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Microsoft Board Names Satya Nadella as CEO

Microsoft Corp. today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Satya Nadella as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors effective immediately. Nadella previously held the position of Executive Vice President of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group.

"During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella," said Bill Gates, Microsoft's Founder and Member of the Board of Directors. "Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth."

Microsoft Reports Record Revenue of $24.52 Billion in Q2 FY 2014

Microsoft Corp. today announced revenue of $24.52 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2013. Gross margin, operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $16.24 billion, $7.97 billion, $6.56 billion, and $0.78 per share, respectively.

"Our Commercial segment continues to outpace the overall market, and our Devices and Consumer segment had a great holiday quarter," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. "The investments we are making in devices and services that deliver high-value experiences to our customers, and the work we are doing with our partners, are driving strong results and positioning us well for long-term growth."

Microsoft to Roll Out Four Security Updates Next Week

The first Patch Tuesday of 2014 is less than a week away and it will see Microsoft deliver four updates, all rated 'Important', that tackle vulnerabilities found in Windows, Office, and Dynamics AX.

One of the updates is set to resolve a previously-acknowledged elevation of privilege vulnerability that affects Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 and has already seen limited, targeted attacks. The patches will become available this coming Tuesday, January 14, at about 10:00 AM PST.

For a bit more info check out the Advance Notification found here.

Quanta Computer Joins Futuremark Benchmark Development Program

Futuremark is proud to announce that Quanta Computer has joined its Benchmark Development Program. Quanta will work with Futuremark to create new benchmarks for PC and mobile platforms. Futuremark creates the world's most widely used benchmarks, software that helps people compare the performance of the devices they depend on every day. 3DMark and PCMark are used throughout industry, business and government, by more than a thousand specialist press publications, and millions of people worldwide.

Quanta Computer is the world's largest notebook computer ODM company. Quanta manufacturers one out of every three laptops sold globally and is an ODM partner for every one of the top ten PC companies. In recent years, Quanta has extended its businesses into enterprise network systems, home entertainment, mobile communication, automotive electronics and digital home markets.

Themis Announces Intel Core i7 NanoPAK Small Form Factor Computer

Themis Computer today announced the Intel Core i7 NanoPAK small form factor computer, the newest member of the Themis Tactical Systems product family. The small, light footprint and powerful performance of the Intel Core i7 NanoPAK make it an ideal solution for rugged commercial and military field applications. The NanoPAK i7 computer integrates an Intel 3rd generation Core i7 (Ivy Bridge) processor with FLASH storage in a small, light footprint that optimizes size, weight, power, and cooling. NanoPAK i7 computers are complete, stand alone systems designed for unmanned vehicles, ground vehicles, man-wearable, shipboard, and other extreme environments, where space, weight, power, and cost (SWAP-C) are critical.

MSI S20 Slider 2 Hits the Market

The S20 Slider 2, the ideal mobile work station and leisure companion, just hit the market. Its elegant streamlined exterior, all-in-one design, Intel's 4th generation Haswell Core i5 processor, and all-weather, long-life battery meet are designed to meet your work and leisure needs and make the S20 Slider 2 stand out from the crowd of other ultrabooks.

Another MSI ingenious design, the S20 Slider 2 not only offers all the audio, visual, multimedia, reading, and gaming enjoyment of a tablet, it also sports a keyboard, USB, and HDMI capabilities of a mobile office notebook. This chicly mobile machine satisfies the needs of both on-the-go business people and students and the extended battery power ensures that you have plenty of time to do what you're doing. Ideal for Internet browsing, social networking, and word processing, the S20 Slider 2 is the perfect choice for anybody on the go. The S20's design with keyboard and sliding cover eliminates the limitations most people feel when they use tablets. MSI's innovative, user-friendly design have you the user in mind.

Havok Tech Powering Assassin's Creed IV, Watch Dogs and The Division

Havok, a leading provider of game development technology, announced today that its Havok Physics is powering a number of next-gen Ubisoft titles, including Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag. Making use of Havok Physics, the Ubisoft Montreal development team was able to bring an unprecedented level of immersion to the massive world of Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag.

Havok's technology is also being used in a variety of future Ubisoft games, including action titles such as Watch Dogs and Tom Clancy's The Division, both slated for release on next-gen hardware platforms. The publisher is leveraging Havok technology across platforms to ensure a consistent experience on PlayStation4 computer entertainment system and on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, as well as across PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Wii U system from Nintendo and Windows PC.

Microsoft Releasing 11 Patches Next Week

The last Patch Tuesday of 2013 is closing in fast and, as revealed today, it will see Microsoft deliver no less than eleven updates - five rated 'Critical' and six rated 'Important'. The upcoming patches target vulnerabilities found in Windows, Office, Internet Explorer, SharePoint Server, Exchange, Lync, and Developer Tools. One of the critical updates addresses the Microsoft Graphics Component bug acknowledged last month.

The December 2013 MS patches will be rolled out on December 10, at about 10:00 a.m. PST. For a bit more info check out the Microsoft Security Bulletin Advance Notification available here.

Microsoft Announces Debt Offerings

Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced the pricing of its offerings of €3.5 billion of senior unsecured notes and $3.25 billion of senior unsecured notes. The notes consist of the following tranches:
  • €1.75 billion of 2.125 percent notes due Dec. 6, 2021
  • €1.75 billion of 3.125 percent notes due Dec. 6, 2028
  • $1.25 billion of 1.625 percent notes due Dec. 6, 2018
  • $1.50 billion of 3.625 percent notes due Dec.15, 2023
  • $500 million of 4.875 percent notes due Dec. 15, 2043
Microsoft intends to use the net proceeds from the offerings for general corporate purposes, which may include, among other things, funding for working capital, capital expenditures, repurchases of capital stock, acquisitions and repayment of existing debt. The offerings are expected to close on Dec. 6, 2013.

Microsoft Unveils state-of-the-art Cybercrime Center

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced the opening of the Microsoft Cybercrime Center, a center of excellence for advancing the global fight against cybercrime. The Cybercrime Center combines Microsoft's legal and technical expertise as well as cutting-edge tools and technology with cross-industry expertise, marking a new era in effectively fighting crime on the Internet.

Each year, cybercrime takes a personal and financial toll on millions of consumers around the globe. The Cybercrime Center will tackle online crimes, including those associated with malware, botnets, intellectual property theft and technology-facilitated child exploitation. The work done at the Cybercrime Center will help ensure that people worldwide can use their computing devices and services with confidence.

Microsoft Releasing Eight Patches Next Week

November's Patch Tuesday is coming up and it will see Microsoft deliver eight fresh software updates - three rated 'Critical' and five rated 'Important'. These patches will address vulnerabilities found in Windows, Office and Internet Explorer. The updates are set to be released this Tuesday, November 12, at about 10:00 a.m. PST.

For a bit more info on the patches check out the Advance Notification found here.

Microsoft Reports Record First-Quarter Revenue of $18.53 Billion

Microsoft Corp. today announced revenue of $18.53 billion for the quarter ended September 30, 2013. Gross margin, operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $13.42 billion, $6.33 billion, $5.24 billion, and $0.62 per share.

These financial results reflect the deferral of $113 million of revenue primarily related to Windows 8.1 Pre-sales. All growth comparisons in the press release relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.

Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 and New Accessories Available for Purchase

Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced that its newest Surface models - Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 - as well as an expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories are now available for purchase at Microsoft retail stores, select third-party retailers, and authorized commercial resellers in 21 initial markets, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The new Surface products will be available in China in early November.

Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 are the most productive tablets on the planet, and they each benefit from significant updates, including improvements to processing power and battery life, display and camera resolution, and the kickstand - now featuring a second, wider angle so it's more comfortable to use Surface on your lap or at your desk. Enhancements in Windows 8.1 RT and Windows 8.1 Pro make Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 even more powerful and customizable. Knowledgeable staff are on hand at all Microsoft retail store locations to answer questions and help with Surface setup, so customers have a great out-of-box experience and walk out the door with a product that is personalized for them.

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Is Now Available

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday announced the global availability of Windows 8.1, a feature-rich update to its popular Windows 8 operating system, enabling customers to create experiences that keep pace with their lives - at work, at home or on the go. Beginning Oct. 17, consumers with a Windows 8 device in more than 230 markets and 37 languages can download the free update via the online Windows Store. Windows 8.1 will also be available on new devices and as boxed software starting Oct. 18 at retail locations around the world.

Windows 8.1 evolves the Windows vision for highly personalized computing while showcasing Microsoft's continued commitment to rapid and responsive development. It marks a wave of new, innovative devices coming for consumers and businesses - from the convenience and mobility of tablets and 2-in-1s to the productive experience expected from laptops, all-in-ones and specialized industry devices. Many of these new devices are touch-enabled and will deliver advancements in processing power, battery life and design, across a range of price points.

Xbox One Doesn't Support AMD Mantle API

As proponents of the DirectX API, which single-handedly shaped consumer 3D graphics market for the past decade and a half, it shouldn't come as a shocker, that Microsoft's next-generation entertainment platform, the Xbox One, will not support AMD's ambitious Mantle project, a 3D API that's tailor-made for the company's Graphics CoreNext GPU micro-architecture, on which the GPU driving the Xbox One is based. The company released a statement to that effect mentioning that "other APIs" such as OpenGL and AMD Mantle won't be supported on Xbox One. Says Microsoft;
We are very excited that with the launch of Xbox One, we can now bring the latest generation of Direct3D 11 to console. The Xbox One graphics API is "Direct3D 11.x" and the Xbox One hardware provides a superset of Direct3D 11.2 functionality. Other graphics APIs such as OpenGL and AMD's Mantle are not available on Xbox One.
The Xbox One will support DirectX 11.2, an evolution over DirectX 11, which adds support for a new feature called "Tiled resources," which lets 3D apps more efficiently manage available hardware resources, by streaming portions of single large textures as a 3D scene being rendered demands it. It heralds a kind of virtual memory system for the GPU, and Microsoft could encourage game developers to take advantage of it, for their Xbox One titles. Such a feature already exists with OpenGL.Source: Microsoft

Microsoft Reveals Windows 8.1 Pricing, Free for Existing Windows 8 Users

Microsoft revealed pricing of its next major addition to the Windows franchise, Windows 8.1. Licenses to the operating system will sell at US $120 for the standard edition, and $200 for Windows 8.1 Pro. The key purchased at those prices can be used both for clean-installations, and to upgrade from Windows Vista or Windows 7, keeping your files, programs, and settings. Existing Windows 8 users get corresponding variants of Windows 8.1 for free, through Store.

A Windows Upgrade Assistant app will be issued to Windows 8 users, which verifies activation, downloads Windows 8.1 resources, and installs the operating system over the existing installation, letting you keep your stuff. Upgrading to Windows 8.1 for Windows 8 users, would be a no-brainer, since you get this awesome Start button on the taskbar which...spawns the "Metro" Start screen. PC enthusiasts get a longer DirectX rope, with the lure for DirectX 11.2, and its shared-resources (mega-textures) feature. People will be able to switch from Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Pro by shelling out $99 on the Pro Pack, which also adds Media Center. Windows 8.1 Pro users can get that for an extra $10. Windows 8.1 is expected to launch on October 17, 2013.

Microsoft Announces Quarterly Dividend Increase, Share Repurchase Program

Microsoft Corp. announced on Tuesday that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.28 per share, reflecting a 5 cent or 22 percent increase over the previous quarter's dividend. The dividend is payable Dec. 12, 2013, to shareholders of record on Nov. 21, 2013. The ex-dividend date will be Nov. 19, 2013.

The board of directors also approved a new share repurchase program authorizing up to $40 billion in share repurchases. The new share repurchase program, which has no expiration date, replaces the previous $40 billion share repurchase program that was set to expire Sept. 30, 2013.

"These actions reflect a continued commitment to returning cash to our shareholders," said Amy Hood, chief financial officer of Microsoft.

Microsoft to Deliver 14 Patches Next Week

With this month's Patch Tuesday approaching fast, Microsoft has provided an advanced notification to let the world know what to expect. According to that notification, the Redmond-based company will roll out 14 updates - four rated 'Critical' and ten rated 'Important' - to tackle vulnerabilities found in Windows, Office and Internet Explorer.

The 14 patches are set for release this Tuesday, September 10. For a bit more info check out the security bulletin found here.

Microsoft to Acquire Nokia's Devices & Services Business

Microsoft Corporation and Nokia Corporation today announced that the Boards of Directors for both companies have decided to enter into a transaction whereby Microsoft will purchase substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business, license Nokia's patents, and license and use Nokia's mapping services.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia's patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash. Microsoft will draw upon its overseas cash resources to fund the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia's shareholders, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Goes RTM

Today, via a Blogging Windows post, Microsoft has confirmed that both Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 have reached the RTM (release to manufacturing) milestone. This Windows version brings back the Start button and also features Internet Explorer 11, SkyDrive integration, an updated Windows Store experience, DPI scaling improvements (enabling better readability on high-DPI displays), 3D printing support, more customization options, tweaked mouse and keyboard navigation, and a boot-to-desktop option.

Windows 8.1 will become available (to business customers, consumers, as well as MSDN and TechNet subscribers) on October 18th.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Retire Within 12 Months

Microsoft Corp. today announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer has decided to retire as CEO within the next 12 months, upon the completion of a process to choose his successor. In the meantime, Ballmer will continue as CEO and will lead Microsoft through the next steps of its transformation to a devices and services company that empowers people for the activities they value most.

"There is never a perfect time for this type of transition, but now is the right time," Ballmer said. "We have embarked on a new strategy with a new organization and we have an amazing Senior Leadership Team. My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company's transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction."

The World's First Microsoft Windows 8.1 Certified Motherboard - MSI Z87-G43

MSI, the leading motherboard manufacturer announced today that the Z87-G43 has passed Microsoft Windows 8.1 official certification requirements! MSI Z87-G43 is the World's First motherboard completely compliant with Microsoft Windows 8.1, other MSI motherboards will soon follow in its footsteps. Not only bringing the best user experience, but also standing proof for the skill and dedication of MSI's R&D team. If you want to enjoy the full benefits of Microsoft's latest operating system, MSI motherboards are your best choice.

Muzik Announces the First Socially-Aware Headphones

Today is the day the headphone becomes "smart" with the launch of Muzik, an innovative company inspired to transform the way music is experienced. Muzik, founded by disruptive innovator, Jason Hardi, is pioneering a new space called Social Smartware, coined to describe the seamless connection of consumer electronic devices, content and social media platforms to make music instantly discoverable and shareable in an effortless way. Muzik is launching a full line of smart audio products synced to their mobile Muzik ecosystem that will activate a new wave of innovation in the headphone space.

Muzik's game-changing lineup includes their marquee product: the smart, on-ear wireless headphone that combines high-fidelity audio in a simple, elegant sleek design with groundbreaking capacitive touch controls. They are the first headphones in the world that allow users to natively share what they are listening to on Facebook and Twitter or instantly send a song anywhere in the world.

Intel To Ship Limited Quantites of 4.5W SDP Haswell BGA Chips

Intel is going in for the kill. The company has lowered the lowest SDP (Scenario Design Point, different from TDP) rating of Haswell based microprocessors from 6W to just 4.5W. The difference might not look like it's much (just 1.5W), but it is quite significant. While 6W wouldn't allow OEMs to use the processor in compact form factors like tablets, 4.5W will allow the same OEMs to go for fanless, passive-cooled Haswell powered tablets. Intel will ship very limited quantities of 4.5W SDP Haswell SKUs.

Of course, this opens up the possibility of these new Haswell chips to end up being used in Microsoft's next-generation Surface Windows 8 Pro tablet. If Intel manages to squeeze in an underclocked HD5000 GPU, there'll be nothing like it. Intel hasn't released any information regarding the exact specifications of the SKUs, pricing, or shipping dates.

Microsoft Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results

Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $19.90 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2013. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $6.07 billion, $4.97 billion, and $0.59 per share. These financial results include a $900 million charge, or a $0.07 per share impact, related to Surface RT inventory adjustments. In addition, these financial results reflect the recognition of $782 million of previously deferred revenue related to the Office Upgrade Offer. All growth comparisons relate to the corresponding period in the last fiscal year.

The following table reconciles these financial results reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to non-GAAP financial results. We have provided this non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding the company's performance.
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