Review Category : Microsoft

Microsoft has been churning out Windows 8.1 information lately.  While most of the consumer and developer information will come in June at the BUILD conference, Microsoft has just put online the Windows 8.1 landing page.  We likely see more official information regarding Win8.1 from Microsoft on this page. Check it out for yourself. Source: Microsoft ...

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Microsoft has made some nice improvements to Windows Azure, making it significantly cheaper for developers. Dev/Test in the Cloud: MSDN Use Rights, Unbeatable MSDN Discount Rates, MSDN Monetary Credits BizTalk Services: Great new service for Windows Azure that enables EDI and EAI integration in the cloud Per-Minute Billing and No Charge for Stopped VMs: Now only get charged for the exact minutes of compute you use, no compute charges for stopped VMs SSL Support with Web Sites: Support for both IP Address and SNI based SSL bindings on custom web-site domains Active Directory: Updated directory sync utility, ability to manage Office 365 directory tenants from Windows Azure Management Portal Free Trial: More flexible Free Trial offer A number of enhancements to Windows Azure to make a better environment in which to do dev/test: No Charge for Stopped VMs Pay by the Minute Billing MSDN Use Rights now supported on Windows Azure ...

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Skype team today released an update for Skype app for Windows 8 which brings in enhanced HD videos call support and improved video messaging experience. New Features: Enhanced HD Video Support We’ve added support for HD video in select scenarios. Depending on the sender’s camera, available network bandwidth and the receiver’s setup on x86 devices, callers may be able to send 720p video and receive 1080p video, thereby improving the overall quality and performance of the video call. Video Messaging continues in Preview We continue to improve video messaging and encourage you to try it. Video messaging enables you to share life moments with contacts whether they’re off or online. With this release we improved the stability of video messaging and made video messaging easier to find with improved notifications. Download it here from Windows Store for free. ...

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Microsoft has been talking about new features in Windows 8.1 at TechEd New Orleans 2013.  Some new features include NFC tap-to-pair printing – Tap your Windows 8.1 device against an enterprise NFC-enabled printer and you’re all set to print. No more hunting on your network for the correct printer and no need to buy a special printer; just attach a NFC tag to your existing machines. And you don’t need to buy new printers to take advantage of this; you can simply put an NFC tag on your existing printers to enable this functionality. Wi-Fi Direct printing – Connect to Wi-Fi Direct printers without adding additional drivers or software on your Windows 8.1 device, forming a peer-to-peer network between your device and the printer. Broadband tethering – Turn your Windows 8.1 mobile broadband-enabled PC or tablet into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing other devices to connect and access the internet. ...

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We previously reported Windows 8.1’s enterprise features, among these is native support for wireless format Miracast. This gives users an easy way to mirror their screens on supported devices.  Miracast was designed as an open alternative to Apple’s AirPlay.  This technology may also pop up in the Xbox.  An equivalent Airplay technology for Windows has been a much requested feature for quite some time, it’s looks like its finally here.     ...

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In last year’s Shareholder Letter, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wrote Last year in this letter I said that over time, the full value of our software will be seen and felt in how people use devices and services at work and in their personal lives. This is a significant shift, both in what we do and how we see ourselves — as a devices and services company. It impacts how we run the company, how we develop new experiences, and how we take products to market for both consumers and businesses. The work we have accomplished in the past year and the roadmap in front of us brings this to life. I think we can all agree Microsoft certainly has moved to become more of a devices and services.  Products have been unified, brands have been solidified, and a faster, bolder company has emerged. Ballmer is now planning on a ...

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Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft is planning on cutting the price of WinRT for small-sized (8 inch) tablets.  Microsoft originally restricted which OEMs would be allowed to produce WinRT tablets, but now Microsoft is looking to expand the number of OEMs producing WinRT tablets.  With more flexibility and cheaper WinRT software the OEMs will have a greater ability to compete against Android tablets and the iPad mini. It remains to be seen if the OEMs want to create a compelling WinRT tablet and will put the marketing muscle behind it to sell.  The SurfaceRT remains the most successful WinRT tablet, and an 8 inch version is expected to be unveiled later this month.  With Intel’s introduction of Haswell and a refreshed Atom processor, the problem of battery life is diminishing.  However, WinRT tablets will be cheaper and may be a compelling buy for consumers who do not need legacy software.   ...

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Asus is launching a rather unique PC peripheral, which it calls the VivoMouse.  The VivoMouse combines a desktop touchpad with an wireless mouse.  Asus claims this is the world’s first combination of mouse and touchpad. Asus says this mouse will be ideal for using a PC with a TV or projector due to its thumb control and circular touchpad.  The mouse comes with full Windows 7 and 8 support.  Including swipe gestures, opening charms bar, two finger scroll, and pinch-to-zoom. Availability is set for Q3 2013, pricing has not been announced yet. Source: The Verge   ...

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Along with Acer and Asus, Dell announced a new Windows 8 convertible device called XPS 11. The new Dell XPS 11 functions similar to Lenovo Yoga 11s. You can flip the display 180 degrees to use it like tablet. Also the keyboard looks like a flat Surface keyboard.  On the internals, Dell one uped both Yoga 11 and Surface devices. It will come standard with a 2,560 x 1,440 IPS display, an active digitizer for pressure-sensitive pen input, Intel Core i5 Haswell processor, a USB 3.0, Thunderbolt and an SD card reader. Availability of the device is expected only in Q4 2013.   Prices start at $799.99 for a Core i3 processor unit with 4GB of memory and a 128GB solid-state drive and run to $1,349.99 for a Core i7 model with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. The multi-touch HD screen offers a resolution of 1,366×768 pixels. The ...

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ASUS today announced a new Ultrabook hybrid device called Transformer Book Trio which runs both Windows 8 and Android on Intel Core i7 and Intel Atom processors respectively at Computex 2013. Read about it below. Chairman Jonney Shih introduces the Transformer Book Trio and other revolutionary products that transform consumers’ expectations of technology Computex, Taipei, Taiwan (3 June, 2013) – ASUS today announced incredible new products at it’s “We Transform” Computex 2013 press event that transform consumers’ expectations about technology. Chairman Jonney Shih revealed the ASUS way of Design Thinking and introduced an entire line of innovative devices designed to simplify today’s digital lifestyle. “We seek to perfect the balance between engineering and humanity, where every intricate detail echoes our needs for both emotion and function,” said ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih. “This is the ASUS way of design thinking, where every idea starts with people and we turn our imagination ...

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  At Computex 2013 in Taipei, Asus announced its new  Zenbook Infinity Ultrabook running Windows 8. This new Ultrabook features a touchscreen display, backlit keyboard and Gorilla Glass 3 lid. This Ultrabook has a maximum thickness of just 15.5mm which is about 14 percent thinner than the previous Zenbooks. There are also two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card slot, micro-HDMI port and a Mini DisplayPort. The release of this device is only in Q4 2013, so no news on pricing and exact specs. via: Engadget ...

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After numerous leaks, it’s official. Acer has finally announced Iconia We, the first 8-inch Windows 8 tablet that comes pre-installed with Microsoft Office. The slim and sleek device weighs only 540 grams and measures only 11.35 mm thin and the device pairs with an optional full-size Bluetooth keyboard. Taipei (June 3, 2012) Acer today unveiled the Acer Iconia W3, the industry’s first full-featured 8.1-inch tablet running Windows 8, bringing entertainment and full PC capabilities into a single hand. Further solidifying its spot as the ultimate mobile companion, the Acer Iconia W3 comes pre-installed with Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013, a €139 ¹value, at no additional expense. The Iconia W3 carefully considers the human element with a design that is compact enough to use comfortably in one hand for reading and web browsing, yet sports a screen large enough for both productivity and entertainment. As a result, it’s ideal for business ...

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Acer today announced an enhanced flagship ultrabook, the Aspire S7. The updated S7 now features 33% improved battery life, 2nd generation Acer TwinAir cooling, Intel Haswell processors and WQHD display technology. TAIPEI, TAIWAN (June 3, 2013) Acer presents the next-generation 13.3-inch Aspire S7Ultrabook™ at Computex Taipei. In addition to retaining the celebrated characteristics of the previous model, the new S7 Ultrabook has improved battery life for all-day computing, a refined electroluminescent (EL) backlit keyboard for more natural typing, and 2nd generation Acer TwinAir cooling with less fan noise. In addition, it is equipped with wireless display (WiDi) technology for big-screen entertainment and productivity. “We designed the S7 to be the best touch Ultrabook® in the world, bar none,” said Jim Wong, Acer Corporate President. “We listened carefully to users to find substantial ways to make it even better.” The re-engineered S7 delivers improved battery life of up to 7 hours, a 33% increase ...

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Microsoft issued a statement on the departure of Tony Scott, their former CIO: “Tony Scott decided to depart Microsoft to focus on personal projects. While at Microsoft, Tony was a strong IT leader passionate about taking Microsoft’s technology to the next level and using our experiences and learnings to help customers and partners. We thank Tony for his contributions and wish him well.” Previously, Scott was CTO at General Motors and vice president of operations at Bristol-Myers Squibb.  Tony Scott was Disney’s CIO right before joining Microsoft and helped forge a better relation between Microsoft and Disney.  Some of you may remember that Tony Scott replaced Stuart Scott (no relation) who was fired for violating company policies. Jim Dubois, vice president of IT product and services management at Microsoft, will service as interim CIO until a replacement is named. I think longtime Microsoft observer Mary Branscombe said it best: People leave ...

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For those keeping track, a leaked screenshot from build 9418 shows a new way to transfer settings and other data from a Windows 8.1 PC to another Windows 8.1 PC.  It appears that a wizard will helps you transfer settings from Skydrive.  This will include app settings, specific info from apps, other devices connect to your PC, and other PC settings that do not sync between PCs. Hopefully this makes it easier for those who need to transfer their settings to a new PC.  See the full screenshot below. Source: WinBeta via Weibo ...

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The browser wars are back on and Microsoft has been making significant gains. Net Applications released their monthly report yesterday. Internet Explorer’s total marketshare is nearly 56% now and between April and May the browser gained 0.18 percentage points.  In the same time period Firefox has gained 0.33 percentage points to 20.63 percent.  Chrome has lost 0.61 percentage points and now only commands 15.74 of browser marketshare.  I am going to skip over Opera and Safari. With Microsoft pushing IE10 through Windows Update on Windows 7, IE10 marketshare has been surging.  IE10 has gained 3.24% while IE9 lost 2.78%.  I’m sure you’ll see a couple blogs with the headline “IE9 loses marketshare.” IE8 remains the world’s most popular browser on Windows XP with 22.99%, dipping .09 percentage points.  Windows XP users cannot upgrade past IE8, and really should upgrade their OS with XP nearing end of life.  IE10 is now ...

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