Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 25, 2013 01:45 PM
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer may be heading out the door in the next year, but he certainly doesn't have a case of Senioritis. He's aiming to finish out strong as the company moves to refocus its efforts on devices and services—an increasingly crowded space where the company will face Apple, Samsung and others head-on.
And it's been a rough road so far. The company has endured backlash over its new tile-like Windows design, and its Surface tablets have underperformed. With better hopes for its mobile business, the company acquired Nokia's devices division last month, but how the two companies will meld their operations and offerings is still unclear. In desperate need of a pick-me-up, the company posted a profitable first quarter.
The company reported revenues of $5.24 billion, up from the $4.47 billion it earned at the same point last year, as sales climbed 16 percent to $18.5 billion. The boost is mostly built on the demand for corporate software such as SQL database server, SharePoint, Exchange for e-mail, and Lync for corporate messaging and telephony. While not as 'sexy' as say, the iPad Air, they pay the bills.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 1, 2013 06:41 PM
The digital age is saving airline pilots from lugging around the pile of manuals and maps they used to, with American and United Airlines investing in iPads as the pilots' digital flight bag. But not everyone is privvy to the leading brand's tablets.
Delta pilots, too, are converting flight bags to digital, but the pilots aren't very happy with the airline's choice of provider. Delta struck a deal with Microsoft for 11,000 Surface 2 tablets rather than distributing iPads, the tablet of the world’s new # Best Global Brand, Apple.
But Delta's decisions don't take into account its pilot's favorite tech brands, and instead are focused on the $13 million in fuel and other costs that the airline will save annually now that the crew doesn't have to lug the heavy manuals on board.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 3, 2013 01:47 PM
In what may be the last notable move from exiting Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the company acquired Nokia's devices and services division and its intellectual property for $7.2 billion.
While the brands have been connected since 2011, when Nokia adopted Microsoft's software across its smartphones, the merger will create a hardware and software supplier bolstered by the addition of Nokia's 32,000 employees. Ballmer believes that a deeper integration between devices, software, and services is required to compete with Google and Apple and that vertical integration will better finance the development of the Windows Phone platform.
While the deal at first glance seems to be a departure from the "One Microsoft" idea that Ballmer debuted in July under his restructuring plan, the company has outlined a connection between the success of its mobile venture and its other devices. "Success in phone is important to success in tablets. Success in tablets will help PCs.”Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 10, 2013 05:42 PM
On the heels of its Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is likely to announce a major restructuring on July 11 "around services—or software—and devices, both in the consumer and business sectors," according to AllThingsD. However, it is "not clear how the new organization will enable Microsoft to move faster at innovation, especially against more nimble rivals such as Google." An "insider" warned, "If this is all about an org chart and not how to build great products, it does not matter what org chart Ballmer presents. Consumers buy products, not a management structure."
This raises a disturbing question: Is Steve Ballmer simply moving the proverbial deck chairs around on the Titanic? When one looks at Microsoft's history of lukewarm if not downright disappointing products, it does at times appear that the software giant is about to sink rather than swim.
It may in fact be a systemic problem. Microsoft has long been a company known as much by the company it keeps, relying on mostly hardware partners to, in effect, resell its software. But as the Wall Street Journal points out, "Microsoft keeps hitching its fortunes to lame horses." The company has long dominatd the PC market with its software, however the resurgence of Mac and other operating systems has moved the market in a different direction. "For its long-term health, Microsoft needs to find success selling software for the most popular types of computers. That means smartphones and, increasingly, tablets. It's difficulty doing that, or attracting partners that aren't in desperate need of their own help, bodes ill for its future."Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on May 8, 2013 06:47 PM
The technology world is an unforgiving battleground for brands that fail to catch hold. Windows 8, Microsoft's highly touted operating system seems to be one of those brands that didn't quite take off as expected.
Even as Microsoft pursues a re-branding based around the new Windows design, the word on the street is that Windows 8 will be getting an "update" later this year. Read that as an attempt to fix problems that have been frustrating both consumers and device manufacturers. Tami Reller, head of Microsoft's Windows division, was blunt in telling the Associated Press, "Are there things that we can do to improve the experience? Absolutely. There is a learning curve and we can work to address that."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 7, 2013 05:28 PM
For years, Apple has sold itself as the young, hip counterpart to the old fuddy duddies in the PC and mobile phone market. Now, Samsung is taking a page from the master’s book—and it's helping it gain some serious mobile market share.
When Samsung launched its Galaxy S3 last year, its "Next Big Thing" advertising took direct jabs at Apple’s iPhone and all the supposed earbud-wearing lemmings that bought the device—echoing the Apple-bashing theme of its Galaxy S II campaign. Now, as it releases its highly-anticipated Galaxy S4, it looks like the marketers at Samsung have decided to sit back on their heels and let the Apple bashing continue—and why not?
According to Ad Age, Samsung’s market share in the fourth quarter of 2012 went up to 30% from 21% in 2011. Meanwhile, Apple’s share fell from 41% to 39% in that same window.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 29, 2013 06:27 PM
Microsoft's Windows Phone may lag behind Samsung and Apple in the battle for America’s mobile-phone patronage, but the company seems to think that being in the lower spot isn’t always a bad thing.
Its most recent commercial, which debuted on NBC's “Today” show on Monday, features fans of the top two mobile phones attacking one another at a wedding while two folks working at the nuptials enjoy the pleasures of their Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phones. That sure beats going negative, like it did with its Scroogled ads.
“We have our own fans, of course,” Microsoft writer and editor Michael Stroh said in a blog post, AllThingsD.com reports. “And while they may be outnumbered (for now), they’re no less proud and routinely urge us to do more to get the word out about Windows Phone … There are choices. iPhone and Android Smartphones aren’t the only—or even best—options out there for all Smartphone buyers.”Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on December 17, 2012 05:34 PM
Microsoft has added SNL alum and comedian Andy Samberg to its roster of celebrity brand ambassadors in its Windows Phone holiday campaign. Check out his ad below.Continue reading...