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New stats: Microsoft’s fastest-growing OS is … not Windows 8

Microsoft’s Windows 7 continued its rebound in June, climbing to 50.55 percent of worldwide desktop operating system usage. And despite its retirement, Windows XP saw a small increase in market share during the month, clawing back up to 25.31 percent of worldwide usage, according to the latest desktop operating system stats from NetMarketShare. Windows 8.1 also saw… Read More

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Microsoft and China continue duel over Windows 8

The fight over Windows 8 between the Chinese government and Microsoft has heated up this week. A news show on Chinese state-run television ran a segment earlier this week claiming that Microsoft is able to collect sensitive data about Windows 8 users, and then can share that information with the NSA or another U.S. government… Read More

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Windows 7 tops 50% of desktop PC usage for first time

Windows 7 is making a mid-life comeback. Five years after its release, the Microsoft operating system surpassed 50 percent market share among desktop computers for the first time in May — making it the most-used Windows version by a margin of 2-to-1, according to the latest statistics from NetApplications. The uptick, from 48.8 percent in March, was… Read More

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China bans government use of Windows 8

China has banned the use of Windows 8 on government computers, Reuters reported today. Oddly enough, the move came as a part of a notice on energy-saving products, though it seems the decision was unrelated to those measures. Xinhua, China’s official news agency, claimed that the decision was made to ensure computer security after Microsoft… Read More

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Windows 8 moves into home automation with new Insteon apps, retail partnership

Home automation and control company Insteon this morning announced a new set of apps for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone, and said Microsoft will soon start selling Insteon sensors for business and home use through the Redmond company’s online and physical stores. The move has the potential to give Windows a broader role in the home, while expanding the market for… Read More

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Attention, Windows XP holdouts: The end is here

Are you still running Windows XP? Are you ready for Tuesday? More than 12 years after Windows XP’s release, Microsoft will officially end support for the aging operating system on Tuesday, April 8 — three days from now. That means no more security updates. Yes, of course, Windows XP machines will continue to run. But… Read More

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Microsoft is bringing the Start Menu back to Windows

How’s this for a new era at Microsoft? Microsoft operating systems chief Terry Myerson announced this morning that the company will be bringing a version of the traditional Start menu back to Windows 8 in a future update to the Microsoft operating system. The company had previously brought back the Start button, but clicking on… Read More

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Aviary freezes its Windows and Windows Phone photo SDK, citing ‘lack of general platform traction’

Aviary, a photo-editing technology company backed by investors including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, says it is discontinuing work on its photo-editing software development kit for Windows Phone and Windows 8, citing a “lack of general platform traction” for the Microsoft operating systems. The news was delivered in a message to a user of the Aviary forums,… Read More

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Microsoft Windows shakeup continues: App store and UX leaders move to Bing team

Two well-known directors from Microsoft’s Windows team, who oversaw some of the biggest changes introduced by Windows 8 and 8.1, are shifting to the Microsoft Bing team — part of a broader management upheaval in Microsoft’s operating systems group. Making the move are Ted Dworkin, the director of program management who oversaw the Windows Store… Read More

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IDC says PC market is even worse than they thought

Research firm IDC this afternoon released a new 2013 forecast for the global PC market, and the news isn’t good for Microsoft or other companies that rely on traditional computer sales to drive their businesses. IDC’s new forecast shows PC shipments falling 9.7 percent for the full year of 2013. That’s down from the previous… Read More

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Microsoft sees big jump in support and consulting jobs, coinciding with Windows 8

Here’s another interesting tidbit from Microsoft’s Form 10-K filing with the SEC: The company reports that its internal ranks of product support and consulting services employees swelled to 21,000 people — an increase of 3,000 people or 17 percent in that category when compared to last year’s filing. The increase came as Microsoft released Windows… Read More

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‘Spartan Assault’ is a great new Halo, but Microsoft is playing a risky game with Windows Phone users

Finally! A great new, exclusive game for my Windows Phone! Ugh, I guess not. At least not for another month. That’s the emotional roller-coaster created by Microsoft’s newly released Halo: Spartan Assault. It is, in fact, a great game. I’ve been playing the Windows 8 version all weekend on my Surface tablet, and I’m having… Read More

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Step by step: Watch an iPad app transform for Windows 8

SAN FRANCISCO — One of the most interesting sessions this morning at Microsoft’s Build conference was on “Design Differences Between iOS and Windows 8,” led by Bart Claeys, the creative director from Seattle’s Ratio Interactive. As the title suggests, it was a deep dive into the nuances of the user interface and design principles of Windows… Read More