Microsoft

Microsoft (6)

In 2013, Microsoft said it would offer Microsoft Office 365 to U.S. students for free, provided their schools licensed the software for faculty and staff. Now, that offer is being extended worldwide.

Microsoft said Tuesday that the offer for free Office is being extended anywhere Office is available: from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, or dozens of countries around the world. As before, the school must license Office in order for its students to be eligible.

How do you check? Students can go to office.com/getoffice365 and enter a school-provided email address, and teachers can visit the office.com/teachers site and do the same. (Microsoft launched this self-serve service in the United States last September.)

Microsoft has warred with Google and other office-suite providers to convince businesses, governments, and other organizations to adopt Office—and it has quietly shifted away from a disc-based, one-time Office purchase to a subscription that can be budgeted for and automatically approved year in and year out.

Why this matters: Microsoft knows an Office 365 subscription is one of those productivity safe bets that gently lock in an organization to Microsoft’s products, and “train” students to prefer Office when they move on to the real world. Once there, students can buy their own personal Office 365 subscription if their employer goes another route. Previously, Microsoft tried to hook students with an Xbox Live Gold subscription, as well.

As in the United States, students gain access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Access, and Publisher installed on up to five PCs or Macs, and on up to five mobile devices like iPad, Android, and Windows tablets; plus, Office Online and 1TB of OneDrive storage.

Source: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2888354/microsoft-rolls-out-free-office-for-students-worldwide.html

Microsoft is axing a much-loved feature of its Windows Phone OS, Rooms, at short notice. An email sent to users yesterday announced that support is ending next month – long before functionally equivalent replacements are in place.

Rooms was introduced with Windows Phone 8 in 2012, and allowed users to chat, share calendars, photos and to do lists. A "Family Room" is already created on the phone by default. The Tile-based UI of Windows Phone conveniently alerts users to updates, such as new appointments, shopping list items and images.

From next month, Microsoft says, users will not be able to create new Rooms, or add members to or delete them from existing Rooms. The feature will disappear entirely in Windows 10.

Users will be able to continue to work with the data in their Rooms - but only via three discrete websites: One Note, Calendar and One Drive. A user suggestion to save Rooms has already attracted some votes. Users voice concerns that Windows Phone is becoming less distinctive. "Stop trying to be just like the competition - keep being BETTER", writes one.

Microsoft is expected to enhance its Skype client to include the Rooms functionality – but only Microsoft knows when. We requested a comment from Microsoft, but had not heard back at press time.

With Windows 8.1 last year, Microsoft began to remove the tight integration that strongly differentiated Windows Phone from Android and iOS. For example, the phone nicely aggregated social media activity in the system, within Hubs and on contact cards. Now, it throws the user into a dedicated Twitter or Facebook app – a much clunkier experience.

Windows Phone users got an early indication that CEO Satya Nadella doesn't think differentiating the mobile platform is a priority when a Microsoft manager mused about porting Cortana to rival platforms. Nadella replaced his predecessors "Devices and Services" formulation with "Cloud-o-bile" – a race in which Cloud and Mobile both come first. Together. At the same time. Skipping over the finishing line, hand in hand. Nobody finishes second. Everybody is a winner.

Source: http://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-beefs-up-outlook-mobile-app/

Updates to the Outlook apps tweak swipe gestures on the Android version and improve security for Exchange users in both versions.

Microsoft has polished up its Outlook apps for iOS and Android just two weeks after their debut.


In a blog post Tuesday, Microsoft's Office 365 Team outlined the features available in an update to the mobile email apps. Some of the new features and changes affect only the iOS app or the Android app, while others affect both versions.

The Outlook apps -- rebranded versions of the Accompli e-mail app that Microsoft bought in December -- are the latest steps in Microsoft's push toward a greater presence in the mobile world.

In the past, Microsoft was shy about releasing its apps onto competing mobile platforms, such as iOS and Android. But CEO Satya Nadella has made it his mission to focus on the cloud and mobile markets as key areas for growth.

In one change, the mobile version of Outlook now handles IMAP, an email protocol supported by many major email providers, including AOL and Comcast. IMAP stores your emails on the server until you delete them, allowing you to access your latest messages from different devices and mail clients.

By default, Outlook sorts your email into conversation threads, so you can follow all related messages. But if you'd rather see each email individually, you can now change the setting. Simply tap the Settings icon, scroll down to the option for Organize Mail by Thread and turn it off. This feature isn't yet available for the Outlook app for Android, but Microsoft said it expects to bring it to Google's mobile OS soon.

Microsoft also now lets you customize swipe gestures on the Android flavor of Outlook just as you can on the iOS version. By swiping a specific email to the right or left, you can quickly delete it, archive it, move it, flag it, schedule it or mark it as read or unread. A setting called Swipe Options lets you choose which action to assign to a right or left swipe.

You can also now change the folders targeted in swipe gestures. In the past, Outlook asked you which folder you wanted to use when you archived or scheduled an email. Now you can set a default folder, so that Outlook will no longer prompt you.

Those of you who use Outlook with Exchange servers, which typically means business users and enterprise customers, will find more solid security in the update.

If your company uses Exchange ActiveSync to sync your email and other items and requires a password for the synchronization, Outlook will now prompt you to set up a passcode on your mobile device. Until that passcode is established, you won't be able to access your email. That sounds like a hassle, but it's designed to protect your email. Devices running iOS 8.0 or later come with built-in encryption. Outlook uses your passcode to encrypt all the data stored on your device.

And for Android users in the business world, Outlook can now enforce policies regarding the length and complexity of your password as well as the number of attempts someone can bypass the screen before your device is wiped.

Source: http://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-beefs-up-outlook-mobile-app/

 

Since Satya Nadella took the reins of Microsoft in February, he is leaving his mark by demonstrating his ability to make the software giant as relevant today as it was back when it promised to put a personal computer on every desk and in every home.

Nadella effort now is focused on re-energizing the 40-year-old Microsoft's corporate culture that has missed the biggest waves in the industry including search and mobile.

After a hard work finally on Tuesday, Nadella brought his Skype team onto the stage and presented a terrific new technology that emulate the Start Trek universal communicator: Skype translation.

Essentially you can speak to someone who speaks a different language and be understood. Skype adds the other person's translations for you in subtitle format at the bottom of the screen. Although it's not an immediate translation as you need to wait until the other person is done speaking before the service starts whirring away.  

Microsoft isn't sure how many languages will be included initially. The company will release new languages as they meet the bar for translation quality.

This technology if well implemented has the potential to revolutionize the business world.

It will be made available for all Skype users apparently within the end of the year. 

 

Large number of users switched to the latest versions of Windows since Microsoft officially ended to support Windows XP the 8th of April 2014.  

Despite there are still many users that rely on the old operating system, especially some companies and organizations that were unable to migrate to the new systems before the support phase ended, and that are paying Microsoft to get security patches and updates.

Now a registry hack that allows Windows XP to continue receiving update has emerged.  In fact the discovered hack will allow receiving security updates until April 2019 and… for FREE.

By making a few changes in the registry of XP, the hack basically tricks the automatic update servers at Microsoft into thinking the OS is Windows Embedded POSReady 2009. The OS is based on Windows XP Service Pack 3 and it will continue to get security updates from Microsoft until April 2019.

For 32-bit versions of Windows XP SP3, tweak the registry by opening Notepad, and pasting in:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\WPA\PosReady]

"Installed"=dword:00000001

Then Save As xp.reg. Note, the ".reg" file extension, not the default .txt.

For 64-bit versions of XP, there is a workaround on Sebijk.

However is worth to say that is still better to migrate from XP as this operative system is less secure than the other more modern versions. Moreover is likely that Microsoft will find the way to block any updates that use this hack.  

For the moment, we like to know that the good old Widows XP is not yet dead.

For more information on how to migrate your operating system Contact us or visit our Service Page.

 

Google finally released yesterday an update for Google Chrome after fixing the three critical security vulnerabilities of Adobe Flash, Reader and Acrobat that were affecting the Windows, Mac and Linux versions of the browser. In fact before of the update was seriously possible for malicious attacker to take control of user’s operating system.

After paying $ 4,500 to make the better update possible, Google in now encouraging users and administrators to make the necessary updates.

The update is not only available for PC but for Android devices as well, as Chrome is recognized as the most used browser for Androids with over five hundreds millions installs.  But although the update contains multiple security and stability update, there are still major issues, like YouTube support for casting videos and full screen video controls, that have not been addressed yet and that could lead in a future loss of popularity for the famous browser,  

You can read more about Microsoft Security Bulletin at this link: https://technet.microsoft.com/library/security/ms14-may

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