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Saturday, July 28, 2007

WIn VISTA Market

At Microsoft's annual meeting with analysts, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner announced that the software giant had sold 60 million copies of Windows Vista since the product's launch in late January.

During the first five weeks alone, Turner said, sales numbers of Windows Vista exceeded the number of computers that Apple currently has as its total installed base.

But not everyone was impressed. "There were probably nearly 120 million PCs shipped in the first two quarters of 2007, so I'm not sure 60 million is that great," observed Gartner Client Computing research vice president Michael Silver.

Microsoft is "trying to dampen Apple's latest quarterly results, which saw a significant increase in shipments," he said.

Lacking the Killer App?

Turner said he thinks Vista's prospects going forward are "huge" -- especially in emerging markets such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Nevertheless, the software giant has just reduced its Vista sales growth forecast to roughly 10 percent over the next 12 months.

The continuing popularity of Windows XP is one reason Vista sales haven't been as strong as some analysts had expected initially. In addition, Vista's lack of a "killer app" means that potential buyers have no compelling reason to migrate from XP aside from Vista's "coolness" factor, wrote analysts at Forrester Research on the eve of Vista's launch.

In addition, the research firm's analysts wrote, Vista needs to be seen and experienced to be fully understood by consumers. "Until must-have applications are available on the Vista platform, the purchase experience will play an important role in Vista adoption," they noted.

"We certainly expect businesses to continue installing Windows XP for some time, even on PCs they buy with Vista licenses," Silver said. "Especially in the enterprise, it takes a good 12 to 18 months until they can support a new OS in their environment," he explained.

Greater Reliability, Reduced Support

Microsoft is trying to encourage PC users to upgrade to its new OS by stressing Vista's improved performance over XP in both security and customer support. During the past six months, only 12 "high-severity vulnerabilities" have been uncovered for Vista versus 25 for Windows XP, Turner told analysts. "I think you should also note that Windows Vista had far fewer than Apple, as well as any major desktop Linux distributor," he added.

Turner also played up the fact that the number of support calls for Vista was 21 percent lower than the number received for Windows XP during the past six months. "That's a big improvement for us as it relates to improving reliability," he said.

Microsoft currently is feeling "very good" about the sales performance of Vista's higher-priced Premium Edition, which has been selected by 68 percent of the software giant's customers to date. "That's a 16-point year-over-year increase as it relates to our premium mix," Turner noted.

However, the relative success of Vista's Premium Edition is not all that surprising. When Forrester Research interviewed more than 4,000 online adults several months back, Vista awareness proved to be greatest among wealthy, style-conscious individuals -- the consumers most likely to buy an upscale notebook or desktop PC that can take advantage of the advanced features that the Premium Edition offers.


Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor.

The Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor will help you to determine if your Windows XP-based PC can run Windows Vista. You can also use the Upgrade Advisor to determine if your Windows Vista-based PC is ready for an upgrade to a more powerful edition of Windows Vista.

This small software tool will scan your computer and create an easy-to-understand report of all known system, device, and program compatibility issues, and recommend ways to resolve them. Upgrade Advisor can also help you to choose the edition of Windows Vista that best fits the way you want to use your computer.

Just download, install, and run the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor.

Please Note:

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Ubisoft to Make Heroes Game

Ubisoft has signed a licensing agreement with Universal Pictures to develop a game based on the hit NBC television show Heroes.

The game now exists in theory, but details are thin. An Ubisoft spokeswoman on Thursday said the company has no information about what platforms the yet-to-be-developed game might run on or what type of gameplay might be involved.

"With a gripping storyline and rich characters, Heroes lends itself naturally to a videogame format," said Christian Salomon, vice president of worldwide licensing at Ubisoft.

Heroes is a drama series about an interconnected group of people scattered around the world who discover they have mysterious superpowers like telepathy, time travel and flight.

Not content to leave the poor folks alone with their newfound skills, series creator Tim Kring sent some baddies to kill them and put the fate of the world in the heroes' hands.

"We are very excited to be making the 'Heroes' video game with Ubisoft," Kring said in a news release. "Time and again, Ubisoft has proven they can turn licensed properties into fantastic games."

More news:

Type S.A.
Founded 1986
Headquarters Montreuil, Seine-Saint-Denis, France
Key people Yves Guillemot, CEO
Yannis Mallat, CEO of Montreal Studio
Michel Ancel, Game Designer,

Industry Interactive entertainment
Products Rainbow Six
Ghost Recon
Splinter Cell
Prince of Persia
Brothers in Arms
Far Cry

Revenue €538 million sales FY2004-05
Operating income €41.4 million
Net income €27.2 million FY 2004-05 (before goodwill amortization)
Employees over 3500, 1760 in production tasks at the 1/20/2005
Ubisoft Entertainment (formerly Ubi Soft) is a computer and video game publisher and developer with headquarters in Montreuil, France. The company has facilities in over 20 countries, including development studios in Montreal and Quebec City, Canada; Barcelona, Spain; Shanghai, China; North Carolina, USA; Düsseldorf, Germany; Sofia, Bulgaria; Bucharest, Romania; Casablanca, Morocco and Milan, Italy, amongst other locations. As of 2004, it is the third-largest independent video game publisher in Europe, and the seventh largest in the US. The "Ubi" in Ubisoft is sometimes pronounced [juːbi] or more often [u'bi], in French it is pronounced .

The five brothers of the Guillemot family founded Ubisoft as a computer game publisher in 1986 in France. Yves Guillemot soon made deals with Electronic Arts, Sierra On-Line, and Microprose to distribute their games in France. By the end of the decade, Ubisoft began expanding to other markets, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

In the early 1990s, Ubisoft initiated its in-house game development program which led to the 1994 opening of a studio in Montreuil, France, which later became their headquarters. That same year, Michel Ancel created the Rayman character, a character which still stars in new video games as of 2006. Ubisoft became a publicly traded company in 1996 and continued to expand to offices around the globe, opening locations in Shanghai and Montreal. Ubisoft's revenue for 2002-2003 was €453 million; for fiscal year 2003-2004, this grew to €508 million. As of 2004, Ubisoft employs more than 2,350 people, of which over 1700 are classed as working in production. Yves Guillemot, a founding brother, is the chairman and CEO.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Ubisoft committed itself to online games by getting behind Uru: Ages Beyond Myst, The Matrix Online, and the European and Chinese operation of EverQuest. The publisher established as its online division. But in February 2004, Ubisoft cancelled the online portion of Uru and backed out of the publishing deal on The Matrix Online. Regardless, only a week later the company announced its acquisition of Wolfpack Studios, developers of fantasy MMORPG Shadowbane, and in July 2004, its Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow was released for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 with what some considered a revolutionary online multiplayer feature.[citation needed]

On December 20, 2004 Electronic Arts (EA) purchased a 19.9% stake in the firm. At the time, Ubisoft released a statement saying they considered the purchase "hostile" until they had further information on EA's intent.[1]

On March 2005 Ubisoft acquired MC2-Microïds (Microïds Canada) and integrated it into Ubisoft's Montréal studios.[2]

Ubisoft also bought the Driver franchise from Atari in July 2006, for a sum of €19 million (USD$24 million) in cash for the franchise, technology rights, and most assets. Additionally, though Ubisoft is not acquiring the studio outright, the 80 members of Driver developer Reflections Interactive will become employees of Ubisoft.

On April 11, 2007, Ubisoft announced that it had acquired Sunflowers

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