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Autumn is my favorite time of year, and not because of all the pretty fall colors – unless by pretty fall colors you mean Seattle Seahawks blue or the rave green of the Seattle Sounders.
Yep, you guessed it, autumn is my favorite time of year because it’s just about the best time for sports fans. College football and the NFL seasons are just getting underway. Major League Baseball’s playoff races are about to kick into high gear. And the Major League Soccer playoffs and the NHL and NBA seasons are right around the corner.
Of course, like all sports fans, I want – no, I need – to be connected to the latest news from my favorite teams at all times across a range of devices. Here’s a list of my favorite apps for Windows Phone and Windows 8 because they keep me in the loop on the sports I love.
The first place I go in the morning to catch up on the latest sports news is the Bing Sports App for Windows Phone. It’s got a great mix of top scores, top stories, slideshows (the Serena Williams career in pictures slideshow is amazing) and videos and it’s highly customizable, so I can follow news, scores and stats from my favorite sports and my favorite teams. Plus, I can even pin my favorite team to my start screen, creating a tile for one touch access to all the latest team updates.
The following post is from Ryan Gavin, General Manager, Search & Content Business Group, Microsoft.
It’s beginning to look a lot like…. shopping! Online shopping to be specific. According to the National Retail Federation, more than half of us holiday shoppers (51.5 percent to be exact) will shop online this holiday season. And more shopping means more emails in your inbox. Some of them great, some maybe less so. A recent study by Experian shows the commercial emails hitting your inbox will increase by almost 50 percent between mid-October and December.
That means on average people receive nearly three dozen emails every day with 80 percent of those consisting of commercial mails, such as newsletters, daily deals, social updates, bank statements and more. That comes to roughly more than one thousand emails in the holiday timeframe alone.
How do you manage it all?
We have some tips and tricks for how you can get your Inbox into fighting shape while ensuring your shopping is safe and private. Let’s take back control over holiday shopping!
Company challenges security researchers to yank powerful techniques out of attackers’ toolboxes, with $100,000 on the line.
Back-to-school time isn’t just about buying glue anymore. It’s a season of rebooting, starting fresh and getting back to business for all of us. What better time then, to get a new PC? If it’s been awhile since you last bought one, you won’t believe how things have changed. From 8-inch tablets to big screen all-in-ones, there’s never been a wider variety of PCs for back to school.
And we want to help get you one.
This time every year, millions of Americans scour ad inserts and search the Web before mapping out their strategies and setting their alarms for the mother of all shopping expeditions: Black Friday. As the official kick off to the holiday shopping season, Black Friday has nearly become as much of a tradition as Thanksgiving itself. According to a survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), this year will draw approximately 97 million shoppers on Black Friday, vying for the season’s hottest deals.
Microsoft researcher David Rothschild is legendary for his ability to literally predict the future using a unique and rigorous approach to data analysis. He correctly called the results of the 2012 presidential election in every state but one. He nailed 19 of the 24 Oscar categories this past year. And he’s constantly pushing the boundaries of predictive science through experimental live polling, online prediction games and more.
In this interview, David Rothschild tells you what to expect in 2014, breaks down his forecasting philosophy, and explains why you should trust professional gamblers more than cable news pundits.
Steve Wiens: So obviously you’re pretty good at this. What’s your secret sauce?
David Rothschild: I use a lot of publicly available data – gambling markets, polls, social media data and other online data. But I’m also lucky to have access to a large treasure trove of historical data at Microsoft that I use in order to understand the correlation between different inputs and outputs, things that we care about, as well as an infrastructure that allows me to gather that data continuously and continuously update it. I really owe a lot to Microsoft and my colleagues.
Got a gadget-head on your shopping list? When we hear “gadgets and tech,” we often think of high-ticket items, but there are plenty of cool technology options that won’t break the bank. We’ve gathered seven great gift ideas that any tech lover (and your wallet) will appreciate.
The following post is from Satya Nadella, Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft.
Today as we launch our fall wave of enterprise cloud products and services, I’ve been reflecting on how things change. A few years ago when I joined what was then the Server and Tools Business, I had the opportunity to talk to financial analysts about our business. Interestingly, after I covered the trends and trajectory of a $19 billion business – what would independently be one of the top three software companies in the world – there were no questions. Zero.
Well, recently that has changed. As of late, there has been a lot of interest in what I call the commercial business, which spans nearly every area of enterprise IT and represents about 58 percent of Microsoft’s total revenue. It’s a critical business for us, with great momentum and one to which we are incredibly committed.
Last June, Ted Dworkin, director of Program Management for Windows Store, took to the stage at Build to show off a more visual shopping experience that will put the spotlight where it belongs: on the apps and games that developers have created.
In this episode of “On the Whiteboard,” Editor Pamela Woon sits down with Derrick Connell, Bing’s corporate vice president, to show how easy it is to find what you want quickly using Bing Smart Search on Windows 8.1.
New Sony devices are available just in time for holiday gift giving – and you’ll probably “flip” when you see how versatile they can be!
As the Windows Experience Blog reports, the aptly-named VAIO | Flip PC “maintains the full functionality of a conventional notebook PC with the ability to switch between laptop, tablet and viewer modes.”
Would you rather battle trolls in a moonlit desert or dance with them in a sun-drenched forest? Project Spark lets users tap their inner game designer and create their own worlds and stories.
It all started with a question: “What if people could do whatever they wanted in a video game?”
Henry Sterchi is standing in front of a large Perceptive Pixel touchscreen, introducing the game his team has worked on for the past two years. On the screen a character stands alone in an empty world, a tiny blip surrounded by a sea of blank pixels.
Sterchi then starts to swipe his fingers across the screen. Mountains, rivers, and forests spring into existence. He paints a field of flowers and bores a tunnel through the earth for kicks.
In less than 10 minutes he’s created an impressively detailed world. He then picks up an Xbox controller, plops his character (informally known as “The Creator”) down into the world and starts exploring.
This is “Project Spark,” a digital canvas that lets users create, play and share their own worlds, games and stories. Players use a powerful set of tools to create and customize worlds for Windows 8 devices, Xbox One and Xbox 360 using touch, mouse and keyboard, or an Xbox controller. What they can create is bound only by imagination, said Sterchi, creative director on “Project Spark.”
Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Angry Birds — all had their origins in college dorm rooms. So odds are decent that the founders of the world’s next tech juggernaut just packed up for a very special summer vacation.
They could be among the hundreds of students gathering today in St. Petersburg, Russia for the Imagine Cup 2013 Worldwide Finals. Eighty-seven teams from 71 countries will pit their apps, games and innovative technology solutions against each other and compete for more than $1 million in cash and prizes.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so why is the local drug store playing Perry Como’s “Christmas Song”? You know, chestnuts roasting on an open fire? It can only mean one thing: Holiday shopping is just around the corner.
It’s important to have a plan after that big turkey dinner next week, whether you’re taking a nap in the recliner, logging on to do some pre-Black Friday shopping or getting bundled up to spend the rest of the night standing in line at your favorite retailer.
Fortunately, device makers have you covered. Retail store shelves will feature new Windows 8.1 PCs and tablets that allow you to get work done, play the latest games, look at real estate online or just curl up with a good e-book. Most of them even have touch capabilities.
The new Dell XPS 11 Ultrabook, announced Wednesday, is Dell’s thinnest, lightest and most compact 2-in-1 device. With it, you get the convenience of a tablet with the productivity of a laptop, able to transition from one to the other with a 360-degree rotating hinge design. The XPS 11 comes with a Quad HD touch display, a backlit keyboard and Windows 8.1.
Dell is also updating the XPS 13 with 4th-generation Core i7 processors, Intel HD 4400 graphics and longer battery life (up to 10.5 hours!). The XPS 13 has an edge-to-edge display that in footprint is similar to an 11-inch laptop and now comes with optional touch. It’s just under 3 pounds.
On Thursday, Lenovo announced the Miix2 8-inch tablet, which comes with a 16:10 widescreen, 10-point multi-touch WXGA display, 800x1280 resolution and a 178-degree viewing angle.
The Miix2, which will come with Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Office Home & Student 2013, weighs just over 12 ounces and is only 8.35mm thick. There are two webcams on the device – a 5 megapixel camera on the back and a 2 megapixel camera on the front. The tablet is powered by Intel’s Bay Trail-T quad core processor.
On Thursday, Microsoft announced an agreement with the Sao Paolo State Department of Education (SEE) to offer Office 365 free of charge to more than 4 million students from the state education network through the Student Advantage program. This joint initiative with the SEE represents an investment of almost $900 million, based on the individual subscription costs for Office 365.
Student Advantage will be available as of December 1, 2013 for all educational institutions with an Office 365 ProPlus or Office Professional Plus license for its administrative and faculty staff. In Brazil, the Sao Paolo State Department of Education will be the first to reap the benefits of Student Advantage, offering its students access to the complete version of Office 365 ProPlus at no additional cost. Students from the state education network will be able to use Office 365 tools on up to five devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Office 365 ProPlus includes all of the applications from the traditional Office suite, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and Outlook, among others, which can be installed locally on up to five devices and offer offline availability. When a school combines Student Advantage with Microsoft’s other cloud services, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online and Lync Online, all available free through Office 365 Education, students have access to the same set of gold-standard productivity tools and services used by Fortune 500 companies all over the world.
“We are thrilled to offer Student Advantage to Brazilian schools so students can access the latest, most up-to-date version of the world’s leading set of productivity tools in order to give them a competitive advantage when entering the workforce,” said Mariano de Beer, managing director of Microsoft Brazil. “Nearly 98 percent of students using productivity software currently use Office.”
"Our commitment is to take permanent actions to ensure that our students have access to technological resources that are a fundamental part of their preparation. The agreement announced today is part of the initiatives being implemented by the SEE to offer digital tools linked to the state curriculum,” said the Secretary of State, Herman Voorwald.
Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the things we’re thankful for and reconnect with family and friends over a good meal. Here are eight apps for Windows and Windows Phone to help make sure you have a safe, hassle-free and enjoyable holiday.
Bing Food & Drink
The Bing Food & Drink app is a must-have on your tablet or laptop for Thanksgiving. The new app makes it easy to explore recipes from all around the world, choose from more than 100,000 wines and cocktails, and learn tips from celebrity chefs like Wolfgang Puck and Tom Colicchio to make your next meal a taste-tempting success with family and friends. Not that you have to be a celebrity chef to cook a mean bird or get those garlic mashed potatoes just right.
Bing Food & Drink provides immaculate photos (as seen in the screenshot above), easy-to-follow instructions and tools such as a shopping list and meal planner to help you prepare your Thanksgiving dinner. You can also use the app to enter notes or upload your own favorite recipes, and then share them with a single tap of your finger – a great way to make the relatives happy when they ask for your sweet potato pie recipe!
Whether you’re a daily news reporter working on deadline, a local blogger out in the field or a freelance copywriter working from home, there are apps that can help you do your work faster and better.
Back in the day, when I was a print journalist in Baltimore and in Seattle, I took notes using pens and reporter’s notebooks, then came back to the office to crank out stories on Microsoft Word. But as I started covering more tech stories (including for Microsoft itself), I discovered all kinds of products and programs that helped me do my job.
The following post is from Roger Capriotti, senior director of product marketing, Microsoft.
The redesigned homepage for NORAD Tracks Santa.
Every December, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (“NORAD”) serves the important role of ensuring that Santa’s journey around the world is safe. Since 1955, children of all ages have tracked his route with the help of NORAD’s radar, satellites and jet fighters. This year, Microsoft has lent a hand to make the experience the most magical yet, putting a fresh spin on the time-honored tradition with the launch of the new www.NORADSanta.org. This isn’t the first time Microsoft has worked with NORAD Tracks Santa. Last year, we provided our interactive Bing Maps to give people at home an interactive visual of Santa’s whereabouts on Christmas Eve, which was powered by Windows Azure, as well as apps for Windows and Windows Phone that allowed people a platform to play and learn.
On Monday, we announced the availability of the Microsoft Dynamics 2013 Release Preview Guide.
The Preview Guide is designed to help customers get the most out of Microsoft Dynamics 2013, which will be available in October. The Guide covers topics such as the reimagined user experience in Dynamics 2013, process excellence and agility, CRM on the go, enterprise collaboration and platform enhancements.
Johnson Weru, ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, supports technology that offers rural students educational and economic opportunities they never imagined.
When Microsoft introduced the Microsoft 4Afrika initiative to African leaders tied to the European Union at an event in Brussels in June, it was only natural for Johnson Weru, the Kenyan ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg, to attend. He wanted to show his support for 4Afrika, and for the technology projects that were equipping schools and villages in rural Kenya with touch-screen tablets and broadband Internet. But as the attendees watched a video, Weru was transported back to his childhood, to the rural village where he grew up — just a few miles from where the students on the screen were getting their first glimpse of computers and the Internet.
On Wednesday, Microsoft announced Visual Studio 2013, Visual Studio Online and a host of new capabilities to help development teams create, deliver and manage next-generation applications.
Also, Microsoft introduced several cloud-based services running on Windows Azure, extending development experience in the cloud. Visual Studio 2013 and Visual Studio Online represent the beginning of a new era for Visual Studio, combining a powerful desktop integrated development environment with rich developer tools and services in the cloud.
OK we know at least one million of you now own an Xbox One, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to start enjoying your new console to the max. To help you get familiar with the most groundbreaking feature – the wide range of gestures and voice commands you can use with Kinect to control your console – the Xbox team has published a reference sheet you can download and print.
You’ll find dozens of commands for everything from firing up the Xbox One to calling your parents via Skype, to recording your finest gaming moments or easily using a QR code. Enjoy!
Physicians from all over Europe have been coming to Siloah St. Trudpert Klinikum — a leading hospital in Pforzheim, Germany — to learn a special procedure for kidney-stone removal from the man who pioneered it in the late 1990s. Dr. Sven Lahme, head of the hospital’s urology department, regularly teaches visiting physicians the use of endoscopy and ultrasound to remove kidney stones through a tiny incision. Demand for these demonstrations is so great that the hospital sought to devise a new way to teach the technique at Siloah St. Trudpert — and beyond.
“We’re internationally renowned for our pioneering work in urology, and for developing new techniques for lifesaving endoscopic surgery,” says Lahme. “We wanted to create a digital operating room that would allow us to train more surgeons through real-time video transmission of surgeries, including ultrasound and X-ray images.”