Review Category : Microsoft

  Microsoft is keeping up to its promise of matching the price of Amazon for its Windows Azure services. As Amazon announced price reductions last week, Microsoft followed up with theirs today. Consistent with our previously announced commitment to match Amazon on prices for commodity services, we are cutting prices on compute by up to 35% and storage by up to 65%. We recognize that economics are a primary driver for some customers adopting cloud, and stand by our commitment to match prices and be best-in-class on price performance. Microsoft has also announced new Basic instance, On April 3, we will introduce a new tier of General Purpose Instances called “Basic” (A0-A4) that offers similar machine configurations as the Standard tier of instances offered today (Extra Small [A0] to Extra Large [A4]). These instances will cost up to 27% less than the corresponding instances in use today (which will now be ...

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Microsoft Exchange came up with ActiveSync technology and all major smartphones comes with Exchange ActiveSync support. Microsoft works closely with leading phone OEMs like Apple and Samsung to have great built-in support for Exchange allowing consumers to enjoy Exchange mail contents using their built-in mail client. Along with that, Microsoft is releasing Outlook Web App for devices to enable latest features for users. After OWA release for iOS devices, Microsoft today announced Outlook Web App for Android devices. We also want our customers and users to have access to the latest features in Exchange. Of course, the Windows Phone team continues to provide the most comprehensive support for the latest Exchange features in the native Outlook app on Windows phones. On iPhone and iPad, we released the OWA app last year. And today we announced that we will be releasing the OWA app for Android as our latest step in that journey. ...

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Microsoft has announced for free games for Xbox Live Gold members for this month. It includes Hitman: Absolution And Deadlight. Starting Tuesday (April 1st) Hitman: Absolution (Normally US $19.99) will be free for Xbox Live Gold members through April 15th. Then on April 16th, Xbox Live Gold Members can download Deadlight (Normally US $14.99) for free through April 30th. The “Games With Gold” program gives Xbox LIVE Gold Members 2 free games to keep each month. A new title will be available the 1st and 16th of each month. ...

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At this week’s Microsoft Exchange Conference, Microsoft is previewing features that will be coming to Outlook Web App in Office 365 later this year. The three new features detailed are “Clutter,” enhanced document collaboration, and groups. Clutter: This is the core goal of “clutter,” the codename for a new feature in Outlook Web App in Office 365. At its heart, it intends to remove as much unimportant mail, or clutter, from a user’s inbox as possible so that a user’s inbox can, well, become their inbox again. At a high level, clutter is pretty simple. We know that in most businesses, people spend a great deal of time just trying to keep up with the volume of email coming into their inboxes throughout the day. How they manage that email can then serve as a blueprint for what is important to them. Enhanced Document Collaboration: Outlook Web App now includes ...

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Microsoft’s Bing.com includes a feature called Snapshot which brings together information that you need at a glance, with rich connections to deeper information on the people, places, and things you care about made possible by our deep understanding of the real world. Bing.com has now added an additional 150 million entities encompassing web actives, doctors, dentists, lawyers, and individual real estate properties. Now when you search for a medical professional, e.g., {dr rhonda newton sammamish}, Bing returns the Snapshot of the professional that includes their specialty, experience, education as well as address and phone number. Searching for new home or heading to a friend’s house for dinner? Now you can get detailed information about an address directly from the Snapshot. Because Bing marries its understanding about entities with web search, you often don’t even need to type in the complete address. E.g., instead of {2700 point dr highland park il 60035}, you can ...

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An internal email made public by Microsoft shows CEO Satya Nadella fine tuning his senior leadership team.  In in widely expected move Scott Guthrie has been promoted from acting leader for the Cloud and Enterprise organization to Executive Vice President. Guthrie essentially takes over Nadella’s old position prior to becoming CEO. Following Marc Whitten’s resignation, Phil Spencer has been promoted to take on a new role leading Xbox, combining the Xbox and Xbox Live development teams with the Microsoft Studios team.  Interestingly Spencer reports to Terry Myerson.  Yusuf Mehdi retains his position leading business strategy and marketing for Xbox. George Peckham will continue to head up third-party partnerships with Xbox.  And we finally hear of Sinofsky lieutenant Mike Angiulo who will continue leading Xbox hardware. Also as expected Stephen Elop will join Microsoft as Executive Vice President, Microsoft Devices Group, reporting directly to Nadella.  The Nokia deal is now expected to close ...

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 Microsoft’s Build developer conference is starting this week and just in time Microsoft has revealed the full list of sessions that will take place at Build. Lots of sessions related to next generation Windows Phone platform, next gen .Net apps and more are happening. I found some interesting sessions which developers would find it interesting. Check them out below. Understanding the Xbox One Game Platform Built on Windows Windows Desktop Development Platform Advancements – Delight users of your desktop apps by taking advantages of touch/pen/mouse/touchpad input, high DPI displays, and rich animations. In this talk for Win32 developers, we cover desktop platform advances in Windows 8.1 Update. Windows and the Internet of Things - Connected, smart devices have become pervasive. These “Things” already outnumber more traditional computing devices and are set to surpass the 100 billion devices mark within a few short years. In this session you’ll learn about how ...

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Longtime Microsoft executive Antoine Leblond will be leaving the company Monday, after his 9000th day at the company. “After almost 25 years, I’ve decided it’s time for me to go out and see what the non-Microsoft world has to offer,” Leblond said in an e-mail to colleagues. “Every single day I have had here has been amazing in its own way, and I will never look back on all of these years with anything but fondness, pride in what we’ve accomplished together, and a real appreciation for having been lucky enough to be part of so many awesome things,” Leblond said. “I am sad to leave all of you, but also incredibly excited for what comes next.” Leblond came to the public light after replacing Michael Angiulo.  Leblond was a key executive who helped to drive Sinofsky’s strategy.  We reported in September of last year that he been stripped of ...

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Somewhat unexpectedly Microsoft has confirmed that Halo: Spartan Assault will launch on Steam’s digital distribution service on April 5th.   Halo: Spartan Assault was an exclusive to Windows Phone originally but later debuted on the Windows 8 Store.  It has also come out on the Xbox One and 360. Steam and confirms that it will include 30 missions that not only deliver intense gameplay, but also explore the Spartan Ops program seen in Halo 4.  Special features include Steam achievements, leaderboards, and Steam trading cards, and Steam Cloud save games.  The cooperative mode has been stripped from this version of the game. Features: Epic campaign featuring 30 action packed levels with a brand new Halo story set just before the events of Halo 4. Command many of your favorite Halo weapons, vehicles, and armor abilities, and customize your Spartan to create the perfect Spartan warrior. Complete weekly challenges for XP and ...

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Microsoft Bing team is known for testing new features and tweaks to a small group of users to analyze the usage before rolling it out to millions of users. We have come across many such features in the past, recently we have spotted a few more.  It is possible Bing may be preparing the make some announcements at the Build conference next week. A little over a week ago we reported the new Story Timeline feature.  We have continued to see this feature pop up randomly on recent events:     Bing is also testing a new way to show images on a given web search.  Here is how Bing currently look with a search for Reese Witherspoon.   Here is the new look   The new UX shows a carousel of images at the top rather than a rectangular block of 6-8 images. Popular topics get their own image ...

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Before Microsoft Qi Lu was best known for leading Yahoo’s search efforts.  After his departure from the company in 2008, Lu was personally recruited by Ballmer to join the Redmond software giant. Lu was instrumental in creating the search alliance partnership with Yahoo and the launch of the rebranded Bing.   Lu is known as an atypical executive often found wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and sandals with socks. With Ballmer’s reorganization plan Lu was promoted from President of the online services division to executive vice president of Microsoft’s Applications and Services Group.   This expanded Lu’s responsibilities, in addition to Bing & Advertising he now oversees Microsoft Office, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, Yammer, Lync, Skype. With the recent announcement of Office for the iPad, Recode interviewed Qi Lu. When asked about the top problems they are facing right now, Lu replied that their main focus is now on  deliver experiences and scenarios that ...

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Yahoo has changed significantly since Marissa Mayer took over the company.  In fact before she became CEO, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had a deal with then interim CEO Ross Levinsohn wherein Yahoo would turn over its entire search business — patents and all — in exchange for Microsoft’s large online media property, MSN.com, and long-term, guaranteed cash payments.  Within 24 hours of hearing the deal Mayer killed it and fired the executive who had spent months negotiating it.   A few months later rumors came about that Mayer had met with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to discuss the possibility of partnering to create a search engine. Some time later Mayer tried to slow the rollout of its search deal with Microsoft.  Court filings showed Mayer questioned Microsoft’s commitment.  A U.S. judge ended up ruling that Yahoo must adopt Microsoft’s search technology in Taiwan and Hong Kong under their partnership.  Mayer ...

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Microsoft announced Office for iPad two days back and it is already a hit among consumers. While the free download only allows you to view or present the documents, Office 365 subscription allows you to create and edit documents on the go. Office 365 subscription costs around $99 per year (Amazon is now offering for a deal price of $67). According to Office 365 licensing terms, you can use Office on 5 PCs or Macs plus five iPads or Windows tablets. CNET has now discovered that Microsoft is now enforcing the 5 tablets limit on Office 365 accounts. This loophole will allow any iPad user to use a single Office 365 subscription ID to unlock editing features on Office for iPad apps. Microsoft provided the following statement on this loophole, “Similar to our commercial use rights, we do not strictly enforce the limit on tablet installations, but trust that our users ...

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Many years ago when Android started to become more popular and eat into the iPhone’s dominance, Apple made a decision to lessen their reliance on Google.  In what became a PR nightmare, Apple created their own mapping solution and stopped using Google Maps.  In addition on the backend, Siri is now powered by Bing.  This was done well over a year ago and an announcement was made at the time.  Up until now we have not had any numbers as to how many queries Bing receives from Siri users.   Qi Lu, the longtime head of Microsoft’s search and online services, shed some light on this in a recent interview with Recode: We haven’t heard a lot about search in a while. We’ve heard that Yahoo hasn’t been very happy with the partnership. Is it critical to Bing’s future to have that Yahoo partnership? We’re very happy with the Yahoo partnership. ...

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In the wake of the  Kibkalo/Canouna controversy Microsoft has made some fundamental privacy changes for Outlook.com (Hotmail) email accounts.  Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith gave us an update on the changes: Effective immediately, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property from Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves. Instead, we will refer the matter to law enforcement if further action is required. Google, Yahoo, and Apple have made no such changes to their privacy policies.  This is the right move for consumers and Microsoft should be applauded for making the changes.  That being said I think this “controversy” was taken way out of proportion and was twisted and sensationalized by the mainstream anti-Microsoft tech media. Source: Microsoft on the Issues ...

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Earlier this week, Microsoft announced the launch of Microsoft Video Network, a new offering that enables advertisers to buy user-initiated, non-skippable pre-roll video ads on brand-safe sites across 350 publishers. The Microsoft Video Network will help advertisers to reach for their campaigns outside of Microsoft’s owned and operated properties. Microsoft claims that Microsoft Video Network is hugely competitive when it comes to audience targeting, using a combination of Microsoft’s unique first party data along with leading third-party data providers. Over the past six years advertising budgets have moved away from traditional TV and into online video –accelerated by changes in traditional media consumption such as multiscreen and on-demand viewing, alongside technological advances that have led to digital media buying becoming less and less complex. These factors have led to video advertising spend rising approximately 85 per cent year on year according to the IAB, with the current supply and demand models ...

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