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All posts tagged "Microsoft"

  • Microsoft’s Skype Lite Android app launches in India

    An interesting counter-trend is emerging among the world's most popular apps. With Facebook launching the likes of Messenger Lite and Facebook Lite last year to cater for emerging markets, Microsoft is following suit debuting Skype Lite this week. Like its Facebook counterparts, Skype Lite will be available for low-cost Android devices, and cater exclusively (at least for now) to the Indian smartphone market. Overall the Hyderabad-developed app is said to be more usable on low-speed networks, use less battery and works with India's Aadhaar identification number system to streamline signups and identification. Skype Lite is a direct competitor to Facebook Messenger Lite...

  • Major tech leaders oppose Trump’s travel ban

    Nearly 100 companies, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook, filed a "friend-of-the-court" brief against US President Donald Trump's travel ban late Sunday night. The companies believe that the ban precluding citizens of seven Muslim countries from the US will incentivise companies to move jobs outside of the US. "The Order makes it more difficult and expensive for US companies to recruit, hire, and retain some of the world's best employees. It disrupts ongoing business operations," the brief states. Surprising additions to the list of dissenters are Tesla and SpaceX -- both owned by Elon Musk, a member of Trump's business advisory council....

  • South Africa in last place for ‘digital civility’ – study

    A new study conducted by technology giant Microsoft, marking Safer Internet Day (7 February), found that South Africa was ranked last out of 14 countries for so-called digital civility. The study is part of a Microsoft challenge for people to embrace digital civility, or treating each other "with respect and dignity online". Microsoft conducted the study last year in order to gauge the degree of civility across online interactions. So what did it find? "South Africa ranked in 14th place in the Digital Civility Index, making it the country with the highest online risk exposure and lowest degree of digital civility out of...

  • Microsoft to cut 700 jobs this week – report

    Microsoft is expected to cut 700 jobs this week, being part of a group of 2850 cuts announced last year, it has been reported. According to Business Insider, citing "someone familiar with the matter", Microsoft will conduct the layoffs when it reports its quarterly results on 26 January. The website's source said that most of the 2850 cuts have already been made, adding that it won't be limited to any specific group. Cuts are apparently set to affect divisions such as human resources, engineering, finance, marketing and more. Business Insider also reports that the cuts were made to "update skills" rather than with the...

  • Project Murphy: a bot that answers ‘what if’ questions

    2016 has truly been a year for bots, as AI and machine learning combine to do some astounding things. Now, Microsoft has revealed a new bot, dubbed Project Murphy. The purpose of the bot though? Well, it's akin to Futurama's "what if" machine, coming up with imaginative image-based answers to your hypothetical "what if" question. For instance, asking "what if Donald Trump wore a dress?" yielded this result. You can even ask questions like "what if Barack Obama was Bernie Sanders?", with the bot spitting out a relevant image. Like what you see? Then you can reply with a smiley face to get...

  • Here’s what Microsoft Zo thinks about Cape Town, social media and Pokemon

    Microsoft is old hat at this artificial intelligence chat bot thing. Remember the drama its teenage bot Tay caused on Twitter? Well, the company has now taken to the less-traversed Kik for some more interesting results. Its new bot on the platform, dubbed Zo, is a little more reserved than her curious, parrot-like sibling, and responds to politics and politically incorrect content and questions with a bat of the eyelids. This makes Zo a less impressionable bot. But is she fun to chat with? And what can she actually do? Taking a few minutes out of my day to talk to an...

  • Microsoft Teams: Redmond joins the funky workplace collab party

    Microsoft has today launched its answer to workplace collaboration tool Slack in the form of Microsoft Teams. The company's announcement comes just weeks after social giant Facebook launched its Slack competitor, Workplace. Like Slack, the chat-based workspace allows groups to collaborate on projects through persistent chat threads and rooms, but also supports video calling by plugging into Skype, and group task completion by using Microsoft's Office program suite. Teams will also boast apps for MacOS, Android and iOS, including the web. "At Microsoft, we are deeply committed to the mission of helping people and organizations achieve more—and reinventing productivity for the cloud and...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #83: starring Xiaomi, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation, and news from the last few days. This week, Hadlee Simons plays host to Andy Walker and a brief appearance from Matthew Alexander. We discuss Microsoft's recent Surface announcements and reveals, the new edge-to-edge screened Xiaomi Mi MIX, and Apple's MacBook Pro launch. We also touch on how the world's biggest brands use Facebook. What are we watching, reading, playing: Andy is playing Battlefield 1 and is not watching anything at the moment. Hadlee is still playing Pumped: BMX on his smartphone. Tweet of the Week: A clever tweets about...

  • Microsoft Q1 2017: huge cloud growth, big Phone drop

    Microsoft has seemingly hit the purplest of its purple patches this week, after the Redmond-based company announced its Q1 2017 earnings. Shares ballooned to US$60.43 -- at one point, a jump of nearly 6.3% -- adding around US$25-billion to its market cap. The company's CEO Satya Nadella, was pretty happy to say the least. "We are helping to lead a profound digital transformation for customers, infusing intelligence across all of our platforms and experiences," he explains. "We continue to innovate, grow engagement, and build our total addressable market." Microsoft's Windows 10 is flat, its phone business is dying but its cloud portfolio is...

  • Microsoft makes speech recognition more human

    Microsoft has announced a breakthrough for speech recognition, producing a system that recognises words in a conversation as fast as a human. The new speech recognition system, by Microsoft's Artificial Intelligence and Research team, makes either the same or fewer errors than transcriptionists, having a word error rate (WER) of 5.9%. "The 5.9% error rate is about equal to that of people who were asked to transcribe the same conversation, and it's the lowest ever recorded against the industry standard Switchboard speech recognition task," Microsoft explained on its blog. The US tech firm says that the breakthrough marks the first time that a...

  • Weekly Round Up Podcast #80: Google Pixel, PlayStation VR, Mxit & more

    Welcome to Weekly Round Up, our podcast discussing the latest tech trends, innovation, and news from the last few days covered on the Burn Media network's four sites. This week, Hadlee Simons plays host to Graham van der Made, Andy Walker and Matthew Alexander. In a week that saw a slew of hardware announcements, reviews and news, we discuss Microsoft's first Xbox One and Windows 10 exclusive game ReCore. While Graham might have some choice comments towards ReCore, he's also currently playing Gears of War 4. We talk a little bit about that as well. PlayStation VR's first reviews are finally filtering...

  • Microsoft SA talks numbers behind Windows 10 Anniversary Update

    The South African arm of Microsoft recently held a Windows 10 Anniversary event to order to highlight the new update. While the software came packed with a range of changes and upgrade, the numbers behind it were far more interesting. The Anniversary update According to Anthony Doherty, the Windows and Surface Business Group Lead at Microsoft SA, the Windows Anniversary Update went through 28 pre-builds before its official launch. The Anniversary Update for Windows 10 Mobile had less of those, coming in at 20 pre-releases before its own launch. During the testing phase, Microsoft received over 5000 feature requests from standard home and in-depth...

  • Microsoft’s new alerts encourage users to ditch Google Chrome

    The browser wars are hotting up again, largely thanks to Microsoft. According to a number of user reports, the company is once again issuing tips in its Windows 10 notifications system alerting users to Google Chrome's battery usage. "Chrome is draining your battery faster. Switch to Microsoft Edge for up to 36 percent more browsing time," it suggests. Remember when I spoke about the anti-@googlechrome pop up? It's come back, here is a screenshot! #windows10 pic.twitter.com/FpOjL27srK — Rudy Huyn (@RudyHuyn) July 18, 2016 The latest move follows Microsoft's published YouTube video and extensive article, highlighting the differences in battery life between Chrome, Mozilla Firefox,...

  • What Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn means for social recruitment

    The recent acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft has put social recruitment in the spotlight. The purchase, seen as a means for the software giant to get in on the social media boom, had many speculating what its plans are for LinkedIn. The acquisition gives Microsoft a business-orientated social networking tool and access to high net worth individuals. Add to this its current applications such as contacts and calendars in the cloud, and it opens the door for it to offer the social business community many more integrated tools. The partnership may also innovate the business of recruitment. Social recruitment, also referred...

  • 10 simple Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts worth remembering

    Windows 10 has been out for a while now, but there are still quite a few things to like about the new Microsoft update (although I want my WiFi to work without disconnecting every few hours). The update brings some convenient keyboard shortcuts too, but which ones are worth remembering? We list some of the more useful combinations. Activate task view (Windows + Tab) The task view feature is new in Windows 10, giving you an overview of all your open windows - be it programs, games or file explorer windows. Launching this is a simple case of hitting Windows and Tab, so you don't need to endlessly Alt+Tab...