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Microsoft: Upgrade from Office 2003, but not to Office 2013

Go for Office 365 in the cloud instead
Submitted by Tim Greene on Tue, 03/25/14 - 10:24am.

When support for the decade-old Office 2003 expires April 8 customers should transition to Office 365, the cloud-based version of the pervasive productivity suite that will never leave users with an upgrade decision.

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A Microsoft version of Android would be a nightmare for everybody

The pros don't come close to outweighing the cons.
Submitted by Tim Greene on Thu, 02/13/14 - 1:28pm.

There’s talk about Microsoft embracing Android, either as a mobile OS topped by Windows features and services or by providing support for Android applications within Windows.

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Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 for free?

Microsoft operating-system shakeup rumors promise a streamlined development structure
Submitted by Tim Greene on Thu, 12/12/13 - 1:07pm.

Rumors about the future of Microsoft’s operating systems – Windows, Windows RT, Windows Phone and the XBox OS – indicate possible moves toward consolidation and perhaps even making some of them available for free.

The latest as reported by The Verge says is considering making Windows RT and Windows Phone free.

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South Park: A dead Bill Gates engineers the murder of Steve Ballmer over Xbox competition

Grim scene in which Gates lectures a dying Ballmer about being a winner
Submitted by Tim Greene on Thu, 11/21/13 - 1:18pm.

The only thing more brutal than Microsoft-Sony gamebox competition is South Park’s depiction of how brutal that competition is.

In the most recent episode, the folks producing the show have created a scene in which Bill Gates lectures a mortally wounded Steve Ballmer about the cutthroat nature of that rivalry. (If you click on that link, beware it’s pretty NSFW. The scene in question is at 7:47)

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FAQ: The Microsoft-Nokia deal

What’s the acquisition mean to Microsoft and its future?
Submitted by Tim Greene on Tue, 09/03/13 - 3:32pm.


Microsoft and Nokia have an agreement under which Microsoft will buy the Finnish phone and services company, thereby actually transforming itself from a software company to a devices and services company – the mantra its executives have been repeating relentlessly for the past year or so.

There are lots of subtleties to the transaction, and here is a set of questions and answers to help frame the key parts of the pending deal.

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Microsoft: Ballmer may be going but our direction remains the same

Official blog says the company’s beliefs are unchanged
Submitted by Tim Greene on Wed, 08/28/13 - 2:23pm.

Microsoft promises to keep hammering away at same business principles that were forged during the tenure of CEO Steve Ballmer, who has announced he’s leaving the company within a year.

According to The Official Microsoft Blog the company will adhere to the core beliefs that it and Ballmer first articulated last fall:

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Microsoft’s SkyDrive hits trademark trouble in Europe

Microsoft might have seen this one coming.
Submitted by Tim Greene on Mon, 07/01/13 - 3:16pm.

You’d think Microsoft would have learned its lesson about trademarks and the European Union, but apparently not.

A court in the U.K. says the name of Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud service violates BSkyB’s trademark on the word sky because it could confuse consumers into thinking SkyDrive is a service of BSkyB, which provides cable TV, including shows sent via the Internet, and acts as an ISP. It also offers TV channels called Sky Moves and Sky Sports, and sells platforms called Sky+, Sky Digital and Sky Broadband.

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Microsoft boosts its Electronic Frontier Foundation privacy rating

It bags a 4 out of 6 rating, earns praise for exposing prevalence of National Security Letters
Submitted by Tim Greene on Tue, 04/30/13 - 6:19pm.

Microsoft is winning praise from the Electronic Frontier Foundation for taking stronger stands to protect the privacy of customers’ data that it stores in its cloud data centers.

In its annual “Who’s Got Your Back?” report the EFF singles out Microsoft for praise twice – for publishing the number of times it provided data to the government and for requiring warrants before turning over private messages to law enforcement.

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Foxconn pays Android license fees to Microsoft despite Google’s claim they’re unjustified

Manufacturers pony up to avoid litigation
Submitted by Tim Greene on Wed, 04/17/13 - 9:59am.

While Google insists that Microsoft doesn’t own intellectual property included in its Android operating system, manufacturers who make Android devices think its smarter to pay Microsoft royalties on disputed patents than to get entangled in court cases.

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Microsoft lures Windows XP business customers to Windows 8 with a 15% discount

The problem is Windows 7 may be a better fit
Submitted by Tim Greene on Tue, 04/09/13 - 6:45pm.

Microsoft stops supporting Windows XP just about a year from now and perhaps not coincidentally it is offering a discount to customers who upgrade from XP to Windows 8.

The offer is aimed at businesses that use up to 249 licenses. Through June 30 they are eligible for a 15% discount off the price of upgrading from Windows SP Professional to Windows 8 Pro. The package includes Office Standard 2013 at a 15% discount as well.

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Microsoft Hotmail, Outlook, SkyDrive problems could hurt customer confidence

Is it really a good idea to trust the cloud?
Submitted by Tim Greene on Wed, 03/13/13 - 11:43am.

Microsoft paints a rosy picture of customers storing documents and other data in the cloud so they are accessible from any Internet-connected device, but yesterday’s outage of its mail and storage services should make anybody rethink the proposition.

These services are potentially great if the technology delivers on the features Microsoft promises, but availability is key. It’s no good to have email and files queued up and ready to go in a data center somewhere if there is no way to get them delivered.

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Microsoft seeks to capture a generation of Office 365 users

Free subscriptions for college kids could make them customers for life
Submitted by Tim Greene on Mon, 03/11/13 - 2:25pm.

Microsoft is offering college students its cloud-based Office service free for six months, a move that could help solidify Office as a package they’ll want to keep using once they graduate.

The offer gives eligible students Office 365 for three months plus an additional three months if they share the offer on their Facebook pages.

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Microsoft could pay billions for running afoul in Europe

European Commission to fine the company, Denmark files tax suit
Submitted by Tim Greene on Tue, 03/05/13 - 1:07pm.

Microsoft faces stiff penalties in Europe for failing to give customers there an adequate choice of Web browsers in its Windows operating systems, and now it is being chased by the Danish tax authority as well.

The European Commission ruled last year that Microsoft failed to comply with an order to give customers a clear choice of using something other than Internet Explorer for their browser during setup of Windows machines.

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Should Azure customers worry about reliability?

Outage hints of maintenance process failure
Submitted by Tim Greene on Mon, 02/25/13 - 5:31pm.

It’s hard to stay on top of everything all the time so it’s understandable that something like renewing a security certificate could fall through the cracks as it did to Microsoft last week, grinding its Azure Cloud Service to a halt.

But if you provide a critical service to corporate customers,  routine updates -  like renewing certificates before they expire – ought to be just another routine part of doing business, details that gets taken care of in a routine way.

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Windows 8 guru names the top 8 trends at CES

The former Windows chief at Microsoft, Steven Sinofsky, likes the things that reflect what the company is already promoting
Submitted by Tim Greene on Thu, 01/17/13 - 1:23pm.

The man who oversaw production of Windows 8 for Microsoft then quit still has admiration for what his former employer is up to, based on his latest blog about what he liked at CES 2013 last week.

The top eight trends Steven Sinofsky spotted at the show fall in line with what Microsoft has been touting with Windows 8, Surface tablets and new services that supplement the operating system.

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Windows 8 portables to get inexpensive, long-lived by Xmas 2013?

New Haswell chips will power touch-enabled, $600 machines with all-day batteries
Submitted by Tim Greene on Tue, 01/08/13 - 9:50am.

Wait until next Christmas to buy a Windows 8 ultrabook for $600, says Intel. Well, more or less.

The company predicts that by the end of the year PC makers will be cranking out low-powered portables with touchscreens based on new Intel chips that can support Windows 8 hardware specifications.

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‘Christmas gift for someone you hate: Windows 8’

And the review by an MIT computer scientist only gets worse from there.
Submitted by Tim Greene on Fri, 12/07/12 - 12:23pm.

That headline runs atop a blog by MIT researcher and instructor as well as serial entrepreneur Philip Greenspun who ran Windows 8 through its paces and found it wanting in several areas.

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Rumored follow-ons for Surface tablets; reduced orders for original Surface

Even if true, not astonishing.
Submitted by Tim Greene on Mon, 12/03/12 - 5:11pm.

The big Windows 8 rumors out today are that Microsoft has cut in half its order for Surface RT tablets even as the company is in the thick of work on the next generation of the products.

First, the cut in orders. That rumor comes from DigiTimes which says the order for Surface RT tablets has been cut from 4 million to 2 million. That’s based on unnamed sources.

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Microsoft buys a starring role for its Surface tablet on TV’s 'Suburgatory'

The show scripts a romance between the device and its lead character
Submitted by Tim Greene on Thu, 11/29/12 - 8:32am.

Last night Microsoft spent what must have been a healthy chunk of the rumored $1 billion marketing budget for its Windows 8 Surface tablets with one of the most comprehensive product placements ever seen in a TV sit-com.

The tablet was actually written into the script of ABC’s "Suburgatory" as the love interest for the lead character, Tessa, who at one point refers to the device as "sexy" and "the man in my life."

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Why is Steven Sinofsky really leaving Microsoft?

His legacy is brilliance, accomplishment, abrasiveness, opportunism.
Submitted by Tim Greene on Tue, 11/13/12 - 8:32am.

It’s hard to imagine why someone would walk away from one of the most powerful jobs within Microsoft just weeks after launching two products that its CEO says together rank among the top three events in the company’s storied history.

But that is just what Steven Sinofsky has done, stepping down as president of the Windows and Windows Live division where Windows 8 and Microsoft Surface tablets were spawned.

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