Review Category : Microsoft

Microsoft today announced an update to the Skype app on Xbox One. This version 1.3 available today includes two main improvements including the ability to set your Skype profile picture using Kinect and improved auto-zoon feature.  We know that your Skype profile picture says a lot about you, so with this release you’ll now be able to take a Skype profile picture using Kinect on your Xbox One. Or, if you prefer your Xbox One gamerpic, you can now also use that in your Skype profile.  We’ve also worked with the Xbox and Kinect team to bring enhancements to auto zoom so the people on the other end of the video call are getting the best possible picture experience. We found ways to better identify people in the picture, especially when there are multiple people in the room. The camera can adjust and see the entire family, even the little ...

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Microsoft today announced that the European Union’s data protection authorities have found that Microsoft’s enterprise cloud contracts meet the high standards of EU privacy law. This enables enterprise customers to use Microsoft services to move data freely through cloud from Europe to the rest of the world. This approval applies to Microsoft’s enterprise cloud services – in particular, Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Windows Intune. The EU’s 28 data protection authorities acted through their “Article 29 Working Party” to provide this approval via a joint letter. Importantly, Microsoft is the first – and so far the only – company to receive this approval. By acknowledging that Microsoft’s contractual commitments meet the requirements of the EU’s “model clauses,” Europe’s privacy regulators have said, in effect, that personal data stored in Microsoft’s enterprise cloud is subject to Europe’s rigorous privacy standards no matter where that data is located. This ...

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At the Build conference, last week, once piece of technology that we heard very little about was Windows RT (not to be confused with WinRT). Many were left wondering if Microsoft was still committed to Windows RT especially given the new leadership. All OEMs with the exceptions of Microsoft (and Nokia) had abandoned the ARM hardware. The most prominent Windows ARM tablets are the Surface RT, Surface 2, and Nokia 2520.  The Surface mini is also rumored to be based on ARM hardware.  I still maintain that ARM is the future of Windows and the desktop will die, but that is a minority opinion and a lengthier philosophical discussion for another time. Mary-Jo Foley got a chance to interview Terry Myerson who commented, among other things, about Windows RT: ZDNET: What about Windows RT — not WinRT, the API (application programming interface) — but Windows RT, the Windows flavor on ARM? ...

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Few days back, WSJ reported about Harry Shum, head of technology and research at Microsoft speaking at Think Next 2014 conference in Tel Aviv. Harry Shum said “We are now moving from the personal computer to personal computing.” Microsoft Research now has machine learning and artificial intelligence on top of its list and working on how a person interacts with a computer. Also, Microsoft is now investing heavily on invisible user interface technology in which the intelligent devices will know what you want before you tell them. Microsoft is investing heavily in “invisible user interface” technology, said Yoram Yaakobi, who heads up Microsoft’s research and development center in Israel. Yaakobi said people in the future won’t need to touch, type or speak to their devices — the devices will “know” what we want them to do before we ask. He called it “UI.Next.” “User interface started with the command prompt, ...

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Microsoft has now opened up the pre-order for Surface 2 LTE model in UK. Last month, Microsoft released Surface 2 LTE in the US market for AT&T LTE network and now they are expanding to UK. It comes with only one SKU, Surface 2 64GB (4G) will cost £539.00 incl. VAT in the UK. You can pre-order it today and the general availability is from 8th of May. You don’t have to be near a Wi-Fi connection to be able to get the most out of your Surface. Now anywhere you can get a mobile signal, you can get online .Surface 64GB 4G comes with a micro-SIM slot. Insert any pre-paid micro-SIM to start using data.9 It also comes with couple of offers, 200GB storage for two years When you put a file on OneDrive, it’s with you on all of your internet-enabled devices. Get free Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote ...

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The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. Popular internet services like Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Messenger and many others are affected by this bug. Microsoft today confirmed that Microsoft Account and Microsoft Azure, along with most Microsoft Services, were not impacted by the OpenSSL vulnerability. The Heartbleed vulnerability in OpenSSL (CVE-2014-0160) has received a significant amount of attention recently.  While the discovered issue is specific to OpenSSL, many customers are wondering whether this affects Microsoft’s offerings, specifically Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Account and Microsoft Azure, along with most Microsoft Services, were not impacted by the OpenSSL vulnerability. Windows’ implementation of SSL/TLS was also not impacted. Microsoft Azure Web Sites, Microsoft Azure Pack Web Sites and Microsoft Azure Web Roles do not use OpenSSL to terminate SSL ...

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IDC today reported that worldwide PC shipments totaled 73.4 million units in the first quarter of 2014 (1Q14), a decline of -4.4% year on year as a result of continuing weakness in consumer and emerging market segments. Windows XP was one of the main reasons for growth in commercial market segments as Microsoft is ending the support for OS. Lenovo maintained its lead in total worldwide PC shipments, followed by HP and Dell. Acer and Asus are the biggest losers in this segment as they are transitioning towards tablets and mobile devices. “Worldwide PC shipments have now declined for eight consecutive quarters as a result of shifting technology usage and competition (notably with tablets & smartphones) as well as economic pressures (including high unemployment, slow growth & investment, tight credit, and currency fluctuations) related to the Great Recession, sovereign debt crises, and their related impact on international trade,” said Loren Loverde, Vice ...

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The World Series of Poker, Full House Pro game is now available in Windows Store as a Xbox game. As you play, you can climb the leaderboard as you play across Windows 8 and Xbox 360. You can compete with up to 9 players in Ring and Tournament games. Also, you can play in world-class casinos, including Caesars Palace, Harrah’s New Orleans, and the Rio. Description: There’s no other event like it — the World Series of Poker.  Build your bankroll as you compete against players from around the world.  Personalize your experience with flashy avatar accessories, amazing chip tricks, and real world casino venues.  Download today and play for free, and be sure to come back daily for more free chips!  (The World Series of Poker® brand is owned by Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc. and used under license.) Features: Free To Play Online Multiplayer 2 – 9 Leaderboards Ring ...

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Asus VivoTab Note 8, which is the only Windows tablet that includes support for Wacom Digital Stylus with over 1,000 levels of pressure sensitivity, the stylus delivers pinpoint control and makes writing and drawing on the screen feel as natural as on paper. When not in use, you can store it in a holder at the tablet’s bottom edge. This Windows tablet is now available for just $299 from Microsoft Store. Find the deal here. Dell Venue 8 Pro Windows 8.1 tablet with 32GB internal storage is now available for just $229 from Amazon and Microsoft Store. FYI, It costs $299 from Dell.com. Dell Venue 8 Pro is a great tablet PC that runs on full Windows instead of Windows RT. Specs:  Processor: Intel® Atom™ processor Z3740D (2MB Cache, up to 1.8GHz Quad-Core) Display: 8.0 inch IPS Display with HD (WXGA 1280 x 800) resolution with 10-pt capacitive touch Memory: 2GB ...

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Yesterday, we reported that Microsoft has released Windows 8.1 Update to users via Windows Update. This update will bring improvements to keyboard and mouse users to experience Windows 8 better on non-touch device. Microsoft today reported that some enterprise users are facing issues while updating their Windows 8.1 devices. There is a known issue which causes some PCs updated with the Windows 8.1 Update (KB 2919355) to stop scanning against Windows Server Update Services 3.0 Service Pack 2 (WSUS 3.0 SP2 or WSUS 3.2) servers which are configured to use SSL and have not enabled TLS 1.2. So, Microsoft is halting the roll-out of Windows 8.1 update until the fix is done. Microsoft plans to issue an update as soon as possible that will correct the issue and restore the proper behavior for Windows 8.1 Update KB 2919355 scanning against all supported WSUS configurations. Until that time, we are delaying ...

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OneNote Engineering team celebrated the launch of OneNote for Mac app by creating a parody of One Day More song from the film Les Misérables. This is a parody of One Day More from Les Misérables celebrating our recent OneNote Mac launch on 3/17/2014. It was recorded and produced by the OneNote Engineering Team. Big shout out to Nicole Steinbok (@nicolesteinbok) and Scott Snyder too for all their work on this! OneNote for Mac is a free note taking app in Apple App Store. Similar to other Office for Mac applications, OneNote for Mac has the Ribbon user interface with a variety of options for formatting and styling your notes. Your notes can be styled however you like. You can choose that special font and color you like to use for your notes, or emphasize important content with bold, underline or highlights. A picture is worth a thousand words, so we make ...

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Microsoft today updated their OneNote on Android app. It includes one of the most requested feature of allowing you to manage your sections and notebooks. This update to the OneNote app now allows you to create notebooks on OneDrive and also create and delete sections for your OneDrive notebooks. Create a new notebook Notebooks are great way of storing, organizing and managing your notes. With this update, creating a new notebook on OneDrive is a breeze. On the Notebooks list, in the top right corner, tap the overflow menu, then tap Create Notebook. Then type your new notebook name. Create a new section for OneDrive notebooks Seriously, what good is a notebook if you can’t create a section in it? Now you have the freedom to create a new section in any of your OneDrive notebooks. On the Section list, tap the overflow menu, and then tap Create Section, and name your new section. Delete ...

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Microsoft today announced the expansion of Azure ExpressRoute ecosystem with new alliances with BT and Verizon. Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute ecosystem already includes AT&T, Equinix and Level 3 in the US. With these new partnerships, Microsoft is reducing barriers for adoption of cloud computing and accelerating the growth of Microsoft Azure by providing a more secure and reliable connectivity option for enterprise customers. BT announcement: BT and Microsoft announced today a global agreement to provide customers with high performance and more secure connectivity to Microsoft Azure, Microsoft’s public cloud platform, with Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute. Customers will be able to take advantage of the flexibility and agility offered by cloud resources, with the assurance of a dedicated, more secure connection to their data and applications. Azure ExpressRoute allows customers to bypass the public Internet when connecting to Azure through a private connection based on BT’s IP Connect VPN service. As a result, ...

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While we are all waiting to try Cortana digital assistant on Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft Research is working on virtual assistants that can handle your work in real life dealing with other people and more. Microsoft Research’s long term goal of the Situated Interaction project is to enable a new generation of interactive systems that embed interaction and computation deeply into the natural flow of everyday tasks, activities and collaborations. Example scenarios include human-robot interaction, e-home, interactive billboards, systems that monitor, assist and coordinate teams of experts through complex tasks and procedures, etc. Such an assistant could coordinate with the assistants of other people, helping to schedule social engagements, work commitments, and travel. It could anticipate your needs based on past activities—such as where you have enjoyed dining—and coordinate with businesses that offer special deals. It could help you select a movie based on which ones your friends liked. “Intelligent, ...

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Whenever someone compares Bing with Google, Bing Travel was one of the vertical in which Microsoft had a slight upper hand over Google. Bing Travel differentiates by offering predictions on when is the best time to purchase airline tickets. This flight price prediction technology was powered by Farecast, a technology that Microsoft acquired in 2008. Unlike any other travel Web site, Farecast saved online travel shoppers money with an airfare prediction for their specific trip. The company’s patented airfare prediction tool shows whether the lowest fares for their trip are rising or dropping. Farecast also provides expected price movements, historical prices and buying tips when customers search for flights. Farecast is the only travel Web site that uses a database of over 175 billion airfares to help consumers know when to buy and when they have found a good deal when shopping for travel. Microsoft has confirmed that they have ...

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Microsoft has joined with the Scripps National Spelling Bee to help integrate technology and expand the learning resources available for students and schools today.  The organization named Microsoft as the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee Technology Champion.  “Like the Scripps National Spelling Bee, Microsoft is deeply committed to supporting educators and educational programs. In fact, since 2003, Microsoft has partnered with educators to impact more than 207 million students in 119 countries,” said Paige Kimble, executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. “Through this relationship, both the Bee and Microsoft will be able to better support educators and educational programs.”  As part of this collaboration, there will be innovative tools from Microsoft that will help promote learning, including: A free Windows 8 spelling app for teachers and students available in the next few weeks on the Microsoft in Education download page. For schools enrolled in Bing for Schools ad-free, safer, more private search, there ...

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