Microsoft has agreed to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion.
"Skype is a phenomenal service that is loved by millions of people around the world," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said today in a statement. "Together we will create the future of real-time communications so people can easily stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues anywhere in the world."
Microsoft plans to integrate Skype's technology with the Xbox game console and Kinect motion-sensing device, as well as with its Windows Phone platform. The company also will "connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live, … Read more
Microsoft is putting the finishing touches on a deal to buy Internet phone company Skype for between $7 billion and $8 billion, and a deal could be announced as early as tomorrow, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The report cited people familiar with the matter who said negotiations were ongoing and could still fall apart. Microsoft representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Luxembourg-based company provides a software-based communications service that allows people to make free voice and video calls over the Internet to other Skype users using almost any Internet-connected device. The voice … Read more
In its quest to get developers on Apple's iOS platform more friendly with Microsoft technologies Microsoft this morning released a new toolkit that helps developers integrate the company's Azure platform into the guts of iOS applications.
The open-source kit, which Microsoft has posted to Github, helps iOS developers build Windows Azure integration into applications at a very low level. Microsoft says this works on both the iPhone and the iPad, giving applications a way to plug into data and notifications from services running on Azure.
"Today, it's not just about how quickly a developer can create an experience, but how quickly that developer can build apps that work with unique devices across a dozen platforms," wrote Jamin Spitzer, the senior director of platform strategy for Microsoft, in a TechNet post.
Spitzer said that the solution is to use cloud services as the "common back-end" to simplify those efforts.
"Using the toolkits, developers can use the cloud to accelerate the creation of applications on the major mobile platforms. Companies, including Groupon, are taking advantage to create a unified approach to cloud-to-mobile user experience," Spitzer said.
Microsoft has set up the system to let developers plug their Azure account information directly into apps, or run that authentication through a proxy server. That first method is the easier and more self-contained of the two, but hinders access controls and authorizations, the company said. By comparison, the proxy method, which has applications validating access to Azure keeps the username and password information from residing within the app. … Read more
Microsoft is launching its latest Windows ad campaign tonight, the company has confirmed to CNET.
Starting at prime time, Microsoft's new ads, which were developed by the Crispin Porter + Bogusky agency, will expand upon the firm's "I'm a PC" campaign. Tonight's ad highlights "Julie," who says that she doesn't want a new computer because she doesn't believe "there's something out there better than what I've got now." After learning about the different PC options available to her, she chooses a PC running Windows 7.
Companies are actively looking for Microsoft Office alternatives such as Google Apps, but so far their interest hasn't dented the productivity suite's dominance, a Forrester Research study released today said.
"Adoption of alternatives relative to Microsoft Office is paltry, but interest remains high, with more than a quarter of companies actively looking at or experimenting with Web-based alternatives," Forrester said in the study. "While the free versions of these programs make it easy for companies to try, concerns over user acceptance and compatibility with Microsoft Office file formats continue to hinder broader deployments."
The war of words between Microsoft and Google over the use of Google Apps in the enterprise continues.
Sharing his thoughts yesterday in a blog called "The Hidden Google Tax," Microsoft's director of online services, Tom Rizzo, took some swings at Google Apps, proclaiming that it's not a cost-effective solution for the enterprise.
If you updated your Windows Phone 7 device outside of Microsoft's official channels, you won't be able to use the mobile platform's latest version.
That's according to Microsoft's Brandon Watson, who wrote about the issue on the company's developer blog yesterday. Anyone who updated their Windows Phone 7 devices to build 7390 via "unofficial mechanisms" will be unable to complete the update to the company's latest build, 7392, he wrote.
"Despite the fact that many people have claimed that an unofficial update mechanism worked fine for them, we cautioned that … Read more
Users of Internet Explorer can now get rid of those persistent "Flash cookies" thanks to the latest version of Adobe Flash and support from within Microsoft's IE.
Cookies are files created on your PC and used by sites to keep track of certain data, such as site settings and usernames. All the major Web browsers let you remove cookies. But one flavor of cookie, known as a Flash cookie, doesn't get thrown out when you delete your traditional Web cookies. That limitation has triggered privacy concerns.
Seeing Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer take the stage at Research in Motion's Blackberry World conference in Orlando today prompted some wags to wonder if Lucifer was donning a down coat.
A new partnership between once fierce rivals, which calls for Microsoft's Bing Search and Bing Maps to be built into the operating system of future RIM devices, would have seemed unfathomable just a few years ago.
But it's hardly an unusual strategy for Microsoft. For years, the software titan has competed fiercely against companies, only to embrace them when their fortunes sag. The list is long. … Read more
The latest batch of rumors regarding a Windows app store has cropped up.
They include a different name than previously rumored, a logo, and the ability to deliver software directly to a person's desktop, according to Windows enthusiast site WinRumors and other sources.
WinRumors reports that the new shop is likely to be dubbed the Windows Store--not the Windows App Store. It apparently will offer consumers a variety of free and paid apps for PCs that they can download much in the same way that Apple users can download apps from the Mac App Store. Its release is tied to that of Windows 8, the next version of the Windows operating system.
The store will also allegedly kick off with a new logo that, like much of Windows 8, borrows some of its look and feel from Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Metro UI.
The new store will most likely be based on HTML5 and will send apps to PCs from Microsoft's cloud-based Azure service, according to Windows enthusiast site MSWin (Google Translate version), which apparently peeked under the hood of the recent Windows 8 Milestone 3 Build. The site also found subtle entries pointing to a Windows Store deep within the bowels of the Windows Registry.… Read more