TechNetLogoAs IT trends and business dynamics have evolved, so has Microsoft’s set of offerings for IT professionals who are looking to learn, evaluate and deploy Microsoft technologies and services. In recent years, we have seen a usage shift from paid to free evaluation experiences and resources.  As a result, Microsoft has decided to retire the TechNet Subscriptions service.
Microsoft will continue to honor all existing TechNet Subscriptions. Subscribers with active accounts may continue to access program benefits until their current subscription period concludes.

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microsoft logoBig changes could be inbound for Microsoft soon, as CEO Steve Ballmer has been reportedly contemplating how he will restructure the company to be leaner and more efficient. According to a new report, the result of that plan will see several Microsoft executives transitioning to larger roles in the company.
According to a report by AllThingsD citing unnamed sources, Ballmer has been working on the plan in relative secrecy for months, only informing a "small group" of executives that report directly to him as well as some Microsoft board members. The entire senior leadership team will likely be informed of the changes by July 1, the outlet reports.

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NSA SealNew "top secret" slides released by The Washington Post on Saturday shed further light on the U.S. National Security Agency's (NSA) PRISM program, which was first publicly disclosed through a series of leaks by former government contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden earlier this month.
The additional four slides expand on the original leaks released by the publication along with The Guardian. They further back claims of widespread borderline illegal mass surveillance by Snowden, whose airside location at a Moscow airport caused a stand-off between the two former Cold War superpowers on a new diplomatic front.

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computer usersOnce you arrive at the office, how do you start your morning? You probably don't dig right into your work. (If you do, you deserve a raise.) More realistically, you hit the coffee machine and then peruse your favorite websites to catch up on the news you missed while logging your virtuous eight hours of dreamtime.
Even here at My Computer Playground our browsers aren't always tuned to our own site. In fact, many of our must-read sites aren't even tech-related. Shocking, right? But it's our duty to be up on all the news that's fit to tweet. Besides, those Facebook friend requests aren't going to confirm themselves.

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android-robot-google-signIf Nokia had a dollar for every time some pundit, analyst or tech blogger said it should switch from Windows Phone to Android, the company’s recovery would be much further along than it is right now. That didn’t stop Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu from recommending yet again in a recent note to clients that Nokia bail on Microsoft’s mobile platform and embrace the dominant Android operating system.
Nokia should “take the pill before one cannot afford to do so anymore” and switch to Android before it’s too late, Ferregu wrote in a research note picked up by Barron’s. Continuing to rely on Windows Phone and Nokia’s “Asha” feature phone platform while cash dwindles is an exercise in futility, according to the analyst.

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HTC has signed Robert Downey Jr. to a global marketing deal that will cost the company $12 million, according to a report from Bloomberg. The Taiwanese handset vendor posted net income of less than $3 million in Q1 2013. HTC would be committing to the pricey marketing campaign at a time when sales of the Samsung Galaxy S4 are widely speculated to be slowing down shockingly soon after its spring launch. Apple’s iPhone volume growth slowed down sharply in the first quarter and its spring sales are expected to be muted.

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Could this be the right moment for HTC to try to revamp its brand image?

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altavista logoMuch like how Google periodically reveals plans to shut down some of its older products, Yahoo announced late on Friday plans to sunset a number of its websites and services, including one that's been around for 18 years.
Yahoo's Tumblr page reveals that it will finally shut down what's left of the AltaVista search engine on July 8th. Launched in 1995, AltaVista was one of the most popular search engines on the Internet but later lost ground to Yahoo and Google. Yahoo acquired AltaVista's parent company in 2003.

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Nokia's latest flagship, the thin and light Lumia 925, impressed us when we first got our paws on it last month, but it was only when we reviewed it last week that we really discovered what a great all-rounder it is. Indeed, we declared it not just the best Windows Phone by far, but also one of the best smartphones on the market today.


A big part of the handset's appeal is its 8.7MP PureView camera. The company claims that it can capture "more than your eyes can see", and while that's perhaps a stretch, it's easily one of the most impressive smartphone cameras we've seen.

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Millions of clumsy cellphone users have been in the situation shown in this video: One minute your iPhone’s in your hand, the next it has hit the floor and cracked! That’s where 25-year-old A.J. Forsythe comes in with a simple idea: iPhone doctors who make house calls.

Forsythe co-founded iCracked, a start-up that with a team of repair people who specialize in cracked screens.

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NSA SealThe latest leaked documents published by The Guardian detail in full the scope of the orders signed off on by judges of a top secret U.S. court, which determines what the U.S. National Security Agency can do with data it "inadvertently" collects from U.S. residents.
Two documents were published — one "top secret" and another with the slightly lower classification "secret" — detail how the NSA is able to target non-U.S. residents and how the intelligence agency can minimize the data collection from U.S. residents.

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