Microsoft Cutting 18K Jobs As It Integrates Nokia And Tries To “Move Faster”

microsoft-earnings-business-featured Driven in part by its Nokia hardware acquisition and a recognition of the need to restructure for "post-PC" competitiveness, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced widely anticipated layoffs this morning. A total of 18,000 jobs will be eliminated by June 30, 2015, most by the end of the year. The bulk of the layoffs ("12,500 factory direct and professional employees") will impact former Nokia personnel. The company said it will take a charge of up to $1.6 billion related to employee severance and other associated expenses. In a letter to employees, Nadella said the cuts were intended to [...]


Forecast: In 2015, There Will Be About 4 Android Devices For Every Windows Or Mac/iOS Device In 2015

android-mascot-featured Android devices already beat Windows, Mac and iOS devices by a wide margin, and a new forecast from Gartner sees that growing even more in 2015. PC Get Slight Boost, Still Outpaced By Mobile Gartner predicts "a relative revival of the global PC market" this year, driven by enterprise upgrades. However it says tablets will outsell PCs next year (which has been predicted before). The PC now lives in a multi-device world -- getting larger with wearables -- and will never again have the centrality they once had. I'm sure this is discussed in a report somewhere; however the Gartner pre [...]


Nadella Interview: Bing To Stay, ‘Post-PC’ Now The Way

Microsoft Surface 2 Several days ago, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave his first in-depth interview at the Code Conference. He spoke about a wide range of issues and challenges that Microsoft faces. He also helped demo some impressive machine translation software (integrated into Skype). Among the striking things Nadella said was that Microsoft had entered the "post-PC era." Apple CEO Steve Jobs coined the term and you never would have heard that from Nadella's predecessor Steve Ballmer. Another contrast between the two CEOs is Nadella's somewhat surprising, open ambivalence about the Nokia acquisition, whi [...]


Google+ Breaks Into The Top 15 Mobile Apps — comScore

google-plus-app-mobile-600 Yesterday afternoon comScore released its US smartphone and mobile app rankings for March. Interestingly the company appears to have discontinued its ranking for mobile websites and is now only reporting on the top apps. In terms of smartphone marketshare, the story remains largely unchanged over the past six months, except that Samsung continues to incrementally gain share among Android OEMs. The firm gained almost a point since December. On the operating system front, Apple lost some share in the last quarter while both Android and Microsoft gained share. In October 2013 Android ha [...]


Microsoft Releases Advertising SDKs And Tools For Windows App Monetization

windows-phone-featured Though Cortana is has generated the biggest headlines from Microsoft's annual Build Conference, the company dangled a few new carrots to entice app developers to focus on creating apps for Windows. Microsoft released new software development kits (SDKs) designed to help developers earn more money from their Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone apps through advertising as well as new tools to monitor revenue performance and promote their own apps. The new ad SDK for Windows 8.1 allows for ads to be served from third-party mobile rich media ad servers and connects to the Microsoft Ad Exchange. T [...]


Traditional PCs Shrink To 10 Percent Of Device Market In 2015

Multiscreen Millward Brown IT consulting firm Gartner projected today that overall device shipments (not sales) would increase this year by nearly 7 percent vs. 2013. Sale of traditional PCs still represent a drag on the industry, although tablet substitution for PCs is supposed to slow. Recognizing the importance of addressing all platforms now Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced today (as expected) that Microsoft Office would be available for the iPad as a set of native apps: We’re bringing Office, the gold standard in getting things done, to the iPad. A billion people rely on Office every day, and we’ve wor [...]


Apple, Samsung Gain, Windows Phone Plateaus In US — comScore

smartphones-featured This morning comScore released its latest US smartphone report. These monthly missives have become largely static documents with little change among the various players. Indeed, the OEM and OS share charts are basically consistent the past several months. Apple gained a point and Android lost a half a percentage point. Microsoft seems to have hit a share plateau in the US, while BlackBerry continues its slow, painful decline into the abyss. On the OEM side Samsung and LG gained slightly (as did Apple) while Motorola (soon part of Lenovo) and HTC continued their respective slides. Whi [...]


As “Cortana” Approaches, Remembering Microsoft’s Other Digital Assistant: Ms. Dewey

msdewey & cortana Microsoft is apparently readying its own digital assistant called "Cortana," to take on Apple's Siri and Google Now. Hopefully, Cortana will see more love than Microsoft's other assistant that you have probably long forgotten about. Ms. Dewey. Ms. Dewey? She was an experimental interface launched in October 2006 for Microsoft's search engine Live Search (now called Bing). Actually, she was more an underground marketing campaign. She gained buzz because she was an assistant with attitude, if she had issues with what you searched for. Howard Stern? As this Marketplace report from the ti [...]


Can Nokia X Android Devices Sell More Windows Phones?

Nokia X The irony of Nokia introducing low-end Android smartphones upon being absorbed into Microsoft is obvious. Had the company put out Android devices earlier, it might not have sold to Redmond. By the same token, now that Nokia has introduced Android phones, how enthusiastically will Microsoft embrace and promote them? Earlier today, the company announced a new line of Android-based handsets at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. The Nokia X series may or may not technically be "forked" but they don't look like traditional Android phones. They've got a Windows Phone-like tiles [...]


Microsoft Assistant “Cortana” Coming Soon To Phones, PC, Xbox

Image credit: Microsoft For months the tech press has been writing about the imminent arrival of Microsoft's answer to Siri: Cortana. The virtual assistant is modeled on a character in Microsoft's "Halo" game. Microsoft has not acknowledged Cortana or said anything public about Cortana. Right now Cortana is a codename and it remains to be seen what the digital assistant is ultimately called. Reportedly "she" will soon be introduced with the 8.1 update of the Windows Phone software. Unlike Siri Cortana will operate across devices and screens, including on the PC and Xbox. According to sources who spoke to The [...]


As Microsoft Figures Out Next Mobile Move, Apple & Android Grab 94 Percent Of Smartphone Market

smartphone-shutterstock According to hardware tracking firm IDC, "Android and iOS accounted for 95.7 percent of all smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2013, and for 93.8 percent of all smartphone shipments for the year." Yet Windows Phone wasn't entirely shut out. On a percentage basis, Windows Phones grew more than other platforms. But in real handset terms, Windows Phone is still very much a bit player, except in a few markets where its share has approached or reached 10 percent. Source: IDC As new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella takes the helm in Redmond, he must contemplate how to accelerate [...]


Mobile Market: Windows Phone Flat, Pandora Now #2 App After Facebook

mobile-apps-featured ComScore released US November smartphone metrics today. The company says smartphone penetration in the US is 63.8 percent. By comparison Nielsen reports that it's 65 percent. As it has been for many months running, Apple remains the top individual smartphone OEM, followed by Samsung. All others, however, lost some share. Yet these numbers don't include the holiday period. We'll probably have to wait for late February or March to see those. Apple controlled 41.2 percent of the US smartphone market according to comScore, representing growth of 0.5 percent since last month. That's also [...]


Android On A Whopping 80 Percent Of Smartphones Shipped In Q3 2013

android-mascot-featured Hardware tracker IDC reported today that the Android OS was on 80 percent of the smartphones shipped in the third quarter, globally. Quarterly shipments are not the same as sales to consumers. However, they are directionally consistent with sales. Losing share vs. a year ago, the iPhone captured just under 13 percent of all smartphone shipments. And, Windows Phone grew to 3.6 percent in Q3 from 2 percent of shipments last year. Source: IDC (2013) Windows Phone's shipments share grew 156 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Nokia accounted for more than 93 percent of tho [...]


Survey: Windows Phones Beating iPhone In Italy

Lumia 1020 Kantar Worldpanel ComTech reports that its latest market share survey data show Windows Phone has passed the iPhone in Italy. This is undoutedly based on the residual strength of the Nokia brand in Europe. Accordingly, when Microsoft assumes control of the Nokia hardware business, it will need to preserve the Nokia brand for the foreseeable future. The market research firm says, "Windows Phone now makes up one in 10 smartphone sales across the five major European markets, has overtaken iOS in Italy, and is gaining momentum in emerging markets." StatCounter mobile OS internet traffic d [...]


Post BBQ News: Microsoft Buys Most Of Nokia For $7.2 Billion

microsoft icon 2012 Many people in the US returned from Labor-Day barbecues to discover that Microsoft had acquired Nokia's hardware business for roughly $5 billion and would spend another roughly $2 billion to license the Finnish company's patents. The total value of the deal is 5.44 billion euros or approximately $7.2 billion. Here are some of the details from the Microsoft press release: Microsoft will acquire substantially all of Nokia’s Devices and Services business, including the Mobile Phones and Smart Devices business units as well as an industry-leading design team, operations including all Nokia D [...]


Report: Windows Phones Gain In EU, Struggle In US, China

windows-phone-featured Kantar Worldpanel ComTech today reported that Windows Phones are seeing meaningful share gains across a number of European countries. In particular, Germany, UK, France and Italy are emerging as strong markets for the platform. The Microsoft OS has also grown in a number of other countries such as Mexico and Australia. However it continues to tread water or struggle in the US and China. Across the "EU5" Windows Phone has gone from 4.9 percent a year ago to an 8.2 percent share in July 2013. Kantar reports that Windows Phone has seen success among first-time buyers, "with 42 percent o [...]


The Google vs. MSFT YouTube App Spat Has Officially Erupted

google-microsoft-logos-volcano After simmering for the past couple months, the spat between Microsoft and Google over the YouTube app that's available for Windows Phone has now erupted. That's thank to a scathing blog post this afternoon from Microsoft VP and Deputy General Counsel David Howard that questions Google's commitment to openness and accuses Google of making Microsoft play by a different set of rules than it requires of the YouTube apps for Android and iOS. "It seems to us that Google's reasons for blocking our app are manufactured so that we can't give our users the same experience Android and iPhone users [...]


Deja Vu: Google Blocks The Windows Phone YouTube App (Again)

microsoft-google-logos The soap opera continues: Not 24 hours after Microsoft released a new YouTube app for Windows Phones, Google has disabled it. As The Verge is reporting, Google says the new app violates its terms of service: Microsoft has not made the browser upgrades necessary to enable a fully-featured YouTube experience, and has instead re-released a YouTube app that violates our Terms of Service. It has been disabled. We value our broad developer community and therefore ask everyone to adhere to the same guidelines. This is the second time Google has blocked Microsoft's try at making a YouTube a [...]


Microsoft, Google Finally Release Official YouTube App For Windows Phones

microsoft-google-logos I wouldn't call Microsoft and Google BFFs by any stretch of the imagination (ahem ... cough), but the two companies have finally buried their differences over YouTube and Windows Phones. As CNET reports, an official YouTube app -- created by Microsoft but built with Google's blessing -- is now available in the Windows Phone store. A Microsoft spokesperson gave this statement to CNET: We've released an updated YouTube app for Windows Phone that provides the great experience our consumers expect while addressing the concerns Google expressed in May, including the addition of ads. We apprecia [...]


Study: Mobile Site Performance Drives Customer Satisfaction Over Premium Content

shutterstock_68911843-mobilecheck A new customer satisfaction report from ForeSee, focusing on media and entertainment mobile websites and apps, revealed that a site's mobile performance drives customer satisfaction more so than premium content. According to the study, "While mobile users want the newest releases and latest functions, the main driver of satisfaction for streaming mobile sites and apps is actually performance - how quickly the pages load and the ability to load without error messages." The study also discovered that customers prefer to view media and entertainment sites and apps on their mobile devices ov [...]


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