Архив метки: IBM

Microsoft Looks To Cut Windows Phone Production Costs… In Half

mango2-511

Microsoft is looking to cut manufacturing costs on its Windows Phone 7 handsets, according to statements made by WinPho boss Andy Lees in Hong Kong today. The company has struggled through its push into mobile since the launch of the Windows Phone platform last year, which honestly made more of a ripple than a splash in the market.

Now that Mango is ready to emerge as a “third mobile ecosystem,” as Verizon CEO Lowell McAdams would put it, Microsoft wants to step up its volume, and cutting production costs seems to be the means to that end. Lees said Redmond is looking to cut manufacturing costs in half, taking them from around $400 per handset (which was the cost when the software debuted last year) to less than $200 per handset.

Strangely, though, Microsoft seems to be fine with the catch involved with cutting these costs. Due to Microsoft’s royalty structure, vendors pay the company for handsets based on a percentage of manufacturing costs rather than a fixed rate. If Microsoft can really bring its production costs down to less than $200, it may very well be making half of what it did last year per handset.

But for every goal, sacrifices must be made. And in the case of Windows Phone, profit isn’t necessarily the name of the game. Microsoft already makes plenty off of Android courtesy of patent royalty deals — in fact, last time we had specific numbers Redmond was seeing upwards of around $150,000,000 on Android from HTC alone, and that was before they signed a deal with Samsung.

In the words of Lees, the goal here is “volume, volume, volume,” reports Bloomberg. “We are supporting componentry that will allow us to go below $200.” But if volume is the plan here, there may be some other obstacles for Microsoft to worry about. In the opinion of some Windows Phone enthusiasts, namely Robert McLaws, vendors seem to push the iPhone and Android devices much harder than they market Windows Phone 7 handsets. McLaws even created a website dedicated to harping on retailers for poor WinPho sales.

If the issue McLaws outlines is, in fact, a real problem, perhaps volume (x3) coupled with the much-improved Mango platform will help turn the tide.


Company:
Microsoft
Website:
microsoft.com
Launch Date:
April 4, 1974
IPO:

NASDAQ:MSFT

Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.

Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured.

Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market.

Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and…

Learn more


Microsoft Looks To Cut Windows Phone Production Costs… In Half

Ballmer On Not Buying Yahoo: “Sometimes You’re Lucky”

aacd2b5c48b14e429eec4e0fad3be83b_7

Speaking today at Web 2.0, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was boisterous as usual. In a rousing talk with John Batelle, Ballmer talked about how, since last being on stage at Web 2.0 three years ago, Bing has doubled its market share, Microsoft hasn’t completely given up on competing with Google+ and social, the tech giant bought Skype for a boatload, among other topics of interest for Microsofties and Windows aficionados.

In what was both a stroll down memory lane, and a calibration of Microsoft’s roadmap going forward, Batelle raised the question of whether or not Ballmer was glad that Microsoft didn’t buy Yahoo for $44 billion back in 2008.

“Times change”, the CEO said. “You ask any CEO who didn’t buy something big before the market crashed [in 2008, they’ll probably say], ‘Hallelujah!’”. But, in a twist of fate, the U.S. economy dipped into one of the biggest recessions in history in 2008, and had Yahoo accepted Microsoft’s terms, perhaps ironically, the deal would have been settled right around the time that Lehman collapsed, he said.

“Sometimes you are lucky”, Ballmer admitted, grinning.

When asked if Microsoft is punting on social, Ballmer said that Skype and Xbox “seem social” to him and likely represent entry points into the broadly “social” market, and that, going forward, Microsoft is looking to add connectivity into its core products, specifically as its Skype product integration continues.

Then, regarding Microsoft’s play in apps in the cloud?

Ballmer, channelling Charlie Sheen, chanted: “We’re winning, winning, winning”.

When asked who Microsoft is beating?

Google.

Lastly, all those gathered couldn’t let Ballmer go without asking about mobile. In reference to how Microsoft is competing with Android, the skyrocketing young upstart in the mobile market, Ballmer seemed optimistic about the prospect of Windows tablets, and phones specifically.

Windows Phones have a leg up from the average consumer’s perspective, he said, because “you don’t need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows phone”, the CEO quipped.

Zing!


Company:
Microsoft
Website:
microsoft.com
Launch Date:
April 4, 1974
IPO:

NASDAQ:MSFT

Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.

Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured.

Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market.

Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and…

Learn more

Person:
Steve Ballmer
Website:
Companies:
Microsoft

Steven A. Ballmer is Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft. Ballmer joined Microsoft in 1980 and was the first business manager hired by Bill Gates. Since then, Ballmer’s leadership and passion have become hallmarks of his tenure at the company.

During the past 20 years, Ballmer has headed several Microsoft divisions, including operations, operating systems development, and sales and support. In July 1998, he was promoted to President, a role that gave him day-to-day responsibility for running Microsoft. He was named…

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Ballmer On Not Buying Yahoo: “Sometimes You’re Lucky”

Skype Officially Becomes A Microsoft Division As $8.5 Billion Deal Closes

microsoft

Microsoft this morning announced that it has closed its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, a deal that was originally announced back in May.

They even made an infographic to showcase the importance of the deal completion. /sarcasm

Other than that, not much news to report. As previously announced, Skype becomes a new business division within Microsoft, and Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the new unit.

As I wrote back in May:

The $8.5 billion question: did Microsoft overpay for Skype?

Perhaps, perhaps not. Only time will tell. As always with these things, the many tech industry pundits and analysts will look at this deal from all possible angles and then some, and still only a handful will end up being somewhat accurate when we look back in a couple of years.

From a non-financial point of view, the acquisition makes a ton of sense today, though.

Skype digitally connects dozens of millions of people on a daily basis, enabling them to communicate with each other through voice calls, chat messages and video conferencing.

There’s no doubt it’s a big brand on the Web (with both consumer and enterprise appeal, worldwide at that), and is poised to keep mattering in the next decade and beyond.

Skype’s current products will continue to be offered, but over time the service will also be integrated “across an array of Microsoft products”.

Update: from another Microsoft blog post:

In the near future, Skype will be connecting on XBOX Live and VideoKinect for XBOX Live. In addition to skyping with XBOX Live gamers, Skype users with be able connect with Microsoft Lync Enterprise Voice for your school or university. Later this year, Skype and Lync clients will be available on the Windows Phone 7.5 (“Mango.”)

It should be noted that the acquisition still remains under review in a limited number of countries.



Company:
Skype
Website:
skype.com
Launch Date:
January 8, 2003
Funding:
$68.8M

Skype is a software application that allows users to make voice and video calls and chats over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free, while calls to both traditional landline telephones and mobile phones can be made for a fee using a debit-based user account system. Skype was founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis who were also the founders of the file sharing application Kazaa.

Skype has also become popular for its additional…

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Company:
Microsoft
Website:
microsoft.com
Launch Date:
April 4, 1974
IPO:

NASDAQ:MSFT

Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.

Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured.

Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market.

Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and…

Learn more


Skype Officially Becomes A Microsoft Division As $8.5 Billion Deal Closes

Can Microsoft Salvage Windows Phone?

shutterstock_39324805

When Microsoft launched Windows Phone last year, I was of the opinion that it was a platform that would never build steam. The entrenched players – iOS, RIM, and Android – already controlled the market, and the hiatus between the last Windows Mobile phone and the first Windows Phone was too long for even the most dedicated or curious customers to wait.

It seems that this was uncharacteristically prescient as both Gartner and Horace Dediu both estimate that Microsoft sold 1.4 to 1.7 million Windows Phones this last quarter. As Gruber quips: “In other words, for that entire quarter, they sold about as many total Windows Phones as Apple sold iPhone 4S preorders last weekend.”

The WinPho Mango update recently reached our shores and thus far everyone has been quite happy. That’s the odd thing: no one I know, no one I’ve spoken to, is particularly disappointed by Windows Phone nor are they particularly interested in picking one up. Like Palm, the consensus is that the platform is solid, charming, and aesthetically pleasing but that nice phones finish last. Even Steve Ballmer admitted that year one sales have been far below expectations, not a particularly rousing endorsement of the platform.

Alternatively we can follow the money. Microsoft pledged $1 billion to Nokia in order to promote Windows Phone and part of this cash will go towards sales incentives. Throwing money at a problem is Microsoft’s traditional MO and I don’t doubt this will be successful. Every phone will be a smartphone in the next few years and the only thing standing in the way of Microsoft’s ascendency is price when compared to similarly outfitted Android and iOS models.

Microsoft has a lot of catching up to do. Although I can’t refute their massive lead in the PC space, Google and Apple have a commanding lead in mobile and it will be hard for Microsoft to buy its way to the top. It seems that the old way of doing business – subsidies, bundling, and a healthy dose of scare tactics and FUD – will not help Microsoft in this case. It used to be that you’d never get fired for buying Microsoft. While I can’t speak for the mass of IT departments, it seems like that is increasingly not the case.

So whither Windows Phone? I can’t see the platform going away, especially with the improvements we can expect from Windows 8 and the Metro UI and how the PC and the mobile interfaces will eventually merge. My concern, simply, is that it still is too late to come to dominance, which I suppose is fine.

Looking at the numbers and general sluggishness on Microsoft’s part, a pessimist might call this platform dead. I don’t agree, but I think it definitely needs a shot of adrenaline to the heart. Nokia has been slow to bring its devices to market, but they’re set to debut at Nokia World in two weeks. If the fruits of that collaboration doesn’t provide the boost WP7 needs to succeed, it may be that nothing ever will.

[Image: Huguette Roe/Shutterstock]


Company:
Microsoft
Website:
microsoft.com
Launch Date:
April 4, 1974
IPO:

NASDAQ:MSFT

Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.

Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured.

Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market.

Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and…

Learn more


Can Microsoft Salvage Windows Phone?

Microsoft Is Getting More Serious About Daily (Bing) Deals

bing deals

Microsoft appears to be readying the formal launch of a Bing-branded daily deals website powered by white-label group buying platform service provider Tippr, a well-informed source tells me. You don’t have to take my word for it: Microsoft and Tippr are testing the service right now, and the Bing-exclusive daily deals site is hiding in plain sight (see here and here, or check screenshots below).

For the record, this offering is notably different from Microsoft’s earlier launch of Bing Deals, which basically features links to aggregated deals from a number of partners, including group buying service providers like Tippr, Groupon, LivingSocial, Zozi and Gilt City but also over 2,000 merchants through Bing Shopping, including Target, Nordstrom, and Zappos.

I haven’t found any mention of, link to, official videos or screenshots of the Bing-exclusive daily deals site powered by Tippr. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure Microsoft has never made any announcements concerning the Bing.com/daily-deals website whatsoever.

As you can tell from the screenshots embedded below, Bing’s group buying destination site will be familiar to you if you’ve ever visited the likes of Groupon and LivingSocial for deals.

You can use your Facebook account or Windows Live ID to log in, browse and share current deals, past deals, and read more about how it works. The latter page notes:

Subscribe to Bing Deals and we’ll e-mail you a new deal every day from a great local business. You can also search at Bing.com or browse for deals at Bing.com/daily-deals.

Again, this site is the only one I can find on the Web that has ever made any mention of the URL / website Bing.com/daily-deals.

The website also mentions something called a ‘sweetened deal’, which is described as follows:

What is a sweetened deal? It’s a deal that gets better over time. Some of the deals that appear on Bing Deals will get a better value as more deals are purchased.

For example, a deal may start off as $10 for $20 at Some Corner Bakery. If enough people purchase the voucher, the deal hits the sweeten point and it becomes $10 for $25! No matter what, you will always pay the same amount for the deal you purchase, but what you get for your hard earned dollars goes up!

The cool thing about Sweeten Deals is that as more people buy, the value of the deal gets better for everybody who purchased and will purchase the deal. This is why it’s a great idea to share the deal you bought with your friends, so you and everybody else get the biggest bang for your buck.

As you can tell from one of the screenshots below, daily deals are / will be available in 12 markets, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Seattle.

When reached, Tippr CEO Martin Tobias declined to comment on the partnership between Microsoft and Tippr. A Microsoft spokesperson tells me he believes this is part of something they’ve talked about before, then referred to as Bing Exclusive Deals for some cities, which are deals you can only get through Bing, but that the team is still “getting it up and running and working out kinks”.

It’s also worth noting that Microsoft last week expanded its Bing Business Portal, adding the ability for local businesses to run group deals – rather than regular deals – on Bing (among other things).

Search Engine Land offers an excellent run-down of everything that’s new.

Other daily deal sites in the U.S. include Groupon, LivingSocial, Google Offers, BuyWithMe, AmazonLocal, HomeRun and Dealster, among many, many others.


Product:
Bing
Website:
bing.com
Company
Microsoft

Bing is a decision (search) engine from Microsoft officially announced on May 28, 2009. It combines technology from the Farecast and Powerset acquisitions, as well as new algorithms and a more colorful page design, to attempt to understand the context behind the search, which Microsoft claims gives users better results.

Bing as a brand is also an attempt to eliminate the confusion caused by Microsoft’s “Windows Live” branding. Bing is now everything “search” related, whereas Windows Live encompasses the remnants…

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Company:
Microsoft
Website:
microsoft.com
Launch Date:
April 4, 1974
IPO:

NASDAQ:MSFT

Microsoft, founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, is a veteran software company, best known for its Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software.

Starting in 1980 Microsoft formed a partnership with IBM allowing Microsoft to sell its software package with the computers IBM manufactured.

Microsoft is widely used by professionals worldwide and largely dominates the American corporate market.

Additionally, the company has ventured into hardware with consumer products such as the Zune and…

Learn more

Company:
Tippr
Website:
tippr.com

Tippr.com leverages collective buying power to fulfill consumers’ daily cravings for the guaranteed best deals on goods, services, and events, while supporting local businesses and communities. Tippr.com is the only collective buying site to offer our patented accelerating deals, which means the deal gets better as more buyers opt in.

Tippr is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kashless Inc.

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Microsoft Is Getting More Serious About Daily (Bing) Deals