Microsoft Windows 8 has confused users and disappointed the PC industry. Windows Chief Marketing Officer Tami Reller all but admitted it last week. She also foreshadowed that help is on the way in Windows Blue. She confirmed that this Windows 8 update -- which will soon get a prosaic product name like "Windows 8.1" -- will be previewed for users this summer and will go live in the fall.
Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter has released his monthly estimates on console sales, and not surprisingly, given recent months, April didn't look too swell for Nintendo and its Wii U.
According to Pachter, who estimates console sales in the U.S. based on retail checks, Nintendo sold just 55,000 Wii U units in April, down 19 percent compared to March. The company's Wii, which has been on store shelves for years, sold 75,000 units in April, according to Pachter.
Microsoft was once again the leader in the console market in April, selling 205,000 Xbox 360 units … Read more
The update to the struggling Windows 8 operating system, known by the code name "Blue," will be called Windows 8.1, a naming convention that Microsoft has used for its software updates for years.
Tami Reller, the chief marketing officer and chief financial officer of Microsoft's Windows division, disclosed the name during a speech at J.P. Morgan's Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in Boston this morning.
The new software, which Microsoft also wrote about on its Windows blog, will be available for download for free for existing Windows 8 users later this year.
"… Read more
Nokia has vowed to get more aggressive when it comes to promoting its Lumia phones, promising advertising that will take direct aim at the company's biggest rivals.
"I think what you're going to be seeing," Nokia's global head of smart phone marketing, Vesa Jutila, told CNET, "not only from Nokia but also from our key partner Microsoft, is that we're going to be much more aggressively going head-to-head with competition."
The Finnish firm, which is struggling to make a dent in Apple and Samsung's hammerlock share of the mobile market, recently … Read more
Microsoft's Skype unit made available for download on Monday Skype updates for Windows Phone 8 and Windows desktop.
Skype 2.6 for Windows Phone 8, which the team calls a "minor" update, is available for download from the Windows Phone Store. The 2.6 update includes improvements around the reliability of chat and call notifications, of calls to phone numbers, and resolution to "occasional missing message preview in the recent conversations list," according to the Skype site.
The Skype team also provided information about some upcoming fixes and updates for still-unresolved problems with Skype on Windows Phone 8. … Read more
Just because a company builds a bunch of new frameworks and services doesn't guarantee developers will immediately flock to them. The current-day Microsoft -- in the midst of trying to win over brand-new non-Microsoft developers while keeping loyal ones in the fold -- knows this well.
Rather than simply sit back and wait for devs to (hopefully) embrace its growing set of new technologies, the Redmondians have decided to go proactive. On May 13 -- just over a month ahead of Microsoft's Build 2013 developer conference -- Microsoft is launching a new "deep tech" team inside … Read more
Apple and other mobile phone vendors are being asked to amp up the fight against cell phone theft.
In a series of letters sent today to the heads of Apple, Samsung, Google, Motorola, and Microsoft, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman requested information on what they're doing to make their phones more safe and secure from thieves. Schneiderman also urged the companies to work with his office to devise ways to cut down on the lure of cell phones to criminals.
The attorney general pointed to a rise in the theft of phones and other mobile devices in … Read more
When the sense of personal competition has gone, when time has passed, the memories become more acute and more accurate.
During Bill Gates' interview Sunday night with Charlie Rose on CBS's "60 Minutes," Microsoft's chairman released some emotion when speaking of visiting Steve Jobs during the Apple CEO's last days.
He said they're talked about what they'd learned and about families.
He said the conversation wasn't melancholy, but it clearly is an emotional memory for Gates.
When it came to business, Gates admitted that Apple "put the pieces" together on … Read more
Microsoft appreciates the feedback on Windows 8. Up to a point.
"There is a trend to the extreme," Frank X. Shaw, corporate vice president of corporate communications at Microsoft, wrote on The Official Microsoft Blog on Friday, addressing some of the harsher attacks.
Here's a fuller quote:
In this world where everyone is a publisher, there is a trend to the extreme -- where those who want to stand out opt for sensationalism and hyperbole over nuanced analysis. In this world where page views are currency, heat is often more valued than light. Stark black-and-white caricatures are … Read more
As Google gears up for its big week in the spotlight, it's making another notch in its business software belt. The city of Boston has decided to switch the e-mail provider of its 20,000 employees from Microsoft to Google, The Boston Globe reported Friday.
In addition to using Gmail instead of Microsoft Exchange, Boston will also swap in Google Docs for word processing and Google's cloud service for storing documents. The city will pay Google about $800,000 for the move but will save around $280,000 a year for dropping the Microsoft products.
Google told the … Read more