What's new in Microsoft news? Your daily download takes you into the weekend

What's new in Microsoft news? Your daily download takes you into the weekend

Hello! We are wrapping up at Microsoft's Build 2015 and preparing for Microsoft Ignite next week, so verily, there's an abundance of Microsoft news out there. But what's interesting and relevant to you today? 

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In case you've missed the new stuff on our site, Cheryl J. Ajluni has a rundown of the big announcements coming out of Build 2015 this week, Deb Donston-Miller continues to drill down into the particulars on our IT pros salary survey, and Troy Hunt explains why you should be paying more attention to who owns the DNS of your organization.

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A lot of reporters got hands-on looks at the HoloLens augmented-reality headgear and the general verdict? It's interesting. Using a combination of eye movement, voice commands and gestures, reporters were able to see how virtual holographic images could interact with physical objects in real time. 

But why is any of this a big deal? Because, as Business Insider's Julie Bort and Matt Weinberger explain:

We were struck right away by how different this device is from Google Glass. HoloLens is about getting specific tasks done ... You put it on to do a thing, and you take it off when that thing is done. If you’re an architect, you use it to work with models. If you’re a mechanic, you put it on to work with cars. You’re not going to wear it out in public. And that means HoloLens as a Windows 10 device make a lot sense, a complement to, not a replacement for, the kinds of devices we already have.

In other words, the IT departments of the 2020s are going to have to learn how to support augmented reality hardware and software. 

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Note-takers of the world, rejoice: Microsoft Edge gives its users the ability to annotate webpages and share notes. This is a big deal mostly because it streamlines "information capture," i.e. the process of saving Web-based information to, say, a bookmarks file or an Evernote notebook and it eliminates the need to launch another app to share that information with others. For offices where project collaboration is a key part of the job or where sharing and editing information takes up a lot of time, having a one-stop app handle both information capture and sharing greatly simplifies things for workers.

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If you're going to read only one profile of a tech executive this weekend -- what, like you don't read dozens? -- make it the New York Times' look at Satya Nadella and how he's putting his strategic vision into practical application at Microsoft. Three items of note: Nadella has been adamant that HoloLens development be hooked into all sorts of product teams (such as Skype), so look for increased emphasis on how products in the Microsoft ecosystem work with one another; he's pushed for an increased attention to detail in hardware design; and finally, he's mandated that Microsoft's research arm work more closely with product groups so the cool technologies and demos Microsoft Research dream up actually make it to market.

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You have an excuse to watch YouTube for work purposes! Seriously -- tell your boss you're doing research on how people can use Surface tablets in the workplace, then watch U.S. strategy consultant Jeff Roach use Surface Pro 3 to run a full version of Windows 8.1, or watch Swedish IT pro Magnus Hagland use his Surface to connect to legacy PC systems, or watch Norwegian IT pro Alexander Solaat Roland augment and extend his Surface's usefulness by hooking it up with two different monitors. 

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In keeping with Microsoft's mission to streamline your workflow by making it easier to stay within one app whilst doing multiple tasks, the company's excited about Universal Windows apps can integrate with Cortana, meaning that once we're all on Windows 10, tasks associated with a specific application can be done directly from within Cortana rather than by opening the application. In other words, all you'll have to say is, "Cortana, get me an Uber, please," and she's on it. 

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That's it for this week. We'll see you on the other side at Microsoft Ignite on Monday.

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