“Microsoft MSFT -0.17% Monday” takes a look back at the past week of news related to Microsoft. This week, “Microsoft Monday” includes details about changes to the Start menu in the Windows 10 “Anniversary” update, Windows 10 becoming the most popular OS with Steam users, a paid premium version of Outlook, the release of Calendar Apps for Outlook on iOS and Android, Cloud App Security becoming generally available, Microsoft Edge pausing unnecessary Flash content and more.
Microsoft Is Changing The Start Menu In The Windows 10 “Anniversary” Update
Microsoft is making some changes to the Start menu in the “Anniversary” update of Windows 10, which will be released this summer. The new Start menu makes apps stand out more. The new Start menu also has an All Apps menu and the Settings and Account features are hidden.
Forbes contributor Antony Leather has reported that Windows 10 is “now top of the list in Valve’s latest Steam Hardware Survey.” Valve uses the Steam gaming platform to collect hardware data from its users. Below is the data collected from Steam as of March 2016:
You will notice that the 64-bit version of Windows 10 has surpassed the 64-bit version of Windows 7. The 64-bit version of Windows 10 is slightly under 37%, which is up 2.96% from the month before. During the same period, the 64-bit version of Windows 7 dropped 1.22%. As a whole, Microsoft accounts for about 95% of Steam users.
Microsoft Is Testing A $3.99/Month Version Of Outlook
Microsoft is currently testing a new ad-free premium version of Outlook that allows you to create five personalized email addresses with a custom domain name, according to TNW. The custom domain name fee is waived for the first year.
The premium version of Outlook — which will cost $3.99 per month — allows users to share calendars, contacts and documents between the five accounts. GoDaddy is reportedly working with Microsoft on Outlook Premium. This service would compete against Google GOOGL -0.20% Apps, which charges $5 per user per month.
Outlook Premium is currently available through an invite-only system and it is unknown when the service will be rolled out to the public.
Microsoft Launches Calendar Apps For Outlook On iOS And Android
Microsoft Outlook already supports the ability to view calendars through Office 365, Gmail, Outlook.com and iCloud, but now Microsoft is launching Calendar Apps for Outlook on iOS and Android. You can connect apps like Facebook FB -1.46%, Evernote and Wunderlist to Calendar Apps to see your notes, events and to-do lists in your Outlook calendar.
Microsoft integrated these features into Outlook through the acquisition of Sunrise. “Since the Sunrise team joined Outlook, we’ve been hard at work bringing all the goodness and extra features from their app directly into our calendar to give you a single, powerful app for managing your personal and professional life,” said the Outlook team in a blog post. “Calendar Apps, along with a two-week mini-calendar, three-day view and iOS calendar widget, have already made it to Outlook, with Connected Calendars up next.”
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Microsoft Cloud App Security Now Generally Available
Last week, Microsoft announced that it renamed Adallom to Microsoft Cloud App Security, which is now generally available. Microsoft Cloud App Security is a cloud-delivered service for IT and security teams that provides deeper visibility and enhanced protection for cloud-based apps.
As more corporate data is stored in the cloud rather than on-premises, cloud application security becomes more important. According to Microsoft’s Cyber Trust Blog Staff, each employee uses an average of 17 cloud apps — but many organizations do not know what is in use or whether those apps meet security and compliance requirements.
As the demand for cloud-based apps increases, the Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) market will continue to grow. Cloud App Security identifies the cloud applications in your network and provides risk scoring and analytics. IT teams can set granular controls for data sharing and loss prevention (DLP). And Cloud App Security also provides threat protection for cloud applications.
Microsoft Edge Browser To Pause Unnecessary Flash Content
When Microsoft releases the Anniversary Update of Windows 10 this summer, the version of the Microsoft Edge browser that will be built in will automatically pause Flash content. This feature is similar to what Google integrated into its Chrome browser in September 2015.
The Microsoft Edge browser will “intelligently auto-pause” Flash content that is central to the website you are viewing, according to VentureBeat. This feature is already built into the Microsoft Edge browser within Windows 10 build 14316 — which became available to Windows Insiders last week.
Flash content such as ads and animations will be paused unless the user clicks on the content. And videos and games that play a prominent role on the website will not be paused. This will significantly reduce power consumption.
Microsoft Launches Hub Keyboard And Updated Translator App For iOS
Last week, Microsoft released the Hub Keyboard and a Translator app update for iOS.
The Hub Keyboard app integrates directly with Office 365 and allows you to scan for Office documents. Those documents can be shared with other users and you can also see recently viewed files on the Hub Keyboard.
Unfortunately, the Hub Keyboard for iOS does not show a list of text recently copied to the keyboard like the Android version does. The iOS version simply allows you to paste the last text you copied. The iOS version also lacks the built-in translation feature.
Microsoft Translator App Update
Microsoft has updated its Translator app for iOS with offline translation. You will need to download the offline language packs along with the app to have it translate without Wi-Fi or a data connection. The iOS version of Microsoft Translator supports over 40 languages offline and 50 languages total. Microsoft said that its Deep Neural Network technology enables the offline language packs to work just as well as it would with a data connection.
Microsoft And Toyota Partner On Connected Cars
Over the next 5 years, Toyota Motor Company is planning to spend $50 million on its autonomous car technology and it will be partnering with Microsoft on those initiatives.
The partnership is known as Toyota Connected. The two companies will develop artificial intelligence technology so that cars will know where to go and recommend places along the way based on user preferences. For example, it will suggest restaurants that serve food that the driver likes along the route ahead rather than the road behind.
There is also talks of integrating medical technology into the car such as heart rate sensors built into the steering wheel. The goal for Toyota Connected is to offer its first products within a year to help “humanize the driving experience.”
Microsoft has been working with Toyota Motor Company since 2011. Microsoft will have minority ownership in this venture, according to USA Today.
Microsoft Partners With R3 To Develop Blockchain Technology
Through a partnership with R3, Microsoft will develop and deploy blockchain technologies as part of its blockchain-as-a-service platform, accordingto ZDNet. The partnership was announced last week at the Envision 2016 conference. Blockchain is best known for working as public ledgers of transactions for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency. Since blockchains are shared ledgers that can store complete transaction history of other records, enterprises have a major interest in the technology.
Last year R3 partnered with several banks worldwide to offer distributed ledger technologies. Now R3 has 42 banking partners. R3’s peer-to-peer distributed ledger connects its banking partners with smart contract platforms like Ethereum, Eris and Tendermint. And Microsoft will support R3’s blockchain labs.
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Microsoft Invalidates “Xbox Next” Rumor
Last week, there were rumors floating around that the next generation of Xbox would be called the “Xbox neXt.” However, a Microsoft spokesperson told IGN that “Xbox neXt” was actually “an old internal team name.”
This rumor began to surface after a Microsoft employee named David Gardner added “Xbox neXt” to his LinkedIn profile. “Xbox neXt” was the name of a group working on the Xbox One.
Further evidence that proves Microsoft is not planning on releasing another console anytime soon was provided when Xbox head Phil Spencer pointed out that he is not a fan of the “Xbox One and a half” idea at the Build conference recently. Spencer said he believes more in big numbers and substantial changes instead.
However there may be a Sony PlayStation 4 upgrade being developed. There are rumors suggesting that Sony may release a new PlayStation 4 console called either the “PlayStation 4.5” or “PlayStation 4K.” The new Sony console is reportedly going to support games at 4K resolution rather than just the ability to view photos and videos at 4K. Currently, games on the PlayStation 4 supports 1080p.
Microsoft Is Preparing New Releases Of Dynamics NAV, GP and SL
According to ZDNet, Microsoft is preparing upgrades for its Dynamics NAV, GP and SL ERP software programs in the next few months. There will be an emphasis in integrating these ERP platforms with Microsoft’s cloud services. The announcement was made at the Envision conference last week. And going forward, the three ERP systems will receive upgrades either annually or every six months.
Microsoft Acknowledges That It Is Ready For Cross-Network Play
Last month, Microsoft said it has enabled cross-network play with other gaming networks. As part of the announcement, Microsoft encouraged other networks to participate. In an interview with EuroGamer.net, ID@Xbox European head Agostino Simonetta reiterated that the Redmond giant is open for cross-network play. In the interview, Simonetta said:
“We’re ready. Rocket League is the first game – and it is a heavily network-orientated game. Last weekend I had a problem with my wife, I was playing too much Rocket League,” said Simonetta in the interview. “But yes, any title that wants to update their game to include cross-network play, any title that wants to launch soon and take advantage of that, we are ready.”
Simonetta was asked when Rocket League players on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will be able to compete against each other and he responded by saying that it is up to the developer to decide. Sony said it is willing to explore cross-network opportunities as long as the PlayStation community is on-board.
Halo 5 Warzone Firefight To Enter Beta On Thursday
On Thursday April 14th, the Warzone Firefight multiplayer mode for Halo 5: Guardians will be available in beta. Between Thursday April 14th at 10AM PT and Monday April 18th at 10AM PT, Halo players will be able to use a single map from the new cooperative campaign.
343 Industries will also offer a new REQ pack called the Mythic Warzone, which offers 10 single-use power weapons and it can be used in any of the Warzone modes.
Microsoft Reportedly In Talks To Buy A Stake In HERE
Microsoft and Amazon.com are currently in talks to buy a minority stake in HERE. HERE is a digital mapping company that is owned by a consortium of German automotive companies. The talks were confirmed by Daimler, according to Reuters.
HERE is owned by German auto companies like Mercedes, Audi and BMW. The three auto companies acquired HERE for 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) from Nokia last year.
The talks were confirmed by Daimler board member Thomas Weber. Apparently, the consortium needs a cloud computing partner to manage the data collected from sensors on Mercedes, BMW and Audi vehicles.
Microsoft Reportedly Releasing Three Surface Phones In 2017
Microsoft is reportedly going to release three Surface phones in early 2017, according to sources with Windows Central. The reason why the Surface phones are being delayed until next year is because Windows 10 Mobile is still being developed and OEMs need time to build hardware. Microsoft may also launch new Surface tablets and a new Surface Book along with the new smartphones.
Marc Benioff Calls Microsoft HoloLens “Amazing Beyond Words!”
The HoloLens virtual reality headset is one of Microsoft’s most exciting products, but the current “Developer Edition” costs $3,000. When the commercial version is released, it will be priced significantly lower. Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com, has recently endorsed the HoloLens in the form of a tweet by saying it is “amazing beyond words!”
My friend @satyanadella just showed me the future of computing and it’s called @HoloLens. Amazing beyond words! pic.twitter.com/3NUqYXSffC
— Marc Benioff (@Benioff) April 8, 2016
Microsoft Monday includes seven days worth of updates from the Redmond-based software giant. What are your thoughts about the “Microsoft Monday” news from this week? Please leave a comment!
Microsoft Is Changing The Start Menu In The Windows 10 “Anniversary” Update New Windows Start Menu / Photo Credit: Microsoft Microsoft is making some changes to the Start menu in the “Anniversary” update of Windows 10, which will be released this summer . The new Start menu makes apps stand out more. The new Start menu also has an All Apps menu and the Settings and Account features are hidden.
Forbes contributor Antony Leather has reported that Windows 10 is “now top of the list in Valve’s latest Steam Hardware Survey.” Valve uses the Steam gaming platform to collect hardware data from its users. Below is the data collected from Steam as of March 2016: Steam Hardware Survey / Photo Credit: Valve You will notice that the 64-bit version of Windows 10 has surpassed the 64-bit version of Windows 7. The 64-bit version of Windows 10 is slightly under 37%, which is up 2.96% from the month before. During the same period, the 64-bit version of Windows 7 dropped 1.22%. As a whole, Microsoft accounts for about 95% of Steam users.
Microsoft Is Testing A $3.99/Month Version Of Outlook
Microsoft is currently testing a new ad-free premium version of Outlook that allows you to create five personalized email addresses with a custom domain name, according to TNW . The custom domain name fee […]