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From: Don Green10/3/2017 7:56:35 AM
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Windows 10 will overtake Windows 7 before 2017 is out
By Darren Allan Oct 2, 2017

It’s finally going to happen, according to one analyst firm

According to numbers from one analyst firm, Windows 10 is set to overtake Windows 7 before the end of the year, in terms of the amount of PCs these operating systems are installed on across the world.

The latest figures from Statcounter (based on its own website analytics) show that, as of September 2017, Windows 10 is installed on 39.3% of desktop Windows PCs, and Windows 7 is now only just ahead at 43.99%.

Compared to the previous month, Windows 10 gained 1.43% market share (up from 37.87%), whereas Windows 7 dropped 1.11% (down from 45.1%).

If that trend continues and the same gain/loss are made throughout October and November, when the stats are revealed at the start of December, Windows 10 will reach 42.16% compared to Windows 7 on 41.77%.

In other words, before 2017 is over, we’ll likely have a new king of the Windows operating systems, (almost) two and a half years after its release.

Rise after fallThe release of the Fall Creators Update later this month will likely only ensure that Windows 10 has more of a climb, given that new features could tempt some more upgrades.

Meanwhile, rival analytics firm Netmarketshare still has a far greater gap between Windows 10 and Windows 7, with the operating systems at 28.65% and 46.22% market share, respectively.

Although this company’s figures for September appear to have somehow gone awry, considering that Linux has made a massive leap to 4.83%, and is supposedly now more popular than macOS Sierra (10.12), which is on 3.8%. As MS Power User – which spotted these numbers – notes, this certainly appears to be a mistake.

It’s also worth noting that Netmarketshare takes into account all desktop operating systems, whereas Statcounter’s figures are just Windows versions (no Linux or Mac included – although these don’t make a huge impact on the world of PCs, of course, compared to Microsoft’s OS).

The Fall Creators Update for Windows 10 will begin its big rollout two weeks from tomorrow, on October 17.

Windows 10 is pre-installed on most of our best laptops

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From: JakeStraw10/5/2017 12:13:19 PM
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Microsoft Corporation was upgraded by analysts at Canaccord Genuity from a "hold" rating to a "buy" rating. They now have a $86.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $76.00.

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From: hollyhunter10/5/2017 5:39:07 PM
   of 19156
Bullish crossover in MACD and Stochastic oscillator. On watch for clear above 76.12.

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From: ProThinker10/5/2017 11:22:57 PM
1 Recommendation   of 19156
With Microsoft trading at high end of all its valuation indicators and revenue growth not being exciting, I think upside is limited for this stock.


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From: Don Green10/6/2017 6:07:50 PM
   of 19156
Why Microsoft Bid Sayonara To Windows Phones And Windows 10 Mobile
Oct. 6, 2017 6:02 PM ET
Motek Moyen

HP’s announcement that it is discontinuing its Elite x3 Windows 10 Mobile phone further confirmed that Microsoft completely shelved its smartphone ambition.

Nadella himself admitted in his book that he was against Microsoft’s purchase of Nokia’s old phone business. He wrote off the entire $7.6 billion acquisition.

Nadella never believed that Windows phones can catch up with Android and iOS. Don’t expect a Surface phone to be released as long as Nadella is in charge.

My fearless forecast now is that Microsoft will soon discontinue support for Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft ended support for Windows Phone 8.1 last July.

Shelving Windows 10 Mobile completes a cathartic release for Microsoft from its misadventure in mobile phones.

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is being quiet, but it is ready to say sayonara to Windows 10 Mobile. It already ended support for Window Phone 8.1 last July. Getting rid of Windows 10 Mobile should complete the detoxification of Microsoft’s failure in mobile. HP, Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) recently announced that it will discontinue its Elite x3 Windows 10 Mobile smartphone.

An unidentified HP executive explained that "Microsoft, as all companies do, decided on a change in strategy and so they are less focused on what they thought they would be focused on today."

(Source: Microsoft)

We did not get the memo but Microsoft made it clear to its OEM partners that Windows 10 Mobile is a walking dead. Microsoft already ended support for Windows Phone 8.1 last July. The culling will continue until Windows 10 Mobile eventually joins the graveyard where Zune and Windows RT were laid to rest.

Nadella’s book also revealed he was against Ballmer’s idea of buying Nokia’s (NYSE: NOK) old phone business. It explained why Nadella ended up writing offthe $7.6 billion Lumia phone business that Ballmer acquired. His heart and mind were never for Windows smartphones. He is determined to extricate Microsoft out of its misery in Windows phones.

We can expect that there will never be another phone from Microsoft as long as Nadella is in charge. Consequently, there will be no eulogies, but Windows 10 Mobile’s days are numbered. Sooner than later, Microsoft will completely divorce itself from Windows 10 Mobile like it did with its phone hardware business.

There’s no point developing/maintaining a mobile operating system when Microsoft has thrown the towel on Windows phones.

The only consolation is that Microsoft got a $1.8 billion tax write-down from Ballmer’s ill-fated bet on Windows phones. Windows 10 Mobile also taught us that software developers did not like Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform.

Why Letting Windows 10 Mobile Die Is Cathartic For MicrosoftRaising the white flag and accepting defeat is an act of courage. Accepting the reality that Android and iOS reign supreme on mobile is a back to the future move from Nadella. It allows Microsoft to better adapt to the reality that Android OS devices now outnumber Windows computers/devices.

Without the excess baggage of Lumia and Windows 10 Mobile, Nadella can focus more on his device-agnostic strategy in disseminating Microsoft's software products and services. The prosperity of Microsoft now depends on how effective it can attract (and retain) business and personal users of Android/iOS/MacOS devices to buy/subscribe to Office 365, Skype, OneDrive, and Azure.

Microsoft tried and failed to compete against iPhones. However, its Cellular PC concept which enables Surface hybrid laptops to make phone calls should help it continue disrupting Mac sales.

Cloud Computing, Not Smartphone ComputingA complete retreat from Windows phones and Windows 10 Mobile will let Microsoft focus more on competing better against Amazon ( AMZN) Web Services. Microsoft is the clear leader in SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). However, Azure is still a far-second to Amazon when it comes to cloud computing infrastructure services.

The savings from killing the Lumia phone business and Windows 10 Mobile can go to improving Azure.

(Source: Synergy Research)

Abandoning Windows phones gives Microsoft more leeway to create new cloud computing services like its Coco Framework Enterprise Blockchain-as-a-Service. A stronger focus on cloud computing is very important for Microsoft. Synergy Research predicted last July that global revenue from cloud computing and SaaS will have a CAGR of 23-29% for the next five years. It will reach $200 billion by 2020.

Public IaaS/PaaS, where Amazon Web Services is the runaway leader (with 34% market share), is going to have the fastest CAGR at 29%.

ConclusionMSFT already touts an YTD gain of +21.40%, but I still rate it as a buy. My takeaway is that Nadella is weaning Microsoft away from its dependency on the Windows ecosystem. A Microsoft that can flourish without its dominant Windows operating system becomes a more resilient company.

(Source: Morningstar)

Microsoft doesn’t need its own mobile operating system, mobile app store, and its own brand of phones to benefit from the rise in smartphone usage.

Microsoft’s software products and services are now device agnostic and platform independent. Many Android/iOS device users will still be captured customers of Office 365. Let us also never forget that Microsoft will continue to reap patent licensing fees from Android device manufacturers.

The coming demise of Windows 10 Mobile is therefore just another painful lesson that made Microsoft smarter and stronger.

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From: Glenn Petersen10/14/2017 8:59:35 PM
   of 19156
Amazon and Microsoft are teaming up on A.I. -- without Google
  • The new Gluon code will make it easier for developers to use open-source artificial intelligence frameworks, including those that Amazon and Microsoft support.
  • Google, which open-sourced the popular TensorFlow AI framework, is not involved at this point.
Jordan Novet | @jordannovet
Published 1:55 PM ET Thu, 12 Oct 2017

Source: Microsoft
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at a company conference in London in November 2014.

For the second time in recent months, Amazon and Microsoft are teaming up in artificial intelligence, with Google on the sidelines for now.

On Thursday the two companies rolled out new tools that will make it easier for developers to use open-source artificial intelligence software. This follows the companies' move in August to let its virtual assistants Alexa and Cortana talk with each other as needed.

Getting into the technical weeds, developers can use Gluon, a Python-based application programming interface, to more easily work with MXNet, the AI framework backed by public cloud market leader Amazon Web Services. And in the near future Gluon will make it easier for developers to use the Cognitive Toolkit, the framework that Microsoft open-sourced in 2015. The two companies are publishing the specifications for Gluon so that other frameworks can adopt it, too.

Google is the elephant in the room here. Google open-sourced the TensorFlow AI framework in 2015, and it has since become very popular among researchers -- considerably more popular than the Cognitive Toolkit and MXNet:

Notably, Google is not among the companies promoting Gluon at this point. (Google declined to comment.) People who wish to use TensorFlow might find it easier to do that with a Google-backed Python API called Keras.

The announcement comes a few months after Apple introduced the Core ML software that's meant to help developers incorporate AI into iOS apps. Apple also released tools for converting models based on other frameworks into its Core ML format.

"We believe it is important for the industry to work together and pool resources to build technology that benefits the broader community," Eric Boyd, corporate vice president of Microsoft's AI and Research group, is quoted as saying in a statement. "This is why Microsoft has collaborated with AWS to create the Gluon interface and enable an open AI ecosystem where developers have freedom of choice."

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From: Glenn Petersen10/14/2017 9:05:15 PM
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Unlike Alphabet/Google or Amazon, almost all of Microsoft’s business lies in serving enterprise customers. It is the tech giant most focused on converting AI directly into revenue. “Our company’s identity is fundamentally about creating technology so that others can create more technology,” CEO Satya Nadella told Fast Company recently. “And it’s essential that it is being used for empowering more people.”

Artificial intelligence “is at the intersection of our ambitions,” Nadella told an audience of Microsoft partners in September 2016, suggesting that it will let the company “reason over large amounts of data and convert that into intelligence.” A few months later, Microsoft officially closed its $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, giving the company a large amount of data about employees, companies, and recruiting to reason over and try to make smarter.

In August, it debuted a real-time AI system for its enterprise cloud customers, which could help the company win business from companies who want to deploy such business initiatives as dynamic pricing and retail personalization. Microsoft’s mission to help companies in a wide range of industries to be more productive and effective means that it is the one company whose AI work is most keenly connected to its future prospects.

How Amazon, Google, Microsoft, And IBM Sell AI As A Service

Message 31303424

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From: Don Green10/17/2017 11:45:48 AM
   of 19156
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update: Top 10 New Features

The latest update to Microsoft's OS adds new app capabilities, sharing features, and helpful tweaks.

By Michael Muchmore
October 17, 2017

The latest version of Microsoft Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update, is upon us.

Well, that's not entirely true: Windows no longer really comes in full-stop updates;
it's delivered as a continually updating service. For example, several of the Fall Creators
features have been steadily making their way into Windows, like the video editing and Fluent Design aspects.

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From: Sr K10/19/2017 7:29:19 PM
   of 19156
October 19, 2017

Microsoft market cap hits $600 billion for first time since dot-com boom

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From: Sr K10/23/2017 10:25:40 PM
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U.S. Will Curb ‘Sneak-and-Peek’ Searches Microsoft Sued Over

By Dina Bass and Chris Strohm

October 23, 2017, 8:46 PM EDT Updated on October 23, 2017, 9:09 PM EDT

> Microsoft had sued Justice Department citing free-speech right

> New federal guidelines call for more selective use of practice

The U.S. Justice Department is moving to scale back the use of orders forcing technology companies to turn over customer data without alerting users to the clandestine interception of their information.

Microsoft Corp., which sued the government over the practice last year, and other internet giants have argued that the future of cloud computing is in jeopardy if customers can’t trust that their data will remain private. Microsoft declined to comment Monday on whether it will drop its lawsuit, which was backed by rivals including Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Inc.

The rapid growth of the cloud, in which customer data is stored by providers like Microsoft, Apple Inc., Amazon and Google in the technology companies’ own data centers, has increased the frequency of warrants seeking data.

Going forward, prosecutors must “conduct an individualized and meaningful assessment" of whether a secrecy order is needed, according to a memo issued by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. For internet users whose data is sought, the government shouldn’t delay notifying them for more than a year, except "barring exceptional circumstances," according to the memo. Microsoft argued in court that too many data requests carry secrecy provisions, often of indefinite duration, that violate the company’s free-speech rights.

The Justice Department said the changes will protect the rights of citizens and preserve companies’ relationships with their customers.

“This update further ensures that the department can protect the rights of citizens we serve, while allowing companies to maintain relationships with their customers by notifying those suspected of crimes, or believed to have information relevant to a crime, in a timely manner that information was obtained relating to their user accounts,” the department said in an emailed statement.

The dispute centered on the application of the Stored Communications Act, part of the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, a law that predates the advent of the World Wide Web. Microsoft contended that while some cases might require secrecy because disclosure could create a risk of harm or endanger the government’s case, the practice had become far too common.

Microsoft Can Pursue Suit Over U.S. Sneak-and-Peek Searches

In the 18 months before Microsoft sued in April 2016 in Seattle, the company said 2,756 of the legal demands it received from the U.S. government came with secrecy orders and two-thirds appeared to extend indefinitely. Microsoft defeated the government’s bid for dismissal of the suit in February, though the judge didn’t rule on the merits of the case.

Microsoft in September announced new cloud encryption technology that could offer an end-run around government secretive snooping by enabling customers to control access to content stored in Microsoft data centers.

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