Review Category : Microsoft

In an interview with Edge magazine Seamus Blackley, an original member of the Xbox team, reveals some of the names Microsoft had considered internally for the console. Edge reports: Microsoft’s ‘naming guys’ wanted to call the company’s first games console 11-X or Eleven-X, but were overruled by Seamus Blackley and his launch team. “First, there were our code names, which were WEP – ‘Windows Entertainment Project’ – designed to make Microsoft executives comfortable, Midway – ‘Midway between a PC and a console or ‘Battle of Midway’ – you decide – and DirectX Box, which was shortened to xbox in email very early on.” “When we got the first approval, Kevin [Bachus] was told we had to get a new name, because ‘xbox’ wasn’t legally sound, so against his judgment he did so, and got the phase two, or ‘car’ names. These were so bad we didn’t even save them, but ...

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On SkyDrive, Outlook.com, and Office 365 you can view PDF files using the Word Web App. PDFs attached to mail or stored in SkyDrive are quickly viewable in the browser regardless of device or whether you have PDF viewing software installed. Additionally, for SkyDrive you can convert PDFs to editable Word documents. This allows you to “release” the text in PDFs without requiring PDF editing software. Please note that the conversion does not change the PDF itself. Converting creates an entirely new file. Also, depending on the content of the original PDF, the formatting of a converted Word document may vary from the original. SkyDrive On SkyDrive, just clicking a PDF will view the file in Word Web App. If you prefer to download the file to display in your current PDF viewer, right click and select Download. Outlook.com With Outlook.com, select “View online” at the bottom of the PDF ...

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Microsoft continues its support of small and distant languages with the addition of te reo Maori, language of New Zealand’s native people.  Users of can now Mera (email) or look up Nga Tangata (contacts).  A Microsoft spokesman said the company had launched Windows 8, Office 2012, Outlook and Internet Explorer 10 in te reo Maori this week, with schools, universities and government departments all keen to get their hands on the software.  Te reo Maori is one of New Zealand’s three official languages. Even though a number of initiatives have been introduced to revitalize the language, including a television channel, it is only spoken by around 157,000 people globally.   “It’s a free download so there is no money in it…But we feel it is nice to be part of the revitalization efforts in New Zealand,” the Microsoft spokesman said. “[The program’s] been pretty popular in the Maori language classes ...

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With the OEMs continuing to fail, Microsoft is ramping up the marketing and distribution of their Surface tablets.  Three new videos have been published on Microsoft’s official Surface youtube channel showing real life cases of businesses using the Surface tablet: Marcus Bluestein, Chief Technology Officer of Kraft Kennedy has replaced his corporate-issued laptop, his iPad and even his desktop with the Surface Pro. He has discovered that he can access all his corporate and productivity applications while enjoying the portability of a tablet. At Palmetto Health, physicians are using Surface Pro to improve patient care. Physicians who are using a Surface believe it improves efficiency and allows them to see two more patients on average each day. At FlyWheel Sports, customers use Surface RT devices at more than 24 boutique fitness locations to check in, get their bike number and access their TorqBoard to track their performance. Source: Surface on ...

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Zynga filed its 8-K regulatory filing, among other things documenting the compensation package for former Microsoft executive and now Zynga CEO Don Mattrick.  Over several years Mattrick can potentially make over $50 million at Zynga depending on how the stock does.  In his first year alone Mattrick is set to make $19.3 million in combined cash and stock.  This includes a $5 million signing bonus, a $1 million annual salary, and guaranteed cash bonus of $2 million.  He will also receive $11.3 million in Zynga stock; compensation for vesting shares he gave up in leaving Microsoft. Mattrick is also getting an “inducement” grant of 1,785,714 restricted stock units, valued at $5 million, as well as an option to purchase 7,357,143 shares now worth $10 million, which will also vest over several years.  Beginning in 2014, Mattrick will be eligible for a 200 percent to 400 percent yearly cash bonus of his ...

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In light of the political crisis in Egypt, Twitter said Wednesday it put in place a new tool to translate accounts of some prominent Egyptians into English. “As part of our experiment with tweet text translation, we’ve enabled translation for some of the most-followed accounts in Egypt, so people around the world can better understand and keep up with what’s happening there,” Twitter said in a statement. About 100 Twitter accounts are affected, including those of Mohammed Morsi, the president ousted by Egypt’s military, prominent opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei and Arab Spring activist Wael Ghonim. We previously reported on Twitter testing the Bing Translator: http://microsoft-news.com/twitter-testing-bing-powered-translation-feature/ Source: WSJ (Wall Street Journal) ...

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Microsoft launched a new program called Small Screen Touch (SST) program which offered licensing discounts on Windows touch devices with a display size of 11.6-inch or below. Based on a report from Digitimes, this new program is struggling to attract notebook brand vendors to develop tablets according to their sources from the upstream supply chain. While you may question their reliability of sources, it is somewhat evident from the fact that Acer’s 8.1-inch Iconia W3 is the only tablet in the retail channel that was part of the SST program. Even after subsidizing, the cost of $500 is not attracting consumers away from cheap Android tablets of same/similar specs. Also the inclusion of Microsoft Office in small screen devices as part of SST program is not helping much to boost sales according to the supply chain sources. What do you think? Source: Digitimes ...

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When Microsoft revealed Xbox One months back, there was a huge uproar for mandatory internet connection. Microsoft later changed their minds later, but they made internet connection mandatory for lots of reasons. It is not just about DRM, there are lots of other cloud related developer stuff associated with that policy. Microsoft is expecting more and more game developers to take advantage of their Xbox Live Cloud which will allows creators to do stuff that was not possible on a single standalone console. Titanfall is an upcoming game from Respawn that will take advantage of Xbox Live Cloud. Jon Shiring, an engineer working with the Cloud technology at Respawn blogged about the power of Xbox Live cloud today. So what is this Xbox Live Cloud stuff then? Microsoft has a cloud service called Azure (it’s a real thing – you can go on their website right now and pay for servers ...

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In the recent SEC filing, Microsoft has revealed that it has awarded 418,361 shares (about 14 million in current value) to former Windows president Steven Sinofsky. It also revealed that Microsoft has also signed a non-compete agreement with Steven to prevent him landing in other companies, “accepting employment at certain competitors or encouraging certain customers of Microsoft to choose a competing offering to Microsoft products,” until December 31st 2013. Here is Microsoft’s official response, Given Steven’s 23 years of strong service at Microsoft, which included leading teams that produced six versions of Office and two versions of Windows, the company will continue to provide him with the economic value of the stock awards he earned during his employment, similar to the retirement benefits we provide employees who work at least 15 years and retire at 55 or older. This agreement provides a number of important considerations for Microsoft, including a commitment ...

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The new Reputation system will be an integral part of Xbox Live in the Xbox One.  The reputation system will track player misbehavior and essentially create communities of like players that behave similarly while playing games.  OXM got an exclusive interview with Microsoft’s senior product manager Mike Lavin who explained the reputation system in more detail. OXM reports: The key aim is that players won’t have to splinter off into Parties to ensure they aren’t matched with objectionable types in multiplayer. “There’s a lot of folks, a lot of our core consumers who just want to basically kick back and stay in touch with some of their old college buddies,” Lavin began. “That’s cool, and Party Chat today and our Party system is leaps and bounds ahead of competitors, from the standpoint of just being able to isolate yourself and cross-game chat.  But the problem we see is that this ...

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Microsoft is working on making major improvement for laptop for the final release of Windows 8.1 .  Windows principal program manager James Clarke outlined some of the improvements being planned for the 8.1 release later this year: According to the Verge: Microsoft has been working with Intel, Elan, and Synaptics to allow Windows 8.1 to directly control the pointer, multi-touch, and gesture support in trackpads. They’ll also include smoother scrolling and better zooming and panning support. Clarke showed off a “co-engineering effort with Intel” that is a concept device using the new “Precision Touchpad” support, noting that Microsoft has “invested in accidental activation prevention to help really filter out these non-deliberate touches on the touchpad.”The work is clearly in the early stages, but Microsoft believes some laptops will debut with the improvements later this year. “These devices will be coming to market in some limited availability this holiday and then shipping in volume ...

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Microsoft drew a hard line in the sand with enabling “Do Not Track” by default on Internet Explorer.  While this was good for consumers, websites have to honor the Do Not Track request and many sites refused to after IE enabled it by default.  You may be glad to know that Microsoft-News honors all of your do not track requests, we are committed to not scroogling you. Today Microsoft is introducing user-granted exceptions to Do Not Track requests.  This allows users to specify certain websites to track them, allowing certains websites to make more money and users to continue to receive content for free. Microsoft Chief Privacy Officer Brendon Lynch reports: As part of our ongoing commitment to privacy, Microsoft has included improvements to our support of the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Do Not Track (DNT) effort in the Windows 8.1 Preview released at Microsoft’s Build confrence last week. ...

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Bing< Maps looks like it could be the next major secret-spiller making headlines; you may recall that previously Bing May Have Revealed Secret U.S. Drone Base.  Bing’s satellite-imaging service captured a stealth Russian fighter jet, which was previously thought to be ancient history.  The airplane, known as the Mikoyan Project 1.44, was reportedly launched during the fall of the Soviet Union and was thought to be put to bed in 2001. . Mashable reports: The jet was purportedly Russia’s first attempt at a flyable stealth fighter — one that was meant to match one of America’s best-kept secrets, the F-22 Raptor. Some speculated that the fighter jet was sent to China to kick-start Beijing’s own stealth development program.  Foreign Policy compared China’s J-20 stealth fighter, revealed in 2010, to the 1.44 (see above). The 1.44 is the larger of the two planes, found just outside Moscow’s Zhukovsky airfield, but the ...

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Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft in 2008 and devoted to most of his time to philanthropic activities since then.  Gates is still chairman of the board at Microsoft is the company’s largest shareholder, owning roughly 8% of the company and has been working closely with Ballmer lately on the re-org plan. Gates will be keynoting the the annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit on July 15 and 16.  Four hundred elite academic investigators will gather at the event in Redmond, Washington, to explore the future with Microsoft researchers.  This will be Gates first appearance back since 2005. Gates will address the role of computing in solving global problems, and then take questions from the in-person audience and online viewers. The keynote will be rebroadcast later in the day, but if you have a question for this leader in computing and philanthropy, be sure to view live at 9 a.m. PT on ...

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Microsoft has filed a copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit against VertexPC, a Buford company that sells PCs and other computer equipment and software, according to documents filed recently in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Microsoft is seeking unspecified damages, said VertexPC and owner Peter Dapice “advertised, marketed, installed and offered and distributed unauthorized copies.” VertexPC says it was founded in 1999 in New York and relocated to metro Atlanta in 2004. In addition to providing computer equipment, the hardware and software merchant says it provides consulting services to several stock trading and financial institutions, and its clients have included Coca-Cola, NASA, and governmental, educational and medical institutions across the country.  Microsoft says it warned the Gwinnett County company in December about the “consequences of making and distributing infringing copies” of its software.  In April of this year, however, Microsoft said VertexPC distributed to an “investigator” computer systems with installed unauthorized copies ...

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Microsoft previously released a list of 21 countries that it would launch the Xbox One for holiday 2013.  Japan was not among them.  Today Microsoft Japan President Yasuyuki confirmed that Japan is a “tier 2″ country and the console will launch in early 2014 in the country. Higuchi also said the the Xbox One “won’t be delayed too much from the North American release.” Microsoft has not seen huge success in Japan, Sony’s home territory.  With the PS4 launching holiday 2013 in Japan, it is probably more sensible for Microsoft to launch it in early 2014.  The Xbox One will also launch in early 2014 for many other Asian countries. Xbox One Launch Countries for Holiday 2013: Australia Austria Belgium Brazil Canada Denmark Finland France Germany Ireland Italy Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Norway Russia Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom United States Source: Games Industry International ...

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