Review Category : Microsoft

Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of Xbox (and possible replacement for Mattrick?) confirmed that the Kinect on the Xbox One will be able to scan QR codes, including pre-paid Xbox Live Cards.  Hopefully the days of punching in 25 digit codes are a thing of the past. To my reddit friends — yup — this works! http://t.co/QHnOPZqib1 — Marc Whitten (@notwen) July 1, 2013 Source: Twitter ...

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Microsoft’s Windows Store has reached an important milestone of 100,000 apps yesterday. This is a impressive feat because it took just over 7 months to reach this point. For comparison, Windows Phone Store took 18 months to have 100,000 apps, so did the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store took 16 months for the same number of apps. Thanks for a great \\build! Just passed 100k apps in the Windows Store. — Windows App Builders (@windevs) July 1, 2013 Other than numbers, Microsoft is also focusing on bringing high quality apps such as Facebook, Foursquare, etc,. ...

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Twitter confirmed it was testing a tool to automatically translate tweets using Microsoft’s Bing search engine. In the implementation, tweets appear in the original language, with the translated tweet in smaller text below it (with a powered by “Bing translator” label). “To make it easier for people around the world to connect with each other, we are beginning to experiment with Tweet text translation,” said a Twitter spokesperson. Bing provides a similar service for Facebook. Source: AllThingsD   ...

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Klout is the social reputation service everybody loves to hate, but much like the SAT test it is a de facto standard.  Bing has been a strong leader in social search, with close relationships with Facebook, Twitter, and Klout.  Today Klout announced that the number of times someone searches for you on Bing now contributes to your Klout score.  Bing search prevalence — the number of times you are searched for on Bing — will now contribute directly to your Klout Score. Search is one of the most direct indicators of real world influence and serves as a bridge between offline and online influence. This is interesting because someone could be influential but not necessarily active on social media.  As they mention in their blog post, Warren Buffet has only tweeted three times but his influence is enormous and that is reflected in Bing. Someone who is famous or influential on a topic ...

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In effort to support Creative Common licenses Bing has added Search by License” feature for Bing image search.  Bing has simplified this process to allow you to filter by usage rights and only see images that have a Creative Commons license.  In the latest version of Office 2013, you can also search for images on Bing directly from any Office application. Not only that, the search results will show licensed images by default. This is also based on the same technology that is powering the “Search by License” filter.  The new filter is already live as of today at Bing.com/Images, although it may not be available in all countries. We here at Microsoft-News have always strived to use images with permission and under the appropriate creative commons license. Source: Bing Blog ...

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Starting in August Microsoft will no longer accept new TechNet subscriptions.  The service will shutdown once current subscribers contracts end.  Ed Bott has a nice write-upon TechNet’s pending end. TechNet was originally create in the late 90s, in an effort to get builds to consumers through CDs (by mail) in era where broadband was slow and expensive.  Economically TechNet was a great deal, for a few hundred dollars annually, you got early access to MS builds of server and desktop software with multiple product keys.  Technically the software was for “evaluation purposes only,” but nobody ever followed this and it was never enforced.  Due to the ability to get multiple product keys, many people shared subscriptions or even illegally sold the extra keys. In a letter to subscribers, Microsoft wrote, “IT trends and business dynamics have evolved,” and TechNet has outlived its original purpose.  Additional details: New subscriptions won’t be accepted after August 31, 2013. ...

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Microsoft so far had only two versions of Surface Pro devices, one with 64GB storage and another with 128GB. It seems Microsoft is planning to sell one another version of Surface with 256GB storage. Microsoft Surface Pro runs on Intel Core i5 3317U processor, 4 GB RAM,  256 GB SSD, Windows 8 Pro, Multi-Touch 1920 x 1080 Full HD display, Intel HD Graphics 4000, 802.11n and Bluetooth 4.0 LE connectivity with 1 YR limited warranty will go one sale from Surface authorized retailer CDW for $1,199.99. Do you think this is a good deal? I think Microsoft should release a Surface Pro with Intel Hasewell processors with great battery life. via : WPCentral  Source : CDW ...

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Don Mattrick, current President of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business (think Xbox) will be leaving the company, possibly to become the CEO at Zynga according to a report by Kara Swisher at AllThingsD.  An official announcement may be made later today, Zynga’s shares are up 10% on the rumor.  Mattrick was also on the short list of people considered to take over the CEO role at Electronic Arts (EA). According to Swisher, this move is unrelated to Ballmer’s restructuring plan and Mattrick has been planning this move for months.  It is unknown at this time as to who will replace Mattrick.    Mattrick, a Canadian native, has long wanted to move back to the Bay area, where has a home, said sources, another important factor in this move. Update: Confirmed by Zynga. Here is the press release. Zynga Names Don Mattrick Chief Executive Officer Founder Mark Pincus to Continue as Chairman of the Board ...

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OneNote has released a major “version 2.0″ update for iPad, iPhone, and Android.  These apps are based on an almost entirely new code base that delivers a full-powered OneNote experience across each device with more reliable sync, via SkyDrive that “just works,” according to Microsoft.  Enginerring changes in the backend will allow Microsoft to make quicker updates going forward. New OneNote Apps for iPad, iPhone and Android. OneNote will now have a consistent look and feel across all devices. With the new OneNote updates all formatting looks exactly the same across devices – this includes text formatting, tables with shading and borders, layout and so on. Hyperlinks and note tags are consistently supported. Even ink from your Windows tablet is shown on iOS and Android now. In short, your notes look the same, all the time, on all devices.  Below is a comparison of what you see in the new OneNote for iPad compared ...

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Microsoft had its own newsfeed feature back in Windows Live days which aggregated social activity from various services such as Facebook, Flickr, Myspace, etc,. Later it was discontinued as Microsoft started to focus on the basics, Mail, Storage, Chat/Skype, etc,. Liveside today reports that Microsoft is planning to bring back newsfeed in a different form. A recent activity newsfeed for your SkyDrive. Here’s how Liveside explains the upcoming feature, Microsoft added recent activity feeds to its Windows 8 SkyDrive app’s Live Tile back in January this year (as shown above), showing notifications about what’s going on in your SkyDrive. However, this feature was limited to the Windows 8 SkyDrive app only, and you cannot see this feed anywhere else. This is set to change as LiveSide understands that the SkyDrive.com web service will also get a recent activity feed. Clicking on the new “Recent” menu item on the left-hand side ...

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Net Applications has released their monthly numbers for June, and their data shows IE10 has now officially surpassed IE9′s marketshare.  IE10 now commands 13.52% of browser marketshare and IE9 at 11.71%.  Just two months ago, IE9 had 15.39% and IE10 had 9.26%.  IE10 is only available on Windows 7 & Windows 8. IE11 was not counted in this month’s report, considering Windows 8.1 was just released a few days ago.  Microsoft confirmed IE11 will come to Windows 7,  but would not confirm the timeframe; sources close to Microsoft-news tell us it will be released early Q1 2014.   ...

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Microsoft continues to slowly expand its Surface distribution channel.  Today Microsoft announced the Microsoft Devices Program, which allows customers to purchase Surface and commercial services through authorized resellers. The first authorized Surface US distributers will be Ingram Micro Inc., SYNNEX Corp. and Tech Data Corp.  The first US resellers include DW, CompuCom Systems Inc., En Pointe Technologies, Insight Enterprises Inc., PC Connection Inc., PCM Inc., SHI International Corp., Softchoice, Softmart and Zones Inc.  Resellers will be allowed to sell Microsoft’s extended warranty and accidental damage and in addition to adding their own services such as asset tagging, custom imaging, kitting, onsite service and support, device recycling. and data protection. During the next few months, Microsoft will work to authorize commercial distributors and resellers in more countries. In June, Microsoft announced a one-time offer for Surface RT starting at $199 for qualifying educational institutes running until the end of August in 26 ...

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Skype has redesigned their Android app with version 4.0 to look and feel more like the app does on Windows Phone.  The android Skype app has been rebuilt from the ground up to be faster and more reliable. The focus was on stability, performance, and load time.  Skype claims this version has major improvements in allowing users to fire off a quick message, or access contacts and favorites. Microsoft promises more updates in the coming months and year ahead “to make Skype for Android even more reliable, reachable, and mobile-friendly.”  No word on Skype for Windows Phone as of yet.  From what we’re hearing the Windows Phone group has truly adopted the “Shut-up & Ship” motto, and we will likely not know more about Skype being built into Windows Phone until Q1 2014. Unfortunately, it appears Skype is now using Microsoft’s marketing group: Source: Skype ...

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At BUILD conference held last week, Microsoft announced that Bing Maps 3D is coming back along with the release of Windows 8.1. They even gave a brief demo of the same. 3D Maps is not new to Bing Maps as they had in the name of Virtual Maps 3D few years back before discontinuing it in 2010. Liveside today reported that the new upcoming version of Bing Maps 3D will be enabled by WebGL in IE11. So, users won’t be needed to install any plug-ins to experience the 3D maps. And also they are building Photosynth 2 viewer based on WebGL. First, Bing Director Stefan Weitz told me that the new version was almost entirely built from the ground up, using, among other technologies, Microsoft’s UltraCam.  There’s simply not much left from the old Bing Maps 3D, Silverlight or otherwise.  Then I had a chance to talk a bit about ...

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