Even school kids can see the potential. Photo: Skype/Microsoft
Star Trek Captains Picard and Kirk could talk to any alien, no matter how different it was from humanity, thanks to the universal translator, a magical sci-fi device that explained away why strange civilizations in far-away solar systems all spoke English.
That future just got a little less far-fetched, thanks to Skype Translator, a new preview service that uses technology from Microsoft Research to translate two different languages back and forth in real time.
This is heady stuff, as school kids in Seattle and Mexico City seem to instantly recognize when they chat back and forth in English and Spanish via the Skype service in the video below.
Leaked promotional shot for the canned McLaren phone, Microsoft’s flagship Lumia that was supposed to come out in time for the holidays. Photo: Baidu
If you needed any more confirmation that Windows Phone is dead in the water, two of its most high profile supporters have abandoned it for the iPhone.
Veteran Microsoft journalists Ed Bott and Tom Warren both published essays this week in which they criticized Windows Phone for its shortcomings and announced that they’ve stopped using Windows Phones personally. Citing a lack of carrier and third-party app support, both agreed that Windows Phone has missed its shot at being a real competitor in the smartphone market.
Even Microsoft admits the iPhone 6 is king of 2014. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Microsoft released its list of the top Bing searches of 2014 this week, and among tech companies, Apple appears to be this year’s big winner, again.
The iPhone 6 and iPad both ranked among the top 5 tech search words of 2014, according to BingTrends. Other top searches included Fitbit and the Xbox One, but the iPhone 6’s biggest competitor – the Samsung Galaxy S5 – didn’t even place in the top 10.
Acompli’s powerful email app is now owned by Microsoft. Photo: Acompli
Microsoft is digging its roots deeper into iOS and Android this week with the announcement that it has acquired the popular cross-platform email app Acompli.
News of the Acompli acquisition was posted today on Microsoft’s company blog, with VP of Office, Rajesh Jha, saying the company plans to integrate the app into the Outlook redesign his team is currently working on.
Skype’s latest ad is all about the Mac. Photo: Microsoft
Microsoft’s been doing a stellar job promoting Apple lately, securing placement of its “iPad-like tablets” on CNN and the NFL. But it looks like Redmond has decided to give up and start pushing Apple products.
Microsoft published an ad on Facebook today that highlighted Skype’s ability to keep people in sync, but the real headliner is a huge orchestra of MacBooks — and there’s not a PC in sight.
The ad features a photo of a conductor in New York City’s Bryant Park, surrounded by an array of 11 MacBooks connected to the city’s celebrated subway musicians. Microsoft’s ad comes with the tagline, “The world’s first digital orchestra stays in sync with Skype,” but it looks like the MacBooks and iPhones (as well as the musicians using them) steal the show.
Microsoft has been taking so many shots at Apple as of late that you could be forgiven for thinking we’ve slipped back through a wormhole to 1996. This tendency doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, either, if you go on Microsoft’s latest ad.
Called “Let’s dance,” the ad compares Lenovo’s Yoga 3 Pro convertible laptop to Apple’s MacBook Air, showing them side-by-side and comparing them on size and features. And, wouldn’t you know it, Microsoft’s preferred option comes out on top.
Following our report yesterday revealing several leaked shots for the next version of Microsoft Office for Mac, we’re hearing confirmation that not only are the shots legitimate, but that Office for Mac could be here sooner than you think.
The watch will apparently be launched in the next few weeks and will work across a variety of platforms, which makes perfect sense since Windows Phone is a distant third compared to Android and iPhone handsets.
Its timing is an effort to capture the potentially-lucrative holiday market.
That’s based on a recently published patent application from Microsoft showing how the company has investigated a finger ring as a possible future wearable device. Microsoft’s impressive-sounding wireless ring could be used as an input device either to control a cursor on a mobile device such as a tablet, smartphone, or even a head-up display like Google Glass.
Although the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus chalked up record-breaking sales, Apple’s week has been far from a celebration. A YouTube video showing the iPhone 6 Plus bending under seemingly normal amounts of pressure sent the Internet to crazyville, and Bendgate was born.
Watch Cult of Mac’s news roundup to see the latest regarding the Bendgate frenzy, why some iPads are being banned, and how one person surprised the world with her iPhone 6 impressions more than others.