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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 Solandri on 4/3/2014 4:58:31 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, most "mysterious" battery drain problems are related to poor signal. While I was in Germany, I kept my Galaxy S in airplane mode (only turning on wifi when I was near a friend's hotspot). The battery would last nearly 5 days since it wasn't constantly searching for and communicating with towers. I accidentally turned off airplane mode once and fished the phone out of my pocket when it started to feel hot. It had burned through a third of its battery in about an hour broadcasting at full power trying to find a tower.

On my current phone (Nexus 5), when I first got it the battery would die overnight if I didn't put it on the charger. Then Sprint set up a new tower nearby (I get 20-30 Mbps LTE now - very tempted to cancel my FIOS Internet). If I spend the weekend at home gaming and not using the phone much, it only loses about 25%-33% per day.

RE: Too late
By Sivar on 4/3/2014 5:32:40 PM , Rating: 3
Nutzo and Solandri,

Thank you -- this is good information.
We sort of went on a tangent -- I do like Android, but I feel that it can improve in a number of areas, just as Windows Phone can. The original post implies that Windows Phone is terrible, which was the key point I wanted to address.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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