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'Microsoft' Articles

Microsoft CEO Stokes Surface Phone Rumors With 'Ultimate Mobile Device' Comments

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has stoked speculation this week that Redmond is prepping a new line of smartphones under the Surface brand for launch in early 2017. In an interview with the Australian Financial Review published on Monday, Nadella said the company was conducting innovative research that would ensure it continued to have a presence in the smartphone market. However, rather than follow a present trend, Microsoft would attempt to re-define the field in a single-handed pursuit of the "ultimate mobile device". Underlining his philosophy, Nadella said that the company would not launch into a device category without bringing something different to the table, because it was more interested in how individuals and organizations were using devices, and less in the devices themselves. "We don't want to be driven by just envy of what others have, the question is, what can we bring? That's where I look at any device form factor or any technology, even AI," he said. "We will continue to be in the phone market not as defined by today's market leaders, but by what it is that we can uniquely do in what is the most ultimate mobile device."Rumors of a "Surface Phone" that would complement the popular Surface Book and the highly praised Surface Studio have been bubbling away for a while. Some rumors suggest a device running Windows 10 Mobile OS, others predict a range of devices, some of which could sport a keyboard flip case reminiscent of Blackberry phones. Meanwhile, several observers have pointed to the HP Elite x3 – part smartphone, part mini PC – as a potential

Microsoft Launches Classic Solitaire Game on iOS

Microsoft today launched the "Microsoft Solitaire Collection" on iOS and Android, a package of classic Solitaire games that include Klondike, Spider, FreeCell, Pyramid, and Tripeaks. As noted by The Verge, Microsoft's version of Solitaire has been available on Windows for more than 25 years, but this marks the first time that the game has been extended to other platforms. The app will offer daily challenges for players, with four varying levels of difficulty, and Xbox Live integration will let anyone with a subscription to Microsoft's console service sign into their account, compete with friends, and earn achievements. Cloud saves will allow for multi-device use as well. The World's #1 Solitaire game is now on iPhone and iPad! For over 25 years, Microsoft Solitaire Collection remains one of the most played games of all time and is now available FREE for your iPhone or iPad! The Microsoft Solitaire Collection offers FIVE of the best Solitaire card games in one app! Microsoft Solitaire Collection is available to download for free from the iOS App Store [Direct Link], and there's also a premium upgrade that gets rid of ads, includes double rewards bonuses, and offers other incentives for $1.99 per

Microsoft Surface Studio Reviews: Apple Fans Might Be 'Tempted to Switch Camps', Despite High Price

A few weeks after Microsoft unveiled the Surface Studio to the public at a media event in New York City, a few websites have begun publishing the first reviews for Microsoft's new desktop PC/tablet hybrid. During its announcement in October, the Surface Studio was revealed to have a 12.5mm thin touch screen, with a 28-inch PixelSense Display that packs in 13.5 million pixels. Microsoft said that there's "no monitor like this on the planet." The first reviews of the Surface Studio are largely positive, with many reviewers enamored with the computer's large screen and slick design, as well as its purpose to fulfill and enhance productivity for creatives. However, in line with the unrest over the price of the new MacBook Pros, most of the people who have been reviewing the Surface Studio for the past week admit the $3,000 price tag is one that prohibits casual users and sets an entry bar for serious power users only. Images via Engadget The Verge began by looking at the 28-inch display, which was described as "truly one of the best desktop monitors I’ve ever used." Everything from plain text to videos were said to look great on the screen, and even the 3:2 aspect ratio for the desktop monitor produced better environments for reading and writing, according to the site. The Verge also had a freelance illustrator test out the Surface Studio, and they came away largely impressed, but hoped future iterations introduced a rotating display, more ergonomic stylus, and new input options for the Surface Dial accessory. Although a slight mention, one of the site's minor

Microsoft Launching 'Visual Studio' Coding Platform for Mac This Week

Microsoft plans to launch its integrated developer environment Visual Studio for the Mac later this week, turning its cloud-first development program into a cross-platform experience that developers can use on both Mac and Windows. Although the official press release has since been deleted, TechCrunch spotted the news and noted that the launch of Visual Studio on the Mac is expected to happen during the Connect() conference this week. Visual Studio for Mac will allow developers to create Windows apps on Apple's macOS platform, with the use of cloud platforms like Microsoft's Azure and Amazon Web Services to keep work stored across devices. Microsoft called Visual Studio for Mac a "counterpart" to its Windows version, and said that any Windows user "should feel right at home." At its heart, Visual Studio for Mac is a macOS counterpart of the Windows version of Visual Studio. If you enjoy the Visual Studio development experience, but need or want to use macOS, you should feel right at home. Its UX is inspired by Visual Studio, yet designed to look and feel like a native citizen of macOS. And like Visual Studio for Windows, it’s complemented by Visual Studio Code for times when you don’t need a full IDE, but want a lightweight yet rich standalone source editor. Visual Studio on the Mac is said to run Microsoft's .NET software framework and include the programming language of C#. The Microsoft Connect() 2016 developer conference is set to run later this week, from November 16-18, so an official announcement from Microsoft about Visual Studio on the Mac is likely to

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Admits He Was Wrong About the iPhone

In a new Bloomberg interview with Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO revisited his famously dismissive remarks about the iPhone when it launched back in 2007. Shortly after Steve Jobs revealed the first iPhone, then-Microsoft CEO Ballmer was asked what he thought of the device during a press conference. 500 dollars? Fully subsidized? With a plan? I said that is the most expensive phone in the world. And it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard. Which makes it not a very good email machine. ... Right now, we're selling millions and millions and millions of phones a year. Apple is selling zero phones a year. In six months, they'll have the most expensive phone by far ever in the marketplace.Speaking to interviewer Emily Chang recently, however, Ballmer praised Apple's cellular subsidy model and admitted he wished he had come up with it first. I wish I had thought of the model of subsidizing phones through the operators. People like to point to this quote where I said the iPhones will never sell. Well the price of $600 or $700 was too high and it was business model innovation by Apple to get it essentially built into the monthly cell phone bill.Ballmer also admitted it was a mistake for Microsoft not to make handsets and tablets sooner. "I would have moved into the hardware business faster and recognized that what we had in the PC, where there was a separation of chips, systems, and software, wasn't largely going to reproduce itself in the mobile world," he said. Steve Ballmer is asked about Apple's iPhone in 2007 Ballmer

Microsoft Debuts 'Teams' Chat-Based Workspace and Slack Competitor

Microsoft today debuted its latest product, Microsoft Teams, which is a chat-based workspace designed for Office 365 users. Designed to compete with chat platforms like Slack and HipChat, Microsoft Teams provides a chat interface that integrates with Office 365 apps and services and other third-party services like Zendesk, Asana, Hootsuite, and Intercom. According to Microsoft, Teams is designed to provide a "modern conversation experience" in the workplace. It supports both persistent and threaded chats, along with public and private conversations. Skype integration allows teams to quickly initiate voice and video conferences, and each digital workspace can be highly customized with emoji, stickers, GIFs, extensions, open APIs, and more. At Microsoft, we are deeply committed to the mission of helping people and organizations achieve more--and reinventing productivity for the cloud and mobile world is core to our ambition. We built Microsoft Teams because we see both tremendous opportunity and tremendous change in how people and teams get work done. Teams are now more agile and organizational structures more flat to keep communications and information flowing. With Microsoft Teams, we aspire to create a more open, digital environment that makes work visible, integrated and accessible--across the team--so everyone can stay in the know.Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint, OneNote, Planner, Power BI, and Delve are built into Microsoft Teams, and it supports Microsoft's cross-application membership program, Office 365 Groups, so people can easily move from

Microsoft Explains How Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook Work With Touch Bar

Yesterday during its Hello Again event, Apple confirmed that the Microsoft Office suite of apps will be gaining support for Touch Bar on the new MacBook Pro, and now Microsoft has detailed what that will look like for each app. The company said that with Touch Bar support on Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook, it's "continually evolving Office to take advantage of the latest and greatest hardware innovations across the industry." In Word, users will be able to use "Word Focus Mode," which eliminates the clutter of on-screen ribbons and commands "so you can simply focus on your work." All of the relevant UI is then moved down onto Touch Bar, with classic buttons like copy/paste, bold, italics, underline, list, indent, and more found on Apple's new multi-touch panel. Microsoft said PowerPoint's addition of Touch Bar support lets users "easily manipulate graphic elements." Buttons like "Reorder Objects" make it easy to find the exact object users are looking for and move it to a new location, thanks to an easy-to-read graphical map of a slide's layers. Object manipulation and slides can also be rotated and tracked by sliding a finger across the Touch Bar. Excel's Touch Bar integration makes it quicker to write functions into rows of the program. By typing an equals sign into a cell, Excel will immediately pull up the most recently used functions and display them on the Touch Bar. As the company explained, "for example, with a tap (for the formula) and another tap (for a named range) in the Touch Bar, you can quickly sum a range in your spreadsheet." Easy

Microsoft Offering MacBook Owners Up to $650 Trade-In Credit Toward Surface Pro or Surface Book

Shortly after Apple's October 2016 event, where the company debuted the new 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, Microsoft launched a new promotion aiming to convert unsatisfied MacBook owners to either the Surface Book or Surface Pro 4. Today, we are announcing a limited-time “trade up” offer to invite more people to experience Surface. If you have a Mac but want to experience the ultimate laptop with on-screen touch, Surface and Microsoft Store are here for you. Starting today, anyone in the U.S. can trade in their MacBook Pro or MacBook Air at a Microsoft Store or online for up to $650 off a Surface Book or Surface Pro.Microsoft has also launched a website dedicated to letting users appraise their old MacBooks, listing a total of 117 different configurations of eligible MacBooks, MacBook Airs, and MacBook Pros. The range of eligible models goes back to the 2006 MacBook and MacBook Pros. To be eligible for credit, the MacBook in question must not have a screen with any cracks or dead pixels. The housing must be intact and free of etchings, asset tags, or cracks. The computer must be able to power on and boot all the way to the desktop and all keyboard keys and functions must properly work. Additionally, Microsoft requires that users trade in the computer's charger. The trade-in offer is good at Microsoft Stores in the U.S. and on Microsoft's website until November 10, 2016. The Surface Pro 4 tablet starts at $899 while the Surface Book starts at $1,499. Microsoft yesterday announced the new Surface Book with Performance Base. The new hybrid laptop comes with an

Microsoft Announces Surface Book i7, Desktop PC 'Surface Studio,' and Windows 10 Creators Update

At its media event today in New York City, Microsoft announced a new update coming to Windows 10 devices that's focused on creativity and productivity tools, as well as two major new pieces of hardware: the Surface Book i7 and Surface Studio. The Surface Book is the second generation of last year's original model, while the Surface Studio is the company's all new, all-in-one desktop PC that's aimed at the high-end, enterprise market with a starting price of $2,999. Windows 10 Creators Update Coming in early 2017, Microsoft today announced the newest update for Windows 10 devices, which it calls the "Creators Update." In the update, the company aims to enhance user productivity with a collection of 3D creation tools, including a new update to Paint called "Paint 3D," that use simplified interfaces to let anyone work and produce fully 3D artwork and projects. With a Windows Phone -- and eventually coming to more devices -- users can even scan real-world objects into digital form to send to friends and family. Microsoft also showed off the upcoming "3D magic" in the Creators Update using Hololens, including a way for users to preview pieces of furniture in their own homes from a web browser. Windows 10 is gaining support for various VR headsets from companies like HP, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer, that all let users interact with the Creators Update's "mixed-reality" abilities, including a feature called "Holo Tours" that transports Windows 10 users into 360-degree videos taken around the world. Priority contacts will be placed on the Windows 10 toolbar in the

Microsoft Hails 'Historic Achievement' in Speech Recognition Technology

Researchers at Microsoft claim to have created a new speech recognition technology that transcribes conversational speech as well as a human does (via The Verge). The system's word error rate is reportedly 5.9 percent, which is about equal to professional transcribers asked to work on the same recordings, according to Microsoft. Microsoft researchers from the Speech & Dialog research group (Image: Allison Linn) "We've reached human parity," said chief speech scientist Xuedong Huang in a statement, calling the milestone "an historic achievement". To reach the milestone, the team used Microsoft’s Computational Network Toolkit, a homegrown system for deep learning that the research team has made available on GitHub via an open source license. The system uses neural network technology that groups similar words together, which allows the models to generalize efficiently from word to word. The neural networks draw on large amounts of data called training sets to teach the transcribing computers to recognize syntactical patterns in the sounds. Microsoft plans to use the technology in Cortana, its personal voice assistant in Windows and Xbox One, as well as in speech-to-text transcription software. But the technology still has a long way to go before it can claim to master meaning (semantics) and contextual awareness - key characteristics of everyday language use that need to be grasped for Siri-like personal assistants to process requests and act upon them in a helpful way. "We are moving away from a world where people must understand computers to a world

Photoshop and Office 2016 Stability Fixes in the Works for macOS Sierra Users

Following the release of macOS Sierra last month, the latest operating system has caused some compatibility and stability issues with Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac that both companies are working to resolve. A growing number of users on Adobe's support community claim that Photoshop CC crashes when attempting to print projects after updating to macOS Sierra. Doug Thomson, for example, is unable to print to his Epson 7890, while some other Epson and Canon printer models appear to be affected.Installed macOS Sierra and now Photoshop 15.5.1 crashes when attempting to print. Print dialogue opens and settings can be modified, but when attempting to print Photoshop crashes perhaps 9 out of 10 attempts. Most frustrating. I'm printing to an Epson 7890, but I have seen the same issue cited for Canon. Adobe support told me that Photoshop has not been tested on Sierra, but in reality Adobe has had Sierra for months and have even published known issues. I pay a ton of money for this thing to work and this nonsense from support is very annoying.Adobe has since acknowledged the issue in a support document, noting that Photoshop CC version 2015.5 or earlier may crash while printing to some printers from Macs running macOS Sierra. Adobe said its engineers are working on a solution for a future update to Photoshop CC, as echoed by Adobe product manager Pete Green. @walkyourcamera @Photoshop @EpsonAmerica @AppleSupport We're working on it from our end, watch this thread for more: https://t.co/JPw38b7r0I— Pete Green (@_petegreen) October 1, 2016 Adobe recommends users

Microsoft Likely Discontinuing Microsoft Band Wearable Device

The Microsoft Band, the wearable device Microsoft first introduced in late 2014, is being quietly phased out of existence. As of today, Microsoft has removed all Microsoft Band models from the Microsoft Online Store and has eliminated the Band Software Development Kit. In a statement given to ZDNet, a Microsoft representative said that the company has sold through all of its Band 2 inventory and does not have plans to release a new Band wearable in 2016. "We have sold through our existing Band 2 inventory and have no plans to release another Band device this year. We remain committed to supporting our Microsoft Band 2 customers through Microsoft Stores and our customer support channels and will continue to invest in the Microsoft Health platform, which is open to all hardware and apps partners across Windows, iOS, and Android devices."Following the Microsoft Band's 2014 release, Microsoft continued development on the device and released a second-generation model in October of 2015. Priced at $250, the second-generation Microsoft Band featured an optical heart rate monitor for measuring heart rate, an accelerometer and gyroscope for measuring movement, GPS, skin temperature sensors, and more. It received poor reviews for its price point, design, battery life, and lack of utility, and despite Microsoft's efforts to push sales with an Apple Watch trade-in program, the Microsoft Band 2 failed to catch on. Previous information shared by ZDNet has suggested Microsoft disbanded the team that was working to bring Windows 10 to the Microsoft Band and has relocated some

Microsoft's Latest Anti-MacBook Ad Focuses on Surface Pro 4's Touchscreen

Over the weekend, Microsoft launched a new ad for the Surface Pro 4, continuing its marketing strategy of comparing the tablet computer to Apple's products, this time the 13-inch MacBook Air. The ad is the newest in Microsoft's anti-Apple theme of commercials, previously comparing the iPad Pro with the Surface Pro 4, the MacBook Pro with the Surface Book, and OS X with Windows 10. Just a few weeks ago, the MacBook Air was the focus of another Surface Pro 4 ad. Simple titled "Get the Surface Pro," the new ad has a focus on the tablet's ability to write and doodle on the screen with the included stylus. Using the same musical accompaniment of the previous MacBook Air comparison spot, the singer in the new ad tells potential customers that "if you try to write on a plain old Mac, the difference can be seen. It doesn't work." Other advantages highlighted in the ad include the detachable keyboard, and the ending tagline states, "Surface does more. Just like you." Microsoft positions the Surface Pro 4 as a true combination tablet and personal computer, leading to ads comparing it to both an iPad Pro and MacBook. In the previous iPad Pro commercial, Microsoft's personal assistant Cortana let customers, and Siri, know that the iPad lacks an Intel Core i7 processor, full access to Microsoft Office beyond the mobile app versions, a trackpad, and external port options, making Microsoft's tablet more of a computer than Apple's 12.9-inch tablet. The 12.3-inch Surface Pro 4 starts at $899 for 128GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM, and goes up to as much as $1,799 for 256GB

New Surface Pro 4 Ad Compares Tablet PC With MacBook Air

Microsoft today launched a new commercial for its Surface Pro 4, directly comparing the tablet computer to Apple's MacBook Air. The ad, titled "Surface Pro 4 is the one for me", was posted on YouTube and features a woman trying out some of the features of the Surface Pro 4 and then attempting to replicate the functionality on a MacBook Air, to no avail. All the while, a melody man plays a musical keyboard and quirkily sings the praises of Microsoft's PC offering against the Apple machine, which he calls "less useful, like a hat for your cat". The lighthearted ad plays upon the Surface Pro 4's signature features like the detachable keyboard, pen, and touchscreen, as well as the machine's relative lightness compared to the MacBook Air, which is "slower, heavier, and a bit square," sings the keyboard player. The ad ends with the tagline: "Surface does more. Just like you." The commercial follows a similar anti-Apple theme adopted by Microsoft in recent ads, which have previously compared the iPad Pro with the Surface Pro 4, the Surface Book with the MacBook Pro, and Windows 10 with OS X. The 12.3-inch Surface Pro 4 starts at $899 for 128GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM, and goes up to as much as $1,799 for 256GB of internal storage and 16GB of RAM. Comparatively, the 11-inch MacBook Air starts at $899, with 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM, increasing to $1099 for 256GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, while the 13-inch model starts at $999 for 128GB of storage and 8GB of RAM, and rising to $1199 for 256GB of

Microsoft Launches OneNote Import Tool to Help Mac Users Transition From Evernote

Microsoft today announced the launch of its OneNote Import Tool for Mac, which is designed to allow Mac users to quickly and easily transfer all of their notes from note-taking app Evernote to Microsoft's own note-taking app, OneNote. Transitioning from Evernote to OneNote is as simple as downloading the import tool, letting the app locate Evernote notebooks, signing into your Microsoft account, and hitting the import button. From there, all of your Evernote content is available in OneNote. Microsoft's OneNote Import Tool is timely because Evernote recently made a policy change that has pushed users into seeking other note taking services. As of late June, customers who use a free Evernote basic account are only able to access their notes on a total of two devices. Accessing Evernote content on more than two devices now requires an Evernote subscription, priced at $3.99 per month or $34.99 per year. OneNote requires notes to be stored using Microsoft's OneDrive cloud storage service (which comes with 5GB free storage) but there are no restrictions on accessing notes across multiple devices. OneNote also offers many of the same features that are available in Evernote and it can serve as an alternative to Apple's own Notes app.OneNote lets you work the way you want. You can get your ideas down in a range of ways that include typing, inking, embedding videos, recording audio, or clipping web content. If you prefer to use paper and pen, you can even scan that content with OneNote to make it digital, searchable and available from your phone to your laptop. We've

Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac Comes With Sierra Support, Standalone Toolbox App

Parallels today announced Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac with support for macOS Sierra and the addition of several new features. The company also announced a new standalone app called Parallels Toolbox, which allows users to perform some simple tasks that aren't necessarily tied to virtualization. New features in Desktop 12 include having Windows 10 "always on" in the background, the ability to instantly launch Windows apps, the ability to schedule incremental backups and Windows updates, the ability to assign special behaviors to Windows apps, improved integration for Microsoft Edge, Outlook, and Office 365, and Xbox app support. Additionally, Parallels has partnered with Blizzard to provide specific support for the hit game Overwatch. Version 12 also includes 90 percent faster snapshot creation, 60 percent faster suspension of VMs, 25 percent faster shared folder performance, 25 percent faster compilation of Visual Studio projects, and up to 10 percent in battery life improvements for "certain environments." The company is also touting a new standalone app called Parallels Toolbox. The Toolbox places a drop-down menu in the Mac's menu bar, allowing users to do certain tasks more quickly. Tasks include the ability to record the screen, take screenshots, record audio, archive files, convert and download video, lock the screen and more. Parallels Desktop 12 for Mac is $79.99, while Desktop 10 or 11 users may upgrade for $49.99. The Business and Pro Editions are also available with a subscription fee of $99.99 per year, although Parallels 10 and 11 users with

New Surface Pro 4 Ad Takes on Apple's 'What's a Computer?' iPad Pro Campaign

Microsoft today launched a new commercial for its Surface Pro 4, comparing the tablet computer to Apple's iPad Pro and Smart Keyboard. The ad -- titled "What's a Computer? Just ask Cortana" -- was posted on YouTube today with a description claiming that "just because you call something a computer doesn’t mean it fits the description." The new ad is clearly targeting Apple's new "What's a Computer?" ad campaign and "Super. Computer." slogan for the iPad Pro. The ad centers around a party that Siri is holding for its new Smart Keyboard, telling the Surface Pro 4 "I'm a computer now, like you." The Surface Pro 4 responds, asking if Apple's tablet has an Intel Core i7 processor, full access to Microsoft Office beyond the mobile app versions, a trackpad, and external port options. Siri responds with, "Like I said, I just got a keyboard." The ad ends with the tagline, "Surface does more. Just like you." The new ad today follows a similar anti-Apple theme of many Microsoft ads, which have previously focused on comparing the Surface Book and MacBook, and Windows 10 and OS X. For Christmas last year, the company released a more peaceful ad that centered around a group of Microsoft Store employees singing seasonal carols outside of an Apple Store. The Surface Pro 4 starts at $899 for 128GB of internal storage and 4GB of RAM, and going up to as much as $1,799 for 256GB of internal storage and 16GB of RAM. Comparatively, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at a smaller $799 for 32GB and maxes out at $1,099 for 256GB, with all models including 4GB of

'Microsoft Pix' for iOS Introduces Smart AI to Automatically Adjust Photos

Microsoft today launched a new camera app for iOS devices called Microsoft Pix, which uses an artificial intelligence to adjust settings, choose the best photos, and automatically enhance each picture you take. The app will work on the iPhone 5s or newer, running iOS 9.0 or newer, with the company planning an Android release in the future. It did, however, remain curiously silent on introducing the new app's features into its own Windows Phone line. In order to obtain the very best image, Microsoft Pix takes a burst of shots before and after the image capture shutter button is tapped, similar to holding down the button for a burst shot in Apple's first party camera app. The new app goes one step further, however, and intelligently siphons through each shot to choose the best image, and delete whatever is left over to save memory. This usually ends up with up to three "Best Images" for you to choose from. Microsoft calls the app "people-centric," with the AI's biggest enhancement feature centering around its ability to focus in on faces within a photograph to enhance and adjust the focus, color, and exposure "so people look their best." The app's underlying algorithms can even detect whether a person has their eyes open or closed, and use that information as another factor in picking the best photo. “They are building this for people who aren’t photographers but who like to take pictures — and would like to take better pictures — but don’t want to take the time to learn what goes in to making better pictures,” says Reed Hoffman, a Kansas City-based

Microsoft Reveals New Authenticator App With Touch ID and Apple Watch Support

Microsoft recently announced an incoming update for its two-factor authenticator apps on iOS and Android, bringing a more robust suite of password authenticator abilities, along with a redesigned user interface, to each app (via The Verge). Set to launch on August 15, the update combines "the best parts" of the company's previous authenticator apps into one service, letting users save data for both a Microsoft account (targeted at consumers) and an Azure AD account (targeted at enterprise users). The update is planned to overhaul Microsoft's existing, two-step verification iOS app, Azure Authenticator, while the Microsoft account app on Android will prompt users with a starting message to download the new app in the Android store. For iOS users, the company promised that any accounts saved in Azure Authenticator will be "automatically upgraded" into the new version of the app. Before the new update, the iOS app solely supported Azure AD accounts. Also coming to Microsoft Authenticator is a new, "incredibly simple" user experience that the company promises maintains "the highest level of security" for all of the accounts linked to the app. There's also a streamlined multi-factor authentication in the app's one-click notifications, where users just click an "approve" button in the notification to finish an account's login. In addition, fingerprint approval will be coming to the Microsoft Authenticator app for anyone who wants to bypass needing to type in a passcode. On August 15th, we will start releasing the new “Microsoft Authenticator” apps in all mobile app

Microsoft Launches 'Flow' Workflow Service Management App for iOS

Microsoft yesterday launched a management app for its online workflow service and IFTTT competitor, called Flow. For those unfamiliar with the idea, services like IFTTT let you connect different digital platforms and automate actions between them, like having all Gmail attachments save to a Dropbox account, or making every new entry added to a contact list sync to a Google spreadsheet. Flow first debuted in April as a web service for creating workflows for two or more cloud services, simplifying things like file synchronization and data organization. But Flow also supports a number of other triggers, like receiving a text message when a particular person emails you, or automatically following a Twitter account that mentions your business in a tweet and adding it to a database. With the launch of the iOS app, Flow now supports workflow options for more services, but keeps the focus on integrations with Microsoft's own business tools, such as Office 365, Dynamics CRM, PowerApps, and Yammer. Automation for business-related services like MailChip, GitHub, Salesforce, and Slack are also supported. The iOS app lets users manage existing 'flows' created from the web service, allowing users to disable them, view their properties, and generate error checking reports to ensure they're working properly. There's also a searchable activity feed in the app that shows all recent Flow actions, which can be tapped to get more details on. The app also supports push notifications for trigger issues, and Microsoft promises it will soon include the ability to create new