Microsoft releases native Outlook app for iOS

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 29, 2015

Microsoft on Thursday released the official Outlook email client in the App Store (not to be confused with the native Outlook Web App for the iPhone). Optimized for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, the iOS 8-only app is based on Microsoft’s $200 million purchase of the popular mobile email app Acompli.

Featuring a built-in calendar, comprehensive search features, gesture-based interface akin to Dropbox-owned Mailbox and support for popular cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive and Microsoft’s own OneDrive service, it brings together the core tools you need to get things done in one sweet package. Read More

 

Microsoft just made OneDrive totally awesome

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 28, 2015

Wednesday, Microsoft rolled out an all-new version of its OneDrive sync client for the Mac while bringing out a plethora of really cool features on the web and releasing a revamped iOS app.

The iOS client now supports OneDrive for Business accounts so basically your work and life can now be on all your Apple devices in a single app.

Not only does the redesigned iPhone and iPad app look nicer, it also lets you search photos by tags and create gorgeous albums. It even recognizes text in photos and PDFs and integrates with the popular password-management software 1Password and LastPass. Read More

 

Microsoft unveils 84-inch touch display and augmented reality headset

By Cody Lee on Jan 21, 2015

In addition to officially unveiling Windows 10 at its, Microsoft made a number of other interesting announcements at its Redmond, Washington event this morning. Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for the first year, will play a lot nicer with Xbox One, and has a new web browser on the way.

But two of the most interesting announcements involved products that most people had no idea Microsoft was working on: the Surface Hub and the HoloLens. The former is an 84-inch 4K touchscreen display, and the latter is a futuristic visor that overlays holographic imagery onto your view. Read More

 

Microsoft says Windows 10 will be a free upgrade, with a caveat

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 21, 2015

Realizing Windows has long been losing its momentum ever since that Vista train wreck in 2005, the Redmond-based software giant surprised attendees of its press event this morning by announcing that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade from Windows 8.1, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 7.

But how on Earth is Microsoft going to make money from the forthcoming operating system? Well, in a typical Microsoft fashion Windows 10 upgrades will be free for just one year. Read More

 

Microsoft’s OneNote for iPhone picks up Today widget and Recent Notes feature

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 16, 2015

Slowly but surely, Microsoft’s Evernote killer, OneNote, has been picking up major iOS 8-specific features.

The app already boasts Touch ID verification and native Share sheet functionality, has its own Document Storage extension, syncs data in the background and has native display support for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus resolutions.

Friday, the software giant pushed a new update giving the iPhone edition of OneNote a much-needed Today widget and another new feature listing your recently accessed notes, no matter which device they’re on. Read More

 

Microsoft now gives you first month free when you sign up for an Office 365 subscription

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 15, 2015

Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps for the iPhone and iPad allow anyone to edit, create and view Office files on the go at no cost, but advanced features such as a more powerful editing capability, Dropbox integration and more is locked behind a paid for Office 365 subscription.

In the hope of encouraging as many Office for iOS users as possible to move up to the subscription model, the software maker on Thursday said it’s now treating you to the first month free if you sign up for an Office 365 subscription. Read More

 

Microsoft’s Office Sway for iPhone now available in US App Store and other countries

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 9, 2015

After soft-launching in the New Zealand App Store in November, Microsoft’s Office Sway for iPhone is now available more broadly in a number of markets around the world, including in the U.S. App Store.

Office Sway is a free application that makes it easy to create attractive interactive presentation with images, captions, headers and styled text that can be viewed in a web browser on any desktop computer or mobile device.

In addition to the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and India, Sway is now available more broadly in a whole bunch of other English-speaking countries. Read More

 

OneDrive gains Document Provider extension, Recycle Bin support, push alerts and more

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 9, 2015

Microsoft’s iOS client for its cloud-storage service, OneDrive, has received a significant update Friday bringing out a Document Provider extension of its own. The Document Provider extension is one of the major new extensibility features in iOS 8. With Document Providers, developers can write apps which expose their custom remote or local storage functionality to the operating system.

What this means for OneDrive fans is that they can now access their files in other apps. To see how this works and learn more about other changes in OneDrive 4.6, jump past the fold. Read More

 

Microsoft reportedly building new web browser to challenge Chrome and Firefox

By Jake Smith on Dec 29, 2014

Microsoft is tired of the old-nature feel of Internet Explorer, and is building a new browser for Windows 10 that will look and feel more like Chrome and Firefox, according to ZDNet. Read More

 

Bing’s iOS apps get a facelift, translate extension now available on iPad

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 18, 2014

Microsoft’s mobile Bing apps for the iPhone and iPad are getting a major makeover today, with the translate extension that debuted in the iPhone app two months ago at last available on iPads.

On the iPhone, you can now tap anywhere underneath the search box to check out Bing’s image of the day in uncluttered full-screen view. You can also swipe from the left to see yesterday’s image of the day.

Another handy addition: weather information, trending news and images of the day zoom to full screen smoothly when swiping from the bottom of Bing’s Home screen. Read More

 

PowerPoint for iOS now works in portrait

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 17, 2014

Software maker Microsoft this morning issued a minor update to its mobile Office apps available in the App Store. Word, Excel and PowerPoint for the iPhone and iPad have received a few bug fixes and one new feature.

Specifically, PowerPoint for iOS has finally introduced support for portrait orientation so you can now view and edit your presentation no matter which way you hold your device. Read More

 

Microsoft releases MSN-branded News, Money, Sports, Health & Fitness and Food & Drink apps

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 11, 2014

Microsoft on Thursday released five new applications for the iPhone and iPad. Available free of charge in the App Store, the News, Money, Sports, Health & Fitness and Food & Drink apps have been created under the MSN brand.

As a bonus, a Weather app from MSN will be hitting iOS later this year. It’s interesting that the MSN Health app syncs its data with iOS 8’s Health database.

It has pedometer functions to continuously track, analyze and receive insights on your daily steps taken on the iPhone and tracks your runs (record your time, distance, pace and calories burned while you run, bike and do other outdoor activities).

Additionally, the app contains a Diet tracker (there’s a database of over 300 thousand to track your daily calorie intake) and a Cardio tracker to monitor your cardio training and analyze progress over time.

Jump past the fold for the full rundown of each app. Read More

 

Microsoft buys email app Acompli for $200+ million

By Christian Zibreg on Dec 1, 2014

Confirming an inadvertent leak last month, Windows and Office maker Microsoft on Monday said it’s buying Acompli for more than $200 million. For those who haven’t heard about Acompli, it’s an efficient email app for iOS and Android that features an integrated calendar.

Framed as “part of our company-wide effort to help people accomplish more with their mobile devices,” the deal will bring San Francisco-based Acompli team together with work currently in progress by the Outlook team.

Microsoft’s stated goal is to“ deliver fantastic cross-platform apps that support the variety of email services” people use today to help them accomplish more and Acompli seems to fit the bill nicely.

“It will expedite our work to deliver the full power of Office to mobile devices,” said the software giant. Read More

 

Dropbox rolling out ability to edit Microsoft Office documents

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2014

Following Microsoft-issued updates to itsWord, Excel and PowerPoint mobile apps for iOS with native Dropbox integration, the popular cloud storage startup on Tuesday announced it is adding the ability to edit Microsoft Office documents to its free iOS client.

That’s right, both iOS and Android users can take advantage of the newly refreshed Dropbox mobile client with Microsoft Office integration to work on the Office files stored in your Dropbox even when you’re on the go.

In addition to editing your Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from the Dropbox app, you can also access them directly from Microsoft’s mobile Office apps. Read More

 

Report: Yahoo and Microsoft fighting to supplant Google search on iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 25, 2014

According to a report Tuesday by The Information, a technology website started by The Wall Street Journal writer Jessica Lessin, both Microsoft and Google are “fighting” to boot Google search from the iPhone and other Apple devices.

If true, the move wouldn’t be unheard of: Apple teams up with alternate search providers in markets like China.

Apple earns a small commission from search ad revenue each time a user performs a Google search from Safari’s address bar on the Mac, iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

With that deal expiring sometime in 2015, Microsoft and Yahoo are now hoping the Cupertino firm won’t renew it and will instead make their respective service the default search choice on iOS. Read More

 

New Microsoft ad says iPhone 6 Plus only makes Siri bigger, not smarter

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 21, 2014

Friday, Windows giant Microsoft published a new Apple-bashing ad on its YouTube channel.

The 30-second television commercial shows off the latest version of Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-like personal assistant, running on the Lumia 830 and interacting with a bunch of built-in applications.

Cortana amusingly brags to Siri about being able to perform functions Apple’s personal assistant can’t, like alert users to leave early for an appointment using traffic alerts, remind them of things based on who calls or texts and more. Read More

 

Microsoft disses Apple in Christmas Surface ad

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2014

Software giant Microsoft is no stranger to Apple bashing. Every once in a while, the Redmond giant take aim at Apple’s iPad tablets and MacBook Air ultra-thin notebooks by putting out aggressively conceived television commercials for its Surface tablets.

Just in time for the looming holiday shopping season, Microsoft started airing a brand new Surface Pro ad that argues that its tablet convertible with a kickstand, keyboard cover and desktop apps is a better deal than the MacBook Air. Read More

 

Microsoft’s latest Skype ad promotes Apple gear

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2014

Microsoft Canada on Friday published an interesting commercial on its Facebook Page depicting “the world’s first wireless orchestra” comprised of New York City’s celebrated subway musicians kept in sync with a remote conductor thanks to Skype.

The video features a bunch of Apple’s MacBook Pro notebooks that run the Skype software, while iPhones make a few notable appearances as well.

Someone in Cupertino should send marketing wizards in Redmond a thank you note for advertising for Apple. Read More

 

Details of Telltale’s upcoming game based on HBO’s Game of Thrones series leak

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2014

Before revealing the first story details and premier trailer of “Tales from the Borderlands”, its upcoming adventure game based on on Gearbox and 2K’s Borderlands 2, Telltale yesterday offered a glimpse into an upcoming “Game of Thrones” game based on HBO’s award-winning fantasy drama television series, itself adapted from of “A Song of Ice and Fire”, George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels.

Filing as another episodic adventure game, the game follows the storyline of House Forrester detailed in the book “A Dance with Dragons,” the fifth book of the series, with an interesting twist: players will be permitted to assume the role of any of the five members of House Forrester in various locations around Westeros and Essos.

Needless to say, your actions affect the rest of House Forrester. “Multiply the actions of one character by five, and you’re truly playing the Game of Thrones … where you win, or you die,” notes the blurb. Read More

 

Microsoft launches Skype for Web beta

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 14, 2014

In a pretty significant move Microsoft on Friday announced Skype for Web, an upcoming web application that lets the popular instant messaging and VoIP service run directly in a desktop browser, no plug-in needed, making Skype readily available across desktop, mobile and on the web.

Supported browsers include Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10, Google’s Chrome, Mozilla’s Firefox or Apple’s Safari 6.

Unfortunately, Chrome for Windows is the only supported version of Chrome so Mac users on Google’s browser (and Chromebook owners) are left out in the cold for the time being. Chatting and video/voice messaging don’t require a browser plug-in. “With WebRTC, there won’t be any downloads or installs – you can just get straight to your conversation”, the software giant said. Read More

 
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