Mike

More details are emerging about what's ahead for the next iteration of Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, formerly known as Windows Mobile. Now Dell is said to be getting in on the action with a sleek-looking Windows Phone 7 smartphone.

So with Dell throwing its weight behind the new OS, it's clear Windows Phone 7 is ramping up in earnest. Enterprise Mobile Today takes a look at what end users can expect from devices running the new mobile software, and what's in store for businesses who have already invested in Windows Mobile 6.5

A deluge of Dell leaks reveal that the PC vendor is prepping a striking Windows Phone 7 Series handset called Lightning being described as a "portrait slider" and slated for release in the fourth quarter.

Mike

What a difference a product release makes. Windows 7 has been given high marks by reviewers and customers alike and it is quickly picking up the slack from the maligned Windows Vista. Strong sales for Windows 7 can only mean one thing: big earnings for Microsoft However, Microsoft's outstanding third calendar quarter was not limited to just Windows sales. There were other factors, from product sales to running the corporate ship. Datamation has all the facts and figures.

Exceptionally strong sales of Windows 7 helped drive Microsoft to another record quarterly performance, company executives said today.

Mike

Microsoft had some good news for users of its Dynamics GP software -- it'll finally be seeing an update in just a couple of weeks.

Since its debut, Dynamics GP has morphed from an accounting platform into a full-fledged enterprise resource planning offering. Now, Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 promises a number of enhancements like new reporting features as well as tighter integration with Microsoft's Dynamics CRM and Office Unified Communications. Business intelligence enhancements and SQL Server tie-ins also star in the new release. Datamation takes a look at what's changed.

Mike

On Monday, the software maker is set to launch a beta for Windows Intune, a service that uses the cloud to offer management, patching, and antivirus capabilities for a company's PCs. When it launches in final form, the Intune service will also include upgrade rights for a company to move its PCs to the enterprise edition of Windows 7. It will also include the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, a collection of asset management, virtualization, and other services that typically are only available for large businesses that have a Software Assurance contract with Microsoft.

Sandrine Skinner, a director in Microsoft's Windows unit, said that Windows Intune is aimed at companies that have up to 500 PCs that are looking to manage their machines with just a small IT staff.

Mike

Bill Gates is going back to college, and Beyond Binary is going along for the ride. Next week, the Microsoft chairman and philanthropist is doing a three-state college tour, meeting with students and faculty to encourage more people to join efforts to solve society's biggest global challenges.

In a blog post this week, Gates noted that he's done similar tours during his time at Microsoft, but that this is the first time he's done it in his capacity as head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mike

As the United States continues to struggle with its deficit, a task force created by President Obama to address the situation may be turning to Microsoft to inform the public about the difficulties of balancing a federal budget.

According to USA Today, Erskine Bowles, head of the Obama administration's budget-balancing task force, has contacted Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to see whether the company could build a video game designed to allow gamers "to take a stab at balancing the budget."

Mike

Adobe may control a majority of the online streaming media and animation market with Flash, but that hasn't stopped Microsoft from slowing the pace of development of its rival Silverlight software.

This week, Microsoft is set to unveil the latest version of Silverlight, promising a handful of improvements designed to give it a leg up on its entrenched competitor. CodeGuru takes a look at what's in store when Silverlight 4 makes its debut less than a year after it shipped Silverlight 3, sporting performance improvements and new features. And we'll see what Microsoft says those enhancements can offer developers.

Mike

PC shipments are briskly growing again, in yet another small sign that economic recovery is possible. Today, Gartner and IDC both released preliminary shipments for first quarter. Gartner put shipment growth at 27.4 percent year over year, while IDC growth figures came in a little lower at 24 percent.

But double-digit sales growth wasn't the big takeaway, particularly for Microsoft. After more than 18 months of sluggish sales, businesses are finally beginning to buy PCs again. For Microsoft, the news likely means an increase in sales of higherer-margin professional Windows. During the worst of the global economic crisis and the 2008-09 surge in netbook shipments, the sales percentage dramatically shifted to lower-margin consumer Windows.

Mike

Microsoft is ready with the final versions of its Visual Studio 2010 developer tools software and Silverlight 4, as well as version 4 of the .Net Framework.

The company is announcing the launch of the three products on Monday at a Visual Studio developer conference in Las Vegas. Visual Studio 2010 and the updated .Net Framework are now broadly available, Microsoft said, while Silverlight 4 will be made available for download later this week.

Mike

Java co-creator James Gosling is saying good-bye to Oracle just a few months after the company acquired his longtime employer, Sun Microsystems.

Gosling made the announcement on his blog, saying he resigned from the company on April 2.

Gosling didn't give any reason for his departure. Instead, he wrote, "Just about anything I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good." As for what he'll do next, Gosling said he doesn't know--just that he'll take some time off before starting his job search.