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Microsoft is launching a campaign to get more students using its Office 365 University cloud service by offering up to six months of service plus 20GB of SkyDrive storage for free.
In addition to the six months free, Microsoft has priced a full four year subscription to Office 365 University at just $80 to any student who has an email address ending in .edu. To further sweeten the deal, students can re-up one time for an additional $80, making an eight year subscription to the service cost a mere $160.
Both offers are designed to get more students using the service, but we are betting that the freebie offer is designed to introduce more students to the SkyDrive service, which is more touchscreen friendly. The campaign was kicked off with a new ad featuring the cast of NBC's Parks and Recreation, which can be seen above.
Kim Dotcom announces that Mega now accepts Bitcoin, will expand into email, chat, voice, video and mobile soon
Mega man himself Kim Dotcom has announced that Mega now has Bitcoin support, and has also unleashed some future nuggets that Mega will support in the near future. Dotcom reiterated his company's position to privacy, while also saying that his cloud storage is uniquely positioned in New Zealand to keep users' data more safe.
Dotcom also stated that Mega will eventually expand itself into email, chat, voice, video and mobile services "in the coming years". For details on Bitcoin-enabled Mega goodness, you can check out bitvoucher.co, where there's no less than six different ways to buy mega services with Bitcoin. Three monthly options are given, as well as three yearly options - all options cannot be refunded or exchanged. The options include:
- Mega Pro I: 500GB of data storage and 1TB of bandwidth for 0.5184 Bitcoin per month or 5.1888 Bitcoin per year.
- Mega Pro II: 2TB of data storage and 4TB bandwidth for 1.0373 Bitcoin per month or 10.3781 Bitcoin per year.
- Mega Pro III: 4TB of data storage and 8TB bandwidth per month for 1.5563 Bitcoin per month or 15.5674 Bitcoin per year.
Dropbox has become fairly ubiquitous with cloud storage and syncing for consumers. Most people don't know that Dropbox is trying to work its way into the enterprise market with services such as Dropbox for Teams. Dropbox for Teams is aimed at the business market and allows multiple users to connect to a single Dropbox.
Dropbox has introduced more admin features today that should help boost Dropbox's use in the professional world. New additions to the admin features include the ability for managers to keep track of all signed-in users, control permissions for what they are allowed to do, see how much space they're using, and see what kind of devices users have connected.
Dropbox would like to take away some of the market from its competitor Box. Box's service was designed with the enterprise at the forefront so Dropbox has a good distance to make up to catch Box.
Just a friendly reminder, Windows Live Mesh will be shutting down on Wednesday. Current users will be left in the dark, so you should start changing over to a new service. Of course, Microsoft would like you to switch over to SkyDrive, but there are other options out there if you aren't keen on going with Microsoft.
Not all of LiveMesh's features are available through SkyDrive. For instance, remote control isn't one of the features offered. To do this, you'll need to find another service, at least until Microsoft adds it to SkyDrive. If you're using LiveMesh and are being forced to switch, let us know what other tools you've found to fill in the feature gaps.
The hits keep coming for Kim Dotcom's brain child, Mega. Fortunately most of them never make contact with the file locker giant. Warner Bros. was caught red-handed sending phony DMCA take-down request to Google over files said to be hosted on Mega.
There are two problems with the notices, though. First, Google does not index links to files hosted on Mega, and second, the URL's that were listed, were invalid in the first place. The request listed over 900 links to illegal digital copies of its movie Gangster, Squad, with 16 of them pointing to Mega.
Warner Bros. uses an automated tool that searches indexes looking for pirated titles; the problem is that the software has switched around some of the URL information. Since its launch, Mega has seen more than its fair share of false DMCA claims, which it has for the most part dodged without consequence.
This morning Microsoft announced that its SkyDrive cloud storage service is now hosting over one billion documents thanks to a very successful Office 2013 launch. The success is credited to users being easily able to upload and download their files from within the new Office software.
SkyDrive is the latest brainchild of Microsoft, and is billed as a cloud storage system for consumer, business and enterprise. Office 2013 is now able to save user documents to both the user's HDD as well as SkyDrive simultaneously, mitigating the need for frequent document backups. In a release Microsoft said:
Last week Office 365 Home Premium launched and we've seen a lot of enthusiasm over the seamless integration of SkyDrive for saving and sharing your docs. Recently we reached a big milestone; our customers are now storing over a billion Office documents on SkyDrive!
Cloud storage provider, Dropbox, has updated their service to offer quick Documents Previews of photos and documents. The service is interested in moving away from looking at these specific file types as just files and would rather have a visual emphasis on the actual content stored inside the files.
"This is part of a shift we're seeing that is sort of under way at Dropbox," said Chris Beckmann, product manager for products at Dropbox.
Rolling out over the next few months at Dropbox.com, users will be able to click on many common file types and see a preview of what the file contains. Supported file types will include RTF, PDF, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and, eventually, Excel. Images will have their own way of being displayed.
Photos are laid out on a grid of thumbnails and will be listed chronologically, rather than by file name. A view similar to the one launching on the web is already available through the Android app, and the new view will eventually make its way to the desktop client and iOS client, as well as an updated Android app.
Microsoft has finally launched its long anticipated Office 2013 product. Today the OS and productivity app giant officially launched its Office 2013 and Office 365 products to the consumer market.
In its ever present, yet slow march towards having everything in the "cloud", Microsoft has built a new subscription model around the latest Office products. Starting today consumers will be able to purchase a subscription to Office 2013 through its new Office 365 service.
For $99 a year, subscribers will get access for up to five office installs on Mac or PC's which includes access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. As an incentive Microsoft is also bundling 20GB of additional SkyDrive space and 60 minutes of Skype calling per month with each subscription. A monthly plan of $9.99 is also available.
Non-subscription packages of Office Home and Student and Office Professional are also available for $139.99 and $399.99 respectively. Finally, Microsoft has ditched using physical media to get Office onto consumers PC and is relying on users downloading the software from the cloud. Even "retail box" versions will only include download instructions.
BitTorrent has announced a new piece of software that is currently in the pre-Alpha stage. Called BitTorrent Sync, this piece of software will allow users to create their own personal cloud and sync files across multiple systems in a manner similar to Dropbox, all without the central repository.
As part of the announcement of this new software, BitTorrent is taking applications to test out the pre-Alpha software and help them work out the bugs. If you want to apply for this, you can check it out at the BitTorrent Labs and fill out the form available here.
Files will be transferred using the BitTorrent protocol, which should allow transfer speeds to increase when the file resides on more than one system. File transfers will utilize 256-bit AES encryption. Mac, Windows, Linux, and NAS servers will all be supported with native apps.
Leaving the GPS function on your smartphone enabled can rip apart through battery life pretty quickly, but with their Facebook check-in, Foursquare check-in and various other GPS-powered apps, what else can we do?
Well, Microsoft researchers have worked out a way to get phones' GPS chips to use significantly less power just by outsourcing some of their functions to the cloud. Researchers with the software giant have worked out a way to use the GPS chips to collect just the most important data from the satellites, while relying on "public, online databases" to collect other key data, "such as satellite trajectories and Earth elevation values, to calculate the device's past locations".
This sounds like an incredibly efficient way of doing things, with Microsoft Research principal researcher Jie Lui telling Technology Review that low-powered GPS chips could lead to more "continuous location-sensing applications" that could give consumers more detailed and accurate information than many of today's GPS-capable apps.