Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft breaks into contactless mobile payments with Wallet for Windows 10 Mobile Insiders

microsoft-wallet

Apple has done it; Google has done it. Microsoft may be a little late to the party, but it's getting involved in the mobile payment game. Today the company releases Microsoft Wallet to Windows Insiders using Windows 10 Mobile build 14360 or higher.

Microsoft has teamed with MasterCard and Visa to provide a contactless payment solution that is -- for now -- available to Lumia 950, 950 XL and 650 users in the US. As well as making contactless payments, the app can also be used to store reward cards to reduce the amount of plastic you have to cart around with you.

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Fix Windows 10 Start menu problems with Microsoft's new troubleshooter tool

Windows 10 fixed

Windows 10 is a good operating system, but it can be a little buggy at times. Hopefully the forthcoming Anniversary Update will fix a lot of these issues, although it’s equally possible it may introduce more bugs along with the raft of new features.

If you’ve been having problems with the Start menu in Windows 10 the good news is Microsoft has released a new troubleshooting tool which can identify and fix many issues automatically.

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Huawei MateBook 2-in-1 Windows 10 hybrid coming to USA on July 11, pre-order now!

matebook01

Huawei is a very popular brand in China, but hardly a household name in the USA. Quite frankly, outside of in-the-know Android fans, you'd be hard pressed to find many Americans that know the name.

The company is looking to change this, however, in a very big way. Its MateBook 2-in-1 is finally coming to the USA. This elegant Windows 10 tablet/laptop hybrid has a very affordable starting price, and you can pre-order it starting today.

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Protests from Apple and Microsoft mean there won't be a rifle emoji

no-rifles

With the unstoppable growth of chat apps such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and the like, emoji have become an incredible phenomenon. The Unicode Consortium is due to publish the Unicode 9.0 spec tomorrow, and it seems that objections from Apple and Microsoft means we're not going to see a rifle emoji included.

The intervention is slightly surprising, yet not entirely unexpected. With the large number of high-profile mass-shootings such as in Orlando, debate about guns has come to the fore once again and the censorship of emoji is perhaps not completely unexpected. But at the same time, there is already a pistol emoji and there are not -- yet -- calls for it to be removed.

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LinkedIn gets lucky

lucky-pants

Several readers have asked for my take on Microsoft’s purchase last week of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion -- a figure some think is too high and others think is a steal. I think there is generally more here than meets the eye.

Microsoft definitely needed more presence in social media if it wants to be seen as a legit competitor to Google and Facebook. Yammer wasn’t big enough. LinkedIn fits Redmond’s business orientation and was big enough to show that Satya Nadella isn’t afraid to open up the BIG CHECKBOOK.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14366 now available on the Slow ring

Windows 10

With the planned release date for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update drawing ever nearer, Microsoft is hard at work squashing as many bugs as it can. Naturally, this means new builds released to Windows Insiders won’t offer any significant new features, but they will contain important fixes, general improvements and welcome performance boosts.

Yesterday, Microsoft released Build 14367 to the Fast ring, and today it follows that up by releasing that build's predecessor, 14366, to the Slow ring. It must be pretty stable as it only arrived on the Fast ring on Tuesday.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14367 for PC and Mobile now available in the Fast ring

Windows-10 key

Holy cow, Microsoft. We are just a couple days removed from the release of build 14366 for PC and 14364 for Mobile, yet here we are with a fresh build. Apparently Dona Sarkar and the Windows team like to keep things moving swiftly on the Fast Ring, which makes a lot of sense given the name!

Today, Microsoft releases Build 14367 for both PC and Mobile. If you have OCD, the shared build number should bring you some serenity. As usual, there are both improvements and known issues. Sadly, the mobile "Kids Corner" feature for children is being killed, but that is probably a good thing.

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Abracadabra! Microsoft acquires Wand Labs to conjure up some chat bot magic

microsoft_logo_building

Continuing the spending spree that started with snapping up LinkedIn earlier this week, Microsoft today announces that it has acquired Wand Labs. The mobile developer has a chat-centric focus, and will help Microsoft to build on the Conversation as a Platform ideas Sayta Nadella has been championing of late.

Neither Wand Labs nor Microsoft has shared details of the amount of money that is changing hands, but the acquisition will assist Microsoft in developing its Bot Framework. Wand Labs' natural language technologies will extend the capabilities of Windows, Bing, Microsoft Azure and Office 365, particularly with intelligent agents and chat bots.

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Microsoft rolls out Windows Store update that allows you to choose install locations for apps

multiple-hard-drives

The advent of app stores has meant that software installation is very hands-off process these days. Select the app you want, hit install, and everything is taken care of for you. On one hand, this is great as it simplifies and accelerates things, but it also removes an element of control from the user.

With an update to the Windows Store app in Windows 10, Microsoft is changing this. Building on the ability to move apps from one drive to another, Windows 10 Anniversary Edition will now ask where you would like to install larger apps -- a real boon for people with more than one hard drive.

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Microsoft releases Starbucks for Outlook Add-in

Microsoft Band Starbucks 1

Do you ever see people working at Starbucks and think they are sort of pretentious? Understandably, seeing someone working in public is weird, but there is actually a lot of sense being made here. As someone who works in Starbucks almost every day (yeah, really), I can attest to the fact that it is a fabulous place for productivity. Obviously it has coffee and free Wi-Fi, which are the biggest pluses, but the overall atmosphere is conducive for work too. Since it can be a neutral meeting place, there is no awkwardness in ending a meeting and leaving -- it is very casual.

Today, Microsoft releases the Starbucks for Outlook Add-in. This is a marriage made in heaven, as coffee and Outlook are two of the most important things from a productivity perspective in many businesses. This add-in for Outlook lets you easily schedule a meeting at the famed coffee shop.

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Why is Microsoft buying LinkedIn? [Q&A]

Question

Major tech companies rarely manage to surprise us, but Microsoft did it earlier this week when it announced the acquisition of LinkedIn. The software giant is spending an enormous sum -- $26.2 billion, to be exact -- to get its hands on the popular business-focused social network. The new Microsoft likes to take chances, and this high-profile purchase is certainly proof of that.

CEO Satya Nadella says that buying LinkedIn will allow Microsoft to "change the way the world works", but what is its motivation behind the purchase, how does it tie into its current strategy, and what do the two companies stand to gain from it?

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14366 and Mobile Build 14364 arrive on the Fast ring

Windows-10 key

With the planned release date for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update drawing ever nearer, Microsoft is hard at work squashing as many bugs as it can.

Naturally, this means new builds released to Windows Insiders won’t offer any significant new features, but they will contain important fixes, general improvements and welcome performance boosts.

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Microsoft rolls out enterprise improvements to IE11 on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1

ie11

Since the launch of Microsoft Edge, numerous changes and updates have been made to Microsoft's latest web browser. The arrival of ad-blocking was a real crowd-pleaser, but Microsoft is mindful of the fact that many enterprise users are going to be sticking with Internet Explorer for some time yet.

Today the company announces that some of the enterprise-specific enhancements and tweaks made to the Windows 10 version of IE11 will also be making their way to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. In fact, the improvements are rolling out to more Windows 10 users as well. Changes made to Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10 version 1511 are also coming to version 1507 as part of the cumulative updates released today.

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Microsoft's Xbox 'Project Scorpio' will be the most powerful games console ever

Scorpio

Continuing to steal Apple's WWDC thunder, Microsoft has been using its E3 press briefing to make some major announcements.

First up, the tech giant unveiled the Xbox One S, a slimmer, much improved Xbox One, but the real excitement is not that games console, but a future device.

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Microsoft sells 1.1 million Surface units in Q1 2016

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Two-in-one and pro slate devices have earned their vendors higher revenue, managing to stabilize average selling prices, a new report by Strategy Analytics says.

The report, entitled "Global Tablet Vendor & OS, Unit & Value Market Share by Region: Q1 2016", says Microsoft and Apple sold more than a million of their pro slates last quarter.

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