microsoft

Fancy sending a personalised holiday greeting this year? Microsoft is providing you the means to do so with a special carol, dedicated to the person of your choice. With Jingle Bells or Silent Night to choose from, you're also able to pick a free app to bundle with the merry gift and everything will be taken care of for you. All you're left with is a link to share and you're done.

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While Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals promotions may have had a few bumps along the way, it had some rather nice savings opportunities.  The promotion draws to a close today with savings on the HP Envy 15 laptop, which is regularly priced at $899.

The deal begin at 7am PST/10am EST online and at participating Microsoft Stores (US/Canada).  The first twenty customers at the retail stores and the first one hundred online customers can snag the Envy for $499.  Once that allotment is exhausted, the laptop will be on sale for $699 while supplies last.

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Update: It appears the sales price for the JBL J55 Headphones is $29.95 while supplies last.  

Update 2:  The $29.95 sales price was the door buster price.  The sales price has jumped to $49.95, while remaining supplies last.

Day Eleven has arrived for Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals promotion with the savings spotlight being cast on the JBL J55 On-Ear Headphones.  It may not be as exciting of a deal as yesterday’s free AT&T Nokia Lumia 1520, but if you are in the market for a Bluetooth speaker, it could save you a few bucks.

As with all the 12 Days of Deals specials, the sale begins at 7am PST/10am EST.  We expect the first twenty customers at participating Microsoft Stores (US/Canada) and the first one hundred online customers should be able to pick the JBL Headphones for a steal of a price.  After the initial door buster deals are gone, the headphones will be priced at a considerable savings while supplies last.

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Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals promotion heads into day number nine and spotlights SOL Republic Tracks HD Headphones.  Tracks HD on-ear headphones are fitted with Sol's V10 Sound Engine Speakers that produce deeper bass, clearer mid-range tonality and resonate highs for full quality audio.

The 12 Days of Deals bring the price of the SOL headphones from $99.99 to $39.99 for the first twenty customers at participating Microsoft Stores (US/Canada only) and the first one hundred online customers.  After the door buster deals are all gone, the headphones will remain on sale for $69.99 while supplies last.

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Microsoft is still yet to release dates on just when the company plans to release original series for Xbox One and 360 streaming, but it's hoped that the first batch of new shows will broadcast in the first half of 2014. Microsoft's president of entertainment and digital, Nancy Tellem spoke to Variety, stating that Microsoft is a different beast to the likes of Netflix and Amazon but they're working on it.

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A new page has been added to the annals of the bitter rivalry between Microsoft and Google. Blaise Agüera y Arcas, a top engineer at Microsoft, will be leaving after seven years to work on machine learning at Google. Agüera y Arcas first joined Microsoft as a software architect when his company, Seadragon Software, was acquired by them. Since that time, he has been a major player in developing Bing Maps and Microsoft's Photosynth image software.

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Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals hits the home stretch this week with the final five days of door busting deals.  Today, the spotlight shines on the HP Pavilion X2 13” convertible laptop.

The first twenty customers at each of the participating Microsoft Stores (US/Canada only) and the first one hundred online customers can pick up the laptop for $599.  After that allotment is gone, the laptop price will jump to $699 while remaining supplies last.

The deal, as with all of the 12 Days of Deals promotions, won't be active until 7am PST/10am CST.  You can find the HP Pavilion X2 laptop listed online here at the Microsoft Store.

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Today marks day five of Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals promotion and we find a popular Xbox 360 gaming titled featured in the spotlight.

The first twenty customers at each of the participating Microsoft Store locations can pick up a copy of Grand Theft Auto V for $19.99.  The first one hundred online customers can enjoy the same deal as well.

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Update: Yeah, Mollenkopf instead became CEO Of Qualcomm the next morning. 

The hunt for Microsoft’s next CEO has just taken another slight twist. Sources have revealed to Bloomberg that Steve Mollenkopf is now among the candidates being considered to replace Steve Ballmer. Who? Mollenkopf is the COO of Qualcomm and the latest individual to join the CEO dance at Microsoft.

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The Chinese government recently lifted its decade-long ban on the selling of gaming consoles within the country, which has been in place since 2000. Console makers are expected to seize the opportunity and extend their war to another huge new market. According to reports, Microsoft will be the one to make the first move, bringing Xbox to China in September 2014.

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Microsoft is heading into day four of their 12 Days of Deals promotion highlighting a popular fitness accessory, the FitBit Flex.  They are bundling the fitness monitor with either a pair of Yurbuds or Klipsch earbud headsets.

The first twenty customers at each participating Microsoft Store can pick up the bundle for $99.99 along with a $25 Microsoft Gift Card.  The deal is also available for the first 100 online customers.  After which, the bundle will still be $99.99 (while supplies last) minus the Gift Card.

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Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype may be seen as a positive move by many users within the ecosystem, as it brings modern communication to Windows, Xbox, and Windows Phone, but not everyone is keen to the idea. Cisco recently challenged Microsoft’s takeover of Skype Technologies. The challenge though, has been thrown out of the European General Court.

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There’s no denying the massive market share that Android currently has in the mobile landscape. Android is basically crushing the competition globally. For example, 81.0% of all handsets shipped were running Android in Q3 2013. Compare that to iOS at 12.9% and Windows Phone at 3.6% for the same period.

Why is Android so dominant? Is it the number of apps in the Google Play store? Maybe it’s the “openness” of the platform and the ability to customize every aspect of the phone? Or could it be the licensing costs that OEMs pay Google to use Android (aka nil)? It could very well be those licensing costs since Microsoft is considering doing the same with both Windows Phone and Windows RT in the future.

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Microsoft has published a new post on the official Outlook blog, detailing some upcoming changes to the service that make it even easier to switch from Gmail. It's no secret that many consumers have switched from Google's email service to Outlook.com and Microsoft is looking to further push tools and services available to make the switch as seamless as possible.

These are said to be rolling out in the coming weeks, so sync on past the break to read up what's new.

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Xbox One is Microsoft's next-generation video console, which launched just shy of three weeks ago. The company has today announced that more than 2 million consoles have been sold to consumers worldwide, reportedly averaging over 111,111 (see what they did there?) units per day. 

Microsoft previously unveiled some humorous, albeit rather pointless figures that included how many zombies have been slain in Dead Rising 3, as well as how many miles have been driven in Forza 5. We now have official numbers to play with when talking about the Xbox One launch and it's looking rather positive.

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Microsoft is firing up deal number 3 in the 12 Days of Deals promotion. Today we'll see the Nokia Lumia 1020 on AT&T have its price tag slashed. If you're not familiar with the deals, the company is offering numerous products at discounted prices over the course of the next 12 days. 

Update: Lumia 1020 is out of stock online. They went super quick.

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