The growth of the Internet of Things spreads, and Canonical wants to ensure that Ubuntu is involved. To help with this, the company behind one of the most popular Linux distributions has announced partnerships with Microsoft and Amazon to help facilitate secure cloud infrastructures.
The two companies are to publish their IoT developer APIs on Ubuntu Core so they can be used by Snappy developers in services and apps. The aim is to avoid a market fragmentation, and the new partnerships lay the groundwork to help Ubuntu Core's development deeper into the IoT.
Lenovo is not having a good time right now, and rightfully so. Its inclusion of the Superfish adware on some of its consumer products has caused outrage and shock in the tech community. It is important to remember that Lenovo is not the super-villain in this story, Superfish is. In other words, the manufacturer was not intentionally malicious, but most likely misguided.
Today, Microsoft is a super hero -- Aquaman if you will -- and its super power is Windows Defender. Yes, Aquaman is destroying the Superfish villain, leaving Lenovo as the now-saved damsel in distress.
Microsoft has been very busy lately. Just in the last month, the software giant has adopted an international standard for cloud privacy, released Windows 10 Technical Preview for phones, introduced an Outlook app for mobile devices, updated mobile Office to support its rivals' cloud storage services, and removed all restrictions from its OneNote app. However, Microsoft isn't done, as it just introduced two useful new features in Bing.
Bing is making it easier for users to order food and find the right hotel right from the search results. For restaurants that make deliveries, the search engine will show an Order online button; click it and you'll be taken to an ordering service to receive your favorite dishes at the door.
Yes, today Microsoft's cloud storage service OneDrive turns one year old, well sort of. Really it has been around since 2007 when it began life as Windows Live Folders, then switching its name to SkyDrive the following year. That was when things began to take off and it has grown ever since, evolving into OneDrive a year ago and adding both features and storage.
Microsoft has been pushing this hard, offering numerous options for free storage, another one announced just earlier today. "We’ve been working hard to make OneDrive the one place for all of your files — including photos, videos, and documents — available across the devices you use every day for work and life", says Microsoft's Omar Shahine.
Earlier today my colleague Mihaita Bamburic explained how to get 100 GB of free OneDrive storage courtesy of Bing Rewards. It’s a great offer, available worldwide, and all you have to do is click a single link to claim your bonus storage.
Of course you can never have too much cloud storage, and the great news is Microsoft is giving away another 100 GB free, this time to Dropbox users (sign up for a free account if you don’t already have one). Make use of both free offers and boom, that’s 200 GB of free additional storage claimed in under five minutes.
You can easily increase the amount of storage that's available with your OneDrive for free. Bonus space can be unlocked by referring the service to your friends and enabling the auto camera upload feature in the mobile apps. The most that you can get though is 20 GB. Those of us who have been using the service from the early days also get a loyalty bonus of 10 GB. But maybe that's still not enough.
As you may know, Microsoft has recently started to give Bing Rewards users the option to unlock a further 100 GB of free OneDrive storage. The catch? Only folks using the service in US have been welcome. However, now you can get the same treatment worldwide. Here's how.
Google has a new battle on its hands, this time in the form of a potential anti-trust probe in Russia. Yandex, the internet company behind the eponymous Russian search engine, has filed a complaint to the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). Yandex claims that the US search giant is abusing its position by bundling Google services with Android.
It claims that users are forced into using the Google ecosystem including Google Search, and that it is difficult to install competing services on smartphones and tablets. There are distinct echoes of the antitrust lawsuits Microsoft has faced for its bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows.
Over the holiday buying season, Microsoft managed to sell more Xbox One consoles in the US and UK than Sony sold PlayStation 4s, but globally Sony's console retains a healthy lead. Both companies like to lump together the current and previous generations of console, which makes comparing the Xbox One and PS4's sales tricky, but provides us with a general overview. During the holiday season, Microsoft sold 6.6 million Xbox consoles (360 and One) worldwide, while Sony sold 7.5 million PlayStations (PS4 and PS3). In 2014, Sony was the clear leader, having sold 18.8 million PlayStations, while Microsoft managed just 12.1 million Xboxes.
Obviously there’s still a long way to go, and a lot to play for in the latest round of the console wars and anything could happen in the next four or five years. Windows 10 could give the Xbox One a huge boost, and a run of great Xbox exclusive games could make a big difference too. However, the latest forecast from Strategy Analytics doesn’t see things improving for Microsoft in the coming years -- quite the opposite in fact.
Some of the features that have made Windows Phone special, differentiating it from its rivals, are slowly being stripped away. The latest victim is Rooms, which Microsoft has announced it will no longer be supporting starting next month. What a shame.
The software giant says that, as a result, users of Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1 will be unable to chat with their Room contacts, create new rooms, add or remove members, or change permissions. And, if they upgrade to Windows 10 Technical Preview, their beloved rooms will be gone forever.
It's Oscar time, baby -- woo! It's time to start planning your parties and get-togethers. Hopefully you've seen all of the nominated films. Sadly, I have not seen any, which is tragic, as I love the cinema. Unfortunately, I can no longer afford to regularly go to the movie theater (who can, nowadays?), and I am opposed to pirating films. I've heard wonderful things about American Sniper, Whiplash and The Theory of Everything -- maybe I will try to see one of them on Saturday (Whiplash looks like the best of the bunch).
Microsoft announces that its search engine is predicting the Academy Awards. Believe it or not, Bing has a pretty good overall track record -- it predicted the Patriots to win the Superbowl long before New England was guaranteed a spot in the game. With that said, it predicted Beyoncé to win best-album Grammy, but the more talented Beck won instead. Will Bing see success at the 87th Academy Awards?
The Surface Pro 3 is still one of the the best computers you can buy. Sure, there are more powerful and less expensive machines, but the overall Surface experience is unique and versatile. It can be a tablet, laptop, or desktop, while the included pen offers even more added value.
The problem for many, however, is the price. Yes, you can get a core i3 Surface Pro 3 for $799, but once you add in the keyboard attachment -- which is technically optional, but realistically necessary -- you are approaching the $1,000 mark. With that said, it is not overpriced; the price is quite reasonable for what you get, especially when the cost is averaged over the life of ownership. If you want to get one at a discount, today is your lucky day -- sort of. If you have a previous generation Surface -- both ARM and x86_64 -- you can trade it in towards a Surface Pro 3. Believe it or not, you can earn up to $650! However, there is a catch and you shouldn't do it.
Microsoft's mobile-first, cloud-first strategy continues. In something of a surprise announcement the company reveals that it is launching a new cloud storage partner program meaning that any cloud storage provider will be able to integrate with Office for iOS and Office Online.
The news follows on from Microsoft's partnership with Dropbox in November and while it is just iOS users who will benefit from the new mobile options for now, Office for Android and Office for Windows 10 will also get the same treatment in due course. It's a recognition of the fact that integration with OneDrive is not enough so it shouldn't be long before we see iCloud and Google Drive working with Office.
The gradual push of just about everything to the cloud means that security and privacy are of greater concern than ever before. This is true for everyone who makes use of cloud services like OneDrive and Azure, but it is of particular interest to enterprise customers.
Today Microsoft has become the first major cloud service provider to adopt ISO/IEC 27018, the world’s first international standard for cloud privacy. The idea is to ensure that there is a global standard that determines how personal data privacy is handled in the cloud. The standard equips people with a number of assurances.
Google managed to ruffle a few feathers recently by disclosing bugs and security problems in widely used software. Project Zero is used to encourage companies to fix issues that have been detected by imposing a 90-day deadline before details of the vulnerabilities are made public.
Microsoft was angered a month ago when Google published details of a security issue in Windows 8.1 just a few days before a patch was due to be released. A few days later, two more bugs were revealed leading to complaints not just from Microsoft but from software users. Now Google has backed down and announced a slight relaxing of its previously strict 90-day disclosure policy.
When it comes to sharing photos services like Instagram and Flickr spring to mind, but there are countless others buried beneath the waves of information and programs available these days. Many fly under the radar, and some of those may be better than the big name alternative you're using.
All of that is not say that Microsoft's Xim is better -- that's simply a matter of personal taste. What I am saying is that you've likely never heard of it. The app has one simple mission -- "share your photos, not your phone". It goes a bit further, promising that the recipients of your shares don't need to have the app to view your images.