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Sexist comments against Smriti Irani: FIR registered against Congress leader Nilamani Sendeka

Meanwhile, BJP supporters in Rangia and Tulsibari burnt effigies of Sendeka on the national highway and Tulsibari market separately.

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Microsoft unveils first laptop, updated devices using Windows 10 | Reuters

Microsoft Corp unveiled on Tuesday its first laptop, a line of Lumia smartphones, a new Surface Pro tablet and an updated version of its wearable fitness tracker, Microsoft Band, all running on Windows 10, its latest operating system.

Microsoft is counting on Windows 10, launched in July, to help it win a bigger share of the market for tablets and smartphones, now dominated by Apple Inc and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Microsoft said its laptop, the Surface Book, will start at $1,499 and is twice as fast as Apple’s MacBook Pro. It will be available from Oct. 26, with preorders starting on Wednesday.

The laptop has a 13.5-inch display with 267 pixels per inch and features a track pad made of glass.

Microsoft, whose shares were up 0.6 percent at $46.89 at midday, said 110 million devices were now running Windows 10.

The company unveiled three phones at an event in New York.

The Lumia 950 and 950XL will have starting prices of $549 and $649 respectively when they go on sale in November, while the Lumia 550 will cost $139 when it becomes available in December.

The Lumia 950 includes a 5.2-inch display and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 processor with hexacore CPUs. The Lumia 950 XL has a 5.7-inch display and a Snapdragon 810 processor with octa-core CPUs. The 550 has a 4.7-inch HD display and runs on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 210 processor. (bit.ly/1QWM6XT)

The new Surface Pro 4 tablet – a larger but thinner and lighter version of the Surface Pro 3 – is priced at $899 and will be available from Oct. 26 with pre-orders starting on Wednesday.

Launched nearly a year and a half after its predecessor, the Surface Pro 4 features a 12.3-inch screen with 267 pixels per inch. It runs on 6th-generation Intel Core processor and has 16GB of RAM and 1TB storage.

Surface Pro 4 is 50 percent faster than Apple’s MacBook Air, Panos Panay, the corporate vice president for Surface Computing at Microsoft, said at the event.

LOVING IT

“We’re moving people from needing to choosing to loving Windows, and these devices promise to fuel even more enthusiasm and opportunity for the entire Windows ecosystem,” Chief Executive Satya Nadella said at the event.

Microsoft suffered its biggest-ever quarterly net loss in the three months ended June 30 after taking a $7.6 billion writedown on its Nokia handset business.

The company had said savings from the restructuring of the business would be pumped into its new flagship operating system, its fast-growing cloud business and its hardware division, which includes Xbox gaming consoles.

Microsoft also said its new tablet and smartphones will come with Windows Hello, an automatic biometric sign-in option introduced earlier this year.

The feature allows users to scan their face, iris or fingerprints to verify their identity and give them access to Windows phones, laptops and personal computers.

Microsoft also introduced a Surface Pen, which has year-long battery life, 1,024 pressure points and comes in five colors with inter-changeable pen tips.

The 950 and 950XL handsets feature a 20-megapixel rear camera, have up to 32GB of storage, 4K video and use liquid cooling technology. Microsoft said storage on the phones could be extended to up to 2 terabytes using a memory card.

The Microsoft Band 2, which allows users to monitor their fitness and exercise regime, will be priced at $249 when it becomes available on Oct. 30.

Unlike its predecessor, Microsoft’s entry product in the wearable technology market a year ago, the new Band has a curved display, which uses the Corning Gorilla glass 3, and has a barometer sensor to track elevation.

“The event was solid and showed Microsoft has stepped up its game on the consumer device front. Now the question is will consumers buy the products,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, who attended the event.

“…It is clear from presentations as well as speaking with the Microsoft team that Redmond feels that Windows 10 will help finally vault Microsoft into relevance on the smartphone landscape,” Ives said.

“That said, this is going to be a long road for Nadella as Microsoft plays major catchup on this key market.”

Microsoft said it was taking applications for a development kit for HoloLens, the holographic lens device that allows users to see 3D renderings of computer-generated images. The kit will be available in the first quarter of 2016 for $3,000.

HoloLens, which looks like a wireless visor, gives Microsoft a stake in the emerging market for virtual and augmented reality, which is also being targeted by Facebook Inc’s Oculus.

Microsoft’s shares have risen less than 1 percent since the start of the year.

(Reporting by Abhirup Roy and Devika Krishna Kumar in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Kshitiz Goliya; Editing by Ted Kerr)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Indo-US meet: After addressing G-4 summit, PM Modi leaves for Silicon Valley

During his two-day stay in Silicon Valley, he would begin and conclude his engagements with the Indian-American community, the last one being an address to a crowd of over 18,500 Indian-Americans at the SAP Centre in San Jose.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures before his departure for San Jose, in New York on Saturday.

PTI
After hosting a crucial G-4 summit on UN Security Council reforms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday left for San Jose to begin another crucial part of his US visit with a packed agenda of meetings with Silicon Valley honchos Tim Cook, Mark Zuckerberg and others. Modi left New York immediately after he hosted the leaders of Brazil, Japan and Germany for the G-4 summit on the long pending UNSC reform process.During his two-day stay in Silicon Valley, he would begin and conclude his engagements with the Indian-American community, the last one being an address to a crowd of over 18,500 Indian-Americans at the SAP Centre in San Jose.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sandwiched between the two community events would be Modi’s visits to the campuses of Tesla, Facebook and Google where he would hold meetings with the who’s who of Silicon Valley ranging from Apple chief Cook to Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Sundar Pichai of Google, Shantanu Narayen of Adobe, and Facebook’s Zuckerberg.After reaching San Jose later in the afternoon, Modi will visit Tesla Motors, followed by meetings with Apple CEO Cook, Microsoft CEO Nadella and Google CEO Pichai. Modi would also be meeting members of the Sikh and Gujarati communities.On the morning of September 27, Modi will visit the headquarters of social network giant Facebook, where he will hold a town-hall meeting with CEO Zuckerberg. He will then head to Google, part of his strong push to drive technological innovation in India.Modi will also have bilateral meetings with US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, California Governor Edmund Brown. He will also meet Salman Khan, the founder and CEO of Khan Academy, a free online education platform that produces thousands of video lessons on diverse subjects for students. He will also attend a roundtable on renewable energy and an India-US start-up meet.The first-ever Indian Prime Minister to visit Silicon Valley after it became the hub of global innovation and entrepreneurship, Modi’s first engagement after the community dinner tonight would be to drive down to the Tesla campus.The Prime Minister decided to visit Silicon Valley to experience and learn firsthand the success story of iconic companies and leaders here with the sole objective of building a similar ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in India, said Indian Ambassador to the US Arun K Singh.

He’s a rock star: Here’s how Modi has captivated his Silicon Valley fans

San Francisco – For a change, Silicon Valley is buzzing about something besides a sleek new device, mind-bending breakthrough or precocious billionaire.

A rare visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this weekend has captivated his extensive fan club in the area and commanded the attention of major US technology companies eager to extend their reach into a promising overseas market.

PM Modi. PTIPM Modi. PTI

PM Modi. PTI

It will also give Modi, a Hindu nationalist elected to office last year, an opportunity use the world’s high-tech capital as a pulpit to promote his plan to transform India into a hub of innovation. He envisions a “Digital India,” where ubiquitous high-speed internet access will empower entrepreneurs to build software and other technology products that will raise the standard of living in a country where many households are still impoverished.

“He’s like a rock star over here,” said Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance who has studied Silicon Valley and its reliance on immigrants in its technology-driven workforce. “He really does seem to understand the significance and importance of tech.”

Despite his popularity, Modi still faces strident criticism from some. A group of more than 100 college professors and other academics across the US have posted an open letter on the internet warning people to beware of Modi’s digital push. They say it could be a veiled attempt to enable the government to monitor private communications and suppress dissent.

“A lot of this is just very good public relations management,” said Thomas Blom Hansen, a Stanford University anthropology professor who has been studying India for 25 years. “All we are saying is, ‘Hang on, it’s not as well as it looks.'”

Modi’s government has raised privacy fears with a proposal that would have required internet users to save unencrypted copies of their texts and posts on social networks, an idea that Wadhwa describes as a blunder conceived by lower-level bureaucrats in India.

Another group called “Sikhs For Justice” is offering $10,000 to anyone who confronts Modi with two questions about perceived threats to religious freedom in India during a “town hall” meeting scheduled Sunday morning at Facebook’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters.

Modi’s arrival Saturday will mark the first time an Indian head of state has been in California in 33 years, turning his appearance into a cause for celebration among the tens of thousands of Indian immigrants living and working in Silicon Valley.

His appearance Sunday at a free community event in San Jose, California, will pack the SAP Center, an arena with 18,000 seats. More than 45,000 people had requested tickets.

Event organisers now believe Modi might have been able to fill the nearly 70,000 seats at Levi’s Stadium, which last month hosted sold-out concerts by pop singer Taylor Swift — one of only a few dozen people in the world who has amassed a bigger audience on Twitter and Facebook than Modi.

President Barack Obama is the only elected leader more popular on those influential networks than Modi, who boasts more than 15 million Twitter followers and more than 30 million Facebook fans. Modi regularly shares his thoughts on both communication channels.

Before he meets with Obama in New York on Monday, Modi will be discussing his digital agenda with some of the technology’s biggest stars. He is due to dine Saturday with a list of CEOs that includes Apple’s Tim Cook and two native Indians, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Google’s Sundar Pichai. His itinerary also includes Sunday’s town hall alongside Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, a test drive with Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk in one of the company’s trend-setting electric cars and stop at Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters.

Like many other technology workers born in India, both Nadella and Pichai came to the US to study engineering. Asians now hold 25% to 43% of the US technology jobs at Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook, according to the companies’ most recent disclosures. The racial breakdowns don’t specify what percentage of the companies’ Asian workforce is Indian, but they all acknowledge it’s a significant number.

But technology companies aren’t embracing Modi just to please their Indian workers. They all view India as a potentially lucrative market for years to come. Although the country has produced many successful engineers, technology entrepreneurs and executives, much of the population in India still isn’t using computers. That makes it a ripe market for mobile devices and a wide range of other digital products and services.

Facebook has already launched an effort to connect with lower-income Indians through Zuckerberg’s Internet.org project, but that has met resistance from Indian groups who say the project favours the company’s social network and other products over homegrown web services. That’s just one reason why Wadhwa believes Zuckerberg and other Internet executives are trying to woo Modi as an ally.

“Poverty is a massive problem in India and technology-based entrepreneurship can be an antidote,” said Silicon Valley venture capitalist Venktesh Shukla, who also will be meeting with Modi on behalf of The Indus Entrepreneurs, a group that helps Indians form and launch startups. “We want to talk to him about how to create the framework to replicate the magic of Silicon Valley in India.”

AP

Microsoft hangs up on Nokia business, to cut 7,800 jobs | Reuters

Microsoft Corp said on Wednesday it would cut 7,800 jobs, or nearly 7 percent of its workforce, and write down about $7.6 billion related to its Nokia phone business.

Most of the job cuts will be in the phone hardware business, underscoring the company’s shift in focus to software and cloud from hardware.

About a third of the layoffs will be in Finland, where Microsoft will shut down a product development unit, according to Finland’s national broadcaster YLE.

This is the second round of job cuts since Satya Nadella took over as chief executive in February 2014. Microsoft said last July it would slash up to 18,000 jobs.

Nadella has played up Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise software capabilities, but investors have been concerned that the transition to cloud was not offsetting weakening sales of Windows and Office and a bleeding phone business.

Microsoft was widely expected to write off all or part of the $7.2 billion it paid for Nokia’s handset unit in 2014, a deal that left the company with a struggling business and only 3 percent of the smartphone market.

The company announced last month that Stephen Elop, the former top boss at Nokia, would leave.

“Overall, we believe Nadella’s proactive approach at cleaning up the Nokia acquisition is a positive “tipping of the hand” around Microsoft’s future focus on software,” FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives wrote in a note.

Microsoft’s shares rose as much as 1.4 percent on Wednesday.

Cross Research analyst Shannon Cross said she expects more cost cutting in the next couple of years as Microsoft needs to become more competitive in the smartphone market.

The company, which had more than 118,000 employees worldwide as of March 31, said on Wednesday it would take a restructuring charge of about $750-$850 million in its fourth quarter ended June 30.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Ross MacMillan said he estimates the latest layoffs to reduce operating expenses by more than $1 billion on an annualized basis.

Microsoft shares have risen about 22 percent since Nadella took over in February last year.

(Additional reporting by Sabina Zawadzki in Copenhagen; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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