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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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CEO Nadella lays foundation for Microsoft priority shift in memo

07/10, 11:41am

Letter short on details, hints at future Microsoft changes to come

A few hours ago, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella published a missive to employees, potentially redefining the trajectory that the company will take under his guidance. Embracing ex-CEO Steve Ballmer's vision of a "devices and services" company, Nadella is holding a series of meetings with Microsoft to be able to "hone in on our unique strategy" as a company.

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Fake TLS certificates doled out by India, scope of problem unknown

07/10, 10:37am

Internet Explorer, other Windows apps affected; problem could be widespread

Microsoft Internet Explorer users are being affected by a series of fraudulent transport layer security (TLS) certificates. The fake certificates, issued by India's National Informatics Centre, are trusted by the Microsoft Root Store -- a core library that Internet Explorer and other Windows applications use for identity verification. India's Controller of Certifying Records claims that only four fake certificates were issued, but other sources, including Google, are claiming that there are many more.

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Xbox One's Project Spark builds toward fall 2014 release date

07/09, 6:15pm

Game creation tool exits beta and earns physical, digital versions for October release

Team Dakota and Microsoft Studios announced today that the game creation tool Project Spark would see a release later this year. Coming out on October 7 in the Americas, October 9 in Asia-Pacific territories and October 10 in Europe, the software is being offered in downloadable and retail versions for $40.

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Briefly: BBM testing on Windows Phone, Xbox One upgrade credit offer

07/08, 1:49pm

BlackBerry Messenger commences private beta on Windows Phone store

BlackBerry has put the BlackBerry Messenger app in the Windows Phone store, though it is not available to everyone. The listing, which follows the earlier BBM launch on iOS and Android, hints at a near-future release of the messaging app on the platform, though according to CNET, the app is being tested in a private beta ahead of its launch, with only whitelisted users able to install the app from the store.

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Microsoft insider: company looking to lighten workforce by 10 percent

07/08, 10:30am

Layoffs a result of redundant positions generated by Nokia purchase

In the wake of Microsoft's Nokia buy, the giant is facing an abundance of employees. Despite having over 2,000 open positions according to its own hiring page, sources within and close to the company claim that up to 10 percent of the workforce will be purged under former CEO Steve Ballmer's "One Microsoft" 10-year plan for the company.

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Java support for Windows XP ended in April, no more supported updates

07/06, 4:50pm

Company no longer issuing platform fixes, security updates continue until April 2015

When the next quarterly update to Java rolls around later this month, Oracle says it won't include support for Windows XP users. The critical patch update, scheduled for July 15, updates Java 7 and Java 8 for newer Microsoft operating systems from Vista up to Windows 8. The choice to use Java on XP is left up to users because of the potential risk involved.

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No-IP domains returned without comment by Microsoft

07/03, 7:58pm

Service restoration in process, connectivity waiting on DNS propagation

Following Microsoft's seizure of dynamic DNS service No-IP domains on a claim that some were spreading malware, many customers' paid and free connections were no longer functioning. Many of these services have been restored tonight, as Microsoft has begun the process of returning domains to No-IP. As of this evening, all of the seized domains have been returned to the service, with .org redirect restoration waiting on the .org registrar to act. Not all DNS services have been updated, but Electronista can confirm that Verizon FiOS, Google, and OpenDNS are all resolving properly.

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Leaked photograph shows possible future Nokia Lumia 830, Lumia 730

07/03, 9:38am

New Lumia believed to have aluminum frame, polycarbonate cover

A photograph has surfaced reportedly showing an upcoming Microsoft smartphone, suggesting the company has another Nokia Lumia device on the way. The mobile device in the images appears to have an aluminum frame with a polycarbonate backing similar to some of the more high-end Lumia devices, potentially putting the pictured smartphone in the same part of the Lumia product range.

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Microsoft smartwatch rumored to take after Samsung Gear Fit

07/03, 6:57am

Fitness tracker with small screen could be on the way from Microsoft

The rumored smartwatch from Microsoft could in fact be a fitness tracker, according to a report. A recent rumor stating the smartwatch will be more like Samsung's Gear Fit rather than something from Android Wear or the the Gear 2 has been given more credence, with the claim that the device will have the appearance of a wristband with a small screen for the time and notifications.

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Microsoft, Canon announce cross-licensing patent agreement

07/02, 5:49pm

Each gains access to a 'broad range' of products and services under agreement

Software giant Microsoft and camera specialists Canon announced today that the two companies have signed into a cross-licensing agreement for intellectual property (IP) patents. The agreement gives each company the ability to license numerous patents, from mobile phones to digital imaging. Contents of the scope and scale of the agreement, as well as monetary considerations, were not disclosed in the announcement.

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Microsoft reportedly starts testing Office for Android apps

07/02, 1:53pm

Android version of Office apps allegedly scheduled for release later this year

Microsoft is building a full suite of Office apps for Android, a report claims. Following the official port to the iPad it launched in March, Microsoft is said to be privately testing separate apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for the mobile operating system, with the company apparently seeking businesses and individuals to provide feedback on pre-release versions.

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Microsoft encrypts Outlook.com email, opens Transparency Center

07/01, 4:11pm

Outlook, OneDrive traffic gains encryption to increase security

Microsoft has announced three new ways the company will improve the security of customer data in the wake of the NSA surveillance revelations. New encryption has been added to Outlook.com, with OneDrive also receiving a similar encryption-based security boost, and the company is also introducing its first "Microsoft Transparency Center" on its Redmond campus, in order to help governments understand and trust the security of the company's software.

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MacNN testing: Microsoft domain seizure blocks VPN, allows odd traffic

07/01, 11:05am

No-ip.com domains seized ostensibly to prevent malware spread

Updated with more testing Early Monday morning, Microsoft announced that had seized, by court order, 23 domains used by dynamic IP company no-ip.com. Seeing a preponderance of malware hosts using these domains, the company then routed all "known bad traffic" through Microsoft filters, in order to classify the identified threats. The move was not without innocent victims, however, as users who use the affected domains -- including paid users for legitimate VPN purposes and one MacNN employee -- are this morning unable to connect through the redirect, at least in part.

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Windows Phone 8.1 update could roll out in first half of July

06/30, 6:48am

Microsoft India tweet points to imminent Windows Phone 8.1 update release

Windows Phone 8.1 could be shipping to smartphones next month. A posting on Twitter by Microsoft India states the Windows Phone 8.1 update will "roll out to existing Windows Phone 8 users during the first two weeks of July," suggesting that features such as the long-awaited Cortana virtual assistant may reach consumers in the near future.

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Nokia X2 launches with updated software, improved rear camera

06/24, 5:42am

Entry-level Nokia X2 first Android smartphone launched under Microsoft ownership

Nokia's Devices and Services business has launched its second generation of Android smartphone, its first Android launch under the ownership of Microsoft. The Nokia X2 takes after the Nokia X launched in February, using a heavily customized Android implementation and a physical design reminiscent of the Lumia range, and though it is still a low-priced entry-level smartphone, it still offers a few improvements on the original.

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Microsoft offers Surface Pro 3 buyers $650 for MacBook Air trade-ins

06/23, 3:32pm

Runs with ongoing marketing angle

Microsoft is offering MacBook Air owners up to $650 in store credit if they trade in the laptop when buying a Surface Pro 3. To qualify for the deal, people must bring an Air into a Microsoft Store in the US, Canada, or Puerto Rico; it must also be able to power on, and not have water damage or a cracked screen. The promotion expires on July 31st.

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Microsoft increases OneDrive free storage to 15GB, cuts prices

06/23, 1:46pm

More storage provided to Office 365 subscriptions, lower costs for extra capacity

Microsoft is becoming more aggressive in the cloud storage market against Google, by making a number of changes aimed at attracting more users. The free allocation of OneDrive storage will be doubled from 7GB to 15GB, bringing the service in line with Google Drive, with Microsoft also making some changes to storage included with Office 365 and its paid storage options.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 deemed extremely difficult to repair

06/23, 11:37am

Teardown of Surface Pro 3 reveals high usage of adhesive on components

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is extremely difficult to repair, according to the results of a teardown by repair outfit iFixit. The latest iteration of the Microsoft tablet continues the trend of the original Surface Pro and the Surface Pro 2 in receiving one single point out of a maximum repairability score of ten, with the device said to be making repairs even harder thanks to its use of glue and consolidated components.

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Microsoft boosting antitheft protection with 'Find My Phone' upgrade

06/20, 3:53pm

Upgrade to Windows Phone 8.0 and above will incorporate fixes

A blog post by Microsoft's vice president of government affairs reveals that the company will update its Windows Phone operating system to comply with the CTIA's Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment program. Microsoft will expand its "Find my Phone" feature and add features similar to Apple's iOS 7 "Find My iPhone" security measures to accommodate the requirements of the program, and will meet the July 2015 deadline proposed by the group.

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Surface Pro 3 reaches US and Canada; Core i3, i7 versions Aug. 1

06/20, 12:42pm

Docking Station coming Aug.15

The Surface Pro 3 is now available in Canada and the US, online and at retail, Microsoft has announced. Currently the only versions on sale are Core i5 models. Microsoft has solidified a release date for Core i3 and i7 models however, which should ship August 1st.

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Microsoft Surface Mini leaks in Surface Pro 3 online manuals

06/20, 11:53am

Manual mistake suggests Surface Mini still in development

Microsoft has accidentally let slip the Surface Mini tablet is still being worked on by the company. Online manuals for the now-released Surface Pro 3 include references to the Surface Mini in places where it should state the correct product name, suggesting Microsoft is using one of the device manuals to create another for the other Windows tablet.

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Microsoft cuts price of Surface Pro 2 before Surface Pro 3 ships

06/18, 7:40am

Discounts of $100, $200 on Surface Pro 2 through Microsoft Store

Microsoft has cut the price of the Surface Pro 2 tablet in the United States, before the latest incarnation of the device, the Surface Pro 3, starts shipping. Echoing a similar discounting scheme in the United Kingdom, the lower cost of previous-generation Surface Pro tablets comes at the same time as news that there could be some delays in Surface Pro 3 shipments.

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Chinese officials let Microsoft's anti-Android patents out of the bag

06/17, 4:55pm

Regulators reviewing Nokia deal find 310 patents Microsoft leverage against Android

After the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) approved Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's device and services business, Microsoft was found to have 200 patent families necessary to build Android phones. In the process of posting news on the merger approval, however, the MOFCOM posted a list of 310 Microsoft patents that Android could be infringing upon.

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Microsoft opens Internet Explorer Developer Channel to public

06/16, 8:15pm

Developer version looks at features in testing, runs separate from existing browser

Developers and enthusiasts can now download a developer version of Internet Explorer to see what Microsoft's team is working on according to the official IE Blog. Microsoft has launched the Internet Explorer Developer Channel, allowing access to fully-functional developer versions of the browser that can run "alongside and independently" of Internet Explorer 11. The program is aimed at providing an open dialogue between the Internet Explorer teams and web developers.

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Apple, Cisco, AT&T join MS in opposing warrants on international data

06/16, 11:32am

Court ruling could have impacts on global security

Apple, Cisco, and AT&T have filed amicus curiae briefs in support of Microsoft's appeal of court decision that could force it to turn over email from an Irish customer to US law enforcement. Magistrate Judge James Francis IV ordered Microsoft to supply the data based on the Stored Communications Act, even though the content in question not only belongs to an Irish person but is stored on servers in Dublin. Microsoft has argued that this violates the SCA, international law, and treaties the US has signed that govern how to handle requests for data on foreign citizens.

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Analysis: Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo E3 press events

06/11, 2:55pm

Big Three 2014 E3 presentations complete, who 'won' the showdown?

This week's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) may have been devoid of any significant hardware announcements, but that doesn't mean there was nothing to talk about. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all had either live or "canned" press events in the two days leading up to the start of the expo proper, and as with all things, we've got opinions. Electronista writers Mike and Jordan discuss the big-ticket issues that have popped up from the brief look at the future of the "Big Three" console makers.

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Hands-on: Microsoft Surface Pro 3

06/10, 6:20am

Microsoft gets very close to perfectly executing the Surface Pro vision

Electronista recently had the opportunity to go hands-on with Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 ahead of its June 20 North America launch. Although the device carries the '3' moniker, it is the first full redesign of the Surface Pro since its debut in January 2013. As has been well documented, the Surface product line has not been the runaway success that Microsoft had hoped. Of all the products on the market shipping with Windows 8, the Surface is the device where Microsoft's controversial Modern UI makes the most sense. So is the Surface Pro 3 likely to change people's perceptions towards what is one of the most innovative products to come out of Microsoft recently?

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Halo: Master Chief Collection detailed at Microsoft E3 media brief

06/09, 3:03pm

Four games in one interface with Halo 2 receiving the full 'anniversary' treatment

During the Microsoft media briefing at E3, 343 Industries studio head Bonnie Ross took to the stage to outline some details on the upcoming Halo: Master Chief Collection for Xbox One. The collection will be coming to consumers in time for the holidays, hitting the shelves on November 11. As was previously announced, the collection will include Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4.

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Microsoft uses E3 keynote to hype 2014 game releases

06/09, 2:40pm

No hardware announcements in Microsoft E3 press event

In the first E3 keynote since the launch of the Xbox One, Microsoft has opted to spend time promoting upcoming games for the console, instead of introducing new features, hardware, or accessories like it did last year. The company showcased a number of titles for the console at the event, including releases from the Halo, Assassin's Creed, and Call of Duty franchises, as it attempts to prove to the public it should buy the Xbox One instead of the PlayStation 4.

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Microsoft rumored working on Kinect-style interface for Windows Phone

06/09, 11:19am

Mid-air hovering, tapping of tiles, gesture control said to be coming to Windows Phone soon

Windows Phone could soon allow users to interact with their devices without pressing an onscreen button, claims a report. Kinect-style features such as navigating by hovering a finger over part of a display may in fact form part of the experience of a rumored Nokia device codenamed "McLaren", set to be launched and released towards the end of this year.

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Report claims Microsoft smartwatch spotted being tested in New York

06/09, 8:05am

Elongated flat screen, health monitoring sensors claimed by Microsoft smartwatch report

Microsoft's rumored smartwatch has allegedly been spotted being tested in New York City, according to a report that claims the watch was caught in public a few months ago. The report states the wearable device had an elongated form, similar to the Samsung Gear Fit in terms of appearance, with a flat display on a curved casing designed to fit closely to the wrist.

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Microsoft commences sale of Xbox One without Kinect sensor

06/09, 6:55am

Microsoft Store starts selling Kinect-less Xbox One for $400

Microsoft has started to sell an Xbox One bundle without Kinect through the Microsoft Store, as the company continues to compete against its high-selling competitor, the Sony PlayStation 4. Announced last month, the console is being sold as a secondary package without the motion and voice-based sensor bar priced at $400, representing a saving of $100 off the original bundle's list price.

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Xbox One controllers on PC with new drivers, Kinect v2 pre-order

06/05, 6:23pm

PC drivers allow Xbox One controller use, $200 developer Kinect for Windows v2

Microsoft has announced today that they will be issuing a new set of drivers that allows people to use Xbox One controllers with their PCs. While not yet part of an official update in Windows, gamers are able to get their hands on the drivers now. The company also announced today that pre-orders are up for the new Kinect for Windows v2 sensor, which will ship to developers in July.

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