that's entertainment

Microsoft Takes Aim at Apple and Google With Xbox Music

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 15, 2012 11:14 AM

Microsoft’s Zune is no more, but that doesn’t mean the computer giant is shunning the music-buying public. It announced Monday that it is getting back into the music business by providing 30 million free tunes through its upcoming Windows 8 as well as on Xbox consoles starting Tuesday. (Apple’s iTunes “only” has about 26 million tunes, the BBC notes.)

The pitch for Xbox Music: "Enjoy your favorite music from a 30 million-song global catalog powered by the one service that integrates your music experiences across your tablet, PC, phone and TV. All the music you love, every way you want it."

“The service is part of a broad set of bets Microsoft is making this fall to help regain ground it has lost to competitors, especially Apple and Google,” the New York Times reports. Along with Windows 8, Microsoft is about to release a new Windows Phone operating system for mobiles as well as a tablet, the Surface. The bean counters in Redmond, Washington, are clearly hoping for a big fourth quarter holiday season, including ramping up maketing efforts and opening holiday pop-ups in key markets.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Sprint, Santander, Microsoft and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 15, 2012 09:01 AM

In the News

Japan's Softbank acquires 70 percent of Sprint for $20 billion.

Santander walks away from $2.7 billion RBS deal.

Microsoft makes new push into music via Xbox.

Red Bull basks in post-skydive glory.

ABA sues New York City over soda ban.

Advent offers to buy beauty retailer Douglas.

Allstate scores points with peers with "Mayhem" campaign.

Amazon flags e-book refunds.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Surface to Air: Microsoft Takes Aim at Apple with iPad-Challenging Tablet

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 10, 2012 06:18 PM

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is an excitable guy and if there is one thing that excites more than anything else (as far as we know), it is his employer. Ballmer threw his energy behind a letter to stockholders that was released on Monday, informing the investment community that Microsoft was in the midst of a changing world and now considers itself a devices and services company.

In other words, Microsoft is following in the footsteps of Apple. Don’t worry, Microsoft, as the master brand, will still be producing great software, but the company wants to push its device products, such as the soon-to-be-released Surface tablet. But, as Ballmer says in his letter, the company will be putting extra emphasis on "new form factors that have increasingly natural ways to use them including touch, gestures and speech."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: KitchenAid, HP, Facebook and more

Posted by Dale Buss on October 4, 2012 08:53 AM

In the News

KitchenAid apologizes for anti-Obama tweet during presidential debate, the most-tweeted event in US political history, which saw Mitt Romney gain the upper hand on Barack Obama. Romney's anti-PBS comment on Big Bird also took over social media, while "Walmart mom" is the new soccer mom. The campaigns, judged the most negative in recent times, inspire JetBlue to offer chance to pull an Alec Baldwin and leave the country after election result.

HP warns about grim outlook, sending shares to lowest level in almost a decade.

Facebook passes one billion users with plans to charge to promote user posts, while Twitter measures brand impact with Nielsen.

Amazon now offers loans to small businesses.

American Airlines pulls 47 jets after loose-seat debacle as image suffers.

Apple rumors of smaller iPad persist as the #2 Best Global Brand earns kudos for admitting maps screw-up.Continue reading...


Microsoft’s Xbox 360’s Swing Vote

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 24, 2012 03:32 PM

With quiet hoopla, Microsoft has changed its logo for the first time in a quarter of a century. The change signals an iterative leap forward for the grandfather of software, founded 37 years ago by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. The charge will be led by Xbox 360, with a supporting role by the Windows phone.

The timing coincides with the upcoming elections and Microsoft’s push to embrace a younger, broader demo through its “Election 2012 on Xbox LIVE” hub on the Xbox 360 dashboard, set to launch August 27th as the GOP convention gets under way in Tampa.

Microsoft is making good on its earlier promise to make Xbox 360 a "media center." Through Xbox Live, users can participate in a daily polls via YouGov, register to vote through Rock the Vote, brush up on background information with Face the Facts USA, and watch the presidential debates and the Republican and Democratic National Conventions live, with coverage from NBC News.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple China, Barclays, Bristol-Myers and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on July 2, 2012 08:45 AM

In the News

Apple pays $60M to end iPad trademark dispute in China, looks to secure domain.

Barclays scandal forces out chairman, saying "the buck stops with me."

Bristol-Myers agrees to buy Amylin Pharmaceuticals for $5B in cash, expands diabetes alliance.

Rupert Murdoch will rebrand the Wall Street Journal as WSJ as part of News Corp. split.

AMC parent ends AT&T U-verse TV dispute with long-term agreement, as Dish feud continues.

Applebee's rolls out fresh menu, look and campaign.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Corona, RIM, Barclays and more

Posted by Dale Buss on June 29, 2012 08:59 AM

In the News

Anheuser-Busch InBev hails adding Corona to stable of brands in $20 billion Modelo deal.

BlackBerry-maker RIM reports dire earnings, slashes 5,000 jobs and delays phone, sees shares plunge and erodes Canadian confidence.

Barclays faces political firestorm.

BMW and Toyota announce joint development of new sports car.

Coty nears IPO.

Family Dollar keeps thriving amid sluggish U.S. economy.

Ford warns of weaker profit because of Europe.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

Microsoft's Surface Tablet Takes Aim at More than the iPad

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 19, 2012 02:02 PM

The images may make it look like a notebook, but Microsoft's new Surface line is all about tablets. As the center of the computing industry continues to shift from PC to mobile, Microsoft, maker of keyboards and mice for three decades, is directly challenging Apple’s iPhone and iPad dominance with the Surface sub-brand.

"Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen made a big bet — a bet on software — but it was always clear that we had to push hardware in ways that sometimes manufacturers hadn't envisioned," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at Monday's unveiling. "We believe that any intersection between human and machine can be made better when all aspects, hardware and software, are working together."Continue reading...

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