skype

Microsoft has chosen to include some interesting extras with the new Surface 2 tablets. As well as announcing the actual hardware today, this bundle include free Skype calls and SkyDrive storage to get you started with your new Windows 8 product. The best part? Both Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 purchases are eligible for the promotion. So what's included with each purchase?

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Skype not planning to release further updates for Windows Phone 7.x

The Skype team today has taken to their blog to further outline some of their plans for mobile going forward.  In the article, they highlight how Windows Phone 8 was the first OS to receive mobile HD video calling and feature the new Modern UI. They also mentioned that “the vast majority of our Windows Phone base and usage is on Windows Phone 8”.

Skype, like all companies, has to put their resources where the market is and because of that, they’re announcing that there will be no further development for Windows Phone 7.x legacy devices.

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Skype app for Windows Phone 8, which was bumped to version 2.10.0.251 this morning. The latest update brings along with it some substantive changes, including the previously missing Video messaging.

Video messaging was introduced by Skype earlier this summer and it quickly landed on their iOS and Android clients. Windows Phone though, despite receiving numerous updates since, was left on the side with an IOU from the Skype team. Up until today, Windows Phone 8 users were only able to view Video messages, but now they can also record and send them for free.

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The Xbox 360 came out in November 2005, yes that 2005 from nearly 8 years ago. Over time, the Xbox 360 continued to improve with software updates and hardware refreshes that only changed the external look of the device. The Xbox One is coming sometime this November and with it the next generation. Microsoft has a cool sample showing the difference in voice quality between the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One. Let’s check it out.

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Outlook.com recently celebrated its one year anniversary. They did so by giving away free SkyDrive storage and Skype credit to early adopters of the platform. The team at Outlook.com hasn’t slowed down since launching over a year ago. Continual updates to the platform have made it a favorite among many users. The latest feature is also news worthy and worth highlighting – Skype is now inside Outlook.com for a select number of markets.

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Microsoft has always been a fan of charging their Xbox customers a premium to access features including multiplayer gaming, entertainment applications, and Internet Explorer. The company has announced the list of additional new features for Xbox One that will require a Live Gold subscription.

Xbox One will require a paid subscription to access the console’s OneGuide (TV Guide), Game DVR service, Skype, and new SmartMatch service. We aren’t extremely surprised about the news, but now we can confirm what we suspected.

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Today Microsoft made an announcement for users who use the messaging feature on Outlook.com; if you currently use the Outlook web interface to chat with your friends on Facebook, Google Talk, or Messenger, the site keeps a copy of your chat history in a folder. Starting this fall, the Messaging history folder will be removed.

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While Skype on Windows Phone 8 still falls short of the more seamless experience on Android, the chaps at Microsoft and Skype are at least working their tails off to improve the Windows Phone experience. Such is the case with the steady stream of monthly updates to the popular VOIP service, with the last occurring on July 9th.

Version 2.9.0.129 should be going live in the Store right now for users, meaning if you follow the link below you can force update the app instead of waiting 12 hours for your Store tile to refresh. More interestingly, Skype actually included a changelog with the update and it’s more than the usual “bug fixes”.

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Hotspots are available across the world and offer an easy way to get connected when you're not at home. Microsoft has released a Skype WiFi app (www.skype.com) for Windows 8, enabling consumers to connect to said hotspots and chat with friends and family over WiFi, instead of racking up expensive roaming charges or fumbling around with direct registration.

Should you find yourself travelling abroad and require to remain in contact with friends and whatnot, this app is definitely a must-have for you. What's also cool is the fact you can also use the Internet access for general web browsing too. The best part is there's no extra step to get started. Simply log in with your Skype account and add some Skype Credit.

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Earlier this year Microsoft and other tech giants like Google, Apple, and Facebook were accused of giving the government backdoor access to their systems. The program, in operation since 2007, is called PRISM and is operated by United States National Security Agency. Recent leaks by Edward Snowden revealed a relationship that has been in place for quite some time. Microsoft in particular has been singled out in regards to Skype communications allegedly being available to the government. All companies involved have denied giving the government direct access.

In a recent blog post, Microsoft goes on the offensive and responds to the issue around government demands for your data. Here is what is currently going down.

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Windows Phone 8 came out last fall. October 29th to be exact. It came with some killer hardware between the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X. It also had a slew of handy new features within the OS itself. Its major change, something most consumers will never know or appreciate, was the change to the Windows NT kernel. The same kernel powering Windows 8. It’s been over 8 months since then, what does Microsoft have in store for Windows Phone going forward?

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To add to what is an increasingly news-worthy day, Skype has just pushed out a nice little update for Windows Phone 8 users, bumping that version to 2.8.0.84.

The Skype app for Windows Phone 8 has had a mixed track record with updates and coming late to the new OS, but with the last few releases it seems to have stabilized and is increasingly getting better and better. What’s more, this isn’t a vague “bug fixes” update but rather has some documented changes.

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Sometimes technology is a collection of circuitry and silicon, sometimes though – it is a magical moment full of feelings and memories. The best experiences are born when technology transcends our knowledge and connects us with what we love. British science fiction writer and futurist, Arthur C. Clarke, once said:

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Microsoft has been around for a long time and for those of us who live off of the technology they provide, some of the memories will never seep away.

In 2007, the company released a four minute commercial that has come to be known as “Your Digital Lifestyle”. The ad highlighted the then current hi-tech Microsoft products of the time and how one green shirted hipster used them to party the night away. The commercial is set to a cover of Ash’s Girl from Mars by Canadian group, Magneta Lane.

Buckle up, because we are going on a field trip to six years ago; along the way, we are going to jam with our green shirted friend and revisit some of our past Microsoft technology goodies. Windows Vista will probably be seen along the way, but there will be plenty of other experiences to combat that bad flavor.

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We’ve been hearing since the beginning of June that Microsoft, and specifically CEO Steve Ballmer, were prepping a major reorganization of the company to better reflect their new role as a “devices and services” company. Rumors were that we would hear about the specifics of the plan by July 1st but that time has come and gone.

Now, Bloomberg is citing a few sources on one possible plan for the company.  One move has Skype president Tony Bates being placed in charge of acquisitions and relationships with software developers, while current head of Windows Julie Larson-Greene (who was on stage recently at Build), would get oversight of hardware engineering for the whole company, including Xbox, Surface and what else Redmond has at their Skunkworks.

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Skype video chat is a fantastic way to keep in touch with friends, family and business contacts, but up until now, it was only as good as who was in front of their device at any given moment. All of that has changed with Skype's new Video Messaging feature, which is essentially video mail.

It allows you to record a video, up to three minutes long, and send it to any contact, whether they are online or offline. Then, once your contact signs in, they will see your message waiting for them and can view and respond at their own leisure. Fantastic, right?

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Microsoft is everywhere and they want you to know that. The two latest commercials (see the second ad after the break) from the boys in Redmond show off the harmonious marriage of various services on Windows 8 and Windows Phone devices. Internet Explorer, Bing, Xbox, Skype, SkyDrive, and the App store - are all touched upon.

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Okay - the Xbox One isn’t actually watching us shower, but Microsoft doesn’t want us to go even a few minutes without seeing an ad for their latest console. Our Editor-At-Large, Simon Sage, tweeted this picture after getting back to his Los Angles hotel room.

The advertisement states: “Drive fast. Defend Rome. Skype on your TV. All in one. – Xbox One” The first two statements are references to Xbox One exclusive games including Forza Motorsport 5 and Crytek’s RYSE. The third statement is reference to the console’s new ability to make Skype calls via Kinect in full screen or snap mode, while playing a game.

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