Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) News Highlights: 3D Printing Partnership, Suit over Surface RT Sales, Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop & More

Editor’s Note: Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

Why Microsoft’s 3D Printing Partnership Makes Sense (TechCrunch)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has to remain relevant to hardware hackers. While they are necessary – no one can dispute the strength of Windows in the business world – they have, for the past decade, fallen slowly in esteem in the eyes of designers, makers, and artists. That’s why their recent partnership with Makerbot makes perfect sense. Love them or hate them (and I know few people who hate them), Makerbot owns most of the mindshare when it comes to popular home 3D printing. While there may be superior or cheaper solutions out there, the Replicator is the “Kleenex” of 3D printing. They are a recognizable brand and they are probably the first see you find when searching for home printers.

Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Giving Apple Inc. (AAPL) a Run for its ‘Patent Money’Microsoft hit with class-action suit over Surface RT (CNET)
The law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd has filed a class-action suit against Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) over what it claims was misleading information on the company’s Surface RT sales. Neowin.net posted about the suit on August 13, noting that it names as defendants Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, former Chief Financial Officer Peter Klein, corporate Vice President Frank Brod and Executive Vice President of Marketing Tami Reller. The firm is claiming that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) ”issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s financial performance and its tablet computer, the Surface RT.” It is claiming that the company’s financial statements for the quarter ending March 31, 2013, were ‘materially false and misleading’ and that Microsoft officials made misleading positive statements about the Surface RT during the “class period.”

Microsoft announces Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop (TechSpot)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) on Tuesday revealed the next evolution of ergonomic input devices collectively known as the Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop. It’s a combination of the Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard and the Sculpt Ergonomic Mouse, two products that are an extension of Microsoft’s Natural line of ergonomic gear that dates back nearly 20 years. The Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard features a unique split design that looks a bit different than anything you’ve probably seen to date. It’s designed to help position the wrists and forearms in a natural, more relaxed position. The palm rest is said to have a cushion-like feel and is raised to reduce wrist pronation.

Microsoft tweaks Windows 8.1 again to help new users (PCWorld)
Although most of the big changes in Windows 8.1 were announced in June, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is making a few more adjustments before shipping the update to users. The changes appear in a leaked build, Build 9471, of the near-final version of Windows 8.1, as tested by The Verge. Along with the return of the Start button, better built-in apps, and more options within the modern-style interface, the changes should smooth out the learning curve of Windows 8.

Microsoft beefs up Windows Azure with push and disaster-recovery updates (ZDNet)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) says new features for Windows Azure, including better push notification and disaster recovery, will save mobile developers time and improve SQL Server availability. The Azure cloud platform now offers SQL Server AlwaysOn Groups, the high-availability and disaster-recovery technology introduced with SQL Server 2012. According to Microsoft, this update means its cloud supports “the complete SQL Server AlwaysOn Availability Groups technology stack with Windows Azure Virtual Machines — including enabling support for SQL Server Availability Group Listeners”.

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