Microsoft to offer discounts on Azure cloud services

Redmond, Washington-based software giant

Microsoft Corp. on Monday announced its plans to offer discounts on its Internet-based cloud service Azure.

Satya Nadella, cloud & enterprise at Microsoft, announced that the company would offer discounts on its Windows Azure cloud service and also on annual payment plans for customers who sign up for multi-year contracts called Enterprise Agreements, starting November 1.

Windows Phone now owns 9.2% share of mobile OS market in 5 key European markets

Microsoft's mobile operating system Windows Phone has started gaining momentum in European markets, thanks to the launch of Nokia handsets like the Lumia 520 and 620.

Fresh stats suggest that nearly one in eight (12.5 per cent) of all handsets in the U. K. are now running Windows Phone OS and one in ten (10 per cent) in France.

Microsoft announces second-generation Surface tablets

Redmond-based tech giant Microsoft recently took wraps off the Surface 2 and the Surface Pro 2, both of which boast updated operating systems, quicker processing and enhanced battery life & camera resolution.

Windows RT-based Surface 2 tablet will bring Outlook, while Windows 8.1-based Surface Pro 2 will keep on operating like a full PC.

The Redmond firm tried to fix almost every hardware issue that consumers and analysts criticized in the first-generation Surface tablets.

Microsoft's Xbox music streaming service to introduce apps for Android, iOS devices

Software giant Microsoft revealed on Sunday that its last-year-released Xbox Music streaming service will launch on Android as well as iOS devices; and will also allow free streaming on the Internet.

Currently the Xbox Music service - which marked Microsoft's foray into the ever-expanding music-streaming industry - is available via Microsoft's Xbox 360 gaming console, and a Windows 8 app.

What would Microsoft receive by acquiring BlackBerry?

Redmond based tech giant Microsoft recently acquired Nokia's phone business, and now many experts believe that it should have made attempt to buy beleaguered smartphone maker BlackBerry.

Canada-based BlackBerry has lost most of its market share to rivals like Apple and Samsung, but its great technology, strong ecosystem, enterprise credentials and loyal user base are enough to make it a strong next target for the Redmond firm.

Microsoft-Nokia deal better than Google-Motorola: Kontera

Redmond, Washington-based tech giant Microsoft Corp's recently announced Nokia acquisition deal is better than Internet search giant's acquisition of Motorola nearly two years back, many analysts say.

Microsoft hit a deal with Finnish tech giant Nokia to acquire its handset unit for $7.2 billion. Google acquired Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in 2011.

Microsoft integrates ESPN and NFL into its Xbox One gaming system

Microsoft's next-generation video game console Xbox One will offer much more than previously thought, thanks to the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant's deals with the ESPN and NFL.

The deal between Microsoft and the NFL will allow Xbox One users to stream and enjoy TV content from NFL Network, NFL. com and NFL RedZone.

Similarly, the deal with ESPN will allow Xbox One users to enjoy content from ESPN. com, in addition to customized scores as well as teams.

Microsoft lost its dominant position: say experts

Microsoft has lost its position as the leader of the market, and has become a market follower, experts believe.

Consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan's managing director Manoj Menon said Microsoft, which was once leading the market, is now following rivals like Apple and Google. Menon explained that Microsoft launch most of its products in response to products from Apple and Google.

Professor Nigel Nicholson, of organizational behavior at the London Business School (LBS), suggested that Microsoft would accelerate its pace of innovation to regain its dominant position.

Microsoft Tag service scheduled to be shut down in August 2015

Redmond, Washington-based software giant Microsoft on Monday announced that it would pull the plug on Microsoft Smart Tag service in August 2015.

Launched in 2009, Microsoft Tag is the software firm's colorful alternative to the QR code. The service allows users to create a unique 2D barcode which can then be used scanned with the help of a Microsoft Tag application on a Web-connected smartphone to pull up Web-based assets like photo and videos.

Windows 8.1 OS to arrive a bit late

Microsoft's Windows 8.1 OS, codenamed "Blue," will take a bit longer to arrive than originally announced, according to long-time Microsoft observer Mary Jo Foley.

The Redmond-based software giant previously announced its plans to start shipping Windows 8.1 OS to device-makers in August this year. But the new OS, which will bring back the widely popular Start Menu, is now expected to arrive in October at the earliest.

According to Foley, the new OS is being delayed with user updates as well as OEM release postponed until mid-October.


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