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Showing posts from June 1, 2016

Microsoft Patent Sale Says Something About Mobile Future

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Microsoft announced that it had entered a new partnership with Xiaomi yesterday, one that will see Office 365 pre-installed on the Chinese OEMs phones and the transfer of 1,500 patents to Xiaomi.What does this mean for MIcrosoft’s smartphone business model, which has traditionally relied upon getting Android OEMs to pay for licenses to Microsoft patents to produce the profits that Microsoft’s Windows Phone couldn’t?Does it suggest that Microsoft has identified more opportunity to profit from Office 365 than through licensing fees for its patents? Or is it just so desperate to get its software in front of smartphone buyers (especially in China) that it is prepared to give up the keys to the shop?It isn’t the first time that Microsoft has assigned patents to a third party. Whether this just a normal part of this process or what element of pro quid pro underpinned the deal remains to be seen. The fact that Xiaomi took part in the Windows 10 Mobile Insider program by allowing owners of so…

RIP Muhammad Ali, The Greatest

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Muhammad Ali was a boxer by profession and a show man by nature, but behind the mouth and the show was an intelligent and thoughtful man, whose actions spoke louder than words… and his words were louder than most.From throwing off his slave name, the controversy of joining the Nation of Islam and his refusal to accept conscription into the US Army at the time of the Vietnam War, Ali kept the headline writers busy just as much outside the ring as inside it.Ali remained popular public figure right to the end, being selected as the physical embodiment of the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, lighting the Olympic Torch in Atlanta in 1996, winning BBC’s Sports Personality of the Century in 1999, and being bearer of the Olympic flag for the opening ceremony of the  London 2012 Olympic Games.The Parkinson’s disease which blighted the last thirty years of his life prevented him from carrying the flag into the Olympic stadium that night and was responsible for a number of health scares in th…

HP Shows Off Elite x3 Windows Mobile – With Added Microsoft

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HP’s Elite x3 Windows 10 Mobile has been inbound for a while now, a business focused phone with specs that suggest it could be a device that consumer might gravitate to in lieu of a true flagship from Microsoft. This new video is interesting for two reasons then. Firstly it suggests that the handset may be getting close to the stage when HP is ready to unleash it on the world and, secondly, the starring role of Microsoft’s head of Windows and Devices,Terry Myerson, gives us further insight into the future role of Microsoft as a phone company. To recap, the x3 is a 6” QuadHD phone, with a Snapdragon 820 CPU, Continuum, Windows Hello by iris recognition and fingerprint recognition and a Bang & Olufson audio subsystem. It will sit comfortably above the Lumia 950 XL in the Windows Mobile pecking order in every way, possibly excepting the camera. That it is focused on the enterprise, and is being promoted by HP Business suggests that it will be at the very top of the mobile handset pr…

Microsoft’s Edge Browser Overtakes Safari, Closes In On Firefox

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Microsoft hasn’t had the best of times in the browser wars recently. Google Chrome has usurped its position as most popular browser and its overall share of the market is falling as it looks to transition to its new Edge browser in Windows 10, despite some fairly big limitations on functionality compared to more mature browsers.However there is some good news for Microsoft – Edge’s popularity is on the rise, with NetMarketShare reporting that the Windows 10 browser has passed Safari for fourth place in the desktop browser market, hitting 5% share in May.The news is likely to get even better soon, as Edge’s rise (from zero to 5% in ten months) is matched by a drop off in Firefox usage. If the two trends are maintained then Edge will replace Firefox as the third most used browser as early as August.With the anniversary edition of Windows 10 likely to bring some headline features and additional functionality to Edge it’s likely that adoption rates are only going to increase.Whether that …

Brazil Demands New Windows 10 Mobiles. Your Move Satya Nadella

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In terms of sales volume, Brazil has been Microsoft’s third biggest market, behind only the US and India. Has being the operative word, Microsoft has scrubbed both Brazil and India off its future roadmap.Brazilians aren’t happy and have taken to Twitter to voice their displeasure.The hashtag #NewMobileDevicesInBrazil has been trending, with tens of thousands of retweets. Who says Windows phone fans aren’t passionate or loyal?Satya Nadella needs to respond to this movement, because loyal fans should get a response from the top. Over to you Mr N.

Windows 10 Makes Big Gains In Usage Share

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NetMarketShare platform usage stats for May make for interesting reading, especially if you are tracking Windows 10 adoption rates.The ‘new’ platform managed to pick up a chunk of users to end the month with 17% of the usage share. Microsoft's newest release is now not far off half of the Windows 7 usage rate, after less than a year of availability. Not a bad effort by any standards, with one in six PCs now running Windows 10. Of course Microsoft won't have coined it in on this release as it will have mostly given away the operating system, making a little money out of OEM installs.As a whole Windows accounts for 90% of the PC operating system market, with Apple accounting for 8% and the remainder presumably Linux.The mobile picture is somewhat less rosy. Windows 10 Mobile occupies just under 0.5% of the market and Windows Phone / Mobile combined, around 2.6%.

Porsche Builds A Convertible… Windows Laptop

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Porsche Design, the branding arm of the company designed to build products that leverage the success of the company’s iconic sports cars, has just announced a convertible – a screen-flipping, pen-toting Windows convertible that is.Shown at Computex as part of Microsoft’s Windows keynote the Porsche Design device is due later this year. Other than the information that the device is a branding exercise with an unnamed local OEM there’s no detail on the machine’s build, although the Porsche name is probably a good indication that this will neither be cheap or anything but well built.Features we know will be on board will be support for Windows Hello, Inking and a 13.3” screen. Not specifically called out in the information released by Microsoft is the hope that the Porsche brand written large on the lid and screen surround will be sufficient to persuade premium laptop buyers to forego the Apple logo and choose this over a MacBook Pro.I’m not convinced. I think the Porsche Design brand is…

Skype, Smart TVs and How Microsoft Is About To Throw Another Service Down The Toilet

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Tomorrow Skype will stop working on large numbers of Smart TVs around the world. Samsung, Sony and other Smart TV manufacturers will be removing the app from those TVs over the next few days.Don’t blame the TV manufacturers though, they are just doing what they have to do to maintain a secure environment for their customers. After all, your Smart TV has an audio and video feed from your home that you really don’t want compromised.The fault lies with Microsoft, who made the decision to abandon Smart TVs and stop supporting the Skype app, creating the potential security risk that needed to be closed.Why would Microsoft do such a thing? Skype is an extremely popular service, particularly with ex-pats who use it as a means of staying in touch with family back home. Skype on TV was a perfect tool for grandparents and other non-technical users to get a great Skype experience. Microsoft may believe that most users have switched to using Skype on their phones when they’re in the living room, …