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After months of rumors, Microsoft on Monday confirmed it is readying an update to Windows 8 for later this year. Codenamed Windows Blue, the update will enable Windows to run on a wider range of devices (read: smaller-screen tablets). In a blog post, Microsoft says the update will also respond to some criticisms of Windows 8 and Windows RT, but the company didn’t go into specifics.
“Windows Blue is a codename for an update that will be available later this year, building on the bold vision set forward with Windows 8 to deliver the next generation of tablets and PCs,” Microsoft’s Tami Reller said in a blog post. “It will deliver the latest new innovations across an increasingly broad array of form factors of all sizes, display, battery life and performance, while creating new opportunities for our ecosystem.”
In the blog post, Microsoft also said that it has now sold more than 100 million licenses for Windows 8. And, despite the criticism, Reller said Microsoft remains pleased with the operating system.
“Windows 8 is a big, ambitious change,” Reller said. “While we realize that change takes time, we feel good about the progress since launch, including what we’ve been able to accomplish with the ecosystem and customer reaction to the new PCs and tablets that are available now or will soon come to market.”
Microsoft billed Windows 8 as a “no compromise” operating system that would pave the way for devices that could offer all the benefits of both a PC and a mobile device. Hybrid designs allow for devices that act as both tablet and laptop, either through a flip of a swivel, a twist of the screen or the addition of a keyboard. However, critics have said that the reality of Windows 8 has fallen short of its goal amid a lack of top-tier apps and devices that often force a choice of either limited battery life or limited compatibility with older Windows software.
PC sales have also not seen a hoped-for bump from Windows 8 as electronics buyers continue to spend money in other categories. For her part, Reller noted that the number of apps in the Windows 8 storefront is now six times what it was at launch and rejects the idea that the PC is past its prime. “The PC is very much alive and increasingly mobile,” Reller said. ” The PC is also part of a much broader device market of tablets and PCs. Windows 8 was built to fully participate in this broader and increasingly mobile device market.”
via > allthingsd.com
On April 18, Microsoft didn't share the one number many company watchers had been awaiting: An updated count of number of Windows 8 licenses sold.
There was no guarantee the Softies would provide an updated count today, the day it released its Q3 FY2013 earnings. But many of us had been expecting it.
Microsoft officials said they sold more than 40 million copies of Windows 8 the first month it was commercially available.
On January 8, Microsoft officials said the company had sold 60 million licenses of Windows 8 to date. This total included sales of licenses to OEMs, as well as Windows 8 upgrades. It did not include copies of Windows 8 sold via volume-licensing agreements. It may or may not also include Windows RT license numbers. (Microsoft officials declined to comment on that when I asked.)
At the time, Microsoft execs said the 60 million figure was roughly in line with the number of Windows 7 licenses sold during the same period of time after its launch in October 2009.
Windows 8 and Windows RT went on sale on October 26, 2012. Today marks almost six months since Windows 8 launched.
read the rest at ZDNet > http://www.zdnet.com...ate-7000014238/
Microsoft may be having the last laugh with Thursday's report that the company enjoyed a strong uptick in sales and profits for the first three months of 2013.
The software giant pulled in revenue of $20.5 billion in its fiscal third quarter, up 18 percent from the same period in 2012, while also reporting operating income of $7.6 billion, up 19 percent, and diluted EPS of $0.72, up 20 percent.
"The bold bets we made on cloud services are paying off as people increasingly choose Microsoft services including Office 365, Windows Azure, Xbox Live, and Skype. While there is still work to do, we are optimistic that the bets we've made on Windows devices position us well for the long-term," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a statement.
Microsoft's financial results are always closely watched, but never more so than in the wake of reports from IDC and other research firms that PC sales around the world have declined precipitously in recent months.
PC makers shipped 76.3 million units in the first three months of the year, a 13.9 percent decline from the same period in 2012, according to an IDC report issued about a week ago. That's the steepest year-over-year decline since the research firm began tracking the PC market's quarterly performance in 1994, IDC said.
Many industry watchers were quick to blame supposedly sluggish demand for Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system as a main culprit for the troubled state of the PC industry. Report after report has pointed to a slow transition to the new touch-optimized OS among consumers and businesses, but Redmond has steadily insisted that sales of Windows 8 licenses have been brisk.
Now it looks as if the numbers just may be on Microsoft's side in this debate.
The company's Windows Division reported revenue of $5.7 billion, up 23 percent from the same period a year ago, though Microsoft noted that an adjustment related to its Windows Upgrade Offer rendered the division's year-over-year sales as flat.
In fact, Microsoft enjoyed revenue growth in all of its main business units. Sales for Servers & Tools were up 11 percent from the year-ago quarter, the Microsoft Business Division was up 8 percent, the Online Services Division was up 18 percent, and the Entertainment and Devices Division was up 56 percent, with Xbox Live membership growing 18 percent year-over-year to its current 46 million-strong user base.
"Our diverse business continues to deliver solid financial results, even as we navigate the evolving device market. Looking ahead, we will continue to invest in long-term growth opportunities to drive our devices and services strategy forward and deliver ongoing value to shareholders," said Peter Klein, Microsoft's chief financial officer.
In its earnings report, Microsoft also announced that Klein would be leaving the company at the end of its current quarter. Klein has spent more than a decade at Microsoft, including four years as CFO. His successor will be named "in the next several weeks," the company said.
"It has been a pleasure to work with Peter as CFO. He's been a key member of my leadership team and a strategic advisor to me, and I wish him the very best," Ballmer said.
Klein, who led Thursday's conference call with investors and analysts, said going forward Microsoft would increase its push into the tablet market with hardware partners and its own Surface-branded devices as a way to adjust to the "declining traditional PC market."
via PCMag > http://www.pcmag.com...,2417938,00.asp
MMS 2013 is well underway in Las Vegas and those lucky enough to be there got to see the usual Keynote from Microsoft Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson. There were plenty of buzzwords in the keynote from Brad, but before he spoke there were a few snippets from Microsoft customers explaining how IT is growing faster than ever before and how it's adapting to change in order to get closer to business.
He kicked off the keynote by announcing the delays was due to no internet in that part of the building and therefore every demo would be live, I guess that would mean previous demo's in previous MMS events were done by streaming over the internet :-) Brad then went on to say that every organization will benefit from participating in and using the cloud.
We are doing our very best work right now
He talked about the great releases of the last year including Windows Intune, System Center 2012 SP1, Windows 8, Server 2012, and went on to say it's our best work right now, delivering work that is forward looking.
These transformation changes will be brought about by The Cloud OS. This cloud OS contains transformations to advance your business. Windows Server is the foundation of the cloud OS, Windows Azure is the Public cloud OS and Windows Server is the Private cloud OS. Microsoft operates over 200 unique cloud based services (like Skype, Outlook.com or Office365).
He went on to explain how some big-name customers saved millions of dollars and reduced downtime by switching to HyperV and the cloud, speaking of HyperV and Enterprise scale he mentioned a 64 node cluster in HyperV supporting 8000 virtual machines which is twice what the other guys can offer. Next he went on to say that he solutions that we are delivering from Microsoft are Enterprise grade, Enterprise scale, and Enterprise ready today.
The whole reason why we deploy these infrastructures (transforming the data center into a cloud solution) is to support Apps. MMS 2013 is only using 10% of the physical servers it had before in 2009 (574 or so) for the virtual machines that people use to do their labs on, this if due to utilizing the cloud infrastructure from Microsoft. Dominos Pizza (one of Microsoft's customers highlighted during the keynote) migrated to Hyperv from the other guys and saw a 99% reduction in help desk calls.
If you are using multiple clouds what types of decisions should you be making. Microsoft has great assets in both the public cloud and the private cloud. Over 99% of SQL servers can be virtualized. SMB multichannel and SMB direct will get performance out of remote file storage.
Enabling People Centric IT
Most companies don't allow end users to bring their own devices, Brads advice is to embrace this trend that users bring their own devices. Happy users are more productive ! Use Windows Intune to enable these devices within your Organization.
Users can be presented with a seemless experience to install apps from a common interface using Windows Intune with Configuration Manager. You can also define what type of devices they are allowed to use in order to access internal documents.
cool stuff !
see the keynote for yourself here
Summary: Microsoft appears ready to roll out the set of expected updates to its full set of core, Microsoft-developed Windows 8 applications, as rumored earlier this month.
t looks like Microsoft is poised to update almost all of its core Microsoft-developed apps that shipped with Windows 8.
At the start of this month, I posted that Microsoft was expected to provide updates to everything, from Windows Mail to Xbox Music, some time in March. On March 22, Windows SuperSite editor Paul Thurrott discovered a stack of updates that are "installation ready" for Windows 8.
- microsoft.windowsphotos (Photos)
- Microsoft.ZuneMusic (Xbox Music)
- microsoft.windowscommunicationsapps (Mail, Calendar, People, Messaging)
My original tipster said these apps would also be updated and made available for Windows RT this month. I've tried to find mention of pending updates on my Surface RT and so far cannot. (Wondering if anyone out there with a Windows RT device can see these. Chime in if so.)
Update: It appears this same batch of updates is also coming to Windows RT. Brad Pelletier (@bardo77n) just sent me this screen shot from his Surface RT. I asked Microsoft again today for comment on when/if these major updates are going to be rolled out. I got a fresh, new "no comment."
Microsoft officials have acknowledged publicly that the Windows team is aware that the first-party apps on Windows 8 and Windows RT have room for improvement. Many users have been especially disappointed in the Mail and Music apps for the product, claiming they feel more like betas than full, featured, polished products. Even though they're free, many of us Windows 8/Windows RT users feel that these apps, developed by the Windows team, just aren't very good. (The Windows 8/Windows RT apps built by the Bing AppEx team, on the other hand, have been quite solid and usable.)
Microsoft is expected to deliver another set of major updates to all its core apps when it rolls out the Blue update for Windows 8 and Windows RT late this summer.
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