Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Microsoft ships IE10 for Windows 7

Computerworld - Microsoft today released a final version of Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) for Windows 7, nearly two years after it introduced the browser at a company conference.

Customers who had earlier installed the IE10 preview will be the first to receive the upgrade through Windows Update. Others running IE9 on Windows 7 will be automatically upgraded "in the weeks ahead," according to the company, which did not get more specific than that about a timetable.

That day can't come too soon for many Windows 7 users, who have taken almost every opportunity to ask Microsoft -- most often in comments on company blogs -- when the new browser would reach them.

But IE10's debut was later than some analysts had once expected...

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tom's Guide: 10 Free Online Diagnostic Tools

Check out Tom's Guide's latest story on online diagnostic tools.

Keeping your computer squeaky clean and running smoothly isn't an easy task. You need to be mindful of what you download, keep an eye on performance for any changes, and keep all of your software up to date. Still, no matter how vigilant you are, you can't completely avoid computer problems. For those times, an online diagnostic tool might be your best bet for figuring out the issue without sinking a lot of time and money into special software. Check out '10 Free Online Diagnostic Tools' for some of our favorites...

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Reddit Recap: Bill Gates' Seven Best Responses

Microsoft founder Bill Gates won over the Reddit crowd by answering a plethora of questions.

Bill Gates is a rock star on so many levels. Yes, he co-founded Microsoft, built his net worth to tens of billions of dollars, and now spends his days doing philanthropy work through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, all of which are admirable in their own right. It would be easy for someone in his position to be an egotistical jerk who's disconnected from the public at large, but instead, this is the same guy who once did the Robot next to Jerry Seinfeld, made us crave churros in another Vista ad, and more recently (as in, yesterday) answered a boatload of questions on Reddit.

He didn't just answer three or four questions. The man with more money than most of us could spend in a lifetime provided nearly three dozen responses to a near non-stop barrage of inquiries ranging from silly to serious, and everything in between. If you have a free moment, it's worth reading all of his replies, but in the meantime, here are seven responses that stood out:

Question: If Microsoft didn't take off, what would you have done and be doing instead?
Answer: If the microprocessor had NOT come along I am not sure what I would have done. Maybe medicine or theoretical math, but it is hard to say.

Question: How was your relationship with Steve Jobs? I always hoped that y'all were really good friends and competitors.
Answer: He and I respected each other. Our biggest project was the Mac where Microsoft had more people on the project than Apple did as we wrote a lot of applications. I saw Steve regularly over the years including spending an afternoon with him a few months before he tragically passed away...

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How Does Microsoft Fit Into Dell's $24.4 Billion Buyout?

Microsoft's $2 billion loan helped Michael Dell and partners purchase Dell for $24.4 billion.

First things first -- if you haven't heard by now, Dell is going private. Michael Dell, with the help of private equity firm Silver Lake and a significant loan from Microsoft, have agreed to pay Dell's public shareholders $13.65 a share, valuing the transaction at $24.4 billion. Now Mr. Dell is free to run the company without having to answer to shareholders, and while it will likely be years before we know if this was in the best interest of Dell, there's an interesting side story involving Microsoft that deserves attention.

Without Microsoft's $2 billion loan, either this deal doesn't go down, or another company with that kind of cash to spend steps in. What's Microsoft's play in all this?

"Microsoft has provided a $2 billion loan to the group that has proposed to take Dell private. Microsoft is committed to the long term success of the entire PC ecosystem and invests heavily in a variety of ways to build that ecosystem for the future," Microsoft said in a statement.

"We're in an industry that is constantly evolving. As always, we will continue to look for opportunities to support partners who are committed to innovating and driving business for their devices and services built on the Microsoft platform," the company added.

So there's Microsoft's official explanation on why it got involved to the tune of $2 billion. As far as what it's willing to admit, Microsoft's play is that it has an obvious vested interest in the PC ecosystem, and apparently it believes, as Michael Dell does, that taking Dell private is the right move at this time...

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Facebook Now Has a Reusable Gift Card

Facebook is inching even further into retail space with the introduction of a new gift card that can handle multiple balances. Starting Thursday, Facebook users can log on and purchase this Discovered-powered card, which is then physically delivered to the recipient. However, for now, it only supports four businesses: Jamba Juice, Olive Garden, Sephora, and Target.

To purchase one of these cards, users must direct themselves to the Facebook Gifts page. The new cards are found under the obvious Gift Cards & Digital category, but as of this writing were not present. Facebook indicated that Target, Olive Garden and the other two will be individually listed among Starbucks, iTunes, Hulu Plus and other current offerings.

Once the actual retailer is chosen, the sender determines the amount to be placed on the card. "Your friend will be notified instantly about your gift, and will receive a Facebook Card in the mail a few days later. As soon as it arrives, your friend can use the card at the retailer you've chosen for the amount you’ve gifted," Facebook said...

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