microsoft

All of us here at Windows Phone Central use Bing for our day-to-day searches, and we are positive that most of our readers do also. For those of you who have installed the Google Search app onto your Windows Phone or Windows 8 machine, we will try not to judge you. Despite your choice of search engine, we reached out to the community to find out what your favorite Bing features are, and presented them in our beautiful typeface below.

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Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope computing software was released in February of 2008 by the company’s Research division to display astronomical sky maps. Imagery from the software is provided by the Hubble Space Telescope along with a collection of earth-bound telescopes. The idea for the software, which was originally presented at a TED Conference, is now returning to its roots as a recent conference shows the power of WorldWide Telescope coupled with the Oculus Rift.

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Nokia, BMW, IBM, Vodafone, and Royal Dutch Shell are just a few of the multinational companies caught up in tax battles with the Indian government. A few days ago we learned that an Indian Supreme Court ruled that Nokia must deposit $571 million into an escrow account before it can transfer a key manufacturing plant to Microsoft.

As you know, Microsoft is trying to finalize its deal to acquire Nokia’s phone unit for $7.3 billion. Microsoft and Nokia hope to finish the deal before the month ends. However, the Indian government is making things a little tricky for the two companies.

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Here’s some stellar news for Windows Phone developers. Microsoft is rumored to buy software development company Xamarin. Microsoft and Xamarin have always had a cozy relationship. Last November the two tightened their marketing and technical ties with a new partnership deal. Xamarin is a popular tool because it allows developers to create Android and iOS applications uses C#, the development language of choice for a lot of Windows Phone and Windows 8 developers. Now Microsoft might buy Xamarin.

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Our forums here at Windows Phone Central can be considered the breath and soul of the site itself; a place where fellow "Microsofties" can talk about the technology they hold dearest. In a post this week, WPCentral Member Dallas Gaston asks whether he should grab an Xbox One to pair with his Windows 8.1 Desktop, Surface 2 Pro, and Nokia Lumia 1520 or grab a PlayStation as he always has in the past.

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Microsoft announced plans to purchase Nokia last year and the deal has gone through numerous checks, but reports now state we could be looking at just a month wait for the two companies to finalize everything. The deal will see Microsoft absorb Nokia's hardware division. Essentially, Microsoft will be taking over development of Lumia Windows Phones with the same teams that make the devices we enjoy using today.

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Microsoft has scored a big deal in Sweden with the Riksdag Aministration buying into Windows 8.1, Office 2013, Skype and Lync. The new environment will be rolled out across departments in March, with a pilot scheme initially taking on 100 participants. Post elections in the fall, all 1,650 positions at the Reichstag will be updated with Microsoft tech. This move should also look to include tablets and Windows Phones.

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Microsoft is beginning to try new things to tackle Android and iOS in the competitive smartphone market. Slashing the Windows Phone licensing fees for some OEM partners may be one option the company is looking into. According to a report on India Times, Microsoft is waiving license costs and offering the operating system to at least two Indian phone vendors for free.

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Skype is Microsoft's gem when it comes to communication services for both consumers and enterprise. Video calling enables folk to remain in contact when the only connection is a network and the company could well be looking to add live annotation capabilities to Skype. This would enable users who are conferencing over supported devices to make live annotations that can be exchanged with the recipient.

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Qi wireless charging is heavily supported with Windows Phone, especially since Nokia utilises the technology in most of its premium Lumia smartphones. Today, the Wireless Power Consortium announced that both Microsoft and Samsung Electro-Mechanics (a subsidy of Samsung) have joined the board.

This board drives Qi's adoption across mobile hardware and other technologies and the move for Microsoft makes sense as the company prepares to take Nokia's hardware division.

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Microsoft has a few hurdles to jump before it can finalize the acquisition of Nokia’s handset division. The biggest hurdle? Regulatory approval in China. As we reported a few days ago, Samsung and Google have expressed concern to the Chinese government over potential higher patent fees from the Microsoft-Nokia deal. Turns out Korea smartphone manufactures and the Korean government aren’t too keen on the idea either.

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Most people would agree that Microsoft has come a long way from the dark days of frequent malware attacks and security flaws making headlines. Microsoft has now shared the untold, and thrilling, story of the Security Development Lifecycle at SDLstory.com with anecdotes of the early days, and never-before-seen video footage and photos of the key players.

While in the earliest days, hacking was just an underground hobby, the media attention that security attacks received made it fascinating for cybercriminals as an opportunity for fame. The romanticism of breaking the web just because you could do it became a high. But as time went on, the attacks became more and more malicious, exploiting software for financial gain.

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Microsoft has had a recent alteration with its leadership, namely Satya Nadella replacing Steve Ballmer to head up the massive company. According to a Polygon report and contrary to rumour, the company is still focused on supporting Xbox and pushing the video game console in numerous markets. Phil Spencer from Microsoft Game Studios states the dedication to Xbox at Microsoft has not changed. 

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Video game studio Illyriad is looking to score a new Guinness World Record and smash the previous holder for the largest video game player vs player (PvP) battle. Taking place this Friday, March 14, Microsoft is seeking players to participate in this world record attempt and stress test the public alpha of Illyriad’s new title, Age of Ascent.

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This March sets the stage for the twenty-seventh annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. The event itself is a collection of film, music, and interactive media. This year, South by Southwest will begin on March 8 and continue until the 17 for a seemingly never-ending party of fun. If the event was not already awesome to begin with, Microsoft will be there in full setup to join the fun.

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A few days ago, we reported that Microsoft is looking to create an open-source framework for bringing Xbox Live features to games for all mobile platforms. An additional report from The Verge has since added additional fuel to the fire, giving us a slightly clearer picture of what that means for Xbox Live on Windows Phone and other mobile devices.

Xbox Windows Phone has long been in dire need of a change. Read on to find out what went wrong, and how likely it is that the upcoming open-source framework will set mobile Xbox Live games back on track.

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Two senior leaders at Microsoft are expected to announce their departure from the company this Tuesday. Numerous sources tell Re/code that Tony Bates and Tami Reller will leave in a few days. Bates currently serves as EVP of Business Developer and Evangelism and was in the running for Microsoft’s CEO position at one point. Reller serves as EVP of Marketing and had her position diluted as her duties were somewhat split with Mark Penn, who serves as EVP of Advertising and Strategy.

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Google and Samsung have joined Chinese mobile phone manufacturers in expressing concerns to Chinese courts about Microsoft's purchase of Nokia. Redmond is set to absorb Nokia's phone business for 7.2 billion dollars, integrating the division responsible for Lumia, Asha and X device families. The reasons behind this move are fears that the deal will result in higher patent licensing costs.

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Microsoft may finally be hearing your complaints about the lack of Xbox Live support, though it may not be what you envisioned. While many have been calling for Microsoft to differentiate themselves by doubling down on Xbox Live exclusive games, their recent strategy of openness and cross-platform support suggests otherwise.

Now, a new job posting for a newly formed team at Microsoft, dubbed initially as "New Devices and Gaming", gives some clues as to where Redmond is looking next for dominance. While Xbox 360, Xbox One and Live games are exclusive to Microsoft products, there appears to be a new strategy materializing.

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