The future of search, according to Microsoft, is outside of the white search bar. "Now the way for human beings to express their interest or needs goes way beyond a browser search typing in keywords," said Microsoft's Bing chief, Qi Lu. "You can use voice to have a conversation, you can use gestures to express yourself."
Moving forward, Bing will fit into all of Microsoft's products, providing information access from physical objects to expand the context of its search.
"The battle between us and Google is going to be over who can build understanding more quickly to serve people in a much more anticipatory way," says Microsoft's Adam Sohn. "Google's going to understand every entity on the planet, we're gonna understand every entity on the planet, but the question will be what do you do with that information?"
Read More | The Verge
We recently reported on the Slacker Radio redesign, and the company is keeping the freshness going, debuting on the Xbox 360 today. You can download the Slacker app for free, and you've gotta be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber in the US or Canada for the privilege. You get the same overhauled color scheme, music guide, and Kinect voice controls. Head over to the Xbox Live Marketplace to grab the 116 MB download.
Read More | Microsoft
Twitter has finally (finally!) released a substantial update to Twitter for Windows Phone. The new version brings the design of the app in line with what you'd find in the iOS and Android variants, with the Home, Connect, Discover, and Me tabs included in the app. Additionally, Twitter for Windows Phone includes Live Tile support, so you can pin specific Twitter accounts, lists, and searches right to your Start Screen. You can grab the update right now.
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Those hoping to score a 128 GB Microsoft Surface Pro have been frustrated by lack of supply, but that should be changing this Saturday. While Microsoft has been tight-lipped regarding Surface Pro 128 GB stock since launch, the company has promised that more of the tablets will be available in stores on Saturday. This includes Microsoft stores and Best Buy, with Staples being questionable--so if you want one, we recommend going with one of the first two.
Many would-be Surface Pro purchasers were disheartened to find stock so limited upon launch, since Microsoft didn't allow for pre-orders of the devices, leading many to believe that there would be plenty for everyone, which was far from reality. You can also try your luck at grabbing a Surface Pro from the Microsoft online store.
Yes - we're giving away a Nokia Lumia 920 smartphone, running Windows Phone 8 for Valentine's Day! Seriously, February is the month of red, and we've got the perfect smartphone for you to match. The Noka Lumia 920 runs on the AT&T network, and supports LTE.
So, how do you enter to win the Nokia Lumia 920? Simply use the widget below to keep track of your entries! We've got a lot of ways for you to enter, but don't check off any that you don't actually perform. If you do, you'll be eliminated:
By the way, if you wanna pick up a Lumia 920 on your own, AT&T is currently running a buy 1, get 1 special, meaning you walk away with two Lumia 920 devices for the price of one through February 21st.
Aside from the announcement of the Surface Pro launch date, Microsoft also announced today that it will be releasing three limited edition designs for its innovative Touch Cover. Expect a red model with elegant snake design for Chinese New Year, pink color with flowers, and a blue version emblazoned with skulls. These are truly limited edition, with Microsoft saying they'll be in store for just a short time. The limited Touch Covers will also come at a premium, costing $129.99 each, $10 more than the regular models.
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Microsoft has finally announced a launch date for its Surface Pro tablet: you'll be able to pick one up on February 9th. Yes, the device missed the promised January release timeframe, but we're talking 9 days here. That date, by the way, only pertains to the US and Canada, with international markets to follow in "the coming weeks and months" according to the company.
Surface Pro will be the first Microsoft tablet to run the full version of Windows 8, as opposed to the stripped down Windows RT. This means that you'll be able to install and run regular desktop applications on the tablet. It's a half pound heavier than Surface with Windows RT, but also brings a 1080p display and digitizer pen support. Oh, and a much higher price tag. Surface Pro will start at $899 for the 64GB model, and $999 for the 128GB version.
Microsoft is officially retiring its Messenger service and will redirect users, and their contacts, to Skype.
According to The Next Web, users will retain access to Microsoft Messenger until March 15th, at which point they will then be prompted to join Skype. The migration will be made with your contacts in tow, so that alleviates some of the stress involved in the changing of hands. Mobile users of Skype will be glad to know that Microsoft account support is already mixed in with the iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8 to make the transfer as swift as possible.
How do you feel about the death of Messenger? Let us know in the comments.
Read More | The Next Web
Maps for Windows Phone users is about to get a little better. According to Google, it is planning on fixing the issue preventing Windows Phone users from reaching the Google Maps website through Internet Explorer. The search giant had this to say:
"We periodically test Google Maps compatibility with mobile browsers to make sure we deliver the best experience for those users. In our last test, IE mobile still did not offer a good maps experience with no ability to pan or zoom and perform basic map functionality. As a result, we chose to continue to redirect IE mobile users to Google.com where they could at least make local searches. The Firefox mobile browser did offer a somewhat better user experience and that’s why there is no redirect for those users. Recent improvements to IE mobile and Google Maps now deliver a better experience and we are currently working to remove the redirect. We will continue to test Google Maps compatibility with other mobile browsers to ensure the best possible experience for users."
Google had previously stated that the outage was because its mobile Maps site wasn't designed with IE in mind.