Lenovo to stop producing smaller Windows tablets, Android support keeps on truckin’

Lenovo IdeaPad K1 (two-up)

Lenovo’s $2.91 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility from Google is still pending regulatory approval, however it looks like the company is already mapping out a new strategy. Despite being one of the world’s largest PC makers, Lenovo is halting the development of Windows tablets under 10 inches in size and migrating its remaining inventory to markets like Brazil, China and Japan where there’s more of a need for low-cost slates.

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Microsoft appears to be blocking Google as default search option on select Lumia devices

 

nokia-lumia-900-running-android-4.1

Microsoft is reportedly blocking Google as a search engine option on some of Nokia’s new Lumia handsets. Windows Phone devices ship with Bing as their default search engine without an option to change platforms. Prior to Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s phone making division, the Finnish company provided users with an option to change a Lumia’s search engine via its web browser, but this appears to be gone from some devices.

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Want to test Microsoft’s Office for Android tablet app? Apply here …

office

If you have an Android tablet and would like to try out a pre-release version of Microsoft’s Office for Android tablet app, The Verge reports that the company is looking for beta-testers.

Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the company is currently preparing a private beta test for the Office Android tablet version, and is accepting participants through a special pre-release program …

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Microsoft’s OneDrive now matches Google Drive with 15GB of free storage

 

Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 3.46.58 PM

Microsoft is making notable improvements to its storage offerings for its OneDrive cloud-based service. The company is announcing today that OneDrive storage at the free tier will be more than doubled, Office 365 storage will see a major increase, and that there will be storage price drops across the board. Here are the three main announcements in more detail:

  • Currently, OneDrive’s free tier includes 7GB of storage. This storage is accessible via the OneDrive apps on iOS, Android, Windows, and on the web, and much like Dropbox and the upcoming iCloud Drive, it can store files of all kinds. Now, this 7GB is moving to 15GB. Microsoft says it is making the switch to 15GB now that people store more files in the cloud and now that images and videos taken on smartphones consume much more space.
  • A bigger shift is occurring on the Office 365 storage side. That service is moving from 20GB of storage to 1TB of storage per user. This 1TB tier costs the same $6.99 per month for an individual user or $9.99 for a 5 person family plan (which still provides 1TB per family member). This move from 20GB to 1TB is a significant boost, but it’s unlikely that most people even have ~1000GB worth of Office files to store. Office 365 keeps Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents in sync between the iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, and web Office apps.
  • For those customers who do not want an Office 365 subscription at the aforementioned prices, users can now tack on additional storage to a OneDrive account in increments of 100GB or 200GB. 100GB is $1.99/month and 200GB is $3.99/month. The change here is price decreases: 100GB used to cost $7.49 per month and 200GB previously was $11.49 each month.

These price changes automatically go into effect today for current users. The shift is notable because OneDrive’s free storage tier now matches Google’s 15GB Google Drive and other cloud services. OneDrive’s 100GB storage plan also now matches Google’s at $1.99 per month. Google also offers much larger storage plans than Microsoft, which can be seen below:

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Microsoft’s private Android patents revealed by the Chinese government

MicrosoftAndroid

For the past few years, Microsoft has been licensing several of its patents with Android device makers. These agreements reportedly generate around $1 to $2 billion in revenue for the company. The software maker estimates that it has active licensing deals that cover around 70 percent of the Android devices in the US. So far, the company has never outlined what patents are being infringed on by Android, but a recent investigation by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has uncovered a stockpile of patents and filings held by Microsoft while reviewing the company’s acquisition of Nokia.

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Microsoft launches Outlook Web App beta for Android, requires KitKat and a business mailbox

OWA-Android

That Gmail icon on your phone’s home screen may soon receive some company from the folks at Microsoft, provided that you already have an Office 365 business mailbox. Today, the software giant from Redmond released a beta version of its Outlook Web App (OWA) for Android. Since this isn’t a final build, it’s likely that more features will be added over time and you can definitely expect to encounter a few bugs while using the app.

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