$7.2 Billion Later And Microsoft Is Now A Device Company

Microsoft is buy Nokia’s mobile device business for a whopping $7.2 billion (5.44 billion euros), that will bring Microsoft CEO contender Stephen Elop back into the Microsoft hive.

Current Nokia CEO Elop ran Microsoft’s Software Division up until he left, for Nokia, in 2010. Because of this many Finnish media outlets have labeled him a Trojan Horse and that this was planned all along as Elop presided over Nokia’s Market Collapse and it’s slow sad decline since.

There is a ton more info in the full article but, my take on this is:

Microsoft will have to be very careful moving forward with this. Nokia hasn’t been a power in the mobile devices market for some time now. One has to wonder if being made by Microsoft will really change the fact that Samsung, HTC and Apple own the mobile device market. Granted that Big-M will give a huge influx of new assets (money) and talent (people).

We’ll all have to wait and see what will happen as Microsoft tries to become a gadget and service company instead of the software, or what ever they claim to be now.

Full Article at finance.yahoo.com

Ballmer to Retire within 12 Months

Microsoft Steve Ballmer announced that he will retire within the next 12 months.

Now to be honest this doesn’t seem like that great of timing when you consider the struggles Microsoft has looming: falling Windows OS sales, a tablet that is failing to gain a substantial foothold in the market not to mention the quickly approaching console battle with Sony’s PlayStation 4.

From what’s reported, Ballmer has not developed a successor not even a group of possibilities. Joachim Kempin, a senior Microsoft executive from 1983 to 2002, stated in his recent book that this was intentional as Ballmer felt threatened by the future leaders in the company.

This will be a tough time for Microsoft as they look to find their next leader.

Fin the full article at yahoo.com

Xbox One “Global” Launch Not So Global After All

Fool.com reports that Microsoft has announced that the number of countries that will get the Xbox One at launch is down to 13 from the originally announced 21. That’s a sizable drop in countries. Microsoft says it’s “in order to meet demand” now that may or may not be true, but many people are adding this to the list of statements trumpeted at E3 that Microsoft has reversed course on. Those 8 countries that were promised the November launch date will have to wait until “sometime 2014″ to get their consoles.

Here are the list of countries that are still getting the Xbox One, for now:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • New Zealand

Original Article at Fool.com

Original Microsoft blog post news.xbox.com

PlayStation 4 Release Date One Month Before Xbox One?

Nowgamer.com has an article that talks about the rumors going around that the PS4 will launch October 21st, 2013. If true this could be a big move by Sony.

A “mod-verified” poster on neoGAF stated that he works with a retail background privy to release dates, so they can get their instore merch plans setup. He noted that in a recent internal memo they had an “unknown Sony Console” launching on Oct 21st. And that in the recent past new consoles were labeled as such, also noted that if a release date has not been confirmed from the manufacturer it simply lists TBA.

Keep in mind this is only a rumor, however if it turns out to be true it could be a big move for Sony, as they’ll have a full month to restock supplies for Black Friday, after the pre-orders and first day buyers get theirs.

Most likely we’ll get confirmation of this, true or not, at Gamescom next week.

Check out the full article at Nowgamer.com

Meet the Ubuntu Edge

Popular Linux OS Ubuntu is working on their own smart phone, the Ubuntu Edge. They’re currently trying to raise $32,000,000 to secure funding for the project. The phone will be able to boot up into Ubuntu OS or Android OS, and will have some majorly impressive stats.

Compared to the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S4:

Ubuntu Edge Apple iPhone 5 Samsung Galaxy S4
Mobile OS Dual-boots Android and Ubuntu mobile iOS Android
Desktop OS Ubuntu Desktop No No
RAM 4GB 1GB 2GB
Internal storage 128GB 64GB 16GB
Screen 720 x 1,280, 4.5 inches 640 x 1,136, 4 inches 1,080 x 1,920, 5 inches
Protection Sapphire Glass Corning Gorilla Glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Connectivity Dual-LTE, GSM LTE, GSM LTE, GSM
Speakers Stereo Mono Mono
Battery Silicon-anode Li-ion Li-ion Li-ion
Price $780-830 $849* $750**

CPU/GPU, screen technology to be finalised before production. * Apple Store ** Best Buy

 

Only thing I can see that isn’t better than either the iPhone 5 or Galaxy S4 is the screen, but honestly on a 4.5 inch screen 720p is still pretty damn impressive.

Check out the full details and contribute at indiegogo.com.

Nintendo Posts Record Low During Earnings Reports

A couple weeks ago Nintendo, the once mighty console maker, posted incredibly low sales for the 3 month period ending July 30th. They reported only selling 160,000 Wii U’s. To put that in perspective the seven year old Wii was reported to sell 210,000, out pacing the Wii U by 50,000 units.

Summer quarter is generally a slow period for console sales and video games in general. Unless of course you work for Valve and get tons of cash from the Steam Summer Sale from saps like me! However, 160,000 shows a drop of 60% from the previous quarter.

What does this mean for Nintendo? If they don’t turn around the poor sales of the Wii U, does Nintendo do the unthinkable and follow Sega? Becoming a software company and make games for Sony and Microsoft’s consoles? Or do they just live off their handhelds?

Check the full article at games.yahoo.com

Final Fantasy Fans Upset at Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns

That’s right, Final Fantasy fans are expressing their displeasure, some extreme displeasure, at Square Enix. All because in the upcoming Final Fantasy XIII sequel subtitled Lightning Returns, Lightning returns with a new set of boobs. Wait what???

So, I guess the director of FFXIII:LR (Sadly that’s the title abbreviated, kind of silly isn’t it?) thought that what the game really needed compared to the first Final Fantasy XIII was bigger boobs. Not you know… fixing the gripes that people had, which they are supposed to have done as too by the way.

Now Lightning was a very strong character in the first one, granted a little bitchy, but that’s the way she was. Honestly I’m reserving judgement on this until I play the game, if it’s just a boob job from C to D I don’t see the big deal unless they turned the character into a ditz or something.

Kotaku.com article for the picture and links to more details.

Windows Phone Going with the Dodo?

Forbes reports that the Windows phone is failing to gain traction in the competitive Mobile Phone OS market. While globally the Nokia Lumia set records with 7.4 million sold world wide in the quarter, it doesn’t hide the fact that it’s only sold 500,000 in North America.Also that prices dropped 20%, it appears that Nokia has dropped the price to spur sales.

Windows Phone seems to be gaining slightly in the low end phone market, however doesn’t seem to be gaining anything in the high end phones, which is dominated by the iPhone and Android. It appears that both Nokia and Windows Phone OS are at a crossroads.

Read the full report at forbes.com

Final Fantasy VII Letters

Now as has been made very clear numerous times, I am a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series. One of my, and many many others’, favorite games in the series was Final Fantasy VII. Now I’ve written about this before on this very blog, so I won’t go into details on my opinions.

In a recent trek into the dark jungle that is the Internet I ran across “The Final Fantasy VII Letters” by Kirk Hamilton and Leigh Alexander. The basis of this 10 part series is that Kirk had never played Final Fantasy, and Leigh was a devout Final Fantasy VII player. She was interested if her love of the game was because it was a great game, or if she thought it was a great because she loved it.

Because of this, she used Kirk as a guinea pig. He had never played the game and wanted to see what all the hubbub was about. So he started playing, she began playing again and they wrote letters to each other detailing various points of their shared adventure. The entire time they were trying to pinpoint exactly why Final Fantasy VII has been the root of so much adoration, so much venom by the anti-fans. Just why has this single game resonated both for good, and for ill, more than most any other game of it’s type, age and some say any game ever?

I urge everyone to read this, even if you’ve never played Final Fantasy VII, or any Final Fantasy game. Even if you think they’re stupid, because no matter what we think, this game has gone down in history, it’s still helping define the JRPG genre.

Check out the Final Fantasy VII Letters.

 

-John

Scientists Perplexed By Deep-Space Explosions

Iinternational astronomers have detected four interstellar explosions, known as Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs), above the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy. They last only a few thousandths of a second and send powerful signals billions of light years.

Principal investigator Dan Thornton of the University of Manchester in England said, “These bursts gave off more energy in a millisecond than the sun does in 300,000 years,”

Using the CSIRO Parkes radio telescope in Australia the team spotted 4 new sources across the sky. Ranging up to 10 billion light-years away. To put that in perspective, the universe is only 13.8 billion years old, so some of these bursts have taken nearly the entire history of the universe to get to our planet.

Check out the full article with a bunch more info at space.com