Amazon and Microsoft agree their voice assistants will talk (to each other)

Those betting big on AI making voice the dominant user interface of the future are not betting so big as to believe their respective artificially intelligent voice assistants will be the sole vocal oracle that Internet users want or need.

And so Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos are today announcing a tie-up, which will — at an unspecified point later this year — enable users of the latter’s Alexa voice assistant to ask her to summon Microsoft’s Cortana voice assistant to ask it to do stuff, and vice versa. Continue reading “Amazon and Microsoft agree their voice assistants will talk (to each other)”

Does Microsoft’s brass still believe it has a chance in the phone market?

With one of Microsoft’s most celebrated Windows Phone customers, the NYPD, expected to dump their devices for iPhones, is there really even a toehold for Microsoft in the business-phone space?

A New York Post report — that one of Microsoft’s more celebrated US business customers for Windows Phones is dumping the platform — raises some interesting questions about Redmond’s future mobility plans.

The Post reported on Aug. 28 that the New York Police Department (NYPD) is going to scrap the 36,000 Nokia phones running the Windows Phone OS, which it has been rolling out for the past two years.

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Microsoft’s Project Scorpio returns as a special Xbox One X for preorders

Microsoft first revealed its Xbox One X back at E3, and now it’s allowing consumers to preorder the console today ahead of its release on November 7th. Just like the Xbox One Day One Edition, Microsoft is also creating a special edition for the Xbox One X: the Project Scorpio Edition. Priced at $499, the Xbox One X Project Scorpio Edition includes a gradient design on the console itself, alongside the console’s Project Scorpio codename on the controller and console.

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LinkedIn can’t block scrapers from monitoring user activity

It just lost a lawsuit that could have major implications for your social media data.

Your LinkedIn activity could soon be used to keep tabs on you at work. On Monday, a US federal judge ruled that the Microsoft-owned social network cannot block a startup from accessing public data. The company in question, hiQ Labs, scrapes LinkedIn info to create algorithms that can predict whether employees are likely to quit their jobs. The case could also have a wider impact on the control social media sites wield over your info.

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China kills AI chatbots after they start praising US, criticising communists

China has taken down two online robots that appeared to go rogue, with one responding to users’ questions by saying its dream was to travel to the US and the other admitting it was not a fan of the Chinese Communist Party.

The “chatbots”, BabyQ and XiaoBing, are designed to use machine learning artificial intelligence to carry out online with humans.
Both had been installed on popular messaging service QQ.
The outbursts are similar to ones suffered by Facebook and Twitter but underlines the pitfalls for AI in China, where censors strictly control online content.

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Microsoft is refining Outlook.com with a new design and intelligent features

Microsoft is launching a new beta program for Outlook.com today. The company will be testing a new and smarter Outlook on the web as part of the beta program, and users will be able to get a sneak peek at the next-generation of Outlook.com by joining the beta.

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Microsoft officially launches the first preview of Visual Studio for Mac

Given that Microsoft already mistakenly published this announcement earlier this week, the fact that the company is launching Visual Studio for Mac doesn’t come as a major surprise now that it has made this official.

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Australian IT leaders prioritising migration to hybrid cloud: Microsoft

Microsoft conducted a survey recently and found that almost half of its Australian respondents are looking to move their organisation into hybrid cloud.

Almost half of Australian IT leaders will drive their organisations’ transition to hybrid cloud infrastructure over the next few years, according to a study by Microsoft.

Approximately 40 percent of Australian respondents indicated that their organisations are already transitioning to hybrid cloud with either integrated or non-integrated public and private cloud infrastructure. Microsoft expects this number to increase to 49 percent in the next 12 to 18 months.

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Windows 10 gets more social with “My People,” a taskbar feature focused on sharing, communication

Microsoft’s next version of its Windows 10 operating system, the Creator’s Update announced this morning, is about to get a lot more social. The company demonstrated a new feature called “My People,” which puts your most important contacts directly in the bottom toolbar on your desktop, so you can more easily share with them, message them across a variety of communications apps, and even receive emoji pop-ups as a way to tell each other that you’re thinking about them.

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This is the Surface Studio, Microsoft’s new all-in-one PC

Microsoft unveiled the Surface Studio today, an all-in-one PC with a 28-inch PixelSense display, with the thinnest display ever built according to Microsoft and a 3:2 display ratio. It also has an Intel Core processor, with a 2TB hybrid hard drive and an NVIDIA GPU, as well as integrated 2.1 speakers and a haptic feedback controller puck device.

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