All Articles Tagged "microsoft"
It seems as though all the major firms are becoming more and more aware of the business opportunities in Africa. We recently reported that Intel is brining the YOLO cell phone to Africa, and now another large tech firm is taking advantage of the technology market on the continent.
Bloomberg reports that Microsoft is starting a $75 million program to stimulate small business progression in Africa. The company’s 4Afrika initiative is expected to put over one million African small businesses online over the next three years. There will also be business training for over 200,000 people, an online hub for application development and business networking.
Furthermore, Microsoft plans to sell tens of millions of smartphones, computer, and other electronic devices at bargain prices. Many tech companies are trying to get a piece of the pie, since Africa is expected to have the fastest mobile phone connection growth over the next five years based on research from Chicago-based consultancy A.T. Kearney.
Something else worth mentioning is that currently about 100 million of Africa’s one billion people have access to the Internet. That number is expected to grow in multiples according to Googlewho expects to see a return on investment by 2017.
Michael Dell says he’s going to buy back $24.4 billion in shares from stockholders, taking the company private. The buyout will take place in partnership with Silver Lake Partners.
It was only hours ago that we reported the possibility of this deal taking place.
In addition to this deal, which will price Dell stock at $13.65 per share, Microsoft will front the company a $2 billion loan. According to All Things D, the relationship between the two companies began in 2011 when Microsoft bought Skype for $8.5 billion. A number of investment banks and Dell’s own personal investment firm, MSD Capital, are also involved in the deal. There’s a short period under which a better offer could be accepted, but All Things D doesn’t think a better one is coming.
Dell will stay on as chairman and CEO. In a statement he said:
We can deliver immediate value to stockholders, while we continue the execution of our long-term strategy and focus on delivering best-in-class solutions to our customers as a private enterprise. Dell has made solid progress executing this strategy over the past four years, but we recognize that it will still take more time, investment and patience, and I believe our efforts will be better supported by partnering with Silver Lake in our shared vision. I am committed to this journey and I have put a substantial amount of my own capital at risk together with Silver Lake, a world-class investor with an outstanding reputation. We are committed to delivering an unmatched customer experience and excited to pursue the path ahead.”
Sources say that Dell, the almost thirty-year-old tech company, is close to striking a deal — the biggest since the beginning of the financial crisis — that would take the company private. Founder and CEO Michael Dell is in talks with Microsoft and tech investment company Silver Lake Partners for a possible $23 billion deal that would remove the company from the demands of Wall Street.
Dell once had a market capitalization of over $100 billion making it the largest PC maker, but has now fallen to number three behind HP and Lenovo.
This is a slap in the face to Dell, who started this company in his dorm in 1984 at the University of Texas. In 2007 he promised to position the company for the new age, but it looks like he has fallen short on his promise. According to The Wall Street Journal employees speak of a less enthusiastic company leader, far from the eager CEO they remember from before the downturn.
By going private Dell will have more control over its performance and product offerings since it will no longer have to answer to stock holders or the SEC. Microsoft stands to gain a closer relationship with Dell products allowing another outlet for Windows software.
A Dell laptop was the first computer my mom bought me in preparation for college. Then when I went away to grad school six years later my boyfriend bought me a sleeker Dell laptop that was lighter and customized with cosmetic flare to fit my personality. Once I graduated, I wanted to help my mom transition into the 21st century, so I bought her a Dell desktop. For my family Dell has made having a personal computer affordable. Also, in both undergraduate and graduate school I studied Dell as a positive example of supply chain management and leadership at perfecting the “Just in Time” inventory system.
However, in today’s world we’ve gotten a lot more mobile. So much so, that not even a laptop is compatible with our way of life. We now work and play on our mobile phones and tablets which are much lighter and have growing capabilities that infringe upon the need for a laptop or desktop computer. Beyond business purposes, many people are shying away from the personal computer space and leaders in the industry are starting are starting to feel the pain.
Moreover, as the The New York Times’ Dealbook blog points out, the price point for laptop computers has been brought low by competition from companies like Lenovo and Samsung.
This deal has not been finalized yet, but could be announced today, according to Times’. I’m sure Mr. Dell will hold out for as long as he has to, in the hopes of getting the best deal for his baby.
We’ve already seen the crazy technologies that CES introduced to the world. But what will we actually see in 2013? Many tech blogs have been speculating about what devices and cool technologies will be available for the masses to purchase this year—and some that are a little more out there.
Here are nine cool technology product launches to expect this year—and ones that you might even be able to afford.
The Black Friday madness has already begun, kicking off the holiday shopping season. Hot gifts this year definitely include consumer electronics, with gadgets like tablets, smartphones, and laptops appearing on many wish lists.
Over the past several weeks, technology companies have battled to break through the noise with news of their new tech launches. Let’s take a look at the good and bad from Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Nokia, and Google, which might even inspire a few presents for under the tree.
Oprah was betrayed by technology last night after she posted a tweet crowing about her favorite tablet — the Surface — but posted it using an iPad.
You probably don’t even think about it when you’re typing away, but, as CNBC notes, “When you view Twitter using some third-party programs, you can see where someone sent a tweet from.” Dang. Oprah included the iPad on her list of favorite things back in 2010, so maybe she was using her old iPad rather than her new Surface tablet to tweet last night? TechCrunch points out that “Twitter hasn’t released an official Twitter client in the Windows Store yet, but it remains one of the most popular apps on other platforms.” So that may have been the cause for the snafu.
She also tweeted at one point yesterday that she bought 12 Surface tablets to give as gifts this year. So maybe the dollar is a mightier endorsement than the tweet.
Oprah announced all of her Favorite Things and gave them away to military spouses during a special that aired the other day on OWN, just like she used to on her daytime talk show. Also on the list were Coach puffer jackets ($458 apiece) , a TUSK checkbook clutch ($117 each when you use a special OPRAH code), and P.Jamas pjs ($160 per). Oh, and also trips to Fiji. Which all of the military wives also got. And completely went crazy over when they found out. Video below.
This was a big week in the tech space as both Apple and Microsoft hosted events to debut and showcase their latest products. Apple introduced several new versions of its products, as well as the new iPad Mini, while Microsoft demonstrated the Windows 8 operating system on various PCs and launched the Surface Tablet.
Microsoft put Thursday, October 25 on the books a long time ago and no doubt part of Apple’s strategy was to pull buzz away from Microsoft with an announcement of their own. On Tuesday, October 23, Apple not only debuted the iPad Mini, but also a fourth generation iPad, a new iMac, and a 13-inch MacBook Pro with retina display. So who won?
SocialMention.com is a free tool that analyzes the way a company or phrase is mentioned across various social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and WordPress. Over the past week, both the Microsoft Surface and iPad Mini had a strong showing in social media, with one mention every 17 or 18 seconds, respectively. Sentiment for the iPad Mini was slightly more positive than that for the Surface, however, and Apple always sees more overall buzz on social media in general.
In Real Life
One way that Microsoft had an edge this week is that its Surface product is currently available. The product was originally previewed back in June and the events this week were about the official launch on Friday, October 26, and showcasing Windows 8 operating system. Apple’s iPad Mini will not be available until November 2. While the wait can build more excitement for Apple products—just look at all those people in line!—by getting the Surface out in the market this week, Microsoft raised its visibility.
Apple is taking a little bit of a hit this week, as the tablet market becomes even more crowded. As of Friday morning, the day after Microsoft’s announcement, Apple’s stock had been dropping slightly, while Microsoft’s was on the rise. (Here are Apple’s earnings, released yesterday after the bell.) Concerns over whether Apple can continue its dominance in the space may be to blame.
Additionally, while Microsoft isn’t as “hot” as Apple, it has such a strong hold in the PC market that, while sales may or may not reach internal expectations, Windows 8 will continue to be the operating system for a variety of PC manufacturers and hold on to its dominance there. When it comes to the Surface, tech reporters, bloggers, and reviewers mentioned concerns about the software and apps available for the tablet, which may be a bigger concern down the line.
Yes, there was a lot of buzz about Apple and its product announcements this week, especially on social media, but the company is used to that kind of web notoriety. Microsoft was able to hold its own, generating plenty of news stories and buzz about Windows 8 and the Surface, despite the fact that Apple tried to steal some of its spotlight. Additionally, with some solid reviews of the Surface, praise for its hardware, and the physical availability this week as well, I declare Microsoft the winner. Next week, when the iPad Mini is out, is a different story.
Do you agree? Let me know in the comments.
Get out of your Apple-induced haze. Microsoft also has some new stuff that they’re hoping you’ll pay attention to.
One item is Windows 8, its latest operating system, which went on sale today. According to The Wall Street Journal, Windows powers nine out of 10 computers in the world. The story also says that computer makers are hoping that the new system will inspire PC sales, which have been in a slump recently, with consumers opting for mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.
“Microsoft and its hardware partners plan to market Windows 8 heavily, together spending hundreds of millions of dollars on ads. Microsoft is also opening 34 temporary stores this week, mostly in malls, to show off the new ware,” the article reports. If you watched Scandal last night you probably noticed that the next episode in two weeks (the Country Music Awards will be on next Thursday) will be “brought to you by Windows 8.” A check of the ABC Network’s website shows that a few shows are being brought to you by Windows.
And Oprah’s OWN has signed on with an app. Getting brands to sign on for apps is the next big hurdle, says the WSJ. While some magazine companies, Conde Nast, for instance, have jumped on the system with their apps, others like Meredith, haven’t. In fact, Reuters reports that many businesses say they have “no compelling reason to adopt” the new system.
Besides the new operating system, there’s also the new Surface tablet, which, The Washington Post says, has gotten some good reviews, but the reception has otherwise been mixed. It starts at $499, but you will need to spend extra for a cover that is a necessity for content creation.
However, both CNET and TechCrunch argue that the Surface is not a true tablet. “If Microsoft succeeds, in reality, it will create a new category. Surface is something between tablet and a laptop,” says CNET, citing that keyboard as a reason it’s something else entirely. TechCrunch goes so far as to call it a straight up PC. Saying its “hard to handle” because of its operating system, Windows RT, the story continues, “The problem here is that the Surface is basically a big laptop screen without the keyboard.”
Praising the device for its ability to handle the writing duties of a TechCrunch reporter, the writer also had criticisms for its size, screen, and photo-taking abilities. If you’re curious about the device, it’s worth it to read this review as well as some of the others.
Any thoughts out there? Will you be investing in a new Microsoft product?
You can stop feeling sorry for people with “hotmail.com” email addresses.
Microsoft is dumping the Hotmail service, bringing an end to those now-pitiful looking e-dresses that were once the zenith of tech savvy. Instead, those still hanging on to hotmail can be reached at Outlook.com. The idea is to bring the company’s email service more in line with its other offerings. Moreover, Microsoft hasn’t really done much with Hotmail in ages.
The new Outlook.com will not only do what Hotmail did, it will also have capabilities suited to the latest mobile technologies, from smartphones to tablets. The free service is now in a preview period but will eventually be available internationally for personal and business use. New computers with the Microsoft Office system will also be outfitted with Outlook.com.
Hotmail was introduced in 1996, eons ago by technology standards. It had about 324 million users as of June 2012. Outlook.com added another one million users in the first few hours after it was introduced, according to a tweet from Microsoft.
[via Wall Street Journal]
Microsoft may be attempting to help people avoid “certain” neighborhoods with their “Avoid Ghetto” GPS app, but they need to concentrate on a short route to avoid the backlash that is coming with this new product. And yes, the name really is, “Avoid Ghetto.”
Already people are having a WTF moment at the sheer irresponsibility of the name for the patent which is currently in development. Now, Microsoft is trying to backtrack and explain itself out of this ghetto mess:
“As a pedestrian travels, various difficulties can be encountered, such as traveling through an unsafe neighborhood or being in an open area that is subject to harsh temperatures,” Microsoft states in their patent claims. “A route can be developed for a person taking into account factors that specifically affect a pedestrian. Moreover, the route can alter as a situation of a user changes; for instance, if a user wants to add a stop along a route.”
I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft has already come up with a “find the poor minority neighborhoods” app or a “hood tracking” device so they can identify these unsafe areas. I want to say the company had good intentions initially but I can’t even give them that. They should have known this was not going to fly.
Would you use an app to help you avoid the ghetto?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.