Articles about Microsoft

What to expect in the next Windows 10 build

9901 leak

Microsoft plans to launch the next build of Windows 10 in January, and we’ll start to see some focus on the consumer side of things. The company is holding an event at its Redmond campus on January 21 to talk about the "next chapter" of the OS.

But while the tech giant isn’t releasing any new builds for a few weeks at least, there have been several leaks on the internet that reveal what we can expect to see when it does. Here’s what coming to a PC near you soon.

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Facebook drops Microsoft's Bing in favor of its own search tool

Facebook drops Microsoft's Bing in favor of its own search tool

Bing has been unceremoniously dumped by Facebook. The social network had been using the Microsoft search tool to power its Graph Search platform for some time now, but no longer. While no announcement has been made, Facebook confirmed the news to Reuters.

The lack of official announcement meant that the dropping of Bing was immediately noticed. Facebook does not have a replacement partner in mind -- there is no danger of the social network teaming up with Google -- but will go it alone instead.

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Xbox One finally outsells PlayStation 4 -- Sony unlikely to be losing any sleep over the news

Xbox one

Since Microsoft and Sony’s next generation consoles launched in late 2013, PlayStation 4 has been outselling the Xbox One very, very comfortably. In fact, just a month ago I reported that the PS4 had sold double that of its rival in the first year.

However, in November Microsoft’s console finally managed to claim the top spot, helped in no small part by a price cut and some decent software launches coming into the holiday season.

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Microsoft to unveil the next chapter of Windows 10 in January

Windows-10-Invite

Windows 10 is very much a work in progress. While certain elements of the forthcoming OS appear close to how they will be in the finished release, much of what’s in the Technical Preview is early and very buggy. There’s been talk of the new operating system coming out in Spring 2015, but the latest rumors, based on what Kevin Turner, Chief Operating Officer at Redmond, told the Nikkei news service, a September release is looking a far more realistic prospect. That’s a smart move, as the last thing Microsoft should be doing is rushing out an unfinished OS -- as it did with Windows 8.

You won’t have to wait too long for your next big batch of Windows 10 goodness though, as Microsoft will be holding an event at its Redmond campus on January 21 to talk about the "next chapter" of the OS.

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New partnership boosts Office 365 security

cloud security

As businesses move their systems to the cloud security becomes a major concern but often applications don't offer the flexibility and ease of access that administrators need.

To address this need for users of Office, cloud security automation company Palerra has announced a partnership with Microsoft to add an extra layer of security to the Office 365 suite.

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Microsoft now accepts Bitcoin payments in Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox stores

Microsoft now accepts Bitcoin payments in Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox stores

We've heard that 2015 could be the year of cryptocurrencies, and now it seems that Microsoft is getting in on the action ahead of the New Year. There is yet to be a formal announcement, but Microsoft now accepts Bitcoin as a form of payment for apps, games and other digital content.

The virtual currency can be used to make purchases in the Windows Stores, Windows Phone Store and the various stores that exist for Xbox. While Microsoft is yet to issue a statement about the acceptance of Bitcoin, a page has been added to its customer support site that gives some details.

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United Airlines to equip more than 23,000 flight attendants with iPhone 6 Plus

United Airlines iPhone 6 Plus

Whenever I read about a company deploying a certain number of smartphones for internal use, it is usually Windows Phones which are given to employees. And Microsoft is the company that proudly does the official announcement on behalf of (or together with) its customer. This time around things are (very) different.

US airline United Airlines has announced that it will deploy iPhone 6 Plus to over 23,000 flight attendants, with the initial goal of giving them the ability to access company resources -- like email, Intranet, policies, and procedures manuals -- and also to handle retail transactions during flights.

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Bing-powered Insights for Office brings context-sensitive search to Word Online

Bing-powered Insights for Office brings context-sensitive search to Word Online

Microsoft's current vision is mobile first, cloud first (if two things can be simultaneously first), and this is perfectly demonstrated by what is being done with Office. Office has been pushed to not only mobile devices, but also the cloud and now Word Online gains the power of Bing in the form of Insights for Office.

The new feature makes it possible to perform searches from within Word Online so you can conduct research with fewer clicks. It could be as simple as looking up a definition, or you might be inspired to look up images related to the document you are working on.

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Ad blockers under threat from Google, Microsoft and others

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Several internet giants and media publishers, (Google, Microsoft and Le Figaro newspaper included), are threatening legal actions against the developers of software that blocks ads from reaching consumers.

This is, obviously, a problem for websites that rely on advertising as the web becomes more and more popular.

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Xbox Video for Windows 8.1 can now play MKV files

Xbox Video Windows 8.1

If you are running Windows 8.1 and have a collection of videos in the MKV format, then you are most likely using desktop software like VLC, or a third-party Store app to watch them. You are forced to, because Xbox Video, the Modern UI video player that Microsoft bundles with the operating system, doesn't support MKVs. Well, that just changed.

Microsoft has updated Xbox Video for Windows 8.1 to introduce support for MKV video playback. The latest version of the app -- 2.6.0432.0 -- also packs a couple of fixes that improve the functionality of certain features.

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Google Cloud Platform updated to run Windows applications in the cloud

Google Cloud Platform updated to run Windows applications in the cloud

Google has opened up its arms to Microsoft License Mobility for Google Cloud Platform. Product manager Martin Buhr said that customers had been asking for improved support for Windows-based workloads, and now these wishes are being met. There are several key improvements to Google Compute Engine that help to make Windows on Google a reality.

Microsoft License Mobility is the big news, meaning that Google now supports SQL Server, SharePoint and Exchange Server without the need for extra licenses. The second announcement is the availability of a beta version of Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition on Google Compute Engine which opens up the opportunity to run Windows applications in the cloud.

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Barack Obama -- becoming a computer scientist just takes 'a little math and science'

Barack Obama -- becoming a computer scientist just takes "a little math and science"

Today marks the start of the 2014 Computer Science Education Week. As part of this, the second annual Hour of Code is being used to introduce school children to the basics of programming. Students around the world are encouraged to take part in the event which is organized by non-profit Code.org.

The venture has the backing of Barack Obama who is keen to nurture the next generation of coders and computer scientists. And there's no reason to be put off. To quote the president, "becoming a computer scientist isn't as scary as it sounds. With hard work and a little math and science, anyone can do it".

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Windows Phone has a massive apps problem

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If Microsoft wants Windows Phones to have a higher market share than the current 2.8 percent, it needs to step up its applications game.

The current state of affairs is simple: There are just not enough apps. Some apps have hundreds of fakes and rip-offs in the store, some available for Android or iOS are simply missing for Windows Phone and arrive half a year late.

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Windows 10 Technical Preview testers should be able to update to the RTM release

Windows 10 Technical Preview testers should be able to update to the RTM release

There are positives and negatives to being a tester of early versions of Windows. On one hand it means being able to try out new features before they are officially released, but on the other it means putting up with a variety of problems. Preview builds of Windows used to be all but unheard of, but now anyone can get their hands on early bits to get a taste of things to come.

The preview program for Windows 10 has been slightly different to the way things worked in previous early versions of Windows. This time around it is even possible to upgrade to new builds without the need to reinstall from scratch, and it's looking as though it will also be possible to upgrade to the RTM version when it is released next year.

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Accenture and Microsoft team up to create hybrid cloud platform

cloud

Moving applications to the cloud is a major step for businesses and finding the right partner to make the transition a success is vital.

The latest fruit of the long-standing alliance between technology consulting specialist Accenture and Microsoft is aimed at providing a powerful hybrid cloud platform to bring new capabilities, economics and innovation to the enterprise.

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