MediaFile

Tech wrap: A bad call for Sprint?

Sprint Nextel shares fell as much as 17 percent on Tuesday as investors worried about the cost of selling the Apple Inc iPhone on top of its plans to upgrade its network and its debt obligations.

The decline followed a 10 percent dive in Sprint’s stock on Monday after a Wall Street Journal report that the money-losing company will have to pay Apple $20 billion over the next four years and will lose money on the iPhone until 2014.

Apple took the wraps off a new iPhone on Tuesday, but may have left some fans wishing for more than an updated version of last year’s smartphone. See what analysts had to say.

On the day that Apple launches the fifth generation of its ubiquitous iPhone, the once mighty Nokia is still weeks away from mounting a fightback. On Tuesday, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop promised to unveil its first Windows-based smartphones this quarter but it remains to be seen whether the they will start shipping in time for Christmas.

A new plastic-based tablet designed by a California tech company for school students is going on trial in Russia thanks to funding from the Russian state-run tech giant Rusnano, reports Reuters correspondent Sonia Legg.

Microsoft CFO: Likes iPad, loves Ballmer: apps? meh

Microsoft CFO Klein

Three things we learned from chatting with Microsoft CFO Peter Klein: for one, he’s a big fan of his boss, CEO Steve Ballmer, despite their contrasting interview styles (Klein is even tempered; Ballmer is famously energetic, which I’ve witnessed first hand).

Reuters: What’s it like working with Steve Ballmer?
Klein: It’s awesome. He’s incredibly passionate, he cares about nothing except the success of the company. He’s incredibly smart. He knows the industry backwards and forward.

Reuters: Does he jump around and make your life hell sometimes?
Klein: No, he makes my life exciting everyday. It has been fabulous. He cares so much about the company. I’m a big believer in you have to be passionate about what you are doing.

from Breakingviews:

Necessity is mother of invention at Microsoft

Microsoft CEO speaks of economic reset in LondonMicrosoft has adopted a tough mantra for an age of austerity, arguing that innovation must take a back seat to cost-cutting and productivity gains when it comes to selling technology.

"Things have come down. I see them staying down and slowly growing," Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive, said today in a speech to British business leaders.

But does Microsoft's "New Efficiency" slogan describe the future of the technology industry?  Or just the software giant's own subdued outlook?

Ballmer skeptical of Apple share gains

Never one to let an opportunity pass to tweak a competitor, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer got off a few zingers at long-time rival Apple at the software giant’s analyst meeting on Thursday.

“Share versus Apple, you know, we think we may have ticked up a little tick, but when you get right down to it, it’s a rounding error,” he said. “Apple’s share change, plus or minus from ours, they took a little share a couple quarters, we took share back a couple quarters. But Apple’s share globally cost us nothing. Now, hopefully, we will take share back from Apple, but you know, Apple still only sells about 10 million PCs, so it is a limited opportunity.”

Shipments of Apple’s Mac PCs rose 4 percent in the June quarter, while the global PC market shrank 5 percent, according to Gartner.

Bad-a-bing! Microsoft unveils new search engine

The worst-kept secret in tech was finally made public as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer lifted the wraps off the company’s new search engine: Bing.

The revamped engine, intended to take a bite out of Google’s dominance, is being rolled out over the next few days, with a full launch next Wednesday.

Here are a few screenshots to tide you over until then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steve Ballmer’s “awesome” new Ford hybrid

Times are tough for car makers, so Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally is going the extra mile by delivering cars to customers himself.

Unfortunately you have to be CEO of a very large company to qualify. Here’s Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer taking possession of his new Ford Fusion Hybrid at the software company’s Seattle-area campus.

 
“This is awesome!” Ballmer declared, before climbing into the car for a quick seminar on how it works. He didn’t seem too interested in the fuel consumption figures, but said his wife insisted on a hybrid.

Microsoft’s big man on campus

Steve Ballmer knows how to pack a house.

Stanford University’s Memorial Hall was filled to its almost 2,000 capacity on Wednesday, as the voluble Microsoft CEO took the stage.

For the MBAs and engineering students who showed up, the event was a chance to get inspiration from the chief of one of the world’s most powerful corporations (and from someone who dropped out of Stanford Business School to join Microsoft). The press in attendance was mainly interested in comments Ballmer might make about Yahoo.

Indeed, with Microsoft and Yahoo reportedly in talks about a search partnership, speculation has risen in the blogosphere that Ballmer and Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz would have a sit-down during his swing through the Bay Area.

A Yahoo and Microsoft deal? Search me

Two days ago, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said Yahoo should team up with his company on search so they can take on Google. That’s not a new idea; after all, Ballmer’s been talking about a search deal of some sort at every public forum for months.

But then, Yahoo CFO Blake Jorgensen sent out a message loud and clear the following day, endorsing the idea of a search partnership. Yahoo is “not opposed” to doing a deal on search, he said, adding that such a deal could be in the form of a partnership or a sale of it search business. When Carol Bartz took over as Yahoo CEO last month, she said her first instinct was to hold on to search, but of course, “everything is on the table.”

So could something be brewing on that front?

Collins Stewart’s Internet analyst Sandeep Aggarwal thinks so. In a research note today, Aggarwal writes the “posturing” from both sides suggests that a search deal is in the offing:

Step aside, here comes Google

Google just keeps on truckin’. The Internet powerhouse posted results yesterday that show advertisers haven’t completely cut their spending — at least not on search.

Excluding one-time charges, profit was $5.10 a share, beating the average analyst forecast of $4.95 according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue rose 18 percent to $5.7 billion — a shadow of the 50 percent growth levels that Google used to enjoy, but considered by analysts to be a robust performance given the weak economy and corporate cutbacks in advertising spending.

Oh Microsoft, how the times change!

Paul Allen (left) and Bill Gates Oct. 19, 1981

1975

Microsoft (then spelled “Micro Soft”) is founded by William “Bill” Gates, a 20-year-old Harvard dropout, and Paul Allen, his 22-year-old school chum. They begin selling its first product, a BASIC programming language interpreter.

1980The IBM Personal Computer (1981)

Microsoft signs an agreement to build the operating system that became known as MS-DOS for IBM’s new personal computer, which was launched in 1981. Microsoft was allowed to license the operating system to others, spawning an industry of “IBM-compatible” machines dependent on Microsoft software.

1983

February: Paul Allen, ill with Hodgkin’s disease, resigns from active management of the company but remains on the board of directors.