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

Zynga filed its 8-K regulatory filing, among other things documenting the compensation package for former Microsoft executive and now Zynga CEO Don Mattrick.  Over several years Mattrick can potentially make over $50 million at Zynga depending on how the stock does.  In his first year alone Mattrick is set to make $19.3 million in combined cash and stock.  This includes a $5 million signing bonus, a $1 million annual salary, and guaranteed cash bonus of $2 million.  He will also receive $11.3 million in Zynga stock; compensation for vesting shares he gave up in leaving Microsoft. Mattrick is also getting an “inducement” grant of 1,785,714 restricted stock units, valued at $5 million, as well as an option to purchase 7,357,143 shares now worth $10 million, which will also vest over several years.  Beginning in 2014, Mattrick will be eligible for a 200 percent to 400 percent yearly cash bonus of his ...

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In light of the political crisis in Egypt, Twitter said Wednesday it put in place a new tool to translate accounts of some prominent Egyptians into English. “As part of our experiment with tweet text translation, we’ve enabled translation for some of the most-followed accounts in Egypt, so people around the world can better understand and keep up with what’s happening there,” Twitter said in a statement. About 100 Twitter accounts are affected, including those of Mohammed Morsi, the president ousted by Egypt’s military, prominent opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei and Arab Spring activist Wael Ghonim. We previously reported on Twitter testing the Bing Translator: http://microsoft-news.com/twitter-testing-bing-powered-translation-feature/ Source: WSJ (Wall Street Journal) ...

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The new Reputation system will be an integral part of Xbox Live in the Xbox One.  The reputation system will track player misbehavior and essentially create communities of like players that behave similarly while playing games.  OXM got an exclusive interview with Microsoft’s senior product manager Mike Lavin who explained the reputation system in more detail. OXM reports: The key aim is that players won’t have to splinter off into Parties to ensure they aren’t matched with objectionable types in multiplayer. “There’s a lot of folks, a lot of our core consumers who just want to basically kick back and stay in touch with some of their old college buddies,” Lavin began. “That’s cool, and Party Chat today and our Party system is leaps and bounds ahead of competitors, from the standpoint of just being able to isolate yourself and cross-game chat.  But the problem we see is that this ...

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Microsoft is working on making major improvement for laptop for the final release of Windows 8.1 .  Windows principal program manager James Clarke outlined some of the improvements being planned for the 8.1 release later this year: According to the Verge: Microsoft has been working with Intel, Elan, and Synaptics to allow Windows 8.1 to directly control the pointer, multi-touch, and gesture support in trackpads. They’ll also include smoother scrolling and better zooming and panning support. Clarke showed off a “co-engineering effort with Intel” that is a concept device using the new “Precision Touchpad” support, noting that Microsoft has “invested in accidental activation prevention to help really filter out these non-deliberate touches on the touchpad.”The work is clearly in the early stages, but Microsoft believes some laptops will debut with the improvements later this year. “These devices will be coming to market in some limited availability this holiday and then shipping in volume ...

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Microsoft drew a hard line in the sand with enabling “Do Not Track” by default on Internet Explorer.  While this was good for consumers, websites have to honor the Do Not Track request and many sites refused to after IE enabled it by default.  You may be glad to know that Microsoft-News honors all of your do not track requests, we are committed to not scroogling you. Today Microsoft is introducing user-granted exceptions to Do Not Track requests.  This allows users to specify certain websites to track them, allowing certains websites to make more money and users to continue to receive content for free. Microsoft Chief Privacy Officer Brendon Lynch reports: As part of our ongoing commitment to privacy, Microsoft has included improvements to our support of the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Do Not Track (DNT) effort in the Windows 8.1 Preview released at Microsoft’s Build confrence last week. ...

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Bing< Maps looks like it could be the next major secret-spiller making headlines; you may recall that previously Bing May Have Revealed Secret U.S. Drone Base.  Bing’s satellite-imaging service captured a stealth Russian fighter jet, which was previously thought to be ancient history.  The airplane, known as the Mikoyan Project 1.44, was reportedly launched during the fall of the Soviet Union and was thought to be put to bed in 2001. . Mashable reports: The jet was purportedly Russia’s first attempt at a flyable stealth fighter — one that was meant to match one of America’s best-kept secrets, the F-22 Raptor. Some speculated that the fighter jet was sent to China to kick-start Beijing’s own stealth development program.  Foreign Policy compared China’s J-20 stealth fighter, revealed in 2010, to the 1.44 (see above). The 1.44 is the larger of the two planes, found just outside Moscow’s Zhukovsky airfield, but the ...

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Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft in 2008 and devoted to most of his time to philanthropic activities since then.  Gates is still chairman of the board at Microsoft is the company’s largest shareholder, owning roughly 8% of the company and has been working closely with Ballmer lately on the re-org plan. Gates will be keynoting the the annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit on July 15 and 16.  Four hundred elite academic investigators will gather at the event in Redmond, Washington, to explore the future with Microsoft researchers.  This will be Gates first appearance back since 2005. Gates will address the role of computing in solving global problems, and then take questions from the in-person audience and online viewers. The keynote will be rebroadcast later in the day, but if you have a question for this leader in computing and philanthropy, be sure to view live at 9 a.m. PT on ...

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Microsoft has filed a copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit against VertexPC, a Buford company that sells PCs and other computer equipment and software, according to documents filed recently in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Microsoft is seeking unspecified damages, said VertexPC and owner Peter Dapice “advertised, marketed, installed and offered and distributed unauthorized copies.” VertexPC says it was founded in 1999 in New York and relocated to metro Atlanta in 2004. In addition to providing computer equipment, the hardware and software merchant says it provides consulting services to several stock trading and financial institutions, and its clients have included Coca-Cola, NASA, and governmental, educational and medical institutions across the country.  Microsoft says it warned the Gwinnett County company in December about the “consequences of making and distributing infringing copies” of its software.  In April of this year, however, Microsoft said VertexPC distributed to an “investigator” computer systems with installed unauthorized copies ...

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Microsoft previously released a list of 21 countries that it would launch the Xbox One for holiday 2013.  Japan was not among them.  Today Microsoft Japan President Yasuyuki confirmed that Japan is a “tier 2″ country and the console will launch in early 2014 in the country. Higuchi also said the the Xbox One “won’t be delayed too much from the North American release.” Microsoft has not seen huge success in Japan, Sony’s home territory.  With the PS4 launching holiday 2013 in Japan, it is probably more sensible for Microsoft to launch it in early 2014.  The Xbox One will also launch in early 2014 for many other Asian countries. Xbox One Launch Countries for Holiday 2013: Australia Austria Belgium Brazil Canada Denmark Finland France Germany Ireland Italy Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Norway Russia Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom United States Source: Games Industry International ...

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Microsoft has released the first set of updates since the Windows 8.1 Preview launch& bug fixes for Windows 8.1 since its release last week. You may recall 5 updates were released the day of the Windows 8.1 preview: Update for Windows RT 8.1 Preview (KB2864247) which is specifically supposed to fix a bug causing Metro apps to crash on Windows 8.1 Preview just after launch. Update for Windows RT 8.1 Preview (KB2864806) that makes it possible to sing you Google account through Picasa or other applications that rely on Google services. According to Microsoft, this issues occurs because “the application cannot retrieve certain cookies located on the computer.” Update for Windows RT 8.1 Preview (KB2864808) addressing a bug in Internet Explorer 11. “When you start and then pause a download in Internet Explorer 11 Preview on a Windows 8.1 Preview-based computer, the download cannot be resumed,” the company explains. Update ...

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Microsoft has removed the Facebook and Flickr integration from the Photo app in Windows 8.1 along with support for photos on network storage.  One of the key features in Windows Phone has been the tight social integration with the ability to pull photos from many services within the photo app. It seems Microsoft is moving in the other direction with Windows 8.1. A spokesperson for Microsoft, speaking in the Microsoft community forums said: In Windows 8, we wanted to provide a way for folks to view their photos on other services knowing there would be few (if any) apps in the store at launch that would do so.  Now there are many apps in the store that offer ways to view photos on other services and soon there will even be a Facebook app from Facebook.  We’re confident Facebook will offer great ways to view and engage socially with photos ...

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Skype introduces “Stay Together,” a new campaign via Pereira & O’Dell. The “Stay Together” ads strive to have a powerful emotional connection with the audience instead of focusing on the technology itself; in this case, to keep family and friends in touch despite long distances. A similar type of ad has been recently seen in the Apple “Made in California” commercial. AdAge reports: The first in the series is “The Impossible Family Portrait,” featuring Denis, separated from his family in Uganda and trying to keep in touch with his family and adopted son, over Skype. There’s also “Animal Family Portrait,” [below] about a zookeeper who had to leave Australia but still keeps in touch with her animal friends, and “The Growing Up Family Portrait,” about 10-year-old Julie and her cousin in Brazil. There’s also a contest where Skype asks users to share stories of how they use the service to ...

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Picturepan2 over at LiveSino has some shown off some nice screenshots of the Mail, People, and Calendar apps as they will look in the final version of Windows 8.1 Mail: In the mail app it will be easier to multi-select & triage, support for drag and drop has been added, and snap mode for attachments is now supported.  The application will now be known as the “Windows 8 Outlook.com client.”  There are also sweep/cleanup features similar to Outlook.com as well as auto-categorizing your email such as newsletters and social mail. Calendar: What’s Next feature will show the next series of events on the calendar. People: People app will get a significant UI makeover. Clicking on a contact’s first letter will change the look of the filter. A search box inside the updated People app and the contact page for each profile will also get a new look. Source: Windows Newsroom via LiveSino ...

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Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Xbox (and possible replacement for Mattrick?) confirmed that the Kinect on the Xbox One will be able to scan QR codes, including pre-paid Xbox Live Cards.  Hopefully the days of punching in 25 digit codes are a thing of the past. To my reddit friends — yup — this works! http://t.co/QHnOPZqib1 — Marc Whitten (@notwen) July 1, 2013 Source: Twitter ...

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Twitter confirmed it was testing a tool to automatically translate tweets using Microsoft’s Bing search engine. In the implementation, tweets appear in the original language, with the translated tweet in smaller text below it (with a powered by “Bing translator” label). “To make it easier for people around the world to connect with each other, we are beginning to experiment with Tweet text translation,” said a Twitter spokesperson. Bing provides a similar service for Facebook. Source: AllThingsD   ...

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