Hyderabad-born, Manipal-educated Satya Nadella named Microsoft CEO

Microsoft’s board on Tuesday named Hyderabad-born Satya Nadella as chief executive of the legendary tech giant that has given the world products which have become household names like Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook Express. The announcement elevates Nadella, an offspring of the Indian system, to one of the highest-profile corporate jobs globally.

Nadella, 46, will be only the third CEO of Microsoft after founder Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, the man he is succeeding.


The elevation of Nadella, a company insider for 22 years (he recently joked that he has also been married for 22 years), was expected once heavyweight outsiders like Ford’s Alan Mulally and Nokia’s Stephen Elop dropped out or were passed up. The names of Google’s Sundar Pichai and Motorola’s previous CEO Sanjay Jha also briefly made the rounds, serving to highlight the intensity of PIOs breaking the glass ceiling, something that began some two decades ago, but has become more pronounced now.

In picking Nadella, Microsoft directors selected both a company insider and an engineer. It has often been noted that Microsoft was more successful under the leadership of Gates, a programmer and its first chief executive, than it was under Ballmer, who had a background in sales.

Satya Nadella now finds himself the head of an icon of American business that has struggled for position in big growth markets like mobile and Internet search. The company has correctly anticipated many of the biggest changes in technology — the rise of smartphones and tablet computers, to use two examples — but it has often fumbled the execution of products developed to capitalize on those changes.

It remains to be seen whether Nadella’s technical background, along with the closer involvement of Gates in product decisions, will give the company an edge it lacked during the Ballmer years. Microsoft said in a statement that Gates will “devote more time to the company, supporting Nadella in shaping technology and product direction.”

Relinquishing his role as chairman will allow Gates to spend over a third of his time with product groups at Microsoft, “substantially increasing my time at the company,” he said in a video made for the news of Nadella’s selection. Gates said Nadella asked him to make the change in his duties at Microsoft.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/tech/tech-news/software-services/Hyderabad-born-Manipal-educated-Satya-Nadella-named-Microsoft-CEO/articleshow/29869895.cms


Ubisoft admits user data hacked

Ubisoft has revealed that one of its sites has been hacked, resulting in some customer data being access.

In an email to its customers, Ubisoft said that a security issue in one of its websites was exploited.

“We recently found that one of our Web sites was exploited to gain unauthorised access to some of our online systems. We instantly took steps to close off this access, investigate the incident and begin restoring the integrity of any compromised systems.

“During this process, we learned that data had been illegally accessed from our account database, including user names, email addresses and encrypted passwords. Please note that no personal payment information is stored with Ubisoft, meaning your debit/credit card information was safe from this intrusion.

“As a result, we are recommending that you change the password for your account.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we also recommend that you change your password on any other Web site or service where you use the same or a similar password.

“You can find more information here https://support.ubi.com/en-GB/FAQ.aspx?platformid=60&brandid=2030&productid=3888&faqid=kA030000000eYYxCAM.

“For any additional support enquiries, please contact our customer service via our support web site at https://support.ubi.com

“We sincerely apologise to all of you for the inconvenience. Please rest assured that your security remains our priority.”


Microsoft: Kinect for Xbox One will not work on PCs

When Microsoft announced a special next-generation Kinect for Windows pre-release developer program earlier today, the move got us wondering whether Windows-based tinkerers couldn’t just plug the Kinect that came with the Xbox One into their PC instead, as hackers did almost immediately after the release of the original Kinect for Xbox 360. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Microsoft has confirmed to Ars Technica that the new generation Kinect that comes packaged with every Xbox One console has a proprietary connector that can not be plugged directly into a PC and that Microsoft is not planning to release an adapter to allow such cross-platform use.

“The Kinect for Xbox One sensor will not have an adaptor that allows it to plug into a computer,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Ars in an e-mail. Instead, “the new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will connect to computers using a standard USB3 port [emphasis added].”

Microsoft says the Xbox One and Windows versions of the new generation Kinect are “built on a shared set of technologies” and have similar capabilities such as 1080p video, an active IR mode, and a wider field of view than the first Kinect. But that doesn’t mean the devices are exactly the same, or designed to be interoperable with the other platform.

“The new generation Kinect for Windows sensor will be a fully tested, licensed, and supported Kinect experience on Windows,” the spokesperson told Ars. “Kinect for Xbox One is being built for and tested with the Xbox One.”

Of course, hardware hackers may well develop their own adapter to allow the Xbox One Kinect to talk to a PC. Even in that case, though, Microsoft says the Xbox One’s Kinect “is not licensed for commercial use, supported, or under warranty when used on any other platform, including Windows.”

The original Kinect for Xbox 360 also features a proprietary plug that is designed to be inserted directly in to a specially shaped slot on later model Xbox 360 systems. This plug provides both data transfer between the console and the Kinect and power directly to the camera. However, Microsoft also includes an adapter with each Xbox 360 Kinect that allows the unit to plug in to standard USB ports on older Xbox 360 models and to draw power from a standard wall outlet at the same time.

Windows-based hackers almost immediately used this adapter to plug the original Kinect into their PCs and tinker with the new depth-based camera technology, which was much cheaper than other 3D cameras at the time. A variety of PC demos and unofficial PC drivers were available for Kinect months before Microsoft launched its official Windows SDK for the device, and well before Microsoft split off a separate, USB “Kinect for Windows” sensor.

Things will be different this time around. Even if you get your hands on an Xbox One launch unit this November, you’ll have to sign up for Microsoft’s newly announced pre-release Kinect for Windows developer program and pay $399 to use the new Kinect on a PC at that time. That will get you early access to a “pre-release/alpha” edition of the Windows version of the sensor in November, as well as the final version of the Windows-based Kinect when it is released some time in 2014 (plus access to official SDKs and development support from Microsoft). Microsoft has not discussed how much the Windows version of the new Kinect will cost when it is released for general availability.

It seems likely that the ability to use the original Xbox 360 Kinect on a Windows machine was an unintended bonus, born of Microsoft’s need to offer compatibility with legacy Xbox 360 systems. For the launch of the new Kinect, Microsoft seems committed to producing two highly similar yet distinct versions of the hardware for two different platforms.