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  • PC stocks turn in a strong day amid Intel hopes  [View news story]
    @Ruffdog, my wife and I have two small children and had to move our home office into the bedroom nook. The surface works great when I let her sleep in and code from my dining room table. But productivity is cut down considerably. The touchscreen does help reduce the hit, since touch really does speed up some actions.

    My setup: 2 Win 8 PCs in the bedroom. 1 surface tablet + "type" keyboard in the kitchen (recipes, music, One Note grocery list, etc.) Xbox for TV. Laptop in storage for when I need to hit the road.

    And the fact that the surface keyboard folds *up* vertically, saves a lot of counter space.

    Have to let the wifey sleep in on weekends, or reap the consequences!
    Jan 16, 2014. 10:40 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • PC stocks turn in a strong day amid Intel hopes  [View news story]
    Yep, 2014 is the year PC shipments stabilize.

    US decline at 0%. Worldwide (emerging markets mainly) at minus 6-7%. The PC decline is nearing the bottom.

    Look for a positive adjustment as those who can't produce on a tablet go back to PC.

    I tried to produce software on tablets, was way too small of a keyboard/screen. The surface "type" keyboard is the best I found (large keys, great feel, backlit)...but it is still a tiny device compared to my home/office command centers of wide screens, large keyboard and mouse.

    Bye bye tablet war. Let the war for the TV commence!
    Jan 14, 2014. 06:43 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Android Money Is Financing Microsoft's Lumia Phones And Tablets  [View article]
    Great article, thank you.

    I believe it was two or three quarters ago that there was $1B undefined revenue in their mobile division, and $222M was windows phone. I suspect that the majority of that one billion was android royalties.

    MSFT needs to compete with MSFT...because only MSFT can win. 1. Drop Windows Phone/RT licensing fees & keep enforcing Android royalties. 2. Let the ex-NOK folks finish their Windows skinned Android phone (all MSFT services, no GOOG services....yet still called Android.) 3. Assist the OEMs (Intel at CES) with merging Android, iOS and Windows...but only sell MSFT services and apps.

    MSFT is holding every card in the deck right now, despite the press articles. But the cards won't be valuable forever.

    Long MSFT.
    Jan 9, 2014. 04:19 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft reportedly thinking of offering Windows Phone/RT for free  [View news story]
    "is thinking of eliminating licensing fees for Windows Phone and RT"

    About time. Monetizing the ecosystem (services, apps, movies, music, books) is the future. The days of the tech giants selling software is nearing an end.

    Given that the consumer market shifts massively YoY, prepare for a push well into mid double-digits for the MSFT ecosystem over the mid-term.

    My hopes: MSFT releases an Android OS skinned in Windows Phone/RT (Windows store, bing, etc.), and gives away their Phone/RT licenses free to OEMs. Win/Win.
    Dec 11, 2013. 02:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft might abandon Win. RT; Nomura warns of Xbox losses  [View news story]
    MSFT owns plenty of FB, and what did FB do?
    1. The FB Home "aka Facebook phone" runs on Android.
    2. Partner with Google for ads.

    Letting go of Xbox would remove MSFT from the Living room TV war permanently.
    Nov 26, 2013. 04:57 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft might abandon Win. RT; Nomura warns of Xbox losses  [View news story]
    Agreed. The 'disposable device' consumer market shifts so quickly...just ask AAPL. Even if they had dominance in phones/tablets...MSFT would be suicidal to drop Xbox regardless of the loss. The console is the only viable door to owning the TV War at this point...chromecast is nothing more than a receiver, and brings no real value.

    The Car (Ford Sync powered by Windows), PC (windows dominated) and console (Xbox) are the three areas MSFT needs to hold to the death. They move very slowly.

    The Smartphone/Tablet are important, but disposable. Much more exposed to market conditions than the 3 slower moving devices. Dropping Xbox in favor of a $150 tablet opens the door for any competitor to rule the living room.

    Instead of dropping Xbox, partner with cable providers to subsidize Xbox units instead of DVRs…at $0 initial cost to consumer, for $5 per month. 100 million Xbox units ship as a result.
    Nov 25, 2013. 07:14 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Elop reportedly open to unloading Bing, Xbox; cloud Office apps updated  [View news story]
    The LAST thing that the new MSFT CEO needs to do is to commoditize MSFT! Ballmer just spurred MSFT into innovation & team cooperation (with the re-org.) Now is the time to be bold, not to be conservative!

    Turning MSFT products into a commodity basically puts MSFT on the defensive...and you can only play defense for so long before attrition grinds profits into dust. Look at the auto industry past, innovation turns to commodity turns to oligopolies turns to cannibalization (AMC, Land Rover, Hummer, Jaguar.) Government bailouts when the economy softens.

    MSFT needs an innovator that employs a short term execution (Office on iPad, get WP8 to 15% marketshare), mid term innovation (unified ecosystems, SmartWatch) and long term revolution (gesture driven TVs, PCs, Cars…smart household appliances.)

    As said above,
    * Xbox is an open door to people's living room. The living room is the next battlefield now that the smartphone/tablet war is cooling down.
    * Bing should be considered a cost center, as it powers MSFT products and does not need to directly compete with google.com. It SHOULD lose money, MSFT has never succeeded at advertising.

    Jeez Elop, this isn’t NOK. MSFT has nothing but winning cards…play them!
    Nov 11, 2013. 10:49 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • BlackBerry Execs Costing Investors Billions  [View article]
    After watching the NOK+ MSFT relationship, it is obvious that BBRY had no chance. The choice to stay Blackberry OS was the problem, not really marketing was notthe problem, nor poor leadership. One choice sank that ship...Blackberry OS. Who knew that Elop had it right!

    Of course, hindsight...

    Why? Windows Phone 8 on Nokia hardware is as good as iPhone and Samsung models...but took 2 years to gain momentum. Two years!

    Consumers follow herd mentality. At first AAPL iPods...great marketing and no clear competition (nobody had the desire to conquer the MP3 market as AAPL did at the time.) Then iPhone...thanks to *momentum* built from iPod products &advertising. Then iPad...again, momentum. GOOG broke in thanks to good marketing + OEMs + strong foundation (Google.com was already beloved by most everybody.) Now Android has the momentum…making anything GOOG does (good or bad) gospel. BBRY never had the foundation that GOOG had to break back into the market they had clearly lost by 2011. BBRY never had the momentum ofprevious products/releases…their momentum was long gone before the 10. And by not choosing to go Windows Phone, received no help from their billionaire friend MSFT.

    Unfortunate to watch.

    PS. Android would have been a disaster...as it is a security breech waiting to happen. Not a good fit for a business-centric device, their only choice was Windows.
    Nov 4, 2013. 05:27 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft ramps Windows marketing spend amid slow Win. 8 traction  [View news story]
    @Kevin - Very kind comments, and you are right...I was oversimplifying cross platform in Win 8 to Windows Phone 8 (and soon to be Xbox one.) You do have to make minor modifications (especially to your screen to handle the much smaller phone area.)

    One thought if you are involved with app development & comfortable with the MSFT dev tools...check out Xamarin. Cross platform to Win 8, WP 8, iOS, Android and Mac. They handle the cross-compiling for you. The license fee is pennies compared to the vast amount of hours rewriting your Win 8 app for Android/iOS.
    Nov 1, 2013. 06:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft ramps Windows marketing spend amid slow Win. 8 traction  [View news story]
    "amid slow Win. 8 traction" Sigh.

    Windows 8 + 8.1 PC only commands 135-200 million users (depending on which numbers you use.)

    Since any Win8 app runs on Win8, Win8.1, Windows 8 tablets and Windows Phone 8....you can easily add another 75 million users that are running some version of Windows 8.

    Conservatively, windows 8 (all devices) has built a lowball of 200 million users in 1 year time. In context, very close to the same number of active iOS users that took AAPL 6 years to build.
    Nov 1, 2013. 05:08 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Heavyweights square up in lawsuit over former Nortel patents  [View news story]
    GOOG is in a very precarious position, with mainly one business model...advertising. Plus, MSFT is on track to receive $5 billion in "licensing" fees from Android OEMs. And Chrome has an extremely small market share.

    I refuse to take a position in GOOG for exactly that reason...when Advertising is seriously threatened, watch out below!

    This lawsuit may not be the threat to their advertising model yet. AdBlock browser add-in may not be the treat yet. But something will threaten web/device advertising in a big way...eventually.
    Nov 1, 2013. 10:33 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • IDC: PC shipments fell 7.6% Y/Y in Q3, better than feared  [View news story]
    The big question is...when will shipments stabilize? My guess is sometime in mid 2014, when the tablet market saturates.
    Oct 9, 2013. 05:12 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft: Why Lumia Earnings Barely Matter  [View article]
    It is about selling the MSFT ecosystem. GOOG and APPL are weak in corporations, governments, living rooms, cars...far behind MSFT.

    A cheap phone may get that purchaser to realize: Hey, all of my stuff is synced on my phone, tablet, PC and TV! Hey, I just bought a movie from the Windows Store and it plays on every device I own! Hey, I forgot my XL doc at home...and here it is on my phone!

    I vote for cheap devices, and make up the difference in the ecosystem side.
    Oct 2, 2013. 04:03 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft And The Complicated Gaming War That Is Unfolding  [View article]

    "I'd say they'd sell it for $15-$30 before it goes free."

    Good point. I was oversimplifying by saying Windows will be totally free. MSFT would be foolish to drop the price too soon...and be foolish to wait too long.

    The "free" part of an OS seems to matter more to OEMs...just look at Android. OEMs pay MSFT licensing fee for Android, but it is much cheaper than the windows fee.

    There are now 12,000 unique Android devices out there...so these OEMs go nuts over "free" (even though they have to pay MSFT.)

    MSFT would be wise to plan the ramp down of paid-for Windows for the average consumer and consumer device. Sooner or later that is.
    Sep 30, 2013. 02:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Microsoft And The Complicated Gaming War That Is Unfolding  [View article]
    Good thoughts, may be true. Speculation in tech is always a roll of the dice. But...

    #1 "The graph above depicts that roughly 10% of this user base is logging into Steam daily."

    True, but Steam is a background app that most never disable after playing the one or two games they are interested in. Most games are single-player...meaning they have a short lifespan and after "beating" the game, steam becomes a leach running in the background.

    #2 "I feel the most appealing feature of this OS is the price tag -- free."

    Windows will be free, very shortly. Charging for OSes is over.

    Steam will have some success and I wish them the best. But Gabe has fired emotional bombs publically...and that is always a questionable sign of a leader. Tim Armstrong of AOL anyone?
    Sep 29, 2013. 02:38 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment