Black Friday? Check. Cyber Monday? Check. Ongoing savings, Steam Weeklong Deals, and GOG DRM-Free Big Winter Sale? Check, check, and check again! Phew, talk about a busy holiday shopping season, and it doesn't feel like it's coming to a close anytime soon. Instead, more and more promotions keep popping up, like Microsoft's 12 Days of Deals starting with a Toshiba Encore Mini tablet for $79, marked down from $119.
The general release time frame for Windows 10 gets narrower
In the past, we were told that Windows 10 would launch to the public sometime in late 2015. While no specific release date has yet been set, Microsoft has at least tightened the launch window by revealing Windows 10 is on track to come out in late summer or early fall" of next year. That's according to Microsoft Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Turner, who talked a little about Windows 10's release at a Credit Suisse Technology Conference recently.
Back in 2012, Microsoft invested $300 million into Barnes and Noble's Nook business, giving the Windows maker about a 17 percent share of Nook media. Things didn't turn out as planned for either side, and with B&N planning to spin off its Nook Media arm, Microsoft agreed to sell its stake back to the company, thus concluding a two-year partnership that never really went anywhere to begin with.
Microsoft just shut down its Clip Art library, and going forward, the company suggests using Bing's image search functionality instead. No problem, most people have already made the transition to web-based image searches when they're in need of a graphic or photographic, just not everyone has been using Bing to hunt down images. In an initial draft of the blog post announcing the change, Microsoft was blunt in saying that usage of the image library in Office has seen a steady decline as users turn towards search engines.
Microsoft's mobile play is reportedly worth $200 million
Consumers aren't the only ones looking to make purchases during the ongoing Black Friday and Cyber Monday festivities, firms are going on spending sprees as well. One of them is Microsoft, which today announced it has acquired Acompli, a venture-backed startup in San Francisco that offers a self-titled mobile email application available for both iOS and Android platforms.
With so many people clinging to Windows XP despite Microsoft's repeated attempts to bury the legacy OS and the lukewarm (at best) response to Windows 8, it didn't seem like the latter would ever overtake the former in market share. Never say never, right? For the first time ever, the combined share of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is higher than that of Windows XP, based on the latest data provided by Net Applications.
When Microsoft introduced the Windows 10 Technical Preview back in October, it requested ordinary consumers (i.e. humanity minus enterprise users and enthusiasts) to steer clear of the new operating system until the release of the consumer preview. However, it did not give a specific date for the release of the consumer preview, only saying that it would be sometime during early 2015. A much more specific time frame for the release of the consumer preview has now emerged.
When it comes to Microsoft's upcoming successor to Windows 8/8.1, the company seems to be hitting the right notes in many ways. So the latest bit of news should excite audiophiles everywhere now that it has been revealed that Windows 10 is going to support FLAC straight out of the box, according to Gabriel Aul who is the head of Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group’s Data and Fundamentals Team.
Rock out with your Windows Phone or Windows device out
It wouldn't be fair to call Microsoft a Scrooge, not when the company is rolling out a pair of sweet deals for the holiday season, one of which includes 100 free albums. The caveat? You have to be a Windows or Windows Phone user. If you are, you can claim your 100 free albums from Microsoft by installing the company's Music Deals companion app. These aren't crappy albums, either.
Over a year after it first introduced real-time co-authoring in Office Online (or Office Web Apps as it was known back then), Microsoft has finally gotten around to making the next logical addition to its online productivity suite: the ability to chat in real time with other collaborators from within an Office Online web app. The Redmond-based tech giant has now begun rolling out the long overdue feature to Office Online users and the roll out is expected to span a few weeks.