Review Category : Microsoft

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 – ...

Read More →

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 ...

Read More →

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 ...

Read More →

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! ...

Read More →

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 ...

Read More →

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, ...

Read More →

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 ...

Read More →

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 ...

Read More →

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 ...

Read More →

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 ...

Read More →

In a bit of good news for Microsoft, the European Union has approved the Microsoft/Nokia deal without any conditions.  Regulators in the United States, India, Russia, Israel and Turkey have also approved the Nokia deal. 99.7% of Nokia shareholders approved the deal two weeks ago. Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Nokia’s mobile device business by Microsoft The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of most of Nokia Corporation’s devices & services business (the “D&S business”) by Microsoft Corporation. The D&S business mainly produces and sells smartphones and feature phones. The Commission concluded that the transaction would not raise any competition concerns, in particular because there are only modest overlaps between the parties’ activities and the links between Microsoft’s mobile operating systems, mobile applications and enterprise mail server software with Nokia’s smart mobile devices are unlikely to lead to competitors being shut out from the ...

Read More →

Microsoft sold $8 billion of bonds in dollars and euros, a record offering from the world’s largest software maker that followed Johnson & Johnson by issuing AAA rated corporate securities this week. Microsoft borrowed $3.25 billion with five-, 10- and 30-year notes in the U.S. currency, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Redmond software giant also issued 3.5 billion euros ($4.8 billion) of bonds split between eight- and 15-year portions. Top-ranked borrowers are seeking to raise cash from the bond market even as investors favor the higher yields of lower-rated debt amid speculation the Federal Reserve will soon taper stimulus measures that pushed interest rates to record lows. The Bank of America Merrill Lynch AAA U.S. Corporate Index has lost 4.2 percent this year, compared with a 6.9 percent gain for dollar-denominated speculative-grade securities. Proceeds will fund general corporate purposes, Microsoft said in regulatory filings today. The euro sale ...

Read More →

By now I’m sure you have seen the CBS 60 Minutes report by Charlie Rose, featuring Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos showing off a drone delivery system for packages.  At best, the project is 5 years down the line, and it has now been widely reported the news report was a commercial to help Amazon on Cyber Monday. Huffington Post: First Victim of Amazon Drones: The Credibility of CBS and 60 Minutes Breitbart: Media Duped By Amazon’s Spectacular Drone Ploy Many people asked why Bezos personally bought the Washington Post, I think we now know why.  Interesting to note, Amazon is also building a datacenter for the CIA, an organization that is a fan of drones too.  But these discussions are beyond the scope of this blog, onto the main topic at hand. Former Microsoft CEO and current chairman of the software giant Bill Gates weighed in to throw his support behind Amazon’s drone ...

Read More →

Every December, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (“NORAD”) serves the important role of ensuring that Santa’s journey around the world is safe.  Since 1955, children of all ages have tracked his route with the help of NORAD’s radar, satellites, and jet fighters.  This year, Microsoft has lent a hand to make the experience the most magical yet, putting a fresh spin on the time-honored tradition with the launch of the new www.NORADSanta.org. This is not the first time Microsoft has worked with NORAD Tracks Santa.  Last year, the company provided interactive Bing Maps to give people at home an interactive visual of Santa’s whereabouts on Christmas Eve, which was powered by Windows Azure, as well as apps for Windows and Windows Phone that allowed people a platform to play and learn. The Internet Explorer team collaborated with NORAD to rebuild the Web experience from the ground up.  The new ...

Read More →

Microsoft is aware of problems with the Xbox One party chat service, Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb confirmed in a post on Reddit, adding that these issues will “get better.” A number of Xbox One owners are reporting problems while attempting to access the party chat service, which allows players to chat with up to seven friends in a single lobby while they each play separate games. “Had a meeting today about much of this and I can say that things will get better,” wrote Hryb. “I can’t offer a timeline of a list of what till be addressed first, but we are aware of the issue and things will get better.” Some Xbox One owners are stating they can connect to Xbox Live but the connection with other friends doesn’t appear successful. According to the Xbox Support forums, this problem appears to result in being unable to join or host multiplayer ...

Read More →

While Sony is bragging about selling over 2.1 million PS4s, Microsoft has decided to remain silent and we will likely have to wait until NPD releases their numbers for last month. “We are humbled and gratified by the overwhelming response from our fans to the launch of Xbox One. Eleven days in we are seeing record breaking sales and are selling every Xbox One we can make. Demand is far exceeding supply in the 13 countries we’ve launched and we are sold out at retailers around the world. We are seeing incredible usage from our engaged fans who have purchased Xbox One with more than 50 million hours spent on Xbox One games and entertainment,” said Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Xbox. However, Microsoft has released some fun statistics surrounding game play on the Xbox One: Over 3 billion zombies killed in “Dead Rising 3” Over ...

Read More →