Earlier today, while speaking to a group of students and journalists at the London School of Economics, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer revealed that there will indeed be iPad-competing slate products running Windows by Christmas. The catch? Steve didn’t clarify whether these products would be shipping, or just announced, nor who would manufacture them. With HP most likely changing course to offer a webOS-based tablet as opposed to a Windows 7 slate, we’ve got to wonder who will end up being first in this category… More →
Here’s a crazy rumor to start off the day. According to Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is planning to make a cameo during Apple’s WWDC keynote. No, he’s not going to be there to crash the stage, but rather speak for seven minutes about Microsoft Visual Studio 2010. According to Chowdhry, Visual Studio 2010 will for the first time allow developers to author native iPhone applications from a Windows machine. If this were to actually happen, it would be quite the coup for Apple to say the least. Thoughts?
UPDATE: Microsoft took to Twitter to dispel this rumor: “Steve Ballmer not speaking at Apple Dev Conf. Nor appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Nor riding in the Belmont. Just FYI.” And that’s that. More →
On Thursday, when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke at the University of Washington, he made several interesting statements about his company and its future with “the cloud.” When asked about Microsoft’s position on cloud based computing and programs Ballmer said, “we’re all in.” The CEO went on to say that 70% of Microsoft employees are working on projects that revolve around the cloud, a number which he predicts will climb to 90% within a year. We’re “betting our company” on the cloud, said Ballmer, “there’s so much unrealized potential.” When asked by a student whether Microsoft was simply being reactionary Ballmer responded: “All companies have their mix of proactive and reactive muscle; I’m keen on increasing hit rate in terms of early and often.” A few products we’re sure have a date with the cloud are an updated version of Microsoft’s popular office suite and a mobile application store to supports its Windows Phone 7 platform. More →
We wanted to do something special for the end of CES 2010, so we’ve recorded a nice little wrap up of most of the mobile content we saw as well as some other good stuff like home entertainment, TV’s, etc. Check out our wrap up podcast below!
Special shout out to Sprint for sponsoring our CES content.
We’re here and ready to rock. Stay tuned as we cover the CES 2010 keynote delivered by Steve Ballmer. More →
There are a series of recent events and announcements that could lead one to believe that Sprint, LG and Microsoft are working together to announce something big. Sprint has been planning a big show for CES on January 6 and calling it the “must-attend” event of the entire exhibit, and announcements will be made by Dan Hesse and Steve Ballmer. There is little need to second guess what is in store for the announcement if Ballmer and Hesse are taking the stage together.
For the following evening, Sprint and LG have been separately sending out invites to the same event, so it’s very likely the two are working together on a new device. This shindig is also going to be hosted by Brooke Shields. Throw in the announcement from the night before, Sprint’s aggressive plans to launch WiMax-enabled devices, and we have the makings of a Windows Mobile WiMax device on Sprint’s network. None of this is written in stone, but what else could it possibly be? More →
Those who follow gaming news already know that Steve Ballmer unleashed a maelstrom of a controversy Thursday when he reportedly let slip some comments suggesting that Microsoft was going to release a new Xbox 360 console in 2010.
“The new device will be equipped with technology that is ‘really, really close’ to an actuality. The console, which was described as having a ‘natural interface,’ will have a built-in camera with the ability to recognize movement and voice.”
Much to the delight of gamers around the world, word of a new Xbox 360 landing as early as 2010 spread like wildfire. Unfortunately, this is one rumor that is quickly turning out to be false. Microsoft and its team of spokespeople are now working overtime to retract and revise what was revealed through Ballmer’s loosely interpreted comments. According to Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb, the current Xbox 360 is not even halfway through its life cycle and will remain the company’s primary entertainment and gaming platform well into the next decade. He further adds that the new motion control platform, Project Natal, will be an integral component of the current Xbox 360 when it launches at an unspecified date in the future.
Read (Ballmer rumor)
Read (Major Nelson response)
In a Strategic Update Meeting on Tuesday, Steve Ballmer discussed all things Windows Mobile; its current market position, its standing within Microsoft and its future. Microsoft confirmed that Windows Mobile is one of its core seven businesses with 2,000 dedicated employees and nearly a billion dollars in yearly operating expenses. According to Ballmer, Windows Mobile is trailing both Symbian and RIM in market share and is considered “somewhat unprofitable” within the company. Windows Mobile also sees stiff competition from Apple and Android which currently have momentum on their side. Despite the extremely competitive market and the economic downturn, Ballmer is confident that Windows Mobile will remain strong because of the low price point of some Windows Mobile devices and the fact that Windows Mobile has, unlike Android, a positive price for its software (i.e., its not free and open source).
Ballmer also dispelled the ever-persistent “Zune phone” rumor by reasserting yet again that Microsoft will not manufacture its own phone. Unlike Apple and RIM which provide end-to-end solutions, Microsoft will remain focused on the software side of the business, producing a platform that can run on different devices and different carriers. According to Ballmer, the Windows Mobile platform will see an improvement with 6.5 this year and will get another boost next year when Windows Mobile 7 is expected to make its debut. Ballmer emphasized the idea of “synergy” between Windows and Windows Mobile by stating, “There will be really shared technology across Windows and Windows mobile. The browser is an example, the presentation surface is an example. Some day even the kernel will be an example.” Sounds interesting – let’s hope Microsoft can pull it together and wow us next year because 6.5 just isn’t quite exciting enough to reel us back in.
Back when Vista was announced, everyone was upset that they’d have to make significant hardware upgrades in order to accommodate the new operating system from Microsoft. Many faithful Windows users had to buy new computers because it was less expensive than making the upgrades necessary to their then-current notebooks and desktops. However, there was a slight problem involved. The original date for the “Vista Capable” campaign was slated for June 1, 2006. For one reason or another, Microsoft decided to launch it three months earlier on April 1. Some of the folks over at Intel were upset because the premature release would not give them enough time to make the chipsets necessary to run properly on Windows Vista. Now it looks as though the two company’s CEOs allegedly had a little agreement of their own – one that would misleadingly label machines with the inadequate Intel chips as “Vista Capable”. Though Microsoft and Intel employees were aware of the situation and were unhappy with it, the issue seemed to be controlled further up the corporate ladder.
Steve Ballmer has been all over the globe lately. First, he was in South Korea teaming up with LG for a future with Windows Mobile in LG smartphones. This week, he made his way to Australia with those loud, powerful and rather obnoxious words, “Developers, developers, developers!” But the excitement died down quickly when a student at Power to Developers event asked, “Why is IE still relevant and why is it worth spending money on rendering engines when there are open source ones available that can respond to changes in Web standards faster?” Ballmer’s response was that the question was “cheeky, but a good question, but cheeky”. Right, that’s when you know you’ve struck a nerve. After treating the crowd to his usual rant about looking to and anticipating the future, all Ballmer could really say about open-source browsers was that they are “interesting.” Very similar to his feelings about Google’s Android platform.
Open source is interesting. Apple has embraced Webkit and we may look at that, but we will continue to build extensions for IE 8.
So it looks like Microsoft is probably going there, but not all the way there. Catch the drift? Even then, if Microsoft were to show an iota of interest in open source engines like WebKit, it could be huge news for third-party developers and in turn, to end users. We’ll have to wait and see where Microsoft is going with this, but don’t go thinking they’re ready to open up and embrace open source quite yet.
After Jerry Yang did a 180 and nearly begged Microsoft to buy Yahoo, the rumor mills have been churning with commentary on the decline of Yahoo and speculation about what a potential Microsoft acquisition would involve. Steve Ballmer, while at a business luncheon in Sydney, put an end to all this rampant speculation by saying,
We tried at one point to do a partnership around search … and that didn’t work either, and we moved on and they moved on. We are not interested in going back and re-looking at an acquisition. I don’t know why they would be either, frankly.
That pretty much seals it. Despite its rock bottom price, Microsoft is still not interested in buying the failing Yahoo. A partnership might be a possibility but that is all Microsoft is willing to dish out. This is more bad news for Yahoo and it looks like it’ll have to find a way to dig out of its somewhat self-created decline alone for the time being. With Google backing out of the advertisement deal and now Microsoft snubbing its nose at Yahoo, this has not been a good week for Jerry Yang and company.
Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer recently took a little trip to the land of cell phones and kimchi to ink a deal that will ensure future collaboration between LG Electronics and MS. Right now it’s just a preliminary agreement so it will likely be a while (well, funnier and faster things have happened) before LG starts putting out some sexy Windows Mobile-powered handsets. Hopefully LG will be ready to rock by the time Windows Mobile 7, or even the rumored 6.5 update drops so we can see some fresh new handsets showcase what we all hope will be a fresh new OS. Meanwhile, just down the street Samsung announced a rejuvenated Omnia, the latest in a long line of popular Windows Mobile phones from Sammy, which is scheduled for a mid-November release on SK Telekom. LG will most certainly have its work cut out for it but all this competition just means Microsoft still has plenty of manufacturer support, which is especially important considering how hard it’s working on Windows Mobile 7. MS needs WM7 to be a solid win if it hopes to remain competitive with Symbian, BlackBerry OS, Apple iPhone and the emerging Android OS. Some of us have been happy with Windows Mobile 6.1 so far, but it seems plenty more have been disappointed – don’t let us down MS!
In the past few days, the Internet has been set ablaze by news of the iPhone’s success, AT&T’s suffering profits because of it, and all the Apple gloaters doin’ they thang. Well, in other news, a particular executive over at Microsoft is taking a cue from Steve Ballmer and is acting all unimpressed after having had a bottle full of Haterade. Robbie Bach, who runs the Entertainment & Devices division of MS, which includes all WinMo devices, says that this sort of thing was to be expected. “Apple had a big launch of a new product, and they launched at scale in a lot of new countries with a lot of new [wireless] operators. This quarter, RIMM is having its big launch, and at some point we’ll have our big launch. We’ll have to see where things normalize,” says Bach. That statement is more or less true, but way to steal Apple’s thunder and be a buzzkill, Robbie! Again, like Ballmer, Bach says that the iPhone is great and all, but WinMo is on far more devices and far more diverse and apparently people prefer having an army of mundane options over one revolutionary device (yeah, we said that, bring it on). Will Apple continue its momentum? What Bach is forgetting is this success hit not just at any time, but during major global economic problems. People are bitchin’ about gas prices but are still buying the iPhone in droves. Think about it. How many people have you seen who couldn’t afford a ham sandwich rockin’ iPhone 3Gs? Exactly.