Review Category : Microsoft

The OCR feature in SkyDrive, which is powered by Bing, is now being rolled out to users over the next few weeks.  It recognizes text which may have been taken in a photo and stores it in the metadata. This feature, which is rolling out over the coming weeks, allows you to search from the desktop for the content of Camera Roll photos that have had text extracted from them. For example, you might have taken a photo 6 months ago of the menu of your favorite restaurant, but can’t remember where it’s buried in your Camera Roll and want to remember the dish you had. You can simply type in the restaurant name on your desktop and Bing Smart Search will search text of your Camera Roll photos and pull up the picture of the menu with the restaurant name printed on it. With the power of smart files, ...

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SkyDrive “smart file” is a relatively simple concept that has the primary goal of reducing disk space.  An interesting paradox has occurred within the last couple of years.  While people’s need for disk space has increased, the available disk space on devices has decreased.  This is due to a variety of reasons but primarily demands for solid state drives (SSDs) has increased due to their better performance, impact on battery life, form factor etc.  However they  much more expensive than mechanical hard drives, and therefore we tend to see SSDs with more limited capacity in devices because they are cheaper. With SkyDrive smart file, the full file will not be synced locally as it currently is. Instead a thumbnail of the file with relevant metadata will be synched.  This can reduce the disk space used by SkyDrive up to 80%.  You can always choose to make a file always available ...

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Microsoft recently added two-factor authentication to its own Outlook.com just a few months back.  Now multi-factor authentication is available as a service on Windows Azure.  Multi-Factor Authentication quickly enables an additional layer security for users signing in from around the globe.  In addition to a username and password, users may authenticate via: 1) An application on their mobile device.  2) Automated voice call.  3) Text message with a passcode. On-Premises VPNs, Web Applications, and More – Run the Multi-Factor Authentication Server on your existing hardware or in a Windows Azure Virtual Machine. Synchronize with your Windows Server Active Directory for automated user set up. Cloud Applications like Windows Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics CRM – Enable Multi-Factor Authentication for Windows Azure AD identities with the flip of a switch, and users will be prompted to set up multi-factor the next time they sign-in.  Custom Applications — Use our SDK to ...

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Delta Air Lines is equipping its 11,000 pilots with electronic flight bags using the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet.  Device rollout to pilots flying the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 fleets will start later this year and all Delta cockpits are projected to be paperless by the end of 2014.  The Surface 2 will run on the Windows RT 8.1 platform and provide flight crews real-time access to essential tools and the most up-to-date flight-related resources including key charts, reference documents, and checklists while saving the airline $13 million per year in fuel and associated costs.  “Delta’s electronic flight bag running on Surface 2 continues the technological strides Delta has been making to give our crews the best tools to keep them flying safely and efficiently,” said Capt. Steve Dickson, Delta’s senior vice president – Flight Operations.  “This intuitive device puts key information at their fingertips right when they need it.  ...

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Pre-orders of the Surface 2 & Surface Pro started last week after the products were unveiled a press event in New York City.  If you pre-ordered online you had to at least put at least $50 down to reserve the device.  However if you are cash strapped at the moment it may be a good idea to visit a Microsoft Store in person.  Currently you can reserve the Surface 2 or Surface Pro with your choice of accessories for $0 down. Please check our previous coverage of the Surface 2, Surface Pro, and accessories: Microsoft’s Surface Blades Concept Has Unlimited Potential New Surface Ad From Microsoft, One Device For Everything In Your Life Microsoft Opens Up Pre-order For Surface 2 And Surface Pro 2 Interesting Information On New Surface Devices From Reddit AmA, Surface 2 LTE Version Coming And More Interesting Information On New Surface Devices From Reddit AmA, Part-2 ...

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The UK government has issued security approval for public sector organisations to offer bring your own device (BYOD) schemes for employees to access data and applications using their own smartphones and tablets.  The new End User Devices Security and Configuration Guidance policy was issued this week by CESG, the information security arm of GCHQ. It follows numerous public bodies such as local councils seeking to introduce BYOD schemes to offer more flexible working for staff. The policy also provides detailed advice for a wide range of possible products and operating systems. Devices using Android 4.2, BlackBerry 10.1, Apple iOS6, Windows 7 and 8, Windows Phone 8 and RT, Ubuntu 12.04, OS X 10.8 and Google ChromeOS 26 are all on the list. Source: Gov.uk ...

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Microsoft Windows Gift Card was recently spotted on Amazon, and it appears you will be able to use it to purchase Windows Store Apps on Windows 8.1.  McAkins Online reports: For those of you who do not get how big this is, talk to anyone with kids and Windows devices. We’ve been clamoring to have a coherent way of giving our kids entry into the Store for Windows and WindowsPhone Apps without the kids bankrupting us. It is either you let your kids buy their $1.99 apps with your Microsoft Account or you attach your Credit-Card info to their MS account. A prospect that is not healthy in both cases. You might as well give them access to your bank account. Thank God, now you can just purchase a $10 or $20 gift card from Microsoft, and give it to the kids and let them redeem it. Once they burn ...

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Microsoft continues to integrate Bing services into more of their product portfolio.  The Bing translator app will be launching for Word & PowerPoint 2013 later today.  The Next at Microsoft Blog reports: For those who use Word and PowerPoint, the Translator app in the Office Store is launching Monday in conjunction with International Translation Day.  Expanding on top of built-in functionality within the products, it allows you to select any text and instantly translate it.  Using this app, organizations can utilize within Office the custom translation systems they built with the Microsoft Translator Hub.  Already, Office users translate over 1.3 million characters each hour using the built-in translation features. Please read their full post celebrating International Translation Day       ...

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In partnership with appendTo and Sauce Labs Microsoft has introduced BrowserSwarm, an open source tool that helps Web developers automate testing of their JavaScript frameworks and libraries across devices and browsers.  This is especially helpful to developers who are resource limited in building great, interoperable frameworks.  This is a second such project by Microsoft, the first being modern.IE. If you are interested in helping grow BrowserSwarm: More projects – Add yours to BrowserSwarm here. More test cases – Contribute new Unit Test Frameworks or Test Cases to run. More places you store your code – We have connected BrowserSwarm to GitHub, but you can connect it to your own repository. The team is also hoping that you share your feedback and ideas on how they might improve BrowserSwarm. Source: IE Blog ...

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A federal court appeals ruled on Monday that Microsoft did not violate antitrust laws nearly 20 years ago against Novell.  “Novell complains that Microsoft refused to share its intellectual property with rivals after first promising to do so. But the antitrust laws rarely impose on firms — even dominant firms — a duty to deal with their rivals,” according to a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel. “With respect to Novell at least, Microsoft did nothing unlawful.” Novel can appeal this decision and eventually may even end up at the Supreme Court. “Naturally we are disappointed by the decision issued today by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and are considering next steps,” said Jim Lundberg, Novell vice president. “Ultimately this decision will have no effect on our day-to-day operations nor our company’s vision for current and future Novell customers.” This ruling affirms affirms U.S. District Judge J. Frederick ...

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Technology companies have come to dominate the Interbrand global survey of the world’s most valuable brands taken every two years.  Apple took the top spot ousting previous champion Coca-Cocla and Google took second. Interbrand’s analysis puts Apple’s brand value at $98.3 billion, up 28% from last year.  Google is up 34% with its brand value at $93 billion.  IBM placed 4th, Microsoft 5th, Samsung 8th, Intel 9th, and HP at 15th and Amazon at 19th.  Samsung and Amazon have rose considerably from the last survey while Microsoft only rose 5%.  Other notable brands include Cicso at 13, Oracle at 18, SAP at 25, Dell at 61, Facebook 52, Adobe at 79, Cannon at 35, Philips at 40, Nintendo at 67, and Panasonic at 68. Sony fell considerably to 46th, from 40 previously and losing 8% of its brand value.  The PS4 may help gain some of its value back, but analysts ...

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Talking at the Eurogamer Expo in London, Microsoft Phil Harrison revealed that the Kinect can differentiate between two people talking at the same time.  Additionally, the Kinect’s lead developer Nick Burton stated that it will also be able to see whether mouths are moving in the dark. The Xbox One will be launching in November 22 for $499 and will be bundled with the second-generation Kinect technology.  Many developers are utilizing Kinect in unique ways for upcoming titles as we reported earlier.  In response to privacy concerns, Microsoft clarified that the Kinect does not record or upload your conversations and therefore the NSA cannot have access to them. via Polygon ...

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Back in January, Microsoft announced the purchase of home automation startup R2 Studios and they absorbed some of the talent of the startup into their management. R2 Studios had several important home automation patents, and their technology was expected to be integrated into products at Microsoft’s Xbox Division at that time. Earlier this month, lots of information on Microsoft’s upcoming Cortana personal assistant leaked online. First, it was reported that Cortana will be the personal AI agent on Windows Phone devices that will come with Windows Phone Blue. Later, Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet reported that Cortana is more than a Windows Phone app. Cortana will be a shell that will be found on future Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox One operating systems. Cortana will be more than just an app that lets users interact with their phones more naturally using voice commands. Cortana is core to the makeover of the entire “shell” — the core services ...

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Nokia is planning to reveal its first 10-inch Windows RT 8.1 tablet under the name of Lumia 2520. The device will be available in October from Verizon in Red and Black colors, support for 4G LTE and price starting from $499 USD. Today, this tablet has passed FCC in the US with support for both AT&T and Verizon LTE bands. The internal name of the device is  RX-114. The FCC filing confirms that is device features LTE with support for bands 2, 4, 5, 13 and 17, along with a full suite of HSPA+ and GSM / EDGE. We will know more about it when Nokia launches this device on Oct 22nd. Key features of the tablet: Windows RT 8.1 device Snapdragon 800 processor at 2.15 hz 6.7-megapixel primary Carl Zeiss optics camera and a 2-megapixel front camera. 10.1″ 1080p screen, 5 point multi-touch with wide viewing angles. In-built storage of 32 GB Detachable ...

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LeakID is a company that monitors illegal links and sources, send automated takedown notices to ISPs hosting infringing links and websites. Microsoft uses their services to protect their products including Windows, Office, etc,. Microsoft has been one of the most active DMCA notice senders and they have asked Google to remove more than 10 million infringing URLs from its indexes in the past year alone. Companies like LeakID which sends notices on behalf of Microsoft have sent some embarrassing takedown notices. LeakID asked Google for the removal of Microsoft’s own website, its Wikipedia entry and an Open Source project website. After experiencing such situations in the past, Microsoft has today ended their relationship with the French company LeakID. “Microsoft is committed to ensuring that enforcement measures are appropriate and completely accurate. We are investigating the circumstances of this takedown and have instructed the vendor that it is no longer authorized to send notices on our ...

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During the second generation Surface launch event held last week, Microsoft announced the Surface Remix Project which showed how you could click in a specially designed Touch Cover that let you remix your favorite songs and share them with the world. Even though it is limited to music for now, it shows that productivity can go various other ways, not just click in keyboards. Microsoft realized that this concept has a great potential and they visited Art Center College of design to meet students for a three day workshop where students were asked to imagine different blades concepts. Microsoft refers the Cover you click in to Surface as blades. The Surface Remix Project has a music blade and there could be many other blades for various other purposes. Now let me rewind the clock back a little over three weeks. As we thought about what else we could click in to a Surface, we thought it would ...

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