Items tagged with Redmond

Today, Microsoft confirmed a development rumor that's been swirling around its next-generation console ever since it announced Kinect would become an optional add-on rather than a mandatory boat anchor.  Lifting that requirement will give game developers 10% additional graphics power to play with and help close the gap between the Xbox One and PS4. The story kicked off when Xbox head Phil Spencer tweeted the following: In a statement to Eurogamer, a Microsoft representative then confirmed that the performance improvement coming in the next version of the Xbox SDK was the result of making Kinect... Read more...
In a world in which its corporate communication team wasn't apparently being run by two monkeys and a sack of hammers, Microsoft executives would've taken the stage yesterday and delivered a concise, official explanation as to whether or not used games will run on the console. In point of fact, everyone thought they did. Wired's exclusive report yesterday purported to have the full scoop on how this situation would be handled. Specifically: Wired asked Microsoft if installation would be mandatory. “On the new Xbox, all game discs are installed to the HDD to play,” the company responded... Read more...
If new leaked roadmaps are accurate, the long-rumored Microsoft Office for iOS won't see the light of day before mid-2014. A new set of Office updates are supposed to drop with Windows Blue later this year, and Metro versions of more Office applications are in development. There's an Office RT update package for Windows RT aimed at early 2014. But support for iOS and Android devices? That's more than a year away. And Outlook RT, easily the largest hole in the Windows RT Office suite, may not ship for another year. By then, no one may care. Consider history: Microsoft's office suite rose to prominence... Read more...
Dell's decision to go private (and Microsoft's $2B investment) are big news in the tech world today, but there's precious little in the way of hard evidence for why Michael Dell decided to buy back the company he founded as a college student back in 1984. The Microsoft angle has gotten a lot of press, but it's not the primary driver of the deal. In a $24 billion deal, two billion is only 8.3% of the total. It didn't buy Microsoft a seat on the board or governance rights. The obvious reason for Microsoft to invest in Dell is for product manufacturing; Dell could easily handle Redmond's Surface volume.... Read more...
At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) today, Steve Ballmer formally announced the launch date for Windows 8 -- the OS will be RTM'd (Released To Manufacturing) the first week of August, with an estimated ship date in October. Microsoft's own ARM-flavored Windows 8 Surface will supposedly go on sale "around" that time frame; the company mostly showed off demo units and ultrabooks from the likes of HP, Lenovo, and Acer. Microsoft is forecasting a sales target of 375 million new Windows devices in the next twelve months and took paints at the conference to tell everyone that Surface... Read more...
Windows Phone 7 was supposed to reverse Microsoft's declining market share, prove that the company was capable of designing a product that could stand against the best Android and Apple had to offer, and re-establish the company as a major player in the smartphone space. Despite generally positive reviews, WP7 has failed to improve Redmond's mobile fortunes; the company's share of the mobile market fell significantly in Q2 2011. The latest comScore data indicates that the total US smartphone market grew eight percent in the second quarter for a total of 78.5M smartphone owners. Despite this, Microsoft's... Read more...
At Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference this week, Tami Reller, the company's CFO and Corporate VP of Windows / Windows Live, spilled the beans about Windows 7's adoption rates and some of what the industry should expect from Windows 8. Windows 7, according to Reller, has sold at three times the rate of Windows XP with the result that "27 percent of the Internet runs on Windows 7." We actually have no idea what that means. The Internet runs on servers, but while Windows Server 2008 R2 shares the Windows 7 kernel, that's quite a stretch for a marketing blurb. The OS is estimated to currently... Read more...
When the Department of Justice and Microsoft hammered out the terms of their agreement in 2001, one of the strictures was that the software giant would be subject to official DOJ oversight for a period of five years. In 2006, the DoJ opted to extend the term another five years, but the government body won't be doing the same thing again. On May 12, Microsoft will no longer be subject to special federal oversight. Analysts anticipate we'll see Microsoft making some bolder moves as a result, though no one anticipates a return to the old days. Rob Enderle, principle analyst at Enderle Group, told... Read more...
Microsoft's demonstration of Windows 8 running on ARM processors may have been one of the major events of CES, but the OS's 2012/2013 release date has been criticized as a day late and a dollar short. One of the tidbits that slipped out of CES is that IT analysts aren't the only ones frustrated with Redmond's timetable. Intel Senior VP and general manager of the sales and marketing group, Tom Kilroy, revealed at CES for a long time. Us, and others like Dell...We’re very bullish on the tablets segment. It’s very good for the industry as a whole." It was Microsoft, ironically, that put... Read more...
A few weeks back, Microsoft confirmed the existence of a 17-year-old bug in all 32-bit versions of Windows that could, under certain circumstances, be used to gain control of a system. The flaw's usefulness was limited, since anyone with administrative access to a system probably doesn't need a hack to gain control of it, but Redmond issued a patch (KB977165) anyway. Unfortunately, Microsoft may have traded a bit of embarassment over the continued existence of such an old problem for a full-on facepalm. After the company released its latest set of security patches on Tuesday, Windows XP users began... Read more...
Investors have had a couple days to digest the strategic partnership Microsoft and Yahoo jointly announced this week, and they  aren't exactly pouring money into Yahoo's coffers. The company's stock price (Ticker: YHOO) has fallen nearly 20 percent over the past five days, from its July 27 price of $17.31 to today's $14.44 (as of this writing). Microsoft's stock is up very slightly over the same period, from $23.11 to today's $23.81, but a flat trend doesn't constitute a ringing endorsement. "I was myself kind of surprised by the market reaction," Ballmer told a meeting for financial analysts... Read more...
Microsoft and Yahoo have had an on-again / off-again relationship for years, often whipsawing from one extreme to another. This time, however, it's official, agreed upon, and public. The two companies have signed an agreement aimed at improving their competitive position against Google. Yahoo executives characterized the deal as providing a "boatload of value" as opposed to the "boatload of cash" Microsoft offered back in February of 2008. Microsoft's first deal was a purchase offer with a $44.6 billion check, but the offer died on the table when then-CEO Jerry Yang refused to consider it.This... Read more...
It's a rumor from a blog with every third word misspelled, but this one seems to have legs. Microsoft appears to be preparing to either spin off or sell outright Bungie Studios, the developers of their fantastically successful Halo series of video games. Microsoft would retain the rights to any future versions of the Halo franchise, but Bungie would be an autonomous business. ...Microsoft's also pushing hard to make the Xbox business profitable so it's probably looking at all sorts of ways to shave costs. Running a studio is expensive, and Microsoft would still benefit from its creativity since... Read more...
Google released their "Google Gears" open source tools to software programmers yesterday . It's a handy virtual widget that allows users to work on web-based applications when they are off-line. Web-based applications that handle e-mail, news, and process information like spreadsheets and text documents can be altered or generated anytime, and then updated automatically when you return to the web. It's in direct opposition to Microsoft's vision of two sets of tools for online and offline functions. Google has been among the most enthusiastic proponents of this new computing model,... Read more...