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See our disclaimer. Essential Silverlight 2 helps you take advantage of Microsoft's cross-browser plug-in with: Clever ways to create interactive UIs that are more robust and easier to debug and test than what you can achieve on other platforms Scores of tested JavaScript and C code examples that you can reuse in your own applications Expert guidance from an author who understands RIA technologies, including ASP. Customer Reviews. Write a review. See any care plans, options and policies that may be associated with this product.

Email address. Please enter a valid email address. Walmart Services. Get to Know Us. Customer Service. In The Spotlight. Shop Our Brands. All Rights Reserved. Every choice we make is about finding that balance between consumption and creative expression. I am inspired by what I have seen in the Minecraft generation, who see themselves as not players of a game but creators of new worlds they dream up -- the new forms of creativity and the expression we can unleash.

This is what motivates us about Windows Among the new "creators"-oriented features coming to Windows 10 are some much-expanded 3-D capabilities. Microsoft promises to give users the ability to create and manipulate 3-D models within popular apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Microsoft Paint. Microsoft is also enhancing the digital inking capabilities in Office. And for gamers, And for gamers, Microsoft is introducing a new technology it acquired in August called Beam into both Windows 10 and Xbox One.

Beam will let viewers interact in real-time with a player who is streaming a game. For example, a viewer could throw in challenges to the game or change the player's weapons. These new creative capabilities coincide with a pair of brand-new Surface products from Microsoft: the Surface Studio and the Surface Dial.

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The Surface Studio is an all-in-one PC whose biggest distinguishing feature is it's inch, high-resolution display that can tilt downward until it's nearly horizontal -- the ideal angle for drawing or writing. The Surface Dial, meanwhile, is a puck-sized peripheral that can work as a normal wireless mouse or, when it's placed on top of the Surface Studio touchscreen, can interact directly with the application that's currently being used similar to the Surface Pen.

Other features coming with the Creators Update include faster access to contacts with the new Windows My People feature , new privacy features and IT management controls, a new " Windows Defender Security Center ," the ability to block Flash , and more. Microsoft is currently putting the Creators Update through its paces via the Windows Insider testing program, with general availability expected sometime this spring.

Like previous Windows 10 updates, the Creators Update will be free. Beyond the Creators Update, Microsoft is reportedly planning as many as two more "Redstone" updates throughout , though Microsoft has yet to confirm this. Dynamics Components Anticipated release: Summer Microsoft dramatically retooled its business solutions portfolio last year with the launch of Dynamics , which combines the main CRM and ERP functions of the company's original Dynamics products into a cloud-based application suite.

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The Business edition, designed for companies with fewer than users, includes the Financials, Sales and Marketing apps. Microsoft also offers different licensing options for each edition, giving businesses the flexibility to tailor the solution to their needs and usage levels. Though Dynamics officially became available for purchase in November , several key components are still waiting in the wings. For instance, while the Enterprise edition leverages Adobe's Marketing Cloud suite as its marketing component, that module is still unavailable for the Business edition.

Microsoft said last fall that the Dynamics for Marketing app will arrive for Business edition users in the spring of , replacing the older Dynamics Marketing app that was a major part of Dynamics CRM Online.

Also missing in action is the Sales app for the Business edition. Microsoft expects to roll that out in the second quarter of , according to reports. As for what's still to come to the Enterprise edition, Microsoft's Dynamics roadmap page lists multiple features and capabilities as being "in development," although there are two standouts: a "bulk data loader" feature and integration with the Cortana machine learning platform.

The company did not give a timeframe for when either of these features will be released, though the Cortana integration is currently in public preview. Azure Stack Released. Azure Stack was designed to enable organizations and partners to host Azure-based services from within their own datacenters. Initially, Azure Stack was expected to become generally available by the end of , but Microsoft decided last summer to significantly change the solution's delivery model, pushing the release date back to mid In a blog post timed to coincide with the WPC, Microsoft announced that rather than let organizations and partners choose the hardware from which they run Azure Stack, it would instead require them to purchase the product as an "integrated system" from a select roster of hardware partners, including Lenovo, Dell and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The decision was largely met with disapproval, though Microsoft executives have framed it as a way to ensure that customers use Azure Stack in the way that works best -- for instance, by not burdening them with the intricacies of rapid software updates. As Vijay Tewari, a principal group program manager for enterprise cloud solutions at Microsoft, explained in a Channel 9 video:.

It is not a conglomeration of existing products as we have seen in the past. And along with it comes a responsibility that Microsoft has to keep the operation lifecycle of that product valid for customers. And what I mean by operational lifecycle is that the entire product needs to be updated at the pace at which we need to keep it updated for Azure services to land on top of Azure Stack.

And Azure, as you know, it iterates very very rapidly. New services are emerging all of the time. Existing services are being updated at very very rapid paces. And we need to have that entire approach workable in customer datacenters. So, from our perspective, we need hardware that we know well of, where we know what version of the firmware needs to run on the disks, on the HBAs, on every single aspect of the system so we can keep it operational and robust for the services that land on top of it.

That is not feasible on systems that we have never seen before. Microsoft has issued two technical previews of Azure Stack so far, the latest being released on September Microsoft officially launched SharePoint , the current release of its enterprise collaboration platform, in May of last year.

However, a key component of Microsoft's vision for the future of SharePoint is still to-come: the SharePoint Framework. Based on open source JavaScript, the SharePoint Framework is geared toward developers and "enables fully supported client-side development, easy integration with the Microsoft Graph, and support for open source tooling," according to Microsoft. The SharePoint Framework has been in preview since August , though Microsoft issued a preliminary "release candidate" version earlier this month.

Microsoft expects to roll out a few more release candidates to fix last-minute issues before making the product generally available, though it did not give a specific date for the final release. Besides the SharePoint Framework, Microsoft's plans for SharePoint this year include improvements to "collaboration, mobility, intelligence and trust," according to Mark Kashman, a senior product manager on Microsoft's SharePoint team. Kashman provided some insight into Microsoft's SharePoint roadmap at a presentation last October, showing a slide that listed the following features as being on tap for the first half of We have things like the SharePoint Framework that we're working on so that if you have higher-end customizations to build into your solutions, you can.

And we're starting with Web Parts and building from there to build out a richer set of custom pages, and of course beyond that looking into the portal space. Again, looking with the Graph and Office Groups, those things are bringing together everything we do in SharePoint now. Microsoft Teams Released. Teams, Microsoft's contender in the enterprise chat arena dominated by millennial darling Slack, debuted last November as a preview release.

At the New York launch event, Nadella touted Teams as "a chat-based workspace where people can come together in a digital forum to have casual conversations, work on content, create work plans -- integrated all within one unified experience. Microsoft expects to make Teams generally available in the first quarter of this year to Business and Enterprise subscribers of Office Microsoft is staking the success of Teams against the much more entrenched Slack on Teams' deep integration with the wider Office productivity suite, which Microsoft has been steadily improving with investments in machine learning, intelligence, security and governance.

Backed by the Microsoft Graph, intelligent services are surfaced throughout the workspace to help with information relevancy, discovery and sharing. Microsoft Teams is also built on Office Groups -- our cross-application membership service that makes it easy for people to move naturally from one collaboration tool to another, preserve their sense of context and share with others," said Kirk Koenigsbauer, corporate vice president for Microsoft Office, in a blog post timed with the product's unveiling. Whether the Office hook will be enough to usurp Slack in the hearts of enterprise users remains to be seen, though Slack did seem a little rattled by the Teams unveiling; the company took out a full-page ad in The New York Times on the same day as Microsoft's launch event to both welcome its new competitor and assert that "Slack is here to stay.

The next major release of the Microsoft integrated development environment, dubbed Visual Studio , reached the "release candidate" stage in November , following five other "preview" releases under the code name Visual Studio " So far, however, Microsoft has not given any official word of when Visual Studio will become generally available, though we'd peg it for sometime in the first half of , given that it appears to be in the latter stages of development. In development since the early part of last year, Visual Studio has been dubbed by Microsoft as "the latest and greatest version of Visual Studio.

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They include:. Microsoft also introduced a brand-new product, Visual Studio for Mac, at the same time that it unveiled the Visual Studio release candidate. As its name suggests, Visual Studio for Mac is a native development platform for macOS that's based heavily on Microsoft's investments in Xamarin. Miguel de Icaza, a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer, touted the product as "a one-stop shop for.

NET Core technologies" in a blog post last November. So far, Microsoft has released just one preview version of Visual Studio for Mac. Given that it's a brand-new product that's still in the early stages of testing, we don't expect Visual Studio for Mac to become generally available until the second half of or later. The current version of Microsoft's relational database management solution, SQL Server , hit general availability just this past summer, but the company is already well on its way to rolling out the next release.

The first preview of SQL Server "v. Next" -- as of this writing, Microsoft hasn't announced a formal version name -- and the first public preview of the brand-new SQL Server on Linux were issued in November Both are expected to become production-ready at around the same time: mid Microsoft has been putting SQL Server on Linux through its paces since March of last year, when it announced a private preview of the product. At the time, Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft, promised that SQL Server on Linux "will provide customers with even more flexibility in their data solution.

One with mission-critical performance, industry-leading TCO, best-in-class security, and hybrid cloud innovations -- like Stretch Database which lets customers access their data on-premises and in the cloud whenever they want at low cost -- all built in. One of Microosft's stated goals with these upcoming SQL Server releases is to achieve as much application compatibility and feature parity between the Windows and Linux versions, though some variances are inescapable.

In addition, the code base is huge. There are tens of millions of lines of code in SQL Server. Microsoft assures that most of these missing services will become enabled as it updates the preview release. Since its commercial release last summer, Microsoft's latest desktop OS has been off to jackrabbit start -- the fastest-growing of any other version of Windows, by Microsoft's count.

In early January, just five months after making Windows 10 generally available, the company reported that the OS had already hit the million-device mark , significantly outpacing the growth trajectories of both Windows 8 and Windows 7. Microsoft still has a ways to go before it hits its goal of putting Windows 10 on 1 billion devices by fiscal , but the company is counting on a pair of Windows 10 updates coming this year, both code-named "Redstone," to make the OS more attractive to stragglers.

Media reports about Redstone have been circulating since the spring of Windows 10 was released in July , while Threshold 2 rolled out in November. While Microsoft has already been updating Windows 10 regularly as part of its "Windows as a Service" model, the Redstone updates are expected to "be a larger update than the others and will provide new functionality and support for new classes of devices that aren't already part of Windows 10," according to Foley.

Microsoft might also use Redstone to deliver the features that it couldn't develop in time for the initial Windows 10 release, she added. For its part, Microsoft has not made any public mention of Redstone. However, the first three Redstone test builds have already been reportedly released to Windows Insider participants: build in mid-December, build roughly a month later and build in late January. While these builds focused mostly on bug fixes and various OS refinements rather than new features, Microsoft's Gabe Aul, who stewards the Windows Insider program, said that Microsoft made over 1, changes related to "OS development" from the second build to the third.

According to Aul, Microsoft's objective with these early Redstone builds is to improve OneCore, which he described as "the shared core of Windows across devices," in order to streamline the company's internal process of testing new Windows features on different form factors. Once the OneCore improvements are done, Microsoft will be able to include more tangible feature additions and OS changes in the Redstone builds, though Aul cautioned that "[i]t will still be a few builds before any really noticeable changes show up, depending on when teams begin lighting up new features in their areas.

This focus on OneCore may have resulted in Microsoft shelving, or at least delaying, some features it had previously planned for Redstone, Petri. Whatever those features are, or were, is still up in the air, as there are scant few details about what Redstone will actually entail for users.

According to various anonymously sourced media reports, Redstone will give Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant the ability to " float around Windows 10 " for instance, as a search widget in a live Word document , bring extension support to Windows 10's new Edge browser, and restore the old placeholders feature to the OneDrive storage service. What Microsoft has promised is more frequent if buggier future builds of Redstone, at least for Windows Insiders on the "fast" ring.

This also means that the builds we release to the Fast ring may include more bugs and other issues that could be slightly more painful for some people to live with. Windows 10 Mobile Released. Microsoft has been baking Windows 10's smartphone counterpart for quite some time now.

Brand-new Windows 10 Mobile devices hit retail shelves last November , but for existing Windows Phone 8. Initially expected in the summer of to coincide with the release of the Windows 10 desktop OS, Windows 10 Mobile's anticipated release was later pushed back to Q4 of and then to "early" Now, the OS may not arrive until February for current users. Citing an unpublished Microsoft letter to its partners, VentureBeat in late January reported that "both the service update [for brand-new Windows 10 Mobile devices] and legacy handset upgrade will now occur in early to mid February.

What's also still unclear is which existing devices will receive the Windows 10 Mobile upgrade, and which will be unable to support it due to hardware limitations. Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile Web site provides only a partial list of devices that qualify to receive the upgrade see this screenshot taken Jan. Microsoft's latest Windows 10 Mobile test build That build, like most of the mobile builds preceding it, comprised mostly bug fixes and OS refinements.

Microsoft has described Windows 10 Mobile as being essentially "feature-complete" since the summer of , so there has been little in the way of major concrete developments to report since then. For future Windows 10 Mobile updates, however, Microsoft does seem to have a few new features on tap -- possibly signaling a mobile equivalent of the Redstone updates coming to the Windows 10 desktop OS.

Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott reported on this issue in mid-January, pointing to a since-deleted Microsoft job listing that called for a senior program manager whose responsibilities would include "[b]uilding the plan for for ARM64 aligned with the Redstone wave," as well as to a Microsoft Hardware Dev Center page that mentions "Windows 10 Mobile x86" in documentation related to testing audio devices.

So far, however, Microsoft has not officially shared any details about this point. The mobile version of Cortana may also see some new features. According to The Verge , Microsoft is working on enabling Cortana to retrieve contextually relevant information for a user based on what they are currently doing with their phone similar to the Google Now feature for Android. Microsoft is also reportedly developing a feature powered by Cortana that would let users start an action on one device running one platform, pause, and then continue that same action on a different device running a different platform.

Microsoft has been noticeably forthcoming about its plans for the next version of SharePoint Server, perhaps in an effort to quash the concerns of recent years that it might leave the on-premises version of SharePoint by the wayside in favor of the cloud-based SharePoint Online. Since even before the Ignite conference last May, there has been a steady stream of information from Microsoft about new features and changes coming in SharePoint Server , such as:.

Throughout its messaging about SharePoint Server , Microsoft has emphasized the product's support for running hybrid SharePoint architectures -- that is, situations in which the on-premises server product running in an organization's datacenter is able to integrate with Office running out of a Microsoft cloud datacenter. Microsoft has done this by integrating several Office features -- such as Delve, Groups and Clutter -- into the on-premises server product.

Microsoft has updated its projected release timeframe for SharePoint twice now. Originally, it had been scheduled for the second half of , but Microsoft pushed it to Q2 of early last year. The earlier-than-expected release is not surprising, given that Microsoft already released a "mostly feature complete" release candidate of SharePoint Server in January. That's after two public previews that were tested by over 5, users, according to Microsoft. Dynamics AX Released. Microsoft's suite of enterprise resource planning ERP tools will hit several milestones this year, starting with Dynamics AX.

It is expected to become generally available in Q1 as a cloud solution hosted on the Azure PaaS, with the on-premises version being released closer to mid We optimized every architectural choice around the idea of saying we want to have the best possible experience in the cloud," said Microsoft Technical Fellow Mike Ehrenberg in an interview with RCP late last year. Azure Stack Anticipated release: Mid Microsoft first took the wraps off its new Azure Stack offering at last year's Ignite conference, touting it as a solution that would enable users to easily run Azure cloud services in their own on-premises datacenters, thus supporting the increasingly hybrid nature of organizations' IT environments.

What this brings you is you get that great IaaS and PaaS environment in your datacenters. You have incredible capability like a unified application model that gives you a one-click deployment experience for even the most complex, multi-tier applications and then you get that cloud-inspired infrastructure. We're giving you the same software controller that we built for our network, the name is the same, network controller. We're giving you our load balancing. We're giving you all the storage innovation. Azure Stack represents an evolution of Microsoft's older Cloud OS solution, which also promised to give partners and organizations the ability to build Azure environments in their datacenters, but suffered from low uptake due to its complexity.

Azure Stack shares a common architecture, application model and DevOps tool set with Azure, according to Microsoft. This minimizes the work that developers need to do to make sure their apps work on both Azure and Azure Stack, as well as lets IT pros extend on-premises apps to the cloud without having to drastically change the tools they use for automation or management.

Microsoft has not given a specific date for Azure Stack's release, but because it is linked with the company's wave of server releases, it will likely become generally available by year's end. The company plans to follow that up this year with two major updates, one in the spring and one in the fall. The "spring wave" of updates will arrive in Q2, Microsoft said in early March.

However, this update -- and all the new features and improvements that come with it -- will apply only to Dynamics CRM Online. For on-premises Dynamics CRM customers, feature-parity will arrive with "the next on-premise release of Dynamics CRM in the fall of ," according to a spokesperson. So far, Microsoft hasn't said whether this on-premises update will entail a new year in the product name. In its March announcement, Microsoft described a few of the changes coming with the spring and later to the fall update. The update will focus primarily on integrating two of Microsoft's CRM-related acquisitions from -- FieldOne , which provides cloud-based solutions for field-service personnel, and Adxstudio , whose "portals" technology lets organizations build customer-facing Web sites that connect to their Dynamics CRM account.

On the service side FieldOne , the update will bring new capabilities aimed at helping organizations schedule, assign and execute on-site service appointments. On the customer engagement side Adxstudio , Microsoft said the spring update will "enable organizations to better connect with customers, partners and employees, and provide these groups with a streamlined way to access information, obtain assistance and perform tasks. The spring update will also bring improvements to Dynamics CRM's social media-based marketing tool, called Social Engagement.

Social Engagement uses machine learning to enable marketers to score their products' performance based on user "sentiment" across social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. With the spring update, Microsoft will add two new machine learning scenarios to the Social Engagement tool -- "adaptive learning" and "automated triage.

Windows Server Released. In early , back when Windows Server was still known only by its codename of "vNext," Microsoft said that the server OS's architecture would be "deeply refactored" to support cloud scenarios, which certainly sounds like a major development albeit in an abstract sort of way.

However, subsequent dispatches from Microsoft have been more explicit about the changes coming to Windows Server -- and they're big changes. The former debuted in the third Windows Server technical preview that was released in August , and the latter in the fourth technical preview released in November. It is designed for fewer patch and update events, faster restarts, better resource utilization and tighter security.

Nano Server saw daylight in May as part of the second technical preview of Windows Server At that time, Microsoft said Nano Server was designed for three roles: as the host OS for cloud computing scenarios using Hyper-V, as a platform for deploying cloud-native apps, and as a host for scale-out file server operations. Organizations can also decide to do a full server installation.

Third, Microsoft has decided to switch to a per-core licensing approach with Windows Server , a departure from its previous per-processor approach. The repercussions of that change were outlined in a detailed FAQ from Microsoft, which said that the switch aims to "evolve our server licensing to support hybrid cloud.

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Microsoft describes the license packages this way: "Core licenses will be sold in packs of two licenses. Each processor will need to be licensed with minimum of 8 cores which is 4 two-core packs.

Each physical server, including 1 processor servers, will need to be licensed with minimum of 16 cores which is 8 two-core packs. Additional cores can then be licensed in increments of two cores one two core pack for gradual increases in core density growth. Like the upcoming Windows Server , the next-generation version of Microsoft's datacenter management suite is expected to arrive in Q3 with a new core-based licensing model. According to a Microsoft licensing datasheet , the decision to mimic Windows Server 's core-based model is an effort to "provide a consistent licensing metric for managed VMs.

The System Center licensing model for Standard and Datacenter will be the same as R2 with server and client management licenses. As with System Center R2, the editions will be differentiated by virtualization rights only. Licenses are required only for the endpoints being managed. No additional licenses are needed for the management server or SQL Server runtime. Besides the licensing change, Microsoft has also decided to go ahead and release the System Center Configuration Manager SCCM component in December , ahead of the larger System Center suite, to address the needs of organizations managing Windows 10 clients.

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Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Enterprise Client and Mobility at Microsoft, called that release of SCCM "the most significant and important release of ConfigMgr ever ," and pointed to the fact that this Windows optimized version of SCCM is also SaaS-enabled, meaning that organizations will receive regular monthly updates to the product. The rest of the System Center suite, which is currently on its fourth technical preview , will arrive later this year.

SQL Server Released. So far, Microsoft hasn't given any hints about when it will release its next-generation relational database management solution, which is currently in its third community technology preview CTP. As it has done for many of its flagship products, Microsoft is promising continuous and regular updates to SQL Server to keep pace with cloud environments.

In addition, we offer a consistent experience across on-premises and cloud with common development and management tools and common T-SQL," said Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Data Group, in a blog post last October announcing CTP 3. BizTalk Server Released. Microsoft expects to roll out the tenth and newest version of its BizTalk integration platform in Q4, after the general availability of SQL Server and Windows Server , according to a whitepaper the company released in late BizTalk Server will be closely tied to the development of Microsoft's other integration products, namely Host Integration Server and Logic Apps on Azure Stack, which are both in varying stages of development.

Given these dependencies, there are several dates and moving parts to track when it comes to BizTalk Server Microsoft said it is also planning "numerous enhancements including supporting dynamic ports with ordered delivery, performance and usability improvements to the admin console, support for SAS authentication with our WCF-NetTcpRelay and more.

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Dynamics GP will debut in the first half of the year, with an "R2" version rolling out in the second half. That's according to this Microsoft slide posted by Microsoft developer Tim Wappat in a September blog post see below. The slide suggests upcoming improvements to Dynamics GP's business intelligence BI capabilities, workflows, Web client and "All in One" document viewer, as well as extended device and browser support. However, the company has yet to give any concrete details about either of these Dynamics NAV releases. Windows 10 Released. Bits of information about Windows 10 have been circulating since late , although those early reports were met with "no comment" comments from official Microsoft channels.

Since releasing the first Windows 10 technical preview build in October , however, Microsoft has been exceedingly open about the upcoming operating system. It was apparent early on that Windows 10 would serve as a course correction, of sorts, from Windows 8, which alienated many traditional keyboard-and-mouse users with its touch-focused interface and lack of a Start menu. Much of the earlier Windows 10 messaging also centered around the enterprise , with Microsoft touting new features such as multifactor authentication, file-level encryption and a dynamic provisioning capability designed to enable system upgrades without the need for re-imaging.

In a press event in mid-January , Microsoft talked up Windows 10 for the wider consumer audience. Announcements at the event included:. Also noteworthy was Microsoft's description of Windows 10 as "Windows as a Service. This is more than a one-time upgrade: once a Windows device is upgraded to Windows 10, we will continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device -- at no cost. We'll deliver new features when they're ready, not waiting for the next major release. We think of Windows as a Service -- in fact, one could reasonably think of Windows in the next couple of years as one of the largest Internet services on the planet.

And just like any Internet service, the idea of asking "What version are you on? Microsoft has repeatedly touted Windows 10 as a "universal" platform that is designed to translate seamlessly across different devices. However, that does not mean that there won't be different SKUs of the operating system that are optimized for a range of screen sizes and device types. There is the "desktop" version, designed for tablets and PCs, and another "mobile" SKU for smartphones and smaller tablets. The desktop SKU has been in the technical preview stage since last fall, while the mobile SKU is expected to be released as a preview in mid-February, Foley said.

Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president of the Operating Systems Group at Microsoft, also said that owners of smaller devices will lack a few Windows 10 features. For instance, new devices smaller than 7 inches will not have the "Continuum" feature, which would let users switch between PC and tablet interfaces, and devices smaller than 8 inches will not have the desktop mode. The final version of Windows 10 is expected to become generally available in the later part of Windows 10 Mobile Anticipated release: December However, Microsoft began setting the stage for interested smartphone users to receive the preview in January, when it released a "Windows Insider" app for Windows Phone 8.

According to Microsoft's description, the app "provides registered Insiders the ability to receive pre-release OS updates on their phone, directly from Microsoft. In a blog post in January, Chris Weber, corporate vice president of sales for the Mobile Devices group at Microsoft, gave a brief description of how Windows 10 will work specifically on Lumia phones:.

You can easily work on PowerPoint presentations, edit Word documents and appreciate other rich functionality in Office, while you are on the go. The same seamless integration can also be seen with Maps. Let's say you searched for a place -- maybe a new restaurant that your friends have been talking about -- on your PC. The next time you are out and about, your search will also show up on your phone when you open Maps. With it, you can also access info such as driving directions to that restaurant, reviews and even the ability to reserve a table, all from the same app.

In November, a Tweet on the official Lumia Twitter feed suggested that "all Windows Phone 8 devices" and higher would be upgradeable to Windows In the January blog, however, Weber waffled a bit on this point, saying that Microsoft's goal is "for the majority of the Lumia phones running Windows Phone 8 and 8.

Windows 10 for smartphones is expected to launch later this year, at the same time as Windows 10 for PCs, and come pre-installed on new phones. However, for those upgrading to the operating system, the exact ship date may vary or even be delayed, depending on a user's carrier. Office for Windows 10 Released. Industry watchers have been anticipating the launch of touch-based Office apps for Windows, code-named "Gemini," for well over a year now, but have had to wait while they were first released for Apple iOS and, more recently, Google Android devices.

In late January, Microsoft finally announced a release timeframe for the apps on Windows. For other devices, the apps will be available to download from the Windows Store, though Microsoft has not said whether they will also be free for those devices. In keeping with Microsoft's vision of universal apps for Windows, the Office apps will share the same code regardless of the size of the device that is running them.

Official confirmation that the next version of Microsoft's desktop Office suite would be released in the second half of this year came in late January , though Microsoft had reportedly been testing the product internally for several months by then. In September , screenshots believed to be from that internal test version were leaked to The Verge. Tell Me is a helper-type feature that appears as a dialog box, similar to the now-defunct "Clippy" but without the anthropomorphism. The screenshots also showed a new black theme and a mostly unchanged ribbon.

According to The Verge , "Other new features include automatic image rotation, allowing Microsoft to use camera metadata to correctly position images in Office documents. Microsoft is also improving its Outlook email client with sync options to just download 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, or 14 days of email. So far, the changes and additions seem mostly minor, though Microsoft said that the new Office version will have "compelling new experiences" when it becomes available.

Incidentally, the company has not mentioned how, or if, it will incorporate its new "Sway" app into Office Currently in preview , Sway is designed to let Office users create graphical and interactive presentations for the Web. Also expected to be released this year is the next version of Office for Mac. The Outlook client has been available for Mac users since October , but only Office subscribers have been able to access it.

According to Microsoft, a public beta of the next Office for Mac will be released in the first half of , with the finished product expected in the second half. Guess my Vista will forever have the New Updates are available icon displayed. Pros: Able to download 2. Cons: Cannot remove 1. The 2.

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