Posts Tagged ‘microsoft’

Netflix Gives Most, but Not All, of Its TV Viewers a New Look

November 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Netflix is giving itself a makeover. The video service has overhauled the presentation most subscribers see when they watch Netflix on TV, using devices like Roku boxes, Sony’s PlayStation consoles, smart TVs and Blu-ray players. The new look is supposed to debut today, but you can get a sense of what it looks like by checking out the screenshot above, or the embedded video at the bottom of the post. Or you can trust my description: Netflix is adding more images, and information, to its screens. It’s all designed to make you more likely to click on a video and watch it. The goal, of course, is to get you to watch more Netflix, so you’ll be more likely to keep paying $8 a month for the service. Netflix executives are proud of the facelift, which they described as the “biggest change to the Netflix experience in our history.” What’s at least as interesting to an outsider, though, are the reasons you won’t see the new look on all the devices that connect Netflix to TVs. In some cases, there’s a technical limitation, though the Netflix folks said they’ve worked hard to design software that’s lightweight enough to work on relatively primitive devices. But the reason Netflix can’t overhaul its look for other devices — like Apple’s Apple TVs, and Microsoft’s new Xbox One — is because the device manufacturers have specific rules about the way app developers can present their stuff on their devices.

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Nokia’s Lumia 1520 Phablet Hitting AT&T for $199 With Contract, Pre-Orders Starting Friday

November 8, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

AT&T said that it will start taking orders for the 6-inch Lumia 1520 phablet on Friday, charging $199 for those that sign a new two-year contract. The large-screen Windows Phone, which will hit shelves Nov. 22, was announced last month by Nokia .

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A Blueprint for a Massive Mobile Company

November 5, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Image copyright Abraham Williams It sounds cliche, but mobile is the single-biggest secular technology platform shift of our time. It’s so big, it bears repeating, and for entrepreneurs (and investors like me), presents edge-of-our-seats opportunities waiting to be unlocked. This is no surprise, of course, as every big company and small startup is trying to focus on mobile. With so much competition in the mobile world, entrepreneurs could benefit by knowing a secret, and in this post, I will share one secret I’ve uncovered through my years of being a mobile entrepreneur and working on the “Facebook Home” team at the social network. This secret, I believe, could unlock an ever-lasting, durable, mobile technology company, not just an app someone launches on their phones and forgets about. I’ll cut to the chase: The secret is that there’s an opportunity for a mobile-focused startup to build the equivalent of Google’s Chrome Browser

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Samsung Extends Agreement to License Nokia Patents, Though Deal’s Price Tag Yet to Be Determined

November 4, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Nokia announced Monday that Samsung has extended for five years a patent agreement that was set to expire at the end of this year. However, a clause in the deal means that the price to Samsung will have to be determined through binding arbitration that likely won’t be concluded until 2015. “This extension and agreement to arbitrate represent a hallmark of constructive resolution of licensing disputes, and are expected to save significant transaction costs for both parties”, Nokia Chief Intellectual Property Officer Paul Melin said in a statement. Nokia is set to sell its flagship phone business to Microsoft , but it is hanging onto its massive patent portfolio, with intellectual property revenue slated to be one of three key businesses for the remaining Nokia, along with networking gear and its mapping unit.

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Departing Skype Exec Gillett to Become Head of "Value Creation" at Silver Lake

October 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Earlier today, I broke the news that top Skype exec Mark Gillett was leaving the Microsoft-owned telephony unit. The internal memo I referenced did not say, where he was headed, but apparently it is back to a place he has worked before: Private equity giant Silver Lake. (Mystery managed , as the British Gillett might say!) He will become head of value creation there in December, replacing Charles Giancarlo, who will transition into a senior advisor role. Until today, Gillett was corporate VP at Skype and Lync at Microsoft, in charge of its product, engineering and operations globally and managed 2,500 developers. He had been at Skype since before Microsoft bought it in 2011. He had previously led Silver Lake value creation team in Europe, with the deal for Skype being his most prominent effort. “Mark’s accomplishments at Skype have transformed the company,” said Silver Lake managing partner Egon Durban in a statement. “He is poised to make a significant contribution to our portfolio companies going forward.” At Silver Lake, according to a press release, Gillett will “lead the firm’s value creation activities as Silver Lake professionals continue to partner with the senior management of portfolio companies to refine and evolve business and technology strategy, enhance operational performance and accelerate business transformation.” (I have no idea what that means, but it sounds important.) Giancarlo, who is a well-known tech exec, is expected to eventually move to a top operational job at a company. His name had been raised as a possible CEO of Yahoo, for example, among others. He will remain at Silver Lake through the end of the year, before taking up his advisory role.

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Five Key Features of Mavericks, Apple’s New Operating System for Macs

October 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Big cats are out. Big waves are in. I’m referring, of course, to Mavericks OS X, the new operating system for Mac computers. It’s Apple’s 10th OS X operating system and it’s the first one in many years without a large-feline moniker, named instead after famously formidable surfing waves off the coast of California. More notably, Mavericks — or OS X 10.9 — is free for Mac users to download. In fact, there’s a lot of free software being thrown out there by Apple. (The hardware will still cost you plenty.) Since the OS is a free upgrade, this column is not about whether the upgrade is “worth it.” Instead, I’ve focused on a handful of key features that consumers can expect with Mavericks. Some of them are really useful. Others feel obvious, because, in some cases, Apple is playing catch-up. [ See post to watch video ] To start, Apple says that Mavericks will only run on machines from 2009 and later, though it might work on some computers from as far back as 2007. You’ll also need at least two gigabytes of RAM, and two hours of your time to complete the Mavericks install process. In my experience, the installation on my 2012, 13-inch MacBook Pro took closer to two and a half hours. Battery Optimization Okay, you’ve installed Mavericks. Now what? Well, Apple claims you can expect better battery life while Web browsing or watching an iTunes movie. At a launch event last week, the company used words like “timer coalescing” and “compressed memory,” which is enough to make any non-techie’s head hurt. Basically, this means that the new software groups tasks together so the processor can remain in an idle, low-power state more often. I ran three battery tests using AllThingsD ’s usual method, which includes setting the display to 100 percent brightness, playing iTunes music on a loop, leaving Wi-Fi on, running a Mail client, and never allowing the computer to sleep. My 2012 MacBook Pro running Mountain Lion lasted five hours and 13 minutes. Then I installed Mavericks, and started again.

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Boston Blowout Doesn’t Put a Damper on World Series Ratings

October 24, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

An unhittable Jon Lester and a bevvy of bearded batsmen may have turned Game 1 of the 2013 World Series into a blowout, but that didn’t seem to shake up Fox’s prime-time ratings. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, Boston’s 8-1 rout of St. Louis averaged 14.4 million viewers and an 8.6 household rating, marking an 18 percent delivery in overall viewers and a 13 percent uptick in the rating. Game 1 also drew a 4.2 rating among adults 18-49, up 17 percent from the year-ago 3.6. Season-to-date, Fox is averaging a 1.9 in the dollar demo. While the initial comparisons to last year’s Fall Classic are encouraging, it’s worth noting that San Francisco’s sweep of Detroit was the least-watched, lowest-rated World Series in history. The four-game set averaged just 12.7 million viewers and a 7.6 household rating.

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Microsoft Yanks Windows RT 8.1 Update

October 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Uh-oh — trouble already with Windows RT 8.1. On Saturday, Microsoft temporarily pulled the update from the Windows Store following reports that it was bricking some devices on which it was installed. This just two days after it was officially released. “Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1,” the company said in a statement posted to Microsoft Community . “As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store. We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and apologize for any inconvenience. We will provide updates as they become available.” Microsoft did not say how long Windows RT 8.1 will be unavailable. The company has not yet responded to a request for comment or provided further detail on the situation.

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Microsoft Yanks Windows RT 8.1 Update

October 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Uh-oh — trouble already with Windows RT 8.1. On Saturday, Microsoft temporarily pulled the update from the Windows Store following reports that it was bricking some devices on which it was installed. This just two days after it was officially released. “Microsoft is investigating a situation affecting a limited number of users updating their Windows RT devices to Windows RT 8.1,” the company said in a statement posted to Microsoft Community . “As a result, we have temporarily removed the Windows RT 8.1 update from the Windows Store. We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and apologize for any inconvenience. We will provide updates as they become available.” Microsoft did not say how long Windows RT 8.1 will be unavailable. The company has not yet responded to a request for comment or provided further detail on the situation.

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Oracle Beats IBM to Become No. 2 Software Company by Revenue

October 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Here’s another interesting change coming in the wake of IBM’s disappointing earnings report on Wednesday : The size of its software business has slipped enough that it has ceased to be the second-largest software company in the world by revenue. That honor now apparently goes to software giant Oracle. Who says so? Oracle, naturally. It issued a press release Thursday night, claiming the second-place spot for itself. Given IBM’s recently announced quarterly results, we would like to take this opportunity to point out that Oracle’s software business has been growing faster than IBM’s software business and now Oracle has moved up to become the number two software company in the world while IBM has slipped to number three

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