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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Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser is back on track both in terms of performance and usage market share. Starting from Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft begun focusing on speed and performance. In fact, Internet Explorer 11 is the fastest browser available according to the popular Sun Spider test. Analytics firm Net Applications reported that IE usage on PCs growing from 57.6 percent in August to 57.8 percent in September and it remains the most-used browser. According to StatCounter, IE is in second place with 28.6 percent, up from 25.6 percent last month. According to both the results, Google Chrome turned out to be the browser which lost market share to IE. With the release of IE11 in Windows 8.1 and IE11 for Windows 7 devices, I think this upward trend for IE will continue. What do you think? via: CNET ...

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LeakID is a company that monitors illegal links and sources, send automated takedown notices to ISPs hosting infringing links and websites. Microsoft uses their services to protect their products including Windows, Office, etc,. Microsoft has been one of the most active DMCA notice senders and they have asked Google to remove more than 10 million infringing URLs from its indexes in the past year alone. Companies like LeakID which sends notices on behalf of Microsoft have sent some embarrassing takedown notices. LeakID asked Google for the removal of Microsoft’s own website, its Wikipedia entry and an Open Source project website. After experiencing such situations in the past, Microsoft has today ended their relationship with the French company LeakID. “Microsoft is committed to ensuring that enforcement measures are appropriate and completely accurate. We are investigating the circumstances of this takedown and have instructed the vendor that it is no longer authorized to send notices on our ...

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During the second generation Surface launch event held last week, Microsoft announced the Surface Remix Project which showed how you could click in a specially designed Touch Cover that let you remix your favorite songs and share them with the world. Even though it is limited to music for now, it shows that productivity can go various other ways, not just click in keyboards. Microsoft realized that this concept has a great potential and they visited Art Center College of design to meet students for a three day workshop where students were asked to imagine different blades concepts. Microsoft refers the Cover you click in to Surface as blades. The Surface Remix Project has a music blade and there could be many other blades for various other purposes. Now let me rewind the clock back a little over three weeks. As we thought about what else we could click in to a Surface, we thought it would ...

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  Microsoft along with other technology industry leaders are now trying to bring transparency to the law enforcement requests they receive from various government agencies around the world. Microsoft has released their own law enforcement requests report for the first half of 2013. It lists all the countries where data are available. When you click a country, you can get the break up of no.of requests Microsoft received, rejected, disclosed content, etc,. Here are the highlights of the data revealed, Microsoft (including Skype) received 37,196 requests from law enforcement agencies potentially impacting 66,539 accounts in the first six months of this year.  This compares to 75,378 requests and 137,424 potential accounts in the whole of 2012. Approximately 77 percent of requests resulted in the disclosure of “non-content data”. No data at all was disclosed in nearly 21 percent of requests. Only a small number of requests result in the disclosure ...

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Few days back, we reported that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gave an emotional speech at his last annual company meeting held in Seattle this week. Steve Ballmer was moved to tears at one point of his speech. The Verge then reported about the happening as below, At one point during the meeting, Ballmer chose to play the song he used back at his first company meeting in 1983: Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”. He then proceeded to jump and dance around the stage screaming at the top of his voice “the sound of Microsoft!” After the song ended, an emotional Ballmer paused to “enjoy this for a minute,” with tears visibly streaming down his face. “You work for the greatest company in the world, soak it in.” Today, they posted a video of the same. You can watch it above. Steve Ballmer, take a bow. I don’t think any ...

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Microsoft today revealed their first marketing activity around Xbox One. They are taking Xbox One on the road, allowing customers to experience the new generation of gaming before Xbox One launches on Nov. 22. They will visit over 75 different cities around the world through  this program. The “Area One” tour will let people in the U.S., Canada and Europe get hands on with the Xbox One line-up of blockbuster games through a series of experiential events, while the Xbox One “Test Drive” will see Xbox hitting the road like never before to give people hands-on gameplay in unexpected places. “Area One” will bring a large traveling tour to many markets around the world, including Philadelphia, Toronto, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Vienna, Paris and Berlin. Xbox fans will be among the first to get their hands on the upcoming blockbuster games coming to Xbox One, including hotly anticipated ...

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Microsoft today released a new video ad for the upcoming release of Windows 8. Even though the ad does not explicitly mentions Windows 8.1, it clearly shows the improvements made as part of the upcoming Windows 8.1 update. The video highlights the ability to snap apps side-by-side, different Live Tile size support, the return of the Start button, and the ability to have this same experience across tablets, laptops and PCs. Windows 8 customers can update to Windows 8.1 for free in the Windows Store, starting October 18th, 2013. With the return of the Start button, new ways to personalize your Start screen, and more ways to do more things at once, the new Windows gives you one experience for everything in your life. http://msft.it/NewWindows What do you think of this ad? ...

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Microsoft Windows Store team today revealed that they are increasing the app roaming limit for Windows 8 deices from 5 to 81. Till now, when an users buys an app, he will be able to install the same app in 5 different devices by using the same Microsoft Account. Now, the developers can decide to have the app enforce a constraint around the number of devices and Microsoft Account will support up to maximum of 81. Users who own multiple devices like laptops, tablets, All-in-Ones, can now access their favorite apps from any device, and will give developers additional opportunities to monetize the incredible reach the Windows platform provides. We exclusively interviewed mixed martial arts fighter Prince Vegeta who told us “I won’t be satisfied until the limit is over 9000!” Since we launched Windows 8, we heard growing feedback from many developers and from our most enthusiastic customers that the limit ...

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Microsoft already has a hidden gem in its Office suite, it’s called OneNote. OneNote is an excellent note taking app. Using OneNote, you can take notes, add images, videos,   to-dos, files, and audio recordings anywhere on the page. All your notes are available on all your devices, OneNote works with Windows, Windows Phone, iOS (iPhone and iPad), and Android phone. You can even use it in Web browsers with the OneNote Web App. And you can use OneNote to share notebooks that everyone can view and edit. See what changes were made, and who made them. You can even share with people who don’t have OneNote. In the mobile world, services like Evernote emerged to be a winner because of their superior mobile apps and availability on all platforms. OneNote came late on mobile and it seems Microsoft is focusing more on improving it. In the annual company meeting held ...

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At their annual company meeting, Microsoft’s Kirk Koenigsbauer demonstrated an upcoming Windows 8 app from the Office team codenamed ‘Office Reader’. Office Reader is supposed to be a cross format tool for consuming different types of content. He also demoed no.of updates coming to Office in the upcoming “Gemini” wave. Recently, Microsoft described the below in their re-org memo. “We will ensure that the tools handle multimedia (photos, videos, text, charts and slides) in an integrated way and natively online. These documents/websites will be easily sharable and easily included in meetings. They will offer complex options such as imbedded logic and yet be easy to author, search and view. These documents will be readable from a browser, but the experience will be infinitely better if read, annotated or presented with our tools.” I guess the Office Reader exactly does the same. Office Reader app will support web pages, Office documents, ...

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  Microsoft has its annual company meeting at Key Arena yesterday where more than 20,000 Microsoft employees assembled to hear Steve Ballmer talk for the one last time in front on this huge crowd. As expected, he was moved to tears at one point of his speech. The Verge describes the situation in which Ballmer had tears as below, At one point during the meeting, Ballmer chose to play the song he used back at his first company meeting in 1983: Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’”. He then proceeded to jump and dance around the stage screaming at the top of his voice “the sound of Microsoft!” After the song ended, an emotional Ballmer paused to “enjoy this for a minute,” with tears visibly streaming down his face. “You work for the greatest company in the world, soak it in.” Ballmer also promised one thing, “we will deliver the ...

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Microsoft today announced a new fitness program called Xbox Fitness. Xbox Fitness is a new online service built exclusively for Xbox One that takes the world’s most popular fitness videos and makes them interactive. Microsoft has partnered with famous fitness trainers for this program, The extensive library of videos from the world’s biggest fitness brands including Beachbody’s P90X® (Tony Horton) and INSANITY® (Shaun T), Jillian Michaels, Tracy Anderson and others, will be available for free with Xbox Live Gold memberships through December 2014. Xbox One will make use of the new Kinect to read your heart rate without a monitor, see which muscles are most engaged by measuring the power, force and transfer of weight in your body, and track the quality of your performance by measuring your balance, tempo and form. INSANITY’S Shaun T says, “What makes Xbox Fitness so innovative is the feedback it gives you.  The Kinect sensor ...

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Kara Swisher is reporting that Alan Mulally is currently the top pick to become Microsoft’s next CEO.  I have reached out myself to induviduals familiar with the situation who tell me that the board is no where near a final list of candidates and Mulally has indicated he is not interested in the job.  Now, Mrs. Swisher has significantly more credibility than I do, so you’ll have to independently come to your own conclusion here.  Considering Mulally is approaching the age of 70, I still have trouble believing he would become CEO since he would have to plan his own succession almost immediately.  Now, Ballmer and Mulally are friends and he has advised the Microsoft CEO in the past.  Certainly it is quite plausible that Mulally could be giving Microsoft some guidance on picking their next CEO. I will repost an editorial I wrote regarding Mr. Mulally some weeks back: ...

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  Microsoft is releasing their next generation Surface devices Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 next month. Recently during the Reddit AmA session, Microsoft commented the following regarding the criticisms on their  ads for Surface devices. Definitely true – some people love our ads, and some people really don’t like them.  Our new ads will launch shortly and highlight some of the great ways people love to use Surface.  We hope you like them! Our original ads were meant to drive breakthrough for a new brand.  We did hear the feedback and you will see our new campaign shortly – it shows some of the favorite ways our customers use Surface today. I guess the above one is the first of many videos that are going to be released by Microsoft. As you can watch above, the new ad focuses on the device itself, how people can use it for both ...

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