Microsoft News

There really is no better place to buy a new ultrabook, tablet or PC than from the Microsoft Store. Sure you can buy products online, but having access to a physical store is great for that instant gratification of picking up your new gadget. You’ll only find those brick-and-mortar stores in select malls across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Those in the United States are also set to get 11 new Microsoft Specialty Stores throughout the month of May. Locations and details below.

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Nokia Oyj, the Finnish manufacturer's devices and services division will become Microsoft Mobile Oy, Redmond's new mobile devices and services division, once the Microsoft-Nokia deal goes through. Microsoft already has its own, larger devices and services organization, of course, but with Nokia's phone business getting merged in, the components that support that business will have to be merged in as well. Nokia has reportedly sent a letter to their suppliers to address just that matter.

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We’ve been playing with Cortana for the past few weeks and it was just a few days ago that you all joined in on the fun with the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers. You know what we think about Cortana and Windows Phone 8.1 because of our review. And the community seems to be responding positively to the feature as well. Now we get to meet the principal program manager lead at Microsoft who spearheaded Cortana’s personality thanks to a new blog posting at Microsoft’s JobsBlog.

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If you don't love Microsoft Research then you don't love ice cream sundaes or anything else good in the world, because who else is busy figuring out how to make Windows Phone scan faces and build 3D models? So what if they call it "Skynet UI", what bad could come of this?! Zhiwei Li, Richard Cai, and Jiawei Gu are even sharing their work on the web, making sci-fi look just a little more real.

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Mary Jo Foley recently talked with Terry Myerson about the future of Windows, transparency and more. Terry, as you know, is the executive vice president of Microsoft’s operating system group. This division is responsible for the all operating systems at Microsoft.

She sat down with Terry a few days after Build and now has two great posts up on her site detailing the exchange. We’ll highlight a few interesting tidbits and then send you her way to get the whole scoop on the future of Windows and Microsoft.

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Microsoft and the government of Queensland, Australia have signed a deal to deploy Office 365 to 149,000 employees. It's a move set to enable the government to remain up-to-date with the latest versions of Office, making it much easier for administrators and employees to manage installations. We've previously looked at Microsoft comparing features in Office Apps to the likes of Google Docs.

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We’re still recovering from Microsoft’s //BUILD/ conference from last week. Build 2014 was the event that Microsoft finally showed us Windows Phone 8.1 for the first time publically. It was also full of information for developers throughout the week at all the various sessions. Microsoft has compiled a really handy recap of the event last week.

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Microsoft's OneNote team has been kicking ass lately. A few weeks ago they introduced a new set of APIs for developers to tie into the OneNote service. In addition there's a new app for Mac users and the desktop version of OneNote on Windows was made free. Check out this pretty amazing parody from the OneNote team of the song "One Day More" from the musical Les Miserables. Video Yes. This was a video from Microsoft promoting a product for Mac.

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Microsoft launched Office for iPad nearly two weeks ago. Now iPad owners can enjoy view Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents. Have (or obtain as Microsoft would like) an Office 365 subscription and you’re able to not just view documents, but edit them as well. The apps have seen over 12 million downloads since launch. The Office for iPad team just wrapped up an AMA on Reddit where they shared a lot of interesting facts about the product. Highlights from the Q&A below.

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As the General Elections 2014 get underway in the largest democracy of the world, Microsoft has partnered with the Network18 media conglomerate to create the CNN-IBN Microsoft Election Analytics Centre to allow the citizens to search and engage with election data like never before.

The initiative brings comprehensive analytics on Indian election trends over the years across parties, candidates, and constituencies to www.bing.com/elections (Location aware).

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If you're looking for a new Windows Phone device but don't want to deal with the hassle of a contract, Microsoft has a few deals happening right now that you might be interested in. From now until April 7th, you can get $100 off the no contract price of select Windows Phones at Microsoft Store retail locations. Which devices are on sale you ask? Well, we've got the whole list for you.

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Hot on the heels of Microsoft officially announcing Windows Phone 8.1, the SDK Development Tools are now available for download. The Windows Phone emulator has also been updated to handle Windows Phone 8.1. All which in preparation for the eventual release of the Windows Phone 8.1 SDK.

The Windows Phone 8.1 development tools are included with Visual Studio 2013. If you already have Visual Studio 2013 installed, you’ll need to install Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 RC. Otherwise, you’ll need to install the Update 2 version from scratch.

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A reference to Microsoft's upcoming virtual assistant Cortana has appeared in the settings panel of Bing. Users signed into Bing on the web can navigate to the Personalization section to view a section called Other Cortana Data under their search history. The section allows you to clear certain types of data that Cortana makes use of, such as contacts and calendars, and users are greeted with the following:

To provide personalized recommendations, we upload some info from your Windows Phone, such as your calendar, contacts, location, and browsing history. If you clear this info, Microsoft may be temporarily unable to provide these recommendations.

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We are less than 12 hours away from Microsoft’s keynote at Build 2014. We’re really looking forward to all the news surrounding Windows Phone 8.1. That said, Microsoft will be showing off plenty of other products, devices and services. It also looks like Microsoft is ready to join the ‘Internet of Things’. A website has gone live on the night before Build. The site gives us a little insight into what else Microsoft may announced this week.

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It's no secret that Microsoft is moving to be a devices and services company. Microsoft will need to embrace more platforms as it makes this momentous pivot. Which is why the company today has announced that it is releasing Outlook Web App for Android. We already have OWA for iPhone users. Now Android employees who work at a business using Office 365 for Business can use the app.

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