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microsoft

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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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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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A long time ago Microsoft was a company that was young, attractive and exciting. Of course, those aren’t metrics that we could easily quantify but if you look at the company over the last ten years you’ll see that they became boring and increasingly comfortable with what they had and their position in the market despite everyone else accelerating away from them.

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The internet was up in arms when Microsoft announced that the Windows 8.1 RTM (release to manufacturing) build was not going to be released to developers — or anyone — until the official launch on October 18th.

Today, Microsoft reversed course and announced that the final release of Windows 8.1 is imminently available on MSDN, Technet and for volume license holders. That means if you have access to an MSDN or Technet subscription you can head over to there right now and download the final release.

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There have long been complaints that Xbox Music has been exclusive to only Microsoft platforms and today the company has answered some users’ prayers. Microsoft made available Xbox Music apps for iOS and Android today, as well as making their web player free for all.

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Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announce plans for a broad strategic partnership to build a new global mobile ecosystem at a press conference in London, UK February 11, 2011. Nokia and Microsoft plan to form a broad strategic partne

In a somewhat sudden move, Microsoft announced today that they are going to acquire Nokia’s devices and services business for 5.44 billion EUR in cash. This move was predicted for a long time, but nobody was really sure when it was going to come. (more…)

Microsoft has been busy over the past few months, rolling out a lot of new updates. Windows 8 debuted in October of 2012, Office 2013, along with its companion Office 365 Home Premium, in early 2013, and numerous updates to other services as well. While both flagship products introduced many changes, some failed to address one pressing request from users.

The new Explorer for Windows 8 introduced the ribbon interface which has become a staple of Office and the new Office added a Start screen, which makes for easy launching of previously opened documents as well as access to templates and simple searching for additional ones.

Both new apps failed to address a feature that has been apart of web browsers for some time now — tabs. You can add this simple, but useful, feature to both through third-party apps, but it was something that Microsoft simply should have built in themselves.

Several options exist for adding tabs to Explorer, with my favorite being QTTabBar, but I have found only one suitable solution for Office and, if you are using 2013, then it is not free, but reasonably priced.

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I was browsing through the Windows Phone App Store the other day and was appalled to see the severe drought in the number of quality health and fitness tracking applications for my windows phone. At the end of my search, I found Microsoft’s own Personal Health Record management system Healthvault and little did I know that they had a Windows Phone version of their web application.

To turn back in time, Microsoft launched their web based PHR management system way back in the year 2007, and most of us including me was of the thinking that the Redmond giant has discontinued with the service and never knew that it is rendering its continuous support for its dormant existence.

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Microsoft’s Windows 8 update, which has been code named Windows “Blue”, has been outed to the world well ahead of the company’s planned release, which is rumored for August of this year. If you feel ambitious, then you can grab a copy and see what you think of the next Windows version.

In part one of this we looked at setting Windows Blue up using virtual software — in this case Virtual Box from Oracle — and the new settings options that are included, such as new colors and other options that have been built into the next Microsoft operating system.

Now, in part two, it is time to look at the new apps and software updates that have been built into Windows Blue, and if you think the setup and customization options were different, then you have not seen anything yet.

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