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Steve Ballmer departs from Microsoft board after 34 years of service

08/19, 4:41pm

Outgoing Ballmer to spend time with Los Angeles Clippers, teaching

Steve Ballmer has stepped down his position as Microsoft board member, six months after being replaced as CEO by Satya Nadella. In a letter to the current CEO, the former leader advises that he is departing "effective immediately," citing his involvement with teaching and his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers as keeping him "very busy."

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Microsoft pulls four Windows 8.1 patches over instability, crashes

08/19, 12:42pm

Microsoft-provided fix involves registry modification, manual deletion

Plagued by crashes, Microsoft has retracted its Windows patches from August 12. Users that have installed patches 2982791, 2970228, 2975719 and 2975331 are at risk of system instability, or a "0x50 Stop" error on startup, which prevents the system from booting. A fix requires either a clean OS install, or registry modification to purge the afflicted updates.

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HP Stream 14 leaks as $200 Windows 8.1 Chromebook-equivalent

08/19, 7:15am

First value notebook running Windows 8.1 may have Chromebook specifications

Microsoft's fight against Chromebooks will start with a low-cost offering from HP, according to a report. A leaked data list claims the HP Stream 14 will allegedly have a similar specification list to other Chromebooks, along with a competitive price tag of $200, though the notebook will be running Windows 8.1 instead of Google's Chrome OS.

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Xbox One August update rolls out, brings user-requested features

08/18, 4:20pm

Activity feed changes, outside purchases biggest updates, notification options added

On top of a handful of new features and changes that were previously announced as coming this month, Microsoft is bringing some additional user requested features to the Xbox One in the August update. While the activity feed is seeing the biggest number of changes, Xbox One owners will now be able to purchase, download and install games and apps from outside of the console.

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Report: Xbox Entertainment Studios could live on with Warner Brothers

08/17, 3:54pm

Microsoft gaming properties could continue media expansion if studio deal occurs

Sources have said that Microsoft's Xbox Entertainment Studios (XES) may not be shuttering, as previously indicated during the company's announcement of 18,000 layoffs. Microsoft has reportedly been shopping the studio around in an attempt to find it a new home, with some possible results already popping up. It is said that Microsoft has recently entered into talks with Warner Brothers about XES operating under the studio.

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MS Developers: Internet Explorer's image tarnished, may change name

08/15, 12:59pm

New IE 'not the one you remember' claim developers on Reddit.

Microsoft has had several discussions at high levels, according to reports, considering renaming the nearly two-decade old Internet Explorer browser. The move would be to distance the new versions from previous, flawed iterations, and would hopefully help to improve the image of the tarnished software. Also noted was that while there are tools for developers to test sites in Internet Explorer environments, there are no plans to make an OS X version of the browser.

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Microsoft rumored to release public Windows 9 preview next month

08/15, 12:48pm

Public pre-release version of next Windows version includes mandatory monthly updates

The next major version of Windows may be offered as a preview next month, according to a report. Microsoft's latest iteration of Windows, believed to be Windows 9 and codenamed "Threshold", will apparently be available to download and test out as a "technology preview" by the general public, rather than just to developers and hardware producers.

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Microsoft unveils Tomb Raider sequel exclusive, others at Gamescom[u]

08/12, 5:11pm

Date changes, beta launch dates and console exclusive titles outlined during press event

[Updated with Phil Spencer's comments on Rise of the Tomb Raider being a timed exclusive] During the Microsoft press event at Gamescom today, a number of announcements were made regarding some upcoming games and beta programs. While there wasn't much in the way of brand new games, some important date shifts were noted, as was the announcement that a sequel to one of the most successful games of 2013 would be exclusive to Xbox One.

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Microsoft details Xbox One TV streaming, new hardware, updates

08/12, 11:21am

Gamescom Xbox One presentation showed larger capacity, white console variants

The Xbox One will soon allow users to stream TV to a mobile device, Microsoft has revealed. Part of a number of updates to the game console unveiled at Gamescom, owners of the recently-launched Xbox One Digital TV tuner will be able to stream live TV from the console to smartphones and tablets running the Xbox SmartGlass app.

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Microsoft dumping support for old Internet Explorer versions in 2016

08/11, 1:43pm

Most recent version of Internet Explorer required for updates, support for IE8 dropped

Microsoft announced last week that it would be changing its support policy in regard to Internet Explorer. Outlined in the change is migration guidance for versions of Windows past XP, which excludes any further support for Internet Explorer 8. The software giant is urging users to enable Windows Updates to keep up with the most recent updates to Internet Explorer.

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Microsoft launches Nokia 130 feature phone with $25 price tag

08/11, 5:58am

Microsoft continues creating low-cost mobile phones for emerging markets

After announcing a move away from its Android and Asha ranges, Microsoft's mobile phone arm has surprisingly launched another low-cost mobile phone. Following in the footsteps of the Nokia 105 and the Nokia 108, the Nokia 130 is a Series 30 device with basic functionality, which the company is pitching as a mobile phone for first time users, priced at 19 euro ($25) for both the single and dual-SIM models.

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Skype confirms abrupt drop of older OS X systems support

08/08, 2:44am

Minimum Intel processor, 10.6 requirement follows eight years of updates

As a confirmation of earlier reports that Skype was locking out users of very old Macs with OS versions below 10.6 Snow Leopard, Microsoft on Thursday issued a memo that confirmed and clarified that it no longer supported the nearly seven-year-old OS X 10.5.8 or any lower releases on the Mac, and that Skype's service now requires a minimum of an Intel processor and 10.6 or later in order to work. How long Snow Leopard will be supported is unclear.

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Microsoft offers Nokia phone to Chinese workers who voluntarily part

08/07, 6:51pm

Former employees get a $162 phone if they leave, but limited to 300 offers a day

It seems that Microsoft is trying to sweeten the pot to get workers to leave the Nokia factory and research and design center in Beijing. The software company is offering any of the former employees at the Nokia locations a free phone if they voluntarily split from the company. The offer is part of Microsoft's plans to eliminate about 4,700 jobs in the Beijing locations.

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Microsoft expanding Surface Pro 3 availability on August 28

08/06, 8:17am

Surface Pro 3 heading to 25 new markets at end of August

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet will soon be available to purchase in 25 more countries later this month. The software giant has confirmed the street date for the latest in its tablet range will be August 28th in the new markets, with the original Core i5 and the newly-added Core i3 and Core i7 variants all shipping at the same time.

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Microsoft offices in China burdened by new anti-trust raids

08/06, 7:57am

Raids focusing on financial data, other marketing information about Windows

New raids by the Chinese State Administration for Industry and Commerce against Microsoft have taken place, related to the ongoing antitrust investigation against the software giant. Raids on Microsoft took place yesterday in Beijing, Liaoning, Fujian, and Hubei, with a related event happening at Microsoft's financial firm Accenture in Dalian.

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Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 developer preview available to download

08/04, 2:57pm

Update to Windows Phone introduces Live Folders, improved Xbox Music app

Microsoft has made the upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 available to download for developers. The software update, which introduces a number of changes to the mobile operating system, can be downloaded by developers enrolled in the Windows App Studio program today, ahead of a rollout to all compatible Windows Phone smartphones in the future.

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China increases domestic security suppliers, removes foreign software

08/04, 1:38pm

Kaspersky, Symantec said to be excluded from procurement lists, could be due to security concerns

One of China's state-sponsored media channels is indicating that the government has removed all foreign-made software from its list of approved security software purchases. Newspaper The People's Daily posted on Twitter yesterday, indicating that Kaspersky and Symantec are now excluded from the country's government procurement channels.

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Microsoft sues Samsung over unpaid Android patent royalties

08/02, 12:23pm

Samsung claiming MS/Nokia deal negates 2011 licensing agreement

Microsoft has launched a lawsuit against longtime licensee Samsung, alleging that the Korean company has stopped paying royalties for Android-related patents. According to the court filing and Samsung itself, Samsung stopped making the payments from the 2011 lawsuit-ending agreement after Microsoft entered into a deal to purchase Nokia.

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Core i3, Core i7 models of Microsoft Surface Pro 3 available today

08/01, 2:29pm

Three variants of Surface Pro 3 with differing processors, capacities go on sale

Microsoft has put the Core i3 and Core i5 versions of the Surface Pro 3 on sale in the United States. Coming over a month after the Core i5 models became available through the Microsoft Store, the three new additions to the Surface Pro 3 collection provide not only a new cheapest option, but also two models at the higher-specification end of the range.

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Fired Nokia workers protest Microsoft 'violent' layoffs in China

08/01, 10:43am

Crowd of over 500 protest 'disrespectful' layoffs, calls acquisition hostile

Chinese Nokia employees staged a protest today, decrying mass layoffs coming as a result of the company's acquisition by Microsoft. Protestors decried "Microsoft's hostile takeover" of the company, and called the layoffs to come "violent" and disrespectful for over five hours. The protesters claim that they will be giving demands to Microsoft later this afternoon.

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Judge upholds warrant, orders Microsoft to produce overseas emails

07/31, 6:43pm

Department of Justice warrant to obtain emails valid, judge gives Microsoft chance to appeal

A United States District Court judge ruled today that a warrant issued to Microsoft requesting emails stored in Dublin, Ireland is valid. The judge stated that the company must follow the order to produce emails involved in a criminal investigation, in spite of foreign law. The order was temporarily stayed to give Microsoft the opportunity to appeal through the Second United States Circuit Court of Appeals.

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Office for iPad gets PDF export, new fonts and Picture tools

07/31, 3:32pm

Excel, PowerPoint get custom improvements

Microsoft has updated its trio of Office apps for the iPad -- Word, Excel, and PowerPoint -- adding a number of significant features. Perhaps the biggest addition is support for PDF export, but new third-party fonts have also been added, as have new Picture tools that let people crop an image or reset it to an unaltered state. Other changes are specific to Excel and PowerPoint.

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Microsoft, BesTV bringing Xbox One to China this September

07/30, 12:30pm

Chinese launch of Xbox One follows lifting of foreign game console ban

Microsoft is working with Shanghai Media Group's BesTV on bringing the Xbox One to China for the first time, with the game console set to launch on September 23rd. Timed to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, the console will launch with a number of games in tow, including Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, and Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood.

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Microsoft shows Windows Phone 8.1 update, brings Cortana to China, UK

07/30, 9:18am

Cortana available in beta for UK, Chinese markets, alpha in Canada, India, Australia

Microsoft has formally announced its upcoming update to Windows Phone 8.1, one it will be releasing to developers next week. The GDR1 update, leaked earlier this week, introduces a number of new features and other improvements to the mobile operating system, as well as expanding the beta program for the Cortana virtual assistant to five new countries after its initial United States launch.

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Briefly: Now TV reaches Xbox One, Facebook Gifts service shutters

07/30, 6:58am

Now TV streaming service app from Sky available on Xbox One in UK

Now TV, the on-demand streaming service from satellite broadcaster Sky, is now available on the Xbox One game console in the United Kingdom. Previously available on the Xbox 360, as well as a large number of streaming devices and the PlayStation 4 as of last week, Pocket-Lint reports the Now TV app on Xbox One lets users pay in advance for passes to view the Sky Sports, Entertainment, and Movies packages, without requiring a satellite subscription.

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Microsoft rolls out major update of OneNote for iPad, iPhone, Mac

07/29, 11:44pm

File insertion, protected sections, notebook organization, formatted text and more

Microsoft on Tuesday issued a significant update of its free note-taking application, OneNote. The new version, 2.3, adds a number of user-requested features, including the ability to insert files into notes, add PDF printouts to any notebook page alongside a users' own notes, copy and paste formatted text and more -- as well as lock or unlock password-protected sections created in OneNote for Windows. The update affects all versions of the app, including iPhone, iPad and Mac.

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Microsoft reportedly plans two more imminent Lumia launches

07/29, 2:18pm

Superman and Tesla Lumia smartphones said to have surfaced in internal Microsoft meeting

Two more smartphones may launch from Microsoft's phone division in the near future, according to a report. Two Windows Phone devices were allegedly revealed during an internal meeting chaired by Microsoft devices head Stephen Elop, with one smartphone described as a "selfie" device with a five-megapixel front-facing camera sensor above a 4.7-inch display.

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Electronic Arts deploying EA Access Xbox One game subscription program

07/29, 1:21pm

Four title available at program launch for free play of subscribers

Electronic Arts has rolled out a new subscription service for some of its games for Xbox One owners. For either a $5 monthly or $30 annual fee, gamers on Microsoft's new console will soon be able to sign up for EA Access, allowing them to play FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4, in addition to saving 10 percent on purchases of all EA digital content through the Xbox Games Store.

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Microsoft opens pre-orders for Sharks Cove Windows development board

07/29, 10:49am

Sharks Cove takes after Raspberry Pi as SoC board with external connections

Microsoft has worked with Intel and CircuitCo to create a Windows development board in a similar vein to the Raspberry Pi. Available to pre-order, the Sharks Cove is a System-on-Chip "Windows compatible hardware development board" meant to help developers work on software and drivers for smartphones, tablets, and other devices with a similar architecture.

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China regulators launch antitrust investigation against Microsoft

07/29, 10:19am

Investigation centers on Windows operating system dominant position

Following yesterday's raid on Microsoft offices in China, China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) has officially launched an anti-monopoly investigation into the company's ubiquitous Windows operating system. SAIC claims to have data backing up its investigation from the raids, but says that it cannot complete the investigation until some Microsoft executives come to China.

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Microsoft debuts new Halo 2 footage from The Master Chief Collection

07/28, 6:58pm

Comic Con reveal shows reworked cutscenes from Blur, gameplay footage leaked

During a panel at San Diego Comic Con last week, new footage from Halo: The Master Chief Collection was shown off by a number of people involved with the Microsoft project, including Franchise Development Director Frank O'Connor. A new video was released by the company, offering a first look at the new cinematics completely remade for high definition. Leaked gameplay footage from the panel has turned up as well, showing off some of the in-game changes.

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Chinese officials make surprise visits to four Microsoft offices

07/28, 4:13pm

Visit tied to investigation, Microsoft states that it will cooperate with officials

Officials from the China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) showed up at four Microsoft offices in the country unannounced earlier today. Offices in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shanghai received the sudden visits, that could be tied to the start of an antitrust investigation for a presently-unknown reason. The visits come at a time when Microsoft faces scrutiny in the country, over spying allegations and government refusal of Windows 8.

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Windows Phone 8.1 update introduces new resolutions, smart covers

07/28, 2:00pm

Dev Center notes on GDR1 outlines technical changes, options to enable smart covers

It appears that a list of technical and some minor consumer changes are coming for the GDR1 update of Windows Phone 8.1. While the information is currently only available to those with an account to Microsoft's Dev Center, data was obtained showing that some important changes are coming - including new resolution support, options to allow smart cases, and a few ease-of-use options.

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Microsoft updates Skype for Android, reveals Amazon Fire Phone app

07/23, 6:40pm

Skype update allows linking of phonebook with Microsoft account

Microsoft has made a few changes to Skype for Android, adding the option to connect the smartphone's address book to the service. At the same time, Microsoft has revealed it is releasing a version of the messaging app client for Amazon's Fire Phone, one which will take advantage of the smartphone's home screen and graphical effects.

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Nadella: Microsoft continuing push for unified operating system

07/23, 10:22am

Microsoft CEO confirms future convergence of operating systems in conference call

Microsoft is still planning to unify its operating systems in the future, CEO Satya Nadella has confirmed. As part of the conference call with analysts following its latest quarterly financial results release, Nadella advised that Windows 9 will be a version of the operating system which will work with universal apps, namely apps which work across multiple platforms and devices.

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Microsoft reveals Nokia Lumia 530 as its first Lumia release

07/23, 6:48am

Nokia Lumia 530 has four-inch display, $115 price tag

Microsoft has unveiled its first Lumia smartphone since it acquired Nokia's Devices and Services division. Still labeled under the Nokia branding, the Lumia 530 is an entry-level Windows Phone 8.1 smartphone with a four-inch, 854x480-resolution display and a low price point to help it compete against other competing low-specification devices running on Android.

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Briefly: Google Play Store upgrade, Cortana prepares for China launch

07/23, 5:23am

Google rolls out partial Material Design upgrade of Play Store app

Google has started to roll out its rumored changes to the Play Store, in an update to the Android app. Version 4.9.13 brings a number of smaller tweaks, reports Android Police, along with refreshed app and content pages which uses Google's Material Design rules, including an increased use of images and iconography. A future update is expected to roll out Material Design to other aspects of the store.

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Microsoft hits $23.4 billion revenue in Q4, earnings share decreasing

07/22, 5:38pm

Expected profits fall shy of expectations, Nokia deal responsible for $0.08 EPS hit

Microsoft released its quarterly revenue figures for the end of the 2014 fiscal year, revealing that the company pulled in $23.38 billion in revenues for the fourth quarter. While the revenue numbers beat the expectations of $23 billion, earnings per share (EPS) missed the mark at $0.55 per share. Experts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the software company to hit $0.60 EPS based on the $23 billion in revenues.

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Kindle Fire, iPad make gains in North American web traffic

07/22, 2:40pm

Samsung sees big setback

Since April, the shares of North American tablet web traffic from iPads and Kindle Fires has increased by 0.8 and 1.2 points, respectively, according to new data compiled by Chitika Insights. The figures put the iPad at 78 percent of traffic, and the Kindle Fire at 7.3 percent, the latter displacing Samsung tablets in aggregate (down to 6.3 percent). Google and Microsoft -- also generally considered prominent tablet makers -- managed shares of just 2.1 and 1.4 percent.

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Microsoft Windows 8.1 Update 2 rumored for release August 12

07/21, 11:58am

Major Patch Tuesday update expected for Windows 8.1

The next scheduled major update to Windows 8.1 could be coming as early as next month, according to a rumor. Windows 8.1 Update 2 could arrive on the next "Patch Tuesday" on August 12th, a month suggested in earlier speculative reports, and though the exact contents of the update remain unknown to all but Microsoft, it is believed it could feature the return of the Start Menu.

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Briefly: Xbox Entertainment Studios closing, Tesoro Tizona keyboard

07/17, 5:05pm

Amid layoffs Microsoft announces closure of original content wing of Xbox

On top of the 18,000 layoffs and shifting company structure, Microsoft will be closing the Xbox Entertainment Studios in the coming months. The studio was launched to add Microsoft to the original content race on the Internet, with shows based on some hit Xbox franchises such as Halo. Xbox head Phil Spencer issued an internal memo thanking the team for their work, as well as what to expect. Microsoft issued a statement to Joystiq confirming that existing projects would carry on.

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Microsoft: Xbox One sales 'more than double' since dropping Kinect

07/17, 3:55pm

Company says that sakes figures are up from May according to internal data

It seems that dropping the Kinect as a requirement for buying a new Xbox One is paying off for Microsoft. Posting on the Xbox Wire, an internal blog for Xbox news, Microsoft is boasting that sales of the new console have doubled since removing the sensor in June and reducing the price to $400. The increase could mean an gain in awareness and consumer desire for the console, which has lagged behind the PlayStation 4 in sales for months.

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Microsoft CEO: Select Nokia X models shifting to Windows

07/17, 9:00am

Microsoft's Android device-producing days may be over

As part of the Microsoft layoffs memo, CEO Satya Nadella has laid out the future of the Nokia X handset. The company now plans on releasing "select" Nokia X products to the Lumia line, running Windows. No statement has been made about the rest of the Android-based Nokia X line.

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Microsoft confirms layoffs; 18,000 to lose jobs, majority from Nokia

07/17, 8:24am

Most of the Microsoft layoffs to come from Nokia devices and services

Microsoft has made official previous rumors of massive job cuts. The company is planning on cutting 18,000 jobs in the next year, with the largest cuts coming from the Nokia devices and services division. Microsoft claims that the first 13,000 of the laid-off employees will be notified in the next six months.

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Microsoft joins Google in accepting 'right to be forgotten' requests

07/17, 7:55am

Four-part request form allows Internet users to remove listings from Bing

Microsoft is following after Google in complying with a decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union over the "right to be forgotten." Microsoft has created a four-part form for users to request the removal of European search listings from Bing relating to their name, in cases where information can be deemed "inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant."

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Microsoft rolls out Windows Phone 8.1 to Lumia, alters search options

07/15, 1:57pm

Lumia Cyan adds Windows Phone 8.1, updates Nokia apps

Microsoft has started to roll out the Cyan software update for Lumia smartphones, bringing Windows Phone 8.1 to the smartphone range. At the same time, a report claims that some new Lumia devices being sold no longer give the option to set Google as the default search engine, restricting users to instead primarily search using Microsoft's own search engine, Bing.

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No-IP addressing Senate regarding Microsoft domain seizure ordeal

07/15, 8:54am

No-IP will bring tales of woe to Senate, addressing improper enforcement issues

Following the fallout of the Microsoft seizure of No-IP domains, the dynamic domain name service company is speaking to the Senate about the incident. In a hearing scheduled before the Microsoft action against No-IP about proper enforcement of cybercrime laws, No-IP will address the Senate Judiciary Committee today about how the incident was handled, and the need for sensible enforcement so that the Internet property rights of innocent third parties don't become collateral damage in such efforts.

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HP preparing $199 Windows notebook for holiday sale, claims Microsoft

07/14, 2:02pm

Microsoft combats Chromebooks with promise of low-cost notebooks

Microsoft is planning to fight off notebooks running Chrome OS, with the help of low-cost computers being released in time for the holiday season. Revealed at the Worldwide Partner Conference 2014 today, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner claimed a number of notebooks running Windows will directly competing against ">Chromebooks, with HP said to be preparing a $199 notebook for sale.

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Start Menu leaks via alleged internal Microsoft build of next Windows

07/14, 10:12am

Image shows potential Start Menu with Tile column, icon list

Microsoft's Start Menu may appear in the next major update for Windows, an alleged leaked screenshot suggests. The image believed to depict an early internal build of the update shows the Start Menu as having two main columns, similar to an image which surfaced a few months ago, taking the old style of Start Menu from Windows 7 and earlier iterations, and combining it with Windows 8's Live Tiles.

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Microsoft drops lawsuit versus No-IP, all domains finally restored

07/12, 12:43pm

Microsoft has little comment over the mishandled matter

The Microsoft and No-IP saga appears to be complete. Just one week after the dynamic domain name service (DNS) had its domains seized by Microsoft, all domains have been returned, users have reported restored functionality, and the lawsuit filed by Microsoft against parent company Vitalwerks has been dropped.

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