Archive for the ‘MICROSOFT’ Category

MICROSOFT BUYS NOKIA MOBILE PHONE BUSINESS WITH US GOV APPROVAL

Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

US APPROVES MICROSOFT PURCHASE OF NOKIA’S MOBILE PHONE BUSINESS

WASHINGTON Mon Dec 2, 2013 3:24pm EST

A photo illustration shows the Microsoft logo displayed on a Nokia phone in Vienna September 3, 2013. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader

A photo illustration shows the Microsoft logo displayed on a Nokia phone in Vienna September 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Heinz-Peter Bader

(Reuters) – U.S. antitrust regulators have approved Microsoft Corp’s deal to buy Nokia Corp’s mobile phone business, the Federal Trade Commission said on Monday.

The approval, which was expected, was dated November 29.

The next step will be for the companies to win approval in Europe for the proposed $7.3 billion transaction.

Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on November 22 that the transaction was headed for unconditional approval in Brussels. The EU competition watchdog has set a December 4 deadline for its decision.

Nokia had in September agreed to sell its devices and services business and license its patents to Microsoft after failing to recover from a late start in the smartphone sector.

The purchase underscores Microsoft’s push into the competitive consumer devices market, where it faces fierce competition from market leader Samsung Electronics and Apple.

Nokia shareholders in mid-November gave a thumbs-up to the sale of what was once Finland’s biggest brand, at one point worth 4 percent of the national GDP.

CEY

Henry Sapiecha

black diamonds on white line

EBAY SELLS SKYPE TO MICROSOFT & MICROSOFT ARE HAPPY

Saturday, May 21st, 2011

Think Microsoft’s biggest deal ever

is a mistake? Think again. Skype me…

On the surface Microsoft’s $8.5 billion deal to buy the Internet phone company Skype sounds loopy. But don’t be deceived: This just might be the smartest move Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has ever made.

It isn’t hard to see why you might think otherwise. In 2005 eBay acquired Skype for $2.6 billion. Failing to integrate the service into its e-tailing business, eBay in 2009 sold 70% of Skype for a little over $2 billion to a group made up of Marc Andreessen’s venture firm, the Canada Pension Plan system and Skype’s founders, among others; the valuation was little changed from the first time it sold. Ergo, the idea that Microsoft would pay $8.5 billion for the same company less than two years later sounds, uh, startling.

It doesn’t help that the company has a mediocre track record when it comes to acquisitions. Microsoft has closed just a handful of major deals–aQuantive, Great Plains Software, Navision, Hotmail–and none has changed the face of the company. Microsoft lacks a clear Internet strategy, and its online business operates in the red. Bing is gaining share, but even counting its venture with Yahoo it has only 30% of the domestic search business. Not least, Microsoft’s share price is unchanged over the last decade (despite impressive revenue growth), thanks to concerns that Windows and Office are threatened by mobile devices and Internet-based applications. With that backdrop, Microsoft’s willingness to pay nearly ten times 2010 revenues for Skype appears illogical or worse.

But I think it will prove to be genius. Here are three reasons this deal should turn out to be a huge success:

– It uses some of Microsoft’s mountain of offshore cash. Microsoft finished the March quarter with $50 billion in cash and short-term investments–$ 42 billion of that held outside the U.S. Like many American technology companies, Microsoft generates most of its revenues outside the country. Bringing it home would mean handing Uncle Sam a 35% cut. So the cash sits offshore, where it can’t be used to buy back stock, pay dividends, hire American workers or acquire U.S. startups. Apply a 35% discount to the $8.5 billion price tag–that’s what would happen if it sent the cash to Redmond–and the deal looks a lot more reasonable, at around $5.5 billion posttax. And Microsoft still has a lot more cash overseas than it does at home; expect more non-U.S. acquisitions in the months ahead.

– Microsoft gets one of the truly dominant Internet brands. There are only a handful–Google, Facebook, Netflix, Craigslist, Wikipedia, Twitter–but most aren’t for sale, and none belongs to Microsoft. Skype is the dominant player in Internet audio and video communications–people use “Skype” as a verb–and now Microsoft owns it.

– Ignore the pundits; this is an enterprise- software play. The knee-jerk reaction has been that Microsoft will need to up the revenue generated by Skype via more aggressive use of advertising and integration with gaming. But the deal is really about “unified communications,” in which Microsoft is competing with Cisco and others. The theory is that by adding Skype’s audio, video, conferencing and telepresence features to the mix Microsoft will offer an unbeatable combination of features that every enterprise will want. Microsoft sees unified communications as a multibillion-dollar business. Don’t be surprised to see Microsoft abandon its current unified communications branding–Microsoft Lync–and rechristen the product Skype for the Enterprise.

In one brilliant stroke Microsoft dipped into its growing overseas cash pile, bought an iconic brand and set the stage for another multibillion-dollar business. Worth every penny.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

NOKIA MICROSOFT PARTNERSHIP TO PRODUCE NEW SMART PHONES

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Nokia goes to bed

with Microsoft

Rupert Neate, London
February 13, 2011

NOKIA, the world’s largest mobile phone maker, has given up on creating its own smartphone software to challenge Apple and Google.

The Finnish mobile giant has instead adopted Microsoft’s Windows Phone as the basis for its next generation of phones in one of the biggest shake-ups in Nokia’s 145-year history.

Stephen Elop, Nokia’s new chief executive, said the companies had formed a ”broad strategic alliance” to take on Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating system. Until now, Nokia’s phones have run on its own software platforms.

Advertisement: Story continues below

The announcement of the deal in London came after Mr Elop warned that Nokia risked being consumed by ”burning flames” unless it embraced ”radical change”.

Nokia, which dominated the mobile phone industry in the ’90s and early 2000s, has failed to keep pace with Apple and Google in the smartphone market.

Mr Elop, who joined Nokia from Microsoft last year, said the partnership meant the mobile market was now a ”three-horse race”.

It will be about a year before the new phones hit the market. Other changes loom, with Mr Elop saying there would be a ”substantial reduction” to Nokia’s 60,000 employee headcount

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

MICROSOFT TAKES ON GOOGLE FACEBOOK & APPLE IN COURT

Thursday, December 30th, 2010

Microsoft co-founder

relaunches

tech patent suit

General view of Microsoft Corporation new headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris October 6, 2009. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

General view of Microsoft Corporation new headquarters in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris October 6, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Charles Platiau

By Bill Rigby

SEATTLE | Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:44am EST

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp co-founder Paul Allen relaunched a wide-ranging patent lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Facebook and others with specific allegations that the companies are illegally using technology owned by his company.

Interval Licensing LLC, a small research company set up by Allen in 1992, originally filed a broad patent suit in federal court in Seattle in August, but Judge Marsha Pechman dismissed it on the grounds that it did not specify any actual products or devices. The revised suit was filed by Interval on Tuesday.

Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, claims Interval was central to research and development of technology in the Internet arena in the 1990s, amassing more than 300 patents and providing research assistance to Google.

In the suit, Allen’s company claims four of its patents — chiefly related to the way Web data is sorted and presented — have been infringed by a number of successful companies.

MULTIPLE CLAIMS

The first patent concerns the generation of data related to information being browsed. Interval claims Google uses this technology to match advertisements from third parties to content being displayed, while AOL’s sites use it to suggest items related to news stories.

Interval claims Apple’s iTunes service uses the technology to suggest music based on a user’s searches, and that eBay Inc, Facebook, Netflix, Yahoo Inc and Office Depot’s sites have also infringed the patent in the way they direct users to related content.

The second and third patents concern relaying information on a computer screen in a peripheral, unobtrusive manner, such as in an instant messaging box or overlay.

Interval claims its patent has been infringed by features in AOL’s Instant Messenger, Apple’s Dashboard, Google Talk and Gmail Notifier, Google’s Android phone system and Yahoo Widgets.

The fourth patent concerns alerting Web browsers to new items of interest based on activity of other users. Interval claims AOL uses this technology on its shopping sites, while Apple’s iTunes uses it to recommend music.

Interval claims eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Office Depot, Staples Inc, Yahoo and Google’s YouTube all have infringed the patent in the way they suggest content to users.

NO MICROSOFT

The suit makes no mention of Microsoft as a patent holder or infringer, even though Allen’s former company offers products similar to some described in the suit. A spokesman for Allen declined to comment on the suit.

Allen, 57, is the world’s 37th richest person, according to Forbes magazine. He resigned as a Microsoft executive in 1983. Since then, he has funded scientific and medical research through his Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and invested in many projects in his native Seattle and Pacific Northwest region.

Interval has asked the court for damages and a ban on products that use the disputed patents. It is unclear how seriously the court, or the companies he has targeted, will take Allen’s legal charges.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha