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A cross-platform wearable? Microsoft might be on to something here

The persistent rumors about Microsoft releasing a smartwatch or fitness band raise natural questions about the company’s chances for success with another “me, too” product. But a new report puts a different spin on things — pointing to plans by Microsoft to make its wearable device work not just with Windows Phone but with iPhone and Android,… Read More

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Office for Android is coming, but timing of touch-based Windows version still unclear

Microsoft has seeking people to beta test versions of Office for Android, a clear sign that the company is moving towards a full consumer release of its popular software suite on Google’s mobile operating system. The company will be launching open sign-ups for people interested in beta testing the new software, according to a report by The… Read More

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Microsoft acquires SyntaxTree, boosting support for Unity game engine

Microsoft has acquired SyntaxTree, the developer of the UnityVS plugin for Visual Studio. The UnityVS tool allows game creators to use Microsoft’s development environment to write, browse and debug code for their games that are powered by Unity, a popular, cross-platform game engine that is used worldwide. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. Unity… Read More

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Microsoft joins Qualcomm’s effort to set standards for ‘Internet of Things’

Microsoft announced today that it is joining the AllSeen Alliance, a Qualcomm-led effort to establish standards for devices that fit into the “Internet of Things” category. The organization, which already includes companies like LG, Cisco, and Panasonic, is working on an open source “Internet of Things” framework based on AllJoyn to allow devices to connect and talk… Read More

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Microsoft and Canon reach broad patent agreement

Microsoft and Canon announced a wide-ranging patent agreement this morning, with each company receiving a broad license to the other’s patent portfolio as part of the deal. The companies declined to detail the specific technologies involved, but Canon’s involvement in areas including imaging, printing, cameras, semiconductors and video equipment could provide extra protection for Microsoft as it… Read More

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Microsoft won’t be ending its security emails after all

Microsoft will not be shutting off its security notification mailing list for systems administrators and other security professionals today, despite informing them late last week that the service would be coming to an end. A Microsoft spokesperson told GeekWire that the company had “reviewed its policies” and chose to continue the email service. It’s an important… Read More

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Microsoft adds new Outlook.com and OneDrive encryption to thwart government snooping

Microsoft says it has added new layers of encryption to Outlook.com emails and OneDrive files as part of a broader push to protect customer data from hacking and government surveillance. The addition of Transport Layer Security to Outlook.com will encrypt messages sent between Microsoft and other email providers. The company also enabled Perfect Forward Secrecy encryption in Outlook.com… Read More

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Microsoft’s Cortana, expert World Cup predictor, picks Belgium to beat USA

Microsoft’s prediction technology has been perfect thus far in the World Cup knockout round, correctly picking Holland, Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia, and most recently France, as winners. But Americans will hope that Microsoft’s pick for Tuesday’s big U.S. soccer match against Belgium is flat out wrong. Microsoft Bing’s prediction engine, which had a success rate of… Read More

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How Microsoft Bing is doing with its World Cup predictions

It’s harder to forecast World Cup matches than reality TV contests, it turns out. Microsoft Bing’s prediction engine, which was dead-on its past predictions for The Voice and Dancing with the Stars, is emerging from the group stage of the World Cup with a record of 29 accurate predictions and 19 misses, for a success rate of 60 percent. All in… Read More

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Microsoft alumni groups combine, aim to expand, led by former exec Jeff Raikes

It’s almost impossible to spend time in the Seattle region’s tech community without meeting people who worked at Microsoft at one point in their careers. It’s a large and unique group of corporate alumni, and a new effort is under way to unite them. Two Microsoft alumni groups, the philanthropic Microsoft Alumni Foundation and the business-oriented Microsoft Alumni Network,… Read More

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General Services Administration picks Smartsheet, not Microsoft, for project management solution

Smartsheet already has a slew of notable users, but today the Seattle startup announced a key customer acquisition in the U.S General Services Administration (GSA). The GSA, which employs more than 12,000 and helps support the basic functioning of federal agencies, will use Smartsheet’s cloud-based online collaboration tool for a bevy of projects and processes…. Read More

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Clintons using Microsoft ‘Bing Pulse’ for real-time audience voting at annual meeting

  Microsoft’s Bing Pulse real-time audience survey tool is expanding to in-person live events with the help of Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton. The Clinton Global Initiative America conference, taking place right now in Denver, Colo., will use the Microsoft tool to gauge audience sentiment in person and watching online during two sessions, on the topics of… Read More

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Microsoft unveils its new Android phone, the Nokia X2

  Yes, you read that headline correctly: Despite questions about Microsoft’s long-term commitment to Nokia’s fledgling Android lineup, the Redmond company today unveiled the latest addition to the Nokia X family — the first since Microsoft completed its acquisition of the smartphone maker. The new Nokia X2 features a larger 4.3-inch screen, and an updated interface that… Read More

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Microsoft’s top lawyer: U.S. surveillance policies making it harder to do business overseas

SAN FRANCISCO – The United States’ approach to Internet privacy and surveillance needs to change, and U.S. government officials were wrong if they believed the furor over Edward Snowden’s leaks would simply blow over, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith told an audience here this morning. “It is not blowing over,” Smith said at the GigaOM Structure… Read More

Scott Guthrie

Microsoft Azure head sees a future in offering a wide range of cloud services

SAN FRANCISCO–Microsoft Azure is in a tough, highly competitive market. Locked in an ongoing pricing war with Google and Amazon Web Services, all three of the major players have recently announced price cuts. When asked if the discounting will keep going in perpetuity, Scott Guthrie, the Executive Vice President of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group,… Read More

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Microsoft launches new startup accelerator in Redmond, focusing on home automation and the ‘Internet of Things’

Microsoft announced today that it is launching a new startup accelerator in Redmond focused on home automation and the Internet of Things, in partnership with American Family Insurance. It’s designed to promote startups that are searching for new ways to improve how people use their homes. The accelerator, which was unveiled as a part of… Read More