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This article was published on December 30, 2011

This week in Microsoft: Windows Phone, Internet Explorer, and Kinect

This week in Microsoft: Windows Phone, Internet Explorer, and Kinect
Alex Wilhelm
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Alex Wilhelm

Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected] Alex Wilhelm is a San Francisco-based writer. You can find Alex on Twitter, and on Facebook. You can reach Alex via email at [email protected]

This is the last roundup for the year, but it’s not our first of the week. No, sir. If you want to dig your hands into not just what Microsoft did this week, but all darn year, check out our ‘year in review‘ piece. It’s lovely, we promise.

I want to say it: Thus ends 2011 for Microsoft. Of course, the company’s fiscal year doesn’t line up with the calendar, so the changeover is nearly moot, but let’s pretend that it matters. Now, ensure that you are following TNW Microsoft on Twitter, Facebook, and Carrier Pigeon, and let’s get to the news.

Windows Phone: Up and Down

It’s hard to recall, but I truly wonder if we’ve have had a roundup piece that didn’t include Windows Phone. If we have, it must be a rare breed indeed. This week was a mishmash of good and bad for the phone line, with indicators pointing in various directions.

To begin, the Windows Phone app Marketplace broke the 50,000 unit barrier. This is an important psychological boundary for the line of smartphones, as it shows that Microsoft has manged to catalyze real developer interest. At the same time, 50,000 apps is a small figure compared to what iOS and Android have on tap.

And for the negative, Windows Phone market share continues to slip:

New data from comScore paints a somewhat bleak picture of Microsoft’s performance through November however, the month at which we had anticipated arise in Windows Phone market share due to new handsets and market pushes coming online, not to mention the Mango update being fully launched. We got it wrong: Microsoft shed another 0.5% market share. That puts it, again according to comScore, at just above 5%.

Finally, if you want to see how we are attempting to track Windows Phone handset sales, head here.

Internet Explorer: Up or Down?

Here again we have some conflicting information, so we’ll do it in two tranches as before. On the positive side, Internet Explorer 9 is performing well on Windows 7, where it is poised to become the most used browser. In fact, both IE8 and 9 each have more market share than any other browser family on the current edition of Windows.

At the same time, Facebook told Internet Explorer 7 to get bothered, and pulled support for it. If you have Timeline enabled, it won’t run in IE7, which means you can temporarily hide from it if you feel so inclined. Given that IE6 and 7 are hardly dead, this move by Facebook isn’t a bucket of roses.

PIPA: What The Hell?

Oddly, despite being on the docket as against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), Microsoft is on the record as being in favor of the Protect IP Act, SOPA’s twin in the Senate. We took them to task for the confusion:

Microsoft, by supporting the PROTECT IP Act, is effectively saying that it is not against SOPA at all, as it is in favor of its twin. Therefore, at best its, again by proxy, removal of its support for SOPA by having the BSA (we presume that it had a role in the decision) change its tone is disingenuous. It is, to use the word, canard.

The situation is now even odder, as Microsoft is in fact noted as against SOPA and not simply quiet on the issue. TNW is talking to Microsoft in hopes of finding an answer as to what the heck is going on.

The Big Kinect No

Finally, and quickly, Microsoft is pulling guns from its Xbox Avatar program, for reasons that truly boggle the mind. There can’t be a good reason for this.

That’s all for now folks, have a great New Year’s and take a cab!

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