Well, as we are just a hop, skip and an eggnog away from putting on silly hats, drinking champagne, and kissing random people as we bid goodbye to the year, it behooves me to look into the digital rearview mirror and ponder what we can see rushing away from us.
Microsoft announced today that it has mostly wrapped up its acquisition of the Internet communications company Skype. The $8.5 billion deal has received approval from the major regulators, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the European Union, although a few holdouts remain--Russia, Ukraine, Serbia and Taiwan--which are expected to fall into line shortly.
With the attention on Apple this week and the unveiling of the iPhone 5...I mean iPhone 4S, it is easy to forget about other mobile devices. But, Microsoft is pushing out "Mango" to current Windows Phone 7 users, and new Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" devices will be hitting shelves soon as well--probably about the same time that the iPhone 4S officially launches.
The success of Samsung's Galaxy S Android phones just became a cash cow for Microsoft, thanks to a patent cross-licensing agreement in which Microsoft gets paid for every Android phone or tablet Samsung sells.
Microsoft has started rolling out its Windows Phone 7.5 update, with more than 500 new features including a new music hub and better multitasking. But most Windows Phone 7 users will have to wait a week or even a month for Mango -- unless they use this little workaround to take a bite of the update right now.
Microsoft's mobile platform, Windows Phone 7, will become successful "with a little bit more effort, a little bit more energy," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer told financial analysts at the company's annual meeting with them this week. But what Ballmer laid out shows much more than a "little bit" being invested.
With Microsoft's big BUILD conference right around the corner on September 12, people are buzzing about the Windows 8 news that's sure to come, and for the last couple of weeks, Microsoft has been parceling out information. So far, the features we’ve seen look colorful, fast, flashy, and flexible—but how much of a difference will they make for small business users?
Hewlett-Packard may be giving up on making webOS devices such as the Pre 3 and Veer smartphones and TouchPad tablet, but executives at the company say committed to developing its mobile platform. HP appears convinced it can wring some value from the mobile OS it picked up after purchasing Palm last year for $1.2 billion.
Taking advantage of Hewlett-Packard's departure from the tablet and smartphone market, Microsoft has offered webOS developers free phones, tools and training to create apps for its Windows Phone 7 platform.