Every year, Microsoft gives Technical Recognition Awards to Microsoft’s technical leaders and innovators. All honorees are nominated and judged by their peers within the Microsoft Technical Community Network (TCN), a community of senior leaders and contributors representing Microsoft’s technical core. Harry Shum who headed Microsoft’s search efforts was awarded with 2014 Outstanding Technical Leadership. This award recognizes an individual responsible for creating or directly influencing a visionary initiative through collaboration and technical leadership, creating a breakthrough in the technology industry. With the presentation of the Outstanding Technical Leadership Award, the Microsoft Technical Community Network recognizes Harry Shum for his transformative impact on Search Development at Bing in OSD. When Steve Ballmer handpicked Harry Shum to lead the then-struggling Bing search quality team in 2007, Shum considered himself a “surprising choice.” As we shall see, this faith in Shum was well founded: In relatively short order, Shum righted the ship and ...

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Microsoft continues to bring significant updates to the Xbox One and today announced their first update for Skype for Xbox One since its launch in November. This list of improvements includes chat history sync, new Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier Emoticons, contact filtering based on their online status, tutorial for first time users, and lots of bug fixes. #1 Improved Chat: We know that many of our users jump between using Skype on their PC to their phone and now to their living room. So we’ve been focused on enhancing this experience, keeping conversations in sync and reducing the number of missed messages to make your chat experience even better. Improved chat is now synchronized and comes with push notifications, alerting you when a new message arrives, and providing a longer chat history – up to 1,000 messages, rather than just the past 7 days. #2 Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier ...

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According to the report from WSJ, Asus has dropped its plans to sell its first Dual OS device Transformer Book Duet TD300 due the pressure from both Microsoft and Google. Early this year, Asus announced the Transformer Book Duet TD300, first convertible device that runs both Android and Windows 8.1. You can switch between them with push of a single button. The patented ASUS technology powered Instant Switch offers many performance and productivity benefits over other dual-OS solutions, such as fast, smooth and seamless switching and the ability to resume each OS from where the user left off. As it does not use OS virtualization, Instant Switch also allows each OS to harness the full power of Intel’s latest processor technology. Both the OS companies have ways to exert pressure to deter the propagation of dual-OS products such as Asus Transformer Book Duet. Asustek will also  stop selling the dual-OS ...

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Age of Ascent is a Massively Multiplayer Online game that will be released in early 2015. The first of which is a public alpha test of the PvP dogfighting component is going to be done today. The game developers are using Windows Azure for their game backend and attempting for a Guinness World Record on having the greatest number of concurrent players in the same battlezone at the same time. Age of Ascent will soon be attempting to earn a Guinness World Record. Can you tell us more about that? Yes. During the public alpha of AoA’s PvP dogfighting module we’re hoping to break the current world record for Largest Videogame PvP Battle. What does the record currently look like? Don’t other games have millions of players? The current holders are the excellent folk (and players) at CCP Games for Eve Online, with 4,070 players in a single system; a ...

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NPD Group today released their February gaming industry report. Xbox One continues selling at a record-breaking pace with 258,000 units sold in the U.S. in the month of February, surpassing Xbox 360 sales by over 61 percent at the same point in time. But the bad news is that Sony’s PS4 still leads Xbox One sales by about 10% in the US. Microsoft is expecting the launch of Titanfall in the March to boost their numbers. “PS4 led hardware sales in February 2014, but by a narrow margin with Xbox One selling over 90 percent of what the PS4 sold in terms of unit sales,” said Liam Callahan, an NPD analyst. “With Xbox One’s higher price point it led hardware sales on a dollar basis.” With Xbox One and Xbox 360 combined, the Xbox platform sold more hardware than any other home console platform and held 43 percent of the ...

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NCAA tournament is starting next week and if you are one of the basketball fans who is eagerly waiting for the tournament to start, here is some good news for you. NCAA® March Madness® LIVE is now available for download from Windows Store for Windows 8/RT devices. It allows you to live streaming of all the NCAA March Madness 2014 games, get real time scores, team and player stats, latest news and video highlights throughout the tournament and more. Description: Watch every game of the 2014 NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament on your Windows 8.1 Tablet/PC! Download NCAA® March Madness® Live to check scores, fill out and follow your bracket, get game alerts, and track social activity around all the games. Log in with your TV provider to enjoy unlimited access to live streaming video of all 67 games, across TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. A three hour live ...

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Microsoft today announced  the Xbox 360 Spring Value Bundle that will be available soon at US retailers. Find the details about three different bundles that will be on sale and the cheapest bundle starts at just $249 (includes limited time $50 off from Microsoft). Click the name of the bundles below to order them from Microsoft Store. Xbox 360 250GB Spring Value Bundle – $249: This bundle includes an Xbox 360 E console with 250GB hard drive, the games Forza Horizon and Borderlands 2, a one-month Xbox Live Gold membership, Xbox 360 wireless controller, and Xbox 360 headset. Xbox 360 4GB Kinect Holiday Value Bundle – $299: The Xbox 360 4GB Kinect Holiday Value Bundle includes the Xbox 360 E console, Kinect sensor, two Kinect games including Kinect Sports: Season Two and Kinect Adventures, and one month of Xbox Live Gold. Xbox 360 250GB Kinect Holiday Value Bundle: The Xbox 360 250GB Kinect Holiday Value Bundle includes ...

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Bill Gates sat down with Rolling Stone Magazine for extensive interview that dealt mostly with his charitable foundation.  In the interview there were a few questions surrounding technology and Microsoft. He revealed that Microsoft was also interested in buying WhatsApp. He personally feels WhatsApp is extremely valuable company, but the price Mark paid for WhatsApp is more than what he expected. If there’s a deal that symbolizes where Silicon Valley is today, it’s Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp. What does that say about the economics of Silicon Valley right now? It means that Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to be the next Facebook. Mark has the credibility to say, “I’m going to spend $19 billion to buy something that has essentially no revenue model.” I think his aggressiveness is wise – although the price is higher than I would have expected. It shows that user bases are extremely valuable. It’s software; it ...

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Microsoft today announced a cool feature on Bing Image search. It was a long awaited feature and users should be happy that it is finally here. You can now search by image on Bing. Upload your image or provide an URL of an image to Bing, Bing will search for similar images on the web. Searching for the right image can be tough. After sorting through hundreds of images, you finally find a picture you like but unfortunately it’s low resolution or an odd dimension leaving you to go back to scrolling through the results pages. To take the hassle out of this process we’re introducing a new feature that allows you to match an image in a few simple clicks. How does it work? Now when you’re browsing images you will see a button at the bottom of the page that reads “Image Match.” When you click on the ...

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Microsoft today made an important announcement targeting consumer customers using Office 365. Office 365 has more than 3.5 million subscribers and Microsoft is planning to attract more people with the new SKU called Office 365 Personal. Office 365 Personal is a SKU targeted towards individuals interested in Office 365. Office 365 Personal allows for one PC or Mac and one tablet to be connected to the service and will be available for $69.99 USD/year or $6.99 USD/ month. Also, Microsoft renaming the existing Office 365 Home Premium subscription to Office 365 Home. Office 365 Home will cost the same $99.99 USD/year or $9.99 USD/month and you can use it in up to 5 PCs or Macs, and 5 smartphones. We recognize that there are households of all shapes and sizes and we’re committed to delivering the right Office for everyone – whether that be one person or an entire household. Whichever Office 365 ...

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Microsoft invested around $300 million into Barnes and Nobel’s Nook platform. “As demand for digital content continues to increase, we are focused on bringing ground-breaking reading and learning content and technologies to more people in more formats than ever before, including the imminent launch of our exceptional NOOK reading application for Windows 8,” said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble during the announcement of the agreement. “NOOK Media is a leader in developing the next generation of digital reading and we look forward to the company bringing one of the world’s largest digital libraries to Windows 8 devices via their upcoming Windows 8 app,” commented Andy Lees, President at Microsoft. Ever since the announcement, Nook is facing great challenges in the e-book market and they are updating their agreement with Microsoft. Thanks to ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, new 8-K filing by Barnes & Noble has all the details of the updated ...

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Pwn2Own 2014 hacking contest is going on. Yesterday was the first day of Pwn2Own 2014 and it saw successful attempts by five entrants against five products, with payouts of $400,000 to researchers in the main competition and $82,500 to charity in the Pwn4Fun sponsors-only event. Team VUPEN successfully presented a vulnerability against Microsoft Internet Explorer, a use-after-free causing object confusion in the broker, resulting in sandbox bypass. It was disclosed to Microsoft and Microsoft will be working on the fix. Today, the following team will be trying to hack Microsoft’s IE. Jung Hoon Lee of ASRT – Microsoft Internet Explorer Sebastian Apelt and Andreas Schmidt – Microsoft Internet Explorer Other Mozilla Firefox, Apple Mac OS X, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader are some of the other products in which researchers revealed many security exploits. Apple Safari and Google Chrome will be attempted today at the second day of the event. ...

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Back in 2012, Microsoft introduced a new way in which you can buy a Xbox 360 4GB console with Kinect for just $99 under two year contract. The contract for two year would require you to pay $14.99 for Xbox LIVE gold subscription. This is similar to the way you buy your smartphone under contract from AT&T or Verizon. Microsoft has quietly ended this program and there is no way you can get a Xbox 360 on contract. Microsoft said the following in response to ending of the program, “This program was intended to be a pilot experiment from the start, and Microsoft routinely adjusts the mix of offers available to its customers and this change was simply standard business practice,” This move from Microsoft is not surprising given the fact that they didn’t announce this contract plan for their newly introduced Xbox One. Do you expect Microsoft to re-introduce the contract ...

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Raymond Cox, known online as Stallion83 on Xbox Live, has created another world record in the gaming community. He already has the record for the most Xbox Live Gamerscore in the world, today he reached an important milestone on 1 million Gamerscore. Massive Achievement Unlocked: On behalf of the entire @Xbox team, congrats to @Stallion83 the first person get over 1-Million Gamerscore — Larry Hryb (@majornelson) March 13, 2014 To put 1 million Gamerscore in perspective, you can only get a maximum of 1,000 Gamerscore when you unlock all the achievements in a game. I guess, @Stallion83 should have played almost all the games released for Xbox 360/Xbox One in its lifetime. Great effort by him! ...

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After so many delays, VLC for Windows 8 has now passed Windows Store certification and available for download. Download it here from Windows Store for free. You can enjoy this beta app only on x86/x64 platforms as ARM version of this player is still pre-beta state. One of the developer behind the app has listed the features of this release with its limitations, read it below. This application: works on Windows 8.0 and 8.1: too many people are still on 8.0, so we had to use that. This decreases the stability of the application, though… is compiled for Intel x86 CPUs: Windows RT version will follow as soon as we are able to compile it. ARM version will also apply to Windows Phone. plays all video and audio formats of VLC, including MKV, Ogg and Mov files or FLAC and MPC; supports the same codecs as the VLC application for ...

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, popular American actor and former Governor of California from 2003 until 2011 is participating in a new find raising program. As part of this program, donating people will get a chance to fly to Los Angeles and spend the day with Arnold. Also you’ll ride in his tank together, crush something together. You and a friend will get to ride shotgun with Arnold in his M47 Patton tank. Yes, Arnold has a tank. Yes, this is your chance to ride in it. Not only that, but you’ll also get to use the tank to crush something. And if you’re into working out, you can lift together on it too. There’s a high probability that this will be the best day of your life. Cigars included. In the promotional video made for this campaign, Arnold calls out people to come join him in crushing a Microsoft Zune. The video even shows a Zune getting crushed under a ...

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