Yahoo trimming down its chat room services on December 14!!

Yahoo announced that it is cutting down on some of the Yahoo Messenger features such as public chat rooms, Windows Live Messenger support, Pingbox on december 14 and will not be offering Yahoo! Voice Phone In and Phone Out services by January 30th, 2013.

Public chat rooms which were topic-based or region-based will stop functioning from December 14. “In order to focus on providing great new features for Yahoo! Messenger, we are discontinuing some Messenger services, including our public chat rooms on December 14. We know that some long-term Yahoo! Messenger users still enjoy these topic-based communities, however we feel that by embracing the modern technologies and platforms available today, Yahoo! will uncover better ways to foster meaningful communities and connections with the people you care about,” said Yahoo on its Messenger help page.

Pingbox is a feature that let users interact privately with visitors on their social networks, blogs, etc., using the users Yahoo Messenger profile. This service will get the axe as well on December 14. Users using the service can uninstall it using these steps.

Discontinuing WIndows Live Messenger support was somewhat expected after Microsoftannounced that it is planning to retire the Live Messenger service and integrate it will Skype. The MIcrosoft contacts on your Yahoo Messenger profile will still appear, although they will be greyed out and any messages sent will not be delivered.

“We have decided to discontinue several Yahoo! product features. This will enable us to refocus our efforts on modernizing our core Yahoo! products experiences and of course, create new ones,” said the Yahoo blog post on Friday.

Source: Yahoo Messenger Blog

Microsoft Releases Campaign To Ridicule Google!!

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Microsoft took its rivalry with Google to next level by its latest smear campaign the search giant, saying “Google is a lousy holiday shopping guide.”

Microsoft started the attack on Wednesday with a marketing campaign targeting the recent changes in the way Google operates the section of the search engine devoted to shopping results. This change has made the merchants to pay Google to have their products listed in the shopping section.

In its new ad the Redmond based company contends that the Google’s new approach betrays the longstanding commitment to provide the most trustworthy results on the Wednesday, even if it means some dents into its revenue. To nail its point straight, Microsoft warned the consumers about the risk of getting “scroogled” if they rely on shopping services by Google.

This campaign will be highlighted across media sections, to be telecasted in TV commercials scheduled to run on NBC and CNN and also in the news paper adds which includes The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. And the software giant went a step further, displaying its blitz on billboards and on an exclusive new website Scroogled.com.

Google yet remains the dominant search engine and all this deriding campaign by Microsoft point at one thing; its efforts to divert traffic on its own search engine Bing, which stands a distant second. The rivalry may get thicker in coming days.

Google defends its revision as an approach to encourage merchants to provide more comprehensive and accurate information about what they are selling. “I think you just get a well-organized set of product information, ways to buy it, and really have a great experience there,” CEO Larry Page said during a conference call with analysts last month, reports IBN Live.

In a statement, Google said it’s pleased with the responses for its listings of 100,000 sellers. And added Google doesn’t require websites to pay to be listed in its main database, the index that provides results for requests entered into its all-purpose search box.

“Our search results are the best we know how to produce,” Brin and Page wrote in the letter. “They are unbiased and objective and we do not accept payment for them.”

The unexplained part is why Amazon, which offers some of the best deals on web, is not listed in Google’s shopping section of the search page.

“We want consumers to know, in contrast to the route that Google has pursued, we are staying true to the DNA of what a good search engine is really about,” said Mike Nichols, Bing’s chief marketing officer. “We will rank results on what’s relevant to you and not based on how much someone might pay us.”

Danny Sullivan, an Internet search expert and editor of SearchEngineLand.com who has been following Google since its inception, believes Microsoft is highlighting an important issue. “Google deserves to take its lumps on this.” And added “I have been surprised by how little attention this issue has gotten so far because it’s a 180-degree turn for Google.”

Sullivan doesn’t think Bing’s shopping results are pristine either, pointing to its partnership with Shopping.com, which requires the merchants to pay to be in the listings. While all that is true, Bing’s shopping section consists mostly of listings from merchants that haven’t paid for the privilege, said Stefan Weitz, Bing’s director.

Microsoft announces 40 million Windows 8 licences sold since launch!!

Microsoft claims that it has sold a whopping 40 million Windows 8 licences since its launch on October 26, 2012. Tami Reller, the Windows Chief Marketing and Financial Officer, revealed this information during a speech at Credit Suisse 2012 Annual Technology Conference. Reller said, “The journey is just beginning, but I am pleased to announce today that we have sold 40 million Windows 8 licenses so far.”

Microsoft announces 40 million Windows 8 licences sold since launch

Recently, Microsoft revealed that it had sold four million upgrade copies of Windows 8 in the first few days of the new OS going live.

This is quite a milestone for the company and it is really pushing the new OS to the point that all newly launched laptops and ultrabooks are powered by Windows 8 even though Windows 7 is still a very stable and well-supported OS. Microsoft sold 60 million Windows 7 licenses from its launch (October 2009) till December 2009.

The details of “licenses sold” seems to be in the grey area as it does not clarify whether these licenses are sold to consumers, organizations, distributers or manufacturers who are offering Windows 8 straight out of the box.

Notably, no details about the sales figures of Microsoft’s Surface RT tablet were revealed. Microsoft’s Surface Pro, the tablets running Windows 8 Pro will be available from January 2013.

It’s nice to see that Windows 8 has an app store but at launch there were only a few thousand apps and they didn’t include big names such as Facebook and Twitter. Also the learning curve for the new OS is a bit high which may turn off the traditional Windows user. Nonetheless, it is safe to say that Microsoft has done a pretty good job with its new desktop/tablet hybrid OS.