Tablet makers are already facing a strict heat of competition in the market and Microsoft is ready to jump in this heated segment with its new budget friendly tablet which will be based on Windows 8. It is expected to be launched in some months. The CFO of Microsoft, Mr. Peter Klein made a statement [...]
Microsoft Corporation has just announced its quarterly revenue amounting to $ 20.49 billion for the quarter period that has ended on March 31, 2013. It seems like the company’s bold moves on its various forms of cloud services are reaping the fruits of success as more and more people continue to patronize Microsoft services such as Skype, Xbox LIVE, Windows Azure, and Office 365. Though the company believes that there is still a huge room for improvement, they are optimistic enough that the positive gains they are achieving with their Windows devices will be on a long-term basis.
A revenue amounting to $ 6.32 billion has been recorded on the Microsoft Business Division which is 8% higher than the amount recorded in the previous year. Part of the increase stems from the company’s launching of the new Office which has greatly enhanced productivity and the user’s computing experience by taking advantage of features such as cloud, social, and enhanced mobility.
The Windows Division showed revenue of $ 5.70 billion which is relatively higher than the previous year by up to 23%. One notable reason that could have affected the increase is the addition of the Surface Pro to the lineup of Surface devices.
For the Online Services Division, a record of $ 832 million in revenue had been calculated which when compared to last year would show that the increase had been reached by 18%. Likewise, there has been a recorded revenue growth of 22% in the online advertising as the revenue for every search has also increased.
The Entertainment and Devices Division gained revenue of $ 2.53 billion which is perhaps the biggest recorded increase in revenue since the amount had shown a 56% increase from the previous year. The increase can be attributed to the company’s Video Game Deferral. Moreover, the number of Xbox LIVE members worldwide now reaches 46 million which is higher by 18% compared to last year.
Coinciding with the company’s Q3 2013 earnings report is the CFO’s announcement on stepping down. Microsoft’s Peter Klein, after being with the company for 11 years and being the CFO for almost four years, is leaving the company and looking forward to work hand in hand with the new CFO for a smooth transition.
After smart phones, the race is on to develop smart watches. It’s been said that Apple and Samsung are developing this wearable gadget and now rumors say that Microsoft’s designers are also working on its own smart watch.
Microsoft was actually working on a smart watch last year but admitted to putting the project on hold. The device, called the Small Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) watch, was unveiled by Bill Gates in 2003 and could receive text messages and news, weather reports and stock reports in real time. Unfortunately, the SPOT watch wasn’t able to generate enough sales despite being supported by celebrities and other business bigwigs so the company had no choice but to pull the plug.
Strangely enough, the buzz about smart watches is now growing. Apple and its partner Foxconn is said to be working on a new range of gadgets that can be worn. The rumored device, the iWatch, is said to be iOS-based and will be made from glass that can be wrapped around the wrist. And now Microsoft is rumored to be serious about picking up where the SPOT watch left off, with the company asking its Asian suppliers to source the necessary components.
If Microsoft does push through with its plans to have its own smart watch, it has several things going for it. For one thing, the Windows Phone and the Windows 8 system seem to be perfect for a smart watch. The Live Tiles could be set up to show different notifications. Another good feature that Microsoft could integrate in its smart watch is voice command. The Windows Phone can effectively control third party apps by voices so if Microsoft can utilize this it will have a winner on its hands. Another Windows Phone feature that could transfer well into the smart phone is the Microsoft Wallet; people won’t have to reach for their wallets anymore if this was in place.
While the reports that Microsoft is also working on the smart watch is still unsubstantiated, some are saying that this is just a smokescreen to distract consumers from the issues plaguing the Windows 8. Still, if Microsoft does come up with a better version of its SPOT watch, it might herald the start of good things for the company.
We first heard about Microsoft’s “Blue” Office Update (codenamed Gemini) about 2 weeks ago. Now, an alleged roadmap for Gemini was discovered claiming that the Office update for iOS and Android platforms will be pushed further until Fall of next year.
According to the roadmap, the first wave of Gemini update will employ Metro-Style, touch-centric interface for Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. The new Blue-styled Office software will run seamlessly on Windows 8 and RT versions and will be released by October of this year.
The next “1.5 wave” of Gemini update is coming on the first quarter of 2014, on April to be exact. Redmond would implement Office facelift for Mac OS, Windows Phone platform and a customized Office suite for LSX hardware that includes multitouch systems and Perceptive Pixel large-screen. Also included on the same time frame was the refresh of desktop Office suite ported by Microsoft to ARM. It is collectively called “Office RT” which may include Word RT, PowerPoint RT, OneNote RT and Excel RT.
Lastly, the Gemini Office update for iOS and Android is coming in October 2014 that may include iPhones and Android smartphones aside from tablet PCs. In addition, rumor has it that the mobile iOS/Android Office versions will be part of Microsoft’s Office 365 subscription plan though no information can confirm this at the moment.
In an apparent attempt to compete against devices such as the iPad mini and Nexus 7, The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft is planning a smaller 7-inch version of their Surface in order to address the growing market for smaller tablets. The smaller Surface tablet is expected to launch some time later this year.
The personal-computer business is at a crossroads, and Microsoft Corp. isn’t sitting still. The software giant is developing a new lineup of its Surface tablets, including a 7-inch version expected to go into mass production later this year, said people familiar with the company’s plans.
One person familiar with Microsoft’s product plans said the 7-inch tablets weren’t part of the company’s strategy last year, but Microsoft executives realized they needed a response to the rapidly growing popularity of smaller tablets like Google Inc.’s GOOG +0.03% 7-inch Nexus, which was announced last summer, and the 7.9-inch iPad Mini introduced by Apple Inc. AAPL -0.31% last October.
Half of the tablet computers shipped in the fourth quarter were smaller than 8 inches, according to research firm IDC. Microsoft declined to comment.
It’s hardly surprising. When Apple moves, Microsoft follows, as they have show time and time again through their desktop platform, the Zune, and now, finally, their Surface tablet (which itself is difficult to see as anything but a direct response to the iPad). Previous comments from Microsoft CFO Peter Klein also suggested that Microsoft was considering a smaller Surface.
Considering that sales of their Surface tablet have been underwhelming at best, and the fact that Windows 8 is driving the PC market to a record 20-year decline, it’s hard to imagine that shaving a few inches off of the Surface will turn things around for Microsoft’s ill-fated tablet – but as always, only time will tell.