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July 24, 2015

Windows 10 and Windows 8 explained

Posted by David Hunter at 11:51 AM ET.

How Microsoft’s Windows 10 is like Coca-Cola Classic

The most anticipated feature of Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 10, set for release on Wednesday, isn’t some new application. It’s the return of the traditional Start screen, which Microsoft ditched in August 2012, with Windows 8.

For that reason, Windows 10 is a lot like Coca-Cola Classic.

Let me explain.

Microsoft is marketing Windows 10 as “familiar, yet better than ever.”

Hubris in a mature market leader sometimes has a uncomfortable reward.  I don’t think it is too late for Microsoft to recover and hopefully Satya Nadella realizes the right way to mine gold from a mature market. Unlike Steve Ballmer.

Filed under Executives, Satya Nadella, Steve Ballmer, Windows 10, Windows 8

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November 12, 2014

Microsoft announces .NET open source and free Visual Studio Community

Posted by David Hunter at 10:54 PM ET.

Microsoft takes .NET open source and cross-platform, adds new development capabilities with Visual Studio 2015, .NET 2015 and Visual Studio Online

On Wednesday, Microsoft Corp. reinforced its commitment to cross-platform developer experiences by open sourcing the full server-side .NET stack and expanding .NET to run on the Linux and Mac OS platforms. Microsoft also released Visual Studio Community 2013, a new free edition of Visual Studio that provides easy access to the Visual Studio core toolset. The announcements kicked off Microsoft’s Connect (); event, where the company released Visual Studio 2015 Preview and .NET 2015 Preview.

Delivering on its promise to support cross-platform development, Microsoft is providing the full .NET server stack in open source, including ASP.NET, the .NET compiler, the .NET Core Runtime, Framework and Libraries, enabling developers to build with .NET across Windows, Mac or Linux. Through this implementation, Microsoft will work closely with the open source community, taking contributions for future improvements to .NET and will work through the .NET Foundation.

Available Wednesday, Visual Studio Community 2013 is a free, fully featured edition of Visual Studio including full extensibility. Targeting any platform, from devices and desktop, to Web and cloud services, the community edition provides developers with easy access to Microsoft’s Visual Studio toolset for all nonenterprise application development. Developers can get started with Visual Studio Community 2013 here.

Built from the ground up with support for iOS, Android and Windows, Visual Studio 2015 Preview makes it easier for developers to build applications and services for any device, on any platform.

Microsoft on Wednesday announced the preview of ASP.NET 5.0, a streamlined framework and runtime optimized for cloud and server workloads. In addition, the new Connected Services Manager in Visual Studio 2015 makes it easier to connect applications to line-of-business API services such as the Office 365 API and SalesForce, among others.

Building on a year of service enhancements, Microsoft announced additional capabilities for Visual Studio Online, its online service for development projects, by announcing additional capabilities for the service, including these:

Release Management as a service, available in preview, to enable customers to automate and manage application releases without the need to set up or maintain any service infrastructure.

Cloud Deployment Projects, to allow organizations to more easily and reliably provision and configure development, test and production environments in Azure.

Also on Wednesday, Microsoft announced the availability of Visual Studio 2013 Update 4…

Filed under .NET Foundation, ASP.NET 5.0, Coopetition, Microsoft,, Technologies, Tools, Visual Studio 2015, Visual Studio Community 2103, Visual Studio Online

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July 17, 2014

Microsoft to lay off 18,000 as it digests Nokia

Posted by David Hunter at 9:32 AM ET.

Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella dropped the other shoe today by announcing layoffs of up to 18,000 employees over the next year. 13,000 will be announced imminently and of those,  “our work toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs, comprising both professional and factory workers.” I expect that, as usual, it’s better to be working for the the absorber than the absorbee.

As for the remaining 5,000, “the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months.”

Filed under Executives, Financial, General Business, Layoffs, Microsoft, Satya Nadella

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February 21, 2014

Microsoft to cut Windows price for low cost PCs and tablets

Posted by David Hunter at 10:35 PM ET.

Tim Culpan and Dina Bass from Bloomberg have got a scoop – Microsoft Said to Cut Windows Price 70% to Counter Rivals:

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is cutting the price of Windows 8.1 by 70 percent for makers of low-cost computers and tablets as they try to fend off cheaper rivals like Google Inc. (GOOG)’s Chromebooks, people familiar with the program said.

Manufacturers will be charged $15 to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50, said the people, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public. The discount will apply to any products that meet the price limit, with no restrictions on the size or type of device, the people said.

It won’t require products that use the cheaper licensing to complete logo certification, a process that verifies hardware compatibility, one of the people said. Devices aren’t required to be touch-screen compatible, they said.

While the regular Windows list price was $50, some of the largest global computer makers paid closer to $30 after incentives such as marketing funds provided by Microsoft, the people said. Products that receive discounted license fees won’t be eligible for such marketing support and incentives, one of the people said.

Free always beats fee as long as the free product is good enough and Chromebooks are evidently good enough for a lot of folks. Microsoft could try to appeal to the carriage trade like Apple but are way behind on both low end apps and cachet. I don’t really think a price cut is going to give Microsoft much more traction.

Filed under Apple, Coopetition, Google, Microsoft, OS - Client, Windows 8

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