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ParityPortal | February 28, 2017

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Microsoft

Microsoft Corp to cut more jobs at MSN this week

September 13, 2013 |

As part of reorganization called on by Microsoft Corporation in July, the Windows 8 maker is on its way to axe jobs of dozens of freelance writers and contractors working at MSN.

A spokesperson from MSN confirmed the layoffs, … Read More

Analyst: Microsoft Xbox One, Sony PlayStation 4 shortage likely at launch

July 22, 2013 |

An analyst has claimed that the recently announced Microsoft Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4 gaming consoles are likely to face shortage of supply soon after they are launched publicly due to “complexity” of coordinating the launches.

While speaking with Gamespot Colin Sebastian an analyst at Robert W. Baird said that the shortages are more likely to happen and that may be a probably reason why both the companies have been rather judicious when it comes to allocating pre-order units to online retailers.

“This also partly explains why the manufacturers have been somewhat judicious in allocating pre-sale units to retailers, so that there won’t be a lot of unhappy customers from day one,” Sebastian said.

Even though the dates haven’t been confirmed by either vendor, both the companies are expected to launch their consoles well in advance of Thanksgiving / Black Friday sales in a bid to capture the most number of sales.

“From a timing perspective, both platforms will want to launch before Thanksgiving/Black Friday, and ideally at least a couple of weeks in advance of that in order to replenish the retail channel,” Sebastian said.

Microsoft OWA launched for iPhone and iPad as native apps

July 17, 2013 |

Microsoft has announced native Outlook Web apps (OWA) for iPhone and iPad equipped with functionalities like email, calendar and contact – the same as you would get in a browser.

Beyond the traditional features, the new native apps also provide additional features such as ability to organize and search emails, voice contact search, schedule meetings, view shared calendars. There are some advanced security features as well as such as remote wipe erases, separate passcode, automatic login and contact sync. There is a catch though – in order to use the apps, you need to have a subscription to Office 365 while Exchange Online should be up to date.

Announcing the release Microsoft noted in its official Office blog, “In order to better support many of our customers who use their iPhones and iPads for work, we are introducing OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad, which bring a native Outlook Web App experience to iOS devices!”

You can download OWA for iPhone and OWA for iPad from the App store.

Weekend smartphone deals: Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 and Galaxy Ace, Nokia Lumia 520

July 13, 2013 |

This weekend we are featuring smartphone deals including Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, Galaxy Ace, Nokia Lumia 520 and HTC Desire 600.

samsung galaxy mega 6.3 header 1

Samsung launched its Galaxy Mega range of smartphones / phablets just a few weeks back and the prices have already started coming down. This week the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 is available for as low as ₹29,090 from Amazon.in (which was over ₹31,000 last week). One of the biggest smartphones in the market, the Mega 6.3 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.7GHz, 1.5GB RAM, 8 or 16GB internal storage expandable to up to 64GB, 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.9-megapixel front one, Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC among other standard features.

HTC Desire 600 header

HTC launched Desire 600 smartphone at the beginning of July and the smartphone has already got a price cut of over ₹3,000 and is available for just ₹23,764 from eBay. Powered by the 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 SoC, 1 GB RAM, 8GB of internal storage expandable to up to 64GB, 4.5-inch super LCD 2 display with 540×960 pixels resolution, 8-megapixel rear camera with autofocus and LED flash, and 1.6-megapixel front one, the smartphone runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean and has the latest Sense 5 UI. Some of the other features of the phone are HTC BlinkFeed and HTC BoomSound, capable of playing 720p videos at 30 frames per second (fps).

samsung galaxy ace s5830

Bagit Getit is selling the budget-friendly Samsung Galaxy Ace (also known as GTS5830) black smartphone for as low as ₹7,686 with free delivery. This gadget is one of those smartphones that will do the job its meant to do – act as a phone rather than being too overly inclined towards being a mobile computing device. The Galaxy Ace features a 3.5-inch screen with 320 x 480 resolution and is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass, 5-megapixel rear camera, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, Qualcomm processor, 2GB free microSD card, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, microUSB among others.

nokia lumia 520 header

 

Lumia 520 is the smartphone that has been selling well for Nokia and has become even more lucrative with another price cut. The Black coloured Nokia Lumia 520 is selling for as low as ₹9,299 from latajionline.com through Amazon.in. This Windows Phone 8 smartphone is definitely good value for money considering the features it is loaded with. 5-megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom, 4-inch IPS display with 480 x 800 pixel resolution, Snapdragon S4 processor clocked at 1 GHz, 1430mAh battery, expandable storage and quite a few other features makes this smartphone a good buy.

We strongly advise you to read our Tech Deals disclaimers should you have a purchase intent.

Microsoft slashes Surface RT prices by $150

July 13, 2013 |

Microsoft has reduced the prices of its Surface RT tablets by $150 in a bid to lure customers into buying the, not so successful, tablet with the 32GB edition available for as low as $349 from Staples in the US.

The reports first surfaced on The Verge which claimed that Redmond was going to slash prices of the Surface RT by about 30 per cent. Confirmation soon followed from Staples as it updated its website to reflect the price reduction introduced by Microsoft.

The primary reason behind reduction of prices in Surface RT is that since its launch in 2012 the tablet hasn’t sold well. First and foremost reason is the price tag it came with even when Windows RT was limited in terms of feature set. Further there were reports that the tablet suffered from limited battery life and poor performance as compared to other cheaper and more powerful tablets out there.

Following the discount, the 64 GB version will cost $449.99, the Surface RT 32 GB with Touch Cover will cost $449.99, and the Surface RT 64 GB with Touch Cover will cost $549.99.

Microsoft to release Age of Empires for iPhones, Android smartphones

June 25, 2013 |

Microsoft in collaboration with KLab Inc. of Japan is going to release its popular gaming title ‘Age of Empires’ for iPhone and Android smartphones in a bid to capture its share of the booming mobile gaming market.

Gaming consoles have had a glorious few years where Microsoft managed to earn a fair share of the gaming market through its Xbox and is likely to continue the trend with its upcoming Xbox One but, mobile devices have been eating into the profits of the gaming industry luring consumers away from traditional consoles.

Microsoft has released a few gaming titles for iOS as well as Android device but, ‘Age of Empires’ will prove to be a title that could see huge number of downloads. According to KLab the mobile version of the game will be released sometime next year before end of March.

According to Microsoft, the game will be released worldwide in English first for both iPhones and Android based smartphones and there are “plans to release the game in other languages and on a Windows Phone in the future.”

Microsoft may takeover Nokia mobile phone business

June 20, 2013 |

Microsoft reportedly held acquisition talks with Nokia wherein both the companies discussed on a possible sale of Nokia’s mobile phone business to Microsoft, The Wall Street Journal claims through a report.

Following the reports Nokia Oyj registered a 4.1 per cent gain in Helsinki trading which saw stock prices reach as high as €2.97. According to reports both the companies made a significant progress in talks that could have led to a merger of Microsoft and Nokia’s phone business but, the talks have since faltered. Nokia’s plans of selling of its mobile phone business may be a part of its turnaround efforts which could see the Finnish company dispose off its assets.

According to analysts keeping a close on the matter the deal, if it goes through, will be beneficial to both the companies as Nokia will be able to revive its profitability and Microsoft would get a sound base on which it could bolster its wireless presence.

Mikko Ervasti, an analyst at Evli Bank Oyj said, “It does makes sense.”

“All options have to be on the table, but at the moment it’s of utmost importance that operations are not distracted. This summer is Nokia’s chance to show Lumia is here to stay”, Ervasti added.

Microsoft Xbox One DRM restrictions removed

June 20, 2013 |

Microsoft faced a huge outcry from gamers across the globe for its restrictive Xbox DRM requirements like daily online requirements and disc resale limitations on which the company has now taken a U-turn stating that it is removing these requirements after considering “candid feedback” from gamers.

Through a statement on Xbox website, the president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business, Don Mattrick said that they are doing away with the 24-hour connection requirement and that gamers can enjoy their disc based games after the initial one-time setup “without ever connecting online again.”

He further announced that there will no limitations on use and sharing of games and “it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.”

Explaining the reasons behind the U-turn Mattrick said that he and his team have heard directly from many games and kept a close eye on things like comments and feedback. “You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.”

The backlash from gamers started soon after details about the Xbox One were release during the E3 conference where Microsoft explained to journalists about the DRM measures that the company had put in to place. Company representatives explained that users would be required to install a game fully onto the Xbox One before they could play it and the game was be watermarked to its original owner. Any attempts to sell the game, even a boxed copy, would be controlled by Microsoft.

Another such requirement was that the console has to be connected to the internet every 24-hours for users to continue playing their disc based games offline.

Surprise: Microsoft ran E3 demos on NVidia-powered HP gaming PCs

June 17, 2013 |

In an interesting turn of events, it has emerged that Microsoft actually demoed Xbox One games during the E3 conference using HP desktops loaded with Windows 7 and powered by Nvidia GTX 700 series graphics cards.

Microsoft gave out a lot of details about its Xbox One during E3 gaming conference and even allowed attendees to play demo games. In one of the cases when an E3 attendee was playing one of the demo games, the game crashed to a Windows 7 desktop. Julian Rignall from US Gamers was the person playing the demo when it crashed. Rignall tweeted, “I just played an Xbox One game using an Xbox One controller that crashed… to a Windows 7, Hewlet Packard-branded desktop. Magic!”

microsoft e3 demo 1
There are even reports that photos taken during the event revealed someone working on these hidden PCs and at one instance the side panel was exposed which enabled passersby to peek at the internals of these systems. According to EA’s COO Peter Moore during a post-conference interview at E3 the games that were being shown on stage were running on comparable development kits as compared to the actual consoles.

microsoft e3 demo 2
We have seen gaming companies do so before and while using gaming PCs to show off console games at exhibitions is considered to be quite common, Microsoft using a HP gaming PC and that too running on Windows 7 and powered by Nvidia GTX 700 series GPU is a little hard to digest. The reason? Well, because we all know that AMD is using some modified APU to power the Xbox One and according to Extreme Tech the APU is somewhere on the same level as that of the mid-ranged Radeon 7790. Does this means that the modified APU which is comparable to 7790 isn’t as powerful as the GTX 780?

Secondly Microsoft should have used Windows 8 system as the Xbox One’s OS is partly based on the Windows 8 OS and not the Windows 7.

Cheapest Microsoft Office 365 Small Business Premium package available for ₹8,816

June 16, 2013 |

With the launch of Office Mobile for Office 365 Subscribers, this particular offer may start looking juicy as this particular deal, by far, is the most affordable no-disc installation we have seen for Microsoft’s Office 365 Small Business Premium.

Amazon.com (US) is selling a single license of Microsoft’s Office 365 (Small Business Premium) package through Junglee for as little as ₹8,816, marginally less than what Microsoft is itself charging for the package thereby earning this particular offer as the cheapest Office 365 for business package on the market. You do get free delivery (doesn’t make sense though) as the key would probably be emailed to you.

The offer includes a year’s worth of subscription to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, One Note, Publisher and Access plus free use on mobile devices, HD video conferencing, company website tools, business email and shared calendar (25GB per user).

This is a medialess product and you do not require any disc to install the software. You will need to download it and the one-license unit can be used on five different devices (Macs or PCs) and gives you unlimited software updates. Check out Microsoft Mobile Office for iOS: First impressions.