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September 27, 2010

Microsoft ditches Windows Live Spaces, blog users sent to

Posted by David Hunter at 1:22 PM ET.

Microsoft announced today that they are ditching Windows Live Spaces, their entry in the social blogging arena, and have arranged to migrate the current Live Spaces blogs to

Upgrading a Windows Live Spaces blog to

There are 30 million people who are actively using Windows Live Spaces and have been eagerly awaiting the next set of new blogging features. For these customers, Windows Live and have worked together to build a simple way to move your blog posts, comments, and integrated photos right over to and start taking advantage of all their new features. And we’ll also redirect all your old Spaces URLs to your new blog, so you don’t lose any visitors along the way.

Windows Live Spaces users have 6 months to make the switch. Users of Microsoft’s very capable Windows Live Writer blogging client (which supports many blog types besides Live Spaces including WordPress) don’t have to worry (yet) because Microsoft says there is no plan to phase it out and it will remain part of the Windows Live family, but one can’t help but wonder which other of the multitudinous remaining family members will be shown the door.

Filed under Microsoft, Windows Live, Windows Live Spaces, Windows Live Writer, WordPress

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September 17, 2010

iPad stunts laptop notebook PC sales … and thereby Microsoft’s sales

Posted by David Hunter at 5:45 PM ET.

NPD and Morgan Stanley Research are reporting that notebook PC sales growth (monthly year over year) has been in decline since Apple’s iPad was released and now has gone negative. There are undoubtedly a number of factors at work, but the iPad is surely a major one. Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn “said internal estimates showed that the iPad had cannibalized sales from laptop PCs by as much as 50 percent.”

While this is certainly hard cheese for the PC makers, there is someone else who is taking it on the chin: Microsoft. Almost all of those laptops PCs that didn’t move were running the Windows operating system and many would pick up some version of Microsoft Office as well. Those sales have now vanished and when the Microsoft Windows and Office cash cows stumble, so does Microsoft. Stand by for some interesting earnings reports from Redmond.

Update: There’s a lot of skepticism about Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn’s statement and he’s now backpedaling rapidly without denying he said it. I tend to think it was simply a misstatement since the implied hit on notebooks sales is so much larger than the Morgan Stanley report would require. Speaking of which, a comment from the author of the Morgan Stanley article says that the sales figures showing the decline include netbooks. That is better news for traditional PC makers, but since most netbooks these days run Windows, it is cold comfort for Microsoft.

Filed under Apple, Coopetition, Financial, General Business, Microsoft

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September 10, 2010

Nokia grabs Microsoft’s Stephen Elop as President and CEO

Posted by David Hunter at 1:08 PM ET.

Nokia today announced the appointment of Stephen Elop, currently the President of Microsoft’s Business Division (i.e. mostly Office), as their new president and CEO starting September 21. Nokia needed a change since they have been left as far behind in the smartphone race as Microsoft, but observers are skeptical if Elop is the right man for a tough job (similar thoughts here).

As for Microsoft, no replacement has been named and now Steve Ballmer has two major Microsoft businesses reporting directly to him, the Business Division and the Entertainment & Devices Division.

Filed under Coopetition, Employee Retention, Executives, General Business, Microsoft, Nokia, Stephen Elop, Steve Ballmer

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Microsoft shutters Vine emergency news service

Posted by David Hunter at 11:55 AM ET.

Microsoft today announced the closing of the Vine emergency meta news and social network service that they had announced in April 2009. No specific reason was given:

Despite positive feedback from customers like you over the course of Vine’s private beta, Microsoft has made the decision to discontinue Microsoft Vine effective October 11, 2010. After this date, you will no longer be able to access Microsoft Vine. We suggest that you record any contact information currently stored in Vine, prior to October 11th.

I frankly found the concept more than a trifle dubious at the time it was announced, but chalked it up as some sort of public service and public relations effort. That has now been ended.

Filed under General Business, Home Software, Microsoft, Microsoft Vine, Public Relations

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