Microsofts Getting Cozier with Startups

Microsoft is making a move to be more startup friendly.

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Mico VentureThe Washington based software company introduced Microsoft Ventures, an umbrella company ideal for use by startup. It has various entrepreneurship resources, according to the official Microsoft blog. Microsoft is by no means a movie in working with startups.  Since 2008 Microsoft has provided more than 75,000 startups access to tools and resources through the BizSpark program. The new Ventures program will improve Microsofts mentorship, guidance, selling and funding. 

The  blog states “by unifying our various efforts, we will give entrepreneurs a single point of entry to engage with Microsoft. Startups have enough to worry about. We want to make access to us as intuitive and friction-free as possible.” Their goal is to focus locally on startups, with channels in several major cities. 




Microsoft Job Posting Hints At New Xbox Release?

Rumors of the XBOX 720 are heating up, especially since a leaked document (56-pages  long) was leaked back in June.  And now there has been another log added to the fire, this time in the form of a job posting which references possibly a new XBOX product release.

According to CNET:

The software giant last night posted a job listing on its Web site seeking a marketing professional. In that posting — which now appears to be taken down — the company said that “over the next 18 months, Microsoft will release new versions of all of our most significant products including Windows (Client, Server, Phone and Azure), Office and Xbox, along with completely new offerings like Microsoft Surface.”

Rumors have been swirling for years that Microsoft would launch its next Xbox — sometimes called the Xbox 720 by the rumor mill – in 2013 or 2014. Microsoft’s posting doesn’t indicate which year it’ll launch the device — within 18 months from now can extend into the beginning of 2014, after all — but it does seem to acknowledge that the wait will soon be over.

This obviously doesn’t mean anything concrete, but it is fun to see a company try and keep their workings private…. and fail.

Microsoft Reports First Loss In In Their 26 Years On The Market… Not To Worry

Don’t freak out just yet, this was expected.  Microsoft today reported a loss during their earnings call, which was the first loss in their 26 years on the market.The reasoning comes from  taking a $6.19 billion write-down on its 2007 acquisition of aQuantive.

According to Mashable:

Total losses for the quarter amounted to $492 million, or $0.06 per share — a far cry from the $5.9 billion in revenue, or $0.69 per share, the company reported for the same period a year ago.

Still, it wasn’t all bad: Revenue increased 4% year-over-year to $18.06 billion. That figure might have been higher, if declining PC sales weren’t damaging sales of Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The Windows & Windows Live Division reported a 13% decline in revenue for the fourth quarter and 3% for the full year. The Entertainment and Devices Division saw the biggest growth: Revenue there grew 20% for the fourth quarter and 8% for the full year.

It is a fun headline for folks to write, but the white flag is nowhere close to being waved from Microsoft.

Leaked Document Shows Plans for XBOX 720

A leaked 56 page Microsoft document (that has since been removed from Scribd by MSFT lawyers) shows plans for an XBOX 720 console shipping in 2013 for $299.

The document, apparently from summer of 2010, shows plans for a console who’s objective is to be the center of the living room – leaving zero need for other devices. Some of the features include: support for Blu-ray, 3D glasses, TV recording, complete Windows 8 integration.

The document also lays plans for Kinect 2:

“In Kinect v2 we can continue to go beyond controllers and offer peripherals and accessories that heighten game immersion,”

as well as a project called Kinect Glasses:

“breakthrough heads up and hands-free device…”

(via The Verge)


Microsoft Announces 35 New Video Content Partnerships For Xbox 360

Microsoft’s E3 2012 keynote led to a fairly robust announcement regarding the content people can watch on their XBOX 360. Microsoft is now adding 35 new content providers for the Xbox 360. Some of the content providers are Machinima, Slacker, Nickelodeon, Paramount and Univision. What is REALLY compelling is the sports side of the content. The NBA and NHL will now be streamed live (TBD on what exactly but we assume it is like the current MLB deal) and the ESPN app is getting a makeover. Watch ESPN, will provide 24/7 live video that includes sports from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU.


E3: Day 1

E3 2012 is here. Taking over the Los Angeles Convention Center this week, all major developers and publishers are on site promoting their biggest games and product announcements.  This is the week for gaming and gamers alike.

Day 1 is in the books, with pre-show conferences wrapped up for Microsoft, Sony, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Nintendo. Some notes from the show below.


Nintendo: Watch their Pre-E3 video here.

  • The Wii U controller is officially called GamePad. It has an updated controller set (2 analog sticks and new button config), NFC, infrared to control TVs / set-top boxes.
  • A secondary controller, the Pro Controller, is coming as well. Looks like an Xbox controller.
  • Miiverse social network works across the Wii U GamePad, 3Ds, PCa and any web-enabled mobile device. You can communicate with other players in real-time using the Game Pad, send text messages, drawings and images, and share screen shots from in-game. Additionally, you can post messages in-game for other players to see.

Sony: Check out the Sony E3 site for related videos, images and blogs.

  • PlayStation Suite is now PlayStation Mobile. Sony will be working with HTC to develop PlayStation Mobile certified phones.
  • Heavy Rain follow up Beyond Two Souls coming from Quantic Dreams.
  • PlayStation All-Stars landing on Vita, in addition to PS3, both will have cross play, letting 4 players play across both devices.
  • PlayStation Plus, Sony’s add-on subscription service, is getting more titles including: Infamous 2, Saints Row 2, and Little Big Planet 2.
  • Hulu Plus and Crackle apps are coming to the PS Vita. U.S. only.
  • PSOne Classics, the program that lets Vita owners download or transfer titles, is coming to the Vita store this summer.
  • New DLC coming for LittleBigPlanet 2 will let you play it on Vita.
  • COD: Black Ops Declassified and Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation coming to Vita.
  • Sony and Wonderbook launching new platform for experiential books. Harry Potter / Pottermore are on board.

Microsoft: Check out the Microsoft E3 site for related videos, images and blogs.

  • Extended look at Halo 4 here.
  • Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Dance Central 3 and LocoCycle announced.
  • Updated Bing voice search coming to Xbox.
  • Tomb Raider and COD: Black Ops 2 DLC will be available on 360 before PS3.
  • IE is coming to the 360 this fall. IE for Xbox is built in the web hub of the 360, and works from the SmartGlass service to let you surf the web. What is Smart Glass?
  • SmartGlass is an app for Windows 8, tablets, and iOS/Android/Windows mobile that lets you view and interact with content for games and video on your console. It functions as a remote control, to control what’s being played on your 360, as well, it lets you watch media between SmartGlass devices. Additionally, it’s a second screen which will provide expanded content for whatever is playing on your 360.
  • Nike+ Kinect Traning announced. It ties your FuelBand and Kinect, has an in-game training element, and lets you work out with/compete against friends.
  • Xbox music Service coming to Xbox, Windows Phone and Windows 8. Possibly other non-MS devices too.
  • 35 new apps coming to the 360, including Paramount, Nickelodeon, Machinima, WatchESPN, NHL Game Center app and NBA Game Time.
  • Forza Horizon coming Oct 23, 2012

EA: Check out the EA E3 site for related videos, images and blogs.

  • EA SPORTS is getting back in the ring with a multi-game partnership with UFC.
  • New Infinity Engine debuted for Madden NFL 13. As well, Connected Careers mode.
  • Crysis 3 slated for Feb 2013.
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted coming Oct 20, 2012.
  • Medal of Honor: Warfighter coming Oct 23, 2012.
  • Battlefield 3 Premium is confirmed. Costs $50, gets you access to five Battlefield 3 DLC packs, with two weeks of early access Also, unique camo, weapons and tags for Premium users.
  • Old news, Dead Space 3 will have drop-in/drop-out co-op.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic goes free to play up to level 15.
  • Sim City Social coming to Facebook later this month.

Ubisoft: Check out the Ubisoft E3 site for related videos, images and blogs.

  • Just Dance 4 coming to the Wii U for the holiday season.
  • ZombieU is an exclusive coming to Wii U… about zombies.
  • Fry Cry 3, Assassin’s Creed III and Watch Dogs footage shown.