Microsoft enhances customer data platform as pandemic drives need for personalization
- James Phillips, president of Microsoft business applications says the goal of the platform is about understanding customers at a deeper level.
- That could involve a variety of activities such personalizing offers, speaking to them in a way that they know their customers want to be spoken to, offering them new products and services that better meet their needs or supporting them better, he said.
- The company is announcing several new components to the customer data platform product to help customers build that understanding.
- The first is called Customer Engagement, which as the name implies takes all that data they’ve pushed to the CDP to help understand that customer better and deliver more meaningful interactions.
- Phillips says all of these capabilities are about helping customers to be more agile, so that as the world shifts, as it has so dramatically this year, businesses can be in a better position to react to those changes more quickly and meet the changing customer requirements.
Surface Laptop Go: Microsoft’s 12.4-inch laptop for $549
- Both are serious drawbacks for a Windows laptop in 2020, especially when you can pick up something like Acer’s Aspire 3 with the same processor, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and a bigger 15-inch 1080p display for $549.
- You’re obviously paying a premium for Surface design here, but I would have liked to have seen some improvements in the minimum RAM and storage options.
- Microsoft is also launching new Surface accessories today, including a $69.99 Designer Compact Keyboard, a $24.99 Microsoft Number Pad that gives you the option of a number pad, and a $69.99 4K Wireless Display Adapter to help project Windows devices onto bigger screens.
Microsoft just introduced the new $549 Surface Laptop Go
- Being a refresh aimed at sprucing up the top-tier models specifically, Microsoft will still be offering the original Surface Pro X with its Qualcomm- and Microsoft-created SQ 1 chip in 8GB and 16GB RAM models with either 128GB or 256GB storage, while the new Microsoft SQ 2 chip, with a slightly improved Adreno 690 GPU, comes in 16GB RAM versions with either 256GB or 512GB SSD storage.
- With a 13-inch, 2880×1920 pixel touchscreen display, removable SSD storage in 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB, and the optional Surface Pro X keyboards, which have Slim Pen storage and wireless charging for it now available in blue, red, and gray, the Pro X offers a sleeker Surface package, with increasingly comparable capabilities to the flagship Surface Pro 7.
Microsoft’s $549 Surface Laptop Go could be its most compelling PC yet
- I have a soft spot for the Surface Go. Despite being the least powerful device in Microsoft‘s Windows 10 lineup, the fact that Microsoft managed to fit a great display and a premium-feeling metal design into a package that starts at $400 led me to recommend it often for people looking for their first or secondary computer.
- For these folks, Microsoft announced the new Surface Laptop Go, a 12.45-inch laptop starting at $549.
- The fact that Microsoft managed to get the starting price down to $549, even if that configuration is light on RAM and storage, and even if the display isn’t quite up to par with the rest of the series, is pretty notable.
- The Surface Laptop Go seems to be a nice cheap laptop, and the prospect of owning hardware that feels premium can make all the difference at this price point.
Microsoft updates its Arm-based Surface Pro X tablet with a faster CPU
- Microsoft today announced the second generation of its Arm-based Surface Pro X tablet.
- It’s also launching three new colors for the Pro X keyboards: Ice Blue, Poppy Red and Platinum.
- But more importantly, Microsoft notes that more software partners are now optimizing their Windows apps for the Arm architecture (Microsoft still spells it ARM in its materials, but Arm PR will surely reach out to them and correct them).
- When it launched the first iteration, Microsoft saw its fair share of negative reviews because support for third-party drivers was lacking and with that, some apps also failed, while others were simply running slow because they had to rely on emulation – unless their developers released Arm-compatible versions.
- In addition, Microsoft also noted that it would increase support for running x64 apps with a new x64 emulation rolling out to Windows Insiders in November.
Microsoft Outlook is down worldwide
- Microsoft’s Outlook service is down worldwide, affecting Outlook on the web, Outlook.com, and Outlook on desktop and mobile.
- The outage started at around 2AM ET, and Microsoft has confirmed it’s affecting users worldwide.
- Outlook users are currently unable to access their email, and Outlook.com is failing to load.
- This is the second major Microsoft services outage in less than a week.
- On Monday Microsoft Outlook, Office 365, Teams, and other services all experienced issues for hours.
- Unlike other companies like Cloudflare, Microsoft doesn’t fully detail the root cause of its outages so we might never know why its Outlook email service has experienced significant issues twice in a week.
- We’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment on the Outlook email issues, and we’ll update you accordingly.
Windows on ARM is about to get lots of apps thanks to new x64 emulation
- Microsoft is officially revealing it’s working on x64 app emulation support for Windows on ARM today.
- Currently, Windows on ARM devices like the Surface Pro X can only run native 32- and 64-bit ARM apps, alongside 32-bit x86 apps.
- This has left devices like the Surface Pro X unable to access certain apps, but Microsoft’s new emulation support will mean any and all Windows apps will now work on Windows on ARM.
- Microsoft confirmed the support in a blog post today, also revealing that Microsoft Edge will be improved to be faster on ARM devices and use less battery.
- A native Microsoft Teams client is also coming to Windows on ARM, and Visual Studio Code has been updated and optimized for ARM-based devices.
- The updated ARM-based Surface Pro X will reportedly include Microsoft’s SQ2 processor, which will likely be based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will get EA Play on November 10th
- Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers would be able to access EA Play for no additional cost.
- The company shared more details about the rollout.
- The Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription include access to Microsoft’s library of games, an Xbox Live Gold subscription, Microsoft’s cloud gaming service xCloud and soon EA Play.
- If you just subscribe to the Xbox Game Pass for $9.99 per month, you won’t get EA Play.
- On Windows, Xbox Game Pass (and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) subscribers will able to download EA games in December.
- If you had between 50 days and 3 months left, you’ll receive one month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
- If you had between 4 and 6 months remaining, you’ll receive 2 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
- You can get more details in the FAQ.
Microsoft Says It’s Built a Top-Five Supercomputer in the Cloud for AI
- It doesn’t have a clever name or an official Top500 ranking, but the supercomputer Microsoft built on Azure as a “dream system” for the non-profit AI research group OpenAI shows that cloud is a serious contender for the most demanding compute workloads, as AI models become extremely large and complex.
- That’s a much faster design cycle than for most supercomputers, and it was possible because it leveraged the Azure infrastructure (and supply chain), combining “the best of a dedicated appliance and a hyperscale cloud infrastructure,” Microsoft CTO, Kevin Scott, said.
- In a Build keynote, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman showed off a system trained by Microsoft’s newly open sourced Turing natural language generation model, which can write code based on verbal descriptions.
BP Bets Future on Green Energy, but Investors Remain Wary
- BP PLC has unveiled the most aggressive plans yet by a major oil company to pivot toward cleaner energy.
- But the revamp has so far failed to ignite enthusiasm among investors despite growing interest in renewables.
- The British energy giant’s strategy—the biggest overhaul in its 111-year history—calls for a 40% reduction in oil-and-gas production over the coming decade, greater investment in low-carbon energy and a ramp-up in wind and solar power.
- No other major oil company has targeted such a steep decline in their main source...