Microsoft Sees Loss From Weak Ad Business

Microsoft announced that they were enacting an accounting adjustment that will lead to its first quarterly loss in 26 years as a public company. This is a byproduct of weakness in its online ad business.

Microsoft paid $6.3 billion for aQuantive, but Google expanded its share of the online ad market. The charge led to a $492 million loss in the April-June quarter, or 6 cents a share, compared with earnings of $5.9 billion, or 69 cents, a year ago.

The company is expecting relief when it launched Windows 8 on October 26, 2012 and their next version of Office in the following year. Both products will reflect Microsoft’s renewed emphasis on tablets.

Source: USA Today

Splinter Cell Blacklist Pops-Up Some Context

The Splinter Cell Blacklist trailer at E3 certainly looked cool, but it didn’t give a lot of context for some of its elements. This pop-up trailer, however, tells us more about info about the world surrounding the Blacklist and intel on the key members of the 4th Echelon team who will be assisting Sam.

Apple Ordered To Run Ads For Samsung

Apple has been ordered by a judge to publish a notice on its U.K. website and Financial Times, the Daily Mail, Guardian Mobile magazine, and T3 informing the public of a ruling that Samsung Electronics didn’t copy designs for the iPad. The notice should outline the July 9 London court decision that Samsung’s Galaxy tablets don’t infringe Apple’s registered designs, ruled Judge Colin Birss.

The July 9 ruling by Judge Birss said in his that Samsung’s tablets were unlikely to be confused with the iPad because they are “not as cool.” He declined to grant Samsung’s injunction blocking Apple from making public statements that the Galaxy infringed its design rights.

This in means Apple will have to advertise for Samsung, asserts Apple lawyer Richard Hacon. “No company likes to refer to a rival on its website,” he noted.

“They are entitled to their opinion,” Hacon said, noting that company would appeal the July 9 decision and Judge Birss granted the company permission to take its case to the court of appeal.

Colin Fowler, an intellectual property lawyer at Rouse said much of the publicity around the July 9 ruling focused on Birss’ comments about Samsung not being as cool. “The war between these two companies seems to be escalating even further,” noted Fowler.

“From a victory in court they were suddenly on the back foot,” Fowler said. “Getting this order fits in with the context of them trying to restore the balance.”

Source: Bloomberg

Sony Marketing Director Alan Duncan Departs

Alan Duncan is leaving his position as marketing director for Sony Computer Entertainment U.K. He moved over to Sony from GT Interactive in 1999, and has worked on all the major hardware launches while overseeing brand development, advertising, PR and digital marketing.

“I have made many great friends here, so SCE U.K. will always be a very special place for me,” said Duncan. “This was a very difficult decision to take but I believe it’s the right time for me to develop my career with a new challenge.”

“Alan has been a key member of the PlayStation U.K. management team and can feel justifiably proud of what he has achieved here,” added Sony U.K. MD Fergal Gara. “I would like to thank Alan for his contribution to the UK business and wish him every success in the future.”

Source: MCV

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Hits 3 Million Sold

Markus ‘Notch’ Persson happily tweeted out a new sales milestone for Mincraft for Xbox 360 today. “I got told Minecraft for XBLA passed three million sales today!” tweeted Persson.


Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition reached 1 million sold in just five days and became the best-selling Xbox Live game in June, when it surpassed 2 million sold. Including the mobile and PC incarnations of Minecraft, the game has been bought over 10 million times.


Zynga Appoints Ellen Siminoff To Board

Zynga has added Ellen Siminoff to the social game publisher’s board of directors, making her the first female member. Siminoff spent 6 years with Yahoo working her way up to SVP of entertainment before departing in 2002 and she also sits on the board of the Mozillia Corporation, and is the CEO of e-learning company Shmoop.

“There is something to be said for boards having people who are representative of their customers,” said Siminoff. “[Zynga’s] core demographic right now is women who are middle-aged, and I fit into that demographic. They have a lot of users, they have high engagement, and they have figured out a revenue model. I think there’s a huge opportunity for them.”

Source: Bloomberg

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Behind The Scenes With Trent Reznor & David S. Goyer

Treyarch is working with David S. Goyer (co-writer of The Dark Knight Rises), Trent Reznor (Academy Award-winning composer of The Social Network) to make Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. They, along with Studio Head Mark Lamia and the game’s Director, Dave Anthony, discuss the relationship between movies, music and games, as well as the creative process behind Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.