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European Commission sends Statement of Objections to Microsoft on Browser Compliance

The European Commission has informed Microsoft of its preliminary view that Microsoft has failed to comply with its commitments to offer users a choice screen enabling them to easily choose their preferred web browser. In 2009, the Commission had made these commitments legally binding on Microsoft (see IP/09/1941). The sending of a statement of objections does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation.

In its statement of objections, the Commission takes the preliminary view that Microsoft has failed to roll out the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1, which was released in February 2011. From February 2011 until July 2012, millions of Windows users in the EU may not have seen the choice screen. Microsoft has acknowledged that the choice screen was not displayed during that period.

Microsoft Previews Windows 8 and New Devices

Microsoft Corp. kicked off global Windows 8 launch celebrations today in China. In the first of a series of celebrations around the world, Microsoft customers and partners joined top company executives at a gathering at Shanghai's 1933 Grand Theatre to give consumers and commercial customers a sneak peek at new hardware and apps in advance of the Windows 8 worldwide general availability on Oct. 26. Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, and Ralph Haupter, corporate vice president of Microsoft and CEO of Microsoft Greater China Region, attended the celebration.

"Microsoft has a more than 20-year history in the Greater China Region, and we are excited to start our Windows 8 launch series in Shanghai, China, the largest PC market in the world," Haupter said. He reaffirmed the importance that Microsoft is giving to China and complimented the commitment of our hardware and developers in preparing for Windows 8 over the last couple of months. "Windows 8 ushers in a new era with amazing experiences for Chinese consumers and commercial customers and creates new opportunities for Microsoft partners," he said.

Kingston Ships New USB Drive Certified for Windows To Go

Kingston Digital, Inc., the Flash memory affiliate of Kingston Technology Company, Inc., the independent world leader in memory products, today announced it is shipping the Kingston DataTraveler Workspace USB Flash drive. DataTraveler Workspace is certified for Windows To Go, a key feature of Windows 81 Enterprise. DataTraveler Workspace enables enterprises to provision a corporate desktop on an external USB drive, thus allowing users to boot and operate Windows 8 from portable devices. This new drive is a unique external USB 3.0 device that is capable of SSD-like performance.

DataTraveler Workspace is made specifically for organizations that want to use the new Windows To Go feature found in Windows 8 Enterprise. The drive is designed to help IT administrators support their mobile user base — from remote employees to contractors and consultants. DataTraveler Workspace helps companies and organizations meet both bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives and disaster recovery requirements.

Xbox 360 250 GB Sold for $99, Too

In May, Microsoft sent ripples down the gaming industry by launching a subsidized $99 Xbox 360 + Kinect bundle. The bundle included an Xbox 360 4 GB console, Kinect, and "Kinect Adventures." The company applied a similar subsidy plan to the 250 GB HDD-equipped variant of the console, priced at the same $99, but which lacks Kinect bundle. One can now get a 250 GB Xbox 360 + Kinect bundle for as low as $149. Under Microsoft's subsidy plans, full-featured consoles are sold at low prices, in exchange for customers subscribing to Xbox Live for at $15 per month for two years.

Source: The Verge

Skype for Windows 8 Unveiled

Skype announced Skype for Windows 8 today, bringing together popular Skype features and the new design of Windows 8.

The release focuses on delivering an experience that is simpler, faster and easier to use. Skype for Windows 8 includes top Skype features like IM, audio and video calls. It also takes advantage of some of the new features and functionality of Windows 8 that put people front and center; including integration in to the People Hub, ability to pin favorite contacts as a tile for easy access and the Skype Live Tile that shows messages and notifications right on the Start Screen.

Skype for Windows 8 will be available on October 26. You can find it on your new Windows 8 device and or download it from the Windows Store.

WD Portable Hard Drives Certified For Use With Windows To Go

WD, a subsidiary of Western Digital, and a world leader in external storage and solutions for today's connected life, today introduced My Passport Enterprise, one of the industry's first portable hard drives designed specifically for use with Microsoft Corp.'s Windows To Go, which enables corporate customers to provision a fully featured Windows 8 workspace on a bootable USB drive.

My Passport Enterprise includes 500 GB of storage space, while still maintaining a sleek and compact design for maximum portability. The capacity and portability allows users to easily carry all their data and settings so they can quickly boot and run their personalized Windows 8 system on any compatible PC in the office, at home or on the go. Additionally, setup is fast and easy with the WD Compass utility included with My Passport Enterprise.

Microsoft Employees Raise $1 Billion for Communities Around the World

Microsoft Corp. today commemorated its 30th Employee Giving Campaign and announced that U.S. employees raised $1 billion in cash since 1983 for approximately 31,000 U.S.-based nonprofits and community organizations. CEO Steve Ballmer announced the milestone during a special town hall event at the Microsoft Redmond campus, which included Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire.

"Today, I'm thrilled to announce that since our Employee Giving Campaign started in 1983, Microsoft employees have donated a total of $1 billion to more than 31,000 nonprofits," Ballmer said. "I'm incredibly proud of our employees, and this is truly a time to celebrate, not just because we've raised a record amount of funds, but also because together with our nonprofit partners, we have impacted and improved the lives of hundreds of millions of people."

Microsoft Reports First-Quarter FY13 Results

Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $16.01 billion for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2012. Operating income, net income, and diluted earnings per share for the quarter were $5.31 billion, $4.47 billion, and $0.53 per share.

These financial results reflect the deferral of $1.36 billion of revenue and $0.13 of diluted earnings per share, due to the Windows Upgrade Offer, pre-sales of Windows 8 to OEMs prior to general availability, and the Office Offer.

Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 Arriving Next Month

Microsoft Group Program Manager Rob Mauceri has today revealed that Internet Explorer 10 will be bringing its bells and whistles over to Windows 7 in mid-November. The catch is that the release planned for next month is (still) a preview as the Redmond company wants to "collect developer and customer feedback" before rolling out a final version.

Internet Explorer 10 integrates Adobe Flash Player and comes with improved JavaScript performance, better HTML5 support, the Enhanced Protected Mode, plus other tweaks and fixes. IE10 can be experienced in full on Windows 8 which arrives on October 26.Source: IEBlog

Microsoft Announces WOWZAPP 2012, Worldwide Hackathon for Windows

Registration has launched for Microsoft Corp.'s WOWZAPP 2012, Worldwide Hackathon for Windows, which will take place Nov. 9–11 in more than 30 locations worldwide. Students and other types of developers across countries such as India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Chile and Greece will work in teams to develop apps that will be published and available for download in the Windows Store.

At the events, students will be provided with the resources they need to build their apps, such as Visual Studio 2012 Express for Windows 8 and a free Windows Store registration code, both available through DreamSpark. In addition, students will be able to test their apps, and developer experts and trainers will be available to answer questions and help participants submit their apps to the Windows Store.
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