Although Microsoft recently touted having sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses this week, careful observers noted that selling all those licenses doesn’t mean vendors have actually sold 100 million Windows 8 devices over the past half-year. ComputerWorld this week talked with Patrick Moorhead, a principal analyst with Moor Insights & Strategy, who estimates that the actual number of Windows 8 devices being used out in the wild is closer to 59 million, since the most recent data from Net Applications shows that Windows 8 is being used on around 4.2% of all Windows PCs. More →
The lack of applications on the Windows Phone platform is a serious problem Microsoft must fix if it wants to be a viable alternative to Android and the iPhone. The company on Friday revealed that the Windows Phone Store is now home to 145,000 apps and games, significantly less than Google and Apple’s offerings, and only slightly more than BlackBerry. It appears that developer interest for Microsoft’s mobile platform has slowed as well. Last June, the Windows Phone Store saw tremendous growth, doubling the number of apps in a six-month period to total 100,000. In the past 11 months, however, less than 45,000 new applications were added to the marketplace.
Microsoft executive Frank Shaw is not happy with everyone who compared Windows 8 to New Coke this week. Shaw, who serves as Microsoft’s vice president of corporate communications, has written a blog post swiping back at media outlets who bashed the company’s latest operating system and said that comparing it to Coca Cola’s ill-fated attempt to rework its soft drink formula was completely ridiculous. More →
Windows RT has always been something of an oddball in the new Microsoft operating system family. It’s not a pure mobile OS like Windows Phone 8 but at the same time it doesn’t have the full capabilities of Windows 8 and isn’t able to run desktop apps from older Windows platforms. The question has become, then, what exactly is Windows RT good for? The answer that many consumers have given back so far is, “Not a whole lot.” And it’s not just consumers, either: ComputerWorld’s Gregg Keizer spoke with several analysts this week and found that none of them were convinced that Windows RT will be around for much longer unless something fundamentally changes. More →
Microsoft believes it can be a viable competitor with Android and Apple, and is making a strong push with its Windows Phone operating system. The company has launched numerous campaigns to inform smartphone buyers of their mobile options, but despite a large advertising budget, Windows Phone remains a mystery to most consumers. The question remains, can Microsoft’s mobile platform really compete with Google and Apple? More →
Nintendo is off to a rough start with its new Wii U video game console and Activision CEO Bobby Kotick thinks Microsoft’s “Xbox Infinity” and Sony’s PlayStation 4 could see similar tepid debuts when they launch ahead of the holidays this year. “We continue to face the uncertainties of the console transition” Kotick said during Activision’s earnings call this week. The executive noted that Nintendo’s Wii U has had a “very slow” start, and he warned that “uncertainties” in the coming year might impact Activision’s performance. More →
In the video game industry as in many popular video games themselves, a fierce rivalry has taken center stage. Sony took a commanding early lead and its PlayStation and PlayStation 2 systems are both among best-selling video game consoles of all time at No.4 and No.1, respectively. Then the tide turned and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 edged out the PlayStation 3 in the current generation console wars, having recently posted its 27th consecutive month as the top-selling console in the U.S. But we may soon see this rivalry fade as the missions of Microsoft’s next-generation “Xbox Infinity” and Sony’s PlayStation 4 begin to diverge. More →
A new report has found that mobile device shipments, including notebooks, tablets and smartphones, exceeded 300 million units in the first quarter of 2013. According to research from Canalys, shipments increased 37.4% year-over-year to reach 308.7 units. Android manufacturers continue to ship more devices than any other vendor, totaling 59.5% of all shipments. Strong demand for the iPhone and iPad gave Apple a 19.3% share, ahead of Microsoft’s 18.1% share from shipments of Windows-powered notebooks, tablets and smartphones. More →
Acer president Jim Wong has been highly critical of Microsoft and the Windows 8 operating system over the past year. The executive previously bashed the company for its Surface tablet and failed marketing of Windows 8 devices. Microsoft recently confirmed that it is working on Windows 8.1, codenamed Windows Blue, which will be an update that includes various software changes, such as the return of the Start button. Wong believes these changes are a step in the right direction, noting that Microsoft is being more “considerate” to its hardware partners and adopting their input “at a high percentage.” More →
With Microsoft admitting the need for a course correction with its next version of Windows, some commenters have been lobbing the dreaded “New Coke” comparison at the company, referring to Coca Cola’s calamitous decision in the 1980s to rework its tried-and-true formula for sugary soft drinks. In some ways this comparison is apt because it seems that Microsoft took something that wasn’t broke — in this case, the excellent Windows 7 desktop operating system — and tried to fix it in a haphazard manner. But while it’s true that Windows 7 wasn’t broken from a desktop user perspective, Microsoft’s smartphone and tablet strategy was in desperate need of an overhaul that the company tried to address creatively with Windows 8. More →
The good news for Microsoft: It seems to realize that Gap-style dance routines are no longer the best way to sell computers. The bad news: Its new marketing direction involves watermelon kung-fu. Neowin reports that Microsoft’s official YouTube page this week posted and then quickly removed three new advertisements for something called “Windows 8 Training Camp” that all failed to actually show Windows 8 at any point during the ads. More →
With Barnes & Noble planning to kill off the Nook in the near future, Microsoft is reportedly willing to take the eReader line off the company’s hands for the cool $1 billion. TechCrunch reports that Microsoft “is offering to pay $1 billion to buy the digital assets of Nook Media LLC, the digital book and college book joint venture with Barnes & Noble and other investors.” Under the terms of the proposed deal, Microsoft would gain control over Nook “e-books, as well as Nook e-readers and tablets,” so it seems that Microsoft is looking to branch out its tablet business from high-end devices such as the Surface to cheaper tablets and eReaders in the future. Barnes & Noble’s shares jumped nearly 25% in pre-market trading on the rumor.
Yahoo has apparently had enough of Bing powering its searches. An unnamed source tells The Wall Street Journal that Yahoo has been “quietly trying to find a way out of its struggling Web-search partnership with Microsoft… but has so far failed in that effort.” The Journal’s source says that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, a former Google executive, has been trying to free the company from the search deal ever since she took over last year but that Microsoft has been unwilling to cooperate. Mayer wants to scrap Yahoo’s Bing deal because “Yahoo’s revenue per search has been worse under the Microsoft deal than when it operated its own Web-search technology and advertising system,” the Journal writes.