Posts Tagged ‘windows’

Elop in July: It’s “Hard to Understand the Rationale” for Selling Nokia’s Devices Business

September 3, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Asa Mathat | D: All Things Digital Microsoft’s massive $7.2 billion deal to acquire Nokia’s handset and services business has been rumored ever since the Finnish company’s CEO, Stephen Elop, agreed to standardize Nokia’s smartphones on Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system. And it’s one that Elop touted as almost inevitable in a press conference Tuesday morning. “We have some of the best products in the industry, but we need more combined muscle to truly break through with consumers,” Elop said. “I share the frustration that comes from being so far behind two very large competitors. … With this transaction we can accelerate our current movement and gain a stronger financial backing to be more successful in the mobile market.” But earlier this summer, Elop was spinning a very different story, one in which Nokia would hold on to its struggling handset business and make it successful. Indeed, this past July, he told The Wall Street Journal that it was “hard to understand the rationale” for selling Nokia’s devices business. “That possibility to be successful is there,” he said . “If we keep executing well and keep delivering, then our future can be quite bright.” Elop made similar comments to AllThingsD that same month , saying he was comfortable with Nokia’s portfolio of businesses and confident the company had the resources to be successful. So what happened between mid-July and September?

Read More

Steve Ballmer on Why Buying Microsoft’s Biggest Phone Partner Makes Sense

September 3, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Given that Nokia was already putting all its smartphone eggs in the Windows basket, it’s a logical question to ask how Microsoft believes it will gain an advantage by purchasing Nokia’s phone business . Naturally, CEO Steve Ballmer thinks the business will be stronger. In an interview with AllThingsD , Ballmer laid out three reasons why things will be different once Microsoft owns Nokia’s phone business. First, Ballmer said, that as close as the two companies were, there were legal and logistical barriers to total cooperation. Each company had to temper its investment based on separate business needs. “As long as we were on a model with two different companies… there was always some kind of a boundary along which it was hard to innovate from a hardware/software perspective,” Ballmer said. “It doesn’t mean we didn’t do it but we know we can improve our agility.” Second, Ballmer noted that each company was separately trying to build its own brand–a duplicative effort that diffused impact and wasted money. “Just think about the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 1020 and you will that know we can make simpler clearer messages to the market.” Ballmer said, noting that Nokia accounts for 80 percent of all Windows Phones (though Microsoft still hopes others will continue to make it even after Microsoft takes over from Nokia.) Finally, Ballmer said that as two companies, Nokia and Microsoft had to make different choices about where and how much to invest. “We know, as we scale, we need to invest behind this business,” Ballmer said. “It simplifies the business decision making and thinking having the economics be more unified.” Translating from business speak, buying Nokia’s phone business gives Microsoft a greater business opportunity if it can succeed. Microsoft notes in its case for why the deal makes sense that it currently gets less than $10 in revenue from each Nokia Windows Phone sold , as compared to the $40 or so in profit margins Nokia stands to make. Of course, Nokia–and soon Microsoft–also has to build the phones, manage inventory, deal with carriers, etc. Plus, there’s still that pesky challenge of growing beyond single digit market share. “We’re the No. 3 smartphone player,” Ballmer said. “We have a long way to go and we have a lot we want to do.”

Read More

Every Tech Ad You’ve Seen, in One Funny Video

August 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Given that we’re going into product launch season, this CollegeHumor clip is nicely timed. Also, it’s the Friday before Labor Day: CollegeHumor’s Favorite Funny Videos While we’re here, may as well point out that the biggest tech sellers have gotten pretty good at moving beyond the cliches deftly parodied above. Here, for instance, is the latest in Apple’s series of feature-centric ads, which range from good to really great : And here’s the new one from Microsoft, which probably won’t sell many Windows Phones, but is fun to watch anyway:

Read More

Box Names Former Windows Head Sinofsky as Adviser

August 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Box, the fast-growing enterprise cloud-computing company, said today that it had named Steven Sinofsky, the former head of Microsoft’s Windows business, as an adviser. The announcement came in a corporate blog post from CEO Aaron Levie . Sinofsky left Microsoft in November, and earlier this month joined the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz as a board partner.

Read More

Media Device Stores and Shares Well With Others

August 27, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

[ See post to watch video ] Plenty of people are digital pack rats and proud of it. And why not? With seemingly unlimited remote storage options available free of charge or for a small monthly fee, they can store their digital photos, videos, music and other files in the cloud without worrying about running out of room. Personal devices are a different story. Smartphones and tablets with limited amounts of storage can quickly fill up with apps, photos and videos, forcing users to delete content on a regular basis. This week, I tested a gadget that may relieve some of that local storage burden and could serve as a media-sharing godsend on a long car trip: SanDisk’s $100 Connect Wireless Media Device. This 2.5-ounce gadget measures about the size of a pad of Post-it Notes and holds 64 gigabytes of photos, videos, music or other files. And here’s where it could come in handy in the car: The SanDisk can be accessed by up to eight devices simultaneously, with five of them streaming high-definition video from it at the same time. It’s on back order until next week from SanDisk.com and Amazon. A 32-gigabyte version is available for $80 for people who can’t wait.

Read More

Ballmer Departure From Microsoft Was More Sudden Than Portrayed By the Company

August 26, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

According to sources close to the situation, the departure of CEO Steve Ballmer from Microsoft last week was more sudden than was depicted by the company in its announcement that he would be retiring within the next year in a planned smooth transition. It was neither planned nor as smooth as portrayed. While the decision to go seems to have technically been Ballmer’s, interviews with dozens of people inside and outside the company, including many close to the situation, indicate that he had not aimed to leave this soon and especially after the recent restructuring of the company that he had intensely planned. Instead, sources said Ballmer’s timeline had been moved up drastically — first by him and then the nine-member board, including his longtime partner and Microsoft co-founder and chairman Bill Gates — after all agreed that it was best if he left sooner than later. That was due to a number of increasingly problematic issues on the immediate horizon — including a potentially nasty proxy fight, continued business performance declines and, perhaps most of all, that Ballmer’s leadership was becoming a very obvious lightning rod. Interestingly, Ballmer actually indicated that he had planned on staying in his letter about his impending departure , noting: “My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our transformation to a devices and services company focused on empowering customers in the activities they value most.” That sentence spurred much chatter inside the company, including the persistent rumor that Gates had dropped the bomb on Ballmer.

Read More

Beyond Monkey Boy: It’s a Steve Ballmer Quote-Tacular!

August 24, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

After 13 years as CEO, Steve Ballmer is giving up the top job at Microsoft, announcing plans to retire within the next year . While Ballmer has had a rocky tenure as CEO, a role he took over from company co-founder Bill Gates in 2000, it has been enormously entertaining to watch, largely due to his bombastic personality, relentless salesmanship and endless quotability. Here’s a collection of some of the more memorable remarks Ballmer has made over the years. On iPods ( 2006 ): “No, I do not [have an iPod]. Nor do my children. My children — in many dimensions they’re as poorly behaved as many other children, but at least on this dimension I’ve got my kids brainwashed — you don’t use Google and you don’t use an iPod.” On the music found on iPods ( 2004 ): “The most common format of music on an iPod is ‘stolen.’” On Android ( 2011 ): “You don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows Phone. I think you do to use an Android phone … It is hard for me to be excited about the Android phones.” On open source ( 2007 ): “I would love to see all open-source innovation happen on top of Windows.” On the now discontinued Zune ( 2007 ): “We’re firmly behind Zune.” On possible advice he might give Google and Apple as they faced potential antitrust probes ( 2010 ): “No advice. I just wish them the best in getting lots of good experience.” On monopolies ( 2001 ): “I don’t know what a monopoly is until somebody tells me.” On the future of the PC ( 2010 ): “I think that people are going to be using PCs in greater and greater numbers for years to come. But I think PCs will look different … they’ll evolve. They’ll get smaller … they’ll get touch … their innards will change. The real question is, ‘What is a PC?’ Nothing that’s done on a PC today will get less relevant tomorrow. I think there will exist a general-purpose device that does anything you want, because people don’t want multiple devices, or can’t afford them.” On competing with Google in cloud services ( 2011 ): “All in, baby! We are winning, winning, winning, winning.” On Google’s 2007 hiring spree ( 2007 ): “I don’t really know that anybody’s proven that a random collection of people doing their own thing actually creates value.” On the brown Zune ( 2007 ): “It’s the dirt-bike market … we have high share there.” On Google ( 2008 ): “In the coming years, we’ll make progress against Google in search first by upping the ante in R&D through organic innovation and strategic acquisitions. Second, we will out-innovate Google in key areas — we’re already seeing this in our maps and news search. Third, we are going to reinvent the search category through user experience and business model innovation.” On Apple ( 2008 ): “In the competition between PCs and Macs, we outsell Apple 30 to 1. But there is no doubt that Apple is thriving. Why? Because they are good at providing an experience that is narrow but complete, while our commitment to choice often comes with some compromises to the end-to-end experience. Today, we’re changing the way we work with hardware vendors to ensure that we can provide complete experiences with absolutely no compromises.

Read More

Better Late Than Never? Ballmer Product Pipeline Shows a Very Mixed Record for Microsoft.

August 24, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Larger-than-life CEO Steve Ballmer will be remembered for a lot of things during his 13-year tenure at Microsoft, but what about the actual products he oversaw? Overall, it is a very mixed bag, with Microsoft late on every major game-changer of Ballmer’s time in office, while rivals like Apple and Google surged ahead. That includes in MP3 players, multi-touch smartphones, multi-touch tablets, search, smart assistants and wireless beaming of video. Better late than never? Not so much. To get an idea of that, here’s a timeline of notable moments in Microsoft’s product history since 2000 and how they fared: Windows 2000 : Microsoft celebrates its 25th anniversary and releases the Windows 2000 operating system the same year Ballmer is promoted to CEO. Microsoft continues to upgrade and support Windows 2000 until July of 2010, during which time multiple vulnerabilities in the system were exposed. Pocket PC 2000 : Microsoft announced the Pocket PC 2000, the company’s first step in the personal digital assistant market. Two years later, the Pocket PC 2002 is released. Some of these Pocket PCs are sold as “phone editions,” meaning they can make cellular calls. Five years later, Microsoft phases out the Pocket PC and Smartphone brands in favor of the more overarching Windows Mobile brand. Windows XP : Touted as the “biggest release since Windows 95,” Microsoft releases the Windows XP operating system in October 2001 with variations of the system for both home and business users. “It features login screens for home and corporate systems alike — something many Windows 95/98 users have never seen,” CNET wrote at the time

Read More

Ballmer at D: The Bold, the Brash and the Bombastic (Video)

August 23, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer may be retiring , but the man could never be described as “retiring.” Ballmer was a frequent speaker at D conferences, so our video archive holds a sense of his legacy and his tone over the past decade. At D5 in 2007, Ballmer demoed the first Microsoft Surface (the big multitouch table), said “We’re firmly behind Zune,” and told Walt Mossberg that Microsoft would never develop a phone. Ballmer and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates appeared together at D6 , where they discussed the early days, their working dynamic, walking away from buying Yahoo, and gave a preview of Windows 7. Here’s the first part: Ballmer introduced Microsoft’s new search play, Bing, at D7 : And at D8 , he appeared with Microsoft’s then-Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie to discuss competition, tablets and the notion of syncing. Ballmer admitted, “We missed a whole cycle” of smartphones, and they both critiqued Android. RELATED POSTS: Ballmer at D : The Bold, the Brash and the Bombastic (Video) For Ballmer, Resistance Was Futile Steve Ballmer Just Made $769 Million Here’s Steve Ballmer’s Memo to Employees Announcing his Retirement from Microsoft Microsoft CEO Ballmer to Retire Within 12 Months No Heir — Though Lots of Spares — To the Microsoft Throne in New Reorg of Tech Giant

Read More

Intel: The PC Market Isn’t a Train Wreck. No Really

August 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Last night the chipmaker Intel sought to make the case that the market for personal computes isn’t quite the train wreck that it appears to be. The venue was a gathering of journalists in a luxury box at New York’s Yankee Stadium, during last night’s 14-7 rout of the Los Angeles Angels . The latest and greatest Ultrabooks from companies like Acer, Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba and Sony were on display, all of them using the latest version of Intel’s Core processors. Most of them were designed with displays that do some form of tablet-like gymnastics, like the Dell XPS 12 and the Lenovo Yoga twisting this way and that to act more like a tablet. The even coincided with the release of the findings of an Intel-sponsored survey of 3,977 US adults taken in June by the research firm IDC, proclaiming that “there’s never been a better time to buy a new PC.” Here’s the highlights: 97 percent of respondents still consider their PCs to be their primary computing device; Of those, 41 percent say the intend to buy a new machine in the coming year; That number rises to 54 percent for parents and millenials. They consider access to their PC essential for daily existence. When asked what they would give up before losing access to their PC for a week, 73 percent said exercise, 71 said candy and sweets, 65 percent said caffeine, 58 percent said TV, and 33 percent said their car.

Read More