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We were pretty glad when John Lewis announced they will be carrying the Microsoft Surface in UK this weekend, and I am sure French readers will be equally glad to hear popular electronics retailer FNAC is also offering the device. Already available online, the 32 GB tablet is retailing for 589 EUR, with the device available for delivery before Christmas. Presumably the tablet will also be showing up in stores this weekend also. See the online deal here. Are are French readers looking forward to having a hands-on with the device? Let us know below. Thanks Lauren for tip. ...

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Google is dropping support for ActiveSync for all new accounts, switching to “open” protocols which are not supported on Windows and Windows Phone. Their announcement reads as follows: Google Sync was designed to allow access to Google Mail, Calendar and Contacts via the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync® protocol. With the recent launch of CardDAV, Google now offers similar access via IMAP, CalDAV and CardDAV, making it possible to build a seamless sync experience using open protocols. Starting January 30, 2013, consumers won’t be able to set up new devices using Google Sync; however, existing Google Sync connections will continue to function. Google Sync will continue to be fully supported for Google Apps for Business, Government and Education. Users of those products are unaffected by this announcement. The synching service will continue to work for existing accounts, but will mean when users connect their new Windows Phone or Windows tablet their Google ...

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Dev company Extended Results have decided to speak up and make it clear the Windows 8 store can be a lucrative outlet for developers They said with their PUSHBI app for Windows 8, they are “doing GREAT” and have had over 2,500 downloads generating 15 to 20 new business leads a week . The app allows businesses to keep a close eye on key business metrics and with Snapped view support allows them to have a constant view even when doing something else. They note that the game developer who complained of only making $83 from the store was making just another game. The Windows 8 store has crossed over 30,000 apps, but with millions of PCs already out there still represents a great opportunity for developers who answer a actual unsatisfied need. Read more on the ExtendedResults blog here. Via Neowin.net. ...

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Channel 4 has launched their 4OD video on demand app into the Windows 8 store. The app provides shows from Channel 4, E4 and More 4, including Homeland, Fresh Meat, and The Inbetweeners to Windows 8 and Surface tablet owners. Channel 4 will also promote the app across the rest of its channels in conjunction with Microsoft. “It demonstrates how we can work with clients collaboratively to create something that is new to market, bespoke and one that utilises all our 4oD platforms as well as linking in to relevant content on Channel 4 to provide a fully integrated cross media brand experience,” noted Channel 4’s group digital manager Michael McSharry. The app and content is free and can be found in the Windows 8 Store here. Via The Drum.com ...

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A survey of US broadband subscribers by Parks Associates has shown significant interest in the Microsoft Surface, pegging in Q4 2012 at nearly half that of the iPad. The survey found 44% of consumers planned to buy an iPad, vs 21% a Microsoft Surface. This was nearly double of the interest in the Google Nexus, which scored only 12%. Parks notes interest in the Microsoft Surface was down from Q3 2012, before full details of the Surface, including the somewhat high price, was revealed. In some bad news for Apple, when given the choice between the iPad and the much cheaper iPad mini, 40% of consumers who intended to buy an iPad chose the cheaper device, which will place Apple’s iPad margins under pressure.  It is of note that the presence of the iPad mini did not increase the percentage of users who were opting for an iPad – in ...

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For some reason Microsoft has been only slowly releasing the news of which retailers will be carrying their Surface tablets around the world. For UK Pocket-lint has the amazing news that John Lewis will be carrying the Windows RT tablets both online and in store starting this weekend. The tablet will be available from www.johnlewis.com from the 14 December and in store over the weekend (15/16 December). "Always first with the latest technology, John Lewis is delighted to announce that it will be the first high street retailer in the UK to offer the Microsoft Surface from the 14 December 2012 and with a two-year guarantee included at no extra cost," the company told Pocket-lint. “Demand for Windows 8 computers has been phenomenal with touch screen models leading the way.” The Microsoft Surface 32GB with Black Touch Keyboard will cost £479 with a two-year guarantee while the Microsoft Surface 64GB ...

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In a blog post Microsoft announced that they have started accepting  games with a rating of PEGI 18. The first two games to be offered will be The Witcher, by CD Projekt, and Grand Theft Auto IV, by Take Two—with more games coming soon. Unfortunately both games are Desktop, not Windows 8-style titles. Minors will remain protected by the integration with the Windows 8 store of Microsoft Family Safety, which help parents control the kinds of apps their children can install. Microsoft emphasized that due to this the Store continues to be a safe and positive place for children to explore. Read more at Microsoft here. ...

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Microsoft scored a small victory by displacing Google Maps in NORAD’s seasonal Santa tracker, which has been tracking the crimson present distributor for the the last 50 years. For the last 4 years Google has been providing the maps for the service, but this year Bing and Windows Azure will be powering NORAD’s tracking service. This may explain the presence of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 apps specifically to keep an eye on Santa’s movement. NORAD declined to give a reason for the change, but one suspects it may have something to do with Google increasing API fees for their mapping products. One suspects their falling profits has been making the company a lot more Scrooge-like recently. Via SeattleTimes.com ...

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Speaking at Dell World customer conference in Austin, Texas, Dell CEO Michael Dell says that he’s seeing strong demand for computers and tablets running Windows 8. “The interest in Windows 8 is quite high, even among commercial customers” who tend to be slower to install new software, he said. Poopooing the post-PC propaganda, he noted “PCs are still how business gets done.” Microsoft had earlier announced that it sold more than 40 million Windows 8 licenses in 30 days, but most analysts are claiming slow adoption of the new OS. Dell’s statement indicates that this view may not be as accurate as the analyst consensus may indicate. Via Neowin and Bloomberg.com ...

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Speaking to V3, Google’s product management director at Google Apps, Clay Bavor, said it saw a lack of interest in their clients in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, and would not be making clients for the two operating systems. "We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8," he said. "If that changes, we would invest there, of course." Instead he said Google was committed to continually improving and updating its iOS and Android products. Google has done the minimum possible to support Windows Phone and Windows 8 so far, only releasing an app to integrate their search services into the OS. Given that Google and Microsoft compete on many services it is not surprising that Google is not supporting Windows in any form, ...

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Just a day after Microsoft announcement of expanded retail availability of the Microsoft Surface in US and Australia, the Windows RT tablet has already become available online in the two countries. WPDownunder reports the Windows RT tablet will be available in store and online at Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi, with Harvey Norman having the device available online and in store by the 14th. In USA the device is already available online on Staples. Of course having the device actually available in store is what it is really about, allowing buyers to actually fondle the device before shelling out. Microsoft has not announced the expansion of the device to other countries yet, but we can only hope it will happen soon. Thanks Filipe for the tip. ...

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Clove UK is now taking orders for the Samsung ATIV Tab, with stock arriving in two days. The Windows RT tablet is selling for £449.00 excl. VAT, £538.80 without. The device has similar specs to the Surface, but has some significant additional features, such as a 5 megapixel rear camera, GPS support and NFC built in. The tablet is also slightly lighter and thinner than the Surface, but of course lacks its VaporMg casing and kick stand. See the tablet at Clove here. ...

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Some months ago Microsoft announced that they will be giving Surface tablets to all 90,000 full-time Microsoft employees. It seems that that day has finally come, as Jeff Wilcox, senior software developer at Microsoft, has tweeted that Surface for employees is “go!” Microsoft has recently announced that they have increased production of the Surface tablet, and it may be this loosening of supply which is making the internal roll-out possible.  It is not clear if the roll-out will initially be confined to US only, or will be world-wide. Those Microsoft employees hoping for an early Christmas present by selling the device on will be disappointed to know the terms and conditions prevent the sale of the gift. Hopefully the roll-out will be associated with an influx of high quality applications to the Windows 8 store as talented developers get their hands on the tablet. ...

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eReader Guides have reviewed Sony’s massive All in One PC with its 20 inch screen, which can also do double duty as a tablet in a pinch. What the review does remind one off most is that, no matter what your niche, there is a Windows PC for you – something which has always been a strength of the Windows ecosystem, and still is today, even if it is a 20 inch tablet. Read their full review here. ...

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I guess we now know what is delaying Office for iOS. Apparently it is not just SkyDrive, but Apple also wants a 30% cut of Office 365 subscriptions sold through the iOS Office app. Apparently Microsoft feels 30% is not reasonable, especially for the productivity benefits it brings to iOS, and also as the subscriptions would also include desktop access. Apple disagrees, and is sticking to their 30% guns. In a statement to AllthingsD company spokesman Tom Neumayr  said: “Apple provides customers and developers the largest selection and safest way to discover apps with our curated App Store. We’ve designed our rules to be fair and consistent for every developer — free apps and services are distributed for free, paid apps and services provide a revenue share to Apple. We’ve paid out over 6.5 billion dollars to our developer community who have created over 700,000 apps.” Microsoft has not commented ...

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