Posted tagged ‘Microsoft’

No Windows Mobile For Palm

September 18, 2009

Palm has announced that the company will abandon the Windows Mobile platform in favor of its own webOS mobile operating system.

From InformationWeek:

“We’ve made the decision to dedicate all future development resources to the evolution of webOS,” said Palm CEO Jon Rubenstein, in a conference call with investors, according to numerous industry blogs. “Going forward, our roadmap will include only Palm webOS-based devices,” Rubinstein reportedly said.

Palm’s webOS powers its new Pre device, which the company is positioning as an alternative to RIM (NSDQ: RIMM)’s ubiquitous Blackberry for road warriors and other business professionals. Other Palm offerings, like the popular Treo, run Windows Mobile.Reasons behind the move were not immediately clear, but Palm’s decision to ditch Windows Mobile in favor of its own technology means that it won’t have to pay licensing fees to Microsoft for the phones it sells. Palm needs to shore up its bottom line, as the company on Thursday reported a quarterly net loss of $161.1 million, compared to a loss of $39.5 million for the same period a year ago.

Microsoft, Yahoo Reach Search Deal

July 28, 2009

It appears that after three years talks, Microsoft has finally reached a search ad partnership with Yahoo.

The deal is not official but many sources are reporting that it will happen in the next 24 hours.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are moving toward sealing a search partnership, say people familiar with the matter — a deal that ends a protracted dance and unites the pair against Google Inc.

From All Things Digital:

Multiple sources close to the situation said that the online search and advertising deal between Microsoft and Yahoo has been struck and will be announced within the next 24 hours.

While it is not clear if the actual papers have been inked, sources said negotiations are complete.

It is likely to be the cause of much relief at both companies, since they have been trying–without success–to join together to mount a better offense in the sector against the dominant Google (GOOG).

According to sources, as had been previous reported by Advertising Age, there will be no upfront payment to Yahoo, with the focus on a revenue share between the two companies.

From Advertising Age:

Microsoft and Yahoo tomorrow are expected to announce the search pact earlier reported by Advertising Age, a deal that will trigger a major re-ordering of the online ad business and create what they hope will be a more-credible competitor to Google.

Through the pact, Bing will become the default search engine on Yahoo, creating a search player with close to 30% market share of search queries, compared with Google’s 65%, according to ComScore data.

Microsoft Bing Launches

June 1, 2009

Microsoft ‘s Bing search engine went live this weekend, formally launching the company’s latest attempt to go after search engine giant Google.

From InformationWeek:

As of Monday, Bing.com featured a home page festooned with colorful hot air balloons rising against a desert backdrop. The page also included links to specific search categories, such as news, videos, shopping, maps, and travel.

Also present were tabs that direct users to bonus features such as Microsoft’s cash-back search rewards program and links to pages for developers and Webmasters.Bing, according to Microsoft, is designed to deliver a more functional experience than existing search engines, including Google’s. That is, queries entered into Bing yield not only information related to the search term, but also links to sites where users can make purchases and engage in other related activities.

For instance, a search on Bing for, say, flights to Hawaii, coughs up real-time pricing and availability information, and allows users to make a booking in real time. Microsoft said Bing initially will focus on four areas: making a purchase decision, trip planning, finding local businesses, and researching health conditions.

Palm Pre Hits June 6

May 19, 2009

Looks like the Palm Pre will be available June 6 for about $200. This comes with a new two-year contract from Sprint.

Check out the story from Marin Perez at InformationWeek for more information!

From InformationWeek:

Once the undisputed U.S. leader of the smartphone market, Palm has been thoroughly outpaced by the likes of Apple and Research In Motion (NSDQ: RIMM). The Pre, which was introduced at January’s Consumer Electronics Show, was well-received by the press, and Palm is looking to use it as a springboard for a comeback.

With a large capacitive touch screen, Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, 8 GB of storage, and Bluetooth, the Pre stacks up well against rivals like the iPhone 3G, BlackBerry Storm, and the T-Mobile (Android) G1. One of the most appealing features of the Pre is webOS, the operating system that combines a variety of online services into a finger-friendly user interface.

AT&T To Introduce $20 iPhone Data Plan?

May 18, 2009

It seems that AT&T is considering cutting the price of its monthly service package or offering a range of lower-priced plans. One plan that could be introduced as early as late May would include limited data access at a $10 monthly reduction.

From BusinessWeek:

The possible price cut likely reflects the back-and-forth between AT&T and Apple as they work out whether and under what terms AT&T would remain the sole U.S. iPhone carrier. Apple may want flexibility in pricing as a condition, analysts say. “We understand it’s part of the extension (of its contract) that AT&T wants to maintain,” Richard Doherty, director at consultant Envisioneering Group, says of the prospect of lower data-plan prices. As Apple considers whether to widen its circle of U.S. providers, AT&T may have less ability to balk at Apple’s requests. Representatives of Apple and AT&T declined to comment.

AT&T and Apple also have added scope for price reductions as iPhone manufacturing costs decline. Apple plans to introduce a new version of iPhone software in June, and it may unveil a new, cheaper device in June or July. New devices may cost as much as one-third less to produce than earlier versions, Doherty says. The cost of touchscreens, the most expensive component, has declined by more than 30% in the past year, estimates Michael Cote, an analyst at consultant Cote Collaborative Wireless Strategy.

Lower-priced data plans would probably lure a lot of fence-sitters, including students and consumers with lower incomes. A reduction could boost AT&T’s iPhone subscriber additions by 20% to 25%, estimates wireless industry consultant Chetan Sharma. A survey late last year by comScore indicated that 43% of iPhone buyers earned more than $100,000 a year. But many of the wealthiest subscribers have already signed up. In the first quarter, AT&T activated 1.6 million iPhones, and 40% of those activations were for users new to AT&T. “(A price reduction) absolutely makes sense,” Sharma says. “AT&T is starting to hit a wall in terms of new subscribers.” In the first quarter of 2009, AT&T’s net subscriber additions were 5.6% lower than in the year-earlier period.

Microsoft Announces 3,000 Layoffs

May 5, 2009

Microsoft has announced that it has aid off 3,000 employees from its U.S. and worldwide locations as part of a previously announced cost-cutting initiative.

From InformationWeek:

“This is difficult news to share,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, in an e-mail to employees. “Because our success at Microsoft has always been the direct result of the talent, hard work, and commitment of our people, eliminating positions is hard.”

Microsoft in January said it planned to trim a total of 5,000 jobs from its workforce. Ballmer said Tuesday’s action means the company has “mostly” reached that objective.”We are moving quickly to reach this target in response to consistent feedback from our people and business groups that it’s important to make decisions and reduce uncertainty for employees as quickly as possible,” said Ballmer.

Ballmer added that Microsoft could cut more than the originally announced 5,000 jobs if economic conditions worsen or fail to improve. “As we move forward, we will continue to closely monitor the impact of the economic downturn on the company and if necessary, take further actions on our cost structure including additional job cuts,” Ballmer said.

Yahoo, Microsoft Talking Partnership

April 10, 2009

Yahoo and Microsoft have restarted partnership discussions, this time over a possible advertising agreement.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The discussions restarted a few weeks ago, and included a meeting between new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the technology blog AllThingsD said Friday.

The two companies have intermittently talked about partnering in search engine advertising since last year after Microsoft’s unsolicited $47.5 billion takeover bid for the Sunnyvale Web portal fell apart. Microsoft executives have championed a partnership as a way to better compete with search industry leader Google Inc. while underscoring that they are no longer interested in an acquisition.

Current discussions are aimed at finding ways for the pair to work together on a number of fronts, according to the report. One potential idea is for Microsoft to handle the search advertising business for both Web sites while Yahoo would handle all of the display advertising, capitalizing on its strength in banner ads.