Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer isn’t scared of competing desktop platforms, and believes that Microsoft’s Windows operating system will always have a place in the market. During a shareholder’s meeting in Seattle on Tuesday, Ballmer answered a question from one investor who asked whether or not society has entered a post-PC era. Generally, a “post-PC era” is defined as one where consumers have gravitated away from desktop and laptop computers and towards mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, but whoever asked the question clearly wanted to know whether or not Microsoft believes it can remain relevant in the future. “We are in the Windows era — we are, and we always will be,” Ballmer replied. “We are driving Windows down to the phone with Windows 8. Through the power of Windows, the PC will be a tablet machine, will be a reading machine, will be a note-taking machine.” Microsoft hasn’t been particularly successful creating consumer-friendly tablets in the past but that will be a large part of its focus with Windows 8. The first Windows 8 devices, which will include desktops, all-in-one PCs, laptops and tablets, are expected to begin to hit the market in late 2012. More →
According to industry insider Eldar Murtazin, Microsoft has struck a deal to purchase Nokia’s mobile phone business for $19 billion. Just two weeks ago, Murtazin — who has a proven track record and was the first to report that Nokia has struck a deal to use Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform on its smartphones — suggested that Microsoft and Nokia were about to enter closed-door meetings to negotiate a possible purchase that could close sometime before the end of this year. It could make sense: Nokia’s CEO is former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop, and the two companies have already reached a deal to create new Windows Phone devices, a dozen of which are expected to launch next year. We’ll have to see how this pans out, but a Nokia spokesperson had already addressed Murtazin’s earlier claims, saying “Eldar’s rumors are getting obviously less accurate with every passing moment.” Nokia declined to comment on Murtazin’s claim this time around. More →
Speaking at his company’s CES keynote, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer let go several pertinent facts about the Windows Phone 7 operating system. For starters, the much anticipated WP7 software update — the one that brings copy & paste along with a host of other improvements — is due in the next few months. Mr. Ballmer also noted that the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace now has 5,500 applications and is growing at the rate of 100 new applications every day; he also mentioned that 50% of the user base downloads a new application each day. Lastly, the highly anticipated Verizon and Sprint Windows Phone devices — like the HTC 7 Pro — are due “in the first half of 2011.” Not exactly the timeframe we were looking for… and no mention of official sales figures for the platform. Anyone else disappointed by the lack of specificity on the WP7, CDMA timeline?
We’re all ready to go at Microsoft CEO Steve Baller’s CES keynote event — the room is packed and the event is set to start any minute. What will be shown? Well, maybe some tablets or even new Windows Phone 7 handets? Or that mythical Windows 8? We’ll see soon enough! You can watch along with us since Microsoft is live-broadcasting Ballmer’s keynote in its entirety. Hit the break for the live video! More →
Microsoft has issued a statement describing Steve Ballmer’s plans to sell up to 75 million shares in order “to gain financial diversification and to assist in tax planning”. A sale this large is bound to ring alarm bells with shareholders, however Ballmer has cleared the air of any brewing conspiracy theories. “Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion. I am excited about our new products and the potential for our technology to change people’s lives, and I remain fully committed to Microsoft and its success,” said the Redmond CEO. SEC filings indicate that Steve Ballmer has already sold 49 million shares, making him a cool $1.3 billion. With capital gains tax said to increase to 20 from 15% in January, Steve Ballmer has just saved himself some serious money.
Santa Ballmer? Steve Claus? Neither nickname has a great ring to it, but Microsoft’s CEO definitely deserves something similar this holiday season. Network World confirmed Thursday that Microsoft will be handing out free Windows Phone 7 devices to each and every company employee — that’s about 89,000 phones. Add to that another 1,000 free WP7 handsets that will be passed out to Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference attendees, and you’ve got quite an expense (likely over $20 million) that the Redmond giant is swallowing. You can’t put a price on publicity, however, and 90,000 free phones translates into a pretty huge amount of chatter. This is all well and good, but let’s hope the sizable stunt also ends up moving some product. More →
Yesterday in New York City, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer officially unveiled his company’s next generation mobile operating system, Windows Phone 7. The mobile device arena is a crowded space — with well established systems from Apple, Google, and Research In Motion already in the market — but Microsoft made a big splash by announcing nine new handsets that will be available in the coming months (both in the U.S. and abroad). Microsoft has posted the keynote presentation from yesterday’s event for those who want to see and hear, first hand, just what the Redmond company has been up to. If you’re interested in hearing every word from Steve Ballmer and company, hit the jump. The video is waiting for you. More →
9:27 AM: We’re here, and the party is just about to start. The house is packed and the music is bumping. Let’s do this thing!
Hit the jump for out live blog of the event. More →
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, giving the opening keynote at the Worldwide Partner Conference, told his audience to expect Windows 7 slate computers before the end of this year. “We know you really want to know what’s coming,” teased Ballmer. HP is one of several Dell partners who announced a slate-like PC earlier this year, although they did not announce when the new product would be available. Microsoft’s Chief went onto say, “They [the Slate PC's] will come from the people you would expect. From Asus, from Dell, from Samsung, from Toshiba, from Sony.” We say bring on the slates! More →
Ending speculation that another Microsoft-Yahoo deal may be on the table after the exit of Jerry Yang, Steve Ballmer said at a Wednesday shareholder meeting “Let me be clear. We are done with all acquisition discussions with Yahoo.” His announcement sent Yahoo’s shares into a 20% nosedive, closing at $9.13 at days end. Ballmer did tell shareholders that Microsoft may still be open to a search deal with Yahoo but those slightly encouraging words did not soften the blow of his comments dismissing a possible acquisition. Is this really the death knell for a Microsoft-Yahoo merger? Maybe, maybe not. Some analysts have interpreted Ballmer’s comments as a move to drive Yahoo prices down so Microsoft can scoop it up while its stock is obscenely low. Other analysts claim Microsoft is playing a waiting game; waiting to see if Yahoo has enough mettle to begin to pull itself out of this mess and waiting to gauge the regulatory environment of the upcoming Obama administration before they consider another acquisition offer. Either way, a merger is not happening anytime in the foreseeable future. It is now up to Yahoo to find a whizbang CEO that will begin to lift it out of its financial decline.
Steve Ballmer needs to slow his roll! While on tour in the U.K. for the Professional Developers Conference, Ballmer saw it fit to take a little jab at Android and reaffirm Microsoft’s status in the mobile world. One would think that he learned his lesson when he laughed at the iPhone when it was first announced and said he wasn’t worried about it one bit — that it wouldn’t do well because the lack of a physical keyboard was just stupid and it was “most expensive phone ever.” Now he’s taking that wonderful insight to make an analysis of Android, or more specifically why it’s not going to be a threat to Microsoft.
First, Ballmer says that Android is unattractive for handset makers because it’s version one and looks like a version one. Wow, someone promote this guy from Lieutenant to Captain Obvious! Second, he says that Google isn’t going anywhere any time soon stating “they’ve got one handset maker, we’ve got 55. They’re available through one operator, we’ve got 175.” Perhaps he missed the news about Motorola and other handset makers who are wanting bang out Android faster than a fat girl can… we’ll spare you. Or perhaps he’s thinking Google isn’t really known for blowing up and pretty much making a huge presence in nearly everything it touches. Steve Ballmer perspires like no one we’ve seen before, but apparently he ain’t sweatin’ this one.