Review Category : Microsoft

Microsoft has updated a set of Bing powered apps that are coming pre-installed in Windows 8 machines. Bing apps that got updated today includes News, Weather, Sports, Finance and Travel. All these apps has got new features and several performance improvements. Here is the change log for all of them, Travel New destination content from Lonely Planet Points of interest reviews and ratings from TripAdvisor Saved flight and hotel searches for easy access Faster display of flight and hotel search results Easier filtering of flight results for departure and arrival times Enhancements to destination weather and currency information, with linking to Weather and Finance apps Sports New Soccer Leagues UK League 1 UK League 2 Bundesliga 2 FR Ligue 2 Dutch Eredivisie Argentina Primera División Portugal Primeira League Australian A league Content from additional partners Finance Improved navigation Content from additional partners Featured partner content Additional exchanges enabled Videos Improved ...

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In her first interview to MIT Technology Review after becoming the head of Windows Product group at Microsoft, Julie Larson-Green discussed about Windows 8, iPad, Steven Sinofsky and more. On iPad and Android, Did you take that approach in Windows 8 as a response to the popularity of mobile devices running iOS and Android? We started planning Windows 8 in June of 2009, before we shipped Windows 7, and the iPad was only a rumor at that point. I only saw the iPad after we had this design ready to go. We were excited. A lot of things they were doing about mobile and touch were similar to what we’d been thinking. We [also] had differences. We wanted not just static icons on the desktop but Live Tiles to be a dashboard for your life; we wanted you to be able to do things in context and share across apps; ...

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A survey of US broadband subscribers by Parks Associates has shown significant interest in the Microsoft Surface, pegging in Q4 2012 at nearly half that of the iPad. The survey found 44% of consumers planned to buy an iPad, vs 21% a Microsoft Surface. This was nearly double of the interest in the Google Nexus, which scored only 12%. Parks notes interest in the Microsoft Surface was down from Q3 2012, before full details of the Surface, including the somewhat high price, was revealed. In some bad news for Apple, when given the choice between the iPad and the much cheaper iPad mini, 40% of consumers who intended to buy an iPad chose the cheaper device, which will place Apple’s iPad margins under pressure.  It is of note that the presence of the iPad mini did not increase the percentage of users who were opting for an iPad – in ...

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For some reason Microsoft has been only slowly releasing the news of which retailers will be carrying their Surface tablets around the world. For UK Pocket-lint has the amazing news that John Lewis will be carrying the Windows RT tablets both online and in store starting this weekend. The tablet will be available from www.johnlewis.com from the 14 December and in store over the weekend (15/16 December). "Always first with the latest technology, John Lewis is delighted to announce that it will be the first high street retailer in the UK to offer the Microsoft Surface from the 14 December 2012 and with a two-year guarantee included at no extra cost," the company told Pocket-lint. “Demand for Windows 8 computers has been phenomenal with touch screen models leading the way.” The Microsoft Surface 32GB with Black Touch Keyboard will cost £479 with a two-year guarantee while the Microsoft Surface 64GB ...

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  Microsoft today announced that Windows Live Mesh will be officially retired on Feb 13, 2013. Live Mesh was started as an ambitious project by Microsoft as their cloud desktop under the guidance of former executive Ray Ozzie. However it lost its way competing with internal teams such as Windows. Later, Microsoft rebranded Live Mesh as Windows Live Mesh and removed some features to integrate it with SkyDrive. And now Microsoft has announced the end of this project. With the significant investments in bringing the DNA of Mesh together with SkyDrive, there are now over 200 million people that have used SkyDrive, and more and more are making the move every day. So while Windows Live Mesh was at one point used by a few million people, most have made the move and there are now less than 25,000 active users of Windows Live Mesh. As a result, we’re announcing today ...

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Microsoft Bing today announced the new v1.1 of Bing Desktop app. This new app brings support for Windows 8 devices and support for 4 additional languages such as French, German, Chinese and Japanese. Along with the above, Bing Desktop v1.1 brings features such as the below, With Bing Desktop v1.1, you can also go back through the prior 9 days of images to set a favorite image as the Windows Desktop Background again, or view images from days you were away from the computer. Bing Desktop also provides a fast and simple route to get search results. To start searching, simply click on the Bing taskbar icon, or the Bing tile on your Windows 8 Start screen, and the search bar will automatically appear at the front of the screen. Type in a search term or phrase using the autosuggest keywords or your search history, and the search results will appear in ...

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Few Microsoft Surface units which were sold initially came with faulty Touch keyboards and Microsoft replaced them for their customers. It seems few other devices are now facing faulty magnetic systems. As you can see in the video above, when keyboard is attached to the tablet, the tape along with magnets on the tablet gets attached to the keyboard due to the weak tape/strong magnet in the Surface unit. As expected, Microsoft Support is replacing the faulty devices with new ones. So if your Surface faced similar issue, its time to call the Microsoft Support team. Thanks Steve for the heads up. Source: Microsoft Surface forums ...

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According to a Microsoft Security researcher, a newly discovered  vulnerability in all versions of Internet Explorer compromises the security of virtual keyboards and virtual keypads. This vulnerability will allow your browsing activity on IE be recorded even if you are not on the particular website. Microsoft responded to this issue to TNW as follows, “We are currently investigating this issue, but to date there are no reports of active exploits or customers that have been adversely affected,”. “We will provide additional information as it becomes available and will take the appropriate action to protect our customers.” Hopefully, Microsoft will fix this flaw soon. via: TNW  ...

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In a blog post Microsoft announced that they have started accepting  games with a rating of PEGI 18. The first two games to be offered will be The Witcher, by CD Projekt, and Grand Theft Auto IV, by Take Two—with more games coming soon. Unfortunately both games are Desktop, not Windows 8-style titles. Minors will remain protected by the integration with the Windows 8 store of Microsoft Family Safety, which help parents control the kinds of apps their children can install. Microsoft emphasized that due to this the Store continues to be a safe and positive place for children to explore. Read more at Microsoft here. ...

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Microsoft scored a small victory by displacing Google Maps in NORAD’s seasonal Santa tracker, which has been tracking the crimson present distributor for the the last 50 years. For the last 4 years Google has been providing the maps for the service, but this year Bing and Windows Azure will be powering NORAD’s tracking service. This may explain the presence of Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 apps specifically to keep an eye on Santa’s movement. NORAD declined to give a reason for the change, but one suspects it may have something to do with Google increasing API fees for their mapping products. One suspects their falling profits has been making the company a lot more Scrooge-like recently. Via SeattleTimes.com ...

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Speaking to V3, Google’s product management director at Google Apps, Clay Bavor, said it saw a lack of interest in their clients in Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8, and would not be making clients for the two operating systems. "We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8," he said. "If that changes, we would invest there, of course." Instead he said Google was committed to continually improving and updating its iOS and Android products. Google has done the minimum possible to support Windows Phone and Windows 8 so far, only releasing an app to integrate their search services into the OS. Given that Google and Microsoft compete on many services it is not surprising that Google is not supporting Windows in any form, ...

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Just a day after Microsoft announcement of expanded retail availability of the Microsoft Surface in US and Australia, the Windows RT tablet has already become available online in the two countries. WPDownunder reports the Windows RT tablet will be available in store and online at Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi, with Harvey Norman having the device available online and in store by the 14th. In USA the device is already available online on Staples. Of course having the device actually available in store is what it is really about, allowing buyers to actually fondle the device before shelling out. Microsoft has not announced the expansion of the device to other countries yet, but we can only hope it will happen soon. Thanks Filipe for the tip. ...

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The official Economist app is now available for download from Windows Store. Description: The best way to read The Economist on your Windows device. The app is free to download and includes free access to the editor’s picks – a weekly selection of articles from each week’s edition of The Economist. Digital and print subscribers to The Economist receive unrestricted access to each week’s full print edition by signing in with their economist.com e-mail address and password. Non-subscribers can register for an economist.com account to read the free editor’s picks. Features: •Each week’s issue available from 9pm London time on Thursday •Download issues to your Windows device to read without an internet connection (if enabled in Settings) •Switch easily between reading and streaming The Economist in audio (when connected to the internet) •Subscribe from within the app and receive full access to The Economist on Windows, Android tablets, Android smartphones, ...

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Some months ago Microsoft announced that they will be giving Surface tablets to all 90,000 full-time Microsoft employees. It seems that that day has finally come, as Jeff Wilcox, senior software developer at Microsoft, has tweeted that Surface for employees is “go!” Microsoft has recently announced that they have increased production of the Surface tablet, and it may be this loosening of supply which is making the internal roll-out possible.  It is not clear if the roll-out will initially be confined to US only, or will be world-wide. Those Microsoft employees hoping for an early Christmas present by selling the device on will be disappointed to know the terms and conditions prevent the sale of the gift. Hopefully the roll-out will be associated with an influx of high quality applications to the Windows 8 store as talented developers get their hands on the tablet. ...

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I guess we now know what is delaying Office for iOS. Apparently it is not just SkyDrive, but Apple also wants a 30% cut of Office 365 subscriptions sold through the iOS Office app. Apparently Microsoft feels 30% is not reasonable, especially for the productivity benefits it brings to iOS, and also as the subscriptions would also include desktop access. Apple disagrees, and is sticking to their 30% guns. In a statement to AllthingsD company spokesman Tom Neumayr  said: “Apple provides customers and developers the largest selection and safest way to discover apps with our curated App Store. We’ve designed our rules to be fair and consistent for every developer — free apps and services are distributed for free, paid apps and services provide a revenue share to Apple. We’ve paid out over 6.5 billion dollars to our developer community who have created over 700,000 apps.” Microsoft has not commented ...

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In what is either masterful spin or material information which suggests the Surface tablets are selling much better than expected, Microsoft has said it has increased their Surface tablet production and will be expanding the retail locations the tablet will be available. “The public reaction to Surface has been exciting to see. We’ve increased production and are expanding the ways in which customers can interact with, experience and purchase Surface,” said Panos Panay, general manager, Microsoft Surface. Microsoft said it would make some of their pop-up stores permanent, and would make the tablets available via retailers in Australia and USA. Additional availability will be added in a number of countries in the coming months. “Our plan has been to expand the retail presence for Surface after the first of the year. Based on interest from retailers, we are giving them the option to carry Surface with Windows RT even earlier,” ...

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