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Microsoft Offering Free Windows for Devices With Displays No Larger Than 9″

windows-free-iot-100259240-largeMicrosoft wants to make friends with mobile and connected devices. Sorry desktops, you’ll still need to pay. This means manufacturers of phones to not have to pay Microsoft to license the new operating system on phones. The new operating system will be on board to compete with the likes of Google’s wearable operating system or even electronically connected devices in your home, your car, or your clothing:

We’re bringing Windows to a whole new class of small devices. Build a smart coffee mug, build a talking bear, build a robot, or build something else entirely. All this using a platform and tools you already know and love. Read more

Mediabistro Course

Freelancing 101 Online Boot Camp

Freelancing 101Starting April 28, this online event will show you the best way to start your freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. By the end of this online boot camp you will have a plan for making a profitable career as a freelancer, and the skill set to devote yourself to it. Register now! 

Microsoft OneNote is Now Free for Everyone on Every Device

Microsoft’s cloud-based note taking software, OneNote, is now free in all formats. The company also released a public API, so many apps can also use the software to sync data and notes from practically anything. One Note is also programmed to be connected to Brother, Doxie Go, Epson, Feedly, Genius Scan, IFTTT, JotNot, Livescribe, Mod Notebook, News360 and Weave, to name a few. You can see the complete list of partner apps and devices here.

Read more

Microsoft Office for iPad Coming as Early as First Half of 2014

Screen shot 2014-02-16 at 11.11.17 PMIf rumors are true, then you should expect to see Microsoft Office for iPad in Q2 of this year - much earlier than the Q3/Q4 deadline we’ve been told before. The Microsoft software is likely being developed as part of a subscription based service with Office 365 and OneDrive, much like the iOS app for iPhone.

Microsoft Office for iPhone was released in June of 2013, but most users might find an iPad version more accessible for work. The larger screen, coupled with larger typing surface will make working on documents and presentations much easier than a smartphone. As more users and companies switch to tablets for working on the go, Microsoft Office will likely resume its role as the default word processor and presentation tool.


Microsoft Releases Beta Bing Travel App

Bing Travel App BetaA new Bing mobile app will aim to offer Microsoft Phone users a one-stop hub for all their travel needs. The Bing Travel app, modeled on the web-based app already available for Windows 8.1 users, lets users book flights, check a flight status, and sort through hotel listings.

The app, which launched in beta, offers global “destination guides,” photos and day trip suggestions. You can also read through travel reviews, and a “nearby” feature uses your location to search for local restaurants and other attractions that might interest you.

The free Bing Travel joins Microsoft’s stable of Bing apps, including Finance, News, Sports, Translator and Weather.

Google Smart Contacts for Diabetes Brings Old Microsoft Project to Life

smart lensThe latest Google experiment takes on the diabetes epidemic with smart contact lens, prototype that detects real-time glucose levels using tears and LED lights.

We’re now testing a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material. We’re testing prototypes that can generate a reading once per second. We’re also investigating the potential for this to serve as an early warning for the wearer, so we’re exploring integrating tiny LED lights that could light up to indicate that glucose levels have crossed above or below certain thresholds. Read more

Windows Phone Store Hits 200K Apps

Nokia Lumia 1020 Windows PhoneMicrosoft’s Windows Phone Store now has more than 200,000 apps, according to a company blog post.

The milestone wasn’t the headline of the post on the Window Phone Developers blog, but it quickly caught the eye of several tech outlets (h/t PCWorld). Instead, the post by Todd Brix, general manger for Windows apps and store, reminded developers to “publish your apps now to take advantage of the biggest holiday season yet.” Read more

Tablet Sales to Slow Down Ever so Slightly

ipadaThis year is expected to be another incredible growth year for tablet sales, but research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) has issued a word of caution for the coming years.

About 221.3 million tablets are expected to ship around the world by the end of the year, according to IDC. The company revised that forecast down about 3 percent from its previous estimate of 227.4 million. Yet, those sales still represent a more than 50 percent increase from last year. Read more

Sony Sells 2.1 Million PS4s

PlayStation 4Sony said it has sold 2.1 million of its new PlayStation 4s in about two weeks. Fans snapped up a million of those units in the first 24 hours they went on sale Nov. 15.

“It’s an impressive and record-setting accomplishment for our company and for our industry, and we couldn’t have done it without you,” wrote Andrew House, president and group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, in a blog post. “I want to personally thank PlayStation fans, both old and new, for your vote of confidence.” Read more

Microsoft is Now Selling Scroogled Products to Ridicule Google

scroogledTech companies are not always busy making the best apps and products. Sometimes, they just want to ridicule other brands. This is probably the first time a technology company is offering products to mock another company. It’s Microsoft vs. Google and the winner is: American Apparel.

The products can be found in the Microsoft Store, and as you can see, they’re just printed shirts and products from American Apparel. It’s the perfect gift for the Microsoft employee in your life. Read more

Google & Microsoft Call For Government Transparency

Image of PRISM slide from The Washington Post

In response to reports that the government has direct access to the servers of a number of leading technology companies, Google and Microsoft are calling for more transparency as it relates to their relationship with the NSA. These companies are among others to deny that the government has direct access to their servers and they want to be able to publish security requests to prove it.

Yesterday, David Drummond, chief legal officer at Google published a letter addressed to the attorney general and the head of the FBI. He wrote:

We therefore ask you to help make it possible for Google to publish in our Transparency Report aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures—in terms of both the number we receive and their scope. Google’s numbers would clearly show that our compliance with these requests falls far short of the claims being made. Google has nothing to hide. Read more