Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft takes the wraps off Windows 10 -- No, seriously

Windows 10

Microsoft has finally announced its new OS. The Wi-Fi password at today’s intimate San Francisco event was "Windows 2015", leading some to speculate that Microsoft might have chosen to return to naming its OS after the year of launch (a nod to Windows 95/98), but that turned out not to be the case -- a wise move. So what name would the tech giant choose? Not Windows 9, the obvious and expected pick, nor Windows One, the rumored alternative.

No, to the surprise of everyone, Microsoft has revealed that the next version of Windows will be called… drum roll… Windows 10! What? Way to confuse consumers Microsoft. I guess Windows X was too close to OSX. Or maybe Microsoft choose Windows 10 because 7 8 9 (seven ate nine)? Infoworld's April Fool's joke got it right.

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Windows 9 -- What to expect from the new OS

Start-menu

Microsoft will be announcing its new OS later today, with things kicking off at 10am PT/6pm BST. Although we’ve already seen various leaked images and videos, this will be our first official look at Windows 9 (aka Threshold) and Microsoft will reveal what it has planned for the successor to the much maligned Windows 8.

There isn’t a live stream unfortunately, and although a technology preview will be released for the new OS, it isn’t expected to be made available today. So what can we expect from Windows 9?

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Microsoft rolls out the new MSN, rebrands Bing apps for Windows, Windows Phone

New MSN

Microsoft did something rather unexpected earlier this month. The software giant unveiled a revamped MSN, saving the online portal from oblivion -- its biggest merit lately is being the default website for Internet Explorer. The new MSN looks great, connects users to Microsoft's consumer-facing cloud services, and can be tailored to suit their preference. It also makes it easy to trigger a search across the InterWebs. Heck, I have even said it might work as the Bing landing page.

Fast forward to today and Microsoft announces that more than 10 million users have tested the new MSN, with more than 80,000 of them also submitting feedback. Those numbers look really good. And they should, considering the online portal's Microsoft-focused audience. The feedback it has received must have been good also, as Microsoft announces it is rolling out the new MSN in the next three days.

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Chromebooks are in trouble -- HP unveils $199 Windows laptop and low-cost tablets

feathp11199

When I bought my first Chromebook, the 2012 Samsung model, I did it mostly for one reason -- price. I drove down to my local Best Buy and was blown away by how inexpensive it was; at $249 it looked like a MacBook Air and promised good battery life. Even though I knew the limitations of Chrome OS beforehand, I still handed over my money thinking I could find a place for it in my home. For the most part it was OK; I mean, it changed the way I thought about computing, but it soon became apparent that it could not replace my Windows machine. I didn't return it; I kept for basic typing on the go, but I later sold it as it collected dust. You see, my iPad Air when coupled with a keyboard-case was a better portable machine.

Now, in 2014, Chromebooks are making huge strides in homes, schools and the enterprise, but Windows still reigns supreme. While I do recommend Chromebooks for people low on cash that only have basic computing needs, today this changes. You see, HP announces the $199.99 Stream 11 laptop, and with a price that low, why would you bother with Chrome OS?

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CallTower Cloud-Hosted Lync: PSTN-enabled VoIP UC without the mess [review]

man in cloud

A few weeks back, I finally had a really good chance at stress testing our company's still-fresh hosted Lync solution from CallTower. Merging calls. Transferring calls. Starting ad-hoc conference calls with clients. All the while IM'ing my internal staff and fellow clients, and checking voicemails that were coming through as MP3s in my email along with associated text transcriptions.

If you think I was sitting at the comfort of my desk with the power of a desk phone at my side, you guessed wrong. I was nearly 900 miles away from our home base in Park Ridge, out in the beautiful city of Stamford, CT helping clean up a messy VoIP rollout for a customer who needed some dire help.

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Windows 9 download link leaks ahead of Technical Preview launch

Windows 9 download link leaks ahead of Technical Preview launch

This week we should finally be able to get our hands on Windows 9 code direct from Microsoft. There are only a couple of days to go until the Technical Preview is officially unveiled at an event in San Francisco, and excitement has been mounting. Slightly ahead of schedule, a page has appeared on the Microsoft website that includes a download link to the 32- and 64-bit versions of the Windows Technical Preview for Enterprise. Intriguingly, the page refers to a version of Windows named Windows TH, but it's not clear that this is actually the name that will be used.

Before you get too excited about grabbing the latest Windows bits, it seems that the page is just a placeholder for now. The download button currently links to a non-updated version of the TechNet Evaluation Center, but a link to the download page that will be used was live briefly. It revealed that the US version of the Technical Preview weighs in at 3.16 GB and 4.10 GB. We've already got a pretty good idea of what to expect from the preview as there have been numerous build and screenshot leaks over recent weeks.

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Apple tests the iPhone 6's durability using Windows XP

Apple Windows XP

Apple has been under fire this week over claims that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus bend when carried around in a tight jeans pocket, or someone making a YouTube video exerts a lot of force on the device. In an effort to counter this bad press, the tech giant has announced that just nine customers (to date) have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone (out of ten million), and it even went so far as to give CNBC an exclusive look inside its testing labs.

Anyone worried about how rigorously Apple tests its phones will have been calmed by the news that the iPhone 6 was exhaustively tested 15,000 times before being released, and the video showing that Apple uses only state-of-the-art equipment when testing for endurance and durability was reassuring too. Although CNBC then tweeted a picture from the labs revealing test results being recorded on a less-than state-of-the-art Windows XP system.

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Microsoft lights up Seattle music festival with experimental dance Cube

cube

Microsoft has created a four-foot high interactive art installation for Seattle's Decibel music and arts festival.

The Microsoft Cube is essentially a projection system that uses five PCs, five projectors and four Kinect sensors to create a dance party that invites onlookers to become part of the art display.

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Pricey Macs and cheap Chromebooks squeeze Windows in the middle

Squeeze

No one likes to be in the middle seat on airplanes, right? It's a metaphor appropriate for retail -- and the place where Windows sits in NPD's final assessment of U.S. 2014 back-to-school sales growth. Chromebook continued a nearly two-year unit-sales surge, while Macs made last-minute gains, and Windows PCs survived only by aggressive tactics that pulled down average selling prices. For Microsoft and its partners, the strategy cut market share losses but at great hidden costs.

Back-to-school 2013 was a bloodbath, with unit sales through U.S. channels dropping by 2.5 percent annually -- a loss that pulled down overall PC sales during first half of last year. For 2014, sales are up about 3 percent overall, or 3.5 percent for notebooks and flat for desktops.

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GoDaddy slashes the cost of Microsoft Office 365 to $1 per month for a year

GoDaddy slashes the cost of Microsoft Office 365 to $1 per month for a year

People are slowly but surely coming round to the idea of SaaS (Software as a Service), and this is particularly true for businesses. Microsoft is making something of a success of pushing monthly or annual subscriptions for Office 365, but there's still a massive untapped market -- small businesses who are simply not in a position to make additional financial commitments each month. GoDaddy is helping to wipe out this obstacle by offering a package aimed at getting small businesses up and running online for just $1 per month; and the package includes Office 365.

As this is GoDaddy, it should come as no surprise that there is a web-focus to the package. For $1 a month, businesses can bag themselves a custom domain and take advantage of the Website Builder tool as well as site hosting. On top of this, there's round the clock support and $50 worth of Bing credit to help with online promotion. This is already a great value deal, but throwing Office 365 into the mix is going to be too much for many businesses to resist.

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Xbox One launches in India, UK price drops, and Chinese gamers have 'approved games' list

Xbox One launches in India, UK price drops, and Chinese gamers have "approved games" list

It's almost as though we are entering that time of the year when people start thinking about Christmas presents. Game consoles -- like the Xbox One -- are likely to feature pretty high up on wishlists the world over and, out of the blue, there's a raft of Xbox One news spilling out.

It is quite some time since the wraps were taken off the console, but today is the day it finally launches in India. The version with Kinect is available for Rs 45990 (around $755), with the Kinect-free version costing Rs 39,990 (around $655) -- so compared to other parts of the world, the Indian version of the Xbox One is relatively expensive. It will be interesting to see what sort of an impact this has on its popularity.

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Master Outlook.com with help from The Mother-in-Law, The Cleaner, and The Golden Child

Outlook.com-The-Golden-Child

Microsoft introduced Advanced Rules to its webmail service back in May, with the aim being to give users more control over how emails are sorted, and filed. You can chain together rules in whatever ways suit you.

Although it’s an undoubtedly powerful inclusion, not everyone will understand how to use the rules, or grasp the possibilities offered. For that reason, Microsoft has put together a blog post offering a collection of useful examples, each with an amusing name, such as 'The Golden Child' (helps you remember things), 'The Auto-Archiver' (helps you get organized) and 'The Bouncer' (protects your inbox from mail you don’t want).

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Microsoft announces Wireless Display Adapter -- better than Chromecast?

displayferat

Back in the day, when graphics cards started gaining TV output, it was all the rage to connect your desktop to a TV. The idea of playing a DVD on a computer and having it display on a television was an amazing feat. Nowadays, many computers have HDMI-out and it is nothing special.

Lately though, sending video wirelessly to a TV has been the popular thing, mostly thanks to the low-cost Google Chromecast. At $35, it is affordable for all, which makes it an easy impulse buy. Unfortunately, Chromecast works best with apps that support it, and not many do. Sure the list is growing, but it is still small, plus Chromecast screen mirroring is glitchy and slow. Today, Microsoft announces the Wireless Display Adapter, which mirrors the screen of Windows 8.1, Windows Phone and Android devices. Best of all? It does not need individual app support.

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Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 rolls out for Nokia Lumia 930

Nokia Lumia 930

Microsoft has announced that Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 is now rolling out for Nokia Lumia 930, just shy of two months after it introduced the latest version of the tiled operating system. The flagship is the first Nokia-branded handset to be officially updated to Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, and among the few that officially run this installment.

Even though, on Nokia's support forums, the software update is described as being "minor", it actually offers quite a few notable improvements over the previous firmware release. Contrary to expectations, it does not bring the Lumia Denim enhancements along with it.

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HTC One (M8) for Windows -- can it outdo the sexiness of Lumia? [Review]

angledcb

Windows Phone is a very polarizing operating system to say the least. Many consumers refuse to give it a chance, and the ones that do, either hate it or love it. Despite the shortcomings of Microsoft's phone-focused OS, I find it to be a very rewarding experience. Of course, the biggest complaint is a lack of apps, and while there has been much improvement in that area, it is still a valid argument when compared against the iPhone or Android.

Apps aside, it is an intuitive experience that enhances one's life rather than take it over. Android and iPhone users are often in a zombie-like state while using the device, as if it is the sole-focus of their existence. Windows Phone is designed more to be glance-and-go. Unfortunately, while Nokia Lumia handsets have been wonderful, brand-diversity and selection has been severely lacking. Luckily, Microsoft majorly scored by getting HTC to produce a version of its One (M8) that runs Windows Phone. Can the sexy HTC handset outdo the sexiness of the popular Lumia line?

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