The Top 5 Microsoft Headlines Of 2012 – And The Real Trends Behind Them

first_imgIT + Project Management: A Love Affair Tags:#enterprise#Microsoft#Microsoft Office#predictions#Services#Surface Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowcenter_img While it might be an overstatement to claim that Microsoft news dominated 2012, the company’s drumbeat of publicity around the launch of Windows 8 gave it a disproportionate significance.And Microsoft did gear up and execute on a series of milestones: Windows 8, the Surface tablet, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012, and Office 2013 (at least within Surface). But what are the big trends behind those headlines? What’s really shaping Microsoft right now?1. The Headline: Windows 8Beginning in February 2012, Microsoft launched the Consumer Preview of Windows 8, followed by the Release Preview of Windows 8 on May 31. Microsoft was out in front of reporters and analysts, explaining via blog posts how it built Windows 8 and what its goals were. The company touted how Windows 8 was built for a variety of screen sizes and delved into the touch keyboard through discussions of the new apps. But Microsoft has been surprisingly cagey about Windows 8’s success so far: We won’t really find out the final results until January, when Microsoft reveals its sales numbers as part of its first-quarter results.1a. The Real Trend: MetroIf there was one word that summed up Microsoft during 2012, it’s this: Unity. The Consumer Preview of Windows 8 ushered in the “Metro” interface that will define this generation of Microsoft’s products. Flat, but bright, iconic and ambitious, with a reliance on typography rather than icons, the Metro interface (now referred to, unofficially, as the “Microsoft design language”) was quickly adopted across Microsoft’s other product lines, most notably within Windows Phone, Microsoft’s Web Apps, and sites like MSN.2. The Headline: SurfaceMicrosoft’s big reveal of the Surface tablet in the summer was a masterpiece of temptation: a slick demo, a quick hands-on with the product, then out the door, appetites whetted. Microsoft’s refusal to discuss pricing or even allow a hands-on until days before the product was actually released forced many buyers to pre-order a Surface sight unseen. That, combined with the uncertainty around the Windows RT operating system used on the base model Surface (how close was it to Windows 8? How did Metro apps work? Was Office RT really Office?) probably added too many questions to Surface to make it a real success, although it “sold out” soon after launch. Still, like Google’s Nexus line, the Surface launch taught us that consumers prefer the hardware that the ecosystem builder “owns.” So far, third-party Windows 8 tablets seem to have gained even less traction.2a. The Real Trend: Owning Your Own PlatformAs ReadWrite noted in July, a key lament of ecosystem control is designing the hardware, software and services so that all three work together in a unified whole. Apple does this with the iPhone, iOS and iCloud; with Google’s purchase of Motorola, it can do the same. Until Microsoft decided to build Surface, however, it lacked the hardware component. Time will tell how Surface fares (the price still seems a bit high) but Microsoft has all the pieces of the puzzle in place to control its destiny.3. The Headline: Windows Phone 8Living with the HTC Windows Phone 8X for a month after its October launch taught me two things: Windows Phone 8 is a bright, beautiful mobile operating system, and that it deserves more traction. Yes, there was the “smoked by Windows Phone” viral efforts. But almost more than Windows 8, Windows Phone feels modern and connected, and Live Tile integration makes it fast and easy to use. So far, the general perception is that from a quality perspective, at least, Windows Phone 8 belongs in the same category as Google’s Android and iOS. But from a sales perspective, Windows Phone 8 isn’t really close to competing with the market leaders.3a. The Real Trend: Apps And The WebUnfortunately, apps still remain the Achilles heel of Windows Phone 8 – and, if you consider Windows RT or Metro apps in the same category – of Windows 8 on PCs and tablets as well. Microsoft has made a valiant effort to convince users and developers that optimized apps like “Contre Jour” are the wave of the future, even as detractors sniff that Microsoft’s Web browsers are the least standards-compliant of all. If Microsoft can convince users that Web apps fill the bill, then it can whitewash any apps deficiency. But critics have also loudly begged for Facebook to build an app, rather than an HTML5 mobile page. So far, Microsoft is on the losing side of this trend.4. The Headline: Office 2013As the name suggests, Office 2013 is a 2013 product, at least for consumers. Microsoft began making its versions of Office 2013 available to businesses in early December.  But when Windows RT launched with Surface, one of its more potent features was the inclusion of a “preview” of Office 2013 Home and Student, that quickly morphed into a final version. ReadWrite has complained about the inadequacy of Microsoft’s Office Web Apps, but Office 2013 has been well-reviewed; it just costs more. The year ended with rumors that Microsoft would begin selling Office for the iPad and iPhone, a development that looks increasingly more likely as time goes by.4a. The Real Trend: Office 365 SubscriptionsSubscriptions. The cloud. They go hand in hand. By pricing Office 365 subscriptions more cheaply than the standalone editions, Microsoft has encouraged consumers to bury their Office payments as a recurring charge on their credit card, rather than as a major purchasing decision to agonize over. Google’s cloud services have made save-all-the-time, run-anywhere cloud office suites indispensible, and Microsoft, no dummy, has embraced the concept whole-heartedly.5. The Headline: Windows Server 2012Unless you’re an IT geek, chances are that Windows Server was one of the least interesting Microsoft announcements this year. But for IT administrators, the release of Windows Server 2012 on Sept. 4 was an important milestone. Boasting improved virtualization (Hyper-V) capabilities, the new ReFS file system, and improvements to Active Directory, Windows Server also simplified the number of versions, consolidating them to essentially three: Foundation, Standard and Datacenter.5a. The Real Trend: Enterprise Is The Place To BeFrom IBM ditching its ThinkPad and computer hardware business in favor of enterprise services to Dell’s transition away from “Dude, you’re getting a Dell,” the fact is that tech vendors are increasingly looking to stable, high-value, recurring contract services. Microsoft’s Server and Tools business isn’t Microsoft’s most profitable – that’s the Business Division, with about twice the profits of the server business – but both share high-margin subscription business models. And with more and more users turning to tablets, the emphasis is shifting to the datacenters powering the cloud services that connect these portable devices. Microsoft certainly isn’t alone here, but it’s making a big effort to be a significant player.ConclusionSay what you will about the quality, utility and pricing of the products and services Microsoft launched in 2012. But recognize that those launches pretty much all went smoothly, without major availability issues, bugs or other glitches. We’ll learn the final results – revenues and profits – in the quarters to come. Microsoft has talked optimistically about its successes all year. Come January 2012, we’ll see how well all of Microsoft’s hard work really paid off. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… markhachmanlast_img read more

NBA: Clippers want to move out of Staples Center

first_imgWorld’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers PLAY LIST 01:48NBA: Kawhi, George seek more for Clippers than beating Lakers00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games LATEST STORIES Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Ginebra gets its groove back WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage The former boss of the internet giant Microsoft bought the California franchise in 2014 for $2 billion and quickly said he wanted the Clippers to play in their own arena. The Clippers were eliminated in the first round of the 2017 NBA playoffs.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ MOST READ The Los Angeles Clippers see action against the Utah Jazz in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. GETTY IMAGES/AFP FILE PHOTOLOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Clippers announced Thursday they are considering leaving Staples Center arena which they have shared with the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings since 1999.The Clippers reached an agreement with the city of Inglewood, California to look into building a new stadium in the suburbs, about 12 kilometers (eight miles) southwest of downtown Los Angeles.ADVERTISEMENT “I have said from day one that we need to plan for the future. This agreement helps us do that by expanding our options,” said Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.“The prospect of a new state-of-the-art NBA arena would allow us greater latitude to influence our game schedule, particularly as it relates to weekend games.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBallmer said the Clippers hope to build a state of the art facility on 20 acres of land that would include an arena, training center and offices. It would be located across the street from the NFL Los Angeles Rams’ new stadium.But Ballmer said the Clippers would not be able to move before 2024, when their current lease with The Anschutz Corp. expires. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ What ‘missteps’? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Heat make it official, signing Waiters, Johnson and Olynyk

first_imgOlynyk thinks he and Miami will be a great fit.“The culture here, I’ve heard so much about it,” Olynyk said. “I’m really excited about it.”Olynyk being added to the mix was the lone surprise.Johnson and Waiters had made clear they wanted to stay in Miami long ago.Johnson was courted by the Utah Jazz after Gordon Hayward left for Boston and said he was still getting used to the idea of being a sought-after commodity.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games View comments Miami Heat’s Dion Waiters shouts to the fans after shooting a basket in the final seconds of the game to secure the Heat’s victory over the Golden State Warriors during an NBA basketball game in Miami, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. (Charles Trainor Jr./Miami Herald via AP)MIAMI— They came to the Miami Heat a year ago almost as afterthoughts, two guys with less-than-stellar reputations who didn’t exactly have an abundance of options.Those days are long gone for James Johnson and Dion Waiters.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Nikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection LATEST STORIES LaVar Ball on Lonzo’s debut: ‘His worst game ever’center_img Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena They’re now cornerstones of Miami’s plan to return to contention.Capping several days of salary-cap maneuvering to make sure all the pieces fit the right way, the Heat announced the signings of Johnson, Waiters and newcomer Kelly Olynyk on Friday to new four-year contracts. All were agreed upon earlier this week, though Miami didn’t start closing those deals until more cap space was created earlier in the day by trading Josh McRoberts to Dallas.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsCombined, Johnson, Waiters and Olynyk’s deals have a maximum value of about $165 million. Those three played for $10 million last season.“As soon as Kelly Olynyk became an unrestricted free agent, we pursued him,” Heat President Pat Riley said. “He is not only a post player, he can also play away from the basket. What we like the most is that he is a playmaker, tough defender and rugged rebounder. At just 26 years old, he fits in perfect with our young core that will play together in their primes.” Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “It was my first time ever being in a situation like this,” Johnson said on Friday night. “Everything was mind-boggling and exciting at the same time. I was just riding the rollercoaster.”As intoxicating as it was, he had so many reasons to stay.Johnson could make over $60 million in the next four seasons, a huge bump from the $4 million he played for last season. He dropped 40 pounds, changed his body, changed his outlook and went from someone who bounced around the league — and carried a bit of an underachiever label — to someone Miami trusted to have on the floor at the end of games last season.Waiters transformed as well. He slimmed down at the team request, and his game took off — making him a go-to player in Miami last season.“Dion was so important to us,” Heat point guard Goran Dragic said. “He worked hard and you saw what that did for his game.”Much of the space Miami used this summer was created by the waiving of Chris Bosh, who still gets his $25.3 million salary for this season but doesn’t have it count against the Heat books. The Heat went after Hayward and lost out when he picked Boston, so that meant Miami went to what Riley described as Plan B: keeping its own guys.Waiters was the first big domino to fall Miami’s way in that plan, agreeing to his deal on Wednesday. Johnson and Olynyk agreed on Thursday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextlast_img read more

Far Eastern U, San Beda gain top spots

first_imgNATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul LATEST STORIES The Red Spikers looked headed for a trouble-free debut after dominating the Lady Engineers in the first two quarters. But they sputtered in the third, enabling the TIP tossers to steal the set on deuce points.Soltones and Kath Villegas have played their last season with the Lady Stags.Soltones actually helped on the bench as part of Roger Gorayeb’s coaching staff but the Lady Tamaraws, responding to new coach George Pascua, proved too strong for the Lady Stags.“The important thing was we were able to maximize everyone’s potential,” said Pascua, who recently took over from Shaq delos Santos.San Sebastian put a gutsy stand in the second set but Pons and Basas stepped up their attack before the Lady Tams reasserted their might in the third with Pons’ last ace wrapping up the one-sided match.ADVERTISEMENT San Beda edges Lyceum, gains NCAA chess Final Four Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Celine Domingo and Jeanette Villareal also combined for 17 hits for FEU.The Lady Stags scored 24 attack points but yielded 21 points off miscues.Nikka Dalisay paced San Sebastian with 10 points while Daurene Santos and Joyce Sta. Rita combined for 12 points for the Recto-based squad.Earlier, fancied National University whipped San Beda, 25-15, 25-16, 25-18, to join opening day winners La Salle and University of Santo Tomas in the men’s division of the league backed by Mikasa and Asics.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img MOST READ “We played as a team and that made it a lot easier for us,” said Pons.It was an all-Lady Tamaraws show right from the start as they imposed their will upfront and pounced on the erratic Lady Stags, who sorely missed the services of former ace hitter and many-time NCAA Most Valuable Player Soltones.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingIn the second game, San Beda recovered from a third-set defeat and thwarted Technological Institute of the Philippines,25-13, 25-18, 25-27, 25-13, to join Arellano U in the Group B lead. Far Eastern University leaned on its veteran crew and clobbered a Grethcel Soltones-less San Sebastian College side, cruising to a 25-17, 25-21, 25-14 victory to gain a share of the Group A lead in the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan on Sunday.Bernadeth Pons fired 13 hits, including eight attack points and two aces, while Toni Rose Basas added 11 as the Lady Tamaraws matched the Ateneo Lady Eagles’ straight-set romp over the Jose Rizal U Lady Bombers in Saturday’s opener of the season-ending conference of the Sports Vision-organized league.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’last_img read more