Washington, June 12 - Amid a raging controversy over a sweeping US Internet surveillance programme, top tech companies in a concerted move have asked the government ease the secrecy surrounding national security investigations.
Google, Facebook and Microsoft in requests echoed by a top official from Twitter also asked US officials Tuesday to lift long-standing gag orders covering the nature and extent of information collected about Internet users by the National Security Agency.
Washington, May 22 - Microsoft unveiled a new Xbox console Tuesday that represents a major upgrade on the US-market-leading Xbox 360 model.
The president of the IT giant's Interactive Entertainment Business, Don Mattrick, revealed the hi-tech Xbox One entertainment and gaming console during an event at Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, campus.
Washington, Mar 2 - Facebook Inc. announced that it has reached a deal with Microsoft Corp. to acquire its Atlas Advertiser Suite, a service that enables marketers and agencies to get the most out of their online advertising.
"We're pleased to announce that we have agreed to acquire the Atlas Advertiser Suite from Microsoft," Facebook said in a blog entry Thursday, without disclosing the terms of the deal.
The purchase of Atlas, a set of tools that help companies choose the placement of their ads on web sites and monitor their effectiveness, is part of Facebook's bid to battle Google for market share in the online display-ad business.
San Francisco, Nov 20 - Microsoft will build an experimental biogas-powered data center in the US state of Wyoming in March 2013, in an effort to enable its data centers to be less reliant on the traditional power grid, US media reported.
The data center will be powered by a 300kw fuel cell that uses biogas from a waste water treatment plant and will be "the first zero carbon data center", Sean James, Microsoft's senior research project manager, told technology news website GigaOM in an interview.
Washington, Oct 16 : Microsoft’s Windows XP is more vulnerable to malware than any of the firm’s more modern offerings, the company’s security intelligence report has confirmed.
According to the report, Windows XP is about twice as like to get infected as any of the more modern operating systems, including Windows Vista and Windows 7.
XP''s infection rates in particular jumped dramatically in the first half of 2012, the report said.
San Francisco, Oct 16 - Microsoft has unveiled Xbox Music, which combines free music streaming, music subscription and purchasing into an all-in-one service.
The company said it will first roll out the service Tuesday on its Xbox 360 video game console and later in October on personal and tablet computers and smartphones.
Xbox Music will come pre-installed as the default music player for the Windows 8 operating system that is to be officially launched Oct 26, Xinhua reported Monday.
With the new service, users can listen to streaming songs for free, from a catalog of over 30 million titles, on PCs and tablets running on Windows 8.
San Francisco, Sep 7 - Microsoft has launched a nationwide campaign called "Bing It On" in the US, trying to show web users the quality of its Bing search engine is better than Google's.
The software company unveiled the site "bingiton. com" where users can input five search queries and the unbranded search results of Bing and Google will be shown in two columns, reported Xinhua.
For each query, users can choose a winner (or a draw) and the test will show which search engine come on top in the end.
San Francisco, Aug 2 - Microsoft has announced that it has completed the product development and testing of Windows 8 and is releasing its next generation of operating system to computer makers.
"The Windows 8 team is proud to share with you that a short while ago we started releasing Windows 8 to PC OEM and manufacturing partners," said Microsoft's Windows engineering team on their blog.
"This means our next milestone will be the availability of exciting new models of PCs loaded with Windows 8 and on-line availability of Windows 8 on October 26, 2012."
San Francisco, Aug 1 - Microsoft Tuesday introduced the preview version of Outlook. com, a new free web-based personal email service with cleaner user interface and integration with social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
"We think the time is right to reimagine email. So today, we're introducing a preview of Outlook. com," Chris Jones, a Microsoft corporate vice president, wrote in a blog post, Xinhua reported.
Microsoft said that with Outlook. com, there are 30 percent more messages visible in the inbox than similar web-based email services most users now are used to.
San Francisco, July 10 - Microsoft has announced that it has agreed to buy large-scale multitouch display maker Perceptive Pixel.
Perceptive Pixel's "large touch displays, when combined with hardware from our OEMs, will become powerful Windows 8-based PCs and open new possibilities for productivity and collaboration", Kurt DelBene, president of Microsoft's Office division, said in a joint press release Monday.
Washington, July 3 : Microsoft has announced a 6.2 billion dollars charge to write down the value of an online advertising agency named aQuantive, which the software giant bought five years ago.
Microsoft bought aQuantive for 6.3 billion dollars in a bid to catch rival Google in the race to grow revenues from search-related advertising.
The purchase of aQuantive in 2007 was then Microsoft''s biggest acquisition.
According to the BBC, the write-down effectively wipes out the acquisition''s value, although there was little impact on Microsoft''s share in after-hours trading on Monday.
Washington, June 26 : Software giant Microsoft has officially announced that it has acquired social network for businesses Yammer for 1.2 billion dollars.
The company said in its announcement that Yammer, which launched in 2008, will join the Microsoft Office Division.
The Los Angeles Times quoted Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, as saying that the acquisition of Yammer `underscores our commitment to deliver technology that businesses need and people love.'
"Yammer adds a best-in-class enterprise social networking service to Microsoft''s growing portfolio of complementary cloud services," Ballmer added.
Washington, June 19 : Software giant Microsoft has finally unveiled its much-awaited tablet computer that aims to challenge the dominance of the Apple iPad.
The tablet, named `Microsoft Surface', has a 10.6-inch touchscreen with a fold-out kickstand and a magnetic cover that doubles as a keyboard.
The company announced the new device on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles.
According to The New York Times, Microsoft's new Surface tablet computer is not only an iPad competitor, but it also an ultrabook competitor.
Washington, June 15 : In the hope of bringing back millions of users, software giant Microsoft has revamped its world's biggest email service Hotmail, which has a striking resemblance to Gmail in its design.
Newmail is understood to have a `clean look' when it comes to the font that has been used for the labels in the inbox, which resembles its Google adversary.
According to the Daily Mail, Microsoft has claimed it has a `fluid and interactive design', which is expressly designed to work well on mobile devices such as phones or tablets.
Washington, June 5 : Software giant Microsoft has warned users that the recently discovered Flame virus that attacked systems across the Middle East infects computers by exploiting a flaw in the Windows operating system.
Microsoft has now released software to protect against infections exploiting the previously undisclosed flaw.
Mike Reavey, a senior director with Microsoft''s Security Response Centre, said that he feared that other hackers might be able to copy the technique to launch further attacks with other types of viruses, News 24 reports.