Windows COVERAGE FROM AROUND THE WEB
Last week I had the pleasure of hosting another “Underground Tour” of Microsoft. That’s the unofficial name for a tour our team has been hosting for the last few years where we take reporters behind the scenes of our campus and show them places that even Microsoft employees rarely get to see.The Garage – a space for hobbyist, grassroots creators and makers. They have a fine collection of art from their science fairs.Microsoft Research in Building 99 on our main campus. I got to play with SketchInsight, a project we recently showed at TechFest and it was mind-blowing. I can’t wait to use it to give a presentation. See below for a video of it in actionWe also saw GeoFlow – more on that amazing visualization tool for Excel very soon and 3D haptic displays. You can see what Stuart Miles of Pocket-Lint made of that in his post Microsoft's 3D Haptic feedback display shows a very touchy future.We went to the new Envisioning Center and saw a giant 120-inch 4k widescreen TV and a kitchen that I want. It has an amazing digital whiteboard powered by Bing and when you hold up a food it’ll tell you what you can cook with it – and then guide you through the cooking process using Kinect sensors.
Summary: The Windows team isn't the only one 'reimagining' how to build and deliver future versions of its core product. The Office unit is, too. Windows Blue, Windows Server Blue, Windows Phone Blue, Windows Services Blue. The one thing missing from this list of next-generation Microsoft releases is a Blue version of Office. Is there one?Gemini is a wave of Office releases coming over the next two years, according to my sources. Wave one, which will be aligned with Windows Blue, will be updated versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, which should be out this fall, I am hearing. Will these wave-one apps be the full Metro-Style/Windows Store versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, plus a second upate to the already Metro-ized OneNote? I am not 100 percent sure, but I'm thinking this will be the case. If so, will these updated apps include only a subset of the existing feature set of the Win32 versions, rather than every single feature available in the desktop versions? Again, I don't know, but given some recent hints by Office management, I would think it might be a subset.So far, Microsoft has released only two Metro-Style members of its Office app suite: OneNote and Lync. The other just-released Office 2013 apps are all still Win32 apps that run in the Desktop on Windows 8 and Windows RT. However, as one would expect, the Office team is continuing work that began several years ago to build Metro versions of all the Office apps.
Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore at the Windows Phone 8 launch event, talking up the “top” apps coming to the platform. Photo: Alex Washburn/WiredMicrosoft has breathlessly announced several new game titles for Windows Phone 8. And once again, Redmond continues to disappoint.But then, we’re used to it. When Microsoft held its Windows Phone 8 launch event in October last year, the news felt incredibly stale. Jessica Biel made an appearance. CEO Steve Ballmer showed us his Start Screen. We’d already glimpsed the company’s latest smartphone OS at its initial unveiling in June, and it took the spotlight at Nokia’s and HTC’s phone announcements in September. There were no surprises.“There is one app we wanted to announce, but we couldn’t fit it on the slide. We’re going to give it its own slide!” Joe Belfiore, Microsoft’s manager of Windows Phone, exclaimed. People started whispering about Instagram. Did Microsoft finally score a heavy-hitting app? One that would actually woo people away from iOS and Android phones?“Get ready for Pandora for Windows Phone 8, which we’ll have ready for early 2013!” Belfiore announced.You could feel the room deflate. And very little has changed in the four months since. Pandora finally launched this month, and other apps have trickled in. But none have been the kind that make you want to switch to a Windows Phone. Addicted to Instagram? Not going to work for you. Want to try out Vine? You can’t. How about play your favorite game? Yes! Finally! Well, no. Not really.
Microsoft TechForum: A New World of Intelligent Technology Today, Craig Mundie, senior advisor to CEO Steve Ballmer, and Eric Rudder, chief technical strategy officer, hosted the sixth annual TechForum gathering here at Microsoft’s brand-new Envisioning Center. TechForum is a yearly event that offers a small group of technology writers and thinkers the chance to participate in a discussion about Microsoft’s strategic and technical vision for the future—and also experience some of our latest technology demos and prototypes.It was a packed day of conversation, with Craig and Eric joined by colleagues Tony Bates, Kurt DelBene, Qi Lu, Don Mattrick, and Rick Rashid to discuss how they see technology evolving and how the company is approaching and influencing this evolution. The event offered a great opportunity to step out of the “day-to-day” of the technology business and think about where the world is headed years down the line.(For a sense of how it feels to be in the room at TechForum, you can check out a photo gallery of shots from the day.)This year, Craig, Eric and our guests discussed a transformative shift in our relationship with computers. Today’s technology environment has been defined by the proliferation of devices and services, social media, and mobile communications. As we look towards the future to anticipate what’s next, we believe that all of these will evolve to become more intelligent, and therefore able to work on our behalf. In short, our world of “information technology” will be transformed into a world of “intelligent technology.”
A gaggle of students stood in front of Broad Run High School, looking upward as a remote control helicopter darted amongst them. The helicopter wasn't just a simple toy; a computer scientist had come and programmed a Nintendo Wii controller to steer the chopper. The juniors and seniors had just watched computer science in action and it was more than fixing dad's old Dell. According to the January Board of Labor statistics report, more than 12 million Americans are currently unemployed. Among recent college graduates, 53 percent are either unemployed or underemployed. Conversely, the field of computer science is expected to grow 22 percent by 2020 – more than 150,000 jobs a year – but is struggling to find workers to fill the void. But a program manager from Microsoft is seeking to change that and is hoping Loudoun can help. Introducing TEALS, Technology Education And Literacy in Schools, a program designed to expand computer science studies across the country. The program, which is now offered at 37 schools across eight states, is in its first year in Loudoun County, with pilot programs at Broad Run, Stone Bridge and Park View high schools. In most states, Microsoft or other technology professionals teach a class for a small stipend, working with a math teacher already employed by the school. The goal is to have that teacher run the class independently within two or three years. Andrew Ko, an Ashburn native and the general manager of Microsoft's U.S. Partners in Learning program, was instrumental in bringing TEALS to Loudoun. "We believed there would be a positive ambiance here," Ko said. "Knowing our community, we knew there would be a good demand. Kids want to know the real-life connection." Because Loudoun already offers computer science classes, including AP computer science, the program works differently. A professional still comes to the classroom, but works as a teacher's assistant, helping to facilitate lessons and provide real world applications. These teachers' assistants offer their help on a volunteer basis. At Broad Run High School, Steven Winward acts as the teaching assistant to a class of 13 juniors and seniors in AP computer science. Winward grew up in Fairfax County and attended James Madison University for his undergraduate degrees in mathematics and computer science. He recently completed his master's in computational science at George Mason and has been employed as a consultant at Microsoft since 2010. When Winward was offered the opportunity to volunteer in Loudoun, he eagerly accepted and has largely enjoyed his role thus far. "For some of these kids, it's the first time they've taken a computer class and it's really fun to see them learning," Winward said. Winward has helped bring three industry speakers to the classroom, in addition to helping assist the students in their lessons. Lead teacher Joe Schwarz said Winward brings a tangible benefit to the classroom. "Steve's able to add insight as to how the content we're discussing relates to other topics that we've discussed and other technologies the students may be familiar with," Schwarz said. "The perspective he brings is well beyond the perspective I have." Schwarz isn't the only one who has enjoyed the TEALS program. The students were eager to discuss Winward and the speakers he brought to the classroom. "The speakers make the class more tangible and more fascinating. Mr. Winward brings in real life examples and things he's done," said junior Shabhez Khan. "Recently we were working with different algorithms and he was able to bring in his knowledge and make power-points and give sort of an in-depth view of how algorithms work." Sharon Ackerman, the assistant superintendent for instruction, said the praise that Winward has received has been echoed for the other volunteers at Park View and Stone Bridge high schools. “I've been really pleased,” Ackerman said. “The volunteers are serious and dedicated ... they have a passion for what they do.” Though Microsoft and Loudoun County Public Schools are waiting to gauge the success of the TEALS program, the goal is to expand it amongst the other schools in the county. "The original vision was to expand it to all the high schools in the county," Ko said.The history of TEALS Kevin Wang, a University of California (B.S.) and Harvard University (M. Ed) graduate, began the program in 2009. Wang was dismayed at the low numbers of kids studying computer science; just 19,390 of the 14 million Advanced Placement tests taken in 2010 were in computer science. Originally, the program began with just Wang, who volunteered to teach a section of computer science at a Seattle high school. When Microsoft caught wind of Wang's efforts, they invested money toward the effort and asked Wang to run it. Thus, TEALS was born.
Microsoft announced earlier this weekthat it is closing Hotmail and moving the "hundreds of millions" still using it to Outlook.com by this summer.The move isn't unexpected, but perhaps more sudden than some anticipated. Hotmail users, once they move (or are moved) will get Outlook.com's clean, Metro-Style interface for their mail -- and ultimately, calendars. (For a walk-through of the UI changes Hotmail users will see, check out this Microsoft FAQ.)Given that many of the new features in Outlook.com -- Microsoft's new Web-mail service that is no longer in "preview," as of this week -- are already part of Hotmail, the Outlook.com experience (beyond the UI itself) shouldn't be too jarringly different.Microsoft provided guidance last summer for those who wanted to proactively make the Hotmail-to-Outlook.com move. There's not much required on users' parts to make this happen. But some users still have questions. And different folks around the Web have answers.A: Everything moves over. If you click the upgrade button it takes maybe a few seconds, but all your existing messages auto-populate and carry over.A: Outlook.com is optimized for Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10; Google Chrome 17 and higher; Firefox 10 and higher; Safari 5.1 on Mac. It also works relatively well on IE 7, Google Chrome 16 and 5; Firefox 9 and 5; Safari 5.1 on Windows and Safari 5 on Windows and Mac. It doesn't work at all on IE 6 and older; Google Chrome 4 and older; Firefox 4 and older; and Safari 4.X and older.
Google just unveiled the fanciest new laptop in its lineup of Chromebooks, the Chromebook Pixel. It looks not unlike Apple’s MacBook Pro—with its all-aluminum exterior and high-resolution glass screen—and costs about the same, starting at $1299. It also has a touchscreen.Chromebooks run a very simple operating system, Chrome OS. Unlike on Windows or Mac OS, with their profusion of expensive and memory-hogging software, the only tool here is a web browser, through which you do all your work using web-based software, with all your files stored in the cloud. In this sense, the Pixel is no different from earlier Chromebooks made by generic PC manufacturers including Samsung, Acer and now HP. All of them were fairly low-end, however; the sort of thing you might buy to replace that spare computer you use at home for email and recipes, but not something you’d seriously rely on.The Pixel changes all that. It is, transparently, Google’s attempt to offer, and even beat, what you find in a high-end PC or Mac. It has a processor as fast as any of them; a screen resolution, of 2560 by 1700 pixels, to match the Macbook’s “Retina” display; and a touchscreen that responds like a tablet, something very few laptops (and certainly no Macs) have. But it does this in a package that has the advantage of being totally fused to the cloud: All your files, all your programs, living on Google’s servers, where they never need backing up or updating, and always available on any device you might own, whether it’s a phone, tablet or laptop. In short, it aims to be the hub of your digital life.
Hulu Plus offers unlimited instant streaming of current hit shows and acclaimed movies. Watch current season episodes of shows like Modern Family, New Girl, Family Guy and many more. Requires subscription. New to Hulu Plus? Try it FREE.- Bug fixes and UI improvements- Inclusion of new Smooth Streaming library- Display an information screen before playback
Just because Microsoft’s first Surface devices shipped with 10.6 inch displays doesn’t mean the company is wedded exclusively to the large tablet form factor. In fact, it almost certainly isn’t. During his appearance at the Goldman Sachs Technology & Internet Conference on Wednesday, Microsoft CFO Peter Klein said the company is ready, willing and able to bring a range of new form factors to the mobile device market. It’s ready to go smaller, with a device akin to the iPad mini. And it’s ready to go larger as well. And whether it chooses one route or the other — or both — will likely be determined by the consumer. “We’re set up for that,” Klein said of extending Windows to devices of varying size. “The notion of flexibility and scalability of the operating system is intrinsic to our strategy.”Specifically, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 share the same kernel. Because of that, the applications that run on them can easily be scaled up or down according to display size.“We can have the same core code base driving form factors from four inches all the way up to 27-inch ones and everything in between,” Klein said. “So I think we are well set up to respond to demand as we see it. We can deliver a versatile set of experiences across form factors, whether they’re four-inch, five-inch, seven-inch, 10-inch or 13-inch.”
Browse videos from the previous page, including the homepage feed, channel videos and search results. Windows Blue Leaked (Redesigned UI, Major OS, Mid-2013, Yearly Updates, Free, New SDK & More!) Sign in with your YouTube Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to like playinfinite's video. Sign in with your YouTube Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to dislike playinfinite's video. Sign in with your YouTube Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to add playinfinite's video to your playlist. Microsoft's next major OS has been leaked. Windows Blue is going to change the pricing & update standards. Windows Blue is set to release next year for free!Microsoft is busy preparing its next-generation Windows client, shortly after shipping Windows 8 in October. The Verge has learned from several sources familiar with Microsoft's plans that the company is planning to standardize on an approach, codenamed Blue, across Windows and Windows Phone in an effort to provide more regular updates to consumers.Originally unveiled by ZDNet, the update on the Windows side, due in mid-2013, will include UI changes and alterations to the entire platform and pricing. We're told that Microsoft is aiming to make Windows Blue the next OS that everyone installs. The approach is simple, Microsoft will price its next Windows release at a low cost or even free to ensure users upgrade. Once Windows Blue is released, the Windows SDK will be updated to support the new release and Microsoft will stop accepting apps that are built specifically for Windows 8, pushing developers to create apps for Blue. Windows 8 apps will continue to run on Blue despite the planned SDK changes.YEARLY UPGRADES WILL BE THE NORM FOR WINDOWS SOONWe understand that you will need a genuine copy of Windows to upgrade to Windows Blue. Built-in apps and the Windows Store will cease functioning if a copy is upgraded that is pirated. Sources tell us that Microsoft will likely keep the Windows 8 name for the foreseeable future, despite the Windows Blue update. A big part of Windows Blue is the push towards yearly updates for Microsoft's OS. Microsoft will kick off an annual upgrade cycle for Windows that is designed to make it more competitive against rival platforms from Apple and Google.We reached out to Microsoft for comment, however a company spokesperson refused to discuss Windows Blue.- http://www.theverge.com/2012/11/28/36...Subscribe to PlayInfinite at:http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c...Make sure to check out our channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/playinfiniteFollow PlayInfinite @ajune24 on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ajune24Check us out on Google+: https://plus.google.com/1020017756592...
In selling the Surface Pro, Microsoft’s marketing team has a big challenge. The new tablet is essentially an Ultrabook in a tablet’s body. But most customers are going to look at it and think “iPad competitor.” We already compared Surface Pro to the iPad, but perhaps a more appropriate comparison is to the MacBook Air. Let’s see how their specs – and other features – compare.This comparison covers the 11-inch MacBook Air with entry-level specs. Apple offers upgrades with superior components, but we’re leaving those alone here.Compared to standard laptops, the MacBook Air looks small and svelte. Next to a tablet, though, it’s rather large. It’s bigger than Surface Pro in every dimension.The MacBook Air is also 110 g (3.8 oz) heavier than Surface Pro. If you add Surface’s (optional) Type Cover keyboard, though, it becomes 76 g (2.6 oz) heavier.Surface Pro’s display is an inch smaller, but it’s much sharper. It’s possible Apple will upgrade its MacBooks Airs to Retina Displays within the next year or two, but for now only above-average resolution is offered.Standard storage options are tied up as well. Apple will also sell you the Air in 256 GB and 512 GB models, but you’ll have to pay a pretty penny.
Microsoft has released a new app called My Server for Windows 8/RT devices which allows you to manage Windows Server 2012. Description: My Server for Windows 8 is an application designed to help you keep seamlessly connected to your server resources through devices running Windows 8…As the battle of ecosystems intensify, we can no longer use a company's phone OS without knowing about the rest of its services. Microsoft-News.com aims to bring news of Microsoft's latest moves to remain relevant in the Post-PC world.
Office 2013 finally released this week, and this incremental update brings with it cloud integration and built-in Exchange ActiveSync support. Though many details and interface elements may not catch the eye at first, questions are already springing up in the Ars OpenForum about how this update works. We have collected a few questions that started in the thread “Office 2013 – Basic Questions.” We’d like to know what other questions you might have about Office 2013, so look through these and share with us your own questions in the comments. We will review your questions and cull answers to them from either the forum or the knowledge of our staff in a follow-up post next week.This definitely a basic question, but a meanigful one. Arkiel asks, “Is there any capacity to edit PDFs in there? We have to use Acrobat Pro X and Word, and are looking to unify the framework somehow.” Entegy has an answer: “PDF is an end-of-work presentation format. As much as you can, you work in another app and export it to PDF. PDF isn't designed to be edited, it's designed to be the last format. Now that you and your partners ignore that, yes, Word 2013 can edit PDFs.”
Browse videos from the previous page, including the homepage feed, channel videos and search results. Sign in with your YouTube Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to like officevideos's video. Sign in with your YouTube Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to dislike officevideos's video. Sign in with your YouTube Account (YouTube, Google+, Gmail, Orkut, Picasa, or Chrome) to add officevideos's video to your playlist. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer introduces the new Office. Office 365 Home Premium is your complete Office in the cloud. Office 365 Home Premium is a cloud service designed for busy households and people juggling ever-increasing work and family responsibilities.Get yours at www.office.com. octavianro2002 8 minutes ago Why do I have to see Ballmer's stupid face? He has nothing to do with office! Just give us good and informative advertising EDP9987 9 minutes ago dovella 17 minutes ago WP DownUnder 19 minutes ago FlucidityLtd 22 minutes ago Looks great and if you're looking for a Microsoft Partner to help you get on board with Office 365, check us out Luca Pisanu 26 minutes ago LLOYD19851012 28 minutes ago SimoHaruki 28 minutes ago HomeVdz 31 minutes ago Gaston garcia 32 minutes ago
Summary: Surface Pro users will have substantially less free storage on their devices, out-of-the-box than many may have expected. Big deal or business as usual?Microsoft's Surface Pro launches on February 9. We've known many of the specs for the coming hybrid/ PC/tablets for months.But one stat about which we haven't received any kind of definitive information (so far) is available storage for user content on Surface Pro devices.The Verge (citing a Microsoft spokesperson) reported on January 29 that the amount of usable storage on both the 64 GB and 128 GB models will be substantially smaller than many may expect. The 64 GB Surface Pro will have 23 GB of free storage out of the box, and the 128 model, 83 GB of free storage. The remaining storage is consumed by the Windows 8 Pro operating system, built-in apps (like People/Mail/Calendar) and the recovery partition.I asked Microsoft to confirm the Verge's numbers, and a spokesperson said the 23 GB and 83 GB figures were correct.If this is true, it isn't all that surprising. On the Surface RT, the OS, built-in apps and partition take up a sizeable chunk of storage on Microsoft's ARM-based devices.My colleague Ed Bott noted a while back that after launching the Surface RT in October, Microsoft subsequently added a disclaimer to the Surface site, noting that the amount of available storage for user content on those devices would be smaller than some expected. (The disclaimer was intended, one would assume, to head off more lawsuits like this one.)
Exclusive Microsoft blames PC makers for underwhelming Windows 8 sales over Christmas, The Register has learned. The software giant accused manufacturers of not building enough attractive Win 8-powered touchscreen tablets.But the computer makers are fighting back: they claimed that if they’d followed Microsoft’s hardware requirements and ramped up production, they'd have ended up building a lot of high-end expensive slabs that consumers didn’t understand nor want.The Reg has learned Microsoft provided clear and specific guidance on the hardware it wanted inside any machine running Windows 8 so as to show off and utilise the operating system's new capabilities, such as the touch-driven interface. Microsoft also gave its advice on the mix of high and low-end form-factors manufacturers should build, namely Ultrabooks, hybrids and simple laptops.The Redmond giant had held a competition between competing computer makers, and the PCs it deemed the best were to be promoted under two labels: Hero PCs and Featured PCs. Microsoft wanted 10 Hero PCs to advertise globally and promised to pay retailers to display and promote 20 PCs on the Featured list.However, the wheels came off that plan: Gartner said last week that during Q4 2012 Windows 8 didn’t make a “significant impact” on PC shipments and other analysts said sales of Windows 8 are lagging Windows 7.
Acer has done better with Google's Chrome-based notebooks than with Windows 8 devices, according to the company's president.Acer hasn't been doing well lately, and the company is pointing a finger at weak demand for Windows 8."Windows 8 itself is still not successful," Acer president Jim Wong told Bloomberg in an interview published yesterday. "The whole market didn't come back to growth after the Windows 8 launch, that's a simple way to judge if it is successful or not."Acer was stung by an annual loss in 2011 and will post another loss for 2012, according to the Wall Street Journal. Last week, the company announced a $120 million write-off on the value of its Gateway, Packard Bell, eMachines, and E-Ten brands and said it would discontinue its eMachines products.Instead, the Taiwanese PC maker has seen a healthy response to its Chrome-based notebooks. Making up 5 to 10 percent of Acer's U.S. PC shipments, Chromebooks have generated strong sales for the company, Bloomberg reported."You saw that all the marketing and promotions were not as broad as Windows 8, so to reach this success is encouraging," Wong said in the interview. The Chrome OS requires no licensing costs as does Windows, but Acer had to pour money into advertising and marketing to get the word out.
While I don’t yet have a Surface Pro, I do have two nearly identical new Windows 8 devices on hand, a Samsung ATIV Smart PC 500T and a Samsung ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T, making for an interesting comparison. The first is based on Intel’s new Atom “Clover Trail” chipset, which competes with ARM at the low-end of the market, while the second is built around a standard Intel Core i5 “Ivy Bridge” chipset. Which makes more sense? This comparison is pretty timely because the 500T (Atom) and 700T (Core i5) are just as similar to each other, from a form factor/hardware perspective, as are the Surface RT (ARM) and Surface Pro (Core i5). And because the processor in the 700T, a 1.8 GHz i5-3427U, is so similar to that in the Surface Pro—a 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5-3317U processor, as I exclusively revealed in Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro Preview—this machine provides an interesting preview of what to expect from Microsoft’s next tablet, especially from a battery life perspective. (Though to be fair, that article linked above also exclusively reveals what to expect there, too.) You can compare the two devices online via the Samsung sites for the ATIV Smart PC 500T and ATIV Smart PC Pro 700T. Excluding minor, non-functional differences—the 500T casing is medium gray while the 700T is black—the big differences are:
Growing the Surface Family: Surface Windows 8 Pro Availability Confirmed Ever since we launched Surface Windows RT late last year, it’s been exciting to see the ongoing customer response to this amazing device. We are also pumped about all the anticipation and excitement in regards to Surface Windows 8 Pro. There have been a tremendous amount of questions to date, and today, I am pleased that we are formally announcing the date of availability. Surface Windows 8 Pro will be available in the U.S. and Canada starting on Feb. 9 through all Microsoft retail stores, microsoftstore.com and at Staples and Best Buy in the U.S. as well as from a number of locations in Canada. Not only has it been fun watching the anticipation, it has been great working with such an amazing team to bring these products to life.Powered by an Intel Core i5 processor, Surface Windows 8 Pro provides the power and performance of a laptop in a tablet package and will run all Windows 8 applications as well as current Windows 7 desktop applications. Last month, we announced Surface Windows 8 Pro pricing starting at $899 and that it will be available in 64 GB and 128 GB models. A Surface Pen is included and makes for an amazing experience for writers, graphic designers or even engineers, and with Palm Block technology writing and drawing is fun for everyone on Surface Windows 8 Pro.
As expected, Microsoft is pricing its next-generation Office 2013 line-up in a way to try to convince users to pay an annual subscription fee -- with multiple-device-installation rights as a carrot -- instead of buying the Office 2013 software outright.Microsoft is believed to be ready to launch its next-generation Office product within the next few weeks, possibly before the end of January. The newest version of Office -- known both as "the new Office" and "Office 2013" -- will be commercially available on that date. In preparation for the launch, Microsoft has been educating its reseller and integrator partners as to what to expect, pricing- and packaging-wise.A chart detailing some of the expected Office 2013/New Office prices leaked in October 2012. When I asked Microsoft at the time (and a few times later) to confirm the prices, company officials declined to do so, leading some to speculate that the leaked pricing might not be final.However, it turns out these prices for some of the "hero" Office 365 and Office 2013 SKUs, were, indeed, accurate. Microsoft shared this slide with some of its partners this week:Everything here that is labeled as an Office 365 SKU will be priced on a subscription basis. The SKUs listed along the bottom are non-subscription, buy-once/install-on-a-single-device prices. (Microsoft officials disclosed the planned pricing for a few of its upcoming Office 365 SKUs last year.)
Windows 8 is the most drastic Microsoft operating system update in decades. Here's how to get the most out of it.
Summary: Still no word on when existing Windows Phone users will get the Windows Phone 7.8. But the developer kit for 7.8 is available now.This is an update to the existing Windows Phone SDK. Officials shared download links and more information on January 22. Microsoft officials still are not saying when the actual Windows Phone 7.8 operating system will be made available to those with existing Windows Phones. The only official guidance was that it would be in early 2013. The 7.8 operating system already is shipping on new Windows Phones.The Windows Phone 7.8 operating system brings the resizable live tiles that are part of the Windows Phone 8 operating system to some, but not all, existing Windows Phone devices. It also adds a couple of other more minor features, like new themes/accent colors and accidental-device-wipe prevention.Because Windows Phone updates are still gated by mobile operators, it's hard to say exactly when users of the various Windows Phone devices will get the 7.8 operating system. There are reports the 7.8 operating system could begin to be pushed out starting January 31. But that doesn't mean every existing Windows Phone user will get the 7.8 release this month.Typically, if a device has Tango (the most recent pre-Windows Phone-8 version of the Windows Phone operating system), users can expect 7.8 to arrive sooner rather than later, once of my contacts said. But users who are on Mango (Windows Phone OS 7.5) may have to wait longer, the contact added.
Microsoft's Surface Pro makes no compromises on Windows 8. It runs everything a mainstream laptop can.The Surface Pro's arrival is only a matter of weeks away, according to a tweet today from Microsoft. "On my way to the factory to check out #Surface Pro coming off the line...arriving in the coming weeks," tweeted Panos Panay, general manager of Microsoft's Surface products. This should be of no great surprise, of course. When Microsoft announced the Surface tablet last year, it said the Windows 8 Pro model would be available about 90 days after the release of the Surface RT. Surface Pro will be available in two versions and pricing will start at $899 for the 64GB version and $999 for the 128GB version. Other specs include an Intel Ivy Bridge processor -- that's the fast Core Series chip found in Windows 8 laptops -- a 16:9 ClearType display sporting a 1,920x1,080 resolution and goodies like a Mini DisplayPort that can drive an external display up to 2560X1440 resolution. And Windows 8 Pro of course. "The Surface Pro is the more significant product, because it makes no computing compromises: it's the dream of a tablet as your PC, while the original Surface felt more like an iPad competitor," said CNET Reviews.
Melissa lives the tech-driven life she writes about. She's always on the hunt for the next gadget that will wow us with its design.More by Melissa J. Perenson
Microsoft announced a new milestone for Windows 8, which has now reached 60 million licenses sold since it launched last October.The number encompasses both upgrades from Windows 7 and new installations, which also includes license sales to PC and tablet manufacturers which may take the form of bulk orders.In late November Microsoft announced reaching 40 million Windows 8 licenses sold, meaning that around 20 million new licenses were added during December.This puts Windows 8 in line with initial sales for Windows 7, which averaged 19.7 million license sales each month for its first nine months.Unfortunately, Microsoft provided very little context to track what trends those 60 million in license sales might show.What Microsoft did say is that there are now more than 1,700 systems certified to run Windows 8 and Windows RT, which would include desktops, notebooks, and tablets.Microsoft did not comment on how upgrades sales compared to new installations. It also did not specify what portion Windows RT accounted for of total license sales.Windows 8 had a strong showing at CES this year, with manufacturers revealing new all-in-one desktops, notebooks, tablets, and Vizio refitting its PC lineup with touchscreens to take advantage of the OS.
With Microsoft's own Surface Pro tablets starting at $899, there's some room for lower price points by its partners. Dell wants some of the value action and will be selling the Dell Latitude 10 Essentials for $499.The Windows 8 tablet loses some bells and whistles to keep the price down, but Dell thinks that won't matter: Aside from value-conscious consumers, the tablet is aimed at students and teachers.The $499 model is due out in the coming months, so for now, the only available model is the 64 GB version at $579. The sub-$500 machine will have 32 GB of storage capacity, which won't leave much room for data and apps.As a point of comparison, Windows Surface Pro models start with 64 GB of storage and Microsoft says "System software uses significant storage space; your storage capacity will be less." These two Essentials configurations augment the standard 64 GB model which costs $599 and up, depending on options and additions.Dell is cutting the cost of the Windows 8 slates by changing two major aspects from the standard Latitude 10. Gone is the active digitizer that supports digital inking. And the 2-cell, 30 hr battery — standard for the Latitude — is non-removable, so you won't be able to swap in a new battery. Businesses likely can't live with those missing features, but some consumers, educators and students ought to find the compromise acceptable at this price.
Tobii peripheral adds an eye-tracking interface to any Windows 8 computer through a USB port, but the company's only offering 5,000 units before the end of the year.The accessory attaches to the base of your laptop screen or monitor, and tracks the movement of your eyes.Whatever you may feel about Windows 8, it's sparked a number of interesting hybrid designs. Now you can count the Tobii Rex, an eye-controlled interface for Windows 8, as another innovation that works with Microsoft's latest operating system. First seen at last year's CES, the Rex is an eye-tracking peripheral that works with Tobii's proprietary Gaze interface to navigate around a Windows 8 computer. The stick-like device attaches to the base of your computer screen and connects via a USB port. Although the Rex enables users to perform tasks such as scrolling, Tobii says it's not meant to replace your keyboard or mouse. The company seems to be rolling out the Rex gradually; it's only offering 5,000 units before the end of the year. Tobii hasn't announced the price or availability for the device, though a special developer edition is now available at $995.
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