About the author  ⁄ pradeep

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

Microsoft Skype recently announced that they are discontinuing Skype Desktop API in order to deliver consistent experience across all the platforms. They have explained their decision with the following message, We’ve been working hard to develop new technologies and make improvements that will benefit Skype users across all platforms, especially on mobile devices. These changes will significantly improve the call quality and speed of delivery of instant messages, while retaining excellent battery life of mobile devices. As people are using Skype on more devices, we’re also working hard to create a more familiar and consistent Skype experience across all major platforms. The Desktop API was created in 2004 and it doesn’t support mobile application development. We have, therefore, decided to retire the Desktop API in December 2013. If you’d like to provide us with your feedback, simply start Skype and go to Help > Give feedback. Your opinion is important ...

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We have seen many projects from Microsoft Research around Artificial Intelligence in the past. Today, Long Zheng posted a old video in which Eric Horvitz, the co-director of Microsoft Research Redmond and a distinguished scientist in the field of artificial intelligence at TEDxAustin spoke about Microsoft’s work in Artificial Intelligence. He spoke about Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, Distinguished Scientist and co-director at Microsoft Research, Eric Horvitz, shares the human side of advancing machine intelligence. An admitted advocate for empowering machines to perform more fluidly with us, he explains how computational systems will complement human cognition in order to anticipate our needs and help us prepare for inevitable surprises of all scale and size In nurturing and supportive ways. When Readwrite profiled Peter Lee, the corporate vice president for Microsoft Research, he spoke about MSR’s short term and long term goals. He said the following about Disruptive (Also Known As “Moon Shots”) work ...

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Microsoft has released a new privacy statement that applies to Xbox products and services which include Xbox console versions, Xbox Live service, Games for Windows Live, Windows Phone Games, Xbox Music, Xbox Store, and other products and services. You can read them all from the link below. Regarding Kinect facial data, some game titles may take advantage of a new Xbox capability called expressions. This feature allows you to use your defined facial expressions to control or influence a game. This data does not identify you, stays on the console and is destroyed once your session ends. CVG has summarized some important privacy policies of Microsoft, Players can turn Kinect off at any time. When Kinect is used with certain games and apps, a user’s skeletal movements can be used to estimate exercise stats. Microsoft says “you can decide how your stats are managed and whether they are shared”. Kinect’s facial-numeric identifiers, ...

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Anandtech today reported that an upcoming firmware update for Surface Pro 2 will update battery life significantly. AnandTech re-ran its battery benchmarking tests to measure the difference in battery life of Surface Pro 2 before and after the firmware update. Here are the results, Web Browsing Battery Life - 8.3 hours (6.6 hours before update) Video Playback Battery Life – 7.73 (6.65 hours before update) Microsoft also confirmed that the litany of sensors included in Surface Pro 2, as well as the higher resolution display, active digitizer and capacitive touch all of which increase power draw over other similar sized Windows Ultrabooks and MacBook Air. Anyhow, 8.3 hours of web browsing battery life on a Core i5, full HD touch display machine is impressive. What do you think? Source: AnandTech   ...

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  In a recently posted long Q&A section on PS4, Sony has confirmed that its upcoming gaming console is now DLNA compatible and it won’t be able to play audio CDs as well. Even though you can ignore DLNA compatible thing, I don’t know why Sony has decided to stop supporting MP3/Audio CDs. Anyway, Microsoft has confirmed to Penny Arcade that Xbox One will be DLNA compatible and it will support Audio CDs as well. The system is also DLNA compatible, and they’re in the process of being certified. As for mp3 playback… well, that’s kind of a mixed bag. The system is a Play To receiver, so you’ll be able to stream your content to the Xbox One using any Play To supported devices such as a Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 enabled PC, Windows Phone, etc. So it doesn’t seem like there is going to be a way ...

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The Start Screen in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 allows you to pin your favorite apps downloaded from Windows Store as Live Tiles. If you want to add particular program to Start Screen or create a shortcut for a Modern app downloaded from Windows Store on desktop, it is not possible. There is a simple program called OblyTile which allows you to do so. You can now pin your favorite modern app to your taskbar. OblyTile is a simple-to-use program that allows you to create new titles for the Windows 8 Start screen. It can be handled by users of any level of experience. After a brief installation procedure, you are greeted by a stylish window with a well-defined layout. You can get started by writing a tile name (optionally hide it from the screen) and by specifying the path to the corresponding program. It is possible to apply an ...

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  Microsoft announced that they have extended their deal with Twitter to index public tweets for its social search results. Microsoft presents the public tweets in Bing search results in the sidebar. Microsoft commented the following on this deal, “The past four years partnering with Twitter have been great, and we’re excited  to continue that relationship in order to help deliver the best possible search  experience.” At Bing, we believe that for every search there is somebody out there who can help. That’s why we have been teaming up with Twitter for a few years to surface public tweets from people who may have something to contribute to what you’re trying to get done with Bing. Whether it’s a politician, celebrity, thought leader or friend, our renewed partnership with Twitter ensures that you have near real-time access to what people are tweeting tailored to what you’re searching for. Source: Bing ...

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According to the latest Net Applications data, Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 now holds 1.72% of the desktop OS market share. Windows 8.1 preview was available since June and the final version was launched officially in mid-October. The official launch has boosted its market share from 0.87% in September to 1.72% in October. Windows XP’s market share is now down to 31.24 and Windows 7′s market share is now down to 46.42% in October. Overall, Windows dominated the table with 90.66% market share while Mac OS X held 7.73%. Source: Net Applications ...

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Microsoft’s market share of Operating Systems in the personal computing space is fast declining due to Android and iOS devices. Microsoft is aware of this scenario and they have formulated a plan to execute this holiday season to reverse the trend. Paul from Winsupersite has posted a long list of action items from Microsoft’s plan. First, Microsoft has plans to sell about 16 million Windows tablets to make touch Windows devices mainstream. Microsoft will spend about $405 million this year for direct marketing, offers, incentives, etc,. Microsoft will focus on new Windows 8.1 features running on new tablets and devices that are coming this holiday season. Microsoft is aware of the fact that consumers are confused with several OS versions in the market such as Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows RT, Windows 7, etc,. Low end Android tablets are winning customers since they are confused because of fragmented strategies with PC makers, the ...

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Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is continuing its trend to gain market share against Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and others. According to the latest data from Net Applications, Internet Explorer now holds 58.22% of the worldwide browser market share. From September to October, Internet Explorer gained 0.42% (from 57.80% to 58.22%), Mozilla Firefox gained 0.10% (from 18.60% to 18.70%), and Google Chrome lost 0.54% (from 15.96% to 15.42 %). While IE’s 58.22% is this year’s high, Google Chrome has hit a 27-month low of  15.42%. With the release of Windows 8.1, Internet Explorer 11 gained 1.49% of the market share on its first month. Source: NetApplications via: TNW ...

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Windows 8.1 Enterprise now includes a new feature called Start screen control. This is for IT admins to would like to control the Start screen layout for group of users and preventing them from making changed to the layout. For example, IT admin can decide to always have Office apps tiles on the start screen. How to do this? So you arrange the layout like so: Once arranged, you can export this layout into an XML file using a simple PowerShell command: PS C:\> Export-StartLayout –As XML –Path \\contoso-mgmt\Layouts$\ManagedUser.xml Next, you can specify a path to this layout file using Active Directory Group Policy. From the Group Policy Management Editor, navigate to “User Configuration \ Policies \ Administrator Templates \ Start Menu and Taskbar” where you can find the “Start Screen Layout” policy setting: Enable this setting and specify the path to the layout file that you exported using PowerShell. (Make sure to ...

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Microsoft announced its company wide reorganization to transform into a devices and services company few months back. Since then, there are lots of changes happening within the company. Mary Jo Foley today reported three such changes today, 1) Windows Embedded team is now part of the unified operating system division under Terry Myerson. 2) The Outlook.com, Windows Mail and Calendar app teams which were initially part of the unified OS group are now part of the Applications and Services group under Qi Lu. Mary Jo Foley also reported that Windows Mail and Calendar apps might get replaced with the Outlook app that is now available for Windows RT. 3) Perceptive Pixel software team is now part of the unified operating system group under Terry Myerson. Microsoft also has some Perceptive Pixel software updates planned in April 2014. Read more from the link below. Source: ZDNet ...

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Another huge patent war is going to start soon. Rockstar consortium which is jointly owned by Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony has sued Samsung, Huawei, HTC and Google for patent infringement in U.S. District Court in Texas. Rockstar consortium was formed by Microsoft, Apple and others after they won the Nortel’s patents in a bidding for $4.5 billion. Google is accused of infringing seven patents. The patents cover technology that helps match Internet search terms with relevant advertising, the lawsuit said, which is the core of Google’s search business. In fact, Google tried its hand in bidding to buy Nortel’s patents but they eventually lost of Rockstar consortium. The lawsuit points out that, “Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe,”. Apple and Microsoft are already fighting patent battles against various Android OEMs in the courts. But this is the ...

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Disney’s popular game Stack Rabbit is now available as free download from Windows Store for Windows 8/RT devices. Description: Stack Rabbit is here! Hop in and play a wild new puzzle adventure from Disney and the creators of Where’s My Water! Download now and stack your way to puzzle success! Ben the Rabbit’s peaceful, veggie-thieving life is turned upside down when his sister goes on vacation leaving him to babysit her restless bunny children. With a bounty of bouncing bunnies to feed, Ben must sneak into the nearby farm and steal enough veggies to feed the kids! But watch out – Max the guard dog is always keeping a watchful eye on the farm’s veggies! Features: •Hop, stack, and match veggies through 65 head-scratching levels for FREE! •Play as Ben the Rabbit on living puzzles, where veggies grow back as you match them! •Challenge yourself to create recipes, match stacks, ...

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Microsoft today published a special Bing interactive home page to celebrate Halloween. The interactive home page is simply amazing, you should check it out and it trumps the Google’s Halloween interactive doodle posted today on Google.com. Bing home page has the following 6 horror movies as the highlights on the interactive home page, find them. Friday the 13th (1980) Poltergeist (1982) The Amityville Horror (1979) Halloween (1978) Psycho (1960) The Shining (1980) Check out Bing home page here. The Shining (1980) ...

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Albert Penello, who leads the planning of Xbox One at Microsoft posted a note on why real dashboard videos have not been published, what are the differences between the published demo video and the actual product, his comments on the recent rumors about Xbox One SDK bugs, etc,. 1) Why a live demo of Xbox One dashboard was not posted? Even though we have rights to populate the store with Musicians, Artists, Movies, Actors, etc. – when it comes to us (as in Microsoft) publishing those types of things for marketing materials, it requires an extensive amount of approvals from those same Studios, Actors, Agents, Musicians, etc. Also whenever we use game footage, the creator of the game wants to approve the footage. And finally, when something like this gets created, it needs to be used in a variety of ways that a direct feed video doesn’t work for. Coordinating ...

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