What’s New in Microsoft Land: 28 January – 1 February, 2008

Patent Portfolio Quality is what every company in the world wants to achieve a higher value in, but only few can. Microsoft has jumped to the top spot of the Patent Board, an independent provider of patent metrics, in January, from the second position it had held the previous year. November of last year had seen the Redmond-based company reach the same no.1 spot in IEEE Spectrum’s top, the publication from the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, based on the 2006 patent awards.

The number of patents currently held by Microsoft is larger than 8,500 and it has almost doubled that number pending (around 15,000). PressPass noticed that Bill Gates’ company had a better growth rate than most of the companies in the top 25 of patent issuers and it managed to be one in only five to be granted more patents in 2007 than in the previous year.

Bart Eppenhauer, the chief patent counsel and associate general counsel at Microsoft, said that "Both IEEE and the Patent Board assessed patent quality in terms of a number of metrics, including the degree to which a company’s patents are cited as prior art by other subsequent patent applications, as well as the number of scientific publications referenced in a company’s own patent applications. The number of times a patent is cited in other patents is considered a good indication of how innovative and influential it is." Now that’s starting the week on the right foot, being named the most innovative company there is! A great Monday indeed.

Microsoft Corp became the exclusive third party provider of contextual and paid search advertising for The Wall Street Journal Digital Network on Tuesday. The sites involved with the program under way are
The Wall Street Journal Online, Barrons.com, MarketWatch.com, AllThingsD.com, just to name the biggest and most important. Brian McAndrews, the senior Vice President, Advertiser and Publisher Solutions at Microsoft, said that "This deal is a significant win for Microsoft for two key reasons. First, it makes the extended Microsoft advertising network the premier destination for advertisers interested in reaching financially minded users, as it complements our offering in this vertical through MSN Money and other syndication partners." He then added that "Second, this deal is a strong indicator that we’re gaining significant traction with our advertising platform. The Wall Street Journal Digital Network is one of the largest financial services publishers in a very dynamic vertical segment, and we’re delighted to add it to our portfolio."

The real highlight of the deal is that the addition of these sites brings some 20 million unique visitors per month to the slew of sites in the extended Microsoft network, not a number to trifle with. The contextual advertising from The Wall Street Journal Digital Network is expected to begin in February, according to PressPass.

Vista and Office 2007, friends forever

'Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday, dear Windows Vista, Happy Birthday to you!,' must have been the hit song heard at the Redmond headquarters on Wednesday. Young Vista was 1 year old that day, and Microsoft celebrated it with all the pomp necessary.

Despite it not being that good a product when it was first released, Vista grew to the hearts of users worldwide and it topped the sales with 100 million licenses in one year. The community learned better how to interact with the product and that was the most important thing when it comes down to trust. One of its team’s members gave Vista a rating of 80 when it was first launched, compared to the 75 he gave XP. One year later, Robin Mason said that, with all the work put into it throughout the period gone by, she would increase that rating to a beautiful 90. The main reason for that was the Windows Mobility Center that came to be a great product overall and in any circumstances.

Thursday was yet another good day for Microsoft Corp, that saw its Office 2007 suite be the leader of all software being sold, according to the statistics made available by the NPD Group. A marketing stroke of genius, linking Windows Vista with the Office suite also brought sales for the operating system higher than expected. The same NPD Group considered it correct to say that almost 80 percent of the increase in sales for software ($2.9 billion to $3.3 billion) was due to the two products made available in the past year.

"The first time you see the 2007 Microsoft Office release running on the Windows Vista operating system with the Windows Aero user experience, you'll notice a difference. And what you see on the surface is just the beginning. Microsoft conducted extensive research to find ways to make it quicker, easier, safer, and more fun to get your work done. From more search options and enhanced file browsing to great visual cues for finding what you need, you'll find a lot of changes — for the better — in how you work every day," Microsoft said.

The price tag is not quite accurate

Friday delivered the bomb: the Redmond-based company publicly announced that it made a bid of $44.6 billion in cash and stock for taking over Internet giant Yahoo!. The premium provided to the current trading price for the Yahoo! shareholders is 62 percent, a huge increase from what was expected. Given the problems that Yahoo! has come to have in the past two years, culminating with the release of the Fiscal Q4 numbers and the fact that it has seen its income decrease for eight straight quarters, it will be difficult for the board at the Sunnyvale headquarters to turn the offer down.

Nevertheless, Microsoft is not trying this for the first time, rumors have been going around for a long time. However, the time they chose to take the step might prove to be the difference between the firm "No!" that they received in the past and a possible "Yes, please!" that might come. The important thing is that Yahoo! did not turn it down on sight and said that it would evaluate it.

"We have great respect for Yahoo!, and together we can offer an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online services market," said Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft. "We believe our combination will deliver superior value to our respective shareholders and better choice and innovation to our customers and industry partners."

This might be the only way that the Google Dragon might be stopped from scorching the web with its fiery breath. A joint venture seems to be the winning bet for both Microsoft and Yahoo!, but will that be enough to cripple the dominance or will it just infuriate the Mountain View-based company into working even harder to add to its array of properties some more and better ones?

source : news.softpedia.com

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