Microsoft

Microsoft announces Surface Pro tablet pricing, makes us appreciate Tim Cook all over again

Microsoft has announced pricing and availability for their Surface Pro tablet/laptop hybrid -- tabtop? laplet? -- and it's going to hit on February 9 and start at $899. Unlike the rather disappointing Surface RT -- whatever that stands for? -- the Surface Pro runs full-on Windows 8 and includes an Intel Core i5 processor and the fans to go with it. Our own Daniel Rubino from Windows Phone Central lays it out:

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Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft’s former President of Windows is now using an iPhone

Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft’s former President of the Windows Division is now using an iPhone. Sinofsky, who departed company with Microsoft back in November 2012 hasn’t taken long to discover what we already know. The discovery was made by 9to5 Mac who received a tip about Sinofsky’s use of Twitter for iPhone.

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Break in at Microsoft’s research office sees only iPads stolen

According to a report in a Palo Alto newspaper, a break in took place at Microsoft’s office in Mountain View and the only things that were taken from the property were iPads. The Break in supposedly happened over the Christmas period at one of Microsoft’s research offices and the thief got away with two iPad 2 models, two iPad third generation models and one of the latest iPad 4th generation models. Apparently no Microsoft products were stolen in the burglary.

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Wordament, the first Xbox Live game from Microsoft, hits - and misses on - the iPhone

Microsoft has just released Wordament, their first XBox Live game for the iPhone. Wordament is really well regarded on Windows Phone, but the iPhone version is... disappointing, especially coming from one of the biggest, best software developers in the world, and one that owns its own mobile and gaming platforms. It doesn't support the iPhone 5 screen size, it doesn't properly support multitasking, and the interface is just not very good.

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Office no longer an iOS must-have, unless you're Microsoft

In the early days of the iPhone and later the iPad, pundits and consumers alike questioned how useful the devices could be without Microsoft's Office productivity suite. For many, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook are synonymous with business and getting things done. The iPhone launched over five years ago, and the iPad is coming up on three years, but in all that time they've yet to have an official Microsoft Office app suite, and with more than 100 million units sold each, sales have clearly suffered tremendously. Microsoft now wants to put Office on iPhones and iPads, but Apple's not in any mood to negotiate.

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Apple's problems with SkyDrive might actually run Office deep

There may be something bigger behind Apple and Microsoft’s argument over SkyDrive and in-app purchases than SkyDrive itself -- Office. Microsoft is reportedly trying to pressure Apple into cutting a special deal over Office 365 subscriptions. With Office for iOS still rumored to be coming next spring, and with Office 365 subscriptions rumored to be required to perform any real creative functions, there could be a considerable amount of money on the line for both companies.

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Xbox SmartGlass now available for iPhone and iPad

Microsoft's companion app for the Xbox 360 is now live for iOS, allowing users to remotely control the gaming console, view related content, type out messages, and otherwise complement everything you'd normally just do with the hardware controller.

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iPad 4 vs. Nexus 10: Spec shoot out

In addition to the new Nexus 4 smartphone, which we've already put up against the iPhone 5, Google and Samsung have announced the brand new Nexus 10 big boy tablet now as well. So experience vs. ecosystem, integrated vs. licenses, yadda vs. yadda, we're stacking that up against Apple's just-announced iPad 4 to get a sense of where exactly the different platforms are going, and what they're needing, hardware-wise.

And, of course, we brought the Microsoft Surface and BlackBerry Playbook along for the ride.

Check the specs up top, then hit the link below for our Mobile Nations sibling site, Android Central's, complete Nexus 10 coverage.

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Upgrading to Windows 8? Here's what you need to know about iTunes!

Windows 8 hit physical and electronic store shelves this morning, and Mobile Nations' own WPCentral was up early grabbing Surfaces and giving everything a look. For iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users, however, you can also now get your hands on Microsoft’s latest and greatest operating system. If you are a Windows user, like most of us, you can download Windows 8 Pro and install it straight onto your PC as an upgrade to an existing Windows installation or set up your computer as a new PC and wipe it clean.

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When it comes to ecosystem, Apple proves size does matter

I've argued for a while that iTunes was the tip of Apple's sword. Being able to take payments and sell content in more countries than anyone else let them push the App Store farther, faster than any of their competition. Now, years later, no one else is even coming close, and when viewed as an ecosystem play, there still isn't any viable competition. To make matters worse, Apple's model allows them to sell the iPad (and soon, the iPad mini in 90+ countries. And, because they make their money off hardware, they can even sell it where there's still no or limited iTunes support. That lets them seed the market so hardware is in hand when iTunes eventually, and inevitably follows.

By contrast, Amazon's content appliance strategy with its heavily discounted hardware doesn't allow them to sell the Kindle Fire line in any country without an Amazon content store to subsidize it. They literally can't afford to. That means no seeding, and since Amazon has been nowhere nearly as successful as Apple in pushing their content store internationally, very limited distribution.

Here's why that matters...

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