Richard Waters

It must have been galling to Microsoft when Hewlett-Packard brought back Windows 7 “by popular demand” last month. But it reflected a reality that has been hard to ignore: the vast majority of PC users who still manipulate a mouse and tap on a keyboard have little to gain from the touch-centric tiled interface of Windows 8.

Now, Microsoft is ready to make more concessions to the keyboard-and-mouse crowd – while insisting that it is still committed to touch. Read more

Richard Waters

Microsoft has ended its search for a new CEO. Now comes the hard part: shrugging off the PC past and grabbing a lead in the growth markets of mobile and cloud computing.

These are the four main issues Satya Nadella will have to deal with if he is to have a chance of making Microsoft as relevant to the tech industry’s future as it was to the past. Read more

Richard Waters

Like any widely hyped online phenomenon, Moocs – massive open online courses – are facing a reality-test.

Hardly anyone who starts one of the online courses actually finishes it. But even if the formula is being rethought, the potential impact on education hasn’t diminished. Read more

Richard Waters

For all those confused about Google’s intentions in hardware, things just got much clearer.

No, it doesn’t see itself as the next Apple. And yes, it does understand the responsibilities that come with running an ecosystem if it wants to keep allies like Samsung onside. Read more

Richard Waters

The interests of bondholders do not usually make it very far up the list of concerns of most tech executives. Thanks to the industry’s cash mountain (as we reported in our series on corporate cash last week) it’s been more a case of how to keep restless shareholders happy.

But all of that could soon change if debt levels continue to rise at current rates, according to a report from Richard Lane at Moody’s. Read more

Richard Waters

Silicon Valley may have tried to wash its hands of Tom Perkins over his claim that criticism of the wealthiest 1 per cent bears comparison with Nazi persecution of the Jews.

But, even as he apologised for the comment on Monday, that didn’t stop the former venture capitalist from claiming to speak for Silicon Valley as he warned of the dangers of a populist backlash against the massive wealth being created in the tech industry. Read more

Richard Waters

Forget the formal estimates: what Wall Street was really hoping for from Apple’s latest quarter was an acceleration in growth that would blow away the “official” forecasts.

The figures released on Monday failed to impress. At 51m, the number of iPhones sold in the quarter came in 2m short of estimates, though the 26m iPads topped most estimates. Within minutes, Apple’s shares had slipped more than 5 per cent.

Read below for our coverage of the earnings report and the company’s analyst call.

Richard Waters

Nutanix, which looks like being the next billion-dollar start-up to emerge from the revolution sweeping through data centre technology, is nothing if not bold.

That extends to a new $156m round of financing announced on Tuesday which includes a $55m slice of debt – a hefty commitment for a company that only began to generate revenue two years ago and has yet to turn cashflow positive. But Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are already jostling for prime position in a future IPO. Read more

Richard Waters

The $3.2bn acquisition of Nest will bring a whole new class of personal data under Google’s control: information about what happens inside your home. So it’s not surprising that privacy questions are already looming large.

In reality, Nest’s privacy policy puts constraints on how the information it collects can be used. But that still appears to leave Google a fair amount of latitude – and it hasn’t ruled out policy changes in future to make even greater use of the data. Read more

Richard Waters

After five years of trying, online investment management firm Wealthfront seems to have hit on a formula that works. Its assets under management jumped nearly five-fold last year to top $500m.

Of course, this hardly counts as a drop in the bucket in an industry where huge scale really matters. Vanguard and Charles Schwab count their assets in the trillions. But it hints at a fast-growing opportunity for new online financial brands if they can hit the right formula – as online credit firm LendingClub has also proved. Read more