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Here comes Windows 9: Microsoft reportedly sets unveiling for next month, in advance of 2015 release

Microsoft is gearing up to reveal its latest major update to Windows, codenamed “Threshold” at a press event tentatively set for late September, according to a report by the Verge. The update is slated to contain a return to a desktop Start menu that will look and feel more familiar to people who are used to Microsoft’s older operating… Read More

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Xamarin raises $54M in funding to bring Microsoft’s programming language to other platforms

Xamarin, the San Francisco-based company that allows developers to code applications for a variety of different platforms using Microsoft’s C# programming language, announced today that it has raised a $54 million Series C round of financing. The round was led by a number of firms, including Ignition Partners, Lead Edge Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Floodgate… Read More

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Microsoft relaunches OneNote for Android, with tablet and handwriting support

Android tablet users now have a better note-taking app from Microsoft. The company announced today that it’s launching a new version of OneNote for phones and tablets running on Google’s operating system, just in time for back-to-school season. The app, which is available for free, offers popular OneNote features including support for handwriting and a new tablet… Read More

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Change Internet Explorer’s name? Nah, here’s what Microsoft really needs to do with its web browser

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browser has made great strides in recent years, embracing web standards and upgrading its user interface, as the company retires old versions of the browser and lobbies users to use the latest versions. But given its history with users and web developers, can the Internet Explorer name be salvaged? That was one question posed to the Internet… Read More

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Not just Nokia: HTC One (M8) expands to Microsoft’s Windows Phone, exclusive to Verizon

HTC this morning confirmed that it will expand its flagship HTC One (M8) device to Windows Phone, marking an important step for Microsoft in the company’s attempt to create an ecosystem for Windows Phone beyond its own Nokia hardware platform. The device blends the worlds of Windows Phone and HTC, offering HTC features such as the BlinkFeed… Read More

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First Reddit app built for a console arrives on Xbox One

Microsoft announced this evening that a new app called ReddX will debut on Tuesday morning, giving Xbox One owners a way to scan Reddit threads on their TVs. ReddX lets Xbox Live members in North America read text on Reddit, post links, up/down vote content, in addition to viewing images, videos, and GIFs. The app can also enter “Snap… Read More

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Where’s Apple? Tech icon’s absence stands out in Seattle

It has become common for big tech companies from Silicon Valley and San Francisco to open branch offices in the Seattle region, including Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Oracle, HP, and many others. In many cases, the offices are engineering centers, boosting the ability of each company to recruit developers in the region. So where the heck is Apple? That’s… Read More

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Microsoft Azure hit by “service interruption” affecting virtual machines, websites and more

Companies who rely on Microsoft Azure to power their online services are having a rough afternoon. A number of the services provided by Microsoft’s cloud platform are currently down in regions around the world. Users of the Virtual Machine, Cloud Services and Website products provided by Azure are the hardest hit by the outage, which… Read More

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Let’s say you’ve got $100 to invest: AMZN or MSFT?

This past week, I had the pleasure of moderating a panel at the big Rotary Club of Seattle, talking about the Pacific Northwest tech economy with a group of leading investors and entrepreneurs. We talked about a wide range of issues — hiring, education, the tech investment climate, key startups to watch, and the direction of… Read More

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PlayStation 4 outsells Xbox One in the U.S. for 7th month in a row

Another month, another win for Sony. The PS4 was the best-selling console in the U.S. for July, marking the seventh consecutive month that Sony’s device has outsold Microsoft’s Xbox One. Sony noted earlier this week that nine months since debuting its PlayStation 4 console on Nov. 15, it has sold 10 million units to consumers worldwide. The company said… Read More

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Meet the 10 startups in Microsoft’s new Internet of Things and home automation accelerator

In June, Microsoft announced a new startup accelerator focused on companies building gadgets, devices and software for the connected home and Internet of Things. Now, we’re getting a closer look at the 10 companies Microsoft has picked to participate in the program, which begins this fall in Redmond. “We share the belief that over time… Read More

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Bungie unveils Destiny’s competitive multiplayer modes, release date for first expansion

As a part of Sony’s press conference at Gamescom today, Bungie unveiled some new details about content for “Destiny,” its forthcoming first-person shooter. First off, the company released a new trailer showing off the different Crucible competitive multiplayer modes that players will be able to try out, including a number of takes on standard FPS… Read More

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Ballmer on $2B Clippers purchase: ‘It’s not the craziest thing I’ve ever acquired’

Compared to past NBA deals, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise — which became official today — is not only record-breaking, but also quite excessive. The previous NBA team to be sold was the Milwaukee Bucks, which went for $550 million in April. But Ballmer defended the price tag… Read More

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Dis-Kinected: Xbox unveils three big holiday bundles, none with motion controller

If it’s true that videogames drive sales of consoles, then Microsoft is leaning heavily on that strategy by unveiling three new bundles today at Gamescom in Germany. While the idea of bundles is not new, Microsoft said this year’s options are “unparalleled,” and Xbox Head Phil Spencer added that they are excited “to offer fans more choice than ever… Read More

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Microsoft virtual assistant Cortana reportedly coming to Windows with ‘Threshold’ release

Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual assistant, may soon extend her reach beyond Windows Phone to the PC. The assistant is appearing as an app inside the next version of Windows, code named “Threshold,” according to a report by Neowin. The virtual assistant appears as an app users can launch, and runs in a small window where users… Read More

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Microsoft researchers make long GoPro videos watchable with ‘Hyperlapse’ project

Action cameras like the GoPro have made it easy to capture first-person perspectives from daily adventures. But as Microsoft researcher Johannes Kopf discovered, that doesn’t always translate into watchable video. Kopf, who works in the Interactive Visual Media Group at Microsoft Research, wanted to show his friends and family what it was like to go mountain… Read More

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Former Microsoft manager sentenced to 2 years in prison for insider trading

Ex-Microsoft manager Brian Jorgenson was sentenced to two years in prison today after pleading guilty to charges of insider trading. The 32-year-old worked in Microsoft’s corporate finance and investment division and used confidential information to help a friend, Sean Stokke, make trades that earned the pair more than $400,000 in an 18-month period. The duo started making the… Read More

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Twitter quietly nixes Bing Translate feature

Twitter has quietly stopped offering users the ability to instantly translate tweets using Bing’s machine translation feature, slightly more than a year after the company started using Microsoft’s technology. Users began noticing the feature’s absence earlier this week, though Twitter hasn’t said exactly when it stopped offering the service, or why. But one thing is… Read More

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Geek of the Week: Jean Paoli, president of Microsoft Open Technologies

There was a time when Microsoft and “open technologies” were diametrically opposed, but the Redmond company has increasingly been changing its approach, and philosophy, when it comes to open source technologies, interoperability and standards. One sign of that change: The creation of Microsoft Open Technologies in 2012. The subsidiary is led by Jean Paoli, a Microsoft veteran… Read More

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Surface losses reach $1.7B, testing the patience of Microsoft’s new leadership

Microsoft’s accumulated losses on its Surface tablets have reached $1.7 billion, according to an estimate this week by reporter Gregg Keizer of Computerworld, based on an analysis of Microsoft’s financial notes in its latest Form 10-K filing with the SEC. With cash and short-term investments of more than $85 billion, the company can certainly absorb the loss, but it’s still… Read More