Microsoft launches early Black Friday

Microsoft has launched its version of Black Friday with a week-long promotion offering content for only 10 cents. The Redmond giant announced the deals late last week. Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft said in a blog post for the next 10 days Windows 10 users can take advantage of the promotion, which will over offer over 1,000 movies, music, applications and games for 10 cents each.

Windows 10 telemetry: Time for a level playing field

When, why and how much diagnostic data Windows 10 sends back to Microsoft has been a source of considerable debate for the last couple of weeks. By default Windows 10 collects some data about how Windows and Windows apps are performing plus some additional details - such as about crashes, so-called telemetry data. (Calling all this 'telemetry data' makes it sound much more grand than it is, like the sort of information that would be sent back by a probe en route to a distant star, rather than the more humdrum details of why your PC crashed halfway through you writing a Facebook post.)

Microsoft to acquire data protection firm Secure Islands

Microsoft announced Monday that it has made a deal to acquire Secure Islands, an Israeli company that focuses on protecting companies' data. Neither company disclosed the terms of the deal. The acquisition will help Microsoft level up its Azure Rights Management Service, which lets companies protect files individually and in bulk with tools that ensure they aren't opened or modified by people who are unauthorized to do so. Secure Islands's services include data classification technology that automatically detects the creation of new files from a variety of sources and then applies a protection policy to it. 

Microsoft readying Windows 10 Store for Business

Microsoft is readying its promised Windows Store for Business for Windows 10, and has made available some initial information on the coming Store as of November 4. The Windows Store for Business is the portal for Windows 10 apps for business users. Microsoft officials first outlined the company's plans for a Windows 10 Store for Business in November 2014.

Microsoft to discontinue Windows 7 and 8.1 next November

Updated late October, Microsoft's "Windows lifecycle fact sheet" shows October 31, 2016, as the "end of sales for PCs with Windows preinstalled" for both Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1, a change spotted by CNET sister site ZDNet. After that date, the only choice for consumers will be to purchase new computers with Windows 10 installed. The lone exception will be businesses with license agreements that entitle them to choose which version of Windows they want preinstalled.

Microsoft Announces Office 2016

Microsoft announced this morning the official launch date for the long-anticipated new version of Microsoft Office. Office 2016 will be broadly available starting on September 22, the company says. Meanwhile, Office Customers with volume licensing agreements will be able to download the software on October 1. The updated version of Office includes a number of new features for desktop customers, including the ability to co-edit documents at the same time, sync files to OneDrive in the cloud, and more.

Microsoft Launches Open Source Tool for iOS Devs

At its Build developer conference earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it would soon release tools that would make it easier for iOS and Android developers to take their existing code and port their apps to Windows. The Android version of this, officially named Windows Bridge for Android, is now in private beta. The iOS version, however — previously known under the codename “Project Islandwood” — is entering its first public preview today.

Microsoft offers all-inclusive app store

Microsoft has renovated an online store that combines its Windows Store and Windows Phone Store into one big virtual shopping mall. The newly redesigned app store is part of the company's attempt to unify the Windows 10 experience across all devices -- PCs, tablets and mobile phones. In the past, Windows PC and tablet owners looking for apps would have to browse the Windows Store, while Windows Phone users would have to check out the Windows Phone store. But now this one-stop shop is geared for everyone.

Windows 10 Is Reportedly Done

According to The Verge’s Tom Warren, Windows 10 is done, having reached RTM status with build number 10240. The timing is not surprising. Microsoft will release Windows 10 to its testing community on July 29, followed by volume partners and, after, the general public through an update process. RTM builds, in contrast, are designed for equipment manufacturers, who need the code ahead of time to prep new machines. Dell, for example, is committed to selling Windows 10 PCs on the very first day, the 29th, that the code is live.

Windows 10 Mobile on track for most Lumia phones

Microsoft's Operating Systems Group team has added code to the next test build of Windows 10 Mobile that will allow that release to work on the majority of Windows Phones. When Microsoft released the first test build of Windows 10 Mobile in February, it was built to run only on a handful of Lumia devices, specifically the Lumia 630, 635, 636, 638, 730 and 830 phones. Microsoft execs attributed the small number of initially supported devices to the "very tight OS partitions" that left insufficient room for the installation process to update the OS in place.

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