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Microsoft criticised for searching blogger's email

Technology giant Microsoft has confirmed changes in its data policy after it admitted scanning the Hotmail email account - which it owns and operates - of a French internet blogger to gather evidence over possible information leaks.

It was claimed a former employee had leaked confidential copies of the Windows 8 operating system before it was released to the public.

Microsoft admitted breaking into the bloggers account. Credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

In a statement, Microsoft said in the future they will use an independent legal team to analyse whether or not they have the right to search personal accounts.

Vice president John Frank said they were "aware they needed to work to keep customer trust...and that privacy is incredibly important to us."

Read up on Bill Gates taking a new role as technology adviser

Bill Gates takes new role as technology adviser

Microsoft has announced Bill Gates, previously chairman of the board of directors, will assume a new role on the board as founder and technology advisor, in a shake-up that will see Satya Nadella become CEO.

The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates
The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Microsoft said Gates, who founded the company in 1975, will devote more time to the company, supporting Nadella in shaping technology and product direction.

John Thompson, lead independent director for the board of directors, will assume the role of chairman of the board of directors and remain an independent director on the board.

Read: Microsoft names Satya Nadella new CEO

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Microsoft names Satya Nadella new CEO

Microsoft has named Satya Nadella as Chief Executive Officer effective immediately, after a five month long search to find Steve Ballmer's successor.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO
Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO Credit: Microsoft

Nadella joined the compnay in 1992 and was charged with overseeing the company’s move to the cloud and the development of the cloud infrastructures that support Bing, Xbox, Office and other services.

“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Bill Gates, Microsoft’s Founder

Nadella is the third person to lead Microsoft since Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded the company in 1975.

Microsoft to 'distance itself' from Windows 8

Microsoft is expected to drop the Windows 8 brand following user criticism since its high profile launch in 2012.

Windows 8 launched in 2012. Credit: Reuters

The operating system was tipped to secure the technology giant's place on the tablet market, but sales have been poor and customers have not responded well to its colourful tile interface and lack of many Windows staples, such as the 'Start' button.

Watch: Windows 8 tries to combine the best of tablet and desktop computers

An update, Windows 8.1, was released last year but the company is ultimately expected to scrap the brand for a new operating system, codenamed Threshold. It is expected that the replacement will simply be called Windows 9 when it is rolled out in 2015.

Respected Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrock wrote on his website: "To distance itself from the Windows 8 debacle, Microsoft is currently planning to drop the Windows 8 name and brand this next release as Windows 9. That could change, but that's the current thinking."

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XBox One vs Playstation 4: What the experts think

Microsoft's XBox One has launched a week earlier than Sony's Playstation 4, but which console will do best in the Christmas shopping wars? The experts take a closer look.

The XBox One goes up against the Playstation 4 in the Christmas shopping wars.
The XBox One goes up against the Playstation 4 in the Christmas shopping wars. Credit: REUTERS/Nick Adams

Stuff:

"The Xbox One is the more ambitious console, but it just doesn’t quite manage to follow through on all of its potential. Yet.

"The PS4 on the other hand might have less media and voice control powers, but its beefier specs promise a slew of eye-watering exclusive titles further down the line."

The Playstation 4
The Playstation 4 Credit: REUTERS/David McNew

Extreme Tech:

"In terms of functionality, polish, and games, the Xbox One is the better console.

"The Xbox One is a better launch-day console than the PS4, but I don’t think we’ll see a real leader emerge for a year or two: Microsoft needs to push a lot of software patches, and Sony needs to publish some games that really take advantage of the PS4?s superior hardware."

Expert Reviews:

"Microsoft has made bold promises of dedicated servers for multiplayer games and it has the track record to back them up.

"If online mutiplayer is more important to you than anything else, we'd be leaning towards the Xbox One."

The XBox One.
The XBox One on display earlier this year. Credit: Christoph Dernbach/DPA/Press Association Images

Techradar:

"Both systems are evenly matched in many respects and should be able to usher in the next generation of gaming that the [Nintendo] Wii U hasn't been able to deliver."

Xbox One: Key features of Microsoft's newest console

The new Xbox One console costs £429, and comes with one controller. Here's what users can expect:

  • Voice and gesture recognition
  • 500GB hard drive
  • Video recording capability of gaming - up to 30 seconds
  • Snap feature allows users to run two applications at once
  • Runs TV Kinect-powered
  • Launches with three games: Dead Rising 3, a zombie survival game; Forza Motorsport 5

Read: US fans wait in line for new Xbox One

US fans wait in line for new Xbox One

Armoured vehicles delivered Microsoft's new Xbox One to a launch event in New York as US fans queued up to buy the eagerly-awaited console, which went on sale at midnight.

A man dressed as a zombie plays video games on an Xbox One console during a midnight launch event in New York.
A man dressed as a zombie plays video games on an Xbox One console during a midnight launch event in New York. Credit: Reuters

The Times Square event followed the same theme as an earlier launch in London, with actors dressed as characters from the Xbox One game "Ryse: Son of Rome" and as zombies from Dead Rising 3.

Fans wait in line to purchase an Xbox One at an event celebrating the console's midnight launch in New York.
Fans wait in line to purchase an Xbox One at an event celebrating the console's midnight launch in New York. Credit: Reuters

Dedicated gamers donned gloves and hats as they brave hours in New York's chilly autumn temperatures to ensure they got hold of the $500 (£309) console.

Best Buy employees work to unload an armoured vehicle filled with Day One edition Xbox One consoles for a midnight launch event in New York
Best Buy employees work to unload an armoured vehicle filled with Day One edition Xbox One consoles for a midnight launch event in New York Credit: Reuters

Read: America prepares for Xbox One launch

America prepares for Xbox One launch

Gamers in the US took to Twitter ahead of the midnight launch of the Xbox One in New York and Los Angeles.

Microsoft's eagerly anticipated new console went on sale in London at 12pm.

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I bet the First guy in line for the XBox One in Times Square is either A. unemployed B. Single or C. All of the Above.

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Only thing that's preventing me from running out and grabbing an Xbox One tonight is that $500 price tag.

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This launch special for Xbox One just feels awkward..

Read: Thousands gather for Microsoft's 'best' Xbox One

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