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Microsoft

As Predicted: Apple Pays Less For Components and Charges More for Devices

May 31, 2012

I recently had a chance to use the Nokia Lumia 900 and at the local AT&T store here in Norwalk, CT – the device sells for just $49.99. The phone is gorgeous and powerful and is cheap. If you order the phone online in fact you pay $99 so in select stores you get a 50% discount. If you call the same AT&T store, the automated system even tells you about the Lumia 900 before you are able to speak with a live agent.

Attention Social, App and Search users, YOU are the Product

May 30, 2012

Original image from Shutterstock

A little understood notion is that for those people using free services and apps, you are the product and generally speaking the advertiser is the customer. The exception is when no ads are shown and confidential information isn’t disclosed to third parties but instead the provider of the service gives away a free version in the hopes of getting users to upgrade to a paid one.

Recently the Wall Street Journal ran an opinion piece where they suggested that the EU lay off of its antitrust investigation into Google because the search service used by 90% of Europeans is helping consumers.

Microsoft to Improve Multi-Monitor Productivity in Windows 8

May 21, 2012

If you use multiple monitors you have no doubt noticed it can get annoying to have to go back and forth between them to access specific functions like the Start menu. Well, it seems people at Microsoft too have noticed there is a productivity hit to having to move your mouse back and forth across potentially huge screens.

And a result Microsoft has released its multi-monitor improvements in its Windows 8 Release Preview and the good news is you can access essential Windows functions on all the monitors connected to a system. This is great news not only for users who have multiple monitors of the same size but for those who are accessing a display on a projector or a large screen TV.

The Most Comprehensive Interop 2012 Video Interviews

May 16, 2012

In case you missed Interop 2012 in Las Vegas and even if you were there – I have some really good news for you. TMC was there and we shot about seven hours of the most important and engaging interviews possible. We have all the companies you need to know about in spaces such as private and public cloud to big data, analytics, network testing and more. We spoke with the small upstarts and the giants like HP, Cisco and IBM.

Justifying Amazon's 16x Greater than Apple P/E Ratio

May 16, 2012

One of the biggest surprises to me is comparing P/E ratios of tech companies against Amazon. Actually to be more specific, I marvel at Amazon’s P/E against pretty much any company I have seen lately. Now I don’t go around memorizing the price to earnings ratios of companies but yesterday I happened to be talking to TMC webmaster Robert Hashemian who is also an accomplished financial author having written Financial Markets for the Rest of Us. Together we compared the trailing P/E of Amazon against virtually any company we could think of like Adobe, Apple and Microsoft which were far lower.

Pirate Pay Blocks BitTorrent Sharing. Is it Illegal DOS?

May 15, 2012

Skolkovo or Russian's competition to Silicon Valley has a hot company Pirate Pay which just received funding from Microsoft. The idea behind the system is to confuse BitTorrent clients to keep them from downloading specific content. The monetization comes from movie studios and other content providers who would pay to keep their products from being shared.

The idea makes sense but the challenge is it could be illegal to use a targeted attacks on computers. In fact, a number of laws to prosecute hackers may come into play making it conceivable that the movie studios could get in trouble for sabotaging downloads.

At this point the discussion is theoretical since no one knows how Pirate Pay works but it presents a fascinating look at the battle between content producers and those who are looking to pirate content.

For more check out this article on companies in the Skolkovo region, one on the Microsoft investment and another on the legality of disrupting these downloads.





Ultrabooks Finally Get Needed Attention From Intel

May 4, 2012

Intel is running a new ad touting the long-lasting Ultrabook which has hours of battery life. And while I applaud Intel for finally acknowledging this category needs marketing I am still at a loss. You see battery life is one of the features which makes a MacBook great and so is the wonderful design. We all know Ultrabooks exist almost exclusively so PC makers can compete with Apple.



So this being the case why do all the Ultrabooks except the ones from Asus and possibly Samsung look like absolute crap?



Blackberry 10 like Siri uses Productivity to Differentiate

May 1, 2012

Apple's iPhone 4S is perhaps most known for Siri the built-in personal assistant which has had mixed reviews. Still, in-part because of this feature, the company has sold iPhones by the boatload.

RIM, who is fighting to regain market share has come at the productivity game from a different angle - the predictive text technology in its soon to be released Blackberry 10 OS is much-improved and has the potential to drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to communicate on a smartphone or tablet.

For information workers - it seems the more you work, the more there is to do. Especially when you consider the huge time suck associated with social networking, watching online video and gaming and book-reading on the go using the latest crop of tablets.

Although it is soon to say that RIM has nailed it with its new OS, it does look better than previous operating systems from the company. Now the question is how long before the functionality is copied by others and the patent war over this feature begins?

See analysis from the AP, a hands-on review from CNet and comments fom USA Today.







Is Skype Microsoft's Only Chance for Mobile Success?

April 26, 2012

If you are looking for increased competition in the mobile space, Apple’s recent and seemingly constant record earnings are bad news. Worse yet for the competition, Apple has transcended its original position of a computer and electronics maker to become a major force in the publicly traded markets and even the US economy. Its phones are status symbols the world over and its tablet is so far ahead of the rest of the market the company can charge hundreds more and consumers will pay for these products with a smile.

So news of Microsoft losing share to in the mobile space should hardly be considered news.

Microsoft Working on Skype Everywhere Initiative

April 20, 2012

The fact that Microsoft would want to integrate Skype everywhere shouldn't be too surprising, Office/Lync and Windows Phone are obvious areas and so is Xbox. That's why news of the company looking for engineers who can delve into the hybrid world of video games and IP communications shouldn't be too surprising.

When Microsoft integrates Skype into Xbox and bundles some free calling into the solution, what's to stop them from offering a DECT phone as well? With retail prices of DECT 6.0 phones starting at less than $20, the idea makes more and more sense.

Sure, you can use a cordless/wireless phone with Skype today but if Microsoft integrates it all seamlessly and video is added for free, what happens to the business models of Ooma, netTALK and magicJack?

And what about the cable companies, AT&T and Verizon? Sure, a Skype home phone calling solution will be inferior as it doesn't allow emergency calling due to a lack of E-911 support but still, if it is part of a bundle and has HD voice support, why pay for phone company or cable calling? Especially if it has video as well and other great Skype calling features, presence, etc.

Additionally, a benefit of the Skype purchase will be potentially becoming the phone provider for hundreds of millions of consumers.







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