Microsoft News

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MSN redesign may have hurt Bing traffic

Recent comScore numbers have indicated that a recent redesign to the MSN landing page may have hurt Microsoft's web traffic, including Bing's. The hit was hard enough that Microsoft asked comScore to include Skype, Outlook, and all of their other web properties in a revised count by comScore.

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Microsoft has just pushed out an update to the Xbox One SmartGlass app, currently in beta, with new capabilities. Now, users can stream TV content from the Xbox Digital TV Tuner to their Windows Phone or Android devices. It's important to note that this feature will work only for users outside of the U.S. as the Digital TV Tuner accessory for Xbox is not available Stateside.

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Apps are the focus of Microsoft's latest ad for Windows and Windows Phone as the software giant showcases some of the popular apps for its platforms. One of the long-standing concerns with Microsoft's mobile platforms on tablets and smartphones is the lack of a robust app library, especially when compared against rivals such as Android and iOS, so it's nice to see Microsoft address the situation in this new ad. In addition to highlighting some popular apps, Microsoft also shows off multitasking on its Surface Pro 3.

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Microsoft is advising potential holiday shoppers that it is completely out of Microsoft Band inventory online at the Microsoft Store. Microsoft suggests that customers who are interested in grabbing a Microsoft Band stop by their Microsoft retail store to see if local locations will have any inventory available. As a consolation for interested Band users, Microsoft also issued a $10 gift code for a $50 or more Microsoft Store purchase in the email for your hardship in locating a Band.

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The latest Windows Phone ad not only pits Cortana against Apple's Siri, but shows off some of the features that the optional HTC Dot View Cover can do on the Windows Phone-powered HTC One (M8) for Windows. The ad starts with Siri looking in the mirror, admiring her prettiness, and goes on to the One (M8) for Windows showing off the features of the Dot View Cover, like activating Cortana, receiving notifications, and answering calls. In terms of similar cases for the iPhone? The fun stops there as it looks like other iPhone covers just muffle up Siri.

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Microsoft invited the media to the River Thames in London this evening to see something special, the #MakeItHappen stunt. The company put on quite the show for Cortana, partnering up with "legendary trials cyclist" Danny MacAskill who attempted to recreate the famous Cortana icon in a loop on his chosen two wheels. The end result was impressive, as was the show itself. MacAskill performed the stunt not only in the vicinity of the river, but in the middle, between the banks, aboard a float, and situated just in front of the London Eye.

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Microsoft is selling the 32 GB refurbished Surface 2 on its official eBay store at a steep discount. The refurbished Windows RT slate is now going for just $199, which is one of the cheapest deals we've seen. Additionally, with the Surface 2, you also get Microsoft Office 2013 RT included in the asking price. The tablet also comes with a rated 10-hour battery life, 200 GB of free OneDrive storage for two years, and unlimited Skype minutes for a year.

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TheHaloWars.com recently caused quite a stir with fans of the Halo Wars title waiting for an upcoming announcement to be made for a sequel. Unfortunately, it turns out the website itself isn't official and was maintained by fans who also want to see a sequel developed. While speculation of a Halo Wars 2 remains, it has not been confirmed by Microsoft with a teaser website as previously reported.

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A new report suggests that a U.S. Marshals Service spy program operating under the Justice Department is collecting thousands of cellphone identification numbers from Americans by employing fake communication towers. The program has been operational since 2007 and the towers are mounted on Cessna airplanes operating out of at least five metropolitan-area airports. These fake towers would trick cell phones on the ground into sending their identification numbers, which are then collected by the government for use in criminal cases.

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