Microsoft

For Oscars ads, Samsung is at one with Microsoft notion

Once upon a time in 2013, I saw that Microsoft was committed to being "One Microsoft."

There had, apparently, been several. But now everyone has buried the hatchets and done their kumbayas.

I fear that Samsung might have thought this was such a good idea that it seeped subliminally into its collective brain.

Ad Age tells me that Samsung's new campaign -- launching during the Oscars this evening -- is called "One Samsung."

Can it be that there is only one infinite way to tell everyone that your company is one, not two or four?… Read more

Microsoft's latest stab at Apple: Macs are no good for weddings

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to discuss the fact that Apple has no feelings.

Anyone with a heart knows that if you're going to plan a wedding, you have to be able to poke and stroke your laptop screen. Otherwise, it's bad karma.

That is my initial reading of Microsoft's latest ad aimed at belittling Apple.

There have been a few lately. Everything from telling you you'll fail at college if you use an iPad to sending a decaying apple to iPhone users.

Here we have a lovely, soon-to-be-lovelier woman planning her wedding.

"… Read more

Windows 8.1 update said to arrive when XP ends

April 8 is the day support for XP ends. Though it may be cold comfort for XP users, it may also be the day that Microsoft updates Windows 8.1.

Early April is shaping up to be a watershed of sorts for Windows users. At the same time that support for Windows XP is ending, the Windows 8.1 update is arriving to the general public, according to Neowin, citing a tweet from Supersite for Windows.

That date was also suggested earlier this month.

And April 8 is also the day for Microsoft's "Patch Tuesday," when it … Read more

Get 100GB of Microsoft OneDrive storage for free

I can't pass up an opportunity to make fun of Microsoft, so let's dive right in.

Bing Rewards: Microsoft's blatant way of bribing users to use Bing instead of Google.

OneDrive: Microsoft's admittedly decent cloud-storage service that used to be known as SkyDrive -- until a lawsuit forced Microsoft to change the name six years after it launched. (Face-palm.)

The standard OneDrive freebie account comes with 7GB of space, but for a limited time, you can get 100GB of OneDrive storage for one year when you "spend" 100 Bing Rewards points.

The idea, of … Read more

Windows Phone to be fastest growing mobile OS, says IDC

Windows Phone could be the only major mobile OS to see a gain in market share in the next few years.

Released Wednesday, IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker forecasts a rise in Windows Phone's global market share from 3.9 percent this year to 7 percent in 2018. That may not seem like a huge leap, but such growth will outshine the market share declines predicted for the other major mobile platforms.

Although it will still dominate the smartphone landscape, Android will see its global market share drop from 78.9 percent this year to 76 percent … Read more

Microsoft sends out mixed messages about Nokia Lumia brand

BARCELONA, Spain -- Lumia lives! Microsoft will continue the Nokia and Lumia brands when it takes over Nokia's phone business, although the company is sending out mixed messages on the details of the transition.

I chatted about the future of Nokia today with Greg Sullivan, Director of Windows Phone, at industry shindig Mobile World Congress. He confirmed that Lumia as a brand would continue under Microsoft, but refused to confirm whether the Nokia name would survive on phones too. But a Microsoft spokesperson has since told me that the handset division of Nokia will continue to make phones … Read more

Nokia Mix Radio will be a 'key contributor' to Microsoft, says Nokia exec

BARCELONA, Spain -- Nokia's Mix Radio service will be a "key contribution in revitalising the Microsoft brand," after the Microsoft acquisition of Nokia is complete, explained Jyrki Rosenberg, Nokia's vice president of entertainment, in an interview with CNET.

The importance of the music streaming service, Rosenberg said, lies in the lack of financial or technical hurdles to use it. The Mix Radio service is included as standard on all Nokia phones, including the sub $100 Asha range and newly-unveiled Android-powered X phones. There's no required subscription fee and there are no adverts to interrupt your … Read more

'The map comes alive': Nokia Here boss dreams of drones, self-driving cars

BARCELONA, Spain -- "Mapping 1.0 is done," says the head of Nokia Here. He envisions a world of constantly-updating, infinitesimally precise maps guiding us on through the world on our smartwatches and smartphones, as self-driving cars zoom past and delivery drones soar overhead.

"First we had paper maps with lots of colourful lines," says Christof Hellmis, head of map platforms at Nokia Here, "but now the world is moving to the next generation of maps, which will be 3D, and will include Augmented Reality, like our CityLens app."

I met with Hellmis at … Read more

Microsoft in talks to take stake in Dailymotion, report says

Microsoft might soon have some stake in Dailymotion, a new report claims.

The company is in talks with French telecom Orange to help Dailymotion expand in the US, Orange CEO Stephane Richard said Tuesday, according to The Wall Street Journal. Richard cautioned, however, that the talks might not lead to a deal between Microsoft and Orange, which has a majority stake in Dailymotion.

Dailymotion was founded in 2005 and is one of the largest competitors to YouTube, providing user-generated content to viewers. Dailymotion has a strong presence internationally, but has been trying to improve its standing in the US. Last … Read more

Microsoft's hardware chief changes roles before Elop return

Microsoft executive Julie Larson-Green announced Monday she is leaving her role as leader of hardware development to lead the My Life & Work team inside the Applications and Services Group.

Larson-Green, who announced the move in an internal memo obtained by GeekWire, also will serve as chief experience officer for the division, which oversees online services such as Bing, Outlook.com, MSN, and SkyDrive. She will report to Qi Lu, who runs the Applications and Services Group.

Before taking over development of hardware such as the Xbox and Surface last July, Larson-Green was tapped to lead all Windows software and … Read more