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Microsoft

  • Microsoft’s HoloLens looks better than Google Glass, but can it escape the same fate?

    Microsoft pulled a fast one during its Windows 10 event by showing off a prototype of HoloLens, its own take on augmented reality glasses. The device certainly appears more compelling than Google Glass (although far less fashion-conscious), but does that mean it can avoid the same fate? Where Glass, currently sitting in as close to no-man's-land as you can get at Google, essentially aimed to be a kind of reality augmenting smartphone screen for your eyes, HoloLens looks to take things a little further. Rather than merely throwing information up in front of your face, HoloLens will make use...

  • Microsoft criticises Google for disclosing Windows 8.1 bug before it fixed it

    There is a possible war brewing between Microsoft and Google after the Redmond-based giant publicly criticised its Mountain View counterpart for releasing details about a security vulnerability in Windows 8.1 two days before it could patch the bug. Microsoft accuses Google of putting users at risk by rejecting Microsoft’s request to wait until the fix was released. Google made the disclosure as part of its “Project Zero” security initiative, which provides companies a 90-day deadline to fix vulnerabilities before they are disclosed publicly. The flaw in the Windows 8.1 log-on mechanism would allow a hacker to escalate their privileges on...

  • Microsoft adds Bitcoin as payment option for Xbox, Windows Phone stores

    Microsoft users can now buy and download apps, games, movies, TV shows, and music at the Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox Games, Video, and Music stores using Bitcoin. As reported by CoinDesk, computer giant is now accepting popular cryptocurrency as payment option for its online platforms' gift cards. The Redmond-based giant joins the ranks of other US major tech companies such as Dell, Dish Network, Expedia, and Overstock. Locally, one of South Africa's largest ecommerce players -- along with 30 000 or so other online merchants -- also accept this digital currency as payment option. Perhaps this move would help...

  • Kim Kardashian, Facebook and iPhone 6 top Bing’s 2014 search lists

    The year is winding down and with that comes the mandatory look-backs from companies across the tech world. The latest to do so is Microsoft, which has released its list of the top searches on Bing. The Apple iPhone 6, Facebook and Kim Kardashian -- the woman who set out to break the internet with her bum -- top the list. Kim Kardashian butted her way to the top five of most searched people, bumping Beyonce from number one to number two. Singers Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry came in third and fourth and Justin Bieber filled the number five spot. Microsoft...

  • Real Madrid scores a Microsoft sponsorship

    Microsoft is set to announce a significant partnership on Tuesday with Spanish soccer team Real Madrid. The details of the deal are sketchy and a video released by Microsoft only mentions the date of the announcement, which can be watched live. We can only hope that it is a partnership that works better than the recent partnerships that Microsoft has had with CNN and NFL. Both deals backfired for Microsoft and it did not get the maximum marketing exposure that it wanted. The failure of these partnerships have probably encouraged Microsoft to be a lot smarter. Read more: Microsoft Word becomes top...

  • Microsoft Word becomes top downloaded app after price changes

    After being made available for free download, App Annie reports that Microsoft Word has become the most downloaded app on the Apple App Store for iPad and iPhone (although Facebook’s Messenger app has since taken over on iPhone). And other Office apps, such as Excel, are in hot pursuit. The app's ascent to the Top Downloaded App throne follows last week’s pricing changes by Microsoft. Only as recently as last week, iPad users were required to subscribe to Office 365 in order to create new files and Microsoft had set limited features on iPhone. Read more: Cloud giants Dropbox and Microsoft get snuggly...

  • Cloud giants Dropbox and Microsoft get snuggly for better Office integration

    Two of the world's most popular online storage giants -- Microsoft and Dropbox -- are forming a partnership for better integration. Considering that Microsoft has its own cloud storage product, OneDrive, one might say that this is like a parent spoiling someone else's kid because they are more popular at school, really. In the next few weeks, the integration will launch with new versions of Office for iOS and Android and will allow users of both services to save into Dropbox directly from Office and edit Office documents directly from Dropbox. Dropbox offers a brilliant service and is mostly efficient, a...

  • Future Nokia devices will be branded as Microsoft Lumia, company confirms

    So it seems Microsoft has finally stuck the dagger into Nokia's ailing heart. The company once famed for making those indestructible Nokia 3310s we could never seem to destroy, will not have its branding on future Lumia phones. Instead, the brand will be known as Microsoft Lumia. We all knew this was coming, but we're pretty sad, nevertheless, to see this iconic name die. While there are currently no Microsoft Lumia devices on the market, Tuula Rytilä, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Phones at Microsoft noted that she is "looking forward to unveiling a Microsoft Lumia device soon." Interestingly, she also...

  • Skype tries to take on Snapchat with quirky video app called Qik

    Skype has just relaunched an app called Qik (pronounced "quick" and not to be confused with Kwik). Unlike its flagship Skype service -- which is somewhat formal -- the new video messaging app is geared for all those impulse moments you'd love to share with friends but certainly not the public. In April this year, the original mobile video streaming service, Qik, was put down only to be relaunched now as a mobile video messaging app. As the name suggests, Qik videos (or Fliks as they've been officially knighted) can go up to 42 seconds only. Why this specific number?...

  • Microsoft has one-million people testing out Windows 10

    After all the drama around Windows 8, Microsoft very clearly needs Windows 10 to work. It looks like it's got some pretty strong support in that regard too. The Redmond-based giant says that some one-million people have downloaded the technical preview of the refreshed OS and are providing plenty of information around potential bugs. In an official blog post marking the announcement, Microsoft says that over "200 000 pieces of user-initiated feedback have been submitted to us via the Windows Feedback app from Windows Insiders". Among the top requests being made by the folks testing out Windows 10 are...

  • Less flash, more business: why Microsoft is sticking to the basics

    Microsoft has gone back to basics. With its latest Windows update, it's being as cautious as a group of retirees crossing a busy intersection. Apart from the unexpected twist in the name (yes, there's no version 9), the latest operating system, Windows 10, is extremely subtle. And with good reason. Based on the preview release, what we know about the operating system so far is that Microsoft decided revert to something much closer in feel to Windows 7. In essence, it seems Windows 10 will be a version of Windows 7 with a few of the best bits of Windows...

  • Back from the dead, sort of: Microsoft rebrands Bing apps to MSN

    We're willing to bet that, by now, you'd probably forgotten about MSN or assumed that Microsoft had quietly buried it somewhere in the deep dark woods of the Pacific Northwest. It turns out though that the Redmond-based giant still has plans for the brand. In an official blog post, the company announced that it would be rebranding several of it Bing apps as MSN products across iOS and Android. Alongside the newly rebranded apps, Microsoft is also launching a new version of MSN as part of its mobile-first, cloud-first strategy. The new version, which is available for preview from...

  • Steve Ballmer steps down from Microsoft board to focus on Clippers, civic duty

    It's over. Steve Ballmer has stepped down from his position on the Microsoft board. You may have thought it was all over when he stepped down as CEO, but now it's properly over. In a letter addressed to Satya Nadella, the man who replaced him as CEO, Ballmer explains that his commitments to the LA Clippers -- which he recently took ownership of -- and his civic contributions mean that he no longer has time to be an active part of the Redmond-based company's board. While there had been rumours that Ballmer would likely step down from the board...

  • Microsoft wants you to creep celebs with its new iPhone app

    Whether you like it or not, celebrities are a big thing. People love knowing popular personalities' every move. To leverage this very creepy human condition of ours, Microsoft has decided it fit to release a celebrity-tracking app called Snipp3t for iOS. Snipp3t is not really tracking in the sense that celebrities are being tracked via GPS. It's essentially a news aggregator slash organisor at its core. Over 100 000 big Hollywood names are given a profile of which the user can choose their favourites. Mentions of these celebrities around the web (or Bing) are then curated into one app...

  • I’m a Mac…and I’m a Surface? Microsoft’s new ad reignites an old debate

    Cast your minds back a few years, to around 2006, and the start of Apple's long-running "Get a Mac" campaign. The campaign, which starred John Hodgman as the bumbling PC and Justin Long as the ultra-cool Mac, pretty much brought the Mac versus PC debate into the mainstream. Now Microsoft has released a new ad, in which it attempts to turn the table on that old chestnut. Gone is the PC and...