Microsoft is not a new entrant to the world of smart watches. Microsoft invented the smart watch category a decade ago by partnering with various watch manufacturers like Swatch, Casio, etc,. Those Smart watches used radio waves to get some basic data such as weather report, etc,. Later, Microsoft discontinued the platform due to poor adoption by consumers. Google has now announced Android Wear platform which enable new wave of smart watches by OEMs such as Samsung, LG, Motorola and others. What is Android Wear platform? Useful information when you need it most: Android Wear organizes your information, suggests what you need, and shows it to you before you even ask. Get messages from your friends, appointment notifications, and weather updates at a glance. Android Wear connects your phone to your wrist. Pause, play, and skip music tracks or quickly respond to text messages from your watch. Keep track of ...

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Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services business has been cleared to close in 16 markets where the deal was approved without any conditions. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) however approved the deal on certain conditions as they feared Microsoft may use its dominant patent resource to get more royalty out of Chinese OEMs. You can read Microsoft’s commitments is here. At that time, Microsoft revealed that Android devices are built on hundreds of patent “families” owned by Microsoft. A Chinese agency has now published the lists of patents on a Chinese-language webpage. You can download the longer list of 310 patents or read it below. The below document has three sections, in which 73 patents are classified as “standard-essential patents,” or SEPs which Microsoft should license to others on FRAND terms. There are 127 patents that Microsoft believes are used in Android devices. And there is another classification that has “non-SEP” assets, which includes 68 patent applications and 42 issued patents. Microsoft ...

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Last holiday season, Microsoft continued their Scroogled campaign against Google with Microsoft Store started selling Scroogled gear. You can now get a scroogled hoodie, t-shirt, hat, or mug, etc. These Scroogled apparel are now on sale at Microsoft Store. You can get Scroogled T-shirt for $4.99, a hoodie for $9.99, etc. Find the list of items on sale below. Click the product name for store links. Scroogled-Logo-Hoodie $9.99 - Stay warm and toasty while showing the world that you’re tired of having your digital life monetized by Google. Embroidered on an American Apparel 100% cotton fleece zip-up hooded sweatshirt, pre-washed for minimal shrinkage. Unisex sizing  Scroogled-Spider-Web-T-shirt $4.99 - If you use Gmail, Google Search, Gchat or Google+, you’re a fly trapped in Google’s web. Printed on an American Apparel 50/50 t-shirt, pre-washed for minimal shrinkage. Unisex sizing.  Scroogled-Logo-T-shirt $4.99 – A classic that shows the world that you’re tired of having your ...

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Google today released 64-bit version of Chrome for Windows users. The two brand new 64-bit Dev and Canary channels for Windows 7 and 8 users, giving a faster and more secure browsing experience. It includes several improvements in speed, security and stability: Speed: 64-bit allows us to take advantage of the latest processor and compiler optimizations, a more modern instruction set, and a calling convention that allows more function parameters to be passed quickly by registers. As a result, speed is improved, especially in graphics and multimedia content, where we see an average 25% improvement in performance. Security: With Chrome able to take advantage of the latest OS features such as High Entropy ASLR on Windows 8, security is improved on 64-bit platforms as well. Those extra bits also help us better defend against exploitation techniques such as JIT spraying, and improve the effectiveness of our existing security defense features like heap partitioning. ...

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Microsoft Bing turns five today. Microsoft rebranded Live Search as Bing on June 3rd 2009 with a fresh approach to search helping people to do more, not just search more. Microsoft today thanked the millions of people who use Bing every day. Microsoft said that they never forget that what they build isn’t just for the sake of computer science or commerce but because it can positively impact people in ways we’ve only barely dreamt of. So what’s next for Bing? Read it below. What’s Next: The idea of launching a browser, going to a website, and typing in a search box? That’s so 2009. The best is not yet to come but on the imminent horizon. As the world of devices constantly changes and new form factors come into play there will be a need to better use information, either by seeking it out or having it pushed to ...

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Microsoft today announced that they have hired former Yahoo and Google executive Preston McAfee as their new chief economist. Preston, was most recently director of Google strategic technologies and previously Vice President and Research Fellow at Yahoo. In his new role at Microsoft, Preston McAfee will be responsible for leading a team of economists who will work closely with Amy Hood, chief financial officer, and business and engineering groups across the company on developing new business models and metrics, designing marketplaces for advertising and apps, assisting with government relations and policy, and developing an economic strategy for the company. Harry Shum, Executive Vice President, Technology and Research, at Microsoft commented the following on McAfee, This isn’t the first time Preston will be a chief economist. For five years, from 2007 to 2012, Preston was chief economist and research fellow for our search partner, Yahoo!, where he captured our attention by ...

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According to market research firm Canalys, Microsoft is now at 4th place in the UK tablet market with their Surface devices. Apple, Samsung and Amazon are above them and Google Nexus devices is following them in sales. Microsoft sold 71,540 units in the quarter, up 27.1 per cent on a year earlier, to grab a 3.3 per cent market share. Out of which, 58 per cent of these units were of the ARM-powered RT version with the Surface Pro devices comprising the rest. Canalys senior analyst Tim Coulling reckons channel partners helped Microsoft shift more devices, but added that weakness in consumer spending was hitting the Surface less dramatically than others. “There is more of a commercial opportunity for Surface,” he told The Channel, “plus Microsoft has a channel programme and is putting units into Authorised Device Resellers (ADRs)”. Relegated to fifth spot by Microsoft, Google struggled to gain traction, ...

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We’ve all complained about the price of the Surface Pro 3, myself included. It’s frustrating that the keyboard is an extra $130 and comparatively spec’d ultrabooks are less expensive. Maybe one lesson is that consumers appreciate form factor, aesthetics, and convenience over technical specifications. Microsoft spent a lot of time during the Surface Pro 3 press event comparing the tablet to a MacBook Air. After all the Redmond software giant is marketing this a “the tablet to replace your laptop.” Another beneficial comparison would have been with Google’s Chromebook Pixel.  The Verge wrote a rave review of the product giving it a 7.5/10, citing the “incredible design” and “excellent screen.” Interesting to note the original Surface Pro was given the same exact score by the incredible unbiased professional journalists at prestigious technology website “The Verge” Let’s see how the Chromebook Pixel stacks up against the Surface Pro. I’ll compare it to ...

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The BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands 2014 was released today. The top 100 brands  added $310 billion to reach $2.9 trillion in brand value, a 12 percent increase. Prior to the BrandZ™ Global 2014 results, the Top 100 had increased an average of about 6 percent, $125 billion, annually since the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. Google for the first time came on top of the results replacing Apple which was in the top spot for past 3 years. Microsoft was ranked No.4 behind IBM. The market research firm estimates that Google’s brand value jumped 40% over the previous year to $158.8 billion, while Apple’s fell 20% to $147.9 billion. Microsoft’s brand value saw a strong growth to $90.1 billion with over 29% increase. ...

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Microsoft has organized Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 in Washington, D.C. from July 13-17 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. At WPC 2014, Microsoft’s partners can grow their professional network and their business by networking, learning business building best practices, and honing their expertise with Microsoft solutions. They can learn how Microsoft is betting big on the five trends of the modern IT industry—Cloud, Data, Leadership, Mobility, and Social—and discover where opportunities exist for their business to expand. Even though the conference is open to anyone who gets the passes, Microsoft every year restricts employees of certain companies from attending their events. Last year’s list included Google, Salesforce and VMWare. This year, Microsoft has added Amazon to the list. It is not a surprising move from Microsoft given the fact that they are competing against each other in Cloud Computing industry. The following companies and their employees and representatives are excluded from pre-purchasing ...

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Google has today released the Hangouts plugin for Microsoft Outlook. With this plugin, you can now schedule meetings and join Hangouts video calls from Microsoft Outlook. Schedule a Hangouts video call with other Outlook users in your company with a single click. Join a scheduled Hangouts video call by opening the meeting in Outlook and clicking the Hangouts video call link. Google Apps for Business users can schedule Hangouts video calls with other Outlook users in their company with the Hangouts Plugin for Microsoft Outlook®. This plugin is also used by Chromebox for meetings organizations that do not have Google Apps for Business. The plugin adds a video call name to the Microsoft Outlook event, and participants join the video call from a Chromebox for meetings device by entering the video call name using the remote control. Learn more about it and download the plugin here. ...

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  According to the recent data from Synergy Research Group, Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure grew by over 154% YoY which is almost 2.3 times faster than Amazon Web Services which recorded 67% growth. Amazon is still the cloud infrastructure business leader with 27% market share which is more than all the next 5 five competitors combined. IBM, Salesforce and Google are trailing behind Microsoft(8%) in which IBM, Salesforce, and Google, have 6.5%, 6%, and 4.5% share of the market, respectively. AWS has been forcing the cloud market to slash their margin every other quarter. Microsoft has been forced to reduce the price of their services in an effort to match the prices of Amazon. Given Microsoft’s strong brand among the enterprise, Microsoft is positioned better to compete against Amazon than anyone else. Microsoft Azure made price cuts that matched AWS’ cuts in many categories, and exceeded it in several others. The software giant chopped computing prices by ...

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Microsoft along with other web companies has raised their concerns about the new FCC rules that will allow network providers like AT&T to sell prioritized service to content companies like Netflix. Microsoft and other web companies are arguing that this rule would enable phone and cable Internet service providers to discriminate both technically and financially against Internet companies and to impose new tolls on them. FCC’s idea is to provide fast lane internet access to heart rate monitoring services, not to deliver speedy YouTube ads. However, these companies argue that there should be rules that provide certainty to all market participants and keep the costs of regulation low. FCC earlier responded to the same criticism on their blog as follows, The allegation that it will result in anti-competitive price increases for consumers is also unfounded. That is exactly what the “commercially unreasonable” test will protect against: harm to competition and ...

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A class action complaint was filed against Google yesterday for using secret deals by exploiting their Android monopoly by forcing smartphone OEMs such as Samsung and others to make Google search engine the default choice on their mobile devices. The lawsuit claims that this move by Google harms consumers by making the devices cost more. Because, Apple receives over billion dollar from Google for making Google as the default search engine. If any Android OEM wants to make similar deal with Microsoft or Yahoo for making default search engine, they will lose access to Google Apps and Google Play Store in Android. Under the secret MADA’s, device makers must allegedly include all of the following applications: Set-up Wizard, Google Phone-top Search, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, YouTube, Google Maps for Mobile, Google Street View, Contact Sync, Android Market Client (not products downloaded from Android Market), Google Voice Search, and Network Location ...

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In U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Google is facing a privacy lawsuit for its data-mining practices of students email in its Google Apps for Education program. Even though the ads are not served for Google Apps for Education users, Google itself admitted that it scanned emails sent and received by students who attend schools that use Apps for Education. Google is using the data to build a profile that could be used for ad targeting outside Google Apps. The data-mining practices behind Google’s Gmail electronic-messaging service violate federal and state wiretap and privacy laws. Gmail is a key feature of Google Apps for Education, which has 30 million users worldwide and is provided by the company for free to thousands of educational institutions in the United States. Student-data-privacy experts contend that the latter claim is contradicted by Google’s own court filings in the California suit. They ...

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Bing image search experience is one of my favorite web service that I use often. Microsoft today blogged about the Bing Image search quality providing us a behind the scenes look into how Bing is improving image search quality by exploring some additional techniques that they are employing to deliver high quality image results. Bing listed some of the techniques they use in deriving Bing Image search results, Understanding Image Quality Understanding Objects Understanding Color Filtering Image Characteristics Faces, Shoulders and Bodies Understanding Image Style Better Image Quality by Smart Cropping Better Thumbnail Visual Quality Building Hero Image Experiences For comparison with Google, check the images above. First one is the Bing image search result and the below one is from Google. For example with a query like “photos of yunnan”, where Yunnan is a beautiful resort in China, users expect to not only see relevant but also beautiful images ...

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