Recently Browsing 0 members
No registered users viewing this page.
Microsoft plans to add chat bubbles support to Teams
by Anmol Mehrotra
Microsoft is working on a new feature that should help users send and receive messages with ease while on a Teams call. The upcoming chat bubbles feature will allow users to follow messages while being on a call.
The Redmond giant recently update the Microsoft 365 Roadmap to include chat bubbles. Microsoft notes that chat bubbles are currently under development right now. The company gave the following explanation on how they will work.
Microsoft first announced the feature last July and is planning to roll it out to Teams users soon. According to the Roadmap page, the feature will roll out to Teams users in May 2021. It is not clear if the feature will work outside Teams, allowing users to follow a conversation on Teams and use another app simultaneously.
Apart from the aforementioned feature, Microsoft is also working with third-parties to make electronic attestation easier as well as add support for replies to individual messages. Moreover, the company will soon allow users to lock meetings, set Breakout Room timers and more. Microsoft has also added multiple new entries to Microsoft 365 Roadmap that are aimed at improving the polls feature by using AI and the company is working on letting users spotlight up to seven users and translate PowerPoint slideshows. Lastly, Microsoft is also working on Breakout Rooms and bandwidth management improvements for Teams users.
Microsoft confirms Nuance acquisition for nearly $20 billion
by João Carrasqueira
Over the weekend, reports emerged that Microsoft was considering an acquisition of Nuance Communications, a company focusing on cloud and AI products, specifically for healthcare. It hasn't taken long for an official confirmation, as Microsoft has now announced that that's acquiring the company in an all-cash transaction valued at $19.7 billion, including Nuance's net debt. That values each share at $56, a 23% increase over their closing price on Friday, April 9.
Nuance's products include Dragon Ambient eXperience, Dragon Medical One, and PowerScribe One, all of which are speech recognition services powered by Microsoft's Azure. In fact, the acquisition of Nuance follows a partnership between the two companies back in 2019, when the companies brought the Dragon Medical software and Microsoft's Azure solutions together to "transform the doctor-patient experience".
Nuance's healthcare-focused products are very widely used across the United States, with 55% of physicians and 75% of radiologists relying on them. But the company does more than healthcare, also offering solutions in the field of AI and customer engagement, such as helping with Apple's Siri virtual assistant.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella commented on the acquisition, saying:
The transaction has been approved unanimously by the Boards of Directors at both companies and is expected to close by the end of the 2021 calendar year, though the financial effects will mostly be felt in fiscal year 2023 for Microsoft. Mark Benjamin will continue to serve as CEO of Nuance and report to Microsoft's Scott Guthrie, vice president of the Cloud & AI group at the Redmond company.
Edge is getting a new Workspaces feature, and you can try it now
by João Carrasqueira
Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser gets new features on a fairly frequent basis, and now another useful one may be on the horizon. As shared by Reddit user (and frequent spotter of new Edge features) Leopeva64-2, Microsoft has added a new hidden Workspaces feature in Edge Canary, the most active development branch for Edge Insiders.
Workspaces live next to the tab bar at the top, and they essentially let a user rename a window and save all of the tabs open on it for later. It may sound similar in concept to Collections, but Workspaces open in their own separate window each time, so you can always have a specific window to focus on a certain task. Workspaces persist across browsing sessions, too, and you can close the window and reopen the workspace later.
However, closing a tab in a workspace means it won't be part of the workspace anymore, and any tabs you've opened are added to the workspace and saved when you close it. Essentially, while Collections let you easily access everything related to a specific topic whenever you want to, Workspaces are more so focused on saving your workflow. The current tabs and tab groups in a workspace are saved, while tabs that have been closed are not.
Unlike most hidden Edge features, this one isn't available as a flag, but instead as a launch parameter. If you want to try out Workspaces, you'll need to create a shortcut for Edge Canary with this parameter (via gHacks):
To do this, you can edit the existing shortcut on your desktop by right-clicking the shortcut and choosing Properties. Then, add the text above at the end of the Target field, outside of the quotation marks. You can also edit the link on your Start menu by right-clicking Edge Canary and choosing "Open file location", which should open the Start Menu folder. You can then edit the shortcut in that folder as explained above. If you have the browser pinned to your taskbar, you may need to unpin and pin it again for it to be updated.
By Jay Bonggolto
Microsoft could acquire AI firm Nuance Communications in a $16 billion deal
by Jay Bonggolto
Microsoft partnered with Nuance Communications in 2019 to develop ambient sensing and conversational AI systems that would automate healthcare administrative tasks and clinical documentation while physicians focused their full attention to taking care of patients. Now, a new report suggests the software giant is acquiring the artificial intelligence company.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reports Microsoft may announce an agreement with Nuance as early as this week. Discussions are not yet final between the two companies and Nuance could be valued at around $56 per share if current negotiations hold. This means the deal could be worth $16 billion, Bloomberg noted.
It's also worth noting that Nuance provided the underlying technology for Apple's Siri digital assistant. Nuance's speech recognition system called Dragon, in particular, is at the core of its AI offerings for various industries including healthcare, legal, law enforcement, education, and financial services.
Microsoft's rumored discussion with Nuance is a step forward in the Redmond-based company's longstanding AI push. Its most recent investment in AI came in the form of a partnership with Qualcomm late last year to enhance the development and deployment of AI and machine learning systems for developers working in this area.
That said, Microsoft's talks with Nuance could still fall apart. But if it succeeds, it will be the company's second largest acquisition to date, next only to its $24 billion purchase of LinkedIn in 2016.
Neowin Podcast Episode 22: LG gives up on phones, and what's next for Windows 10
by João Carrasqueira
The Neowin Podcast is supported by Audible, a provider of audiobooks, podcasts, and other audio-based entertainment that you can download and listen to anywhere, even when you're offline. Plus, if you also use Kindle to read books, your progress can even sync between your written books and the audio version. Sign up for a free trial of Audible and get your first audiobook for free at audibletrial.com/neowin. You can even keep that audiobook - and any other ones you end up getting - forever if you cancel your subscription.
Welcome back to the Neowin Podcast. On episode 22 - which might be our final one as Rich is leaving Neowin - we talk about the sad news that LG has officially called it quits on its mobile business, as well as the uncertain path for Windows 10 in the next few months.
This week started with news that may have left many of us disheartened. After almost two decades in the mobile phone space, LG has decided to close down its smartphone division due to the highly competitive nature of the market. As we discuss in the episode, LG was responsible for many innovations throughout the years, even in the smartphone era, with standout devices like the LG G Flex 2, the G5, or the V10.
Then, on Wednesday, we got a new Windows 10 build after a hiatus last week, and with it came a switch to a new development branch, co_release, signaling that Microsoft may be getting ready to wrap up development on the big Windows 10 feature update for this fall. We were expecting a big visual overhaul, x64 emulation on ARM, and potentially even support for Android apps, but it's unclear where things may be headed with this switch. The build also came with the news that Paint and Snipping Tool are going to start being updated through the Microsoft Store.
If you'd like to catch up on the news discussed in this episode, you can use the links below:
LG is officially shutting down its mobile phone business, but you may still get updates Retrospective: LG G Flex 2; LG G5, and LG V10 Microsoft releases Windows 10 build 21354 from the co_release branch Microsoft will update Snipping Tool and Paint through the Microsoft Store
You can listen to the episode below, and the Neowin Podcast is available on iTunes - and apps that rely on its library - as well as Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music. And if you want to add it to your own podcast library, you can use this RSS feed:
Neowin.net · Episode 22 - LG gives up on phones, and what's next for Windows 10