Posts Tagged

microsoft

The last few months have been a wake-up call for anyone who cares about privacy. But perhaps it’s just been another headline blocking your way to the last round of sports, because I’ll tell you one truth: the generation I’m part of just doesn’t care about privacy. We all knew Google and most free services were grabbing our data and serving us ads. We grew up with that routine, so much so that some of us learned to share online before we got into math. This behavior is so prevalent that the upcoming generations have their fates sealed already, with their pictures being exposed all over the internet sometimes before they’re even born. It’s like The Truman Show, with many, many Trumans.

Yet, I didn’t leave Google due to privacy, I did so because of its use of my private data. Using Google daily and being targeted with its ads is like having a bad fight with your best friend, when he uses your darkest shared secrets against you. After a chain of events, the dismissal of Reader and the new ads in Gmail camouflaged within your inbox, I decided it was time to jump out. That’s what I did and I’m here to tell you how.

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Microsoft purchased Skype back in May of 2011, but has been rather slow to integrate the communication service into its software. That, however, is beginning to change. For instance, the latest version of Office, 365 Home Premium, comes with 60-minutes of Skype credit and the there is a Modern-UI version available for Windows 8 (its built into 8.1), as well as Xbox Kinect integration, that will likely grow when the Xbox One finds its way to market later this year.

The latest Microsoft property to get the Skype treatment is Outlook.com — the web-based email client that recently replaced Hotmail, regardless if customers wanted it to or not.

The web-based version of the Outlook app produced by the software giant, and trading off of the name of its desktop-based brother, is a much cleaner and sleeker email than Hotmail or, for that matter, Gmail. It has a built-in calendar app and SkyDrive cloud storage integration.

While other Outlook.com features can be accessed from a drop-down menu at the top of the page, Skype is a bit more hidden, and there are some tricks to it.

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Microsoft pulled Xbox Music from the ashes of the failed Zune platform — a great MP3 Player and iTunes-like service that never caught a toehold with the community. Now, the company seeks to compete with the likes of major players such as Spotify, Rdio, Pandora and more by making its music service available to a wider range of audience with the introduction of one more platform for your listening pleasure — in this case the web.

In the past, the service has been shackled to Microsoft-centric devices like Windows Phone and Surface tablets, but now it reaches critical mass with the introduction of a web-based version of the of the music app. (more…)

The Internet has been a godsend to gaming. Having an infrastructure in place to connect multiple systems together for collaborative or co-operative play has made millions of hours of entertainment possible and verified the art as a viable social pastime. However, the Internet has brought with it some of the biggest controversies of the modern technology era.

Over even just the past few months, the industry has been alive with controversy over DRM, stability and other Internet-related worries and the announcement of Microsoft’s Xbox One last week has sparked the latest batch of discussion. Today we’re going to take a look at some of these controversies and how they might be affecting our gameplay. (more…)

There was a time, long ago in the mid-1990s, when Microsoft was the leader in email. Everyone who was anyone had a hotmail account. I remember mine well. It was [email protected] and it was my first foray into electronic mail.

The web has come a long way since those humble beginnings of the email awakening, and a lot has changed. I moved from Hotmail to Yahoo! Mail, then was a fairly early Gmail user (early 2004- thank you, dear Blooger account for getting me early access) and I’ve been on there ever since. As a matter of fact, I feel everything pales in comparison to Gmail. But when I found out that Microsoft was launching as a brand new email service, Outlook.com, I was curious and signed up. Let’s see what I found.

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The options for your word processing, presentation making and spreadsheet creation needs have expanded significantly with the advancements of technology, both in native and web-based apps. The apps you need for your business work and more are available now not only on traditional personal computers, but also on mobile devices and the web. The two main options for document processing on the web are Google’s incredibly popular Docs app, and Microsoft’s version of Office inside SkyDrive.

In this article, we’ll be pitting them against each other to decide which is better, Google Docs or SkyDrive. Many web app users would be more likely to use Google’s apps, and often not even consider trying out Microsoft’s Office web apps. Instead of bringing company biases to the table, let’s take them each for what they offer, and let the best apps win! (more…)

Last week when Google+ launched, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook was going to make a very exciting announcement this week. They recently held their conference and the announcement was indeed big news! On top of some really nice improvements to Facebook Chat, they announced a partnership with another online giant: Skype.

Keep reading to see a quick overview of the new Facebook features, and what they mean for the future of Facebook, Skype, and Skype’s new owner, Microsoft.

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For years, it seemed that Internet Explorer was the only browser most computer users would touch. The big E logo became the universal symbol of the internet, and the average computer seemed to have 13 browser toolbars and enough adware to make anyone hate using the internet. We tried in vain to get family and friends to use alternate browsers, but seemingly to no avail.

Then, it happened. IE was far enough behind that even average computer users started caring about their browser. It was dumbfounding to begin seeing libraries and internet cafés with Firefox and Chrome. Internet Explorer started being used less and less, and finally Microsoft realized they needed to catch up. IE9 has now been released for Windows 7 and Vista computers, and impressively it’s nearly as good as the other leading browsers.

As we use webapps every day, the browser has become the most important application on our computers. Between IE, Safari, Chrome, Opera, and more, there’s always something new in the world of browsers today! Let’s take a look at what the latest version of Microsoft’s maligned browser brings to the browser wars. (more…)

Mozilla’s Paul Rouget made a splash on the web this week with the question, “Is IE9 a modern browser?” and a most definitive answer, “NO”. The post makes a great argument as to why IE9 is “more modern, but not really modern.”

And of course the post’s accompanying infographic is well worth checking out for a more visual perspective on the subject. Microsoft responded with several valid points of their own on the subject, adding more heat to the continual browser wars.

Many of us are biased for one reason or another, while it’s difficult for others to really say what a “modern browser” is since it isn’t clearly defined. Personally, I’m biased and don’t believe IE9 will be a “modern”, competitive browser for any other reason than it’s what has been used for so long, by so many, but IE — I can only hope — will continue it’s market share decline.

What do you think? Is IE9 a modern browser? Once fully released, do you think it will compete with Chrome, Safari or Firefox?

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t used Microsoft Office on my desktop in the past year and half. That’s an interesting nugget of information considering the fact that I write for a living and write about 25,000 words a month. So where does all of this writing happen? On a moleskin notebook? No, Google Docs.

Office is Microsoft’s cash cow, a vertical that has seen no real competition for decades. Thanks to Google, your documents have been liberated from the desktop prison and made available anywhere there’s an internet connection. Did I forget to mention the fact that you can edit a document with multiple people from across the globe in real time? Well, I just did.

The slow but steady exodus of its userbase has made Microsoft rethink its strategy and resulted in the launch of Docs.com. After the break let we’ll take a look at how Microsoft Office in the cloud can enhance your productivity.

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