microsoft

Microsoft has announced the availability of Windows 8.1 end user readiness content for businesses. The user guide package provides a range of guides and video tutorials that will ensure users take full advantage of Windows 8.1.

While the content and the medium is aimed at business users, the videos and print-ready assets are great resources to demonstrate or learn about Windows 8.1 capabilities and features in general.

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Microsoft, along with other companies have been in the news surrounding the US National Security Agency (NSA) and general privacy concerns that government agencies have easy access to customer data. Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs at Microsoft, recently published a blog post detailing now is the time for an international convention on government access to data.

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Microsoft is attempting to save Windows 8 through Windows 8.1, pushing machines left, right and centre, but it seems one of its OEM partners has other ideas. HP has brought back Windows 7 hardware, enabling consumers to customise a new HP PC, running the older operating system. The reason for this re-introduction? According to the HP website, the offer was brought back "by popular demand."

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At a press conference in Hyderabad earlier today, Microsoft launched a new program with an aim to build a deep long-term association between industry and academia.

As part of the Microsoft Academia Accelerator, Microsoft has collaborated with the faculty at 10 leading Indian engineering colleges with an aim to enhance the computer science curriculum in selective areas and foster student innovation and entrepreneurship.

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If you or someone you know has poor vision and has been struggling to use Microsoft’s suite of Office software, than you will be happy to hear of the company’s partnership with GW Micro. A technology vendor that provides “high quality solutions for [the] blind and visually impaired”, GW Micro, has created a Windows Office 2010 or 2013 addon available to those who might need a bit of help perceiving what is on-screen.

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Nokia and Android have both been in the news recently. Earlier today we covered a leaked photo of the Nokia Normandy, the affordable Android smartphone reported to be in development, but another shot has been published on Chinese micro-blogging website Weibo. This time we're able to see the OS on-screen and the device itself looks similar to previous renders and leaks.

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The big news a few years ago was Microsoft was not going to do CES any longer, instead focusing on their own events like Build, which are better aligned with their product announcements.

But the truth is, they are here, taking meetings with their partners and press (see our interview with director of Windows Phone, Greg Sullivan). They even have a rather large showroom with just announced Windows 8.1 PCs, tablets, two-in-ones and various Windows Phone 8 devices.

Check out our behind the scenes video of Microsoft’s off-site showroom, including all of their wares. Video after the break!

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If you are a fan of the cosmos, than you should be well aware of Microsoft Research’s WorldWide Telescope computing program. WorldWide Telescope allows users to fly through the known universe as astronomical sky maps and a 3D modeled environment is rendered. Originally announced at a 2008 TED Conference in California, the application still continues to be listed as “beta”, but has attracted over 1.5 million active users.

Today, as a celebration of the software’s fifth anniversary, WorldWide Telescope version 5.0 is now available to download for anyone dreaming of space exploration. The new release itself is also a new milestone and includes new features and datasets to enhance the user experience.

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Our CES interview with Microsoft's Greg Sullivan

CES is turning out to be an interesting event for 4K HD TVs, various connected technologies and smart cars. Smartphones are mostly relegated to display status, with companies preferring their own off-site venues for announcements. Microsoft though is here, taking private meetings with vendors and the press.

Yesterday, we sat down with Greg Sullivan, Director on Windows Phone at Microsoft. The news was positive and while no new announcements were revealed, Microsoft did have some thoughts on the coming company reorganization, acquisition of Nokia in the coming year and the sleeper-hit Lumia 520.

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While several marketing gurus hail Apple as an iconic brand across domains, Microsoft came out on top in a brand survey conducted by Forrester Research. Microsoft emerged as the winner, with Apple in second, Sony in third, and Samsung in fourth place.

The results are based on a brand survey where more than 4,500 U.S. adults were polled in August 2013. Forrester applied its TRUE methodology - which it uses to measure brand strength in several vertical markets - to 10 consumer technology firms it selected, including Microsoft, Apple, Sony, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell.

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Microsoft's Steve Ballmer won't be heading up the company for much longer, leaving his post later this year. The company is currently looking for a replacement and rumours have pointed the finger at numerous potential candidates, including both Stephen Elop at Nokia and Ford's Alan Mulally.

Mulally has previously denied any plans to move to Microsoft and once again the Ford CEO shoots down any reports he may be leaving Ford for Redmond's CEO position in an interview with Associated Press.

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Microsoft has told TechRadar that the company is witnessing some serious growth for its Windows Phone platform. Christoper Flores, director of communications for Microsoft, told the publication that attacks on "both ends" of the smartphone market were well under way (high-end and budget mobile devices) and we can expect to see further aggressive marketing should the deal with Nokia go through.

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At times, watching the launch for Microsoft's Xbox One gaming console was like watching a low rise car try to make it over speed bumps in a parking lot — painful. The company's public relations and marketing departments constantly tripped onto their faces when the answers to DRM concerns and piracy control were nowhere to be found.

A couple of months after the launch of Xbox One, not only am I enjoying my personal system, but so are 3 million other gamers and entertainment consumers around the world. 

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Microsoft has recently discussed internally somewhat unconventional tactics to help drag Windows Phone up to the level of Android, closing the gap at a faster rate. The Information has had the opportunity to look at internal documentation, which covers numerous scenarios as to how Microsoft planned to compete against Google in the industry. Head past the break for the full read.

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AdDuplex has released data showing the Lumia 520 becoming ever more popular within the Windows Phone ecosystem, low-end hardware progressing strongly in the US and a stubborn Windows Phone 7.

Windows Phone is an interesting platform to analyse when you're looking at hardware. Cross-platform advertising network, AdDuplex has published a report for the month of December to provide us with a small insight as to how Windows Phone is looking at the end of 2013. The year has been an eventful one to say the least, so head on past the break for all the details.

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The Nokia-Microsoft deal is marching steadily to a conclusion as being approved by the United States, the European Union, and of course, Nokia's shareholders. However, China is still reluctant to give its word. Recently China's Ministry of Commerce has started a second round of probes into Microsoft's acquisition case. This time the government has a new emphasis: antitrust.

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