Odds and Ends 

Microsoft just purchased all of GEs newest Irish wind farm capacity for the next 15 years

Microsoft signed an agreement with GE today to purchase every last bit of the wind energy from GE’s brand-new 37-megawatt Tullahennel wind farm located in County Kerry, Ireland for the next 15 years. This is a big deal on several levels. First of all, it means Microsoft will be using a clean energy source to power at least some of its cloud data centers in Ireland. That will likely result in a lower energy bill for Microsoft, while reducing the pollution related to running cloud services. But this could have…

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Microsoft confirms plans for a new flagship store in Regent Street opposite Apple

Shopping may be turning into an increasingly virtual exercise, with people buying goods online and through apps, but there is no denying the power of a physical in-store experience — a lesson that Microsoft is taking to heart. Today the company announced it will be opening a new flagship store in London in Regent Street near Oxford Circus — just a stone’s (or an iPhone’s) throw from the Apple flagship store that saw a huge revamp a year ago. The area around Oxford Circus, which is at the intersection of Oxford…

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Microsoft will soon shutter its music store and streaming service, move users to Spotify

You can’t fault Microsoft for trying, but Groove Music, its Spotify competitor, never took off. Today, the company is admitting defeat. Microsoft today announced it will soon shutter both its Groove Music Pass streaming service and the ability to purchase songs and albums in the Windows Store. Given how competitors like Spotify and Apple now own the markets for streaming and purchasing music online, this move doesn’t come as a total surprise. What does come as a surprise, though, is that Microsoft has partnered with Spotify to move all its…

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Microsoft Excel is about to get a lot smarter

Microsoft Excel users rejoice. Your favorite spreadsheet is about to get a lot smarter, thanks to the help of machine learning and a better connection to the outside world. As Jared Spataro, Microsoft’s general manager for Office, and Rob Howard, the company’s director of Office 365 ecosystem marketing, showed me during a briefing at the company’s Ignite conference today, Excel will soon be able to understand more about your inputs and then pull additional information from the internet as necessary. “We’re pleased to introduce new data types,” Spataro explained. “That…

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Headlines 

Bill Gates has finally switched from the Windows Phone to an Android

Image: Getty Images At last, Bill Gates has joined us in the present. The Microsoft co-founder announced in an interview with Fox News Sunday that he’s now using an Android phone.  The move was probably inevitable. Windows on mobile has effectively been a dead platform ever since Microsoft gutted its phone division two years ago. While Windows 10 technically works on phones, there’s been pretty much zero support from hardware makers and app developers outside of Microsoft. Gates told Fox that the phone he uses is an “Android phone with…

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Headlines 

Microsoft and Facebook’s big undersea cable is now complete

Marea cable headed towards the oceanImage: microsoft More than 17,000 feet below the ocean’s surface, there now lies the “most technologically advanced subsea cable,” providing up to 160 terabits (Tbps) of data per second — beating Google’s alternative, now poorly named, “Faster.” The cable is the handiwork of Facebook, Microsoft, and Spanish telecommunication company Telxius.  Construction on the cable, which stretches 4,000 miles from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain, began in August 2016. Microsoft announced its completion on Thursday, but it won’t be operational until early 2018.  SEE ALSO:…

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Headlines 

Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is coming to a PC near you on Oct. 17

The next version of Windows 10 finally has a delivery date. The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will be available worldwide on Oct. 17. Microsoft announced the drop date on Friday at the IFA event in Berlin where PC partners have been unveiling a slew of Windows 10 systems. SEE ALSO: Microsoft’s Windows 10 Creators Update is an OS done right The Windows 10 Fall Creator Update is not a massive overhaul of the popular desktop and laptop OS. (Trust us, this is a good thing.) Since the release of…

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Headlines 

Microsoft Bets Its Future on a Reprogrammable Computer Chip

It was December 2012, and Doug Burger was standing in front of Steve Ballmer, trying to predict the future. Ballmer, the big, bald, boisterous CEO of Microsoft, sat in the lecture room on the ground floor of Building 99, home base for the companys blue-sky R&D lab just outside Seattle. The tables curved around the outside of the room in a U-shape, and Ballmer was surrounded by his top lieutenants, his laptop open. Burger, a computer chip researcher who had joined the company four years earlier, was pitching a new…

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Odds and Ends 

Latest Xbox update begins rolling out to Xbox Insiders today

New-Community-Tab New-Home New-Guide  View Slideshow Next Exit Microsoft has also focused on rebuilding the community sharing experiences with a more immersive Activity Feed, and the Game Bar is improved in Windows 10 with a single button that allows you to enable or disable Game Mode (which optimizes system resources for game performance) and there are new more detailed settings for sharing audio when broadcasting via Mixer. Microsoft sure seems to do a lot of rethinking with the Xbox interface, and it can be a jolt to players since once theyre…

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Microsoft launches a faster, smarter Outlook.com into public beta

Microsoft is launching a new opt-inbeta program for Outlook.com today that will give users access to a faster and more personalized email experience, as well as an overhauled design. Over the next few weeks, the Outlook.com team will roll out to all users a new toggle for opting into the beta. Those who dont like the new look and feel can easily switch back to the old version. The plan here is to test new features in this beta program and bring to the standard version of Outlook.com those that…

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Longtime enterprise exec Quentin Clark joins Dropbox as SVP of Engineering, Product and Design

As Dropbox slowly gears up toward its initial public offering, its bringing on a longtime enterprise executive Quentin Clark, a former VP of Microsoft as well as SAP CTO as head of its very-long-title-where-he-will-oversee-a-ton-of-things. His official title is going to beSVP of Engineering, Product and Design, where he will oversee all of those operations. As Dropbox looks to dive further into the enterprise, Clarks experience is likely going to give the company what it needs to start to sign more of those deals. Dropbox has historically been known as a…

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Microsofts Surface Laptop is great, once you upgrade Windows 10 S

Ive talked to a number of people on the Surface team over the last few months, and the decision to hinder their beautiful new piece of hardware still boggles the mind. The Surface Laptop is really nice in fact, itsquite possibly the best piece of hardware to carry the Surface name. But for some reason Microsoft saw fit to use the product to showcase Windows 10 S, a stripped-down version of its operating system targeted primarily at schools. Microsoft has since told me it recognizes that the Laptops messaging was…

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Microsoft confirms layoff reports, reorganization expected to impact thousands

After a week of reports, Microsoft has confirmed its restructuring plans. As we previously reported, the moves are expected to impact thousands at the company as it works to reorganize its sales team. Subsequent numbers have put the headcount at anywhere between up to 3,000 to closer to 5,000. CNBC, which reported the smaller figure, adds that around three-quarters of the cuts will occur outside the U.S. For its part, Microsoft is refusing to cite specific numbers just yet, only confirming that it began the process of informing employees of…

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Odds and Ends 

Outlook 2016 for Mac now lets you send emails later, track messages & more

Microsoft this morning announced a series of new features coming to its Outlook for Mac 2016 software for Office 365 users, including those that will allow you to schedule your emails, track the messages delivery, and find out if the email was read, among others. Some of the changes are rolling out first to those who receive early updates through Microsofts Office Insider Fast program, while other new additions, like email templates, will arrive today. Being able to schedule delivery is something Outlook has supported for some time in other…

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Odds and Ends 

Microsofts Power BI business analytics tool learns new tricks

Back in 2015, Microsoft launched a highly visual Power BI data exploration and interactive reporting tool into general availability. The service is now in active use at 200,000 different organizations and the team has shipped 400 updates and new features over the course of the last two years. Current users span a wide gamut and include the likes of the Seattle Seahawks, CA Technologies, Heathrow Airport and local Seattle TV station King 5. For the second time since the launch of Power BI, Microsoft is hosting a user conference for…

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