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Briefly: Nokia sells Here maps, Windows 10 high adoption rate

08/03, 7:05am

Nokia sells Here mapping arm to car manufacturers for $3.1B

Nokia is selling its mapping business to a collection of German car manufacturers. The Here mapping arm is being picked up by Audi, BMW, and Daimler for €2.8 billion ($3.1 billion,) with the technology likely to be used in in-car navigation systems and to help self-driving research being performed by each of the manufacturers. Despite the sale, the Here team advises that the mobile app version will still be available, as it is likely to help car-based mapping systems and other markets.


Microsoft claims 14M installations of Windows 10 in first 24 hours

07/31, 7:10am

Content delivery networks feel strain of Windows 10 downloads

Windows 10 has been installed on over 14 million devices in the first 24 hours of its release, Microsoft claims, suggesting it to be a success. The blog post by Yusuf Mehdi, Windows marketing chief at Microsoft, advises that Microsoft still has "many more upgrades to go" in order to catch up with Windows 10 upgrade reservations, despite the high number of installations after just one day of availability.


Game Replay: Angry Birds 2 released, Fallout 4 mod support in 2016

07/30, 10:31pm

Gaming news summary for July 30, 2015

Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Bethesda reveals Fallout 4 mod support will not be ready this year, Microsoft starts charging for Solitaire in Windows 10, Angry Birds 2 ships, and Prison Architect has a date for when it will leave alpha.


Windows 10 upgrades use large amounts of bandwidth, issues arise

07/29, 9:58pm

Slow update downloads, unusual errors surface during Windows 10 release

Microsoft's distribution of Windows 10 to users may be causing issues for some Internet users, due to the sheer amount of bandwidth being used. While Microsoft has apparently put a lot of effort into making the release of the free upgrade as error-free as possible, problems are still surfacing despite attempts by the software giant to minimize issues, including extremely slow download speeds for a number of updaters.


Hands On: Microsoft Excel 2016 v15.11.2 (OS X)

07/29, 2:20pm

Hugely-recommended overhaul, but few new features

It's no longer enough for Microsoft to add the odd new feature and scrub up the appearance of an app: the world has moved on, not least in that we now call them all "apps" instead of "applications." With Office 2016 now available to Office 365 users (if their companies have enabled it, or if they sign up themselves), our attention did go first to the new version of Microsoft Word. Office for Mac really contains four major applications (and OneNote, which we'll call a minor one) though, and while we personally might lump PowerPoint and Outlook together into the guest-cast category, Microsoft Excel 2016 15.11.2 is definitely a star of the show.


Microsoft ships Windows 10, upgrade for Windows 7, 8.1 available now

07/29, 7:05am

Update to Windows includes new Start menu, Cortana, Edge browser

Microsoft has finally made Windows 10 available to download for all users. The latest operating system from the software giant is out in 190 countries simultaneously, allowing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to start upgrading their systems to Windows 10, with Microsoft also commencing sales of full installations of the software via its own Microsoft Store as well as through Amazon and other traditional outlets.


Briefly: Windows 10 pre-load, Amazon Prime Music in UK

07/28, 9:14am

Users report Windows 10 upgrade files starting to download to systems

Microsoft is allegedly preparing for tomorrow's launch of Windows 10, by preloading the operating system on computers that have been booked in for the upgrade. According to WinBeta, users that have already reserved their free upgrade from Windows 7 or later will start to see the files being preloaded ahead of a release after midnight tonight. The report also warns upgraders they can also expect to download a day one patch for Windows 10, weighing in at over 1GB in size.


Leak claims Parallels 11 will allow OS X users access to Cortana

07/27, 8:21pm

Feature will allegedly allow Cortana voice commands to be always on in Parallels

Users of Windows 10 on OS X may be able to use Microsoft's digital assistant, if they are using Parallels' Desktop for Mac. A leaked product page for version 11 of the virtualization software allegedly suggests that Cortana's voice commands will continue to be usable by Mac users running the Microsoft operating system on their desktop, even if Windows 10 is not the foremost application at that time.


Game Replay: Steam security issue, Nintendo ending TVii

07/27, 5:55am

Gaming news summary for July 27, 2015

Welcome to the Game Replay, the thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's later-than-scheduled edition, China lifts its console sales ban, Nintendo prepares to remove TVii from the Wii U in the United States, and Steam suffers a rare security lapse via its own support system.


Hands On: Microsoft Send 1.2.4 (iOS)

07/24, 7:40am

When email just isn't curt enough

Microsoft Send 1.2.4 is more an experiment than an app: designed by the company's Garage team, it's an attempt to see what email would be like if you turn it into text messages. The answer is ... text messages. Maybe you like text messages and for some reason can't send them to someone. If so, then Microsoft Send is for you.


Microsoft Garage releases Send conversational email app on iOS

07/23, 6:35am

Microsoft Send turns work emails into IM-style conversation

Microsoft Garage, an experimental testing team, has released an app that aims to make email easier to deal with. Send, initially released for iOS as a free download, is a lightweight email client that tries to turn work-related emails into an instant messaging-style conversation that can be used for "brief, snappy conversations," instead of longer messages that do not encourage a response, or eat into the employee's working time.


Game Replay: KOTOR II: The Sith Lords on Mac, Batman patch

07/21, 10:50pm

Gaming news summary for July 21, 2015

Welcome to the Game Replay, a thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Star Wars KOTOR II: The Sith Lords makes its way to Mac ten years after launch, Microsoft faces a class action suit over an Xbox 360 flaw, and an interim patch for Batman: Arkham Knight on PC will be coming next month.


Microsoft quarterly results hit heavily by Nokia impairment charge

07/21, 5:23pm

Operating loss of $2.1B caused through $7.5B Nokia acquisition, other charges

Microsoft endured an operating loss of $2.1 billion for the most recent quarter, the software giant has revealed in its last financial results before the launch of Windows 10. The heavy loss, which works out to be a loss per share of $0.40, is largely accounted for by the $7.5 billion impairment charge relating to its acquisition of Nokia, and a restructuring charges of $780 million and $160 million, though the rest of the financials appears to be more positive for the company.


Game Replay: Shenmue 3 raises $6.3M, NCAA settlement reached

07/19, 10:32pm

Gaming news summary for July 19, 2015

Welcome to the Game Replay, a thrice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN. In today's edition, Shenmue 3 completes its Kickstarter campaign, a settlement is reached over athlete representations in NCAA games, more Windows 10 gaming features are detailed, and an unauthorized animation based on the Legend of Zelda lore ends its crowdfunding project prematurely.


Hands On: Microsoft Word 2016 (OS X)

07/17, 11:02am

The new version of Word for OS X is very, very good -- but so what?

If you have to use Microsoft Word at work, go get this now and be delighted with it. If you don't have to, if you're looking for a great word processor, it's just a little harder to recommend Word quite so readily. It's harder, and it's also very unfair, as 30 years of using various versions of Word have left us with biases against it. Word earned those biases, it's just difficult to think about going back to relying on it, even though Microsoft Word 2016 is the best and the shiniest version ever.


Microsoft issues RTM build of Windows 10, USB distribution revealed

07/17, 9:39am

Windows 10 will be sold on USB drives in stores shortly after launch

Microsoft has reportedly completed its Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build of Windows 10, in preparation for the operating system's July 29 launch. The RTM launch is one of a few items surfacing as Microsoft gets closer to the launch, with the company also making it easier for customers to use and install Windows 10, by making it available on USB drives in stores shortly after the launch takes place.


Parallels brings OS X support to Microsoft SCCM PC mass-admin tool

07/14, 11:43am

Thousands of Macs can be managed from central software server

Parallels today unveiled Parallels Mac Management 4.0 for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), which extends Microsoft SCCM functionality to manage and control Mac computers. The new version of Parallels Mac Management adds the capability for IT administrators to create OS X images which can be customized via Microsoft SCCM, or deploy a single OS X image to all users universally.


Hands On: TinyWord 2.0.0 (OS X, iOS)

07/10, 9:48am

Lightweight word processor does what it says

Back when Microsoft Word was king, you could do well selling a different word processor if it could open and save documents in Office format. You also needed to be cheaper, and it would help if you were easier to use -- neither of which, to be fair, were hard to pull off. Lastly, if you're in an App Store, finding a way to get the name Word in your title helped people find you. TinyWord 2.0 wants to tick every one of those boxes.


Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac launches for 365 subscribers

07/09, 1:10pm

Standalone version will be available this fall, boasts many improvements

Following a four-month public beta period, Microsoft on Thursday released Office 2016 for Mac, now available for immediate download to existing Office 365 subscribers. The new release, strongly modeled on the existing design changes seen in the iPad version of the productivity suite, is the first new full version of Office for Mac since 2010, and adds features such as the Ribbon interface, sandboxing support, Retina screen optimization, and support for fullscreen view.


Microsoft adds OneDrive integration to Xbox Music mobile apps

07/09, 10:33am

Xbox Music for iOS, Android can stream music from OneDrive storage

Microsoft has updated both of its Xbox Music apps for iOS and Android, increasing the app's integration with the OneDrive cloud storage service. The latest update allows users to be able to stream their own music collection stored on OneDrive directly to their device, in a similar way to music locker services, with the functionality being added to the app without the need to have a subscription to the Xbox Music Pass.


Microsoft plans phone business layoffs in new restructuring effort

07/08, 1:50pm

Loss of 7,800 Microsoft jobs, $7.8B impairment charge confirmed

Microsoft has revealed it is planning to majorly restructure its phone hardware business, in order to "better focus and align resources." An email sent out to staff by CEO Satya Nadella advises that the restructuring effort will also mean layoffs, with up to 7,800 positions at risk in its phone business in the coming months, as well as recording an impairment charge of approximately $7.6 billion in its next set of financial results.


Microsoft rebrands Xbox Music, Video as Groove, Movies & TV

07/07, 10:31am

Xbox brand removed from apps in preparation for Windows 10 launch

Microsoft is updating its desktop media apps in preparation for the Windows 10 launch at the end of this month, by removing the Xbox name among other alterations. Xbox Video is going to be rebranded to Movies & TV in Windows 10, with Microsoft's Xbox Music service receiving the new name Groove, with both services also going through a visual upgrade as part of the changes.


Microsoft offers grants to universities for HoloLens research

07/07, 7:25am

Up to $100,000, two HoloLens units offered to five research projects

Microsoft is attempting to prove the usefulness of its HoloLens augmented reality headset, by offering free units and cash to researchers. The Microsoft HoloLens Academic Research project will grant five academic institutions two development kits for the device as well as up to $100,000 in grants each, if researchers make a suitable proposal that aims to "better understand the role and possible applications for holographic computing in society."


Microsoft reportedly close to RTM Windows 10 build finalization

07/06, 1:54pm

Windows 10 RTM build could arrive this week

Microsoft is allegedly close to finalizing software included in the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 10, one that it will be providing to manufacturers to install on their computers, notebooks, and tablets. Sources of The Verge claim the RTM build of Windows 10 will be ready sometime this week, ahead of the new operating system's final release to consumers that is scheduled to take place on July 29.


Game Replay: Minecraft in Windows 10, Club Nintendo US ends

07/05, 10:49pm

Gaming news summary for July 5, 2015

Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN and Electronista. In today's edition, Microsoft is bringing Minecraft to Windows 10, Club Nintendo ends in North America, Sales are halted and refunds offered for Final Fantasy XIV for Mac, and the revelation that Destiny could have been a funnier game.


Apple gains share in US market, narrows gap with Android

07/03, 12:24pm

Share of iPhone increases by 1.8 percent for second quarter in a row

Matching its performance in the previous quarter, Apple's iPhone again gained nearly two percent market share in the US in the last three months, according to ComScore, widening its lead as the dominant smartphone maker. While Android as a platform continued to hold the top platform position at 52.1 percent, it again suffered an overall decline of 0.7 percent, while iOS surged to 43.5, a 1.8 percent gain matched exactly by losses from Android, Microsoft, and BlackBerry.


Some PC users won't get Windows 10 update on July 29 launch day

07/02, 10:50am

Windows 10 to be released to users in waves, following Windows Insiders

Prospective users of Windows 10 may have to wait before being able to use the next version of Microsoft's operating system, the software company has revealed. A blog post advises that it will be rolling out Windows 10 to Windows Insiders first on July 29, then reserved systems will be notified that they can upgrade in waves after the launch date, with subsequent waves increasing in size.


Microsoft adds sixth Surface Pro 3 option, Surface 3 LTE on the way

07/01, 1:02pm

Sixth Surface Pro 3 includes Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB storage

Microsoft has quietly extended its Surface Pro 3 lineup, adding one more option to the existing collection of five tablets, as part of a few changes to its overall Surface range. The sixth tablet adds an extra Core i7 selection to the roster, and while it has the same core specifications as its high-end stablemates, Microsoft has shrunk the storage capacity down from 512GB and 256GB to just 128GB.


Uber acquires Bing mapping assets, 100 employees from Microsoft

06/30, 3:25pm

Microsoft hands technology licenses, collected data to Uber

Uber is significantly bolstering its mapping operations and research, by acquiring technology and staff from Microsoft for an as-yet undisclosed amount. Map-related assets from Bing are being passed on to the app-based taxi firm, reports TechCrunch, with approximately 100 employees also being transferred over as part of the purchase, in yet another navigation-related acquisition from the transport company.


Samsung installing software to disable automatic Windows Updates

06/25, 7:32am

New Samsung notebooks have Windows Update-disabling software installed

Samsung is preventing some of its customers from performing Windows Updates automatically, it has been discovered. A small app going by the name of Disable_Windowsupdate.exe has been found to be installed on some new Samsung notebooks, with the app's sole purpose being denying the computer from downloading any important security updates or drivers from Microsoft's service, so that Samsung's own driver-updating software can work instead.


Microsoft clarifies blog post about Insider upgrades to Windows 10

06/23, 2:37pm

Blog post on Friday mistakenly said Windows Insiders would gain full Windows 10 free

Microsoft has been forced to clarify the free Windows 10 upgrade offer, after a blog post on Friday suggested that anyone within the Windows Insider program would get it as well. The software giant's original post has been corrected, removing text about the activation, while also explaining how users could still use a final build of Windows 10 without upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.


Microsoft advises HoloLens will keep limited AR field of view

06/19, 10:57am

Augmented reality HoloLens hardware may change, but likely to offer same display range

Microsoft's HoloLens is unlikely to have a wider field of view for its augmented reality display when it eventually reaches consumers, an executive has confirmed. The smaller section of the helmet where the AR content is visible, leaving a large peripheral area where there isn't any overlay, will most likely remain the same in terms of size and position, despite receiving complaints and comments from people who have tried out the device in tests and at major events.


Analysis: 2015 Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony E3 press events

06/17, 9:17am

The giants have spoken, but who's going to take the 2015-2016 sales crown?

The triumvirate of console gaming, Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, have shown what they're going to show to launch the 2015 E3 expo, and as with all things, we've got opinions. Join MacNN and Electronista staffers Mike, Malcolm, and Jordan with special commentary from HammerCast's Duane Sibilly as they discuss the surprises, let-downs, reveals, and presentations that we've suffered through so you don't have to!


E3 Game Replay: Bethesda, Microsoft, EA's event roundup

06/15, 10:09pm

Doom, Gears of War 4, Mass Effect Andromeda shown at E3 events

Welcome to a special Game Replay, our regular gaming column, which will be daily for a few days this week to cover the main stories coming out of E3. For today's edition, we're covering Bethesda's first major E3 event, the non-hardware shown off by Microsoft's event, and EA's major announcements, including more of the multiplayer from Star Wars: Battlefront.


E3: Xbox One gets Xbox 360 backwards compatibility, new controller [u]

06/15, 1:34pm

Over 100 Xbox 360 games will be playable on Xbox One by end of this year

[strong]Updated with pricing on new Xbox One Pro controller[/strong] Owners of the Xbox One will be able to see their game library expand, with the introduction of backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 titles coming to the console in the near future. The hardware announcements at Microsoft's E3 event also include a new controller for the Xbox One that includes a number of customizable elements to allow gamers to get the most out of the games they play, as well as some Windows 10 and VR items.


Microsoft confirms Xbox One 1TB console, controller upgrades

06/09, 12:06pm

Xbox One with 1TB drive, controller with extra headset options shipping June 16

Microsoft has formally unveiled its upgraded Xbox One game console and controller, following a pair of earlier leaks for each device. Aside from confirming the new hardware's existence, Microsoft has also revealed its price cut for the existing version of the console will stay in place, as well as upcoming availability for an adaptor that will allow the Xbox One controller to be used on PCs and tablets wirelessly.


Game Replay: 1TB Xbox One spotted, Rock Band 4 not heading to PC

06/07, 11:09pm

Gaming news summary for June 7, 2015

Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN and Electronista. In today's edition, an upgraded Xbox One leaks on Amazon, Harmonix reveals why it isn't making Rock Band 4 for the PC, and Destiny players have raised over $1 million in Bungie's Nepal earthquake charity effort.


Microsoft makes Skype for Web available to all US, UK users

06/06, 11:58pm

Browser-based version of Skype widens beta reach, global availability expected in weeks

Microsoft has opened up Skype for Web to more users, pulling it out of the closed beta and making it available to all current Skype users based in the United States or the United Kingdom. The widening of beta access follows after another web-based Skype change, namely a redesign of how Skype for appears and works for users of the browser-based webmail client.


Microsoft acquires Wunderlist developer 6Wunderkinder

06/04, 9:37pm

Latest Microsoft acquisition follows recent pattern of productivity app purchases

Microsoft is continuing its productivity app acquisition spree, with yet another purchase. 6Wunderkinder, the Berlin-based development team behind to-do list app Wunderlist, has been acquired by the software giant, in what is potentially a move for Microsoft to either add features from the app to its own Office productivity suite or simply rebrand it, in a similar manner to two previous app purchases in the last six months.


Computex: MS teases several previously-unannounced Windows 10 devices

06/03, 5:54am

Microsoft continues hard sell on Windows 10 with device reveals

Electronista was on hand at Computex today, where Microsoft continued its push for Windows 10. With the official announcement last week that Windows 10 will begin shipping from the end of July, Microsoft Senior VP, OEM Division Nick Parker took the opportunity at today's keynote to highlight the wide range of devices that will support Windows 10 at launch. This includes existing devices built for Windows 8, as well as several previously-unannounced devices from Asus, HP, Dell and Toshiba that will arrive when Windows 10 goes on sale.


Microsoft releasing Windows 10 on July 29 for PCs, tablets

06/01, 6:28am

Upgrade reservation notices sent to Windows 7, 8, 8.1 users

Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 upgrade on July 29, the software giant has confirmed. It is also revealed that users of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 will find they will have a slightly different process for the free upgrade this time around compared to the upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, with Microsoft offering an upgrade prompt to "reserve" the upgrade download instead of forcing users to go through the Windows Store.


Game Replay: Twitch bans AO games, WildStar turns free-to-play

05/31, 10:40pm

Gaming news summary for May 31, 2015

Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly look at the wider world of gaming by the staff of MacNN and Electronista. In today's edition, Twitch bans AO-rated titles from streaming, NCsoft is making MMO WildStar a free-to-play title, and leaks suggest Microsoft is adding a headphone jack to the Xbox One controller.


Windows 10 mobile support increases, Cortana heading to iOS, Android

05/26, 12:57pm

Microsoft virtual assistant app will head to iPhones, Android this year

Microsoft will be making Windows 10 more useful to smartphone owners, by making it easier to set up their desktop and mobile device to connect together and share files. The added mobile support is also supported by a second announcement that the Cortana virtual assistant will be available to download and use on other platforms than Windows Phone, with both iOS and Android set to receive access in the future.


Game Replay: Christopher Lloyd in Lego Dimensions, Xbox TV tuner

05/20, 9:57pm

Gaming news summary for May 20, 2015

Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly post where MacNN and Electronista writes about some of the major stores in the wider world of gaming that developed over the last few days. In today's edition, more characters invade Lego Dimensions, the digital TV tuner for Xbox One goes on sale in the US and Canada, and a request for cheaters to apologize on YouTube in order to reinstate their banned accounts.


The MacNN Podcast, Episode 15: Man down!

05/18, 5:35pm

Filemaker Pro 14, Cox Cable's cap testing, Xbox bricking, and more

Episode 15 of The MacNN Podcast is on the air! Regular shenanigans ensue, even if not perpetrated by the regular crowd. This week, we talk about Microsoft up to its old tricks with six versions of Windows 10 at retail, Xbox consoles bricked by Microsoft (or not), Cox Cable's cap testing, and much more!


Microsoft will control release schedule for Windows 10 mobile updates

05/18, 5:06pm

Carriers will be unable to delay Windows 10 for Mobile update releases

Microsoft will be attempting to make Windows 10 for mobile devices more secure than Windows Phone has been previously, by excluding device manufacturers and carriers from the process entirely. The software giant will be directly applying patches to smartphones running Windows 10 Mobile, potentially eliminating some of the operating system fragmentation that occurs when carriers delay the release of upgrades produced by manufacturers.


European carriers reportedly plan mass blocking of online advertising

05/18, 10:42am

Ad blocking plans could result in request by carriers for advertising revenue cut

European carriers are allegedly working on blocking mobile advertising from major advertising networks, including those from Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo. A report claims the current plans to remove the online advertising from smartphone browsers in order to save on bandwidth costs, though it will also apparently have the ulterior motive of trying to force the advertising networks to share some of their revenue with the carriers themselves.


Game Replay: Diablo III Cow Level, Ubisoft quits last-gen consoles

05/17, 10:06pm

Gaming news summary for May 17, 2015

Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly post where MacNN and Electronista writes about some of the major stories in the wider world of gaming that have developed over the last few days. In today's edition, Blizzard brings back Diablo's "Cow Level" secret, Ubisoft gives up on previous-generation consoles, and Candy Crush Saga will be heading to Windows 10.


Windows 10 free upgrade will not be available to pirates

05/15, 11:10pm

Microsoft clarifies stance on free Windows 10 upgrade qualification

Microsoft will not be providing the free Windows 10 upgrade to owners of pirated operating systems, the software giant has clarified. A blog post by operating systems vice president Terry Myerson doubles back from earlier comments suggesting users of pirated software would receive the update, with the affected users now being required to pay for a full Windows license before receiving Windows 10.


Microsoft denies it made Gears of War leaker consoles unusable

05/15, 11:15am

Xbox Live ban for game testers leaking early details of Microsoft remake

Microsoft's rumored remake of the Gears of War franchise is being marred form accusations that it is being overprotective of its intellectual property. A game testing company has alleged that Microsoft is making some of its staff's Xbox One consoles unusable as a punishment for the leaks, a claim that Microsoft has refuted, denying it has 'bricked' the consoles in question.



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