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NORAD and Microsoft produce Santa tracker with 3D claymation and touch support

NORAD and Microsoft produce Santa tracker with 3D claymation and touch support

NORAD's Santa Tracker is a fun way for kids to keep an eye on Santa's journey around the globe on December 24, when he delivers presents to homes around the world. This year, the service has received an upgrade due in no small part to work with Microsoft, which has dabbled in the area in the past. For Santa watchers this December, the NORAD tracker has 3D claymation animations and is completely touch-friendly.

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Microsoft Hobbit campaign brings 3D-printable Key to Erebor

Microsoft Hobbit campaign brings 3D-printable Key to Erebor

Ramping up to the release of the second Hobbit movie in theaters, the folks at Microsoft have let it be known that they'll be sending out a file for 3D-printer users that'll have them creating the mythical Key to Erebor. This oddity means that Microsoft and Warner Bros. UK will be the first in history to be making use of 3D printing in an advertising campaign.

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Microsoft’s Project Spark enters public beta on Windows 8.1

Microsoft’s Project Spark enters public beta on Windows 8.1

Project Spark was announced for the Xbox One back in June. The game is described as being one that offers "an endless adventure where everything is customizable." Project Spark will allow users to play what other creators have built and also build for others. Basically, the users are the creators and the players. And there is a bit of good news for those who may have been waiting to get hands-on with Project Spark.

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Xbox One developer functionality accessible, Microsoft issues warning

Xbox One developer functionality accessible, Microsoft issues warning

Earlier this year, Microsoft's Xbox corporate VP Marc Whitten stated that that all Xbox One consoles will eventually be able to work for development, something promised to come along but not be available when the console first launched. Despite still not being available, some industrious Redditor has discovered how to access the functionality in the consoles at the moment, something that has prompted Microsoft to issue a warning.

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Microsoft Student Advantage gives college students Office 365

Microsoft Student Advantage gives college students Office 365

Microsoft today is extending free access to Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus to all students at higher education institutions where staff and faculty are subscribed to ProPlus or Professional Plus. This "Student Advantage" promotion is already available at 35,000 eligible schools and is already in use at some schools. The program is commencing just a month and a half after it was announced in mid-October.

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Microsoft Nokia deal OKed by DOJ

Microsoft Nokia deal OKed by DOJ

There are a mighty number of hurdles a set of companies must go over before they join forces and become one in the United States, especially when they're such titans as Microsoft and Nokia. What's been approved today by the folks at the United States Department of Justice is the pending acquisition of Nokia's mobile devices and services business by Microsoft.

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Xbox One availability gets Microsoft-based boost

Xbox One availability gets Microsoft-based boost

As it has been with essentially every major console release over the past several decades, Microsoft appeared (at first) to be having trouble keeping stock in stores with the Xbox One. What we're seeing now, less than a month after the machine was first put out on the market, is another seemingly sudden gush of availability, right on schedule here on what's called "Cyber Monday". And this isn't the first time this has happened for this machine.

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Microsoft should consider Tony Bates for CEO: Silicon Valley

Microsoft should consider Tony Bates for CEO: Silicon Valley

A report on AllThingsD this weekend made a case for Tony Bates to take outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's title. Bates is currently the EVP of business development, strategy and evangelism at Microsoft and formerly oversaw the Skype division (Microsoft took over Skype in 2011.) It would appear at least a dozen Silicon Valley "tech leaders" interviewed for the report feel Bates is the best choice for MS CEO.

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Microsoft takes a dig at Samsung in Surface vs. Galaxy Tab commercial

Microsoft takes a dig at Samsung in Surface vs. Galaxy Tab commercial

Last year, Samsung considered building a Windows 8 (RT), ARM-based, Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered tablet for Microsoft. But then, along with companies like HP, Samsung dropped out of the Windows 8 tablet production party to continue pursuing its Galaxy Tab prospects. Today, Microsoft issued a new commercial taking a dig at Samsung for its 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab's lack of a full-size USB port.

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