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Microsoft

  • Ookla debuts Speedtest desktop app for Windows, Mac OS

    Great news for those of you too lazy to open a web page. Ookla, the company behind popular internet benchmarking tool Speedtest, has this week announced a new Desktop app for Windows and Mac OS users. The company explains that the app's existence is thanks to today's modern world of "text expanders, ordering buttons and digital assistants". The app simply aims to make checking your internet connection speed as quick and easy as this. "By embedding Speedtest on your desktop (and skipping all that typing), we can save you almost all the effort of figuring out your download and upload speeds,"...

  • Microsoft enjoyed ‘best month ever’ for Surface line

    Microsoft made quite a splash when it revealed its Surface Studio desktop a few months ago. But the Surface line in general has been doing fantastic numbers for the firm, the company says. In fact, November was the best month ever for Surface sales, Microsoft wrote on its blog. "November was our best month ever for consumer Surface sales. The Best Buy-exclusive Surface bundle sold out on the first day. The momentum was seen worldwide. In the UK, we had the best single week for Surface ever and in Germany the Surface Pen became the best seller in PC Accessories on Amazon.com...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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,...

  • 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...

  • User takes Microsoft to court over Windows 10 upgrade, wins $10 000

    Scores of people have been complaining about the questionable ways Microsoft imposes Windows 10 on them. Now, one woman has won a court battle against the Redmond corporation. According to the Seattle Times, Terri Goldstein's computer tried downloading Windows 10 without her authorisation, but the process failed. Goldstein, who runs a travel agency with the aid of her computer, found that it would crash and "be unusable for days" at a stretch. "I had never heard of Windows 10," she said, claiming that no one asked her to upgrade. Read more: 10 incredibly cool Google Chrome keyboard shortcuts you should know She initially contacted Microsoft's...

  • Microsoft’s new Windows 10 upgrade popup is pretty damn sneaky

    It takes a brave human to market an operating system to its legion of potential users, and when Microsoft set its arbitrary billion devices in three years running Windows 10 goal at the OS's launch, we imagine that the company's marketing team unanimously sighed. Either that, or they threw in the towel, because Microsoft's latest ploy to get people to upgrade to Windows 10 is just downright dirty. After the numerous pop-ups, dialogs and alerts in Windows update users have dealt with this past year, the company has played its final card: tapping the X button on its new popup now...

  • Microsoft cuts 1850 jobs in mobile unit, takes $950m hit

    Microsoft's mobile division has endured a torrid time in recent years, seeing lay-offs, mergers and spin-offs. Unfortunately, the company has announced another round of job cuts. The Redmond company plans to "streamline" its smartphone hardware division, affecting up to 1850 jobs in the process, it announced in a press statement. "As a result, the company will record an impairment and restructuring charge of approximately $950-million, of which approximately $200-million will relate to severance payments," the company explained. Read more: Microsoft sells its feature phone unit for $350m, Nokia devices coming "We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation - with enterprises that value security,...

  • Sunrise will die on 31 August, team relocates to Microsoft Outlook

    Sunrise, the calendaring app that was bought by Microsoft in 2015, now has its execution date. The company took to its blog to say its final goodbyes, suggesting that its staff can't maintain two apps simultaneously (Sunrise, and now Outlook, which most Sunrise employees are now working on). Microsoft gave the notion that this would happen back in October 2015, but now we finally have a definite date of termination. "The entire Sunrise team is now working side-by-side with the Outlook team and it’s a thrilling moment for us to work on an app of this scale," the company stated in its...

  • Microsoft launches its cloud solution provider programme in SA

    Microsoft South Africa announced the launch of its Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) programme on Friday. This will allow select partners to directly support, bill, and provision Microsoft Cloud Services for customers. "What this means for partners, is that they will be able to more easily help their customers take full advantage of cloud services and empower staff to securely collaborate and communicate from almost anywhere, anytime, while using any device," says Derek Kudsee, Partner Sales Lead at Microsoft South Africa. According to Kudsee, the system has been implemented due to the growing need for cloud solutions in SA. This move could potentially...

  • Microsoft releases Visual Studio Code 1.0 code editor

    Tech giant Microsoft has released version 1.0 of its browser-based code editor Visual Studio Code (VS Code). This comes after its initial Public Preview in May last year, and the Beta Open Source in November. The announcement was posted on the Visual Studio website. Since its initial launch last year, over two million developers have installed the software. The VS Code community has also created over 1000 community extensions, such as support for PHP and C++. The company has worked with its community in order to improve the product with bug fixes and stability improvements. It now also supports nine different languages,...