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We posted yesterday on the new appearance of Bing noticed by one of our readers.  It seems what Agha was in fact looking was the rather cool new HTML5 version of Bing, which features all kinds of transitions and eye candy. WinPhonia caught it on video, and reports the following changes once a search is made: The page faded into a black and then back to white, revealing the search results. The entire header has been modified; the placement of the Bing logo changed from residing on the top left to the extreme right in the current update. The search categories are now contained within a black strip that encompasses most of the header. The faded homepage background contained within the header has shifted from the middle, to the right side. The search form has been increased in size; from the dimensions of 387×27, to 765×29. When switching between categories ...

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New above, old below. Click for full-size. Agha has written to let us know that he noticed a new look to the Bing result page which only lasted a few minutes. He did however manage to take a screen shot, and the changes appear concentrated in the header. The new design appear to feature the starker boundaries and lack of gradients more typical of the Metro design, and moves the Bing logo to the right of the screen rather than top left. Agha notes the design was pulled soon after, and it is not clear whether we will see this rolled out to everyone eventually. Microsoft is pretty famous for their A:B testing, where they roll out competing changes to a random selection of users and see which one results in the best performance. What do our readers think of the new look? Better or worse? Let us know below. ...

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The way Microsoft is covered in the media one may think the company has about as much credibility as a fumbling buffoon. According to Fortune and CNN Money however, top business people disagree, rating the company as one of the leaders in innovation, and in encouraging and performing new business ideas. Seeking Alpha notes about Microsoft: With amazing products rolling out every year like Xbox Kinect, Windows Phone 7, Bing and Windows 7, Microsoft gets one of the best ratings from CEOs. Microsoft has a low P/E ratio of 11.10, and it supports a forward P/E ratio of 9.49. Microsoft had an EPS growth of 13.34% over the last five years. Microsoft is an immensely profitable company with a net profit margin of 30.8%. Given the current price of $26, Microsoft is dirt cheap. We expect the stock to beat the market with a large margin. Likely this will do ...

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These days the biggest issue with computer security exists between the screen and the chair.  Very often these days computers are infected by users downloading seemingly innocuous apps loaded with malware. Windows 8 is set to help, with two features built right into the OS.  The first is screening files with SmartScreen to compare them with a list of known malware and known safe files, and the second is to actually block the execution of files Windows does not know is safe. Long Zheng who leaked the screen shot notes the second feature is not activated by default, but considering the need to make Windows 8 as plug and forget as possible maybe it should be. Read more at istartedsomething.com here. ...

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Microsoft Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC) today announced that they have forged a strategic partnership and plan to build a global platform for TMC’s next-generation telematics services using the Windows Azure platform. Telematics is the fusing of telecommunications and information technologies in vehicles; it can encompass GPS systems, energy management and other multimedia technologies. As part of the partnership, the two companies plan to participate in a 1 billion yen (approximately $12 million) investment in Toyota Media Service Co., a TMC subsidiary that offers digital information services to Toyota automotive customers. The two companies aim to help develop and deploy telematics applications on the Windows Azure platform, which includes Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure, starting with TMC’s electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2012. TMC’s goal is to establish a complete global cloud platform by 2015 that will provide affordable and advanced telematics services to Toyota automotive customers ...

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One of the joys of running a Windows Phone 7 handset is not having to worry about applications messing up your device.  Due to all 3rd party applications being heavily sandboxed the worse an app can do is run your battery down, and then only while it is actually running, and all problems are solved by a simple uninstall. Now it seems the same level of carefree-ness will be coming to Windows 8. Mary Jo Foley reports on some insider information which suggests Windows 8 Marketplace apps will not just have to go through certification, but will also be very boxed in, preventing them from harming your computer. She reports that apps designed for the finger-friendly “immersive” environment will run in the “lowbox”, new Windows 8 security sandbox.  Developers will have to declare the permissions APPX apps need explicitly, and they will only be provided with the access they declare ...

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Mary Jo Foley reports that Microsoft will be releasing Silverlight 5 Beta on the 11th April at MIX 11. The software will include 40 new features which makes it a better development environment for rich media and business, and the final version is expected before the end of the year. It has recently been rumoured that Microsoft will also be announcing Silverlight for Xbox 360, making the technology truly cross platform. In a blog post Microsoft also reassured Silverlight developers that despite their recent promotion of HTML5 in IE9, they see both technologies as equal, saying there remains a role for the Silverlight browser plugin in a HTML5 world. “Today, plug-ins and standards play complementary roles, and as a practical matter there is no single technology to satisfy all the needs demanded by client development. While much has been written about a diminishing gap between the capabilities of HTML5 and ...

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In November last year we posted about a a job post which clearly indicated Silverlight would be making its way to the Xbox 360. Now Tom Warren from winrumors.com have posted about rumour that the software environment will finally be announced at MIX 11. The development, if true, may presage one of Microsoft’s few end runs around Apple – an open marketplace of apps on a TV-connected device already in 50 million homes. Silverlight is currently one of the development environments for Windows Phone 7, with an installed base of several thousand applications. Hopefully Microsoft will see the benefit of letting go of some control of their console for a much greater gain in the near future. ...

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We have all been waiting on tenterhooks for a look at what the Jupiter tablet UI for Windows 8 will look like.  We have out best idea today with a leak via WithinWindows showing Internet Explorer in its so-called Immersive finger-friendly mode. As expected, it looks very much like the Windows Phone 7 Internet Explorer, featuring as little chrome as possible. Also of note is that when the address bar shows the UI looks like the screen shots of IE9 for Windows Phone 7, but with a newer history tab based on small screen shots. It seems the short of it is, if you like Windows Phone 7, you will love Windows 8 also. Via WithinWindows.com ...

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Coming across a link to a PDF is always a pain, with the hassle of waiting for Adobe’s slow PDF viewer to load and suck 100% processor usage. It seems those days will soon come to an end, with Raphael Riviera from WithinWindows finding a native PDF viewer in their leaked build of Windows 8, The note the viewer uses the Metro UI, includes a scrub feature, and a back button which makes it easily to jump back to the last viewed section. Of more interest is that the app features the new AppX packaging, which bears strong similarities to the XAPPs used in Windows phone 7, suggesting we will eventually see cross-over applications which work on both operating systems equally. Read more at WithinWindows here. ...

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Via LiveSide.net we learn that the new Windows 8 explorer will feature the ability to sync and share files to the web directly,  using SkyDrive and Windows Live. The leaked screen shot of explorer also shows that Windows 8 will use the same ribbons as the latest versions of Office and Windows Live. Windows 8 will feature log-on using Windows Live, and other Windows Live integration, finally making sense of the name, and likely boosting the mindshare of the already popular service tremendously.  We would speculate that the end of supervision by the Justice Department is what finally allows these sensible changed to take place. Read more about the recent Windows 8 developments at LiveSide.net here. ...

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Google’s April’s Fools Day joke was Gmail motion, a fantasy application which used body motion as Gmail shortcuts. Now the FAAST team at ICT MxR Labs have used Kinect to turn the fantasy into equally foolish reality. All of the motions, including typing text using a kind of full-body sign language works, which says volumes about the potential of Kinect, of not the reality of this particular application. Via Engadget.com ...

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We do not know if Digitimes is in the habit of playing April’s Fool day jokes, but the company is predicting an unbelievably aggressive schedule for delivery of Windows 8. Claiming industry sources from Taiwan-based touch panel and notebook makers, they claim HP is set to release Inventec ODM’ed tablet PC’s running Microsoft’s new OS as soon as the end of September or October 2011. Apparently stung by Apple taking 12% of the laptop market with the iPad in Q 4 2010, Microsoft has been working aggressively to speed up its development for the tablet segment, the sources noted. Windows 8 is currently being distributed to OEMs in early beta form, leading to leaks which have given mere tastes of the OS and left us wanting a lot more. Noting that the move to ARM has in fact accelerated development, it seems however it was more dollars which convinced HP ...

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Winreview.ru have posted some more information from their leaked build of Windows 8, showing a tiny bit more of what we can expect from the Jupiter user interface. First, there is evidence of a new browser shell, obviously an essential component for a finger-friendly operating system. Next there is more evidence the new user interface layer called Jupiter will be Metro-inspired, with a set of icons clearly showing the influence.   Lastly, we have an indication of what Microsoft’s aim with the shell is – for it to be Immersive, with many OS components having the dedicated “Immersive” versions. A job post on LinkedIn gives some idea of what Microsoft considers an Immersive experience. Would you like to help engineer the next generation of Natural User Interfaces? Today’s state-of-the-art applications on the latest phones, tablets, pcs, and tvs are offering increasingly immersive user experiences with natural user interfaces that respond ...

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One of the innovations Microsoft added to IE9 is support for notifications in websites pinned to the task bar. Facebook and Ebay already supports this, and now finally one of Microsoft’s highest profile properties, Hotmail, is also getting support for this feature. To get desktop notifications for new email on your taskbar without installing any additional software one simply need to sign in to Hotmail in IE9, go to your Inbox and drag the Hotmail tab from the address bar in IE down to the taskbar, and drop it there. The Jump List on the Pinned site of course also gives quick and easy access to shortcuts for composing a new email, your calendar and contacts. Windows Live Hotmail is the world’s largest web-based email service with nearly 364 million users, far ahead of rivals Yahoo! Mail (280 million) and Gmail (191 million). Read more about IE9 and Hotmail together ...

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Windows 8 is set to make Windows a competitive tablet OS by featuring two user interfaces – a desktop version and a finger-optimized tablet user interface supposedly called Jupiter. Microsoft has started distributing Windows 8 M3 build purportedly to select OEMs via Microsoft Connect recently, and of course leaks to hackers have not been far behind. The latest build shows some new calming wall papers, but more importantly internally shows evidence of this dual user interface spread throughout the code of the OS via a new DLL aptly named TWINUI.DLL. The screen shot above also shows the new Windows Live icon which will bring Live integration to Windows. We will likely see a lot more over the next few months, hopefully revealing the real surprise, the Jupiter UI. Via ZDNet.com ...

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