Review Category : Microsoft

Activision Publishing, Treyarch, and Xbox have teamed together to support the Call of Duty Endowment. Starting tomorrow, October 8 through Monday, October 14, U.S. fans can purchase any one of the 17 Call of Duty: Black Ops II Personalization Packs that are currently available on the Xbox Live online entertainment network from Microsoft for a 25% discount. Additionally, Activision, Treyarch and Xbox will donate all profits from the packs sold to the Call of Duty Endowment – Activision Blizzard’s 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps returning service members by funding efficient and effective organizations that place vets into high quality careers. “This is a great opportunity for the Call of Duty® community to get involved, and we’re delighted to work with Treyarch and our friends at Xbox to donate all profits from this activity toward helping vets find good jobs,” said Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment. “For ...

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The Skype team has released an update for iPhone and Skype for iPad, version 4.13.  The release is primarily focused on bringing a refreshed look for iOS 7, I suspect they borrowed heavily from the UI of the windows phone app. In addition made improvements were made to accessibility, audio and video calling. 4.13 Change log: Refreshed look and feel for iOS 7 Accessibility improvements, including: Improved accessibility of dialpad with touchtype support VoiceOver announces the senders name when messaging VoiceOver improvements for group chats General fixes Source: Skype Blog ...

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While  we generally do not put too much faith in analyst reports, sometimes they are amusing.  A new report by a Finnish financial analyst believes that former Nokia CEO Jorma Ollila could join Microsoft’s board. “Ollila is, for all his strengths and weaknesses, a pioneer,” Jukka Oksaharju, of Nordic savings bank Nordnet, said. “Joining Microsoft’s board wouldn’t be a surprise in itself, but it would be the crowning achievement of Nokia’s sale and Ollila’s career,” Oksaharju said. “Who would have more experience in global telecommunication business? The entire industry was created during his reign.” Currently Ollila sits on the board of many companies including Ford.  Given Ollila’s financial background he certainly would fit in with many other members of the board.  One theory is that if Alan Mulally becomes Microsoft’s next CEO he could bring over Ollila to Microsoft’s board room.  We know that Ollila certainly gets along with Ballmer and was intstrumental ...

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Microsoft today announced a new streamlined way to redeem deals we find from various sites such as Groupon, etc,. Bing Offers gives you access to more than 200,000 unique offers in over 14,000 cities and towns across the U.S. We streamline the deal hunt by assembling leading offers from Groupon, Living Social and Restaurant.com (just to name a few), making it easier to discover, share and search for the best deals in your area – all from one place. The new testing a new program in Seattle called “Bing Offers Card-Linked” that solves the hassle of having to print up coupons or display QR codes to redeem savings. Bing has partnered with established leaders in transaction processing, First Data, and extends to payment networks like Visa and Master Card. Bing Offers Card-Linked availability in other US cities is expected to follow soon. Here’s how it works: “Bing Offers Card-Linked” works ...

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You may recall a few months back we reported on a new bounty program from the Internet Explorer team that offered cash rewards for finding security exploits.  The program has been successful and Microsoft has paid out over $28,000 to individuals who found and reported these exploits to the team.  Interestingly enough some submissions were from Google engineers, but the money was donated to charity in those cases.  Google does have a similar program for Chrome, and these type of programs do help create a more secure browser for all users. James Forshaw, @tiraniddo, Context Security 4 Internet Explorer 11 Preview Bug Bounty – $4,400 1 Bonus for finding cool IE design vulnerabilities – $5,000 Jose Antonio Vazquez Gonzalez, Yenteasy – Security Research 5 Internet Explorer 11 Preview Bug Bounty vulnerabilities – $5,500 Ivan Fratric, Google, Inc security team Internet Explorer 11 Preview Bug Bounty $1,100 - Donated to Save the ...

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Microsoft has released their first Xbox game Wordament with Xbox Live Achievements support for Android devices. Similar to Windows Phone and iOS versions, this game can be downloaded for free. Game Description: “Why play against one person in a turn when you can play against thousands at once? Wordament® is a real-time continuous word tournament. Players compete on the same board with everyone at once. Rounds offer challenges such as two- and three-letter tiles, themed words, speed rounds and more. You can be a champion in many ways: find the most words possible, earn the best score, find the longest words, best your Frenemies, or beat your top score. How you win is up to you. Wordament tracks your progress by maintaining rich statistics about your gameplay including your best word found, total score, best word count, first place finishes and more. Xbox Leaderboards show you who’s rocking it for ...

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If you look at the above image, you may think it is a screenshot of Google’s Chrome OS. But the truth is, it is the new Google Chrome Web Browser for Windows 8 devices. Google has released an update for Chrome browser in the dev channel which brings the above UI. When you launch Chrome in Windows 8 mode, you will be presented with the above UI. You will have Chrome OS like task bar with pinned apps, app list button, time, etc. Also you have Window management within this UI, you have close, minimize, maximize button as well. You can open two three windows and place then side by side if you want. Essentially, Google is trying to mimic Chrome OS inside Windows 8. Should Microsoft delist Chrome from Windows Store? What do you think? Source: Google Chrome ...

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  There were reports in the past few weeks that Microsoft could use the next generation Kinect in Xbox One to target ads. For example, Kinect can guess your age, sex, etc, by body recognition, etc,. Albert Penello , MS Director of Product Planning at Xbox clearly denied these reports. He told that no one at Microsoft is working on such things and if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn’t happen without the user having control over it. He also revealed that Microsoft is working on some cool things that make use of Kinect console. He also cited few examples of how Microsoft deals with privacy in Xbox One, Two examples of how we deal with similar things today: First, Kinect can recognize your face and log you in automatically. There could be some cool features we could enable if we stored that data in the cloud, like ...

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Windows Azure AD is the Microsoft’s Active Directory in the cloud. It offers enterprise class identity services in the cloud with support for multi-factor authentication and more. Microsoft yesterday announced no.of new features and stats about Azure AD yesterday. As of yesterday, we have processed over 430 Billion user authentications in Azure AD, up 43% from June. And last week was the first time that we processed more than 10 Billion authentications in a seven day period. This is a real testament to the level of scale we can handle! You might also be interested to learn that more than 1.4 million business, schools, government agencies and non-profits are now using Azure AD in conjunction with their Microsoft cloud service subscriptions, an increase of 100% since July. And maybe even more amazing is that we now have over 240 million user accounts in Azure AD from companies and organizations in ...

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Microsoft Bing was started as a search engine competitor against Google and it is no longer just a search engine from Microsoft. Bing is now powering no.of apps within Microsoft and some 3rd party apps as well. Bing has now become a platform on which different kinds of apps are built. Windows 8/Windows Phone apps like News, Weather, Finance, Sports, Cooking app, Health app are powered by Bing. Beyond these apps, Bing powers Translation apps with OCR functionality, and more. Microsoft posted the above video when the announced the new logo last month. If some of you missed it, do watch it. With Bing, search isn’t something that only happens in a box. It can happen whenever and wherever you need it.  Access the information you want from inside an app or on any device including your phone, tablet or even Xbox. ...

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In a blog post talking about technological improvements that were made in Skype to improve the overall experience over the last year, Skype team revealed that they are bringing synchronized chat message status across all of your devices. I assume with this new feature, you will be able to continue your conversation with someone exactly the same way across the devices at any points. Your unread messages, past conversations, etc, will all be synced. Along with introducing support for Microsoft account in October last year, the Skype cloud also added the ability to queue and deliver chat messages even if the intended recipient is offline – so you can be ‘always reachable’ to the people who matter most. With Windows Phone 8 (and soon across other Skype mobile clients), this technology enables you to receive notifications when new messages arrive regardless of whether the Skype app is running. We also ...

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Acer has announced some new all-in-ones coming for the new holiday season.  We do not have all the details at this point in time.  Acer owns Gateway, but they are still keeping the brand alive. Acer Aspire ZC-605 Series This Acer features a 19.5” screen ideal for games, USB 3.0 ideal for connecting to peripheral devices, and a 1 terabyte hard drive.  The chassis tilts from 10-30 degrees. The Acer Aspire ZC-605 Series will be priced starting at $599.99. Gateway One ZX4270 Priced very affordably starting at $399. This Gateway boasts a 19.5” screen in a compact body.  The Gateway will be available this month starting at $399. Source: Windows Blog ...

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Reuters today reported that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and retiring Chief Executive Steve Ballmer are standing for re-election to Microsoft board of directors. Even though this is not a surprise news for lot of us, the investors who are trying to reduce the influence of Gates and Ballmer in the company won’t be happy to hear this news. Ballmer announced last August about his plan to retire within 12 months in August and Microsoft’s board is searching for a new CEO from both inside and external candidates. Reuters also reported that it is highly likely both Gates and Ballmer will be re-elected by shareholders at the annual meeting on November 19. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer still own a significant share of Microsoft. While Bill Gates remains the company’s largest individual shareholder, with a 4.5 percent stake, Steve Ballmer is not far behind with 4 percent. If Bill Gates continues to sell shares of ...

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The modern mail app that was shipped as part of Windows 8 was not up to the mark. It was experiencing performance issues until Microsoft delivered an update 6 months later. Even after all the updates, the mail app remained as one of the weak points. Microsoft was aware of it and they delivered an much improved Outlook Mail app for Windows 8.1 devices. All Windows 8.1 devices will have this mail app pre-installed and it is the best email experience on any tablet. In a world of mobile devices like tablets, there’s an increasingly narrow distinction between your “work computer” and your “personal computer.” More and more people are bringing their personal tablets to work, and their work laptops home. Windows 8.1 is designed for this world, equally suited for your work life and your personal life. The Mail app is no exception—it’s designed to be great for your ...

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Microsoft’s current CEO Steve Ballmer got only 79% of his total eligible bonus set for him by the board due to the slow growth in Windows 8 and Surface RT write off. The information was revealed in the proxy statement filed by Microsoft yesterday. The fiscal 2013 proxy statement gave the following reason on Ballmer’s bonus: “The company faced challenges due to weakness in the consumer PC market. While the launch of Windows 8 in October 2012 resulted in over 100 million licenses sold, the challenging PC market coupled with the significant product launch costs for Windows 8 and Surface resulted in an 18% decline in Windows Division operating income. Slower than anticipated sales of Surface RT devices and the decision to reduce prices to accelerate sales resulted in a $900 million inventory charge.” Steve Ballmer received a total of $1.26 million in fiscal 2013 which includes a base salary ...

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The IE team along with independent developer Dan Church and Pixel Labs have created a web version of the classic Windows 95 game Hover.  The IE team hopes this demostrates the full capabilities of IE11 and creates more possibilities for web developers. Like the original version, Hover works with a keyboard – but it’s even more exciting with the touch controls we’ve added, especially on a tablet running Windows 8.1. IE11 was designed from the ground up for touch – giving it extremely accurate touch responsiveness and optimization and providing you with a fluid and immersive experience. Its stick to your finger responsiveness makes touch fast and easy to use, making the game even more fun to play! The game has been updated slightly with some new features Dan personally built all the game play while taking special care to keep the feel of the original game in the updated ...

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