Microsoft fixes Mac Office bug in Apple's Lion

Computerworld - Microsoft has released an updated version of Communicator for the Mac that works with Apple's new Lion operating system.

Communicator for Mac 2011 version 13.1.2 was released Thursday to Microsoft's download site, and will be pushed to users via the company's update service shortly, a Microsoft product director promised.

The new version of Communicator resolves the crash bug that afflicted the program when users tried to run it on Mac OS X 10.7, the new operating system Apple launched July 20.

Communicator is the corporate version of Microsoft's consumer-grade Messenger chat client for the Mac, and is available only to business and academic volume licensing customers. It is also the software that connects Mac users to Microsoft's enterprise communications server software, Lync 2010.

Last week, Microsoft's Office for Mac development team reported several problems with the 2011 and 2008 editions of the suite when run on Lion.

At the time, the Communicator crash bug and a glitch that prevents users from importing messages from Apple's Mail email client into Outlook 2011 or Entourage 2008 were the top two issues spelled out then by Pat Fox, a senior director of product development.

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Microsoft Announces Earnings for End of FY 2011

Microsoft has announced its quarterly earnings for the fiscal quarter just ended as well as financial results for its last fiscal year.

Microsoft this week released details for the fourth quarter of the company's 2011 fiscal year, which ended June 30. Redmond recorded revenue of $17.37 billion for the quarter, an eight percent increase from the same period of the prior year. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $6.17 billion, $5.87 billion, and $0.69 per share, which represented increases of four percent, 30 percent, and 35 percent, respectively, year-over-year.

Because this was the end of Microsoft's FY2011, the company also released details for the entire year. For FY2011, Microsoft reported record revenue of $69.94 billion, a 12 percent increase from the prior year. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the year were $27.16 billion, $23.15 billion, and $2.69, which represented increases of 13 percent, 23 percent, and 28 percent year-over-year.

Microsoft reports that its Microsoft Business Division revenue for the fourth quarter grew 7 percent with revenue for the full year increasing 16 percent, while Server and Tools revenue grew 12 percent for the fourth quarter, making it the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, and grew 11 percent for the full year. Windows and Windows Live Division revenue saw a 1 percent decline for the quarter just ended and revenue for the full year decreased 2 percent. Redmond's Online Services Division revenue grew 17 percent for the quarter and 15 percent for the full year, which the company attributes to increases in search revenue (Bing's U.S. search share increased 340 basis points year-over-year to 14.4 percent this quarter). The ongoing popularity of Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Kinect helped revenue for the Entertainment and Devices Division grow 30 percent for the fourth quarter and massive 45 percent for the year.

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Internet Explorer 9 outperforms competing browsers in malware download test

According to a newly released research by NSS Labs, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 greatly outperforms competing browsers in a test against socially-engineered malware. Based on an active testing against 615 malicious URLs for 19 days, both Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer 8 topped the comparative chart.

Here are the findings:

Windows Internet Explorer 9 - IE9 caught an exceptional 92% of the live threats
Windows Internet Explorer 8 - caught 90% of the live threats
Apple Safari 5 - caught 13% of the live threats
Google Chrome 10 - caught 13% of the live threats
Mozilla Firefox 4 - caught 13% of  the  live threats
Opera 11 - caught 5% of the live threats

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How Do 400 Million Windows 7 Licenses Compare Against Windows XP and Vista History?

Steve Ballmer proudly announced that Microsoft has sold 400 million Windows 7 licenses. It's a big number by any measure, but how does it compare to Windows Vista and Windows XP?

It has become a tradition for me that I am looking a bit closer into Microsoft's operating system license shipments every time Microsoft announces a new number with the subtle remark that a certain Windows is the fastest selling operating system ever. I don't know about you, but I never heard Microsoft ever announcing that any of its OSes was not the fastest selling OS in Windows history. Even Vista was, apparently, but we know that Vista wasn't exactly a success which tells us that a big number does not mean necessarily that a particular OS is a big success.

So, do 400 million Windows 7 licenses mean that Windows 7 is a big hit? Let's see.

We need to break this number down and put it in perspective to actual PC sales. Windows 7 launched on October 22, 2009 and has sold, on average, about 20 million licenses per month since then (give or take a few hundred thousand per month to even out the pre-sales event preceding the OS launch in 2009). During those 20 months, the global PC industry sold about 591 million PCs, which means that Microsoft shipped about 68 Windows licenses for every 100 PCs sold (let's forget the upgrades for a moment and take this number as a way to compare sales).

What is particularly stunning about the 20 million-per-month number is the fact that it is very consistent and there seems to almost clockwork in play to achieve those 20 million units. 100 million Windows 7 licenses were sold after 6 months, 150 million after 8 months, 240 million after 12 months and 300 million after 15 months. It is almost spooky. Windows 7 sales may be declining just a tad from the 8 month mark, but it's not significant.

Windows Vista, in comparison, sold 128 million licenses in 9 months, or 12 months, if we include the 3-month Express Upgrade cycle that enabled Microsoft to make the 2006/2007 holiday season (Vista was officially released to retail in January 2007, but was available through a coupon beginning in October 2006). So, a fair comparison would be that Vista sold just over 10 million units per month in the first year. Microsoft then announced 180 million units in August 2008 or 19/22 months after launch, which dropped the average to about 8 million units per month: interestingly enough, that means that Windows 7 has outsold Vista already as Windows Vista sold 384 million licenses in a best case scenario (48 months * 8 million units) until it was discontinued in October of last year.

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Microsoft Scores Deal to 'Bing' China's Search


Microsoft has scored the English results job for Chinese search engine giant Baidu. Rather than pursue its own search engine market, as Google is doing in China, Microsoft is working on partnerships.

Google's share in China is just under 20 percent, but Baidu commands the vast majority at more than 75 percent of the search market. Microsoft's Bing will return results in English searches.

As quoted by the Financial Times, Samuel Shen, senior vice-president of Microsoft China, said that the partnership "would give Baidu's many users better results and a better English search experience. At the same time, it will allow more Chinese users to experience Bing".

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Microsoft ignores IE slide, touts IE9 success on Windows 7

Chrome on pace to crack 15% usage share by October, Safari continues gains

Computerworld - Chrome and Safari continued to chip away at Internet Explorer's usage share last month, while Firefox remained stalled for the fourth straight month, a Web statistics firm said today.

Meanwhile, Microsoft used the same data from California-based Net Applications to tout the success of Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) on Windows 7, where the new browser is now the second-most-popular behind the 15-month-old IE8.

Total IE share fell by six-tenths of a percentage point in June -- the fourth consecutive month that Microsoft's browser slid by that amount or more -- to end at 53.7%, a new low for the browser. The drop was less than the previous three months, when IE's decay accelerated, and more in line with the average decline over the last 12 months.

At its current pace, IE could slip under the 50% bar before the end of this year, ending the majority Microsoft has enjoyed for more than a decade.

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