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Microsoft apps bundled with Cyanogen ROM under new partnership

04/16, 12:10pm

Skype, Microsoft Office, other apps will be included in future Cyanogen releases

Users of CyanogenMod will soon find more Microsoft apps on their devices. Cyanogen and Microsoft have announced a strategic partnership between the two companies, which will see the Android ROM producer adding Microsoft-created apps to Cyanogen OS, including Bing services, OneDrive, OneNote, Outlook, Microsoft Office, and Skype.

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Microsoft Lumia 540 Dual SIM launches with 8MP, 5MP cameras

04/16, 6:42am

Lumia 540 Dual SIM has 5-inch 720p display, quad-core 1.2GHz processor

Microsoft has unveiled a Windows-based smartphone that seems to be a slightly improved version of the recent Lumia 640 for emerging markets. The new Lumia 540 Dual SIM shares much of its specifications with last month's smartphone launch, but it does include a few useful changes, such as a higher-resolution front-facing camera and, as the name suggests, the ability to use two SIM cards.

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Briefly: Netflix adds audio descriptions, Office Delve for mobile

04/14, 10:47pm

Audio Description tracks added to Netflix-produced shows

Netflix is making some of its content more accessible to the visually impaired, by adding an alternate "Audio Description" track to shows. Starting with the recently-released Daredevil today and reaching other Netflix-produced shows in the coming weeks, the extra option provides a narration track that describes scenes and important character attributes, such as costumes, facial expressions, and actions.

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Briefly: Android Trusted Voice, Xbox One price cut in UK

04/14, 6:37am

Trusted Voice Smart Lock option rolling out to stock Android devices

Owners of devices running stock Android will be able to unlock their smartphones and tablets by uttering "OK Google." Following changes to Google Play Services, Android Police reports that the Trusted Voice unlocking option is starting to roll out, appearing in the Smart Lock settings. Users are warned before setting up Trusted Voice that it is "less secure" than a knowledge-based security measure, such as a PIN or a pattern, as "someone with a similar voice or a recording of your voice could unlock your device."

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Weekly Game Replay: EFF fights ESA, Xbox One tuner test, WoW Tokens

04/12, 11:19pm

News from the video game industry for the week of April 12

Every Sunday, MacNN and Electronista take a moment to look back at some of the notable stories in the world of gaming. This week, the EFF take on the ESA over potential DMCA exemptions, Microsoft makes the Xbox One less power hungry when switched off, and Blizzard enabled a system for purchasing of in-game World of Warcraft gold using real-world money.

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Briefly: Sprint unveils new roaming plan, Bing updates mobile search

04/12, 12:57pm

Sprint International Value Roaming includes unlimited free texts, 2G data

Sprint has introduced a new International Value Roaming option that will provide free texts and 2G data to subscribers visiting a list of countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, and Mexico, with calls in the countries priced at $0.20 per minute. Along with the new add-on, which can be included with a number of plans at no extra charge, travelers can acquire International Speed Data Roaming Passes, providing connections at 3G speeds. The three passes consist of 100MB of data at $15 for one day, 200MB at $25 for seven days, and 500MB of data for $50 for two weeks.

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Hands On: Office Sway 1.2 (iOS)

04/06, 10:05am

Updated app allows multiple users

Previously on Sway ... we reviewed Microsoft's latest app Office Sway back in January, and not only did we say lots of positive things, we managed to stop ourselves making a "walk this Sway" gag. Now Sway has been updated, and specifically to allow you to collaborate on these online articles with other people.

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Weekly Game Replay: PlayStation Home closes, StarCraft II beta opens

04/05, 9:17pm

News from the video game industry for the week of April 5

Every Sunday, MacNN and Electronista take a moment to look at some of the notable stories in the world of gaming. This week, Sony says goodbye to the PlayStation Home virtual world, Blizzard starts up the beta for StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, a report claims the original Xbox could have been given away as a free console, and Microsoft is discontinuing the second-generation Kinect for Windows sensor.

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Microsoft Office Lens for iOS, Android scans documents, whiteboards

04/05, 5:14pm

Office Lens originally launched on Windows Phone, out on iOS, in preview for Android

Microsoft is making an Office app it released last year for Windows Phone available to iOS and Android users. Office Lens is an imaging app that effectively turns a smartphone into a scanner, allowing users to electronically keep track of receipts, forms, letters, and other paperwork using their device's camera, storing it on Microsoft's OneNote and OneDrive cloud services for later retrieval.

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Briefly: HBO on Sling TV, Microsoft updates Outlook mobile apps

04/02, 6:17am

HBO joining Sling TV this month, add-on priced at $15

Sling TV will be getting HBO before the new series of Game of Thrones is set to begin on April 12. Confirming a Wall Street Journal report to Slashgear, the Dish-owned service will offer HBO to subscribers of its "Best of Live TV" core package as a $15 per month add-on, bringing the total monthly cost to $35. While there will be only one of HBO's channels available to watch, subscribers will still have access to the broadcaster's on-demand catalog.

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Rockstar patents could bring Apple nearly $400M profit

04/01, 9:12pm

Apple, BlackBerry, others partnered on former Nortel patents

The Rockstar Consortium, a group comprised of Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony, will see a windfall on its 2011 purchase of some 4,000 patents from Canadian tech giant Nortel, with Apple expected to gain at least $392 million from the holding, one analyst says. Wells Fargo's Maynard Um has used BlackBerry's reported gain of 17 percent of a base figure in predicting Apple's share of the profits.

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Microsoft drops Xbox branding from Windows 10 Music, Video apps

04/01, 2:56pm

App previews for Music, Video available to download in Windows 10 Technical Preview

Microsoft has released preview versions of two universal apps that will ship along with Windows 10, providing access to the user's media. The new Music and Video apps are available to download from the Windows Store beta within the Windows 10 Technical Preview, with Microsoft notably dropping the Xbox branding from the front of both app names.

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Microsoft unveils Surface 3, exchanges Windows RT for full Windows 8.1

03/31, 10:46am

Surface 3 has 10.8-inch 1080p display, Intel Atom processor

Microsoft has unexpectedly launched a new item in its Surface line. The Surface 3, originally expected to be launched alongside the Surface Pro 3 and previously believed to be scrapped by Microsoft altogether in favor of a smaller device, is a mix between the Surface 2 and Surface Pro 3, though in a notable change from the Windows RT-based range, it will instead run a full 64-bit version of Windows 8.1.

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Microsoft bringing Windows 10 technical preview to more Lumia phones

03/29, 11:50am

Partition stitching addition widens reach of Windows 10 phone preview

Microsoft is making the technical preview of Windows 10 for smartphones available to more devices, the software giant has advised. Initially available to a small number of Lumia smartphones, the technical preview will be installable on a wider array of hardware, with over 30 Lumia devices on a preliminary list set to receive the software in the next preview release.

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Windows 10 may not be free to new customers, virtualization users

03/27, 2:20pm

Microsoft dodges questions about free versions to pirates, Parallels users

Microsoft has made a passing attempt to clarify some of its policy on free upgrades to Windows 10. In an interview, senior director of product marketing at Microsoft Aaron Woodman detailed what the company has decided about the offering -- and an alarming amount of decisions seem to have not been made yet about licensing the OS.

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Google adding IE Pointer Events API to Chrome, releases Data Saver

03/26, 11:43pm

Google using Microsoft-created API to fix scrolling issues in Chrome

Google is going to be leaning on some Internet Explorer technology to fix scrolling and touch support in its Chrome browser. At the same time, Google has launched an extension for the desktop versions of Chrome which aims to reduce the amount of data used to surf the Internet, a feature that has already made an appearance on iOS and Android versions of the browser.

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The MacNN Podcast, episode seven: Apple TV rumors, Windows 10, more

03/22, 8:09pm

Disrupting industries is the new black, great apps and fair app prices, bad jokes

The MacNN Podcast episode seven is now available, and this week we looked at the rumor that Apple is preparing to revamp the Apple TV and sweeten the pot with an optional package of channel offerings that don't require a cable subscription; Google's entry into the MVNO space; the recent Microsoft announcements about Windows 10; Facebook getting into inter-site payments; the return of Launcher to the App Store, and the removal of so-called "anti-virus" iOS apps; our latest "Living With" column; and our favorite apps of the week.

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Microsoft outs $70 Lumia 430 Dual SIM as cheapest Lumia smartphone

03/19, 9:49am

Budget-priced Lumia 430 has four-inch display, 1.2GHz processor, 8GB storage

Microsoft has introduced what it calls its "most affordable Lumia" smartphone, priced at $70. The Lumia 430 Dual SIM leans towards the entry-level end of the smartphone spectrum, though despite the price, it manages to pack a 4-inch 800x480 display and runs Windows Phone 8.1 with Lumia Denim, and it will be able to use Windows 10 when it is released.

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Microsoft's China push reportedly involves upgrading pirates, Android

03/18, 9:43pm

Microsoft to provide PCs in China running pirated Windows with free upgrade

Microsoft may end up allowing more people to use a free version of Windows 10 than previously thought. One report claims Microsoft is going to be trying to make it easier for Android users to switch to a Windows mobile device by transforming their existing smartphone, and some pirates may also end up being able to upgrade their existing Windows installation to the new release.

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Premera data theft: up to 11 million customers' data compromised

03/18, 10:45am

Company discovered breach seven months after intrusion

Washington state-based healthcare provider Premera has suffered a massive cyberattack, which has potentially led to the theft of 11 million customers' data. More than six million people affected by the breach live in Washington state, with many employees of Microsoft and Amazon at risk. The initial attack happened on May 4, 2014, with the realization that the system had been breached not occurring until January 29, the same day fellow provider Anthem realized that they had been attacked.

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Windows 10 shipping this summer, increasing presence in China

03/18, 7:18am

Microsoft partners with Chinese companies to help spread Windows upgrade

Microsoft will be releasing Windows 10 to the public in the coming months, the software maker has confirmed. Exiting its current Windows Insider technical preview program sometime this summer, the latest iteration of the operating system will be shipping in 190 countries around the world in 111 languages, with Microsoft also announcing a greater push into China.

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Biometric security added to Windows 10, storage footprint reduced

03/17, 3:09pm

Fingerprint scanning, face and iris recognition coming to Windows 10

Windows 10 will be including more alternative log-in systems when it launches, with Microsoft embracing biometric security on computers. The software giant also advises that the team behind Windows 10 have made changes to the way it compresses system files and how the operating system handles recovery functions, helping reduce the software's footprint on the device's storage.

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Patent troll $100M 'rocket docket' lawsuit ends in Apple's favor

03/17, 9:47am

Lawsuit alleged every Apple mobile device abused assortment of ex-Nokia patents

Late Monday, a jury ended a legal battle with a patent licensing firm. A jury in Texas' "rocket docket" declared that Apple did not infringe on five patents held by Conversant owned Core Wireless Licensing SARL, who was seeking $100 million in damages, and a portion of Apple's device sales going forward, some of which may have been paid out to Microsoft.

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Microsoft may include peer-to-peer updates system in Windows 10

03/15, 12:48pm

Option to download from networked PCs, other systems found in leaked Windows 10 build

Microsoft may be using a peer-to-peer file distribution system for system updates in Windows 10, a report claims. A leaked build of Windows 10 is said to include an option to "get updates from more than one place," suggesting Microsoft may be shifting away from its existing direct-from-server system to a more modern system that is closer to BitTorrent and other similar file-sharing services.

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Microsoft's Cortana coming to iOS, Android, possibly this fall

03/13, 9:44am

Video game inspired artificial intelligence assistant part of Microsoft's broader plan

Microsoft has broader ambitions for its Windows Phone voice-enabled assistant "Cortana." As part of an upcoming initiative slated for later in this year, not only will the voice recognition technology arrive on the desktop with Windows 10, it will also be seen on Android and iOS as a standalone app, according to Eric Horvitz, managing director of Microsoft Research. The company had previously given a vague suggestion that it would come to alternative operating systems, but no details were provided until now.

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Microsoft re-patches Windows to protect against Stuxnet exploit

03/10, 9:22pm

Initial 2010 Stuxnet patch left Windows PCs vulnerable for five years

Microsoft has finally fixed an issue with Windows that allowed it to be vulnerable to the Stuxnet worm, by issuing another patch. An initial fix released in August 2010 to fix the USB exploit is claimed by security researchers not to have completely solved the problem, subsequently keeping all Windows PCs susceptible to the attack over the last five years, though a patch released today as part of "Patch Tuesday" is claimed to solve it once and for all.

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Briefly: OnePlus One in more countries, Xbox Live free in Windows 10

03/10, 7:23am

OnePlus makes flagship smartphone available to buy in 16 more countries

OnePlus is making its OnePlus One smartphone available in more countries in Europe. The extra 16 countries, including Ireland and Greece, join another 19 countries in being able to acquire the mobile device, though The Next Web reports they will still be subject to requiring an invitation to purchase or ordering it during the Tuesday sales events, just like customers in other countries are subjected to.

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MacNN Podcast episode five: MS Office for Mac, the Apple Watch, more

03/08, 9:00pm

Some of the best -- and worst -- trends in tech this week

The MacNN Podcast is now up to episode five, and this week we looked at the new Microsoft Office 2016 preview; the disturbing trend of legitimate app makers inserting adware (or worse) into their apps to make a few extra bucks; the news from last week's Mobile World Congress, including the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge; our favorite reviewed apps of the week, and more news about Monday's public debut of the Apple Watch.

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Hands On: Microsoft Office 2016 Preview (OS X)

03/06, 3:14pm

The behemoth of office data processing returns -- and it is very good

We're not going to judge Microsoft Office for Mac 2016 in the detail or the depth that we will when it finally ships as a finished product. However, Microsoft has made it available in preview beta form, and it is irresistible. It's also very good, and if you have even a modicum of interest in Microsoft Office, you should try it now - though there are one or two caveats you'll want to keep in mind.

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Windows, Blackberry also susceptible to HTTPS-breaking FREAK attack

03/06, 9:52am

Chrome, Firefox for OS X safe; no ETA on Android, Windows patches

In an advisory published on Thursday, Microsoft has admitted that all versions of its OS and browser are susceptible to the FREAK bug. Additionally, all BlackBerry devices are also vulnerable. The flaw allowing the attack exists in approximately 36 percent of websites that use HTTPS, and miscreants are able to intercept and modify data passing between a vulnerable browser and a susceptible site. Neither BlackBarry devices nor Windows devices were intially pegged as susceptible, due to a flaw in the coding of the test site.

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Microsoft releases public preview of Office 2016 for Mac

03/05, 12:43pm

Building iPad version assisted in Mac rebuild and rethink of programs, company says

Microsoft on Thursday released a public preview beta of the programs that make up the forthcoming Office 2016 for Mac. The new versions, which inherit many of the features from the last Windows release, offer a Yosemite-inspired look that support Retina displays, full-screen mode, and other modern Mac and OS X features. The preview versions are completely free to download and use, but are intended to give customers a sneak peek and to gather feedback from users ahead of the final release.

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Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard works on iOS, Windows, Android

03/02, 9:19am

Foldable Keyboard has spill-resistant design, can switch between two devices

Microsoft has made a second version of its multi-platform keyboard, this time in a more-portable form. Unveiled at Mobile World Congress alongside new Lumia devices, the Universal Foldable Keyboard is a full QWERTY keyboard which can be paired with two iOS, Android, Windows Phone, or Windows devices, with the user able to switch between the two with a press of a button.

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Microsoft Lumia 640, 640 XL have same processor, different screens

03/02, 8:41am

Lumia 640 XL has larger screen, better cameras than Lumia 640

Microsoft has added two more mid-ranged devices to its Lumia device roster. The Lumia 640 has a five-inch 720p ClearBlack IPS display, with the Lumia 640 XL boasting a similar-resolution 5.7-inch display, and though they both have similar core specifications and share the same name, the XL version has a few more extra changes.

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HP rolls out Spectre x360 convertible, designed with Microsoft input

03/01, 9:53am

Case machined out of aluminum, boasts 12+ hour battery life

HP today announced the HP Spectre x360, a 13.3 inch convertible PC. The HP Spectre x360 is designed with an all-CNC aluminum chassis, is 15.9mm (0.63 inches) in height, and weighs 3.3 pounds. Notably, the company paired with Microsoft during all aspects of development, leading to tight Windows integration, and a software suite so light that the company calls it "one of the cleanest images HP has ever produced."

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Briefly: Microsoft Office 365 in Education, Pingit pays Twitter names

02/25, 6:58am

Microsoft simplifies student enrollment process for free Office 365 subscription

Microsoft is offering a simpler way for students around the world to check their eligibility for a free Office 365 license. While free subscriptions have been around for a while, it typically involved a lengthy process to check for eligibility. Now, students and teachers need to just sign up with a valid school email address to receive their subscription, which includes installation of Office apps on up to five computers and up to five mobile devices, as well as 1TB of OneDrive storage.

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Microsoft Band gains on-screen keyboard, cycling tile, SDK

02/23, 8:02pm

Cycling tile added to Microsoft band, more exercise tiles incoming

The first update for the Microsoft Band will introduce new tools for users and developers, as the company tries to improve its standing in the fitness-tracking market. A tile for monitoring cycling, improved communications between the band and mobile apps, and an on-screen keyboard are joined by Microsoft's preview release of an SDK, giving developers a hint at what they could do with the wearable device.

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Briefly: Google Docs app update, Xbox One changes outlined

02/19, 6:03am

Google adds more editing options to Google Docs for Android

Google Docs for Android has been updated to provide more from its Office Compatibility Mode. The latest version allows for the cutting, copying, and pasting of text, images, tables, and charts in the mode, according to the Google Apps Updates blog, with the app also introducing the ability to insert links into Google documents. The updated app is available to download now from Google Play.

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Briefly: Microsoft updates Mac OneNote, VLC 3.0 coming

02/18, 2:20pm

OneNote for Mac gains OCR support, close window, hide authors

On Wednesday, Microsoft updated its OneNote note-taking program for the Mac to include support for scanning and OCR of documents. The new 15.7.1 also includes to user-requested features -- the ability to close (rather than quit) the application's window using the standard Mac convention, and the ability to hide author initials in shared notebooks from the View tab.

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Microsoft confirms acquisition of cross-platform calendar app Sunrise

02/12, 6:31am

Sunrise purchase believed to cost Microsoft at least $100M

Microsoft has confirmed it has acquired calendar app creator Sunrise. Rumored last week, the purchase provides Microsoft with a powerful calendar tool for iOS, Mac, Android, and a web-based version, and when combined with the earlier deal to buy Acompli, appears to show Microsoft is trying to improve its Office suite by incorporating already-successful third-party apps, rather than developing its own solutions.

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Windows 365 trademark filing could hint at incoming subscriptions

02/11, 8:05am

Trademark suggests Microsoft considering more subscription services

Microsoft may be considering a future change to a subscription-based version of Windows, according to reports. A trademark filing for "Windows 365," mirroring the Office 365 branding, strongly suggests the software giant is looking to possibly charging a regular fee to consumers for the operating system or some specific functionality, rather than using the current one-time payment system used for major version upgrades.

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Microsoft bringing Windows 10 to Windows Phone devices with 512MB RAM

02/09, 8:06am

Lower-specification Windows Phone devices could gain feature-limited WIndows 10

Microsoft is still working on allowing owners of lower-specification Windows Phone devices to use Windows 10. Concerns that owners of smartphones including the Lumia 520 would miss out were allayed by a Microsoft executive, though it appears that they may miss out on some of the functionality expected to arrive within the mobile operating system.

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Report: Microsoft acquiring calendar app producer Sunrise for $100M

02/05, 11:51am

Calendar app purchase echoes earlier acquisition of Acompli

Microsoft has made another acquisition of an existing mobile productivity app, according to reports. Sunrise, the producer of calendar apps of the same name, is allegedly being acquired by the software giant, and based on the results of its last major third-party app acquisition, could end up adding the software to its Office app collection.

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WSJ: Microsoft may make investment in Android ROM producer Cyanogen

01/29, 10:32pm

Cyanogen investment may be ploy to weaken Google control of Android

Microsoft may be planning to make an investment in an Android-related startup, a report claims. According to sources of the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft will allegedly take part in a funding round as a "minority investor" of Cyanogen, creators of the CyanogenMod Android ROM, with rumors that the round will bring in a total of $70 million to the ROM maker.

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Microsoft OneDrive upgrades photo functions, offers Mac sync client

01/29, 10:52am

Web, iOS app first to gain new photo views, albums in OneDrive

Microsoft has made some changes to its cloud storage service OneDrive, with updates primarily concerning photography. Overall updates to image organization, searching, and sharing are accompanied by changes to the iOS app for work-related items, alterations which make it easier to access files stored on OneDrive for Business accounts without requiring a dedicated app, as well as a Mac client -- making file synchronization smoother.

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Microsoft releases Outlook preview, ships Office for Android apps

01/29, 7:36am

Outlook preview edition for iOS, Android rebrands existing Acompli app

Microsoft has made its Office apps available to all Android users, following the limited preview release and the iOS version. The apps, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, are accompanied by a new preview of another Office app, with a rebranded version of email app Acompli as Outlook downloadable from both Google Play and the iTunes App Store.

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Microsoft revenues up to $26.5B in second quarter financial results

01/26, 5:45pm

Surface accounts for $1.1B in revenues thanks to Surface Pro 3

Microsoft's last quarter saw the company pull in $26.47 billion in revenues, beating the previous quarter and the same quarter last year's figures by $3.27 billion and $1.95 billion respectively. The gross margin is up 1 percent year-on-year to $16.33 billion, though operating income is down 2 percent to $7.78 billion, with the diluted earnings per share at $0.71, down nine percent.

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Microsoft updates Windows 10 Technical Preview with Cortana

01/23, 5:58pm

Latest Windows Insider preview build of Windows 10 available to download

Microsoft has made the latest version of its Windows 10 Technical Preview available to download by the participants of the Windows Insider program. The update introduces some of major features shown off during this week's Windows 10 event, with the Spartan browser and the Xbox One game streaming expected to arrive in Insider builds closer to launch.

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Surface RT will miss out on majority of Windows 10 upgrades

01/23, 7:18am

Full upgrade to Windows 10 not available for Windows RT devices

Owners of the Microsoft Surface will not receive the full upgrade to Windows 10, but will still benefit from some updates, a report claims. While Microsoft will be making the next version of its operating system available to systems running Windows 7, 8, and 8.1, including the Surface Pro range, the Windows RT-based Surface will be missing out.

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Microsoft shows 55- and 84-inch Surface Hub enterprise touchscreen

01/21, 3:53pm

Windows 10 device intended to simplify conferencing, communications

Microsoft's Surface ecosystem didn't get left behind in today's Windows 10 event. Unveiled at the media event was the Microsoft Surface Hub, which is either a 55- or 84-inch 4K display, utilizing a custom Windows 10 version, featuring touch and stylus input with voice and gesture controls.

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Microsoft Hologram project unveiled, Hololens headset demoed

01/21, 2:27pm

Seven-year project integrated into Windows 10, release not imminent

Microsoft pulled the veil off of a project that it claims has been running for years -- Microsoft Hologram. The project, consisting of a new Hololens headset, aims to integrate Microsoft Windows in both a virtual reality and augmented reality system. Additionally, the company announced that every Windows 10 device will support the system in some way, with the API on every device. As expected, details are scant.

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