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Submission + - Russia's Putin Wants to Ban Windows on Government PCs

SmartAboutThings writes: The Russian government is allegedly looking to ban Microsoft’s Windows operating system, increase taxes on foreign technology companies, develop its homegrown OS and encourage local tech companies to grow.

All these proposals comes from German Klimenko, Vladimir Putin's new 'internet czar, as Bloomberg describes him. In a 90-minute interview, Klimenko said forcing Google and Apple to pay more taxes and banning Microsoft Windows from government computers are necessary measures, as he is trying to raise taxes on U.S. companies, thus helping local Russian competitors such as Yandex and Mail.ru.

Submission + - Microsoft Ending Support for Windows 8, Internet Explorer 7-10

SmartAboutThings writes: Customers who rely on Microsoft's Windows 8 and Internet Explorer versions 7, 8, 9 and 10, will be sad to hear that the operating system and the Web browsers will reach the end of the line for support. The software will no longer receive security updates, thus leaving users open to malware and attackers targeting unpatched vulnerabilities. All Windows 8 users are being asked to upgrade to Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 and all Internet Explorer version need to upgrade to IE 11, except for Windows Vista users, who can stick with IE 9.

Submission + - Vivendi Takes Over Radionomy, Winamp Relaunch now Possible

SmartAboutThings writes: Winamp could once again be brought back to life after Vivendi Group took over the majority stake in Radionomy, the previous owner of the app who purchased it from AOL in early 2014. AOL originally planned to discontinue both Winamp and Shoutcast, but instead the company decided to sell the software to Belgian online radio service, Radionomy. The new owners initially promised that they’ll keep Winamp alive, but no updates have been released since the takeover, which made most people think that Winamp era has ended for good.

Vivendi Group, which owns or is involved in famous companies such as Dailymotion, Ubisoft, and Deezer, could help relaunch Winamp, although the press release announcing the acquisition offers no suggestion in this regard. The company, however, does mention Winamp and Shoutcast as two of the most important assets that will join its portfolio following the takeover.

Submission + - Microsoft Starts its Own Charity Organization, Microsoft Philanthropies

SmartAboutThings writes: Bill Gates is known as a big philanthropist, and now his own company will commit to even more charity work by launching a new organization, Microsoft Philanthropies. Microsoft's president and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith outlined the goals for the new organization, saying the new group will partner with nonprofit organizations to help expand technology projects to people who need it. Mary Snapp, who joined Microsoft as its first female attorney in 1988, will be the leader of Microsoft Philanthropies, and will report directly to Smith.

Submission + - Microsoft Open Sources and Forkes Windows Live Writer into Open Live Writer

SmartAboutThings writes: Windows Live Writer is a blogging tool that Microsoft originally released back in 2006, and it still remains popular today, which has prompted Microsoft to promise that it will make it open source earlier this year. Now the company has officially open-sourced and forked Windows Live Writer into Open Live Writer, having put its repositories on GitHub already.

Submission + - Microsoft to Bypass Carriers to Deliver Updates to Windows Mobile Devices

SmartAboutThings writes: With the release of Windows 10 Mobile, it seems that Microsoft has found a way to bypass phone networks. Today, Microsoft delivered their first updates for Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL devices on AT&T being released directly by Redmond. The new build will be same as the Windows 10 PC version, thus ensuring that all the devices running on Windows 10 will get the new features and patches simultaneously.

Submission + - Microsoft Helps Disrupt 4-year Old Botnet Dorkbot

SmartAboutThings writes: Microsoft said it aided law enforcement agencies to disrupt a four-year-old botnet called Dorkbot, which has infected one million computers worldwide. The Dorkbot malware aims to steal login credentials from services such as Gmail, Facebook, PayPal, Steam, eBay, Twitter and Netflix. Microsoft said it worked with security vendor ESET, the Computer Emergency Response Team Polska, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, Europol, the FBI, Interpol, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Submission + - Microsoft to End Support for All Older Versions of Internet Explorer

SmartAboutThings writes: Microsoft is tolling the death knell for Internet Explorer with an announcement that it will end support for all older versions next year. Microsoft says that all versions older than the latest one will no longer be supported starting Jan. 12, 2016. After this date, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or technical support for older Internet Explorer versions. Furthermore, Internet Explorer 11 will be the last version of Internet Explorer as Microsoft shifts its focus on its next web browser, Microsoft Edge.

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.

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