Thursday, April 24, 2014

Software and IT Partner News

By SuperUser Account on 1/10/2013 5:25 PM

By David  Pogue

A few months back, Microsoft raised a lot of eyebrows by selling its first computer: the Surface tablet. For the same $500 that gets you an iPad, it offers better hardware and more jacks. It has only one drawback: it can’t run any PC software.

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Or, more precisely, it can’t run any of the four million standard Windows programs. Instead, it requires a new type of app, a more limited, full-screen, iPaddish sort of app, available only from Microsoft’s online store. And there aren’t many of those apps, although the situation is slowly improving.

The world slavered, however, over Microsoft’s intention to release a second version of the Surface — the Pro — that would, in fact, be a genuine PC, running the real Windows and real Windows apps. Can you imagine how cool that would be? To have a tablet that was also a full-blown PC?

It’s almost here. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft didn’t have a booth and didn’t give the usual opening talk (instead, Qualcomm took that slot, embarrassingly and hilariously). But representatives were there, in a hotel room far from the show, giving a few reporters an early look at the Surface Pro.

It’s thicker than the original Surface tablet, just over half an inch thick. It’s heavier: 2 pounds instead of 1.5. And it’s more expensive: $900 with 64 gigabytes of storage, $1,000 with 128.

By SuperUser Account on 6/21/2012 8:11 AM

   

 
 

Microsoft on Monday unveiled its own tablet that features the Windows 8 operating system in a late attempt to take on Apple and Google who are dominating the white-hot space. TheMicrosoft Surface stands out from other offerings, with a built-in kickstand and keyboard cover. But the Redmond software giant didn’t announce when the product would be available or a price tag, which left many questions surrounding the company’s ability to woo consumers away from a flood of competing devices.

By SuperUser Account on 5/2/2012 9:23 AM

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on Microsoft and Apple

 

 

 

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 1/6/2012 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 1/6/2012 9:08 AM

By 

Barnes & Noble may be shopping its successful Nook business around not because the ereader is in trouble, but because it's become such a whopping success. Two potential suitors include Google and Microsoft -- and Google is clearly the better choice.

Yesterday Barnes & Noble reported its earnings, and company executives said that they are considering spinning off the Nook business, either entirely or in part.

There are two reasons for the possible spinoff. First is that the Nook business may be worth much more as an independent company or partially owned by Barnes & Noble. Second is that Barnes & Noble may find it hard to continue to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars annually required to continue to grow the Nook.

The New York Times notes that the NOOK has been able to gain almost 30% of the ereader market share in the two years since it was launched, despite the Kindle's head start. Doing that costs plenty of money; the Times notes that by one estimate Barnes & Noble spends between $200 and $250 million a year on the Nook.

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 7/25/2011 8:49 AM
Published 13:10, 25 July 11

One of the unusual characteristics of the computer industry in recent years is the rapid rise of companies to almost complete market dominance of their respective sectors.

Things began with Microsoft, whose Windows operating system is still unchallenged on the desktop. Then came Google, which more or less owns the online search world (with the notable exception of the important Chinese market), and after that Facebook, which is probably hurtling towards 800 million users at the moment. What this means is that it is almost impossible for other companies to enter those particular markets and compete against the incumbent.

It's not hard to see why this has happened. It's all about network effects: once a particular player becomes established in a new market, it attracts more users than anyone else, ensuring that it grows yet bigger and more dominant. This kind of stranglehold is typically only broken once a step change in technology occurs that allows the story to begin all over again (the transition from MS-DOS to Windows was one such.)

Although there are many big and successful computer companies around at the moment, one stands out. Apple is currently going from strength to strength, as its recent figures show:

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2011 third quarter ended June 25, 2011. The Company posted record quarterly revenue of $28.57 billion and record quarterly net profit of $7.31 billion, or $7.79 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $15.70 billion and net quarterly profit of $3.25 billion, or $3.51 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 41.7 percent compared to 39.1 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Much of that was down to Apple's success in two emerging markets:

The Company sold 20.34 million iPhones in the quarter, representing 142 percent unit growth over the year-ago quarter. Apple sold 9.25 million iPads during the quarter, a 183 percent unit increase over the year-ago quarter.

 

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 herethere 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 12/27/2010 10:07 AM

Looking Back at 2020: A Time Machine View of the Past

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 11/21/2010 1:56 PM
By Matt Egan

Apple'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 9/3/2010 9:37 AM

Apple has doubled its monthly output capacity of the iPad and is now manufacturing 2 million per month to meet strong consumer demand, but the company reportedly would like to go even further and produce 3 million every month very soon.

By SuperUser Account on 8/16/2010 9:09 AM

Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said tablet computers are high on his priority list as Apple Inc. takes the lead in a market his company has tried to foster for more than a decade.

By SuperUser Account on 8/11/2010 9:39 AM

Last week, Microsoft  released tantalising pictures of its latest device which got bloggers talking about a tablet. The division of Microsoft behind the account, however, makes keyboards, webcams and mice so it's more likely that the flat matt black device in the photos is Microsoft's rival to Apple's recently announced trackpad. Also Microsoft has a patchy record when it comes to consumer trends. While the Xbox has taken a valuable place in the games console market, its Zune portable music player is still years behind Apple's iPod in terms of sales. Last month chief executive Steve Ballmer said developing Windows-based tablet computers  is "job one urgency" for the software group

By SuperUser Account on 8/2/2010 10:28 AM

Many pixels have been spilled over Steve Ballmer’s admission that “[Apple has] sold certainly more [iPads] than I’d like them to have sold.” As Ars points out, Ballmer just doesn’t get why a dumbed down machine running a poky processor is so popular. However, any media lover can tell you it’s not about running Excel and Powerpoint on a tablet – it’s about doing a few simple things without much fuss. Here’s what Microsoft can do to build a great tablet platform that people will actually buy.

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  InformationWeek  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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Syvantis Technologies. is a Microsoft Certified Silver Partner specializing in Microsoft Dynamics GP. GP (formerly Great Plains) helps your organization to increase its financial transparency with integrated systems, shared data, and drill-down capabilities so that transactions and audit trails are easily managed.

 

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