This past week we saw a question and answer session with Microsoft which resulted in a slightly misunderstood bit of information being spread. As it turns out, Microsoft is not necessarily planning on releasing Cortana to any platform other than their own: Windows Phone and possibly Windows. Instead, Cortana needs to have a far more solid experience at home before any push beyond their borders, so says Microsoft.
Microsoft is considering extending its Cortana from Windows Phone to other platforms like iOS and Android, as it explores the value of a more ubiquitous digital personal assistant. The voice-controlled interface, revealed as part of the Windows Phone 8.1 developers preview, uses a mixture of specific user requests and contextual data like calendar entries, previous browsing history, and location to make smartphones running Microsoft's OS more personable and useful.
Alex Kibkalo, a former Microsoft employee, kicked up quite a debacle earlier this year after leaking information related to Windows 8 to an unknown French tech blogger. Kibkalo plead guilty in early April, and has now been sentenced, receiving three months in prison for the theft of trade secrets.
Microsoft may be offering the Xbox One without Kinect for motion-uninterested gamers, but it's also counting on plenty of Windows users and developers being interested in the Kinect for Windows v2 sensor. Up for preorder today, the new sensor bar - effectively the same hardware as for the Xbox One, but designed to work with the updated Windows SDK - is expected to ship in limited numbers from July.
Microsoft is rumored to be working on a smartwatch of their own, according to sources. Their offering will not only be their entry into the increasingly muddled smart wearable category, it is said to be cross-platform, working on all major smartphone platforms. A novel concept, it also keeps the wearable in line with Microsoft’s new direction of having their offerings available for every platform.
Back in 2012, Microsoft Research gave a demonstration of its real-time conversation translation using Skype, which takes one user's spoken words and translates them almost instantly into the other user's language, doing so by replicating each voice for an authentic conversation.
Today at the Code Conference in California, the company showed off an update to this, and at the same time announced that the software -- dubbed Skype Translator -- will be available before the end of this year as a Windows 8 beta app.
Microsoft has officially announced Windows 8.1 with Bing, a new version of its latest OS that comes with Bing as the preloaded search provider, and will be loaded on low-cost notebooks, desktops, and tablets. Based on the same Windows 8.1 Update that Microsoft confirmed back at BUILD, the "with Bing" version will only be offered as a pre-install, not to individual users.
According to Microsoft, they’ve beat the FBI at their own game. A letter sent to the company recently asked for information on an enterprise client, which Microsoft fought in court. Without having actually won a verdict, Microsoft says the FBI withdrew their request.
The Surface Mini everyone was expecting this morning was likely in the works until recently. A new report by Bloomberg notes that executives at Microsoft nixed the smaller tablet at the last-minute, opting instead to focus their energy on what a larger device could bring to the table.