Most of the consumer electronics companies are busy showing off their products at CES happening in the US this week. Microsoft last year decided to move away from CES since its timing didn’t align with Microsoft’s product cycle. If you were really missing some news from Microsoft for CES, consider this as your savior. @MSFTnerd today tweeted about some of Microsoft’s future plans. Microsoft is bringing InstantGo support for BayTrail+, Mullins and other SoCs with Windows 8.1 Update 1. Microsoft is planning to bring Surface 3 powered by Nvidia Tegra K1 processor with Denver CPU (64-bit ARMv8) in end of 2014. You can expect Surface Mini and LTE versions of Surface 2 before the end of 2014. Microsoft is planning to use AMDs upcoming Mullins CPU instead of their custom designed chip for its upcoming Xbox TV. Microsoft’s previous plans to release Surface notebook is on hold for now. via: ...

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Microsoft Surface Pro 2 was released to the market in October last year and it was powered by 1.6GHz Intel i5-4200U CPU. The Verge today reported that the latest Microsoft Surface Pro units comes with the 4300U CPU. The main difference between both these CPUs is 4300U being clocked higher, and it includes Intel’s Trusted Execution Technology for improved security. Microsoft has confirmed this slight CPU upgrade in latest Surface Pro 2 units. They provided the following statement for the reason behind this upgrade.  “Microsoft routinely makes small changes to internal components over the lifetime of a product, based on numerous factors including supply chain partnerships, availability, and value for our customers,” “With any change to hardware or software, we work to ensure that the product experience remains excellent.” If you are an early adopter of Surface Pro 2, does this new affect you? I don’t think consumers will really feel the ...

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This is a good news for Microsoft. Following the poor sales of first generation Surface RT devices, Microsoft reduced the price of the device by almost half and sold it through various retailers in the US. As a result, the number of devices in consumers hands has increased significantly. From the latest data of online ad network Chitika, Microsoft Surface and Amazon Kindle grew their tablet market share over others. In fact, Surface usage share was more than that of Google Nexus tablets. Microsoft’s Surface lineup also continued its impressive year end run. Surface users generated more tablet traffic than all Google Nexus tablet users following the holiday, making Microsoft the fourth-largest source of continental tablet Web traffic should it maintain the lion’s share of this latest share growth. How Chitika came to this number, To quantify this latest report, Chitika Insights surveyed a sample of tens of millions of smartphone and tablet online ad ...

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Few days back Microsoft said, “To ensure the best experience for our customers during the holiday season, we have taken steps to remove the update for Surface Pro 2 that was previously published through Windows Update on December 10,” and even confirmed that they are working to release an alternative update package after the holidays. It seems, Microsoft has changed their minds and decided to deliver the fix earlier than expected. Here is the info from the Support forums, We are working through the holidays to deliver a fix for the small number of customers that have experience decreased battery life and booting/sleeping problems as a result of the December update.  We took the update down to prevent additional customers from ending up in this state. All hardware failures, none of which are known to be caused by the December update, are being handled promptly through our warranty exchange policy. The UEFI firmware ...

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With just a five days to go before Christmas, shoppers are in full-on spending mode, but those looking to score the new Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 may be having a tough time finding one. As of this writing, Microsoft’s online store shows the Surface 2 as sold out and the same message for the 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB model for the Surface Pro 2. A check for either version of the device on Wal-Mart’s online store also showed the device as “out of stock,” with the exception of the 128GB Surface Pro 2 as above. A number of customers are also reporting that the device is sold out at physical Best Buy stores. However, Best Buy’s website shows the device as available. Mashable did an investigation on the availability of the Surface in retail Best Buy stores: I conducted my own unscientific test to see what would happen if I called local stores looking for ...

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Microsoft has granted Mary-Jo Foley exclusive access to CEO Steve Ballmer.  She recently published a discussion with Ballmer about the Surface in which he admitted: “Nobody ever buys Windows. They buy Windows PCs.”  A pretty profound statement in it of itself. “One of the things tech companies really do terribly is build new capability,” Ballmer said.  Unfortunately, when the industry changes, if you haven’t built any new capability, you can become less relevant because the thing you were good at becomes less relevant and you didn’t built capability in a new area.” “We’ve had to do it a couple of times, in fact, from platforms to apps, from now software to services, from OS (operating system) royalties, to OS royalties and devices,” he said. Ballmer called Xbox  “sort of a signature about building new capability in hardware and devices.”  Microsoft staffed up its supply-chain-team after getting into the Xbox business.  Some of ...

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We all know that Microsoft is working on smaller version of Surface device to be released next year. There were several reports in the past which confirmed the same, but the details on the device are yet to be confirmed. Some reports said that the device will have 8.3 inch 1080p display, while some reported that it will have 7.5-inch 1080p device. Some reports said that the device will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Today, WPDang reported that Surface Mini will come with 8” 1080p display and Intel Bay Trail CPU running full Windows 8.1. They also reported that an ARM version of the same may be in the works. Surface Mini will include some new Kinect like technology that will be able to recognize people’s faces, human hand gestures and more. I’m more skeptical about this Kinect like somatosensory technology baked in Surface mini, but we have to ...

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Microsoft today released December firmware updates for both its second generation Surface devices. The updates for Surface 2 and Surface Pro include improved trackpad experience and several other improvements. Surface 2 December update change log: Screen dimming during CPU intensive operations resolved. Decreased charge time for batteries. Two-finger trackpad use optimized. Update to support additional external displays. Skype video quality improved. Resolved delay during restart when Bluetooth devices are connected. Surface Pro 2 December update change log: Improved system stability, including when minimizing full screen games. Updated Wi-Fi driver for improved wireless display and connectivity with wireless access points. Improved Surface Cover interaction including power-saving sleep functionality. Color fidelity improvements for all applications. Optimized two-finger trackpad use. Enhanced audio experience when connected to a Display Port 1.2 device. Surface RT December update change log: Surface Home Button Driver update to optimize available system memory. Surface Type Cover audio device driver ...

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We continue our series of in-depth coverage of the Bing search trends of 2013.  In this post we will look at the most searched electronic devices in the US, UK, and Canada.  When Bing first started out as Live Search it used to have a search service called xRank.  xRank kept track of notable celebrities, musicians, politicians, etc. and ranked them in order of popularity from Bing search query results. Microsoft shut that service down in 2010.  However like Google, Microsoft still publishes results of some of the most popular searches at the end of each year.  Here are the most popular electronic devices by country. Most Searched Entertainment Electronics US With the upcoming launch of Xbox One, Xbox came in as the most searched entertainment electronic over iPhone #2 and Android #3. 1 Xbox 2 iPhone 3 Android 4 iPad 5 Windows Phone 6 Surface 7 Playstation 8 Nintendo ...

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It appears the Surface has a new ad campaign website discoversurface.com under the theme of #Uncompromise.  The site features a new ad video along with tweets and instagram pictures under the hashtag #uncompromise.  The website currently features a half naked woman’s picture from instagram.  Part of the “#uncompromise” theme? Story developing, more information as it comes. The video itself has not been uploaded by an official Microsoft account, but by Mike MacCana.  MacCana is a former google engineer and most recently worked at Bazaarvoice which has been in the news lately over insider trading.  It is unclear at this time if MacCana is a current Microsoft employee or contractor working on the ad campaign. Full screenshot of the site: Thanks to The Walking Cat for the tip! ...

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The New York Times published their review of the Surface Pro 2 & Surface 2 today.  Even though the author, Bob Tedeschi, is an Apple developer, he gave the next generation Surfaces a relatively objective look and was fairly positive about both devices.  It is amazing what can be accomplished with David Pogue finally leaving the New York Times.  I am looking forward to Walt Mossberg leaving the Wall Street Journal too.  Here are some pull-quotes: But the second iteration of the Surface, which went on sale in late October, most of those downers have been addressed. The new Surface includes Outlook, an upgraded battery, a kickstand with two viewing angles instead of just one and faster USB ports, and other goodies. It has roughly the same thickness and weight as the iPad — it weighs 1.5 pounds without the cover — and the overall screen size is 10.6 inches, ...

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The original Microsoft Surface 32GB version is now on sale from Microsoft Store. You can buy one for just $199. For $199, it provides great value for consumers who are looking to buy a tablet that will satisfy both your play and work needs. Surface tablet has some unique features that most of the tablets don’t have. It includes built-in kickstand, full USB port, Touch/Type cover compatibility, free full Office suite, etc,. Check out the deal here from Microsoft Store. You can buy 64GB Surface for $379 here. Shop Microsoft Store’s Hot Black Friday Offers Today ...

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After releasing couple of ads for Surface devices on comparing with Apple iPad, Microsoft today posted the above video ad today. In the new ad, Microsoft focuses on the built-in USB port of Surface devices. The port can be used to charge other devices, connect external drives, accessories, etc,. It compares this feature with Samsung Galaxy Tab which sports only one Micro USB port that will be required during charging. And you need additional accessories to use USB devices in Samsung Galaxy Tab. Watch the video ad above.  Check out more at http://www.surface.com/compare. ...

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Microsoft today released couple of ads to promote Surface devices by comparing them with the competing Apple iPad. The first ad shows the usage of tablets in the cooking scenario. If you want to use a tablet while cooking, Surface is a perfect device for you. Why? Surface comes with built-in Kickstand while you need to purchase separate case for iPad to make it stand straight. Also, the cooking app in the Surface works with gestures allowing you to turn your recipe pages with a wave of your hand. In iPad, you should shout at your tablet with voice commands which often fails. The second ad shows the scenario where a single tablet is shared among the family. In the case of Surface, you can create multiple user accounts with separate login and personalized environment. In Apple iPad, you always have one account and one home screen for all. What ...

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Microsoft today announced the launch of Microsoft Store on eBay in the US. It is basically Microsoftstore.com within eBay. Microsoft is expanding their online retail presence with this move. As you can expect, all Microsoft products from Xbox to Surface are available. Our customers continue to tell us they want more choice, value and service and appreciate how our stores connect them to the best of Microsoft. This delights us to no end. By working with eBay, a top global shopping destination with more than 124 million active users globally, even more customers can now purchase their favorite Microsoft first-party products including Surface and Xbox, as well as accessories. Our customers can expect the same safe online shopping experience, return policy and free shipping from the Microsoft Store on eBay that they’ve come to expect on microsoftstore.com. Visit Microsoft Store on eBay. ...

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Microsoft today released firmware updates for Surface devices which includes Surface, Surface 2 and Surface Pro. Surface 2 received the most significant update which includes lots of improvements across the system like wireless performance, system performances, audio performance, battery life improvements, etc. Surface 2: •Performance improvements for all Type Cover and Touch Cover versions. •Wi-Fi and Bluetooth driver updates to improve wireless display performance. •Camera improvements. •Audio improvements including switching to speaker playback after disconnecting a headset. •System performance and stability improvements. •Battery life improvements. Surface Pro: Windows 8.0 •Update to allow the use of Japanese Touch Cover 2 and Type Cover 2. Windows 8.1 •Update to the LifeCam driver to increase TrueColor fidelity. •Update to the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth drivers to enable improved wireless display performance and to further enhance Wi-Fi network performance and stability. Surface RT: Update to allow the use of Japanese Touch Cover 2 and Type ...

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