Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

Captain Rick: Dell Inc. announced that it agreed to be acquired for $24.4 billion by a purchasing group that includes company founder and CEO Michael Dell, a private equity firm Silver Lake Partners and a $2 billion loan from Microsoft. If completed, Dell would become the largest leveraged buyout since the financial crisis, and one of the ten largest LBOs of all time.

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This deal has massive financing backing, which was largely enabled by Dell’s massive cash stockpile that could be used as collateral incase the stock price offer of $13.65 per share (about 25% above current price) becomes an issue due to future market changes before the deal is finalized. It also helped ‘seal the deal’ with the giant tech incumbent with loads of cash … Microsoft … with its $2 billion loan. A broader debt financing package, believed to be worth around $15 billion, was committed by BofA, Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Credit Suisse and RBC Capital Markets. It also is worth noting that this isn’t the first time Microsoft has worked with Silver Lake Partners, the private equity firm leading Dell’s acquisition. In 2011, Silver Lake sold Skype to Microsoft for $8.5 billion.

Why is Microsoft providing a $2 billion loan, instead of seeking equity?
 
In a statement, the software giant said: "Microsoft has provided a $2 billion loan to the group that has proposed to take Dell private. Microsoft is committed to the long term success of the entire PC ecosystem and invests heavily in a variety of ways to build that ecosystem for the future. We’re in an industry that is constantly evolving. As always, we will continue to look for opportunities to support partners who are committed to innovating and driving business for their devices and services built on the Microsoft platform."

Captain Rick’s Vision … This deal has significant meaning!

As an engineer…I have followed Microsoft since its beginnings way back in 1975 when founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen. Since then Microsoft has grown to become the world’s giant of PC operating system software. Microsoft Windows operates the majority of the worlds computers. In recent years Microsoft has come under attack form Apple, which has become the world’s mobile leader. Microsoft understands the diminishing role of the PC. Hewlett Packard, the largest producer of PCs came close to abandoning PC production a while back, but has reckoned its course since. I believe Microsoft is looking to shore up its future by supporting Dell, the world’s second largest PC manufacturer…to keep it afloat. By making loan to Dell, in stead of an equity investment, Microsoft will not offend Hewlett Packard. Microsoft’s loan to Dell will most likely guide Dell’s future PC design so that it truly supports Microsoft’s future vision of the Windows operating systems that support not only PCs, but mobile devices as well. Windows 8 is a good start, but I suspect Microsoft has much greater things in mind with proper support from PC manufacturers. I believe their goal is to not only maintain their leadership with PCs but also gain leadership in the mobile world. We can expect a war between Microsoft and Apple in the coming years. Microsoft, with its multi billions of cash is no where near the condition of accepting second place. I see lots at stake in this deal. While this is not a ‘done deal’, it looks very promising to me.

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Captain Rick: Microsoft launched a ‘Hail Mary’ pass today as the first Windows Phone 8 devices went on sale. These are the first phones that are compatible with the new Windows 8 operating system. Early users call this a great product and love it. It is receiving praise for its innovative interface. It has some snazzy new features that rival those on the iPhone and Android devices. IDC forecasts that Windows Phone will overtake Apple’s iPhone by 2016, gaining 19.2% of the market. With hundreds of millions of Microsoft Windows users migrating over to Windows 8 over the next few years, the Windows Phone 8 will push the iPhone and Android devices aside and gain the fame of being the world’s most used phone device. Those who rely on Microsoft Office products will find themselves right at home. I suspect that internet calling via Microsoft’s Skype, will be part of the new game plan. As an avid user of Microsoft Windows since the beginning of time, coupled with Microsoft’s multi-millions of dollars invested in the new Window’s 8 system, I anticipate Microsoft’s ‘Hail Mary’ pass will be caught in the end zone a few years from now for a monumental touchdown that will send Apple back to the ‘fruit orchard’ it originated from. 

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A Samsung is shown above. Nokia’s Lumina 920, which has received positive reviews, is now available for just $100 with a two-year contact via AT&T. Windows Phone 8 devices will also be available on Verizon’s network, America’s largest wireless carrier.

Captain Rick: Windows ran on 90% of the worlds internet connected devices just a few years ago. With the advent of tablets and other mobile devices running apps, its share has dropped to under 70%. To stop the bleeding, Microsoft is staking its future on the radically redesigned operating system…Windows 8, which supports tablet-like application software as well as PC type software like Office.

If you are one who enjoys running fingers across the screen making icons and pictures sail around and get bigger and smaller, you will love Windows 8, going on sale Friday, October 26, 2012. Keep in mind that doing so on your PC’s LCD screen will destroy it. A touch screen is required, like the ones used on tablets. Windows 8 will also work with mice, scroll pads and other input divices used with PCs and laptops.

Windows 8 will come in two versions. The RT version will run on mobile devices that use Windows 8 aps, like the new Microsoft Surface table which will also goes on sale October 26. The full Intel-based Windows 8 version will run on newer PCs and on Microsoft’s Intel-based Surface Pro being released in January. It will be the world’s first tablet with a full computer operating system. It will run all Microsoft Office software as well as any other software that runs on Windows 7, Vista or XP…something an iPad or any other tablet can not do.

My advice is if you are looking to buy a tablet, hold off and purchase the more powerful Intel-based full Windows 8 Surface Pro in January. It is bound to leave the iPad in the dust when it comes to abilty.

If you are a Windows 7 PC user, there is basically no reason for you to upgrade to 8. New PCs purchased, after current stock is depleted, will come with Windows 8 installed. One of the biggest changes users will see when they fire it up is that the “Start” button is history, replaced with a new screen as shown in the photo. For those who do not have a touch screen and prefer to continue to use their mouse or scroll pad…there is an option to switch 8 over to desktop mode.

Video of Windows 8 Demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkCqJvcJliY&feature=BFa&list=PLpRDP9tt_V7szOsqVtWETZtXD_cjQZzID

Video of Windows 8 in action and more info: http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/25/technology/microsoft-windows-8-gamble/index.html?iid=Popular

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