It is common practice for corporations to charge the government for data requests.  There is a cost associated with maintaining records and having a legal departments comply with thousands of government requests over a year.  A charge for a request is a balance that ensures governments do not go overboard in data requests.  In fact the government is suing Sprint for over-charging the government for data requests. Documents released by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) show that what appear to be invoices and emails between Microsoft’s Global Criminal Compliance team and the FBI’s Digital Intercept Technology Unit (DITU), and purport to show exactly how much money Microsoft charges DITU, in terms of compliance costs, when DITU provides warrants and court orders for customers’ data.  The SEA has been targeting Microsoft and mostly recently gained access to the Skype social media accounts. In December 2012, for instance, Microsoft emailed DITU a PDF ...

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Back in December last year, Microsoft released Yammer Now as a mobile messaging app for enterprise users. Its a lightweight tool for simple and quick messaging experience, for accessing other functionalists such as Inbox and Home Feed, you need to download the regular Yammer app. They have updated this iOS app today with Stickers support. So you can now express yourself through the medium of stickers to your co-workers. Yammer Now means that you can always reach your team, even if you don’t have their phone numbers. But we know that sometimes, the things you want to say can be difficult to get across with mere words. Sometimes you have a thought or a feeling that would be better expressed with a quick, easy-to-parse image (note the rise of the thumb in social messaging apps). And sometimes you need to convey meaning when the words alone could be ambiguous in ...

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SharePoint Online now allows up to 1TB of storage for OneDrive for Business and SharePoint site collections in Office 365. An administrator can specify which specific users they want to assign new upper quotas of 50GB, 100GB, 250GB, 500GB or 1TB quota. The catch to this is once the default quota of 25GB for a user is exceeded you will be pulling storage out of the overall pooled tenant storage allocation (10GB + 500MB x total number of users) in the tenant.   If you have 10,000 A2 licensed users that equals 5TB of pooled tenant storage available.   You decide to up OneDrive for Business quota from default 25GB to 250GB for 4 users which consumes 1TB out of the 5TB leaving 4TB remaining of the overall pooled storage.   You can purchase more pooled tenant storage at a per GB / per Month charge if you require more. ...

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Microsoft has updated the Lync app for Windows 8/RT devices in Windows Store. The update is mainly focused on Lync Meeting presenters which brings most common features that are available in the desktop app. As a result, you can now manage your meeting participants from the modern Lync app. For most users of Windows 8.1, Lync will upgrade automatically within 24 hours. To get the update sooner, search for Lync and click Install. In addition to new features, we also continue to improve the ease of use for Lync.  We think you’ll like what we’ve done in this update.  Here’s an overview of what’s new: This update includes: Manage meeting participants individually or as a group. You can mute a participant, send a private IM, view their contact card, promote to presenter or demote to an attendee. You can also invite more participants, mute all audience, and admit people to the meeting who are waiting in ...

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Microsoft Surface Touch Cover 2 supports touch gestures across keys and touchpad. Touch Cover 2 has 1092 sensors while the original Touch Cover had 80 sensors. All these Touch Cover 2 pressure sensors have 1024 pressure levels and all the processing is done inside Touch Cover to support gestures. It supports gestures like the below, •Spacebar slide to select – When you’re typing in any Windows 8 style application on the Touch Cover 2 or using the on-screen keyboard, context aware suggestions will be displayed in real time as you type. You can reach up to the screen to select a word if you see the want you intend on typing, or you can slide your thumb across the spacebar to cycle through the three selections. Tap the space bar to lock in your choice. A space will be added after that word automatically, but if you punch in any punctuation, Windows will ...

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In the recent years, design has taken the center stage of everything Microsoft does. Most of the Microsoft products, starting from Windows Phone to Windows Server now has great user experience. Recently, Microsoft even acknowledged the design momentum within Microsoft by giving Outstanding Technical Achievement 2014 award to Microsoft Design team. Read about it here. Microsoft today posted the above video in which various designers working on products across Microsoft discuss about their work at Microsoft. Meet designers from the Windows, Windows Phone, Skype and Research teams at Microsoft, and learn about what inspires their work. You can learn more about design at Microsoft from this microsite. Microsoft has united around design principles that are modern, intuitive, and implements a playful visual language that extends into our entire product portfolio, from Office to Bing to Windows Phone to Xbox, and beyond. ...

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Microsoft today officially announced DirectX 12 gaming platform at GDC. DirectX 12 will feature the next version of Direct3D, that is faster and more efficient than ever before. Direct3D 12 works across all the Microsoft devices, from phones and tablets, to laptops and desktops, and, Xbox One. Microsoft worked closely with all the leading GPU vendors like AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm and Intel. What makes Direct3D 12 better? First and foremost, it provides a lower level of hardware abstraction than ever before, allowing games to significantly improve multithread scaling and CPU utilization.  In addition, games will benefit from reduced GPU overhead via features such as descriptor tables and concise pipeline state objects.  And that’s not all – Direct3D 12 also introduces a set of new rendering pipeline features that will dramatically improve the efficiency of algorithms such as order-independent transparency, collision detection, and geometry culling. Of course, an API is only as good as the tools ...

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The Ethisphere Institute, an independent center of research promoting best practices in corporate ethics and compliance, announced today the selection of the 2014 World’s Most Ethical Companies. The World’s Most Ethical Company designation recognizes companies that truly go beyond making statements about doing business ethically and translate those words into action. Microsoft was included in the 2014 list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. This is 4th year in a row for Microsoft and they commented the following regarding this honor, Ethical and responsible business practices are the bedrock of our corporate governance practices. These practices are designed to promote the interests of shareholders, maintain checks and balances, strengthen accountability and foster responsible decision making. We work diligently to meet our responsibility to serve the needs of the communities in which we live and work, and to manage our business with the utmost integrity. At Microsoft, we are committed to applying ...

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Qik is a mobile video sharing service, that allowed users to record and share the experience with your friends, family and their favorite social networks. One of the unique feature of Qik is that it allowed users to stream live video from their mobile devices to the internet. Skype bought Qik back in 2011 for about $150 million. Since then, the app didn’t receive any major updates, but remained active. Today, Qik has sent out email to their users that the service will be shutdown on April 30th. Know more about it from the Q&A below. What is happening to Qik? On April 30, 2014, Qik.com will be retiring. This means all Qik mobile phone apps will cease to work, there will be no more software updates provided and Qik apps will be removed from all App stores. Videos uploaded, shared and embedded using Qik will no longer be available ...

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A few weeks back we reported of the RTM version of Windows 8.1 Update 1 leaking via Microsoft.  Microsoft quickly pulled the links down, but as we are now much closer to the official release date, it appears they are back online. Windows 8.1 x86 kb2919355 kb2919442   (you may already have this installed).​ kb2939087 kb2932046 kb2937592 kb2938439 Windows 8.1 x64 kb2919355 kb2919442   (you may already have this installed).​ kb2939087 kb2932046 kb2937592 kb2938439 Windows RT 8.1  ARM kb2919355 kb2919442   (you may already have this installed).​ kb2939087 kb2932046 kb2937592 kb2938439 The Updates must be installed in the following order: KB2919442  (you may already have this installed). KB2919355 KB2932046 KB2937592 KB2938439 KB2939087 These are the exact same update that were available on the servers a few weeks back.  If were lucky enough to already install them, no need to do it again. via Neowin ...

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Microsoft Bing team is known for testing new features and tweaks to a small group of users to analyze the usage before rolling it out to millions of users. We have come across many such features in the past, today we spotted one such feature. This new feature is called Bing Story timeline and it will be displayed in Bing web search results. When you search for people like ‘Jessie James’, there will be series of news incidents related to that person.  A picture of this can be seen above. How we currently see news results on search results are displayed as below: For certain individuals Microsoft has provided a timeline in the right most ‘knowledge’ column.  For example if you search Phil Jackson on Bing you will see a timeline of major events in his life and career. This new “story timeline” shown at the top is different from ...

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Microsoft Research has announced a special Climate Data award program, which offers scientists and decision-makers 12 months of free Windows Azure cloud-computing resources.This program was launched as en effort to support White House’s Climate Action Plan to help predict and address the impacts of climate change. Microsoft will be awarding this grants to 40 awardees selected from proposals submitted by June 15, 2014. Each award provides up to 180,000 hours of cloud-computing time and 20 terabytes of cloud storage. Apart from this, Microsoft will also be helping the Climate Action Plan by providing FetchClimate and other Microsoft Business Intelligence tools to researchers around the world. To further promote resilience to the impacts of climate change, Microsoft commits to make FetchClimate available for adoption. FetchClimate is available to all researchers—not just the award recipients—as a fast, free, intelligent environmental information-retrieval service that provides past and present observational data and climate prediction ...

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Microsoft is known for their marketing videos of Surface which directly compares other competing tablets. Now, Samsung has released a video to promote its Galaxy Tab Pro tablet. It directly criticizes other competing tablets like Microsoft Surface, Apple iPad, etc,. When comparing with Apple iPad, the ad highlights that the iPad can only task, not multitask. And the display resolution of Galaxy Tab Pro is higher than that of iPad. As for Surface, it was criticized for having a keyboard like a laptop, a battery dock like a laptop, and a mouse like a laptop! I really don’t get the point Samsung is trying to make against Surface. Surface can be used just like a Galaxy Tab Pro without any keyboard covers, mouse, etc,. Anyway, enjoy these commercials. ...

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Alex Kibkalo was arrested by FBI recently. He is an ex-Microsoft employee and the reason he was arrested was pretty simple, he was the one who leaked pre-release Windows 8 builds to a blogger in 2012. He is now facing federal criminal charges following a allegations that he stole trade secrets. He was also the person who leaked “Activation Server Software Development Kit,” a propriety system that is used by Microsoft and its OEN partners to prevent the unauthorized copying of Microsoft programs. Here’s how they caught him, According to charging papers, the blogger posted screenshots of a pre-release version of Windows 8, presumably due to Kibkalo’s leak. On Sept. 3, 2012, the blogger sent the stolen software development kit code to a Microsoft employee asking that he or she verify it, the FBI agent said in court papers. The worker went to a Microsoft executive instead. The code was later confirmed to be authentic, prompting corporate investigators to ...

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Many developers descending on the Game Developers Conference (GDC) are expected to come toting prototype videogames, movies and virtual-reality goggles—updates of offerings that ignited a short-lived technology craze in the early 1990s.  Three-dimensional simulations enabled by special eyewear are expected to be a key in the this week in San Francisco. While Microsoft is expected to unveil DirectX 12 a new report suggests the Redmond software giant may have something to unveil in the ’3-D’ space as well.  The Wall Street Journal reports: Microsoft has also developed 3-D virtual-reality devices, people familiar with the project say, and it has filed at least one patent for it so far. The software company has been developing the technology concurrently with a project known as “Fortaleza,” or “fortress” in Portuguese. The effort has been discussed as an attempt at creating a suite of experiences unique to Microsoft’s Xbox products, people who have been privy ...

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Microsoft Research is always known for exploring new possibilities. Here is an another interesting thing they did at this year’s TED conference. They are using Oculus Rift virtual reality viewer for exploring large imagery in World Wide Telescope. Worldwide Telescope is for Sky like how Bing Maps is for our own Earth. You can explore the Sky using Worldwide Telescope, for example you can locate tiny craters in Mercury, etc. At this year’s TED conference, currently taking place in Vancouver, B.C., the results of Eyewire are on display in spectacular fashion via a virtual reality tour that uses Oculus Rift. It is the result of a months-long collaboration between Eyewire and Microsoft Research’s Worldwide Telescope (WWT), and it allows users to experience 3D models like never before. The below video demonstrates what TED attendees are seeing this week, albeit in 2D form. How was this collaboration born? Initially, Robinson wanted to display ...

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