Review Category : Microsoft

Microsoft has been a strong supporter of 3D printing.  The company developed a 3D printer class driver for Windows 8.1 and carries select 3D printers at all of its Microsoft stores. On September 5th, 2013, The Maker Garage hosted their biggest Science Fair ever, showcasing grassroots innovations from hardware projects around Microsoft, and commemorated the opening of the new Maker Garage space with Chris Anderson coming to speak about how the maker movement is transforming our world. ...

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Both Nokia and Apple announced their new tablet devices a day before. Here is the comparison of both the devices in terms of specs. While both of them have almost similar specs and functionalities with their own merits and demerits, it comes down to price and the platform. Apple’s iPad Air is running on iOS where Nokia Lumia 2520 runs on Microsoft’s Windows RT 8.1. Nokia Lumia 2520 with 32GB storage and LTE costs $499 whereas Apple iPad Air with 32GB storage and LTE costs $729! As you can see, Lumia 2520 offers incredible value for money when compared to iPad Air. Feature Nokia Lumia 2520 Apple iPad Air Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon™ 800 Apple A7 chip Display size 10.1” 9.7” Display Resolution/Pixel Density 1920 x 1080 // 218 ppi 2048 x 1536 // 264 ppi Size and Dimensions Length: 168 mm Width: 267 mm Thickness: 8.9 mm Weight: 615 g   Length: 240 mm ...

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We are just a month away from Xbox One launch. We are yet to get all the details about it as Microsoft is revealing them every week as we move towards the launch date. A leaked user manual of Xbox One Kinect has revealed the minimum distance requirement to use the sensor. The new minimum distance requirement is just 1.4 meters (over 4.5-feet) which is significantly lower than the previous version of Kinect. So, people who have less space in their home should be happy to hear this! Console/Sensor dimensions: Console (LxWxH): 13.1″ x 10.8″ x 3.1″ 33.3cm x 27.4cm x 7.9cm Kinect 2 (LxWxH): 9.8″ x 2.6″ x 2.63″ 24.9cm x 6.6cm x 6.7cm Kinect cable approx. 9.5 feet (2.9m) long via: NeoGAF Source: Jogos (PDF) ...

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In Windows 8 devices, the Start Screen always had the Desktop tile pinned by default. It allowed users to quickly move in and out of desktop mode from the Start screen. However, Microsoft has a different view on this and the Desktop tile is no longer part of the default tiles pinned in the Start Screen of Windows RT 8.1 devices. Users can always pin it again, but I think it is yet another step from Microsoft to move users away from traditional desktop mode. Microsoft provided the following statement regarding this action, “The only desktop apps without modern versions which run on RT are the Office apps: Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. In order to streamline access to them, we pinned those apps directly to the first page of Start. Clicking any of these takes you directly to that Desktop app. You can also bring up the switch list ...

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When Microsoft announced the 2nd generation Surface device Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, they said that the original Surface RT will remain on sale as a lower end model. However, they confirmed that there will be only one Pro model going forward which is Surface Pro 2. So, the original Surface Pro has got its end of life. In an effort to clearing out its inventories which have older models of Surface Pro, Microsoft today announced a new price cut for the original Surface Pro. Surface Pro 64 GB  – $699 Surface Pro 128GB – $799 Surface Pro 256GB – $999 You can order it here from Microsoft Store. You can get new Surface Pro 2 here and Surface 2 here from Microsoft Store. ...

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Windows 8.1 includes new advertising capabilities that will help developers monetize their apps. Specifically,  Windows 8.1 includes a unique identifier that can be used to improve the quality and relevance of advertisements displayed within Windows Store apps while providing other services such as analytics and app-discovery. The advertising ID was also created with privacy in mind and consumers can control when it is on or off. Today Microsoft has made available the software development kits (SDKs) that leverage the advertising ID from: Microsoft Advertising, with an updated version of Ad SDK (version # 8.1.30909) available in Visual Studio 2013 GA. MediaBrix, for their Breakthrough Moments™ (BTMs) cross-platform technology, which reaches game players at natural, critical points in gameplay where people are most receptive to brand messages. LeadBolt for their mobile app discovery, advertising, and monetization platform, using AppFireworks for actionable analytics and a cross promotion platform. These SDKs will better ...

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Our very own Pradeep penned an excellent post yesterday: Reality Distortion Field: How Apple Assaulted Microsoft At Its Media Event It’s a great look at how Apple distorts the truth and blatantly lies at their press event.  This generally would not be a problem if you have unbiased and responsible press core.  But sadly this is of course not the case, and the majority of tech press has a love for Apple that is second only to their own ego. Apple’s announced yesterday that the next update to their OS, Maverick would be free.  You might think this is the first time a major technology has ever done this, if you ignore Android and Windows 8.1.  Apple also announced that the next iteration to the iWorks suite would be free to with the purchase of new Apple hardware.  Reading the mainstream tech press you may think this is the first time a major technology company has made some software ...

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Microsoft has acquired Apiphany—a leading API management delivery platform.  The one year old company is based in Washington D.C. and the terms of the deal were not disclosed.  Steve Martin, general manager of Windows Azure Business and Marketing stated in a blog post: While there is nothing new about app extensibility, cloud computing has rapidly accelerated the use cases for extensibility which has increased the value of the APIs. As you might expect, with expansion and increased value, comes additional work to expose APIs reliably, securely and at scale.  Our newly acquired API management services provide businesses of any size the tools they need to expose particular endpoints while selectively gating access to more sensitive data and services.   We look forward to surfacing API management services within Windows Azure and providing our customers with the technology they need to grow their API ecosystem very soon.  With the acquisition Apiphany ...

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer tried to slow the rollout of its search deal with Microsoft.  Court filings show Mayer questioned Microsoft’s commitment; this is only the latest sign that the two company’s strategic relationship is fraying. A U.S. judge ruled on Monday that Yahoo must adopt Microsoft’s search technology in Taiwan and Hong Kong under their partnership, forged in 2010, to try and lessen Google dominance in search advertising. The ruling, which comes roughly two months after Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced plans to retire within 12 months, hints at a widening gulf between the two companies at a time when both are re-setting their strategies and trying to adapt to changing market conditions. Yahoo, who has been critical of the partnership in the past, said it wanted to hold off switching to Microsoft technology in certain markets until Mayer had a chance to discuss the partnership with Ballmer’s successor, ...

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The Internet Explorer team has announced a partnership with Red Bull Media House to bring an immersive freeride mountain biking experience to the web in IE11. The site is part of Red Bull’s ultimate freeride downhill mountain bike contest, Rampage, which took place on October 11-13 in the Southern Utah desert. The event was live streamed over the weekend, allowing users to vote for the winner. The IE team has updated the Rampage site with a beautiful and immersive experience that delivers all of the top highlights from Red Bull Rampage. The site showcases a 3D map of the downhill course, rider bios, videos from the most epic runs, and a “behind the scenes” video. The Red Bull Rampage site takes advantage of the latest web standards like HTML5 and WebGL, demonstrating the real-world possibilities for 3D graphics and providing a great example of what’s possible in a modern browser ...

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Playstation fans in Brazil are looking for a second job as Sony announced their upcoming next generation console will cost nearly $1850 USD in the South American country.  The reason for the high cost has to do with the high import tax placed on electronics and other goods not produced in the country.  For some Brazilians it may be cheaper to fly the US buy the console and fly back.   Sony has decided to pass most of the cost onto the consumer. Microsoft on other hand has decided to eat the majority of the cost of their more expensive console and will only charge Brazilians approximately $1000 for the Xbox One. Source: Game Informer ...

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Not a surprise here. Microsoft’s next generation Surface Pro device Surface Pro 2 scored the same Repairability Score as its predecessor. It scored 1 out of 10, while 10 being the easiest to repair. Microsoft Surface Pro 2 Repairability Score: 1 out of 10 (10 is easiest to repair) The battery is not soldered to the motherboard—so it can be replaced without soldering, if not without great difficulty. The SSD can be replaced, but not without first risking damage to the tablet simply by opening it. There are over 90 screws inside this device. Mechanical fasteners are great, but frankly, we draw the line at 89. The display assembly consists of a fused glass panel and LCD, and is extremely difficult to remove and replace. Tons of adhesive hold everything in place, including the display and battery. The delicate and arduous opening procedure leaves no room for mistakes: one slip-up, ...

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  Apple had a media event yesterday in the US where it announced a new wave of updated products across its portfolio. During its presentation, Apple executives compared Microsoft’s strategy with theirs to make their point. I disagree with all three cases they made against Microsoft. Here are they, 1) Apple CEO Tim Cook made the following statement to make the point that they are clearly focused on developing MacOS and MacBooks. “Our competition is different: They’re confused. They chased after netbooks. Now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they’ll do next? I can’t answer that question, but I can tell you that we’re focused.” My take on it: Windows OEMs were focused on selling netbooks because it really sold well. In fact, totally 40 million netbooks were sold in 2008. Netbooks defined the category of companion device which will go along ...

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Microsoft has quietly rebranded the Surface RT tablet. The ‘Surface RT’ will be now known as just ‘Surface’. The second generation Surface is called ‘Surface 2′, so it makes sense to make the first generation device branding inline with the current product offering. Microsoft now has the following three devices on sale, Surface – $349 Surface 2 – $449 Surface Pro 2 – $899 What do you think of the new rebranding? Source: Microsoft ...

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Windows RT 8.1 update is now back in Windows Store. Microsoft released Windows RT 8.1 update for Surface users last week and later pulled it from Windows Store as few users experienced issues while updating. Microsoft was aware of the issue and it was working on a fix for past couple of days. Microsoft provided the following statement on this issue, “This was due to a rare situation where firmware updates had not completed at the time of the update to RT 8.1. In most cases, if a customer encountered this issue the result was simply an extra reboot. However, for a very small percentage, the boot configuration data was affected which prevented a successful boot. We worked to quickly resolve the issue and now encourage customers to update their Surface RT devices. Surface Pro and 8.1 customers were not impacted by this issue.     “As previously announced, there is ...

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Microsoft today announced the release of the new Bing Speech Recognition Control, Bing Optical Character Recognition Control and Bing Translator Control for Windows 8.1 devices. Using these controls, developers can create apps that are more knowledgeable, natural, and aware applications. Check out the Bing developer center for other useful resources, including code samples, for building smarter, more useful applications. Give Your Machine the Gift of Sight – Bing Optical Character Recognition in Six Additional Languages From recognizing text in documents to the identification of email addresses, phone numbers, and URLs to the extraction of coupon codes, adding the power of sight to your Windows 8.1 Store app opens a host of new scenarios developers can enable to enhance their applications. Coming out of Customer Technical Preview, the Bing Optical Character Recognition Control for Windows 8.1 now supports six new languages: Russian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish and Chinese Simplified in addition to the existing language support ...

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