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According to Business Insider Microsoft’s Bing just scored a big win, with Eliane Fiolet at UberGizmo, after some hands on time with the Fire HD, mentioning that "The search box is powered by Bing." The last Kindle Fire’s search box was powered by Google, suggesting Microsoft has stolen the business from the search giant. Bing has been slowly gaining market share on Google in US, with Bing holding 15.7% share in July, according to Comscore, compared to 66.8% for Google. The Kindle Fire HD also uses Nokia Maps instead of Google Maps for location services. With Google providing Android as a free, open source operating system in return for revenue via search,  every Android tablet sold by Amazon is increasingly a loss for Google. Via BusinessInsider.com ...

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Microsoft has announced that registration to upgrade at a discount to Windows 8 for recent PC purchasers is now open. Those who buy a PC between June 2nd and January 31st, 2013 can upgrade to Windows 8 for only $14.99, a $25 discount from the full upgrade price of $39.99 for everyone else. Those who register will receive promo codes by email later which will allow them to get a discount when buying the upgrade using the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant (pictured above). Buyers have until February 28, 2013 to register for the offer. Find the  Windows Upgrade Offer Registration page here and read more about the process at Microsoft here. ...

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Bing Search The Bing team has produced a series of videos showing off their Windows 8 apps which will be installed by default on the new OS. The team separated out the features of the Bing website into individual apps, such as Search, News, Weather, Maps, Travel and Finance. The Bing Search app makes heavy use of the Snap feature as demonstrated in the video above. Travel, Weather and Maps The Travel app has more than 3,000 destinations, 360 degree panoramas and will allow one to book flights and hotels straight from the app. The Weather app offers hourly, daily and 10 day forecasts and features rich, engaging imagery. The Maps app offers traffic information, while the News app is photo-rich. News, Finance and Sport The Finance app will offer key market indices via a live tile and rich graphics. The Sports app will offer top sports headlines, live scores, ...

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We were just stewing in our jealously of TechNet and MSDN subscribers who are able to download Windows 8 right now, but it seems we don’t have to hate at all. Microsoft has made a 90 day trial of Windows 8 available to download for all interested. The description reads: About This Evaluation This evaluation provides a 90-day trial of Windows 8 Enterprise edition. Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are available as ISO images in the following languages: Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), English, English (UK), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish. In order to use this evaluation, you must register and the product must be activated online with Microsoft-hosted activation and validation services. Microsoft does not provide technical support for this software. Is the evaluation edition really for you? This is intended for developers building Windows 8 apps and IT professionals interested in trying Windows 8 Enterprise ...

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Lucky Technet and MSDN subscribers can now get their grubby hands on the final version of Windows 8, as will be on sale on the 26th October. Microsoft Software Assurance customers can get the OS on August 16th, and Volume License customers without Software Assurance will be able to purchase Windows 8 through Microsoft Volume License Resellers on September 1st. According to the Verge the early release to developers is to stimulate the development of software specific to the Modern UI, with the Windows Store only having an anaemic selection of a few hundred applications. If you are one of the lucky few you can find the download at MSDN and Technet here. The Verge also has a video showing the changes between the last release and RTM. Via The Verge.com ...

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Microsoft has announced Outlook.com, a new destination for your personal mail which integrates social networking, Office Web apps, SkyDrive, innovative mail filtering and what they call virtually unlimited storage. Calling it “Modern email for the next billion inboxes”, they called it Modern, Smart, Connected with the user in control. The preview is available by visiting Outlook.com, and more can be read about the service at the Office Blog here. ...

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Microsoft has purchased a number of Xbox related domain names recently, including XboxPhone.com, XboxTablet.com, XboxLiveTV.com and XboxCompanion.com.  Two however rang a particular bell. Microsoft also purchased Xbox8.us and Xbox8.org, which of course connects very well with the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 brand names which will be marketed heavily in 2013. This of course makes the name very likely, which means we can safely move on to speculating about the XboxPhone Via Xbox360Achievements.com ...

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  Besides the colourful touch cover and type cover, the Microsoft Surface tablet adopts Henry Ford’s strategy – any colour as long as it is black. Sharp-eyed reader Randy however noticed this altogether more colourful version in the background, looking like a blue device with a white rim. Now of course this picture may simply be of a rapid prototype, but that kick stand probably does not work very well if made out of plastic, suggesting we may be looking at potential colour options for Surface in the future, an area where Microsoft with the Zune devices often chose to differentiate. The scene above can be seen at around the 8 second mark in this video from the design of the tablet here. Thanks Randy for the tip ...

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Digitimes reports that Taiwan-based notebook ODMs have discovered the impact of tablets like the iPad is less than they expected, as consumers discover they are good for entertainment, but not for getting work and studying done. The iPad has created new demand instead of eroding existing demand for notebooks, said Wistron chairman Simon Lin. However, iPad has absorbed a portion of consumer budgets, causing delays in replacement notebook purchases, Lin said. Notebooks are expected to regain demand after the launches of Intel’s Ivy Bridge in the second quarter and Microsoft’s Windows 8 in the fourth, Lin indicated. The X86 version of Windows 8 uniquely combines the productivity benefits of mouse and keyboard and a multi-window user interface with the full-screen touch interface of tablets. Regarding the global outlook for notebooks in the second half of 2012, Acer, Asustek Computer and Samsung Electronics are optimistic while Hewlett-Packard and Dell are neutral, ...

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You can in fact type with the Microsoft Surface on your lap, just like a laptop. TechRadar seems to have had unprecedented access to the Microsoft Surface and have posted a 3 page review of the two devices. They note the design is impressive and practical, and reveal that the whole bezel is touch aware. They also reveal the kick-stand is held in place with magnets and has two rubber feet and that the screen switches off when the touch cover is closed, much like the iPad smart cover. They also said the device is well balanced, and could easily be balanced on the lap for typing like a proper notebook. They found the Windows RT running on the Surface RT to be smooth and fast and worked as well as Windows 8 running on the x86 processor. They conclude: It’s a surprise that Microsoft created its own tablet, but ...

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Digitimes, the great eastern rumour house, claims to have identified the ODM for the Microsoft Surface tablets and have fingered Pegatron Technology. Citing industry sources in the notebook market, they have also placed some bottom ends on the prices of the tablets, saying the Windows RT-based model, featuring Nvidia’s Tegra 3, will be priced above US$599, while the Windows 8 Pro-based Surface tablet PC with Ivy Bridge processor is expected to be at least above US$799. At $599 that would price the RT tablet at the equivalent price to the 32 GB iPad with WIFI only, making the price not as expensive as it appears. At $799 the Surface Pro would be priced cheaper than the iPad 64 GB with WIFI and 3G, costing $829, and it is of course a pretty low price for a full PC with an Ivy Bridge processor. Digitimes notes Microsoft only expects limited profits ...

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It seems the new Windows 8 tablets will not be bereft of high end gaming. Unlike Windows Phone 7 they will have direct access to the metal of the processor, meaning high end game engines should run perfectly fine on the OS. It seems however it was not Windows 8 but the Microsoft Surface which enthused Epic CEO Mark Rein, who tweeted that he “Can’t wait to get some Unreal Engine games on those babies!”  which is likely what Microsoft intention has been all along with producing their own tablet – to “prime the pump” of the Windows 8 ecosystem. Shall we start the count down for Infinity Blade in Windows 8 marketplace now? Via Game Trailers.com ...

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AOL, Inc., today announced that it has completed the previously announced $1.056 billion patent transaction with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) (“Microsoft”). The transaction includes the sale of over 800 patents and their related patent applications, and grants Microsoft a non-exclusive license to its retained patent portfolio for aggregate proceeds of $1.056 billion in cash. “The closing of this transaction represents another major step for AOL in increasing value for our shareholders,” said Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO. “As our track record has shown, you should expect us to continue our momentum of creating and unlocking shareholder value through continued operational improvements and executing on our strategy.” As a part of the transaction AOL also received a license to the patents being sold to Microsoft. AOL continues to hold a significant patent portfolio of over 300 patents and patent applications spanning core and strategic technologies, including advertising, search, content generation/management, social ...

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Morgan Stanley has conducted a survey which shows Microsoft could slip near instantly into the second spot in the tablet market. According to their survey 25% of those intending to buy a tablet were planning to buy a Windows 8 tablet, ahead of 22% who intend to buy an Android tablet. It seems its all about Office, said Morgan Stanley analyst Katie Huberty. “Our survey indicated Microsoft Office is the most important software feature to consider when purchasing a tablet, especially for first-time purchasers,” Huberty says. “Sixty-one percent of prospective tablet purchasers indicated that Office was the most important software feature vs. 44 percent for current tablet owners — which suggests there may be pent up demand for a tablet offering with a prepackaged Office bundle.” The finding likely explains why Google purchased Quick Office, but also leaves Microsoft with a dilemma. The company has been working on an Office ...

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