Review Category : Microsoft

Microsoft’s marketing team loves to compare their products with competing products. In that series, we now have an infographic that shows a side-by-side comparison of OWA, Outlook and Gmail. According to me, these are the more credible players in the email and collaboration market. Microsoft’s argument is that Google’s Gmail is good enough, but why do you want to settle for a ‘good enough’ product when you Outlook and Outlook Web App (OWA) can not only increase your productivity, but also ensure you can collaborate with others, right within your email, in a highly secure environment. They highlighted some features on the blog post, Granting a delegate access to your calendar Busy people sometimes need help managing their lives. For executives, managers or other people who must constantly juggle competing priorities and demands, the ability to choose a delegate and give that person access to your calendar can be a godsend. ...

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At the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) annual conference in Nashville, Tenn. Matter Center, Microsoft today announced a preview version of Matter Center for Office 365. Matter Center of Office 365 is an intuitive document management and collaboration solution catered toward law firms and law departments, works seamlessly with Office 365 and offers legal professionals a way to easily find, organize and collaborate on files without leaving the familiar Microsoft productivity tools they use the most.  Microsoft’s legal team built this tool for internal use and now Microsoft has decided to make it available for other legal entities. Matter Center gives legal professionals security-enhanced access to the information they need — virtually anywhere, anytime, and from virtually any device. Features: Your briefcase in the cloud. Matter Center works with OneDrive for Business, providing 1 TB of individual storage and a personal briefcase, which automatically synchronizes your documents so you can ...

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Microsoft developer division teams are on fire, if I’m not wrong, this is fourth major release in past 4 weeks. Today, they released Visual Studio “14” CTP 3 along with an early build of the .NET Framework vNext. Some features in this release include: ASP.NET and Web Development vNext Updates. This CTP includes all the Visual Studio 2013 Update 3 web tooling improvement and ASP.NET vNext alpha 3 runtime packages. It has improved tooling support for ASP.NET vNext, such as support for build configuration and support for unit tests, and it no longer includes content and compile items inside “.kproj” file. ASP.NET vNext includes an updated version of the RyuJIT JIT compiler. For details, please read the full post on the .NET Web Development Tools blog. .NET Native Updates. .NET Native is now integrated into Visual Studio “14.” It includes initial support for calling WCF services within .NET Native apps and the associated ...

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Back in 2004, German City Council decided to deploy Linux OS across their departments to reduce the dependence of Microsoft and to decrease the costs associated with their IT systems. Whenever the discussions about cost savings by switching to open source software comes, Microsoft always tells that there are lots of hidden costs associated with it. This argument is once again proven correct by this German’s switch over to Windows. Due to poor user experience, lack of features, no proper compatibility with many standard formats, German government has decided to switch back to Windows after 10 years. Source: Sueddeutsche via: Neowin ...

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At Gamescon last week, Microsoft revealed they will be selling Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare custom Xbox One console bundle this holiday season. This custom bundle will include Call of Duty themed console, a controller, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day One edition game, and 1TB internal storage in the console. This custom bundle will go on sale for $499 USD and the pre-order has started today. This bundle will be available starting November 4th. This limited edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 1TB Xbox One pack will be exclusive to GAME in the UK and it will be available at £429.99 starting 4th November. US customers can pre-order it here from Amazon and here from Microsoft Store via: Eurogamer ...

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At WPC earlier this year, Microsoft revealed that there will be number of really affordable Windows laptops coming to the market to compete with Google Chromebooks. They even revealed that one such device from HP will sell for just $199. Today, the specs of HP Stream Windows laptop got leaked. The device will be powered by AMD Quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, up to 64 GB storage, 14-inch HD display and more. Find the details specs below. Do you think these kind of devices can compete with Chromebooks? Source: MobileGeeks ...

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Following Satya Nadella , Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates, Melinda Gates also accepted ALS ice bucket challenge. On her 50th Birthday, Melinda Gates accepts Sheryl Sandberg’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and nominates Katie Couric, Stephen Colbert, Yuri Milner, and her daughter Phoebe to join in and raise awareness for ALS. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Dell CEO and many others also accepted the challenge and few also promised to make donations for ALS. ...

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Microsoft today started the roll out of August Xbox One System update. It includes number of social features to make sharing your gaming experiences with friends better and easier. More notable ones are the ability to buy content on Xbox.com or Xbox Smartglass app, 3D Blu-ray support and more. Activity feed updates: We’re adding new ways for you to interact with friends in the activity feed. The interface will change to a single column scrolling list that is longer and includes more content. We’ll add the ability to post text to your feed, and to “like” and comment on feed items. You can share game clips and anything else in the feed with friends either publically (to your activity feed) or privately (as an attachment to a message). You’ll also be notified when anyone likes, comments on or shares your items. Each user will get a personal feed on their ...

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At gamescom 2014, 2K Games announced that Evolve’s Xbox One exclusive beta will become available in January 2015, and the game will be on sale on February 10. Also, Turtle Rock Studios gave a sneak peak into Evolve’s unique 4v1 hunt gameplay on a brand new map: Distillery. This new environment features the eponymous metallic structure set in a familiar-yet-alien forest teeming with wildlife. A river runs through it, complete with a towering waterfall and plenty of opportunities for platforming on the islands in current. As one might expect at a distillery, our team of hunters quickly found some hops – though these weren’t of the brewers’ variety. After one of my teammates finished off some of the aggressive local fauna, those of us who happened by the creature’s remains were awarded with a significant perk: 400% greater jump height. This bonus was helpful in keeping up with our flying kraken quarry, as we ...

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At SIGGRAPH 2014, Microsoft Research demoed several new projects they have been working on. One of them was the controllable high-fidelity 3D facial performance transfer which allowed to transfer your facial expressions to a dog’s face. Read more about it here. Another interesting project is around of non-rigidly deforming physical objects with arbitrary shape in real-time. Watch the video above and the description below to know more. Among Microsoft Research’s contributions to SIGGRAPH 2014, a combined hardware and software solution for markerless reconstruction of non-rigidly deforming physical objects with arbitrary shape in real-time. Our system uses a single self-contained stereo camera unit built from off-the-shelf components and consumer graphics hardware to generate spatio-temporally coherent 3D models at 30 Hz. A new stereo matching algorithm estimates real-time RGB-D data. The system is an order of magnitude faster than state-of-the-art methods, while matching the quality and robustness of many offline algorithms. We demonstrate how acquired models ...

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The week’s Red Stripe Deals in Windows Store is now available and it gives you savings of at least 50 percent off games and apps in the Windows Store. Find the list of apps/games and their store links from the list below, The magical world awaits in “Castle Raid 2” (free in both the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store, usually $1.99 and $1.29). Defend your castle using knights and wizards against your new enemy, the Reavers. Space Weather (99 cents in the Windows Store and Windows Phone Store), “Cold Alley” ($3.49 in the Windows Store), “Machinarium” (normally $4.99, it’s now $1.99 in the Windows Phone Store and $2.49 in the Windows Store), PC Remote Pro ($1.49), “The Treasures of Montezuma 3 Premium” ($1.99), “Kings Can Fly” (99 cents) and InspirARTion ($1.49). via: Microsoft ...

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If you hate the ads on Xbox dashboard, then you must know that Allen Murray is the person who was responsible for starting this concept of ads on Xbox. Nowadays, the Xbox dashboard is full of ‘ads’, i.e., links promoting content and apps in the Xbox ecosystem. This idea came up for Allen a decade ago when he joined Microsoft from Amazon. Initially, his idea was not supported by his seniors at Microsoft as they rejected his idea saying that gamers will hate ads. Even though they are not really the usual ads, his choice of language, using terms like ‘advertising’ and ‘banner ads’ that conveyed a different tone among others. But Major Nelson supported his idea and took it to Xbox Live Arcade team for designing the Banner Of The Day (BOTD) system that they would use to schedule the ads. Nowadays the Xbox One UI is nearly all ‘ads’, i.e., links promoting content ...

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Earlier this week, Microsoft released the Windows 8.1 August Update that include the following new features and improvements: Precision touchpad improvements – three new end-user settings have been added: Leave touch pad on when a mouse is connected; allow right-clicks on the touchpad; double-tap and drag. Miracast Receive – exposes a set of Wi-Fi direct APIs for Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) drivers or OEM drivers to develop Windows 32-bit applications that run on all supported x86-based or x64-based versions of Windows 8.1, enabling the computer as a Miracast receiver. Minimizing login prompts for SharePoint Online – reduces the number of prompts with federated use in accessing SharePoint Online sites. If you select the “Keep me signed in” check box when you log on for the first time, you will not see prompts for successive access to that SharePoint Online site. While many of us had no issues after downloading and installing ...

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During the launch of all of its Surface products, Microsoft always touts the design of these tablets that can withstand casual drops. One of Microsoft’s key marketing points for Surface is the tablet’s durability. Panos Panay couple of times dropped the tablet on stage to demonstrate this. In the recent patent filings, we noticed that Microsoft is patenting a ruggedized display device. We are not sure whether this is an existing technology found on Surface tablets or it will be seen on upcoming devices. Abstract: A ruggedized display device is disclosed. The ruggedized display device may include an optical stack configured to resist a load up to a load threshold. The optical stack may include an electronic display including a top surface and a bottom surface, and a top protective component coupled to the top surface of the electronic display via a bonding material layer, to shield the electronic display. ...

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Earlier this week, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced the  completion of the USB Type-C specification that defines the next generation USB connector. This new USB Type-C specification defines a new cable and connector scheme designed to fit mobile device product designs, yet robust enough for laptops and tablets. This will enable thinner and sleeker product designs in the future.  “Interest in the USB Type-C connector has not only been global, but cross-industry as well,”  said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman. “Representatives from the PC,  mobile, automotive and IoT industries have been knocking down our door anticipating this  new standard. This specification is the culmination of an extensive, cooperative effort  among industry leaders to standardize the next generation USB connector as a long-lasting,  robust solution.” One of the main usability enhancements made in this upcoming USB standard is that it supports reversible plug orientation and cable direction. So, you can plug-in ...

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At SIGGRAPH 2014, Microsoft Research demoed several new projects they have been working on. One of them was the controllable high-fidelity 3D facial performance transfer. For example, you can transfer your facial expressions to a dog’s face. Recent technological advances in facial capture have made it possible to acquire high-fidelity 3D facial performance data with stunningly high spatial-temporal resolution. This paper introduces a novel facial expression transfer and editing technique for high-fidelity facial performance data. The key idea of our approach is to decompose high-fidelity facial performances into high-level facial feature lines, large-scale facial deformation and fine-scale motion details and transfer them appropriately to reconstruct the retargeted facial animation in an efficient optimization framework. This project was among Microsoft Research’s contributions to SIGGRAPH 2014. Read more about it at MSR. ...

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