In the latest episode of Windows Weekly, Mary Jo Foley is away so Leo Laporte and I discuss the first update for the Windows 10 Technical Preview, Satya Nadella's incredible pay package, how Office goes cross-platform, Microsoft will continue using Lumia brand, the Surface Pro 2 finally bows out, and some Xbox One digital preorders to keep the holidays happy.
The other day, I ambled over to Charles Petzold's web site to see what he was up to, and was surprised to discover that he's signed on with Xamarin and is writing a book about cross-platform mobile software development using that company's toolset. Coincidentally, I then received an email alert a few days later noting that the first pre-release version of this book is now available for free.
Microsoft this week debuted a new app launcher for its consumer-oriented productivity services—Office Online, Outlook.com and OneDrive—providing a more discoverable and consistent way to switch between these web apps. Visually, the change isn't a huge deal, but I think it looks cleaner than before.
Microsoft quietly revealed via an Xbox support page that it will soon eliminate one of the key perks of Xbox Music: The ability to freely stream (ad-supported) music from the Windows and web versions of the Xbox Music client. This change will make Xbox Music less of a no brainer for Windows users, and while I agree that an Xbox Music Pass subscription solves the problem nicely, not everyone wants to pay.
Annoyed by the jarring window animations on the desktop in build 9860 of the Windows Technical Preview? No problem: All you need to do is dust off your old desktop skills and change a single option to stop that from happening.
Google on Tuesday made an unexpected announcement: It will soon offer a new email service called Inbox that "works for you." Or maybe it's just a front-end to Gmail, the email service Google launched 10 years ago. It's not clear. Because, well, Google.
In the latest episode of What the Tech, Andrew Zarian and I discuss Windows 10 and how Microsoft will update the Technical Preview going forward, Apple's release of iOS 8.1 and Apple Pay, why iPad sales are falling off a cliff, and Microsoft's coming smart watch announcement.
In a densely-worded blog post aimed at enterprises, Microsoft has laid out its plans to improve Windows 10 security and information protection. This is obviously a hot-button topic in today's post-Snowden world, but parsing through this post, I see a fairly evolutionary and even obvious set of improvements. Which doesn't do a thing to diminish their usefulness or necessity. Or the fact that these improvements apply to consumers too.
Microsoft's previous generation Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, is no longer available for sale from Microsoft's online store, indicating that the available stock has likely run out. Microsoft began selling the device's replacement, Surface Pro 3, earlier in the summer and had previously discounted the price of Surface Pro 2 in July.
Today, Microsoft announced a new $49 adapter kit that will let Windows users connect an Xbox One Kinect to their PCs. The firm also announced a new version of the Kinect SDK that lets developers create and sell apps in the Windows Store for the first time.
Now that I have finally updated all of my PCs to the latest Windows Technical Preview version, I can take a quick step back and see what we have here. In short, nothing profound, but a couple of nice functional additions, or more realistically, the start of a couple of nice functional additions. As Microsoft promised, the preview is coming in hot, and this build is not polished in any way.
Well, now we know why Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella doesn't have any good advice for people looking for a raise: He doesn't need one. According to a recent SEC filing, Microsoft handed Mr. Nadella $84 million in salary, bonus and stock grants this past fiscal year, and it will pay him millions more each year going forward.
Now updated for build 9860! As you might expect of a major new Windows version, Windows 10 provides a number of new features and improvements over previous releases such as Windows 7 and Windows 8. In this series, I am exploring these features as they appear in the Windows Technical Preview. I'll be updating this series regularly going forward.
Delivering on its promise to provide Windows Technical Preview users with frequent updates, Microsoft today provided the first new release of this pre-release Windows 10 version, build 9860. The new build includes Action Center (the Windows 10 notification center), new animations, and a way to more easily move apps between multiple monitors.
Every time I start to think that Microsoft has forgotten Xbox Music, it does something like this: The firm announced a new mobile app today for Windows PCs, tablets and phones that alerts you to incredibly low-priced albums, including some that are as low as $1 or $2. If you find one you like, you can buy it—wait for it—from Xbox Music.