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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.

Microsoft Reports Record Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Revenue

Microsoft Corp. today announced quarterly revenue of $18.06 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2012. Operating income and loss per share for the quarter were $192 million and $0.06 per share.

The financial results reflect the previously announced non-cash, non-tax-deductible income statement charge of $6.19 billion for the impairment of goodwill and the deferral of $540 million of revenue related to the Windows Upgrade Offer. Adjusting for these items, non-GAAP fourth quarter revenue, operating income, and earnings per share were $18.60 billion, $6.93 billion, and $0.73 per share, which represented increases of 7%, 12%, and 6%, respectively, over the prior year period.

Borderlands 2 PC uses Steamworks

More and more publishers seem to be seeing Steamworks as the best viable DRM on the market and 2K Games is no exception. All PC editions of Borderlands 2 will use Valve's Steamworks suite as their DRM. Steamworks supports snazzy features beyond simple copy protection, Gearbox's shooter-RPG will also use it for multiplayer matchmaking, Steam Cloud storage, achievements, auto-updating, downloadable content, "and more." How Steamworks... works is that if you buy a boxed edition of Borderlands 2, you'll need to register the game with a Steam account, and launch it through Steam. The box will still contain a disc to install the game from, but you'll have the option to download it directly through Steam whenever you please. Digital distributors other than Steam will simply sell you a product key to activate on Steam. Steamworks was to be expected, really, as 2K Games has used it for PC editions of games it's published since Mafia II in 2010. It briefly dabbled in Games for Windows Live before then but, thankfully, that was a short-lived experiment.

Borderlands 2 is coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on September 18. As ever, a selection of shiny things are on offer as pre-order bonuses.

Microsoft Closing Down Windows Live and Zune Brands

Microsoft is reportedly killing off two of its service brands, Windows Live and Zune. The two will be restructured and amalgamated with Windows 8 and its store. Windows Live has been a collection of optional services bound to the MSN/Live ID for Windows 7 that provides communication (Windows Live Messenger), calendar/planner (Windows Live Calendar), contacts, photo-organizer; Zune Music and Video player join them on the chopping block. These services will be instead come to be known as:
  • Microsoft Account (Windows Live ID)
  • Mail (Windows Live Mail)
  • Calendar (Windows Live Calendar)
  • People (Windows Live Contacts)
  • Photos (Windows Live Photo Gallery)
  • Music (Zune Music Player)
  • Video (Zune Video Player)

Password Security The Windows 8 Way

Windows 8 implements a radical new user interface called Metro for desktop PC's, which has so far received a mixed reception. However, there's many other changes under the hood and one of those is how password security is handled, which we look at here. It's a fact of life, that in today's modern world, we have to remember a plethora of passwords and PIN's, which can be daunting. This leads to security issues as users end up writing down passwords and/or create very insecure ones which can be easily guessed. Windows 8 aims to uphold strong password security, while at the same time, easing the burden on the user. Also, passwords can be obtained in various ways by miscreants, such as phishing, keylogging, guessing, and cracking. Windows addresses each of these problems in three main ways:

ASUS Unveils TS Mini Server for Today’s Small Office/Home Office

ASUS, a worldwide leader in personal computers, today introduces the TS mini small office/home office (SOHO) server. The TS mini targets modern home and small office users that frequently exchange data from multiple computers and require access from various locations. The TS mini secures documents, multimedia, and other digital content into a sleek repository. It further safeguards data on multiple computers across the home or office with automatic backups and cloud storage. TS mini allows centralized file access with local networks, attached storage devices and remotely over the internet. Equipped with an Intel Atom processor, the TS mini delivers quiet, energy efficient, always-on access. Operating on the Microsoft Windows Home Server Platform, it simplifies management of digital content. The TS Mini is available now for pre-order at and starting at $349.99 USD.

"Consumer demand for rich content that can be accessed anytime, anywhere, on any device is fueling innovation in networking and storage of media and data in the home," said Seth Bobroff, general manager, Data Center Group - Storage, Intel Corporation. "The Intel Atom processor in the TS mini enables ASUS to deliver the ability to stream media, share files and protect data while remotely accessing it, all in a sleek and energy-efficient 2-bay design."

Microsoft Simplifies the PC With Windows 7

Today Microsoft Corp. announced the worldwide availability of its new Windows 7 operating system. Windows 7 delivers on a simple premise: make it easier for people to do the things they want on a PC. The new operating system offers a streamlined user interface and significant new features that make everyday tasks easier and allow people to get the most out of computers of all styles and sizes.

"With Windows 7, there's never been a better time to be a PC," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. "Together with our partners, we're bringing more choice, flexibility and value to the market than ever before. With Windows 7, you're sure to find a PC that fits your life."

Microsoft Delivers Pre-Beta of Windows 7 to Developers and Previews Web Applications

Today at its Professional Developers Conference 2008 (PDC2008), Microsoft Corp. rallied software developers by sharing the first full public demo of Windows 7. Windows 7 extends developers' investments in Windows Vista and encourages the creation of new applications and services for the Windows platform. The company also delivered a pre-beta build of Windows 7 to PDC attendees and announced plans to release a full Windows 7 beta early next year.

Microsoft also demonstrated, for the first time, its new Web applications for Office, which are lightweight versions of Microsoft Office Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote that are used from within standard Web browsers. The company showed how anyone can use all of the Web, phone, and PC versions of Office to edit the same rich document, switching among them seamlessly with lossless file compatibility.

Windows 7 Will Not Include Email, Photo and Movie Programs

Talking to CNET, Microsoft has confirmed it will not be including any built-in programs for Email, Photo Editing and Movie Making. Instead the Windows Live Suite (found here) will be available to download if consumers still wish to use the relevant Microsoft Products.
Windows Live general manager Brian Hall said Microsoft made the decision to remove the tools from Windows for several reasons, including a desire to issue new operating system releases more quickly than it has in the past. The move also removes the confusion of offering and supporting two different programs that perform essentially similar functions.

"It makes it much cleaner," Hall said.

Lastly, he said, making the Windows Live tools completely separate from the operating system paves the way for Microsoft to work selectively with specific partners.

"We can do things with specific partners to enable really great experiences that might be hard in Windows," Hall said.

Antitrust rules make it hard for Microsoft to tie operating system features to specific services.

Latest Version of Windows Live Messenger Will Not Run in an x64 Environment

So, it turns out that Microsoft was developing a new version of Windows Live Messenger, released it, and is trying to get everyone on the upgrade bandwagon. While everyone running the previous/beta versions of Windows Live Messenger will be getting pretty prompts, it seems that there is a small problem. Anyone running a 64-bit operating environment, whether or not you're running XP or Vista, cannot upgrade to the latest version of Windows Live Messenger. In fact, it almost seems like Microsoft has dumped an x64 version of Windows Live Messenger altogether. The most recent version available for x64 customers is 8.1, while the current version is 8.5.

Windows Live Emerges from Beta

After a trickle of updates and "betas", Microsoft Corp. is ready to start promoting its official package of free desktop programs for e-mail, instant messaging, blogging and sharing photos. The programs are "essentially a free upgrade for Windows," said Brian Hall, general manager of Windows Live at Microsoft. The package includes Windows Live Mail client, which should replace the old and integrated Outlook Express. The package also includes Windows Live Photo Gallery, Live Writer for writing blog posts, and the Live Messenger instant-messaging software. The applications aren't much different from test versions previously available.

Software via the Internet: Microsoft in ‘Cloud’ Computing

This week, Microsoft plans to make available free software that more seamlessly connects Windows to services on the internet. This a major change in strategy for Microsoft, which normally sells packaged software. This new strategy is meant to shield Microsoft's hundreds of millions of customers from competitors like Google.

The Windows Live service - which will be found at - includes new versions of the company's Hotmail and Messenger communications services as well as Internet storage components. Microsoft executives said there were roughly 300 million active users each on the Hotmail and Messenger services, with some overlap.

The software release will offer PC users the option of downloading a set of the services with a single Unified Installer program, or as separate components. The individual services are Windows Live Photo Gallery, Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Messenger 8.5 and Windows Live OneCare Family Safety, a computer security program.

Windows Live Derby 2007 Launched

Microsoft Live Derby 2007 Launched

Microsoft just introduced another game in Windows Live called Live Derby 2007. In this game, you drive a little car around either New York, London, San Francisco, Seattle, Las Vegas and you try to pick up dots Pac Man-style by either avoiding or smashing the other cars on the map. You are driving around the aerial imagery from Live Maps, which is how it promotes the product, and you earn extra points picking up special locations around the map. The game although it doesn't score high in the graphics department it still is a good and funny way to spend your time.

Microsoft Mobile Search V2 Released

V2 of Windows Mobile Search has been released.
Along with a major update to the browser interface we see Improved Navigation, Cache, Movie Searching, GPS, Traffic reporting and more!
Whether your phone works with J2ME (Java) , Windows Mobile, or any other device with a browser, Live Search has you covered with maps, directions and business search.
There's also a beta version of the app for Blackberry devices.

Windows Mobile / J2ME / BlackBerry
Other Devices

Windows Live OneCare 2.0 Beta

Microsoft just released the beta version of the new Windows Live OneCare 2.0, its anti-malware and general windows maintenance software kit.
The updated version adds support for monitoring the status of other PCs on a home/corporate network, as well as an updated firewall that has an Auto-Adjust settings mode depending on the network along with 64bit support.
Windows Live OneCare is offered as a subscription service for $49.95 USD per year.

Live OneCare Site

Microsoft Releases Three New Windows Live Betas

New betas for the Windows Live Writer blogging tool, Windows Live Messenger IM client, and Windows Live Mail e-mail program have been released. Windows Live Writer is a tool to compose blog posts and publish them on some of the Web's most popular blogging platforms, such as Windows Live Spaces, Community Server, WordPress, and TypePad. In addition to the Writer update, Microsoft also released new betas for its instant-messaging and Web-based mail services this week. Windows Live Messenger 8.5 is now in official beta and includes a new Windows Vista Aero interface. Windows Live Mail, the successor to Windows Mail that is included in Windows Vista and Outlook Express on Windows XP, also has a new beta release. The new version includes a new UI that is similar to other services in Windows Live and also allows users to sync to their Windows Live Hotmail accounts.

Microsoft Launches Windows Live Hotmail Worldwide

Microsoft Corp. today announced that Windows Live Hotmail, the successor to MSN Hotmail, is launching globally in 36 languages. Windows Live Hotmail will deliver a safer, more powerful and productive e-mail experience than previous versions with flexible access via the Web, on a mobile phone or with an e-mail client. As Windows Live Hotmail begins rolling out on May 7 and continues over the coming days, consumers will be able to visit to sign up for a new Windows Live Hotmail account. Current MSN Hotmail customers can also update their existing account to Windows Live Hotmail by logging into their account and clicking on the green Join Windows Live Hotmail button. Later this month Windows Live Hotmail customers will also be able to access their Windows Live Hotmail e-mail and contacts for free using Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 or Office Outlook 2007 via the new Microsoft Office Outlook Connector beta.
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