After a four year investigation, European Union regulators are poised to demand sweeping changes to the way Google licenses the Android mobile OS to device makers. That's according to a report in Reuters, which says the European Commission will likely charge Google with abusing its monopoly power in mobile devices by forcing companies to bundle its apps and services.
When it comes to China, Microsoft is being forced to take the bad with the good. So while the firm is currently being investigated there for alleged antitrust violations, it was also able to secure a launch date for Xbox One in that country. Microsoft's latest video game console will launch in China on September 23.
China's antimonopoly enforcement agency confirmed on Wednesday that it is investigating Microsoft "on suspicions of monopolistic behavior." Previous reports noted that China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce visited several Microsoft offices on Monday and interviewed employees, but we now know that the agency also seized PCs, hard drives and documentation.
Among the early knocks against Windows Phone was a sadly valid complaint: It simply wasn't suitable for many enterprises due to a lack of mobile device management policies, apps, and other deficiencies. But as we enter the second half of 2014, that's all changing. Maybe it's time to reconsider Windows Phone.
Steve Ballmer's bid to purchase an NBA basketball team for a record $2 billion has inched closer to fruition, with a California superior court judge ruling that Rochelle Sterling has the authority to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to the former Microsoft CEO. But the sale won't go through any time soon: Mrs. Sterling's husband, Donald Sterling, has a few more opportunities to squash the deal.
While little is known at this point, Microsoft China has confirmed that it faces an official inquiry in that country, possibly related to antitrust. And various reports note that at least four Microsoft offices in China were visited by government officials early Monday, with those officials questioning employees.
An often irreverent look at this week's other news, including an expansion of Microsoft's retail plans, Yammer moves around as co-founder leaves, tablet slowdown doesn't explain iPad sales freefall, Google grilled by EU regulators over "right to be forgotten," e-book judge is troubled over Apple settlement proposal, and Amazon sells everything but profits.
Google is confronting a harsh reality that Microsoft learned the hard way a decade ago: Antitrust regulators in Europe aren't pushovers like their US-based cousins. And while the search giant is obviously facing a long line of legal challenges around the world, two EU-based issues are coming to a head: A proposed settlement over Google's search business there, and the firm's more recent attempt to meet a "right to be forgotten" ruling.
Apple on Tuesday announced its earnings for the quarter ending June 30. The consumer electronics giant posted a net profit of $7.7 billion on revenue of $37.4 billion, and credited strong iPhone and Mac sales for the results. But the word "iPad" was conspicuously missing from Apple's earnings press release. It turns out that product line has stalled at an inopportune time.
Microsoft earned a net income of $6.48 billion on revenues of $23.38 billion for the quarter ending June 30, in-line with expectations. But an operating loss of $692 million on Nokia's devices and services businesses dragged down stronger-than-expected results from Windows and Office.
How do you follow-up on a TechEd that featured only cloud-based product updates and not a single on-premises upgrade? Why you kill TechEd, of course. And then you bring it back from the dead ... as something else entirely.
In the wake of a wildly successful partner conference and a much more dour and massive set of layoffs, Microsoft will announce its quarterly and annual earnings later today. It's an odd day for such a release—Microsoft usually does such things on Thursday—but my sources say the date was changed to accommodate the firm's schedule, which includes another massive event, this time for employees, that is happening this week in Atlanta. So what can we expect?
Regulators from the European Commission are calling for app store makers to stop identifying mobile apps that provide (or in some cases actually require) in-app purchases as free. And it has called out Apple, in particular, for not doing enough to protect consumers from inadvertent purchases. Google, meanwhile, has already agreed to major reforms for its own app store.
An often irreverent look at this week's other news, including the Microsoft layoffs, it's not just Nokia employees being laid off, "Hello there" isn't that offensive, Microsoft is cutting products and services too, Microsoft will support "right to forget," Lenovo kills off its Windows mini-tablets in North America, Xbox One sales more than double but still fall short of PlayStation 4, Apple teams with IBM on ... something, and Apple to pay $400 million to settle its embarrassing e-book price fixing antitrust case.
As expected, Microsoft announced the largest-ever layoffs in its corporate history, with up to 18,000 employees—or 14 percent of the workforce—expected to lose their jobs over the current fiscal year, which ends in June 2015. Fully half of the 25,000 employees that came to Microsoft from Nokia will be among those let go.