Posts tagged "Xbox"

Microsoft Board names Satya Nadella as CEO, Bill Gates steps up to new role as Technology Advisor

It is decided!

Microsoft Board names Satya Nadella as CEO

Bill Gates steps up to new role as Technology Advisor; John Thompson assumes role as Chairman of Board of Directors.

Microsoft Corp. today announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Satya Nadella as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors effective immediately. Nadella previously held the position of Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group.

“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Bill Gates, Microsoft’s Founder and Member of the Board of Directors. “Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth.”

Since joining the company in 1992, Nadella has spearheaded major strategy and technical shifts across the company’s portfolio of products and services, most notably the company’s move to the cloud and the development of one of the largest cloud infrastructures in the world supporting Bing, Xbox, Office and other services. During his tenure overseeing Microsoft’s Server and Tools Business, the division outperformed the market and took share from competitors.

“Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionized the world through technology, and I couldn’t be more honored to have been chosen to lead the company,” Nadella said. “The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform. A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly.”

“Having worked with him for more than 20 years, I know that Satya is the right leader at the right time for Microsoft,” said Steve Ballmer, who announced on Aug. 23, 2013 that he would retire once a successor was named. “I’ve had the distinct privilege of working with the most talented employees and senior leadership team in the industry, and I know their passion and hunger for greatness will only grow stronger under Satya’s leadership.”

Microsoft also announced that Bill Gates, previously Chairman of the Board of Directors, will assume a new role on the Board as Founder and Technology Advisor, and will devote more time to the company, supporting Nadella in shaping technology and product direction. John Thompson, lead independent director for the Board of Directors, will assume the role of Chairman of the Board of Directors and remain an independent director on the Board.

“Satya is clearly the best person to lead Microsoft, and he has the unanimous support of our Board,” Thompson said. “The Board took the thoughtful approach that our shareholders, customers, partners and employees expected and deserved.”

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Posted by plates55 - February 5, 2014 at 1:51 pm

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Xbox One sales top 3 million

Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of Xbox strategy and marketing, thanked customers for an “epic 2013,” in an Xbox Wire post on Monday. “2013 was an incredible year for gamers, entertainment fans, our industry and Xbox,” Mehdi said. “With Xbox One we saw the most epic launch for Xbox by all measures. We are humbled and grateful for your loyalty and delighted by the millions of hours of gameplay and entertainment enjoyed on Xbox.”

More than three million Xbox One consoles were sold to consumers in 13 countries before the end of 2013, he noted. “It’s been incredible to see Xbox One selling at a record-setting pace for Xbox, and we were honored to see Xbox One become the fastest-selling console in the U.S. during our launch month in November.”

Demand for Xbox One has been strong, selling out during the holidays at most retailers worldwide, Mehdi said, and Microsoft continues to work hard to deliver additional consoles to retailers as fast as possible.

“The reaction from our fans was mind-blowing for our team,” he said. “As we see your excitement, your energy and your hours of gameplay, we continue to be inspired to do great work – for you. Whether you’re racing through the streets of Prague in ‘Forza Motorsport 5,’ creating crazy weapons for zombie destruction in ‘Dead Rising 3,’ exploring the Colosseum in Gladiator mode in ‘Ryse: Son of Rome,’ helping your children create their own personal zoo in ‘Zoo Tycoon,’ or enjoying epic multiplayer battles, we love that you’re having fun on Xbox One.”

Year-end numbers also indicate customers are using Xbox One as an all-in-one entertainment system, with millions of hours of live TV watched and millions of hours of app entertainment enjoyed.

The year ahead promises more excitement as Microsoft brings Xbox One to fans in more markets around the globe, Mehdi said. And many more great games are on the way, including “Titanfall,” “Watch Dogs,” “Project Spark,” “Sunset Overdrive,” “Tom Clancy’s The Division,” “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt,” “Destiny,” “Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare” and “The Elder Scrolls Online.”

For more, head on over to Mehdi’s post on Xbox Wire.

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Posted by plates55 - January 6, 2014 at 3:25 pm

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Xbox original documentary will uncover mystery of legendary Atari video-game burial

It’s fitting that the first documentary slated for Microsoft’s Xbox is about video games. But it sounds like a great story even for non-gamers. Atari‘s “mass burial” of unsold game consoles and cartridges in 1983 is considered by some to be an urban legend, but filmmakers working with Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios will film an effort to excavate the site early … Read More…

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Posted by plates55 - December 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm

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Microsoft board of directors update on CEO search

The following post is from John W. Thompson, a member of Microsoft’s board of directors.

On Aug. 23, we announced that Steve Ballmer would be retiring from Microsoft within 12 months, and the Board of Directors was launching a search for a replacement, looking both externally and internally. Since then, we’ve been focused on finding the best possible person to lead the company. As we approach the end of the calendar year, there has been natural interest in getting an update on where we are in the process. I’m writing to share this with you here.

As the chair of the Board’s search committee, I’m pleased with our progress. The Board has taken the thoughtful approach that our shareholders, customers, partners and employees expect and deserve. After defining our criteria, we initially cast a wide net across a number of different industries and skill sets. We identified over 100 possible candidates, talked with several dozen, and then focused our energy intensely on a group of about 20 individuals, all extremely impressive in their own right. As you would expect, as this group has narrowed, we’ve done deeper research and investigation, including with the full Board. We’re moving ahead well, and I expect we’ll complete our work in the early part of 2014.

At the same time, Microsoft has continued to drive hard. Our employees produced strong quarterly results, announced in October. They released new versions of Windows, our Surface products and many other offerings. And the launch of Xbox One was experienced around the world. All of us on the Board appreciate their continued focus and commitment.

At our shareholder meeting in November, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates provided an update on our search process. He noted that this is a complex role to fill, involving a complex business model and the ability to lead a highly technical organization and work with top technical talent.

Microsoft has had only two CEOs in its 38-year history. As a Board, we are determined and confident that the company’s third CEO will lead Microsoft to renewed and continued success. We’re looking forward to 2014 and the opportunities and decisions that lie ahead.

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Posted by plates55 - December 18, 2013 at 3:55 pm

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The Top 7 Technology Trends That Will Dominate 2014

Strap yourself in, it’s going to be a wild ride. In considering the changes we’ve seen in technology over the past year, I’m bracing myself for unprecedented growth when it comes to anytime, anywhere, on-demand information and entertainment.

Based on the trends we’ve seen so far in 2013, I predict 2014 will see many fledgling technologies mature and grow beyond what we could have imagined just a few years ago.

So without further ado, here are my top 7 predictions for technology trends that will dominate 2014.

1. Consumers will come to expect Smart TV capabilities

With Smart TV shipments expected to reach 123 million in 2014 – up from about 84 million in 2012 – we are poised to see explosive growth in this industry.

In the midst of this growth, we will continue to see fierce competition between major players like Samsung, Panasonic, and LG. Prices will need to continue to drop, as more consumers crave, and even expect, the ability to use Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and their web browser via their TV.

Of course, the development we’re all waiting for in 2014 is the release of Apple’s much anticipated iTV. It appears the iTV is now in the early development stage, and that Apple may be in the process of making a deal with Time Warner to facilitate programming on Apple devices.

The device is rumoured to include iCloud sync, the ability to control your iPhone, and ultra HD LCD panels. Keep an eye out for this release as early as summer 2014.

2. Smart watches will become ‘smarter’ Rather than having to pull out your smartphone or tablet for frequent email, text and social media updates, you’ll glance at your watch.

2014 is the year to keep an eye out for the Google watch. Rumor has it the device will integrate with Google Now, which aims to seamlessly provide relevant information when and where you want it (and before you’d asked for it).

We’ll see smart watches become even smarter, learning what news and updates are important to us, when we want to receive them, and responding more accurately to voice controls.

For smart watches to succeed, they’ll need to offer us something that our smart phone can’t; whether this means more intuitive notifications, or the ability to learn from our daily activities and behaviours (for instance, heart rate monitoring), it will be interesting to see.

3. Google Glass will still be in “wait and see” mode

While Google Glass hasn’t yet been released to the general public, we’ve heard enough about it to know it’s still very early days for this technology. With an estimated 60,000 units expected to sell in 2013, and a predicted several million in 2014, it’s still a long way from becoming a common household technology.

These augmented reality glasses allow you to access information like email and texts, take hands-free pictures and videos, effortlessly translate your voice, and even receive overlaid walking, cycling or driving directions, right within your field of vision.

It’s predicted that both Google Glass 2.0, and its companion, the Glass App Store, should be released to the general public sometime in 2014.
Be on the lookout for competition in this market, particularly from major players like Samsung. I predict we’ll see much of this competition aimed at niche markets like sports and healthcare.

4. Other applications and uses for Apple’s TouchID will emerge

The release of the iPhone 5S has, for the first time, made on-the-go fingerprint security a reality. The potential for Touch ID technology to really take off is, I believe, an inevitable reality. Touch ID, which uses a high-resolution camera to scan your fingerprint, allows convenient ultra-security for your iPhone.

Currently, the technology is limited; the only real uses are unlocking your iPhone, and making purchases in the App store. I predict that we’ll see this technology incorporated into other Apple products soon. I think we’ll even see TouchId integrated into MacBook products later this year or next.

I also predict TouchID, though not quite bug-free, will be used for other purposes, such as to securely integrate with home security systems, access password software, and even pay for groceries (more on that in an upcoming article).

5. Xbox One and PS4 will blur the lines between entertainment and video gaming

The new gaming consoles (Xbox One and PS4) will increasingly integrate social media-like connectivity between players. Players could have followers, work together to achieve in-game goals, and new technology will allow for equally-skilled players to compete.

The PS4, slated to be released November 15th, will track both the controller and the player’s face and movements for more intuitive play.

Apart from great gaming, these systems will allow for a far more integrative entertainment experience. For instance, rather than switching between TV, gaming, music and sports, you’ll be able to do two or even three activities side-by-side, or by easily switching back and forth.

6. 3D Printing will begin to revolutionize production

We’ve seen a huge rise in the popularity of 3D printing this year, coupled with a dramatic fall in pricing. The ability to easily create multi-layered products that are actually usable – well, that’s pretty amazing.

I’ll be watching for a movement towards simple products being produced close to home, and to greater customization given the ease of manufacturing. I think it’s inevitable that manufacturing in countries such as China will become less appealing and lucrative for businesses given the high costs of shipping and managing overseas contracts.

I don’t expect these changes to reach their full effect in 2014, however I believe businesses will be starting to consider how this will affect their production plans for 2015 and beyond. 7. The movement towards natural language search will make search more accurate and intuitive

There was a time when we used terms like “personal digital assistant” to describe a hand-held calendar. Oh, how times have changed.

With the emergence of intelligent personal assistants like Google Now and Apple’s Siri, the goal is to have information intuitively delivered to you, often before you even ask for it. The shift seems to be away from having to actively request data, and instead to have it passively delivered to your device.

Natural language search will continue to overtake keyword-based search, as seen by Google’s move towards longer, more natural searches in its recent release of Hummingbird, Google’s largest algorithm update thus far.

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Posted by plates55 - December 16, 2013 at 9:05 am

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Xbox One sells more than 2 million units in the first 18 days; Sold out at most major retailers

Since its launch 18 days ago, Xbox One is proving to be the must-have gift this holiday season, with more than 2 million consoles sold through to consumers worldwide, averaging over 111,111 units sold per day – a record-setting pace for Xbox. The millions of fans around the world who have purchased Xbox One have shown incredible engagement with the all-in-one games and entertainment system, spending more than 83 million hours in games, TV and apps on Xbox One since the system launched on Nov. 22.

“We continue to be humbled and overwhelmed by the positive response from our fans,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of strategy and marketing for Xbox. “We are thrilled to see sales of Xbox One on a record-setting pace, with over 2 million Xbox One consoles in homes around the world. Demand is exceeding supply in our 13 launch markets and Xbox One is sold out at most retailers. We’re also particularly excited to see consumers engaging in a wide range of games and entertainment experiences on the platform, with more than 1 million paid transactions on Xbox Live to date.”

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Posted by plates55 - December 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm

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NPD numbers: Xbox One is the fastest-selling console in the US in November

Xbox has seen record-breaking sales with the recent announcement of Xbox One selling more than 2 million units through to consumers worldwide since its launch. November NPD Group figures released Thursday revealed 909,132 Xbox One units were sold in the U.S. in the console’s first nine days, making it the fastest selling console on the market in the U.S. Xbox One sales averaged a volume of 101,000 consoles per day, significantly outpacing the nearest competitor.


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Posted by plates55 - December 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm

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What should I buy this xmas? XBOX1, PS4 or WIU ?

Hardware Feature Comparison

Feature PlayStation 4 Xbox One Wii U
Price $399.99 [1] $499.99 [2] $349.99 / 299.99
Release Date US: 11.15.2013 EU: 11.29.2013 [3] 11.22.2013 [4] 11.18.2012
Optical Drive Blu-ray/DVD [5] Blu-ray/DVD [6] 25GB Optical Disc (Proprietary)
Game DVR Yes, PS+ subscription not required [7] Yes, with subscription to Xbox Live Gold [8] No
RAM 8GB GDDR5 [9] 8GB DDR3 [10] 2GB DDR3 [11]
CPU Single-chip x86 AMD “Jaguar” processor, 8 cores [12] 8 Core Microsoft custom CPU [13] Tri-Core PowerPC “Espresso” CPU [14]
GPU AMD Radeon Graphics Core Next engine w/ 1152 shaders [15] 853 MHz AMD Radeon GPU w/ 768 shaders[16] AMD “Latte” 550 MHz GPU w/ 320 shaders[17]
Peak GPU Shader Throughput 1.84 TeraFLOPS/s [18] 1.31 TeraFLOPS/s (estimate)[19] 0.352 TeraFLOPS/s[20]
Storage 500 GB 5400 RPM SATA II hard drive [21] 500 GB Hard Drive [22] 8GB or 32GB Flash
External Storage No [23] Yes, USB [24] Yes, USB
Removable Hard Drive Yes, must be at least 160 GB, thinner than 9.5mm [25] No [26] No
Cloud Storage Yes [27] Yes [28] No
Play As You Download Yes [29] Yes [30] No
Remote Download Yes [31] Yes [32] No
Account Access from Multiple Consoles Yes [33] Yes No
Mandatory Game Installs No [34] Yes [35] No
Required Internet Connection No [36] No, but required for mandatory day one update. [37][38] No
Used Game Fee No [39] No [40] No
Digital game sharing or gifting No No No
Feature PlayStation 4 Xbox One Wii U
Backwards Compatibility None [41] None [42] Yes, Wii
Cross Game Chat Yes [43] Yes [44] No
Controllers DualShock 4 (included) Xbox One Wireless Controller (included) Wii U GamePad (included), Wii Remote + Nunchuk (sold separately), Pro Controller (sold separately)
Controller Batteries Rechargable (built-in) AA (2). Rechargable battery packs (sold separately) GP & Pro: Rechargable (built-in). Wii Remote: AA (2).
Motion Control DualShock 4, PlayStation 4 Eye (not included), PlayStation Move (not included) Kinect 2 Wii Remote (sold separately), Wii U GamePad (included)
Second Screen Vita (not included) [45] Playstation App [46] SmartGlass (devices not included) [47] Wii U GamePad (included)
Voice Commands Yes (scope, TBA) [48] Yes [49] No
Subscription Service PlayStation Plus [50] Xbox Live [51] No
USB USB 3.0 (2 ports)[52] USB 3.0 (3 ports)[53] USB 2.0 (4 ports)
Live Streaming Yes Yes No
Reputation Preservation Trophies will be ported Achievements will be ported [54] N/A
Web Connection Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi [55] Gigabit Ethernet, IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 & 5Ghz) [56] Gigabit IEEE 802.11 b/g/n dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4 & 5Ghz, LAN via USB dongle
BlueTooth Bluetooth 2.1 (EDR)[57] No* Bluetooth 4.0 [58]
Wi-Fi Direct (for Device Connection) No Yes Yes (for GamePad video streaming)
A/V Hookups HDMI output (4K Support [59]) Optical output [60] HDMI input and output (4K support), Optical output [61] HDMI out, Component/ Composite out
IR No IR out, IR Blaster (Kinect) IR Transceiver (GamePad)
Power Supply (PSU) Internal External (power brick) External (power bricks)
Near Field Communication (NFC) No No Yes (GamePad)
Region Locked No No [62] Yes

*Confirmed to IGN by a Microsoft representative.

Online Feature Comparison Chart

Online Services PlayStation 4 Xbox One Wii U
Online Game Play Paid Access Via PS+ Subscription Paid Access Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription [63] Free
Netflix Free Access to Application [64] Paid Access to Application Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription* Free Access to Application
HBO Go None TBA None
Skype Possible[65] Paid Access to Application Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription [66] None
ESPN None TBA None
Hulu Plus Free Access to Application [67] Paid Access to Application Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription* Free Access to Application
Game DVR Free Access to Application Paid Access to Application Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription [68] None
Streaming Game Video Free Access to Application TBA None
Web Browser Yes[69] Paid Access to Application Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription [70] Free Access to Application
NFL Application None Paid Access to Application Via Xbox Live Gold Subscription [71] None

*Based on current Xbox Live Gold requirements

Console Bundle Comparison Chart

This chart compares the physical contents of the launch day bundles of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U. Other console comparison features are outlined above.

Feature PlayStation 4 Xbox One Wii U
Pack-In Game Playroom (Requires PlayStation Eye, sold seperately) [72] None [73] Nintendo Land (included in Deluxe bundle)
Controllers DualShock 4 Wireless Controller Xbox One Controller, Kinect [74] Wii U GamePad
Headset Wired Mono Earbud [75] Wired Mono Headset [76] Not included
AV Cables HDMI Cable (2.0m) [77] HDMI Cable (Cat2) [78] HDMI Cable
Charging Cables USB Charging Cable [79] Not included [80] Wii U GamePad Charging Cable
Camera Not included [81] Kinect [82] Wii U GamePad Camera
Trial Subscription All PS4 owners get 30 days of PS+[83] All Xbox One owners get 14 days of free Xbox Live[84] N/A
Colors Black Black Black, White
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Posted by plates55 - December 13, 2013 at 2:37 pm

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MMS 2013 Keynote recording now available

Good keynote from Brad Anderson: Cloud Optimize Your Business with Microsoft Management Solutions

Cloud Optimize Your Business with Microsoft Management Solutions

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Posted by plates55 - May 9, 2013 at 9:04 am

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Next Xbox To Arrive in 2013 With Six Times As Much Power As Xbox 360 [REPORT

It’s certainly no secret that Microsoft is hard at work developing a successor to its Xbox 360 games console. With Sony’s PlayStation 3 still in the middle of its life cycle and Nintendo already having announced its upcoming Wii-U, Microsoft is planning its next move deep in a bunker in Redmond.


We’ve heard rumors of what the next Xbox could be for some time now, with various suggestions for names and features being bandied around, but there are precious few hard facts known about what Microsoft will do with the third generation Xbox.

The latest news coming out of IGN’s sources is that the new machine will go into production during October or November of this year, with developers getting machines to work with some time in August. The timescale fits, with developers not needing finished hardware but rather just a PC with the same specs and a development kit.

IGN’s sources also suggest that the machine could go on sale towards the end of next year, 2013, which does tie in with some other reports that have been floating around the internet over the last six months.

Hardware-wise the new machine is expected to pack a punch that will see it being six times more powerful with regards to graphics performance, thanks mainly to a Radeon HD6000 graphics chip. The extra horsepower will also see the next Xbox be 20% more powerful than Nintendo’s already announced Wii-U machine. Which is definitely a lot when it comes to graphics performance.

No sources have yet come forward with an expected retail price, or in fact any other hard facts. Will the new Xbox be backward compatible with existing 360 games, and will it use Xbox LIVE as we know it? Just as importantly, will all our Gamertags and Achievements carry over to the new machine?


We’re equally as interested to see what method of content delivery will be used by the new machine. We wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Microsoft move away from a disc-based system and use Xbox LIVE as a method of offering games, though the lack of fast broadband may hinder that approach.

That said, it hasn’t stopped Valve’s Steam from taking over the PC gaming world, has it?

You can follow us on Twitter, add us to your circle on Google+ or like our Facebook page to keep yourself updated on all the latest from Microsoft, Google, Apple and the web.


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Posted by plates55 - January 25, 2012 at 9:09 am

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