Bing Desktop; Kinect for Windows Academic Pricing Update; Flash in Windows 8

Microsoft adds some zing to latest Bing Desktop. Kinect for Windows Academic pricing through AERs. Flash enabled in IE10 on Windows 8 and Windows RT. Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer 1.0, RCA 2.1 released.

Microsoft adds some cool new additions to its latest version of Bing Desktop that bring the latest pictures from Bing's daily homepage images with a quick and convenient way to search from a desktop.

The update is available in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, India, China and Japan.

New features released today include:

  • "Keep Tabs on Your Facebook Friends: Now Bing Desktop lets you check your news feed and friends' photos without launching a browser.
  • Faster Access to Bing: New option lets you search from Windows taskbar.
  • Streamlined Customization: The options menu now let's you customize Bing Desktop to best suit the way you search," informs bing.

In other Microsoft news today, the company has announced pricing update of Kinect for Windows Academic. "We are now pleased to announce that we have broadened the availability of academic pricing through Microsoft Authorized Educational Resellers (AERs)," Microsoft stated.

Back in 2012, Microsoft had announced the availability of academic pricing for the Kinect for Windows sensor to higher education faculty and students for $149.99 at the Microsoft Store in the United States.

Update 03/13: Microsoft released 22 unique Kinect for Windows sample code for developers to download under the open source Apache 2.0 liecense to allow developers to reuse and remake the code to their liking!

"We have posted a total of 22 unique samples in C#, C++, and Visual Basic," Microsoft's announced adding, "Using a Git repository, developers can clone and fork if they so desire! Microsoft will also be using CodePlex to allow developers to provide feedback and discussion on the sample code," the comapny said.

Project Information URL: http://kinectforwindows.codeplex.com/.

And, starting on March 13, 2013, Microsoft said it is updating Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 and Windows RT "to enable Flash content to run by default."

"This updates the immersive IE experience on Windows 8, and both the immersive and desktop IE experiences on Windows RT," Microsoft IE team stated.

"The update will be made available to customers with Windows Update. The curated CV list applies to IE on the desktop for Windows RT since the most common reason to block Flash is that the site relies on other plug-ins that are not available on Windows RT," the team added.

On Windows 8, all Flash content continues to be enabled for IE on the desktop.

Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer (MCA) 1.0 and Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer (RCA) 2.1 are now available for download.

Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer (MCA) 1.0

""Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer Tool" is a companion to the Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer web site and provides administrators and end users with the ability to run connectivity diagnostics for five common connectivity symptoms directly from their local computer. Users can test their own connectivity, and save results in an HTML format that administrators will recognize from viewing results on the RCA website," Microsoft explains.

Further, the company notes, that it is working on combining MCA with Microsoft Lync Connectivity Analyzer Tool (MLCA) in the near future. But for now, you will notice the MLCA on the client page.

And, the "Microsoft Remote Connectivity Analyzer 2.1," now comes with newly added Office 365 Domain Name Server tests, enhanced existing tests, and improved the overall site experience.

The MRCA provides administrators and end users with the ability to run connectivity diagnostics for our servers to test common issues with Exchange, Lync and Office 365.

Version 2.1 March 2013 released offer following features:

  • "Added support for localized language support for 60 languages
  • Updated version of the downloadable MCAT v1.0 for troubleshooting connectivity from the local machine
  • Added MLCA downloadable tool for troubleshooting Lync issues from the local machine
  • Added Office 365 General Tests section
  • Added Office 365 Exchange Domain Name Server (DNS) Connectivity Test," informs Microsoft.

Get the MCA tool version 1.0 here, and MRCA here.

Watch the Introduction Video:

Microsoft and Nissan have joined forces to bring more women into the world of tech with the help of the DigiGirlz program, which was launched more than 10 years ago.

The event took place at Nissan's American headquarters in Tennessee and was led by former Titans cheerleader Jennifer Hill.

Microsoft is holding similar events all over the world in an effort to show teenage girls the advantages of developing a career in tech.