Latest Microsoft News

  • Chinese e-commerce company Baozun files for U.S. IPO 22 hours ago

    (Reuters) - Chinese e-commerce company Baozun Inc filed with U.S. regulators for an initial public offering of American Depository Shares, becoming the second e-commerce firm from the country that has filed to list in the United States this year. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and BofA Merrill Lynch are underwriting the IPO, the company said in a preliminary prospectus filed with the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. Baozun had about 20 percent market share by transaction value in 2014 in China, according to iResearch Consulting Group, a Chinese Internet research firm. More »

  • Google's EU showdown offers openings to competitors
    Google's EU showdown offers openings to competitors Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Whether or not the EU succeeds in branding Google a market-abusing monopolist in web search - a big if, given that the competition authority has yet to publish its exact charges - the Internet giant could be pinned down for years to come in regulatory procedures and legal appeals. A drawn-out process is likely to embolden existing and would-be interlopers to step up assaults on Google's wide range of businesses, if the history of Microsoft's antitrust battles with U.S. and European regulators is any guide. In accusing Google of anti-competitive practices against rival shopping sites, the EU competition authority said it is continuing to investigate other areas, including alleged "web scraping" to copy content off of rival travel and local business review sites, and Google's restrictive practices on advertising. A quick EU finding that Google has abused its market power by favouring its own shopping services at the expense of non-Google websites, could set a precedent for new charges over how it handles hotels, flights and other services, experts say. More »

  • 'Star Wars: Battlefront' unleashed at fan convention
    'Star Wars: Battlefront' unleashed at fan convention Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    The Force isn't merely awakening on the big screen. It's also returning to the video game realm. "Star Wars: Battlefront" publisher Electronic Arts and Swedish developer DICE showcased their ... More »

  • EU telecoms reform to address competition from WhatsApp, Skype
    EU telecoms reform to address competition from WhatsApp, Skype Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission will take into account increased competition from cable operators and alternative services such as WhatsApp when it overhauls Europe's telecoms rules next year, a move that will be cheered by the telecoms industry. A draft seen by Reuters of the Commission's strategy for creating a digital single market says telecom operators compete with "over-the-top" services "without being subject to the same regulatory regime". The bloc's telecom firms such as Orange and Deutsche Telekom have long called for lighter-touch regulation, after years of declining revenues and competition from new entrants, to enable them to invest in network upgrades. Telecom companies point to increased competition from services such as Skype (owned by Microsoft) and online messaging as a reason for easing the regulatory burden. More »

  • EU to investigate transparency of Internet search results - document
    EU to investigate transparency of Internet search results - document Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Internet platforms such as Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! will be the subject of a widespread inquiry by European regulators to determine whether they are transparent enough in how they display search results. In a draft of the Commission's strategy for creating a digital single market, seen by Reuters, it says it will "carry out a comprehensive investigation and consultation on the role of platforms, including the growth of the sharing economy." The investigation, expected to be carried out next year, will look into the transparency of search results - involving paid for links and advertisements - and how platforms use the information they acquire. European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip is expected to formally announce the new strategy on May 6. The transparency of search results came under particular scrutiny this week when the European competition chief accused Google of cheating competitors by distorting web search results to consistently favour its own shopping service. More »

  • Microsoft unveils touch-friendly Office apps for Windows phones
    Microsoft unveils touch-friendly Office apps for Windows phones Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Microsoft Corp on Friday unveiled a long-awaited suite of touch-friendly Office apps that allow Windows phone users to work on Word, PowerPoint and Excel documents on their phones with touch commands and to transfer them easily between devices. Test versions of what Microsoft is calling its Office Universal apps are available to download immediately and full versions will be available by the end of the month, Microsoft said. Many Office users have waited months for Microsoft to introduce the apps, which adapt their look and commands to the device being used, whether Windows Phone or tablet. Microsoft, in a departure from tradition, has already released similar touch-friendly Office apps for Apple Inc's iPad and iPhone, and for tablets running Google Inc's Android. More »

  • Yahoo chooses to stay with Microsoft in updated search deal
    Yahoo chooses to stay with Microsoft in updated search deal Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Yahoo and Microsoft will keep working together on Internet search, but Yahoo is getting more control over the how the search results are presented. An agreement announced Thursday extends a search partnership ... More »

  • EU eager to finalize probe into Google 'market abuse'
    EU eager to finalize probe into Google 'market abuse' Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    The EU formally charged Google with abusing its search engine dominance and launched a probe into its omnipresent Android mobile phone operating system More »

  • Obama recognizes people looking out for working families
    Obama recognizes people looking out for working families Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has recognized a dozen people who he says have done extraordinary things to help working families. More »

  • EU says eager to 'finalize' probe into Google market abuse
    EU says eager to 'finalize' probe into Google market abuse Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    The EU formally charged Google with abusing its search engine dominance and launched a probe into its omnipresent Android mobile phone operating system More »

  • Microsoft and Yahoo amend search deal
    Microsoft and Yahoo amend search deal Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    REUTERS - Microsoft Corp and Yahoo Inc amended a 2009 search partnership, giving Yahoo more control over how search results are displayed on desktops and mobile devices. The 10-year search partnership, crafted by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, allowed the companies to amend or terminate it after five years. Last month, the companies extended by 30 days the deadline to renegotiate the deal. Earlier, Microsoft controlled how Bing displayed search results on Yahoo websites accessed on PCs. ... More »

  • Google antitrust: EU says favourable treatment of shopping services hurts c …
    Google antitrust: EU says favourable treatment of shopping services hurts c … Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    The European Union Competition Commissioner accused Google on 16 April of cheating consumers and competitors by distorting Web search results to favour its own shopping service, after a five-year investigation that could change the rules for business online. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the US company, which dominates Internet search engine markets worldwide, had been sent a Statement of Objections - effectively a charge sheet - to which it has 10 weeks to respond. "The preferential treatment by Google in its general search of one of Google's own products, the shopping comparison service, also known as Google Shopping - what we see is that this favourable treatment over its shopping services constitutes an abuse under EU competition law," Vestager told reporters in a high-profile visit to the United States. More »

  • Five Cheaper Alternatives to Apple Watch Which Do The Same Things
    Five Cheaper Alternatives to Apple Watch Which Do The Same Things Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    Apple Watch is pretty steep at £300 for the cheapest model - but can you get the same functions for less? More »

  • China's first lady 'enchants' world media: Beijing study
    China's first lady 'enchants' world media: Beijing study Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    A Chinese academic study hailed the role of the country's first lady in public diplomacy, reports said Thursday, the latest sign of Beijing's hunger for soft power on the global stage. More »

  • EU accuses Google of hurting consumers, competitors in Web search case
    EU accuses Google of hurting consumers, competitors in Web search case Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    By Alastair Macdonald and Julia Fioretti BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union accused Google Inc on Wednesday of cheating consumers and competitors by distorting Web search results to favour its own shopping service, after a five-year investigation that could change the rules for business online. It also started another antitrust investigation into the Android mobile operating system, a key element in Google's strategy to maintain revenues from online advertising as people switch from Web browser searches to smartphone apps. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the U.S. company, which dominates Internet search engine markets worldwide, had been sent a Statement of Objections - effectively a charge sheet - to which it has 10 weeks to respond. Investigations into Google's business practices in other areas would continue. More »

  • Sterling's companion done in by her own words, recordings
    Sterling's companion done in by her own words, recordings Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    The recordings that Donald Sterling's companion made of his off-color remarks cost him ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers and cost her the benefits of a sugar daddy. A judge ruled that V. Stiviano must ... More »

  • Microsoft quietly content as EU moves on Google
    Microsoft quietly content as EU moves on Google Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    By Bill Rigby SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp emanated an air of quiet satisfaction on Wednesday as European antitrust regulators readied charges against rival Google Inc for abusing its monopoly power in the online search business. The software giant, one of the leading complainants against Google in the EU, has been pushing for closer regulatory scrutiny on its online rival for years both in public and behind the scenes. Long-time staffers at Microsoft, still scarred from its own battles with U.S. and European regulators over the last two decades, did not express sympathy for Google facing a similar process. "They have to go through what they have to go through," said one Microsoft general manager, who was closely involved in the company's public relations at the time of Microsoft's antitrust trial against the U.S. Department of Justice, which started in late 1998 and dragged on until early 2000. More »

  • EU alleges Google's abuses hurt consumers, innovation
    EU alleges Google's abuses hurt consumers, innovation Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    The European Union's escalating legal attack on Google is likely to ignite a debate about whether the Internet search leader makes life more convenient for consumers or abuses its power to squeeze out ... More »

  • Past EU antitrust probes show Google stock may languish Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    The European Union launched an antitrust probe on Wednesday into Google Inc's Android system, and if recent history is any indicator, the shares of the Internet services company might have trouble until the issue is resolved. Intel Corp fell about 35 percent during an EU investigation between July 2007 and May 2009. The EU initiated three investigations into Microsoft Corp between 2008 and 2013. The first two were resolved without a fine, but over the period of the third investigation, which was resolved with a fine, the stock fell about 5 percent. More »

  • Google rivals urge U.S. Justice Department to probe Android - sources
    Google rivals urge U.S. Justice Department to probe Android - sources Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    By Diane Bartz and Dan Levine WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc competitors are pushing U.S. antitrust enforcers to investigate allegations the Internet services company unfairly uses its Android system to win online advertising, two people with knowledge of the matter said. A small number of technology companies have complained to the Department of Justice that the Android mobile operating system is anti-competitive, said the sources, who declined to be named to protect business relationships. Google reached a settlement in 2013 with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over Web search allegations. The meetings between Google critics and regulators predate Wednesday's announcement by the European Union after a five-year probe that Google distorted Web search results to favour its own shopping service. More »

  • Oil rally helps lift US stocks
    Oil rally helps lift US stocks Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    A rally in petroleum-linked equities helped lift US stocks following mixed earnings and economic data More »

  • Europeans Use Google Way, Way More Than Americans Do
    Europeans Use Google Way, Way More Than Americans Do Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    It sure seems like Europe isn’t fond of Google. On Tuesday, the European Union’s antitrust commissioner formally charged the company with monopolistic behavior, alleging that it gives Google products a more favorable position in search results and prioritizes them in its Android operating system. In most EU member countries, Google controls more than 90 percent of the search market. Sometimes, it controls much more: In Belgium, Germany, and Finland, it can claim more than 97 percent of all search engine use, according to a 2010 report by marketing research firm PTG Media. More »

  • Nokia buys Alcatel to take on Ericsson in telecom equipment
    Nokia buys Alcatel to take on Ericsson in telecom equipment Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    By Jussi Rosendahl and Leila Abboud HELSINKI/PARIS (Reuters) - Nokia is to buy Alcatel-Lucent in an all-share deal that values its smaller French rival at 15.6 billion euros ($16.6 billion), building up its telecom equipment business to compete with market leader Ericsson . With about 114,000 employees and sales of around 26 billion euros, the combined company will rank a strong second in mobile equipment, with global market share of 35 percent, behind Ericsson at 40 percent and ahead of Huawei's 20 percent, according to Bernstein Research. The new Nokia will have stronger exposure to the important North American market, with major AT&T and Verizon contracts. It will also fill gaps in its product portfolio with Alcatel-Lucent's technology in optical transmission and Internet routers, which help telecom operators handle the ever-increasing volume of data brought on by users surfing the web on their smartphones and watching Netflix at home. More »

  • Google faces fight or flight choice against EU regulators
    Google faces fight or flight choice against EU regulators Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    Google could try to drag out its antitrust battle with the EU in the hope that fast-moving technologies render any enforced changes in its business practices meaningless by the time they are imposed, legal experts said. The Californian-based firm believes it has a strong case and, according to one source familiar with Google's thinking on the matter, is not afraid to go to court if new European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager rejects possible compromises, as her predecessor did on three occasions, most recently last year. "We will talk to the Commission," the source told Reuters. "It will take some time ... We will offer something, discuss with the Commission and we will see." In recent years, a dozen European and U.S. companies have protested to the European Union about how their shopping sites are ranked in Google search results. More »

  • EU charges seen unlikely to hurt Google valuation
    EU charges seen unlikely to hurt Google valuation Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    The European Union's charges against Google Inc for distorting Web search results to favour its own shopping service are unlikely to hurt the company's valuation, analysts said. The charges, which come after a five-year investigation, could lead to a fine of up to 10 percent of Google's annual sales, or about 6.2 billion euros ($6.6 billion). If Google were to stop the practices immediately, the impact on revenue trajectory over the next 12-18 months would be minimal, Bernstein analyst Carlos Kirjner said in a note. Wells Fargo analyst Peter Stabler said the release of a formal objection was not surprising, given settlement talks had collapsed last year. More »

  • A Transcontinental Culture War Could Cost Google Billions
    A Transcontinental Culture War Could Cost Google Billions Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    The tech giant's competitors charge that Google is using that to its own advantage, steering traffic to its own products and services. They complain that since Google's search is so wildly popular, they're being cheated, and they've convinced European regulators that this is a problem. On Wednesday, the European Union issued Google a Statement of Objection, basically a charge sheet, accusing the company of steering customers to its own shopping services through its dominance of search traffic. If Google fails to rebut any of the charges, it could be fined as much as $6.6 billion dollars (though most analysts doubt any settlement would be that large) or be forced to change the way it does business—a potentially more costly change. More »

  • Buying a Paris to Berlin ticket: what Google really offers
    Buying a Paris to Berlin ticket: what Google really offers Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    When typing "airline ticket Paris Berlin" into Google's search engine, search results are ranked by Google -- something for which it is now being pursued by the EU for abusing its market power... More »

  • Bulge bracket and boutique share fee bonanza for Nokia Alcatel deal Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    By Anjuli Davies LONDON (Reuters) - A Wall Street giant and a two-man advisory boutique are to share up to $67 million in fees for working on the 15.5 billion euro ($16.6 billion/11.2 billion pound) tie-up between Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, according to estimates from Thomson Reuters and Freeman Consulting. JPMorgan was sole adviser to Nokia on the deal which will reshape the telecom equipment sector and could hand the U.S. bank between $24 million and $32 million in advisory fees, according to preliminary estimates. On the other side of the table sat Zaoui & Co, an advisory firm set up by two investment banking brothers, who were called in to help negotiate for Alcatel-Lucent and could earn between $26 million and $35 million for their work. BG was advised by Goldman Sachs and advisory boutique Robey Warshaw LLP. More »

  • Mining, utilities sink U.S. industrial production
    Mining, utilities sink U.S. industrial production Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. industrial output posted its biggest drop in more than 2-1/2 years in March in part as oil and gas well drilling plummeted, highlighting the negative impact of lower crude prices and a strong dollar on the economy. The dour report from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday was the latest sign that growth slowed sharply in the first quarter and suggested the U.S. central bank could delay raising interest rates until later this year. The absence of a lift in the other forward-looking indicators suggests that the U.S. economic recovery is struggling to regain any traction," said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York. Industrial production fell 0.6 percent after edging up 0.1 percent in February, the Fed said. More »

  • Nokia agrees 15.6-bn-euro deal to buy Alcatel-Lucent
    Nokia agrees 15.6-bn-euro deal to buy Alcatel-Lucent Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    Nokia's purchase of Alcatel-Lucent has created the world's biggest supplier of mobile phone equipment More »

  • Nokia aims to become networks giant with Alcatel-Lucent deal
    Nokia aims to become networks giant with Alcatel-Lucent deal Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    Nokia will buy ailing French telecom company Alcatel-Lucent for around 15.6 billion euros ($16.5 billion) through a public exchange of shares in France and the United States, in a bid to become a leading ... More »

  • EU raises stakes in Google battle with antitrust charges
    EU raises stakes in Google battle with antitrust charges Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    The European Union has charged Google with abusing its dominance in Internet searches and opened a probe into its Android mobile system, massively raising the stakes in its five-year antitrust battle with ... More »

  • EU action on Google marks divergence with Washington
    EU action on Google marks divergence with Washington Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    Google could be fined more than $6 bn after the EU charged the firm with abusing its dominant market position More »

  • EU charges Google with market abuse, to probe Android
    EU charges Google with market abuse, to probe Android Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    The EU formally charged US Internet giant Google with abusing its search engine's dominance More »

  • Research or relaxation? Why Bill Gates was in the Philippines this week Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    A big part of that vision involves technology’s role in ending poverty and hunger – so it should come as no surprise that, just as Microsoft celebrated its 40th anniversary April 4, the tech giant’s co-founder and his philanthropy team took a quiet trip to the Philippines to drop in on the world’s leading center for better rice. Senior officers with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spent several days touring the facilities and getting briefed on the latest projects at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) at the University of Los Banos in northern Philippines. Agricultural development is among the largest initiatives of the Gates Foundation, which has to date committed more than $2 billion to the effort. A large chunk of that funding goes toward improving rice, a staple food for more than half the world’s population, including the Philippines, and “the single largest source of employment and income for rural people,” according to a 2010 Oxfam report. More »