Posted tagged ‘Software’

“Call of Duty” Sells $550 Million in Just 5 Days

November 18, 2009

Wow! “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” scored record sales of $550 million in its first five days.

That number just blows my mind! I’m sure that a few of my friends helped raise that total 🙂

From Reuters:

The game, a “first-person-shooter” that lets gamers portray elite soldiers hunting down targets in locations ranging from South America to Afghanistan, beat last year’s blockbuster “Grand Theft Auto IV” from Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. which sold more than $500 million in its first week.

Activision did not say how many units were sold in the period. Last week it said it sold 4.7 million copies for sales of $310 million on its first day in the U.S. and United Kingdom alone.


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.

Oracle to Acquire Sun Microsystems

April 20, 2009

It appears this morning that Oracle plans to enter the computer hardware market by buying Sun Microsystems for more than $7 billion. This deal came quickly after Sun’s talks with IBM fell apart last week.

From Reuters:

The announcement on Monday surprised many Oracle watchers, who believed the company can boost profitability at Sun’s software businesses but were unsure if it can be as successful with Sun’s hardware unit amid stiff competition against IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co, Dell Inc and new entrant Cisco Systems Inc.

“It’s an out-of-the-box, left-field type of a deal because Oracle is buying a predominantly hardware business,” said Jefferies & Co analyst Ross MacMillan. “The push-pull of the deal is the uncertainty of the hardware business with the earnings accretion of the software business.”

From the Wall Street Journal:

Oracle, which has been snapping up smaller software companies for several years, agreed to pay $9.50 a share for Sun. The companies valued the transaction at about $5.6 billion, excluding Sun’s cash and debt. As of Dec. 28, Sun had about $2.6 billion in cash and short-term investments and about $700 million in long-term debt.

Sun, whose server systems have long been sold along with Oracle’s database software, was widely believed to need a bigger partner as it competes with giants such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Dell Inc. Another much larger company, Cisco Systems Inc., also recently entered the server business.

The Sun deal helps elevate Oracle into those ranks, giving the company the ability to sell hardware as well as more fully exploit some important Sun software–notably the popular Java programming technology and Sun’s Solaris operating systems.

Nero Delivers Liquid TiVo

September 29, 2008

Client Nero today announced the release of Nero 9, the next generation of one of the worlds most trusted and best-selling integrated digital media and home entertainment software solutions. Developed in direct response to customer feedback, Nero 9 gives consumers one solution to easily create, edit, rip, copy, backup, convert and share their music, videos and photos within their connected digital home, on online communities or on portable devices.


Credit: Nero

For more than a decade, the worlds largest mobile and consumer electronics brands have trusted Nero for technology leadership and category creation, said Udo Eberlein, CEO, Nero AG. Now, with Nero LiquidTV | TiVo PC, we are providing a next-generation DVR application that integrates the renowned TiVo service with the PC. This solution is truly a platform on which our vision for liquid media where content can be easily accessed anytime, anywhere, and on any device — will become a reality.

With Nero 9, the company responded to consumer requests for an enhanced, easy-to-use and convenient user interface. The widely used Nero StartSmart intuitive command center, now integrates new playback, ripping, burning, copying and backup functions with one-click tabs for quick and easy completion of digital tasks.

Nero has done a superb job of bringing the TiVo experience to the PC, and have done so in a way that lives up to the rich TiVo legacy, said Tom Rogers, CEO and President, TiVo. To be able to extend the features of TiVo to a new platform without compromising the integrity of what has made TiVo such a revolutionary product is a significant achievement, one we know both new and old fans of TiVo will love.


Credit: Nero

From CNET:

Traditionally, anyone who wanted to convert a PC into a DVR was limited to the likes of Windows Media Center, SnapStream Beyond TV, or (for the more adventurous DIYers) MythTV.

Starting in mid-October, however, people can turn their Windows PCs into a full-on TiVo DVR thanks to Nero’s new Liquid TV package. The software effectively turns a standard PC into a full-service TiVo DVR, replete with the same interface, program guide, and ease-of-use as TiVo’s standalone hardware DVRs–but with the added ability to burn recorded shows to DVD or export them to portable devices such as the iPod or PlayStation Portable.

Liquid TV will be available in two versions. The $200 package includes a standard TiVo remote, USB DTV tuner/antenna (for over-the-air analog and digital TV, including HD broadcasts), and an IR blaster (for controlling external cable and satellite boxes, which would then be fed into a video capture card on your PC). The $100 package is software only; it’s for people who already have a TV tuner card and remote solution (or who will opt for the software’s on-screen mouse controls).

The software is said to support up to four TV tuners, one of which can be an external set-top box. Both versions include a year’s worth of the all-important TiVo service (required for use). Nero hasn’t officially set the renewal fee for the service, but company reps suggested that it will be less than the $13 per month that’s the baseline for owners of the set-top TiVo boxes.

The other big advantage of the PC-based TiVo experience is DVD burning and portable device transfer. Yes, both of these features are available with standard TiVos with that company’s TiVo To Go add-on software (and a compatible DVD-burning software package). But transferring the recordings over your home network and then transcoding them is a long and laborious process. The transcoding and compression phases still take time with Liquid TV. But because the recordings are already on the hard drive, things go a lot faster, and the processes can go on in the background as you continue to watch other recordings or live TV.

From the Associated Press:

The kit will cost $199 when it goes on sale Oct. 15, and includes a remote and a TV tuner that plugs into the PC. The interface on the computer screen looks just like the one on a TV equipped with a TiVo box.

It’s not the first software that allows TV recording on the PC. That’s been possible for years on computers equipped with TV tuners, and some versions of Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Vista operating system include the necessary software. But it will be the first time that both the TiVo interface and functions have been replicated on a PC.

The Nero LiquidTV/TiVo PC will go on sale initially in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, but it could open up some markets where TiVo does not yet sell its set-top boxes. Joshua Danovitz, vice president and general manager of international business at TiVo, said the plan is to launch it in Europe next year, including in Nero’s home country, Germany. Britain is the only European country where TiVo currently has subscribers.

Like TiVo’s existing TiVo Desktop software, LiquidTV will allow users to transfer shows recorded on other TiVo devices in the home to the PC’s hard drive, and bring shows out of the home, either on a laptop’s drive or on an iPod or PlayStation Portable. LiquidTV also allows users to burn shows onto DVDs if the computer has a DVD burner.

From Engadget:

Rejoice, HTPC fans — that partnership between Nero and TiVo has finally borne fruit in the form of Nero’s new LiquidTV / TiVo PC DVR package, which brings the TiVo interface and featureset to Windows. The $199 package comes with a year of TiVo service, a Hauppage USB ATSC tuner, an IR receiver, and a Nero-branded TiVo remote, and does exactly as you’d expect — it’s TiVo on your PC.

There are some interesting PC-specific features bolted on the usual kit — you can navigate using the keyboard and mouse (there are even some nifty contextual menus) and you can export directly to iPod and PSP-compatible .mp4 from within the interface — but for the most part it’s the same TiVo experience you’re used to, including streaming shows to and from other TiVos and TiVo PCs.

From ZDNet:

Like TiVo’s existing TiVo Desktop software, LiquidTV will allow you to transfer shows recorded on other TiVo devices in the home to your PC’s hard drive or on an iPod or PSP. It also allows you to burn shows onto DVDs if your computer has a DVD burner.

Now before there’s a deluge of comments, it’s true that this is not the first software that allows TV recording on the PC. However, it will be the first time that the TiVo interface and functions have been replicated on a PC.

The kit will go on sale initially in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, but it may make its way into some markets where TiVo does not yet sell its set-top boxes. Europe will get a launch next year (The U.K. is the only European country where TiVo currently has subscribers).

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The Alviso business has teamed with digital media softwaremaker Nero to create LiquidTV/TiVo PC, a software application that provides TiVo service on a personal computer. Users will be able to record shows on a desktop or laptop hard drive, move content between TiVos and the PC, and easily record and format videos for syncing onto iPods and PlayStation Portable mobile devices, all from an onscreen TiVo menu on the PC.

“We’ve tried to take the best of the TiVo experience but move it to the PC and take advantage of the PC’s flexibility,” said Richard Carriere, Americas president for Nero, a German company. “We saw a need for the media enthusiast and we looked at how we can help people move to the next level.”

The $99 software package can be installed on PCs and hook into a home network, allowing a user to move content from TiVo to the computer. Users can pull up the content from a menu that replicates the signature TiVo look. Nero said it’s working on the ability to remotely access home TiVo content from a LiquidTV-enabled PC.

When the software goes on sale in October, users will be able record and watch shows from a PC by either connecting the PC to a TV or set-top box, or pulling content from a computer TV tuner. An expanded $199 LiquidTV pack will come with a TV tuner card, remote control and an infrared blaster to connect the PC with set-top boxes. The $99 pack and the $199 expanded product each come with one year of TiVo service, which normally costs $99.

Google Android to Arrive in September?

August 12, 2008

Teresa Von Fuchs at MobileCrunch and Greg Kumparak at TechCrunch are reporting that the first Google Android handset may be available via presale as early as September 17.

From MobileCrunch:

While reports have ranged that the first Android handset will come out anywhere from October to sometime in 2009, the latest rumors have the HTC Dream (codenamed G1) going on presale for existing T-Mobile customers starting September 17th.

The newest leaked features include a 3-megapixel camera, slide-out Qwerty keypad and the handset will come in three colors: black, white and brown.

Matthew Miller at ZDNet is also reporting on this rumor:

I had a chance to spend a little time with an early Android device at Mobile World Congress and the latest news is that HTC is still on track to deliver the first Android device before the end of 2008. According to TmoNews we may even be able to order one as early as 17 September from T-Mobile USA. I am returning my iPhone 3G today and if this rumor is true I think this will be my next mobile purchase.

According to their trusted source the Open Handset Alliance/Google Android phone will be priced at US$399 full price or US$150 for existing T-Mobile customers. Apparently, you may have to be an existing customer to get in on the mid-September pre-sale so my patience with staying with T-Mobile for the last 6 years and waiting for their 3G network may finally pay off. T-Mobile USA has been good at rolling out UMA and some other interesting technologies, but is way behind on 3G and high end smartphones and really needs something like an Android device to bring in subscribers to compete with AT&T and the iPhone or Verizon/Sprint and their high speed EV-DO networks.

Will we finally see Android? Will Google finally deliver on their promise? Will the consumer be left high and dry? Stay tuned!

If you’re looking for some interesting views on Open Source and Mobile Technology, check out Open Source to Go. David “Lefty” Schlesinger, Director of Open Source Technologies for ACCESS Systems America is the author of the blog and shares his views on the increasing use of free and open source software in mobile devices, horror movies, technology, design, Japanese stuff, and whatever else happens to catch his interest. Lefty is chair of the Linux Foundation’s Mobile Working Group, vice-chair of the Linux Phone Standards Forum’s Architectural Working Group and a member of the GNOME Foundation Advisory Board.

ACCESS, a global provider of advanced software technologies to the mobile and beyond-PC markets, is a client of mine here in the Bay Area and they are a mobile Internet pioneer, having helped to develop and deliver technologies that have brought the Internet to a new generation of mobile devices and consumers. ACCESS is best known for their ACCESS Linux Platform and NetFront Browser.