Microsoft announces 27 Million downloads of Office for iPad in 6 weeks

office_for_ipadMicrosoft has recently released three of its Office apps for iPad users, Word, PowerPoint and Excel.  This morning the General Manager of Microsoft’s Office Division Julia White has announced that Office for iPad has been downloaded 27 million times since its launch on March 27th.

Microsoft previously announced that Office for iPad has been downloaded 12 million times in the launch week.  The way Office for iPad works is that user can download the free apps but in order to edit, print, or create a document, an Office 365 subscription is required.  The free versions provide the ability  to only view documents.  On the other hand, Microsoft’s Surface tablets have the full fledged version of Office  preinstalled and it doesn’t require a subscription.  We don’t have any official numbers from Microsoft on how many Office 365 subscriptions were activated due to this iPad release, but we can expect that this number has definitely increased.

Office 365 has been a runaway success since its release and before the iPad version came to Apple’s App store.  Microsoft has officially announced in their Q1 2014 earnings report, that there are already 4.4 million Office 365 Home subscribers, and an additional 1 million users were added that quarter.

In the commercial sector Office 365 is already a major success and commercial seats have almost doubled in the last year.

source: Microsoft-News

Microsofts closes gap with Apache in web server software

 

Web-Hosting1When it comes to the web server business, Apache has been the dominant player for the past 18 years. According to Netcraft’s latest survey, Microsoft is beginning to threaten that lead.

Microsoft’s Azure cloud services are gaining a lot of traction, this month’s survey was conducted across 975 million websites and has determined which software servers are running them.

It has been reported that 9 million additional sites started using Microsoft Web server software for the month of May. This increased their market-share by 0.37% , while Apache’s market-share dropped 0.18%,  gaining an additional 4.3 million sites.  Apache still powers about 37.6% of all sites but Microsoft is closing the gap now with a 33.7% share.

Microsoft’s flagship web server software IIS (Internet Information Server) was found to be used in over 7 million new sites, which Netcraft has found. They report that 11,000 of these are being run from Azure. These instances help “maintain Microsoft’s position as the largest Windows hosting company in terms on web-facing computers,” Netcraft reported.

 

Source: inforworld.com

 

Microsoft is now the second largest cloud service provider

microsoft-data-centerMicrosoft has become the second largest cloud service provider. Their cloud business grew an astonishing 154% year-on-year, when comparing market-share from Q1 of 2013 to Q1 of this year.

Amazon remains the largest cloud provider with its AWS (Amazon Web Services) but Microsoft grew at a rate of 2.3 times faster than Amazon. IBM remains in 3rd place and had the second fastest growth at 80%, Salesforce with 37% growth is 4th and Google is in fifth place and recorded 60% growth.

msftcloudWhen it comes to overall market share, Amazon remains head and shoulders above the rest with 27% of the share. Microsoft is sitting at 8% currently but with its powerful brand and marketing power it may become a threat to Amazon in the next few years, especially if they maintain such growth. IBM is at 6.5%, Salesforce and Google are at 6%  and 4.5% respectively.

Microsoft Azure made price cuts that matched AWS’ cuts in many categories, and exceeded it in several others. The software giant chopped computing prices by 27%-35% and storage by 44%-65%. Additionally, Microsoft cut the pricing for Windows instances by 27% and memory-intensive Linux instances by 35%.

Microsoft also reported that it was lowering the prices of Block Blob storage by 65% for LRS, or locally redundant storage, and 44% for GRS, or geo-redundant storage.

With the drastic price cuts, Microsoft is now in an excellent position to challenge AWS’ leadership in cloud services. Although Microsoft’s cloud is still less than one-third the size of AWS, it would take only 6-7 years to catch up, in terms of size, assuming that it grows at a rate of 80% for the next 7 years and AWS grows at only 50%. Faster growth for Microsoft’s cloud could cut that time to as little as 4-5 years.

Source: Motley Fool

Ari Partinen, Senior Nokia PureView Expert Leaves To Join Apple

Ari_PartinenMicrosoft has just recently scooped up Nokia’s smartphone division and 25000 Nokia employees. As Nokia exits the smartphone business, some of its most valuable assets are being picked up by competitors looking to beef up their talent pool. Microsoft, who now owns the mobile division of Nokia, would likely prefer to bring these folks on-board into their Windows Phone division. However, as we are seeing today, that is not panning out so well as some key staff are jumping ships.

Former Senior Nokia engineer Ari Partinen, who worked on the Lumia series PureView camera technology, announced today on his Twitter account that today is his last day with the company.   He will be joining Apple to start a new chapter in Cupertino, California. This comes at time when Apple “is planning to debut the 4.7-inch version of its next-generation iPhone in August, and may follow up with a larger model a month later.” according to a rumor posted by Apple Insider.

According to Ari’s Twitter account, he “is an imaging professional with a passion to push digital imaging to the next level. Also heavily involved in traditional photography and lighting.”.

The Nokia Lumia 920 started to change mobile photography with its innovative Pureview technology that enabled incredible low light photography, coupled with optical image stabilization.  The Lumia 1020 has taken this tech to new levels with its 41 Mega Pixel camera and has widened the with gap other smartphones to an all time high.  Apple clearly recognizes this and having one of Nokia’s lead engineers join their team shows their interest to compete heavily in smartphone photography.

Source: @Partinen, Engadget

 

Microsoft Leads Business Software Market Share, up 12%

top5_software_vendors_2013The leading provider of global market intelligence, data giant International Data Corporation (IDC) reports that Microsoft extended its dominance in global enterprise software market last year.

The overall enterprise software market grew by 5.5% in 2013 – worth $369 billion (1.2% increase compared to 2012). “Sales last year benefited from a recovery in Europe and continued above-average growth in the U.S.”, IDC said in the report.

Microsoft emerged as the market leader with $65.6 billion in revenue, a 12.2% increase from previous year. Microsoft’s market share rose to 17.8% (up from 16.7% previous year) with IBM trailing with 8% market share. Other notables in the top five include Oracle, SAP and Symantec, according to the IDC report.

IDC tabulated software revenue from three primary segments: applications, application development and deployment, and systems infrastructure software.

Among the three segments, application development and deployment, which comprised nearly 23% of total software revenue in 2013, had the fastest growth with a 5.6% year-over-year gain. Oracle led this segment with market share of 21.5%, followed by IBM and Microsoft.

In the applications software segment, which comprised 50% of total software revenue and grew 5.5%, Microsoft led the field with a 14% share. It was followed by SAP, Oracle and IBM.

Microsoft’s annual revenue for 2013 was just north of $80 billion, this means that around $15 billion came from the consumer segment which includes, Xbox, Surface and other hardware related products.  It shows that Microsoft’s bread and butter is the business market.

Sources: Brian Deagon, Investor’s Business Daily & Big Data and Analytics, Collaborative Applications, and System Software Drove Enterprise Software Growth in 2013, According to IDC

 

Microsoft to open Microsoft Innovation Center in Miami

Microsoft announced today that it is in the process of opening its first ever US based Microsoft Innovation Center (MIC) this spring.

Microsoft Innovation Centers (MICs) are local government organizations, universities, industry organizations, software or hardware vendors who partnered with Microsoft with a common goal to foster the growth of local software economies. Currently there are 115 Microsoft Innovation Centers world wide (Wikipedia).

This map represents the current MIC locations in the world:

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

According to RTTNews.com, “Located in Miami, Florida, the center will be equipped with the latest technology and tools to help drive job creation, increase the number and availability of highly skilled technology specialists, and facilitate collaboration among a variety of diverse groups in the greater Miami area.

The company said that the facility will be the first of a series of new Microsoft Innovation Centers to be established across the United States, and will also serve as the flagship technology center connecting Miami to key communities in the Latin American or LATAM region.”

Source: RTTNews.com

Microsoft aims to obliterate DropBox

Microsoft’s mobile first, cloud first strategy is taking steps to become a reality in the recent increase of OneDrive storage for business.  Microsoft has always been a platform maker at heart – they built the foundation which applications ran on, and had incredible success with Windows, which holds over 90% market share today on PCs. Applications and services are changing at a rapid pace in which their host is becoming the cloud. Microsoft sees a future where applications and services aren’t hosted on traditional machines and on premises servers. In this modern era, the platform seems to be the OS in the cloud that is powering your devices services, rather than having the OS on your device perform this task, and in the future the complete OS will eventually be powered by the cloud.

Microsoft seems to have a modern take on its classic strategy in which Windows becomes your all-in-one computing solution, something that almost caused the split of the entire company under Bill Gates’ leadership, when they got in trouble with the Department of Justice in 1998. We were then living in a different time, when Microsoft was so dominant that they weren’t allowed to use their dominance in the market with Windows to bundle their own browser into the OS. Today it seems acceptable as we have seen Google starting this trend with their services.

Today more and more people and businesses are storing their content in the cloud, the most popular business cloud solutions seem to be Box, Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive. These companies are fighting to win over customers by dropping their prices for extra storage. Google was the first to do a drastic price drop and just recently Microsoft lowered its prices on storage to all of its Office 365 subscription services. In the past, Office 365 subscriptions awarded each user 25GB of storage, that now that limit has been significantly increased to 1TB.

Microsoft argues that companies are better off buying an all-in-one product rather than stitching together technology pieces from multiple companies– Box for file storage, for example, plus Google Apps for document creation.

The OneDrive advantage

As more businesses adapt Microsoft’s Office 365 subscriptions, their chances of winning over customers are significantly improved and they seem to have the strongest potential to win over business customers since well over 95% of businesses are running Windows and Office on their machines.  Not only that, but OneDrive integrates itself deeply with the complete Office suite and Windows, for businesses using Windows 8, it’s a no brainer to use OneDrive since it backs up complete PC settings, Wi-Fi passwords, app settings and app data. This is something the other services cannot provide as their makers don’t control the operating system, and it seems like Microsoft has real potential to swoop up its business customers. OneDrive is also completely integrated in to Windows Phone and all Windows tablets making these devices feel connected in a way no other OS can achieve. Because of the integration advantage of OneDrive, Goolge has introduced its Chrome OS into the market in hopes of luring more users into the Google cloud, as the entire Chromebook OS is dependent on it.

One Drives disadvantage

OneDrive’s late entrance into business seems to be the main disadvantage as most businesses are using Dropbox and Box today, but the amount of businesses using cloud storage is still small – the market is ripe for picking as businesses seem to love using a common platform for all their needs.

“The era of making isolated, single-solution decisions is rapidly coming to a close,” John Case, a corporate vice president for Microsoft Office says

A more significant disadvantage is that fewer users are upgrading to newer versions of Windows – Windows has always been on a slow upgrade schedule in the business world. 49% of computer users are still using Windows 7, while 26% are running a 13 year old Windows XP, only 12% of users are on Windows 8/8.1. Windows 8 is where OneDrives major advantage seems to be.  These numbers are overall numbers including consumers, and in business, Windows 8 may have an even smaller footprint.

It seems that everything Microsoft is working on today is turning into a service – Office is the biggest example of this strategy with Office 365. Windows is very likely to head down this path in a not so distant future. Windows 8 has been created in a way that Microsoft’s entire ecosystem of services are deeply integrated into the OS held together by OneDrive. Increasing OneDrive storage is one step towards realizing this vision.

Nokia's new ad emphasizing that Lumias are different

Nokia has posted a new ad to promote its Lumia line of products just a few days after the acquisition of their Devices and Services business by Microsoft was completed.

This ad  features the sound track from The Kinks, ‘Not like everybody else’ to show that Nokia Lumia smartphones are different from other smartphones on the market. The video portrays a black & world which represents other smartphones while the Nokia Lumia devices stand out from the crowd. It’s an interesting ad which shows one of the ways the Lumia line of smartphones differentiates from the competition.

Microsoft completes Nokia acquisition

Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Microsoft and marks the end of one for Nokia.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said:

“Today we welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business to our family. The mobile capabilities and assets they bring will advance our transformation. Together with our partners, we remain focused on delivering innovation more rapidly in our mobile-first, cloud-first world.”

Credit: Microsoft.com
Credit: Microsoft.com

The completion of sale announced almost eight months ago of Nokia’s Devices and Services Division to Microsoft has been concluded.  As of today about 30,000 employees from Nokia will be full time employees at Microsoft.  However most of these employees are factory workers in many of the Nokia plants worldwide, as Nokia makes their own devices and doesn’t contract out to Foxcon or Pegatron like many companies including Apple do.  Microsoft has acquired 130 sites across 50 different countries to produce mobile hardware with this acquisition, this makes Microsoft a major mobile hardware manufacturer as it begins a massive integration with Nokia’s workforce and establishments. Employees that worked at Nokia’s headquarters in Espoo Finland, will remain there, this building has been sold under the leadership of Stephen Elop, which now is leased by Nokia.

Stephen Elop will lead the Microsoft Devices group business which include Xbox hardware, Surface, Perceptive Pixel, Lumia smartphones and tablets, and accessories such as mice and keyboards.

Stephen Elop on the Nokia Conversations blog wrote:

Today we are announcing that the acquisition of substantially all of the Nokia Devices and Services business by Microsoft has reached completion, following approval by Nokia shareholders and regulatory authorities.

Six months ago, we announced our plans to bring the best of Microsoft and Nokia Devices and Services business together. Today is an exciting day as we join the Microsoft family, and take the first, yet important, step in our long-term journey.

At our core, we are passionate about building technology that will change the world. From the early vision of Microsoft of placing a PC in every home and on every desk, to Nokia connecting billions of people through mobile devices, we have empowered generations. But we could not have achieved any of this without our fans around the world.

Your support has created strong momentum for Nokia Lumia smartphones and they continue to grow in popularity around the world. Last year alone, the awards, accolades and fan-generated rave reviews offered proof of the growing number of champions for our phones and tablets.

And we are committed to continuing our support for feature phones, the Asha family, and the Nokia X family of devices, announced at the Mobile World Congress in February.

Whether you want to read more, capture more, watch more, listen more or get more done, Nokia mobile devices have been and are your go-to choice.

As Microsoft and Nokia Devices and Services come together as an expanded family, we will unify our passion, dedication and commitment to bringing you the best of what our joint technologies have to offer.

Together, we can connect and empower people with one experience for everything in their life in a world where it is mobile first and cloud first.

From today onwards, the possibilities are endless. As now, we’re one!

Stephen

On Monday, April 28 at 1PM GMT, Stephen Elop will answer your questions live in our first-ever worldwide “Ask Me Anything” session here on Conversations. You don’t need to do anything to sign up. If you can’t make it, don’t worry: we’ll post a replay afterwards.

Source: http://conversations.nokia.com/2014/04/25/now-one-microsoft-open-letter-stephen-elop/

The Chinese regulatory government was one of the reasons for the delay as Google and Samsung were lobbying against the purchase, claiming that Microsoft could potentially be even more hostile with patent lawsuits towards Android OEMs.  The majority of Android OEM’s are already paying Microsoft a rumoured $3-$10/Android handset including Samsung, who is currently in a major legal dispute with Apple.  Another reason is due to tax disputes with the Indian government for a Nokia manufacturing plant for over $600 million, Microsoft is rumoured to be abandoning this plant.

Nokia will still exist, primarily as a network infrastructure (NSN) business, together with its strategically important maps (HERE) along with its research and intellectual property (Advanced Technologies) businesses.

Nokia will not be allowed to pursue the mobile phone business until late 2015, which will be a highly unlikely scenario for Nokia.

Consumers will not notice any immediate impact of this acquisition, as Microsoft will continue to manage Nokia’s device operations, including device warranties and support. In additional, Microsoft will manage Nokia.com and their associate social channels up to one year.

The two companies have work closely together designing and building Lumia devices since their announced partnership in February 2011. Questions still remain whether Microsoft will continue to use the Lumia name for their phones since they now own the rights to it, and whether the Nokia tablet will be discontinued or kept alongside the Surface. It will also be interesting to see how Nokia’s design team may impact future designs of Microsoft’s Surface line of products. There are major cultural differences between the two companies and only time will tell how they will work together to continue growing in this highly competitive market.

 

Microsoft rakes in $20 billion in Revenue, Surface and Bing Grow

Microsoft-645x250April 24, 2014 – Microsoft today released earnings for the quarter ending March 31, 2014, and it easily beat Wall Street’s predictions. Net income came in at $5.66 billion on revenues of $20.4 billion, down from $6.06 billion the same quarter a year ago.

Cloud computing is going well for Microsoft and as the new CEO, Satya Nadella, took the stage at his first earnings call, he touted cloud computing by saying “This is gold rush time in being able to capitalize on the opportunity.”

This quarter is an interesting one for Microsoft as it benefits from being close to the death of Windows XP whose support ended on April 8, 2014. Many companies paid to upgrade their computers to either Windows 7 or 8 which provided a boost to overall Windows revenue. 30% of PCs are still running the 13 year old operating system, bringing the numbers in at about 400-500 million active users as there are about 1.6 billion PCs in use. Looking forward, Microsoft is expected to benefit as more users jump ship to a newer version of Windows as well as paying for support for continuing to run Windows XP.

“This quarter’s results demonstrate the strength of our business, as well as the opportunities we see in a mobile-first, cloud-first world” Nadella is quoted as saying in a prepared statement. “We are making good progress in our consumer services like Bing and Office 365 Home, and our commercial customers continue to embrace our cloud solutions. Both position us well for long-term growth.” according to Nadella.

Devices and Consumer revenue grew 12% to $8.30 billion.

Windows OEM revenue was up 4%, Windows Pro OEM revenue was up 19% and drove overall growth in Windows

Office 365 Home added almost 1 million subscribers in 3 months and now has now has 4.4 million subscribers

– 2 million Xbox consoles sold, with 1.2 million Xbox One’s consoles. Total Xbox Ones sold are at 5.1 million, PlayStation 4 stands at 7 million

– Over 50% increase in Surface revenue at approximately $500 million

Bing climbs to 18.6% of search in U.S., search advertising grew 38%. Combined with Yahoo holds 28.7%

Commercial revenue grew 7% to $12.23 billion.

Office 365 revenues were up 100%, strong enterprise momentum as commercial seats nearly doubled

Azure revenue up by over 150%

Windows volume licensing up 11%, more business customers continue to select Windows as their choice

Lync, SharePoint, and Exchange, as well as productivity server offerings, grew double digits

We are going to keep a close eye on the next quarter, as Microsoft will complete the take-over of the Nokia devices business and its 30,000 employees. The $7 billion deal is expected to close on April 24, 2014.