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There have been much concern about backward compatibility in Windows 8.  Microsoft has now confirmed the OS will include Hyper-V virtualization support, meaning multiple old operating systems, including 32bit on 64bit, can be supported without endangering the stability of Windows 8 itself. “In building Windows 8 we worked to enable Hyper-V, the machine virtualization technology that has been part of the last 2 releases of Windows Server, to function on the client OS as well,” said Hyper-V program manager Mathew John. Read more about the technology at MSDN here. Via Winrumors.com ...

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Yahoo’s CEO Carol Bartz, has apparently just been fired , with CFO Tim Morse being installed temporarily in her place. The turmoil at the top may signify a change in strategy from the company, and while they still maintain they are looking for “organic growth” an insider has claimed “Yahoo is open to selling itself to the right bidder” according to TNW. Microsoft famously attempted to purchase Yahoo for $ 44.6 billion in 2008.  The company is currently trading for close to a third of the value to a market cap of $16 billion, and while Microsoft may once again by interested, I suspect on this occasion the only segment they would be interested in would be the search business, rather than the whole company. Microsoft already had an existing deal to provide the search back end for Yahoo, giving Bing a de facto 30% US market share. Do our ...

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Bing has started to roll out its new Metro-fied HTML5-enabled version, with users reporting the typical Windows Phone-like search buttons, smoother page transitions that fade in and out  and navigation tabs (maps, images, videos, etc.) now persistently floating at the top of the page. BingWatch, who obviously keeps a close eye on these things, reports the following changes: Text links to all eight sections include “Images,” “Videos,” “Shopping,” and others are now being moved to the top navigation bar.  The Facebook icon and the number of “Like” also moved up a little bit.  The new homepage also spotted with a larger font size for today’s hot topics "Popular now" at the bottom of the page. The old homepage has eight vertical links to sections include Images, Videos, and others, at left, on top of today’s background photo. The new homepage moved those eight links to the top navigation bar, on ...

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Microsoft has succeeded where Google failed, by renewing their data sharing deal with Twitter, something which Google recently failed with, terminating their Realtime search feature in the process. The renewal was revealed in a cutesy conversation on twitter between the official Bing and Twitter accounts, as recorded by The Next Web. With Google now in direct competition with both Facebook and Twitter with Google Plus, it is likely Microsoft will have much greater access to social networking data from these other companies to improve the attractiveness and accuracy of their own search engine, already pretty accurate but with a low user base. Via TNW.com ...

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The New York Times Co.’s R&D Lab has shown off its concept of the “magic mirror” which uses Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensing technology to read physical cues from its user, using voice recognition technology to detect verbal cues and uses the the Times’ powerful APIs to serve up information on-demand The mirror can can be used to browse Times headlines, or watch Times videos, while you’re brushing your teeth. You can use it to schedule events on your personal calendar, or to shop online, or to exchange messages — from the classic “buy milk” on up — with other members of your household. The idea is just a concept at present, but like Microsoft’s Surface table is an extension of a natural user interface to non-traditional situations. Read more at Niemanlabs here. Via Neowin.net. ...

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Digitimes reports that OEMs are turning to Windows 8 and Intel chipsets for future tablets, after Android-powered tablets fail to catch on with consumers. Numerous OEMs have been disappointed with poor sales of non-iPad tablets, with Acer being the latest to cut sales forecasts by half. According to Digitimes vendors are blaming poor sales on the instability of Android and the compatibility issues found between Android 3.0 and 3.1. Digitimes state that Intel and Microsoft have revealed a roadmap for Intel-powered tablets with low cost, low power 5W CPUs and Windows 8 to start delivering devices in 2012.  Windows 8 promises to deliver a touch-friendly user experience while still preserving the full functionality of a PC, something buyers tend to demand with increased screen sizes. Read more at Digitimes here. ...

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Microsoft has updates Hotmail, bringing better navigation, right click support and keyboard shortcuts and other enhancements which should not just make the web app easier and faster to use, but also easier to users from Yahoo Mail or Gmail coming over to Hotmail to use. A full list of the Hotmail shortcut keys can be find here. Read more at the Windows Team Blog here. ...

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Microsoft’s Israeli research and development department has hinted at the existence of an upgrade to the Xbox 360 to bring stereoscopic 3D support to the console. In response to a story running in the Israeli Gadgetly talking about a dashboard rumour to the Xbox 360 which will bring stereoscopic 3D support to the console Microsoft Research Israel tweeted  “What do you think of a 3D console?” , linking to the article. Hopefully the tweet is corroboration for the earlier rumour, and we will soon see an upgrade bringing support for the few amongst us lucky enough to have the still expensive 3D TVs to support it. Via BGR.com ...

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The latest monthly NPD results are in, and once again, as it has for the last 11 out of 12 months, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 has taken the lead. Now in the seventh year of its lifecycle, with no successor in sight,  Xbox 360 is on pace to have the biggest year in its history, a feat never achieved by any console in history. May 2011 NPD highlights include: • Xbox 360 sold 270,000 units in May, maintaining the number-one console spot in the U.S. • Xbox 360 console sales during May were up 39 percent year over year, the largest growth of any current generation console on the market. May also marked the seventeenth month of year-over-year hardware sales increases. • Xbox 360 game sales reached $140 million. • Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in May (hardware, software and accessories) reached $265 million, still the highest among ...

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Windows8Italia has published this brief look at the Windows 8 keyboard in Build 7955.  They note the keyboard is extremely responsive, and easier to use because it features less keys, hiding special function and numeric keys and leaving more space for the QWERTY keys, unlike the Windows 7 keyboard. The video also shows “mouse trails” for touch, a new Windows 8 feature that makes actions feel more certain. Read more at Windows8Italia here. ...

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There have been many calls for Microsoft to produce their own Windows Phone 7 smartphone, but now Digitimes reports that the company may go down the OEM route with their own, Microsoft-branded Windows 8 tablet. According to Digitimes Microsoft is “proceeding on a low profile” while still trying to get OEMs on board with Windows 8 tablets. Microsoft is apparently already lining up Taiwanese ODMs and Texas Instruments for the ARM chips the tablet will need, with the targeted delivery date the end of 2012. The move would be risky, as it would alienate many of Microsoft’s partners.  At the same time these very same partners are already aggressively shipping Android tablets, and a Microsoft tablet may not get much commitment, much like the HP Slate received earlier this year. Other logistics issues remain, such as distribution deals and marketing, all of which argue against such a plan.  On the ...

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One of the features which did not get airtime in Microsoft’s E3 keynote was cloud storage for gamer tags and game saves.  This means users will be able to sign in on any Xbox 360 and be able to continue their game where they left off hundreds of miles away from their console. One feature we also hopes this will enable in time will be starting a game on the Xbox 360 and continuing it on a Windows Phone, as Microsoft demoed at MIX last year. The full list of new announced features are: The New Dashboard. Simpler. Cleaner. Easier to navigate. With the addition of new entertainment content on Xbox LIVE and our commitment to continuously improving the overall Xbox experience, we’ve updated the dashboard with a new look and feel that makes it even more open, inviting and intuitive to navigate. All of your favorite content is categorized ...

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Microsoft is hyping their E3 announcement on the 6th of June, and are promising to reveal the future of Kinect and Xbox 360 there. The event is widely expected to demo the first serious games using the Kinect camera, including head tracking during racing sims, and will be streamed live to the Xbox 360, via Gametrailers.com and Spike TV. Microsoft has recently been touting the success of the Xbox 360, noting that the company has sold 55 million Xbox 360s and have 35 million Xbox Live subscribers, and are the only console with sales which are actually accelerating. The event will be broadcast at 9:30 ET and 12:30 PT. Thanks Farokh for the tip. ...

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Steven Bathiche from the Applied Sciences Group at Microsoft showed of some of the work Microsoft has been doing on the ultimate display at Thinking Digital  and appears to have had quite an impact in the audience there. The video above shows what he has been working on, which is both creating control services everywhere and turning screens into windows onto other worlds. Read more about the research at Microsoft here. ...

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We posted a rumour a few days ago, and now Bloomberg has confirmed, via 3 people “with knowledge of the company’s plans” that Microsoft will be showing of Windows 8 on tablets at AllthingD conference next week. The tablet will apparently be running on Nvidia’s ARM chips and will be presented by Steven Sinofsky is  at the All Things D conference, while Vice President Steve Guggenheimer will also address the Computex show in Taipei. It is rumoured that Windows 8 tablets may be released long before desktop Windows 8, with Digitimes recently suggesting these tablets could reach market even before the end of the year. Read more at Bloomberg here. ...

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If you fancy a 900 MB download and toying with copyright laws you can now download Office 15 build 2703.1000. The massive download comes with a Click2Run installer, which in theory should allow the software to run without affected the system, though Winbeta.it warns that it may be a lot wiser to install the software in a virtual machine. The software includes an unlocked build of Moorea, Microsoft’s uncategorizable presentation app. The download link can be found at Winbeta.it here. ...

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