All posts in Microsoft

Apple Wanted Kinect, Steve Ballmer Cashes in Microsoft Shares

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
(Image courtesy of

Microsoft confirmed last Friday that CEO Steve Ballmer plans to sell nearly one-fifth of his shares of the company, valued at .3 billion. Meanwhile, the company’s Kinect gaming technology apparently went to Apple first, but the creator of the technology found them difficult to work with.

AppleInsider has a pair of Microsoft-related stories on Monday, just as the company launches their new Windows Phone 7 handset here in the U.S.

First up is a report that Kinect creator PrimeSense first took the motion-sensing camera to Apple, where CEO Inon Beracha claimed “it was the most natural place for the technology.” According to Cult of Mac, the camera and infrared sensor was first developed by engineers for the Israeli military, with Beracha enlisted to “shop it around Silicon Valley and find partners to commercialize it.”

Unfortunately, the initial meetings with Apple proved a challenge, with Cupertino’s legendary veil of secrecy producing little more than “a stack of crippling legal agreements and NDAs,” Beracha explained. Referring to the company as “a pain in the ass,” the technology soon found a home with Microsoft as part of its Xbox 360 gaming console, released here in the U.S. last Thursday.

Meanwhile, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is planning to cash in on his work with the company, offering up to 75 million shares of his stock by the end of this year “to gain financial diversification and to assist in tax planning,” the software giant said in a statement on Friday. Ballmer has already sold off over 49 million shares in three separate transactions, taking home more than .3 billion.

According to Cnet, Ballmer may be making the move to avoid savings and investment tax hikes that go in effect come January, when capital gains tax rates increase as much as 20 percent. By selling now, the Microsoft CEO likely saved as much as million which could have gone into Uncle Sam’s coffers.

Despite ditching so many stock shares, Ballmer remains committed to Microsoft. “Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion,” the CEO stated in a press release. “I am excited about our new products and the potential for our technology to change people’s lives, and I remain fully committed to Microsoft and its success.”

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Apple Topples Microsoft In Revenue


(Image courtesy of

If you’ll recall, this past May, Apple topped Microsoft in market cap.  But there was still that rascally revenue barrier that Apple still could not quite overcome.  Well, that barrier is no more.  Microsoft just reported .2 billion in revenue for the third quarter.  And Apple?  .34 billion.

Apple had projected that they would hit billion, but as many know, Apple usually likes to lowball their revenue number, so that they can top it.  But not only did Apple reach billion in revenue, Microsoft’s quarter-to-quarter total went up just 0 million.

But just the same, Microsoft still leads in profit – .41 billion versus .31 billion, but as TechCrunch points out, one company is technically a software maker, while the other is mainly a hardware maker.

And that market cap area?  Apple now leads by billion.  And guess who’s nipping on Microsoft’s heels now?  Oh, that would be Google.

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter



Podcast #161: Apps on Apple TV and Microsoft Slated to Open Store Across From Apple Store

Looks like the iOS implementation on the Apple TV can be jailbroken to install apps. Too bad you can’t actually launch the apps with a Launcher. Fingers crossed for a Launched on the Apple TV soon.

Microsoft decides to throw the retail gauntlet down and plans on opening a store across from the Apple Store in the Mall of America. Will there be a dance off? A stare down? Can we get our listeners to walk into the Microsoft Store and ask for an iPhone? Only time will tell.

And finally, the iPad has a faster adoption rate than DVD. That’s insane!

Plus, we answer your hard-hitting Facebook and Twitter questions.

This week’s Battlestar Applactica picks:

Captio – $.99

Nike+ GPS – .99


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Video: Mall of America Pits Apple Against New Microsoft Store

Mall of America Microsoft vs. Apple
(Image and video courtesy of 9to5Mac)

It looks like the folks in Redmond have fired up their copying machines again, this time taking the bold move of building a new Microsoft Store right across the hall from an already-existing Apple Store in the Mall of America.

9to5Mac is reporting that the latest Apple versus Microsoft skirmish has come to the Mall of America, the 4.2 million square foot shopping goliath in Bloomington, Minnesota (located in a suburb of the popular Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul). As you can see from the photo above, Steve Ballmer and Company are erecting a new Microsoft Store across the aisle from the existing Apple Store, which will certainly make for some potentially awkward (but interesting) moments between staff members at the two retailers.

Microsoft currently has four stores open, but the Mall of America location threatens to be much, much larger than Apple’s current location there, if the embedded YouTube video below is any indication — and that’s saying something, since Apple’s location there is already pretty good size.

If we had to guess, we’d say somebody is gonna lose their job once this particular Microsoft Store opens — can there really be room for both right across from each other in such a huge retail space? Time will tell.

Personally, we’d like to see some late-night water balloon fights between the stores, or perhaps a spirited game of dodgeball once the crowds have dispersed for the day. Now that would be entertainment…

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Job Posting Suggests Microsoft Might Be Planning an App Store for Office

This is the generation that will never know life without an app store. These days, every tiny device imaginable has its own app store to tout; even the seemingly useless Peek email reading device has apps for social networking.

Now, Microsoft allegedly wants to jump onto this bandwagon with their own app store of sorts for the next next iteration of Office, most likely the version slated for release in 2013.  The idea that they’re considering this comes from a job posting on Microsoft that says they’re looking for someone who specializes in marketing to run their Office Managed group. Part of the job responsibilities include the description that “You will drive the innovation agenda that excites our partners in areas like ‘Office App Store’.” Oh yeah. You know, that Office app store that’s filled with Fart apps for Microsoft Word.

Follow this article’s author, Florence Ion, on Twitter.


Microsoft Manager: Kinect Will "Blow Away" iPad Sales


There’s no doubt about the success of the Xbox, but Microsoft’s latest claim might have some scratching their heads.  First it’s iPhone “funerals,” and now making some pretty bold claims about Kinect sales.

The company is citing strong pre-orders and the usual seasonal holiday boost to back up their claim.  A spokesman for the Kinect is now saying that the unit will easily out-duel the iPad in sales.

“The preorders have been really strong.  As far as what we’re looking at for Holiday, this is going to be stuff that’ll blow away any of the sales you’ve seen with iPad,” said Microsoft Game Studios manager Kudo Tsunoda, upon being asked what the device’s successes would be.

Kinect is slated to launch in North America on November 4.  Tsunoda thinks that the device’s “deep gameplay” will give it the assist it needs to sail past the iPad.

Buuuut, the Kinect will have some lofty numbers to live up to.  As we all know by now, Apple sold over 1 million iPads in 28 days, and 3 million in its first quarter.

UBS Investment Research is also venturing that Apple will sell 28 million iPads in 2011, going so far to say that estimate might even be on the “conservative” side. 

What do you think about Microsoft’s latest claim readers?  Does the Kinect have a chance of catching up to the iPad?  Not so much?  Feel free to leave your predictions below!

via AppleInsider

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter



Microsoft Working on iPad Apps


It was the tweet heard round the world. Microsoft was said to be working on iPad apps, and this from none other than Microsoft’s blogger Paul Thurrott. Obviously, he was oblique to pique our interest. Consider it piqued.

Sure, Apple makes its own iPad based office software for documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, but the industry standard still remains Microsoft’s Office. This particular suite has been missing from the iOS device platform for some time and the iPad in particular. Sure, office document creation is a bit difficult on the iPhone/iPod touch line of devices with their itty bitty screens. But the gorgeous lush fields of the iPad? Well, it was a gimme.



But time went on and…nothing. Where was Microsoft? Even e-reader competitors like Amazon and Barnes & Noble recognized that getting your brand out there, keeping it fresh, working that ancillary sale market was more important than enforcing a hardware loyalty. (Not sure Apple’s quite that concerned about this, but that’s a whole ‘nother matter.)

Yet, Microsoft had an Mac version of Office, so where was the iPad version of this typically essential suite? Nowhere. And then later? Still nowhere.

Now comes Thurrott’s tweet. Are we to take it to mean that Redmond is busily beavering away for an iPad version of Bing? If so — yawnsville. Maybe their Top 100 songs app? Again, whatever. But Word on the iPad? PowerPoint? Excel? Now we could be getting somewhere.

Let’s hope it’s more than just noise and marketing gimmickry.



Microsoft Throws A "Funeral" For The iPhone


(Image courtesy of Endgadget)

Is it a case of creativity?  Perhaps.  Or is it more that the crew at Microsoft have way too much time on their hands?  Maybe.  Either way, Redmond and Co. decided to live up the Windows Phone 7 reaching RTM status by actually throwing a funeral complete with procession for the iPhone and the Blackberry.

The very decked out parade came with hearses and black capes, and had been organized last week to recognize the “passing” of the BlackBerry and iPhone into the land of unwanted gadgets. 

The group also apparently decided to get their dance moves on to Thriller.  Check it out below.


So what do you think readers?  Is this a case of awesome creativity, or merely poor taste?  Feel free to leave some comments below!

via Endgadget

Follow this article’s author, Matthew Tilmann on Twitter



Microsoft develop Windows Live Messenger for iPhone

Microsoft’s ever so popular instant messaging service is said to be available for the iPhone as early as June 2010.

The app will make use of photo sharing features, a social stream and Windows Live Wave.  Presumably the application will be free, leaving many existing iPhone MSN client developers out of pocket.