DroidJason1 writes: Early Christmas morning, hacker group Lizard Squad took credit for taking down PlayStation Network and Xbox Live for hours. This affected those who had received new Xbox One or PS4 consoles, preventing them from playing online.
So why did they do it? According to an exclusive interview with Lizard Squad, it had to do with convincing companies to improve their security — the hard way. "Taking down Microsoft and Sony networks shows the companies’ inability to protect their consumers and instead shows their true vulnerability. Lizard Squad claims that their actions are simple, take down gaming networks for a short while, and forcing companies to upgrade their security as a result."
DroidJason1 writes: Microsoft has released a new keyboard that is designed to work with all of your devices. The Universal Mobile Keyboard, as Microsoft calls it, works on Android, iPad, iPhone, and Windows. Microsoft is taking the "one experience for everything in your life" mantra quite seriously. The keyboard connects to devices via Bluetooth, and works with Windows 8 and higher; Windows RT; Apple iOS 6 and higher; and Android 4 or higher. It features an OS switch that lets you change from one operating system to another while maintaining a fully functional keyboard. The keyboard cover has an integrated stand that can easily be detached too. The keyboard hits retail in October for $79.95.
DroidJason1 writes: Microsoft is killing off the "Windows Phone" name in favor of Windows. The company also plans to drop the "Nokia" name from handsets in favor of just "Lumia." These details were revealed in a leaked memo. We've already begun seeing these changes in recent advertisements from Microsoft and it makes perfect sense seeing as how Microsoft is shifting towards one operating system to rule them all.
DroidJason1 writes: HTC has officially revealed the HTC One M8 for Windows today, exclusive to Verizon Wireless,and features a similar set of specifications as its Android counterpart. This will be the first device to ship with the Windows Phone 8.1 Update in the US, and comes packed with Cortana, Live Folders, Action Center, and more. The device will go up for sale on Verizon for $99 with a two-year contract, or $29.99 on Verizon's Edge plan.
The HTC One (M8) for Windows is made from a single block of aluminum, which translates to no gaps in its construction as the brushed metal frame wraps around the entire body of the phone. It has a 5-inch Super LCD3 1080p HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core 2.3GHz processor, this smartphone screams! The device also features 32GB of storage.
DroidJason1 writes: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer now officially owns the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers. After being delayed by an issue between the league and outgoing owner Donald Sterling, Ballmer has finalized his purchase of the team for $2 billion. Ballmer apparently has no immediate plans to relocate the team to Seattle. According to Ballmer, the NBA would never allow it and he paid the $2 billion price since the Clippers are a Los Angeles based team. "Probably most people will tell you I paid an L.A. beachfront price, not a Seattle beachfront price for the team," Ballmer added. "I'm not crazy."
DroidJason1 writes: A tip from Microsoft has led to the arrest of a man in Pennsylvania who has been charged with receiving and sharing child porn via Microsoft's own OneDrive cloud storage service. Microsoft claims to have detected this behaviors by using "automated technologies to detect child pornography or abusive behavior that might harm the system, our customers, or others", which is also stated in their terms and conditions. Pennsylvania State Police confirmed that Microsoft's actions had prompted the investigation, which led to the man's arrest. Was this a violation of privacy or was Microsoft right in tipping off the authorities? You be the judge.
DroidJason1 writes: Microsoft has filed a contract dispute lawsuit against Samsung over what Microsoft claims is a breach of contract by Samsung involving Android patent royalties. Back in 2011, Samsung voluntarily entered into a legally binding contract with Microsoft in a cross-licensing IP agreement involving Android patents. Samsung has grown over the past few years and now believes that Microsoft's recent acquisition of Nokia nulls the agreement. Microsoft has taken it to court and is asking to settle the disagreement with Samsung in order to continue the original agreement. No word yet from Samsung as to why they have decided to change their mind.
DroidJason1 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.
DroidJason1 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.
DroidJason1 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.
DroidJason1 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.
DroidJason1 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.
DroidJason1 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.
DroidJason1 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.
DroidJason1 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!