Techmeme
April 2, 2014, 3:35 PM

Top News

Joe Belfiore / Windows Phone Blog:
Cortana (yes!) and Many, Many Other Great Features coming in Windows Phone 8.1  —  Whew, what a day!  What a week!  I've just gotten off the stage at Build in front of 5,000 of our beloved developers talking about the future of the Windows platform.  And now I'm here to tell YOU about the stuff we've …
Emil Protalinski / The Next Web:
Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 8.1 with personal assistant Cortana, Action Center, customizable lockscreens  —  At its Build 2014 conference today, Microsoft unveiled Windows Phone 8.1.  Among the new features is a personal digital assistant named Cortana, a new Action Center …
Emil Protalinski / The Next Web:
Microsoft announces universal Windows apps, which work across PCs, phones, tablets and Xbox One  —  At its Build 2014 conference today, Microsoft announced universal Windows apps, which work across PCs, phones, tablets and even the Xbox One.  In other words, the Windows runtime in Windows 8.1 Update 1 …
Jordan Novet / VentureBeat:
Nokia introduces the Lumia 930, 630, & 635, designed for Windows Phone 8.1  —  SAN FRANCISCO — Nokia has just announced its latest phones, the Lumia 930, 630, and 635.  —  The 930 is designed to take advantage of all the new aspects of Windows, wrapped up inside the new Windows Phone 8.1 operating system …
Tom Warren / The Verge:
The story of Cortana, Microsoft's Siri killer  —  Technically, Cortana isn't supposed to exist for at least another 500 years, but that's not stopping Microsoft from bringing her to life this week.  While Apple has Siri and Google has Google Now — both digital assistants that run on smartphones …
Dana Wollman / Engadget:
Windows 8.1 update aims to win over mouse-and-keyboard users, arrives April 8th as an automatic download  —  The whole point of Windows 8 was to make Microsoft's aging OS easier to use on touchscreen devices.  Mission accomplished, we'd say (more or less).  But now the folks in Redmond …
Alex Wilhelm / TechCrunch:
Microsoft Demos Its Touch-Focused Office Suite For Windows  —  This morning at its Build developer conference in San Francisco, Microsoft showed off the coming touch-friendly build of its Office suite coming for the Windows platform.  The software, Microsoft assured us, is not done.
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:
Microsoft Will Soon Bring Back The Start Menu In Windows 8.1  —  Microsoft's Terry Myerson today announced that Microsoft is “all-in” with the desktop.  Indeed, while he wasn't quite ready to announce Windows 9, he did show off how Windows 8.1 will soon get a new version of the beloved Start menu back.
Amazon.com:
Amazon Fire TV ships today with Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, YouTube, WatchESPN, and more  —  Introducing Amazon Fire TV: The Easiest Way to Watch Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, WatchESPN, and More on Your Big-Screen TV  —  Powerful performance with 3x the processing power …
Terrence O'Brien / Engadget:
Amazon launches Fire TV, an Android-powered streaming and gaming set-top box for $99  —  We've been waiting for it for quite sometime, but now Amazon is finally ready to make its play for the living room.  Fire TV is not a barebones device like the Chromecast, it's a powerful Android-driven platform …
Ryan Lawler / TechCrunch:
Lyft Raises $250 Million From Coatue, Alibaba, And Third Point To Expand Internationally  —  Lyft has officially closed a huge, $250 million round of funding that it will use to aggressively expand its on-demand ride-sharing service in the U.S. and internationally.
Vlad Savov / The Verge:
Reversible USB 3.1 Type-C connector shown in renderings, will be finalized in July  —  This is the reversible USB cable that will end your frustrations  —  The most abundant connector standard in technology, the Universal Serial Bus, is getting ready for its most revolutionary change yet …
Stacey Higginbotham / Gigaom:
Google launches Andromeda, a software defined network underlying its cloud  —  For everyone saying that software-defined networking is a pipe dream, Google is about to prove you wrong.  The search engine giant and cloud provider said it has made its Andromeda software-defined network platform available …
Greg Bensinger / Wall Street Journal:
Amazon Will Now Allow Returns Using Lockers  —  Amazon.com has quietly rolled out a new service to let customers return unwanted merchandise using large metal lockers it has installed for deliveries in garages, convenience and grocery stores in major metropolitan areas.
Terrence O'Brien / Engadget:
Spotify's new design is cleaner, darker and puts the focus on content  —  If you're using Spotify on the web, desktop or iOS you should notice a pretty massive change starting today.  (The new look should be coming to Android “near future.")  The company is launching its most dramatic overhaul since its launch in 2008.
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:
Box wants to let businesses control cloud encryption keys “this year”  —  Box CEO Aaron Levie told Ars last September that the cloud storage company is trying to build a service that would let customers store data in Box data centers but would keep encryption keys in-house.
More: ReadWrite and ZDNet
Charles Arthur / Guardian:
Wearables: one-third of consumers abandoning devices  —  Hundreds of Galaxy Gear smartwatches are listed on eBay barely six months after launch.  Why isn't the wearable tech market taking off?  —  The advert was blunt: a second-hand Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch for sale, priced at “£100 ONO”.
Andrew Brust / ZDNet:
Pivotal Big Data Suite released  —  Summary: Pivotal reveals its strategy for unifying different data technologies: license them all together.  —  Pivotal, the Big Data spinoff from EMC and VMWare, has announced today its “Pivotal Big Data Suite,” which it refers to as the industry's first Big Data Mega Bundle.
Jennifer Van Grove / CNET:
Apple praised, Amazon shamed in Greenpeace report on clean energy  —  In a report that looks at the energy footprint of top IT companies, the nonprofit calls out Amazon for being among the last to embrace clean energy sources like wind and solar.  —  Facebook's data center in Sweden.

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