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+ - Microsoft Kickstarts Windows Insider Program

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Microsoft wants to make sure that it doesn't screw up with the next operating system as it has done with Windows 8. That's why the company has opened the Windows Insider Program for early testers of the upcoming Windows 10 version. Those who will sign up will l get all the latest Windows preview builds as soon as they’re available.

Microsoft will provide members of the program with an app to give feedback, so that Microsoft could know if the system works as intended or it still needs to be tweaked."

+ - Microsoft's Asimov System to Monitor Users' Machines in Real-time

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Microsoft will monitor users in the new Windows 9 Operating System in order to determine how the new OS is used, thus decide what tweaks and changes are need to be made. During Windows 8 testing, Microsoft said that they had data showing Start Menu usage had dropped, but it seems that the tools they were using at the time weren’t as evolved as the new ‘Asimov’ monitor.

The new system is codenamed ‘Asimov’ and will provide a near real-time view of what is happening on users’ machines. Rest assured, the data is going to be obscured and aggregated, but intelligible enough to allow Microsoft to get detailed insights into user interactions with the OS.

Mary Jo Foley says that the system was originally built by the Xbox Team and now is being used by the Windows team. Users who will download the technical preview of Windows 9, which is said to get unveiled today, will become ‘power users’ who will utilize the platform in unique scenarios. This will help Microsoft identify any odd bugs ahead of the final release."

+ - Asus Ripping off Nokia's Design with a New Product Launch at IFA 2014

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "At the ongoing IFA 2014 conference in Berlin, Asus has announced the Asus MeMo Pad 7, yet another Android tablet to join the growing number of those already available. However, what makes this product launch special is the fact that it looks to have almost the same design lines as the Nokia Lumia polycarbonate products. The resemblance has been spotted by Gigjets publication who compares the tablet with the a Lumia product. Is a scandal on the cards?"

+ - Apple Products Reportedly Banned from Chinese Government Purchases 1

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "China has continued its equivocal relationship with US technology companies. The country has now prohibited the purchase of Apple hardware products from its government agencies citing security reasons. The ban will affect all the central and local agencies in China. People familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that the government is now not allowed to purchase ten Apple products including different variants of iPads and MacBook laptop. Several devices have been omitted from a government procurement list distributed by China’s National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Finance."

+ - Russia to Replace US-made Microchips Intel and AMD with their Own Baikal Chips

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "According to a recent report coming from the press agency ITAR-TASS, Russia wants to replace US-made computer chips from Intel and AMD with local-made processors. The news comes after four years ago, Vladimir Putin said he wants all of the government’s computers to be replaced with Linux. And now it seems that Russia’s Industry and Trade Ministry is making a step forward in this direction, looking to replace US microchips Intel and AMD with the domestically-produced micro processor Baikal
."

+ - Mozilla is Working on a Firefox OS-powered Streaming Stick

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Mozilla took the world by surprised when it announced that it was developing a Firefox operating system that would be used for mobile phones, especially in developing markets. Now, there are already a few devices out there, but it seems that this isn’t the last step for the company whose name is still associated with the famous web browsers. According to a recent report from GigaOM, Mozilla is currently working on a secretive project which has the purpose of developing a Chromecast-like media streaming stick powered by Firefox-OS."

+ - Samsung Announces its First Ever Tizen Smartphone 1

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "After a lot of flip-flops, Samsung has finally announced its first ever Tizen smartphone the Samsung Z. This marks Samsung’s official move to depend lesser on Android for its growth. The Korean giant had already moved its Galaxy Gear series of smartwatches to Tizen OS, so the launch of Samsung Z should send clear signals to the people at Mountain View. Other than running the Tizen OS, the Samsung Z will feature a 4.8-inch 720p (HD), Super AMOLED display with a quad-core, 2.3GHz CPU (from Intel we presume) with 2GB RAM, 16GB memory, LTE, an 8-megapixel camera, a heartrate sensor and fingerprint scanner. It comes with 2600 mAh of battery, and features a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera. It’ll fully support 2D and 3D graphics"

+ - Steve Ballmer in Talks to Buy NBA Los Angeles Clippers

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "According to some rumors circulating in the online environment, the wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has reportedly met billionaire former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer on Sunday and they discussed about selling the club. Previously, it was reported that Donald Sterling had surrendered control of the Los Angeles Clippers to his wife. The rumored deal has been estimated at about $2billion, and the club’s value has is said to be around $600 million; and if it does get through, there are chances that Ballmer might want to move the club to Seattle. If Ballmer does end up buying the Clippers, this would make him the second former Microsoft top executive to own an NBA team, after Paul Allen, the owner of the Portland Trailblazers."

+ - Microsoft Announces Windows 8.1 with Bing for Cheaper Devices

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "As it was previously talked about, Windows 8.1 with Bing has just become real, and we're going to see the very first Windows devices running it at the upcoming Computex conference from Taipei. Albeit details are scarce at the moment, what we know is that Microsoft is going to offer it to OEMs for a cheaper price and the single difference is that it will come with Bing as the default search engine within Internet Explorer. However, customers will be able to change that setting through the Internet Explorer menu. Also, the new Windows edition will be only be available preloaded on devices, which means it won't be made available for separate purchase."

+ - Microsoft Launches Surface Pro 3

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "On its special event in New York, Microsoft has announced the Surface Pro 3 when most of us were expecting the Surface Mini. The Surface Pro 3 is pretty impressive, being only 9.1 mm thin, weighing 800 grams and coming with a bigger size of 12inch. According to Microsoft, this is the thinnest Intel core product ever made and it packs the i7 processor, as well. And to prove that it's also pretty durable, the tablet-laptop was dropped on the floor ."

+ - OwnFone Releases World's First 3D Printed Braille Phone

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "OwnFone is a London-based company which has launched theworld’s first 3D printed Braille phone in order to help those visually challenged to become more independent by being able to use mobile services. The ndevice has been constructed using 3D printing on both front and back of the handset with added personalised buttons. Albeit this isn't the first device of its kind, it's the first one to go officially on sale, along with a patent pending technology. It is currently available only in the UK for £60 , but a Kickstarter campaign will soon be launched to sell the OwnFone internationally."

+ - You Can Now Text 911 in the US in Case of Emergency

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "After it was long rumored and discussed about, the ability to text 911 in case of emergency is slowly rolling out in the United States to subscribers of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. For the time being, the service is available in areas of Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont and Virginia. According to the FCC, the service will gradually roll out to more areas and by the end of this year, virtually anyone with a cellphone and enough service will be able to make use of it. Which means that all carriers will support it."

+ - Microsoft Working on Cloud 'Windows 365', Based on Subscription Model 1

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "It’s not the first time we’re hearing about Microsoft working on a cloud-based Windows version, but it’s the first time when we’re seeing a name – Windows 365, thanks to a well known-leaker. The “365 moniker clearly hints that the upcoming cloud Windows version will be based on a subscription system, probably similar to the one available in the cloud productivity suite for Office products. And we know how much Nadella loves the mobile and the cloud, so it’s no wonder that Microsoft is getting ready to unveiling this product. Most likely, the subscription model would allow the installation of Windows on multiple devices, with a yearly or monthly fee. And we’re curious to see whether it will be Windows 8 as we know it, or a slightly modified version."

+ - Microsoft Outlines Plans for First US Microsoft Innovation Center

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "It might be weird for some, but at the moment, there isn’t a single Microsoft Innovation Center in the United States, but is soon bound to change as Microsoft officials say they plan to open the first one in downtown Miami. As of now, Microsoft has 115 innovation centers across the world, with most of them being locate in Eastern Europe, India and Brazil. These act as partnerships between local government organizations, universities, industry organization, software or hardware vendors and Microsoft with the purpose of growing local software economies. At the moment, there are none in the United States, but Microsoft will be opening in the near future in downtown Miami at a tech incubator and accelerator called Venture Hive and a second center is said to open in Houston, as well."

+ - Is Microsoft Really Building a Smartwatch?

Submitted by SmartAboutThings
SmartAboutThings (1951032) writes "Microsoft has been a little too late to the tablet party, even if it actually was the first company to introduce a tablet. And we can’t say that it fares quite well in smartphones, either. But according to a patent filing which has been made public recently, Redmond is getting closer to the actual release of its own smartwatch. Google, Samsung, Sony, Pebble and others are already important players in the market of smarwatches and wearables and if Apple joins the crowd, as well, then Microsoft could be late to the party once more. The alleged device could run on a modified version of the recently announced "Windows on Devices" software and it could bear the "Surface" brand name. What's your take on this?"

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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