Mike

Microsoft has canceled plans to hold a Windows Summit event in Redmond next month, opting instead to turn the conference into a series of online presentations. On Wednesday afternoon, the company began notifying those who had signed up for the three-day conference that they will be getting refunds.

"To meet a variety of needs for folks looking for information on Windows, we decided it was in the best interest of both current and future designers, testers, developers, and engineers to make the information more broadly available," Microsoft said in a statement to CNET. The company declined to say how many people had registered for the event.

Mike

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is giving a sneak peek at the next version of Microsoft's instant messaging program. The new Windows Live Messenger will add a number of features, including tabbed conversations, the ability to do video chats in HD quality, share Web sites, search results and other content types, as well as pulling in updates from other social networks.

"The new Messenger will provide a great way to have more meaningful conversations with the people you care about most while also bringing together your social networks and sharing updates, cutting through the clutter, and staying up to date with your favorite friends," Microsoft said in a statement.

Mike

The numbers of PCs cleaned by Microsoft's anti-malware software worldwide during the second half of 2009 continued to trend upward, suggesting that more PCs are getting infected in total, according to the company's latest Security Intelligence Report (SIR).

The good news, though, is that Microsoft also said that its launch of its new Security Essentials free anti-malware tools last September is helping it keep pace, helping it catch and clean infected PCs.

Released this week, Microsoft's Security Intelligence Report Volume 8 (SIRv8) said that the company's software scanned some 500 million PCs worldwide in the second half of 2009. Of those, Microsoft caught and cleaned 1.7 million more infected PCs in the second half than it did in the first half of last year.

Mike

Microsoft and Taiwanese handset maker HTC are expanding a patent agreement through which Microsoft will now provide coverage for HTC's Android phones under the software giant's patent portfolio.

Android phones have grown to become an important part of HTC's business, patent coverage for which it's willing to pay Microsoft royalties, the two companies said.

"HTC and Microsoft have a long history of technical and commercial collaboration, and today's agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercial arrangements that address intellectual property," Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft, said in a statement. "We are pleased to continue our collaboration with HTC."

Mike

First announced just two weeks after Windows Embedded Standard 2009 was released, Windows Embedded Standard 7 has at last been released to manufacturers, Microsoft announced today. The company says that new devices built on the platform should be arriving soon, and that we should expect to see some "exciting developments" in Windows 7 consumer devices at Computex in June.

Though Windows Embedded Standard 7 can be used in dozens of different environments such as digital signage, thin clients, and industrial control systems, Microsoft has emphasized the value of this version to connected set-top boxes, TVs, and media players.

Mike

Recovering IT spending, robust worldwide PC shipments and strong Windows 7 adoption helped Microsoft to beat the Street. The software giant announced fiscal 2010 third quarter earnings, ended March 31, after the Bell, today.

Microsoft revenue rose 6 percent to $14.5 billion, up from $13.65 billion a year earlier. Operating income: $5.17 billion, up 17 percent. Net income: $4.01 billion, or 45 cents a share. Net income rose by 35 percent and earnings per share by 36 percent year over year. If not for a $305 million deferral related to Office 2010, Microsoft would have reported $14.81 billion revenue.

Mike

Amid the excitement that Windows 7 propelled Microsoft's revenues and earnings to stellar heights once again, one emerging trend is that the traditional corporate "wait and see" approach to new versions of Windows has been overridden by the need to replace aging enterprise PCs.

Although numbers are still more anecdotal than fact, it is difficult to deny that the long-awaited corporate refresh cycle has begun, according to analysts interviewed by InternetNews.com.

Mike

Microsoft has released a new Security Incident Report--the eighth volume of Microsoft's quarterly overview of computer and network security trends. The report illustrates once again that security can be greatly improved by upgrading to the latest software, and through user education.

The Key Findings Summary points out some of the more relevant data discovered over the past three months.

Vinny Gullotto, general manager of the Microsoft Malware Protection Center wrote in a post on The Official Microsoft Blog "The Internet holds great opportunity, but as cybercrime evolves it can be difficult to know how to stay protected."

Mike

One of Silverlight video's biggest advantages to date has been the server's ability to tweak the bitrate of video playback as it's being played back, and as the bandwidth of the connection varies. It's the smooth streaming feature that premiered last June with Silverlight 3. Now, with Silverlight 4 already well under way, Microsoft today premiered a public beta of a forthcoming release of Windows Home Server, which will be capable of smooth-streaming video to any Silverlight-enhanced client via the Web.

Mike

Windows 7 was designed to leverage new, cutting edge interfaces and input mechanisms like touchscreens. Unfortunately, some of the cooler stuff that Microsoft developed for the touchscreen interface was reserved for OEM manufacturers to bundle with touch-enabled Windows 7 systems-until now.

People who read this also read: I remember the first time I saw a demonstration video of the Microsoft Surface concept. As a techie and a gadget geek, I was more than impressed, and I immediately put one on my wish list. Alas, the only place I have really seen the Surface concept in action is when MSNBC used it during the last election cycle to counter the CNN "magic wall".