Bill Gates Claims iPad Users ‘Are Frustrated’

iPad Surface

Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, a very intelligent individual and leading philanthropist, appeared on American cable channel CNBC this morning to speak primarily about interest rates and other corporate matters. But the Microsoft co-founder was also probed about the post-PC era and continued emergence of tablets, to which he provided some interesting remarks.

Gates acknowledged that while Microsoft is still attempting to compete in a market that is dominated by iPad-like devices, that “a lot of those users are frustrated” because “they can’t type, they can’t create documents [and] they don’t have Office.” While I have tremendous respect for Gates, I simply disagree with that statement. It is more than possible to use the iPad as a professional workstation.  (more…)

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Report: Microsoft to Announce Next-Generation Surface in June

Blue Microsoft Surface

Taiwanese publication DigiTimes, citing upstream supply chain sources, claims Microsoft is preparing to launch the second-generation Surface next month. According to the report, the Redmond-based corporation will announce the tablet at its Build conference, scheduled for June 26th-28th, and has already ordered components for between 1 and 1.5 million Intel-based units.

To better compete with the myriad of smaller tablets on the market, Microsoft is said to shrink the Surface screen size to between 7- and 9-inches. Comparatively, the Nexus 7 and iPad mini have 7-inch and 7.9-inch displays respectively. Since estimated sales of the original Surface RT have been weak, at less than 1.8 million, Microsoft is reportedly playing it cautious about this forthcoming model.

Microsoft released the original Surface tablet last October to little fanfare, and quarterly sales figures are the evidence. In the past two quarters, it is estimated that Microsoft shipped 900,000 units or less of the tablet. If the company wants to compete with the likes of Apple and Google, it will have to seriously step up its game. Since the Surface launched, Apple has sold over 42.4 million iPads.

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Microsoft Ships Just 900,000 Surface Tablets in Second Quarter

Microsoft Ships Just 900,000 Surface Tablets in Second Quarter

microsoft-surface-small-2Tom Warren for The Verge writes:

Microsoft shipped 900,000 Surface tablets during the recent quarter, according to data from IDC. Following rumors of strong initial Surface Pro sales, IDC says the combined total for Surface RT and Surface Pro was under just one million, with most of the units made up of Surface Pro.

That’s less than 1.8 million Surface tablets shipped in the past two quarters, compared to 42.4 million iPads.

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Microsoft Mocks Galaxy and iPhone Users in New Windows Phone Ad

iPhone and Android smartphone users, it’s time to put your differences aside for at least a few moments. Microsoft has just released a new TV advertisement for Windows Phone, mocking the flame wars that often occur between people that use either an Apple or Samsung smartphone. I think, for at least one time, everyone can agree that it’s pretty comical.

In the one-minute spot, promoting the Lumia 920, Microsoft makes fan of both the enormous size of Galaxy devices and Siri voice assistant on iPhone as part of an overall mockery of the heated rivalry between users of each platform. Just as a man and woman are about to be wed, guests at the wedding begin making sarcastic remarks about each other’s smartphones, and it soon erupts into full-out mayhem.

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Microsoft Announcing Next-Generation Xbox on May 21st

Xbox_720-570x380[1]

Call of Duty fans rejoice, as Microsoft has invited members of the press to a special event next month to unveil its next-generation Xbox console. The gaming rig will be unveiled at Microsoft’s corporate headquarters in Redmond, Washington on May 21st at 10:00 AM Pacific, and is rumored to feature a 1.6 GHz eight-core AMD processor, 8 GB of RAM, an 800 MHz graphics processor, Blu-ray support and gigabit Ethernet connectivity. Will you be getting one?

[BGR]

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Microsoft Pushing for Greater Availability of Surface Pro

surface pro

Microsoft’s Surface Pro may not be the most popular tablet around, but it appears that there is plenty of demand for the device. The product, which has seen fairly strong demand since its launch, will soon be more widely available in countries across the world.

According to Mary Jo Foley on her ZDNet publication, Microsoft will launch the Pro in “Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom” before the end of May. This large rollout shows that Microsoft has finally brought its production chain up to capacity, and can now handle the inevitable demand for the Windows 8-powered tablet across the world.

[ZDNet]

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The Windows Start Button Shall Return

The new Start Screen in Windows 8.

The new Start Screen in Windows 8.

The iconic Start button that Microsoft removed in Windows 8, to much disapproval, will soon make a welcomed return to the operating system. According to sources for The Verge, the Windows 8.1 update is said to include the revival of the Start button in the bottom-left corner.

The button will not provide access to the traditional Start menu, however, but rather act as a shortcut to the new tiled Start Screen. This change could be reflected in the upcoming Windows 8.1 Public Preview, or in the final version coming later this year.

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Images of Nokia’s Next-Generation Lumia Surface

Catwalk 2

While the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One have just been announced, there is not yet a next-generation flagship on the Windows Phone side. That may be about to change, with rumors of an improved Nokia Lumia handset culminating today in leaked photos of such a device. The device, which appears to be crafted from aluminum instead of Nokia’s signature polycarbonate plastic, would also feature faster specifications that include a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 chip, 16 GB of flash storage, and a 4.5″ display that is presumed to be either 720p or 1080p resolution.

Also included is a state-of-the-art camera, as Nokia’s sensors have historically been some of the best. While Lumia sales have grown in markets outside the US, the Finland-based company has yet to penetrate the United States. As Microsoft’s premier partner with Windows Phone, it’s important that the company continue to grow its presence.

[WPCentral]

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Follow-up: Why the Future of Microsoft Doesn’t Appear Promising

New-Microsoft-Logo

Earlier this morning, I published a story about how the outlook for Microsoft looks rather dismal heading into the months and years ahead. Unfortunately, it was sloppy journalism. I’ll admit that. I’m a college student that occasionally writes on the fly, so sometimes my opinions get mashed into an indecent article with inadequate factual information to back up my points. So, if you will allow me, I will give it another shot.

Let me begin with the decline of the PC market, highlighted by plummeting sales and shrinking profit margins. Most analysts predict that the situation is only going to get worse, simply because PCs are becoming too good these days for consumers to merit an upgrade. Moreover, traditional PC sales are being hindered by the increasing market share of Macs and gradual shift towards the adoption of tablets over full-sized laptops.  (more…)

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The Future Doesn’t Seem Very Promising for Microsoft

Microsoft's attempt at tackling the tablet industry with the Surface, pictured above, has been largely unsuccessful.

Microsoft’s attempt at tackling the iPad with the Surface tablet has been largely unsuccessful.

The decline of the PC era is only going to get worse, analysts predict. Netbook sales are being cannibalized by tablets, namely the iPad. Microsoft’s own Surface tablet has been largely unable to make even in a small dent in the tablet market. And even Windows Phone has been largely an aside, with significantly smaller market share over the likes of iPhone and Android-powered smartphones.

The future doesn’t look all that promising for Microsoft.

And, perhaps worse, the company is not cool anymore. Apple is cool. Samsung is cool. Microsoft? Not so much. Perhaps the Redmond-based corporation should start from the top, and seriously evaluate how effective Steve Ballmer has been in his chief executive position at Microsoft. After all, he is highly-regarded as the worst CEO of any major corporation. But, in the meantime, it could be a bumpy road for Microsoft.

How do you think Microsoft will fare in the months and years ahead?

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