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Digitimes, who has their ears to the ground when it comes to the Taiwanese ODM world, reports that Windows 8 tablet PCs running ARM will start appearing before the end of the year. They note that these ARM-based devices will not however replace powerful desktops running Intel chips. They also say that notebook OEMs are taking a cautious approach, and are unlikely to rush into the market with these new tablets.  Steve Ballmer has earlier said Windows 8 tablets should reach the market in 2012, and a leaked roadmaps have previously shown that Q1 2012 is being targeted. ...

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Microsoft has announced on its Facebook page that it will be opening up a new Microsoft store in Texas at the Houston Galleria. The grand opening will be on the 23rd June at 9:30 am and will be followed 2 days later by an exclusive performance by Kelly Clarkson. The first 100 people who visit the store on Thursday, June 23, will receive two tickets to the Saturday, June 25, Kelly Clarkson performance and one VIP pass to meet Kelly after the show. The next 1,100 customers in line will each receive two tickets to the June 25 performance. Additional general admission tickets will be given out one-per-person while supplies last. See more detail at Microsoft’s Facebook Events page here. Via MSnewflash.com ...

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Trying to drum up some excitement around the company, Microsoft is opening up their kimono quite a bit recently. The company will demonstrate Windows Phone 7.5 tomorrow, and is now expected to reveal the secret tablet UI of Windows 8 next week at the D: All Things Digital conference where the head of Windows and Windows Live Steven Sinofsky will be presenting. Winrumors suggests that Windows 8 for tablets may be released much earlier than Desktop Windows 8, which should allow Microsoft to get into the game much sooner than the normal desktop OS cycle would normally allow. The Windows 8 tablet UI is expected to be heavily inspired by Windows Phone 7, with heavy usage of the Metro paradigm. ...

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More than 10 million Kinects have been sold, but for many people the amazing accessory is less than useful due to the space required to play it, with the controller needing quite large rooms. MagniEye from game accessory maker Newbie Gaming aims to solve that problem, for only $29.99. The accessory, currently available for pre-order on Amazon, claims the following features: Special magnifier lens brings in Kinect’s field of vision Allows the Kinect to be used in much smaller sized rooms Easy installation; no modification to your Kinect needed Silver If it works, sounds like a steal to us! Any of our readers interested in this accessory? Let us know below. Via 123Kinect.com ...

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We have all seen screen shots and today video of Moorea, Microsoft’s new Office 15 app, but it has never really been clear what the software is for, and of course what its good for, except to demo the Metro UI. Now for the first with this vide uploaded by robyroby27 from Winbeta.it on YouTube it is clear the software is pretty good at creating a visually engaging and stunning presentation suitable for the web, at least for pictures. Clearly however the full depth of the software still needs to be revealed, but from the little we have seen it is already looking pretty good. Via Compixels.com ...

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More and more analysts are coming round to the idea that Microsoft’s Skype purchase was strategically a very wise more, but we still hear all to often, largely from tech bloggers, that the $8.5 billion will soon be wasted due to Google Talk taking over. The truth of the matter is however that there are really only 2 big IM networks in the world, Skype and Windows Live Messenger, and the two combined likely have over 80% of the IM market. Of course no-one knows how how many active Google Talk users are, and Google has never told anyone, but as it is confined to a percentage of the 200 million Gmail users, likely not much bigger than Yahoo Messenger, and when Skype and Messenger merge the network effect will be immense, ultimately locking out other smaller IM networks. Microsoft has many plans for Skype,  but merely owning 80% of ...

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(Blue is Microsoft influence, green is Google) Techcrunch has an interesting article on the implication of the Skype deal on the balance of power in the social network universe and it turns out it certainly tips the game into Microsoft’s favour. Skype with 663 million registered users outnumber Facebook, and of course Microsoft does have it fingers in the 629 million user Facebook pie.  Ad to this the 364 million active Hotmail users and the 330 million Windows Live users (not shown in the graphic above) is is clear Microsoft has a massive presence, and much more significant than Google’s 193 million Gmail users and 10 million Google Latitude users.  Does anyone even still use Buzz? With the expiration of the DOJ supervision Microsoft can finally bring all these internet communities home to thick clients on Windows (Live Messenger is already the most use Facebook chat client for example) and ...

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Microsoft is not taking that 4% drop in Windows 7 sales lying down.  Today they announced a promotion which is clearly targeted at keeping students way from the dark side by offering a free Xbox 360 4GB console with any PC purchase in the US over $699. The offer is only open to US students with either a student ID or .edu email address and is available at Dell.com, HP.com or Microsoft Store and at Best Buy or any Microsoft Store retail location. The offer runs from the 23rd May and is only while stock lasts. Read more at the Windows Team Blog here. ...

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Intel’s Renée James has expounded more on Windows 8 and its relations to the chipsets and processors it will run on. "Windows 8 traditional", she said, will run on x86 chips and handle "legacy" x86-based Windows apps via a "Windows 7 mode" whereas "on ARM, there’ll be the new experience, which is very specifically around the mobile experience, specifically around tablet and some limited clamshell, with no legacy OS." However while x86 Windows 8 devices will be able to partake of the “new mobile experience” while still having access to legacy apps, ARM devices will not. "We will also be able to run that [new] experience. So for an Intel user, we’ll kind of have the best of both worlds. So we think we’re extraordinarily well-positioned in Windows 8." "… our customers, or anyone who has an Intel-based or an x86-based product, will be able to run either Windows 7 ...

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The big mystery of how Windows 8 on ARM will maintain backwards compatibility with the massive legacy of Windows x86 applications has been answered – if we believe Intel it wont. Microsoft is currently developing Windows 8 for both Intel and the cheaper and lower-power ARM-based chipsets, and demonstrated both Windows and Word running on ARM chips earlier this year. Windows 8 on ARM will be targeted primarily at tablets, where power consumption is at a premium, but many have questioned the reason for porting Windows to ARM, when Microsoft already had Windows Embedded Compact 7 running on the chipset.  Application compatibility was assumed to be the main reason, but this left the mystery of how compatibility would be achieved. At Intel’s investor day today, Renee James, General Manager of the Software and Services & Group said they were working with Microsoft on both traditional Windows 8 for PCs running ...

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The splash screen Windows8Italia has released some new screen shots and information about Moorea, the first completely new Office application in some years. The software is clearly optimised for tablets, with clear Metro styling and large, finger friendly targets, and the app appears to be for collecting notes and information in a rearrangable  grid. Of note is that the app allows these notes to be exported as a HTML file which can then be viewed in any web browser. The tile overview screen The tile management screen     The HTML file exported Read more about the app at Windows8Italia here. ...

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  Windows8Italia have published some screen shots of Office 15 Build 15.0.2703.1000 , the next version of the venerable office suite. Windows8Italia notes the app features the Metro-style chrome-less frame, but that the colour of the drop shadow for each app in the suite is slightly different, which should make multi-tasking easier when the windows stack up. While the software includes more Metro touch, it is still far from fully optimized for that UI. According to Windows8Italia the new features in each app are: Excel     There is a tool for filtering temporally. In this version does not seem to work, but probably will see a time line with which to select   the records to display.     New dialog box for entering the charts.     Import data via Atom feed.     New features: Converting Roman numerals to Arabic numerals, convert numbers from / to an arbitrary basis, bit-wise operations, advanced ...

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comScore Explicit Core Search Share Report* April 2011 vs. March 2011  Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations Source: comScore qSearch Core Search Entity Explicit Core Search Share (%) Mar-11 Apr-11 Point Change Total Explicit Core Search 100.0% 100.0% N/A Google Sites 65.7% 65.4% -0.3 Yahoo! Sites 15.7% 15.9% 0.2 Microsoft Sites 13.9% 14.1% 0.2 Ask Network 3.1% 3.0% -0.1 AOL, Inc. 1.6% 1.5% -0.1 *“Explicit Core Search” excludes contextually driven searches that do not  reflect specific user intent to interact with the search results. In March Experian Hitwise announced that Bing +Yahoo’s combined search market had hit the 30% mark, and now Comscore agrees that in April the two search contenders have also hit the mark. Both Bing and Yahoo, who’s search is powered by Bing, have gained market share, adding a combined 0.4%, while Google was down 0.3%. It seems while Google is attempting to attack Microsoft’s cash cows with ...

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Smixx – Developers (feat. Steve Ballmer) by Smixx Mobile developer Cory Smith created the above song, sampling Steve Ballmer’s famous “Developer, Developer, Developer” screed. He told Techcrunch  “I’m contrasting developing music and developing software in a hardcore rap kinda way, pretty entertaining. The Steve Ballmer sample is the icing on the cake,” The lyrics are below: Lyrics I’m a developer in many senses of the word cause I make these applications but I also use these verbs to make this music I construct it line by line just like when I’m coding another software design in both cases its about design patterns anyone can get the job done its the execution that matters I have many interests sometimes they conflict my creativity can usually be a benefit but sometimes it keeps me far too busy but I can’t complain because my life is hardly gritty so I think i’ll sit ...

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