Microsoft Windows Stories August 13, 2015

Google adds new Dell Chromebook 13 to Chromebook for Work lineup, available September 17

Chromebook for Work is Google’s lineup of premium Chrome OS-powered laptops which it promotes as easy to deploy, highly secure, and ready to run legacy Window applications through OS virtualization. Today the company announced that Dell will begin selling a new one of these business-ready Chromebooks starting September 17th, called the Dell Chromebook 13.

The Chromebook 13 is, like the rest of the Chromebook for Work line, packing a serious punch for a computer running such a lightweight operating system. It has a 13.3″ full HD touchscreen display (1920×1080), a 5th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, a backlit keyboard and glass touchpad, and a palmrest made out of magnesium alloy. The laptop is quoted for 12 hours of battery life, although these ratings are usually generous. The starting price will be $399 when it goes on sale, with no more detail on upgrade options or variants. “Enterprise class performance at an economical price point,” Google says in its blog post.

Chrome OS certainly does hold a lot of promise for IT departments frustrated with the current solutions out there, namely Windows and all the tumult going on at Microsoft over the company’s strategy for the operating system going forward. Google’s operating system was built at a much later time, and without the baggage of years and years of developing and supporting software meant for a place and time that has since passed. In my day-to-day there are rarely more than a few edge case applications and tools I need a full-on desktop computer for, so the ability of Chrome OS to virtualize Windows and run its applications is just icing on the cake of an OS which recognizes that many business-related programs can run in the web and be almost indistinguishable from their desktop equivalents — especially with Chrome OS’s ability to run web apps as individual windowed apps.

Microsoft Windows Stories July 17, 2015

cortana on android

Microsoft recently released its Cortana digital assistant as a beta app, and we’ve been able to get our hands on the preview. Apart from its Material-like design, the app looks, performs, and acts just like the Cortana on Windows Phone. You can ask it to set reminders, give you directions and weather information, or do simple arithmetic. It has its limitations and doesn’t feel quite as intuitive or in-depth as Google Now or Siri, but it has its uses.

expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories July 14, 2015

Google Cloud Platform expands to General Availability on Windows

Google today has announced that its Compute Engine on Windows is expanding to General Availability. Google’s Cloud Platform allows users to deploy and operate a wide variety of technologies and today’s expansion to Windows will allow for more users to take advantage of the platform.

Compute Engine offers Windows 2012 R2 and Windows 2008 R2 customers benefits of rapid deployments, increased uptime due to transparent maintenance, cheap and predictable block storage, and best in class Google Cloud Storage Nearline backup. Sharepoint, SQL and Exchange Server, and other Microsoft applications are also available to Compute Engine customers via the Microsoft License Mobility program.

Google shared more details about the graduation to General Availability for Compute Engine on Windows in a blog post on its Cloud Platform blog. Details include that Windows instances are now covered by the Compute Engine SLA, the ability for users to deploy a server running Active Directory or ASP.NET using the Cloud Launcher, and users can securely extend their existing infrastructure into Google Cloud Platform using VPN.

Microsoft Windows Stories July 11, 2015

0

google_chrome

Do you speak and write in more than one language – and often use them interchangeably? If so, you may know the frustration of having to constantly change the language Google Chrome uses for spellchecking. Fortunately, it looks like Chrome soon will be able to spellcheck in multiple languages simultaneously, as well as make it easy to quickly toggle spellchecking on and off for different languages.

expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories May 26, 2015

cortana

Reuters reported back in March that Microsoft planned to bring its Google Now competitor Cortana to Android, and Microsoft has now officially confirmed this in a blog post.

Today, we’re announcing a Cortana application for Android phones and for iPhones which works as a companion to Cortana on your Windows 10 PC. The ‘Phone Companion’ app on the PC will help you install the Cortana app from the Google Play or Apple App Store onto your phone so you’ll be able to take the intelligence of Cortana with you, wherever you go […]

The Cortana companion will be available for Android phones at the end of June and for iPhones later this year.

While Microsoft is pitching the intelligent assistant as a companion to a Windows PC, it appears that most of the functionality will work in the Android app without the need for a Windows device, Microsoft saying that you can “make the same queries, ask the same questions” in the standalone app …  expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories March 2, 2015

Microsoft announces foldable version of its universal Bluetooth keyboard

If you use both Android and Windows devices (and maybe iOS too), the latest version of Microsoft’s universal keyboard may appeal. Designed to allow you to switch easily between Android, Windows and iOS devices, the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is a more portable version, folding in half down the middle. (If you like a smaller vertical fold made for smartphones, Zagg makes an excellent product)

There’s no word yet on pricing or availability, but the original version retailed at $80 (and is available on Amazon for $65), so something in the same ballpark or a little higher seems likely.

Photos: CNET

Microsoft Windows Stories October 4, 2014

SAMSUNG

Samsung and Microsoft initially inked an Android patent licensing deal back in 2011, but since then, Samsung’s dominance in the smartphone has grown incredibly fast. The South Korean company, according to court documents that become public on Friday, is now saying that it no longer wants to pay the royalties to Microsoft.

expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories July 17, 2014

Image via TechSmartt

Image via <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ml1LzNFn8kc">TechSmartt</a>

According to figures released by market research company BCN, Asus sold more tablets than Apple during the first half of 2014 in Japan. Asus’ market share rose 8 percent year-over-year during the first half of 2014, the report claims, giving it a 38.9 percent portion of the tablet market in Japan. Apple, on the other hand, holds a 36.4 percent share (via Nikkei). This is the first time Asus has ever held the top spot in Japan, according to the report. expand full story

12,500 of Microsoft’s 18k job losses will be in Nokia Devices and Services division; will abandon Android X

If Nokia staff were hoping that the acquisition of the business by Microsoft would safeguard their jobs, their hopes were dashed today in a letter from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. Nadella said that a major downsizing resulting in 18,000 lost jobs would focus on the Nokia Devices and Services division, where 12,500 jobs will go, most within six months.

The first step to building the right organization for our ambitions is to realign our workforce. With this in mind, we will begin to reduce the size of our overall workforce by up to 18,000 jobs in the next year. Of that total, our work toward synergies and strategic alignment on Nokia Devices and Services is expected to account for about 12,500 jobs, comprising both professional and factory workers. We are moving now to start reducing the first 13,000 positions, and the vast majority of employees whose jobs will be eliminated will be notified over the next six months.

The letter says that Microsoft will tackle the redundancies “in the most thoughtful and transparent way possible.” All employees losing their jobs will be offered severance pay, with job-transition help “in many locations.”

Microsoft Windows Stories July 8, 2014

popcorn

If you’re not familiar with Popcorn Time, it’s an app that allows you to stream movie and TV show torrents without any of the hassles usually associated with torrents – what you get is an interface which looks just like Netflix or Hulu. Thanks to a popular forked version, you’ll soon be able to watch that content on your TV when Chromecast support is added …  expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories May 6, 2014

Lenovo

The profile of Chromebooks is likely to get a boost after the world’s largest PC manufacturer, Lenovo, announced its first Chromebooks aimed at the consumer market. Pricing starts at $279.

Lenovo, best known for its Windows laptops, launched its first Chromebook in January – but that one was pitched at the education market, selling in bulk to schools and colleges. This is the first time it has pitched a Chromebook directly at consumers – something which may worry Microsoft. Lenovo has 18.6 percent of the PC market, ahead of HP, Dell and Acer …  expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories March 24, 2014

 

nowshot

After spending about a month and a half in the beta channel, Chrome is rolling out Google Now notifications to all Chrome users. To activate the feature, Google says to sign in with the same Google account used on Android (or iOS).

expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories March 3, 2014

There’s a dual-boot Android/Windows Phone smartphone on the way – we’re just not sure why

The Times of India reports that local phone maker Karbon Mobiles is launching phones that can run both Android and Windows Phone, with the first handsets expected to be available by June.

The company has just signed the licence agreement with Microsoft to make Windows-based phones and will put this along with its existing Android system to bring out the dual-OS phones in about six months, the company’s chairman Sudhir Hasija said.

While I can see the sense in a dual-boot laptop/tablet that can run both Windows 8 and Android, a dual-platform phone seems rather more of a ‘because we can’ gimmick. The explanation may be as simple as Microsoft waiving the license fee to help grow the platform, especially after Nokia announced its (kind of) Android handsets. Hasija commented:

Microsoft has eased the regulations and is opening up its platform for other players.

Karbon gets a cost-free talking point for its new handsets, Microsoft gets a bit more market share in a growth market. We’re just not sure what consumers get …

Microsoft Windows Stories December 17, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 8.01.56 AM

With the tablet world continuing to claw away at PC market share, a new report suggests Samsung could launch up to four new tablets in the first quarter of 2014.

expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories December 6, 2013

Imagine my shock and surprise as yet another anti-Chromebook advertisement hits the YouTubes courtesy of Microsoft. The latest in the company’s anti-everything-Google campaign attacks the notion that a Chromebook has “everything you need” as a laptop.

expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories October 16, 2013

Google extends Chrome support for Windows XP users until April 2015

Microsoft might be officially ending support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014, but Google announced today that it plans to support the operating system for much longer than Microsoft for its Chrome users. While Google notes that the majority of desktop applications will no longer be supported for XP, it will continue to issue regular updates and security patches for Chrome on XP “until at least April 20, 2015”:

We recognize that hundreds of millions of users, including a good chunk of current Chrome users, still rely on XP. Moreover, many organizations still run dozens or even hundreds of applications on XP and may have trouble migrating. Our goal is to support Chrome for XP users during this transition process. Most importantly, Chrome on XP will still be automatically updated with the latest security fixes to protect against malware and phishing attacks.

Microsoft Windows Stories August 20, 2013

Photo: knowyourmobile.com

Photo: knowyourmobile.com

Not content with offering the world’s largest smartphone, The Korea Economic Daily (via BGR) seemingly confirms the rumor we reported last month that Samsung is now planning to launch a 12.2-inch tablet in October, possibly alongside the Galaxy Gear smartwatch …  expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories April 15, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 10.17.42 AM

Some new stuff from Canary build this morning above on left (compared to stable on right). Notice the Apps shortcut  icon which can be removed by unchecking the “Show Apps shortcut” icon (below) in the dropdown menu.

This is interesting especially as Google appears to be ready to push an Apps button to its iconic search page. Will Chrome apps finally get their day in the sun? expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories December 12, 2012

Google says it has no plans to develop apps for Windows 8

Google is not planning to develop native Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 apps for its most popular products such as Gmail. This is according to a report from V3.co.uk, which apparently got the news directly from Google Apps Product Management Director Clay Bavor:

Google has revealed that it has no plans to develop dedicated apps for Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8 for its business app products such as Gmail or Drive… Speaking to V3, the firm’s product management director at Google Apps, Clay Bavor, said that due to what it sees as a lack of interest from its clients on the systems, it is holding back on any work at present.

Bavor said Google would focus on iOS and Android, noting recent improvements, “such as adding native editing of spreadsheets for both iOS and Android apps.” However, he didn’t rule out the possibility of developing Google apps for Windows 8 in the future:

“We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8,” he said. “If that changes, we would invest there, of course.”

Microsoft Windows Stories November 11, 2012

From November 2011

November 2012

expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories August 14, 2012

Microsoft says SkyDrive for Android app will land in ‘just a few weeks’ [Photos]

Microsoft updated SkyDrive today and teased a new SkyDrive app that allows users to access, upload and share from Android devices.

Today, as part of making sure SkyDrive is available to all Windows customers, we’re excited to announce that an official SkyDrive app for Android phones will be available in just a few weeks. The Android app is similar to our mobile apps for Windows Phone and iOS and allows you to browse your SkyDrive, upload files to SkyDrive, as well as share SkyDrive files with “Send a link.” You’ll also be able to open SkyDrive files from other apps, as well as upload, save, and share to SkyDrive from other apps.

SkyDrive is a Google Drive direct competitor and cloud storage service that can upload and sync files to the cloud. It further lets users access those files from a Web browser or a local device, and it offers 7 GB of free storage for new users with additional storage available for purchase.

User-interface screenshots for the SkyDrive for Android app are above.

Go to Microsoft’s Inside SkyDrive page for more information.

Microsoft Windows Stories May 3, 2012

MasterCard adds 16 smartphones to PayPass NFC payments

MasterCard’s PayPass brand, which powers Google’s NFC payment service Google Wallet, bulked its tech offering today by certifying 16 more smartphones:

The new MasterCard-certified devices include the BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900 / 9790 and BlackBerry® Curve™ 9360 / 9380, HTC One X, Intel® Smartphone Reference Device, LG Viper™ 4G LTE, LG Optimus Elite, Nokia 603, Nokia Lumia 610 NFC, Samsung Wave Y, Samsung Galaxy mini 2, Samsung Galaxy S Advance, Samsung Galaxy Nexus (GT-i9250), Sony Xperia S, Sony Xperia P and Sony Xperia sola.

Google Wallet, the Android app that turns a smartphone into a wallet, stores a digital version of existing Citi MasterCard Cards with PayPass.

Microsoft Windows Stories May 2, 2012

Google launched a new “Go Google” campaign today to flaunt its array of cloud-based services, and now the Google Docs team is doing the same by rounding up a host of improvements it made to Google Docs in April with the announcement of 450 new fonts and 60 new templates.

“Today, we added over 450 new fonts to Google documents to make it easier for you to add a little something extra to whatever you create,” explained Software Engineer Isabella Ip on the Official Google Docs Blog.

To select the new fonts, click on the font menu, and then select “Add fonts” at the bottom. This will open a menu to all the Google Web Fonts available. Users can narrow their search for the perfect font by alphabetical order, date added, and “trending.” Once a font is selected, users are free to implement them in Google Docs, especially in one of the service’s 60 new templates that were unveiled today.

expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories April 30, 2012

LG abandons Windows Phones for Android, blames poor sales (Update)

 

UPDATE: An LG spokesperson reached out to PCMag and denied allegations that the company is abandoning the Windows Phone platform:

“No, we are not giving up on Windows Phone. Although we don’t have another Windows device in the pipeline at this moment, that is simply because demand for Android devices is so strong. […] We’ve maintained since the beginning that LG will support whatever operating system consumers want but at the moment, our priority is to get our Android devices to a level where we feel we’ve covered all the bases, to use an American analogy.”

During last week’s Q1 2012 earnings call, LG hinted it is abandoning Windows Phone hardware production to focus on Android, and now a Korean newspaper attributes the move to underwhelming sales and claimed Microsoft’s chief is immediately meeting with the manufacturer in coming weeks.

Microsoft Korea spokesperson Lee Seung-yeon told The Korea Herald that LG is dumping Windows phones due to poor retail performance and said Windows Phones barely stole 2 percent of the global smartphone market share.

The report also suggested Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer will attempt to remedy the split with LG during a May 22 visit to Seoul, Korea by engaging in business meetings with local industry representatives, including LG:

  • “’Ballmer, who will speak about the ‘new era of technology,’ will be staying for a day in Seoul,’ said a Microsoft Korea spokesperson Lee Seung-yeon. ‘We, however, don’t have the fixed details of his business meeting schedule as of now.’
  • An LG spokesman also said it is yet unaware of the meeting.
  • “Ballmer’s visit takes place shortly after LG Electronics’ executive said during an earnings conference session last week that the company is planning to focus on smartphones running on Google’s Android mobile operating system.”

LG makes a slew of Windows-based handsets, such as the Optimus 7. 

Microsoft Windows Stories November 29, 2011

Curious to see how Windows Phone feels, but don’t have a device around to do so? Us neither. But Microsoft has just released a new HTML 5 website that allows iPhone and Android users to get a taste of the Windows Phone 7 (Mango 7.5) operating system. The trial requires no downloads or registration, and you can try it out by just going to the webpage http://aka.ms/wpdemo on your Android device.

While it doesn’t use any of the data on your phone like your contacts, the demo does give you a pretty comprehensive look at all of Windows Phone’s features. Microsoft uses a blue dot to guide you around the operating system, and obviously some features like voice recognition just don’t work in the browser. Drat, that’s something we really wanted to try.

Will this draw users over to the Windows Phone platform? Probably not, but it’s always cool to see what the competition is up to.

expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories June 24, 2011

What if Microsoft didn’t decide to dump a boatload of cash on top of Nokia to take their OS and Nokia went Android?  It appears that there might have been a skunkworks project in place to get the Android OS on Nokia’s devices if the images from Engadget and Weibo are any indication.

Either that, or some cheeky Nokia employee decided to put Android on their N9.  Whichever reality you believe, it wold have been nice to have an N9 Android device, even if it looks like an oversized iPod nano.

A closeup below: expand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories May 31, 2011

More trouble in Microsoft land as Bloomberg reports that Microsoft device manufacturers are complaining about the software giant’s meddling in their affairs:

Microsoft Corp.  is putting “troublesome” restrictions on makers of processors used to run the coming Windows tablet-computer operating system, Acer Inc.  Chairman and Chief Executive Officer J.T. Wang said.

“They’re really controlling the whole thing, the whole process,” Wang said at the Computex trade show in Taipei without identifying the restrictions. Chip suppliers and PC makers “all feel it’s very troublesome,” he said.

Can you even imagine a PC manufacturer standing up to Microsoft publicly in a pre-iPad world?  While Acer is moving to Google for many of their tablet products, and even ChromeOS for one of their notebooks, Acer is still one of the three biggest Windows PC manufacturers on the planet and of course is expected to make Windows 8 slatesexpand full story

Microsoft Windows Stories January 13, 2009

Google announced its second favicon change this year after having the same favicon for the past 8 years. Why is this so important?

Google Favicon, its most important 256 pixels

Google.com gets over 150 million hits a day. Every time someone visits Google in their search bar, they’ll see these pixels. This image also accompanies Google in your bookmarks and page history. Browsers that support a tabbed document interface typically show a page’s favicon next to the page’s title. The Microsoft Windows Shell also uses favicons to represent “Internet shortcuts” to web pages. If you save a Webpage to your iPhone, it will be represented by the favicon.

Google’s favicon is looked at millions of times every hour by Google’s customers all over the globe. You’d better believe those 256 pixels are important to Google and they’ve obviously spent some time thinking about it. Have you considered your most important 256 pixels? expand full story

Powered by WordPress VIP