Tag: Surface

Microsoft claims it is picking up Apple defections

Microsoft-Surface-Pro-42Software king of the world Microsoft claims that it is picking up defections from the fruity Apple cult as users are miffed that the MacBook Pro was not up to snuff.

Apple’s new Macbook Pro was released without key functions and with an out-of-date chip, effectively turning it into a chocolate teapot for developers.

Vole has been targeting Mac users with its Surface commercials recently, and it appears they might be paying off. The software giant claims that November was the “best month ever for consumer Surface sales,” following several Black Friday deals on the Surface Pro 4. Vole isn’t providing sales numbers, but the company claims “more people are switching from Macs to Surface than ever before”.

Microsoft cites “the disappointment of the new MacBook Pro” and its trade-in program for MacBooks for tempting people to switch to Surface. Again, Microsoft refuses to provide numbers but vaguely claims “our trade-in programme for MacBooks was our best”.

Microsoft is also expanding on the availability of the new Surface Book with Performance Base. The most powerful Surface Book is now available in Australia and New Zealand, and will arrive in Austria, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland, and the UK early next quarter.

Microsoft shareholders give Nadella a Chinese burn

nadellaMicrosoft shareholders are getting rather rattled that Vole does not appear to be paying enough attention to its mobile phones.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was grilled by shareholders over the matter of Windows phones.

Microsoft shareholder Dana Vance, owner of a Windows Phone and a Microsoft Band, was furious that he received an email about the Microsoft Pix app but was surprised to learn that it was available for iPhone and Android but not Windows Phone.

Microsoft Outlook has the same problems. Already he was cross that Vole had put the Band on the back burner. It seems that Microsoft has given up on consumer devices.

As part of his response, Nadella said Microsoft’s Windows camera and mail apps will include the same features as in Microsoft’s apps for other platforms.

“When we control things silicon-up, that’s how we will integrate those experiences. We will “build devices that are unique and differentiated with our software capability on top of it — whether it’s Surface or Surface Studio or HoloLens or the phone — and also make our software applications available on Android and iOS and other platforms. That’s what I think is needed for Microsoft to help you as a user get the most out of our innovation.”

Another shareholder said that he uses his Windows Phone “18 hours a day” and yet Vole is stepping away from mobile. “Can you calm me down … and tell me what your vision is for mobile?”

Nadella fudged: “We think about mobility broadly. In other words, we think about the mobility of the human being across all the devices, not just the mobility of a single device.”

However he did say that Vole was not stepping away or back from its focus on mobile devices.

“What we are going to do is focus that effort on places where we have differentiation. If you take Windows Phone, where we are differentiated on Windows Phone is on manageability. It’s security, it’s Continuum capability — that is, the ability to have a phone that can act like a PC. So we’re going to double-down on those points of differentiation.”

He cited the HP Elite x3 device as an example of a Windows 10 phone that follows this strategy.

“We will keep looking at different forms and different functions that we can bring to mobile devices, while also supporting our software across a variety of devices. So that’s the approach you will see us take. We are not stepping away from supporting our Windows Phone users. But at the same time we are recognizing that there are other platforms in mobile that have higher share, and we want to make sure that our software is available to them.”

Surface Hub was a hit after all

surprised-newspaper-readerWhen the software king of the world, Microsoft, announced its Surface Hub, how the pundets mocked.

They claimed that it cost too much and would never sell, even to the enterprise which often pays too much for this sort of thing. However it turns out that they were not quite, but completely and utterly wrong.

Despite the fact that the Surface Hub was delayed twice and the company jacked the price of the device,  companies have rushed to buy it faster than lemmings to a cliff face. The device, which starts at $8,999 for the 55in and $21,999 for the 84in, has been purchased by more than 500 customers worldwide and Microsoft is ramping up production to meet the high level of demand.

Vole siad that demand for Surface Hubs is very strong and exceeded initial forecasts.

“To date, we’ve shipped to over 500 customers worldwide and that number continues to grow. We are ramping up production to meet this strong demand via our partner reseller channel as soon as possible. Customers are encouraged to speak with their sales representative if interested in ordering Surface Hubs.”

The Surface Hub is designed to be a collaborative device that lives in communal spaces like open office environments and conference rooms. It might be pricy but it has shedloads of technology and is a doddle for IT administrators  to plumb in. Now it looks like there is a waiting list.

How Intel killed Microsoft’s Surface

microsoft-surface-3-02The dark satanic rumour mill has been noting how Microsoft’s popular Surface 3 is starting to disappear from the shelves.  All this suggests that Vole is planning to kill off the tablet.

However, it would appear that the Surface 3, which is a cheaper cut down version of the Surface Pro, might be a casualty of Intel’s Atexit earlier this year and its decision to cull Atom development.

The Surface Pro arrived last Spring with a Cherry Trail Atom under the bonnet. It was a serviceable, if not rather dull mobile chip.  Microsoft would normally be thinking of replacing it with something better about now and Intel would normally have complied by replacing it with something from the the “Broxton” family with a new Goldmont core.

Intel however gave up on most of its planned Broxton processors as it scaled back its investment in phone and tablet components. Some Airmont parts have been announced, but they have all been aimed at low-end desktops and laptops with processors in the 4-6 watt space, not tablets with 2W processors such as the Surface 3.

Intel could offer Vole its Core M parts, which would have given the Surface a substantial performance upgrade. However, that would represent price hike from $37 for the Atom to about $250 for a core M.  AMD does not have a chip in this range, and an ARM chip would break most of the Surface’s Windows software.

Microsoft to license Nokia brand to Foxconn

nokia-in-advanced-talks-to-acquire-alcatel-lucents-wireless-business-reportsMicrosoft is going to license the Nokia brand to Foxconn and shut down its operations.

Microsoft and Nokia struck a deal in 2014 and the terms of acquisition read that the Windows developer owns full rights for the Nokia brand for smartphones until 2024.

Vole gutted the Nokia brand and totally failed to make any money from it. In the first quarter of 2016, Microsoft only managed to sell 15 million handsets.

The move, which has yet to be announced, will see half of the remaining Microsoft Mobile members getting the boot and the rest joining the Vole’s Surface team. , and rumours already permeate the media about a possible Surface Phone in tow.

For one thing, Microsoft owns the site www.surfacephone.com. For another, the company is aware that the handset market is consistent and diverse, with developing countries being a gold mine for affordable smartphone manufacturers.

The question is what would Foxconn want with a Nokia licence and would anyone buy a Nokia phone from the outfit? Wasting money on Nokia was one of the shy and retired former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s silliest ideas.

Microsoft finally releases giant Surface

surfacehub-demo-970-80Microsoft’s business customers are finally beginning to take delivery of the giant, Windows 10-powered digital whiteboard.

The Surface Hub, which is popular with television news shows, was supposed to ship in September and missed its January 2016 release deadline.

Microsoft added Surface Hub support to its software-as-a-service IT management offering, Operations Management Suite (OMS), in January. Now Surface Hubs are shipping with the agent software needed to connect to OMS so there is little setup needed.

Microsoft Programme Manager Laura Cruz said that all was needed was to configure the Surface Hubs to connect to an OMS workspace manually or by programming.

The touch-enabled Windows 10-powered device, available in a 55-inch and a 84-inch model, features built-in cameras, a microphone array, Bluetooth, WiFi, motion sensors and near-field communications (NFC). It runs Skype for Business, Office and OneNote, providing an “integrated collaboration experience” whatever that is, and at least with the 84-inch model, an expansive canvas for interactive presentations and virtual meetings.

Microsoft wants to get into the conferencing and collaboration market currently dominated by Cisco, Citrix and Polycom. The 55-inch Surface Hub costs $8,999 and the 84-inch 4K version costs $21,999, however it eliminates the need for several components that are typically required to outfit a conference room, including speaker phones, video conference systems and projectors.

According to a Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Vole the things have a three-year Net Present Value of more than $850,000 based on the observations of five early adopters. The figure represents savings due to reduced deployment and management costs, improved sales, less printing and fewer devices to purchase.

Microsoft beats Apple in Tablet sales

SurfaceMembers of the Tame Apple Press were grasping their chests and screaming blue murder over the weekend after it was revealed that Apple was being beaten in Tablet sales by Microsoft.

Vole has been making tablets for ages, but no one actually noticed until Apple reintroduced the keyboard-less notepad under its own fruity label in 2010.

Microsoft’s technology was totally eclipsed. The tablet market has been sliding, as owners realised that a keyboard-less netbook was a chocolate teapot of tech, Microsoft’s tablets have come into fashion – thanks mostly to the fact that

Apple resorted to producing the same sort of tablet for a much higher price.
According to a report, “1010data Facts for Ecom Insights, January 2014 – October 2015” by the 1010data Ecom Insights Panel, Microsoft has assumes the mantle of best-selling tablet maker in terms of online sales in October.

What is worrying for Jobs’ Mob in the report, which analyses online hardware sales at the majority of online retailers, is that October was the first month when Apple didn’t lead the market:

Apparently Microsoft has been making steady progress in tablet market share but saw a huge spike in October with the release of the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4.

The Surface Book and Surface Book 4 were both introduced at Microsoft’s October 6 hardware event. This confirms that Windows 10 tablet and hybrid sales are having a significant impact on the market and cleaning Apple’s clock.

Overall online tablet sales have shown some spikes, influenced by a few key product releases including the Surface Pro 3, the iPad Mini 4, and the Surface Pro 4:

Apple maintains a healthy lead in terms of online tablet sales, but Microsoft is in a strong second place position.

What appears that happened was that Jobs’ Mob was aware of this and introduced its Surface clone the iPad Pro in response to Microsoft’s success.

Meanwhile this has caused huge problems for the Tame Apple Press which had written off Microsoft years ago and cast Google and Samsung as the cargo cult’s worst enemies.

Surface Pro is a sell out

Microsoft-Surface-Pro-42The latest version of Microsoft’s Surface Pro has sold out in five days after it was listed for pre-orders on Vole’s online store.

The new device will be launched in the US on 26 October. Microsoft thinks that initial stocks were sold out because of “strong demand” but the Tame Apple Press insists that they did not make enough in the first place.

Microsoft never revealed the number of units that were available for pre-ordering.

A company spokesman said it will have limited quantities of Surface Books available in store on October 26 and will be updating online availability with new product ship dates soon.

The new Pro is an interesting product because Apple cloned the old model leaving Microsoft free to produce something that cleaned its clock.

The Surface is a hybrid device that works as a tablet and a laptop and has a starting price of $1,499. It runs on the newly-released Windows 10.

In comparison to the latest MacBook Pro lineup, the Surface Book has a 13.5in display with 3000×2000 resolution and comes preloaded with the PixelSense touchscreen technology.

It comes with a Surface Pen and battery life of up to 12 hours. Also, there are features such as facial recognition through Windows Hello and Cortana integration.

Microsoft releases shed-loads of Windows 10 stuff

SurfaceSoftware King of the World Microsoft has shown off a  laptop, a line of Lumia smartphones, a new Surface Pro tablet Microsoft Band, all running on Windows 10.

Microsoft needs Windows 10, launched in July, to help it win a bigger share of the market for tablets and smartphones.

The Surface Book, will start at $1,499 and is twice as fast as Apple’s MacBook Pro. It will be available from October 26, with preorders starting on Wednesday.

The laptop has a 13.5-inch display with 267 pixels per inch and features a track-pad made of gorilla glass.

The company unveiled three phones at an event in New York. The Lumia 950 with a starting price of $549 and the 950XL which will sell for  $649  when they hit the shops in November,. The Lumia 550 will cost $139 when it becomes available in December.

The Lumia 950 includes a 5.2-inch display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor with hexacore CPUs. The Lumia 950 XL has a 5.7-inch display and a Snapdragon 810 processor with octa-core CPUs. The 550 has a 4.7-inch HD display and runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 210 processor.

The new Surface Pro 4 tablet – a larger but thinner and lighter version of the Surface Pro 3 – is priced at $899 and will be available from Oct. 26 with pre-orders starting on Wednesday.

Launched nearly a year and a half after its predecessor, the Surface Pro 4 features a 12.3-inch screen with 267 pixels per inch. It runs on 6th-generation Intel Core processor and has 16GB of RAM and 1TB storage.

Surface Pro 4 is 50 percent faster than Apple’s MacBook Air, Panos Panay, the corporate vice president for Surface Computing at Microsoft, said at the event.

Top Vole Satya Nadella said:  “We’re moving people from needing to choosing to loving Windows, and these devices promise to fuel even more enthusiasm and opportunity for the entire Windows ecosystem.”

Microsoft suffered its biggest-ever quarterly net loss in the three months ended June 30 after taking a $7.6 billion writedown on its Nokia handset business.

The company had said savings from the restructuring of the business would be pumped into its new flagship operating system, its fast-growing cloud business and its hardware division, which includes Xbox gaming consoles.

Microsoft also said its new tablet and smartphones will come with Windows Hello, an automatic biometric sign-in option introduced earlier this year.

The feature allows users to scan their face, iris or fingerprints to verify their identity and give them access to Windows phones, laptops and personal computers.

Microsoft introduced a Surface Pen, which has year-long battery life, 1,024 pressure points and comes in five colors with inter-changeable pen tips.

The 950 and 950XL handsets feature a 20-megapixel rear camera, have up to 32GB of storage, 4K video and use liquid cooling technology. Microsoft said storage on the phones could be extended to up to 2 terabytes using a memory card.

The Microsoft Band 2, which allows users to monitor their fitness and exercise regime, will be priced at $249 when it becomes available on October 30.

Unlike its predecessor, Microsoft’s entry product in the wearable technology market a year ago, the new Band has a curved display, which uses the Corning Gorilla glass 3, and has a barometer sensor to track elevation.

Microsoft said it was taking applications for a development kit for HoloLens, the holographic lens device that allows users to see 3D renderings of computer-generated images. The kit will be available in the first quarter of 2016 for $3,000.

HoloLens gives Microsoft a stake in the emerging market for virtual and augmented reality, which is also being targeted by Facebook’s Oculus.

 

Microsoft’s Surface is suddenly interesting

 

Microsoft-Surface-Pro-42Microsoft is getting some knock on effect from the fact that Apple copied its Surface design.

When Microsoft first announced the Surface Pro back in 2012 Apple fans mocked that it had a  kickstand, but also an “odd” cover that doubled as a keyboard. And to top things off, the device made use of a stylus. The late Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously said in 2010, “If you see a stylus, they blew it.”

Now Apple has bought in all those things in its new iPad for an outrageous price, commentators are starting to wake up to the fact that the Surface is, and probably has been, rather good.  As a result Microsoft’s announcement hardware event in New York on October 6 is attracting a lot of attention.

Since Apple is charging a fortune for what is essentially an out-of-date Surface, punters are keen to see what Microsoft will come up with that is much better.

Everyone is expecting an Intel Skylake processor lurking under the Surface Pro 4’s glass display and perhaps some movement on available RAM and storage capacities (the current Surface Pro 3 tops out with 8GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD).   It will have, of course Windows 10.

Apple was not the only one copying the Surface. Lenovo introduced its ideapad MIIX 700, which incorporates its own kickstand and an Intel Skylake-based Core m7 processor. But when the Surface Pro 4 is out all competition bets will be off.  Curiously it is Microsoft which is the innovation leader all of a sudden.

How on earth did that happen?