About the author  ⁄ Suril Amin

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

Microsoft unveiled the Surface 2, Surface Pro 2, and new accessories at a press event in New York City today.  Among the new accessories was a wireless adapter for the Surface Type Covers, which transform the keyboard into a Bluetooth enabled device for wireless typing. Connect any Surface Typing Cover to Surface using Bluetooth® wireless technology. Type emails from the couch while Surface is plugged into your TV, or work collaboratively in the conference room. Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers: The Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers connects magnetically to any Touch or Type Cover, letting you type from anywhere in the room using Bluetooth technology, so it is even easier to connect Surface to a TV or monitor and type from another location, such as the couch. Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers will have an estimated retail price of $59.99. It will be available for pre-order in the U.S. and ...

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Microsoft is really starting to make its case as a ‘Devices & Services’ company.  Customers who purchase a new Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 will get: To help people get the most out of Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, customers purchasing either device will receive free Skype calling to landlines in more than 60 countries for one year, unlimited Skype WiFi on their Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 at more than 2 million hot spots worldwide for one year, and 200 GB of free SkyDrive storage for two years. ...

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It appears Microsoft has learned from its mistakes and you will be able to pre-order the Surface shortly after today’s announcement (starting tomorrow).  It will launch in 22 markets simultaneously on October 22nd. Pre-order Surface Customers can pre-order Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 starting at 8 a.m. EDT on Sept. 24, 2013, at http://www.MicrosoftStore.com, Microsoft Stores, and Best Buy in the U.S. and Canada, as well as select retailers in most Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 launch markets. ...

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Microsoft unveiled the Surface 2, Surface Pro 2, and new accessories at a press event in New York City today.  Among the new accessories was a Car Charger with USB, which will be very useful to professionals who travel frequently. Charge up your Surface while you’re on the go using the Car Charger with USB Port. Stuck in traffic between meetings? Give your Surface a charging boost. The Car Charger plugs into most car charging ports. Car Charger with USB: Car Charger plugs into most cars’ power or lighter ports and charges Surface without the need for an additional adapter. It also features a USB port to allow simultaneous charging of a phone or other device. Car Charger will have an estimated retail price of $49.99 and has a projected release date of early 2014. ...

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Microsoft unveiled the Surface 2, Surface Pro 2, and new accessories at a press event in New York City today.  Among the new accessories was the successor to the Touch Cover, the Touch Cover 2 which includes a backlit keyboard. The same revolutionary dual-purpose keyboard and protective cover in one, but even lighter and thinner. A colorful, smooth exterior lets you type up to two times faster than onscreen. Type email, chat, and work. Touch Cover 2: Thinner and lighter than the original Touch Cover, measuring only 2.75 mm thin, Touch Cover 2 features backlit keys for even better readability. Touch Cover 2 is more rigid, registers keystrokes with greater accuracy and features updated sensors that support a variety of gestures across the entire keyboard. Touch Cover 2 has an estimated retail price of $119.99. It will be available for pre-order on Sept. 24 in all markets where Surface devices ...

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While the Ballmer’s big re-org will not be fully implemented until the release of Windows Phone Blue, some parts are starting to take shape.  Myerson who has been in charge of the OS Engineering Group for two months now has decided to do a clean sweep of the management and will now have seven people that will report directly to him. When Sinofsky left, his job was split in two between his right hand girl Julie Larson-Greene and Tami Reller.  With the re-org, Reller moved to oversee marketing and Larson-Greene went to oversee Devices and Studios.  Reller and Larson-Green report directly to Ballmer.  With the acquisition of Nokia Stephen Elop overtakes Julie’s current position, and she reports to Elop.  If Elop becomes CEO she may get her old job back, or a new CEO could shake things up again with new management. Myerson has removed some of Sinofsky’s other lieutenants ...

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Microsoft will be unveiling the next generation Surface this Monday in New York City.  Panos Panay, Corporate VP @ MSFT, and in charge of the Surface team has been in New York City since Thursday.  He along with other members of the Surface design and development team will host a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” at 3pm EST shortly after the Surface event.  Our sources tell us that the event will not be live streamed.  We will be posting a rumor roundup article tomorrow, but in the mean time you can see our previous coverage of the Surface: Surface RT 2 Details Revealed: Tegra 4, Full HD 1080p, White & Black Options, & More Surface 2 Specs Leak: Haswell, New Kickstand, More RAM, Launches Next Month Another New Accessory For Microsoft Surface, Docking Station Is Coming New Surface “Power Cover” Will Have Built-In Battery Microsoft’s Patent Filing Reveals Two Step Kickstand ...

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Microsoft has written a white paper for governments warning them of the ‘hidden costs’ in using android tablets.  In this time of economic downturn, a dwindling tax base, austerity measures and a the paradox of deficit spending governments are looking to save money where they can and it is understandable how appealing a cheap Chinese android tablet may be.  Consider the following: a cheap hooker and an expensive escort ultimately achieve the same goal, but you get what you pay for. A recent white paper from Microsoft compares Android vs Windows devices and shows that Windows devices are a superior choice, offering better security, a more productive experience for users AND an improved ability for IT to manage mobile devices WITHIN the boundaries of existing PC cost structure and technical infrastructure. The paper looks at four areas critical to public sector and education – Ease of Use, Security, Productivity and ...

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Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from longtime reader Bugbog.  With Blackberry announcing a ~40% reduction in workforce (4500 jobs!) and an exit from the consumer market, I think this is a timely piece.  We’re seeing an end to an era where companies thrived by having all their eggs in making mobile devices.  You really need a strong ecosystem and diverse company to survive.  I think many people overlook how vertically integrated Samsung really is and how they came to be dominant.  Now on to a brief look back at history.  –Suril Nokia, RIM (Blackberry), Motorola, Palm/HP, and HTC. All pioneers and trailblazers in the mobility age. All made great profits from their ventures. However they all currently have one, or a number of things in common; They are all either in a downward spiral, losing money, or have been broken up and sold! What the heck happened? The greatest threat to ...

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In 2012 Microsoft help the #1 spot for corporate brand perception in Japan.  This year Microsoft has fallen to third and Apple has gained the #1 spot for the first time.  Google has also moved from 8th to 5th.  According to Nikkei Research: Apple saw a “greater willingness of businesspeople to recommend its products.  And the U.S. company continues to rank high in “originality and brand premium.” The iPhone is selling well in Japan and the trend is expected to continue with the iPhone 5S.  More businesses and consumers are willing to recommend Apple products right now in Japan.  The No. 2 spot went to a Japanese company, Yamato Transport, a home delivery service.  Microsoft has a lot of work to do, but with the purchase of Nokia and increased innovation in the hardware space I believe Microsoft can regain the top spot when annual survey is done again next ...

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Game publishers continue to be innovate on the Xbox One and are investing in utilizing Kinect’s capabilities, which will bundled with the Xbox One.  (This is your cue to cry PS4 fanboys)  DICE’s Patrick Bach gave a preview of Battlefield 4 to Xbox Wire.  He revealed that the game is considering to using the Xbox One’s Kinect sensor for head tracking look controls (such as leaning around a corner) and also for voice commands.  The publisher will also be using SmartGlass (again no real PS4 equivalent) to allow players to view the overhead map during multiplayer matches and take advantage of the second screen. Here is part of the Q&A: What are you most excited about for developing on new generation hardware?  Developing for a new hardware generation is always exciting and inspiring for us at game makers and players. At DICE, we have prepared ourselves well for this transition ...

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A few days back we reported on Microsoft launching an iPad trade-in program allowing consumers to get a minimum of $200 to spend at a Microsoft Store.  A new Microsoft Corporate Buyback promotion in partnership with Clover Wireless will allow users to trade in a number of competitors devices including: iPads, iPhones, Samsung, and Blackberry devices.  Consumers can receive a gift card worth up to $350.  Microsoft has posted a FAQ on how the program works: Q. Who can trade in? A: Anyone that’s ready to trade up to an amazing new Microsoft device and trade-in an eligible used device. Q. Why trust this trade-in program? A: Clover Wireless, has more than 20 years of experience in valuing used electronic equipment. Clover Wireless will provide the maximum trade-in value for your used electronic device, and if not a good usable device Clover Wireless will ensure it is recycled responsibly through ...

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Microsoft has released IE11 Release Preview for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 today.  This may mean the final versions of the browser may launch after the release of Windows 8.1. This release preview included performance improvements making it 30% faster than other browsers, updates to support the latest Web standards, and developer tools improvements The IE11 Release Preview for Windows 7 includes several tools enhancements to increase developer productivity and in response to the overwhelming enthusiasm and feedback we have received from developers.  Here are just a few of the many improvements: Console:  IE11 makes it easier to debug WebGL content by mapping WebGL errors to the corresponding JavaScript location.  Developer productivity is improved because primitives have been added to Intellisense.  With IE11, developers can debug multi-threaded Web sites with full console access while targeting Web workers. Debugger:  An improved file picker allows faster access to files in a ...

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For those of you with MSDN subscriptions, here are the pertinent links to download Windows 8.1 Enterprise, Pro Volume License, and European “N” editions: Windows 8.1 Enterprise (x86) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQLk Windows 8.1 Enterprise (x86) – DVD (English-United Kingdom) http://dlvr.it/3zgQMH Windows 8.1 Pro VL (x86) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQN3 Windows 8.1 Pro VL (x86) – DVD (English-United Kingdom) http://dlvr.it/3zgQPY Windows 8.1 Pro N VL (x86) – DVD (English-United Kingdom) http://dlvr.it/3zgQRQ Windows 8.1 Pro N VL (x86) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQSJ Windows 8.1 Enterprise N (x64) – DVD (English-United Kingdom) http://dlvr.it/3zgQTM Windows 8.1 Enterprise N (x64) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQTk Windows 8.1 Enterprise N (x86) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQWT Windows 8.1 Enterprise N (x86) – DVD (English-United Kingdom) http://dlvr.it/3zgQZh Windows 8.1 Enterprise (x64) – DVD (English-United Kingdom) http://dlvr.it/3zgQfl Windows 8.1 Enterprise (x64) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQhY Windows 8.1 Pro VL (x64) – DVD (English) http://dlvr.it/3zgQjK Windows 8.1 Pro VL (x64) ...

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Enterprise customers now have access to Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM.  There will probably be no deployments as of now, but at least they can start testing the OS for their environment. This is especially important as Windows XP hits end-of-life in seven months. Beginning today, TechNet and MSDN subscribers will now have access to Windows 8.1 Enterprise RTM. This also includes access for Volume License (VL) customers with an active Software Assurance (SA) agreement, as you receive a TechNet subscription as part of SA. Preparing Your Organization to Migrate to Windows 8.1 Enterprise As we mentioned when we originally announced RTM back in late August, we talked about how we are moving forward with a rapid release cycle for Windows. If you have not started, begin your Windows 8.1 planning today. We encourage you to evaluate Windows 8.1 RTM bits to get a jump start on your deployment planning, using it ...

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