Tag Archives: Windows 8

Windows 8 And Windows Phone 7 Justify At $28

Microsoft is focusing on improving its entertainment and devices business, which includes PC gaming device Xbox, the Zune portable media player, as well as its Windows mobile operating system.  These businesses together account for just under 10% of Microsoft’s stock value by our estimates.

While Windows phone 7 hasn’t generated as much revenue as expected since its launch last year, management is confident that Windows 8 will be able to provide the much needed boost to help challenge Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. Meanwhile, Microsoft will also earn hefty income from the licensing deals signed with around 7 smartphone vendors.

While we anticipate Microsoft’s revenues from PC games, Windows Mobile and other consumer software will increase from $2.9 billion in 2012 to $3.9 billion by the end of our forecast period, Trefis members expect an increase from $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion during the same period.

We currently have a Trefis price estimate of $28 for Microsoft’s stock, about 15% above the current market price..

Windows 7 Phone Sales Slow, Management Optimistic

Windows 7 Phone saw strong sales for the initial few months after launch in October 2010 [1] but since then the sales have slowed down with market research firm AC Nielsen estimating that Windows Phone 7 accounts for just 1% of the mobile market versus 38% for Google’s Android, 27% for Apple’s iOS and 21% for RIM as of June 2011. [2]

However, Microsoft recently showed developers a preview of Windows 8 and it is quite optimistic that the new OS, with its radically different look and feel and a touch-centric user interface, will boost Windows phone 7 sales. It is also planning to launch an app store, in a nod to the success of Apple’s powerful ecosystem of products and distribution platform for apps and updates. Moreover, with Google acquiring Motorola, Microsoft remains the only pure smartphone software provider which should make it a better alternative over Android and iOS and thereby attract more smartphone vendors.

Income from Patent Licensing Deals

Microsoft has a total of 7 Android patent licensing deals with the last two coming from Acer and ViewSonic. (See Microsoft Signs with Acer and ViewSonic for License Fee from Android Sales) Under these agreements, the companies will have to pay Microsoft a fixed licensing fee for each Android device that they ship. It also has deals with manufacturers like HTC, General Dynamics, Wistron and Onkyo from whom it nets around $5-$15 for each Android device sold. In this way, it can also encourage these manufacturers in using Windows Phone 7 over Android.



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Microsoft granted patent for Metro UI on the Windows Phone

Microsoft is playing around the new Metro for implementation on different platforms — mobile, tablets, PC and game console.

Microsoft has been granted patent for the Metro User Interface by the US Patent and Trademark Office. This patent was filed under the name ‘Visual motion for user interface feedback’.

Microsoft has been working to implement the Metro UI into Windows 8 and Xbox 360 in order to create a similar and synergised user experience between three platforms — Mobile, Tablets, Computer and Gaming Console. That is exactly what its rival Apple has been trying to achieve with the release of Mac OS X Lion and iOS 5 update.

The Metro UI in the Windows Phone 7 is aimed at a simple, fluid and easy to adept user interface. The design cues from the Metro UI will be implemented in the next major operating system update — Windows 8. Apart from that, even Xbox 360 and tablets will get some Metro UI styling so that the Xbox LIVE dashboard looks similar to the Games Hub on the Windows Phone device.

The patent application abstract states: “Aspects of a user interface that provides visual feedback in response to user input. For example, boundary effects are presented to provide visual cues to a user to indicate that a boundary in a movable user interface element (e.g., the end of a scrollable list) has been reached. As another example, parallax effects are presented in which multiple parallel or substantially parallel layers in a multi-layer user interface move at different rates, in response to user input. As another example, simulated inertia motion of UI elements is used to provide a more natural feel for touch input. Various combinations of features are described.”

Several inferences can be derived from this move by Microsoft and the most obvious one is prevention of any lawsuit debacles.

What is it in for consumers? Well, let us hope that the investment in the Metro UI patent doesn’t impact sale or shipping of any Microsoft products in future. If that happens, several opportunists will try to make the best of the situation and make quick cash via gray garage sales.

Metro UI on the Windows Phone is good but the experience will not be exactly the same across different platforms.


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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Microsoft, Windows 8


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Windows 8 – the screen of the future?

When Microsoft makes an announcement about a new version of Windows, the rest of the technology industry sits up and takes notice, and the unveiling of Windows 8 was no different.

It’s quite a big change from previous versions of the operating system, being designed to work with both tablet computers and desktop and laptop models.

We’ll take a look at Windows 8 and see what it means for home PC owners.

Windows is still the most widely used operating system (OS) in homes and businesses, but other manufacturers are making inroads into its market share. That’s particularly true given the changing way in which we use computers.

Only a couple of years ago, most users had either a laptop or a desktop computer, but now with more powerful smartphones and tablet computers appearing every month, that’s changing. Soon it won’t be necessary to use a full-size computer for many tasks, and that’s a big threat to Microsoft’s dominance.

It doesn’t currently have an operating system for tablets – some of them use Windows 7 but it’s always been unsatisfactory because it’s designed for big screens, mice and keyboards, not small touch-sensitive displays.

Microsoft does have a smartphone operating system, Windows Phone 7, but it is quite recent and doesn’t have much support yet (though the first phones have been impressive).

Windows 8 is an attempt to take back some of the ground Microsoft has lost to Google and Apple, with their Android and iOS devices. It is designed to be a one-size-fits-all version that will work on all kinds of computer.

Its design takes a lead from Windows Phone, with a ‘Start screen’ that contains a series of panels or tiles (pictured above). As on a Windows Phone, tapping a panel opens up the tool with which it’s associated, such as a web browser, calendar or email program.

Some of the panels show useful information such as a recent social network update, upcoming appointment or how many unread emails you have. There’s also a store from which users can download and buy programs.

Microsoft also announced that the new version will run on processors designed by British company Arm, which are used in most of the tablet computers currently in production.

Staying familiar
The Start screen doesn’t replace the old Windows interface – on tapping the Desktop tile, users will be taken back to the familiar Windows Desktop with its icons and Windows.

Small screens will be limited to the old Windows Desktop, and people with large screens will be able to use them both side-by-side by swiping a finger across the screen to choose between the two.

Older computers won’t be left out in the rush to support tablets, according to Microsoft, which said the system requirements will be the same or lower than they are for the current Windows 7. That also means that tablet computers will be able to run the new operating system without slowing down too much or needing big improvements in hardware.

In any case, by the time Windows 8 is likely to become available in a year or so, newer tablet computers using much more powerful processors will be widely sold.

Not every PC maker is happy about the future of Windows. JT Wang, the chairman and chief executive of Acer, told the Bloomberg news agency that the restrictions Microsoft was making on hardware makers was ‘troublesome’, although he didn’t identify the exact problem.

Microsoft was keen to point out that there wouldn’t be separate versions of Windows for each type of computer – a single version will work on laptops, desktops and tablet models.

Corporate vice president Mike Anguilo told the launch press conference in Taiwan: “You don’t need to choose between new and old. All of the same functionality you see on a touch-only system works great on a keyboard and a mouse.”

Our verdict
Windows 8 is a big change for Microsoft. The question is whether it is already too late to capitalise on tablet computers.

By the time Windows 8 appears, the iPad will have consolidated its position as the biggest-selling tablet computer, and Android tablets, which are starting to look very impressive, will have got better and more powerful.

Microsoft is betting that people will decide they want to have the same experience on their tablets and other computers and Windows 8 is designed to make that happen. The next few months will see more announcements and previews, and we’ll keep you posted.

Do you think it’s a good idea to have one operating system for tablet and desktop computers? Does Windows 8 sound like a good idea or a flop? Let us know by emailing


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Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Microsoft, Windows 7, Windows 8


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5 more free tools for Windows 7 you have to try

Despite all of Windows 7’s capabilities, creative developers keep finding cool utilities to offer to make it even better

Every couple of months, it’s both entertaining and useful to revisit the tools and toys available to make our desktop experience smoother, more flexible, and, yes, more fun.

A while back, I identified eight free Windows 7 tools you have to try and later revealed some truly awesome tools for Windows 7 power users. I have five more “gotta try” Windows tools for you to consider:

[ Get all the details you need on deploying and using Windows 7 in the InfoWorld editors’ 21-page Windows 7 Deep Dive PDF special report. | Stay abreast of key Microsoft technologies in our Technology: Microsoft newsletter. ]

1. Mosaic Project’s CodePlex: With all the fuss about Windows 8 and the new Metro UI that feels more like Windows Phone 7, CodePlex has a “skin” of sorts that will give you the feel of Windows 8 today. It’s not fully functional, but it does contain a set of widgets that pulls content from the Web or your PC into the live tile UI that we expect to see with the next release of Windows.

2. ProduKey from NirSoft Freeware: If you’ve ever had to do a reinstall, you know how frustrating it can be if you cannot find your product key. Perhaps you have a bank of keys and forgot which one went with which system. ProduKey displays the Product ID and the CD key for Windows and Microsoft Office, as well as Exchange and SQL Server for your servers. You can use it to view the information on your current system or on a system over the network through command-line options. Never worry about losing a product key for Windows or Office again.

3. Bins by 1-up Industries: From the same folks who brought us Fences, Bins is a great organizer that combines related programs on your taskbar into bins to help reduce clutter and allow you to access your programs quickly. You can do more than just pin programs to Bins; you can pin files and folders as well.

4. Joli OS by Jolicloud: This tool is simply awesome. In fact, Joli OS is, as the name suggests, more of an entire operating system than a tool, providing a Web-based OS that could give Google Chrome a run for its money in terms of power and ease. What’s really cool is that you can install it as a dual-boot OS with an existing Windows 7 system, then pop into Joli OS quickly to shoot off an email or do some Web browsing. In fact, you can jump into Joli OS and get your work done in the time it takes for Windows 7 to get to the login screen. Obviously the value of the dual boot is to allow you to keep using Windows 7 for more complex tasks, such as gaming, video and photo editing, and so on.

5. GbR by Dexpot: This tool allows you to have different virtual desktops that you can use to organize your working structure by placing applications you need on multiple desktops. You might have email on one, Internet on another, video games on a third, and so on. With GbR, you can use different screen resolutions, have 3D transitions between each desktop, and work with plug-ins.

There you have it: five more tools that can help make your Windows 7 experience both more productive and more fun. If you have additional tools you like, please mention them in the comments section to share with your fellow readers.

This article, “5 more free tools for Windows 7 you have to try,” was originally published at Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese’s Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at For the latest business technology news, follow on Twitter.


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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Phone 7


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Microsoft’s Ballmer talks Windows 8, Windows Phone 7 and more

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer has been making more comments about Microsoft’s future projects, including Windows 8. Ballmer made his latest remarks at the 2011 edition of the Imagine Cup finals, an annual competition that brings together hundreds of student programmers from around the world. This year’s Imagine Cup, which is sponsored by Microsoft is being held in New York City. Ballmer’s opening speech is reprinted on Microsoft’s web site where he admitted that this is the first time he has attended the Imagine Cups finals.

Ballmer talked about a number of Microsoft’s divisions and businesses in his speech. He spoke in general about Windows 8, saying, “Hey, what’s Windows 8? How do we drive it? What do we make happen? What are the key phenomena? When do we get to release it? How do we make it better, and better and better? Yes, there are some other guys we compete with. Boom we’ve got to do better, and better, and better, and better, and better. It’s pretty exciting, pretty exciting stuff.”  Later in his speech Ballmer stated, “Windows 8 will be pretty important. You’ll hear more about that at our developer conference Build in September.” Rumors have already hit the Internet that the Build conference is where Microsoft will release the first beta version of Windows 8.

Ballmer also spoke about the Windows Phone business, saying, ” … we’re charging forward with Nokia. We have the second generation of our phones coming out this Christmas, and people are starting to do things they had never imagined before.” he also talked about the recently launch of the cloud-based Office 365 software suite and how businesses in general are using cloud based services more and more. He states, “Twelve months ago, you talked to these big corporate IT departments and they’d say, we’re not moving to the cloud. They were very conservative. Here we are 12 months later, and people are saying, we know we’ve got to go, we’ve got to move. We don’t know exactly how quickly, some things will move fast and slow.”

Ballmer also briefly mentioned the company’s upcoming acquisition of the Skype Internet phone service and also the Bing search engine, stating, ” … most of us as human beings want to command these systems to do something for us. And the core technology we’re developing to understand and try to simulate the world of users and what they’re interested in, and how they want to get it done is all being done in Bing.”


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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Windows 7 Phone, Windows 8


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Windows 8 Early Build Hints at Apple, webOS Competitor

Microsoft’s next Windows could be a cross-platform OS in the style of Apple’s iOS or Hewlett-Packard’s webOS, if supposed early builds are to be believed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 11, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Hoping that 3rd time is a charm for Windows Phone 7 at MIX 2011

They say patience is a virtue and with Windows Phone 7, or other Microsoft’s offerings in the mobile space, I have to say that trait has been definitely tested at least for myself. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 11, 2011 in iPad, Windows 8, WP7


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Leaked Windows 8 Screenshots Show Phone 7 Tiles

Screenshots purported to be from Microsoft’s Windows 8 show Windows Phone 7-like tiles and a toolbar similar to Office 2007. Windows 8 is expected to be friendly to tablets, which means making it compatible with ARM processors, as shown by CEO Steve Ballmer at the Consumer Electronics Show. Windows 8 may have dual-track versions. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Microsoft, Windows 7 Phone, Windows 8


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Microsoft Leak: Early Windows 8 Details Emerge

Windows 7 was a major stride for Microsoft as the company tried to escape the tarnished reputation of their previous operating system. Fortunately, at least one product stood out from the rest during the Windows Vista years: Office 2007. The productivity suite dropped the traditional grey file menu bar with a brand new friendly ribbon interface. Read the rest of this entry »


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Windows 8 says hello to Ribbons

Multiple sites are reporting today that Microsoft will be implementing a new user interface for its upcoming Windows 8 operating system, including replacing toolbars with “Ribbons,” as seen in Microsoft Office. Read the rest of this entry »


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