Review Category : Microsoft

Seattle native Pamela Woon is a favorite of ours here at Microsoft-News.  In her continuing series “On the Whiteboard,” she talks to the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit who fights organized crime on the Internet. This latest criminal botnet operation is captured on film in real-time. Together with the FBI, Europol, and tech leaders like A10 Networks, they are working to disrupt click fraud and search hijacking that affects millions of people without their knowledge. ...

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Less than two years after opening a game design studio in downtown Victoria, Canada. This was an initiative led personally by Don Mattrick who had previously lived in Victoria, Canada.  Microsoft has closed its doors, leaving at least 30 people out of work.The Redmond based software giant said it was part of a plan to consolidate its resources. “This was not an easy decision, but one guided by our desire to centralize development in our Vancouver studios,” the company said. “We are working closely with all employees affected by this change to identify open positions in other studios, and we remain committed to doing business in British Columbia.” “It was great to have a large, well-known brand like Microsoft come to town and we’re sorry to see them go, but in the end it wasn’t a giant studio,” said Dan Gunn, executive director of the Victoria Advanced Technology Council. “Fortunately, we have seen ...

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You may recall Ben Rudolph from the “Smoked By Windows Phone” campaign.  Microsoft has dispatched him again, this time to talk to people on the street about Chromebooks.  Rudolph compares the Chromebook to a similarly priced Asus Transformer Book T100 running Windows 8.  I am really enjoying Microsoft being more aggressive against Google. My favorite part is at ~0:40 seconds in :p ...

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Microsoft is embarking on a new promotion called the “12 Days of Deals,” in which it will have a crazy deal for each of the next 12 days.  The first deal, which starts this Monday, will be the Dell Venue Pro for only $99!   However, that deal will be only for the first 20 customers that physically go to the Microsoft Store.  For everyone else, Microsoft is offering the Dell tablet for $199, still a $100 savings off the full retail price. I’m looking forward to seeing the next 11 deals.  Will you be picking up a Dell? Let us know in the comments below. Source: Microsoft ...

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In September we covered a report by Kara Swisher in which she got a statement out of Alan Mulally about becoming Microsoft’s next CEO: “I continue to be focused on serving Ford … and I have my red Ford vest on right now!!” Here is a report from this blog on October 3, 2013: Ford CEO Alan Mulally Sidesteps Questions About Becoming Microsoft’s Next CEO, in there Alan Mulally talks to USA Today and explicitly states: “I love serving Ford and have nothing new to add to (my) plans to continue serving Ford,” Alan Mulally Here is a statement from Ford yesterday, as they were surrounded by press because the company was unveiling the 2014 Mustang: This is completely consistent with what we’ve been publicly saying for the past 13 months,” said Jay Cooney, a Ford spokesman. “Alan Mulally’s plan is to stay on through the end of 2014.” Now ...

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When Bing first started out as Live Search it used to have a search service called xRank.  xRank kept track of notable celebrities, musicians, politicians, etc. and ranked them in order of popularity from Bing search query results. Microsoft shut that service down in 2010.  However, like Google Microsoft still publishes results of some of the most popular searches at the end of each year.  Here are the most popular movies by country.  These movies are not that great, I keep an independent analysis of movies so I’ll provide a rank and percentage rating for select movies.  For example (#1, 100%). USA’s most searched movies of 2013 Where Hollywood leads, the rest of the world follows. The top movies in the US unsurprisingly appear in most of the top tens around the world. Iron Man 3 (#32, 75%) Fast and Furious 6 (#29, 76.75%) Despicable Me 2 (#30, 76%) The Conjuring (#22, 80%) The ...

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When Bing first started out as Live Search it used to have a search service called xRank.  xRank kept track of notable celebrities, musicians, politicians, etc. and ranked them in order of popularity from Bing search query results. Microsoft shut that service down in 2010.  However, like Google Microsoft still publishes results of some of the most popular searches at the end of each year.  Here are the most popular songs by country. Our condolences from Microsoft-News to those of you mourning Nelson Mandela, may music set your soul free. USA’s most searched songs Macklemore & Ryan Lewis also scored number one position in the USA with their hit Thrift Shop. 1. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop 2. Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines 3.  Rihanna – Stay 4.  Imagine Dragons – Radioactive 5.  Jason Derulo – The Other Side 6.  Bruno Mars – When I Was Your Man 7.  Justin Timberlake – ...

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The Bing Maps Preview app hits the Windows Store today. The Bing Maps Preview requires Windows 8.1and the app takes advantage of Windows features including Snapview, Windows notification and live tile.  The Bing app includes the following features: Natural Navigation from Your Point of View Streetside In-App Searching Traffic Notification on Favorite Routes Local Scout and Personal Picks Source: Bing Blog Download: Bing Maps Preview ...

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Acer today announced the Acer Aspire Z3-600 portable all-in-one (AIO) series combining a 21.5-inch Full HD display, a flexible hinge design and convenient touch. It will be available this month for consumers in the United States with prices beginning at $779. Acer Aspire Z3-600 series all-in-one (AIO) combines a 21.5-inch Full HD display in a slim, attractive chassis Portable design with a built-in battery enables it to be easily carried around the home for use in every room Flexible hinge design allows the frame to be pushed back up to 90 degrees standing or until it lays flat with the desk Harman Kardon speakers with Dolby® audio 10-point capacitive touch screen, including handwriting directly on the screen. Built-in battery offering up to 2.5+ hours “Our newest all-in-one series is our most flexible and dynamic one yet,” said Frank Chang, director of desktop product management for Acer America. “Outfitted with a ...

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It appears the Surface has a new ad campaign website discoversurface.com under the theme of #Uncompromise.  The site features a new ad video along with tweets and instagram pictures under the hashtag #uncompromise.  The website currently features a half naked woman’s picture from instagram.  Part of the “#uncompromise” theme? Story developing, more information as it comes. The video itself has not been uploaded by an official Microsoft account, but by Mike MacCana.  MacCana is a former google engineer and most recently worked at Bazaarvoice which has been in the news lately over insider trading.  It is unclear at this time if MacCana is a current Microsoft employee or contractor working on the ad campaign. Full screenshot of the site: Thanks to The Walking Cat for the tip! ...

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I remember 2007 like it was yesterday when there was euphoria in the air around the concept of “hope and change.”  Fast forward six years, a sluggish economy has left many with just a little change in their pockets and one of America’s most successful corporations is condemning its own government as an “Advanced Persistent Threat.” Whistleblower Edward Joseph Snowden was an American computer specialist, a former CIA employee, and former NSA contractor who disclosed over 200,000 classified documents to journalists Glen Greenwald and Laura Poitras. Details released from the cache have revolved primarily around the United States’ NSA mass surveillance program, named PRISM, and to a lesser extent, its counterparts such as the British GCHQ, Israel’s ISNU, the CSE in Canada, the ASIS in Australia and Norway’s NIS.  These leaks proved to be quite embarrassing for the US government and the program appears to be unconstitutional. The leaks have also been harmful to many US based corporations, Yahoo, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and many other who supposedly willingly ...

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The New York Times published their review of the Surface Pro 2 & Surface 2 today.  Even though the author, Bob Tedeschi, is an Apple developer, he gave the next generation Surfaces a relatively objective look and was fairly positive about both devices.  It is amazing what can be accomplished with David Pogue finally leaving the New York Times.  I am looking forward to Walt Mossberg leaving the Wall Street Journal too.  Here are some pull-quotes: But the second iteration of the Surface, which went on sale in late October, most of those downers have been addressed. The new Surface includes Outlook, an upgraded battery, a kickstand with two viewing angles instead of just one and faster USB ports, and other goodies. It has roughly the same thickness and weight as the iPad — it weighs 1.5 pounds without the cover — and the overall screen size is 10.6 inches, ...

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Microsoft shares gained 1.6% to close at $38.94. Microsoft last closed above $38.94 on July 18, 2000, when it ended the day at $39.25.  The stock was up today on the good news from the European Union that had approved the Nokia deal without any conditions imposed.  The stock has been up significantly this year on speculation of the new CEO and the possibilities that Bing and Xbox may be sold.  I suspect the stock may pull back some after the new CEO is announced and investors realize that these two parts of the company will never be sold. Ballmer’s and Gates net worth probably went up significantly on this alone. Source: Nasdaq ...

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Mint.com is a free personal financial management service for the US and Canada. Mint’s primary service allows users to track bank, credit card, investment, and loan transactions and balances through a single user interface as well make budgets and goals. In 2009, it was acquired by Intuit, the makers of Quicken andTurboTax. Today Mint has released both Windows 8.1 and WP8 apps.  This is another ‘big name’ app to come to the windows ecosystem. Download: Mint ...

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Microsoft is expanding the capacity of its Windows Azure cloud computing services in Europe with extra capacity being built out at its Northern Europe data center near Dublin, representing an investment of €170m. The new cloud computing capacity, which is due for completion in Spring 2014, is needed in order to meet the burgeoning demand for cloud services in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, Microsoft said. Speaking at a Microsoft event in Dublin where the new investment was announced, Microsoft’s vice president for Windows Azure Scott Guthrie said that the firm was transforming the way customers deliver and use IT. “We’ve been seeing massive adoption since we kind of relaunched Azure about a year ago, and now about 54 percent of the Fortune 500 companies have already signed up for Azure, and we’re seeing compute and storage capacity double about every six months,“ he said. This is ...

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Earlier today during an event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Microsoft announced its plans to open a Windows Azure Region in Brazil.  Microsoft expects the region to come online in early 2014 and will begin to on-board preview customers in the next 4 to 6 weeks. This announcement represents the software giant’s first major expansion into South America.   Windows Azure previously announced expansions into Japan, Australia, and China through our partner 21Vianet.  Microsoft first made Windows Azure available to customers in South America in 2010. Customers in Brazil will experience better performance through reduced latency and will have the ability to keep their data in the country.  As the rules and regulations on data management continue to evolve in Brazil, customers using the Brazil Region will be able to opt for Locally Redundant Storage (LRS), which will maintain three copies of their data and will not replicate their data outside of the country.  Geo Redundant ...

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