An often irreverent look at this week's other news, including a belated Microsoft crackdown on bogus and scam apps, a re-released Windows Update still requires you to work it, Satya is going to China, Apple set to invent NFC and revolutionize something, Nokia brings HERE to Android and Samsung, Google is testing drones outside the United States, and more.
Apple just can't catch a break in its long-running US-based court battle against Samsung. After a jury awarded Apple over $2 billion less in damages than it had sought, the consumer electronics giant tried a different tact: An injunction preventing the sale of Samsung's infringing products in the United States. But the judge overseeing the case has tossed out that request. Apple, it seems, just hasn't been damaged enough by Samsung's copying to warrant such a move.
Quirky online retailer Amazon.com announced this week that it will purchase the Twitch streaming gaming network for over $1 billion in cash and employee retention fees. Twitch is available on Microsoft's Xbox One, rival gaming platforms, and the PC, and it provides live and recorded game session viewing.
With the rumor mill and my own sources starting to excitedly drop hints about a coming new major version of Windows, it's time to dust off those beta-testing skills, wash the bad taste of Windows 8 out of your mouth and get busy: Within a month or so, we'll have a technical preview of Windows 9 to tinker with. And this time around, you might actually want to pay attention.
California governor Jerry Brown on Monday signed off on a "kill switch" bill that is aimed at sharply curbing smart phone theft. The law—which will impact smart phone sales throughout the US and the world—goes into effect in July 2015 and requires smart phone makers to build a software switch into their devices that would render them useless if stolen.
Like the ghost of antitrust past, China this week announced that Internet Explorer and Windows Media Player are the targets of its recently launched antitrust investigation against Microsoft. The software giant has faced similar probes in the past—the distant past. Why is China dredging up this old and presumably superfluous issue now?
China hopes to ship the first version of a homegrown PC-based operating system in October. The system poses a major challenge to Microsoft's Windows, which is currently dominant in the country. And it will eventually be adapted to work on smart phones and tablets too.
An often irreverent look at this week's other news, including the ongoing problem of "scam" apps in the Windows Store, HP's quarter is saved by strong PC sales, HP's layoffs dwarf Microsoft's, Sony doesn't understand why the PS 4 is doing so well, but I think I have the answer, and Apple's stock surges on speculation, as always.
The sudden announcement earlier this week that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was stepping away from the Microsoft board of directors raised a number of questions. But the elephant in the room, so to speak, is another former Microsoft leader who's been hanging around the firm's Redmond campus a lot more than usual lately. Is it finally time for Microsoft co-founder and tech industry icon Bill Gates to step away from the software giant for good as well?
Former Microsoft CEO has stepped down from the company's board of directors. The move, which comes just six months after he retired from Microsoft, effectively severs Mr. Ballmer's ties to the company, though he is of course still its biggest individual shareholder. The question is: Why?
Microsoft removed the download links to several Patch Tuesday-based software updates after customers complained of frequent problems, including in some cases non-booting PCs and Blue Screens. This isn't just unprecedented, folks, it's catastrophic, and it casts a pall over Microsoft's rapid release strategy.
Sprint dropped its $32 billion bid to purchase T-Mobile earlier this month because US antitrust regulators had indicated that they would block the merger. Now, it looks like the government got it right for a change: In just the few weeks since that reversal, both Sprint and T-Mobile have moved aggressively to lower prices and make more versatile wireless plans available to customers.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer still commands almost 60 percent of desktop PC web browser usage, a figure that has held steady for over a year. But IE is widely viewed as the AOL of web browsers, something that the unwashed masses use only because they don't realize there are viable, even superior, alternatives. And the software giant is hoping to change that.
While Microsoft has always rejected the quasi-religious message behind the free software movement, the company is inherently pragmatic. And with the personal computing market moving quickly to highly portable mobile devices running other platforms, Microsoft has little choice but to follow suit and make Windows free on such devices. Will this strategy work?
An often irreverent look at this week's other news, including a side-trip to Africa, Surface losses and investments, Microsoft finally moves to secure Internet Explorer, Microsoft will finally open a store in New York, a disrespectful parting gift from a former Nokia factory in China, the USPTO shoots down yet another Apple patent claim, and Yahoo teams with Google on encrypted email.