Today in Tech: When Microsoft will unveil the next-gen XboxApril 9, 2013: 3:00 AM ET
Also: JC Penney ousts former Apple store chief Ron Johnson.
Microsoft planning Xbox event for May [THE VERGE]
Sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans have revealed that the event will be at a small venue with a focus on providing the very first details on the next Xbox, codenamed Durango, and Microsoft's plans for Xbox in 2013. Recent rumors have focused on reports that Microsoft's next Xbox may require an always-on internet connection. Comments by Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth, asking why there was drama over the always-on rumors and telling people to #dealwithit, forced Microsoft to issue an official apology. The Vergeunderstands that Microsoft has reminded employees that any communications about the next-generation Xbox must remain confidential, following Orth's comments.
Now, the company confirms, its architect, Apple store creator Ron Johnson, is out after a year in which the company lost an astonishing $4 billion and saw its stock price cut in half. His replacement? Myron "Mike" Ullman, the former Penney CEO—and the man Johnson and his private equity supporters, Bill Ackman of Pershing Square and Steven Roth of Vornado, helped push out.
Ullman, Ackman and Roth could not be reached for comment, but the company's chairman, Thomas Engibous, said in a press release: "We are fortunate to have someone with Mike's proven experience and leadership abilities to take the reins at the company at this important time."
Chief tries to infuse Yahoo with a start-up's spirit [THE NEW YORK TIMES]
Increasingly, entrepreneurs say, she is getting personally involved in acquisitions, focusing particularly on mobile-minded engineers. She is also trying to reverse Yahoo's reputation as a company that acquires talent and innovative technologies and then lets them wither.
Last month, Yahoo made headlines when it acquired Summly, a newsreading mobile app started by a 17-year-old in England, for an undisclosed sum. In October, it acquired Stamped, a mobile recommendation service.
In terms of downloads, Canalys says that Apple is not too far behind Google, with close to 40% of all downloads worldwide, while BlackBerry and Microsoft still hold single-digit percentage shares. Tim Shepherd, a senior analyst at Canalys, tells TechCrunch that he expects to see the gap between Google and Apple grow as Android retains its dominant position in the smart phone market globally.
In revenue numbers, however, Google has a lot of catching up to do. Compared to Apple's 74%, Google is "close to 20%," he says. The others are in single digits.
Apple kicks AppGratis out of the store for being too pushy [ALL THINGS D]
Apple declined further comment on AppGratis's ouster, framing the move as a standard response to guideline violations. But sources close to the company say it was more than a little troubled that AppGratis was pushing a business model that appeared to favor developers with the financial means to pay for exposure. "The App Store is intended as a meritocracy," a source familiar with Apple's thinking told AllThingsD.
"These numbers show the production shortage really is that bad, and my sense is that it won't get much better in the second quarter because many of those issues continue," said Dennis Chan, an analyst at Yuanta Securities Co. in Taipei, who recommends selling the stock. "For smartphones, timing is everything and the delay means they lose that timing."
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