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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

Topic: windows 8

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May 30, 2013 at 6:11 AM

Here’s what will be in Windows 8.1

In Windows 8.1, a search — such as this one for “Marilyn Monroe” — pulls up information from the Web, your local files or for actions you can take (such as playing a song), and displays them in a format that emphasizes visuals. (Screenshot from Microsoft) There have been lots of rumors and leaks about what…


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: windows 8, windows 8.1

May 28, 2013 at 10:28 AM

IDC: Tablet shipments to beat laptop shipments in 2013; pass all PCs by 2015

Research firm IDC has just released its forecast predicting that tablet shipments will beat those of notebooks this year and surpass total PC shipments (notebooks and desktops) by 2015. It cites the growing popularity of tablets as well as the plunging PC market. IDC is forecasting negative growth for PC shipments for the second consecutive year,…


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: idc, pc, pc shipments

May 14, 2013 at 7:49 AM

Microsoft: Windows Blue to be officially called Windows 8.1; will be delivered as free update

Tami Reller, Windows chief financial officer and chief marketing officer (Photo from Microsoft)

Tami Reller, Windows chief financial officer and chief marketing officer (Photo from Microsoft)

The upcoming Windows 8 update, known up to now by the codename “Windows Blue,” will officially be called “Windows 8.1,” Windows marketing and financial chief Tami Reller said today.

She also said Windows 8.1 will be delivered as a free update to Windows 8 and Windows RT, adding that update will be easy to get directly from the Start screen and from the Windows app store.

A preview version of Windows 8.1 will debut June 26 at the company’s annual Build conference for developers, and will be available for download.

Reller did not give a specific date for when the final version of 8.1 will be generally available but said it would be later this year and that the company is sensitive to the timing of getting hardware preloaded with Windows 8.1 out in time for the holidays.

“We understand when the holidays are,” she said.


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: tami reller, windows 8, windows 8.1

May 7, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Microsoft says more than 100 million Windows 8 licenses sold

Microsoft has sold more than 100 million Windows 8 licenses since it launched in late October, according to Tami Reller, Windows’ chief marketing officer and chief financial officer. That number includes Windows licenses that ship on new tablets or PCs, as well as upgrades to Windows 8, Reller said in an interview posted on the…


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: tami reller, windows 8, windows blue

May 1, 2013 at 1:22 PM

IDC: Microsoft now among top 5 tablet vendors, thanks to Surface

Microsoft has landed among the top 5 tablet vendors worldwide for the first time, according to research firm IDC. In the first quarter of the year, Microsoft shipped about 900,000 units of its Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets — most of those Surface Pro, according to IDC estimates. But “beyond the Surface products, Windows 8 and…


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: surface, surface pro, surface rt

May 1, 2013 at 8:56 AM

Windows 8 market share rises to 3.82 percent, according to Net Applications

Corrected version Microsoft’s new Windows 8 operating system garnered 3.82 percent of the desktop operating system market share in April, according to Web tracker Net Applications. That’s up from a 3.17 percent in March. Older Windows operating systems, as one would expect, declined in share, though fractionally. Windows 7’s share declined only from 44.73  percent…


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: desktop operating share, windows 7, windows 8

April 29, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Six months after Windows 8’s launch, how is Microsoft doing?

In case you missed it, this story — looking at how Microsoft is faring six months after the launch of Windows 8 — is running in the print edition of The Seattle Times today.

Here are some additional thoughts from analysts that didn’t make it into the story:

Rick Sherlund, Nomura:

  • “Windows 8 is trying to reposition Microsoft in the tablet market and at the same time trying to preserve its presence in the traditional Windows market. And so far, it hasn’t resonated well in the tablet market. I think the real opportunity for Microsoft will be in the evolution of notebooks as they converge with these tablets.”
  • “I think it’s really hard for Microsoft to break into the consumer tablet market where Apple already dominates with their product and with iTunes for content. Google is probably the real competition, long term, to be concerned about.”
  • On rumors that Microsoft may be coming out with a 7-inch tablet device: “Office is where Microsoft has the most leverage. … I don’t know that the 7-inch form factor is a very good device for using Office. I don’t know if I would expect that to be a big seller for Microsoft. But you have to be there (in the 7-inch/small tablet space)  – it’s obviously a big seller for consumers.”
  • On rumors that the smaller tablet might be branded an Xbox tablet or have a strong Xbox branding or gaming component: “I like that idea – it appeals more and leverages more of their strength on the consumer side. (If Microsoft did this), it would be a more netbook style model: a Windows-type device at a lower price point, reduced capabilities. And try to throw in some Office capability for those who want Outlook and the ability to read and edit some attachments. … But if you don’t really need Office, then I think it’s important that Microsoft try to find some lever to try to find demand for their products. If you can leverage some Xbox capabilities that would appeal to a consumer, maybe throw some Skype in — Microsoft has to throw in a hook to leverage its appeal to the consumer.”


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: blue, office, server and tools

April 11, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Veteran analyst Sherlund downgrades Microsoft in wake of steep PC shipment declines

Veteran Microsoft analyst Rick Sherlund, of financial services firm Nomura, has downgraded Microsoft stock from “buy” to “neutral.”

He did so following reports yesterday from research firms IDC and Gartner that showed steep declines in PC shipments last quarter — far steeper than was forecast.

IDC had said wordwide PC shipments plunged 13.9 percent compared to the same quarter last year — the steepest year-over-year quarterly decline since IDC began tracking the PC market quarterly in 1994. It placed much of the blame on Windows 8. Gartner, meanwhile, had said worldwide PC shipments dropped 11.2 percent from last year to the lowest level since the second quarter of 2009.

Nomura’s Sherlund wrote in his note to investors this morning:

The combination of Windows 8’s sluggish adoption and the absence of compelling new hardware have been disappointing, with no relief likely until later this year when Intel’s Haswell new notebook processor extends Ultrabook battery life to 10 hours and prices fall to an expected $600 level.


Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: gartner, idc, nomura

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