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  1.    #1  
    Intel should be afraid -- very afraid.

    M$ seems to be seeing the trends going toward highly efficient, low power ARM type processors -- a niche Windows has been entirely excluded from.

    Nonetheless I would be deeply skeptical that they are capable of making a Windows based OS that could be light cheap and desirable enough to be competitive with the iPad -- and that OEMs will want to pay for.


    Microsoft Grabs Hold of ARM
    By ASHLEE VANCE NY Times
    July 23, 2010

    Microsoft ...on Friday announced a new, improved and extended tie-up with ARM...

    ...through this new licensing agreement, Microsoft will enjoy “closer access” to ARM’s technology and “be able to enhance our research and development activities for ARM-based products,” ...

    Microsoft’s software is typically found on x86 chips from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices that run inside of PCs and computer servers. Meanwhile, companies like Qualcomm, Samsung, Marvell and Nvidia produce their own takes on ARM designs for phones and mobile devices. In addition, ARM chips sit inside of cars, printers and other things that need small, low-power brains. ...

    Longtime Microsoft watcher Mary-Jo Foley has revived the notion of a proper version of Windows coming to ARM. That would mean consumers could see more slates, laptops and appliances running Windows.

    It has long been rumored that Microsoft has a full-blown version of Windows for ARM chips ready in its lab.

    Ms. Foley, however, adds an even more intriguing note.

    Microsoft has secured a license from ARM that would let it mess around with very low-level chip functions. In short, it sounds like Microsoft could make its own take on an ARM should the company desire.

    With an ARM chip in hand, Microsoft could make a standout phone, game console, slate – you name it.

    Apple has been heading in this direction through its acquisition of chip engineers and ARM specialists.

    Making a chip costs a lot of money and would buck Microsoft’s historical tendency to rely on Intel and others for silicon. But maybe, just maybe, Microsoft feels it needs to do something drastic to catch up in the entertainment and devices world.



    "...How can Intel, which makes chips rather than cellphones, use talents like Bell's? The company has long faced a big disadvantage in getting its technology into user's pockets, largely because its chips draw more power than those of companies that license designs from ARM Holdings. Intel is gradually closing that gap, but even assuming they achieved parity the company will have to convince software developers, hardware makers and ultimately consumers that there are real differentiating factors to justify a technology switch..."


    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post

    The iPad is a disruptive technology from the POV of not just the OEMs, but of Intel and M$ too.

    But I don't think OEMs need be as discombobulated by the iPad as they likely are.

    Accelerometer equipped "Lap Slates" with high quality switchable screens, keyboards (??), USB ports, camera, GPS, multitasking, cardreader, and a mediacentric non-Windows OS could become competitive -- especially if bootstrapped from the existing Android ecosystem.

    I know I don't want a gizmo that I have to hold, that doesn't have USB ports, has limited storage, doesn't have a keyboard, doesn't have flash, or the freedom to install what applications and media I might prefer.

    Intel ought feel especially threatened by the iPad. They've already lost out to ARM based CPUs in mobile phones -- they now risk being displaced in the mobile computing space as well.

    This should motivate them to build chips that can surpass the ipad's efficiency and low power consumption, and yet handle media and applications with as much grace --while being inexpensive to OEMs. Perhaps thats what they intend to do, but all of heard of are plans for more efficient versions of the Atom.

    I think M$ is for a variety of reasons, unlikely to produce any version of an OS that can serve this niche. Too encumbered by legacy code, too expensive, and too dependent on powerful hardware -- all these things and others work against them in this market.


    But I don't think netbooks are dead as a category -- Intel and M$ just need to allow much better hardware to be used (end the crazy artificial limits so OEMS can creatively differentiate themselves), and M$ needs to charge less for a more efficient, less demanding Windows version.
    Last edited by BARYE; 07/25/2010 at 11:17 AM.
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  2. #2  
    I agree. When the Stock Market reacts this strongly to the news... that should care any company
    ARM Surges After Microsoft Accord Signals It May Replace Intel in Tablets - Bloomberg

    Arm Holdings surged 12% on the news...
  3.    #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by clutch1222 View Post
    I agree. When the Stock Market reacts this strongly to the news... that should care any company
    ARM Surges After Microsoft Accord Signals It May Replace Intel in Tablets - Bloomberg

    Arm Holdings surged 12% on the news...
    Yup -- if the disruptive effect of both ARM and the iPad are insufficiently appreciated here and at Intel, it seems that perhaps at least M$ has begun to understand.

    Nevertheless I remain very skeptical that M$ can produce any mobile version of Windows sufficiently desirable that it would capture significant share in either the slate or phone arenas. (especially as WP7 is currently configured).

    A couple of months ago in another forum we discussed ARM and the possibility of it being bought by Apple -- and the implications for Intel.

    I know Intel is trying to develop more efficient chip designs (Moorestown) to compete w/ARM -- but it seems likely that ARM will continue to innovate and and improve at a faster rate than Intel can develop.

    Intel is further at risk of ARM's encroachment in CPUs employed in server farmers -- where power efficiency and heat are major concerns.

    Again: Intel be afraid -- be very afraid ...





    ARM shares soar on Apple bid rumors

    By David Goldman, CNN staff writer
    June 10, 2010

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Shares of ARM Holdings rose sharply Thursday on renewed speculation that Apple would bid for the mobile phone chip designer, according to a news report.

    ARM's (ARMH) stock rose more than 9% Thursday in early trading on the Nasdaq. Overseas, the stock rose 7%, but soared as much as 30.7% on the London Stock Exchange before losing much of those gains. A Reuters report
    said traders were buying up the stock on market rumors of possible takeover
    interest from Apple.
    Last edited by BARYE; 07/25/2010 at 03:34 PM.
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  4.    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post

    Intel should be afraid -- very afraid.
    for those unaware of the reference, Andy Grove wrote about his leadership of Intel in a book titled: "Only the Paranoid Survive"

    It documents his management philosophy -- and his focus on surviving and thriving at critical "inflection points" in computing, business, and life.

    ARM represents a critical "inflection point" for Intel right now -- something I have no doubt Andy Grove would have understood. I don't though, see evidence that Intel's current management is sufficiently alarmed at the prospective peril ARM represents.



    Andy Grove, from his preface:

    ...I'm often credited with the motto, "Only the paranoid survive." ...Business success contains [within it] the seeds of its own destruction. The more successful you are, the more people want a chunk of your business and then another chunk and then another until there is nothing left.

    ...an inflection point is a time in the life of a business when its fundamentals are about to change. That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.


    Strategic inflection points can be caused by technological change but they are more than technological change. They can be caused by competitors but they are more than just competition. They are full-scale changes in the way business is conducted, so that simply adopting new technology or fighting the competition as you used to may be insufficient. They build up force so insidiously that you may have a hard time even putting a finger on what has changed, yet you know that something has. Let's not mince words: A strategic inflection point can be deadly when unattended to. Companies that begin a decline as a result of its changes rarely recover their previous greatness.

    ...When the way business is being conducted changes, it creates opportunities for players who are adept at operating in the new way...

    ...Long distances used to be a moat that both insulated and isolated people from workers on the other side of the world. But every day, technology narrows that moat inch by inch. Every person in the world is on the verge of becoming both a coworker and a competitor to every one of us, much the same as our colleagues down the hall of the same office building are...
    Last edited by BARYE; 07/27/2010 at 10:48 AM.
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  5. tirk's Avatar
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    Microsoft has secured a license from ARM that would let it mess around with very low-level chip functions. In short, it sounds like Microsoft could make its own take on an ARM should the company desire.
    Isn't this precisely what Apple did with the A4?

    I remain dubious that MS is agile enough to control it's own future. What it's done again and agian over the last 10 years is react to others and use it's financial muscle to not fall behind, the tried and trusted IBM method. What they've not done is move further ahead, as a reactive business model really doesn't give you that ability.

    Be interesting if you're right and I'm wrong though!
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    #6  
    Hang on a minute! This could affect things!!

    This could be just what MS needs....
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  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by tirk View Post
    Isn't this precisely what Apple did with the A4?

    I remain dubious that MS is agile enough to control it's own future. What it's done again and agian over the last 10 years is react to others and use it's financial muscle to not fall behind, the tried and trusted IBM method. What they've not done is move further ahead, as a reactive business model really doesn't give you that ability.

    Be interesting if you're right and I'm wrong though!
    I think there is a new philosophy behind MS...at least seeing in recent years.

    People like to call the Zune divions a copy of iTunes/iPod but if you've used either you know its not trying to copy it at all but be its own thing.

    Same with WinMo 7.

    Xbox has also went from "lets just get into the gaming business quick" to what it is now which is focused on community and LIVE features.

    Hell Windows 7 and Office 2010 are also great steps forward.
  8.    #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by tirk View Post
    Isn't this precisely what Apple did with the A4?

    I remain dubious that MS is agile enough to control it's own future. What it's done again and agian over the last 10 years is react to others and use it's financial muscle to not fall behind, the tried and trusted IBM method. What they've not done is move further ahead, as a reactive business model really doesn't give you that ability.

    Be interesting if you're right and I'm wrong though!
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post

    ...M$ seems to be seeing the trends going toward highly efficient, low power ARM type processors -- a niche Windows has been entirely excluded from.

    Nonetheless I would be deeply skeptical that they are capable of making a Windows based OS that could be light cheap and desirable enough to be competitive with the iPad -- and that OEMs will want to pay for...
    We are in almost complete agreement -- I see no basis to believe that M$ is agile enough to leverage its ARM license like Apple did -- though that's likely the model they're attempting to emulate.

    Nearly everything M$ does is from the perspective of protecting its Windows cash cow -- a POV that is a burden in the mobile arena.

    Though Windows might have some core value for businesses adopting slate like devices for corporate uses, the iPad has shown that its not important for "media" consumers.

    M$ continues to develop a separate version of Windows (the monstrously entitled: "Windows Embedded") for slates, alongside its I think doomed WP7. In contrast Apple leveraged its existing iPhone iOS, developers, and Apps for the iPad -- expanding the iOS ecosystem, which was not only cheaper and simpler for Apple, it also took advantage of existing developer awareness and skills.
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  9.    #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by tirk View Post
    Hang on a minute! This could affect things!!

    This could be just what MS needs....
    I also heard this, in a different article -- an article that also detailed how incredibly hard it would be to force Ballmer out given the stock distribution, board makeup etc.
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  10.    #10  
    Though both MSFT and INTC both reported gigantic earnings recently, the stock prices of both are either flat or down.

    This is large part because stock investors are agreeing with my argument regarding them both being on the wrong side of the mobile future.

    The following article is from an investment newsletter, an article focused on M$.

    Though it does not directly address Intel, its clear that the article's implications are consistent with the concerns I've several times voiced regarding Intel:


    Microsoft Better Have Big Plans for ARM

    By Eric Jhonsa
    July 26, 2010

    Is Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) finally starting to get it when it comes to portable and mobile devices? For the first time in a long time, there are reasons to be encouraged...

    ...And now we have news that Microsoft has acquired a license from ARM Holdings (Nasdaq: ARMH), whose processor cores go into the chips that power most of the world's cell phones, as well as billions of other devices. What's more, Microsoft's ARM license isn't a conventional one, which involves the right to use microprocessor cores that ARM's already developed, but rather a more costly "microarchitecture" license that lets Microsoft develop its own processor cores based on ARM's technology.

    Thus far, ARM's only given out a handful of microarchitecture licenses
    , with some prominent names being Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM), which designed its own ARM cores for the Snapdragon chips often found in high-end Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android phones, and Marvell Technology (Nasdaq: MRVL), whose application processors are based on proprietary ARM cores. And interestingly enough, another microarchitecture licensee is Samsung, the manufacturer of the energy-efficient Apple A4 chip (features a modified ARM Cortex-A8 core) that goes into the iPad and iPhone 4.

    Countering the iPhone and iPad

    The bottom line is that you don't get an ARM microarchitecture license unless you have some major plans for it. And this would sure be a good time for Microsoft to have some big plans for creating low-power ARM chips. Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL) proprietary A4 is a key reason why the iPhone 4's battery life is superior to that of any high-end Android phone -- and will likely be better than that of the first phones based on Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 operating system. A custom ARM core might be what's needed for Microsoft to stay competitive on the battery-life front.

    But a bigger concern for Microsoft, without a doubt, has to be how much thinner, lighter, and less power-hungry the A4-powered iPad is than just about any netbook running Windows. The iPad is in prime position to take a big chunk out of the netbook market, and a successful Microsoft response will require big changes in hardware as well as software. Future Microsoft netbooks and tablets will need to eschew the relatively power-hungry Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) Atom chips that go into current Windows netbooks in favor of ARM-based silicon that's not only more power-efficient, but also lends itself to thin and light Internet appliances like the iPad.

    Will Microsoft succeed in righting its ship? I'd say that there are still a lot of big question marks. But thanks to recent moves, there are at least reasons for investors to think that Mr. Softy is no longer asleep at the wheel.
    Last edited by BARYE; 07/27/2010 at 03:21 PM.
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  11.    #11  
    this story adds to the background of M$ buying that license for ARM's chips

    It now realizes that it can't compete with the ipad using current intel silicon -- but neither does it have an OS that can run on currently available ARM processors

    How much of the pad market will M$ be able to capture a year from now ??


    Microsoft Won't Get Into The Tablet Game For Another Whole Year

    Jay Yarow, August 2, 2010

    Apple will see no iPad competition from Microsoft for at least one year, thanks to Microsoft's reliance on Intel.

    Steve Ballmer calls producing an iPad-killer "job one" at Microsoft, but he also says, "We'll get a boost sometime after the new year when Intel brings its new Oak Trail processor to market."

    In other words, Microsoft is waiting for the Intel's "Oak Trail" processor, which is low-power and targeted at tablets, before it can really attack the iPad.

    Because Oak Trail isn't coming until early 2011, Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet points out, that means it's going to be a few quarters before hardware makers are putting Oak Trail chips in devices.

    So, if everything goes according to schedule, we won't see a real Windows tablet until this time next year.

    At that point, iPad 2 will be on the market, likely with a beautiful retina display, and front facing camera for FaceTime chats. Apple will have probably sold 12-14 million units, too.

    Just like in the smartphone market, Microsoft will be playing catch-up
    Last edited by BARYE; 08/03/2010 at 10:55 AM.
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  12. #12  
    its not looking good for microsoft.
    I think HP saw the writing on the wall...

    HP can license M$, include webOS, and are very capable of making quality Hardware to run it on....
    Looking forward to an announcement releasing a new tablet, notebook, smart phone, printer etc.... running webOS... 3 qtr 2010.
  13.    #13  
    Intel has indirectly acknowledged that OEMs are refusing to use the Atom or its variations in mobile devices.

    This is forcing intel (humiliatingly) to indirectly use ARM IP to create an ARM of their own.

    Further bad news for Intel and M$.

    Mobile really does seem to be that dreaded inflection point that Andy Grove once eloquently wrote about ...


    Intel-TSMC Pact on Atom Chips to Remain on Hold

    Dan Nystedt Tue Aug 3, 2010 PC World

    A pact announced last year for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) to go to work putting Intel Atom microprocessors into smartphones, mobile Internet devices and other gadgets looks to remain on hold for a while.

    The agreement between the two companies was announced as an important way for Intel to access markets it could not reach on its own. The strategy to work with TSMC is similar to that of Intel rival Arm Holdings...

    ...The deal also indicated that Intel was moving on its plans to compete against Arm in power-efficient processors for mobile devices...

    ..."While we have no short-term plans to bring an Atom processor manufactured at TSMC to market, the relationship remains in effect and we are still working with TSMC," said Intel spokesman Nick Jacobs.

    The delay in the partnership may be due to a lack of success by Intel in convincing customers to use its Atom processing cores over Arm cores, which are more power efficient. The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that Intel may buy Infineon Technologies' communications unit, which includes Arm-based mobile chips, to beef up its product portfolio, a sign Atom may not be working out as Intel had hoped.

    Intel declined to comment on the Infineon reports.

    But Intel has also talked up plans of its own to produce system-on-chip products (SoCs) containing its Atom processing cores. At the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing earlier this year, executives said they had built a library of chip blueprints to help companies design their own Atom-based chips.
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  14.    #14  
    Intel -- by its attempt to buy into German chipmaker Infineon -- is indicating that its beginning to appreciate its vulnerability in the mobile "computing" space.

    It is ostensibly in the process of getting through its deal with Infineon, access to ARM design technology -- the RISC (reduced instruction set) architecture processor that powers virtually all smartphones and iPads.

    Nevertheless Intel continues to in parallel, design the Medfield chips based on its x86 architecture.

    Based on the history, I see no reason to believe that Intel can be competitive with ARM based procs using x86 based silicon...



    August 4, 2010
    Intel has broad smartphone strategy
    by Brooke Crothers CNET News

    Intel plans to offer a broad selection of silicon technologies for smartphones, as it seeks to grab a part of German chipmaker Infineon.

    Intel is on a mission: the world's largest chipmaker is virtually absent in one of the hottest digital device markets. And, as Apple has demonstrated with its iPhone and its own A4 chip, high-end smartphone technology is bleeding over into tablets, another hot market.

    The circumstances for Intel couldn't be more different from the PC market, where it is too dominant...

    So, what does Intel have to do to catch up with the dominant silicon players in smartphones, such as the Qualcomm and Texas Instruments? It will buy its way into the market if necessary, while moving its chip manufacturing technology forward at a blistering pace to squeeze more performance onto a smartphone chip than competitors by 2011 or thereabouts.

    But first it needs more silicon technology. A requirement for any major smartphone chip supplier is to have not only the processor--referred to as an application processor--but also have a smorgasbord of connection options--such as 3G, 4G, Wi-Fi, GPS--for customers.

    Enter Infineon's wireless unit, which Intel is making a play for in order to "fill that hole," according to source familiar with Intel's plans.

    Or, if necessary, it can make the silicon itself. Intel is currently doing an "aggressive analysis on make versus buy," according to the source. Intel does not want to lose business in the future because it "doesn't have a certain kind of protocol," the source said. In other words, Intel wants to cover all of its connection technology bases.

    And this is a long-range plan. Intel is slated to bring out a smartphone-centric chip called Medfield by early next year that squeezes what is now two pieces of silicon into one chip, using Intel's most advanced 32-nanometer manufacturing technology. This will be the first step. After Intel gets the Medfield application processor into smartphones, then it will progress to further integration beyond Medfield....

    Should the competition be worried? Maybe not yet but no one should underestimate Intel's ability to build competitive chips, whether they be for PCs or smartphones. "It can't be only incrementally better silicon. You have to have substantially better silicon to unseat the incumbent," the source said. ...
    Last edited by BARYE; 08/05/2010 at 05:19 AM.
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  15.    #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by BARYE View Post
    Intel should be afraid -- very afraid...

    Intel's stock price has been crushed today and in recent weeks, despite very strong earnings.

    Many are ascribing its weakness to growing understanding among investors to how vulnerable Intel has become to the movement toward ARM (as represented by the iPad's A4).


    Is the iPad Killing Intel?
    John Melloy Executive Producer, Fast Money
    CNBC.com 10 Aug 2010

    Intel was clobbered after Barclays Capital said Apple’s iPad is eating away at sales of PCs and netbooks that use its chips. The firm cut shares of the world’s largest chipmaker to ‘equal weight’ from ‘overweight.’

    “The iPad’s tablet momentum has pressured the broader netbook and lower-end notebook arena,” wrote Tim Luke, semiconductor analyst for Barclays. “We recognize that reservations of Intel’s historically elevated margins at 67 percent and uncertainties over its position in growth areas such as Tablets may restrain the multiple investors attach to current earnings.”

    Intel, the worst performer in the Dow Jones Industrial Average Wednesday, is now down for the year, while Apple is up 23 percent. The two stocks began to diverge right on cue in April, when Apple released the iPad that uses a self-designed chip called the “A4”.


    ... Tablet alternatives using Intel’s Atom chip are more likely to be released in the first quarter of next year, Barclays’ Luke said...


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  16.    #16  
    an article that further discusses M$'s purchase of a license for designing ARM chips -- and its implication's for M$'s future


    Microsoft's Bold Plan to Reinvent Itself
    Eric Bleeker
    August 29, 2010

    Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) became dominant by shunning hardware and controlling the code that powered it. However, the winds of change are blowing, and the Redmond giant is belatedly starting to make moves. Five years ago, the idea of a Microsoft-designed processor would have sounded like lunacy. Then again, five years ago the idea of Intel buying a company specializing in security and anti-virus software would have sounded pretty outrageous, too. My, how things have changed.

    Microsoft, no stranger to hardware

    It's not that Microsoft hasn't been involved with hardware in the past. The company has long sold Microsoft-branded peripheral products like keyboards, mice, and joysticks. More importantly, Microsoft's foray into gaming gave the company experience designing hardware systems to go along with software.

    In fact, the expertise Microsoft has acquired from designing the Xbox and Xbox 360 is underappreciated. Microsoft recently pulled the covers off the insides of its new slimmed-down Xbox 360, revealing an IBM (NYSE: IBM)-produced System-on-a-Chip (SoC) that beats AMD's Fusion chip to a high-powered design that puts the graphics and central processor on the same chip.

    Long story short, the new Xbox 360 has some impressive engineering. What's important is that Microsoft's own engineers apparently were responsible for a lion's share of the complicated layout work.

    A new path

    Microsoft's growing expertise in hardware design comes at a time when its main rival, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL), has had phenomenal success controlling both the hardware and software of the iPhone. While Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android has seen remarkable growth by following a Microsoft-like strategy of forgoing hardware in favor of software distribution, that path is probably closed to Microsoft.

    Google has built up a significantly larger installed base and collection of applications, and it has the support of most major hardware companies that don't have their own operating system. Also, Google gives its operating system away for free; Microsoft charges for licenses to its mobile operating system. In the face of all these threats and the diminished chances for profitability due to Google's "free" strategy and lead, it's no surprise Microsoft would look to shift closer to Apple's mobile game plan.

    Microsoft has long explored the idea of adopting a strategy in line with Apple. There have been persistent rumors of a Zune phone, as well as reports of Microsoft being interested in purchasing Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM), another company that melds its own mobile software and hardware.

    Finally, there was the recent purchase of a "microarchitecture" license from Arm Holdings. The news was significant because what Microsoft purchased is a more expensive license that allows it to develop its own processor cores around Arm's technology. Can you think of another company that's loaded up on mobile processor engineering talent? Oh yes, Apple. It purchased both Intrinsity and P.A. Semi to beef up its ability to design processors of its own specification that could consume less power and perform better.

    To the future!

    Maybe Microsoft's logic behind buying the Arm-license is something out of left field. Microsoft has put particular emphasis behind Windows Phone 7's ability to sync with users' Xbox Live accounts and act as a powerful gaming device. Perhaps the license purchase is meant to create an enhanced processor design for gaming purposes.

    However, the most obvious conclusion is the right one: Microsoft wants to get more involved with designing the hardware that melds with its software. If Microsoft had more expertise in this area, maybe its promising Courier concept could have hit store shelves sooner rather than stagnating within the company and eventually being cancelled. More importantly, it gives the impression that Microsoft is willing to push the envelope in finding a way to make its mobile operating system relevant again.

    Hey, it's a long shot, but I'll take it over the status quo. The software Microsoft is dead -- long live the new Microsoft.

    Microsoft's Bold Plan to Reinvent Itself (AAPL, GOOG, IBM, MSFT, RIMM)
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  17.    #17  
    M$ is seriously thinking about buying Adobe -- in large part as a product of its flailing about trying to find a means to counter Apple.

    In the past M$ never would have been allowed to buy Adobe for anti-competitive implications. The ironic result of M's perceived weakness is that it may well be allowed to acquire Adobe and Flash ...


    Microsoft, Adobe CEOs Meet to Discuss Apple
    By Robert McMillan, IDG News

    The chief executive officers of Microsoft and Adobe met recently to discuss how best to deal with their common foe -- Apple -- and whether a Microsoft buyout of Adobe might be in the cards, The New York Times reported Thursday.

    Citing unnamed sources, the Times reported that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer met with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen to discuss "Apple and its control of the mobile phone market and how the two companies could partner in the battle against Apple."

    Microsoft declined to comment on the report. In a statement, Adobe acknowledged that Ballmer and Narayen had met. "Adobe and Microsoft share millions of customers around the world and the CEOs of the two companies do meet from time to time. However, we do not publicly comment on the timing or topics of their private meetings," Adobe said.

    As Apple gains both developers and users with its iPad and iPhone products, Adobe and Microsoft run the risk of being pushed aside on mobile devices, the most exciting platform for today's software developers.

    Microsoft has tried and mostly failed to generate enthusiasm for past versions of its mobile-phone software, and Adobe is under pressure after Apple decided not to allow Adobe Flash applications to be approved for use on its devices.

    Ballmer and Narayen did talk about Apple's Flash prohibition, the Times reported.

    Another discussion point was whether Microsoft should buy Adobe outright. Microsoft considered such a move years earlier but backed off because of antitrust concerns, the Times said. With Microsoft no longer the industry force it once was, there may now be an opportunity.

    Such a deal would make Microsoft a much more powerful force with Web developers, something that could work to its advantage in a battle against Apple.




    Report: Microsoft, Adobe CEOs Meet to Discuss Apple - PCWorld Business Center
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  18. #18  
    Maybe Microsoft is just cutting checks. You know, like HP has been recently.

    Microsoft Licenses Patents Created by Palm - WSJ.com
  19.    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyPre View Post
    Maybe Microsoft is just cutting checks. You know, like HP has been recently.

    Microsoft Licenses Patents Created by Palm - WSJ.com
    its more about proactive IP positioning.

    Interestingly they got it from Access -- not HP.

    These licenses are as much also defenses against suits from HP and Apple.

    I'd be curious if in the end Access finally makes a profit from Palm's IP portfolio, after wildly overpaying for and screwing up POS.

    Microsoft Licenses Palm Technology -- Windows Phone 7 -- InformationWeek
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