Category: News

OneNote Video – I Click It and I Note It

OneNote team posted a funny video (parody?) of a popular song, but switched it up to be a bit more relevant to the Surface Pro 3 and OneNote. This came out last month, so many may have already watched it, but I just caught wind of it.

Microsoft Killing Windows RT

Microsoft is going to drop Windows RT from it’s product line according to CNN Money. But, it’s the headline that got a chuckle from me – “Microsoft’s most boneheaded product is about to be killed off”. Sounds pretty brutal. One thing they did mention in there is that the Surface RT was the only mainstream Windows RT tablet. There were others, most have already dropped out from the RT offerings, though.  It had potential, but I see more users wanting the full Windows OS and not a watered down lookalike.

Windows RT was supposed to usher in the tablet era for Microsoft. But Windows RT has two fatal flaws: it’s missing crucial apps, and it’s poorly designed. Unsurprisingly, the stripped-down operating system failed to take off. (Actually, that’s an understatement: Microsoft took a $900 million writedown last year because of awful Surface RT sales, the only mainstream tablet than ran Windows RT.)

OneDrive Ups the Quotas

OneDrive users have been upgraded to a much larger quota. From the free OneDrive accounts to the business accounts (and Home/Home Office/Education), all have been given more space for your files. Of course, there is the ability to pay for more space as needed.

New and existing personal OneDrive accounts will come with:



Also, people who use OneDrive for Business now have a 1 TB quota (up from 25 GB).

XBox TV Gets the Cut

As part of the layoffs and cuts at Microsoft this week, the newer XBox TV program has been axed. The series based on Halo will continue (as well as Signal to Noise), but all other projects are gone. I was hoping for some new original content from Microsoft with the platform.

Interestingly, that series (along with Signal to Noise) will continue, but everything else is being closed up. This means that the short life of Xbox Originals is already over. It’s unclear why this newly developed platform wasn’t allowed to grow, but evidently the new leadership saw limited potential in a crowded (and expensive) market. It’s also possible that leadership felt that creating content just wasn’t in Microsoft’s wheelhouse, and that the resources it’d require would be better placed elsewhere.

Microsoft IT Pros – Prometric is Gone, Pearson Vue is In!

I was one of the many that were upset when Microsoft dropped Pearson Vue in favor of Prometric for their IT certification exams. Now, Microsoft is dropping the contract with Prometric, and is renewing with Pearson Vue. This is excellent news for many, as the nearest Prometric test center for me was 4 hours away (similar to many others). Pearson Vue has more centers available. Now, I can say that I am going to finish my CCNA: Security and then move on to many more Microsoft exams (Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, etc..). A FAQ for details is available here (PDF).

The partnership officially ends on December 31, 2014, however on September 4, 2014,Pearson VUE will renew its authorization as an exam delivery provider. Microsoft certification exams will continue to be available through both exam delivery providers through December 31, 2014.

Microsoft Has 14% of Market Share for All Devices

Microsoft has declared that it no longer has 90% of the market share. However, the 90% is still true for PC’s, but it does only have 14% in the total device market. This includes all devices with an OS – PC’s, laptops, phones, tablets… Kevin Turner of Microsoft has a good outlook on the situation. Basically, it comes down to “Challenge Accepted.”.

But the rise of computing on tablets and smartphones has turned the PC market into one slice of a much larger pie, and Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner this morning told the company’s partners that they have to look at the world differently. Even though Microsoft still has 90 percent of the PC market, he said, the important figure is 14 percent, taking into account the entire world of devices.

Satya Nadella’s Plans for the Future

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s has a way with words. The guy can really deliver some inspiration and motivation for the employees of Microsoft. He has delivered a large memo to the employees (and public to read) that really makes me love the “new” Microsoft.

The day I took on my new role I said that our industry does not respect tradition – it only respects innovation. I also said that in order to accelerate our innovation, we must rediscover our soul – our unique core. We must all understand and embrace what only Microsoft can contribute to the world and how we can once again change the world. I consider the job before us to be bolder and more ambitious than anything we have ever done.

Surface Mini Returning

Microsoft backtracked on the announcement and release of the Surface Mini (rumored, then somewhat ‘official’ with mentioning it in current Surface manuals). But, a new rumor is that Microsoft will again announce the smaller, iPad mini competitor running Windows RT.

Well-known gadget leaker @evleaks takes a break from posting marketing renders from time to time to share information about upcoming device launches, and he did just that on Monday. According to a post on his blog, Microsoft’s Surface mini is currently back in production ahead of a possible launch sometime this summer.

Windows Threshold to Cater to Desktop Users

With all the shouting at Microsoft for taking away the Start Menu from desktop users, it seems that Microsoft has caved in. Starting with Windows Threshold, possibly to be named Windows 9, they are going to be making changes to satisfy the desktop users. Those that typically use a mouse and keyboard versus a touch screen device. This should appease many users, including the many enterprises holding out on Windows 8 due to the huge UI changes.

The Desktop/laptop SKU of Threshold will include, as previously rumored, the Mini-Start menu — a new version of the traditional Microsoft Start menu, an early concept of which Microsoft showed off at the company’s Build developers conference in April. It also will include the ability to run Metro-Style/Windows Store apps in windows on the Desktop. Will it turn off completely the Metro-Style Start screen with its live-tile interface, as Neowin is reporting, and make the tiled Start screen a toggleable option from the Mini Start menu? I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

New Microsoft Store Openings – Dell Venue 8 Pro for $129

For those nearby, there are some new Microsoft Store’s opening. As part of their opening ceremonies, they are offering Dell Venue 8 Pro for $129, while supplies last (which usually isn’t long). Stores are opening in Lynnwood, WA; Seattle, WA; Staten Island, NY; and Towson, MD. Stores are set to open on Saturday, June 28th.