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

On September 3, Diablo III will launch on the Xbox 360 in the U.S., Canada, Spanish-speaking Latin America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand for $59.99. Both console versions of Diablo III will be fully localized in English, German, French, Latin American Spanish, European Spanish, Russian, Italian, Polish, and Brazilian Portuguese. Further release details, including retail availability in Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia, will be announced at a later date. The console versions of Diablo III have been custom-tailored for gamepad-driven action, with a dynamic camera perspective that puts your hero front and center, as well as an all-new user interface and an intuitive control system that make vanquishing evil feel like second nature. Diablo III also supports four players via same-screen local cooperative play or online over Xbox Live. In addition, the game supports parties composed of both local and online players. Players who preorder either ...

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The Bing Translator app has been available for Windows Phone for some time, but it has now made its way to the Windows 8.  The Bing Translator App for Windows is your companion when you need to quickly translate what you are looking at. Use your camera or just type the text you want to translate. Text and camera translation work offline with downloadable language packs, so you can get the power of Bing Translator on-the-go, even when you don’t have an Internet connection. Download it from the Windows Store     ...

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Microsoft has posted details regarding the more precise and immersive next generation Xbox Controller. Impulse Triggers – Xbox One’s Wireless Controller sports four vibration motors – a small one behind each trigger that adds precise haptic feedback to the fingertips, and a larger in each grip for large scale rumbles.  This gives users a sense of in-game directionality and depth, creating rich, immersive experiences where gunshots, car crashes and explosions can come to life. For example, in “Forza Motorsport 5,” Turn 10 Studios is using impulse triggers to provide players with precise feedback that enhances the racing experience. If your tires break traction from over-acceleration or if you drift on the gas pedal, the triggers emit very distinct vibrations.  This is combined with the chassis rumble that conveys impacts, engine roar and driving over surface irregularities like cobblestone. Higher Quality Headset Audio – The data transfer rate between the controller and ...

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The Outlook Gods have been answering prayers recently and it was officially confirmed by Microsoft that Outlook is coming to Windows RT.  In the meantime, we have screenshots The new Outlook has so much to offer including a streamlined user experience that reduces clutter and makes your content king.  From cool new features like quickly responding to email with inline reply, to using ‘peeks’ to view your calendar or contacts without having to manually switch between tabs, Outlook brings great new tools to your fingertips.  And with today’s news, Outlook will soon be available across Windows PCs, phones and tablets.  To learn more about what’s new in Outlook, check out the Outlook section on Office.com. *Morgan Stanley Research, “Tablet Landscape Evolution“, May 2012 via: Winsupersite   ...

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In a coordinated operation, codenamed Operation b54, Microsoft, in cooperation with leaders in the financial services industry – including the Financial Services – Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC), NACHA – The Electronic Payments Association, the American Bankers Association (ABA) – Agari,  and other technology industry partners, as well as the FBI, announced it has successfully disrupted more than a thousand botnets that are responsible for stealing people’s online banking information and personal identities. The FBI took coordinated separate steps related to the operation. This coordinated disruption resulted from an extensive investigation that Microsoft that began in early 2012. After looking into this threat, it was discovered that once a computer was infected with Citadel malware, that malware began monitoring and recording a victim’s keystrokes. This allowed hackers to gain direct access to a victim’s bank account or any other online account in order to withdraw money and/or steal personal identities.  Microsoft also ...

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An update will come to the Surface in a few week that will allow for the ability to toggle between what the keys on the top row do, get some quick access to other capabilities like screenshots through shortcuts, and just make some things like paging easier to do with one hand. These include: Fn + Caps: Locks F1-F12 into being function keys. Do it again and you get the charms, volume, Home, End, etc. if you are in the function lock mode, you can get the inverse options by pressing the Fn key, naturally Fn + <spacebar>: Print Screen Fn + <spacebar> + Alt: Print Screen for the in-focus App only Fn + Del: Brightness Up Fn + Backspace: Brightness Down Fn + <left>: Home Fn + <right>: End Fn + <up>: Page Up Fn + <down>: Page Down   Source: Surface Blog ...

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Sony has announced two new laptops, the VAIO Pro and VAIO Duo.  Both include Intel’s fourth generation Haswell processor inside (up to Core i7), Triluminous color rendering and X-Reality display engine technologies, Rapid Wake feature to bring the systems back up to speed quickly after sleeping, and USB ports can charge a device when the notebooks are in sleep mode or even powered down. There AC adapter has a USB charging port, too.  These notebooks will connect to any NFC enabled device by simply tapping it to the VAIO to share data and connecting via Bluetooth. The VAIO Pro is available in 11 inch or 13 inch touchscreen, weighing 1.92 lbs or 2.34 lbs respectively.  The VAIO Pro 13 will offer a high-speed PCIe SSD drive.  Both VAIO Pro models can connect the optional sheet battery to double the battery life of either, giving an estimate 11 – 14 hours battery life.   The ...

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A reorganization has been in the works at Microsoft for over two years now, as the plan is near being finalized new details are emerging.  The changes would give greater responsibility to executives including Satya Nadella, head of the (Azure) server business, Don Mattrick, who runs Xbox, Qi Lu, chief of the online group (Bing), and Tony Bates, president of Skype.  Andy Lees who was essentially fired from the Windows Phone division, will leave Microsoft sometime between the release of Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone Blue. Ballmer, who is now 57 is looking at potentially retiring after 10 years, and wants this reorganization to allow a natural successor to emerge within the company. Ballmer is still meeting with the board (i.e. Bill Gates) to discuss and finalize changes. The changes are aimed at cutting the number of disparate units and fostering cooperation between products so that Microsoft is more competitive. One idea ...

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You’ll be able to get your hands on the official Windows 8.1 Preview build in less than a month.  But in the mean time, our good friend Tom Warren has posted a video of the start button in action in build 9410. Of course the functionality could change, but nothing too dramatic really. Why do we need a Start Button again? via Tom Waren ...

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Microsoft has supported fingerprint readers and other biometric devices since the mid-90s through various third party software and drivers to log into Windows. With Windows 8.1 Microsoft hopes to improve this support more natively and will add the ability to lockdown down individual folders via fingerprint. For years Microsoft has been trying to make it easier to log into Windows in ways other than a password. The ‘picture password’ and ‘pin’ were added with Windows 8. With the Kinect coming to Windows within a year, facial recognition and retinal scans may soon be possible. In the mean time, Microsoft is working with OEMs to take biometrics more mainstream. According to the The Verge, “Swiping or touching a finger on a reader will allow Windows 8.1 to authenticate a finger against a Microsoft Account. Users will also be able to purchase applications using a fingerprint reader or login to apps.” Michael ...

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Microsoft to acquire Canadian provider of release management solutions, extending its DevOps solutions that utilize Microsoft Visual Studio and Team Foundation Server. Microsoft Corp. and InCycle Software Inc. today announced that Microsoft has reached an agreement to acquire the InRelease Business Unit from InCycle Software, a leading provider of application lifecycle management (ALM) services and Release Management solutions on the .NET platform. The acquisition of the continuous deployment solution, InRelease, will add Release Management capabilities to Microsoft’s ALM and DevOps solutions, helping customers deliver applications faster, better and more efficiently. “DevOps is an increasingly important part of ALM and a growing area of interest to chief information officers as businesses are pressured to develop and deploy quality applications at an increasingly faster pace,” said S. Somasegar, corporate vice president, Developer Division for Microsoft. “The InRelease continuous delivery solution will automate the development-to-production release process from Visual Studio Team Foundation Server, ...

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Microsoft has been churning out Windows 8.1 information lately.  While most of the consumer and developer information will come in June at the BUILD conference, Microsoft has just put online the Windows 8.1 landing page.  We likely see more official information regarding Win8.1 from Microsoft on this page. Check it out for yourself. Source: Microsoft ...

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Microsoft has made some nice improvements to Windows Azure, making it significantly cheaper for developers. Dev/Test in the Cloud: MSDN Use Rights, Unbeatable MSDN Discount Rates, MSDN Monetary Credits BizTalk Services: Great new service for Windows Azure that enables EDI and EAI integration in the cloud Per-Minute Billing and No Charge for Stopped VMs: Now only get charged for the exact minutes of compute you use, no compute charges for stopped VMs SSL Support with Web Sites: Support for both IP Address and SNI based SSL bindings on custom web-site domains Active Directory: Updated directory sync utility, ability to manage Office 365 directory tenants from Windows Azure Management Portal Free Trial: More flexible Free Trial offer A number of enhancements to Windows Azure to make a better environment in which to do dev/test: No Charge for Stopped VMs Pay by the Minute Billing MSDN Use Rights now supported on Windows Azure ...

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Microsoft has been talking about new features in Windows 8.1 at TechEd New Orleans 2013.  Some new features include NFC tap-to-pair printing – Tap your Windows 8.1 device against an enterprise NFC-enabled printer and you’re all set to print. No more hunting on your network for the correct printer and no need to buy a special printer; just attach a NFC tag to your existing machines. And you don’t need to buy new printers to take advantage of this; you can simply put an NFC tag on your existing printers to enable this functionality. Wi-Fi Direct printing – Connect to Wi-Fi Direct printers without adding additional drivers or software on your Windows 8.1 device, forming a peer-to-peer network between your device and the printer. Broadband tethering – Turn your Windows 8.1 mobile broadband-enabled PC or tablet into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing other devices to connect and access the internet. ...

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We previously reported Windows 8.1′s enterprise features, among these is native support for wireless format Miracast. This gives users an easy way to mirror their screens on supported devices.  Miracast was designed as an open alternative to Apple’s AirPlay.  This technology may also pop up in the Xbox.  An equivalent Airplay technology for Windows has been a much requested feature for quite some time, it’s looks like its finally here.     ...

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In last year’s Shareholder Letter, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote Last year in this letter I said that over time, the full value of our software will be seen and felt in how people use devices and services at work and in their personal lives. This is a significant shift, both in what we do and how we see ourselves — as a devices and services company. It impacts how we run the company, how we develop new experiences, and how we take products to market for both consumers and businesses. The work we have accomplished in the past year and the roadmap in front of us brings this to life. I think we can all agree Microsoft certainly has moved to become more of a devices and services.  Products have been unified, brands have been solidified, and a faster, bolder company has emerged. Ballmer is now planning on a ...

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