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Posts tagged Microsoft

Does the death of the PC herald a closed-device future?
November 17, 2013 | 10:30 pm

GEDC1556Oh noes! They’re killing the PC! Mass computing devices face the dark future of tablets with restricted operating systems that limit what you can do and what apps you can install! We must all run about in panic! Except…no, I don’t think that’s right. The article I linked above on ZDNet notes: Here's what I see happening: Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft all want us to buy appliances, not PCs. An appliance is a closed box. It can only run the operating system they stick you with. It will only run the applications they approve for it. Apple and Microsoft are particularly strict...

Ballmer balks at the Google monopoly bogey
September 23, 2013 | 2:45 pm

Steve Ballmer, the soon-to-be-ex Microsoft CEO, has been garnering quite a bit of press from his declaration before an audience of analysts that Google is a monopoly and that Microsoft is the only David left standing up to this Goliath. '"They have this incredible, amazing, dare I say monopoly that we are the only person left on the planet trying to compete with," he remarked, and added that Microsoft had already reported the issue to U.S. competition authorities. In the area of search, he's probably correct, at least in the U.S. But why was Microsoft in search in the first place?...

‘Temporary’ Surface Pro Price Cut of $100 Now Permanent
September 1, 2013 | 1:48 pm

Surface ProI called it earlier this month when I wrote about the temporary price cut on the Surface Pro tablets. I said I wouldn’t be surprised if the cut became permanent, and now it has. Check out the All Things D article on the price cut. Their choice of image is priceless. They are also reporting that the cut, which previously had been available only to customers in the U.S., Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Canada, is now available in all markets where the Pro is sold. They are also offering a $40 discount on Touch Covers and a $50 discount on Surface RT bundles. In...

Vision of the future, Microsoft style
August 10, 2013 | 3:00 pm

windows-home-serverI'm in the market for a new laptop, come Christmas, and a recent reconnaissance to Canada's only Microsoft retail store, which happens to be 10 minutes from my home, was illuminating. I wanted something small, light and portable. And option abounded for it—but the battery life for the small and cute things averaged about 3 hours. That is subpar for my needs. The Surface is as portable as my iPad and, I reluctantly admit, more robust. But I could go all day on a single iPad charge... As for storage, I was worrying about where I would out my...

Is the Smartwatch Trend Heralding a New Type of E-Reader?
July 18, 2013 | 11:45 am

smartwatchExcitement over the new trend toward smartwatches seems to be reaching a crescendo, with Apple’s rumored iWatch supposedly due to debut in 2014, while Sony brings out the latest generation of its less-than-rhapsodically-received Android SmartWatch series, startup Pebble retails its own customizable e-paper watch, and almost every device vendor from Microsoft and Samsung on down is supposedly working on touch-sensitive wearable devices. But could you read a book on one? Hardware shouldn't be much of a barrier, in principle. Memory, battery life, display technology, and touchscreen interactivity have long ago converged at the point where something at least as capable as a...

David Carr bashes Amazon, bucks for Witchfinder General vacancy
July 16, 2013 | 2:33 pm

David CarrThe latest in a long series of analyses of the Penguin Random House merger, the Apple price fixing verdict, and the difficulties of Barnes & Noble as all chapters in some great "Lord Of The Rings"-style epic struggle against the encroaching forces of darkness in the shape of Amazon, with its regiments of marching Kindles, comes, perhaps not surprisingly, from the pen of New York Times columnist David Carr. Carr has an illustrious track record as an Amazon-basher, so it's not unusual to see more of the same on display here. Still, savor these gems: "So far, what has been bad for the...

William Lynch Steps Down as B&N CEO: What does it mean for the future of Nook Media?
July 9, 2013 | 12:14 pm

Considering William Lynch's history with the company, this news probably doesn't come as a huge surprise. Lynch oversaw the entire Nook line, including the E Ink Nook readers and the tablet line. Considering that B&N is abandoning tablet development and focusing just on the Nook line, Lynch's legacy with the company can hardly be said to be successful. I did a bit of research on Lynch, and, according to Wikipedia, From 2000-2004, Lynch was Vice President and General Manager, eCommerce, for Palm Inc., where he oversaw Palm’s Web properties, including:, the Palm Online Store, the Palm Software Connection and the Palm.Net wireless...

Xbox One Update: Microsoft Backs Down!
June 20, 2013 | 5:17 pm

Xbox OneI wrote earlier this month about the upcoming Xbox One from Microsoft, the successor to the company's popular Xbox console. Its release was controversial because it was to come built-in with some of the most onerous DRM features I'd ever seen: an 'always on' connection that required you to 'phone home' to Microsoft every 24 hours in order to keep playing your games, and restrictions on loaning or borrowing games. The Toronto Star, however, is reporting that after two weeks of complaints by online gamers, Microsoft has cavedand removed the most onerous of the restrictions: "An internet connection will not be required to play offline...

Microsoft Not Buying Nook After All?
May 14, 2013 | 10:30 am

And this is why I try very hard not to report on rumors. Last week I wrote about a rumor that Microsoft was considering buying the Nook Media division. Well, the rumor was good for Barnes & Noble stock, which spiked up to $22 a share the day the rumor was announced, and then continued up to almost $24 a share later in the week. (Today it's down to $21.) However, as with many rumors, this one has now been dispelled (maybe, assuming dispelling the "rumor" isn't just part of the big plan.) Insider Monkey says they had an email on Friday...

Weekend Roundup: Drug Paraphernalia on Amazon, B&N’s Nook Dilemma
May 12, 2013 | 10:39 am

Weekend RoundupBarnes & Noble's Nook Dilemma (Dear Author) What's left if B&N sells the Nook business to Microsoft? (Forbes) Free Books for Mother's Day (GalleyCat) Now Amazon is selling bongs, nitrous oxide, and deadly hallucinogenic drugs (Business Insider) Kindle Daily Deals: 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke (and 3 others)...

Weekend Roundup: Reading on cell phones in Africa
May 11, 2013 | 9:10 am

Weekend RoundupWhat news organizations are learning from their e-book efforts (Poynter Online) What's left if B&N sells the Nook division to Microsoft? (The Passive Voice) A 'novel' idea for spreading literature in Africa: The cellphone (Christian Science Monitor) The e-book piracy debate, revisited ( The fascinating stories behind classic book titles (Flavorwire) Kindle Daily Deals: Subterranean by James Rollins (and 3 others)...

Morning Links: Library E-Books, Nook & Microsoft
May 10, 2013 | 9:38 am

Morning LinksIs it the Best of Times or the Worst of Times for Journalism? Yes (GigaOM) Library eBooks: The Role of Libraries in the Book Discovery Process (Sourcebooks) The Cover That Launced a Thousand iBookstore Sales (GalleyCat) In Nook, Microsoft Sees a Chance to Compete Against Amazon and Apple (Paid Content) Kindle Daily Deals: The House of Rumour by Jake Arnott (and 3 others)   ...