Updates on Microsoft Corporation (MSFT): Exchange ActiveSync, Windows Form Factor & Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s AirPlay

Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)

Microsoft explains Outlook.com outage, provides long-term fixes (Engadget)
It may have taken three days, but Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has officially resolved its Outlook.com outage — and it has both explanations and long-term solutions for affected email users. Trouble began with the failure of a caching service for Exchange ActiveSync. The resulting deluge of reconnection attempts promptly overwhelmed company servers; a slow recovery was necessary to avoid another meltdown, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) says. To prevent repeat incidents, the tech giant is both upgrading its network capacity and implementing a more elegant error handling system. While the fixes likely come too late for some users, they suggest that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has learned a hard lesson about the fragility of online services.

An Interesting Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Google Inc (GOOG) Showdown

Microsoft axing Zune Marketplace rentals and sales, recommends Xbox Video and Music (Engadget)
Coinciding with the impending abandonment of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Points, the ability to rent and purchase media from Zune Marketplace will also be hitting retirement come August 22nd. A recently-posted FAQ on the Xbox website details the changes, directing current users to hurry up and use their remaining points as they’ll be worthless come that EOL date. For future service Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is unsurprisingly pointing users to Xbox Music and Video, noting that the latter will also be accessible on Xbox One, Windows Phone 8 and browsers “later this year.

Microsoft at Gamescom 2013: What to expect (The Malay Mail)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s August 20 Gamescom keynote represents the corp’s last best chance to cement loyalties and pre-orders ahead of the Xbox One’s debut with details on big-name games, streaming media, and a launch date. The European video game expo is now the largest of its kind, opening the doors of Cologne’s Kölnmesse to both corporate clients (August 21) and members of the public (August 21-25) and expecting over 275,00 visitors in person, not counting the throngs watching from the web.

Microsoft SmartGlass and Apple AirPlay: The Rise of the Second-Screen Controller (Yahoo Small Business Advisory)
Second screens, first billing. That’s the mantra coming out of Redmond and Cupertino, where two tech giants have put forth some impressive software aimed at smart-device gamers. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s SmartGlass and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s AirPlay both turn your tablet or smartphone into a controller and digital assistant, but the end products are as different as you’d expect from competing corporate visionaries. As devices continue to converge, we’re bound to see cross-device cooperation like this become the norm.

Where the Surface stands tall — and falls flat (CNet)
It’s no secret that there are some serious issues around competition and Windows that spell trouble not only for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Surface, but for other tablets, detachables, and convertible devices running the latest incarnation of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s venerable operating system. But there is also some cause for hope. Recent research from Reticle Research, where I’m the principal analyst, shows that more consumers are interested in purchasing new Windows form factors than traditional notebooks. In fact, more consumers express intent to purchase such devices than actually have them today. As Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s tablet efforts will soon resurface in a next-generation device, Redmond should pay heed to what worked and what didn’t in Surface’s initial incarnation.