Nokia is turning over its handset business to Microsoft, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the company is giving up on building new devices all together. According to The Economist, Nokia will now shift its focus to its three other business arms: Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), HERE Navigation Apps, and Advanced Technologies. NSN is by far the largest of Nokia’s secondary businesses, and “accounts for about 90% of the new Nokia’s revenue.” NSN CEO Rajeev Suri sees only “flat to modest growth” for the future of the networks industry, and has subsequently made mobile broadband the linchpin of his group. More →
It’s taken a while but it looks like Microsoft has decided what many OEMs have said for a long time: That Windows RT is pointless, especially in an era of power-efficient Haswell tablet processors. ZDNet reports that Microsoft is planning to slim down the number of Windows versions it offers and Windows RT looks like it’s on the chopping block. Although Microsoft was reportedly trying to salvage Windows RT by making it into a phablet-centric operating system, one of ZDNet’s sources now says that “it’s more likely that the Windows Phone OS core is what Microsoft will use as the starting point, rather than Windows RT” for its ARM-based devices going forward.
Launched on November 22nd in 13 markets, the Xbox One has sold in more than one million consoles in less than 24 hours, setting a new record for Microsoft and matching Sony’s launch numbers for the PlayStation 4. In a post on the Xbox.com site, Microsoft announced that Xbox One day one sales surpassed Xbox 360 sales and that the console is sold out at most retailers. The Xbox One console is priced at $499.99, while the PlayStation 4 costs $399.99. More →
The Xbox One is apparently more than just a killer next-generation gaming console — it’s also apparently a dry run for what outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer hopes will be a more collaborative Microsoft. Bloomberg Businessweek reports on how the Xbox One really is the first major consumer product Microsoft has built where it’s encouraged input from so many of its major divisions including Windows, Skype, Bing, Azure, Kinect and SkyDrive. All of this in-house cooperation is somewhat new to Microsoft, which has long been famous for encouraging cutthroat competition among its employees. More →
Does Google feel intimidated by Microsoft’s “Scroogled” merchandise campaign? Don’t be silly, of course it doesn’t. A Google spokesperson told The Verge that Microsoft’s decision to sell anti-Google shirts on its website “comes as no surprise” because “competition in the wearables space really is heating up.” The Google statement is something of a subtle dig at Microsoft, which so far looks like it might be late to the game for producing wearable computers, even as Google, Samsung and others have already started building smartwatches and headsets such as Google Glass. Of course, Microsoft could get the last laugh in this case if it turns out the wearable computing market is a bust and if consumers shun Google Glass just like they’ve been reportedly shunning the first-generation Galaxy Gear.
Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s handset business is nearly settled, but an international deal this large requires approval from several groups. Reuters reports that “Microsoft is set to secure unconditional EU regulatory approval” for the deal. Consent from the European Union would follow that of Russia, India, Turkey and Israel, as well as Nokia’s biggest shareholders. The European Commission, which serves as the competition watchdog in Europe, is set to make its decision regarding the legality of the deal by December 4th, although one of the sources said that the Commission “is expected to clear the deal without conditions.” This would put Microsoft one step closer to taking control of Nokia’s phone business.
Unfortunately for Sony, the PlayStation 4 lacks a system-selling game at launch. Killzone: Shadow Fall and Resogun are both worthwhile experiences in their own right, but they alone aren’t worth the $400 investment of the console. As for the rest of the PS4′s opening lineup, the vast majority of the games are appearing on the Xbox One as well. More →
It’s been a rough few years for Finnish phone fans who have had to watch in agony as the once-mighty Nokia lost its dominant market share before selling off its handset division to American tech behemoth Microsoft. And now Finland’s YLE News reports that Nokia “has vacated its long-time headquarters in Keilaniemi Espoo” and that Microsoft has moved in, a symbolic transfer of power that shows the diminished status of the company that was once Finland’s corporate crown jewel. The good news for forlorn Finns is that even if their days as a handset manufacturing power are over, they are positively ruling the mobile app market with mobile gaming powerhouses such as Rovio and Supercell.
In anticipation of the Xbox One launch, Microsoft put up a “Doctor’s Orders” page on its Xbox site, for players to customize and send their own “doctor’s notes” via email to bosses or teachers in order to get out of trouble for sitting at home and playing Xbox all day. The text of the doctor’s note can be personalized to describe the medical condition that caused the prescription of a “heavy dose of Xbox One.” Whether it’s the Zombie Flu, the Roman Rage, the Irritable Battle Syndrome or the Xbox Fever (to name just a few), the only cure for it is the Xbox One. There certainly are plenty of games to choose from for the new Xbox console. More →
Although Windows Phone’s app market trails the iOS and Android app markets in just about every metric, it has received some good news the past couple days. On Wednesday, Instagram launched its Windows Phone app (though, without video support). On Thursday, a Strategy Analytics suvey suggests app developers are warming up to Windows Phone. And to cap it all off, Microsoft has now released some statistics to Neowin that show increased activity on the Windows Phone platform. More →