Microsoft’s performance during the fourth quarter not only exceeded the Street’s expectations but also saved some blushes. The Redmond-based company earned $16.04 billion in revenue, a 22% rise compared to the same period last year, and enough to get it past Apple’s quarterly revenue of $15.7 billion. The Street had foreseen Apple bettering Microsoft’s quarterly revenue for the first time ever, but MS had other plans.
Windows 7 continued its stellar performance during the quarter and, along with Office 2010, accounted for a large part of the company’s growth. “We saw strong sales execution across all of our businesses, particularly in the enterprise with Windows 7 and Office 2010,” said Kevin Turner, chief operating officer.
According to a press release issued by the company, “Operating income, net income and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $5.93 billion, $4.52 billion and $0.51 per share, which represented increases of 49%, 48% and 50%, respectively, when compared with the prior year period.”
HP's Windows 7-based Slate is dead and buried, right? That's what we thought too, but if the project is truly dead, HP didn't bury it very deep. Some astute grave diggers over at IDG News dug up what we used to know as the HP Slate and now dubbed "Slate 500."
Perhaps HP just hasn't gotten around to updating its website yet, but if you go here and scroll down, you'll see several HP Slate 500 models about halfway down the page (we counted eight different SKUs). And that isn't the only place the Slate 500 appears. Apparently the thing's been Energy Star certified (see here).
Falling in line with earlier speculation about the hardware, the Windows 7-based Slate 500 is listed as an 8.9-inch tablet sporting an Intel processor clocked at 1.6GHz, 1GB of system memory, and both a front-facing and rear-mounted camera.
We'll update this as we find out more, but if this was a Myth Busters episode, we'd have to label the chances of the Slate 500 and recently announced PalmPad co-existing as "plausible."
A FAQ document on the site clearly states that “Service Pack 1 will be released within the first half of calendar year 2011.” Microsoft has been urging consumers, especially enterprise users, to not delay their upgrade plans until the release of SP1 as it will include “only minor updates.” Microsoft released a public beta of Service Pack 1 last week.
ATI came screaming out of the gate with a competitive lineup of GPU's just in time for the release of DirectX 11, and we now know it's a gamble that seems to have paid off. According to numbers released late last week AMD shipped more than 16 million 5000 series GPU's in the last 9 months, an increase of nearly 87 per cent over the results from the prior year.
Despite the positive sales numbers AMD still posted a net loss of $1.65 billion $43 million in Q2, but with revenues of more than $1.65 billion it shouldn’t take too long to turn this around. "Robust demand for our latest mobile platforms and solid execution drove record second quarter revenue and a healthy gross margin," said Dirk Meyer, AMD President and CEO. "We added Sony as a microprocessor customer and continue to see our existing customers expand their AMD-based platform offerings".
With three new GPU's on the market Nvidia finally has some skin in the game, but this is a far cry from the nearly 12 different offerings from ATI that hit up just about every price point imaginable. Nvidia still controls the lion share of the market, but this is the first sizable dent ATI has managed to put in its competitor.
Given that ATI has almost as many DirectX11 GPU's on the market as Sony has PS3's, we can't help but wonder, where are all the games!
EDITED: To Reflect Proper Sales / Loss Information.
HP has been talking about making all sorts of tablets for delivery later this year, but one by one they seem to be fading away. The newest apparent victim is Android. Sources within the company say that plans for an Android tablet in the fourth quarter have been scrapped. Instead, HP may be directing more effort towards a rumored webOS slate.
HP acquired Palm a few months back, and said they would be “doubling down” on webOS. If there's a place to really make an impact with the Palm technology, it may be tablets. In a few month's time, Android tablets may be a dime a dozen. Making webOS into a viable tablet platform could have long term benefits.
With the lack of definitive news regarding the HP Slate running Windows 7, it looks like HP is trying to narrow their focus. If they're going to keep the iPad from owning the market, that might be a good idea. What OS do you want to see on a tablet? Android, Windows 7, or webOS?
“This study will be two hours long and will take place on the Microsoft Redmond campus with a number of dates and times between Friday, July 16th and Wednesday, July 21,” read the now-deleted Facebook event's description. “In appreciation for your time, each participant will be offered a Microsoft gratuity item. If you are interested, please respond to the questions below to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “iPad.”
The Facebook event surfaced just a day after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced plans to launch tablets and smartphones in the next few months. But why did the company delete the Facebook event? One explanation is that it does not want to come across as being awestruck by the iPad.
The Windows 7 juggernaut has little regard for impediments, but it does have a soft spot for an elderly cognate that refuses to die: Windows XP. Microsoft marked the availability of the public beta for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) by extending the end-user downgrade rights to Windows XP until 2020, even though the previous deadline for their expiry was set at Windows 7 SP1.
End-user downgrade rights let businesses use a prior version of Windows on new machines until they are ready to transition to the latest version. Only OEM copies of Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate include downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista Professional. According to Microsoft, the move is meant to “provide customers and partners with more predictability around the lifecycle of Windows.”
Apparently, its business customers feared that removing end-user rights could lead to confusion. “Going forward, businesses can continue to purchase new PCs and utilize end user downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista until they are ready to use Windows 7. Enabling such rights throughout the Windows 7 lifecycle will make it easier for customers as they plan deployments to Windows 7,” Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc wrote in a blog post yesterday.
Microsoft announced Monday that Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is available in public beta form. While desktop Windows 7 is looking mainly like a rollup of hotfixes, the update for Server 2008 R2 is more substantive. Server will be getting the new RemoteFX feature which will provide higher quality 3D accelerated graphics for remote users. Server 2008 R2 is also seeing dynamic memory support added.
A copy of SP1 leaked online back and April and is rumored to have USB 3.0 support and an updated Bluetooth/Wi-Fi stack. None of this has been confirmed yet, but the update isn't final yet. To try the new service pack, you have to pretend to be either a developer, or an IT professional. You'll also need a final copy of Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2. Download it here. Let us know if you give it a shot.
After Microsoft scrapped plans to release its dual-screen Courier and HP pulled the plug on its much hyped Windows 7-based Slate (you know, before the company went out and gobbled up Palm, putting them in a webOS state of mind), we wondered if we'd ever see Redmond's latest OS make a run at the tablet market. Wonder no more, says Steve Ballmer, who told 14,000 partners during his July 12 keynote at the Worldwide Partner Conference that Windows 7 slates are forthcoming.
Not only are Windows 7 slates coming, says Ballmer, but in a big way. As the outspoken CEO tells it, Microsoft and several of its PC partners have plans to release Windows 7-based tablets in the coming months, including ones from Asus, Dell, Samsung, Toshiba, and Sony.
These will ship in varying form factors, everything from ones with physical keyboards to touch only, from dockable tablets to slates with digital ink, and more, Ballmer says.
When exactly these slates will come to market is anyone's guess, but if everyone makes good on their plans, 2011 might go down as the year of the tablet. Everyone and their uncle has been promising to release a tablet at some point or another, with many aiming for late 2010.
I am using Windows 7 Home Premium and I have found that there is no longer an AutoRun option that permits the automatic startup of USB flash drives that contain software. I am particularly referring to flash drives that contain portable operating systems such as Portable Apps or SanDisk U3 Launchpad. The user is now presented with a prompt that permits viewing the files and double-clicking the application to be executed.
Is there a registry hack that I can use to restore the AutoRun feature for USB flash drives that contain applications?