The purchase deal that will see Microsoft acquire the hardware portion of Nokia is moving forward. Despite the deal moving forward, one of the factories that is in the deal is creating some trouble for Nokia and Microsoft. The factory is the Chennai manufacturing plant in India. The deal between Microsoft and Nokia is expected to close this week.
Microsoft has inked another deal to squeeze cash out of an Android and Chrome OS device manufacturer, adding Motorola Solutions to its roster of firms coughing up for patent licensing. Microsoft has made a healthy sideline in profiting from Android's success, signing up firms like Dell and ZTE even if the devices they're paying for aren't running Windows Phone or Windows.
Microsoft has a new wireless keyboard with integrated trackpad, the All-in-One Media Keyboard, targeted at living room users, smart TVs, Xbox One, and tablets. Offering both a full-sized QWERTY layout - along with a few useful shortcuts - the AIO Media Keyboard also slots on a multitouch trackpad on the right, for easier navigation.
Microsoft is now offering a download of Windows Phone 8.1 early. There is a catch though; you have to be registered as a developer to get the download early. You can also be running a smartphone that is "developer unlocked" to get the update. Microsoft said that this preview period is aimed at allowing developers to be sure that their apps will run correctly on a phone before the update launches to the general public.
Microsoft has revealed Skype TX, a new version of the voice and video calling platform designed with studio-grade audio and video in mind for broadcasters. Set for release later this year, as a combination of hardware and software, Skype TX better integrates with existing broadcast equipment and software for more professional-looking and easier to set-up podcasts, radio shows, and video interviews.
If there's been a theme online over the past couple of years, it's the rise of web service hacks and privacy blunders, and Microsoft is hoping to help developers keep their users safer with a push for SSL. Currently, getting an SSL certificate - which allows the browser to authenticate what it's showing with the legitimate company behind it - costs money, but as of today Microsoft is offering free SSL security for Azure developers.
Microsoft has announced some interesting new features that are rolled into the latest beta versions of the SmartGlass app. The big new feature is TV controls for the app that are available on the beta versions for Android, Windows, and Windows Phone. If you want to try out the beta apps, they are available for anyone to check out.
Microsoft's Build 2014 opens tomorrow, April 2nd, a chance for new CEO Satya Nadella to not only convince developers and the industry that his "mobile first, cloud first" strategy makes sense, but that Microsoft has the skills to deliver on it. After impressing with the Office for iPad launch, Nadella has a far bigger audience to preach The Windows Way to at Build, though there are plenty of balls in the air that he still needs to keep moving.