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Windows Phone Marketshare Continues to Grow According to Kantar Worldpanel

Microsoft has continually been saying that Windows Phone is the clear third place ecosystem behind both Google and Apple – pushing out BlackBerry and other OS’s. New smartphone OS sales from Kantar Worldpanel clearly shows strong, continued growth for Windows Phone, especially in Europe.

At the rate in which Windows Phone is growing and the rate the iOS is dropping, it’s possible that Microsoft could move into position two within the next year or two.

Dominic Sunnebo from Kantar Worldpanel says:

“Nokia has continued its successful tactic of sucking up remaining featurephone owners across Europe. Even in Britain, where smartphone penetration is at 70%, there are over 14 million featurephone consumers for it to target. At some point Nokia will have to start making serious inroads into the smartphone competition, but for the time being its strategy in Europe is working. Crucial for Nokia will be its ability to keep low-end owners loyal and upgrade them to mid to high-end models.”

Smartphone OS Sales Share

Source: Kantar WorldPanel

OneDrive for Everything in Your Life – SkyDrive Renamed and Improved

OneDrive for Everything in Your Life – SkyDrive Renamed and Improved

SkyDrive has been one of the most useful online services I use in my day-to-day activities both for work and home life. I easily sync my Windows 8 machines with each other through SkyDrive’s built in sync features, every photo I take on my Lumia 928 automatically gets pushed to my SkyDrive account and I use it heavily for storing files for projects I’m currently working on. And now, it’s the same great service but with a new name: “OneDrive for Everything in Your Life”.

Check out the promotional video below, I love the music they chose and the overall emotion and animations look great.

Some may even remember the “Mesh” or “LiveMesh” service from years and years ago – even at that time I loved the idea of cloud storage and file syncing between devices was super important. It simply wasn’t where it needed to be, later on Microsoft improved the service and named it SkyDrive and now, yet again we have a new name. Fortunately, I do think that the new name fits the service better and really describes what the service does in a nutshell.

Why OneDrive? We know that increasingly you will have many devices in your life, but you really want only one place for your most important stuff. One place for all of your photos and videos. One place for all of your documents. One place that is seamlessly connected across all the devices you use. You want OneDrive for everything in your life.

Source: OneDrive Blog

Memos from former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and new CEO Satya Nadella

From: Satya Nadella
To: All Employees
Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Subject: RE: Satya Nadella – Microsoft’s New CEO

Today is a very humbling day for me. It reminds me of my very first day at Microsoft, 22 years ago. Like you, I had a choice about where to come to work. I came here because I believed Microsoft was the best company in the world. I saw then how clearly we empower people to do magical things with our creations and ultimately make the world a better place. I knew there was no better company to join if I wanted to make a difference. This is the very same inspiration that continues to drive me today.

It is an incredible honor for me to lead and serve this great company of ours. Steve and Bill have taken it from an idea to one of the greatest and most universally admired companies in the world. I’ve been fortunate to work closely with both Bill and Steve in my different roles at Microsoft, and as I step in as CEO, I’ve asked Bill to devote additional time to the company, focused on technology and products. I’m also looking forward to working with John Thompson as our new Chairman of the Board.

While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more. Our industry does not respect tradition — it only respects innovation. This is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places — as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.

As we start a new phase of our journey together, I wanted to share some background on myself and what inspires and motivates me.

Who am I?

I am 46. I’ve been married for 22 years and we have 3 kids. And like anyone else, a lot of what I do and how I think has been shaped by my family and my overall life experiences. Many who know me say I am also defined by my curiosity and thirst for learning. I buy more books than I can finish. I sign up for more online courses than I can complete. I fundamentally believe that if you are not learning new things, you stop doing great and useful things. So family, curiosity and hunger for knowledge all define me.

Why am I here?

I am here for the same reason I think most people join Microsoft — to change the world through technology that empowers people to do amazing things. I know it can sound hyperbolic — and yet it’s true. We have done it, we’re doing it today, and we are the team that will do it again.

I believe over the next decade computing will become even more ubiquitous and intelligence will become ambient. The coevolution of software and new hardware form factors will intermediate and digitize — many of the things we do and experience in business, life and our world. This will be made possible by an ever-growing network of connected devices, incredible computing capacity from the cloud, insights from big data, and intelligence from machine learning.

This is a software-powered world.

It will better connect us to our friends and families and help us see, express, and share our world in ways never before possible. It will enable businesses to engage customers in more meaningful ways.

I am here because we have unparalleled capability to make an impact.

Why are we here?

In our early history, our mission was about the PC on every desk and home, a goal we have mostly achieved in the developed world. Today we’re focused on a broader range of devices. While the deal is not yet complete, we will welcome to our family Nokia devices and services and the new mobile capabilities they bring us.

As we look forward, we must zero in on what Microsoft can uniquely contribute to the world. The opportunity ahead will require us to reimagine a lot of what we have done in the past for a mobile and cloud-first world, and do new things.

We are the only ones who can harness the power of software and deliver it through devices and services that truly empower every individual and every organization. We are the only company with history and continued focus in building platforms and ecosystems that create broad opportunity.

Qi Lu captured it well in a recent meeting when he said that Microsoft uniquely empowers people to “do more.” This doesn’t mean that we need to do more things, but that the work we do empowers the world to do more of what they care about — get stuff done, have fun, communicate and accomplish great things. This is the core of who we are, and driving this core value in all that we do — be it the cloud or device experiences — is why we are here.

What do we do next?

To paraphrase a quote from Oscar Wilde — we need to believe in the impossible and remove the improbable.

This starts with clarity of purpose and sense of mission that will lead us to imagine the impossible and deliver it. We need to prioritize innovation that is centered on our core value of empowering users and organizations to “do more.” We have picked a set of high-value activities as part of our One Microsoft strategy. And with every service and device launch going forward we need to bring more innovation to bear around these scenarios.

Next, every one of us needs to do our best work, lead and help drive cultural change. We sometimes underestimate what we each can do to make things happen and overestimate what others need to do to move us forward. We must change this.

Finally, I truly believe that each of us must find meaning in our work. The best work happens when you know that it’s not just work, but something that will improve other people’s lives. This is the opportunity that drives each of us at this company.

Many companies aspire to change the world. But very few have all the elements required: talent, resources, and perseverance. Microsoft has proven that it has all three in abundance. And as the new CEO, I can’t ask for a better foundation.

Let’s build on this foundation together.

Satya

From: Steve Ballmer
To: All Employees
Date: Feb. 4, 2014
Subject: Satya Nadella – Microsoft’s New CEO

Today is an incredibly exciting day as we announce Satya Nadella as the new CEO of Microsoft. Satya will be a great CEO, and I am pumped for the future of Microsoft. You can read the full announcement here.

Satya is a proven leader. He’s got strong technical skills and great business insights. He has a remarkable ability to see what’s going on in the market, to sense opportunity, and to really understand how we come together at Microsoft to execute against those opportunities in a collaborative way. I have worked closely with Satya for many years and I have seen these skills many times. He is not alone, though. Our Senior Leadership Team has never been stronger, and together this group will drive us forward.

Microsoft is one of the great companies in the world. I love this company. I love the bigness and boldness of what we do. I love the way we partner with other companies to come together to change the world. I love the breadth and the diversity of all of the customers we empower, from students in the classroom to consumers to small businesses to governments to the largest enterprises.

Above all, I love the spirit of this place, the passion, and the perseverance, which has been the cornerstone of our culture from the very beginning.

Stay focused and keep moving forward. I am excited about what we will do. Satya’s appointment confirms that.

Thanks for making Microsoft the most amazing place to work on the planet, and thanks for the chance to lead.

Steve

It’s Official – Satya Nadella is Microsoft’s New CEO

It’s Official – Satya Nadella is Microsoft’s New CEO

For only the third time in Microsoft’s 38 year history they have announced a new CEO – Satya Nadella. After months of what I imagine to be hundreds of interviews with numerous candidates, Microsoft was able to finally narrow down to one.

Nadella says in an internal memo to Microsoft Employees:

“Today is a very humbling day for me, it is an incredible honor for me to lead and serve this great company of ours.” He also writes “While we have seen great success, we are hungry to do more, this is a critical time for the industry and for Microsoft. Make no mistake, we are headed for greater places — as technology evolves and we evolve with and ahead of it. Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.”

Here is the first interview with Nadella as the new CEO:

Nadella has been with Microsoft for over 20 years, he studied Electrical Engineering at Mangalore University and then moved to the US to study computer science. While at Microsoft he has worked in the Office, Bing and Cloud Divisions.

Some say Nadella is a “safe” choice, I think he is a smart choice – if Microsoft had selected a person from outside of Microsoft there would be at least a two year period of transition, confusion and stagnation – none of which Microsoft can afford to happen right now. Instead, they needed to choose someone who understands Microsoft, Hardware, Software and Services and already has the connections and understanding of the Microsoft ecosystem.

Even though Nadella is from within, I don’t believe that this means that he will sit back and ride the waves of what is in place already at Microsoft, I think he will work hard to push innovation and products to the next level.

I’m excited for this new chapter at Microsoft, I see a bright future.

What are your thoughts?

Source: Microsoft

Exploring Modern App Design and User Experience – Introduction

Exploring Modern App Design and User Experience – Introduction

Soon we’ll be starting a new blog series of exploration articles digging into the exciting world of Microsoft’s Modern Design Language and User Experiences guidelines that has been defined for Windows 8 applications and then encourage you to break those guidelines to provide your users with a unique and beautiful experience.

Throughout this series we will talking about the numerous controls available within Windows 8 applications, we’ll talk about how, where and why these controls are used, and explore the experiences around those controls. We’ll also show some real-world examples of how application designers are using these controls today within their applications.

Every article will be focused on a very specific part of Windows 8, this will allow our users to gain a solid understanding of how each feature within Windows 8 works from a “tutorial” or “average user” type of experience while still providing some of the more technical and creative information that designers and developers may find beneficial.

The end goal is for anyone who is interested in designing Modern applications to gain an in-depth, start to finish set of tutorials to help you provide your users with a useful, creative and interactive experience as they use your Windows 8 applications.

Here are some of the topics we’ll be covering in the coming months:

  • Overview of the Modern Design Language
  • Microsoft’s Five Design Principles
  • Start Screen
  • Charms Bar
  • Live Tiles
  • Hub Pages, Detail Pages
  • App Bar
  • Flyouts
  • Semantic Zoom
  • Listview, Gridview, Variable Sized Grid
  • Typography
  • Search
  • Animations/Transitions
  • Grids
  • Navigation
  • And so much more…

We are open to your suggestions as well, if there is something specific you’d like us to dig into, feel free to let us know and we’ll do our best to fit it in.

Be sure to check back often to keep up with this exciting new series, we hope you will learn something new and are able to take your application design and experiences to the next level!