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Software

Android Tablets Get Microsoft Apps

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Android Tablets Get Microsoft Apps

Microsoft announces a strategic agreement with 11 global and regional hardware makers in the pre-installation of mobile versions of Microsoft software on Android-powered tablets.

The apps in question are Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype. The companies signing the agreement are Samsung, Dell, TrekStor (Germany), JP Sa Couto (Portugal), Datamatic (Italy), DEXP (Russia), Casper (Turkey), Tecno (Africa), Hipstreet (Canada), QMobile (Pakistan) and Taiwanese ODM Pegatron.

"For OEMs, these deals will increase the value of and enrich people’s experiences on Android devices," the Microsoft announcement reads. "ODMs are important because they extend Microsoft services to the ecosystem… they help to reach a greater number of other device manufacturers, resulting in even more choice for customers around the world."

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Windows 10 Says Hello to Security

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Windows 10 Says Hello to Security

Microsoft reveals what it describes as a "personal computing" feature for Windows 10-- Windows Hello, a password replacement based on biometric authentication, such as fingerprint, iris or facial recognition.

"You-- uniquely you-- plus your device are the keys to your Windows experience, apps, data and even websites and services-- not a random assortment of letters and numbers that are easily forgotten, hacked, or written down and pinned to a bulletin board," the company announcement reads.

The type of biometric authentication Hello uses depends on the hardware available in the machine in question. This means either fingerprint readers or, in case of facial recognition, cameras with built-in infrared sensor (such as the Intel RealSense 3D camera). Microsoft adds the security it offers enterprise-grade, and should meet the requirements of most, if not all, organisations.

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Windows 10 Gets FIDO Support

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Windows 10 Gets FIDO Support

Windows 10 will move beyond passwords when it comes to security as Microsoft adds support for biometric authentication and other means of password replacement via the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance.

"Moving the world away from passwords is an enormous task, and FIDO will succeed where others have failed," Microsoft says. "The need and appetite for change has never been greater, and we're thrilled to be part of this great working group whose members are actively transitioning FIDO solutions from the drawing board to implementations capable of large scale deployment."

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A Software Means to Upgrade Old PCs

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A Software Means to Upgrade Old PCs

PrarieIT releases Xtra-PC, a piece of software the company describes as an easy means for customers to transform old PCs and laptops into fresh means to watch movies, listen to music, write documents and play games.

As the company puts it, the software completely overwrites HDDs, removing potentially harmful files and replacing the OS with an Linux-based option. All is supposedly easy to install, and the result allows users to breathe new life into older Windows XP PCs.

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Microsoft Ends Mainstream Win 7 Support

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Microsoft Ends Mainstream Win 7 Support

Following the end of Window 7 software sales and consumer PC manufacture Microsoft stops "mainstream support" for the venerable operating system on 13 January 2015, leading to an extended support phase.

What does this mean for customers sticking with older versions of the OS? In a few words, Windows 7 will not receive new features or updates, such as DirectX 12. However the company will continue to issue critical security patches and hotfixes-- at least until 14 January 2020, the official extended support deadline.

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Microsoft: Windows 10 Brings New Opportunities

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Microsoft: Windows 10 Brings New Opportunities

Windows 10 will bring about "a new generation of opportunities" Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claims at the company's annual shareholders meeting, as part of a glimpse at the future of both Windows and Microsoft itself.

"Windows 10 is the start of a new generation of Windows, that’s more personal," Nadella says. "It will unlock new experiences for customers to work, play and connect."

As such, Windows 10 will not only power PCs, but will serve as a platform for products ranging from small connected "things" lacking a screen to conference room PCs with 90-inch displays. The OS makes a showing at the shareholders meeting (in the shape of a Technical Preview), featuring the comeback of the Start menu, Windows Phone-style live tiles and simplified multitasking.

As mentioned earlier Windows 10 runs on a wide variety of devices, and as such developers will be able to write universal apps, even if the experience will be tailored for each device.

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You’ve Been “Apptimized.”

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You’ve Been “Apptimized.”

The problem of installing desktop or virtualized software across the company has been “apptimized;” now it’s as easy as application-packaging-as -a-service.

Today businesses buy software they can’t use,” says Vincent Weberink, CEO of Apptimzed.

And he’s right.

It’s not that companies are buying faulty applications or useless software packages. No, instead they are usually buying excellent software—software that’s usually vital for employees to perform their daily jobs.

Yet once bought, that software still can’t be used straight away. It needs to go through an expert process called “application packaging” to configure and prepare it for deployment in the company’s IT infrastructure. A process that can be days or weeks or months, depending upon the company’s process and capabilities.

And if this is crazy, it’s made even more absurd by the fact we have become inured, accustomed to this “lag” between purchase and use. Imagine buying an auto and having to wait days or weeks to on-board anyone wishing to drive…who would put up with such a major inconvenience?

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Microsoft Goes to 10 With Next Windows

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Microsoft Goes to 10 With Next Windows

Microsoft brings its counting skills into question as it announces the next version of the Windows operating system-- Windows 10 (not 9!), a version the company describes as nothing less than "the first step of a whole new generation of Windows."

Earlier rumours suggested the new Windows version was to be named "Threshold". Other supposed monickers include "TH", "X" and, as teased at one point by Microsoft operating systems chief Terry Myerson, "One".

Anyway, back to the actual OS. Windows 10 is designed run on just about every device under the sun, from the Internet of Things to enterprise servers, as well as PCs and tablets. As such, Microsoft insists the Windows 10 handle covers a product family (not a single OS), if one offering a single application platform for developers.

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Mainstream Win 7 Support Ends January 2015

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Mainstream Win 7 Support Ends January 2015

Microsoft announces several products are to reach the end of free mainstream support in 6 months, including all versions of Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Exchange Server 2010 and Dynamics C5 2010.

Free mainstream support for the above mentioned products ends on 13 January 2015, but the company promises to provide security patches until 2020.

Mainstream support for Windows 8.x ends on 9 January 2018, a hint that a next version of Windows might be coming sometime next year. Windows Phone 7.8 mainstream support ends even sooner-- on 9 September 2014.

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