Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft lights up Seattle music festival with experimental dance Cube

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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

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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?

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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]

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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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How to get an extra 15 GB of OneDrive storage for free

Free stamp

There is plenty of competition in the cloud storage space, but, unfortunately, for the most part any massive changes are limited to paid plans. They get bigger, they get cheaper, but the free tier, which most users get first, remains largely as limiting as it has always been. Sure, we get a couple of extra gigs for free here and there, but it's all smoke after all, meant to lead us right to the money grabbers. (And who could blame providers for trying to make money?)

Now, Microsoft is doing something rather interesting, as it gives OneDrive users nearly twice as much storage in the free plan, bumping the limit from a so-so 15 GB to a respectable 30 GB. The reason? Well, it's a damn clever one -- the extra freebie is meant to help Apple users who are having trouble with iOS 8 upgrades due to low available storage. Because this is an oft-discussed issue, it is bound to generate some free advertising for Microsoft and OneDrive.

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Microsoft postpones Xbox One launch in China

China red xbox

Microsoft was set to officially start selling its next generation games console in China on September 23, but it appears the tech giant’s plans have gone somewhat awry.

Late on Friday the company issued a statement admitting that the launch was being postponed. "Despite strong and steady progress, we are going to need more a bit more time to deliver the best experiences possible for our fans in China," Microsoft said, somewhat cryptically.

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Microsoft joins 'It's On Us' movement to fight sexual violence and rape with Bing

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Regardless of sex or gender, all people deserve respect and to be treated with decency. Whether a man sexually assaults a woman or a woman assaults a man, it is not only wrong, but deplorable and disgusting.

Sexual violence and rape is an epidemic, and it is time for the world to take a stand. Sexual assault cannot be tolerated and victims must be empowered to report it and not be ashamed. According to Microsoft, "1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted in college". Today, the company is doing its part to help, by making it easer to get support and report the assault with Bing.

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UAG announces military-grade case for Microsoft's Surface Pro 3

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The Surface Pro 3 is, for me, hands-down the most significant device released in 2014. It is designed for both productivity and entertainment and delivers on both. Unfortunately, the tablet can be rather expensive which makes me a bit nervous handling it. Don't get me wrong, it is not fragile, I just cherish it and do not want to break it.

Luckily, a new case is coming on the scene, which should protect the Surface Pro 3 from accidental drops. Urban Armor Gear, a company that makes hardcore, yet affordable, cases for smartphones and tablets announces military-grade Surface Pro 3 protection.

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Windows 9 build 9841 screenshots and details leak

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Last week we had leaked screenshots and even videos from Windows 9 build 9834, and now new screens have appeared from build 9841, or what might well be very close to the actual Technical Preview.

Whereas all the leaks last week came from WinFuture.de, these new screens come from WinSuperSite.com, which also has information on the Start menu (naturally), apps, files, personalization and more. One of the new things we learn is that anyone trying out the preview build will be able to provide feedback directly to Microsoft through a Feedback app. There can be no accusations of Microsoft not listening to customers this time around!

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Microsoft drops Windows Dev Center fee -- expect a crap app avalanche

Microsoft drops Windows Dev Center fee -- expect a crap app avalanche

Free's good, right? Who doesn’t like something gratis? Microsoft has -- sort of -- cottoned onto this idea and dropped the annual fee associated with the Windows Dev Center. The 'sort of' caveat remains because signing up for a Dev Center account is not completely free; there's still a registration fee of $19 to pay, but this is for a lifetime account -- no more annual charges. Announcing the move on the Windows blog, Todd Brix explains that "each of our 600,000+ registered developers will no longer need to pay any additional fees to maintain their account. It’s also a very good time for developers new to the platform to get a Dev Center account and start submitting apps".

Having paid the fee, developers are then free to submit apps to both the Windows Phone Store and the Windows Store. But this is not the only change that's coming to the Dev Center. In what is becoming something of a trend, Microsoft clearly pinned back its ears and made it easier to promote apps and provide offers to users. Improvements to in-app advertising means that campaigns can be more easily run on a global scale and pay outs are made faster.

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Microsoft OneNote gains Android Wear support plus new iOS 8 and Windows Phone apps

Microsoft OneNote gains Android Wear support plus new iOS 8 and Windows Phone apps

Microsoft continues its recent trend of bringing exciting new features to rival platforms by adding Android Wear support to OneNote. The most recent version of Microsoft's note-taking tool -- suitably named OneNote for Android Wear -- and a new iOS 8-friendly version of the app is also due to launch today. If you've invested in an Android smartwatch (you'll have to wait a little longer for an Apple Watch version), taking a note is as simple as uttering "OK Google, take a note" -- but be prepared for a few weird looks when you try this out in a store for the first time.

To take advantage of the voice-activated features of the app, you will also need to have the main OneNote app installed on your Android phone or tablet. Forget the fact that your smartwatch doesn't have a keyboard -- notes can now be dictated to your wrist in a way that will not in any way make people who may be nearby think you're a little, er, strange. Or, as the Office Blog puts it, "we hope you enjoy using OneNote in a manner even Dick Tracy would envy!"

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