• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Microsoft

  • 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...

  • Turn your GoPro footage into a hyperlapse with this awesome new Microsoft research project

    So you've bought yourself a GoPro and you've taken it down a ski slope, or on that awesome coastal ride, or up that sheer rock face. That's great, but unless you have any kind of proficiency as a video editor, chances are you'll bore the pants off your friends every time you show them the footage. You could always speed it up, but all that'll happen then is that it'll look really shaky and your mates will wonder why you wasted a ton of cash on something that you effectively can't use. But all of that could soon change...

  • Microsoft’s Cortana whips Apple’s Siri in this new Windows Phone ad

    Microsoft's not shy when it comes to tackling its competition head-on -- from openly pitting its Surface Pro 3 against the Macbook Air to all those Scroogled ads. The latest victim? That would be Siri. The company's new Windows Phone ad essentially simulates a showdown between Apple's personal assistant and its own recently-launched competitor, Cortana. It directly compares Apple's flagship device to the Lumia 635, assigning them both a series of tasks -- and the budget Nokia beats it every time. While the ad does state that the screens have been simulated and the sequences shortened, its a pointed dig...

  • Microsoft’s LMFAO parody to promote the Surface Pro 3 is super awkward

    Okay, Microsoft is no stranger when it comes to troupes of dancers and snapping keyboards into place when promoting its Surface tablet... but this is another level. The tech giant's OneNote engineering team has put together a parody video of LMFAO's "Sexy and I know it" to promote the note-taking software and the latest iteration of the Surface which is, how do I put this... a bit funny. As in, not so much humorous as it is weird. While good parodies are difficult to pull off, this one is entertaining for the wrong reasons. In between the tutus and fake...

  • Microsoft officially rolls out TV White Spaces project in Limpopo, SA

    Microsoft South Africa has announced the official implementation phase of the highly anticipated TV White Spaces pilot project at the University of Limpopo, situated in South Africa's most northern province. Part of the Microsoft 4Afrika initiative, this project aims to bring education to the masses using tech. More specifically, if you haven't heard of TV White Spaces project yet, the idea is to help people get online by reducing the cost of broadband. One of the principles is relying on frequency bands generally set aside for television transmissions in order to provide low-cost wireless networks. Working with local institutions, rolling...

  • Microsoft reveals Skype Translate: a real time voice interpreter

    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that in the future Microsoft’s Skype will be able to translate voice and video calls in near-real-time. Nadella’s news came yesterday at the Code Conference, where the head of Skype, Gurdeep Pall, demonstrated the interpretation capabilities of the current version of Skype Translator. In the demo, Pall engages in a Skype video call with one of his German colleagues, Diane Heinrichs. Heinrichs speaks in German, which is immediately translated to English and read out by the programme, while Pall responds in English, which is then translated into German. The result is a virtually comprehensive multilingual...

  • Microsoft’s laplet: hubris, hype and hopeless enterprise-based optimism

    On Tuesday Microsoft fooled pundits who’d been predicting the announcement of a smaller addition to its Surface range of tablet computers by announcing a larger, 12-inch version instead, the Surface Pro 3. Rather than targeting the mainstream, consumer tablet market dominated by Apple and Samsung, Microsoft is doubling down on its enterprise-first strategy – which would be great if its latest offering weren’t overpriced, awkward and missing key features. Like its predecessor, the Surface Pro 2, Microsoft promises this version can serve as a wholesale replacement for a laptop. Strange then that primary thing that distinguishes laptops from tablets –...

  • With the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft seems more confused about the future than ever

    This time, Microsoft means business. At the original Surface tablet launch in 2012, it told us it meant business. Again, at the far more muted Surface 2 launch in September last year. Perhaps it didn’t really, really mean business those first two times. This time, it's different. Promise. The euphoria around new chief executive Satya Nadella’s first 100 days in charge has tapered off, mostly completely. In fact, it died down after the company’s Build event in early April. It's fair to say that the Surface Pro 3 (why does it need the ‘Pro’ moniker in there?!) is not a Nadella...

  • Steve Ballmer takes over from Bill Gates as Microsoft’s largest individual shareholder

    He may no longer be CEO, but Steve Ballmer is now officially Microsoft's largest shareholder. The now retired Ballmer takes over from Bill Gates after the latter sold some 4.6-million shares in the Redmond-based giant. As per a recently released SEC document, the sale means that Gates holds 330 141 164 shares in the company. Ballmer, in comparison, owns 333 252 990 shares. It's interesting that Gates has taken the decision to dump so much stock at the same time as he's taking on a more active role in the company. As TechCrunch notes however, the sell-off is hardly...

  • You may never own another Nokia again: Microsoft set to kill the brand it bought for billions

    In news that's kind of sad, but hardly unexpected, former Nokia CEO and newly minted Microsoft devices head Stephen Elop has revealed that the Redmond-based tech giant eventually plans to kill off the Nokia brand name in its handsets. In a Q&A on the recently rebranded Conversations blog, Elop stated that "work is underway to select the go forward smartphone brand." The Nokia brand, he explained, "is available to Microsoft to use for its mobile phones products for a period of time, but Nokia as a brand will not be used for long going forward for smartphones". Ultimately though, it...

  • All of a sudden, things aren’t looking so bad for Microsoft

    Over the last few months people have been asking a lot of questions about Microsoft. That's understandable. Steve Ballmer's retirement was sudden and, even a few weeks before he was named, Satya Nadella was a dark horse in the race to replace him. Now though, things are starting to look up for the Redmond-based tech giant. Once we started learning more about Nadella, it became increasingly apparent that he was probably wasn't the worst candidate when it came to setting Microsoft back on track. He had, after all, run its most successful division and came with serious geek credentials....

  • It’s official, Nokia has got a new daddy… I mean owner

    It is official, straight out of Redmond. Nokia Devices and Services business now has a new owner. Microsoft's protracted acquisition of Nokia has been finalised. "Today we welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business to our family. The mobile capabilities and assets they bring will advance our transformation," said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "Together with our partners, we remain focused on delivering innovation more rapidly in our mobile-first, cloud-first world." Nokia has essentially been adsorbed into MSFT's devices group, at this stage it is not 100% certain what mobile devices from MSFT will be called but there is no...

  • Microsoft still king of enterprise software, go figure

    When it comes to the software business Microsoft is pretty much untouchable, this according to the latest Gartner report on worldwide software revenue in 2013 According to the tech research and advisory company, the worldwide software revenue totaled just over US$407-billion in 2013, a 4.8 per cent increase from 2012 revenue of US$388.5 billion. Developed markets saw significant growth in the past year offsetting the relative sluggishness in emerging markets. According to the report, the software industry is in the middle of a "multiyear cyclical transition" as organisations are focusing investment on technologies to support existing system structure. The...

  • Windows update: Microsoft finally kills XP, refreshes 8.1

    Tomorrow is a much bigger day for Microsoft than many experts dare to admit. This month's edition of "Patch Tuesday" will see two important moves from Microsoft. Firstly, Redmond will shift the final security patches for Windows XP and Office 2003 before their developers move onto more meaningful endeavours. Secondly, and more crucially for those not living in the past, the long-awaited "Windows 8.1 Update" will arrive to users' universal chants of glee. Therefore Windows 8.1, at least in its current guise, will also face a type of symbolic defenestration. In addition to cumulative patches bundled alongside it, the Windows 8.1 Update...

  • 10 things we’re really going to miss about Windows XP

    On 8 April, Microsoft will finally cease support for its stalwart OS Windows XP. Released to manufacture back in August 2001, the company’s second most popular OS will be kicked out of Redmond well before its thirteenth birthday. But is this a premature move? Well, according to Net Market Share, XP is still used by a massive 29.5% of all PC users -- dwarfing Windows 8 and 8.1’s current share of 6.4% and 4.3%, respectively. This being said, in the natural lifecycle of OSs, support must come to an end sometime. Currently all XP users are greeted by this popup, warning them...