Microsoft has announced its latest dividend, increasing the regular dividend to an 11-cent one, which will be payed December 13 to shareholders as November 15. After this divident, Microsoft will have returned $4.50 to shareholders over the last four years.
The European Union’s Court of First Instance has rejected Microsoft’s appeal in the long-running European Commission antitrust trial. As a result, Microsoft will have to fulfill the entire 2004 verdict, including a $690 million fine, as well as 80% of the Commission’s legal fees. According to Joe Wilcox, Microsoft’s appeal options are limited and not likely to yield any real results. Microsoft will also have to disclose server protocol information to its competitors, and will likely be forced to extend disclosure concessions to U.S. governments as well.
The 2004 ruling is also the one that established Windows “N” versions, which ship without Windows Media Player and have not sold at all. EC commissioner Neelie Kroes, who has spearheaded this entire case, seems to think that the court’s ruling affirms the decision to require “N”, even though consumers voted with their wallets that the decision was a waste of time.
Anonymous Microsoft employees are venting to Wilcox, saying that the decision sets a dangerous precedent, discourages innovation, that the Commission was influenced by lobbying groups fronting for Microsoft’s competitors, and that the case is based on what Microsoft did ten years ago and has no reason to exist today.
I’ve added this new BlogRush service to the blog to see if it works and brings a few new readers to the area. If you haven’t heard about it, BlogRush shows some headlines on your blog, and every time someone clicks on a headline, you get credit to receive a headline click from someone else later. It’s got a referral pyramid system (and all links in this post are referral links), so you get credits from people you refer to the service as well.
Here’s what the BlogRush widget looks like:
One thing to consider before adding it to your blog: The effectiveness of it will depend on the traffic of your blog and how prominently you place the BlogRush widget. If you only have five visitors a day, and one of them clicks the widget, you’ll only get about one visitor per day back. If you put it too far down your sidebar, no one will ever click it, and you’ll get nothing as well. I’ve put it pretty low as a test, but if I see significant traffic, I’ll probably move it higher.
Anyway, there’s a lot of discussion about it in the blogosphere, so check BlogRush out if you think this is just the sort of thing to drive more traffic to your blog. Read the FAQ on their site to find out more.
Take a look at this new ad for Halo 3, the first in a new series, called Museum:
The ad is designed to remind you of video interviews with World War II veterans, the 3D diorama is very detailed (and very well shot), as well as impress that Halo is about war, a very emotional thing. The whole thing just gave me chills.
Joystiq has a few things to say about how the ad feels so real, it might offend veterans of real wars, or people fighting for our country right now. Kotaku has details about the diorama, which is 12 feet tall and is likely to tour the country, making stops at various Halo events.
Here’s the second ad, called Believe, focusing more closely on the miniatures:
Here’s the first parody, made by Consolevania, showing what the reality of playing Halo 3 is like for most of us:
Can anyone explain to me why embedded GameVideos don’t play in Opera?
Check out this Windows Live Search commercial about Eskimos:
The latest numbers from the NPD Group are out, and sales of video game consoles are looking good for Microsoft. Thanks to the Xbox 360′s price cut, the 360 actually outsold the ol’ PlayStation 2, selling 276,000 consoles in August (a 106,000 unit increase). Meanwhile, Sony’s post-price cut surge is firmly over, with the PlayStation 3 selling just 130,000 consoles, a drop of 29,000 from the month before.
One wonders how many months Microsoft can sell double what Sony does before people stop caring about the PS3 altogether. Of course, if Halo 3 pushes a few hundred thousand Xbox 360s, we could be looking at a very shook-up market in two months.
NPD’s stats on August games sales puts the 360 version of Madden as the top seller (896,000 copies), followed by the PS2 version, followed by Bioshock on the 360 (490,000), followed by Madded on the PS3 (336,000). No other PS3 game made the top 20.
ComScore’s latest numbers on the top websites in the United States are out, and Fox Interactive’s websites, including MySpace, still hold the top spot in pageviews, while Yahoo’s sites rule in unique visitors. Microsoft rose to #3 in pageviews, beating Google thanks to larger gains in August, while holding almost completely still with its #2 ranking in unique visitors.
After discovering a particular security vulnerability, Microsoft has decided to force all users of MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger on Windows Vista and XP to upgrade to the latest version, Windows Live Messenger 8.1. Many users are holdouts, sticking with older version like 6.2, 7.0, 7.5 and 8.0, but on trying to sign in they will be forced to upgrade or not use the software. Get ready for a lot of angry users.
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