Articles about Microsoft

When iPads fall, Windows tablets rise

Apple iPad vs Windows 8

The tablet market could be slowing down after years of growth, according to industry estimates, with Apple's iPad set to be hardest hit.

Research firm IDC projects that total tablet shipments globally are set to increase by only 7.2 percent this year, compared with 52.5 percent growth in 2013.

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Does a deleted Microsoft blog post show it's about to buy mobile email firm Acompli?

Does a deleted Microsoft blog post show it's about to buy mobile email firm Acompli?

Web pages can be interesting, transient things; they can be there one minute and gone the next. But while a web page may vanish, that does not mean that all traces of it vanish from the internet. Earlier today an intriguing-looking article popped up in my news reader -- there are many benefits to sticking with RSS feeds: a post on the Microsoft blog with the title "blank post please delete".

Authored by Rajesh Jha, my RSS reader (InoReader) showed that the post's content was very similar to the title -- blank post, please delete. Just a comma added. Interest piqued, I clicked the link to see if there was any more to see. "We're sorry, but we can't find the page you're looking for" announced Chrome. But the URL is curious.

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Need to clean your Surface Pro 3? Here's how Microsoft suggests you do it

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Laptops and tablets can be quite the germ-factories. Not only do people touch the screens and keyboards with things like gross Cheez-Doodle-covered fingers, but many bring computers into the bathroom too, though most won't admit it. Germs are a real concern for me, and I like to be in a clean environment.

Unfortunately, it can be a mystery to know the best way to clean a tablet or laptop. Do you bring it in the shower with you? Spray it with Febreze? Put it on the hood of your car and drive through a car wash? Actually, those are all horrible ideas -- please don't do any of them! Today, Microsoft is enlightening Surface Pro 3 users with the best way to clean and sanitize the tablet/laptop hybrid for use in a hospital or clinical environment. Sure, it may be overkill for the average home user, but when it comes to germs, I would rather be safe than sorry.

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Windows 10 Build 9879 hits Slow ring, ISO and BSOD fix also released

Windows 10 Build 9879 hit Slow Ring, ISO and BSOD fix also released

With Windows 10 technical Preview, Microsoft is delivering updates to Windows Insiders on two different schedules. People who have opted to join the Fast ring for preview updates already have Windows 10 Build 9879, but today the latest build starts rolling out to those who opted to stay in the Slow ring, or just didn’t know that the faster option was available.

After a couple of weeks' testing on Fast ring guinea pigs, Build 9879 is rolling out to the Slow ring. There have been no changes in the move from Fast to Slow ring, so we know what to expect but Microsoft has taken the opportunity to issue a separate update to fix an issue that caused a BSOD on some systems. But what will please anyone who has been waiting to perform a clean installation of this latest build -- the last public build we'll see until next year -- is the news that Build 9879 has also been made available as an ISO as the Windows Technical Preview November Update.

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GreatFire.org and BBC punch uncensored news through the Great Firewall of China

GreatFire.org and BBC punch uncensored news through the Great Firewall of China

The Great Firewall of China is renowned for the restrictions it places on what Chinese citizens can access online. Free speech advocates have long called for the Chinese government to allow access to the wider web, so people in China can get a better idea of what is going on elsewhere in the world. Now GreatFire.org, working with the BBC, has found a way to deliver uncensored Chinese language news to those on the wrong side of the firewall.

GreatFire.org is an anti-censorship group that monitors web blocking in China and campaigns against censorship. Various techniques for getting around the Great Firewall of China have been publicized in the past, but they have relied on VPNs and other tools that can be complicated to set up. The latest method requires no special tools.

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Microsoft has an amazing deal on Lumia 635 -- just $39 off-contract

Nokia Lumia 635 AT&T

If you want to get a Windows Phone 8.1 device for cheap, chances are you are waiting for Black Friday or Cyber Monday to start to pick one up. And who could blame you? Microsoft as well as various retailers will have some nice deals waiting for you -- and millions of other shoppers -- then.

But why not get one right now? Microsoft has an amazing deal on Lumia 635, selling the smartphone -- in black, AT&T trim -- for just $39, off-contract. That is amazing value for the money.

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Apple and Microsoft both appear in TIME's best inventions of 2014

Apple and Microsoft both have entries in TIME's best inventions of 2014

It's the time of year -- no pun intended -- when websites and magazines start to reflect over the year that has passed. As we reach the closing stages of 2014, TIME has taken a look back at the preceding months and picked out its highlights from the world of innovation in its annual collection of "the best inventions making the world better, smarter and—in some cases—a little more fun".

There may not be quite the same importance placed on TIME's favorite inventions as its annual person of the year award, but it makes for interesting reading nonetheless. With a print circulation running into millions, it's a publication that holds some influence across swathes of America. Apple and Microsoft make appearances in the list, but there are a few surprise inclusions from the world of tech as well.

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Alienware Alpha is the next-gen console ready to take on PS4 and Xbox One

Alienware Alpha is the next-gen console ready to take on PS4 and Xbox One

It must be coming up to Christmas; Alienware, the game-focused arm of Dell, is beginning to ship its new gaming console. The Alienware Alpha is described as the world's first PC gaming console, and it has been designed to blend the power of a gaming rig with the ease of use of a console. With prices starting at $549, gamers have the ability to customize their hardware to suit their needs. The Alpha runs Windows 8.1, and it includes either 4GB or 8GB of RAM, as well as a USB adapted Xbox 360 controller.

The price of the console is bumped up for anyone opting to increase the size of the hard drive or speed of the processor, but the aim here is to blow the Xbox One and PS4 out of the water with raw power.

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HBO GO reaches the living room via Xbox One

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HBO GO has been in the news lately, especially when the HBO network announced that it will be discontinuing its paid cable/satellite service restriction and turn it into a stand-alone service. It's also now making inroads into the living room -- perhaps in preparation for that big move next year. To that end, the network is moving into the Xbox One ecosystem.

Larry Hryb, better known to most folks as Major Nelson, announces the release -- "HBO GO is arriving on Xbox One in the US, bringing along every episode from every season of your favorite HBO shows. With HBO GO, subscribers can watch the latest episodes from shows like 'True Detective', 'Game of Thrones' and 'Girls', along with your favorite hits like 'Entourage' and 'The Sopranos', HBO GO on Xbox One features Kinect voice and gesture control so you can easily search the entire catalog via gestures or voice commands".

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Microsoft agrees a $30m deal with Real Madrid

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Microsoft has agreed a four-year deal with Real Madrid rumored to be worth $30 million that will see the technology giant revolutionize Europe’s most successful club with a "digital transformation".

The new partnership sees Microsoft become the team’s strategic technology partner that involves building a digital platform to boost fan interaction across all devices and various other projects in the coming months.

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Microsoft Research makes great strides in automatic image captioning

Microsoft Research makes great strides in automatic image captioning

Microsoft Research is home to all manner of interesting projects and experiments, and one of the latest that the team is keen to share news about is automatic image captioning. There are no prizes for guessing what this is -- it's very much what it says on the tin -- and the technology has now reached a stage where the automatically generated captions for an image are at least as good as those thought of by people.

A team of just 12 worked on the project, and the results are pretty impressive. The system analyzes an image and identifies its key components. After determining objects and characteristics, these can then be evaluated in relation to each other to help decide what is important, and what can be ignored.

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Microsoft reveals its Black Friday deals -- snap up a Surface Pro 3 bargain

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You can’t have failed to have noticed that Black Friday is nearly upon us, with a wide range of deals being offered by pretty much every retailer and manufacturer.

It will come as no surprise then, that Microsoft is preparing its own raft of offers, covering everything from Surface Pro 3 and Surface 2, to Xbox One and Lumia 830. If you’ve had your eye on any of those products, now is the time to get your wallet out.

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Microsoft blames performance update for Azure outage

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Microsoft Azure was hit by an 11-hour outage on November 19, in United States, Europe and certain parts of Asia. The outage impacted multiple services offered through the cloud platform, including Azure Storage, Virtual Machines, Service Bus, and Visual Studio, just to name a few. The culprit? Microsoft links a performance update to the mishap.

The performance update, which is meant for Azure Storage, "had been [successfully] tested over several weeks", says Microsoft, on a small subset of targets, prior to being applied. However, during the general roll-out, Microsoft noticed an issue which resulted in an "inability for the [storage blob] front ends to take on further traffic, which in turn caused other services built on top to experience issues".

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Momentum continues as Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines move to Surface Pro 3

Surface Pro 3

It may have taken a few tries, but Microsoft is gaining momentum with its tablet/laptop, the Surface Pro 3. The device, which includes an optional keyboard, was released a couple of months ago, and sales seem to be lively from what we've heard.

It's not a major surprise, as businesses love Windows, and now more are adopting this platform. Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines are moving to Surface Pro 3. Microsoft claims it is adopting "certain commercial requirements" in an effort to make the device more appealing to the enterprise.

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Free up space in Windows 10 with the new Disk Cleanup System Compression feature

disk cleanup

Windows 10 Technical Preview is very much an early work in progress. Microsoft is releasing new builds on a fairly regular basis (although the next one isn’t expected until the New Year), and implementing changes based on user feedback. Personally I’m liking what I’m seeing so far.

Although Microsoft discusses the major new features and changes in each build, there’s still some hidden functionality that you may not be aware of. Case in point is the little known System Compression option tucked away in Disk Cleanup.

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