Companies Should Stop Paying Microsoft

Here’s a list of companies that pay Microsoft for selling Android. As crazy as that may sound, these companies are willfully emptying their wallets as if Microsoft is holding a gun to their head. Velocity Micro, General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo Corporation, Wistron Corporation and HTC head the list of companies that are paying Microsoft for their Android products. In addition, Barnes & Noble, and Samsung are being sued by Microsoft on the same grounds that the Android OS infringes on Microsoft patents and companies who use the platform needs to pay up. Companies should really stop paying the Microsoft “tax” until the patent infringements can be proven in court. I don’t know exactly what these companies are thinking by letting Microsoft bully them into making deals. Let Microsoft sue Google, and let the courts decide the outcome. There’s no sense of paying Microsoft now for something that may not even materialize in the future. Crazy.

HTC pays Microsoft $5 for every Android phone

Something is definitely wrong with this picture. Microsoft gets $5 for every Android phone sold by HTC. Microsoft has been suing manufacturers that install Android on the devices they sell. The $5 fee Microsoft makes from HTC is based on the deal agreed upon by the two companies. No details were given as to what Microsoft patents were violated by the Android OS. Read the rest of the story.

IE9 Will Not Run on Windows XP

Microsoft has been pushing hard to get Windows users to adopt IE9. Interestingly enough, the target seems to be just half the audience. It’s similar to shooting at one half of the target. The main reason for this is that IE 9, will not work on Windows XP.

Considering that 54% of Windows users are still running Windows XP, it looks like Microsoft is quite limited as to where it can push IE9. Or could it be Microsoft’s way of forcing users to upgrade to Windows 7. But, it’s highly unlikely, because Windows XP users can easily download and run the Chrome and Firefox.

The interesting question is, will IE9 change the browser market share? Probably not. I see more and more people switching to tablets and smart phones to access the web. It’s an area where IE has very little presence. So, expect Firefox and Chrome use to continue to rise. It will be interesting to see how the browser market share will look like in a few years.

Why Microsoft Wants Windows 8 Soon

Why is Microsoft in such a hurry to release Windows 8? After all, Windows 7 is barely a year old. It has been 17 months, to be precise, since Windows 7 was released. Most of us still haven’t upgraded to Windows 7 yet. So, why is Microsoft in such a hurry to introduce yet another version of Windows?

The answer could be as simple as Microsoft wanting their hands on ARM-based devices. ARM processors run majority control of today’s smartphones and tablets. Microsoft is obviously playing catch up in the smartphone and tablet arena.

The main issue for Microsoft is that majority of Windows users are still running Windows XP. A whopping 54% still run Windows XP. The good news is that Windows 7 users has overtaken Windows Vista users since July 2010.

But, majority of Windows XP users are still deferring upgrades. Expect Windows 8 to be released first quarter of 2012.

Is Microsoft Feeling The Heat From OpenOffice?

Is Microsoft feeling the heat from OpenOffice? Microsoft just launched a video attacking OpenOffice. See video below. A very interesting tactic from Microsoft. The attacks revolved around higher support costs, interoperability issues, decreased performance and efficiency, and increased frustration. For a minute there, I thought they were talking about MS Office. Ha!

Here’s the video.

And why would Microsoft attack OpenOffice? I don’t think OpenOffice is a threat to Microsoft’s dominance. Not yet, anyways. Are they really worried about OpenOffice eating away their market share? And why would they acknowledge the competition and giving them credibility. Interesting tack.

Microsoft Security Essentials Update This Week

If you haven’t noticed, Microsoft pushed out the latest Microsoft Security Essentials this week. You can force the upgrade by opening up MSE and clicking on the Update button to download the latest version. The new MSE EULA allows companies to use up to 10 PCs. Read more from ZDNet.

Today, I installed MSE for a client. The system had a virus. I tried installing Norton 360 which the client purchased, but it would not complete the installation. I was able to remove 3 Trojan viruses using Malwarebytes and Microsoft Security Essentials and Ad-Aware. A loss for Norton.

I ended up telling the client to return Norton 360. Microsoft Security Essentials have been decent based on my experience.

Microsoft Introduces New Phones

Microsoft just unvieled several smartphones based on Windows 7 mobile phone operating sysyem. Three new phones will be available at AT&T on November 8 for  about $200. Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile will follow in 2011.

Microsoft latest entry in the highly competitive smartphone market with the Android, Blackberry and the iPhone already entrenched. Microsoft will have to rely on features to entice users to buy a Windows 7 based smartphone.

Integration of social networks, messaging and the Microsoft Xbox are standard as well a smartphone version of the Powerpoint presentation. The smartphones will also include Office Hub, which offers a free integration with Microsoft’s One Note software which shares documents online. In addition, AT&T customers will have Uverse TV service added.

In my opinion, I just don’t see Microsoft making any significant gains or dent in this competitive market. The new Microsoft smartphones just doesn’t have enough of anything to make people switch.

Even with Apple’s marketing and loyal fans, the iPhone manages to come third behind the Android and the Blackberry.

49 Microsoft Vulnerabilities

Microsoft plans to patch 49 vulnerabilities this coming Tuesday. Microsoft considers four of them to be critical. The patch covers fixes to Internet Explorer, MS Office, .NET, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. To date, this will be Microsoft biggest patch at one time.

Speaking of Microsoft, I’ve yet to take advantage of the latest Windows 7 Home Edition Family Pack for just $149. The latest release started October 2.  The family pack comes with 3 licenses. Share between two other friends and you can get a Windows 7 Home Edition for about $50. Good deal.

IE 9 Beta

Microsoft just released IE 9 Beta 1 which promises to be faster and standards compliant. We will see. But IE 9 has lots of competition from Chrome and Firefox these days. In order for IE 9 to stand out above its competition, it really needs to address security issues that has plague previous IE versions, as well as sticking with the tried and true industry standards.

In addition, IE 9 needs to keep up with speed improvements gained by Chrome and Firefox. For non-technical Windows users, IE 9 will most likely become their default browsers. However, most techies will most likely gravitate to a browser that gives them security, functionality and speed. That means usually either Firefox or Chrome.

Can IE 9 make a difference?