Review Category : Microsoft

The Surface team has been busy over the last three months in establishing the right infrastructure for getting their tablets to more business customers in more places.  Given the increase in demand for Surface tablets, starting October 1st 2013, Surface will be in seven new markets – Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. The team also announced that the Surface will be available through commercial resellers in all 29 markets where the Surface is sold.  The Surface Blog reports: Our expanded reseller network, brings a variety of additional value-added services to the Surface family, such as asset tagging, custom imaging, knitting, onsite service and support, device recycling and data protection. We already knew that people who use Surface love it. But, perhaps more importantly, business users who use Surface particularly love the ability to buy through the resellers that they’re already working with for their hardware ...

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The Surface team announced new third-party accessories catered specifically for businesses.  With the launch of Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, ten new accessory manufacturers have committed to satisfying the needs of business customers deploying Surface in the commercial and enterprise space. The following are designed specifically for the Surface: Fixed and mobile POS accessories from ArmorActive Charging carts from Anthro Fixed and mobile POS accessories from ArmorActive Source: Surface Blog ...

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A year ago, the Surface was a surprise to many and Microsoft’s first serious foray into the hardware side of the PC market.  In many ways, this was a situation Microsoft was forced into.  The OEMs had stopped innovating years ago focusing on squeezing the maximum profits and loading their “PCs” with crapware to further worsen the experience.  In the meantime Apple had been seriously innovating in the hardware space, with Google also looking into getting in the game as well. The devices and services strategy is starting to pay off, even if there was an initial $900 million blunder.  The OEMs are finally starting to put out decent devices, and most are now touchscreen, even if it is a year later than it should have been.  The Surface has set the standard of a what a PC can be.  While the distribution channels were not ready a year ago, the Surface ...

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Lenovo is not yet done with their lineup of PCs for this holiday season. Today, they announced four new upcoming All-in-One PCs. Lenovo is already a leader in this segment and this new models will further strengthen their position. Among the four models announced today, the Lenovo B750 is clearly the highlight. The Lenovo B750 looks distinctive right out of the box, with a 29″ Wide Full HD (2560×1080), 21:9 super-widescreen, frameless display supporting IPS wide-view technology. Read more about them below. RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – September 30, 2013: Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today announced several new additions to its growing family of all-in-one (AIO) desktop computers. Led by the super-widescreen Lenovo B750, which delivers the world’s first 29″ 21:9 display, the new devices aim to extend Lenovo’s leadership in the competitive AIO segment. According to the latest rankings from IDC, Lenovo is #1 in the worldwide consumer ...

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The OCR feature in SkyDrive, which is powered by Bing, is now being rolled out to users over the next few weeks.  It recognizes text which may have been taken in a photo and stores it in the metadata. This feature, which is rolling out over the coming weeks, allows you to search from the desktop for the content of Camera Roll photos that have had text extracted from them. For example, you might have taken a photo 6 months ago of the menu of your favorite restaurant, but can’t remember where it’s buried in your Camera Roll and want to remember the dish you had. You can simply type in the restaurant name on your desktop and Bing Smart Search will search text of your Camera Roll photos and pull up the picture of the menu with the restaurant name printed on it. With the power of smart files, ...

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SkyDrive “smart file” is a relatively simple concept that has the primary goal of reducing disk space.  An interesting paradox has occurred within the last couple of years.  While people’s need for disk space has increased, the available disk space on devices has decreased.  This is due to a variety of reasons but primarily demands for solid state drives (SSDs) has increased due to their better performance, impact on battery life, form factor etc.  However they  much more expensive than mechanical hard drives, and therefore we tend to see SSDs with more limited capacity in devices because they are cheaper. With SkyDrive smart file, the full file will not be synced locally as it currently is. Instead a thumbnail of the file with relevant metadata will be synched.  This can reduce the disk space used by SkyDrive up to 80%.  You can always choose to make a file always available ...

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Microsoft recently added two-factor authentication to its own Outlook.com just a few months back.  Now multi-factor authentication is available as a service on Windows Azure.  Multi-Factor Authentication quickly enables an additional layer security for users signing in from around the globe.  In addition to a username and password, users may authenticate via: 1) An application on their mobile device.  2) Automated voice call.  3) Text message with a passcode. On-Premises VPNs, Web Applications, and More – Run the Multi-Factor Authentication Server on your existing hardware or in a Windows Azure Virtual Machine. Synchronize with your Windows Server Active Directory for automated user set up. Cloud Applications like Windows Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics CRM – Enable Multi-Factor Authentication for Windows Azure AD identities with the flip of a switch, and users will be prompted to set up multi-factor the next time they sign-in.  Custom Applications — Use our SDK to ...

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Delta Air Lines is equipping its 11,000 pilots with electronic flight bags using the Microsoft Surface 2 tablet.  Device rollout to pilots flying the Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 fleets will start later this year and all Delta cockpits are projected to be paperless by the end of 2014.  The Surface 2 will run on the Windows RT 8.1 platform and provide flight crews real-time access to essential tools and the most up-to-date flight-related resources including key charts, reference documents, and checklists while saving the airline $13 million per year in fuel and associated costs.  “Delta’s electronic flight bag running on Surface 2 continues the technological strides Delta has been making to give our crews the best tools to keep them flying safely and efficiently,” said Capt. Steve Dickson, Delta’s senior vice president – Flight Operations.  “This intuitive device puts key information at their fingertips right when they need it.  ...

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Pre-orders of the Surface 2 & Surface Pro started last week after the products were unveiled a press event in New York City.  If you pre-ordered online you had to at least put at least $50 down to reserve the device.  However if you are cash strapped at the moment it may be a good idea to visit a Microsoft Store in person.  Currently you can reserve the Surface 2 or Surface Pro with your choice of accessories for $0 down. Please check our previous coverage of the Surface 2, Surface Pro, and accessories: Microsoft’s Surface Blades Concept Has Unlimited Potential New Surface Ad From Microsoft, One Device For Everything In Your Life Microsoft Opens Up Pre-order For Surface 2 And Surface Pro 2 Interesting Information On New Surface Devices From Reddit AmA, Surface 2 LTE Version Coming And More Interesting Information On New Surface Devices From Reddit AmA, Part-2 ...

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The UK government has issued security approval for public sector organisations to offer bring your own device (BYOD) schemes for employees to access data and applications using their own smartphones and tablets.  The new End User Devices Security and Configuration Guidance policy was issued this week by CESG, the information security arm of GCHQ. It follows numerous public bodies such as local councils seeking to introduce BYOD schemes to offer more flexible working for staff. The policy also provides detailed advice for a wide range of possible products and operating systems. Devices using Android 4.2, BlackBerry 10.1, Apple iOS6, Windows 7 and 8, Windows Phone 8 and RT, Ubuntu 12.04, OS X 10.8 and Google ChromeOS 26 are all on the list. Source: Gov.uk ...

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Microsoft Windows Gift Card was recently spotted on Amazon, and it appears you will be able to use it to purchase Windows Store Apps on Windows 8.1.  McAkins Online reports: For those of you who do not get how big this is, talk to anyone with kids and Windows devices. We’ve been clamoring to have a coherent way of giving our kids entry into the Store for Windows and WindowsPhone Apps without the kids bankrupting us. It is either you let your kids buy their $1.99 apps with your Microsoft Account or you attach your Credit-Card info to their MS account. A prospect that is not healthy in both cases. You might as well give them access to your bank account. Thank God, now you can just purchase a $10 or $20 gift card from Microsoft, and give it to the kids and let them redeem it. Once they burn ...

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Microsoft continues to integrate Bing services into more of their product portfolio.  The Bing translator app will be launching for Word & PowerPoint 2013 later today.  The Next at Microsoft Blog reports: For those who use Word and PowerPoint, the Translator app in the Office Store is launching Monday in conjunction with International Translation Day.  Expanding on top of built-in functionality within the products, it allows you to select any text and instantly translate it.  Using this app, organizations can utilize within Office the custom translation systems they built with the Microsoft Translator Hub.  Already, Office users translate over 1.3 million characters each hour using the built-in translation features. Please read their full post celebrating International Translation Day       ...

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In partnership with appendTo and Sauce Labs Microsoft has introduced BrowserSwarm, an open source tool that helps Web developers automate testing of their JavaScript frameworks and libraries across devices and browsers.  This is especially helpful to developers who are resource limited in building great, interoperable frameworks.  This is a second such project by Microsoft, the first being modern.IE. If you are interested in helping grow BrowserSwarm: More projects – Add yours to BrowserSwarm here. More test cases – Contribute new Unit Test Frameworks or Test Cases to run. More places you store your code – We have connected BrowserSwarm to GitHub, but you can connect it to your own repository. The team is also hoping that you share your feedback and ideas on how they might improve BrowserSwarm. Source: IE Blog ...

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A federal court appeals ruled on Monday that Microsoft did not violate antitrust laws nearly 20 years ago against Novell.  “Novell complains that Microsoft refused to share its intellectual property with rivals after first promising to do so. But the antitrust laws rarely impose on firms — even dominant firms — a duty to deal with their rivals,” according to a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel. “With respect to Novell at least, Microsoft did nothing unlawful.” Novel can appeal this decision and eventually may even end up at the Supreme Court. “Naturally we are disappointed by the decision issued today by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and are considering next steps,” said Jim Lundberg, Novell vice president. “Ultimately this decision will have no effect on our day-to-day operations nor our company’s vision for current and future Novell customers.” This ruling affirms affirms U.S. District Judge J. Frederick ...

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Technology companies have come to dominate the Interbrand global survey of the world’s most valuable brands taken every two years.  Apple took the top spot ousting previous champion Coca-Cocla and Google took second. Interbrand’s analysis puts Apple’s brand value at $98.3 billion, up 28% from last year.  Google is up 34% with its brand value at $93 billion.  IBM placed 4th, Microsoft 5th, Samsung 8th, Intel 9th, and HP at 15th and Amazon at 19th.  Samsung and Amazon have rose considerably from the last survey while Microsoft only rose 5%.  Other notable brands include Cicso at 13, Oracle at 18, SAP at 25, Dell at 61, Facebook 52, Adobe at 79, Cannon at 35, Philips at 40, Nintendo at 67, and Panasonic at 68. Sony fell considerably to 46th, from 40 previously and losing 8% of its brand value.  The PS4 may help gain some of its value back, but analysts ...

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Talking at the Eurogamer Expo in London, Microsoft Phil Harrison revealed that the Kinect can differentiate between two people talking at the same time.  Additionally, the Kinect’s lead developer Nick Burton stated that it will also be able to see whether mouths are moving in the dark. The Xbox One will be launching in November 22 for $499 and will be bundled with the second-generation Kinect technology.  Many developers are utilizing Kinect in unique ways for upcoming titles as we reported earlier.  In response to privacy concerns, Microsoft clarified that the Kinect does not record or upload your conversations and therefore the NSA cannot have access to them. via Polygon ...

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