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Microsoft

Microsoft

Skype's Social Media Accounts Hacked

January 2, 2014


Skype social media accounts including their Twitter account, Facebook page, and blog were hacked by a group claiming to be the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA). Athough Skype gained control of their accounts and deleted the SEA's posts, the SEA tweeted in their own account this message:
Don't use Microsoft emails(hotmail,outlook),They are monitoring your accounts and selling the data to the governments.http://blogs.skype.com/2014/01/01/dont-use-microsoft-emails-hotmailoutlook-they-are-monitoring-your-accounts-and-selling-the-data-to-the-governments/ …
Apparently, Edward Snowden and his release of NSA secrets, which impacted 2013 like no other story (except maybe ObamaCare) will continue to impact 2014. What I find amazing is that the SEA hacked two different social media accounts plus Skype's blog web server. I'm curious...

Microsoft Store Sells Out Dell Venue 8 Pro in Minutes & Website Crashes

December 9, 2013

Microsoft has a sweet $99 deal for a $299 Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet. However, it was only the first 20 at each Microsoft Store will have these tablets available at that price, after which it becomes a still pretty reasonable $199 for the next 10 units and then full price after that. Well, the deal got some pretty good press coverage, and everyone was looking to cash in on this door buster deal, which is part of Microsoft's Christmas "12 Days of Deals".

I went to the Danbury Mall's Microsoft Store at 8am this morning to try and snag one but the line was already 40 people long , so I headed to work to try and get one online, since the promo also applies to the online store, with the $99 price for the first 100 orders and then $199 for the rest of the day while stocks last.

I had multiple Google Chrome tabs open http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Dell-Venue-8-Pro-Tablet-32-GB/productID.289455200 to try and get the $99 deal and the Microsoft Store website was unbearably slow!

Check out the errors I received from the website:


First the tantalizing red spinning arrow, indicating it's adding me to the placeholder.








Bing Maps Adds 3D imagery and Skype Integration

December 6, 2013


Microsoft has redesigned its Bing Maps experience for Windows 8.1 and just posted Bing Maps Preview to the Windows Store, which includes hi-res 3D imagery, from satellite to street view, of our planet. It also includes nifty details like admission prices, payment methods accepted (Amex, Visa, Mastercard), and hours of operation. Think of it as Bing's version of Google Earth, though it currently has only 70 cities available for view in the preview. It also sports Skype integration (enabled via Snapview) so you can click the phone icon and make a Skype call.

With Skype integrated into Xbox One and now Bing Maps, the Skype acquisition is perhaps making a bit more sense.


Skype on the Xbox One - the Future Has Arrived!

November 20, 2013


Curious to know what features Skype has in the new Xbox One? So am I. With the Xbox One, you get an all-in-one entertainment system that aims to take over your living/family room not just for gaming but for communicating as well. All Xbox Ones come with Skype pre-installed, and since every Xbox One ships with a Kinect, they'll also include 1080p HD cameras and beamforming stereo array microphones, this is the ultimate Skype-on-TV experience. Makes me wonder if near-ubiquitous video conferencing in the home has finally arrived since Microsoft will no doubt sell at least 10 million Xbox One units.

Further, Xbox LIVE Gold subscribers buying Xbox Ones also get Skype Premium for free for six months, which adds group video calls and 100 minutes of telephone calling to 60 countries.


Skype Ends Desktop API. Now What?

November 4, 2013


I launched Skype this morning and was greeted with a warning message that caused me some alarm (screenshot above). It appears a major API used by third-parties to integrate with Skype is ending in just one month. That gives virtually no time for developers to code new software to ensure their headsets, cameras, etc. work properly with Skype.

Asterlook - "The CTI Asterisk Client for Outlook" Launches

October 31, 2013


A new software Asterlook, what they're calling "the CTI Asterisk client for Outlook", was just released allowing you to manage incoming and outgoing calls directly in Outlook. According to the feature list, it works with any flavor of Asterisk. On an inbound call a toast popup appears showing the contact name and the phone number.

You can also make outbound calls directly from Outlook due to the TAPI TSP installed. Oh and if you have TAPI dialing issues, check out my popular post on solving TAPI problems.


AT&T TL7910 DECT 6.0 Headset Review

October 30, 2013


The AT&T TL7910 DECT 6.0 headset is one of the best combo PC/phone headsets you can buy with some pretty powerful features. With the AT&T Softphone Call Manager software it supports Skype, and Microsoft Lync, and can even import your Outlook contacts. Back in 2009 I reviewed the AT&T TL7610 DECT headset, which looks almost identical to the TL7910, but looks can be deceiving - the TL7910 hides some pretty cool new features. I decided to take the TL7910 DECT headset for a spin, so enjoy the full review along with a YouTube video demo below...


The first thing of note is the secure magnetic charging cradle, which makes it easy to charge the headset.



How Skype Changed the World!

September 17, 2013


Want to hear the story of how an Estonian startup changed the communications landscape forever? With the 10 year anniversary this year, Microsoft has written an online history book on Skype with the following intro, "In one rather turbulent decade, Skype transformed itself from a rowdy Estonian startup to a multibillion-dollar Microsoft asset. Skype has significantly changed the way the world communicates, obliterating the notion of distance, whether it’s a soldier using Skype to experience the birth of his child, an explorer speaking to a classroom of children from beneath the ocean, or pair of young lovers who leave Skype running as they fall asleep hundreds of miles apart – but still together."

It's a fascinating read complete with pictures, infographics, slideshows, paginated chapters and more. If you are a Skype aficionado, go take a gander.


Microsoft Lync Session Jam Packed at ITEXPO

August 27, 2013


I just got out of a jam-packed panel discussion on Microsoft Lync - Why You Need to Develop a Migration Strategy Now. I'd share a picture but I was moderating the session, so didn't want to whip out my phone and snap a picture. But I estimated about 36 people attended the session. I even had a surprise panelist, Skip Chilcott from Microsoft making it 5 total panelists that also included Laura Neidel from Sonus, Ramon Felder from Patton Networks, Alan Percy from AudioCodes, and Jeff Dworkin from Sangoma.

As I was leaving the session I ran into a Digium / Asterisk employee who commented that the WebRTC session he attended and this Lync session were the two most well-attended panels.


GFI Max Backup Review

August 12, 2013

Here's an early sneak peek of my TMC Labs review of GFI Max Backup, which will be published in the 4th quarter issue of Cloud Computing Magazine. I've always been impressed with GFI's software tools, going back over the last 10-15 years, including anti-spam for Exchange, server monitoring tools, and more. Over the last few years they've expanded their software tools into Remote Monitoring and Management tools (RMM) with their GFI Max product which competes with Kaseya. GFI Max is pretty powerful, but offers a much simpler user experience than Kaseya, which tends to be more complex.
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