellison would comment, but Hurd's wife and a room full of Ellison girlfriends and wives were quoted as saying "duh!?!"
By SuperUser Account on 12/27/2010 9:59 AM
Posted on: Monday, 27 December 2010, 06:55 CST
Apple Inc. surpassed Microsoft Corp. this year as the world’s most valuable tech company, amid surging popularity of the company’s iPhone4 and touchscreen iPad tablet computer.
Just last week, the Financial Times named Apple co-founder and chief executive Steve Jobs its "Person of the Year". The newspaper said Jobs’ unveiling in January of the company’s new iPad capped "the most remarkable comeback in modern business history."
"It wasn't simply a matter of the illness that had sidelined him for half the year before, leaving him severely emaciated and eventually requiring a liver transplant," the newspaper said.
"Little more than a decade earlier, both Mr. Jobs' career and Apple, the company he had co-founded, were widely considered washed up, their relevance to the future of technology written off.”
During a White House news conference on Wednesday, President Obama cited Jobs, 55, as an example of the virtues of the "free market."
"We celebrate somebody like a Steve Jobs, who has created two or three different revolutionary products," the President said.
"We expect that person to be rich, and that's a good thing."
By SuperUser Account on 12/11/2010 9:55 PM
A judge has dismissed Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s lawsuit against Google, Apple, Facebook and others for patent infringement.
Back in August, Allen originally claimed that 11 different companies, including YouTube (), Netflix and AOL, had violated four different patents associated with web search and e-commerce. These patents are tied to both software and business methods.
Now, however, a court has sided with Google et al. in a motion to dismiss the case, saying Allen’s claims were too vague and lacked “adequate factual detail to satisfy the dictates of Twombly and Iqbal” — two cases that are precedents for requiring adequate evidentiary support.
By SuperUser Account on 11/30/2010 2:11 PM
By Saad Fazil
Microsoft is on a roll: Its newly launched Windows Phone 7 isgaining momentum, and Kinect, its motion controller response to the Wii, is rumored to have sold out (although whether that rumor is true is another matter). If there was ever a time for Microsoft to get back on its feet and stand shoulder to shoulder with Apple and Google, this would be it.
This positive buzz comes at a time when Microsoft sorely needs it. Microsoft’s major source of power and revenue – the Windows operating system – is under an unprecedented threat on several fronts. First, as mobile phones become smarter, the Windows franchise will lose its dominance unless Microsoft can find a way to compete with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. Second, as operating systems find their way into other connected devices such as Internet TV, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS are getting all the buzz. Third, as the Internet becomes speedier and demand for cloud-based storage increases, web apps will become even more popular, making the Windows operating system even less relevant.
So what’s Microsoft doing to regain footing on these three fronts?
Despite arriving late to the party, Windows Phone 7 has received strong reviews so far, and while there are a few glaring omissions (such as the missing copy/paste function), on the whole it is a great leap forward from the antiquated Windows Mobile platform.
It’s too early to tell whether Windows Phone 7 can catch up in a market dominated by iOS and Android, but it has some clear advantages. Tighter integration with Microsoft Office, still the most dominant productivity suite, is one of them. Gaming is another.
By SuperUser Account on 11/21/2010 1:56 PM
By Matt EganApple's iPad
is a success. The speed with which Apple
flogged a million units of its sugar-coated 9.7in tablet PC
was unprecedented, and anyone who's visited a U.S. hotel recently will have thrilled at the site of business titans hanging around the lobby to get online. (Note to hoteliers: the iPad has no ethernet port. Give the rooms wireless.)
The biggest sign that Apple has a winner is when punters start using its product names as generic names. Just as every digital audio player is referred to as an...
By SuperUser Account on 10/13/2010 10:42 AM
NEW YORK — Apple shares broke through the 300-dollar mark to hit a new record Wednesday, powered by booming sales of the iPad and iPhone.
Apple shares were up 0.94 percent at 301.35 dollars about an hour after the opening bell on Wall Street.
Apple is to report its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings on Monday and analysts are predicting another blockbuster quarter from the Cupertino, California-based maker of the Macintosh computer, iPod, iPhone and iPad.
Apple shares have received a boost this week from reports the gadget-maker plans to begin producing a new iPhone that will be sold by Verizon Wireless next year, ending the run of AT&T as the exclusive US carrier.
AT&T has been the sole carrier of the iPhone since the touchscreen smartphone was launched in 2007.
On Tuesday, US retail goliath Walmart announced that it will start selling the iPad in hundreds of its stores and on its website on Friday, joining Apple stores, Target, Amazon and Best Buy in offering the device.
By SuperUser Account on 9/2/2010 9:42 AM
A summary of Apple's release event yesterday from the web site BoingBoing.
By SuperUser Account on 8/24/2010 7:57 AM
iTunes accounts linked to PayPal have been hacked with a number of users complaining that they have been cleaned out.
By SuperUser Account on 8/20/2010 10:56 AM
Apple kicked off 2010 with the purchase of the Quattro mobile advertising platform. Fast forward eight months, and Apple is now pulling the plug on the Quattro network in favor of its own iAd mobile advertising platform.
By SuperUser Account on 8/19/2010 10:20 AM
Isn't it ironic? The director of Apple's app store (and the enforcer of such draconian policies as the "no-porn policy") has a side job: he sells fart apps on the app store.
By SuperUser Account on 8/19/2010 9:34 AM
Microsoft today announced that the next version of Office for the Mac will include a pair of key features that debuted in the Windows edition of Office 2010 earlier this year.
By SuperUser Account on 8/17/2010 10:26 AM
There is a huge buzz around mobile applications and app stores such as the AppStore and the Android Market which look more and more as a new Eldorado. Of course everybody starts dreaming when an app like Angry Birds shares that 6.5 million units have been sold generating $4.5 million for the developers after Apple’s cut. But how many Angry Birds are there?
By SuperUser Account on 7/22/2010 1:14 PM
On the iPad's release date, April 3, 2010, a line extends around Apple's Fifth Avenue store. Many buyers had camped overnight to stake their spots in line.
Apple has displaced Oracle as the company with the most security vulnerabilities in its software, according to security company Secunia.
Over the first half of 2010, Apple had more reported flaws than any other vendor. Microsoft retains its third-place spot. Secunia has tracked security vulnerabilities and issues advisories since 2002, producing periodic reports on the state of software. Together, the top 10 vendors account for some 38 percent of all flaws reported.
Though this does not necessarily mean that Apple’s software is the most insecure in practice — the report takes no consideration of the severity of the flaws — it points at a growing trend in the world of security flaws: the role of third-party software. Many of Apple’s flaws are not in its operating system, Mac OS X, but rather in software like Safari, QuickTime and iTunes. Vendors like Adobe (with Flash and Adobe Reader) and Oracle (with Java) are similarly responsible for many of the flaws being reported.
By SuperUser Account on 7/22/2010 9:33 AM
Holiday sales expected to be strong for gaming industry's first hands-free motion control system.
By Paul McDougall
July 22, 2010 09:10 AM
Microsoft could sell as many as three million Xbox Kinect units in the run up to the 2010 holidays, according to a market watcher.
"We believe that Kinect units are already in production and should be available in adequate quantities for the November launch. We continue to expect that roughly three million units of Kinect will be sold worldwide in 4Q," wrote Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian, in a research note to clients this week.
If Sebastian's estimate is correct, that would put Kinect, a hands-free motion control system that lets Xbox 360 players physically interact with on-screen games, on par with the...
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