Microsoft News

After having struck a deal with Microsoft to license patents that Android may have violated from Windows Phone, it looks like Samsung may not be holding its end of the bargain, resulting in the wrath of Microsoft. In a blog post, the Windows Phone OS-maker has announced that it will sue Samsung for not paying royalties for using patents that Microsoft owns in its Android-based Galaxy phones and tablets.

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Microsoft is on a roll with its marketing campaigns, particularly here in the UK. The tech giant has released numerous advertisements for a variety of Windows Phones, including the new Lumia 930 flagship, even going as far as taking the new Windows Phone to the Cornbury music festival.

Families and children were able to be a part of the 'One Experience' where Microsoft had everyone dress up to feature in recorded scenes and eventually a movie. Now the company has released a video to show how everything was put together.

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In April, Nokia revealed their Lumia 930 and a few other bits, including their new MD-12 portable Bluetooth speaker. A few months went by and finally the MD-12 started hitting various shops, though it is still relatively difficult to find (even for myself). That is why I was surprised to find it sitting on Microsoft's online Store for $49 in green, yellow, white or orange (sold out) – news to me, at least.

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Readers of this site know that Microsoft's Xbox Music and Video are good services at their core, but many speed bumps keep them from reaching their potential. Whether it is stiff competition from Amazon and Apple or an awkward software experience, the Microsoft teams behind both services have their work cutout for them. Toss in the rebuilding attempts at the Xbox Music app for Windows Phone 8.1, and many consumers are left frustrated.

In yesterday's earnings call, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella dropped a strong, but subtle, hint that Xbox Music and Video may be on the chopping block.

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Microsoft is making design a key theme as it tries to bring Windows to more screens, spanning phones, PCs, and TVs through Xbox. Not only will deign be a big part of Microsoft's push moving forward, but it will also be instrumental on unifying the different Windows experiences on these separate devices to create a cohesive environment.

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Finland's Minister of Finance Antti Rinne has said Microsoft has "betrayed" his country. Rinne is angry with the layoffs announced yesterday, 12,500 of are due to Nokia's Devices and Services division, which Microsoft acquired in April. Rinne feels that Microsoft hasn't lived up to the commitment it made when the acquisition was originally announced, according to Finnish business paper Kauppalehti:

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Microsoft has made it so parents can search through national ranking and academic ratings for schools on Bing, from elementary all the way up to higher education. There's also a rating for the immediate area, which is an important factor when considering placements, especially if it means the family will relocate to accommodate said education. As with numerous features of Bing, this is open to those who reside in the US.

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Microsoft has today announced that Bing is now accepting requests from the general public in Europe to remove search links under a "right-to-be-forgotten" ruling. The company is urging consumers to get started with filling in an online form to ensure links they wish to have removed are no longer displayed in search results. This move follows Google who is also accepting such requests.

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It was last Thursday that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent a companywide memo. In a letter to employees, Satya Nadella laid out the plans for the company including organizational changes. Many took that to be the code words for upcoming layoffs. He avoided questions the next day about any pending layoffs, but a few days later Bloomberg reported that Microsoft was set to lay off a large amount of staff as part of organizational changes. New info out today suggests those cuts are coming tomorrow morning and will primarily impact those from the Nokia acquisition.

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Microsoft's foray into the personal assistant business with Cortana opens up many opportunities including integration with other branches of knowledge. One area that may be unfamiliar to the general public is Microsoft's work with Academic Search (academic.research.microsoft.com), which is a general search tool for finding articles on particular types of inquiry or the people in those science fields. Indeed, Microsoft Research used to have a Windows Phone 7 app to use this service.

Microsoft Research just published a new video where they discuss how Academic Search and Cortana are merging in early 2015. The demonstration was given at the annual Microsoft Research Faculty Summit where the presenters asked how they could turn Cortana into a research assistant and it follows upon the revelation of Project Adam, which we detailed yesterday.

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