Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 25, 2013 01:45 PM
Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer may be heading out the door in the next year, but he certainly doesn't have a case of Senioritis. He's aiming to finish out strong as the company moves to refocus its efforts on devices and services—an increasingly crowded space where the company will face Apple, Samsung and others head-on.
And it's been a rough road so far. The company has endured backlash over its new tile-like Windows design, and its Surface tablets have underperformed. With better hopes for its mobile business, the company acquired Nokia's devices division last month, but how the two companies will meld their operations and offerings is still unclear. In desperate need of a pick-me-up, the company posted a profitable first quarter.
The company reported revenues of $5.24 billion, up from the $4.47 billion it earned at the same point last year, as sales climbed 16 percent to $18.5 billion. The boost is mostly built on the demand for corporate software such as SQL database server, SharePoint, Exchange for e-mail, and Lync for corporate messaging and telephony. While not as 'sexy' as say, the iPad Air, they pay the bills.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on September 20, 2013 09:36 AM
Honda recalls nearly $375,000 cars in US for airbag issue.
United Airlines brings back old slogan for new campaign.
Pinterest launches promoted pins—for free.
AllThingsD and the Wall Street Journal are breaking up.
AOL launches premium ad formats.
Apple begins selling its new iPhones today.
Beyonce and JayZ named Forbes' highest earning couple.
Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer will part ways.
Ford weighs options with aging Lincoln brand. Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 17, 2013 04:31 PM
Following a recent trend of web facelifts, Microsoft's Bing search engine has debuted a new logo and site redesign as it looks to continue its fight to overtake Google search.
The move follows logo updates by Yahoo, YouTube and (maybe) even Google itself, but Bing's transformation goes a lot farther than simply going from a round to flat design.
According to a blog post by Lawrence Ripsher, General Manager of User Experiences at Bing, changes have been considered for some time as the way people search has changed in recent years. “We ‘search’ on maps using our fingers, ask our devices questions using our voice, use our social networks to figure out what’s happening, and even use our phone’s ‘eyes’ to navigate foreign cities,” he wrote. “Search has never been asked to do so many things in so many different ways across so many devices.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 9, 2013 04:35 PM
It's unclear to what extent how integral the leadership and personal brand of Alan Mulally is to the continued brand success of Ford Motor Co. But the company isn't eager to find out anytime soon whether their CEO is irreplaceable.
On Friday, Mulally sort of knocked down an earlier report by reapeating his intention to remain Ford CEO at last until the end of 2014, according to USA Today. A Reuters story the day before said that the company's board of directors would let him leave sooner if he wanted to take another high-profile job, such as the soon-to-be-vacant post at the top of Microsoft when CEO Steve Ballmer retires soon.
"I love serving Ford and will continue serving Ford," Mulally said in an interview on Bloomberg Television, according to the newspaper. Reuters had cited sources who said the board was aware of Mulally's potential pursuit of other opportunities, also possibly including a post in the Obama administration, and that directors would be fine with Mulally's exit before 2015.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 3, 2013 01:47 PM
In what may be the last notable move from exiting Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the company acquired Nokia's devices and services division and its intellectual property for $7.2 billion.
While the brands have been connected since 2011, when Nokia adopted Microsoft's software across its smartphones, the merger will create a hardware and software supplier bolstered by the addition of Nokia's 32,000 employees. Ballmer believes that a deeper integration between devices, software, and services is required to compete with Google and Apple and that vertical integration will better finance the development of the Windows Phone platform.
While the deal at first glance seems to be a departure from the "One Microsoft" idea that Ballmer debuted in July under his restructuring plan, the company has outlined a connection between the success of its mobile venture and its other devices. "Success in phone is important to success in tablets. Success in tablets will help PCs.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on July 12, 2013 09:12 AM
P&G changes Tide Pods packaging to look less like candy.
Chobani lures Kellogg exec to run day-to-day operations.
Walt Disney says transactional wristbands raise sales at Disney World.
ABC sees The View retain vital role in daytime TV.
AT&T pitches Mariano Rivera promo to Yankees fans.
BP blanches at bill for Gulf cleanup.
DDB Chicago CEO heads to Chobani for chief marketing role.
Dell eyes more R&D as key to revival while Carl Icahn says he'll sweeten his offer for company.
GM seen not adding to ownership in Peugeot.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 11, 2013 03:17 PM
Microsoft announced Thursday a company-wide reorganization—its latest effort to revitalize the struggling brand. In an email to all employees, CEO Steve Ballmer said:
“Today, we are announcing a far-reaching realignment of the company that will enable us to innovate with greater speed, efficiency and capability in a fast changing world. Today’s announcement will enable us to execute even better on our strategy to deliver a family of devices and services that best empower people for the activities they value most and the enterprise extensions and services that are most valuable to business.”
While the realignment involves no major departures or promotions for current executives, it does dissolve the company's current business units and reorganizes them into four divisions: Operating Systems, Applications and Services, Cloud and Enterprise, and Devices and Studios. The move places the company's three operating systems into one division, and stretches marketing and business strategy into a unified, cross-company group.Continue reading...
Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 10, 2013 05:42 PM
On the heels of its Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is likely to announce a major restructuring on July 11 "around services—or software—and devices, both in the consumer and business sectors," according to AllThingsD. However, it is "not clear how the new organization will enable Microsoft to move faster at innovation, especially against more nimble rivals such as Google." An "insider" warned, "If this is all about an org chart and not how to build great products, it does not matter what org chart Ballmer presents. Consumers buy products, not a management structure."
This raises a disturbing question: Is Steve Ballmer simply moving the proverbial deck chairs around on the Titanic? When one looks at Microsoft's history of lukewarm if not downright disappointing products, it does at times appear that the software giant is about to sink rather than swim.
It may in fact be a systemic problem. Microsoft has long been a company known as much by the company it keeps, relying on mostly hardware partners to, in effect, resell its software. But as the Wall Street Journal points out, "Microsoft keeps hitching its fortunes to lame horses." The company has long dominatd the PC market with its software, however the resurgence of Mac and other operating systems has moved the market in a different direction. "For its long-term health, Microsoft needs to find success selling software for the most popular types of computers. That means smartphones and, increasingly, tablets. It's difficulty doing that, or attracting partners that aren't in desperate need of their own help, bodes ill for its future."Continue reading...