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Microsoft Reports Record Revenue of $21.5 Billion in Second Quarter

Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $21.46 billion for the quarter ended December 31, 2012. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $7.77 billion, $6.38 billion, and $0.76 per share.

These financial results reflect the net deferral of revenue for the Windows Upgrade Offer, Office Upgrade Offer and Pre-sales, and the Entertainment and Devices Division Video Game Deferral, partially offset by the recognition of previously deferred revenue for Windows 8 Pre-sales. 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.

Microsoft Grows Surface Family

Microsoft Corp. today announced that its Surface family of PCs is growing. Its newest model — Surface Windows 8 Pro — will be available for purchase on Feb. 9, 2013, in the United States and Canada at all Microsoft retail stores, microsoftstore.com, Staples and Best Buy in the U.S., as well as from a number of locations in Canada.

Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, Surface Windows 8 Pro provides the power and performance of a laptop in a tablet package. Perfect as your one device - at home, in the office, or on the road — it can run Windows 8 applications, as well as current Windows 7 desktop applications. Starting at an estimated retail price of US$899, Surface Windows 8 Pro will be available in 64 GB and 128 GB models. A Surface pen with Palm Block technology, designed specifically to work with Surface to let customers edit, collaborate and get things done, is included with Surface Windows 8 Pro.

Microsoft Readies Seven Patches for Next Week

This coming Tuesday, on the first day of CES 2013, Microsoft it set to make available a new batch of bug-busting updates. The Redmond-based company will be rolling out seven patches - two rated 'Critical' and five 'Important' - that will address a total of 12 vulnerabilities. These updates target issues found in Windows, Office, .NET Framework, Developer Tools and Server software.

For a bit more info on the upcoming patches see the Advance Notification published here.

Mad Catz Announces the Launch of Saitek Combat Pilot

Mad Catz Interactive, Inc., announced today the launch of Saitek Combat Pilot, a unique, flight-based MMO (massively multiplayer online) experience which allows simulation enthusiasts from around the world to gather, interact and fly with each other as they engage in simulated air combat.

Published by Mad Catz and developed by the Company's internal ThunderHawk Studios, Saitek Combat Pilot represents the first truly interactive, multiplayer air combat simulation built around Flight Simulator X from Microsoft (sold separately).

Microsoft Increases Production and Expands Distribution for Surface Tablet

Microsoft Corp. today announced plans to make Microsoft Surface available at additional retailers as soon as mid-December. In addition, the company announced the extension of the Microsoft holiday stores, including the transition of several of the stores into permanent Microsoft retail outlets.

"The public reaction to Surface has been exciting to see. We've increased production and are expanding the ways in which customers can interact with, experience and purchase Surface," said Panos Panay, general manager, Microsoft Surface.

Microsoft and Hoeft & Wessel AG Sign Patent Agreement

Microsoft Corp. and Hoeft & Wessel AG have signed a patent licensing agreement that provides broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for Hoeft & Wessel devices running the Android platform. Hoeft & Wessel manufactures handheld devices and terminals for the public transportation, logistics and retail industries in Europe. While the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that Microsoft will receive royalties from Hoeft & Wessel.

"This agreement with Hoeft & Wessel is another example of how industry leaders address intellectual property," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. "We are proud of the continued success of our licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding the Android platform in a variety of industries."

Microsoft Readies Seven Patches for Next Week

This month's Patch Tuesday will see Microsoft roll out seven fresh updates - five rated 'Critical' and two 'Important' - which are set to address 11 vulnerabilities. These upcoming patches target bugs found in Office suites (2003, 2007 and 2010) and Office Web Apps, in Microsoft Exchange Server, and in Windows operating systems (Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, RT, Server 2003, Server 2008 and Server 2012).

A bit more info about the updates can be found in the advanced notification published here.

HighPoint Announces 2nd Generation of SATA 6Gb/s Host RAID Controller

HighPoint Technologies, Inc., the industry's leading SATA 6Gb/s RAID HBA manufacturer, announces the availability of their second generation SATA 6Gb/s storage controllers – the RocketRAID 600L series. HighPoint's RocketRAID 600L series HBA's represent the industry's most comprehensive, and affordable selection of 6Gb/s SATA PCIe host controllers. Powered by industry-proven RAID technology, SATA port multiplier support, and an intuitive RAID Management Suite, HighPoint RocketRAID 600L HBA's are the ideal SATA 6Gb/s storage solution for any PC and Mac computing platform.

Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro Gets Priced

Through its official blog Microsoft has announced that the x86-flavored Surface tablet, which runs Windows 8 Pro (the ARM-based Surface RT is loaded with Windows RT), will arrive in January, priced at $899 (64 GB model) and $999 (128 GB).

Set to have about half the battery life of the Surface RT, the upcoming device is equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor and has a 10.6-inch (1920 x 1080) ClearType display supporting both finger and pen input, 4 GB of RAM, 802.11 b/g/n/ WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, a micro SDXC card slot, two 720p HD LifeCams, stereo speakers, an USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort output, and a kickstand. The Surface with Windows 8 Pro is 0.53 inches thick, has a VaporMg casing, and is backed by a one-year warranty.

Windows 8 Gets Off To a Slow Start, According to The NPD Group

The consumer Windows PC and tablet market didn't get the boost it needed from the launch of Microsoft's Windows 8 in the U.S. Since the Windows 8 launch on October 26, Windows device sales have fallen 21 percent versus the same period last year, according to leading market research company The NPD Group's Weekly Tracking Service. Notebooks, which have been weak throughout most of 2012, saw that trend continue as they fell 24 percent. Desktop sales have fared better this year, dropping just 9 percent.

"After just four weeks on the market, it's still early to place blame on Windows 8 for the ongoing weakness in the PC market," said Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "We still have the whole holiday selling season ahead of us, but clearly Windows 8 did not prove to be the impetus for a sales turnaround some had hoped for."

Microsoft Sells 40 Million Windows 8 Licenses

Yesterday at the Credit Suisse 2012 Annual Technology Conference Microsoft's Tami Reller (Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer for the Windows division) has announced that, in its first month of life, Windows 8 has reached 40 million sold licenses, outspacing Windows 7 in terms of upgrades.

Microsoft did not provide one-month numbers for Windows 7 but the estimates back then were that it sold about 40 million copies, meaning Windows 8 is pretty much on par with its predecessor after one month. Not a bad start for Windows 8 but certainly not a raging success.

Microsoft Hires Jeannette Wing as Head of Microsoft Research International

Dr. Jeannette Wing will join Microsoft Research as vice president, head of Microsoft Research International, reporting to Chief Research Officer Rick Rashid. Wing is a leading figure in computer science research, particularly in formal methods, security and privacy. She has held key positions in both academia and government, most recently at Carnegie Mellon University and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

"Jeannette is a leading light in the computer science research community, providing strong leadership both at Carnegie Mellon and at NSF," Rashid said. "I have long been impressed by both her profound commitment to world-class research and her service to the research community, and I look forward to working alongside her. It's a privilege to welcome Jeannette to Microsoft Research."

Imation Announces Availability of IronKey Workspace for Windows To Go

Imation Corp., a global scalable storage and data security company, today announced beta availability of its IronKey Workspace, certified for deployment of Windows To Go. The IronKey Workspace lets organizations outfit mobile professionals with a secure, fast USB platform to run Windows To Go from a USB stick on multiple compatible PCs, an ideal solution for teleworkers, contractors, and those implementing BYOD ("bring your own device") strategies. The IronKey Workspace is certified for deployment of Windows To Go, a feature of Windows 8 that lets enterprise users boot a full version of Windows 8 from an external USB drive on compatible host PCs.

"The traditional and static arrangement of the software instance of the user's workspace bound to a single hardware device no longer fits the personal computing requirements of a growing population of workers and, for that matter, their employers; breaking this software-to-hardware linkage is essential," said Michael Suby, Stratecast's vice president of Research at Frost & Sullivan. "PC on a Stick addresses this need by infusing complete and secure workspace portability into the realm of personal computing."

QNAP Releases New Turbo NAS V3.8 Firmware

QNAP Systems, Inc. today announced new Turbo NAS V3.8 firmware; which incorporates sought-after improvements to Turbo NAS multimedia applications and new business features. New features of Turbo NAS V3.8 firmware include support for Windows 8, improvements in Turbo NAS multimedia capabilities, the addition of Surveillance Station Pro, and proxy client for flexible yet secure Internet access in business environments. Firmware V3.8 supports the newest Microsoft Windows 8 operating system, allowing Windows 8 users to enjoy their Turbo NAS experiences which are optimized for Windows 8.

"QNAP is pleased to announce compatibility of our award-winning Turbo NAS lineup with the global launch of Windows 8," said Jason Hsu, product manager of QNAP. "Our customers will be delighted to know that their Turbo NAS experience has been optimized for Windows 8."

Microsoft Releases Internet Explorer 10 Consumer Preview for Windows 7

Microsoft released Internet Explorer 10 Consumer Preview for Windows 7, the only other operating system to support it, apart from Windows 8 and Windows RT, with which it made its stable debut last month, earning Mozilla's cake. Posted as "Pre-Release," the browser provides most functionality as its Windows 8 stable version. Most of its performance enhancements, including the ability to flip through pages in articles by swiping across a touchscreen, are available.



DOWNLOAD: Internet Explorer 10 Consumer Preview for Windows 7

Microsoft Gifts Xbox Live Veterans 10th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox 360

Microsoft's Xbox Live service is turning 10 soon, and the company plans to celebrate it by gifting some of its most loyal members with a special edition Xbox 360 console, which features a refreshing new color scheme, and "A decade of entertainment" logo printed on its sides. There's no clarity on what one has to do to be able to receive one of these, but we'd imagine only the most loyal Xbox Live members, probably with active memberships dating back years, get the console. A Kotaku reader was surprised to find one of these packages at his doorstep. He never ordered it, never entered a giveaway, and isn't affiliated with the gaming industry. If you've been a long enough active member of the service which started in October 2002, there's finally reason your subscription billing address could come handy.

Source: Kotaku

Microsoft Announces Leadership Changes to Drive Next Wave of Products

Microsoft Corp. today announced that Windows and Windows Live President Steven Sinofsky will be leaving the company and that Julie Larson-Green will be promoted to lead all Windows software and hardware engineering. Tami Reller retains her roles as chief financial officer and chief marketing officer and will assume responsibility for the business of Windows. Both executives will report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

These changes are effective immediately.

Julie Larson-Green

Synology Announces RS10613xs+ and RX1213sas

Synology America Corp. today announced the launch of the RS10613xs+, following the recent release of the RS3413xs+. The new 10-bay 2U RackStation is Synology's most advanced hardware to date. The RS10613xs+ is built with SME in mind, providing fast and scalable storage at a price point that makes it peerless; the ideal storage solution between NAS and SAN. Taking advantage of up to 8 of the new RX1213sas expansion modules, it can quickly scale to up to 106 SAS drives (up to 424TB raw storage), allowing businesses to expand their capacity on the fly.

The new addition to the XS+ series is optimized for virtual network storage, supporting both iSCSI and NFS. It is certified for VMware vSphere 5, Microsoft Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V, and Citrix XenServer. It offers VAAI integration, including Hardware Assisted Locking (ATS), Block Zero, Full Copying, and Thin Provisioning.

NVIDIA Reports Financial Results for Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2013

NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) today reported record revenue of $1.20 billion for the third quarter of fiscal 2013 ended Oct. 28, 2012, up 15.3 percent from the previous quarter and up 12.9 percent from a year earlier.

The company also announced that it is initiating the payment of a quarterly cash dividend, and extending its existing $2.7 billion share-repurchase program, initiated in August 2004, through December 2014.

"Investments in our new growth strategies paid off this quarter in record revenues and margins," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of NVIDIA. "Kepler GPUs are winning across the special-purpose PC markets we serve, from gaming to design to supercomputing. And Tegra is powering some of the most innovative tablets, phones and cars in the market."

Microsoft Signs Licensing Agreements for exFAT with Five Companies

Microsoft Corp. announced today that it signed patent licensing agreements for the use of the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) with five companies, spanning industries including high-end camcorders, digital cameras and Android tablets.

The agreements cover Sharp Android tablets, Sigma and NextoDi high-end cameras and accessories, and Black Magic and Atomos Global broadcast-quality video-recording devices.

Microsoft Working on Xbox Surface, 7-inch Gaming Tablet

It looks like Razer's reluctance over Project Fiona may have cost it some potential market share, and it's going to have to face mighty Microsoft in the upcoming gaming tablet market segment. Redmond plans to fuse its Xbox and Surface product lines to create the Xbox Surface, a 7-inch tablet designed for gaming. There's not much information on how Microsoft will handle input, but we're guessing that in addition to its multi-touch screen, Microsoft could bundle a wireless Xbox 360 controller. The tablet itself could be designed with buttons and thumb-sticks. The 7-inch 16:9 screen of the Xbox Surface features a native resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels (720p). Driving the tablet is an ARM-based SoC, though it's possible that Microsoft could decide to use an Intel x86 chip. The ARM processor is backed by high-bandwidth memory. The new tablet is most likely slated for 2013.

Source: The Verge

Microsoft Making it Better with Bluetooth Technology v4.0

Microsoft's Windows 8 announcement introduces native support for Bluetooth v4.0. Bluetooth v4.0 enabled products running the Windows 8 operating system, such as the new Surface tablet, will be Bluetooth Smart Ready products, enabling them to connect to familiar Bluetooth devices, like wireless speakers, and to the next generation of ultra power-efficient Bluetooth Smart products now coming to market.

Last weeks' Microsoft announcement is an acknowledgement of the massive Bluetooth ecosystem and strong consumer demand for secure, convenient wireless connectivity the technology provides," said Suke Jawanda, Bluetooth SIG CMO. "With Bluetooth v4.0 incorporated into the Windows operating system, hardware and software developers will have increased opportunities to provide new devices, applications, and services for their customers. Securely feeding web services and applications with cloud friendly data via a Bluetooth connection is a key component in the shift to cloud computing and more broadly, the Internet of Things."

Survey Reveals Companies' Early Windows 8 Reactions and Plans

PC Helps, the premier provider of 24/7, expert, on-demand support for core office software applications and mobile devices used every day by corporate employees, recently completed the first in a series of Windows 8 Pulse Surveys designed to gauge reactions and plans to migrate to Windows 8 – information which the company needs to estimate demand for its services and to plan resourcing and hiring. More than 500 IT leaders and managers from US-based companies with 500 employees or more, across a range of industries, responded to the survey and a majority of the respondents (70%) were from companies with 2,500 or more employees.

ASUS Could Fail to Meet 2012 Motherboard Shipment Target

In late-2011, ASUS set itself a target of shipping 25 million PC motherboards in the following year. Contributing to its optimism were three new platform launches - Intel Core "Ivy Bridge" (7-series chipset), AMD "Trinity" (socket FM2), and AMD Vishera; and Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system, prompting PC upgrades. Falling demand in US and Europe, and weaker-than-expected shipment growth in China forced ASUS to trim its 2012 target down from 25 million to 22.2 million. In 2011, the company shipped 23.2 million motherboards.

In the first three quarters, ASUS shipped 16.7 million motherboards, and expects to ship no more than 5.5 million; down 5% sequentially, and flat year-over-year. The company faced severe competition from Gigabyte, which shipped 14 million motherboards in the three quarters thus far, and expects to ship 4.5 million in Q4, totaling 18.5 million for the year. The third biggest motherboard vendor, ASRock, is astray from its 2012 goal of 9 million shipments, and is hoping for a more conservative 7 million units target for 2012.

Source: DigiTimes

Acer Windows RT Tablets Delayed to April 2013

Acer announced a delay of its planned Windows RT product line from early-2013 to closer to Q2-2013. The company is keeping a close eye on how Microsoft's recently-launched Surface RT tablet is faring in the market, and could take strides towards its Windows RT-based products, perhaps even redesigning them, based on its performance in the market.

In a recent interview with Reuters, Acer President Jim Wong said "Originally we had a very aggressive plan to come out very early next year but because of Surface, our R&D development doesn't stop, but we are much more cautious," adding "Originally our plan was Q1, but now I don't think it will be earlier than Q2." Windows RT is a version of Windows 8 designed for the ARM machine-architecture, which allows for low power non-x86 tablets that compete with Apple iPad, and various Android-driven tablets.

Source: Reuters
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