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The first Microsoft Store in Canada has opened at Yorkdale Mall, Toronto. The brick and mortar store will provide Microsoft with the capacity to accommodate consumers inside a specially crafted experience to ensure everyone gets the most out of what the company has to offer - whether it be Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, cloud services, Office, Xbox and more.

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AdDuplex, a cross-platform advertisement network for Windows Phone and Windows 8 developers, has released data in the form of charts that reveal OEM, platform version and even view mode trends. Sporting data for both Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, the published article hits two birds with one stone. So, what's interesting about the numbers?

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Microsoft seems to be taking its Skype acquisition and integrating it further into the arsenal of products and services the company offers - namely Messenger (or Windows Live Messenger). An article has been published on the Skype blog detailing what's on the horizon for Messenger users who now have the opportunity to connect to their Microsoft Account within the Skype client.

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Windows Phone 8 OneNote has now been released from the Office hub and is now its own app. With that comes some neat advantages such a quicker, more direct access to your notebooks, bypassing the need to go into Office first to find your notes.

OneNote for Windows Phone 8 is now uses a live tile to show you which note was updated last, at a glance information to help you get things done quicker.

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Using the Microsoft Windows Upgrade Assistant

You're looking at Windows 8 videos and screenshots with the mouth drooling, but how does one actually get cracking with the upgrade / installation process? It's actually relatively straightforward, which may surprise many who believe Microsoft to be the company that complicates their software offerings.

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When Surface was first shown off it came with a dark and moody trailer but since then we haven’t seen anything like that.

Microsoft has just released a new commercial in a very similar style. Out with the dancing and in with the future tech theme.

The music sounds like the same used in the original trailer “Surface by Microsoft” and it has the same brooding tone. We’re not sure if this is mass market appeal here but will certainly sate the tech crowd who seem more switched on by these segments.

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The newest addition of Windows is here and its looking very smart indeed but its lacking one thing, Media Centre.

That’s right folks, Microsoft’s analytics said only 10% of the Windows user base uses this full featured DVR replacement so are set to charge for it. The good news is, you can get it for free. Read on to find out how..

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Have you ever felt like adding your music to the cloud and being able to stream it anywhere, on multiple platforms? To listen to your own music library wirelessly? There are a number of options available, iTunes Match probably being the most likely recommendation, but they’re restricted in some way or another. Cue the introduction of Jukebox (www.get-jukebox.com).

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With the operating system juggernaut called Windows 8 looming closer by the day it seems everyone is talking about Windows. Is the conversation going to include Windows Phone more frequently too now?

Samsung’s UK vice president has dropped a few encouraging words about where the company sees opportunity in the business sector for an end-to-end solution for tablets and smartphones based on Windows 8.

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Windows Phone brought with it Metro, the design principles that have gone on to reach every aspect of Microsoft’s product line up. For those who have a keen interest in Metro and UX (user experience) in general you may have been following the excellent series by Arturo Toledo that explores all things Metro.

Arturo is a former senior user experience designer at Microsoft, the series has been fascinating and well worth a look.

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With launch day and general availability of Surface devices set to begin in a few short days the reviews have started to appear. After months of speculation and mountains of questions about price and specs, we’re finally at the end of this saga. Microsoft have dished out Surface devices to the great and the good for some pre-release exclusives.

Surface represents a few key things for Microsoft, firstly it will be the public face of Windows 8, and secondly it is designed to showcase ARM devices and the new WinRT touch interface. From the moment it was announced this was going to be such a critical element for the entire launch of Windows 8. How well it’s received depends on not only the hardware but also the software. Check out our roundup after the break..

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Microsoft have just announced their plans to get the advertising steamroller underway for the launch of Windows 8.

They are set to kick off the full scale assault in 42 countries in the run up to the Windows 8 launch. They have decided to highlight local upcoming bands using “the universal medium of music”. Bands such as Best Coast (US), Lenka (China) and Hogarth (Brazil) are being cited as some examples. Check out the videos below…

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We wrote yesterday about the things to watch out for with the launch of Windows 8. One of those things was SmartGlass and Microsoft have now revealed more ahead of the launch. They have updated the Windows 8 apps and free streaming is now available for Xbox Music.

As part of a broader roll out of better entertainment services, SmartGlass aims to improve the ability to use tablets and smartphones to better control the experience with the Xbox 360.  The video goes on to show how internet sessions can be shared from Windows Phone 8 to the console, along with bouncing it back from the console to your tablet. It’s looking awesome, check out the video after the break.

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Yes folks it’s finally here, the week that will see Microsoft launch Windows 8, spearheading its massive 2012 product launch schedule. It’s keystone of the ‘Three Screens & Cloud’ play and this is where we see how it’s all going to shake out.

The pre-orders for Surface have started and even run dry in some regions, invites to the various launch events have gone out and now it’s time to put all the cards on the table. With such a wide ranging spruce-up of the entire product line from Xbox to Windows Phone, we’re in for a wild ride. Windows 8 will be at the centre of these launches, not just because it’s Windows but because with it we will see a whole host of services light up to enable the entire eco system.

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Microsoft has just started its ramping up efforts to begin promotion of its upcoming Surface tablet. It kicked off in full with the Surface Movement ad that was aired during television show Dancing with the stars.

While many of us have wondered about the effectiveness of the ads it looks as though initial ad has scored high with consumers according to advertising analyst company Ace Metrix.

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As we move ever closer to the launch of Windows 8 we also near the relaunch of Microsoft’s music services. All traces of Zune branding are being replaced with the upcoming Xbox Music.

On trying to go to www.zune.net we now get a re-direct to Xbox.com to be told that Zune Music is now Xbox Music. We’re going to miss that crazy pink and white website but it's had its time.

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Today has been a rather busy day with the unveiling of the Microsoft Surface RT tablet pricing and availability. Pre-ordering went live earlier in the US, while other markets followed behind. We've been bombarded with international Microsoft Store links from readers who are excited to get their orders in - so who can currently pre-order a Surface RT tablet?

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