Voice Recognition to Conquer the Office

You arrive at your desk in the morning and sit down in front of your computer. Instead of issuing a voice command to your PC, or reciting an email, or dictating a memo to your boss, you start typing and clicking.

In the environs of the office, where speech technology could save us time and make us more productive, most of us are still stuck with keyboards and mice.

Yet once we’re away from the office, many of us don’t think twice about issuing voice commands to our smartphones — whether that means voice-dialing the phone, speaking a search term to Google or asking Siri what today’s weather will be like.

Source: ComputerWorld

Windows 8 Upgrade Momentum Outpaces That Of Windows 7

Microsoft’s new operating system has sold 40 million units in its first month on sale, a Microsoft top bod revealed at a conference yesterday.

The 40m Windows 8 licenses have been sold since October 26 said Tami Reller, Chief Marketing and Financial Officer for Windows. Customers were upgrading to Win 8 faster than they had to Windows 7, she added.

“Windows 8 upgrade momentum is outpacing that of Windows 7.”

License sales don’t equate automatically to users and many of the licenses will have been sold to PC manufacturers who will pack the software on machines to be shipped out over the next few months. Reuters estimates that only 15 million users are currently using Windows 8.

Source: The Register

Mozilla Puts On Hold the Development of 64-bit Firefox for Windows

Mozilla has suspended development of a 64-bit version of Firefox for Windows, citing add-on incompatibilities and low priority for the project.

In a message posted to Bugzilla, the company’s bug- and change-tracking database, Benjamin Smedberg, a developer with consulting firm Mozdev, and a regular contributor to the open-source browser, said that the organization was suspending, perhaps for some time, the work on a 64-bit version.

“Please stop building windows 64 builds and tests,” Smedberg wrote on Bugzilla. In the same message, he told commenters the decision had been made, and not to argue it on Bugzilla, a warning that several people ignored.

The x64 edition of Firefox for Windows had been stalled in the build channel Mozilla calls “Nightlies,” a label for the unpolished daily versions, for months.

Source: InfoWorld

Microsoft Started Offering Office 2013

Microsoft now offers a free 60-day trial of Office 2013 Professional Plus, the next generation of its nigh-ubiquitous desktop productivity suite, via its TechNet Evaluation Center website.

Office 2013 entered the Release To Manufacturing (RTM) phase in October, and the final code has been available to Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and TechNet subscribers since October 24.

This Friday, the general public can now test drive the RTM versions of the software for the first time. To sign up for the trial, just follow the instructions found at Microsoft’s TechNet Evaluation Center website.

Source: The Register

Mozilla Releases Facebook Messenger for Firefox 17

Mozilla Tuesday released Firefox 17, which debuts technology that lets developers integrate social networks — for now, Facebook — with the browser.

The main thrust of Mozilla’s trumpeting of Firefox 17, however, was what it called “Social API,” an application programming interface (API) that allows developers to bake connections to social media services into the browser.

Firefox 17 users can enable Messenger at this Facebook page, and the social networking giant has posted a short FAQ on the integration with Firefox.

Source: Computerworld

Sandbox Flash Player Now in Chrome OS X

Google this week announced it had shipped a stronger Flash Player sandbox for the OS X version of Chrome, making good on an August promise to ship a Mac browser better able to ward off exploits of the Adobe software.

By porting Flash Player to PPAPI, Google’s engineers were able to place the Adobe plug-in in a “sandbox” as robust as the one that protects Chrome itself.

A sandbox is an anti-exploit technology that isolates processes on a computer, preventing or at least hindering malware from exploiting an unpatched vulnerability, escalating privileges and planting attack code on the system.

“With this release [of Chrome 23], Flash Player is now fully sandboxed in Chrome on all of our desktop platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS,” said Scott Hess, a Google software engineer.

Source: InfoWorld

IE10 Release Preview for Windows 7

As expected, Microsoft ships a major preview of Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) for Windows 7, using a moniker that hints at a final release as early as next month.

Called IE10 Release Preview, the sneak peek arrived early Tuesday. On Monday, a Chinese blog, citing Microsoft’s head of IE marketing, said the preview would appear Nov. 13. Although Microsoft declined comment at the time, saying it did not respond to “rumors or speculation,” the Redmond, Wash., developer issued the early look Tuesday.

The Release Preview is for Windows 7 only. IE10 for Windows 8 and Windows RT shipped alongside those operating systems on Oct. 26, and older OSes, including XP and Vista, cannot run the browser.

Source: InfoWorld

Microsoft to Release iOS Office Apps to Office 365

Last week, speculation on Office apps for Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS hit a new high as The Verge, citing unnamed sources, reported that Microsoft will release iOS apps for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint in late February or early March 2013, followed in May by similar software for Android.

The apps, collectively dubbed Office Mobile, will be offered free of charge on the iOS App Store and Google Play, the Android digital marketplace.

In their free versions, the apps will only let users view documents. To enable editing — and presumably other functions, such as document creation and printing — customers will have to chain the apps to an up-to-date Office 365 subscription.

Source: InfoWorld

Microsoft Office for Android and Apple iOS

Microsoft still hasn’t made any official announcements regarding when it will be debuting Office Mobile apps for Google and Apple slabs and devices, but it has been reported that versions of the software will be released in early 2013.

We may be wrong, but we think this means Microsoft has quietly fed Warren the story to stoke interest in Office Mobile before any official Word is put down in print.

But the company did offer up this statement:

“Office will work across Windows Phone, iOS and Android.”

Beyond that – for those who actually want to do basic edits of the documents – an Office 365 subscription will be required. As for supposed shipment dates, the Android version of Office Mobile is expected in May next year, while the iOS app will probably arrive in March 2013.

Source: The Register

Microsoft: Goodbye Windows Live Messenger, Hello Skype IM

Microsoft is working towards retiring its Windows Live Messenger client in favor of Skype. Microsoft’s Windows Live Messenger service will be retired in the coming months and integrated into Skype.

Microsoft has slowly been moving people over to the Messenger backend for Skype over the past few months, with around 80 percent of all IMs sent on Skype being handled by Messenger.

The company will announce the retirement of Windows Live Messenger soon, possibly as early as this week according to sources. The move follows efforts by Skype to link Microsoft accounts to Skype login names ahead of its global retirement plan for Windows Live Messenger.

Users of Skype 6.0 for Mac and Windows are now greeted with options to log in using a Microsoft or Facebook account.

Source: The Verge