If you’re underwhelmed by the impending swarm of Windows Phone device debuts and news, or Microsoft’s plans to drop the Windows 8 Consumer Preview build, perhaps this additional tidbit will satisfy you: It turns out, Microsoft will also be releasing the Visual Studio 11 beta on the 29th.

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One of the biggest questions surrounding Office 15 right now has to do with just how touch-friendly it will be on ARM devices. We know they aren’t producing a proper Windows 8 Metro App; Microsoft confirmed in an official Building Windows 8 blog post that this is the case, and that we will instead receive a mode of sorts that is “significantly architected” for touch.

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On Wednesday during an earnings call, HP CEO Meg Whitman stated that we can expect HP Windows 8 x86 PCs by this holiday season. According to reports, Whitman stated at a small gathering of “entrepreneurs and executives” that HP plans to release a tablet device targeted towards business and enterprise users by the end of the year.

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Smoked By Windows Phone Ignites Into A Digital Ad Campaign

Remember the Smoked by Windows Phone campaign, where Microsoft’s Ben Rudolph headed to CES, challenging smartphone users to tasks to see which phone can complete them the quickest? Starting today, Microsoft is debuting a new digital ad campaign showing off the many victories — Windows Phone won 88% of the time at CES (95% if you factor in the California Smoked by Windows Phone tour) — in 15 to 30 second segments. Among the sites that the ads will be shown on are Forbes, CNET, Entertainment Tonight, Geek.com, and Daily Candy.

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Now, this bit of news will be a bummer to you Live Mesh users out there who are taking advantage of device-to-device syncing: In the upcoming major SkyDrive update that we recently wrote about, Microsoft has no plans to implement this feature when SkyDrive swallows up Mesh. Here’s a comment from SkyDrive team member Mike […]

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In reaching the Technical Preview stage of development — during which a build is fed to third-party OEMs and partners for evaluation purposes — information leaks are imminent. Tom Warren over at The Verge managed to get his hands on screenshots of the Technical Preview build, giving us an early glimpse of what the software giant is planning for what is now its greatest source of operating income.

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In a press release sent out today, ZTE revealed their plans to pull the curtains on new Windows Phones. They claim that they are going to be releasing a flagship, quad-core handset, on top of devices with LTE, 4G radio, and “the latest Android and Windows Mobile platforms.” Now, the question here is, what OS will that flagship device be running. If Android, will they be creating a Windows Phone counterpart?

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Claim yuor pages on Bing and link them to your Facebook profile.

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Well, it looks like HP will have Windows 8 PCs out in time for the holidays (given that Microsoft sticks to schedule, of course). During HP’s earnings call earlier today, HP CEO Meg Whitman stated that the company “will be well positioned on Windows 8 x86 by the holidays.” She went on to add “we’re rooting for a fantastic Windows 8 product that’s out on time for holiday.”

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If you have a lot of pent-up rage about the recently announced, new, Windows 8 logo, you’re not alone. A 99Designs contest has been started by site user “inFlowInventory”, offering a guaranteed cash prize for one lucky designer. 99Designs is a popular “crowdsourcing” service, in which someone seeking a design would offer cash, and designers would submit mockups in a battle to be selected. The winner will receive a $295 cash prize.

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Microsoft Accuses Google of “Moonlighting” In New YouTube Video

Microsoft has recently been heavily raging on Google, accusing the search giant of circumventing privacy settings on Internet Explorer and Safari. This isn’t new, however; Microsoft is notorious for quickly jumping and attacking Google, namely for privacy violations. Remember the infamous Gmail Man video that Microsoft created last July for fun? Well, they have created a similar video.

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Earlier today, UnwiredView spotted the rumored Nokia Lumia 719 handset on the Bluetooth SIG website. The listing has since been pulled, but we have a screenshot in the article, with a description that sheds some light as to what the phone will be like.

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Brand protection is always something that large companies invest in, so it should come to no surprise to us that Microsoft is engaging in legal proceedings against Russian businessman Dmitry Shapovalov over “using the Windows trademark” in the domain name Windows.ru. The domain — registered in October of 1998 and paid off until 2012, according to Whois — is privately registered and paid off until the November 1st, 2012. The Moscow Commercial Court will hear the lawsuit on April 11th.

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Today was quite insane if you were following the crazy sequence of events pertaining to a certain alleged screenshot of Office for iPad that surfaced earlier this week. The outcome? Well, we’re still lacking substantial confirmation or evidence of anything. But, Microsoft might have at least acknowledged the intent to develop a version of Office for the iPad.

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Earlier this month, The Verge caught wind of some information that Microsoft are planning to open two stores in New Jersey — one in Bridgewater, NJ, and another in Freehold — and today, Mary-Jo Foley has found some confirmation of this on the Microsoft Store retail website.

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