There were reports in the past few weeks that Microsoft could use the next generation Kinect in Xbox One to target ads. For example, Kinect can guess your age, sex, etc, by body recognition, etc,. Albert Penello , MS Director of Product Planning at Xbox clearly denied these reports. He told that no one at Microsoft is working on such things and if something like that ever happened, you can be sure it wouldn’t happen without the user having control over it. He also revealed that Microsoft is working on some cool things that make use of Kinect console. He also cited few examples of how Microsoft deals with privacy in Xbox One, Two examples of how we deal with similar things today: First, Kinect can recognize your face and log you in automatically. There could be some cool features we could enable if we stored that data in the cloud, like ...

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Windows Azure AD is the Microsoft’s Active Directory in the cloud. It offers enterprise class identity services in the cloud with support for multi-factor authentication and more. Microsoft yesterday announced no.of new features and stats about Azure AD yesterday. As of yesterday, we have processed over 430 Billion user authentications in Azure AD, up 43% from June. And last week was the first time that we processed more than 10 Billion authentications in a seven day period. This is a real testament to the level of scale we can handle! You might also be interested to learn that more than 1.4 million business, schools, government agencies and non-profits are now using Azure AD in conjunction with their Microsoft cloud service subscriptions, an increase of 100% since July. And maybe even more amazing is that we now have over 240 million user accounts in Azure AD from companies and organizations in ...

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Microsoft Bing was started as a search engine competitor against Google and it is no longer just a search engine from Microsoft. Bing is now powering no.of apps within Microsoft and some 3rd party apps as well. Bing has now become a platform on which different kinds of apps are built. Windows 8/Windows Phone apps like News, Weather, Finance, Sports, Cooking app, Health app are powered by Bing. Beyond these apps, Bing powers Translation apps with OCR functionality, and more. Microsoft posted the above video when the announced the new logo last month. If some of you missed it, do watch it. With Bing, search isn’t something that only happens in a box. It can happen whenever and wherever you need it.  Access the information you want from inside an app or on any device including your phone, tablet or even Xbox. ...

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In a blog post talking about technological improvements that were made in Skype to improve the overall experience over the last year, Skype team revealed that they are bringing synchronized chat message status across all of your devices. I assume with this new feature, you will be able to continue your conversation with someone exactly the same way across the devices at any points. Your unread messages, past conversations, etc, will all be synced. Along with introducing support for Microsoft account in October last year, the Skype cloud also added the ability to queue and deliver chat messages even if the intended recipient is offline – so you can be ‘always reachable’ to the people who matter most. With Windows Phone 8 (and soon across other Skype mobile clients), this technology enables you to receive notifications when new messages arrive regardless of whether the Skype app is running. We also ...

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Reuters today reported that Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and retiring Chief Executive Steve Ballmer are standing for re-election to Microsoft board of directors. Even though this is not a surprise news for lot of us, the investors who are trying to reduce the influence of Gates and Ballmer in the company won’t be happy to hear this news. Ballmer announced last August about his plan to retire within 12 months in August and Microsoft’s board is searching for a new CEO from both inside and external candidates. Reuters also reported that it is highly likely both Gates and Ballmer will be re-elected by shareholders at the annual meeting on November 19. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer still own a significant share of Microsoft. While Bill Gates remains the company’s largest individual shareholder, with a 4.5 percent stake, Steve Ballmer is not far behind with 4 percent. If Bill Gates continues to sell shares of ...

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The modern mail app that was shipped as part of Windows 8 was not up to the mark. It was experiencing performance issues until Microsoft delivered an update 6 months later. Even after all the updates, the mail app remained as one of the weak points. Microsoft was aware of it and they delivered an much improved Outlook Mail app for Windows 8.1 devices. All Windows 8.1 devices will have this mail app pre-installed and it is the best email experience on any tablet. In a world of mobile devices like tablets, there’s an increasingly narrow distinction between your “work computer” and your “personal computer.” More and more people are bringing their personal tablets to work, and their work laptops home. Windows 8.1 is designed for this world, equally suited for your work life and your personal life. The Mail app is no exception—it’s designed to be great for your ...

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Microsoft’s current CEO Steve Ballmer got only 79% of his total eligible bonus set for him by the board due to the slow growth in Windows 8 and Surface RT write off. The information was revealed in the proxy statement filed by Microsoft yesterday. The fiscal 2013 proxy statement gave the following reason on Ballmer’s bonus: “The company faced challenges due to weakness in the consumer PC market. While the launch of Windows 8 in October 2012 resulted in over 100 million licenses sold, the challenging PC market coupled with the significant product launch costs for Windows 8 and Surface resulted in an 18% decline in Windows Division operating income. Slower than anticipated sales of Surface RT devices and the decision to reduce prices to accelerate sales resulted in a $900 million inventory charge.” Steve Ballmer received a total of $1.26 million in fiscal 2013 which includes a base salary ...

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Microsoft has been a longtime advocate of unregulated spectrum and white spaces.  It appears the company will now get its chance to show what it can do with them.  UK regulator Ofcom has named Microsoft to test WiFi-like services to underserved Glasgow, while Click4internet will assess rural broadband in remote or tricky locations.  Google has signed on as a potential database provider.  Ofcom hope  to have everything running by next year. How White Spaces work: These new services will utilise the gaps, or ‘white spaces’, that sit in the frequency band used to broadcast digital terrestrial TV. Some of these gaps may be used by other applications, such as wireless microphones, but only at certain times. White space devices would access the spaces at times when they are vacant, by communicating their locations to a database designed to minimise the risk of interference with any existing users. This is a ...

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  Microsoft had a long tradition of delivering pre-show keynote at CES. Surprisingly, Microsoft last year said that it is not taking part in the CES with the following reason, We’ll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we won’t have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don’t align with the show’s January timing. It seems Microsoft has reversed their decision and returning to CES again this year. BBC reported today that Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association revealed this information at London. “Microsoft is officially back in the International CES,” “They are taking out significant space in meeting rooms – it’s actually a larger presence than I believe they have ever had. “Microsoft will have to make the decision who the rooms are open ...

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Microsoft Bing team today announced a new feature in image search results UI by integrating Pinterest boards. Microsoft already integrated Pinterest in Bing image search results with the Pin to Pinterest feature, allowing you to pin and save results directly from Bing image search. Today, they announced Image collections for Bing image search, which brings together curated collections of images from around the web. Now, when you search for an image on Bing, you’ll notice related boards on Pinterest right alongside regular search results. Image collections are great for a search like Halloween decorating ideas, where we bring together cute pictures from around the web with creative collections by people who are passionate about decorating their house in the best way possible. Or try a search like updo hairstyles, where Image collections show you a variety of beautiful styles to get inspired from. Below are a few additional examples of how ...

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Microsoft has now started taking pre-orders for Windows 8.1. You can now pre-order Microsoft Windows 8.1 – Full Version for $119.99 and Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro – Full Version for $199.99 from Amazon. There are no upgrade option available for Windows 8.1, so you need to pay the full price of the OS. There is a neat trick by which you can save up to $120 for Windows 8.1 Pro if you already own Windows 7 or Windows Vista. Thanks to Windowsobserver for the trick, here is what you do: Go to Amazon and order the Microsoft Windows 8 Pro Upgrade for $78.89. This version allows you to install the upgrade from Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista and Windows 7. Once your Windows 8 Pro upgrade is installed then you will be able to download the Windows 8.1 Pro upgrade at no cost beginning on 17 October 2013 since the upgrade is free for current Windows 8 users. Since ...

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Microsoft has started their marketing activities around Surface 2 tablet. The new Surface 2 tablet which is now lighter, brighter and more powerful than previous generation Surface device. The street arts jut mentions “Lighter, Brighter” wording with Surface device image with the date of release. Surface 2 device starts at $449. Key Specs: Dimensions: 10.81 x 6.81 x 0.35 in, Weight: 1.49 lbs Casing: VaporMg, Color: Magnesium Physical buttons: Volume, Power Screen: 10.6 inch Resolution: 1920 x 1080, Aspect Ratio: 16:9 (widescreen), Touch: 5-point multi-touch, Durable display 32 GB or 64 GB5 2 GB RAM, NVIDIA Tegra 4 Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0 technology Two video cameras on front and back 3.5 megapixel front-facing camera, 5.0 megapixel rear-facing camera Two microphones, Stereo speakers Up to 10 hours1,7-15 days idle life Charges in 2-4 hours with included power supply full-size USB 3.0, microSD card reader Headphone jack, HD video out port, Cover ...

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A new report from Telegraph claimed that 3 top investors in Microsoft is now pressurizing Bill Gates to step down from his position as chairman of Microsoft. They feel that Microsoft is now spending more time in his philanthropic foundation and less time on Microsoft as a chainman. Also it is not that easy to replace Bill as the chairman as he still owns about 4.5 percent of the $277 billion company and is its largest individual shareholder. Again, these investors can only suggest the board to make a change. But there is no indication that Microsoft’s board will accept the wishes of the three investors, who collectively hold more than 5 percent of the company’s stock. The three investors are concerned that Gates’ role as chairman effectively blocks the adoption of new strategies and would limit the power of a new chief executive to make substantial changes. In particular, they ...

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Microsoft is now taking pre-orders for Windows 8.1 from its Microsoftstore.com. Windows 8.1 costs $119.99 for a full version, which means you need not have a previous versions of Windows to install this OS. If you’re running Windows 8, visit the Windows Store for a free update to Windows 8.1 starting on October 17. If you’re running Windows 7, your files will easily transfer. If you’re running Windows Vista or earlier, qualify for the free upgrade to Windows 8.1 by purchasing Windows 8 now. Source: Microsoft ...

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According to a new study by consulting firm Performance Inspired, Microsoft has become the most-inspiring company in the US. Performance Inspired surveyed nearly 5,000 consumers about five companies they find inspirational and why they think so. This is not the first time for Microsoft, they came in first place three years ago. Performance Inspired believes that people who are inspired by certain company tend to spend more with those companies, encourage others to do so as well, and they will be loyal as well. Other tech companies in the list were Apple, Google, Amazon and others. Apple, which topped the last two year results returned has dropped to 12th position this year. The top 25 most-inspiring companies: 1. Microsoft 2. Disney 3. Walmart 4. Chick-fil-A 5. Target 6. McDonald’s 7. Google 8. Amazon 9. Johnson & Johnson 10. Toms Shoes 11. The Coca-Cola Company 12. Apple 13. Starbucks 14. Costco 15. Ford 16. ...

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Surface chief Panos Panay and Windows hardware scientist Stevie Bathiche yesterday previewed the upcoming Surface devices at Microsoft Store in Seattle’s University Village. Both of them together spent almost more than an hour to preview these devices. When asked about the 8-inch version of Surface, Panos said that “multiple aspect ratios and sizes” Surface are in the works. “We have a lot of great things that we are thinking about and working on, and there are multiple aspect ratios and sizes and awesome things to come from Surface,” he said. “That’s the best answer I have for you.” Panos also revealed that the 4G LTE version of Surface 2 will be available initially on AT&T in the U.S. and Vodafone in Europe. He also confirmed that here won’t be a 4G version of Surface Pro 2. According to previous reports, Surface Mini is expected to be released in early 2014. The ...

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