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Microsoft launches new software

San Jose Mercury News (MCT) By Troy Wolverton (McClatchy/Tribune - MCT Information Services)

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

SAN FRANCISCO (MCT) – Microsoft on Monday attempted to jump-start its flagging smartphone efforts, launching a new version of its mobile operating system along with a major advertising campaign for the new version of its Windows software.

At an event here featuring actress Jessica Alba and company CEO Steve Ballmer, Microsoft officials touted features of Windows Phone 8 that make it distinct from Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, which together dominate the smartphone market. Phones featuring Microsoft’s operating system will hit the market this weekend, and Microsoft plans to tout them widely.

“You won’t be able to turn on a TV or open a magazine without seeing a Microsoft Windows ad,” Ballmer said.

Microsoft officials announced Windows Phone 8 at an event this summer, but the company did not say then when the software would be available or even open the new version of the software to developers.

On Monday, the company announced more new features, including an app designed to help users reduce the amount of data they use on cellular networks. Another new feature lets users set up a kids’ area on their phone that allows their children access to certain apps while blocking them from others.

Microsoft also announced software to help users of Apple’s iTunes software easily move their music and playlists to the company’s new Xbox Music service, which comes pre-installed on the phones.

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