The Rise and Fall of AIM, the Breakthrough AOL Never Wanted

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When we think about the spectacular collapses of once untouchable Internet properties, companies like MySpace and Pets.com come to mind. The rise and fall of AOL Instant Messenger rivals them all. Once the dominant force in digital messaging and a source of innovations other companies spun off into billions of dollars of businesses, AIM is now mostly dormant. Mashable sat down with three of the early engineers of the program to learn about its origins, why AOL never quite embraced the concept of a free messaging service, getting hacked by Microsoft and the features that never quite made it to users. Read more... More about Aol , Aim , Startups , Features , and Business Read more »

5 Things to Know About the Most Powerful Woman in Health Care*

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* Pending her confirmation. Kathleen Sebelius is resigning from her post as secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services, thus relinquishing her responsibility for the buggy Healthcare.gov. President Barack Obama has nominated Sylvia Mathews Burwell to take her place Introducing his new candidate, the Obama called Burwell "a proven manager" who "knows how to deliver results." Sure, she'll be tasked with oversight of the $1.668 trillion health care industry, but what everyone really wants to know is... When will she fix the damn website? Read more »

Windows XP Isn’t Safe to Use Anymore. Here’s What to Do Next.

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After almost 13 years, Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP . That means that unless you are a major government, no further security updates or patches will be available for the operating system. Despite Microsoft's best efforts to convince everyone to upgrade to a newer version of Windows, Windows XP is still running on nearly 28% of all computers connected to the Internet. That's a lot of computers — and users. So what can those users do now? We've created a checklist: Download the latest (and final) XP Update The final "patch Tuesday" (Microsoft's term for security updates) for Windows XP was issued on April 8, 2014. Read more »

Microsoft: Yes, We’re Bringing Back the Start Menu

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In a surprise announcement, Microsoft said it would bring back the Start Menu to the Windows desktop. It's not a part of the coming Windows 8.1 Update, but will come in a future upgrade. Microsoft's Terry Myerson showed off the new version of the Start Menu to an audience of developers at Build 2014 as he explained that users would be able to find apps via the menu. Users would also be able to run Modern (aka "Metro") apps within windows on the desktop. See also: Microsoft Windows Phone 8.1 Includes Voice Assistant 'Cortana' In a demo, Myerson showed that the new Start Menu looks similar to as it did in Windows 7, but it includes a minimized version of the Start screen right beside it. Read more... More about Microsoft , Tech , Dev Design , Windows 8.1 , and Windows Phone 8.1 Read more »

Apple Updates iWork for OS X, iOS and iCloud

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Apple updated its iWork suite Tuesday, adding new features to the desktop, mobile and cloud-based versions of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. The updates include better compatibility with Microsoft Office documents, new ways to share documents and support for Retina display on iCloud. See also: The Cost of Office For iPad vs. Its Competitors One of the biggest changes is the addition of a "view only" setting that enables documents to be shared without giving others permission to edit Apple also improved the overall compatibility between iWork and Microsoft Office. Password-protected documents, spreadsheets and presentations can now be exported in file formats compatible with the newest version of Microsoft Office. Read more... More about Apple , Keynote , Pages , Iwork , and Numbers Read more »

The 10 Most Profitable Software Companies in the World

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Although software companies are working hard to keep up with competition, and adjust to newer technologies, the market is still experiencing growth. Global software revenue totaled $403.3 billion in 2013 — a 4.8% increase from 2012, according to a new report from research firm Gartner. And Microsoft remained the top software company by a long shot, earning $65.7 billion in 2013. Oracle moved up to second place with $29.6 billion (it was third in 2012), while IBM fell to the third spot with $29.1 billion (it was second in 2012). Salesforce broke the top 10, achieving higher growth than any other company on the list (33.3%). Read more... More about Microsoft , Business , Tech , Apps Software , and Chart Of The Day Read more »

Microsoft: We Won’t Break Into Users’ Email Accounts Anymore

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Just one week after news surfaced that Microsoft secretly broke into the Hotmail email account of one of its users, the company is updating its security policies. Microsoft stated it will now contact law enforcement if it needs access to a user's email account for security purposes instead of secretly doing it themselves, the company wrote in a blog post on Friday. See also: 6 Creative Hacks for Your Smartphone In 2012, Microsoft accessed a blogger's private Hotmail account to determine if a former employee stole trade secrets. News of the incident ignited an outcry over the privacy implications. Read more... More about Microsoft , Security , Hotmail , Tech , and Apps Software Read more »

Microsoft Office for iPad Dominates Top of App Store

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The suite of Microsoft Office apps for iPad have only been in the Apple App Store for 24 hours and are already dominating the download charts. The three freemium apps — which are free to download but require a subscription ($99) to edit documents and perform other functions — are occupying the top consecutive spots of the App Store's free downloads. Microsoft OneNote, which doesn't require a subscription but has ties to Office, is in the No. 4 spot. SEE ALSO: Microsoft Office for iPad Isn't Perfect, But It's What We Needed All Along Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella drew attention to the achievement with a tweet sent on Friday, noting it "looks like it's a productive Friday for #iPad owners!" He also included a screen shot of the apps at the top of the App Store. Read more »

Why Office for iPad Took 4 Years to Get Here

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Microsoft just unveiled Office for iPad . The move makes complete sense. The iPad, after all, is by far the strongest and most popular tablet platform on the market today (although Android has been rising fast). Any software developer, including Microsoft, wants to offer an iPad version of their app. So what took so long? Apple unveiled the iPad way back in January 2010 — more than four years ago Read more »

After iPad, Touch-Friendly Office Coming to Windows

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Now that Microsoft Office has finally arrived for the iPad , Microsoft is going to bring a touch-only version of Office to Windows 8. That will provide Windows 8 tablets, such as the Surface 2 and Surface Pro, with the same touch-first experience as the iPad. Yes, yes, Microsoft Office is already available for Windows 8 and Windows RT, which means it is compatible with a touch-screen, but if you've ever used Office on a Surface device, you know that it's really designed for a mouse and keyboard, not your fingertips. See also: Microsoft Office for iPad Isn't Perfect, But It's What We Needed All Along Read more... More about Microsoft , Office , Tech , Apps Software , and Window 8 Read more »