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SAN FRANCISCO Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday afternoon that it is increasing production of its Surface tablet and expanding the retail availability of the device. The company gave no specific figures as to how much it will increase production of the tablet. In a statement, Microsoft also said that, based on the success of its holiday stores, it will extend all of these locations into the new year. “These stores will transition into either permanent brick-and-mortar retail outlets or specialty store locations,” the statement read. The company also said its plan had been to expand the retail footprint for the Surface [...]

Microsoft’s (MSFT) Surface tablet, the company’s premiere Windows hardware offering, has seemingly not been well-received by the public. See more tech stories on the Business Technology homepage. BGR saw a great deal of potential in the Surface when we reviewed it in October, but consumers have not been swayed by the slate’s sleek hardware and unique interface. Microsoft has reportedly cut its fourth-quarter orders with manufacturing partners in half, and one firm estimates that the company will sell fewer than 1 million Surface tablets in 2012. Now, a new report suggests Surface sales may be even slower than we thought. [...]

SAN FRANCISCO Facebook Inc. is considering buying Microsoft Corp.’s Atlas Solutions ad platform, the AllThingsD blog reported Thursday, citing unnamed sources. The report said Facebook is looking into a possible deal, as part of a plan to set up its own ad network geared to third-party Web sites. No financial terms were mentioned in the report. A company representative said the company does not comment on rumors or speculation. Shares of Facebook were last trading down 2.7% to $ 26.95.

Microsoft has opened Socl, a search-meets-social website, to the public for beta testing.Microsoft opens Socl — its social-meets-search siteLaunched for testing in May, the site remains an open beta testAnyone with a Microsoft or Facebook account can access it After a long period of closed beta testing, Microsoft made the beta version of its social network, Socl, available to everyone on Tuesday.Socl initially launched this May. It’s a search-meets-social networking website that looks more like Pinterest than Facebook, and has until now been open only to invited Microsoft employees and college students.Now, everyone with a Microsoft or Facebook account can [...]

Who would have thought a couple of years ago that Research In Motion (RIMM) would be on the ropes and Microsoft (MSFT) could be getting close? Well, me… but not many others. Microsoft’s latest strategy of trying to make a no compromise tablet has resulted in, you guessed it, compromise. It’s not as polished as an iPad, it’s more limited in almost every possible way, it’s slow, clunky, unresponsive at times, offers a worse display, weighs more, and is thicker. Plus it costs over $ 100 more when you factor in a Touch Cover or Type Cover keyboard. Plus, you [...]

BELLEVUE, Washington – Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Steve Ballmer defended his company’s record on innovation and financial performance at the annual shareholders’ meeting, but conceded that he should have moved faster to get into the booming tablet market dominated by Apple Inc’s iPad. Bill Gates, co-founder and now chairman of the world’s largest software company, was one of the first to champion tablet-sized devices more than 10 years ago, but Microsoft failed to come up with a product that worked as well as the iPad. Gates was silent throughout the meeting, attended by about 450 shareholders. “We’re innovating on the [...]

SAN FRANCISCO Shares of Facebook Inc. rose 5% early Monday after Bernstein Research raised the stock’s rating to outperform citing the social networking giant’s “revenue growth potential” in the next two years. Shares of Apple Inc. also edged up 1% to $ 578 after Citigroup re-initiated coverage with a buy rating, saying the stock is poised for gains after a near-term sell-off. Yahoo Inc. also saw its stock post a 2% gain after Goldman Sachs put the stock on its conviction buy list, pointing to “recent clarity” on the company’s expected turnaround. The tech sector also got a lift from [...]

SEATTLE/SAN FRANCISCO The sudden departure of powerful Windows boss Steven Sinofsky this week is the first step in a plan by CEO Steve Ballmer to remodel Microsoft Corp as a much more integrated operation in an attempt to take on Apple Inc and Google Inc at their own game. After nearly 13 years at the helm of the world’s largest software maker, which just launched its first own-brand computer, sources inside the company say Sinofsky’s departure signals Ballmer’s new-found focus on co-operation between its self-sufficient – and sometimes warring – units. “What I’m hearing over and over is collaboration and [...]

Nokia’s chief executive said there would be no change in the relationship with its software partner Microsoft (MSFT), despite the software giant’s entry into tablets and partnerships with rival phone makers. Stephen Elop said Nokia retained a “special” relationship with Microsoft, even though others such as HTC have also launched phones with Windows Phone software. “They’re not sitting in the priority meetings that we’re sitting in,” he said at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecoms conference in Barcelona on Wednesday. Analysts have said Microsoft could one day become a rival to Nokia if it launches its own smartphones, while [...]

SAN FRANCISCO Shares of Microsoft Corp slid on Tuesday after the surprise departure of a key executive, who analysts said marks the loss of the driving force behind the company’s biggest product. The shares were down 2.8 percent in afternoon at $ 27.21. Microsoft on Monday night announced the departure of Steve Sinofsky, a 23-year veteran of the company and head of its flagship Windows unit, just two weeks after launching the Windows 8 operating system. Analysts fear that Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is driving out talent just as the company needs it most. “Sinofsky may have ruled the kingdom [...]

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