Microsoft (MSFT) is giving its email application a much-needed makeover. On Tuesday Microsoft’s Outlook Blog took the wraps off of Outlook.com, a new online email portal that cleans up the traditional inbox user interface and adds several social networking features to the mix. On the inbox side, Outlook.com automatically detects emails that are newsletters and puts them into their own separate folder while also giving users the option to easily stop receiving newsletters with a one-click “unsubscribe” button. The new inbox also allows for message “sweep” operations where Outlook will only keep the very latest message from a given sender and will delete all previously sent messages.
In a note to investors Friday morning, RBC Capital Markets Managing Director Mike Abramsky lowered his target on shares of RIM stock from $45 to $35 with a Sector Perform rating. Following yesterday’s bloodbath, shares of RIM stock plummeted by as much as 19% after-hours on concerns surrounding RIM’s second-quarter and full-year outlook. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company slashed its full-year EPS outlook from $7.50 to between $5 and $6.50, and it said second-quarter earnings could be as low as $0.75 per share. Abramsky remains cautiously optimistic, however. “Disappointing Q1 results validates prior execution concerns amidst competitive pressures,” he writes. “Although it’s possible RIM fails to turn itself around, that outcome may be premature, we believe, given sustained positives.” The analyst notes 16% year-over-year growth, 68 million total subscribers, service growth and enterprise leadership among the yesterday’s bright spots, and says RIM’s strategy with QNX, TAT-built user interfaces and Android app support “remains sound.” He adds that the impact of BlackBerry 7 devices this fall and then QNX-based handsets, which are expected in the first quarter of 2012, could make RIM an “attractive acquisition candidate.”
Following a rating review initiated on January 28th, Moody’s on Thursday lowered Nokia’s senior debt rating from A2 to A3 and cut its short-term debt ratings from Prime-1 to Prime-2 with a negative outlook. Moody’s cites Nokia’s weakened position in the cell phone market and uncertainty surrounding the company’s upcoming transition to Microsoft’s Windows Phone platform as the reasoning behind the downgrades. “The rating downgrade primarily reflects Nokia’s weakened market position in its core business, mobile devices, which has reduced the company’s margins and funds from operations,” said Moody’s SVP and lead Nokia analyst Wolfgang Draack in a note. “In Moody’s view, the main reasons for this trend are: (i) an inflexible smartphone operating system; (ii) slow time-to-market for new models; (iii) more attractive innovation by smartphone competitors; and (iv) accelerating price competition for low-end phones.” The move follows Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade Nokia’s credit rating last month, when it said it expects Nokia’s market share to continue to slide through this year and in 2012.
On Wednesday Microsoft confirmed with enthusiast blog LoopinSight that it will launch Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 next week. The update will reportedly include performance enhancements, as well as security and stability fixes, but it will also include major changes for Outlook for Mac. After applying the software patch, users will be able to sync their Outlook calendars, tasks, notes, and contacts with Apple’s Sync Services, and it includes support for CalDAV calendars. The update will also add a new redirect and resend buttons. iPhone and iPod touch devices will also stay in sync, Pat Fox, Microsoft’s senior director of product management told The Loop. Service Pack 1 does come with one caveat, though: users will not be able to use Sync Services to sync with the MobileMe calendar beginning on May 5th. More →
Today Xobni, the company behind the popular inbox management software with the same name, announced that it will begin offering a beta browser-plugin for Chrome and Firefox that works with Gmail. Xobni for Gmail creates profiles for each contact in your address book, and automatically fills in company, title, social network profiles, and more. If you search for a contact, you’ll see their profile, as well as analytics on how often you’ve exchanged emails with them, at what times, and more. Xobni also announced that clients for both the iPhone and Android smartphones will be entering into beta-testing soon, and will eventually be offered alongside the BlackBerry version — which is already available. Those with multiple accounts across different devices may want to opt for Xobni’s cloud-based Xobni Pro package. As we’ve said before: Xobni basically makes your boring inbox awesome, so if you haven’t given it a try before, you may want to check it out now. Hit the jump for the full release. More →
Motorola Mobility on Wednesday reported its fourth quarter and full year 2010 earnings. It also gave grim but anticipated guidance for the first quarter of 2011 as Verizon Wireless, the company’s top carrier partner, prepares to launch the iPhone 4. Motorola’s revenues were up 21% year-over-year to $3.4 billion and net revenues from the company’s Mobile Devices division grew 33% year-over-year to $2.4 billion. Smartphone shipments were well under Wall Street’s consensus, however, coming in at 4.9 million units. Some analysts’ expectations were as high as 5.6 million units. Shipments totalled 13.7 million smartphones for the full year, and the company shipped 37.3 million feature phones and smartphones combined in 2010. Motorola forecasts a loss of between $26 and $62 million in the first quarter of 2011, which amounts to $0.09 and $0.21 per share in the red. Analysts had projected a profit of $0.01 per share in the quarter. Hit the break for Motorola’s full press release. More →
Microsoft announced Tuesday that its updated OS X productivity suite, Office for Mac 2011, is now available. Office for Mac consists of Microsoft’s class-leading productivity applications including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint. For the first time, the suite also includes Microsoft Outlook, which replaces the less popular Entourage email client. Mac users have been waiting for Microsoft to replace Entourage with Outlook for years now, and this switch alone is likely worth the price of admission. And as far as pricing is concerned, Office for Mac 2011 breaks down as follows:
- Microsoft Office for Home and Student 2011 (single license): $109.99 – $149.99
- Microsoft Office for Mac Home and Business (single license): $174.99 – $279.99
As is often the case, third-party retailers such as Amazon.com currently offer the best pricing on Microsoft’s new Office for Mac 2011 suite. More →
Just a quick note here… Google has announced that its calendar desktop syncing conduit for Outlook — Calendar Sync — is now compatible with Microsoft Outlook 2010. The blog writes that Outlook 2010 support has been one of the team’s top feature requests. Currently, only the 32-bit version of Outlook 2010 is supported, but keep your eyes on the Gmail Blog for updates. We’ve got the announcement after the break. More →
Microsoft has posted a one and a half minute video teaser of Microsoft Office 2011 up on YouTube. The video lets you know that Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook all come with the Ribbon interface, and that Office and Messenger have been completely redesigned. If you are interested in a very high level overview of the new software hit the jump, the video is waiting for you. More →
Oh man, this is definitely not something we wanted to hear: Microsoft has announced on its blog that Office for Mac 2011 will only ship as a 32-bit version. Citing a need for enhanced compatibility between the Office for Windows and Office for Mac over high-power performance, Microsoft said that it would not have been possible for its team to create a 64-bit version of Office 2011″because Apple’s frameworks require us to complete the move to Cocoa before we can build a 64-bit version.” Office 2011 is not 100% Cocoa. Microsoft is downplaying the lack of 64-bit support by stating that “most users with typical or even larger-than-average document content will not notice a difference in performance” and that the only area “64-bit can make a difference is for people working with huge amounts of data.” You know, like the professionals who are champing at the bit for Office 2011 and its inclusion of Outlook.
Over the past few days we’ve been playing around the latest beta release of Microsoft Office for Mac 2011. Many of the changes made are hard to appreciate without actually seeing the application suite in use, and for that reason alone we have assembled a massive gallery of screenshots. On the other hand, images can be meaningless without a bit of an explanation so we’ve put down a brief summary of our initial thoughts. You can check them all out after the jump. More →
We’ve just scored some of the first shots of Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac, and while they are said to be very early, you can clearly see the progress that has been made in the transition to native Cocoa applications. Outlook for Mac looks absolutely delicious, and we can’t wait to actually get our hands on it. Also included in the shots are the 2011 versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Hit the gallery for all the goodies!
Thanks, Thomas C.!
It’s all part of the natural progression; social networks developed to bring all our friends and family together into one place, and now we turn to new tools to bring all of our social networks into a single portal or hub application. The hub application, in this instance, is Microsoft Outlook and the new tool is the LinkedIn connector which brings your LinkedIn contacts into your favorite productivity application. The new LinkedIn Connector piggybacks upon the Outlook Social Connector and will display the profile picture and recent activity from any LinkedIn contact that you email. We can only hope that the next stop is MySpace — what corporate Exchange-lovin’ individuals wouldn’t want that? More →