Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Microsoft: 40 million Windows 8 licenses sold

IDG News Service - Microsoft has sold 40 million licenses of the Windows 8 OS since its launch a month ago.

"We believe Windows 8 is shaping up is as one of the company's most successful products," said Tami Reller, Microsoft's chief marketing officer and chief financial officer for Windows. Reller spoke Tuesday at the Credit Suisse Annual Technology Conference, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Reller also noted that Microsoft's Surface RT Pro would be available in January. Previously the company only stated that the computer would be available in early 2013.

She also said that, a relaunch of the company's Hotmail service, has attracted 25 million users.

During her talk, Reller pointed to a number of other statistics indicating how well Windows 8 has fared with users, perhaps addressing criticisms of its user interface. "When people experience Windows 8, they do find it is easy to get started and fun to learn," she said. "We know from the data we're getting in that customers do indeed get the product."

Since the launch, Microsoft has logged over 1.5 billion impressions of users deploying the start screen through remote telemetry. "So we know this is home base for customers, as we intended it to be," she said. Customers are also personalizing the start screen. Within the first three weeks, customers on average added 19 tiles to the ones that are already installed on the system...

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

IBM Notes/Domino 9 Social Edition public beta planned for December 14

On a webcast watched live by 2000 people, earlier today, IBM announced a plan for a public beta of IBM Notes/Domino 9.0 Social Edition. The beta is expected to be available on December 14, and you can register for the beta today via .

If you were unable to join us for the webcast, a replay will be available starting tomorrow morning via On24.

Notes/Domino Social Edition was first unveiled at Lotusphere 2012, and has been in development for more than a year. We decided to release a public beta, the first in a long time for Notes/Domino, because of the importance of the release. That was also the consideration that lead to putting the 9.0 version number on the beta, rather than the 8.5.4 we have previously announced.

The plan for Notes/Domino Social Edition calls for availability in Q1 2013, subject to change and all the usual disclaimers.

The decision to call Social Edition beta "9.0" is the right one, but leads to some questions. Yes, there will still be an 8.5.4 maintenance release, with no new features, sometime in 2013. A "dot zero" release is legendary in the IT industry as being the one you play with, waiting for a bug fix release. Except that the DNA of this release is what we have been building as 8.5.4, and carries with that all the stability and reliability of the 8.5 codestream. The 9.0 beta will show that though there are many new features, they are built upon the same solid architecture as the entire 8.5 series. We want you to deploy the dot zero, and we will stand behind it with every confidence.

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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ballmer decided Windows chief Sinofsky was too divisive

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer decided he had had enough of Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky.

Sinofsky had developed a stellar reputation for shipping quality products on time. And he streamlined the management structure in the gigantic Windows division so that it hummed and produced the latest version of the company's flagship product on a tight deadline to solid, if not spectacular, reviews.

But a day after Sinofsky's sudden departure from Microsoft, it's also clear that Ballmer recognized that the Windows leader was too divisive of a figure to continue on at the software giant, where collaboration among groups is taking on increasing importance.

A Microsoft executive familiar with the thinking of senior management said there was no single event that led to Sinofsky's exit. Instead, relations between Ballmer and Sinofsky frayed as development on Windows 8 progressed.

Microsoft declined to make either Sinofsky or Ballmer available for comment. And while sources say the two executives had several disagreements in recent months, there was little chance any change would happen before Windows 8 launched on October 25.

The final decision about Sinofsky's exit was made shortly before the company announced the news Monday night. That's because Sinofsky was an officer of Microsoft, and regulatory rules require the company to immediately disclose material management changes. Even though Ballmer wanted Sinofsky out, the company said the decision was ultimately mutual...

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Windows head Steven Sinofsky to leave Microsoft

IDG News Service - Steven Sinofsky, the executive in charge of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system and the driving force behind its new OS, is leaving the company, Microsoft announced late Monday, leading analysts to speculate that the company could be dissatisfied with early sales of the operating system.

Sinofsky was the public face for Windows 8 and its new Metro interface, posting constant updates in a Windows 8 blog that charted its development. His last post, fittingly, was entitled "Updating Windows 8 for General Availability." The OS was officially launched at the end of last month.

Sinofsky's departure is effective immediately, Microsoft said. The company will promote Julie Larson-Green, a lead engineer on Windows 7, to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering. CFO Tami Reller will take on the added duty of managing the business side of Windows.

Microsoft didn't say why Sinofsky left. In a statement, CEO Steve Ballmer thanked him for his work and added, somewhat ambiguously, that the company must "continue to drive alignment across all Microsoft teams, and have more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings."

According to the All Things D blog, there was growing tension between Sinofsky and other members of the Microsoft executive team, who didn't see him as enough of a team player. But Microsoft's official position is that the decision was a mutual one.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Microsoft slates first Windows 8, RT patches since launch

Computerworld - Microsoft today announced it will issue six security updates next week, including three for Windows 8 and its tablet spin-off Windows RT.

The half-dozen updates will patch 19 vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer (IE) and the .Net framework.

The four critical updates -- the highest threat ranking in Microsoft's four-step system -- will patch 13 bugs, including an unknown number in Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 and Windows RT, the operating system that powers Microsoft's own Surface RT tablet, according to the advance warning Microsoft published Thursday.

The Windows 8 and Windows RT security updates will be the first shipped since those operating systems' launch on Oct. 26. While Microsoft had previously issued patches for the new OSes, all but a September "out-of-band" fix for IE tackled problems in its unfinished previews, not the final code.

But Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Security, downplayed the patches for Windows 8 and Windows RT...

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Introducing PCWorld's Windows 8 Starter Guide

Windows 8 is the biggest change to Windows since the original Windows 95. Whether you've been playing with the consumer preview, intrigued by the direction Microsoft is taking, or worried that you may have to relearn Windows all over again, PCWorld can help you get started with the Windows 8.

Our Windows 8 Starter Guide covers some key things you need to know before you get started, during the installation process, and with your first few hours with the Microsoft's new OS. We'll help you check for potential compatibility pitfalls, walk you through a typical upgrade process, and suggest when a clean install might be better than an in-place upgrade.

 PCWorld's Windows 8 Starter Guide also contains information on the different versions of Windows 8, and Microsoft's introductory pricing, so you can get the best bang for your Windows 8 buck.

Once Windows 8 is up and running, PCWorld editors help walk you through many of the new features of Windows 8. We'll explain just how the new Start screen works and how to best navigate your way through the new interface. We'll also introduce you to the Windows 8 desktop, and the best way to navigate the new, Start menu-free desktop. You'll learn how to navigate Windows 8 using touch and gestures, or using the good old mouse and keyboard (including important keyboard shortcuts.)

When you're familiar with navigation and the basics, we'll lead you through the process of creating and managing accounts, backing up your system, and other basic chores. You'll be up and running with Windows 8 in no time.

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