Rest In Peace: Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen passes away aged 65

Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates and chaired Vulcan Inc., died Monday in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 65.

Allen was born in Washington State in 1953 where he attended both high school and college, before dropping out of Washington State University in the 1970s to co-found Microsoft with his high school friend Gates.

However, Allen would leave the company in 1983 due to a battle with Hodgkin’s disease, which he eventually won.

“I am heartbroken by the passing of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Paul Allen,” Bill Gates said in a statement.

From our early days together at Lakeside School, through our partnership in the creation of Microsoft, to some of our joint philanthropic projects over the years,Paul was a true partner and dear friend. Personal computing would not have existed without him.”


Allen — who had a net worth of $26.1 billion at the time of his death, according to Bloomberg data — had interests ranging far beyond PCs.

In 1997, Allen co-founded Vulcan Productions with his sister, Jody. Vulcan was involved in films including “Far From Heaven,” “Hard Candy,” “Racing Extinction,” “Girl Rising” and most recently, an adaptation of Naoki Higashida’s bestseller “The Reason I Jump,” a documentary about autism.

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Allen’s creativity also transferred to the music industry where he released an album with his band the Underthinkers in 2013. Their debut blues-rock album, “Everywhere at Once,” features Allen’s electric guitar on several songs including “Straw Into Gold,” “Six Strings From Hell” and “Pictures of a Dream.” He also takes the guitar solos on “Down Low” and “Big Blue Raindrops.”

Among his business ventures, Allen aspired to become a major cable-operator player. After he acquired Charter Communications in 1998 for $4.5 billion, the operator amassed subscribers through a series of acquisitions over the next decade — before a massive debt load forced it into bankruptcy in 2009 and Allen relinquished control.

Other Allen interests included professional sports teams, aviation and brain research. Allen owned the Seattle Seahawks and the Portland Trail Blazers as well as a minority stake in the Seattle Sounders FC soccer team. Allen also funded SpaceShipOne, the first private aircraft to successfully put a civilian in suborbital space, and invested millions of dollars into the Allen Institute for Brain Science.

He also owned Portland’s Moda Center, Seattle’s Cinerama Theater and London’s Hospital Club, which is planning a Los Angeles branch.

Allen’s philanthropic work was similarly diverse. The business mogul founded Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture, previously called the Experience Music Project, and donated more than $1.5 billion to various organizations after becoming one of the first billionaires to join Gates and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge in 2010.

Jody Allen said in a statement on behalf of the Allen family that he was “a remarkable individual on every level.”

Jody added that

“While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much-loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend.

Paul’s family and friends were blessed to experience his wit, warmth, his generosity and deep concern. For all the demands on his schedule, there was always time for family and friends. At this time of loss and grief for us — and so many others — we are profoundly grateful for the care and concern he demonstrated every day.”

Microsoft issued a statement from CEO Satya Nadella, who said,

“As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world.”

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Allen was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009 and on Oct. 1, 2018, tweeted that it had returned.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer tweeted

“Paul was a truly wonderful, bright and inspiring person — and a great friend. I will miss him.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook extended condolences to the Allen family and “everyone at Microsoft” — which historically was a major Apple rival — saying in a tweet, “Our industry has lost a pioneer and our world has lost a force for good.”

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, also tweeted about Allen, saying of the fellow Seattleite, “His passion for invention and pushing forward inspired so many. He was relentless to the end. My heart goes out to Paul’s family and friends.”

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Microsoft Set To Develop A Bra To Help With Eating Disorders

Many women have issues with their weights and would like to have something or someone help with that.

Microsoft has heard your plea and are set to develop a bra that will help with that.

The bra will be able to talk you out of unhealthy cravings.

Researchers from the University of Rochester and the University of Southampton have, together with Microsoft, developed a bra with heart rate sensors that pick up on changes in your mood.

When it senses you working up to a face-cramming FML moment it’ll send a message to your smartphone, reminding you to step away from that snack

The bras will not be sold in knickers/lingerie  stores.

It was developed by Microsoft and the researchers as part of a project called ‘Food and Mood: Just-in-time support for emotional eating’, as a way to try and help ‘self-identified’ emotional eaters.


Microsoft set to make high-end Windows 10 phone

Microsoft is working on two new high-end Lumia phones for Windows 10.

A flagship device, codenamed Cityman, is currently being developed, alongside a high-end handset codenamed Talkman.  According to The Verge, Microsoft is taking a similar approach to Apple with two devices that have bigger displays, but similar specifications.

Cityman is designed to be the flagship phone for Windows 10, and will reportedly include a 5.7-inch QHD display, Qualcomm octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 20-megapixel camera at the rear.

Microsoft is planning to use a removable rear cover for access to the battery and microSD slots, despite the presence of 32GB of internal storage. Cityman will support the new Continuum for phones feature to transform a phone into a PC, and Microsoft is planning to bundle some additional hardware with the phone to enable this.

Microsoft’s second Talkman Lumia will be slightly smaller and will reportedly feature a 5.2-inch QHD display, a Qualcomm hexa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and a 20-megapixel camera. While most of the specifications are the same as Cityman, the processor appears to be the big change. Both handsets are also expected to include a triple-LED flash to support different tones for photos, alongside a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

Both of Microsoft’s new Lumia devices are expected to ship with Windows 10 later this year.

Microsoft’s windows 10 to have facial recognition features

Microsoft’s new Windows 10 set to include facial recognition features, will be released in a few months.

No precise date has been given for the launch of the operating system, which will power PCs, smartphones and also devices like bank machines and medical equipment.

Microsoft executive vice president Terry Myerson said that Windows 10 will be available this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages.

A new version of Windows for small footprint IoT (Internet of Things) devices will be available for free when Windows 10 launches.

Windows 10 will offer versions of Windows for a diverse set of IoT devices, ranging from powerful devices like ATMs and ultrasound machines, to resource constrained devices like gateways.

Microsoft is working with fast-growing Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi to test Windows 10 on its devices.

The US tech giant also announced partnerships with Chinese-based Tencent and Lenovo to help customers in China upgrade to Windows 10.

The new software will allow users to sign in to a device without a password by using biometrics, including facial recognition.

Microsoft announces the end of Internet Explorer

Microsoft has announced that it will soon do away with the iconic Internet Explorer browser in favour of a newer version, currently codenamed Project Spartan.

Users have previously slammed the browser for being slow and bug-prone, and Microsoft once talked of changing the browser name to address ‘negative perceptions that no longer reflect reality’.

Microsoft’s marketing chief Chris Capossella said that they are researching what the new brand, or the new name, for the browser will be in Windows 10.

Microsoft also revealed that users were more likely to favour services with the company’s name in front of them, meaning that the new browser is likely to adhere to this format.

It is not clear when the browser’s new name will be revealed, but will most likely form part of the much anticipated Windows 10, which will launch later this year.

Bill Gates named world’s richest person for 16th time

Bill Gates has been named richest man in the world for the 16th time in the past 21years. According to Forbes, Gates fortune grew form $3.2 billion since last year to $79.2 billion despite him contributing $1.5billion in Microsoft shares to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in November 2014.

Mexican telecommunications mogul Carlos Slim Helu comes in at number 2 with$77.1 billion, Warren Buffet at number 3 with $72.7 billion and Spanish founder of Zara owner Inditex, Amancio Ortega was at number 4 with $64.5 billion.

Warren Buffet was ranked the biggest gainer with his fortune growing from $14.5 billion to $72.7 billion. Nigerian Aliko Dangote is the biggest loser having dropped to $14.7 billion from $25 billion last year, he is still Africa’s richest man.

Here is the top 10 billionaires
1. Bill Gates – Microsoft co-founder, $79.2 bn
2. Carlos Slim Helu – Mexican telecoms mogul, $77.1bn
3. Warren Buffett – investor, $72.7bn
4. Amancio Ortega – Zara founder, $64.5bn
5. Larry Ellison – Oracle co-founder, $54.3bn
6. Charles Koch – American businessman across various industries, $42.9bn
6. David Koch – various, $42.9bn
8. Christy Walton – Walmart family, $41.7bn
9. Jim Walton – Walmart family, $40.6bn
10. Liliane Bettencourt – L’Oreal heiress, $40.1bn

Apple is now worth more than Microsoft and Google combined

Apple’s stock price has been on a tear lately and the company’s shares closed trading on Wednesday at a new high of $124.88. This gives Apple an absolutely massive market cap of $716.7 billion, which once again makes Apple the single most valuable American company ever just one day after it broke through the $700 billion barrier for the first time.

However, Wednesday’s closing number was remarkable for another reason: Apple’s total market cap is now more than the combined market caps of Google and Microsoft. You read that correctly: If you add Google’s market cap of $365.46 billion with Microsoft’s market cap of $349.89 billion, you get $715.35 billion, or $1 billion less than Apple’s market cap at the end of trading Wednesday.

For more perspective, consider that only two other tech-related companies — Verizon and Facebook — have market caps of over $200 billion. Apple could easily trade at $216 per share right now, which would be more than enough to put it over the $1 trillion market cap threshold.

Whether Apple can maintain this insane value going forward is open to debate, of course, but given its exceptionally high customer loyalty, there’s no reason to think Apple won’t continue posting record profits for a good while to come.

Microsoft HoloLens goggles captivate with holograms

Microsoft’s HoloLens goggles have hit a sweet spot between Google Glass and virtual reality headgear, immersing users in a mesmerizing world of augmented reality holograms.

The glasses, which the US technology titan sprang on an unsuspecting press this week, elicited descriptions such as “magical” and “unbelievable,” the first time in a while such praise was heaped on a Microsoft creation.

The augmented reality goggles are a step in a different direction from virtual reality headgear such as Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus system, as well as Google Glass.

At private demos of HoloLens in a carefully guarded lower level of Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washington, cameras, recording devices and even smartphones were not permitted.

Microsoft executives said the holographic capabilities built into Windows 10 operating software — to be released late this year — would open doors for developers to augment tasks from complex surgery to motorcycle design.

In a captivating demonstration, a prototype HoloLens turned a room into the surface of Mars.

HoloLens wearers found themselves standing near a 3D representation of the Rover, free to roam Mars, at times accompanied by a NASA scientist projected into the scene and communicating through Skype.

“This is the future of space exploration,” said the scientist, represented by a glowing golden spacesuit reminiscent of vintage science fiction films.

NASA team members can use HoloLens to move about as if they are on Mars and figure out where they want the Rover to go and what they want it to do.

– Work and play –

Through a series of scenarios, HoloLens overlaid virtual scenes on real space, allowing wearers to safely and efficiently navigate rooms while engaging with 3D imagery using voice, gaze or gesture.

The head piece tracks eye movements, then lets wearers use a simple finger flick to interact with whatever they focus on.

Replacing a light switch became a collaborative effort, as one individual with a tablet computer guided the job, overlaying arrows or notes that floated in the air.

The room was then converted into an extension of the building-block themed game Minecraft, with castles on floors and table tops. With voice commands and taps of the finger, a wearer built or destroyed, and sometimes vanquished zombies.

The Microsoft headgear even became a tool for designing virtual toys then made real using a 3D printer.

HoloLens also promises scintillating integration with video games, and Microsoft has a broad and devoted fan base for Xbox consoles.

– The future of computing –

“HoloLens offers a new platform and experience for computing on the scale of the original PC and the launch of Apple iPhone,” Forrester analyst Frank Gillett said in a blog post.

And Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has depicted virtual reality as a computing platform poised to succeed the mobile Internet era centered on smartphones and tablets.

He backed his belief by buying Oculus VR last year in a $2 billion deal.

Because virtual reality headgear disconnects users from their immediate surroundings, some people worry about what is happening in reality or what they might bump into.

“Virtual reality makes sense for gamers pretty much immediately” said Endpoint Technologies analyst Roger Kay.

“I think augmented reality is actually how this type of technology is gonna hit in to the general population.”

By contrast, Google Glass essentially displays a miniature version of a smartphone screen in an upper corner of one lens.

People can glance to see text messages, video or other scenes in small displays, and also take pictures or video, controlling the eyewear with voice commands or taps on frames.

Google recently ended sales of Glass through an Explorer program, but a lower-cost and more fashionable version is expected to make it to market.

“I have to say Microsoft has truly delivered a mixed reality experience that will delight,” Forrester analyst James McQuivey said in a blog post.

“It’s on everybody else — from Apple to Samsung, Oculus VR to Magic Leap — to match Microsoft’s opening bid.”

Photo Credits : AFP

Microsoft to phase out Internet Explorer

Internet explorer will be phased out to make way for a new browser called Spartan.

Spartan will replace Internet Explorer on Microsoft’s Windows 10.

Experts behind it have promised a range of new features including sync between phones and PCs.

The IE will still be available for customers who need it to run certain programmes, however.

For the many who grew up with IE, the shiny blue ‘e’ has become synonymous with evenings spent on MSN Messenger.

But after 20 years the brand has grown tired and in much need of an overhaul.

Microsoft reveals phone that is charged once a month

Nokia’s latest handset has one huge advantage – a battery that can last for a month between charges.

The  Nokia 215, handset is set to go on sale for just$29 or sh. 2,670 , and Microsoft says it’s the most affordable Internet-ready entry-level phone yet, perfectly suited for first-time mobile phone buyers or as a secondary phone for just about anyone.

Although there are a limited number of apps available, the Nokia 215 has preinstalled Facebook and Twitter, along with a web browser – although the phone does not have a 3G capabilities.

The handset is available in two version, with one or two SIM cards. The Single SIM has a stand-by time of up to 29 days, while the dual SIM version  offers up to 21 days.

Nokia 215 provides up to 20 hours of talk time. Browsing the web is super-easy, thanks to Opera Mini Browser and Bing Search.

Late last year Microsoft marked the end of an era in the smartphone world by launching the first Lumia handset without the Nokia branding, the 525.

The Windows maker bought the Finnish technology firm in a £4.4 billion deal in April, and has now shifted its Lumia brand of phones into its own Windows Phone range.




Facebook takes aim at LinkedIn with new site for office staff

Having conquered the personal market, Facebook is now taking aim at professionals with an office version of its social network.

The tech giant is said to be developing a site designed to let users chat with colleagues, as well as collaborate on documents.

Dubbed Facebook at Work, it would directly compete with LinkedIn, while copying features from Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive.

A study last year found that more than 54 per cent of offices currently block Facebook on work computers to stop it distracting users.

‘Facebook is secretly working on a new website called “Facebook at Work”‘, claimed reports in the Financial Times.

It would allow users to “chat with colleagues, connect with professional contacts and collaborate over documents.’

The site is said to look similar to Facebook, including its blue and white design, news feed and group pages.


Microsoft relinquishes the Nokia name

Earlier on Microsoft had said they will stop using the Nokia branding name on their phones, well  Microsoft finally said  goodbye to the branding for its Windows Phones.

The first handset to omit the Nokia name is the new Microsoft Lumia 535, an entry-level device with two stand out features: A 5-inch display and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.

The Lumia 535  has been designed as an alternative to the smaller Lumia 530, and will be targeted primarily at markets like Russia, India, China and other parts of Asia.

The phone is a budget device priced at €110 (equivalent to sh 12,500) with improvements across the board and is Microsoft’s first smartphone.


Microsoft is free on iPhone and android

In a surprising announcement Microsoft said that it will let iPhone, iPad and Android users download and use its Office apps for free.

Users will be able to create and edit documents and store them online, just as they can do already for free via the company’s online apps.

It’s an odd move in some ways — Office for Windows, including its offline apps, is still charged at £5.99 equivalent to sh 540  a month for a personal account — but Microsoft said that the decision was just an extension of its existing mobile strategy.

Clearly it is betting that getting more people using Office is a net good – regardless of how much revenue it generates from day one.

“Anytime someone has an idea or an inspiration, we want to empower them to take action,” said John Case, corporate vice president, Office, Microsoft. “With over a billion Office customers worldwide, and over 40 million downloads on the iPad, it’s clear that Office applications are what people want to use to get things done.”

The Word, Excel and Power point apps are available for free now, on iPhone, and iPad, while a preview of the Android tablet app can be seen on their website.

Source: Huffingtonpost

Microsoft cuts 3,000 jobs, rounding out July plan

Microsoft Corp said on Wednesday it cut about 3,000 jobs, effectively completing its plan to reduce its workforce by 18,000, or 14 percent of total staff, announced in July.

The majority of the 18,000 job cuts were in the phone handset business Microsoft acquired from Nokia earlier this year.

“We’ve taken another step that will complete almost all the 18,000 reductions announced in July,” said a Microsoft spokesman. “The reductions happening today are spread across many different business units and many different countries.”

He said 638 of Wednesday’s cuts were in Microsoft’s home state of Washington, where it has its Redmond headquarters.


Microsoft ditching the Nokia name on smartphones

Microsoft is ditching the Nokia brand name from new devices, less than a year after acquiring the Finnish mobile firm.

New Nokia Lumia smartphones will instead by known as Microsoft Lumia, the company said.

Nokia’s non-mobile division, which is not owned by Microsoft, will continue to use the name.

The mobile operation was bought by Microsoft in April in a deal worth $7.2bn (£4.6bn).

Since then, Microsoft has quietly shifted away from the Nokia brand.

A post on Nokia France’s Facebook page confirmed the branding shift. The renaming will roll out globally in due course, Microsoft has said.

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Microsoft Rolls Out Surface Pro 3 To 25 New Markets

In keeping with prior expectations, Microsoft is currently in the process of rolling out its Surface Pro 3 tablet-hybrid to 25 new markets over the next 24 hours.

With the 25 new markets all live, Surface Pro 3 will be available in a total of 28 markets. The rollout of the device has therefore been quite constrained to date.

Microsoft also detailed in a post today that the new Surface dock will sell in the new markets, ahead of its general availability in mid-September.

The new markets give Surface a chance to put more revenue-points on the board. Surface revenue is a figure that Microsoft breaks out in its earnings, making it simple to track.

Top line from the hardware project fell by more than half from the fourth calendar quarter of 2013, to the second calendar quarter of 2014.