2/28/2011

Google Turns Office Into Google Apps Client

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Continuing its campaign to turn Microsoft customers to Google Apps customers, Google on Thursday released Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office and announced a new partner program that allows businesses to test drive its online applications.

Initially released as a limited preview in November 2010, Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office is now available worldwide. It allows users to create documents in Microsoft Office 2003, 2007, or 2010, and then to share and sync them through Google Apps.

1/11/2011

MS Looking Into Windows Phone 7’s ‘Excessive’ Data Use

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has told BBC News that it is investigating why some handsets running its Windows Phone 7 software are sending and receiving “phantom data”.

Several net forums detail complaints from people that say their phones are automatically eating into their monthly data plans without their knowledge.

Some have complained that their phone sends “between 30 and 50MB of data” every day; an amount that would eat into a 1GB allowance in 20 days.

Ballmer: Kinect to support PCs in the future

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has promised that the company will support Kinect for PCs sometime in the future. This is news that should make Bill Gates a very happy man. The motion controller is currently only officially supported for the Xbox 360, although it has been hacked and tweaked to work on pretty much any platform that can be plugged into via a USB port.

1/2/2011

Some Hotmail users report missing e-mails

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Some users of Microsoft Hotmail are starting off the new year scrambling to get back e-mails of old. A chorus of frantic users has posted complaints on Microsoft’s online forum that all of their messages have disappeared.

“Please help me get them back,” wrote one user under the moniker ‘Zacgore’ in a post dated Saturday. “All my kids’ info and pictures are in there!”

Others complain that the majority of the e-mail in their inboxes was sent to their deleted mail folders instead. It is unclear from the posts how widespread the problem is. The free Web-based e-mail service is the world’s most used with about 360 million users globally, according to comScore Inc.

Windows Live support technicians have said in numerous threads that the Hotmail team is aware of the problem and working on a fix.

12/9/2010

Microsoft Develops JavaScript Malware Detection Tool

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

As browser-based exploits and specifically JavaScript malware have shouldered their way to the top of the list of threats, browser vendors have been scrambling to find effective defenses to protect users. Few have been forthcoming, but Microsoft Research has developed a new tool called Zozzle that can be deployed in the browser and can detect JavaScript-based malware at a very high effectiveness rate.

Zozzle is designed to perform static analysis of JavaScript code on a given site and quickly determine whether the code is malicious and includes an exploit. In order to be effective, the tool must be trained to recognize the elements that are common to malicious JavaScript, and the researchers behind it stress that it works best on de-obfuscated code.

Microsoft unveils new privacy feature for IE

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

An upcoming version of Microsoft Corp.’s Internet Explorer browser will let users add lists of sites that they don’t want tracking them, a peace offering amid uproar over the sneaky ways that websites watch their users as they bounce around the Internet.

The new feature, however, won’t be as sweeping as a “do not track” option that the Federal Trade Commission is proposing to limit advertisers’ ability to do that. Users will have to create or find their own lists of sites they want to block.

And the feature won’t be automatically turned on when it debuts with the release of Internet Explorer 9 early next year.

Part of the reason for the uproar over tracking is that it’s hard to tell which sites you’re sharing information with. Websites use many third-party advertising partners, and some may use shady surveillance schemes, perhaps without the knowledge of the websites.

10/22/2010

Microsoft launches cloud version of Office

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp launched a fully online version of its popular Office suite of applications on Tuesday as it looks to extend its customer base and beat back rival Google Inc.

The new service, called Office 365, is available as a test from Tuesday in 13 countries, and will be on sale on a subscription basis worldwide next year.

Combining some of Microsoft’s existing cloud-based services, it will be available through most browsers, including Mozilla’s Firefox, Apple’s Inc’s Safari and Google’s Chrome, and can be used on mobile devices such as Research in Motion Ltd’s BlackBerry and Apple’s iPad.

That means customers can get access to Office programs like Outlook e-mail, SharePoint websites and simplified versions of Word and Excel without installing software, from virtually anywhere. Customers get access to more features when the software is also installed.

10/19/2010

Bill Gates’s successor at Microsoft to retire

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Microsoft Corp executive who took over the role of chief software architect from Bill Gates is to step down, following a tenure in which the Windows-maker lost ground to Google and Apple.

Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said Ray Ozzie would not be replaced, raising questions about the leadership and direction of the world’s largest software company after a string of high-profile departures.

10/3/2010

Microsoft sues Motorola over smart phone patents

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. is suing Motorola Inc. for infringing on its smart-phone patents.

The software maker on Friday said Motorola phones that use Google Inc.’s Android software step on Microsoft technology. The functions in question include synchronizing e-mail, calendars and contacts.

Microsoft filed its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. It also filed a claim with the International Trade Commission.

9/19/2010

Microsoft wraps up tools for mobile app developers

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft has taken another step toward a holiday release for its next generation of smart phones.

The software maker isn’t giving an exact launch date for Windows Phone 7. But the company says the tools programmers will use to build Windows Phone 7 applications are complete.

It says developers can start submitting apps to Microsoft for approval in October.

9/16/2010

Microsoft Corp. unveiled First Internet Explorer 9 Beta

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. unveiled the “beta” test version of Internet Explorer 9 on Wednesday, the first of a new generation of Web browser programs that tap into the powerful processors on board newer computers to make websites load and run faster.

IE9, which is free, also arrives with a more minimalist look and a few new tricks that start to blur the distinction between a website and a traditional desktop application.

Following the lead of Google Inc.’s stripped-down Chrome browser, Microsoft’s IE9 comes with far fewer buttons, icons and toolbars cluttering up the top of the screen. Its frame is translucent, and as people browse the Web, IE9 can be subtly adorned with small icons and signature colors of the websites being viewed.

8/17/2010

Microsoft links new smart phones to Xbox Live

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp. is bringing its video-game expertise to the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 line, an attempt to capitalize on the success of the Xbox 360 as the software maker tries to compete with Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

Microsoft says a dedicated group inside of Microsoft Game Studios will develop video games for Windows phones, help outside game publishers and scout out small, independent game makers. Video game companies will be able to use the same tools to make a game for a Windows phone or for the Xbox 360 console.

The company is also announcing a preliminary lineup of games that will be available when the phones go on sale during the holidays. The list includes popular Xbox 360 console games such as “Halo Waypoint,” “Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst” and “Guitar Hero 5,” as well as newcomers including “ilomilo,” a puzzle game in which players try to unite cute little cartoon critters separated by increasingly tricky paths and mazes.

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