Category Archives: Microsoft


It’s Official, Mark Penn Is Microsoft New Chief Strategy Officer

Previous Hillary Clinton hand (and Microsoft marketeer) Mark Penn is currently chief strategy officer.

It likely didn’t happen as furtively as Microsoft might have enjoyed, however the official changes that spilled out through the weekend are currently official, for every CEO Satya Nadella.

Tony Bates, the previous head of Skype who contended with Nadella for the Microsoft CEO opening, is leaving the organization and will be swapped by long-lasting insider Eric Rudder. Tami Reller will hand the promoting reins over to Chris Capossella and will be taking some time off.

What’s more Mark Penn, who had imparted advertising to Reller, will be EVP and boss method officer or, as Re/code put it, “strategery officer.”

In the release Nadella wrote:

This change in marketing structure provides an opportunity for Mark Penn to play a new leadership role at the company as EVP, Chief Strategy Officer. Mark brings a blend of data analysis and creativity that has led to new ways of working and strong market outcomes such as the “Honestly” campaign and the Super Bowl ad, both of which were widely cited as examples of high impact advertising across the industry.

Photo Gigaom

Microsoft signs Android patent deal with Voxx Electronics

Summary: Microsoft has added Voxx Electronics to its list of Android patent licensees.

Microsoft may be considering ways to entice Android developers and handset makers to join the Windows world, but that isn’t stopping the Redmond company from continuing to exact patent licensing fees from those using Android.


On February 13, Microsoft signed its latest patent licensing agreement with Voxx Electronics Corp., formerly known as Audiovox Electronics Corp. The agreement covers Voxx devices running the Android OS,”including rear-seat entertainment devices, tablets and other consumer devices.”

The terms of the deal are confidential, however Microsoft will receive royalties from Voxx under the agreement, according to the press release about the deal.

Microsoft has signed a number of similar patent-licensing deals with companies using Android and Chrome OS, under which those companies agree to pay Microsoft undisclosed fees to cover unspecified patented Microsoft technologies that are part of these Google operating systems.

Microsoft previously signed patent licenses with Samsung, LG, HTC, Acer, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and more.

For Microsoft, patent licensing is believed to be one of the company’s billion-dollar businesses in its own right.

Topics: Patents, Android, Google, Legal, Microsoft


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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Microsoft Rolls Out Smarter Chat Sync For Skype

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Last October, Microsoft’s Skype promised a number of updates to its chat message syncing, and it looks like the service has now delivered on these promises.

For the longest time, chat syncing had been an annoying issue on Skype, as the mobile app would often send you a bunch of alerts for messages you’d already read on your desktop. The Skype team has announced that those days are over. Skype chats are now synced across all your Skype-enabled devices. Besides hopefully clearing up all of those unnecessary alerts, this means you should be able to easily scroll back on your mobile phone to see the chats you had on your laptop earlier that day.

With this update, Skype is also now ensuring that your messages get delivered to your contacts even if you send them while they’re offline. That’s often been an issue with using Skype chats across different time zones. If your contact wasn’t online when you sent the message and then you turned off your computer, chances were your chats would only arrive after you turned your computer back on. Now, Skype says, “you can have peace of mind” that these messages will arrive.

These new features are now available to all Skype users. As Microsoft has been quietly rolling these updates out over the last few weeks, there’s a good chance that you’ve already noticed some changes.

Looking ahead, the Skype team plans a number of other enhancements to the chat experience. The most important is ensuring that you only get notifications on the device you are actively using. Say you are on your desktop and using Skype there, soon, you will not get additional notifications on your tablet and phone as well. In addition, the team plans to ensure that your Favorites list will sync across all your Skype-enabled devices.

Microsoft Could Bring Back The Start Menu In The Next Version Of Windows

Posted 1 hour ago by (@alex)
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Microsoft watchers Mary Jo Foley and Paul Thurrott recently detailed a number of changes that could be coming in the next major version of Windows, something that Foley is hearing called “Threshold.” It could be heading towards our waters in 2015.

Unsurprisingly, Threshold continues the trend of unification inside the Windows aegis. The platform becomes more tightly locked, with a common core sporting several faces, or SKUs. One, as described by Foley as “Modern,” is akin to Windows RT, and would focus on Windows Store apps.

Also potentially coming with Threshold is a “more traditional consumer SKU,” which would include “some semblance of productivity and familiarity with Windows.” That makes sense. And, finally, an enterprise facing SKU that would suit organizations of scale and their needs. This should all make sense, as the builds that Foley is describing mirror closely Windows 8.1 RT, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7.

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Microsoft Тhеn аnd Now

Bill Gates wаs thе founder оf thе multibillion dollar company knоwn аs Microsoft. Microsoft wаs founded іn 1975 аnd hаs bесоmе thе mоst wіdеlу recognized company fоr computer software аnd operating systems. Іn fact, thе company’s operating system саn bе fоund worldwide. Іt іs аlsо оnе оf thе United States’ top earning companies. Тhе fіrst MS-DOS PC operating system wаs introduced аs early аs thе 1980s аnd thе rest іs history!

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

Microsoft wаs аt thе forefront оf thе internet аnd launched Internet Explorer аnd MSN іn thе late 1990s. MSN started аs аn online service provider fоr common services lіkе news аnd e-mail, аnd quісklу branched оut tо include thе wіdеlу popular MSNBC news station. Ву thе еnd оf thе 90s Microsoft hаd а hand іn seemingly еvеrу technological advance оn thе market. Тhеу wеrе а powerhouse оf innovation, technological sophistication аnd business prowess.

Nowadays thе Microsoft programs mоst commonly associated wіth thе company аrе thе office applications. Microsoft Office hаs а wide range оf programs tо meet thе computing nееds оf аlmоst еvеrуоnе. Тhеsе programs include: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Оnе Note, Microsoft PowerPoint аnd muсh mоrе. Ноwеvеr, Microsoft created thе Windows operating systems whісh hаvе featured thе not-so-popular Windows Vista, thе use-friendly Windows 7 аnd thе revolutionary Windows 8 іn rесеnt years.

Microsoft Building

Microsoft Building (Photo credit: Artotem)

Not оnlу hаs Microsoft dominated іn thе market оf computer operating systems аnd office software, іt hаs аlsо delved іn tо thе market оf social media аnd video games. Іn 2011 Microsoft acquired thе vеrу popular social network knоwn аs Skype, whеrе people саn create profiles аnd chat іn real-time face-to-face vіа webcams. Ѕіnсе thе launch оf Skype thе program hаs undergone mаnу changes, аnd underwent іts mоst rесеnt facelift аftеr thе acquisition bу Microsoft.

Any twelve year оld boy саn tеll уоu thаt Xbox іs thе leader іn video gaming, but thеу mіght bе surprised tо learn thаt thе company іs іndееd owned bу Microsoft. Тhе computer moguls branched оut tо thе video game industry іn thе early 2000s аnd hаvе launched three versions оf thе tremendously popular Xbox sіnсе. Xbox hаs thousands оf games thаt аrе аll developed аnd produced bу Microsoft, аs well аs thousands оf online applications аnd internet services thаt саn bе purchased. Тhе online gaming network knоwn аs Xbox Live hаs bееn аrоund sіnсе thе creation оf thе Xbox, but hаs bееn gaining іn popularity оvеr thе lаst decade wіth thе introduction оf multi-player games lіkе Halo аnd Call оf Duty.

In thе lаst year Microsoft hаs bееn working tо penetrate thе market оf consumer friendly аnd intuitive technology. Тhе introduction оf Window 8 аnd thе Windows phone shоw thаt thеу аrе serious аnd aren’t going аnуwhеrе іn thе nеаr future. Тhе company tооk а huge risk bу redefining thе operating system thаt brought thеm trillions оf dollars оvеr thе lаst thirty years, but thе risk sееms tо hаvе paid оff аnd Microsoft hаs оnсе аgаіn established іtsеlf аs а forerunner іn thе nеw technology era.

Image representing Xbox as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase


Heart of Gold TJohn Jonelis – I knew something outstanding was going on, but when a friend raved about it, I had to stop procrastinating and find out more. Continue reading

The Microsoft logo is seen at their offices in Bucharest

Microsoft, Motorola set for second round of trial over patents !!! (REPORT)


(Reuters) – Microsoft Corp takes on Google’s Motorola Mobility unit this week in the second of two landmark trials between the companies that delve into hot disputes over the patents behind smartphone and Internet technology.

The jury trial, starting Monday in federal court in Seattle, is set to resolve whether Motorola breached its contract with Microsoft to license on reasonable terms its so-called standard essential patents, covering wireless and video technology used in the Xbox game console.

The proceeding comes days after Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer unexpectedly announced his retirement. It also follows a complex trial last November that decided what the appropriate fee for Microsoft’s use of Motorola-patented technology should be.

The Microsoft logo is seen at their offices in Bucharest


Ballmer Announces Retirement As Microsoft CEO !!! (REPORT)

The following excerpt is from READ WRITE!

Microsoft announced that CEO Steve Ballmer will retire from the software company within 12 months, pending the installment of a successor. Its shares opened almost 9% higher following the news.

That investors saw hope in the departure of Microsoft’s CEO just underscores how embattled the company is these days, as it works to contain the damage from the perceived missteps of Windows 8, the missed opportunity of cloud computing and the basement market share for Windows Phone devices. There could be hints of that struggle in Ballmer’s prepared statement to the press.

‘There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time,’ Ballmer said. ‘We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.’

Microsoft’s board of directors has selected a special committee to find the company’s next CEO. Ballmer will retire once his successor is named. It’s not clear if he’ll continue in another role within the company, as Bill Gates did when he initially stepped down from the CEO role.


Why Microsoft will stick with Windows RT !!!

The following excerpt is from CNET!

Is there any chance Microsoft is going to do a 180 and dump its Windows RT operating system? My bet is no, and here’s why.

In the days following Microsoft’s $900 million Surface RT write-down, many have been questioning Microsoft’s stated plan to remain committed to Windows RT and Surface RT.
Is Microsoft really going to continue to sink resources into an operating system that’s different from its core Windows 8 one, especially given that the new devices and services company made only $853 million (revenues, not profits) from its Surface RT and Pro sales through June 30?
Armchair pundits, Wall Street analysts, Microsoft partners, competitors and employees can keep on wondering all we want about the wisdom of Microsoft’s Windows RT ways. It won’t matter. I firmly believe Microsoft is not going to do a 180 on Windows RT, like the company did with the Start Button on Windows 8, or the always-on requirement for Xbox One.



Microsoft Does Not Look Good!

Microsoft is not looking very good right now as the following has been reported by the Huffington Post:

In some unknown warehouse presumably sits a pile of millions of beautiful, unused Surface RTs, the tablet computer that was supposed to resurrect Microsoft. Late Thursday, the company revealed for the first time that it has failed to entice many people to buy the product, and the software maker made an unexpected, $900 million writeoff on its unsold Surface inventory. The losses don’t end there: On Friday morning, Microsoft shed $30 billion in value after its stock tumbled 10 percent.

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