Review Category : Windows 8

Last year we reported that Microsoft is joining fido alliance to enable stronger and simpler authentication system for consumers. Dustin Ingalls, group program manager for Windows security and identity team spoke with Computerweekly on the problem of ineffective authentication that relies on usernames and passwords. Microsoft has joined other industry leaders to define standards for the next gen authentication system. “From a business objective standpoint, all the players are well aligned and agree that passwords have been problematic for a number of years and are well past their time,” The only way to solve this problem is to get all the major players at the same table and the Fido alliance has the potential of making that happen,” He highlighted the fact that usability is critical from the start according to the Fido Alliance principles, and Microsoft is looking to work with the alliance to achieve this objective along with all the ...

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Last week we reported about a new Windows 8.1 Update 1 build that got leaked which seemed to be a new SKU from Microsoft. This Windows 8.1 build: 9600.17024.winblue_gdr_s14sku_partner.140214-1700 was named Windows 8.1 with Bing. With Windows 8.1, Microsoft has started integrating Bing directly into the OS which might raise anti-trust issues in EU. We guess it then that this new SKU might be targeted towards EU where Microsoft might be selling Windows 8.1 with Bing instead of just Windows 8.1 branding. Today, Mary Jo Foley from ZDNet reported that this Windows 8.1 with Bing SKU might be the way Microsoft will offer OS for free to OEMs. This new SKU, from what my contacts are saying, is key to Microsoft’s experimentation with monetization. I hear this SKU has only minor differences from the current Windows 8.1 SKUs, but that it may be a kind of placeholder for the future when consumer operating ...

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The last major version of Microsoft’s graphics platform DirectX 11 was announced about 6 years back. Since then the desktop graphics API development has stagnated. During this time, AMD has developed their own set of APIs called Mantle. OpenGL/OpenCL has come a long way since then. Finally, Microsoft is making some announcement about their next generation DirectX platform at Game Developers Conference in March. Microsoft is promising better tools that will allow developers to squeeze every last drop of performance out of your PC, tablet, phone and console. Find the session info below. DirectX: Evolving Microsoft’s Graphics Platform For nearly 20 years, DirectX has been the platform used by game developers to create the fastest, most visually impressive games on the planet. However, you asked us to do more. You asked us to bring you even closer to the metal and to do so on an unparalleled assortment of hardware. ...

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Microsoft Surface is the official tablet for NFL sports event in the US. There were lots of marketing going around NFL for Surface in the past few months. The Surface logo and visuals have been a visible addition to all the games this past season, showing up on the sidelines on the communication carts and instant replay hoods. But it goes well beyond that, Surface has also been used in trials with many teams across the NFL, as a tool to help assist medical personnel in the area of player health and in front office operations as a powerful tablet that can go from the desktop to the field. Team use and integration into the operations of managing a NFL franchise will only increase in future seasons. Microsoft assisted NFL in releasing all its official app in Windows Store for Windows 8/RT devices. They recently detailed the NFL Combined Dashboard app ...

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Microsoft today announced that one finalist team in its Imagine Cup global student technology competition will be chosen for a private meeting with Bill Gates. This will allow the winning team of students to interact with Microsoft co-founder and Bill & Melinda Gates foundation chairman in person to share their dreams and excitement for a brighter future. Imagine cup is scheduled to happen in Redmond, Wash., from July 29 – Aug. 1. And so I’m very pleased to announce that one Imagine Cup World Finalist team will be chosen for a private meeting with Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. That team of students will get the chance to share their dreams and their excitement for a brighter future in person with this entrepreneur, innovator, and humanitarian. We’re very grateful to share this opportunity with the students of Imagine Cup. And if it sounds like something you’ve ...

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 Xbox Music app for Windows 8/RT devices just got updated in Windows Store. The key improvement included is the ability to drag and drop songs or albums to create or re-order playlists. Key updates include: Drag and drop songs or albums to create and re-order playlists, build your now playing queue and beef up your collection Large page headers now hide as you scroll, leaving more room for your content App Features: Manage your personal music collection Create and edit playlists of your favorite songs Import your playlists from iTunes Listen for free! Stream millions of songs from Xbox Music on your Windows 8/Windows RT device Play your music on any Windows 8/Windows RT device you sign into Get an Xbox Music Pass for ad-free streaming and downloading on multiple devices Buy songs and albums to add to your personal collection Radio instantly creates playlists based on your favorite artists ...

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TouchMe Gesture Studio allows you to customize your very own Touchscreen gestures on your Windows 8 touch devices like Surface Pro, Dell Venue, etc. You can export your gesture file and use it with any gesture engine you like. Choose from over 30 gestures, roam your gestures between all your devices. You can even mimic keyboard shortcuts, change volume, switch between apps, and more using gestures. Touchscreens have improved the way we all interact with our computers! By using TouchMe Gesture Studio, you can create, edit, and export custom gesture files to take things one step further! Gestures available include: • 2/3/4/5 Finger Swipe up/down/left/right • 3/4/5 Finger Pinch in/out • 2/3/4/5 Finger TipTap left/right Actions currently available: • Show/Hide Touch Keyboard • Increase/Decrease Volume • Increase/Decrease Brightness • Open/Close/Switch Browser Tabs • Show the TaskBar • Sleep, hibernate, Sign Out, Lock, Shut down, and Restart • Mimic Keyboard Shortcut ...

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As Microsoft and Nokia are close to completing the acquisition deal, both the companies are aligning themselves to start working on respective companies from Day 1 once the deal is completed. Nokia has already started reporting Devices and Services division under separate category in its financial reports. Nokia’s HERE team, CTO office has moved to different campus in Finland. Microsoft is also making some changes to accommodate the incoming Nokia group. The main change is that Stephen Elop will become the EVP of Devices division at Microsoft. Currently, Julie Larson-Green is looking after that job at Microsoft, and since the deal is close to completion, she is now moving on to new role at Microsoft. Larson-Green will become chief experience officer for products including Bing, Office and Skype, among others products. She’ll report to Qi Lu, the executive vice president who leads the Applications and Services Group. Read more about her role ...

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Last Friday, Nokia announced that they will be releasing HERE Maps app for free for all Windows RT/8 devices in Windows Store. HERE Maps is an all-in-one mapping solution, combining vector, satellite and 3D maps, points of interest, search and route planning. You can also download maps for offline us as you enjoy it on Lumia devices. You can download it from Windows Store for free. Description: HERE Maps is a complete mapping app designed to work with or without a Wi-Fi or data connection. With HERE Maps you can download and take your maps with you on your tablet. Get walking, driving and public transit directions to the places you want to go, all completely offline. HERE Maps is a perfect companion for your smartphone. Plan where you want to go and save places so you can find them easily with your phone when you’re out and about. HERE. ...

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At Mobile World Congress today, HP announced a new business focused mid-range Windows tablet called ProPad 600. This business focused Windows tablet comes with a 10.1-inch  1,920 x 1,200, optically bonded display that supports pen input. Also the build quality is down to plastic from aluminum and the CPU is 64-bit Intel Baytrail chip. The device will also sport 8MP camera on the back, 2MP camera on the front and Micro-HDMI support as well. The device will also come with a microSD slot and a standard micro-USB port for charging. Since it is a mid-range device, there is no option for LTE Radio and there is no support for HP Smart Jackets as well. The device will hit the market in April 2nd – 3rd week.   ...

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HP already has a business focused Windows tabled called ElitePad 900 with last gen specs. Today at MWC, HP announced the successor to ElitePad 900 called ElitePad 1000. HP ElitePad 1000 follows the same design language of ElitePad 900 with aluminum design. But the internals are now update to offer better performance. It now features Intel 64-bit Bay Trail CPU and full HD screen. It now features a USB 3.0 port instead of USB 2.0. Also, it features LTE radio as well. The device will be available in March starting $739. On the battery life front, it still offers the same 10 hours which ElitePad 900 provided. HP also ensured that this new tablet will support the existing smart covers, etc. ...

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Lenovo today announced a new convertible laptop called Pavilion x360. HP’s Pavilion x360 design is similar to popular Lenovo Yoga series. You have a 360-degree hinge allowing it to be used in four modes which includes Tent mode, Stand mode, laptop mode and Tablet mode. What’s so different from Yoga then? Price. Pavilion x360 Convertible Laptop will be available starting last week of February with a price tag beginning from $400. It will come with Pentium-series Intel Bay Trail processor, a 500GB hard drive, Beats Audio and a 1,366 x 768 IPS display. It will also come with three USB ports and a full-sized HDMI socket. One bad news is that this laptop will only have two-cell battery, so you can’t enjoy your device for more than 4 hours. ...

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After taking over his new job of overseeing both Windows and Windows Phone user experience, Joe Belfiore today met the press at MWC during Microsoft’s press event. He said that Microsoft is committed to making Windows the best place for our partners to build great devices. Windows now supports different screen sizes, input methods, connectivity needs, and usage scenarios, but Microsoft wants it to run beautifully on hardware made by partners around the world. With Windows 8, there’s no doubt that we made a big bet and took a first step toward that future. We bet on touch and on mobility in a big way, and included a fresh take on what a touch-based interface could be for customers. We believe deeply in this direction and the future will continue to build on Windows 8. We shipped Windows 8.1 in under a year in response to customer and partner feedback, and we’ll ...

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At MWC event in Spain, Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 8.1 update that is coming in Spring. This upcoming update is mainly focused on keyboard and mouse users. Main Features: - Improvements to non-touch experience - More hardware options (including at low end) - Improvements for government and education markets via IE8 compatibility mode in IE11. Improvements to non-touch experience includes discoverable search, power and settings on Start. New Mouse UI for right-click(Start) and close (apps). Also easy app launching and switching via task bar. More hardware options is enabled by lowering hardware requirements. It includes 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage as opposed to 2GB RAM and 32GB storage that exists now. Joe Belfiore said, “we love touch, but we do want to make things better for people who don’t have touchscreens.”   ...

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Ford announced its car platform based on Windows Embedded few years back. Following Ford, many other automotive companies like Kia and others. Today, Bloomberg reported that Ford is planning to switch from Windows to Blackberry’s QNX OS for their next-generation Sync system. Ford is expecting that this QNX based SYNC system will be less expensive than licensing Microsoft technology and will improve the flexibility and speed of the next Sync system. Ford has more than 7 million vehicles on the road with Sync using Microsoft’s platform to make mobile phone calls and play music. The consumer satisfaction survey has revealed that Ford’s customers are not happy with progress with their touch screen technologies over the last few years. While Bloomberg is trying to portray that the problem with Microsoft’s platform is the reason for the downfall of SYNC platform, the actual reason is something different. A former SYNC engineer revealed the following, It’s ...

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Everyone was expecting Microsoft to announce a 8-inch version of Surface Mini before Microsoft announced 2nd gen Surface devices. There were some reports claiming that Microsoft is planning to launch Surface Mini sometime in April 2014. Today, Digitimes reported that Microsoft might announce its 8-inch Windows RT device in June during Computex event in Taiwan. Microsoft is expected to unveil an array of new mobile devices with display sizes below 8.5-inch running on an integrated OS derived from Windows RT and Windows Phone in June, according to makers in Taiwan’s supply chain. The software vendor is expected to release the new devices at Computex Taipei 2014 to be held from June 3-7, but the information has not been confirmed by Microsoft. Initially, Microsoft will target the 8.5-inch and below segment in the smartphone and tablet markets since the boundaries of the two sectors have become blurred and the impact on ...

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