Review Category : Microsoft

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, speaking at the Gartner conference in Orlando, hinted about the future of Office.  As a ‘Devices & Services’ company it only makes sense that Office would be on multiple platforms.  However, a touch optimized version of Office would likely hit Windows devices first (i.e. Surface etc) and later on to other platforms, iPad & Android tablets.  Use of Office on an iPad will most likely require an Office 365 subscription.  “Word, PowerPoint and Excel are all sort of authoring tools. They are optimized for use with keyboards and mice. The last time I checked, the iPad didn’t have a paradigm for keyboard and mice,” Ballmer said. “So iPad will be picked up when we do what I would call not just a touch-enabled but a touch-first user interface for Word, Excel and PowerPoint.” The touch-first interface of those programs “is in progress, for both Windows 8 ...

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Microsoft today announced that its retail stores will host midnight launch events for Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 in 10 cities across the country. And one winner and a guest in each city will attend ultimate concert experience with Pitbull performing at Microsoft’s retail store opening in Orlando at Mall at Millenia. Here is the press release. REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 9, 2013 — Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced it is hosting a series of midnight launch events at 10 Microsoft retail stores across the nation to celebrate the launch of Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. Starting at 10 p.m. local time on Oct. 21, each participating store will host the Surface Challenge, offering contestants in each market a chance to go head-to-head in a series of fun, interactive and sometimes physical games for a chance to be whisked away to Orlando, Fla., the next morning for the ...

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Even though Microsoft Surface is available in retail in more than 25 countries, Microsoft didn’t begin selling Surface tablets via commercial resellers. Microsoft announced few authorized resellers for Surface devices in the US in July and then now, Microsoft is expanding the commercial channel availability to 29 markets where Surface is already available in retail. This is a great news for enterprises which often relies on resellers for their device purchases. “As of Oct 1, we have implemented the initial phase of our commercial channel expansion plan, making Surface available commercially in all 29 markets where we are currently in retail. We are taking a measured and phased approach to expanding commercial channel availability for Surface in an effort to provide the best possible experience for our customers. We are exploring future phases of the program and we have nothing further to share at this time.” Source: ZDNET ...

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Toshiba has announced new Z-series family of business laptops powered by Windows 8.1 Pro. The Portégé Z30 comes with a 13.3-inch optional touchscreen and it is a super-premium, powerful, and thin laptop. The Tecra Z40 features a 14.1” screen. And the Tecra Z50 comes with a 15.6” screen with full numeric keypad. All these devices are powered by 4th generation Intel Core processor up to core i7 and will have spill resistant keyboards, optional TPM, etc,. Toshiba has also announced the new Satellite Z30 with a battery life of up to 12 hours. Like its Z-series, Z30 has been through Toshiba’s gamut of testing and is drop and spill resistant. The Z-series and Satellite Z30 will be available in Europe during the fourth quarter in 2013 ...

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Microsoft announced the new security bounty programs few months back and it have now paid out over $128,000 over to various security experts around the world. Yesterday, Microsoft announced their first ever $100,000 bounty for James Forshaw for finding a new class of attack technique on Microsoft’s products. Read more on it below. Congratulations to James Forshaw for coming up with a new exploitation technique to get our first ever $100,000 bounty. A security vulnerability researcher with Context Information Security, James already came in hot with design level bugs he found during the IE11 Preview Bug Bounty, and we’re thrilled to give him even more money for helping us improve our platform-wide security by leaps. Coincidentally, one of our brilliant engineers at Microsoft, Thomas Garnier, had also found a variant of this class of attack technique. Microsoft engineers like Thomas are constantly evaluating ways to improve security, but James’ submission ...

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Microsoft today released set of updates for Surface Pro devices which brings in support for using Type Cover 2 or Surface Touch Cover 2 and device driver updates to optimize Surface Pro for Windows 8.1 which is getting released later this month. October 2013 updates: In preparation for the release of Windows 8.1, these additional updates were released for Surface Pro running Windows 8.0: •UEFI firmware updates. •System Aggregator firmware updates. •Various device driver updates to enhance the Windows 8.1 update experience, and optimizations for using Type Cover 2 or Surface Touch Cover 2. Note These updates should be applied prior to updating to Windows 8.1. Source: Microsoft ...

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Microsoft today released an update for Skype app for Android tablets. This new v4.4 brings in new look that puts conversations first, displaying your most recent calls and chats, improved video call quality up to four times the resolution of previous versions, with enhanced clarity and frame rates. In addition, Skype for Android 4.4 has several bug fixes and quality improvements: Accessibility improvements with full support for TalkBack screen reader Updates that address incoming call issues, including one that was causing phones to reboot Additional changes to audio routing Display and UX enhancements when switching orientation You can download the update starting today in the Play Store. It will be available for the Kindle Fire tablets later this month. ...

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Fujitsu today doubled its Touch portfolio of LIFEBOOK Notebooks and Tablet PCs targeted towards businesses. Fujitsu LIFEBOOK U904 Ultrabook comes with 3200×1800 IGZO touch display while LIFEBOOK S904 Ultrabook comes with clear-cut 13.3-inch 2560×1440  touch display. Fujitsu also announced couple of 2-in-1s and tablets. All these devices will come with Windows 8.1 pre-installed. Read full press release after the break. Fujitsu today launches an entire portfolio of business-class notebook and tablet PCs. With more than 20 years heritage in innovating tablet PCs that are built for the enterprise but designed for the user, Fujitsu has created a full range of ‘All New in Touch’ devices that empower people to achieve their full potential – at work or at play on their selected device – while instinctively feeling secure and in control. Fujitsu is committed to delivering a range of future-proof features that people need to achieve their differing tasks, while meeting the ...

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Rather than over-anaylze Microsoft’s final shareholder letter, I have decided to simply re-post the full text.  Simply read it for what it is.  Remember the audience of this letter is primarily investors, and there are legal implications for everything written in here and must be in compliance with the SEC. The letter includes a new mission statement, since Microsoft did accomplish its first mission “…a PC on every desk…” I have added some emphasis on statements that stood out to me.  Shareholder letter: TO OUR SHAREHOLDERS, CUSTOMERS, PARTNERS AND EMPLOYEES: This is a unique letter for me — the last shareholder letter I will write as the CEO of the company I love. We have always believed that technology will unleash human potential and that is why I have come to work every day with a heart full of passion for more than 30 years. Fiscal Year 2013 was a ...

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Microsoft yesterday posted another blog post in the “Right from the Start” blog series highlighting the apps and services of Windows 8.1. This blog post covered Internet Explorer 11 web browser and its features. Read the full list of features below. IE11 is perfect for touch on your Windows 8.1 tablet IE11 makes many improvements to the way you interact with the sites you visit every day. If you are like me you use your PC at work, at home and on the road. A ton of what I do is online from checking out articles, to banking, reading and keeping up with news and social sites. For me that means I need a browser that can be my full time browser on my touch device. IE11 is built to be the best browser no matter the task: As many tabs as you want: Up to 100 tabs per window ...

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Microsoft yesterday announced a wave of new enterprise products and services to help enterprises realize their full potential. The updates are from Windows Azure to CRM Online. Satya Nadella, Cloud and Enterprise executive vice president at Microsoft said the following, “As enterprises move to the cloud they are going to bet on vendors that have best-in-class software as a service applications, operate a global public cloud that supports a broad ecosystem of third party services, and deliver multi-cloud mobility through true hybrid solutions. If you look across the vendor landscape, you can see that only Microsoft is truly delivering in all of those areas.” New updates that are coming, · Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and the Windows Azure Pack will be generally available on October 18, 2013. · A new release of the Windows Intune service, along with System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager on October ...

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Fox News’ big primetime shake-up premiers today and during the last month they have spent building new studios.  One of their studios will be a high tech news room which will sift through a large volume of information coming from the internet, social media etc.  The studio is powered by Windows 7 & Windows 8.  Fox’s Shepard Smith gives a preview into the studio:   Source:  Fox Nation This is a tech site, not a political one, please keep the comments civil ...

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Microsoft today released a short video showing the making of Surface 2. The next generation Surface devices are going on sale later this month and Microsoft has made some significant improvements in both Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2. This behind the scenes video shows the people behind the Surface 2 talking about key improvements made which building it. Surface 2 is now lighter, thinner and faster. Also Surface 2 comes with much improved Touch and Type covers which has pressure sensors all over it. Watch the video above.   ...

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Activision Publishing, Treyarch, and Xbox have teamed together to support the Call of Duty Endowment. Starting tomorrow, October 8 through Monday, October 14, U.S. fans can purchase any one of the 17 Call of Duty: Black Ops II Personalization Packs that are currently available on the Xbox Live online entertainment network from Microsoft for a 25% discount. Additionally, Activision, Treyarch and Xbox will donate all profits from the packs sold to the Call of Duty Endowment – Activision Blizzard’s 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps returning service members by funding efficient and effective organizations that place vets into high quality careers. “This is a great opportunity for the Call of Duty® community to get involved, and we’re delighted to work with Treyarch and our friends at Xbox to donate all profits from this activity toward helping vets find good jobs,” said Dan Goldenberg, Executive Director of the Call of Duty Endowment. “For ...

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The Skype team has released an update for iPhone and Skype for iPad, version 4.13.  The release is primarily focused on bringing a refreshed look for iOS 7, I suspect they borrowed heavily from the UI of the windows phone app. In addition made improvements were made to accessibility, audio and video calling. 4.13 Change log: Refreshed look and feel for iOS 7 Accessibility improvements, including: Improved accessibility of dialpad with touchtype support VoiceOver announces the senders name when messaging VoiceOver improvements for group chats General fixes Source: Skype Blog ...

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While  we generally do not put too much faith in analyst reports, sometimes they are amusing.  A new report by a Finnish financial analyst believes that former Nokia CEO Jorma Ollila could join Microsoft’s board. “Ollila is, for all his strengths and weaknesses, a pioneer,” Jukka Oksaharju, of Nordic savings bank Nordnet, said. “Joining Microsoft’s board wouldn’t be a surprise in itself, but it would be the crowning achievement of Nokia’s sale and Ollila’s career,” Oksaharju said. “Who would have more experience in global telecommunication business? The entire industry was created during his reign.” Currently Ollila sits on the board of many companies including Ford.  Given Ollila’s financial background he certainly would fit in with many other members of the board.  One theory is that if Alan Mulally becomes Microsoft’s next CEO he could bring over Ollila to Microsoft’s board room.  We know that Ollila certainly gets along with Ballmer and was intstrumental ...

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