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Nokia’s rewards program for Windows Phone developers uses gamification model

Lots of mobile companies offer rewards to developers who make apps on their platforms. But Nokia’s new DVLUP program is a little different, using a gamification model that encourages competition among Windows Phone developers. What’s particularly interesting about DVLUP is that it provides a chance for developers to boost the visibility of their apps within… Read More

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Ballmer’s final Microsoft shareholder letter: The real money is in the enterprise

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been known to drop significant hints about the company’s future in his annual letter to shareholders, such as last year when he declared Microsoft officially a “devices and services” company — signaling the evolution beyond software that has culminated, most notably, with the plan to acquire Nokia’s smartphone business. His… Read More

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Microsoft using Vine for a Surface 2 contest, but Windows Phone still doesn’t have the official app

Microsoft today unveiled two new tablets today — the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 — along with a new pressure-sensitive limited edition “Music Cover” touchpad specifically designed for DJs who want to use the tablet like a drum kit to remix songs. In conjunction with the Music Cover announcement, Microsoft kicked off a new contest… Read More

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Chart: How Microsoft views its business today — and what’s really going on

Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s chief operating officer, made the opening remarks at the company’s Financial Analyst Meeting in Bellevue, Wash., this afternoon — giving a broad overview of the company’s business. “While this business faces some headwinds in the PC market … we have an incredible transition that’s under way,” he said. One of the early… Read More

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Windows Phone leaders given key roles in Microsoft’s restructured OS group

Updated below with additional details. Microsoft’s new Operating Systems Engineering Group — responsible for OS development across Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox — is filling out its executive team under new operating systems chief Terry Myerson, with key roles for some who worked under Myerson in his former role as the Windows Phone engineering leader…. Read More

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Here’s how to get a sneak peek at the Xbox One

You can’t get your hands on the Xbox One until sometime in November, but Microsoft is giving gamers a sneak peak at the next-gen console in its stores across the country. Inside Microsoft Stores there are now Xbox One consoles enclosed in a glass box. While you can’t touch, you’ll be able to get up-close-and-personal… Read More

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Microsoft: You will fail your college classes using an iPad

It’s late August, and that means back to school at thousands of college campuses around the world. Aimed at university students who might be considering a tablet purchase, Microsoft just came out with a new advertisement that carries a simple message: iPads suck in class. In another swing at Apple, the 30-second spot touts the… Read More

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Microsoft: Skype to come bundled with Windows 8.1

When you install Windows 8.1, you’ll now have the opportunity to video call your friends and let them know that you’ve managed to successfully navigate the upgrade process, without having to download any additional apps. In a post to its Windows Experience Blog, Microsoft announced today that Windows 8.1 will have Skype bundled with the… Read More

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Microsoft: Windows 8.1 will be released on Oct. 18

Microsoft just announced the official release date for Windows 8.1, saying it will make the finished version of the operating system update available in stores on Oct. 18 and online via the Windows Store a day before, on Oct. 17. Windows 8.1, which had previously been released as an unfinished preview, will also be available… Read More

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Microsoft’s new billion-dollar business: Android patents?

Windows Phone revenue rose by $1.2 billion in the company’s 2013 fiscal year, according to new numbers released by Microsoft this afternoon as part of its Form 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. But the definition of “Windows Phone revenue” isn’t what you might think. The number reflects “an increase in patent licensing… Read More

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Name that Tech Tune: Do you know your Windows trivia?

Updated below with answer and winner. This week’s Name that Tech Tune challenge is a little obscure, but true aficionados of Microsoft Windows should have no problem with it. And in case you’re not one of those, see below for a very big hint. We chose this challenge for this weekend’s special episode of the GeekWire… Read More

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Nokia’s new Lumia 625 has huge screen, lower price

Nokia is out with another smartphone, this time with a big screen and lower price tag. The handset maker introduced the Lumia 625 today, it’s biggest Lumia Windows Phone to date at 4.7 inches. The 625 also comes with 4G connection and 8GB of memory. The new device will hit shelves next quarter in China,… Read More

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‘Halo: Spartan Assault’ for Windows 8, Windows Phone out today for $6.99

A touch-enabled version of Halo officially arrived on the Windows platform today with “Halo: Spartan Assault” exclusively for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Priced at $6.99, the game is not a classic first-person shooter in the mold of traditional Halo games. Instead it’s a top-down shooter that gives a third-person perspective as the heroes of the… Read More

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Nokia CEO says he picked Windows Phone over fear of Samsung dominating Android

Last week, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop defended his company’s decision two years ago to try to create a “third ecosystem” by throwing its weight behind Windows Phone, competing against iPhone and Android. Now, in a recent roundtable with European media outlets, Elop went into more detail about that logic and shed light on how he feared Samsung would dominate… Read More

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Microsoft and Sinofsky reach ‘retirement’ deal: $14M in stock, restrictions on activity

Six months after the departure of Microsoft Windows chief Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft has reached a “Retirement Agreement” with the former executive — awarding him stock worth more than $14 million in exchange for his agreement not to compete against the company, disclose secret information, disparage Microsoft or work for certain competitors. The agreement was disclosed… Read More

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Microsoft debuts Xbox Music for browsers

Microsoft today unveiled its Xbox Music hub for the web, allowing Xbox Music Pass subscribers to stream their tunes right from the browser. The Redmond giant says that, with a subscription, you’ll be able to listen to “millions of songs” without advertisements. You can also sync your music on the web-based platform with devices Xbox… Read More

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Facebook app coming to Windows 8, along with Flipboard, NFL Fantasy Football

For Facebook fans using Windows 8 devices, today brings good news. At Microsoft’s Build conference today in San Francisco, CEO Steve Ballmer announced that Facebook is finally building a native app for Windows 8. Two more apps are also coming to the Windows platform: Flipboard and NFL Fantasy Football, which is not surprising considering Microsoft’s new… Read More