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Posts Tagged ‘Mary Jo Foley’

Microsoft finds Google bypassed Internet Explorer’s privacy settings too, but it’s not alone

Monday, February 20th, 2012

There was quite a stir sparked last week when it was revealed that Google was exploiting a loophole in a Apple’s Safari browser to track users through web ads, and that has now prompted a response from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer team, who unsurprisingly turned their attention to their own browser. In an official blog post today, they revealed that Google is indeed bypassing privacy settings in IE as well, although that’s only part of the story (more on that later). As Microsoft explains at some length, Google took advantage of what it describes as a “nuance” in the P3P specification, which effectively allowed it to bypass a user’s privacy settings and track them using cookies — a different method than that used in the case of Safari, but one that ultimately has the same goal. Microsoft says it’s contacted Google about the matter, but it’s offering a solution of its own in the meantime. It’ll require you to first upgrade to Internet Explorer 9 if you haven’t already, then install a Tracking Protection List that will completely block any such attempts by Google — details on can be found at the source link below.

As ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley notes, however, Google isn’t the only company that was discovered to be taking advantage of the P3P loophole. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab say they alerted Microsoft to the vulnerability in 2010, and just two days ago the director of the lab, Lorrie Faith Cranor, wrote about about the issue again on the TAP blog (sponsored by Microsoft, incidentally), detailing how Facebook and others also skirt IE’s ability to block cookies. Indeed, Facebook readily admits on its site does not have a P3P policy, explaining that the standard is “out of date and does not reflect technologies that are currently in use on the web,” and that “most websites” also don’t currently have P3P policies. On that matter, Microsoft said in a statement to Foley that the “IE team is looking into the reports about Facebook,” but that it has “no additional information to share at this time.”

Microsoft finds Google bypassed Internet Explorer’s privacy settings too, but it’s not alone originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 20 Feb 2012 16:59:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Microsoft strikes deal with 24/7, promises to ‘redefine’ customer service

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

A partnership between Microsoft and customer service company 24/7 may not exactly sound like the most exciting proposition on the face of things, but the two are making some fairly lofty promises, and Microsoft seems to be making a serious investment in the initiative. As ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley reports, part of the deal will see Microsoft send at least some of the 400 employees it brought on in its 2007 acquisition of TellMe Networks to 24/7, and it will also license some of its speech-related IP to the company (in addition to taking an equity stake in it). The goal there being to combine natural user interfaces with a cloud-based customer service platform, which Microsoft promises will “redefine what customer service looks like.” To that end, it gives the example of a credit card company getting in touch with you to report suspicious behavior; rather than a phone call, you could get a notification with all the pertinent details sent directly to your phone, which could anticipate a number of potential actions and let you respond by voice (or touch, presumably). Unfortunately, while the two are talking plenty about the future of customer service, there’s not a lot of word as to when that might arrive.

Continue reading Microsoft strikes deal with 24/7, promises to ‘redefine’ customer service

Microsoft strikes deal with 24/7, promises to ‘redefine’ customer service originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 07 Feb 2012 17:46:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Father of Microsoft Windows NT joins Xbox team

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Dave Cutler, who has been called the “father of Windows NT” has joined Microsoft’s Xbox team. “Dave is one of our brightest minds and is currently working on projects that will help advance our goals in the consumer space as we continue to grow the Xbox from a game-centric console to a complete home entertainment device,” a Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNET‘s Mary Jo Foley, who confirmed the move recently. Reportedly, Cutler will be tasked with taking Xbox “beyond a gaming platformwhich could mean Cutler will work on creating the rumored Xbox 720 set-top box experience. In July, we exclusively reported that Microsoft will unveil the Xbox 720 during the E3 trade show later this year.

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Windows 8 desktop apps to run on ARM devices, too

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Desktop apps that are designed to run on Windows 8 computers with x86/x64 processors will also be capable of running on ARM processors, ZDNet reported on Tuesday. Developers will need to recompile applications so that they run properly and Microsoft is hoping that a majority of developers create both desktop and ARM versions of their applications. In addition, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley said the standard Windows 8 desktop Metro style user interface will look the exact same on both types of processors. Microsoft has not yet said whether or not its Windows 8 application store will be populated with both Metro style applications and desktop apps.

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Microsoft adding speech recognition tech to Windows 8, next generation products [video]

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Microsoft’s internal Tellme team is working on implementing speech recognition software into the Redmond-based firm’s portfolio of software and hardware products. Microsoft will build the feature into its new Windows 8 operating system, its Bing search engine, Windows Phone, Kinect and Xbox, Azure and other products, ZDNET has learned. We already know Microsoft’s upcoming Windows Phone Mango release will offer voice-to-text and text-to-voice functionality, but Tellme senior director of sales and marketing Ilya Bukshteyn told ZDNET‘s Mary Jo Foley that the HTML 5 speech tag will allow Microsoft to develop Windows 8 applications that are “speech capable.” The Tellme team is capable of taking conversational speech, querying your social networks and creating appointments, too. For example, one might say “I’m meeting Zach Epstein for sushi in Philadelphia on Wednesday,” and the voice-recognition tech can pull “Zach Epstein” from LinkedIn or Facebook, setup a calendar event and search for sushi in Philadelphia using Bing. Of note, it looks like we’re still several years away from seeing devices capable of deciphering natural conversation. Read on for more information.

Microsoft’s Tellme team recently posted the following explanation of its speech recognition work on its official blog:

We see a future where the service will know you: know your intent, your social and business connections, your likes and dislikes, your privacy preferences, and the things that define the context that’s important to you. The result will be a speech NUI service that helps you accomplish everyday tasks in a more natural and conversational manner. This service will simplify tasks that used to be tedious or impossible on a TV or other device, by combining an understanding of language and intent with a deep knowledge of you, the user. We envision a future where we build on the experiences we deliver today with Kinect for Xbox 360, Windows Phone, or Bing for iPad or iPhone apps, by enhancing the speech NUI experience to understand more layers of context: what you are doing, where you are doing it, the kinds of devices you are using and your historical preferences. Because this is a cloud-based service, your interactions will be able to persist over time, enabling you to pick up where you left off, regardless of what device you may be using.

[Via ZDNET]

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Microsoft Windows Embedded Compact 7 now available, may or may not make its way to tablets

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Back in June at Computex, Microsoft announced the successor to Windows CE — Windows Embedded Compact 7 – and it’s finally hitting the general availability mark today. The guys in Redmond posted a 180-day trial of the final WEC7 bits yesterday, and while it is unclear when it was released to manufacturers, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley notes that the digital signature on the bits is February 19th. So, what does it all mean? Well, you’ll definitely want to check out our Windows Embedded Compact 7 explained post, but we should start seeing the new OS powering phones (don’t forget WP7 is built on the Win CE kernel), medical devices, retail systems, and maybe even some tablets soon. As for the latter category, you may rememeber that we saw that WEC7 prototype tablet above at Computex, however while some like ASUS promised early on that it would use the software for its EP121, it quickly ditched that idea and went with Android. Our guess is that will be the case for most out there, but the lightweight OS, which now can run on ARM V7 architecture, has built-in support for Silverlight for Windows Embedded and Flash 10.1, clearly has advantages over Windows 7 on tablets at the moment. Hit the source link for some more details, and we’ll make sure to keep an eye out for new devices running the new wordy OS.

Microsoft Windows Embedded Compact 7 now available, may or may not make its way to tablets originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 01 Mar 2011 20:49:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Microsoft to announce ARM-based Windows at CES?

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

We know Windows CE jibes with ARM-based architecture, but full-blown Windows? Looks like everyone and their respective mothers today — to be specific, Bloomberg, AllThingsD, and the Wall Street Journal — are reporting “sources” that claim Microsoft is set to announce Windows compatibility with ARM chips, which currently rule the roost in the mobile and embedded scenes, and more importantly dominate the tablet market. So yeah, we get the need for such a merge, and it’d really put Microsoft in a smart position for lower-power devices, but here’s the catch: the products aren’t expected for some time — two years according to WSJ — as drivers need to be written for the hardware.

Then again, this may all be for nothing. Cue another well-connected Microsoft reporter, ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, who has a decidedly tamer prediction: a new Windows CE / Embedded Contact — you’ll remember we saw it running on a Tegra 2 tablet back at Computex — and maybe ARM support for Windows 8 (or Windows 8 “Lite”). In other words, no one has a clear, 100 percent idea of what to expect in January, so as we say, just stay tuned.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Microsoft to announce ARM-based Windows at CES? originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 21 Dec 2010 22:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Windows Phone 7 said to be getting major ‘Mango’ update in August or September

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
We’d already heard that Windows Phone 7 is set to get an update of some sort early next year — possibly coinciding with Mobile World Congress in February — but ZD Net’s Mary Jo Foley is now reporting that an even bigger update could be following in August or September. According to her sources, the update is codenamed “Mango,” and it will effectively amount to Windows Phone 7.5, which she says might even be the actual name when it’s released. That update will apparently bring Silverlight runtime and HTML5 support to the OS, along with Far Eastern language support, and some other unspecified features and functionality. It will also presumably be the most significant update until Windows Phone 8, which Foley says is codenamed “Apollo,” and is on track for a release in late 2012.

[Thanks, John]

Windows Phone 7 said to be getting major ‘Mango’ update in August or September originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 15 Dec 2010 14:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Microsoft’s ‘Menlo’ working towards a mobile future without Windows CE?

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Since Courier‘s now a mystery unearthed — and subsequently sent six feet under — it looks like we need new secret Microsoft projects to pique our curiosity. Enter the ever-connected Mary Jo Foley with some investigative notes into “Menlo,” which seems to be a a future replacement of Windows CE “with Windows NT inside of mobile devices.” The associated graphics platform would be “Experiment 19″ (not quite as interesting a codename, we agree). Presumably heading up Menlo is Galen Hunt, a researcher from the Singular project, joined by other Microsoft brains Ruben Olinsky and (at least at some point) Kerry Hammil. It’s always surprising how much info we can glean from LinkedIn, but we digress: Hunt’s associated profile says Menlo “[combines] OS, UX, and applications research to explore the future of computing when mobiles becomes users primary PCs.” Some bigger picture conjecture seems to center around Menlo having a Silverlight-based UI and boasting improved compatibility between itself and Windows desktop apps. Lots of food for thought, and if you’re interested in what might come out of Redmond many, many years down the line, head on past the read link for all the juicy tech gossip.

Microsoft’s ‘Menlo’ working towards a mobile future without Windows CE? originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 05 May 2010 04:38:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Microsoft Zune music / video services going wherever Windows Phone 7 Series goes

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Hear that, globetrotters? Just months after your hopes and dreams were obliterated, we’re now hearing that the Zune HD and its associated music / video services are going international, and it could happen by the end of the year. At least that’s the word given to Mary Jo Foley from Casey McGee, Microsoft Senior Marketing Manager. In a recent sit-down, Casey noted that the company’s Zune music / video service “would be available in all countries where Windows 7 Phones will ship,” and while it has yet to make that full list of nations publicly available, we already learned that the new mobile OS has gained support from mobile operators all over Europe. Putting two and two together can be difficult at times, but hopefully we aren’t reading too much into this (painfully simple) equation.

Microsoft Zune music / video services going wherever Windows Phone 7 Series goes originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 15 Feb 2010 19:08:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Windows Mobile 7 aiming for Spring 2010 RTM?

Friday, October 9th, 2009

Purported release dates for the first crop of WIndows Mobile 7 phones have varied in a surprisingly tight range over the past year, slipping from late ’09 to the latest we’ve heard, late 2010, and the latest info we’ve got here dovetails nicely with that. What you’re looking at up above is allegedly a slide out of an Office 2010 deck presented to Microsoft partners, where an updated Office Mobile suite is mentioned in passing alongside a WinMo 7 RTM date of Spring 2010. As Mary Jo Foley points out in a comment on the original post, that would put phones on shelves several months later at the earliest, which leads us back to the fact that this actually fits in very well with the Q4 2010 window we’ve been getting from other sources in recent memory. Though the screenshots on the slide are seemingly new, they match perfectly with the UI paradigm set by those purported WinMo 7 shots we saw nearly two flippin’ years ago, which leads us to the obvious question: is the UI basically finalized? And if so, is it going to feel stale by the time it’s released some three years after it first leaked?

[Via Windows Phone Mix]

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Windows Mobile 7 aiming for Spring 2010 RTM? originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 09 Oct 2009 17:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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