When Microsoft decided to focus the Xbox One marketing campaign around the console’s media capabilities, my main concern was that everything would work just well enough, and nothing about the console would stand out. If the Xbox One was going to be a living room media device and a cable box and a video game console, something would have to give. But Microsoft proved me wrong: First and foremost, the Xbox One is a very capable gaming device, and a worthy successor to the Xbox 360. More →
In addition to its anti-Google Scroogled campaign, Microsoft has an anti-iPad ad propaganda in place as well, with a couple of new ads highlighting the benefits of using a Surface 2 tablet instead of an Apple tablet. In similar fashion, Nokia has released its own TV ad in which it mocks Apple’s iPad Air while comparing it to its Lumia 2520 Windows 8 tablet. More →
The National Security Agency may have to work a little harder to hack into Microsoft’s data centers in the near future. Unnamed sources tell The Washington Post that Microsoft “is moving toward a major new effort to encrypt its Internet traffic after concluding that the National Security Agency may have broken into its global communications systems.” Microsoft’s decision to encrypt its data center traffic comes after Google, Facebook and Yahoo made similar moves after news broke that the NSA has found a way to hack into their data centers. The Post’s sources say that high-level Microsoft executives are meeting this week to decide what encryption measures the company will take and how quickly they’ll be deployed.
After tearing down both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, research firm IHS concluded that the Xbox One costs $90 more to make than the PlayStation 4, at $471 versus $381. The custom processors found in both devices are among the most costly components, as they’re basically combinations of CPUs and GPUs. The Xbox One’s AMD processor costs $110, $10 more than a similar AMD processor in the PS4. Sony’s console has more expensive GDDR5 memory chips inside that cost $88, compared to the Xbox One’s cheaper DDR3 memory that retails for $60. More →
Microsoft is rewarding Xbox One buyers who encountered issues with the console right out of the box with a free game for their troubles, in addition to a replacement console. The news comes straight from Xbox customer care, which has notified some Xbox One owners via email that they can choose one of four titles including Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5, Ryse: Son of Rome and Zoo Tycon to download for free on their Xbox One, Polygon reports. More →
Microsoft’s Scroogled ad campaign has never been all that clever and it may have reached a new level of lameness with its latest ad that targets Chromebooks, Google’s cheap browser-centric laptop alternatives that some estimates have claimed are selling even worse than Microsoft’s first-generation Surface RT. The ad depicts a woman trying to sell her Chromebook off in a pawn shop only to be laughed out of the building because the device is “not a real laptop.” The pawn shop owner then goes off on a long diatribe about how Google is using Chromebooks to scoop up customer data that it will use for advertisements, which is of course something that Microsoft would never do to its users. Why Microsoft is wasting its time targeting a device that is barely on most consumers’ radars is anyone’s guess but you can watch the whole video below. More →
Microsoft’s big hope with Windows 8 was that it would spawn a new wave of demand for touch-enabled PCs that would revitalize a declining industry. Needless to say that hasn’t happened so far and new data from NPD DisplaySearch estimates that touch-enabled notebooks will account for just 11% of all notebooks shipped in 2013, which is a pretty low number given that the entire premise of Microsoft’s new operating system is to bring tablet-style touch capabilities to personal computers. More →
Despite selling more than a million Xbox Ones in less than 24 hours after launch, Microsoft is not going to make money off its latest gaming console anytime soon, prompting some analysts to advise a spin-off for the Xbox division. Barron’s points us to note sent on Friday by Nomura Equity Research analyst Rick Sherlund to investors claiming that Microsoft stands to lose more than $1 billion this year from its Xbox venture, a number that looks slightly better than the initial $2 billion Xbox One loss forecast from the same research firm. More →
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 →