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Microsoft Announces Fourth-Quarter FY2014 Results

Microsoft Corp. today announced revenue of $23.38 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2014. Gross margin, operating income, and diluted earnings per share ("EPS") for the quarter were $15.79 billion, $6.48 billion, and $0.55 per share, respectively.

Microsoft completed the acquisition of substantially all of the Nokia Devices and Services ("NDS") business on April 25, 2014. Revenue and cost of revenue from the acquired business, including amortization of intangible assets, are reported in the new Phone Hardware segment. For the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2014, the results of NDS contributed revenue, gross margin, operating income, and diluted EPS of $1.99 billion, $54 million, $(692) million, and $(0.08), respectively.

Microsoft Announces Steps to Simplify Organizations and Align Devices Strategy

Microsoft Corp. today announced a restructuring plan to simplify its operations and align the recently acquired Nokia Devices and Services business with the company's overall strategy.

These steps will result in the elimination of up to 18,000 positions over the next year. Of the total, about 12,500 professional and factory positions will be eliminated through synergies and strategic alignment of the Nokia Devices and Services business acquired by Microsoft on April 25. The actions associated with the plan are expected to be substantially complete by Dec. 31, 2014, and fully completed by June 30, 2015.

Microsoft to Revamp Activation System with Windows 9

Microsoft is expected to introduce a radical new software activation system with its next major release of Windows, in a bid to stem piracy. According to BetaNews, citing a Russian source with a reasonably good track-record in leaking stuff out of Redmond, the company is planning to do away with software keys, 16-character alphanumeric passwords unique to each copy of the software, which let you prove the validity of your purchase, and unlock the software. The next Windows will use a system in which having a Microsoft Store account - which isn't necessarily the same as a Microsoft Account - is mandatory, and acquiring machine-specific images of the Windows installation disc from the store.

The way we understand it, it works like this. After paying for your license while logged into the Microsoft Store, you're made to download a generic install disc image. After its installation, your machine's details (usually just motherboard-related details) are logged with Microsoft, and the software stays activated on your machine. When you need to install your OS on another machine, you untie your current machine from your licence online, and install your software on the new machine. The software will stop working on the older machine, ensuring that only one single-user license is running on a machine at a given time. The concept can be suitably adapted for 3-user and 5-user family licenses.

Microsoft To Roll Out Six Security Updates Next Week

Microsoft Corp. has just announced its plans for this month's Patch Tuesday and they include the release of six updates - two rated 'Critical', three rated 'Important' and one rated 'Moderate'. The upcoming updates target vulnerabilities found in Windows operating systems, in Internet Explorer and in Microsoft Server Software.

The six patches will be made available this coming Tuesday, July 8, 2014, at about 10:00 am PDT. The bulletin advance notification for this month's releases can be found here.

Microsoft and Canon Sign Patent Cross-Licensing Agreement

Microsoft Corp. and Canon Inc. on Wednesday broadened their strategic alliance with the announcement of a broad patent cross-licensing agreement. With this agreement, Microsoft and Canon gain licenses to each other's highly valued and growing patent portfolios.

"This collaborative approach with Canon allows us to deliver inventive technologies that benefit consumers around the world," said Nick Psyhogeos, general manager, associate general counsel, IP Licensing of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. "Microsoft believes cooperative licensing is an effective way to accelerate innovation while reducing patent disputes."

Microsoft Declares Quarterly Dividend

Microsoft Corp. today announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.28 per share. The dividend is payable Sept. 11, 2014 to shareholders of record on Aug. 21, 2014. The ex-dividend date will be Aug. 19, 2014. Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft To Roll Out Seven Security Updates Next Week

The first Patch Tuesday of Summer '14 is coming up and it will see Microsoft release seven updates - two bearing a 'Critical' rating and five rated 'Important'. The incoming patches target vulnerabilities found in Windows (Vista, 7, 8/8.1, Server 2003, Server 2008 and Server 2012), Internet Explorer (6 to 11), Office (2007, 2010) and Lync (2010, 2013).

Microsoft's software updates will be made available Tuesday, June 10th at about 10:00 AM PDT. The Advance Notification for this month's patches can be found here.

Microsoft Introduces the Surface Pro 3

On Tuesday, Microsoft Corp. introduced Surface Pro 3 - the lightweight tablet that packs the power and performance you expect from a laptop.

Surface Pro 3 is a tablet and a laptop: multiple processor, RAM and storage options intersect with a sleek design that, with a simple snap or click, transform the device from a perfectly balanced tablet to a full-functioning laptop and back again - all in a beautiful package that is 30 percent thinner than an 11-inch MacBook Air. Its stunning 12-inch display and new, continuous kickstand provide the screen real estate and multiple viewing angles people need for work and play. And the new Surface Pen - completely redesigned with form and function in mind - delivers a precise, luxurious drawing and note-taking experience with a single click of the pen.

Microsoft Readies Eight Patches For Next Week

May's Patch Tuesday is coming up and Microsoft is ready for it with eight new updates, two of which are rated 'Critical' while the rest are rated 'Important'. The patches will address vulnerabilities found in Windows (Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, RT, Server 2003, Server 2008 and Server 2012), Office (2007, 2010, 2013), .NET Framework and Internet Explorer.

The eight patches are set to be released next Tuesday, May 13th, at about 10:00 AM PDT, For a bit more info check out the Advance Notification published here.

Microsoft Reports $20 Billion Revenue for Q3 FY14

Microsoft Corp. today announced revenue of $20.40 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2014. Gross margin, operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $14.46 billion, $6.97 billion, $5.66 billion, and $0.68 per share, respectively.

The following table reconciles our financial results reported in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") to non-GAAP financial results for the prior year. We have provided this non-GAAP financial information to aid investors in better understanding the company's performance. Management commentary regarding performance and growth refers to non-GAAP financial results.

Microsoft and Motorola Solutions Sign Licensing Agreement

Microsoft Corp. announced on Monday a patent licensing agreement with Motorola Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of communication solutions and services for enterprise and government customers. The license provides worldwide coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for Motorola Solutions' devices running the Android platform and Chrome OS operating system.

"Microsoft and Motorola Solutions share a respect for intellectual property and a commitment to fair and reasonable patent licensing programs," said Nick Psyhogeos, general manager, associate general counsel, IP licensing of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. "Microsoft prefers licensing to litigation, since licensing is a more effective way to share technology and accelerate the pace of innovation."

Four Microsoft Security Updates Coming Next Week

This month's Patch Tuesday (the last one for Windows XP and Office 2003) will see Microsoft roll out four fresh security updates, two rated Critical and two rated Important, targeting remote code execution vulnerabilities found in Windows, Office and Internet Explorer. One of the updates is set to resolve a Word bug that was made public last week (on March 24th) and is known to have been exploited in 'limited, targeted attacks directed at Microsoft Word 2010'.

The April patches will be made available next week on April 8th, at about 10:00 a.m. PDT. For a bit more info check out the Advance Notification published here.

Microsoft Showcases Latest Updates to Windows

Wednesday at Build 2014, Microsoft Corp.'s developer conference, the company announced several advances to Windows including Windows Phone 8.1, the availability of Windows 8.1 Update, a converged developer platform, and a $0 royalty licensing program for OEM and ODM partners developing smartphones and tablets with screens under nine inches.

Microsoft detailed new developer opportunities on the Windows platform with a common platform across devices, a single toolset, a common infrastructure across the Windows and Windows Phone stores, and a clear commitment to interoperability. The announcements highlight Microsoft's continued commitment to its partners and the developer community by maximizing opportunities across the broadest range of devices and services. Also as a part of the conference, Nokia announced three new Lumia smartphones for Windows Phone 8.1, including the flagship Lumia 930, the affordable Lumia 635 and the first dual-SIM Lumia 630.

Microsoft and Dell Sign Patent Licensing Agreement

Microsoft Corp. and Dell announced a patent licensing agreement allowing the companies to share technology and build on each other's innovations. It is the continuation of a nearly 30-year business relationship between Microsoft and Dell to deliver world-class technologies to consumers.

"Our agreement with Dell shows what can be accomplished when companies share intellectual property," said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of the Innovation and Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft. "We have been partnering with technology manufacturers and vendors for many years to craft licensing deals, instead of litigation strategies."

AMD Demonstrates Full Support for DirectX 12 at Game Developer Conference

Today, AMD announced support for Microsoft and its revamped graphics application programming interface, DirectX 12, a new "console-like" version of the graphics API that has inspired PC gaming for nearly two decades. During the Microsoft-sponsored panel, DirectX: Evolving Microsoft's Graphics Platform, AMD revealed that it will support DirectX 12 on all AMD Radeon GPUs that feature the Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture.

AMD will support and collaborate with Microsoft on the development of the generational advancement of the API, to continue to improve the experience for both developers and end users.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 Leaked

Ahead of its anticipated mid-March launch, the Update 1 package of Windows 8.1 was leaked to the web. Not very different in definition to a service pack, Update 1 adds a host of features and under-the-hood changes to Windows 8.1. When updated, it should change the version string of your Windows 8.1 installation to look something along the lines of "6.3.9600.17031.WINBLUE_GDR.140221-1952." You'll notice how it's formatted similar to those of Microsoft's Windows Phone operating systems. NGOHQ.com hosts a repository of the Microsoft Update (*.msu) files that must be applied in sequence, to update your Windows 8.1 installation. If you're not sure, wait out till the update is formally out, and Windows Update will update the operating system with close to zero user intervention.
DOWNLOAD: Windows 8.1 Update 1 MSU files

Microsoft Readies Five Patches for Next Week

This coming Tuesday Redmond-based Microsoft Corp. is planning to make available five fresh security updates - two with a 'Critical' rating and three tagged 'Important'. The incoming parches are set to address bugs found in Windows, Internet Explorer and Silverlight.

One of the Critical updates will fix an Internet Explorer issue that has already been acknowledged and was exploited in a 'limited number of attacks'. Additional information about Tuesday's releases can be found in the Security Bulletin Advance Notification published here.

Microsoft Readies Five New Patches for Next Week

For this month's Patch Tuesday Microsoft is set to deliver five fresh security update - two with a 'Critical' rating and three tagged 'Important'. According to the Redmond-based company, the incoming updates address vulnerabilities found in Windows operating systems, in Microsoft Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server, and in the .NET Framework.

The patches are set to become available this Tuesday, February 11, at about 10:00 a.m. PST. For a bit more info check out the Advance Notification published here.

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.
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