Technology companies have reached a deal that will allow them to tell the public in greater detail about the spying-related court orders they receive, the US Justice Department has said.
The agreement would settle demands from companies such as Google and Microsoft for more leeway to disclose data about the court orders.
Companies will now be able to disclose:
- The number of orders from the government related to criminal activity
- The number of orders from the government related to secret national security
- The number of orders from a foreign intelligence service related to secret national security
- If those orders covered just email addresses or further information
Microsoft is expected to drop the Windows 8 brand following user criticism since its high profile launch in 2012.
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.
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."
Microsoft's XBox One and Sony's Playstation 4 face off for the top console spot this Christmas, but how do their features compare?Read the full story ›
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 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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Only thing that's preventing me from running out and grabbing an Xbox One tonight is that $500 price tag.
This launch special for Xbox One just feels awkward..
Microsoft's corporate vice president Phil Harrison - a former director at Sony - described the new Xbox One as "built for the future" as the eagerly awaited console hit the market.
Xbox One is a complete, all-in-one system which has the best games, the best online service in Xbox Live, the best entertainment experiences and is built for the future.
With the strongest line-up of games we've ever seen for a new console, pre-orders from fans across the UK are at unprecedented levels...
The games industry is evolving and growing fast, and we are proud to have so many British developers and creators helping to drive the new Xbox One era.
Thousands of gamers flocked to the midnight launch of Microsoft's hotly-anticipated Xbox One in London, as the technology giant hailed the new console "the best".
Singers Plan B and Katy B provided the entertainment, along with performers dressed as zombies from Dead Rising 3 and a Roman legion from Ryse: Son of Rome, while England footballer Andros Townsend battled it out on stage with a competition winner.
With the launch of Sony's PS4 next week, Microsoft has a head start on its rival in the run-up to Christmas.
"We're proud and excited that Xbox One is going to be the biggest launch in Xbox history," Microsoft's Phil Harrison said.
Gaming enthusiasts have flocked to central London for the launch of the hotly-anticipated Xbox One.
With the launch of Sony's PS4 next week, Microsoft has a head start on its rival in the run-up to Christmas for its all-in-one entertainment device.
The Xbox One - which goes on sale at midnight - costs £429.99
London's Leicester Square was transformed into a fantasy world overrun by zombies from and a Roman legion from Xbox games.