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Escape from Windows XP

Microsoft has posted a nice little game that's occupied my lunch time. Escape Windows XP has you destroying Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6. A decent shoot 'em up in your browser. Just another way Microsoft is letting you know that Windows XP is end of life and ready for the head shot.

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Final Windows XP Patch Cycle is Small

Windows XP support officially ends tomorrow, as does Office 2003. The last patch Tuesday for Windows XP is going to be a small one, though. So, after Tuesday, you can update your Windows XP machine and be done. It's probably best to update to Windows 7 or 8, though.

There will be a total of four updates released for all products, two for Windows and two for Office. Only one of the updates for each product is rated critical, although we don't yet know the number of vulnerabilities addressed for any of the products or their exact nature. All four updates are for remote code execution vulnerabilities.

Happy 39th Birthday, Microsoft

April 4th, 1975 Microsoft was founded in New Mexico. It's been a good 39 years with a lot of ups and downs. Cool thing that I turn 39 later this year, too. Happy birthday, Microsoft! 

They officially established Microsoft on April 4, 1975, with Gates as the CEO.[12] Allen came up with the original name of "Micro-Soft," the combination of the words microcomputer and software, as recounted in a 1995 Fortune magazine article. In August 1977 the company formed an agreement with ASCII Magazine in Japan, resulting in its first international office, "ASCII Microsoft".[13] The company moved to a new home in Bellevue, Washington in January 1979.[12]

Microsoft MVP Award

On a day with pranks and jokes, I received the email saying "Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2014 Microsoft® MVP Award!". It wasn't a joke or a prank. I have earned the Microsoft MVP Award for Windows Expert: Consumer. Exciting to say the least. :) My MVP profile is now live. I am proud and honored to receive this award, and will continue to offer my time and knowledge to the Microsoft community. 

 

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For more information on the Microsoft MVP progam, you can visit the MVP site

The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award is our way of saying thank you to exceptional, independent community leaders who share their passion, technical expertise, and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with others. It is part of Microsoft’s commitment to supporting and enriching technical communities. Even before the rises of the Internet and social media, people have come together to willingly offer their ideas and best practices in technical communities.
 
At Microsoft, we recognize the vital role these individuals play in the adoption and advancement of technology—and in helping our customers do great things with our products. This was the inspiration for the Microsoft MVP Award. Nearly two decades ago, we awarded 37 technical community leaders as MVPs.
 
Today, there are more than 4,000 MVPs worldwide. They represent more than 90 countries, speak over 40 languages, answer more than 10 million questions a year, and are awarded in almost 90 Microsoft technologies—reflecting the breadth of our products and our global communities.

Start Menu will Return to Windows

At the BUILD conference, Microsoft has confirmed the return of the Start Menu that so many people were complaining about and missing. This is great news for many people I've spoken with that really disliked the Start Screen. Metro style live tiles will remain, but a lot less intrusive as before. 

Millions asked for it, and Microsoft is providing it: the old Start Menu is coming back. Kind of. At its Build conference today, Microsoft announced a new Start Menu that looks like a hybrid of the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8. It's around the same size as the Windows 7 menu, but also features miniature Live Tiles along one side.

Battery Life and Video Formats

TechSpot has done some testing to see what video formats and what video applications give the best battery life on Windows 8 based tablets. The results surprised me. Testing various formats, resolutions with battery life and CPU usage can take a long time. Hope he had some good movies and a lot of popcorn!

Over the course of the last two weeks, I’ve been digging deep into what the optimal playback setup is for lengthening battery life. Throughout more than 145 hours of testing, I’ve looked at a range of Windows video players, including the stock Windows 8 app, Windows Media Player, VLC and MPC-HC, plus many encoding formats such as H.264, Xvid, and the all-new HEVC format.

Congrats to New & Renewed Microsoft MVP’s

Another quarter has come, and Microsoft has announced another round of MVP's. Congratulations to all the new and renewed MVP's! 

While there are more than 100 million social and technical community members, only a small portion are selected to be recognized as MVPs. Each year, around 4,000 MVPs are honored. They are nominated by Microsoft, other community individuals, or in some cases themselves. Candidates are rigorously evaluated for their technical expertise, community leadership, and voluntary community contributions for the previous year. They come from more than 90 countries, speak over 40 different languages, and are awarded in more than 90 Microsoft technologies. Together, they answer more than 10 million questions a year!

Microsoft & LinkedIn Make it Easy to Add Certs to Profile

For those that pursue Microsoft certifications, Microsoft has partnered with LinkedIn to quickly and easily add the completed certification to your LinkedIn profile. This should come in handy for many people that use LinkedIn to keep a tab of their accomplishments and a running resume. 

After earning a certification, you’ll receive an email from Microsoft with a link that presents you with a profile update form with an automatically populated certification field, complete with the details of the certification you just completed. Simply click “Save,” and the certification will be added to your LinkedIn Profile.

iPad Versions of Office Doing Very Well

Let it rain. Cash, that is. Microsoft's recent release of Office on the iPad has been doing very well. Although the exact revenue numbers aren't available, those that keep track of such things say that Microsoft's Office Suite (Office 365) for iPad is doing great. Microsoft shareholders are enjoying the success of the release, as well, seeing stock prices edging higher and higher. 

The Office iPad apps aren't standalone — they're part of a $99.99 annual subscription to Office 365. So when you buy any one of the apps, you get the entire Office 365 package that lets you run Office on up to five different devices. Microsoft is pushing subscriptions to Office hard, hoping to eventually phase out one-time permanent licenses.

Personnel Changes at Microsoft

Satya Nadella has sent out an email telling of the personnel changes at Microsoft. As it was previously rumored, Stephen Elop will be taking over the Microsoft Devices Group. Others are listed in the email, as well.

Recently, I’ve discussed with the Microsoft leadership team the need to zero in on what truly makes Microsoft unique. As I said on my first day, we need to do everything possible to thrive in a mobile-first, cloud-first world. The announcements last week, our news this week, the Nokia acquisition closing soon, and the leaders and teams we are putting in place are all great first steps in making this happen.