Articles about Microsoft

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

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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

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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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Windows Phone gets official Duolingo, WolframAlpha apps

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The app-gap is still not a thing of the past for Windows Phone Store, but, fortunately, things are getting better. There already are lots of third-party alternatives -- some of which are quite good -- to many prominent apps. And, thanks to the functionality enabled by Windows Phone 8.1, it is possible for more types of apps to launch, like Fitbit and Microsoft Remote Desktop.

The biggest progress, however, is made when well-known developers launch their apps on the platform. This week Windows Phone scores big, as both language-learning app Duolingo and computational engine WolframAlpha make their appearance in Store.

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Tech companies like Facebook and Google lead the way in delivering LGBT equality in the workplace

Tech companies like Facebook and Google lead the way in delivering LGBT equality in the workplace

US technology companies are setting a benchmark for those in other sectors to reach for when it comes to LGBT equality in the workplace. These are the findings reported in the thirteenth edition of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index. The HRC rates workplaces on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion and equality, and this year's report shows that there is now greater awareness and understanding of the transgender community.

The index rates companies using a variety of factors including the presence of non-discriminatory policies, the existence of transgender-inclusion healthcare, and whether or not there are guidelines in place to encourage transgender inclusion. This year there are a record number of businesses attaining a 100 percent rating, and 14 of these fall into the hardware, software and data services areas of the tech sector.

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Celebrating 60 years of software

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There's an old computing joke that says the difference between software and hardware is that hardware is the bit you can kick.

To celebrate software's 60th birthday business package selection specialist Capterra has produced an infographic charting the history of the bit you can't kick. It'll provide a trip down memory lane for anyone involved in computing.

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Microsoft and Opera agree to terms on App Store deal for Nokia phones

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Microsoft purchased Nokia, in part, earlier this year and has now begun the slow process of making it their own. New phones are being rebranded, which is not particularly surprising. Though, parterning with Opera (yes, the browser maker) is bit of a shock.

However, today the Norwegian company announced a deal with the software giant to begin powering the app store on certain models of handsets.

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IBM Verse aims to transform email with advanced analytics and a social focus

IBM Verse aims to transform email with advanced analytics and a social focus

There are now many names vying to control your inbox. It is not enough to have your email delivered to the inbox of your choice now the battle is to present email in the most understandable, the most accessible, and the least cluttered way possible. IBM Verse is the latest kid on the block, as it looks to divert attention away from Google Inbox and Microsoft Clutter.

Billed as a "new way to work", IBM Verse is more than just another inbox tool -- it is a combination tool that manages email, tasks, collaboration and more. It clearly has enterprise markets in its sights as it brings communication, tasks, sharing and social features under one roof. To further differentiate it from other comparable services, IBM Verse uses advanced analytics to completely tailor itself for individual users.

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Microsoft unveils Office 365 Video for secure enterprise video sharing and streaming

Microsoft unveils Office 365 Video for secure enterprise video sharing and streaming

Microsoft is giving Office 365 users an early glimpse of what it hopes will become the future of enterprise video sharing. Office 365 Video harnesses the power of SharePoint and Azure Media Services to create a tool that gives businesses a one-stop-shop for uploading, sharing, delivering and streaming videos.

A number of possible scenarios are set out by Mark Kashman, a senior product manager in the Office 365 group. From providing employees with access to training videos to delivering CEO messages, this is a flexible tool that has been designed with security and simplicity in mind. Office 365 Video is not expected to launch until early next year, but a sneak peak is available right now.

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81% of businesses set to move from Windows Server 2003 before support ends

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A new report shows that the vast majority of businesses who are still running Windows Server 2003 are planning to upgrade before support for the OS ends on 14 July 2015.

This survey comes from Avanade (it was conducted by Vanson Bourne), and found that 63 percent of businesses are still running Server 2003. 81 percent of IT professionals whose company was still using Windows Server 2003 said they would shift from the platform before the deadline next summer.

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