It's hard to escape the media pronouncements that iPhones are now boring again after Samsung unveiled its latest Galaxy S8, Apple's Mac business is being overshadowed by more exciting Surface Windows PCs from Microsoft and that Apple Watch is a disappointing dud. But they're all wrong, here's why.
Microsoft has announced "amazing" customer response to its tablet/notebook hybrid Surface Pro, and reports have noted that the higher end 128GB model has sold out in some locations "immediately" after going on sale, just as the Zune HD did in 2009.
After conducting an annual performance review of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, the software giant's Board of Directors took him to task for poor sales of its Windows Phone 7 operating system, dampened Windows revenue and the "need for further progress" with new form factors, awarding him just half of his maximum yearly bonus.
Microsoft temporarily removed references to all Zune hardware from the official Zune website Monday, an apparent error that was initially viewed as the final nail in the coffin for the media player that failed to gain traction against Apple's iPod lineup [update].
Two of Apple's chief rivals are working on their own separate services to compete with iTunes, as Research in Motion has partnered with 7digital for its PlayBook tablet, and Microsoft is cooking up a secret project dubbed "Ventura."
Sales figures for 2010 show that Apple's iTunes Movie Store remained on top with 64.5 percent market share among competing Internet video services in the US. Also, more than $10 million worth of counterfeit iPhones, iPods and other items have been seized by the Los Angeles Port Police. Finally, officials say the physical permit allowing Apple CEO Steve Jobs to raze the controversial Jackling mansion will be issued soon.
While Apple's success with its mobile iOS platform is credited with invoking the proliferation of HTML5 video at the expense of Adobe's Flash, it's also causing a major shift in strategy for Microsoft's Silverlight.
In a surprise appearance during the company's quarterly earnings call, Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs hailed the success of the iPhone and Pod while painting a bleak outlook for RIM's Blackberry smartphones, Google's fragmented Android smartphone platform, and the coming trickle of 7inch tablets.
In an effort not to discourage Mac users from adopting one of its new Windows Phone 7 handsets, Microsoft will reportedly deploy later this a year the first version of its Zune media software targeted at Apple users.
In the face of success from Apple and Google in the portable device market, Microsoft is expected to announce "major organizational changes" in the company's Entertainment and Devices Division, responsible for Windows Phone, Zune and Xbox.
Apple makes its money selling hardware while Microsoft's revenues are from software. Yet in the mobile device war heating up between the iPod touch and the Zune HD, Microsoft is focusing on hardware features while Apple is shifting its marketing attention toward the iPod's vast library of third party software, particularly games.
With the impending launch of Microsoft's iPod touch competitor, the Zune HD, the Redmond, Wash., company will discontinue its previous offerings, which included high-capacity hard drive players and the "squircle" input method.
A leaked presentation has exposed Microsoft's tentative plans for its retail stores — and the high degree to which they'll imitate Apple stores, down to their layouts and even the presence of a dedicated "Guru Bar" for help.
Once accustomed to ever-rising profits, Microsoft has been dealt two blows with both its second quarter of losses in a row and its first-ever annual decline, all at the same time as Apple has had its best non-holiday quarter yet.
A small firm hoping to strike it rich through legal action has sued Apple, Microsoft, and virtually every other significant company making a media device under claims that they violate a patent for touchpads.