Most of you might now know about Microsoft Bob, Bob was intended to be a friendly user interface on top of Windows 3.1. It was received very poorly by both consumer and critics. Some media even claimed that Bob is named one of the worst technology products of all time. Internally, Bob’s internal code name was “Utopia” and it was discontinued by Microsoft in 1998. Even though you think that Bob is dead right now, its legacy still lives on in the form of code. It turns out Bob was actually more useful dead than alive. When you intend to distribute your software on a CD, one thing you have to worry about is making sure your product actually fits on a single CD. Fortunately, it so happened that even after taking into account the disk space required for translations, support tools, and the other stuff that has to go onto the Windows XP CD, there was ...

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Microsoft is now one among the 3 companies in the US that have AAA rating from S&P. The AAA rating is awarded for those companies with the utmost financial strength and discipline in meeting all obligations. As Automatic Data Processing was stripped of AAA credit rating, Microsoft and two other U.S. companies is now holding the coveted AAA rating from S&P. The other two companies on this list are Johnson & Johnson and Exxon-Mobil. The number of companies with the top-credit rating has been dwindling for years. Back in 1980, there were more than 60 U.S. companies rated AAA by S&P. That fell to six in 2008. Since then, industrial company General Electric, drugmaker Pfizer and now ADP have been downgraded. Some companies find ways to pull themselves back into the top credit level. Food company Kellogg, was downgraded to AA+ on Dec. 12, 1984, but managed to work its way ...

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  Microsoft India has launched a new hotline number for Indian startups and entrepreneurs to clarify their business and technical questions. Press Release: Microsoft Ventures in India announced the launch of “JumpStart,” a hotline to provide startups and entrepreneurs with a resource to ask business and technical questions. Open during business hours Monday-Friday (9am to 5pm IST), a team of dedicated professionals will be available to answer questions at 1 (800) 200-2114, a toll free number across India. “Microsoft Ventures supports startups at every stage of maturity by providing them with the tools, resources and expertise they need to succeed,” said Joseph Landes, General Manager, Developer & Platform Evangelism, Microsoft India. “Our experience has shown that a major pain point for startups across the ecosystem in India, irrespective of their stage of maturity, is the lack of real-time support for various critical queries they face. JumpStart fills a major gap ...

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Microsoft shareholder Kim Barovic has sued Microsoft board in federal court in Seattle on Friday. He accused Microsoft board for mishandling the error in EU antitrust compliance related to Internet Explorer. Even though Microsoft accounted that non-compliance is due to technical error, Kim needs more explanation on this. In March last year, the European Union levied its largest ever antitrust fine against Microsoft for breaking a legally binding commitment made in 2009 to ensure that consumers in Europe had a choice of how they access the internet, rather than defaulting to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. Its investigation found that updated software issued between May 2011 and July 2012 meant that 15 million users were not given a choice. It was the first time the European Commission, the EU’s antitrust authority, handed down a fine to a company for failing to meet its obligations. In her lawsuit, Barovic says she asked ...

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Microsoft officially ended its support for Windows XP last week. More that 25% of the internet connected PCs are still running Windows XP and the vast majority of them are from enterprises and government agencies. Last we reported that UK government has signed a deal with Microsoft to provide Windows XP support and security updates across the whole UK public sector for 12 months after regular support for the operating system ends on 8 April.  The agreement is worth £5.548m (over $7.6 million), and covers critical and important security updates for Windows XP, Office 2003 and Exchange 2003, all of which have reached end of life in Microsoft’s normal product cycles. In a similar way, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be paying Microsoft millions for an extra year of security patches. “Now we find out that you’ve been struggling to come up with $30 million to finish migrating ...

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It appears Microsoft has pulled down these videos. We have embedded a copy found on YouTube: Few hours back we reported about the video from Microsoft Research on their Interactive Live Tiles project. There is another video of the same project in which Microsoft Research is making use of Interactive Live Tiles for improving multi-tasking with modern Windows apps. In the video above, they show a scenario where OneDrive app’s interactive Live Tile is placed on the left bar on the screen while the main content on the screen is the Mail app. You can still browse through your files on your OneDrive app without leaving the Mail app. This project features an Interactive-Tile UI system that enables users to access and manipulate Live Tiles in an interactive way with touch gestures. Interactive Tile’s UI is responsive and flexible to an app’s content and function. Users can provide quick input to the ...

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It appears Microsoft has pulled down these videos. We have embedded a copy found on YouTube: Live tiles are a key part of the Start screen and the modern experience of Windows. They provide up-to-date content and notifications. Live tiles embody the Microsoft design principle of being fast and fluid. Users can see updates and real-time information from their apps all from their Start Screen, enabling them to quickly review new information and engage with apps even before they open the apps. A tile is an app’s representation on the Start screen and it can be either static or live. A static tile displays the default content, which is generally a full-tile logo image. A live tile, however, can present new and valuable content that invites the user to re-engage with your app. You can implement either a simple badge or live tile notifications to draw in your users. Even ...

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  Microsoft today revealed a new installation process in which Windows can be installed to save storage on the disk. This new instillation process was added with Windows 8.1 Update and it allows devices with 16GB or 32GB SSDs or eMMC storage to have plenty of storage left for apps and data after Windows is installed. This new deployment option is called Windows Image Boot (or WIMBoot). Instead of extracting all the individual Windows files from an image (WIM) file, they remain compressed in the WIM. But from the user’s perspective, nothing looks any different: You still see a C: volume containing Windows, your apps, and all of your data. How much does this process save on storage? So let’s assume the WIM file (INSTALL.WIM) is around 3GB and you are using a 16GB SSD. In that configuration, you’ll still be left with over 12GB of free disk space (after ...

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Microsoft today released the updated Bing Translator widgets for webmasters. The Translator web page widget allows you to bring real-time, in-place translation to your web site. Users can see your pages in their own language without having to go to a separate translation web site. The current widget design was replaced by a new simple one. You can watch video demo of how it works in the video above. Also, you can customize the widget for your needs. Allow your visitors to translate any page with the simple click of a bookmark. Translation happens in place without leaving the page with this light-weight, cross-browser plugin. Configuration Options: Translation Settings – Set when to translate (Manual or Automatic). Pick a Color – Select a Dark or Light version of the widget to fit your site. Community Translations -  Allow visitors to suggest alternate translations. Adding Bing Translator to Web Pages: There ...

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Last week, we reported that Larry Hryb, Xbox Live’s Major Nelson spoke with Phil Spencer about his new role as Head of Xbox. They discussed about E3, fan feedback, and his plans to help lead Xbox going forward. Phil Spencer answered that he is looking into all the feedback he is getting from people around, and his focus is mainly on gaming for Xbox. He really wants Gaming and Xbox to be a main strategy for Microsoft going forward. Today, Larry Hryb, Xbox Live’s Major Nelson posted another video in which he chats with Phil about his history at Microsoft and what led him to his new role as Head of Xbox. He worked on number of games including Halo, Fable, etc, in his past 26 years at Microsoft. He also revealed his most favorite game and many other things. He also said that Microsoft is really committed to Xbox platform and his recent discussion ...

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Microsoft today announced an update to the Skype app on Xbox One. This version 1.3 available today includes two main improvements including the ability to set your Skype profile picture using Kinect and improved auto-zoon feature.  We know that your Skype profile picture says a lot about you, so with this release you’ll now be able to take a Skype profile picture using Kinect on your Xbox One. Or, if you prefer your Xbox One gamerpic, you can now also use that in your Skype profile.  We’ve also worked with the Xbox and Kinect team to bring enhancements to auto zoom so the people on the other end of the video call are getting the best possible picture experience. We found ways to better identify people in the picture, especially when there are multiple people in the room. The camera can adjust and see the entire family, even the little ...

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Microsoft today announced that the European Union’s data protection authorities have found that Microsoft’s enterprise cloud contracts meet the high standards of EU privacy law. This enables enterprise customers to use Microsoft services to move data freely through cloud from Europe to the rest of the world. This approval applies to Microsoft’s enterprise cloud services – in particular, Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Windows Intune. The EU’s 28 data protection authorities acted through their “Article 29 Working Party” to provide this approval via a joint letter. Importantly, Microsoft is the first – and so far the only – company to receive this approval. By acknowledging that Microsoft’s contractual commitments meet the requirements of the EU’s “model clauses,” Europe’s privacy regulators have said, in effect, that personal data stored in Microsoft’s enterprise cloud is subject to Europe’s rigorous privacy standards no matter where that data is located. This ...

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At the Build conference, last week, once piece of technology that we heard very little about was Windows RT (not to be confused with WinRT). Many were left wondering if Microsoft was still committed to Windows RT especially given the new leadership. All OEMs with the exceptions of Microsoft (and Nokia) had abandoned the ARM hardware. The most prominent Windows ARM tablets are the Surface RT, Surface 2, and Nokia 2520.  The Surface mini is also rumored to be based on ARM hardware.  I still maintain that ARM is the future of Windows and the desktop will die, but that is a minority opinion and a lengthier philosophical discussion for another time. Mary-Jo Foley got a chance to interview Terry Myerson who commented, among other things, about Windows RT: ZDNET: What about Windows RT — not WinRT, the API (application programming interface) — but Windows RT, the Windows flavor on ARM? ...

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Few days back, WSJ reported about Harry Shum, head of technology and research at Microsoft speaking at Think Next 2014 conference in Tel Aviv. Harry Shum said “We are now moving from the personal computer to personal computing.” Microsoft Research now has machine learning and artificial intelligence on top of its list and working on how a person interacts with a computer. Also, Microsoft is now investing heavily on invisible user interface technology in which the intelligent devices will know what you want before you tell them. Microsoft is investing heavily in “invisible user interface” technology, said Yoram Yaakobi, who heads up Microsoft’s research and development center in Israel. Yaakobi said people in the future won’t need to touch, type or speak to their devices — the devices will “know” what we want them to do before we ask. He called it “UI.Next.” “User interface started with the command prompt, ...

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Microsoft has now opened up the pre-order for Surface 2 LTE model in UK. Last month, Microsoft released Surface 2 LTE in the US market for AT&T LTE network and now they are expanding to UK. It comes with only one SKU, Surface 2 64GB (4G) will cost £539.00 incl. VAT in the UK. You can pre-order it today and the general availability is from 8th of May. You don’t have to be near a Wi-Fi connection to be able to get the most out of your Surface. Now anywhere you can get a mobile signal, you can get online .Surface 64GB 4G comes with a micro-SIM slot. Insert any pre-paid micro-SIM to start using data.9 It also comes with couple of offers, 200GB storage for two years When you put a file on OneDrive, it’s with you on all of your internet-enabled devices. Get free Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote ...

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The Heartbleed Bug is a serious vulnerability in the popular OpenSSL cryptographic software library. This weakness allows stealing the information protected, under normal conditions, by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. Popular internet services like Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Messenger and many others are affected by this bug. Microsoft today confirmed that Microsoft Account and Microsoft Azure, along with most Microsoft Services, were not impacted by the OpenSSL vulnerability. The Heartbleed vulnerability in OpenSSL (CVE-2014-0160) has received a significant amount of attention recently.  While the discovered issue is specific to OpenSSL, many customers are wondering whether this affects Microsoft’s offerings, specifically Microsoft Azure. Microsoft Account and Microsoft Azure, along with most Microsoft Services, were not impacted by the OpenSSL vulnerability. Windows’ implementation of SSL/TLS was also not impacted. Microsoft Azure Web Sites, Microsoft Azure Pack Web Sites and Microsoft Azure Web Roles do not use OpenSSL to terminate SSL ...

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