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Microsoft has today unveiled the next minor update to Windows Phone 8 hot on the heels of AT&T finally getting around to releasing GDR2 for devices on their network. If you’re not familiar with the GDR releases, they stand for General Distribution Release and are similar to service packs or minor feature updates for the platform.

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If you’d asked us what the best antivirus product on the market was we’d tell you hands down that you should use Microsoft Security Essentials. It’s the most un-intrusive, lightweight and simple product available that doesn’t prompt you to upgrade to a paid version since it’s built by Microsoft.

Alas, it looks like Microsoft has given up on the product. In a recent interview given by Holly Stewart, the senior program manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center the company has downplayed the importance of the product and recommends you use something else too.

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Everyone has run into this at least once before: Skype’s infuriating inability to synchronize messages across devices means that you get multiple alerts about the same message.

One on your phone, then your tablet, laptop and desktop to clear manually. It’s frustrating and ruins the entire experience, but we have good news: Microsoft has announced that Skype will get message synchronization in a future update.

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Love him or hate him, Steve Ballmer has been a big part of Microsoft for the past 33 years and has held the CEO position for the last 13. He’s been a unique energetic personality that doesn’t really compare to any other speaker or CEO out there (if you haven’t seen this iconic video, where have you been hiding?)

Last week, Ballmer lead his final Microsoft employee meeting as CEO before he will step down in the middle of next year. The footage of his goodbye speech — set to the soundtrack of Dirty Dancing’s time of my life – is tearful and powerful. It shows a man that was dedicated to Microsoft for the majority of his professional life.

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It’s not entirely clear why this wasn’t Microsoft’s strategy from the start, but a report from The Verge today suggests that the company is working to build a unified app store that works consistently across Windows Phone and the Windows desktop.

According to the report Terry Myerson, head of the operating systems group at Microsoft made the announcement at an internal company meeting today.

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Even though Windows 8.1 is in the hands of developers and IT professionals  globally right now, Microsoft still has some surprises up their sleeves left for the launch of the OS on October 18.

The Verge reports today that Microsoft is working on a number of feature additions and application updates alongside the last minute bug fixes that are planned for launch day.

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Love photography? If you’re not already using 500px then you’re missing out on one of the best photo experiences of the web. Today, 500px has released a beautiful desktop companion for Windows 8’s Modern UI.

500px is essentially a Flickr competitor that has an emphasis on beautiful, professional photography and the ability to show that off online in a hosted portfolio. It allows you to share photography with a large community and get critique from them as well as having the ability to join discussions with like-minded photographers.

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Firefox users everywhere, rejoice! Mozilla has announced that they are making available an early preview version of their browser that was built from the ground up for Windows 8.

The browser is an early alpha build called Aurora and the announcement comes slightly after the company announced that the final build of Firefox for Windows 8 has slipped to early 2014.

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At a Surface event in New York City today, Microsoft announced the next generation of their Surface devices and they did not disappoint. While we would consider the upgrade only incremental in nature, the company has announced a massive set of accessories which help complete the device.

Not only this, the company has announced amazing ranges of the devices as well as availability in October for many countries around the world.

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Microsoft confirmed this week that it plans to release touch-first versions of Office for Windows 8’s “Modern” interface as well as bringing the experiences across to other platforms such as iOS and Android.

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