Microsoft’s ad-free version of Bing now available for US schools

Microsoft is rolling out a custom version of Bing this week tailored specifically for classrooms. School administrators can enable an ad-free version of Bing with always-on SafeSearch — Microsoft's web security and adult content filtering — and daily literacy lesson plans. A pilot program kicked off last August and more than 4.5 million children in more than 5,000 schools have been using the...

Nokia says its sale to Microsoft will close on April 25th

Nokia expects Microsoft to finally take control of its devices division on April 25th, the company announced today. The $7.2 billion deal — first announced in September of last year — will see Nokia sell "substantially all of its Devices and Services business to Microsoft." Nokia's latest update says that "certain customary closing conditions" are all that stands in the way of the acquisition being finalized. That suggests antitrust authorities in Asia have signed off on the deal after holding things up last month, forcing Microsoft and Nokia to push back their estimated closing date.

"This acquisition will help Microsoft accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones," Microsoft said in a statement. Several changes have been made since the acquisition was first proposed, however. Microsoft has agreed to oversee and manage and all of the company's social media sites for at least one year. A Korean manufacturing facility that was included in the original deal...

The end is in sight

Clippy replaces Cortana in Windows Phone 8.1 Easter egg

Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8.1 update was released only yesterday, but Cortana users have already discovered a number of funny responses from Microsoft's new personal digital assistant. The best Easter egg is the return of Clippy, Microsoft’s assistant from Office. While Clippy doesn’t fully replace Cortana, he will show up temporarily if you ask "do you like Clippy?"

Other "chit chat" responses include "do you like Steve Ballmer?" to receive a developers, developers, developers reference, or...

Windows Phone 8.1 now available to download

After 18 months since the last major Windows Phone update, Microsoft is finally releasing Windows Phone 8.1 to developers today. The software maker detailed the update at its Build conference less than two weeks ago, and it’s clear the version point increment doesn’t tell the whole story. This is a significant update to Windows Phone 8, with new features like the Cortana digital assistant, a new notification center, and skinned Tiles for the...

Microsoft working to make Windows Live Tiles more interactive and useful

Microsoft is working to make its signature Live Tiles much more interactive and capable. Today, the tiles mainly exist to provide glanceable information for popular apps across Windows 8 and Windows Phone. They'll tell you how many email messages are waiting for you, or display a comment someone's posted to your Facebook wall. But the company clearly has bigger plans for the future, according to a video from Microsoft Research.

In the clip,...

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