NEW DELHI: Tech giant Microsoft decided to shift its annual conference — Microsoft Build online due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Now the company decided to make the event free. Scott Hanselman, principal program manager, Microsoft announced in an official blog post that the conference will start on 19 May and will feature 48 hours of programming. These 48 hours will include sessions, talks, and demos which will be hosted by the company’s engineers.
Hanselman said, “It’s not the Build we thought it would be, but it’s gonna be special. Today, we’re excited to share that registration for an all-new virtual Build experience is now open. We can’t wait to bring together our community of developers to learn, connect, and code together.”
The company has also announced in the same post that anyone can register to attend Build 2020 starting today and that too free of charge.
The event will start with the keynote of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. The company is also expected to host workshops on Twitch and the attendees will also be able to interact with Microsoft employees. The developers will also get goodies in mails as the registration process is asking for their shipping information.
Here’s a little more of what you can expect at Build this year:
* Two days of continuous learning in your time zone: Attend sessions, talks and demos carefully chosen to help developers be productive wherever you work, and drive innovation and transformation. You will hear from the engineers behind the products you use every day and connect with your peers in a digital event experience.
* Build community connections: Expand your network and your perspective on what’s possible. Connect and collaborate with your peers from around the world and with the Microsoft engineers behind the tools and services you rely on.
* Level up your coding: Discover new ways to take your code and application architecture to the next level with as we help you troubleshoot, optimize and secure your projects.
* Helping developers today: We’re committed to support developers with cost-effective, efficient innovations that make people’s lives easier and better, especially in uncertain times. Today, we announced new lower pricing for Visual Studio Codespaces (formerly Visual Studio Online) so you can create cloud-hosted dev environments that are accessible from anywhere, from any device. Earlier this month, GitHub announced that all of its core features are now available for free to all users. You can expect more such announcements as we journey through Microsoft Build.
By: Bloomberg |
Published: April 30, 2020 12:27:30 pm
Microsoft revenue is less consumer-centric and far more recurring, and when you go to a subscription, you have a pay-for-it-or-lose-it mindset.
Microsoft Corp said quarterly sales and profit rose, buoyed by demand for internet-based software and cloud services needed to accommodate a shift to remote working during the coronavirus crisis.
Profit in the period ended March 31 rose to $10.8 billion, or $1.40 a share, the company said Wednesday in a statement. Sales rose 15 per cent to $35 billion. The results from the world’s largest software maker topped analysts’ average estimates for $1.28 a share in profit and $33.7 billion in sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Shares jumped in late trading.
Microsoft so far has thrived during the Covid-19pandemic because of its focus on cloud offerings, like Office productivity tools, Azure services and subscription programs that are less vulnerable to spending slumps. Even the Windows PC-software and Surface device units did better than the company had projected, thanks to an easing in supply-chain disruptions in China just as workers began to stock up on new gear in March to outfit home offices.
“Microsoft revenue is less consumer-centric and far more recurring, and when you go to a subscription, you have a pay-for-it-or-lose-it mindset,” said Mark Moerdler, an analyst at Sanford C Bernstein & Co.
Still, some parts of the business felt the virus’s impact. The disruption in manufacturing technology gear and components in China meant that Microsoft couldn’t expand its cloud data centers as much as planned, leading to some capacity shortages for Azure and Office cloud customers, Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood said in an interview. Issues in China have already improved and the company expects to boost capital expenditures to bolster its cloud, easing the capacity constraints by the end of the current quarter.
Other concerns may persist longer. As smaller businesses and individuals suffered from closures, lost jobs and economic upheaval in March, Microsoft saw a slowdown in one-time software purchases. Even as subscriptions become more common, many customers still buy products like Office, Windows and Windows Server in this manner, and Hood said that weakness is likely to last.
“We do expect that to continue to be impacted, as obviously everything is impacted and we need to work though this,” she said. The company’s LinkedIn corporate social network and job-finding website is also suffering amid a lack of advertising spending in general, and a dearth of open jobs that fuel listings and usage of the site.
Microsoft shares rose about 2.5 per cent in extended trading following the report. Earlier, they closed at $177.43 in New York. The stock has gained more than 13 per cent in 2020, giving the company a market value of $1.35 trillion — making it the biggest US publicly traded company.
While Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft had cautioned in February that the spread of the virus in China would hurt its Windows personal-computer operating system and device businesses, that unit ended up benefiting from purchases by workers worldwide who were kitting out home offices. The company also said its gaming service got a boost in engagement as homebound users sought entertainment.
Microsoft’s revenue from selling copies of Windows to computer makers and the overall PC market “really benefited from the faster-than-expected improvement in the supply chain in China as well as increased demand to support the remote scenarios we are all so familiar with,” Hood said.
Fiscal third-quarter revenue in Microsoft’s division that includes Windows, Xbox, Surface computing devices and search advertising rose 3% to $11 billion. That’s above the $10.6 billion estimate of analysts polled by Bloomberg, a notable beat in a unit coping with lower ad prices and a rocky quarter for electronics supplies, manufacturing and sales. Intel Corp, last week also reported a bump in PC demand, though the biggest computer-chip maker withdrew its full-year forecast.
The company is also still “on track” for its planned launch of a new generation of Xbox game consoles this holiday season, Hood said.
On the cloud side, Azure infrastructure services and Office 365 software, including the Teams teleconferencing app, gained from work-at-home arrangements. Azure revenue jumped 59 per cent in the quarter, and commercial cloud revenue rose 39 per cent to $13.3 billion. Margins widened by 4 percentage points in that business.
In the Intelligent Cloud division, sales increased to $12.3 billion, compared with an average projection for $11.7 billion. For the unit that includes Office software — both cloud and traditional sales — revenue climbed to $11.7 billion. That compares with the $11.5 billion average Wall Street prediction.
Microsoft shares were unchanged for the fiscal third quarter, a volatile period when global markets were buffeted by worries about the virus’ spread. That was a better performance then the 20 per cent decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index during the same period as investors bet Microsoft’s internet-based software might help it fare better than other companies, including some tech rivals that get a bigger portion of sales from the advertising market or consumer gadgets.
* For the quarter ending in June, Microsoft said sales in the More Personal Computing unit will be $11.3 billion to $11.7 billion, compared with the average analyst estimate of $11.14 billion.
* Productivity division revenue will be $11.65 billion to $11.95 billion. Analysts predicted $12.1 billion.
NEW DELHI: Microsoft has decided to do away with Thunderbolt 3 ports from its upcoming Surface lineup. As per the latest leak, the tech giant will reportedly ditch the Thunderbolt 3 ports from its yet to launch Surface lineup. The company has decided to do so due to some security concerns.
According to the internal Surface engineering webinar posted on Twitter by WalkingCat, Microsoft’s Surface lineup will not consist of Intel’s Thunderbolt technology because “that’s indirect memory access.” In the webinar, the Microsoft employee explains, “No Surface device has Thunderbolt. Why not? Because that’s a direct memory access port. If you have a well-prepared stick that you can put into the direct memory access port, then you can access the full device in memory and all data that are stored in memory. We don’t believe, at this moment, that Thunderbolt can deliver the security that’s really needed from the devices.”
The Verge has checked the authenticity of the presentation and it is genuine. The Microsoft employee in the video is a Surface technology specialist based in the Netherlands and is working with the company for more than 10 years. In the same video, he added that due to the similar security concerns Microsoft Surface devices don’t have RAM also.
He further adds, “If you’d be able to upgrade the memory… what you can easily do is freeze the memory with liquid nitrogen, get the memory out, and then put it in a specific reader… and then you can access all the data that was loaded into memory. That’s why on all Surface devices the memory is not physically upgradeable, because of security. We want to make sure the memory can not be tampered with.”
A recent leak revealed that Microsoft will launch Surface Book 3 and Surface Go 2 devices next month. Microsoft is planning to incorporate Intel’s latest 10th Gen processors in the Surface Book 3. Along with this, the company is also expected to pack the device with 32GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.
Satya Nadella-led Microsoft has revealed that the video conferencing tool from the company — Microsoft Team — now has crossed 75 million daily active users with 250 active participants.
In a period of one month, Microsoft Teams has recorded more than 200 million meeting participants leading to more than 4.1 billion meeting minutes.
“Teams now has more than 75 million daily active users, engaging in rich forms of communication and collaboration, and two-thirds of them shared, collaborated, or interacted with files on Teams,” said Satya Nadella in an investor call.
Speaking a little more about the user base, Nadella said that the number of organisations integrating their third-party and line of business apps with Teams has tripled in the past two months. “In healthcare alone, there were more than 34 million Teams meetings in the past month,” added Nadella.
Nadella also said how the need to be able to work remotely — specifically in certain sectors including healthcare, education, public sector organisations — has led to a surge in demand.
Giving a little future perspective, Nadella said, “ …as we work out here, so if you think about the next phase of recovery, it’s more like a dial. Things will start coming back in terms of economic activity and we’ll have to keep adjusting the dial. This hybrid work is going to be there with us for a period of time. That’s where some of the sort of architectural product strength of ours will be very useful to our customers. Even just take Teams, it’s not — Teams is not just about having lots and lots of video meetings. Teams is about actually getting work done where meetings and video is one part. So that’s, for example, something the utility of it will only increase for our customers as some people come back to work, some people are remote, you have to collaborate without any fatigue. So that’s that second phase.”
Video conferencing tools have been in demand ever since millions of people around the globe have been working from home due to the coronavirus lockdown. One particular platform that became immensely popular is Zoom. The US-based cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform even topped the list of most-downloaded apps in India among Android users last month and riding on this success wave, Zoom claimed that its user base had grown to over 300 million daily users in the last three weeks.
The company now, however, has admitted that it does not have more than 300 million daily users, but rather has 300 million daily Zoom meeting participants, claims a report by The Verge. The report points out that Zoom has now edited its original blog post from last week that mentioned that “more than 300 million people around the world are using Zoom during this challenging time.”
As per the report, Zoom has now made the change on the blog post and even added a note admitting the error. “This blog originally referred to meeting participants as “users” and “people.” This was an oversight on our part,” reads the note.
In a statement to The Verge, Zoom said, “We are humbled and proud to help over 300 million daily meeting participants stay connected during this pandemic. In a blog post on April 22, we unintentionally referred to these participants as “users” and “people.” When we realized this error, we adjusted the wording to “participants.” This was a genuine oversight on our part.”
After this correction, the company has not revealed its daily active user base.
Some of the biggest tech giants — Google, Microsoft, Facebook — have been actively making announcements about their video conferencing tools. Microsoft Team is said to have reached a record 75 million daily active users, with a jump of 70%. Google Meet is also adding about 3 million new users everyday, the company has revealed. Facebook on its part has announced a new tool — Messenger Rooms — to allow up to 50 participants to engage in a video call.