Microsoft brings more online tweaks to Office 365

Microsoft’s Office 365 team has released details regarding improvements made to the user experience journey online.

Users who choose to use Office 365 online will have quicker access to notifications via a persistent notification bell icon – although turning them off would be nice. New users will find the updated help pane as well as the “what’s new” feature introduction helpful.

Microsoft also completed the integration of Skype for Business, formerly known as Lync, with “contextual and immersive” setting being rolled out.

More partners jump onboard

The updates come as Microsoft prepares for the end-of-July launch of Windows 10 which with the current iteration coming with Office Preview which is closely tied to OneDrive and its Office Online service.

A number of partners (Salesforce, SAP, Uber, Do and Smartsheet) have also brought add-ins and extensibility solutions to Office 365, allowing close interaction between these third parties and Microsoft’s business applications.

The news come one week after Microsoft confirmed that users on the Enterprise E3 and E4 packages wold get auto-expanding, highly scalable archives for their emails, in other words, quasi-unlimited email inboxes on demand.

Apple Pay set to go live in the UK very soon

Apple is putting the ‘world’ in its Worldwide Developer Conference on Monday by announcing that Apple Pay is coming to the UK, reveals a new report.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus NFC-based mobile payment platform is expected to launch in the UK in two months, according to the Telegraph.

MasterCard executives reportedly said they are “absolutely ready” to support Apple Pay in the UK, as Lloyds Bank and Santander UK may be launch partners, claims 9to5Mac.

Apple Pay is currently limited to the US, but also rumored to be making its debut in Canada this later this year and China in the distant future. The UK would essentially jump to next in line.



Samsung’s new tablet on course to be world’s thinnest

Last year Samsung revealed the Galaxy Tab S 8.4 alongside the Galaxy Tab S 10.5 and we rather liked both of them, so news of a follow-up slate is keeping us interested.

China’s Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center just approved two new devices and revealed some specs including the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 weighing in at 260g with dimensions of 198 x 134 x 5.4mm.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the 8.0 and 9.7 refer to the screen sizes of the slates, and the 8-inch edition is rumoured to have an AMOLED display with a resolution of 1536 x 1048, while the larger one is currently under wraps.

Slim club

If those dimensions for the Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 are correct that means it’s set to become the worlds slimmest tablet.

It will also run Android 5.0 Lollipop, have an octa-core processor clocked at 1.9GHz, LTE connectivity and 3GB of RAM.

On top of that there’s an 8MP rear camera, 2MP front facing shooter and expandable memory on top of the 16GB internally.

Rumours for the larger slate are a little harder to come by but we’re likely to have a similar setup with maybe a different processor and obviously a different design.

Windows 10: release date, price, news and features

Update: It’s official: Windows 10 is coming on July 29 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users (for one year). Microsoft’s latest OS will be available to pre-order in the coming weeks when it launches in 190 different markets around the world.

With Windows 8 and today Windows 8.1, Microsoft tried – not entirely successfully – to deliver an operating system (OS) that could handle the needs of not only number-crunching workstations and high-end gaming rigs, but touch-controlled systems from all-in-one PCs for the family and thin-and-light notebooks down to slender tablets.

When Microsoft pulled the curtain back on Windows 10 back in September of 2014, it was clear that, with an operating system optimized for PCs, tablets and phones in unique ways, the Redmond, Wash.-based firm was onto something. Skipping the Windows 9 name entirely, Microsoft issued a public preview of the shiny new OS later that autumn, known as Windows Technical Preview (WTP).

You can try it out for yourself through Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program (nearly four million have, as of May 2015). You’ll need a Microsoft account to get it, and it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s not the finished product, so it will be a bit rough around the edges.

Since then (and one more major reveal event in January 2015), new features have been rolling in with each preview build update. Now, with Microsoft’s huge annual developer event, Build 2015, behind us, we were served up a bunch of Windows 10 news that you can dig through below. But before that, here are the most important bits of info from the past week:

In a recent leak through Chinese news site ITHome, WTP preview build #10123 will introduce new features to Microsoft Edge, the firm’s new web browser formerly known as Project Spartan. The new features include private browsing, auto-filling usernames and passwords in forms and a top sites view that displays content from the websites that users frequent most.

Also in the past week, Microsoft clarified that, while copies of Windows 7 and 8.1 that are not genuine will have to option to upgrade when the time comes, it will not come for free for those users. However, the company warned of the pitfalls of non-genuine copies of the OS.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A complete update for Windows
  • When is it out? July 29
  • What will it cost? For Windows 7 and 8.1 users, it will be free for one year

The highlights from Build 2015

While we didn’t get that coveted Windows 10 release date or a look at the first ever Windows 10 devices, Microsoft did offer quite a few meaty nuggets of info during its Build 2015 conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Calif.

On Day Two of the conference, Microsoft didn’t have as much big news to offer up. It’s not necessarily surprising, given the developer bent of the show, but nevertheless deflating. That said, a few interesting developments did come out of the second keynote.

For starters, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 is now available on the Raspberry Pi 2 micro computer and Intel Minnowboard Max. Some specific tailoring had to be done to fit the operating system on these tiny machines, resulting in this version of OS earning the name Windows 10 IoT Core.

Cortana is coming to Android and iOS

Microsoft has just announced that Cortana will be spreading her fingers to more pies by jumping to Android and iOS devices.

Currently Microsoft’s Halo based virtual assistant is exclusive to Windows Phone – this marks the first time any of the key virtual assistant programs have adapted onto other another OS.

Dedicated apps are launching in the Google Play Store and App Store giving you the same abilities as Windows Phone including reminders and flight tracking.

A few features don’t make the jump to the platform as the app can’t tap into the OS as easily, so you’ll lose hands-free activation and options to launch apps directly.

Hallo Cortana

The Cortana Notebook feature, which remembers all your preferences and history, will now sync up across all your devices though so if you use both a Windows Phone and an Android it’ll remember everything.

It’ll be coming to Android at some point toward the end of June whilst those with iPhones are only being told it’s launching later this year.

Microsoft also shared a Phone Companion Windows 10 app to help sync your iOS, Android and Windows Phone to your PC.



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