Surface revenue increases 122 percent, commercial revenue up 10 percent
Microsoft beat analyst expectations for the first quarter of 2015 today, posting $23.20 billion in revenue with a diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.54. Analysts expected the company to post EPS of $0.50 on $22.02 billion in revenue. Strong sales in consumer hardware and a 10 percent growth in the commercial sector were responsible for the boost in revenue.
Driver changes fake FTDI chip settings, renders it unusable
A recent Windows Update is causing trouble for people working with Arduino microcontrollers and other similar projects, by making some hardware inoperable. A driver update for FTDI chips as part of the Windows Update is apparently damaging the software on some USB-to-serial components, with counterfeit chips suddenly becoming inoperable.
Next Lock Screen, Journeys and Notes, Torque released from Microsoft Garage
Microsoft is taking the unusual step of trying to court Android users, by releasing three new apps for the platform. The first from Microsoft Garage is the self-explanatory "Next Lock Screen," which provides a handy notifications and app launching interface, the second lets travelers pass notes to others following the same route, while a third allows Android Wear users to search Bing directly from their wrist.
Social media changes mark first official move away from Nokia banner to Microsoft Lumia
Microsoft is making the shift away from the Nokia brand name official, as it's confirmed that the company is shifting to Microsoft Lumia for future devices. The change in names was first brought up back in September as part of an alleged leak of an internal document that dropped the Nokia name, along with mentions of Windows Phone from devices.
Fast and Slow update tiers selectable for quicker updates
Microsoft is deploying the first update to the Windows 10 preview under the Windows Insider program. Build number 9860 is headed to users overnight through Windows Update, or users can opt to immediately install it. The update weighs in at between 2GB and 2.74GB, depending on architecture, and contains some improvements and bug fixes to the pre-release operating system.
Microsoft releases digital TV tuner for Xbox One in Europe
A digital TV tuner for the Xbox One has gone on sale in Europe through the Microsoft Store. Priced at £25 ($40) in the UK and 30 euros ($38) in France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, the tuner will allow owners of the Microsoft game console to view free-to-air HD television through the device, complete with Snap Mode video, pausing and rewinding of live TV, and OneGuide program listings.
Doodles can be added to photos and shared with friends, sign in improvements
Microsoft announced the new 2.24 update for Skype for Windows Phone today, bringing some small improvements to the application. In addition to the improvements, Skype had a large feature appended to it. Users now have the ability to create drawings or doodle on pictures to share with friends and family members.
Users being redirected to dummy sites
China's state firewall is currently hijacking attempts to visit iCloud.com or Microsoft's login gateway, login.live.com, redirecting people to dummy websites, reports say. People visiting iCloud.com through Firefox or Chrome will see a warning page, but visitors with Qihoo -- the most popular browser in China -- are being forwarded directly to a dummy site with no obvious signs it isn't Apple's. It's believed that the Chinese government may be trying to harvest iCloud and Microsoft logins.
Two-day battery, heart rate monitor claimed inside Microsoft wearable device
Microsoft could introduce its own wearable device in the next few weeks, a report claims. According to sources of Forbes, Microsoft's rumored smartwatch will attempt to beat its counterparts, such as the Samsung Gear range and the Moto 360, by offering a battery life said to last for more than two days from a single charge, something many current smartwatches struggle with.
Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 receives security update
Microsoft released a security update for its Office for Mac 2011 software the latest release being v14.4.5. Resolving vulnerabilities, the update prevents the possibility of remote code execution if a specially crafted file is opened in an affected version. Attackers could gain the same user rights as the current user if successful, and subsequently install programs, view, change or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. Full details can be found in Mircosoft's latest security bulletin on the matter.
Halo: Spartan Strike builds on Spartan Assault, removes microtransactions
Microsoft and 343 Industries couldn't close out the year without adding a new game to the Halo universe. Though Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be hitting store shelves before Thanksgiving, a new top-down, twin-stick shooter will be arriving on December 12. Halo: Spartan Strike is launching on Windows devices and Steam for $6.
Video messages sent on Skype Qik self-destruct after two weeks
Microsoft is adding another messaging service to its roster, this time using video clips. Skype Qik, reusing the brand of a service Skype acquired in 2011 before Microsoft purchased Skype, is a lightweight app that allows users to record video messages up to 42 seconds in length, which can then be sent to a friend or a group for viewing.
Also adds chat sync across devices
Microsoft-owned Skype has released Skype for Mac 7.0. The software brings with it a major redesign, matching the look of OS X Yosemite, and borrowing interface cues from a recent iPhone app update. The most significant change, however, may be a split-screen view during voice and video calls that lets people see and send instant messages at the same time.
Google, Microsoft, Amazon have all reportedly tendered offers for Unity
According to sources familiar with the matter, cross-platform game development tool Unity's developers are having continuing discussions with possible buyers for the company. The biggest name attached to the development company's discussions is allegedly Google, with Microsoft and Amazon having made offers as early as 2013.
Follows words with actions in effort to increase diversity in tech-centric jobs
Following the release of its own diversity report that found its female involvement in engineering and other technology posts lacking, Apple and other tech companies is said to have sent "hundreds" of employees to answer questions and recruit potential employees at the current Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing gathering in Phoenix, Arizona. Facebook, Google, Microsoft were among the other companies represented at the conference, which had over 8,000 attendees.
Xim allows photos to be shared people on contact lists, photo streams expire
A new photo application for mobile devices was made available from Microsoft today, one that focuses on sharing the experience of photos without having to passing a phone around or accidentally sharing too much on social media. Xim sets itself apart from other photo-sharing services and applications, as it doesn't require all users to have an account or the app installed.
Factory at center of multi-billion dollar tax debt claimed owed to India
A Nokia manufacturing plant in India left out of the acquisition deal between Nokia and Microsoft will be closed on November 1. The Chennai facility, at the center of a tax dispute between Nokia and India and building devices under contract for Microsoft, will be closed following a lengthy asset freeze and extended court hearings held by the India tax authority.
Cross-platform game creation kit available for free, or in $40 bundle
Microsoft's six-month beta for game creation tool Project Spark is over. The kit, with an included physics engine as well as gameplay mechanics that utilizes traditional inputs, as well as Kinect and SmartGlass, is available now for the Xbox One and Windows 8.1. The kit allows users to create worlds, share them with fellow players, and does not require an Xbox Live Gold membership to play.
Touch controls for Photoshop, Illustrator coming to Surface Pro 3, Windows 8
During Adobe Max, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen took to the stage to announce a partnership between the two companies. The focus of the development partnership is to improve Creative Cloud offerings for Windows platforms, optimizing them for touch, starting with applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects and Premiere Pro.
Microsoft seeking $6.9 million in interest over Samsung refusal to pay
Microsoft's smartphone patent lawsuit from August was unsealed, showing that Samsung has paid the company over $1 billion in royalties on patents used in Android for just the second year of the agreement, but still owes $6.9 million in unpaid interest. Microsoft claims that Samsung initially ceased making royalty payments, then paid late and refused to pay interest, with Samsung claiming that the buy of Nokia invalidated patent licensing agreements that the pair had signed.
New software to be updated often, with many bugs and incomplete features
As expected, Microsoft has started the Windows Insider program today, offering "frequently updated" pre-release software for enthusiasts and people willing to do testing for the company. Starting today, users can download the up to 4.2GB Windows 10 preview, following registration with Microsoft.
Sway combines content from multiple sources, offers layout assistance
Microsoft has added a new app to Office, one which may help users create and share projects or documents for reading online. Sway is a simplified webpage creation tool that allows for content to be collected from a variety of sources and formatted in an attractive manner on a cloud-hosted page, without needing the user to have prior web development experience.
Windows Phone virtual assistant could appear in desktop Windows release
Cortana, Microsoft's voice-controlled virtual assistant from Windows Phone 8.1, may appear in the final retail release of Windows 10, according to a report. Though it was not demonstrated during the Windows launch event yesterday, it is claimed Microsoft is actively testing the feature in internal builds of the operating system.
Group invaded networks, stole more than $100 million worth of software
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) released a statement today in regard to a group of hackers charged with a string of computer breaches related to the theft of software from several large game companies. More than $100 million in software was stolen as a result of their activities, including a US Army helicopter training program developed by Zombie Studios, developer of America's Army: Special Forces.
Windows 10 reintroduces Start Menu, lessens Live Tile use
Microsoft has formally announced the latest iteration of its computer operating system at its media event, but it isn't named Windows 9. The incoming Windows 10, set to be made available to users next year, is being billed by the company as the "most comprehensive platform ever," with the software expected to run on the broadest range of device types, including computers, mobile devices, and the "Internet of Things" ecosystem.
Cortana issues public transport notifications, local concert suggestions
Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, has been updated with two event-related changes. WMPU reports the service will now show notifications for when a user's favorite music acts are performing nearby under "Concert Watch," while WP Central notes users in the US and UK can now benefit from public transport notifications, including delays, outages, and advising of the best time to head to an appointment or event.
Flagship Microsoft Store several blocks away from iconic Apple Cube store
Microsoft will be launching its first flagship retail location in Manhattan, a few blocks away from Apple's iconic Fifth Avenue glass cube store. The software giant has confirmed its Microsoft Store will be taking the place of a Fendi shop located at 677 Fifth Avenue, with executives claiming the store has already been five years in the making.
Microsoft Indonesia president reportedly confirms free major Windows upgrade
The next version of Windows may be a free upgrade for some Windows users, numerous reports claim. The software, potentially called Windows 9 and codenamed "Threshold," may end up being offered to owners of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, though users of earlier operating system iterations are likely to be required to pay for the upgrade.
Pilots able to replace charts, manuals with Surface Pro 3 for flights
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is now qualified to be used as an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) by pilots, the company has announced. Following in the footsteps of the Surface 2, the qualification allows the Surface Pro 3 to be used as an EFB for all stages of flight, Microsoft writes, meeting regulations from both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Small delay keeps console on track to be first console since ban lift, 1,300 units sold in Japan
The delay of the Xbox One's release in China appears to only be a small hiccup for Microsoft. Reuters reports that the console will be going on sale on September 29, pushing the console back less than a week from its initial launch date of September 23. Meanwhile, sales of the console in Japan have sunk even lower, hitting approximately 1,300 units sold in its third week on the market.
New bill gives information same protection as material goods under law
In the shadow of Microsoft's dispute with the US Department of Justice, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Senate Judiciary Committee member Chris Coons (D-DE) have proposed legislation to codify law enforcement access to citizen's data stored internationally. The bill, titled the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act, seeks to authorize the use of extraterritorial search warrants, but vacate said warrants if it requires parties involved to break the laws of a country to do so.
Wireless Display Adapter mirrors Miracast device display on connected television
Microsoft has unveiled a new compact adapter for wirelessly streaming video from a computer or device to a television. The Wireless Display Adapter can be used to share content from any Miracast-enabled device, allowing for a television to be used as a secondary monitor or as a larger display for presentations and watching videos.
Is that wizard really from the moon and actually worth spending $60 on?
Let's just cut through the normal crap of a boring introductory paragraph. If you've been alive and a gamer for more than 15 years, you know who Bungie is. More than 25 years, and you've played a Bungie game or two. At more than 40 (and a Mac user), you've played games from the company that shipped on 3.5-inch disk. Bungie is now freed from the clutches of Microsoft, and under the thrall of a new master -- Activision. Destiny is the first title from the thrice-born company, and it's -- different. Is it any good, and more importantly, how is the experience on the seemingly-omnipresent previous generation of console?
Microsoft says it needs more time to ready 'the best experiences possible'
The Xbox One has hit a snag, just as it was readying for a September 23 release of the console in China. Only disclosing that it was seeking to create a better experience, Microsoft announced that the console wouldn't release until later this year. In January, the Chinese government lifted the ban on the sale of foreign video game consoles, positioning Microsoft to sell the first legal console in the country since the ban was implemented in 2000.
Free space can be used for anything, but requires backup feature activation
Microsoft has increased the free space offering on its file storage system OneDrive. Users on Android, Windows Phone, or iOS who switch on "camera backup" to the online storage locker will get a 15GB space bonus, increasing the amount of free space from 15GB to 30GB. Users have until the end of September to activate the feature to get the bonus space.
Country-wide redirection from Nokia part of gradual branding changes
Microsoft is slowly migrating away from the Nokia branding it has used since it bought the phone manufacturer's Devices and Services division. Visitors to Nokia.com located within the United Kingdom are now being pointed towards the mobile sections of Microsoft.com, with the Microsoft Mobile Devices site also receiving a refresh in the process.
Company continues towards 18,000 layoffs, 35 percent coming from Washington
Microsoft has moved into phase two of its previous announcement to part ways with 18,000 employees. Today, the company released an additional 2,100 employees in order to move closer to the July 2015 deadline that was previously laid out. It's unknown which sections of the company are seeing the layoffs, but the job cuts are happening on a global scale.
Keyboard works on iOS, Android, Windows, new wireless mice also on the way
Microsoft announced a slate of new accessories with wireless features today, one of which is ready for use with three of the major mobile operating systems. A universal keyboard, wireless mouse, Bluetooth mouse and a PC-ready Xbox One controller are expected to make their way to consumers, starting in the fall.
Event to give insight into what is to come for Windows, enterprise users
Microsoft started circling invites today for an event that it's holding later this month. The September 30 event plans to give attendees a chance to see what is coming down the pipe for enterprise and Windows, but offers no specific information on what the event will entail. The Verge previously reported that a press event on the announced date would be used to unveil Windows 9 according to sources close to the matter.
Mojang acquisition involves exit of company founders including Markus Persson
Microsoft has officially confirmed it is acquiring Mojang, the Swedish game studio behind Minecraft. Purchased at the rumored cost of $2.5 billion, the deal will include the majority of the Mojang development team, though notably company founders Carl Manneh, Jakbok Porser, and Markus "Notch" Persson will be leaving the company once the acquisition is completed.
New bundle comes with two games, limited to Wal-Mart, Microsoft Store
Consumers looking for a replacement Microsoft Xbox 360 will have another option coming on October 7, just in time for the holiday shopping season. The new version of the almost nine-year-old console is bathed in blue, adding arctic blue accent pieces on both console and controller. Priced at $250, the Xbox 360 Special Edition Blue Bundle comes with a 500GB hard disk in the console, a month of Xbox Live Gold, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
Owners witnessing buzzing, clicking sounds at the dashboard since August
Since August, Xbox One owners have been complaining about a noise emanating from the console, leading owners to believe that new Xbox One consoles are faulty. Users are experiencing a loud clicking or buzzing sound coming from the hardware itself, with a majority of the faulty units purchased without the Kinect sensor. Microsoft now appears to be issuing exchanges for properly working models, according to a statement made to gaming site Kotaku.
New screenshots reportedly reveal multiple changes in Windows 9
The next version of Windows has apparently leaked yet again, with a new collection of screenshots surfacing. Believed to depict the Windows 9 Technical Preview, the images show a number of previously-rumored features which will probably appear in the preview version, expected to be released to developers within the next few weeks.
Leaked document also claims Windows Phone to be replaced by Windows brand
Microsoft may start producing mobile devices without the Nokia branding by the end of this year. An alleged leaked internal document from Microsoft Mobile, the Devices and Services arm of Nokia acquired by the company, apparently shows that both the Nokia and Windows Phone names will be replaced on new smartphones with Microsoft and Windows respectively.
Sale would be against Mojang's philosophy, could bolster Xbox support for Microsoft
Microsoft has entered into discussions that could see it signing a deal to purchase Mojang AB for more than $2 billion, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Mojang AB is the developer behind Minecraft, one of the most popular games across the globe. The potential sale marks a shift in philosophy for the Swedish developer, as its majority shareholder and founder Markus "Notch" Persson has been a proponent against large corporations and mainstream video games.
Increased settlement offers make resolution of deal by chairman's exit unlikely
Google's latest settlement offer to fend off anti-trust allegations in the European Union has been refused. The European Commission has issued a statement regarding complaints by businesses and competitors over Google's settlement offer, saying that the search engine giant must add to the settlement package, and the offer as it stands is insufficient, given the arguments which "should be taken in consideration" with any counter-offer.
Cards in Office Delve show related contacts, documents
Microsoft is introducing a new search system to Office 365, which aims to provide information to the user just as they need it. Office Delve, previously codenamed "Oslo," will operate similar to Google now in pulling content from various online services and files stored in the cloud, in order to try and find relationships between documents, messages, and contacts.
Getty legal pressure makes Microsoft remove Bing Image Widget temporarily
Microsoft has taken down the Bing Image Widget, following legal pressure from Getty Images. The software company has removed the item from the Bing website, a few days after the photography agency alleged the tool "turned the entirety of the world's online images into little more than a vast, unlicensed 'clip art' collection" usable without the permission of the image's copyright holders.
Microsoft, German publishers demonstrate proposal's inadequacy
A coalition of Microsoft and some German publishing companies have escalated their rhetoric against the European Union's antitrust agreement it is proposing with Google. "The current proposal does not put traffic diversion to an end," claimed Microsoft's chief antitrust lawyer. Microsoft claims to have new evidence it gathered from a modification of Bing's search results that the settlement, and dedicated space for competitive services in search results, would fail to accomplish anything substantial in the case.
Millions of images at risk of theft, according to Getty court filing
Getty Images has launched a suit against Microsoft's usage of Internet imagery with its "Bing Image Widget." The suit alleges that Microsoft, with its new tool "has turned the entirety of the world's online images into little more than a vast, unlicensed 'clip art' collection for the benefit of those website publishers who implement the Bing Image Widget" without permission of the copyright holders.