The long-running rivalry between Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is turning into a schoolyard brawl. Microsoft on Wednesday opened a new front against the world’s No 1 search provider by piloting an ad-free offering for educational users of Bing, its search engine that for years has trailed Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG). Under the free program called “Bing for Schools,” students in participating school districts will no longer see ads or adult content when they do Internet searches.
Is Microsoft headed for a Dell-style shareholder showdown? (GIGAOM)
Nomura Securities analyst Rick Sherlund sure thinks something’s up in Redmond. Thursday morning, he upgraded Microsoft from Hold to Buy based on his belief that ValueAct, which owns a less-than-1-percent position in Microsoft, is likely to spark a shake-up and gain a seat on the Microsoft board. Sherlund, who has followed Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) for years, first at Goldman Sachs and now at Nomura, has had his eye on ValueAct for some time, writing in a report last month that the then-recent Microsoft reorg didn’t address its core problems. ValueAct, a shareholder activist, took a $2 billion stake in Microsoft in April.
Microsoft Bribe Probe Reaches Into Pakistan, Russia Deals (The Wall Street Journal)
A U.S. investigation into Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s relationships with business partners that allegedly bribed foreign officials in return for contracts includes activity in Russia and Pakistan, a sign that the probe is wider reaching than previously known, according to people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal reported this year lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission had been conducting a preliminary investigation into kickback allegations made by a former Microsoft representative in China, as well as the company’s relationships with certain resellers and consultants in Romania and Italy.
Gamescom: Microsoft Responds to Sony’s Snarky Sucker Punch (IGN)
Microsoft has responded to an unsubtle jab at Xbox One made during Sony Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:SNE)‘s press conference by Sony Computer Entertainment’s Andrew House at Gamescom this week. House stated, “While others have shifted their message and changed their story, we were consistent in maintaining a message that is fair and in tune with consumer desires.” Phil Spencer of Microsoft Game Studios told Eurogamer, “Other people will do and say what they’re going to say. Fine. We’re running our program. That’s a strength of who we are.”
Microsoft Malaysia MD: Not here to clean up, but to build on (The Malay Mail)
If you’re a former employee of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Malaysia, you probably would not be able to recognise the place anymore — and it’s not just because last year the company moved into its new office, from “Tower 2” of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre or KLCC, to the spanking new “Tower 3”. Except for some old stalwarts and survivors, you’d be hard-pressed to recognise the people as well. There has been a near complete turnover of senior positions over the last three to four years, especially from the time Yasmin Mahmood left the company in late 2009, to be succeeded by Ananth Lazarus — who also left in late 2012, albeit to a new regional role within Microsoft.