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Microsoft Invests $300M in Nook. Steven Sinofsky Is The Heir Apparent of Microsoft. What Google+ Should Have Been: Bing's Linked Pages. Bing launched Bing+ last week, it just skipped all the unnecessary stuff.

What Google+ Should Have Been: Bing's Linked Pages

(It's not really called Bing+.) There's a new feature called Linked Pages that allows Bing users (U.S. only, for now) to connect their various websites and profiles to their Bing identities, using Facebook for authentication. You can also link your Facebook friends to their pages. Thanks to its relationship with Facebook, Microsoft has the advantage of not needing to build its own identity provider or social network. Everyone's already on Facebook. Social Network Overkill The interesting thing is, this is exactly what Google+ is for, but the product isn't being pitched that way. Microsoft Surface 2.0: From 'Minority Report' to Reality.

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Microsoft Surface 2.0: From 'Minority Report' to Reality

Now it gets interesting. The idea of surface computing — interacting with gestures, movements and objects, is quickly moving from the big screen (a la Minority Report) and into reality. From smartphones to tablets to thermostats, touch is becoming the computing input mechanism of choice. How Picture Password Works in Windows 8. Microsoft is talking a lot about passwords lately.

"The essence of Picture Password is to use one of your own personal photos as a key to the device. It’ll only work for a touchscreen device — a smartphone, tablet or touchscreen PC — since it involves tracking finger gestures on the screen. Once you pick a photo to use, Picture Password records three gestures that you “draw” on the screen. Each gesture must be either a tap, a drawn line between two points, or a circle. Once you’ve entered them, the device will call up the photo at login, prompting you to duplicate them. If you get them all correct, in the right order AND in the right direction (for lines and circles), you have access. Why just the three gestures instead of free-form movements, which would probably be more secure? Time. Microsoft found in its testing that people took much longer to duplicate free-from gestures than simple shapes, making the tool a chore. It turns out that taps, circles and lines are secure enough, and Microsoft presents the math to prove it." – pattychanman

Earlier this week the company posted on its Building Windows 8 blog a lengthy post detailing the problems with current passwords, and how Windows 8 will solve them.

How Picture Password Works in Windows 8

Then Microsoft published another lengthy post Friday outlining why one of those solutions, Picture Password, is so great. It's a fairly convincing argument, even if it's laced with many assumptions. The essence of Picture Password is to use one of your own personal photos as a key to the device. Windows Azure Adds Node.js Support, Hadoop Preview - ReadWriteCloud. When Windows Azure was launched in 2008, it was with the intention, Microsoft said, of running .NET Framework applications from the cloud.

Windows Azure Adds Node.js Support, Hadoop Preview - ReadWriteCloud

What ended up happening was that the PaaS market matured much faster than anyone in 2008 could have anticipated, so any cloud apps platform that needs to stay competitive must run with the languages the development world is using. Hosted JavaScript certainly was in Microsoft's original plans, but JavaScript that runs as a host, was not. Windows 8 Will Bring Personal Cloud to Billions, Says Microsoft.

The next version of Microsoft's still dominant PC operating system, Windows 8, "represents an incredible opportunity to bring the benefits of the personal cloud to billions of PC users.

Windows 8 Will Bring Personal Cloud to Billions, Says Microsoft

" That's according to a blog post written by the Group Program Managers for SkyDrive, Microsoft's consumer cloud product. When it was launched back in August 2007, SkyDrive was described as "a personal 'harddrive' on the internet". It's now a major player in the consumer cloud market, competing with other big guns like Apple's iCloud and Amazon Cloud Drive. Also SkyDrive competes with innovative startups like Dropbox and SugarSync. The Microsoft blog post presents some statistics about the consumer cloud market, along with big claims for its future. To help define the market, Microsoft's Omar Shahine and Mike Torres outlined three distinct categories of personal cloud solutions: File clouds; using the traditional file and folder structure. How Does SkyDrive Compare to Other Offerings? Windows 8: The Top 4 Things You Should Know.

Microsoft says it is "reinventing the OS" with Windows 8, the company's next-generation operating system. Microsoft fired off dozens of announcements and showed off countless features of the new OS at its Build conference in Anaheim, California. Features such as the Metro interface, support for touchscreens, improved performance and a Windows Store for apps are making headlines. What a Windows 7 User Needs to Know About Windows 8. Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly [REVIEW] I'm writing this article on a Windows 8 tablet.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly [REVIEW]

Thankfully, I've got a wireless keyboard and mouse as well as a dock to help the Samsung developer tablet act more like a regular PC. Microsoft made the Windows 8 Consumer Preview available this morning to everyone who wants to check it out. It was also kind enough to give Mashable a sneak peek. What exactly is a consumer preview? I can tell you this: It definitely means it's not ready for general release. 5 Ways Windows 8 Is Better Than iOS and Android. When Microsoft revealed the “consumer preview” of Windows 8 on Wednesday, it didn’t just give the world a glimpse at a new OS — it also showed us that it can be a leader in touch-based user interface design.

5 Ways Windows 8 Is Better Than iOS and Android

Yes, Microsoft’s new tablet UI isn’t merely utilitarian. It’s actually innovative, and even cool. And in some ways it trumps the best that Apple and Google currently have to offer in iOS and Android, respectively. Here are five of our favorite new Windows 8 features. Picture Password You can choose both the photo and its related gestures for your picture password. We’ve known about Microsoft’s picture password feature in Windows 8 since its developer preview was unleashed in mid-September.