| Cult of Mac

Windows Phone 8 Wants To Be The Next iOS, But Can It Compete?

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Windows Phone 8

Microsoft unveiled today what will be the future of their phone software, Windows Phone 8. Building upon the foundation of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft’s newest iteration of its phone operating system brings some new features and enhancements that tie both Windows on the desktop and Windows on mobile devices together. With the introduction of Windows Phone 7, Microsoft laid the groundwork for a new, company wide strategy which closely resembles that of Apple’s.

Many of the improvements and added features to Windows Phone 7 are now making their way back to the desktop, in the form of Windows 8 and Windows RT, the tablet variety. Windows Phone 8 further unifies the operating system structure across all devices, and also brings some new functionality to the table which will compete directly with iOS 6, come fall.

Four Out Of Five Americans Won’t Consider A Microsoft Surface

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Majority of Americans won't even consider buying a Microsoft Surface
Majority of Americans won't even consider buying a Microsoft Surface.

According to a poll conducted by discount site CouponCodes4u, less than one-quarter of American consumers will consider buying Microsoft’s newly unveiled Surface. The discount site used the poll to study the overall tablet space and to determine brand awareness and perceptions across the U.S. market. It found that only 22% of respondents would consider buying one of the Surface tablets.

The survey, which was taken by 1,578 Americans in the 21 to 35 age bracket, also found high brand loyalty among tablet owners for both the iPad and for Android.

Microsoft’s Surface Makes Windows RT Strategy Even More Confusing

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Surface shakes up Windows RT and Windows 8 strategies, but not in a good way
Surface shakes up Windows RT and Windows 8 strategies, but not in a good way.

Microsoft’s announcement of its new Surface tablets got the entire tech industry’s attention yesterday. The announcement was big on drama but not so big on details. Despite showing off the new Surface devices and using them to build hype for Windows RT and Windows 8, Microsoft left out some key points of information like pricing and a clear understanding of how the devices will fit into mobile tech market.

The announcement also left many technology pros scratching their heads in confusion about Microsoft’s decision to own the entire computing process in the way that Apple does – from hardware to OS, to the app market. Another head scratcher, particularly for CIOs and IT leaders, is how or where Surface devices will fit into businesses.

Google’s Quickoffice Acquisition Could Be a Precursor To a Mobile Office Feature War

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Google's purchase of Quickoffice could cause a serious shakeup in the mobile business market
Google's purchase of Quickoffice could cause a serious shakeup in the mobile business market

Google shook up the mobile business landscape by announcing its acquisition of mobile office powerhouse Quickoffice. That move might not seem terribly large, but it creates a very different and unexpected dynamic in the business mobility world. It also sets up a showdown over business capabilities that could have lasting ramifications.

Why is this move significant? It means that every company that produces a major mobile platform now also owns a serious office and productivity solution. Microsoft has Office, Apple has iWork, RIM has Documents To Go (which it acquired nearly two years ago), and Google now has Quickoffice as well as Google Docs. Each company can now ensure that its mobile business customers will have at least one solid option for working with Office files on their smartphones or tablets.

Dell Exec: The iPad Is Too ‘Shiny’ For Business

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Despite failure of its Streak tablets, Dell exec trivializes iPad
Despite failure of its Streak tablets, Dell exec trivializes iPad

Dell hasn’t had anything resembling success in the tablet market with either businesses or consumers, but that isn’t stopping the company from deriding the iPad and its success.

According to Dell Australia’s managing director Joe Kreme, users only buy iPads because they’re “shiny” and troubleshooting any issue with an iPad or iOS could take up to four days. As a result of these so-called facts, Kreme said that the tablet race hasn’t even started yet.

You Can’t Legally Join A Class-Action Lawsuit Against Microsoft, But You Can Against Apple (For Now)

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iphone throttling lawsuit
Microsoft plans to use license agreements to prevent class action lawsuits

 

Microsoft is a company known for creating strict, labyrinthine, costly terms in its commercial and end-user licensing. With Windows 8 seen as a make-or-break product for Microsoft, the company has already been adding licensing terms intended to strengthen its hand in the mobile market. As we reported earlier this year, Microsoft’s enterprise licensing for Windows 8 has provisions to coerce businesses into buying ARM-based Windows RT tablets while punishing those that deploy iPads with more costly terms.

Ratcheting things up a notch, Microsoft’s general counsel Tim Fielden announced new details about the company’s end-user license agreements. Although not mentioning specific products or services, Fielden posted on a Microsoft blog that many new agreements will prohibit users from initiating a class action lawsuit against the company.

Why Is Microsoft Really Investing $300M In Nook?

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Microsoft joins Barnes & Noble in Nook venture
Microsoft joins Barnes & Noble in new Nook venture

Yesterday, in a somewhat surprising announcement, Microsoft and Barnes & Noble agreed to a deal that resolved their ongoing patent dispute, spun off the bookstore’s Nook business as a subsidiary into which Microsoft invested $300 million, and ensured that a Nook app will be available for Windows 8 when it launches later this year.

Although rumors have been floating around for months that Barnes & Noble was planning to spin of the Nook as a separate company or subsidiary, Microsoft’s involvement came as a surprise – one that raises interesting questions about what the two companies have in mind for their new joint business.

Poor Windows 8 Download Numbers Show People Don’t Want Microsoft’s Toaster-Fridge

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Windows 8 running on a notebook (image by Intel)
Windows 8 running on a notebook (image by Intel)

When asked about Microsoft’s attempt to converge its mobile and desktop platforms into a single Windows 8 release, Tim Cook responded with an analogy of trying to converge a toaster and a refrigerator. If interest in Microsoft’s Consumer Preview release of Windows 8 is any guide, it seems that the public might agree with him.

According to Net Applications, a web analytics company, only a very small fraction of devices connecting to the Internet were running the preview – just 0.11% (or 11 out of every 10,000).

Windows RT Versus The iPad In Business [Feature]

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Windows RT versus the iPad
Windows RT versus the iPad

While it will be six months or longer before Microsoft releases Windows 8 and its companion products, the company has been putting out a lot of information about its plans lately. One big Windows 8 mystery to date is Windows for ARM based tablets. Formerly known as Windows on ARM (or WOA), the company recently settled on Windows RT as the official name for Windows 8 on low-cost ARM-based tablets.

Microsoft is very clearly positioning Windows RT tablets as iPad competitors for both the home and business markets. Until recently, there wasn’t much solid information about them beyond that they would include a touch optimized full version of Office. With the information released recently, however, there’s enough detail to speculate how Windows RT tablets will stack up to the iPad in business.