Revises its email scanning policy again following ‘uncomfortable’ criticism
Microsoft came under severe criticism after it emerged last week that in 2012 the company had peeked inside the Hotmail account of an employee suspected of leaking Windows 8 trade secrets. Within 24 hours of the revelations, the company thought it behooved it to “provide additional context and describe how we are strengthening our policies.” But the "strengthened" policy did not go down too well with the critics either.
Microsoft and Nokia are both anxious to finalize a $7.2 billion transaction in which the former will become the new owner of substantially all of the latter's Devices and Services business, but not all regulatory authorities around the world are quite as excited. Specifically, certain antitrust authorities in Asia are still conducting a review and it's now expected the deal will become finalized in April.
Microsoft's former chief is now unsure how long he'll remain on the board of directors
Steve Ballmer became of the face of Microsoft after being named the company's chief executive officer in January 2000. It's a demanding position, to say the least, and after 14 years at the helm, he finally relinquished the role, with Satya Nadella taking over last month. With his time suddenly freed up to think about things, Ballmer's been reflecting on what to do next and whether or not that includes remaining on Microsoft's board of directors.
Yes, Microsoft is within its rights to peek in your Hotmail
A side story that got lost in yesterday's revelation that authorities arrested a former Microsoft employee for allegedly leaking Windows 8 trade secrets to a French blogger is how Microsoft was able to track down its suspect. Simply put, the blogger was using a Hotmail account, so Microsoft granted itself access to his inbox. Based on the emails it read, Microsoft had a culprit, but was this a breach of privacy?
DirectX 12 provides developers with lower level access to hardware
Microsoft unveiled details about its DirectX 12 API at the Game Developer Conference (GDC) today. According to Microsoft, its team of engineers redesigned the API with a focus on speed and efficiency. DX12 will enable richer scenes, more objects, and fully utilize modern GPU hardware. On top of it all, DX12 works across different types of Microsoft devices, including phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and the Xbox One.
An ex-Microsoft worker is accused of sending confidential Windows information to a French blogger
One of Microsoft's former employees has been arrested and ordered held without bail for allegedly leaking Windows 8 trade secrets to a French blogger, court documents revealed today. His name is Alex Kibkalo and he used to work for the Redmond outfit in Lebanon and Russia. Prosecutors in the case claim that Kibkalo provided the blogger with confidential Microsoft documents, including screenshots of unreleased versions of Windows.
Come April 8th, planes will fall out of the sky, street lights will quit working, and it's going to be complete anarchy in the streets! Wait, that was Y2K, and none of that stuff actually happened. Okay, so come April 8th, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP, and depending on who you talk to, it will either be no big deal or a major security crisis. Either way, there are newer, more securer OSes available. Don't want to jump all the way to Windows 8? That's fine and dandy -- today's top deal is for Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit (OEM) for $80 with free shipping (normally $100 - use coupon code: [EMCYTZT58783]). With Windows 7, you can watch the April 8 deadline come and go with a hearty yawn.
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Microsoft is making a mistake to hang XP out to dry, Avast says
Avast COO Ondrej Vlcek doesn't think Microsoft is doing Windows users a solid by discontinuing support for Windows XP next month. Vlcek digitally inked a cautionary blog post warning Microsoft that turning its back on XP is a "big mistake" that will have negative repercussions not only for XP users, but for the "whole ecosystem." As it stands, Microsoft is planning to end support for XP on April 8, 2014.
At long last, users clamoring for 4G LTE broadband connectivity on a Surface 2 tablet are about to get their wish. Beginning tomorrow, Microsoft will begin offering a version of its Surface 2 slate with a built-in 4G LTE radio for $679. The tablet will be available to purchase from Microsoft's online and offline stores, as well as Best Buy (online, offline, and through Best Buy Mobile locations).
In 2012, taking a leaf out of the mobile phone carriers’ book, Microsoft began offering a 4GB Xbox 360 console, a Kinect motion sensing camera and an Xbox LIVE Gold membership for just $99 to those willing to commit themselves to a $15-per-month two-year contract. The company, it has now emerged, quietly pulled the plug on that experiment a while back.