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Microsoft tries to compete with Google and Apple

In addition to the launch of new Windows Phone devices, including the flagship Lumia 930, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) had two other big pieces of news on Tuesday at the BUILD conference.
 
First, new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that Microsoft would be following in Google Inc.'s (GOOG) footsteps, offering Windows for free to tablet and smartphone OEMs.  
 
This was surely a difficult decision, one that Microsoft's last CEO, Steve Ballmer, was unable to make.  But Microsoft had already in recent years drastically trimmed its smartphone and tablet licensing rates, given that it was spending a lot of money to make these products and almost no one was buying or using them.  Prior to this week's announcement, Microsoft was reportedly charging between $5 USD and $15 USD per tablet (Windows RT) or smartphone (Windows Phone) license.

Lumia 630

Gartner, Inc. (IT) estimates that today only 3 percent of smartphones and 2 percent of tablets run Windows.  Microsoft is currently in third place in each market.
 
But going free could change that.  
 
Mr. Nadella, who rose up at Microsoft as a cloud computing star, indicated that the cloud will be a key part of Microsoft's strategy going forward.  He states:

We are going to innovate with a challenger mindset. We are not coming at this as some incumbent trying to do the next version of Windows, we are going to come at this by innovating in every dimension.

Our vision, simply put, is to thrive in this world of mobile first, cloud first.  Our goal is to really build platforms, create the best end-user experiences, the best developer opportunities and IT infrastructure for this ubiquitous computing world.
 

Key components of that cloud strategy include natural language processing and cloud storage.  Microsoft announced the personal assistant Cortana at BUILD, which is currently in beta.  Significantly smarter than Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) current model Siri assistant, Cortana's advanced abilities to understand rather abstract queries heavily leverages Microsoft's cloud computing prowess.  Likewise Microsoft's recently announced OneDrive is gunning for Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Google Drive and other storage services like Box.
 
Microsoft is rumored to be considering an ad-supported free version of PC (laptop, desktop, hybrids) Windows to OEMs as well.

Source: Reuters



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RE: Too late
By Shadowself on 4/3/2014 3:04:32 PM , Rating: 0
Just FYI...
Samsung has repeatedly tried to assert at trial or through regulatory means Standards Essential Patents (SEPs) that come under FRAND rules and has lost virtually every time -- and has even come under government investigation a few times for improper assertion of those patents.

So far Apple has not initiated any lawsuits over SEPs -- very likely because it has none of consequence.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I'll emphatically state that I believe 99% of the patent and trade dress trials are useless no matter whether it is SEP related or not. The ONLY people that make out in these cases are the lawyers, and the people who end up paying for it are the consumers. Additionally, I believe that only about 5% or so of patents issued in the past 20+ years should have been issued. And even though I've been issued several, I strongly believe that ALL Systems and Methods patents (i.e., "a system for doing abc" or "a method for doing xyz") should die a horrible death.


RE: Too late
By Solandri on 4/3/2014 4:40:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just FYI...
Samsung has repeatedly tried to assert at trial or through regulatory means Standards Essential Patents (SEPs) that come under FRAND rules and has lost virtually every time

Say what?

Samsung won their final case at the ITC and got a ban on Apple products violating the SEP. Obama then vetoed the ban - essentially forgiving Apple for its patent violations. (The whole thing stemmed from Apple refusing to license the necessary patents they were using from Samsung, because Samsung wouldn't give them the same price as they were giving other companies who cross-licensed patents with Samsung. Except Apple didn't want to cross-license any of their patents with Samsung.)
http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2013/0...

Apple has tried to assert these FRAND patents should only be worth about $0.07 per device, while asserting its own design and UI patents should be worth about $40 per device. You realize the devastation this would cause to the industry if Apple gets their way, right? FRAND would disappear overnight. Nobody would be willing to license their patents under FRAND for $0.07/device if mere design and UI patents are worth $40/device. They would instead hang on to their technical patents and only license them for hundreds of dollars per device. Your phone will end up costing as much as a used car, and would only work with certain towers on the one carrier which licensed the same tech. Interoperability would cease to exist.


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