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Microsoft readying own-brand Windows tablets tip insiders

Microsoft readying own-brand Windows tablets tip insiders

Microsoft is readying its own Windows 8 tablet, insiders claim, potentially the first of several models running x86 and ARM processors in an attempt to better challenge Apple's iPad. The new slates are said to be the logical conclusion of Microsoft's struggles to differentiate Windows in the tablet market, AllThingsD's sources say, with the company designing both hardware and software.

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Microsoft: Windows Phone legacy users update, or else

Microsoft: Windows Phone legacy users update, or else

In an update that comes down from the top, straight from Microsoft's Windows Phone officials that is, users will have to move to the Mango update for the mobile OS or get cut off entirely from the app Marketplace. This move is specifically for the smartphone-based software while large apps and games will still be able to be downloaded using Zune software as noted by Windows Phone's Mazar Mohammed. This update is being pushed so that Windows Phone can have a uniform update to their Marketplace and so they can "pave the way for new store features and new apps in the months ahead."

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Microsoft moving away from Windows Live branding

Microsoft moving away from Windows Live branding

Microsoft is taking the chance to rebrand its accounts ahead of the Windows 8 launch this year. The Windows Live brand will be no more, with Microsoft services simply requiring a “Microsoft account” going forward. That will serve as the main account for all of Microsoft’s offerings, being used across hardware and software products. Microsoft took to the MSDN blog to say that services weren’t as “closely meshed” as it had hoped when it launched Windows Live back in 2005.

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Apple, not Amazon, is Microsoft’s NOOK Motivation

Apple, not Amazon, is Microsoft’s NOOK Motivation

Barely was the e-ink dry on Microsoft and Barnes & Noble's $300m NOOK agreement when pundits were questioning the wisdom of adding Amazon to the software company's existing roster of big-name rivals. Microsoft is already under attack in mobile and computing, so the commentary went; throwing one of the biggest retailers around into the mixture was at best foolish and at worst evidence of Microsoft spreading itself thin when it needs to be extra lavish with its strokes. That analysis is wrong, though. Make no mistake: Apple, not Amazon, is in Microsoft's sights today.

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Microsoft ditches Zune desktop app purchasing

Microsoft ditches Zune desktop app purchasing

Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system may not be particularly popular, but it's nice to see that the company keeps trying to tweak the operating system to gain traction. Microsoft is set to make some changes to the marketplace for Windows Phone. One of the changes is that the Zune Desktop software will no longer allow the user to browse through apps and purchase them.

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Microsoft branding cull leaks plus Office 15 tablet UI tease

Microsoft branding cull leaks plus Office 15 tablet UI tease

Microsoft is set to retire the Zune and Windows Live brands with Windows 8, it's reported, as well as offer a switchable tablet/desktop UI in the Office 15 apps for increased finger-friendliness. The so-called "Touch Mode" button has been spotted in the Office 15 technical preview but is not yet functional, according to ZDNet's source, but which will presumably boost icon size among other tweaks for those using the software in Metro mode on tablets and touchscreen all-in-ones.

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Microsoft help wanted ad hints at coming cloud backups for Windows Phone

Microsoft help wanted ad hints at coming cloud backups for Windows Phone

It's always fun for geeks to peruse the ads that are placed by the big tech firms looking for help in specific areas. The ads and the sort of people that they are looking to hire hint strongly at features that are going to be added to various products. Microsoft had a new ad up a few days ago that was seeking a new worker for the windows Phone Backup, Migrate, and Restore team.

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Zune HD not dead after all claims Microsoft

Zune HD not dead after all claims Microsoft

Microsoft has apparently flip-flopped on the Zune HD again, resurrecting its PMP hardware from the dead and claiming axing the media player lineup was never its intent. After first squashing rumors that the Zune hardware line had been killed, then promptly admitting that the Zune HD was, indeed, dead, Microsoft's support team now insists that "no official info has been released stating hardware is being discontinued."

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