Review Category : Microsoft

A group that calls itself the Syrian Electronic Army has gained access to the Skype social media accounts and is posting messages asking Skype to “stop spying on people.”  The Skype twitter account has over 3 million followers.  The group has also compromised the Skype blog.   Microsoft is aware of the situation and is working to resolve it. h/t @ProfJeffJarvis ...

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As we look at 2014, Dell is now the only major OEM that is a privately owned company.  Dell was a publically traded company for 25 years, its IPO was in 1988, a mere two years after Microsoft’s own IPO.   The $24.4 billion buyout orchestrated by Michael Dell is the largest leveraged buyout backed by private equity since the 2007 financial crisis. It is also the largest technology buyout ever.  Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners put together most of the money with the addition of a $2 billion loan from Microsoft. The “new” private company has released an ad emphasizing its own startup roots: The ad also featured a number of companies that are important customers of Dell’s or Dell Ventures invested in including Amerijet, Gilt.com, The Knot, Overstock.com, Salesforce.com, Shazam, Shutterfly, TripAdvisor, and Zoosk.  It is quite common for large corporations to invest in small start-up and we have ...

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  As we start a new month, its time to look at where OS market share is heading. According to the the latest market share data from Net Applications, at the end of  December 2013, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 gained 0.85% points. It now holds 10.15%, up from 9.30% in November. Thanks to new PCs and the free update for Windows 8 PCs, Windows 8.1 market share increased by 0.86% from 2.64% to 3.50%. Another interesting fact is that, Windows 7 continued to gain market share as more enterprise customers move towards Windows 7. It got increased by a 2.62 percentage points (from 46.64 percent to 49.26 percent). Source: Net Applications via: TNW ...

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The Tower Game Starter Kit is a simple, open-source (MIT licensed) javascript game engine designed specifically to help you skip “square one” on your way to creating a great Tower Assault or Defense game. Included in the github source repository are project files for Windows 8 Store apps that run on win8 tablets, desktop, and windows RT devices, as well as a project that compiles to Windows Phone 8. In addition, the game runs great on all modern desktop web browsers. Features include: silky-smooth 60fps on most platforms levels that are larger than the screen spritesheet animation of in-game characters touch-screen and mouse controls music and sound effects particle effects and eye-candy a full game complete with a beginning, middle and end little extras like a low-level C++ sound engine for wp8 lots of debug log and benchmarking functionality a-star pathfinding for A.I. movement entities have health (with visible health ...

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We reported on Project Siena a few days back.  It is a Metro app that allows you to create Metro apps with a minimal amount of coding.  The app is currently in beta and does allow project to be submitted to the Windows Store, however there is a workaround.  Note, this is an interim method that leverages the Store wizards in Visual Studio Express, you will not need to do any programming, but there will likely be an easier way to do this down the line. Prerequisites Register for a Developer Account: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/jj193592.aspx. Have “Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8” installed. Free download from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30664. (Not Express 2013). Produce the app Create your app in Project Siena and publish it (File | Publish) to a destination on your machine. This produces a folder called PublishedPackage. Double click on InstallApp.exe within this folder and choose “Install on this PC” – if prompted, sign in ...

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One demographic Bing has been lacking in is getting more women to use its service.  The company is trying to change and has put together a new ad about ‘heroic women’ and their contributions in 2013.  The ad is airing on tv in many markets over new years eve. The ad features the Sara Bareilles’ song “Brave” seen in many Windows marketing “honestly” campaigns.  Now we have seen feminists get angry when Microsoft makes Xbox ads that appeal to men.  However, as a man I am in no way offended by this ad that appeals to women and hope to see the company do more in the future. The ad features a number of women including: Malala Yousafzai Who stood up to educate us all. After surviving an assassination attempt, she arose stronger than ever.  In 2013 she addressed the UN, was named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” and, at ...

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Another day, another Sinofsky lieutenant leaving the Redmond software giant.  As with Jon DeVaan, it’s not a surprise that George Grant is leaving as Terry Myerson forced him out and replaced him with Mike Fortin.  Sinofsky and Grant go way back to the Office days in 1994.  For those unfamiliar with Grant, a brief bio: Grant George was the Corporate Vice President of Testing and Operations – Windows Experience Group, in the Platforms & Services Division. The Windows Experience Group is an integrated system of programs, services and solutions that largely make up the Windows Client experience – designed to work together to address a broad array of customer problems and needs. George is directly responsible test teams and test engineering as well as internal engineering operations in the Windows Experience Group. George has additional responsibility to drive engineering standards and methods with other leader-partners across the broader Windows teams ...

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Robert W. Wilson, the hedge fund founder who committed suicide at age 87 over the weekend, was known as one of the most active philanthropists in the country. But his style of giving was radically opposed to that of Bill Gates, who asked Wilson to join his Giving Pledge for the ultra-rich — and was rebuffed in a series of caustic emails. In emails from 2010 the hedge fund manager tells Gates that the pledge is essentially “worthless” and that he wants to “stay far away” from his effort. —— Original Message ——- From: Bill Gates To: Robert W. Wilson Sent: Wednesday, June 16, 2010 1:03 PM Subject: Giving Pledge discussion Robert, I’m writing to let you know about an idea we’re calling the “Giving Pledge” that came out of a number of conversations that Melinda and Warren and I have had with a number of people over the past ...

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Close observers of Microsoft saw Jon DeVaan’s exit from Redmond software giant as no surprise.  In late September we reported Terry Myerson forced him out of his position as head of CSOD (Windows Core Operating System Division): Myerson has removed some of Sinofsky’s other lieutenants from power including Grant George, Antoine Leblond and Jon DeVaan. (see: Terry Myerson Flexes His Muscle, Removes Sinofsky’s Lieutenants From Power) Devaan was a mentor to Steven Sinofsky and many other high profile employees at Microsoft.  DeVaan had been with the company since 1984 and became a multi-millionaire after the Microsoft’s IPO in 1986.  Many of the standard engineering practices within Microsoft were created by DeVaan after he was charged with the task by Bill Gates himself.  See our post from yesterday: Veteran Microsoft Engineering Leader Jon DeVaan Leaving The Company After 30 Years Just as an aside, for our readers in Seattle, you may recall Jon’s wife, ...

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Microsoft has updated their OneNote app for Android devices. There are lots of new features, such as the Share button support in your favorite browser, news aggregator or recipe application. Select Share and Add to OneNote, and OneNote will store the item for you and also make it available to you on all your devices. And OneNote works for a variety of content types–articles, webpages, images, videos, and files. There is also If you multi-window mode support. You can now add the OneNote Recent Widget on your Home screen and have quick access to your most recently accessed notes. Change log: • Share web content, articles, images, videos, and files with OneNote • Get to your most recent notes right from your phone’s Home screen with the OneNote Recent widget • Add your favorite page, section, or notebook to the Home screen for quick access • Multitask with OneNote in ...

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You can start your new year with two new free games as part of the Xbox 360 Games with Gold program. Microsoft today revealed that “Sleeping Dogs” ($19.99 ERP)- Available from Jan. 1 – 15, “Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light” ($14.99 ERP): Available from Jan. 16 – 31 as the two free games for January month. “Sleeping Dogs” will take you to Hong Kong, a vibrant city whose exotic locations hide one of the most powerful and dangerous criminal organizations in the world: the Triads. You’ll play Wei Shen, an undercover cop trying to take down the Triads from the inside. You’ll have to prove yourself worthy as you fight your way up the organization, taking part in criminal activities without blowing your cover. In time, you will risk everything as the lines between truth, loyalty and justice become permanently blurred. And starting Thursday, Jan. 16, you can ...

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Microsoft Store is now offering lots of great deals on Xbox 360 games in Microsoft Stores. Most of these games are now just about $10. If you missed any of those during its release time, now is a good time to buy and give them a try. Here is the list of few games that are under deal. Grand Theft Auto V Defiance – $6.99 (Originally $59.99) Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster Borderlands 2- $4.99 (Originally $26.99) Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 – $10 (Originally $29.99) Major League Baseball 2K12 for Xbox 360 Far Cry 13 $19.99 (Originally $49.99) Find all the other game deals here. Check out other game bundle, console deals here. You can find big savings on great PCs too. ...

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Microsoft today lost another senior engineering leader. Jon DeVaan, the veteran Microsoft executive who held various positions inside Microsoft for three decades is now leaving the company to spend more time with his family. Microsoft confirmed the news as well. Microsoft provided the following statement regarding Jon DeVaan,  “Jon DeVaan has chosen to leave Microsoft to spend more time with his family. Since he joined Microsoft in 1984, Jon contributed to important products and services across the company. We thank him and wish him and his family all the best.” Steven Sinofsky commented the following on Jon to Geekwire, Back in the early 1990′s the use of garbage collection was more theoretical than practical (it is used broadly today in .net and scripting languages), but I was really into it having just come from graduate school (the theoretical).  I went to see Jon to convince him of the virtues of ...

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Gurdeep Singh Pall, Global Head of Skype and VP at Microsoft gave an interview to Day & Night News Consulting Editor Khushwant Singh on Fair & Square. He commented on Bill Gates that, “The most powerful man in the world in technology has no ego.” He worked at Microsoft on some significant projects like Windows ’95, Windows XP, Wi-Fi and Bing. In this interview, he talks about his early life in India, career at Microsoft and future of technology in our world. Asked about how the world would have been the world without Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, he said the following, “There are some secular trends in the industry which are immutable; they will happen regardless of whether certain people are there or not.” “If Bill Gates and Steve Jobs weren’t there, these things would have taken a lot longer to converge because you would have ended up with lots of ...

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Microsoft has surprisingly released a new Xbox game called Cold Alley and it is a air combat game. Description: THE NEXT GENERATION OF AIR COMBAT GAMING IS HERE! With an extensive single player campaign and a huge set of skirmish modes, the non-stop action will keep you on the edge of your seat! Travel back in time to experience the unwritten history of covert operations. Master over a dozen models of aircraft as you take part in the race for jet fighter domination. CONSOLE QUALITY GAMING! Unparalleled visuals, audio, and special effects including: bump mapping, realistic atmospheric effects, volumetric clouds, sun glare, day & night transitions and more! EXPANDED SINGLE-PLAYER MODES! After the campaign, hone your skills with Dogfight Missions, Survival, Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Defend the Base, with new game modes to come in future updates! IMMERSIVE GAMEPLAY! Take off and land on landing strips and ...

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Joe Duffy, an architect and developer on a research operating system at Microsoft has blogged about the next generation programming language they have been working on in the past couple of years. Microsoft is now describing this upcoming language as “systems programming” extensions to C#. Microsoft is trying to pitch this language as cross between Safety & Productivity centric C#, Java, etc, and Performance centric C++. Here are the 6 important features of the language, ) Lifetime understanding. C++ has RAII, deterministic destruction, and efficient allocation of objects. C# and Java both coax developers into relying too heavily on the GC heap, and offers only “loose” support for deterministic destruction via IDisposable. Part of what my team does is regularly convert C# programs to this new language, and it’s not uncommon for us to encounter 30-50% time spent in GC. For servers, this kills throughput; for clients, it degrades the ...

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