The Week: Most Recent The Digital Age:Microsoft recent posts.en-usWed, 06 Feb 2013 10:51:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent The Digital Age:Microsoft from THE WEEKWed, 06 Feb 2013 10:51:00 -0500The powerful new Microsoft Surface Pro: Is it worth the $900 price tag?<img src="" /></P><p>When Microsoft unveiled two Surface models last year, tech bloggers were&nbsp;momentarily befuddled. Was it a tablet? A laptop? Or some sort of new category altogether? Either way, when reviewers got their hands on the $500 Surface RT, which employs less-powerful ARM processors and runs a stripped down version of Windows, they were less than dazzled by its performance. It was new, yes, but buggy software and an identity crisis kept it from being everything it could be.</p><p>So now: Enter the Surface Pro, a beefy, powerful piece of hardware that runs any Windows 8 app imaginable. It goes on sale Saturday...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Wed, 06 Feb 2013 10:51:00 -0500The best lines from Nokia's absurdly positive review of its own Windows Phone<img src="" /></P><p>Here's how tech blogs typically review new gadgets: Writers catch wind of a new product, like the&nbsp;BlackBerry Z10, months before it launches and request a test. The hardware-maker's PR arm then sends over a sample device with its own phone number, the writer uses it for a few days, scribbles a review, and the story is published whenever the company lifts the embargo. When all is said and done, the phone is packed up and shipped back to the manufacturer. <br /> <br />Sometimes it works out differently. To wit: Recently, Nokia decided to cut out the middle man altogether and publish a sparkling review of...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Mon, 04 Feb 2013 16:33:00 -0500WATCH: Microsoft's cloyingly nostalgic Internet Explorer ad targets '90s kids<img src="" /></P><p><iframe width="660" height="397" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p>Hey, guys: Remember the '90s? Microsoft does. And it's tapping into the formative years of current twenty-somethings for a brand new Internet Explorer ad called &mdash; wait for it &mdash; "Child of the '90s." The clip resurrects&nbsp;pogs, Lisa Frank folders, Reebok Pumps,&nbsp;<em>Oregon Trail</em>, and&nbsp;56k modems (without the screeching) to burrow its way into your heart's warm nostalgia centers. "We thought it was time to invite those of you who haven't thought about Internet Explorer in a while to take a trip down memory lane," says director of IE marketing Roger Capriotti in a blog post. "Internet...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Fri, 25 Jan 2013 13:44:00 -0500Is Microsoft's $900 Surface Pro too expensive?<img src="" /></P><p>Microsoft always intended for the $500 Surface RT &mdash; its first tablet which runs a modified version of Windows and debuted in October &mdash; to go toe-to-toe with Apple's iPad, but, despite some positive reviews, the jury's still out. Meanwhile, fans clamoring for a tablet that runs the full rendition of Windows 8 were forced to wait. This week, Microsoft officially unveiled the Surface Pro, a touch-based device crammed with the internal processing power of a notebook that runs Windows 8 in all its colorful glory. Just one catch: The starting price for the Surface Pro is roughly $900 for...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Fri, 30 Nov 2012 16:12:00 -0500The shocking departure of Microsoft's CEO-in-waiting: 4 talking points<img src="" /></P><p>Windows President Steve Sinofsky was widely believed to be next in line for Microsoft's top job when CEO Steve Ballmer eventually steps away from day-to-day leadership duties at the legendary technology company. But now, Sinofsky is suddenly out of a job altogether, and the news couldn't come at a weirder time. Microsoft just launched Windows 8, its high-profile gamble in the world of touch-based computing, and the Surface, the platform's new tablet. Sinofsky, who joined Microsoft as a software design engineer in 1989, led the development and marketing of the company's flagship product for more...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 13 Nov 2012 10:50:00 -0500Microsoft's Windows Phone 8: An iPhone killer?<img src="" /></P><p>Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8 at a conference in San Francisco on Monday, its <strong>latest effort to break into a smartphone market dominated by Apple's iPhone and Google's Android</strong>. WP8 boasts a bevy of improved features, including better synchronization with other Microsoft products, an updated home screen that features Windows Phone's trademark "live tiles," and access to 46 of the 50 most popular apps. WP8 will be featured on smartphones manufactured by Nokia, Samsung, and HTC, and will be sold by carriers T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&amp;T. WP8 is already receiving positive reviews, though that...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 29 Oct 2012 16:05:00 -0400The amazing triumph of Windows 8<img src="" /></P><p>The myth that will not die is that in 1979, Steve Jobs went to Xerox PARC, snooped around, and stole the company's graphic user interface. In truth, the Macintosh project was well underway before Jobs' visit. The trip was arranged so that he might better understand exactly what Apple engineers were undertaking. As interface designer Jef Raskin once&nbsp;explained, "The Macintosh project was killed several times, and it was usually Jobs who was killing it, because he didn't understand it; I figured if he understood it, and could see something like it, before we were ready to show anything, that...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/david-w-brown" ><span class="byline">David W. Brown</span></a>Fri, 26 Oct 2012 06:24:00 -0400Microsoft's Surface tablet: Finally, a worthy alternative to the iPad?<img src="" /></P><p>The booming tablet market was long dominated by the iPad. But that's changing. Google and Amazon have carved out a new niche with smaller, cheaper devices that forced Apple to pivot and offer&nbsp;its own iPad Mini. Still, when it comes to top-of-the-line tablets, the original iPad stands alone. Perhaps that's why tech critics were uncharacteristically effusive when Microsoft announced the Surface &mdash; an elite, Windows-powered machine that might finally give Apple some competition. Two versions have been announced: A model running Windows 8 Pro, and a Surface running a stripped-down Windows...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 24 Oct 2012 10:55:00 -0400Is Windows 8 worth the upgrade?<img src="" /></P><p>The technorati were wide-eyed when Microsoft pulled the curtains off a preview edition of Windows 8 earlier this year. The next evolution of the legendary desktop platform, set to go on sale Friday, gives the dusty old Windows model a colorful, touch-centric facelift to unify the operating system on desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. The new user interface is highlighted by a Live Tiles option, which takes its cues from the customizable, blocky slides used on Windows Phones. But Microsoft is careful not to completely alienate Windows purists: When users launch an older app or tap on a Desktop...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 23 Oct 2012 11:33:00 -0400The Surface tablet's Glee-inspired first commercial<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The video:&nbsp;</strong>Microsoft debuted its first commercial for the long-awaited Surface tablet during Monday Night Football, and rather curiously, it's full of "singing, dancing, and lots of clicking," says Chris Matyszczyk at <em>CNET</em>. The television spot, which features a colorful assemblage of hip youngsters giddily snapping the tablet's magnetic keyboard cover on and off, is the vision of director Jon Chu, who is best known for his work on the <em>Step Up</em>&nbsp;movies and&nbsp;<em>Justin Bieber: Never Say Never</em>. (Watch the ad below.) Microsoft has a lot riding on the Windows-powered device, which will reportedly...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 16 Oct 2012 10:50:00 -0400Will Microsoft's 'Xbox Music' be an iTunes killer?<img src="" /></P><p>Get your headphones ready, music lovers: On Tuesday, Microsoft will replace its flagging Zune service with Xbox Music, a new service poised to take a bite out of Apple's dominant market share in the music-download industry. "Music fans have often viewed Microsoft as something like a bad cover band," says Nick Winfield at <em>The New York Times</em>: A company "that pumped out uninviting facsimiles of Apple's iPod and iTunes." But Xbox Music, which Microsoft bills as the world's first "all-in-one music service," could be the game-changer the company has been looking for. Here, a guide:</p><p class="p1"><strong>What is Xbox Music...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 15 Oct 2012 15:49:00 -0400Microsoft's futuristic bracelet that lets you make 3D hand gestures<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The innovation:&nbsp;</strong>Touchscreens are so last year. Microsoft researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a motion bracelet that uses a camera-based sensor and an infrared laser beam to detect the slightest movements of your hand. The effect, they say, allows you to move your fingers individually, granting you 3D control over your computer screen &mdash; all without having to wear an actual glove. (Watch a demonstration below.) The technology, nicknamed the Digits Sensor, could have huge applications in gaming, design work, and even your living room, as its fixed position on your...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 09 Oct 2012 12:28:00 -0400HP's new Windows 8 desktop: A blatant iMac rip-off?<img src="" /></P><p>Hewlett-Packard unveiled a raft of new Windows 8 PCs this week, and one of them &mdash; the Spectre One&nbsp;&mdash;&nbsp;grabbed critics' attention for all the wrong reasons. The computer's design looks eerily familiar to the iMac's, as HP's all-in-one machine comes with a curvy aluminum-like base, a flat white keyboard, and a black bezel surrounding its 23.6-inch screen. (See a photo at right and below.) Is HP, a company once known for pushing the computing industry forward, blatantly ripping off Apple's desktops?</p><p><strong>Of course this is a blatant rip-off:</strong> Meet HP's new desktop, says Matthew Panzarino...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 11 Sep 2012 14:45:00 -0400The Nokia Lumia 920's wireless charger: A revolution for smartphones?<img src="" /></P><p>The dust is still settling after Apple's $1 billion trouncing of Samsung (and indirectly, Google) in a highly publicized patent battle, and the shake-up in the hyper-competitive smartphone market may let Microsoft claim a larger slice. On Wednesday, Sept. 5, Microsoft and Nokia will reportedly unveil a new flagship Windows handset, the Nokia Lumia 920, which, among other attractions, reportedly comes with an innovative wireless charger that could be a game changer. Here's what you should know:</p><p><strong>What will the phone be like?</strong><br />On paper, it's looking like a "bona fide superphone" designed to run Microsoft...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 04 Sep 2012 17:23:00 -0400Apple's patent victory: Is Microsoft the real winner?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1">Apple's strategy of waging a "thermonuclear war" against Google seems to be paying off. A jury this month ordered Samsung, which uses Google's Android operating system in its line of smartphones, to pay Apple $1 billion for copying the iPhone's design and features. Apple's legal victory over Samsung is seen as an indirect win over Google, since it means other smartphone companies are likely less likely to adopt Android over fears that they will be targeted by Apple's army of lawyers. However, Apple's victory has also created an opening for another player in the smartphone market: Microsoft. The...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 30 Aug 2012 16:00:00 -0400Microsoft's new minimalist logo: Hugely disappointing?<img src="" /></P><p>In a bid for a younger image, Microsoft on Thursday unveiled its first logo redesign in 25 years (see image below). The old one was simply the company's name in bold, italicized type with a single quirky notch in the "o." The rebrand puts the colorful-if-pedestrian Windows grid next to the Microsoft name, now set in a grayed-out version of the more modern Segoe font. The four colors in the grid "signify strength, simplicity, boldness, and other terms that sound great in a brand meeting," says Sal Cangeloso at <em>Geek</em>. But, problematically, "they are also the colors found in the Google logo." The change...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 24 Aug 2012 10:38:00 -0400