Category: Microsoft

June 10, 2019 Off

Salesforce’s Tableau acquisition is huge, but not the hugest

By Jill T Frey

When you’re talking about 16 billion smackeroos, it’s easy to get lost in the big number. When Salesforce acquired Tableau this morning for $15.7 billion, while it was among the biggest enterprise deals ever, it certainly wasn’t the largest.

There was widespread speculation that when the new tax laws went into effect in 2017, and large tech companies could repatriate large sums of their money stored offshore, we would start to see a wave of M&A activity, and sure enough that’s happened.

As Box CEO Aaron Levie pointed out on Twitter, it also shows that if you can develop a best-of-breed tool that knocks off the existing dominant tool set, you can build a multibillion-dollar company. We have seen this over and over, maybe not $15 billion companies, but substantial companies with multibillion-dollar price tags.

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June 10, 2019 Off

Salesforce is officially making Seattle its second HQ after its Tableau acquisition

By Jill T Frey

Here’s an interesting by-product of the news today that Salesforce would be acquiring Tableau for $15.7 billion: the company is going to make Seattle, Wash. (home of Tableau) the official second headquarters of San Francisco-based Salesforce, putting the company directly in the face of tech giants and Salesforce frenemies Microsoft and Amazon.

“An HQ2, if you will,” Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff quipped right after he dropped the news during the press and analyst call.

HQ2, of course, is a reference to Amazon and its year-long, massively publicised, often criticised and ultimately botched search (it eventually cancelled plans to build an HQ in NYC, but kept Arlington) for its own second headquarters, which it also branded “HQ2.”

If real estate sends a message — and if you’ve ever seen Salesforce Tower in San Francisco, you know it does for this company — Salesforce is sending one here. … Read the rest

June 10, 2019 Off

Microsoft Power Platform update aims to put AI in reach of business users

By Jill T Frey

Low code and no code are the latest industry buzzwords, but if vendors can truly abstract away the complexity of difficult tasks like building machine learning models, it could help mainstream technologies that are currently out of reach of most business users. That’s precisely what Microsoft is aiming to do with its latest Power Platform announcements today.

The company tried to bring that low-code simplicity to building applications last year when it announced PowerApps. Now it believes by combining PowerApps with Microsoft Flow and its new AI Builder tool, it can allow folks building apps with PowerApps to add a layer of intelligence very quickly.

It starts with having access to data sources, and the Data Connector tool gives users access to more than 250 data connectors. That includes Salesforce, Oracle and Adobe, as well as, of course, Microsoft services like Office 365 and Dynamics 365. Richard Riley, senior director … Read the rest

June 10, 2019 Off

Salesforce is buying data visualization company Tableau for $15.7B in all-stock deal

By Jill T Frey

On the heels of Google buying analytics startup Looker last week for $2.6 billion, Salesforce today announced a huge piece of news in a bid to step up its own work in data visualization and (more generally) tools to help enterprises make sense of the sea of data that they use and amass: Salesforce is buying Tableau for $15.7 billion in an all-stock deal.

The latter is publicly traded and this deal will involve shares of Tableau Class A and Class B common stock getting exchanged for 1.103 shares of Salesforce common stock, the company said, and so the $15.7 billion figure is the enterprise value of the transaction, based on the average price of Salesforce’s shares as of June 7, 2019.

This is a huge jump on Tableau’s last market cap: it was valued at $10.79 billion at close of trading Friday, according to figures on Google Finance. … Read the rest

June 9, 2019 Off

Here are the game trailers from Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference

By Jill T Frey

Trailers. You love them, Microsoft’s got them. According to the company, there were a ridiculous 60 games trotted out on stage at today’s big E3 kickoff. Looks like the Xbox got a little extra love at the event since Sony’s MIA this year. Along with more information on its streaming service Project XCloud a sneak peek at its next console and a very special appearance by Keanu, the company had a LOT of games to show off.

Here are the biggest trailers from today’s event.

Minecraft: Dungeons – Everyone’s favorite building block title gets its very own single and multiplayer RPG adventure.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps: Announced in 2017, Moon Studio’s platformer finally arrives next February.

Bleeding Edge: Ninja Theory’s latest is a multiplayer melee combat title.

Flight Simulator: You know, you love it — or are otherwise indifferent. The classic simulator returns in 2020.

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June 9, 2019 Off

Microsoft teases 8K Xbox

By Jill T Frey

Microsoft is working to create its most powerful Xbox yet as it gears up for the next wave of gaming console hardware. Xbox shared some details on its next hardware at E3 and it sounds appropriately next-gen.

The company teased some huge factoids in a teaser about what it’s calling “Project Scarlett.” The upcoming console will have 8K capability, will be able to handle frame rates up to 120fps and will utilize SSD storage to keep load times low. The hardware will be powerful enough to enable real-time ray tracing.

“This generation is going to be a bigger leap than any generation before,” a video describing the new hardware detailed. Microsoft says the new hardware will be four times as powerful as the Xbox One X.

The next-generation console will be arriving in the holiday season of 2020, the company says. It will be launching alongside a new Halo title, … Read the rest

June 9, 2019 Off

Microsoft’s Project xCloud preview launches in October

By Jill T Frey

Big news out of today’s Microsoft press conference. A few days after Google finally revealed some long awaited details about its Stadia offering, Microsoft just gave us a lot more info on its competitor, Project xCloud.

Announced back in October, the game streaming service is designed to offer a hardware agnostic gaming experience. Unlike Google’s offering, Microsoft’s got the power of its own cutting edge consoles on its side. As such, the company will be leveraging that technology to let gamers use their own Xbox One as a personal cloud server. For everyone else, the computation will happen on Microsoft’s own servers.

A preview of xCloud will be available for E3 attendees this week. We’ll report back as soon as we get some hands on time with the project — including some insight into what the lag is like on the system. For everyone else, a preview version of the … Read the rest

June 9, 2019 Off

Microsoft acquires Psychonauts-maker Double Fine Productions

By Jill T Frey

As it did last year, Microsoft used its Xbox E3 keynote to announce its moves in bulking up its in-house gaming content.

At its press conference, the company’s Xbox Game Studios head announced that Microsoft had acquired SF-based Double Fine Productions, a game creator that’s been around since 2000 and was founded by LucasArts’s Tim Schafer. As is the case with past acquisitions, it sounds like Double Fine Productions will continue to operate largely externally, now beneath the Xbox Game Studios entity.

Double Fine’s team

There may be more studio acquisition announcements on the way, we’ll keep this post updated if so…

Double Fine Productions notably raised around $3 million in a Kickstarter campaign to create a title, later called Broken Age. The idea of crowdfunding a game was pretty novel at the time when they did it 2012. It is of course, more commonplace now.

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June 9, 2019 Off

Game Pass Ultimate brings Xbox subscriptions together at a discount

By Jill T Frey

Update 1:38pm PT: At its E3 conference, Xbox announced that the service will also be integrating Xbox Game Pass for PC as well.

Xbox wants the future of the gaming business to lean heavily on subscription services. The company’s Game Pass service has let users download games from a pool of dozens of titles, now Microsoft is trying to make the offer too good to refuse by bundling Xbox Live Gold with the service for $14.99.

Xbox Live Gold offers online play, but the extras included with the subscription like free games and Store discounts represent some of Microsoft’s more aged strategies in getting more revenue per user and building out Xbox loyalists. Game Pass brings users unlimited access to a library of 100+ games that include some console classics.

Live Gold retails for $9.99 per month as does Game Pass so the combo offers a nice discount and … Read the rest

June 9, 2019 Off

Watch Microsoft’s Xbox E3 press conference live

By Jill T Frey

This year’s E3 is already off to an interesting start. Sony’s nowhere to be seen, and Nintendo, per usual, has opted to go online only. That leaves Microsoft as the only member of the big three with its own, honest to goodness press conference.

The company’s got a big opportunity here, and we’re hoping for some big things. On the gaming side, we expect some big news about Gears 5, Halo: Infinite and, perhaps, Age of Empires and a new Fable title.

News about the company’s Stadia competitor, Project xCloud, seems like a distinct possibility. We might even get a glimpse at the gaming giant’s next generation console. More info on all of the rumors from next week’s big show can be found here

The big show kicks off this afternoon at 1PM PT/4PM ET. It’s available on YouTube, Twitch, Facebook and Twitter

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