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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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Windows 10 will gain Game DVR, social functions from Xbox One

01/21, 2:19pm

Xbox One will stream gameplay to Windows 10 devices

Microsoft's gaming ambitions will involve a new app for Windows 10, among other items, Xbox chief Phil Spencer has revealed. The Xbox app will be available on every PC and tablet running Windows 10, providing not only the usual social features already offered to Xbox One users, but also the Game DVR video creation and sharing function.

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Microsoft officially announces Spartan browser for Windows 10

01/21, 1:23pm

New browser

At today's Microsoft Windows 10 event, Windows Phone Program chief Joe Belifiore officially revealed the refresh of Microsoft-supplied browsers, with the previously rumored Spartan browser effort. The new browser, named after the company's hero of the Halo series, includes web page annotation and sharing, full PDF integration into the browser, and a baked-in implementation of Microsoft's Cortana "Personal Digital Assistant" technology.

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Windows 10 a free upgrade, not subscription, for Windows 7, 8.1 users

01/21, 12:51pm

Free upgrade to Windows 10 offered to previous versions for one year after launch

The next iteration of Windows will be a free upgrade to a large number of existing Windows users, Microsoft revealed today at its media event. Owners of computers running Windows 7 or later will receive an upgrade to Windows 10 at no charge, in a move that is highly likely to bolster user numbers for the operating system shortly after launch.

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Briefly: Xiaomi launches Mi Box mini, Windows 10 event stream

01/15, 9:26am

Xiaomi launches compact Mi Box mini media streamer in China

Xiaomi has introduced a new compact media streamer in China. The Mi Box mini is a power adapter-sized device containing a quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 processor from MediaTek, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a HDMI 1.4a output capable of showing 3D video at 1080p. While it offers DTS 2.0 and Dolby Digital Plus audio processing and has a Bluetooth remote control, it does not include any options to increase the storage or connect over Ethernet or USB. Shipping from January 27, the Mi Box mini is priced at 199 RMB ($32).

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Microsoft launches Lumia 435, Lumia 532; to ship in February

01/14, 6:09am

Budget Lumia 435, Lumia 532 have similar entry-level specifications

Microsoft has unveiled two Lumia smartphones destined for emerging markets. The Lumia 435 is claimed to be the company's "most affordable Lumia," complete with a four-inch 800x480 LCD screen, while the Lumia 532 is slightly more expensive -- and while it packs the same display, it switches out the 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor for a quad-core version.

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Windows 7 mainstream support ends, extended support period starts

01/13, 1:21pm

Security patches for Windows 7 will continue until January 2020

Microsoft is ending its "mainstream support" for Windows 7 today. The January 13 end date for the support, across all versions of Windows 7, means that from tomorrow onwards Microsoft will not be offering free support for issues with the operating system, though the company will be offering chargeable "extended support" until January 14, 2020.

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Microsoft attacks Google for Windows 8.1 vulnerability publication

01/12, 11:18am

Google reveals Windows flaw despite Microsoft request to wait

Microsoft is asking for the online security community to better coordinate on the disclosure of vulnerabilities in code, after a publication of a flaw in Windows 8.1 by Google. The search company released details about the vulnerability in the operating system yesterday as part of Project Zero, two days before Microsoft was to offer up a fix in its well-known Patch Tuesday schedule.

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New Remix tablet combines Android with Surface

01/10, 3:03am

Former Google engineers borrow heavily from the Microsoft aesthetic

Last year, three ex-Google engineers from the Search and Maps divisions got together and formed Jide Technology. Now, Jeremy Zhou, David Ko, and Ben Luk have debuted the Remix, a combination tablet and laptop, or what the company calls an "ultra-tablet." While it runs on a modified version of Android, the look and feel is very reminiscent of the Microsoft Surface -- giving the new product's title an ironic extra layer of meaning.

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Hands On: Microsoft Sway (iOS)

01/09, 8:02pm

Create interactive photo stories on your iPhone

Microsoft must've had some serious but closeted iPhone and iPad fans chomping to make apps for Apple's devices among its personnel -- because now that the company has officially embraced Apple's devices, it is making some of the very best iOS software around. This app for communicating ideas -- Sway -- is also very far from the powerful-but-dry business software that we still associate the company with. You would sooner believe this came from the makers of Keynote than from PowerPoint.

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Alibaba, Microsoft agree to Chinese counterfeit crackdown

01/09, 4:28am

Chinese powerhouse will strengthen anti-counterfeit measures on Tmall, Taobao

In an announcement today on its Alizila News site, the Alibaba Group revealed a plan to work together with Microsoft to crack down on counterfeit and pirated Microsoft products from being sold on Alibaba's Taobao and Tmall online stores in China. The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which commits them to jointly conduct programs to alert customers to the dangers of using unlicensed software, and help them seek restitution if they were tricked into buying pirated products.

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Upcoming MS Spartan browser to offer Cortana integration, say reports

01/08, 7:26pm

Web annotations, OneDrive integration, other new features planned

Last month, it was revealed that Windows 10 would include a new web browser code named "Spartan." Internet Explorer (IE) will still be included in the new operating system for legacy reasons, but it's expected that will begin offering Spartan as the default browser. New details are emerging regarding how the browser will work, with several major new features planned.

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Microsoft unveils Nokia 215 as low-cost Internet-ready mobile phone

01/05, 5:32am

Nokia 215 connects over 2G, includes social network apps

Microsoft has launched another Nokia-branded phone, this time as a feature-phone device outside of the Lumia range. The Nokia 215 is a phone for emerging markets with relatively basic features compared to its Windows Phone-based line, but it doesn't stop Microsoft from claiming it is the "most-affordable Internet-ready entry-level phone" on the market.

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Weekly Game Replay: Steam hits 8.5M users, Xbox Live founder departs

01/04, 4:18pm

News from the video game industry for the week of December 28

Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN offer a look back at some of the big news from the video game world in the previous week. To roll in the New Year for Weekly Game Replay, we take a look at Steam's new concurrent user record, Xbox Live founder Boyd Multerer's departure from Microsoft, the Planetside 2 beta coming to the PlayStation 4 in January, Croteam's trap for video game pirates in The Talos Principle, and the new free games for PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live gold subscribers.

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Briefly: Kinect for Windows retired, Energizer smartphones at CES

12/31, 6:52am

Microsoft retires original Kinect for Windows sensor

Microsoft is planning to phase out sales of the original Kinect for Windows sensor in 2015. In a blog post spotted by Slashgear, the availability of the improved version 2.0 sensor and SDK 2.0 has prompted the company to put to an end sales of the preceding model. Microsoft warns that business customers with "commitments to the original sensor" should get in contact as no more original sensors will be produced once the current stock sells out.

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Microsoft allegedly working on new browser for Windows 10

12/29, 2:16pm

Spartan browser said to coexist in Windows 10 with Internet Explorer 11

Windows 10 may be accompanied by a new browser, a report claims. Microsoft is said to be working on a browser codenamed "Spartan," one which is said to be a lightweight browser that represents a fresh start from the current Internet Explorer browser, and may end up being a completely separate browser release rather than becoming Internet Explorer 12.

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Xbox Live, Playstation Network attacked, down for most of Christmas

12/26, 9:22am

Kim Dotcom bribe halted attacks on gaming company servers

Over Christmas Eve and well into Christmas Day, gaming services Xbox Live and the Playstation Network were under assault from the Lizard Squad group. The attack rendered the services mostly useless, with an assortment of problems including a general inability to connect, and culminating in the login services for both not accepting connections. The assault only ended with Internet personality Kim Dotcom offering the members of the group lifetime memberships to his new file locker Mega Privacy.

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Embattled Sony Pictures' 'The Interview' given wide online release

12/24, 12:32pm

Google, Sony, Microsoft all hosting the movie for purchase or rent

Sony and others have unveiled a massive effort to make the Sony Pictures title The Interview available online. Google's YouTube Movies paid service paved the way with its announcement a bit earlier today, with Google Play, Xbox Videos, and a special Sony website all having declared that the movie would be available at 1PM ET. The picture will cost $6 to rent, and $15 to own in HD.

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Briefly: LG G2 Android Lollipop leak, Virgin Atlantic free tablets

12/22, 6:03am

Leaked screenshot suggests LG G2 to gain Android Lollipop soon

The Android Lollipop upgrade may reach the LG G2, if a leaked screenshot is to be believed. According to TuttoAndroid, the screenshot is said to show the G2 as running Android 5.0.1, with part of the screenshot showing a new, flatter user interface in line with Material Design principles. No date for the update has been provided -- but if the image is genuine, it could start reaching phones as early as January next year.

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Halo studio giving ODST, free month of Live to compensate for issues

12/20, 10:00am

Campaign add-on to Halo paced differently, highly regarded by fans

Microsoft game studio 343 Industries has spelled out a compensation package for users affected by the matchmaking flaws that Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been plagued with since launch. The package includes Halo 3 adjunct title ODST, which was not expected to be released, a remastered multiplayer map, a month of Xbox Live service, and a character nameplate for use in-game.

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Microsoft hits 1.5 million total Windows 10 'Insiders'

12/17, 11:40pm

Thirty percent of tech preview testers are 'highly active,' says company

Back in October, Microsoft launched the "Windows 10 Insider program, "where PC experts and IT Pros can get access to a technical preview of Windows 10 for desktops and laptops." As of December 17, 1.5 million users have joined the program, Microsoft has announced. In the December update for the forthcoming OS version, Microsoft's Gabe Aul said roughly 30 percent of Insiders, or 450,000 users, are "highly active" in the program.

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Rumor: Microsoft working on cloud-based game streaming service

12/16, 6:53pm

Arcadia project proposes to stream games from cloud servers to Windows PCs

Microsoft is allegedly experimenting with streaming apps and games to Windows machines. An internal team is said to be working on "Arcadia," a codenamed project which would let software to run from Microsoft's Azure cloud services rather than on a local machine, streaming the app or game to PC users with lower-than-average specifications.

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Microsoft finds tech allies in challenge of US search warrant

12/16, 1:47am

Apple, most big tech companies support Microsoft in Irish email case

This week saw the submission of ten amicus curae briefs filed from a combined 87 individuals, businesses, and associations in support of Microsoft's challenge to a US search warrant for an email stored on a data center in Ireland to the court. The fight between the US government and the Windows maker centers around US law's reach into a customer's private records when the records are actually stored in another country.

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Windows 10 build 9901 leak shows updated Cortana, UI tweaks

12/15, 7:27am

Changes in appearance, new apps shown in latest Windows 10 build

More leaks for Windows 10 have surfaced, ahead of an event planned to show off the Microsoft operating system on January 21st. The latest leak of build 9901 includes a more refined design for the Cortana virtual assistant than in previous reports, with the changes accompanied by a number of other tweaks and small changes to the Windows interface.

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Facebook excises Bing search results, shifts to internal engine

12/13, 1:10pm

Move not indicative of any change in attitude toward Microsoft

Social network behemoth Facebook has removed Microsoft Bing search results from its pages in the last few days. The move, confirmed by Facebook officials, shifts the users' results to its own "Facebook Search" effort to help focus "on helping people find what's been shared with them." The move underscores Facebook's continued competition with Google. In parallel with the Bing excision, Facebook rolled out changes to "Graph Search" to return specific posts to searchers, instead of just results for people.

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Microsoft 'Patch Tuesday' brings two bad updates, one still not fixed

12/13, 11:08am

Windows 7 TLS, SSL implementation fix breaks driver installations

This week's Microsoft "Patch Tuesday," the regular scheduled day for updates and bug fixes from the Redmond giant, hit a few snags. While one problematic patch to Exchange 2013 has already been retracted and re-issued, a second patch -- this one addressing SSL and TLS authentication -- has rendered many Windows Update drivers, including video card drivers from Nvidia and AMD, uninstallable on Windows 7.

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Monthly sales of Xbox One in US beats PlayStation 4 for first time

12/12, 11:18am

NPD claims 1.2M Xbox One consoles sold in US in November

Microsoft has beaten Sony for the first time in a long while, in terms of console sales. Sales data from NPD reveals that the Xbox One outsold the PlayStation 4 in the United States for the month of November, with the pre-holiday spending breaking a sales streak Sony has enjoyed since the launch of its console in the country last year.

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Microsoft buys HockeyApp to integrate developer beta-testing of apps

12/11, 11:06pm

Works with iOS, Android, Windows Phone: crash reporting, analytics, beta distribution to be unified

Microsoft has announced through a blog post that it has acquired HockeyApp, a mobile analytics and app-distribution service similar to Apple's Testflight. Originally launched as a web-only service in 2011 that allowed iOS, OS X, and Android developers to collect crash reports and manage beta distribution, the app now offers such services for Android, iOS and Windows Phone developers, and will continue to operate as Microsoft works on integrating HockeyApp into the Applications Insights service in Visual Studio Online.

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Microsoft accepts Bitcoin for account payments in United States

12/11, 4:09pm

Bitcoin payments into Microsoft Account performed by BitPay

Microsoft is embracing Bitcoin, by allowing users of its services to pay using the cryptocurrency. US customers are able to add funds to their Microsoft Account using a Bitcoin wallet, which can then be used to may payments in the Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox stores, as well as paying for subscriptions for Xbox Live and Xbox Music.

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Microsoft debuts six new MSN apps for iOS

12/11, 10:23am

Health & Fitness syncs with HealthKit

Microsoft has launched a collection of new MSN apps for iOS, including News, Money, Health & Fitness, Food & Drink, and Sports. A sixth, Weather, is due to go live sometime in the near future. News gathers feeds from websites like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. Money tracks financial information, and provides some basic tools to go with it.

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Cortana demonstrated in video of new Windows 10 build

12/08, 6:18am

Desktop version of Cortana has similar functionality to Windows Phone version

The rumored desktop version of Microsoft's virtual assistant has allegedly resurfaced in video. A clip appears to show Cortana being used on a new build of Windows 10, and though some aspects are apparently non-functional, the video seemingly demonstrates how it could be used to contact other people, create appointments, and handle reminders.

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Briefly: Netflix Twitter promotion test, Android OneDrive app updates

12/05, 10:31pm

Netflix tests original show marketing with reminder Twitter messages

Netflix is testing a new way to remind subscribers to watch their original shows. A custom card for upcoming show Marco Polo is being used on Twitter to promote the show, complete with a "Tweet Me a Reminder" button. According to The Next Web, the @MarcoPoloMP Twitter account will be sending a message to anyone who opts in to the service at 12:01AM Pacific Time on December 12th, with participants also receiving a custom video message from the cast.

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Microsoft Torque search app heads to Android smartphones

12/05, 9:58pm

Android Wear search app spreads to mobile phones, adds more answer options

The Microsoft equivalent of Google Voice Search is now available on Android. Initially released from Microsoft Garage for Android Wear devices, Torque is a search app which provides card-style answers to questions in a similar manner to Google's own voice-controlled product, though instead of being triggered by a voice prompt, it starts up by shaking the phone.

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Briefly: Cortana spreads in Europe, Google Play app updates

12/05, 10:52am

Microsoft brings Cortana to France, Germany, Italy, Spain

Microsoft is bringing the Cortana virtual assistant to more countries in Europe. An update as part of the Windows Phone Developer Preview Program rolling out today will grant access to Cortana in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Released as an alpha version, Microsoft warns many of the advanced features will not be available, such as flight tracking and some reference data, but the team is working to add localized content for each language, along with a slightly tailored personality.

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Barnes & Noble ends Microsoft partnership, buys out Nook Media stake

12/04, 12:34pm

Buying back stake claimed to help separation of Nook Media from retail business

The commercial agreement between Microsoft and Barnes & Noble is ending, the retailer has revealed. The termination of the two-year partnership is said in the latest quarterly earnings report for the book retailer to help "further rationalize the Nook business and provide a clearer path for the potential separation of our retail and Nook Media business.

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Head of Xbox in Japan resigns as abysmal console sales continue

12/01, 2:05pm

Sensui will retain manager position in US, two executives to jointly assume role

The troubles for the Xbox One continue in Japan, not only because of the continuing trend of low sales, but also due to the recent resignation of Head of Xbox Japan Takashi Sensui. Sensui stepped down from his role as general manager of the Xbox division for Microsoft as of November 30, making way for his replacements Yoshinami Takahashi and Nobuyoshi Yokoi.

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Microsoft acquires mobile email app developer Acompli

12/01, 12:57pm

Acompli purchase could help Microsoft with mobile Outlook app

Microsoft has revealed it has acquired Acompli, the developer behind mobile email apps of the same name for iOS and Android. Revealed early via a mistakenly-published blog post before being pulled from view, the acquisition gives Microsoft a mobile email client from which it could easily integrate certain aspects into work already carried out by Microsoft's Outlook team.

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Microsoft prototype leak claimed to show McLaren Lumia smartphone

12/01, 5:56am

Leaked prototype photographs reveal possible Lumia device with PureView-style camera hump

Leaked photographs claimed to show a prototype Lumia smartphone may depict a previously-rumored device said to have Kinect-style gesture controls and a high-resolution PureView camera. The images, showing a device marked as a prototype from Microsoft Mobile, may in fact be a smartphone codenamed "McLaren" and may show what could have been the successor to the Lumia 1020.

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Microsoft to pay Chinese government $137M over 'tax evasion' probe

11/30, 3:23pm

China report indicates Microsoft will pay $16.2M per year in additional taxes

Microsoft's tax troubles aren't limited to the US, according to a report from a Chinese news agency. The software company is being accused of tax evasion in the country, after years of posting heavy losses in a Chinese-based subsidiary. As a result, Microsoft is paying the Chinese government $137 million in back taxes and interest.

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Bing, Yahoo start 'right to be forgotten' removals, EC issues guidance

11/29, 11:20am

Google mostly compliant, with exception of notifying publishers of removal

This week has been a busy one for Europe's "right to be forgotten" stricture. Not only have Yahoo and Microsoft's Bing launched the mandated efforts for users, but the European Commission has also issued guidance to the search engines on how to handle requests. The guidance is similar to what Google has implemented, but there may be some issues ahead, as the document published by the commission takes issues to search engines warning site operators when a page with information is delisted, potentially stirring up old issues and bringing more attention to the deleted content.

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Windows 10 Consumer Preview could ship by end of January 2015

11/27, 3:07pm

Report claims press event for launch taking place after CES

Microsoft may present what the final consumer version of Windows 10 will look like in late January, a report claims. The software giant is said to be holding an event towards the end of the month to showcase the consumer preview edition of the operating system, within weeks of the company presenting to attendees at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) at Las Vegas.

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Skype 7.2 fixes bugs, improves chat readability

11/26, 3:54pm

Profiles still suffering from CPU issues

Microsoft has released a minor update to Skype for Mac, v7.2. The software mainly copes with several bugs, including crashes caused by changing a profile picture, playing the test sound in the Welcome tour, and/or launching Skype with Ecamm Call Recorder 2.5.11 installed. It also deals with Call and SMS buttons not working on a contact's profile page.

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Yahoo, Microsoft vying to become default search option in Safari

11/25, 3:23pm

Companies look to exploit end of Google contract

Yahoo and Microsoft are courting Apple in hopes of becoming the default search provider for the Safari web browser next year, a report says. Apple renewed a mapping and search partnership with Google in 2010, but that contract is set to expire next year, which could give other companies an entry point. Both Yahoo and Microsoft executives are said to have approached Eddy Cue -- Apple's senior VP for Internet Software and Services -- about a potential deal. So far, though, there's no sign that Apple has made a decision, and indeed it could choose to remain with Google.

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