Sunday, December 25, 2011

Microsoft Firing on All Cylinders, Posts Record Quarter

It's been somewhat of a banner year so far for Microsoft, at least in terms of revenue. Driven by solid business and consumer demand, Microsoft announced record first quarter revenue of $17.37 billion for its first fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2011, representing a 7 percent increase from one year prior. It's also higher than what Wall Street was expecting.

"We saw customer demand across the breadth of our products, resulting in record first-quarter revenue and another quarter of solid EPS growth," said Peter Klein, chief financial officer at Microsoft. "Our product portfolio is performing well, and we’ve got an impressive pipeline of products and services that positions us well for future growth."

The Microsoft Business Division reported $5.62 billion in first quarter revenue, up 8 percent from one year ago when Microsoft launched Office 2010. Microsoft's Server & Tools segment grew 10 percent year-over-year to $4.25 billion, which marks the sixth consecutive quarter of double digit growth, and the company's Windows and Windows Live Division revenue increased 2 percent to $4.87 billion, a figure Microsoft says is "in line with the PC market."

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Motorola May Be Violating Another Microsoft Patent

Microsoft has scored another victory against the Android camp as the ITC confirmed a claim that Motorola is violating one of the company's patents.

The patent in question describes the creation of meeting requests with a scheduling function on mobile devices. the decision by the ITC is the second hit against Android within two days. Earlier this week, the ITC found that HTC violates an Apple patent and issued an injunction against the affected devices beginning in April.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hard drive manufacturers slash warranty periods

Computerworld - Seagate and Western Digital are cutting back on hard drive warranties, in some instances from five years to one, in order to save money or redirect it to product development.

Seagate's warranties on certain drives will be reduced as of Dec. 31, and WD will follow beginning Jan. 2. All drives shipped prior to those dates will continue to carry the current warranty term associated with the products.

The warranty period reductions, first reported by The Register, mean some of Seagate's and WD's most popular drives for desktops and laptops will no longer carry three- or five-year warranties.

In an email response to Computerworld, Seagate said it was reducing warranty periods as a way to standardize its terms "to be more consistent with those commonly applied throughout the consumer electronics and technology industries.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Microsoft slates Windows 8 beta for late February 2012

Company's app store to launch simultaneously, free apps only

Computerworld - Microsoft on Tuesday confirmed that it will release a public beta of Windows 8 in late February, 2012.

The company broke the news at a San Francisco developers event Tuesday, where Antoine Leblond, vice president of Windows Web services, touted Windows Store, the app market that will be the sole distribution channel for applications designed to run in Windows 8's new "Metro" interface.

Windows Store will open to the public at the same time Windows 8's beta ships, a Microsoft spokeswoman said.

While Microsoft has yet to talk about an official launch date for Windows 8, the beta's timing hints at a fall 2012 debut, assuming the company paces Windows 8's final development and testing as it did Windows 7's.

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Friday, December 2, 2011

Intel's Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge Benchmarks Leaked

We get an early glimpse of the potential of the upcoming Ivy Bridge CPUs through initial benchmarks.

With the Intel's Ivy Bridge set to release around April 2012, Intel has reportedly begun sending official Ivy Bridge performance expectations to its partners, manufacturers and resellers. Xbit-labs has published a set of slides that are supposedly from Intel, but are not sanctioned for general public consumption. These could give us an early glimpse of what type of performance we might expect when Ivy Bridge hits the market.

The charts show the Intel Core i7-3770, which is a has 4 cores (8 threads) at 3.40 GHz, with 8MB L3 cache going up against the current Core i7-2600 with similar specifications. 

According to the chart, there is an improvement across the board with the new Core i7-3770 processor. Intel states the improvement is due to improved architecture and a higher turbo boost performance. This may be attributed to the new 22nm 3D Tri-Gate technology utilized with the upcoming processors.

    * 7% improvement in SYSmark 2012 score
    * 14% improvement in HDXPRT 2011 score
    * 15% improvement in Cinebench 11.5 score
    * 13% improvement in ProShow Gold 4.5 results
    * 25% improvement in Excel 2010 performance

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