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  1. Surface Neo with 18" of Foldable Screen!

    Surface Neo with 18" of Foldable Screen!From apparently out of nowhere Microsoft this week announced some really cool and unexpectedly new smartphone hardware: the Surface Neo and Surface Duo.

    Nobody was expecting Microsoft to drop these new phones, and they represent a big shift if smartphone tech for the company which has until now mostly played it safe.

    “This is industry-pushing technology, and it’s technology pushing possibilities,” said Panay while revealing the gadgets.

    The Surface Neo features a pair of 9-inch screens and a 360-degree hinge that allows you to fold it around completely or close it like a book. It’s sleek, silver, and looks like a shrunken Surface Book when closed. The hinge lets the Neo assume multiple positions, similar to other 360-degree laptops....

    ...The Surface Duo and Neo are both slated for release next year as Microsoft works with developers to create software for the devices. It’s too early to tell whether Microsoft’s adoption of Android for the upcoming Duo will end better than the company’s previous attempt with Windows Phone, but the adoption of Android could make the device more appealing to developers already familiar with the platform.


    Fortunately for us, Yahoo! has the scoop on the new devices in this fabulous article.

    Read more »
  2. Microsoft and Samsung Galaxy Partner-Up

    Microsoft and Samsung Galaxy Partner-UpWhile Mac users had iPhones that easily paired with their laptop or desktop models, Microsoft Windows users struggled to find an easy way to do things like transfer a photo from their phone to their computer. Oh, sure, it was possible, just not as easy as it is for Apple users.

    All that may be about to change with the latest pairing of Microsoft and Samsung Galaxy phones. What does it mean for the estimated 1 billion Windows users in the world? It means they have a simpler solution to do some of the things that Apple users already find easy. And, according to this article in GeekWire, this is hardly the first time Microsoft and Samsung have teamed-up:


    Samsung and Microsoft have partnered on PCs for many years, and on smartphones and tablets in a more limited capacity. But the expanded partnership marks “a profound shift in how we interact with the many devices in our lives,” vowed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who made a surprise appearance at Samsung’s event in New York City.

    “For years, applications have been purpose-built for single devices, whether it’s the phone, the PC, the TV or even your watch,” Nadella said. “But in a world of 5G, cloud and AI, we get to rethink it all and reimagine it.”


    GeekWire also breaks down exactly what the partnerships means for consumers by listing the specific features users can expect to exploit.

    How long will the partnership actually last? That's anybody's guess. But as long as it works for both companies, the people who use Windows PCs now have a solution when it comes to doing things Apple users have been able to do for quite some time.



    Read more »
  3. Microsoft’s plans for next generation of Surface tablets get leaked

    Microsoft has released 4 Surface tablets so far, and the best that could be said about their effect on the tablet market is that they’ve just about managed to keep Microsoft in the conversation when it came to mainstream tablets. The Surface tablets so far have been rather overpriced and underpowered in both the hardware and software aspects, explaining the relative apathy of customers towards the Surface brand. That may be about to change, however, if you were to believe serial leaker @MSFTnerd. Microsoft is planning to truly diversify its Surface brand, apparently, and is planning to use a processor for it that is the fastest ever by a few country miles, among other things. Read on to know more below the break.




    Microsoft apparently plans to use the Nvidia Tegra K1 64 bit processor in its next generation of Surface tablets, according to @MSFTnerd. If you were following the just concluded Consumer Electronics Show 2014, you’d probably remember the name – the Tegra K1 is a chipset that uses a desktop grade Kepler GPU with 192 (!) GPU cores.


    @MSFTnerd goes on to claim that Microsoft plans to launch a Mini version of its Surface tablet, along with an LTE version of the Surface 2. The plans to launch a Mini version make complete sense, given that tablets with screens sized between 7 and 8 inches have been wildly successful for both Apple and its Android tablet-manufacturing competitors.



  4. Surprise, Surprise: Microsoft quietly releases Office for iOS; no iPad version as of now

    After months and months of rumors, Microsoft has finally released an iOS version of its industry defining Office suite of apps – just like that, with no hype or hoopla. There’s no dearth of Office alternatives available on the App Store, but absolutely none of them match up to them seamlessness and perfectly compatible formatting that is expected to be possible with an official app. Microsoft Office for iOS has been launched in the App Store as a free app, but in name only, as it needs a subscription to the rather pricey Office 365 service to work. Read on to know more about it!







    The Office for iOS app allows you to view and edit your documents, spreadsheets and presentations with nary a hitch involved. The compulsory Office 365 subscription may take a fair chunk out of your pocket, but it also offers seamless syncing across up to 5 devices with Microsoft Office installed. This means that you no longer need to create a document, save it in a cloud service like Dropbox, go to the Dropbox iOS app in your iPhone, download the document, and THEN start editing or viewing it. The entire process is simplified in an amazing way.


    As of now, content creation on the Office iOS app is a bit of a hassle, as it is extremely basic and functional in its use. There’s just a single font, a few templates, some color options, and the like. Then again, the minimalism may suit anyone looking for an uncluttered UI in their iPhones.


    Microsoft hasn’t brought the Office iOS app to the iPad however, and the reason for that isn’t exactly hard to guess. They have been pushing their Surface Windows 8 tablets on the platform of having full blown Office productivity, and handing it to the iPad on a platter would probably be detrimental to the already sagging fortunes of Windows 8.


    Get Office for iOS from the App Store here.

  5. Microsoft updates Skydrive for the iPad

    Fans of Microsoft and Apple products tend to be a mutually exclusive group more often than not. But when it comes to Microsoft's excellent SkyDrive service, even staunch supporters of Team Apple would concede that it's right up there with the best at what it does. What's makes it even better now that is that it has been updated to support the new iPad's Retina display, along with a number of changes in functionality.

    A screenshot of the updated SkyDrive app, that has been updated for the new iPad (via iTunes App Store)

    The Retina display support in the updated SkyDrive app comes is a much awaited feature, given that the cloud storage app can actually let users view docs and images from within itself. The update allows for more in-app information to be visible per screen view, along with making it a lot more aesthetically pleasing to look at, especially while dealing with detailed photos, for example.

    Another new feature in the updated SkyDrive for iPad is the ability to upload as many photos and videos as you want from your iPad to SkyDrive's cloud storage. It is also a lot easier now to share files and photos that you have stored in SkyDrive. You can simply send a link by email, or copy and paste a link to any other app (an IM one, for instance).

    The official Microsoft changelog is as follows:

    "What's New in Version 2.1• Bug fixes.• Updated to support iPad, including the new iPad with Retina display.• Choose multiple photos or videos to upload from your iPhone or iPad.• Share your files and photos—send a link in email or get a link you can copy and paste.• Manage your files—move, delete, rename, or create new folders.• Open your SkyDrive files in other iOS apps."


    Read more »
  6. Microsoft Office for the iPad to launch on November 10

    There had been plenty of speculation last month regarding Microsoft's plans to introduce Microsoft Office to iOS (and Android). Apple's bestselling iPads in particular were said to be targeted for the sheer volume of users who owned them, and the endless growth prospects. In comparison, in the already mature PC market, there was little scope for the Redmond giant to give a fillip to its revenues. This meant that Microsoft had to enter the erstwhile uncharted territory of iOS for its high margin Office line of software.

    A leaked image of Microsoft Office for the Apple iPad, via The Daily

    Now, The Daily reports that the development team for Office Mobile was done with the work needed for its project last month.The Office app is currently in the hands of the usability division of Microsoft, that helps it to assess the shortcomings of apps designed using the Metro UI design language. This team will confirm whether the app works perfectly in a Metro environment, in order to be consiered 'Metro Compliant'. If there's anything left to be desired in the use of an app, the usability division will send the app back to the development team to rectify its issues.

    After being done with its internal verification mechanisms, Microsoft will send the completed Office app to Apple for getting approved to the iTunes App Store. The store approval could take up to a fortnight, beyond which the Office app should see the light of the day. All this means that the Office mobile app may have some way to go before it gets released to the public, and the expected date for latter is said to be November 10.


    Read more »
  7. Skype 5.8 for Windows is here!

    The latest Skype release, version 5.8 for Windows has been released today. Microsoft has released the updated version which features new video calling capabilities and social media to the VOIP-based software. The update also fixes some bugs in the previous version.

    Skype now supports HD video calls, screen shares between groups of people, push to talk buttons and a beta release of new support for calling Facebook friends over Skype (even if they're not Skype users).

    HD video calling has some prerequisites. Users who want to make video calls on full HD, must have Logitech's C920's webcam because this webcam has HD video encoding support. The internet connection should be sufficient for the HD calls too - 2Mbps at least. If you are talking in a group and want to share your screen with everybody (and have them share their screens with you), then the latest version of Skype will allow you to do so.The push-to-talk capability ensures that users can designate a hotkey for the purpose of switching the microphone on and off. Usually, multiplayer gamers need this capability and Skype officially said that the most requests for a push-to-talk feature came from this category of users.

    The best feature of the update is the support for calling friends on Facebook via voice or video. The beta version allows users to select a Facebook friend, and click on 'video call'. This makes a video connection to the friend, even if that friend is not a Skype user. This move is another step in Microsoft-Facebook collaboration which were initiated in 2011 when Facebook 'Likes' were integrated into Bing's search results. So if a user was searching for a pet store, for example, could see how his/her friends have 'liked' certain stores in the city.

    Microsoft has further plans for integrating Skype into its services and products. It aims to integrate the VoIP-based service in Office 365, Lync and the XBox Live.

    skype Pictures, Images and Photos
    Image courtesy: photobucket
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  8. Asus bringing Kinect to laptops?

    Asus seems to have taken the step which Microsoft announced in its plans for the Kinect device. Recently, at the Consumer Electronics Show 2012, Microsoft announced that it's bringing Kinect technology to the PCs and laptops. Asus has brought forward two prototype laptops that seem to do just that.

    The Daily has reported that these two prototype laptops by Asus 'appear to be netbooks running Windows 8' and they have the Kinect sensor above the LCD, where one usually finds the webcam. The screen's bottom panel consist of several LEDs, but it has not been figured out what these LED's purpose is.

    The laptop have brought forward a strange question. Analysts wonder whether it is feasible to be moving around, jumping, using the legs etc. in front of the laptop.

    The Kinect for Windows SDK beta version was released last year and it is compatible with any XBox 360 sensor. Microsoft released this in June 2011. But the official version is about to be release on Feb 1, 2012, which is this coming Wednesday. This version is not free, though. Analysts say that the official Kinect for Windows is fairly overpriced at $249. The Kinect for XBox is priced at $149 and this price gets significantly lowered when users buy the same device through Amazon or other online resellers. The Kinect for laptops is already a strange idea.

    Think about it. Using the Kinect means that the users have to stand back several feet and their gestures may not be captured sometimes. Standing several feet away from a laptop doesn't make any sense because it wouldn't be easy to see the display clearly. It's a lot different when users are standing in front of large displays and then controlling in-game characters on screen with their actions.

    In any case, it remains to be seen whether the Asus prototypes take off beyond this stage and actually enter the market or not.

    Xbox LIVE Kinect Windows logo row Pictures, Images and Photos
    Image courtesy: photobucket
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  9. Microsoft Identifies Botnet Suspect as Former Employee!

    The news has been confirmed today by Microsoft. The software giant has named an employee who previously worked at Microsoft as prime suspect behind botnet attacks.

    The former employee of Microsoft is of Russian origin by the name of Andrey Sabelnikov. Microsoft has accused him for 'writing and/or participating in creating' malicious software which bugged a large number of computers. The botnet called Kelihos botnet managed to infect machines and then send out spam and spread more malware. The botnet was countered in September, 2011.

    The botnet could still be infecting thousands of computers, Microsoft's lead attorney warned in a blog post. The matter has been taken up with the US District Court for the Eastern Virginia District. The Senior Attorney, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, Mr. Richard Domingues Boscovich has written, "Microsoft presented evidence to the court that Mr Sabelnikov wrote the code for and either created, or participated in creating, the Kelihos malware. Further, the complaint alleges that he used the malware to control, operate, maintain and grow the Kelihos botnet. These allegations are based on evidence Microsoft investigators uncovered while analysing the Kelihos malware."

    Image courtesy: photobucket

    Mr. Boscovich has advised users whose machines might have been infected with the botnet to seek help through the website of Microsoft. The details Microsoft has provided for Mr. Sabelnikov suggest that he has worked with 'a company that provided firewall, antivirus and security software' as a software engineer and project manager. The name of that company, as seen in Mr. Sabelnikov's LinkedIn profile is the security firm Agnitum, which is based in St. Petersburg. Official confirmation has been received by the sales and marketing director at Agnitum, Vitaliy Yanko who informed the BBC that, "I have checked the info and may confirm that Andrey Sabelnikov worked at Agnitum from 2005 till 2008. "Afterwards our ways parted. Seems that he chose the wrong route afterwards."

    Read more »
  10. Lumia 710 for free from Walmart!

    The first Windows Phone from Nokia - Lumia 710 - went on sale on January 11th, 2012. It was initially available (and still is) from T-Mobile USA for $49.99 with a 2-year data plan. But now, Walmart is offering the phone for free, along with a two year contract. The price cut by Walmart is a surprising move and nobody knows how T Mobile and other retailers are going to respond. The price cut is speculated to be because of the soon-to-be-released Lumia 900 by AT&T. The Lumia 900 was showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas last week, and will probably be released around March of this year.

    The Lumia 900 is packed with some cooler features as compared to the Lumia 710, but in essence, both phones are the same. Both the phones run Windows Phone 7.5 Mango and are powered by 1.4 GHz Qualcomm processor. They both have a RAM capacity of 512 MHz. The differences are, that the Lumia 710 has an in=-built storag eof 8GB, while the Lumia 900 has 16GB of internal storage. The Lumia 900 features an 8-MP camera with dual LED flash, whereas the Lumia 710 has a 5-MP camera and a single LED flash. The screen sizes also differ in the two phones with the Lumia 710 featuring a 3.7-inch touch screen, and the Lumia 900 featuring a 4.3-inch display.

    The Lumia 710 offered for free by Walmart (along with the data plan of two years) comes packed with some interesting features. It is a small, feature-packed smartphone. It is the first phone to be in the market after the historic deal between Microsoft and Nokia that came in February last year and was revealed to the public in April, 2011.

    Nokia Lumia Cyan 710
    Image courtesy: flickr
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