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Submission + - Skype For Web Beta Goes Worldwide

SmartAboutThings writes: Microsoft's Skype team has now made it official that Skype for Web is available to users from all over the world , after it had been released a few days back for a select countries.Skype’s Web app is free to use and works with Chrome OS and Linux, as well, on top ofInternet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox on Windows and OS X. Go ahead and type www.web.skype.com into the address bar and login with your Skype account to get you started.

Submission + - Microsoft Plans to Open Source Windows Live Writer Tool

SmartAboutThings writes: According to a tweet coming from a Microsoft employee, it seems that Microsoft plans to open source its Windows Live Writer tool in the coming months.The most recent version of Windows Live Writer dates back from 2012 when it was made available as part of the Windows Essentials 2012 suite. By making open source the software, it will allow the community to contribute towards its development.

Submission + - Microsoft's New Windows Monetization Methods Could Mean 'Subscriptions'

SmartAboutThings writes: Since the first version of Windows, Microsoft has offered the operating system on a initial fee purchase. But under new management, it seems that this strategy could shift into new monetization methods, a subscription-based model being the most probable one.

At the recent Credit Suisse Technology Conference from last week, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner was speaking (transcript in Microsoft Word format) to investors about the fact that Microsoft is interested in exploring new monetization methods for its Windows line of products. The company might adopt a new pricing model for the upcoming operating system, as it looks to shift away from the one-time initial purchase to an ongoing-revenue basis.

Submission + - Chromebooks Overtake iPads in U.S. Education Market

SmartAboutThings writes: In Q3 2014, IDC notes that Google shipped 715,500 Chromebooks to U.S. schools while Apple shipped 702,000 iPads. Thus, Apple's iPad has lost its lead over Google's line of Chromebook laptops in the U.S. education market as Google shipped more devices to schools last quarter. While analysts say that this advantage for Google's Chromebooks can be attributed to their low cost, the presence of a physical keyboard has also been seen as an important factor.

Submission + - Jolla Crowdfunds its First Tablet

SmartAboutThings writes: Jolla is another rising star in the tech world, having recently expanded its smartphone sales into more countries across the world, with India included. Jolla’s Sailfish OS is considered by many as a direct successor to Nokia and Intel’s MeeGo and the N9 mobile phone, but only its software is based on the open-sourced components of MeeGo. And now it seems that the company is ready to start the production of their very first tablet .

The Jolla Tablet features a 7.9-inch screen with a resolution of 2048 x 1563. The device is powered by a 1.8GHz 64-bit quad-core Intel processor, comes with a 32GB of storage, has 2GB of RAM and a 5MP rear camera. Judging by its size, we can see that this is another take on the iPad Mini and even on the ‘sister’ company Nokia. While there aren’t too many Sailfish-specific apps available, just like the phone, Jolla’s tablet will be compatible with Android apps.

Submission + - Nokia Announces N1 Android Tablet with Intel Processor and iPad Looks

SmartAboutThings writes: Nokia has sold its phone division to Microsoft and won't be able to make Nokia-branded devices until sometime in 2016. But it seems that the hardware giant won't die just like that. Welcome the Nokia N1 tablet, a surprise launch by the company. The device has and iPad-like design but runs Android 5.0 Lollipop. There's also a 64-bit Intel processor on the inside and a Nokia Z launcher.

Submission + - Russia Could Restrict Access to iCloud and Apple Services

SmartAboutThings writes: Starting with January 1, 2015, Russia could demand that cloud data storage that originates from Russia stays in Russia. So, this means that companies will be required to have localized cloud servers on the territory of Russia. This obviously concerns Apple, who at the moment does not have servers based on Russia’s territory.

Thus, Russia could block iPhone and iPad access to iCloud and Apple services starting 1 January, since the storage of the data is overseas. However, this could be a temporary measure, until Apple complies with the law, but it’s not quite sure how long will that take.

This new report (in Russian) comes shortly after it was disclosed that Steve Jobs’ memorial in Russia was taken down after Apple’s Tim Cook openly acknowledged that he is gay. However, there are many voices in Russia who say that such a law won’t be passed, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Submission + - LG's 0.7mm Smartphone Bezel is World's Narrowest, Almost Non-Existent

SmartAboutThings writes: LG Display has announced that it has developed a 5.3-inch Full HD LCD panel for smartphones with the world’s narrowest bezel at 0.7mm. It's even thinner than a credit card, making the screen give you the impression that it 'overflows'. This has been made possible thanks to the Neo Edge technology that uses an adhesive instead of double-sided tape to attach and completely seal the total area and edges of the panel’s circuit board and backlight unit.

Submission + - Lenovo Completes Motorola Deal

SmartAboutThings writes: If somehow you missed the reports of Lenovo buying Motorola – which was also bought by Google for $12.5 billion back in 2011 – then you should know that the deal is now complete. Lenovo has announced today that Motorola is now a Lenovo company which makes Lenovo not only the number one PC maker in the world but also the third largest smartphone maker.

Submission + - Microsoft Works on Software for ARM-Based Servers

SmartAboutThings writes: According to some reports from the industry, Microsoft is working on a version of its software for server computers that run on chips based on ARM Holdings’s technology. Windows Server now runs on Intel hardware, but it seems that Redmond wants to diversify its strategy. An ARM-based version of Windows Server could help challenge Intel’s dominance and make a place for ARM in the server market, not only in mobile chips.

Submission + - Microsoft now Makes Money from Surface Line, Q1 Sales Reach Almost $1 Billion 1

SmartAboutThings writes: Microsoft has recently published its Q1 fiscal 2015 earnings report, disclosing that it has made $4.5 billion in net income on $23.20 billion in revenue. According to the report, revenue has increased by $4.67 billion, compared to $18.53 billion from the same period last year. However, net income has decreased 14 percent compared to last year’s $5.24 billion mainly because of the $1.14 billion cost associated with the integration and restructuring expenses related to the Nokia acquisition.

But what's finally good news for the company is that the Surface gross margin was positive this quarter, which means the company finally starts making money on Surface sales. Microsoft didn’t yet reveal Surface sales, but we know that Surface revenue was $908 million this quarter, up a massive 127 percent from the $400 million this time last year. However, if we assume that the average spent amount on the purchase of this year’s Surface Pro 3 was around $1000, then we have less than 1 million units sold, which isn’t that impressive, but it’s a good start.

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