Microsoft Lumia Denim update goes to older phones first, snubbing flagship Icon

December 25th, 2014 | Edited by | software


Microsoft said that while two older midrange Lumia phones will receive its Denim update in just a few days, Lumia Icon owners will have to wait until 2015 to receive it, breaking an earlier Microsoft promise.
Microsoft said that the Lumia 822 and Lumia 928 would receive the Denim OS upgrade in the next few days. The phones are old: The Lumia 928 is a midrange phone from June 2013, and the 822 also dates back to mid-2013. But the newer, better Icon will have to wait until “early 2015” to receive it.
In September, Microsoft promised that Denim—Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, plus some camera-specific updates—would roll out during the fourth quarter. Microsoft said Thursday that it had begun rolling out Denim, which will bring improvements like a Store Live Tile and a consumer VPN function, as part of Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1. Specific phones—the Lumia 930, Lumia Icon, Lumia 1520 and Lumia 830—will also eventually receive the Lumia Camera update, with faster shooting times and the ability to record 4K video.


Microsoft said it would follow the limited Denim rollout with a broader one in the new year. “A wider rollout of Lumia Denim to all Lumia smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to begin in early January,” Microsoft said in a blog post, “following partner testing and approvals.” Despite the carrier reference, however, Microsoft representatives wouldn’t say whether Verizon was behind the delay in the upgrade.
The Icon is officially stuck on the “Black” update, two iterations before Denim. Users can track the status of their phone updates on this Microsoft page, although Microsoft appears to have discarded a column that indicated where the next update was in the rollout process.
Why this matters: The Lumia Icon is the closest thing Microsoft has to a flagship device, even though it’s about ten months old. If the best Windows Phone isn’t first in line for an eagerly anticipated upgrade, that can’t help the mood within the Windows Phone community (even though it’s probably Verizon that’s holding things up, not Microsoft). It doesn’ help that recently Ed Bott, a technology writer for ZDNet, and Tom Warren, a writer for The Verge, both publicly abandoned Windows Phone within days of each other, based on OS and app delays.


Microsoft’s giving 100 more insanely great music albums away for free

December 16th, 2014 | Edited by | software


Put away those Bitcoins, folks. After dishing out 100 free, full albums during Black Friday Weekend , Microsoft’s at it again, giving away another 100 full albums for the low, low cost of absolutely nothing through December 15.
Some of the albums overlap with the previous giveaway, but there appears to be numerous new freebies in there as well, and all of the songs are stuff you’d actually wantto listen to, rather than the garbage tunes usually handed out as freebies. Here are just some of the albums available:

  • Babel by Mumford and Sons
  • Watch the Throne by Kanye West and Jay-Z
  • All That You Can’t Leave Behind by U2
  • Exodus and Catch a Fire by Bob Marley
  • Believe Acoustic by Justin Bieber
  • Unapologetic by Rhianna
  • 2Pac’s Greatest Hits
  • Quadrophenia by The Who
  • Beastie Boys Anthology: The Sounds of Science
  • Born to Die – The Paradise Edition by Lana Del Rey
  • Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi
  • The Fame and The Fame Monster by Lady Gaga


The Microsoft Music Deals app highlighting the free albums is also offering 80 percent off numerous holiday albums and many of the top albums of 2014, selling the latest music from Maroon 5, Lana Del Rey, Weezer, and others for $1.99.
The terms of the deal are the same as before. You’ll need access to Microsoft’s Music Deals app to see the freebies, which then bumps you over to the Xbox Music app when you select a free album—meaning you’ll need Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8. You’ll also need a Microsoft Account to snag the songs. The last giveaway was a U.S-only deal, and it’s very likely this one is as well, though I’ve yet to confirm that.
Once you claim the albums as your own you’re able to download the tracks as DRM-free MP3 tunes, so you’ll be able to listen to them on virtually any device—even ones that Xbox Music fails to call home.

Source: www.pcworld

Windows 10 no ‘loss leader’ for Microsoft, but making money may rely on services

December 11th, 2014 | Edited by | software


Microsoft won’t talk about what Windows 10 will cost until next year. But it’s looking unlikely that it will be completely free, either for users or for PC makers building larger devices, after Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner said that Windows 10 won’t be a priced to keep users in the Microsoft ecosystem.
“We haven’t announced the Windows 10 pricing framework yet. But the one thing I can tell you that we’ve not had any conversations on is Windows 10 being a loss leader for us,” he said at the Credit Suisse technology conference.
The way Microsoft makes money from PCs is changing. Windows hasn’t been the biggest earner for Microsoft for some time: Turner said it was in third place behind the Office and enterprise businesses.


He also gave indications that Microsoft would look to extend the kind of deals it’s done with makers of smaller devices who get Windows for free but are encouraged to bundle deals like Office 365 subscriptions that bring income for Microsoft. Notebook makers can already get a cheaper licence for Windows 8.1 if they make Bing the default search engine. But Turner seemed to suggest Microsoft would extend that even further.
“We’ve got to monetize it differently,” he explained. “There are services involved. There are additional opportunities for us to bring additional services to the product in a creative way.”
Unlike analysts, who have suggested that low-priced PCs may undermine the Windows 10 market, Turner was notably enthusiastic. “It’s wonderful to see these 9-inch and below devices explode, because that was an area where candidly, I was blocked out and I had no share of what was being built. The $199 laptop, the HP Stream, is an amazing device.”
Turner confirmed that Windows 10 will ship “by late summer and early fall” of 2015. And, he said, Microsoft will reveal what the Windows 10 business model will be “in the early part of 2015.”


Report: Microsoft will unveil Windows 10’s new consumer features in January

December 4th, 2014 | Edited by | software


Microsoft will take its Windows 10 message of “much better this time, really” straight to the people in January. Late that month, according to The Verge, Microsoft will hold an event to show off the consumer-oriented features in the upcoming major revision of its Windows operating system.
Microsoft has a lot riding on Windows 10, which is currently in preview. Windows 8’s shocking, take-it-or-leave-it changes caused many users to, well, leave Windows 8 (or not upgrade from prior versions). Windows 10, as far as we’ve seen in its beta iterations, is blending Windows 7 and Windows 8 to ease the experience for upgrading users.


We’re excited about the improvements we’ve seen so far in the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Let’s hope the January event includes the triumphant (and delayed) return of the Start menu, as well as innovations like Continuum, which lets Windows adjust its interface dynamically for tablet or keyboard use.


Microsoft offers Office 365 refunds to iPad users after launching free version

November 13th, 2014 | Edited by | software


If you recently forked over $70 or more to edit Office documents on an iPad, you can now switch to the free version and get a partial refund.
The iPad version of Office previously required an Office 365 subscription for document editing, priced at $70 per year for the “Personal” edition and $100 per year for the “Home” edition. That changed on Thursday, when Microsoft made basic editing free on all mobile devices, including iPads.


While some advanced features are still hidden behind the Office 365 paywall, users who can get by with the free version can now request a pro-rated refund for unused subscription time. Refunds are available until January 31 of next year to anyone who purchased a subscription on or after March 27, 2014. But the process depends on where you bought the subscription from.
Users who subscribed straight from the App Store will need to contact iTunes support. Users who subscribed from Microsoft or a reseller can contact Microsoft support. In all cases, you may need a proof of purchase, and Microsoft reserves the right to deny requests if it thinks they’re fraudulent. The entire process can take six to eight weeks.
The story behind the story: The refund offer is reminiscent of when Microsoft uncoupled entertainment apps such as Netflix from its Xbox Live Gold service, and credited former subscribers on a pro-rated basis. Both changes occurred under new CEO Satya Nadella, and show that the company is willing to tear down a few paywalls—and sacrifice short-term profits—if it means keeping users on board for the long haul.


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