Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise group today highlighted the number of great enhancements they have added to Microsoft Azure this past month. These include: Virtual Machines: Preview Portal Support as well as SharePoint Farm Creation Machine Learning: Public preview of the new Azure Machine Learning service Event Hub: Public preview of new Azure Event Ingestion Service Mobile Services: General Availability of .NET support, SignalR support Notification Hubs: Price Reductions and New Features SQL Database: New Geo-Restore, Geo-Replication and Auditing support Redis Cache: Larger Cache Sizes Storage: Support for Zone Redundant Storage SDK: Tons of great VS and SDK improvements All of these improvements are now available to use immediately. If you don’t already have a Azure account, you can sign-up for a free trial and start using all of the above features today. You can read more details about them at Scott Guthrie’s blog. ...

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Microsoft today revealed that they quietly included improvements and advancements in vertical writing mode layout with Internet Explorer 11 June 2014 update. This update brings in features such as constant center baseline and ruby positioning preserving line height. This will allow web developers to enable rich, interactive textbooks and publications for locales supporting vertical writing mode, such as Japanese locale. With those updates, content creators can tap into Internet Explorer powerful vertical layout features in their Web sites, Web applications and modern Windows apps. We look forward your feedback through Connect. You can try out yourself at Vertical Writing Mode Improvements Test Drive. ...

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Microsoft today announced several rendering and styling improvements to Bing Maps to enhance aesthetics and usability. Gradient Land Color We introduced a new gradient coloring for land areas that adjusts the brightness to your zoom level. The land color will now be lighter when zoomed out and get darker when zoomed in at higher levels of detail. Not only do these updates improve the overall aesthetic appeal of the maps, but they also help increase the contrast, making streets and other features more visible. Localized Landmark Icons We also added new, culturally-accurate symbols for landmarks. Instead of using the same icons for landmarks like banks or pharmacies globally, we introduced new symbols that are relevant no matter where you are. Transit Icon Consolidation Additionally, we removed some instances where public transit icons were duplicated on the map in the United States. Park Trails and Pathways New styling helps clearly differentiate park ...

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Meet #SurfacePro3, the tablet that can replace your laptop. #SurfacePro3 features a gorgeous 12″ ClearType display with a 2160 x 1440 screen resolution. Try to look away. At only 800 grams, the #SurfacePro3 is heavyweight performance in a featherweight form. With @intel i3, i5, and i7 processors, the #SurfacePro3 is our fastest, most powerful device yet. The multi-position kickstand on #SurfacePro3 is gorgeous and productive at any angle. Type in your comfort zone with the redesigned #SurfacePro3 Type Cover. We’ve completely redesigned the #SurfacePro3’s touch pad. Tap and scroll to your heart’s content. Open @MSOneNote instantly with the Surface Pen on #SurfacePro3. With Dolby sound and a gorgeous 12” display, #SurfacePro 3 is an entertainment powerhouse. Pre-order it from Microsoft Store today. ...

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Microsoft today released December firmware updates for both its second generation Surface devices. The updates for Surface 2 and Surface Pro include improved trackpad experience and several other improvements. Surface 2 December update change log: Screen dimming during CPU intensive operations resolved. Decreased charge time for batteries. Two-finger trackpad use optimized. Update to support additional external displays. Skype video quality improved. Resolved delay during restart when Bluetooth devices are connected. Surface Pro 2 December update change log: Improved system stability, including when minimizing full screen games. Updated Wi-Fi driver for improved wireless display and connectivity with wireless access points. Improved Surface Cover interaction including power-saving sleep functionality. Color fidelity improvements for all applications. Optimized two-finger trackpad use. Enhanced audio experience when connected to a Display Port 1.2 device. Surface RT December update change log: Surface Home Button Driver update to optimize available system memory. Surface Type Cover audio device driver ...

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Yesterday, Microsoft detailed the improvements around Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 8.1 You can now have Live Tiles for your favorite websites. Windows 8.1 with IE 11 introduces support for live tile notifications when you pin your favorite web sites. Your pinned sites can now be alive with activity, pulling data directly from the websites so your Start screen is updated with the latest posts, scores or stocks – information from the Web right on your Start screen. Together with the Start screen team in Windows, we designed the live tile support for sites to enable all the same tile sizes and layouts that apps enjoy. We set out to make it as easy as possible for developers to build live tile notifications using the existing RSS feeds for their sites, and we built BuildMyPinnedsite.com to help developers to create beautiful tiles and live notification support with just a few ...

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