Tag Archives: Microsoft

Microsoft says small number of its computers hacked

00-024SEATTLE: Microsoft Corp said on Friday a small number of its computers, including some in its Mac software business unit, were infected with malware, but there was no evidence of customer data being affected and it is continuing its investigation.

The world’s largest software company said the security intrusion was “similar” to recent ones reported by Apple Inc and Facebook Inc.

The incident, reported on one of the company’s public blogs happened “recently”, but Microsoft said it chose not to make any statement publicly while it gathered information about the attack.

“This type of cyberattack is no surprise to Microsoft and other companies that must grapple with determined and persistent adversaries,” said Matt Thomlinson, general manager of Trustworthy Computing Security at Microsoft, in the company’s blog post.

Over the past week or so, both Apple and Facebook said computers used by employees were attacked after visiting a software developer website infected with malicious software.

The attacks come at a time of broader concern about computer security.

Newspaper websites, including those of The New York Times , The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, have  been infiltrated recently. Earlier this month US President Barack Obama issued an executive order seeking better protection of the country’s critical infrastructure from cyber attacks.

Copyright Reuters, 2013

Microsoft, Apple summonsed to explain high prices


Technology giants Microsoft and Apple have been summonsed to appear before a federal parliamentary committee to explain why Australians are forced to pay more for some of their products compared with other countries.


The committee has also issued a summons to Adobe, with all three companies to appear before a public hearing on March 22.


If they fail to turn up they could be held in contempt of Parliament, which carries a range of possible penalties including fines or jail time.


The companies have provided written submissions to the committee but have declined several requests for them to appear in person.


The investigation was set up after a long campaign by Labor backbencher Ed Husic, who has accused some information technology companies of “ripping off” Australian consumers.


“We had to issue the summons because after countless attempts to get the major players to actually appear, they’d declined to voluntarily do so and in the end we were left with very little choice because people do want to get answers on this question about price differences,” Mr Husic told ABC News Online.


“It’s pretty rare. It’s not a power that’s been used too often.


“It is unfortunate that we’ve had to come to this point, but if we’re asking questions legitimately about how these price differences impact on businesses and consumers, we should be able to get those answers.”


Several public submissions have focused on Apple’s pricing policy, with some computer products costing hundreds of dollars more in Australia than they do in the United States.


In July, Apple’s director of government affairs, Ann Rollins, made a confidential submission to the inquiry which was recently made public by the committee.


She said Apple tried to set “equivalent pricing” around the world when a new product was introduced, but argued that a number of factors affected the final cost to consumers.


“When setting pricing on the Apple Online Store and at Apple Retail Stores, Apple considers differences among regions in product cost, freight, local sales taxes, levies, import duties, competitive price points and local laws regarding advertised prices,” Ms Rollins wrote.



It is unfortunate that we’ve had to come to this point, but if we’re asking questions legitimately about how these price differences impact on businesses and consumers, we should be able to get those answers.


“Foreign currency is an important variable in how product prices are compared between countries.


“It is not uncommon for macroeconomic factors to cause foreign currencies to fluctuate dramatically during a product’s life cycle.


“Over the period of time a particular Apple product is in the market, it may appear to be either priced higher or lower in a local market when compared to the price in the US or elsewhere.”


Microsoft, which employs about 800 people in Australia, says attempts to compare absolute prices across different counties is of limited use because there are a range of regional factors that need to be taken into account.


“Products are often sold as a package of offerings, with additional support and extended warranties included in the price,” the company said in a submission to the inquiry.


“In Australia, it is common practice to include the GST in the quoted price whereas in the US, sales tax is not typically quoted in the price.


“Microsoft’s global policy is to provide consistent and predictable local pricing while maintaining reasonable alignment of local currencies relative to the US dollar.”


The company says it provides recommended retail prices for its products that take into account various market forces, such as the size of the market.


“There are a range of additional factors that impact pricing in the Australian market, including the relatively high cost of labour and rent; the impact of Australian specific regulations; the higher costs of marketing, training and advertising; supply chain costs, including transport and distribution and exchange rates.”


Adobe, which sells a wide range of software packages, says most of its business in Australia is conducted through third parties which incur local costs.


“The cost of doing business in Australia is higher than in North America, as has been noted by many companies, as well as the Productivity Commission’s Retail Inquiry which reported in 2011,” the company said in a submission.


“Both suppliers and customers would like to be able to enjoy the benefits of favourable currency movements and avoid the costs of unfavourable currency movements.


“However, fair and efficient pricing needs to strike a balance between upward and downward currency movements.”

Topics: consumer-protection, parliament, government-and-politics, consumer-electronics, business-economics-and-finance, australia

First posted February 11, 2013 13:56:46

Microsoft fails to wow with Windows 8 sales

Updated January 25, 2013 09:47:44

The world’s largest software maker, Microsoft, has met expectations with its latest profit report.

Net income declined from $US6.6 billion to $US6.4 billion ($6.1 billion), or 76 US cents per share, but that beat analyst forecasts that centred on 74 cents a share in net earnings.

The company’s sales rose 2.7 per cent to $US21.5 billion ($20.5 billion), in line with expectations.

Analysts say a mass corporate switch over from the 12-year-old Windows XP operating system – still used by many organisations because of its stability and reliability – to the newer (but not latest) Windows 7 software, because Microsoft is ending support for XP, is helping to boost sales.

“One of the biggest stories in 2013 is the business transition from Windows XP to Windows 7,” Bob O’Donnell, an analyst at market research firm IDC Corp, told Bloomberg.

“There are a staggering number of machines still running Windows XP. The IT guys have to pull the plug on those and upgrade, and most will do that by buying new machines.”

However, sales were dented by a 10 per cent fall in Microsoft Office revenue, as customers await the release of the latest 2013 version, expected in the next few weeks.

Microsoft shares eased to $27.06 in after-hours trade following the report, after having closed at $27.63 on the Nasdaq.

Topics: business-economics-and-finance, company-news, electronics, software, united-states

First posted January 25, 2013 09:39:02

Microsoft shares drop as profits dip slightly

microsoft-office 400SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft shares slipped Thursday after the release of quarterly earnings figures that surpassed forecasts but left it unclear how the software titan will score in the post personal computer era.

Microsoft reported that its profit dipped slightly in the final three months of last year despite revenues boosted by the release of new-generation Windows software tailored for the world of smartphones and tablet computers.

Profit was down 3.7 percent from the same quarter a year earlier to $6.38 billion, better than most forecasts, while revenues rose 2.7 percent to $21.46 billion, a record for the US tech giant.

Microsoft said the boost in revenues came from pre-sales and upgrades of Windows 8, recognized in the quarter, and gains in business software and other segments.

Shares in the Redmond, Washington-based technology firm were down more than one percent to $27.25 in after-market trading that followed release of the earnings figures for its second fiscal quarter.

Microsoft did not provide specific sales data for the Surface tablet launched late last year or its new Windows Phone 8 system, two keys to the company’s future.

Chief executive Steve Ballmer said the company’s “big, bold ambition to reimagine Windows as well as launch Surface and Windows Phone 8,” had sparked “unprecedented opportunity and creativity with our partners and developers.”

The profit amounted to 76 cents per share — one cent better than the Wall Street consensus.

Citi analyst Walter Pritchard said Microsoft was on target.

“This was the first time in memory we haven’t seen disappointment in the Windows line,” he said in a research note, maintaining a buy rating.

Raimo Lenschow at Barclays said the results were “essentially in line with investors’ low expectations.”

John Ogg at 24/7 Wall Street called it a “mixed” report and said there appeared to be concerns that Microsoft did not offer guidance beyond saying its operating expenses would be $30.3 to $30.9 billion for the fiscal year.

The Windows division saw revenues jump 24 percent to $5.88 billion, while revenue was up 11 percent to $869 million at Microsoft’s online services division. To date, more than 60 million Windows 8 licenses have been sold.

The growth in Windows sales was driven by operating system upgrades, sales of Surface tablets, and businesses licensing Windows 8, Microsoft chief financial officer Peter Klein said in a conference call with analysts.

“We learned a lot this quarter; we saw some really great demand for some of the touch devices we brought to market,” Klein said.

Microsoft is working with device and chip makers to field a variety of Windows 8 touch-screen devices “at the right price points,” he noted.

Microsoft is also beginning to see a pay-off from years spent working to “finely tune” its search engine that powers queries at Yahoo! websites.

Gains in online services, server and enterprise software helped offset a decline in the entertainment division which produces the Xbox console and games.

Microsoft is expected to introduce a successor to the Xbox 360 this year, with the videogame console evolving into a hub for digital home entertainment.

Windows remains the dominant platform for personal computers, but Microsoft has lost ground to Google and Apple in newer devices which use rival operating systems.

The company’s search and online services have struggled, but its Xbox is the hottest gaming system in the industry.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2013

Microsoft fails to wow with Windows 8 sales


The world’s largest software maker, Microsoft, has met expectations with its latest profit report.


Net income declined from $US6.6 billion to $US6.4 billion ($6.1 billion), or 76 US cents per share, but that beat analyst forecasts that centred on 74 cents a share in net earnings.


The company’s sales rose 2.7 per cent to $US21.5 billion ($20.5 billion), in line with expectations.


Analysts say a mass corporate switch over from the 12-year-old Windows XP operating system – still used by many organisations because of its stability and reliability – to the newer (but not latest) Windows 7 software, because Microsoft is ending support for XP, is helping to boost sales.


“One of the biggest stories in 2013 is the business transition from Windows XP to Windows 7,” Bob O’Donnell, an analyst at market research firm IDC Corp, told Bloomberg.


“There are a staggering number of machines still running Windows XP. The IT guys have to pull the plug on those and upgrade, and most will do that by buying new machines.”


However, sales were dented by a 10 per cent fall in Microsoft Office revenue, as customers await the release of the latest 2013 version, expected in the next few weeks.


Microsoft shares eased to $27.06 in after-hours trade following the report, after having closed at $27.63 on the Nasdaq.

Topics: business-economics-and-finance, company-news, electronics, software, united-states

First posted January 25, 2013 09:39:02

Windows 8 fails to lift Microsoft

Microsoft logo Analysts said Microsoft was benefiting from operating in a variety of technology sectors Microsoft has reported a fall in profits despite a boost in sales from the technology giant’s new Windows 8 operating system.


Net profit for the final three months of the year was $6.4bn (£4.1bn), down 4% from a year earlier, while revenue was up 3% at $21.5bn.


The Windows arm of the firm performed well, with revenues up by a quarter, following the launch of Windows 8.


The results come on the day that Apple shares fell 12% on disappointing sales.


Much of Microsoft’s revenue growth was eaten up by an increase in spending on sales and marketing, while stronger earnings at the Windows division were partly offset by a decline in sales of the company’s Office products.


“Our big, bold ambition to re-imagine Windows as well as launch Surface and Windows Phone 8 has sparked growing enthusiasm with our customers and unprecedented opportunity and creativity with our partners and developers,” said chief executive Steve Ballmer.

‘Nice quarter’

Analysts said the company benefited from operating in a number of different technology sectors, protecting it from weakness in the PC market.


“[Microsoft] has multiple revenue streams that are still very nice businesses… I would say it’s a very nice vanilla quarter,” said Colin Gillis at BGC Financial. “In this environment, we’ll take it.”


The company did not release sales figures for its new tablet computer, Surface – its answer to Apple’s hugely successful iPad.


The reason, some analysts said, was simple.


“I don’t think they want to provide that because it won’t be impressive,” technology analyst Patrick Moorhead said.


Microsoft’s results come a day after Apple reported record quarterly revenues of $55bn. However, flat profits, disappointing iPhone sales figures and fears about future growth prospects pushed Apple shares down 12% on Wednesday, wiping about $50bn off the company’s value.

Apple, Microsoft to steal market share in MEA smartphone sales

Smartphone market share numbers in the Middle East and Africa are going to be distorted in the fourth quarter due to the timing of product introductions like Apple’s iPhone 5 and Windows Phone 8.

“Apple will make a strong comeback in this quarter as the new iPhone 5 is going to be launched in the certain markets of the region. Nokia’s Lumia 920 will not sell in huge volume because of the high price but Lumia 820 is priced reasonably and coupled with HTC’s windows phones will gain market share for Microsoft,” Annette Zimmermann, Principal Analyst at Gartner Deutschland, told Gulf News in an exclusive of interview.

She said RIM and Symbian will lose market share further. Android’s market share will slip as Apple and Microsoft will take some market share from Google’s operating system.

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Total mobile phone sales in the region are expected to rise 6.52 per cent to 49 million in the fourth quarter compared to 46 million in the third quarter. Out of this, around 20 per cent are going to be smartphones.

In the third quarter, market grew really fast with smartphones growing seven per cent quarter on quarter.

Nokia still leads the overall market with more than 43 per cent market despite its smartphones market share falling to 10.8 per cent in third quarter from 16 per cent in second quarter.

Samsung grew close to 50 per cent in the smartphone sales while registering 23.4 per cent in the overall sales. Samsung contributes around two third to the growth in Android platform.

RIM held steady at 17.2 per cent in smartphone category.

“Apple lost most of its market share in third quarter as consumers are waiting for iPhone 5 to be launched in the region. Its market share fell from nine per cent in second quarter to two per cent in the third quarter,” she said.

Countries with high income groups like Saudi Arabia and the UAE are waiting for the new Apple to be launched.

“Samsung is also going to be a big contributor for Windows’ growth as they can profit from the Galaxy brand. The big question is can they compete with a good ecosystem of Nokia and that is what Samsung lacks. That is where Samsung needs to work on in the future,” she said.

White box manufacturers sold around four million units in the third quarter.

“RIM, once very strong in the Middle East is losing its market share. But it is gaining market share in Africa. People in Africa still like the qwerty keyboard of BlackBerry despite the world going for touch screens,” she said.

Even launching BBM 10 in the first quarter of next year “will not save RIM as it very late to the market. We are doubtful whether they will stay strong in the Middle East and Africa,” she added.

For the year, around 196 million units are expected to be sold in the region. Out of this around 20 per cent are going to be smartphones.

Microsoft sold 40m Windows 8 licences in month

Seattle: Microsoft Corp has sold 40 million Windows 8 licences in the month since the launch, according to one of the new co-heads of the Windows unit, setting a faster pace than Windows 7 three years ago.

The sales number represents a solid but unspectacular start for the touch-friendly operating system designed to combat Apple Inc’s and Google Inc’s domination of mobile computing, which has shunted aside PCs in favour of iPads and smartphones.

Tami Reller, finance and marketing head of the Windows business, did not give a precise comparison, but sales of 40 million licences for Windows 8, launched on October 26, appear to be ahead of Windows 7, which sold just over 60 million units in the first 10 weeks on sale at the end of 2009.

Reller did not break down the Windows 8 licence sales between relatively cheap upgrades and purchases of new machines running the new software, but suggested much of the growth was coming from upgrades.

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“Windows 8 upgrade momentum is outpacing that of Windows 7,” said Reller, speaking at an investor conference held by Credit Suisse. Upgrading to Windows 8 costs $40, compared to $70 for the full software package or hundreds of dollars for a new PC.

The latest figure does not mean that 40 million users have adopted Windows 8. Many of the sales are to PC manufacturers, who in turn sell a large number of machines to companies, very few of which are using Windows 8 yet.

According to tech research firm StatCounter, about 1 per cent of the world’s 1.5 billion or so personal computers — making a total of around 15 million — are actually running Windows 8.

Reller did not disclose sales of Microsoft’s new Surface tablet, its first-ever own-brand PC, designed to challenge the iPad head on.

The first Surface, based on a chip designed by ARM Holdings Plc, does not run old versions of Microsoft programmes. A slightly bigger version based on an Intel Corp chip that will run the full Windows 8 Pro operating system and be fully compatible with the Office suite of applications will be available in January, Reller said.

The investor conference was the first public appearance for Reller since she was named as one of two executives to run the Windows unit after president Steven Sinofsky unexpectedly left two weeks ago. Julie Larson-Green heads the engineering side of Windows..

Reller said the Windows unit had survived Sinofsky’s surprise departure.

“The team holistically is in great, great shape. And the product is in great shape,” she said, responding to a question from a Credit Suisse analyst. “I think transitions are always somewhat of a challenge, but I think that timing-wise it is a reasonable time, and the team is busy.”

Earlier in the day, Microsoft said it had sold more than 750,000 Xbox game consoles in the United States last week, including the day after Thanksgiving, one of the country’s biggest shopping days.

That is down from 960,000 sales in the same week a year ago, in line with reduced computer game spending across the board this year, as gamers hold off on purchases in the tight economy and move toward free online games.

Microsoft in talks on Europe stores

London: Microsoft has examined the European market as the next region to open its flagship retail outlets as the US technology giant bolsters its roster of devices and appliances across its software platforms.

Microsoft has spoken to property landlords in the UK about plans to open stores next year. The company has said that it is confident about launching the first outlets during 2013, according to one person familiar with the talks, although a decision is pending an assessment of how its US stores are performing. A spokesman for the company declined to comment.

The company would be following a strategy that has been successfully rolled out by Apple, which uses its shops as much as brand showcases as a means of selling devices. The difference is that Microsoft also sells devices made by other companies, such as the Nokia and HTC phones that use its Windows operating system as well as PCs and other hardware.

Even so, the company is increasingly producing its own devices that run on its software, including the recently launched Surface tablet that runs on Windows 8. There has been talk among the large mobile phone operators that the company is also looking to make its own smartphone handset, while last week it emerged that it was planning to launch a set-top TV box that would use its Windows 8 operating system and also play games over its Xbox Live platform. Xbox TV will be available next year although the company has not given a date and price.

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Microsoft will conduct an internal review at the end of this year that will study how well the stores in the US have performed, and which formats have worked best. The company has rolled out both permanent stores as well as temporary “pop-ups” that just sell devices around the holiday seasons. The group has already opened stores outside the US in Canada and Puerto Rico.

The Microsoft stores in the US offer free classes and training for its software and how it runs on various devices, which is useful in establishing the unique Windows “tile” interface among customers more used to the Apple and Android platforms.

Microsoft wants to create a digital “ecosystem” similar to Apple’s and Google’s Android, and already has a large number of phones that use the Windows system as well as its tablet. Nokia, in particular, claims a special relationship having formed an exclusive deal to make smartphones that use Microsoft’s software. There are also accessories such as cordless charging units that are sold alongside the latest range of Nokia phones.

Microsoft holds Windows 8 event for companies

Dubai: Microsoft held an event for corporates and organisations inside and outside of the UAE to give their user experience on its new operating system — Windows 8.

Emirates airlines will be rolling out Windows 8 tablets for its 900 aircraft from January with an Emirates built-in app.

“We have signed a deal with HP for its ElitePad 900 tablet and we will be rolling out in the first four months of next year starting from January. The senior cabin crew member will have the tablet and will have all the details of the passengers as well as the crew,” Kevin Griffiths, senior vice-president — cabin crew, service delivery, Emirates, told Gulf News.

“I think the user experience is very good, intuitive and I was the first one to use the tablet on Sunday. The cabin crew was using the tablet also without prior experience on the new platform.”

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“We have just rolled out Windows 7 on our corporate desktops and we will be sticking to it for some time as we have made a huge investment. We will be using Windows 8 on tablets and in mobile computing space,” he said.

Dubai was one of the six cities in the world to have the privilege of launching Windows 8 on October 26.

The other five cities are Paris, Shanghai, New Delhi, New York and Hong Kong.

The advantage for an end user is to have the same features for their desktops, laptops, Xbox, smartphones and media tablets. They have an option of touch user interface or keyboard and mouse option.

Not only Griffiths, Fathima Ali, deputy director general of UAE smart learning and head of IT department, Ministry of Education, were all praise for Microsoft’s new platform and its simplicity.

She said, eight out of the 400 plus schools are currently testing Windows 8 tablets from September and by January, 15 schools will be running on Windows 8 tablets.

“The Ruler of Dubai has given the MOE five years for schools to completely move to tablets. Already one year has passed. But it will not only be on Windows, it can be Apple, Android or Microsoft,” she said.

“We have developed a Smart Learning app by local partners for the students and in that single app it covers more features for teachers , students and classmates. It is like one umberella,” Khalid Ahmad, development director, UAE smart learning, said.

Microsoft releases Windows 8 software in Pakistan

Thursday, 15 November 2012 17:35 Posted by Fakir Syed Iqtidaruddin

By: Ayesha Siddiqui 


KARACHI: With the introduction of smartphones and tablets Microsoft slid in with their latest product, the highly-anticipated Windows 8 software launch in Pakistan. 


Sherif Morsi, Windows Client Business Group Lead, North Africa, Middle East and Pakistan emphasized the new version is more user-friendly and lighter to run, which makes it more optimized for “work and play at the same time on the same device.” 


Morsi justified the introduction of the new software by stating “research showed a shift of traditional PC users moving onto tablets and smart phones,” which gave way to the idea of creating a software compatible for all devices. 


Windows 8 offers new concepts where the home screen is replaced with “live tiles” which keep updating the status of apps with new notifications or messages. Users can also group and rename the tiles as per their individual preferences. “Snap” is a new multi-tasking option where users can run two applications like word and excel side by side on the same screen. In addition, Windows 8 is also “cloud-connected” offering Sky drive through which users can access files from any device and any location in the world. 


“The switch from touch to non-touch will be effortless,” claims Morsi, stating that all new modifications were based on consumer feedback. He then went on to explain that the newer version would not take a user more than a week or so to get accustomed to. 


Windows 8 also engaged Pakistani application developers to create apps for the new software, Morsi gave the example of the GMaps app which received the highest numbers of downloads to date. He highlighted that Microsoft is working on introducing Urdu as a language option on the latest software and the company hopes to have it introduced by the end of the year. 


To counter the ever-evolving problem of piracy particularly in the Asian markets, Microsoft is working on educating consumers about benefits gained from genuine Windows products and providing colleges and universities with comprehensive Microsoft solutions. 


Adopting Windows 8 starts with basic hardware requirements from 1 GHz processor. The upgrade for current Windows users is priced at $15 special promotion so that loyal users aren’t hesitant to shift to the newer platform. In addition, the Full Package Product (valued at $69.99) can also be downloaded at an introductory price of $39.99. 


“With Windows 8, there are no compromises, its fast and fluid.”


Copyright Business Recorder, 2012

Microsoft offers peek at new Windows, tablet

Shanghai: US computing giant Microsoft on Tuesday gave an early peek to the key Chinese market of its new tablet computer and Windows 8 software, promising a “fast and fluid” operating system.

Microsoft will launch Windows 8 and the Surface tablet computer, designed to compete with Apple’s popular iPad, in the United States on Friday. The launch of the two products in China is the same day.

Windows remains the dominant platform for personal computers, but it has lost ground to Apple and Google in newer devices which use rival operating systems.

“With Windows 8, we introduced this fast and fluid experience that works across a broad range of different types of PCs (personal computers),” said Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows division. “Windows 8 seamlessly moves between a world of touch-only tablets to laptops that have touch screens to desktops and to portable computers without touch screens,” he said in a speech to the media in Shanghai.

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Microsoft’s new tablet computer was designed to be a platform for Windows, Sinofsky said, as he compared the challenger to Apple’s iPad. “Even though it’s bigger than an iPad, it’s actually lighter in your hand because of the way the physics of the design work,” he said.

The Surface has a full-sized USB port unlike the iPad, a built-in stand and a cover which doubles as a keyboard, he said, ticking off the features. The tablet runs the new Windows RT, a form of Windows 8, and comes with Microsoft Office 2013, he added.

It is not Microsoft’s first foray into the tablet market. In 2000 the company unveiled a prototype tablet PC and shortly after began licensing its specifications to various manufacturers. Some who have tested Windows 8 complain about the change from earlier versions of Windows, which could force users to relearn how to operate their computers, the New York Times reported Sunday.

Sinofsky acknowledged the difference with older versions but said Windows 8 was designed for the “modern world”. “It’s a completely different feel. It’s clean. It’s beautiful. It’s intuitive,” he said.

Sinofsky said Microsoft hoped to add a billion new customers with Windows 8, which aims to replace earlier versions of its dominant operating system. “It’s (Windows) used by over a billion people around the world and with Widows 8 we’re aiming towards the next billion,” he said.

Microsoft offers peek at new Windows, tablet

Tuesday, 23 October 2012 13:00 Posted by Parvez Jabri

SHANGHAI: US computing giant Microsoft on Tuesday gave an early peek to the key Chinese market of its new tablet computer and Windows 8 software, promising a “fast and fluid” operating system.


Microsoft will launch Windows 8 and the Surface tablet computer, designed to compete with Apple’s popular iPad, in the United States on Friday. The launch of the two products in China is the same day.


Windows remains the dominant platform for personal computers, but it has lost ground to Apple and Google in newer devices which use rival operating systems.


“With Windows 8, we introduced this fast and fluid experience that works across a broad range of different types of PCs (personal computers),” said Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows division.


“Windows 8 seamlessly moves between a world of touch-only tablets to laptops that have touch screens to desktops and to portable computers without touch screens,” he said in a speech to the media in Shanghai.


Microsoft’s new tablet computer was designed to be a platform for Windows, Sinofsky said, as he compared the challenger to Apple’s iPad.


“Even though it’s bigger than an iPad, it’s actually lighter in your hand because of the way the physics of the design work,” he said.


The Surface has a full-sized USB port unlike the iPad, a built-in stand and a cover which doubles as a keyboard, he said, ticking off the features.


The tablet runs the new Windows RT, a form of Windows 8, and comes with Microsoft Office 2013, he added.


It is not Microsoft’s first foray into the tablet market. In 2000 the company unveiled a prototype tablet PC and shortly after began licensing its specifications to various manufacturers.


Some who have tested Windows 8 complain about the change from earlier versions of Windows, which could force users to relearn how to operate their computers, the New York Times reported Sunday.


Sinofsky acknowledged the difference with older versions but said Windows 8 was designed for the “modern world”.


“It’s a completely different feel. It’s clean. It’s beautiful. It’s intuitive,” he said.


Sinofsky said Microsoft hoped to add a billion new customers with Windows 8, which aims to replace earlier versions of its dominant operating system.


“It’s (Windows) used by over a billion people around the world and with Widows 8 we’re aiming towards the next billion,” he said.

Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012

Windows 8 skews Microsoft results

Microsoft will book the deferred revenue in its next quarterly results Microsoft has reported a 22% fall in quarterly profits, after deferring some revenue ahead of the upcoming releases of its Windows 8 operating system and its latest version of Office.


Net profit for the three months to September fell to $4.47bn (£2.79bn), from $5.74bn a year earlier, and missed expectations.


Total revenues fell 8% to $16bn.


PC sales fell as consumers either put off new purchases in a tight economy or opted for tablet devices instead.


Microsoft deferred a total of $1.36bn of revenue, which it will regain in the following quarter.


This included $783m in licence fees for PCs pre-loaded with Windows 8, because it cannot recognise the revenue until the units go on sale on 26 October.


It also deferred $384m for PCs that shipped with Windows 7 but are eligible for a $15 upgrade to Windows 8, and $189m for PCs that shipped with the new version of Office or are eligible for an upgrade.


Microsoft shares fell 3% in extended trading.

Microsoft debuts Xbox music service

Microsoft Corp on Monday announced that Xbox Music, a digital music service to vie with Apple Inc’s iTunes and Amazon.com Inc’s Cloud Player, will be available for its Xbox game consoles on Tuesday.

The service will be expanded to Windows software-based computers and tablets, including the upcoming Surface tablet, from October 26, when Microsoft launches Windows 8. It will be expanded to phones shortly after that.

The world’s largest software maker has been trying for years to make the household living room an entertainment hub with its Xbox. More than 67 million units have been sold since 2005.

About 18 months ago, the company realized that Xbox users were spending half to 60 percent of their time on entertainment services rather than video gaming, Xbox Music general manager Jerry Johnson said.

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The market-leading video game console already streams Netflix, ESPN and other channels and is bolstering its service with music and other video content.

“We also realize, as an entertainment company, that music is an important ingredient on its own and as a part of different user experiences,” Johnson said.

Xbox Music replaces Microsoft’s digital media brand Zune that struggled to compete with iTunes.

Microsoft will offer a free ad-supported music streaming service, and a premium $9.99 subscription service for unlimited, ad-free streaming.

The service includes a download-to-own music store with over 30 million songs in its global catalog, more than iTunes’ library of over 26 million songs. It also carries over 70,000 music videos, available only on the Xbox console.

It has cloud-storage features similar to iTunes and Amazon Cloud Player and an artist-based radio function like music streaming services Pandora and Spotify.

Xbox Music will be available in 22 countries. Microsoft hopes to take the service to Apple iOS and Google Inc Android devices next year.

Microsoft sets Windows 8 price, opens for pre-order

Saturday, 13 October 2012 04:29 Posted by Abdul Ahad

Microsoft-Windows-8SEATTLE: Microsoft Corp opened its Windows 8 operating system for pre-orders on Friday, setting the price for an upgrade to the full version of the software at $70 for a DVD pack.

Users can also wait for launch on Oct. 26 to download the system onto their computers for $40, an offer price that will expire at the end of January. PCs running Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 will be able to upgrade to Windows 8.

Shoppers can reserve the software pack at Microsoft’s own stores, Amazon.com, Best Buy, Staples and elsewhere. Microsoft has not yet announced the price of the full software to install from scratch, as opposed to the upgrade. The current price for a comparable version of Windows 7 is $200.

Any customer who buys, or already bought, a Windows 7 PC between June 2 and the end of January 2013 will be able to get an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $15, a move designed to prevent a drop-off in PC sales before the launch of Windows 8.

Microsoft also said PC makers such as Acer, Asustek, Dell, HP, Samsung and Sony were also now taking pre-orders for machines with Windows 8 pre-installed.

The world’s largest software company did not mention its own Surface tablet PC, which is expected on the market at the same time as Windows 8. Microsoft has not revealed the price of the product it hopes will challenge Apple Inc’s iPad.

Copyright Reuters, 2012

Revamped version: Microsoft unveils Office 365

The cloud integr­ation one the most outsta­nding featur­e of Office 365. Through Office 365, Microsoft is providing world-class productivity software to businesses of all sizes,” said Ihsan Anabtawi.

KARACHI: 

Microsoft unveiled its new product Office 365 at a press launch and demo at its Karachi office on Tuesday and the product will be available in Pakistan through Microsoft’s official distribution partners, says a press release.

“We are taking a giant leap in software services in Pakistan. Through Office 365, Microsoft is providing world-class productivity software to businesses of all sizes,” said Ihsan Anabtawi, BG Lead Office Division, Microsoft North Africa Eastern Mediterranean and Pakistan (NEPA).

“Office 365 will accelerate the working environment’s evolution by delivering enterprise-grade collaboration for everyone and will surely force certain businesses to say no to pirated Microsoft products,” Anabtawi said.

Office 365 is a complete revamp of the previous Office 10, with the cloud integration being one of its most outstanding features, the statement said. This cloud solution is available with local pricing in Pakistan, it added.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2012.

Microsoft buys business social startup Yammer

Yammer has more than five millio­n users, includ­ing worker­s at 85 percen­t of the Fortun­e 500 compan­ies.  Yammer was launched in San Francisco in 2008. PHOTO: YAMMER


SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft on Monday announced a billion-dollar deal to buy startup Yammer which specializes in social networks for businesses.


Microsoft said that it will pay $1.2 billion for Yammer, which will become part of the US technology titan’s Office Division.


“The acquisition of Yammer underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love,” said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.


“Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft’s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services.”


Yammer was launched in San Francisco in 2008 and enables companies to make private networks that let employees communicate Twitter-style while keeping exchanges away from public viewing.


Yammer has more than five million users, including workers at 85 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, according to Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft.


Microsoft said that it planned to promote adoption of Yammer’s service tied to complementary offerings of software or services such as SharePoint, Skype, and Office 365.


“When we started Yammer four years ago, we set out to do something big,” said Yammer chief executive David Sacks.


“We had a vision for how social networking could change the way we work,” he continued.


“Joining Microsoft will accelerate that vision and give us access to the technologies, expertise and resources we’ll need to scale and innovate.”