Skype: has Microsoft's $8.5bn spending paid off yet – and can it? (The Guardian) Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer and Skype CEO Tony Bates shake hands at their joint news conference in San Francisco in May 2011. Was it worth it? May 2011, when Microsoft announced its planned purchase of Skype for $8.5bn (£5,5bn), I called it "a gamble unlikely to pay off". Just over two years later, has the gamble in fact paid off – or does it show signs of doing so?
Microsoft slashes Surface Pro prices in Europe by €100 – for good (ZDNet) Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) made its August price cuts to the Surface Pro permanent today in the US, and the good news for Europeans is that price cuts are finally flowing across the Atlantic. In May, when Microsoft launched the Surface Pro in Europe, it could not be found anywhere on the continent for less than €770. While Europeans also received the $150 price cut on Windows RT ARM-based slates that their US cousins got, when a price cut for the Surface Pro was introduced in North America in August, Pro prices in Europe never wavered.
Steve Ballmer is a casualty of the personal computer’s rapid decline (The Economist) UNTIL August 23rd few people would have described Steve Ballmer as “retiring”. Microsoft’s chief executive has played both tiger and Tigger: snarling (toothlessly, as it turned out) at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s gadgets; and bouncing, with a whoop, onto conference stages to extol his company’s wares. But retiring he is, within a year. Mr Ballmer’s departure is a surprise. He had announced a reorganisation of the company only in July and had hoped to oversee much of the change.
Post-Ballmer, Microsoft Must Focus on Products to Avoid Extinction (Bloomberg Business Week) Whip out the elegant, light, superthin Asus (2357:TT) Zenbook on an airplane, and you’re sure to attract stares. The PC stands out even more with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows 8 software, its touchscreen full of colorful tiles promising a glimpse of the future. But that view starts to get foggy when Windows 8 tries to work with Microsoft Office 2013, lagging or freezing up as it attempts a task as ambitious as saving a document. This divide—between how good Microsoft’s products look and how badly they still behave—partly led to Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer’s Aug. 23 announcement that he’ll leave within a year.
Microsoft rolls out 50GB mailboxes for Exchange Online, Office 365 (ZDNet) After tripling file storage capacity on SkyDrive Pro this week, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced it's doubling the capacity of its cloud mailboxes elsewhere. Inboxes for everyone using Exchange Online and Office 365 will be doubling from the current capacity of 25GB to 50GB over the next few months.