Review Category : Microsoft

Microsoft has a had a strong history of supporting educational institutions.  In addition to offering the Surface for $199 Microsoft will now offer a program (U.S. only to start)  for schools to tailor the Bing experience for K-12 students by removing all advertisements from search results, enhancing privacy protections and the filtering of adult content, and adding specialized learning features to enhance digital literacy.  For those that opt-in, Bing will enable the experience across all searches from within the school’s network on Bing.com, without any need for special software or a different search address. The program is free for any school or districts wishing to participate.  Any schools who do not participate will simply get the normal Bing experience with ads. Bing has the following goals for this program: Keeping Our Kids Focused on Learning: As a country, we’ve set schools aside as a special place that is focused on learning, and ...

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As the release of Windows 8.1 nears some information has started to leaks.  MyDigitalLife forum member Faikee has posted a good bit of information regarding Windows 8.1.  Among this is a new feature in IE11 in the public preview of Windows 8.1. For a long time Skype has had a feature called “Click to Call.” This feature recognizes phone numbers while browsing the web, putting a sort of hyperlink around it, and clicking on the phone number will load Skype and let you call the number. Microsoft has decided to embrace and extend this feature in Windows 8.1.  You now have the option of loading an app of your choice when IE11 recognizes a phone number.  I’m guessing Skype will be a prime choice from Microsoft.  Each user on a machine can set their own default program. Source: MyDigitalLife   ...

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MyDigitalForum member FaiKee has posted a preview of the Q&A for Windows 8.1 that is set to go live June 26th, during the BUILD conference in San Francisco.  Microsoft will be providing ISOs of the Windows 8.1 Build as well as a free upgrade through the Windows Store. Please click on the images below to enlarge them, use can click or use the arrow keys to cycle through them. Notification to update to Windows 8.1 (Note: This notification provides access to the Windows 8.1 Preview page in the Store, even if you are not signed-in with a Microsoft Account): The update via Store consists of the following steps: You start by installing an update package from the Windows 8.1 Preview Download page. When you restart after installing the update above, a system notification offers Windows 8.1 Preview. You can also open the Store app to access the Windows 8.1 Preview ...

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MyDigitalLife forum member FaiKee has posted a great thread full of lots of Windows 8.1 information.  He detailed some information regarding how the integrated Skydrive will work in Windows 8.1, changes to uninstalling apps, and changes to the Windows Store. SkyDrive does not automatically sync all your SkyDrive files to the PC. Instead it downloads placeholder files for all of your files on SkyDrive. Placeholder files are shown in the app and in the SkyDrive folder in File Explorer. These small files look like the full file, and have thumbnails and metadata, but they take a tiny fraction of the disk space of the full file. When you open a placeholder, the SkyDrive engine downloads the full file in the background. When you open a file this way, SkyDrive also marks the file as Available offline, so that the files you use will be kept in sync on this PC. ...

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A new screenshot has surfaced showing the boot screen likely to appear on the public preview of Windows 8.1 next week.  The ‘betta fish’ first appeared as a wallpaper in Windows 7, then a Metro version of the fish made its way to the consumer preview in Windows 8.  The fish is a Siamese fighting fish, commonly known as a ‘betta’ fish, used by Microsoft for “beta” builds of the OS. Microsoft will unveil a preview build of Windows 8.1 at the BUILD conference next week at San Francisco.  Stay tuned to Microsoft-news for full coverage. In Windows 7 In Windows 8 Source: Win8China   ...

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NSS Labs, a independent security research and testing organization has released its 2013 Browser Security Comparative Analysis.  The analysis shows that IE10 blocks more socially-engineered malware than any other browser.  Technologies built into IE10 such as SmartScreen and Application Reputation are partially responsible for IE10′s effectiveness against malware.  Independent research now shows that IE10 black 99% of malware and has fewer vulnerabilities than any other browser on Windows. IE10 uses multiple levels of protection to deliver the most secure browser to users: Protection from socially-engineered attacks By imitating or compromising trusted web sites, malware authors try to trick users into sharing personal information or downloading and executing malicious software.  To help protect users from these socially-engineered attacks, Microsoft uses a combination of URL filtering and application reputation.  SmartScreen URL filtering and Application Reputation provide the best protection available against malware attacks. Protection from attacks on web sites Even “good” web ...

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According to Liveside, Microsoft is working on a web-based text file editor for SkyDrive.com on “Monaco” – a web-based Visual Studio code editor. Here is the description about upcoming editor from Liveside, LiveSide has learnt that the online text file editor on SkyDrive.com is based on “Monaco” – a web-based Visual Studio code editor. The “Monaco” editor was first used by Microsoft on the TypeScript Playground – which allowed developers to test their code within the web browser. The editor featured line count, contextual syntax highlighting, as well as find and replace functionality with regular expression, and we understand some of these may make its way to SkyDrive.com’s text editor. We also understand that SkyDrive.com’s text editor will enable versioning, including the ability to compare changes between versions of text files, as well as the ability to revert to an older version. It is also rumored that Monaco is the ...

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Microsoft has updated their Xbox Music app for Windows Store with the ability to give free listening a try without having to sign-in ,access search from within the app, bug fixes and other UI enhancements. Today’s update to the Music app brings an in-app search button at the top right that allows you to search directly within the app for music on your PC, or in the Xbox Music catalog. The Music app will also now let you try Xbox Music’s free ad-supported streaming service by allowing you to listen to up to 15 songs without having to sign in. Remember, after you sign in to the Music app on your Windows PC or tablet, you can stream millions of songs for free* (with ads) with Xbox Music. You can search for any artist, song, or full album and instantly play whatever you want. And with Radio, previously known as SmartDJ, you can ...

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Microsoft has promised 15 exclusive titles for the Xbox One, with 8 of them being new franchises.  Here is what we know so far in no particular order: Exclusive Xbox One Games: Below Crimson Dragon D4 Dead Rising 3 Forza Motorsport 5 Halo Killer Instinct Kinect Sports Rivals Quantum Break Project Spark Rabbids Invasion Ryse: Son of Rome Sunset Overdrive Zumba Party Fitness Untitled Black Tusk game Games Coming to Xbox One and PS4 only: The Division Final Fantasxy XV Kingdom Hearts 3 NBA Live 14 Exclusive Xbox One Games that may also be coming to Xbox 360 and/or PC: Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Fantasia: Music Evolved LocoCycle Minecraft Zoo Tycoon Titanfall Games coming to both Xbox One and PS4 and possibly PC, Xbox 360, &/or PS3 Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Battlefield 4 Call of Duty: Ghosts The Crew Destiny Dragon Age Inquisition Dying Light EA Sports UFC ...

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Vizio announced it would be launching a tablet way back at CES 2013.  The 11.6 inch tablet is finally on sale for $599.  Here are the full specifications for the MT11X-A1: Windows 8 with Microsoft Signature—no Junkware Large 11.6″ diagonal 1920 x 1080 Full LED HD touchscreen display AMD Z-60 APU featuring AMD Radeon HD graphics Expansive 64GB onboard SSD storage Ultra-thin and ultra-light design, at less than 0.4” thin and 1.8 lbs. Dual speaker stereo sound with SRS Premium Sound HD™ 10 Point capacitive touch screen (simultaneous) Bluetooth 4.0+ EDR 2.0MP 1600 x 1200 Front Facing Camera 802.11  Dual Band WiFi 2GB Ram 1 Micro HDMI/ 1 USB 2.0 / 1 3.5mm Headphone Jack 5 Hours Battery Life 11.66”W x 7.53”H x 0.39”D 1.80 lbs Vizio is relatively new to the PC market, launching its first machines about two years ago.  Little is known as to if the company is planning ...

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Today Microsoft talked about its latest experiment with Bing, Bing Boards.  Bing Boards is essentially a slideshow with images and videos with context an captions.  Microsoft is working with a small group of food  and lifestyle bloggers, experts and social influencers to help create the Bing Boards.  The Bing boards will show up in the in the middle column of Bing on the sidebar. Bing is one of Microsoft’s most important brands and recently the software giant has been promoting it as a platform.  Bing is expected to be deeply integrated into Windows 8.1 and bring Siri-like voice functionality to the OS.  It already powers the voice features in Windows Phone.  Bing continues to experiment to gain marketshare and has recently made a number of partnerships including on with Klout.  Microsoft it currently has a nationwide Bing-it-on TV campaign to try to increase awareness of the search engine. Source: Bing Blog ...

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Samsung today announced ATIV Tab 3, the world’s thinnest Windows tablet. A tablet with the power of a PC, the ATIV Tab 3 makes personal computing more mobile than ever. The tablet is the world’s thinnest Windows 8 tablet – as thin as popular smartphones – and shares the premium design of the GALAXY series. It is also ideal for both creativity and productivity with improved S Pen functionality, including high level pen display and S Pen compatibility with MS Office. Ultimate Mobility: The ATIV Tab 3 is the perfect device for on-the-go users. The frame is incredibly thin and light at only 8.2 millimeters thick and 550g in weight, making it a perfect companion device for travel as well as transporting between work and home. The ATIV Tab 3 also features up to 10 hours of battery life, eliminating the need to carry a charger for most long-distance flights. ...

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I think the post speaks for itself, well worth the read: It’s 4am and I’m still up, some hours ago, we at Microsoft had to basically redact on our Always Online infrastructure and dream.  Being part of the team that created the entire infrastructure to include the POS (point of sale) mechanisms I must say that I am extremely sad to see it removed.  But the consumer knows what is best, I can place the blame on no one but us here at Microsoft.  We didn’t do a good enough job explaining all the benefits that came with this new model.  We spent too much of our time fighting against the negative impressions that many people in the media formed.  I feel that if we spent less time on them and more time explaining the great features we had lined up and the ones in the pipes gamers and media ...

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Samsung today announced two new Ultrabooks named Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus and Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite. Both there Ultrabooks runs on Windows 8. Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus: Its a thin aluminum uni-body device with  a 13.3inch touchscreen with QHD+ resolution of 3200×1800. It just measures 13.6mm thickness and weighs 1.39kg. It is powered by Core i5-4200U (Haswell ULT) with built-in HD 4400 graphics, 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. Even with all these, Samsung is claiming 12 hours battery life with this device which I think is pretty impressive. Samsung ATIV Book 9 Lite: It is slightly thicker than ATIV Book 9 Plus and built of glossy plastic. It is powered by 1.4GHz quad-core processor, 256GB SSD drive and 4GB RAM. It has 13.3 inches with the resolution of 1,366 x 768. Read more about it here. ...

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Samsung today announced a new Windows 8 convertible named ATIV Q. It runs both Windows 8 and Android and allows you to switch between them in a seamless manner. Samsung launches the ATIV Q – a truly convertible device with the ability to change modes and the power to enjoy both Windows and Android. Born of the tablet family, the ATIV Q allows users more flexibility than ever to adapt the device to fit any situation, posture or environment. Built with today’s evolving consumer lifestyles in mind and usable as a notebook or tablet, it delivers on the ATIV promise to make work more seamless and life more convenient. Enjoy Android Apps on Windows: Addressing consumers’ desire to access Android apps on a Windows-based PC, the ATIV Q allows users to experience both Windows 8 and Android (Jellybean 4.2.2) on the same device. Users will not only get access to ...

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The Xbox One reverses its course on DRM, great news, right? Wrong.  While part of the developer story still remains to be seen at the BUILD conference, what we have now is a console that is not too much different than the Xbox 360 (Xbox 361?) or the PS4 for that matter.  Earlier today a Microsoft spokesman confirmed that Your entire games collection will no longer be available from the cloud. Playing disc based games will requite will require the disc for playback. Also, we will no longer offer family game sharing from the cloud. The sharing of games will work as it does on Xbox 360, you’ll simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold The Xbox One originally saw itself as an authentically digital device, and now we take a step backwards where people are stuck with their discs.  When is the last time you ...

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