Review Category : Microsoft

The landmark trial between Google subsidiary Motorola and Microsoft is over even before we realized it started. Much of the sensitive material the trial could have uncovered remains confidential, as the court was cleared for 2 hours of secret testimony. The stakes are high – Motorola contends Microsoft will make $94 billion from their Xbox game console by 2017, and that they deserve $4 billion of these, due to the use of their patents. Microsoft is only willing to pay $1 million per year. U.S. District Judge James Robart will deliver a decision by Spring next year of what constitutes a reasonable fee for a FRAND patent – the first time a judge had to rule on this, likely setting a precedent for the whole industry. If fees are set low enough it could result in an explosion of innovation as companies use standard-essential patents freely while paying nominal fees ...

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REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 20, 2012 — Dr. Jeannette Wing will join Microsoft Research as vice president, head of Microsoft Research International, reporting to Chief Research Officer Rick Rashid. Wing is a leading figure in computer science research, particularly in formal methods, security and privacy. She has held key positions in both academia and government, most recently at Carnegie Mellon University and the National Science Foundation (NSF). “Jeannette is a leading light in the computer science research community, providing strong leadership both at Carnegie Mellon and at NSF,” Rashid said. “I have long been impressed by both her profound commitment to world-class research and her service to the research community, and I look forward to working alongside her. It’s a privilege to welcome Jeannette to Microsoft Research.” From 2007 to 2010, Wing served as assistant director of the Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate at the NSF, where she ...

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It turns out the default Windows 8 lock screen pack are not just random pretty images, but are a hidden message from the Windows 8 dev team. Revealed at the  UX WEEK 2012 presentation, Jensen Harris, Director of Program Management, Windows User Experience, said the  default lock-screen images that shipped in every copy of Windows 8 are actually Easter eggs carefully picked by the design team. Jensen said , “every one of them was selected as an Easter egg to showcase one of the (design) principles. … Something no one’s going to notice, we’ve encoded the principles of our design language into Windows 8 itself.” The images mean: Bee hive / Win as one (internal motto) – bees working together to do something greater than just the sum of the parts Colored lines / Authentically digital – the idea of no ornamentation Train / Fast and fluid – beautiful train ...

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We posted earlier about Germany’s Freiburg council fighting for a return to productivity and to be rescued from the suckiness of Open Office, which was impeding their workflow and ability to communicate with outside councils. In 2007 the council voted to adopt Open Document Format and standardize on Open Office. In practice to get any work done the council workers have been running Open Office and Office 2000 in parallel. In 2012 the failure of the project was clear, and an expert appraisal recommended the council switch back to Microsoft Office. The city council has now voted, and despite lobbying by Open Source Business Alliance, the Free Software Foundation Europe and the German Information and Communication Technology Federation sense won the day and the proposal to switch back to Microsoft Office won 25 to 20 votes, with 2 abstentions. The news was tweeted by Councillor Timothy Simms, a Green Party ...

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As previously reported, Skype will be absorbing Microsoft’s Messenger service everywhere except China. An update to the app for Windows 8 has brought along some improvements, and now also allow Skype users to call their Messenger contacts. The update features: Search people and groups Call Messenger contacts Improved video call performance General bug fixes The app can be found in the Windows 8 Store here. ...

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Today, ESPN on Xbox reloaded with a significant update. The app now includes ALL of ESPN’s live network programming through WatchESPN including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, Buzzer Beater and Goal Line. Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers can watch all their favorite sports and shows live, including SportsCenter, SportsNation and the Mike and Mike Show, as well as ESPN’s coverage of the NFL, including Monday Night Football, MLB and the NBA. ESPN on Xbox, now powered by WatchESPN, offers the following features: My Sports. ESPN on Xbox allows you to choose your favorite sports and teams and designate these channels as “My Sports,” so you can jump directly into the games and content you care most about. ESPN on Xbox will automatically provide you with a personalized daily feed of live events, news and highlights based on “My Sports,” catching you up on only the teams and sports you care most about. ...

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We all know that development of Windows 8 started in 2010 as soon as Windows 7 got released to the public in Oct, 2009. Recently, Microsoft’s Jensen Harris from the Windows design team spoke about designing Windows 8 at UX Week 2012.In his presentation, he revealed number of unseen Windows 8 mockups. Some of them include Windows 8 Start screen, Charms bar, lock screen, etc,. As you can see from the above video, Microsoft has fine tuned their initial design to the current design in release version of Windows 8. via: istartedsomething   ...

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Armando posted part 1 of his comparative review of the Microsoft Surface RT vs the Google Nexus 10 tablet. His video interestingly shows that the super-high res screen on the Nexus 10 is in fact a disadvantage due to image upscaling, and that IE10 is generally a better browser than Chrome on Android. Keep an eye on his channel for the next 5 videos in the series. ...

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We reported a few days ago that that Microsoft will not be bringing DirectX 11.1 to Windows 7. It now appears that IE10, which uses hardware graphics acceleration in Windows 8, will be dragging along some DirectX 11. features along with it when it comes to Windows 7. In a post on the Games for Windows and the DirectX SDK blog today, Microsoft revealed that some of the features of DirectX 11.1 will be coming to Windows 7 as part of Tuesday’s preview version of Internet Explorer 10. Windows 7 and  Windows Server 2008 R2 will get: ID3D11Device1, ID2D1Factory1, IDWriteFactory1, IDXGIFactory2, IWICImagingFactory2, ID3DUserDefinedAnnotation and related APIs are available Improved Direct3D 11 device interoperability via ID3DDeviceContextState, including the improved interop with Direct2D/DirectWrite D3D11_FEATURE_DATA_D3D9_OPTIONS feature detection In addition to the new Windows 8 WIC features, this update also fixes decoding of 96bpp floating-point TIFF images.  However the following features will not be ...

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It’s very difficult to track number of Black Friday deals on different websites which is cluttered with various other product deal which I’m not interested. Being in a Microsoft ecosystem, I decided to write a post about the deals which I find across the web. You can send us the deals you find through the comments section and contact us section. 1) Windows 8: Office Depot: Windows 8 Pro pack will be available for $29.99 on their terms. Actually, it will cost $49, $10 down from its regular price and a free MaxPerks Bonus Rewards which gives you an $30 credit you can shop at Office Max stores. Tiger Direct: Tiger Direct will sell Windows 8 Pro for $49. Xbox: Xbox 360 4GB bundle with Skylanders and one wireless controller for $199. Xbox 360 wireless controllers on sale for $39.96. Xbox 360 wireless headset for $25. All the above are from Walmart. Xbox 360 250GB ...

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The above rather cool video is the creation of Microsoft Spain, and shows how the Metro design language originated on Windows Phone in 2010, and morphed into Windows 8 in 2012. The video ends by touting the new Microsoft ecosystem of phones, tablets, PCs and the Xbox, and reminds one of Microsoft’s new imperative to integrate and collaborate, to strengthen their position against Google and Apple. What do our readers think of the video? Let us know below. Via TNW ...

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In the above video Microsoft’s Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie discusses part of the vision of the company’s future, which consists of machines and technology getting out of your way and becoming a lot more helpful. In the video Craig briefly demonstrates  the  82” interactive Perceptive Pixel display, and how varied computing surfaces can allow us to move easily between all sizes of displays and devices. He shows how you might use Microsoft OneNote 2013 to work on a large display and then, moments later, pull up your annotations on your personal Surface. He also showed off the capabilities of Xbox SmartGlass, illustrating how you can seamlessly shift content across your tablet, phone, and Xbox. Craig also illustrated how we might remotely collaborate and incorporate telepresence in the future via Microsoft Research’s research project Illumishare , a low-cost peripheral device that looks like a desk lamp, lighting up ...

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The Sunday Telegraph, via Business Insider, reports that Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer is in talks with Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg about a search tie up. Apparently Yahoo has been looking to extricate themselves from their 10 year deal with Microsoft, launched in 2009, and Facebook has been looking to get into the search game, with Mark Zuckerberg famously noting  they are in a “pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have”. The Yahoo partnership has been central in keeping Bing, which has only 16% market share on its own, relevant against the Google behemoth, which has 66% share. Together with Yahoo, which is powered by Bing, Microsoft has access to around 30% of the search market in US. Loosing access to this stream of data would be extremely detrimental to the quality of Bing’s search results. Of course it is likely that Microsoft’s deal with Yahoo is air ...

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Microsoft is offering free panoramic themes for Windows 8 and Windows RT users. If used on dual monitors with the same resolution the wallpaper will extend across both screens, like in the screen shot above. If however the monitors have different resolutions different wallpapers will be shown, and of a single monitor us used only the middle will be shown. See the collection at Microsoft here. Via Technet.com ...

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Yes, this review of the Microsoft Surface is a bit late. You’ve most likely read several of the high-profile reviews already. You’ve possibly read many more. In this review, I will focus only on the things I personally like and do not like. This will not be a be-all-end-all review. Please take what you can from it, and hopefully, if you’re on the fence about getting a Surface RT, this will cement your decision one way or the other. Let’s get the hardware specifications out of the way. The Surface RT is a 1.5 pound, 10.6 inch tablet. The screen resolution is 1366×768. The processor is an Nvidia Tegra 3, which is a quad-core ARM-based processor, reportedly clocking in at 1.3 ghz per core. It comes with 2 GB of RAM, and a choice of either 32GB or 64GB of memory. In regards to ports, the Surface has a full-sized USB 2.0 port, a ...

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In the wake of the sudden departure of Steven Sinofsky he has been painted as somewhat of a megalomaniac by various sources. Suril Amin has been one of the few to defend him, and posted this comprehensive defence of what he paints as a rather great man who’s departure is a loss to Microsoft. He writes: I’ll try to keep this short as my English is not great (it’s my second language), but I felt I had to write something about this. Context is important, that is to say, it is important to look at history and try to see why things happened, and not repeat the same mistakes again. I have seen a lot of coverage about Sinofsky’s departure that has been very biased. It’s pretty clear that bloggers and certainly the Technorati did not like Sinofsky at all. The reason for this is quite simple, he took Microsoft ...

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