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+ - Chinese government probes Microsoft over anti-monopoly issues

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "The Chinese government is investigating Microsoft for possible breaches of anti-monopoly laws, following a series of surprise visits to Redmond's offices in cities across China on Monday. These surprise visits were part of China's ongoing investigation, and were based on security complaints about Microsoft’s Windows operating system and Office productivity suite. Results from an earlier inspection apparently were not enough to clear Microsoft of suspicion of anti-competitive behavior. Microsoft's alleged anti-monopoly behavior is a criminal matter, so if found guilty, the software giant could face steep fines as well as other sanctions."

+ - Microsoft reports a whopping $23.38 billion in revenue for FY14 Q4

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft revealed today in an earnings call that quarterly profit declined 7.1% as the company absorbed a financial hit from acquiring Nokia's money-losing cellphone business. Microsoft also reported a whopping $23.38 billion in revenue for FY14 Q4, as well as an operating income of $6.48 billion. The company also reported $1.99 billion in phone revenue, stemming from its purchase of Nokia’s hardware assets for more than $7 billion. Microsoft also sold 5.8 million Windows Phone-based Lumia handsets in the period. That business cost the company $0.08 in earnings per share and lost it $692 million in the quarter. Had Microsoft not purchased the asset, it would have hit its profit mark. Azure and Office 365 grew more than 100 percent in just one year. Office 365 for consumers picked up another 1 million subscribers, ending the quarter with more than 5.6 million. Microsoft is clearly trying to sort out its profits and margins, especially since the company recently revealed that 18,000 employees were being laid off."

+ - Lenovo halts sales of small-screen Windows 8.1 tablets due to 'lack of interest'

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft has attempted to compete in the small-screen tablet market with Windows 8.1 and Windows RT, but it looks like the growing adoption of small-screen Android tablets are just too much for Lenovo to handle. Lenovo has slammed the brakes on sales of small screen Windows tablets in the United States, citing a lack of interest from consumers. In fact, Lenovo has stopped selling the 8-inch ThinkPad 8 and the 8-inch Miix 2. Fortunately, these small-screen Windows tablets have seen some success in Brazil, China, and Japan, so Lenovo will focus on efforts there. Microsoft also recently scrapped plans for the rumored Surface Mini."

+ - Microsoft tries to lure in PS3 owners with an Xbox One $100 trade-in offer 1

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft wants you to trade-in your Sony PlayStation 3 or your old Xbox 360 for a brand new Xbox One console. In fact, simply take your PS3 or Xbox 360 to your local Microsoft Store and Microsoft will offer you $100 towards the new Xbox One. Microsoft has apparently realized that this promotion will come in handy for those looking to get rid of their older generation console, especially since the Kinect-less Xbox One can now be purchased for $399."

+ - Microsoft kills off MapPoint and Streets & Trips in favor of Bing Maps 1

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft has killed off two of its mapping products, MapPoint and Streets & Trips. Both of these services have received their last update and will soon be retired in favor of Microsoft's premier mapping product, Bing Maps. The company has yet to go public with a press release announcing the retirement of these two mapping services, but the Redmond giant has quietly mentioned the fate on both the services' websites. MapPoint was first released back in 1999 and made it easier to view, edit, and integrate maps into software. Streets & Trips was a route planning package. Microsoft is now pushing Bing Maps as the service that can do all this and more."

+ - Windows 9 to win over Windows 7 users, disables Start Screen for desktop

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "One of Microsoft's main goals with Windows 9, the next major version of Windows, is to win over Windows 7 hold outs. The operating system will look and work differently based on hardware type. Microsoft is looking to showcase the desktop for desktop and laptop users, while two-in-one devices like the Surface Pro or Lenovo Yoga will support switching between the Metro interface and the classic desktop interface. The new desktop will allow Modern UI apps to run in windowed mode, and have Modern UI apps pinned to the Start Menu instead of a Start Screen. There will also be a mini-start menu. Microsoft is looking to undo the usability mistakes it made with Windows 8 for those who are not on a touch device. WIndows 9 is expected around spring of 2015."

+ - Microsoft's cloud storage service OneDrive now offers 15GB for free

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "The storage wars are in full force. Microsoft revealed today that they will be offering 15GB of free OneDrive storage, up from 7GB. Office 365 users will now get 1TB of storage, up from 20GB. This announcement comes after Amazon revealed unlimited photo storage for those who buy the new Fire phone. Dropbox, a competitor to OneDrive, currently has 2GB for free but offers more space if you refer people to the service. Google Drive offers 15GB of free storage, while Amazon Cloud Drive offers 5GB. This storage space increase can only mean good things for us, as competition between the companies will heat up."

+ - Microsoft releases early IE12 preview as part of its new Developer Channel

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft is looking to create a more open dialog between the Internet Explorer team and the Web development community by announcing Internet Explorer Developer Channel. IE Dev Channel allows you to preview the next version of Internet Explorer (IE12) alongside and independently of IE11. Web developers can download and test drive the latest IE platform features, something developers were already able to do with Firefox and Chrome. This preview release even offers support of the emerging Gamepad API, allowing you to use your Xbox controller to play games in IE!"

+ - Microsoft to bring back the Start Menu starting with Windows 9 in 2015

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft recently announced plans to reintroduce the Start Menu to Windows in an upcoming version of the operating system. While the plan was to roll out an update to Windows 8.1 and offer the Start menu later this year, it seems like this is no longer the case. Now Microsoft is reportedly looking to release the Start Menu with Windows 9, which is expected in April of 2015. Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 have faced a boat load of criticism and hatred, partly due to the removal of the Start button and Start menu. The restoration of a visible Start button on the taskbar was one of the key features of the Windows 8.1 update, released back in October of 2013."

+ - Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer buys the LA Clippers for $2 billion

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has purchased the LA Clippers for a whopping $2 billion, also setting a new record price for an NBA team. This deal is apparently tentative until Donald Sterling gives his blessing. Twenty-nine other NBA owners need to offer their approval as well, but that shouldn't be a problem as long as Ballmer reaffirms his commitment of keeping the Clippers in Los Angeles. Interestingly, Donald Sterling had purchased the team back in June of 1981 for $12.5 million."

+ - Windows XP registry hack allows you to get free security updates until 2019

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "A registry workaround, which tricks Windows Update into thinking you are running Windows Embedded POSReady 2009, allows you to get free security updates until 2019. All you need is a simple 32bit or 64bit registry entry in order to make this work. POSReady 2009 is slated to receive security updates for another five years. Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8th of 2014."

+ - Microsoft offers Kinect-less Xbox One for $399 in battle against PS4

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Microsoft has unbundled the Kinect from the Xbox One to improve sales, in the company's ongoing battle with Sony's PlayStation 4. Now available for $399, the Xbox One matches its rival PlayStation 4 in terms of price. Microsoft is touting "your feedback" as the culprit for this move. Any Xbox One functionality that relies on voice, video, gestures, etc, will not work without a Kinect. But, if you change your mind, you can purchase a standalone Kinect later this year."

+ - Microsoft is threatening Apache's market lead

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "According to a survey by Netcraft, which received responses from 975,262,468 sites, Microsoft's IIS and Azure are both threatening Apache's market lead. In fact, Microsoft is now 4.1 percent behind Apache. The survey also revealed that nearly seven million of the month's new websites are now using Microsoft IIS. Roughly eleven thousand of these new sites are hosted on Microsoft Azure, giving Microsoft the distinct title of being the largest Windows hosting company."

+ - Microsoft unveils cloud enhancements, now the 2nd largest cloud service provider

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "During TechEd North American 2014, Microsoft announced new services, products, and partnerships to help IT professionals, developers, and technology users embrace the cloud. Microsoft has introduced radically simplified cloud storage, enterprise-grade performance and networking, enhanced disaster recovery, encryption technologies, data loss prevention, and much more. Microsoft is now the second-largest cloud service provider behind Amazon."

+ - Microsoft doesn't have plans for a dedicated handheld gaming device

Submitted by DroidJason1
DroidJason1 (3589319) writes "Is Microsoft working on a dedicated handheld gaming device to go against the Sony PS Vita or Nintendo 3DS? The head of Xbox responded to a question from an eager beaver on Twitter who asked whether there were any plans for a "handheld Xbox-One-like gaming device." The answer is no. Microsoft is focused on Windows Phone, tablets, and perhaps both with controller support someday."

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