Review Category : Microsoft

Just few days back Blaise Agüera from Microsoft gave us a demo of the upcoming Photosynth technology TED. Sad news is that he has left to Google. NYTimes today reported that he has left the company to join its rival Google. Blaise and his team worked on some unknown augmented reality, wearable computing and natural user interfaces projects at Microsoft. Publicly we know that Blaise Agüera was working on Photosynth, Bing Maps and Bing Mobile. NYTimes reported that Agüera y Arcas will work on machine learning at Google. Microsoft on its part commented the following, “He was a great colleague and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.” People come and go at Microsoft all the time. But losing someone like Blaise to Google will really hurt Microsoft. Blaise today confirmed his new job on his blog with the following message, Nick Wing­field at the New York Times ...

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Developing original series for Microsoft has taken a little longer than veteran TV executive Nancy Tellem had hoped, but her first slate of shows will launch on the Xbox videogame consoles early next year. “We’re hoping we will be able to put something up in the first quarter, at minimum second quarter,” said Tellem, president of entertainment and digital for Microsoft, at Variety’s Dealmakers Breakfast at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles. “I’m incredibly ambitious and impatient,” said Tellem, who took the job to produce original content for the Xbox platform in 2012. Because of that, the time it’s taken to develop the first slate of series, including a high-profile project based around “Halo,” with Steven Spielberg producing, has been “slower,” but “reflecting on what we’ve done and what lies ahead, it’s been pretty good.” Tellem was attracted to joining Microsoft after spending years at CBS and the CW, ...

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We reported earlier that Amazon had some more Xbox One consoles, they are now sold out again.  Best Buy’s website is now showing that they have some Xbox One consoles in stock, guaranteeing delivery (with free shipping) by December 24th.  Grab them before they disappear. Best Buy: Xbox One In unrelated news, the PS4 is available in an additional 16 markets bringing the total to 48 markets, while the Xbox One will only remain available in the 13 launch countries until next year.  The PlayStation European blog says that the PS4 can now be bought by residents in the Czech Republic, Greece, Slovakia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, South Africa, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela. via Neowin ...

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Microsoft today updated the Skype for Android devices to v4.5 with many new features. Skype Android application now offers a picture in picture window that lets you see your video call even when you switch away to other applications. This gives Windows 8 Snap mode like experience to Android users. So, you can multitask while you’re on Skype video calls, as well as audio calls on your Android device. Also there is a new option to quickly jump from one letter to another in your contact list. Just pinch your contact list to zoom out to an alphabet and tap on the letter (or number / symbol option) to jump to that section. In addition, version 4.5 has several bug fixes and quality improvements, including: Improved Video Instant Messaging functionality overall, including fixes on latest Samsung phones Added compatibility for the Hudl tablet Fixed crashes on the Nexus 5 Drop down filter ...

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Microsoft today confirmed about their upcoming Build 2014 conference. Build 2014 developer conference will take place April 2 to April 4 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Registration for this event opens at 9 a.m. PT on Jan. 14 at www.buildwindows.com. Also Microsoft has teased us that they will be discussing about the future of Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Azure, Windows Server, Visual Studio and much more at the event. As always, Build is a time to bring developers together to talk about our latest products, platform advances, tools and offerings, all of which come together to create unmatched apps and scenarios. With Windows, developers can create new experiences to reach hundreds of millions of devices on peoples’ desks, in their homes, in their pockets and in their living rooms. At this year’s event, we’ll talk about what’s next for Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Azure, Windows Server, Visual Studio and ...

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Microsoft has released Office 365 Admin app for Android and iOS devices.  Office 365 Admin app enables administrators to view the service health of their Office 365 environment on-the-go. You need to have an active Office 365 subscription with administrator user rights to use this app. The Office 365 Admin mobile app empowers IT service administrators to connect to their organizations’ Office 365 service status on the go. The Office 365 Admin mobile app enables administrators to view service health information and maintenance status updates. In addition, administrators can filter information by service subscriptions and configure app data refresh interval. For Android (4.2.1 and up), download the app from Google Play.  For iOS 7, download the app from the Apple App Store.   Source: Office 365 ...

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Xbox One got sold out at most retailers in the US and it is difficult to buy one right now. It seems Amazon.com has got some more stock of Xbox One to sell and you can now order it from their website. With Xbox One, you can quickly jump from TV to movies to music to a game Only Xbox One unleashes the vast and scalable power of the cloud for your games, entertainment and apps with Xbox Live The console is driven by a powerful combination of CPU, GPU and 8GB of RAM, governed by an innovative OS architecture, to deliver power, speed and agility Kinect is included with every Xbox One. Completely reengineered to be more precise, responsive and intuitive with unparalleled voice, vision and motion technology Find it here from Amazon. ...

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So Dina Bass is wrong again.  But whatever gets the most page views, right? The report that Qualcomm executive Steve Mollenkopf was being seriously considered as Microsoft’s next CEO was false.  Qualcomm is going through a rough patch as Apple & Samsung have begun manufacturing their own chips and relying much less on Qualcomm.  A CEO change at the company has been rumored for some months now and COO Mollenkopf was widely seen as the frontrunner. Microsoft’s new CEO will of course have to work closely with Qualcomm since they are an important partner for Windows Phone and rumored to be powering the 8-inch Surface mini. I do not want to delve too far into conspiracy theories, but I guess it is theoretically possible Mollenkopf leveraged Microsoft’s board and Bloomberg to get the promotion at Qualcomm. Here is the press release from Qualcomm: Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its Board of Directors has unanimously approved a ...

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Bloomberg today reported that Microsoft board is considering Qualcomm’s Chief Operating Officer Steve Mollenkopf among candidates to replace CEO Steve Ballmer. This is the first report revealing that Mollenkopf is on the list of several choices which are under serious consideration by Microsoft’s board. Mollenkopf at Qualcomm is responsible for the popular mobile processors which powers leading smartphones including Nokia Lumia 1520, Galaxy S4, etc,. Also Bloomberg once again confirmed that other people in the list also includes Microsoft executive Satya Nadella and external candidates including Ford CEO Alan Mulally. READ: Steve Mollenkopf Will NOT Become CEO of Microsoft; Made President and CEO of Qualcomm Steve’s profile from Qualcomm, Since 2008, Mollenkopf led QCT and served as executive vice president and group president of Qualcomm, driving growth and providing critical technical and operational leadership. QCT is the world’s largest wireless chip supplier and fabless semiconductor company, in terms of revenue. ...

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FIDO Alliance today announced that Microsoft has joined the Alliance as a member of the Board of Directors. FIDO Alliance develops technical specifications that define an open, scalable, interoperable set of mechanisms that reduce the reliance on passwords to authenticate users. Microsoft is committed to working with the FIDO Alliance to produce open standards that will ensure interoperability among strong authentication methods and technologies. Open FIDO specifications will support a full range of authentication technologies for operating systems, including biometrics such as fingerprint and iris scanners, voice and facial recognition, as well as existing solutions and communications standards, such as Trusted Platform Modules (TPM), USB Security Tokens, embedded Secure Elements (eSE), Smart Cards, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Near Field Communication (NFC). The open specifications are being designed to be extensible and to accommodate future innovation, as well as protect existing investments. FIDO specifications allow the interaction of technologies within ...

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Microsoft has announced that the developer BUILD conference will be from April 2-4 in San Francisco.  Developers will be able to register for the event on January 14th at 12PM EST.  Mobile World Congress will be Feb 24 – 27, 2014.  I suspect Windows Phone 8.1 will be unveiled at MWC.  At the Build conference Update 1 for Windows 8.1 will likely be revealed.  With India unfreezing Nokia’s assets, it looks very likely that the Microsoft deal with Nokia will close in early January.  Maybe the Surface mini and plans for Xbox apps could be revealed at the 2014 build conference. Baller famously did the demos at the 2012 Build conference and shortly after it was announced that Steven Sinofsky was leaving the company.  This year it will be Terry Myerson’s show, but will the new CEO be announced before or after the Build conference?  Will Ballmer want to stay ...

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Similar to Windows Phone, Windows 8/8.1 is also having Red Red Stripe Deals on apps and games from the Windows Store.   In the spirit of the holiday season Microsoft is doing 12 Red Stripe Deals running through the rest of the month. You can take advantage of amazing deals on the following apps and games from the Windows Store: PacMan CD DX+ – 50% Off. Original price: $9.99. Sale price: $4.99. Collins Learn Thesaurus – 50% Off. Original price: $6.99. Sale price: $3.49. Game Dev Tycoon – 50% Off. Original price: $7.99. Sale price: $3.99. Bejeweled LIVE – 60% Off. Original price: $4.99. Sale price: $1.99. Sunny Hillride – 50% Off. Original price: $2.99. Sale price: $1.49. Supermarket Mania 2 (Full) – 57% Off. Original price: $6.99. Sale price: $2.99. Rayman Jungle Run – 50% Off. Original price: $2.99. Sale price: $1.49. Package Tracker – 50% Off. Original price: $2.99. Sale price: $1.49. Draw a Stickman: EPIC – 50% Off. Orig. Price: $2.99. Sale price: $1.49. Disney ...

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  I’ll admit it, I’m a big fan of Photosynth technology right from the day Microsoft revealed it. The Live Labs inside Microsoft which originally developed Photosynth is no more. However, Blaise Agüera y Arcas and a bunch of people of his team were still working on Photosynth. Even though the first generation Photosynth was cool, the consuming experience was not so smooth. Microsoft is fixing this issue in the upcoming Photosynth technology, but it comes with few constraints on how you take photos. “Where we sort of failed, I think, was that the panoramas never stitch,” Agüera y Arcas says. “When you hold the mobile phone to make the panorama, you never do a good enough job for the result to be useful for 3-D reconstruction … You can’t hold the camera still enough — you always end up with seams and things.” Rather than hammering away at this frustrating ...

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  In the last few days, there were reports that Microsoft is planning to bring back the Start Menu in Windows 8. The biggest question is, how will the Start Menu look like? And how will it function? Joseph Machalani, an UX, UI & Branding Architect blogged about his project on fixing Windows 8. In his project, he discussed about fixing the jarring difference between desktop and Metro work environment, new Windows Explorer UI with icons and more. More importantly, he brings back the Start Menu in his concept. His description of the proposed Start Menu,  If we want to separate the Desktop and Metro environment we need a way for each of them to access apps, files and basic features like search, notifications and settings. Since we need to kick out the Metro Start Screen and Charms bar from the Desktop, let’s just bring back the good ol’ Start menu that worked so good for all ...

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Microsoft added this new Bing Snapshot experience which provides direct information about the entities that you search for, e.g., people, places, and things, based on their understanding of those entities and their relationships stored in Bing’s knowledge repository called Satori. Today, Bing team has added a bunch of new entities that are now part of the Snapshot experience. The following entities are now available in Bing Snapshot experience, Discover TED Talks Listen to Famous Speeches and National Anthems Instantly Learn More with Online Courses See How Universities Stack Up Explore Scientific Concepts at a Glance A Quick View of Historic Events Explore More with Related People Animal Research Made Easy Ask Bing Luckily Find App and Software Downloads Read more about them in detail in the link below. Better read them to make Bing more useful to you. Source: Bing ...

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Microsoft’s Yammer team today announced a neat feature that will combine the email experience into Yammer. If you are the one who keeps switching between Yammer and email to communicate with everyone in your company, then this a great news for you. There are two new email features for Yammer, Loop in Non-Yammer Users and Forward Emails into Yammer. Loop in Non-Yammer Users Need someone to chime in on a Yammer conversation, but they don’t happen to be a Yammer user? No problem – now you can include anyone in your organization in a Yammer discussion. Simply begin typing their email address into the CC bar of any message, and that coworker will receive a notification email alerting them of the Yammer conversation. They’ll be able to respond to your message simply by replying to the email – their message will be posted back to the relevant Yammer discussion. Of ...

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