microsoft http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/190/ en Microsoft Skins Mobile Mouse 3500 with Halo's Master Chief, Goes Up for Pre-order at Gamestop http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_skins_mobile_mouse_3500_halos_master_chief_goes_pre-order_gamestop <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/halo_mouse.jpg" alt="Halo Mouse" title="Halo Mouse" width="228" height="201" style="float: right;" />An affordable rodent for Halo fans</h3> <p>It's a bit of an odd cross promotion, but to draw attention to Halo: The Master Chief Collection for Xbox One, <strong>GameStop is offering up for pre-order Microsoft's new Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 Halo Limited Edition: The Master Chief</strong>. Microsoft outfitted its existing Mobile Mouse 3500 with a highly detailed scene featuring Master Chief in his two-tone green MJOLNIR Power Assault Armor and gold hued visor.</p> <p>"With this mouse, you get Master Chief and all the awesomeness that comes standard with the popular Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 such as its ambidextrous design, snap-in nano transceiver, 2.4 GHz wireless technology, and two-color battery light indicator. You also get BlueTrack Technology that allows you to use the mouse on virtually any surface including granite, marble, carpet, and wood," Microsoft said in a <a href="http://blogs.windows.com/bloggingwindows/2014/07/31/new-limited-edition-wireless-mobile-mouse-3500-features-master-chief-from-halo/" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>The Mobile Mouse 3500 uses BlueTrack technology for tracking on virtually any surface. It also features a plug-and-go nano transreceiver and up to 8 months of battery life.</p> <p>If you're interested, you can place your <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/p/wireless-mobile-mouse-3500-halo-special-edition#overview" target="_blank">pre-order at GameStop</a> for $30 today; it will ship in October. You can also <a href="https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-US/games/halo-the-master-chief-collection" target="_blank">place your pre-order</a> for Halo: The Master Chief Collect at GameStop for $60; it ships November 11, 2014.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_skins_mobile_mouse_3500_halos_master_chief_goes_pre-order_gamestop#comments GameStop halo Hardware master chief microsoft mobile mouse 3500 Peripherals News Thu, 31 Jul 2014 23:39:26 +0000 Paul Lilly 28275 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Earns Major Kudos From DisplayMate http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_surface_pro_3_earns_major_kudos_displaymate_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/surface_pro_3_2.jpg" alt="Surface Pro 3" title="Surface Pro 3" width="228" height="163" style="float: right;" />Surface Pro 3 impresses DisplayMate with excellent color accuracy</h3> <p>The <strong>Surface Pro 3</strong> is arguably the first tablet capable of replacing a notebook, which is something Microsoft is quite fond of saying, but did you know that it <strong>has one of best display screens of any mobile device</strong>? That's not Microsoft making that claim, it's Dr. Raymond M. Soneira, President of DisplayMate Technologies Corporation. Dr. Soneira put the Surface Pro 3 through its paces and came away quite impressed with the tablet's panel.</p> <p>"Based on our extensive Lab tests and measurements on the display for the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft has produced an excellent professional grade high performance display for Windows. In fact, the Surface Pro 3 has one of the very best and most accurate displays available on any mobile platform and OS," <a href="http://www.displaymate.com/Surface_Pro_ShootOut_1.htm" target="_blank">Dr. Soneira said</a>. "It joins near the top of a small set of tablets that have excellent top tier displays – ideal for professionals that need a very accurate high performance display for their work, and for consumers that want and appreciate a really nice and beautiful display."</p> <p>That's high praise from one of the most respected display gurus in the business. The Surface Pro 3 earned it by reproducing some of the most accurate on-screen colors of any tablet or smartphone ever measured by DisplayMate.</p> <p>It's also only the second display to earn "Very Good to Excellent" ratings in all categories, save for Brightness Decrease. Amazon's Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 was the other, the Surface Pro 3 is more accurately calibrated with the best "Absolute Color Accuracy" DisplayMate has ever measured, Dr. Soneira says.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_surface_pro_3_earns_major_kudos_displaymate_2014#comments display displaymate laptop microsoft notebook surface pro 3 tablet News Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:25:55 +0000 Paul Lilly 28267 at http://www.maximumpc.com Newegg Daily Deals: Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64-Bit (Full Version), PNY XLR8 240GB SSD, and More! http://www.maximumpc.com/newegg_daily_deals_microsoft_windows_8_professional_64-bit_full_version_pny_xlr8_240gb_ssd_and_more <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/intel_core_i5_4670k.jpg" alt="Intel Core i5 4670K" title="Intel Core i5 4670K" width="300" height="262" style="float: right;" /><img src="/files/u154082/newegg_logo_small.png" alt="newegg logo" title="newegg logo" width="200" height="80" /></p> <p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p> <p>Young or old, there are multiple examples of where going pro works out for the best. Look at LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, both of which decided to go pro right out of high school. And Brett Favre found some measure of success by remaining a pro in his 40s. Have you been thinking about going pro? We can't help on the sports side of the equation, but if it's a new copy of Windows you need, you can go Pro with today's top deal -- <a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416552&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-OTHER-N82E16832416552-_-0729&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64-bit (Full Version) OEM</a> for <strong>$100</strong> with free shipping (normally $140 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCPCHE56</strong>]). It's eligible for a free update to Windows 8.1 and comes with features like Remote Desktop, Data BitLocker, Network Domain Join, and Client Hyper-V.</p> <p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113364&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-CPU-N82E16819113364-_-0729&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">AMD Athlon 5350 Kabini Quad-Core 2.05GHz Socket AM1 25W Desktop Processor AMD Radeon HD 8400</a> for <strong>$58</strong> with free shipping (normally $65 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCPCHE25</strong>])</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820178456&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-SSD-N82E16820178456-_-0729&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">PNY XLR8 2.5-inch 240GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)</a> for <strong>$100</strong> with free shipping (normally $110; additional $10 Mail-in Rebate)</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231429&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-RAM-N82E16820231429-_-0729&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory</a> for <strong>$149</strong> with free shipping (normally $165 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCPCHE34</strong>])</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352038&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-CASE-N82E16811352038-_-0729&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Fractal Design Define R4 Blackout Silent ATX Mid Tower Computer Case</a> for <strong>$80</strong> with free shipping (normally $95 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCPCHE42</strong>])</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/newegg_daily_deals_microsoft_windows_8_professional_64-bit_full_version_pny_xlr8_240gb_ssd_and_more#comments amd Daily Deals daily deals fractal design g.skill microsoft pny Tue, 29 Jul 2014 15:02:56 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 28257 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows Phone 8.1 Update to Add Support for Folders http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_phone_81_update_add_support_folders_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/lumia_635.jpg" alt="Lumia 635" title="Lumia 635" width="228" height="178" style="float: right;" />First update to Windows Phone 8.1 is coming soon</h3> <p>The cat is out of the bag -- <strong>Microsoft will soon release its first update for Windows Phone 8.1</strong>, and with it will come support for folders, the company revealed in a post intended for developers. As you can already do on the latest versions of Android and iOS, you'll soon be able to drag Tiles on top of each other on your Windows Phone handset to create a folder for organizing your applications.</p> <p>In addition to supporting folders, the update will introduce Voice over LTE (VoLTE) functionality (make phone calls over a 4G LTE connection), support for 1280x800 displays and 7-inch screens (perhaps indicative of upcoming Windows Phone phablets), and a phonebook entry for Cortana.</p> <p>One of the more interesting features in the upcoming update is support for interactive case accessories. This will allow case makers to build cases that can wake up the phone when they're opened and put them back to sleep when closed, <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/27/5941861/windows-phone-8-1-update-1-features" target="_blank"><em>The Verge </em>reports</a>. In addition, <a href="http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2357448/windows-phone-81-update-1-to-introduce-folders-volte-support" target="_blank"><em>The Inquirer</em> surmises</a> that Microsoft might be working on a cover similar to HTC's Dot View Case, which allows users to view notifications through the case.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_phone_81_update_add_support_folders_2014#comments microsoft mobile operating system OS smartphone Software windows phone 8.1 News Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:54:15 +0000 Paul Lilly 28253 at http://www.maximumpc.com Cheap Windows Laptops Will Give Chromebooks Competition in the Second Half of 2014 http://www.maximumpc.com/cheap_windows_laptops_will_give_chromebooks_competition_second_half_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/acer_laptop.jpg" alt="Acer Laptop" title="Acer Laptop" width="228" height="180" style="float: right;" />Get ready for an influx of $199 to $249 Windows laptops</h3> <p>A big reason why Chromebooks are selling so well is because they offer up basic functionality at dirt cheap prices. However, what would happen if Windows laptops could easily be found at the same price points? It's a question that will get answered within the next few months. That's because <strong>Intel, Microsoft, and notebook makers are collaborating on entry-level laptops that will sell for $199 to $249</strong>.</p> <p>Citing sources within the upstream supply chain, <a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20140723PD213.html" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em> says</a> that these cheap Windows laptops will enter the market in the second half of this year. These will probably range in size from 10.1 inches to 15.6 inches with non-touchscreen displays powered by Intel's Bay Trail-M platform. Braswell-based processors could also sneak in.</p> <p>There are some parameters that Intel and Microsoft are insisting upon, such as keeping the clamshell laptops less than 25mm. The entry-level laptops must also have battery lives of 5 hours or more, 1-4GB of DDR memory, and either a 500GB hard drive or 16-32GB SSD. And of course they'll run Windows 8.1.</p> <p><a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/cheap_windows_laptops_will_give_chromebooks_competition_second_half_2014#comments chromebook Hardware intel laptop microsoft mobile notebook Windows News Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:58:02 +0000 Paul Lilly 28231 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Beats Quarterly Sales Estimates, EarningsTake Hit From Nokia Deal http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_beats_quarterly_sales_estimates_earningstake_hit_nokia_deal_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/microsoft_paper.jpg" alt="Microsoft Paper" title="Microsoft Paper" width="228" height="151" style="float: right;" />Profit slide a direct result of Nokia buyout</h3> <p>Starting with the good news, <strong>Microsoft beat Wall Street estimates by reporting a 17 percent bump in revenue</strong>, which totaled $23.38 billion for the company's fiscal fourth quarter ended June 30, 2014. Unfortunately for Microsoft, that wasn't enough to weather its Nokia Devices and Services acquisition, which contributed to a 7 percent drop in earnings at $0.55 per share.</p> <p>Despite the drop in earnings, Microsoft chief Satya Nadella is optimistic about the future, especially after <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_ceo_satya_nadella_discusses_companys_future_open_email_employees_2014">rolling out a new game plan</a> that has the company aggressively focused on the cloud.</p> <p>"We are galvanized around our core as a productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world, and we are driving growth with disciplined decisions, bold innovation, and focused execution," <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/investor/EarningsAndFinancials/Earnings/PressReleaseAndWebcast/FY14/Q4/default.aspx" target="_blank">said Satya Nadella</a>, chief executive officer of Microsoft. "I’m proud that our aggressive move to the cloud is paying off – our commercial cloud revenue doubled again this year to a $4.4 billion annual run rate."</p> <p>Microsoft's Windows OEM revenue grew 3 percent, driving by 11 percent growth in Windows OEM Pro revenue. The company also added 1 million subscribers to its Office 365 Home and Personal cloud service, bringing to the total to 5.6 million. Finally, Bing search advertising revenue grew 40 percent as Microsoft increased is U.S. search share to 19.2 percent.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_beats_quarterly_sales_estimates_earningstake_hit_nokia_deal_2014#comments microsoft Nokia revenue News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 18:00:56 +0000 Paul Lilly 28225 at http://www.maximumpc.com No, Microsoft Isn't Scaling Back to One Version of Windows for All Devices http://www.maximumpc.com/no_microsoft_isnt_scaling_back_one_version_windows_all_devices_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/satya_nadella_2.jpg" alt="Satya Nadella" title="Satya Nadella" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Understanding Microsoft's unified strategy</h3> <p>Microsoft chief Satya Nadella caused a whirlwind of headlines and speculation with a comment he made during his company's fiscal fourth quarter earnings call. The way he worded some early rhetoric made it sound like the next version of Windows -- codenamed Threshold and likely to be called Windows 9 -- will ship with but a single SKU rather than multiple versions for smartphones, desktops, gaming consoles, and so forth. However, <strong>Nadella wasn't talking about a single OS to rule them all</strong>.</p> <p>The cause of confusion stems from Nadella saying, "We will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating systems for screens of all sizes." However, he would later clarify that he was referring to the engineering approach -- having a single team work on all versions of Windows, each of which is built around a common core.</p> <p>"We will have multiple SKUs for enterprises, we will have for OEM, we will have for end-users. And so we will be disclosing and talking about our SKUs as we get further along, but my statement was more to do with how we are bringing teams together to approach Windows as one ecosystem very differently than we ourselves have done in the past," Nadella clarified.</p> <p>That said, Microsoft is hard at work unifying the Windows experience. Nadella envisions a unified store serving all platforms, even Xbox, along with a unified developer platform in which programmers can write code a single time and have their software run on any version of Windows.</p> <p>For more of what Nadella had to say, <em>Seeking Alpha</em> has the <a href="http://seekingalpha.com/article/2331775-microsofts-msft-ceo-satya-nadella-on-q4-2014-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=single" target="_blank">entire transcript</a> from the earnings call.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/no_microsoft_isnt_scaling_back_one_version_windows_all_devices_2014#comments microsoft operating system OS satya nadella Software Windows News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:09:43 +0000 Paul Lilly 28222 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Reportedly Plans to Dish Out Windows 8.1 Update 2 on August 12 http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_reportedly_plans_dish_out_windows_81_update_2_august_12 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_start_4.jpg" alt="Windows" title="Windows" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />The final major update for Windows 8.1 is said to arrive on Patch Tuesday in August</h3> <p>Mark your calenders, folks, and be sure to use pencil instead of ink (unless it's erasable ink) -- a Russian website is reporting that <strong>Microsoft will release Windows 8.1 Update 2 on August 12</strong>, which is also next month's Patch Tuesday date. This is expected to be the last major update for Windows 8.1 before Microsoft switches gears to Windows 9, or Threshold as it's also been referred to.</p> <p><a href="http://www.neowin.net/news/windows-81-update-2-said-to-arrive-on-august-12th" target="_blank"><em>Neowin</em></a> first noticed the leaked information on <a href="http://pcportal.org.ru/" target="_blank"><em>PCPortal.org.ru</em></a>, which posted what's supposed to be official Microsoft documentation. Though <em>Neowin</em> believes the information is authentic based on previous leaks, it has not been confirmed by Microsoft.</p> <p>Microsoft has continually been adding features to Windows 8/8.1 in order to address customer complaints and widen its appeal to users who have stuck with XP and Windows 7. Early indications suggest that Windows 8.1 Update 2 will contain mostly minor updates, and if that's the case, it's unlikely to change the perception of users who've refused to upgrade up to this point.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_reportedly_plans_dish_out_windows_81_update_2_august_12#comments microsoft operating system OS Software update 2 windows 8.1 News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:24:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 28207 at http://www.maximumpc.com Newegg Daily Deals: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit, WD Black 3TB Hard Drive, and More! http://www.maximumpc.com/newegg_daily_deals_microsoft_windows_7_professional_64-bit_wd_black_3tb_hard_drive_and_more <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u69/windows_7_thumbnail.jpg" alt="Microsoft Windows 7" title="Microsoft Windows 7" width="300" height="290" style="float: right;" /><img src="/files/u154082/newegg_logo_small.png" alt="newegg logo" title="newegg logo" width="200" height="80" /></p> <p><strong>Top Deal:</strong></p> <p>We jumped off the hate train for Windows 8 a long time ago, and with the roll out of Windows 8.1, there's a lot to like about the OS. Nevertheless, we're not oblivious to the fact that plenty of people would rather watch Bachelorette marathon than stare at Windows 8.1 on their PCs. If you're one of them, then check out today's top deal for <a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416804&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-OTHER-N82E16832416804-_-0721&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 64-Bit OEM</a> for <strong>$125</strong> with free shipping (normally $140 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCPCWC24</strong>]). And don't worry about those XP programs -- you can run them in Windows XP Mode.</p> <p><strong>Other Deals:</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009590&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-DISPLAY-N82E16824009590-_-0721&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Acer H6 27-inch 5ms HDMI IPS panel Widescreen LED Backlight Monitor</a> for <strong>$200</strong> with free shipping (normally $210 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCPCWC27</strong>])</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104914&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-OTHER-N82E16826104914-_-0721&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Logitech G602 Black 1 x Wheel USB RF Wireless 2500 dpi Gaming Mouse</a> for <strong>$50</strong> with free shipping </p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233667&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-FLASHDRIVE-N82E16820233667-_-0721&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">Corsair Flash Voyager GT 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive</a> for <strong>$35</strong> with free shipping (normally $40 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCPCWC89</strong>])</p> <p><a href="http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236623&amp;cm_mmc=BAC-MaximumPC-_-DailyDeals-_-INT-HDD-N82E16822236623-_-0721&amp;nm_mc=ExtBanner&amp;AID=5555555" target="_blank">WD Black Series 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5-inch Internal Hard Drive</a> for <strong>$170</strong> with free shipping (normally $190 - use coupon code: [<strong>EMCPCWC64</strong>])</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/newegg_daily_deals_microsoft_windows_7_professional_64-bit_wd_black_3tb_hard_drive_and_more#comments Acer corsair Daily Deals daily deals logitech microsoft Newegg wd Western Digital Mon, 21 Jul 2014 17:32:03 +0000 The Maximum PC Staff 28206 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Takes a Battle-Ax to Staff, Plans to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_takes_battle-ax_staff_plans_cut_18000_jobs <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/Microsoft_Sign_0.jpg" alt="Microsoft Sign" title="Microsoft Sign" width="228" height="111" style="float: right;" />Microsoft prepares for the biggest round of layoffs in company history</h3> <p>Satya Nadella is going to make history at Microsoft, though not the kind he'll ever want to brag about. Following up on an <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_ceo_satya_nadella_discusses_companys_future_open_email_employees_2014">open memo</a> sent out to employees last week, <strong>the CEO of Microsoft confirmed in another open email to all employees that job cuts are on the horizon</strong> as the company looks to reduce its workforce by up to 18,000 workers. No other round of layoffs in Microsoft's history have come close to that figure.</p> <p>As was rumored prior to today's followup email, a large chunk of the job cuts will affect employees absorbed through Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's mobile division. Of the 18,000 planned cuts, 12,500 will come from Microsoft's Nokia arm, comprising both professional and factory workers, Nadella said.</p> <p>Nadella is attempting to make Microsoft a more agile company that can move faster towards its goals. That entails fewer layers of management, both top down and sideways, to speed up the flow of information and decision making. When it's all said and done, Nadella hopes the remaining teams will have a greater impact and be more productive towards the company's goals.</p> <p>"Making these decisions to change are difficult, but necessary. I want to invite you to my monthly Q&amp;A event tomorrow. I hope you can join, and I hope you will ask any question that’s on your mind. Thank you for your support as we start to take steps forward in evolving our organization and culture," <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/jul14/07-17announcement1.aspx" target="_blank">Nadella added</a>.</p> <p>All workers affected by the cuts will receive some kind of severance package, as well as job transition help.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_takes_battle-ax_staff_plans_cut_18000_jobs#comments job cuts jobs microsoft satya nadella News Thu, 17 Jul 2014 16:16:42 +0000 Paul Lilly 28184 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Reportedly Expands Free Windows License Program to Boost Hardware Sales http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_reportedly_expands_free_windows_license_program_boost_hardware_sales_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_8_logo.jpg" alt="Windows 8.1 Logo" title="Windows 8.1 Logo" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" />More affordable Windows tablets could be on the horizon</h3> <p>Here's a bit of potentially good news for Microsoft's hardware partners. Word on the web is that <strong>Microsoft may expand its free Windows license program to include tablets priced below $250</strong>. Up until now, tablets less than 9 inches qualified for the subsidized pricing, though unconfirmed reports suggest the program will cast a wider net in order to get more Windows-based tablets out in the wild.</p> <p>Microsoft's partners already pay a reduced rate for Windows 8.1, and ever since June, they've paid nothing for installing Windows 8.1 on smaller size tablets. Giving Windows away like that reduces their cost by $10 to $15, and with sometimes razor thin profit margins ruling the day, it's been enough of an incentive to attract additional vendors into the Windows space.</p> <p>In addition, <a href="http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20140714PD204.html" target="_blank"><em>Digitimes</em> reports</a> that Intel has been aggressively promoting its CPUs for mobile devices in China. The hope is that by offering its processors at cheap prices, it will attract white-box players to join the fold.</p> <p>As it stands, some 70 percent of whitebox vendors cooperating with Intel planned to release Android-based tablets in the second half of the year. However, between the expansion of the free Windows license program and cheaper Intel CPUs, that number is set to drop to 50 percent in the third quarter.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_reportedly_expands_free_windows_license_program_boost_hardware_sales_2014#comments microsoft operating system OS Software Windows News Mon, 14 Jul 2014 15:41:30 +0000 Paul Lilly 28160 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft's Cortana Voice Assistant Correctly Predicts World Cup Winner http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_cortana_voice_assistant_correctly_predicts_world_cup_winner150 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/binggermanycortana.jpg" alt="Cortana in action during the World CUp" title="Microsoft Cortana" width="228" height="155" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>The voice assistant was spot on with 15 out of 16 knockout match predictions</h3> <p>The quadrennial soccer extravaganza that is the FIFA World Cup just got over in Brazil, with the Germans beating the Argentinians for the title by scoring the only goal of the match in the second half of extra time. But they weren’t the tournament’s only winners. The <strong>final also saw Microsoft’s Windows Phone voice assistant Cortana cap off an overall brilliant tournament</strong> by once again correctly predicting the winner prior to kick off.</p> <p>During the knockout matches she was spot on with all her predictions, save for the Brazil-Netherlands third place playoff, where her mojo deserted her and she ended up favoring hosts Brazil instead of the actual winners, the Dutch. </p> <p>Here’s an excerpt from a post on the <a href="http://blogs.bing.com/blog/2014/06/11/destination-brazil/" target="_blank">Bing Blog explaining how the predictions work</a>: “The process of predicting outcomes of sporting events is unlike voting show predictions [another thing Cortana does], as popularity and some sentiment signals do not play similar roles in determining who wins a contest.&nbsp; Rather, the actions and performances of a handful of individuals solely determine who wins, loses, or ties.&nbsp; For the tournament, our models evaluate the strength of each team through a variety of factors such as previous win/loss/tie record in qualification matches and other international competitions and margin of victory in these contests, adjusted for location since home field advantage is a known bias.&nbsp; Further adjustments are made related to other factors which give one team advantages over another, such as home field (for Brazil) or proximity (South American teams), playing surface (hybrid grass), game-time weather conditions, and other such factors.&nbsp; In addition, data obtained from prediction markets allows us to tune the win/lose/tie probabilities due to the ‘wisdom of the crowds’ phenomenon captured by the people wagering on the outcomes. You can read more about the model on the Next Blog <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/next" target="_blank">here</a>.”</p> <p><em>Image Credit: Bing Germany</em></p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsofts_cortana_voice_assistant_correctly_predicts_world_cup_winner150#comments cortana fifa world cup microsoft predictions soccer Software voice assistant windows phone 8.1 News Mon, 14 Jul 2014 05:45:47 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 28156 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Discusses Company's Future in Open Email to Employees http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_ceo_satya_nadella_discusses_companys_future_open_email_employees_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/satya_nadella_1.jpg" alt="Satya Nadella" title="Satya Nadella" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />Email provides a glimpse into Microsoft's future</h3> <p>In some ways, you could argue that Microsoft's spinning in circles chasing its tail. So are a lot of companies during this transitional period into mobile, which is one that seemed to catch a number of tech firms off guard. Recognizing that Microsoft could benefit from some new blood, former CEO Steve Ballmer voluntarily stepped down and eventually handed the reins to Satya Nadella. So, what does the future hold? <strong>Nadella issued an open email to employees calling for a return to Microsoft's core</strong>.</p> <p>"More recently, we have described ourselves as a 'devices and services' company. While the devices and services description was helpful in starting our transformation, we now need to hone in on our unique strategy," Nadella said. "At our core, Microsoft is a productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world. We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more."</p> <p>Nadella goes on to explain that productivity goes far beyond just documents, spreadsheets, and slides. He wants to "shift the meaning of productivity" by building brand new tools, ones that will be more predictive, personal, and helpful. Nadella also wants to ensure harmony between its cloud OS infrastructure and device OS and first-party hardware.</p> <p>In the past, there's been some doubt as to whether Microsoft will continue to promote its Xbox platform. Rest assured, "Microsoft will continue to vigorously innovate and delight gamers with Xbox," Nadella stated.</p> <p>You can read the entire email <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/ceo/index.html" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_ceo_satya_nadella_discusses_companys_future_open_email_employees_2014#comments microsoft productivity satya nadella Software News Thu, 10 Jul 2014 15:31:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 28142 at http://www.maximumpc.com Don't Fret Over Microsoft Ending Mainstream Support for Windows 7 in January 2015 http://www.maximumpc.com/dont_fret_over_microsoft_ending_mainstream_support_windows_7_january_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/Windows_7_Boxes.png" alt="Windows 7" title="Windows 7" width="228" height="188" style="float: right;" />Microsoft updates end of support deadlines for various software</h3> <p>Now that we're well into July, Microsoft felt it was a good time to update its list of products reaching end of support in the next 6 months. One entry that's gaining a lot of media attention is Windows 7. According to the list, <strong>Mainstream Support for several versions of Windows 7 will end on January 13, 2015</strong>, though that doesn't mean you need to rush out and grab a copy of Windows 8. Here's why.</p> <p>After "Mainstream Support" comes another cycle known as "Extended Support," which <a href="http://support.microsoft.com/gp/support-reaching-end-2nd" target="_blank">lasts 5 years</a> (January 14, 2020) and includes "security updates at no cost, and paid hotfix support." In other words, as the January 13, 2015 deadline comes and goes, it will be of little consequence to most home users.</p> <p>As for hotfixes, you'll receive those as well, as long as they're security related. It's only the non-security hotfixes that require an extended hotfix agreement, purchased within 90 days of mainstream support ending. It's something for IT admins and businesses to consider, but again, nothing of relevance to home users.</p> <p>You can check out Microsoft's <a href="http://support.microsoft.com/gp/lifepolicy" target="_blank">Support Lifecycle Policy FAQ</a> for more on the differences between Mainstream Support and Extended Support.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/dont_fret_over_microsoft_ending_mainstream_support_windows_7_january_2015#comments microsoft operating system OS Software support windows 7 News Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:41:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 28134 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Entices Last Gen Console Owners with $75 Credit to Upgrade to Xbox One http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_entices_last_gen_console_owners_75_credit_upgrade_xbox_one <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/xbox_promotion.jpg" alt="Xbox Promotion" title="Xbox Promotion" width="228" height="131" style="float: right;" />The upgrade pot just got sweetened</h3> <p>Are you clinging tight to your Xbox 360 console? Microsoft hopes to loosen your grip with an upgrade offer that it's been sending out to some last generation console owners in hopes that they'll upgrade to an Xbox One.<strong> For users who receive the message on their last generation console, they'll receive a $75 promotional code with the purchase of any Xbox One</strong> or Xbox One bundle.</p> <p>A screenshot of the promotion appears on a <a href="http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=851200" target="_blank">forum post at <em>Neogaf</em></a>. According to the text, the code can be used for games, add-ons, movies, and more.</p> <p>Microsoft's been pulling all kinds of tricks out of its sleeve to make the Xbox One a more attractive option than the PlayStation 4. Earlier in the year, Microsoft rolled out a Xbox One with Titanfall and Kinect bundle, and more recently, the Redmond outfit has begun offering just the console itself (no Kinect sensor) for $399.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_entices_last_gen_console_owners_75_credit_upgrade_xbox_one#comments console Gaming Hardware microsoft Xbox 360 xbox one News Tue, 08 Jul 2014 17:06:46 +0000 Paul Lilly 28129 at http://www.maximumpc.com