Windows Phone Beats 88% of Competitors in Speed Test

Its last appearance at CES might have been a snooze-fest, but Microsoft is coming away from the Consumer Electronics Show with at least one notable victory under its belt: the company's smartphone managed to beat the majority of its challengers on the CES show floor.

Earlier this week, Microsoft's Ben Rudolph hit Vegas with a wad of cash in his hand. Rudolph was challenging any and all attendees with a non-Windows Phone device to a speed test challenge. If they won, he'd give them a hundred bucks, but if his Windows Phone won, they'd have to admit they got 'smoked by Windows Phone.'

Well, the results are in. According to Rudolph, 88-percent of challengers were 'smoked by Windows Phone.'

"We gave away a ton of new phones, lost a little bit of cash ($300, to be exact), and had a great time meeting our fans, haters, and everyone in between," Ben wrote on the Windows Phone blog, adding that Windows Phone beat 30 handsets, lost against three and drew with one.

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AOC Revealing 22-inch HD USB-Based Monitor at CES

AOC is launching a 22-inch USB-based monitor next month. In the meantime, consumers can get an early glance next week at CES 2012.

Earlier this week AOC introduced a 22-inch monitor (e2251Fwu) that draws its power and signal through a USB port. This $199 plug-and-play panel is scheduled to be shown next week during CES 2012, but won't see an actual retail release until February 2012.

According to the specs, the 22-inch AOC USB Monitor will support a 1920 x 1080 resolution @ 60 Hz, and will be compatible with Windows XP / Vista / Windows 7 & Apple MAC OSX Tiger / Leopard and Lion -- Linux support is also available through many of the standard distributions. The display will also be HDCP compatible and have an ultra-slim form factor, measuring just 10.6-mm thin.

As for other specs, the display will feature a brightness of 250cd, a 20,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio, a 5ms response time, and LED-based backlighting that allows it to consume 50-percent less energy than many CCFL backlit monitors. A removable stand even allows it to "instantly transform into a digital photo frame or presentation display."

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Microsoft Finally Says Goodbye to IE 6 in the U.S.

The numbers are in, and less than 1-percent of North Americans are still using Microsoft's ancient Internet Explorer 6 browser. They probably still use big giant mobile phones and outhouses too.

There's a good chance Microsoft as a whole is popping open the champagne bottles and tooting leftover New Year's Day horns, as the company has finally succeeded in pushing the masses into ditching Internet Explorer 6.

The company has for years literally begged consumers to update older versions of Internet Explorer, warning that it would reduce the (high) risk of acquiring viruses and other malicious malware. The company even just recently introduced a feature in Windows Update that will automatically update Internet Explorer, seemingly pushing users into staying current rather than ignoring browser revisions and risking infection.

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Microsoft to share more details on its Windows 8 app store

Summary: Microsoft is set to share more details about the Windows Store in Windows 8 on December 6. Will there be synergies with the new Xbox dashboard update, also arriving December 6?

Microsoft plans to share more about the Windows 8 app store at a two-hour preview event in San Francisco on December 6.

Microsoft has invited select developers and local press to hear more details on the Windows Store. The spokesperson declined to share more details prior to the event.

December 6 also happens to be the day when Microsoft will be rolling out its new Xbox 360 dashboard. Testers who’ve been working with a test version of the dashboard (under non-disclosure-agreement terms) have mentioned in passing new app store functionality in the dashboard. Facebook, Hulu, Netflix and Twitter are listed under apps in the preview, testers have said.

Microsoft officials shared some high-level details about the Windows Store at the Build conference in September, even though the Store isn’t operational in the Windows 8 Developer Preview build. They said all Metro-style apps would be available only via the Windows Store. Metro apps will be protected by an account-based (not a machine based) licensing model that is limited to a set number of machines (5). Users will be able to access app trials, buy/download Metro-style apps, license them, have them serviced through the Store.

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Microsoft Lowers Flags to Half-Staff in Tribute to Steve Jobs

As a tribute to Steve Jobs, Microsoft will fly its flags at all its worldwide offices at half staff for two days, reports the blog site Microsoft news. Here is a photo taken of the Microsoft UK offices.

I congratulate Microsoft on this show of respect. Although the two companies were often bitter rivals, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were also friends. In Gates statement on Jobs' death released yesterday, Gates said, "Steve and I first met nearly 30 years ago, and have been colleagues,

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Microsoft kills Google Chrome with bad malware signature

Computerworld - Microsoft scrambled earlier today to revise an antivirus definition file that deleted Google's Chrome browser from users' PCs.

"Wow, that's certainly one way to win the browser war," said Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Security.

Storms was referring to the battle between Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) and rivals, including Chrome, for usage share. According to data from one Web metrics firm, Chrome will pass Mozilla's Firefox as the second-most-popular browser by the end of this year, pitting Google and Microsoft for the top spot.

Chrome users began reporting the specious detection of the browser early Friday in a quickly-growing thread on a Google support forum.

"This morning, after I started up the PC, a Windows Security box popped up and said I had a Security Problem that needed to be removed," said someone identified as "chasd harris" in the first message of the thread. "I clicked the Details button and saw that it was 'PWS:Win32/Zbot.' I clicked the Remove button and restarted my PC. Now I do not have Chrome. It has been removed or uninstalled."

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Intel: We're Not Ditching The Atom Brand

Intel has officially nuked rumors about plans to re-brand its Atom chips.

Recent reports indicate that Intel plans to re-brand its Cedar Trail processors slated for 2012 because demand for Atom-based netbooks, nettops, handheld devices, consumer electronics products and embedded devices have dropped significantly. The reason behind the decline, according to industry sources, is due to the "poor brand image" of Atom CPUs.

According to Intel's roadmap, Cedar Trail CPUs will be launched in November 2011, and will include the Atom N2800 and N2700 for netbooks, and the Atom D2700 and D2500 for nettops. Industry sources claim that the re-branding will cover Intel's N/D/Z/E lineups.

But Friday a spokesperson from Intel squashed the reports. "There are no plans to change the Atom brand. We are on track to launch new Atom processors during the fourth quarter, with more new Atom processors during the first half of 2012."

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