Items tagged with Windows

A security researcher for AVG has discovered a new piece of ransomware called Fantom that masquerades as a critical Windows update. Victims who fall for the ruse will see a Windows screen acting like it's installing the update, but what's really happening is that the user's documents and files are being encrypted in the background.Fantom is based on the open-source EDA2 ransomware project, and unfortunately there's no way to decrypt the files without the culprit's help. Plain and simple, you're in a bad spot if you happen to fall for this one. While savvy computer users might spot the ransomware... Read more...
Over the past couple of months, many Surface Pro 3 users have complained of rapid battery drain. As we reported at the time, Microsoft's Panos Panay said that the SP3's battery should hold up to weekday charges over the course of four-and-a-half years, at which point the battery would be expected to have about 80% of its capacity remaining. Even though Surface Pro 3s were released a couple of years ago, most users' batteries should not be draining noticeably quicker quite yet. In last month's post, we noted that Microsoft believes the issue could be fixed through software, and over the weekend,... Read more...
There was a ton of hype of anticipation leading up to the Anniversary Update for Windows 10, otherwise known as Redstone 1 and the OS's second major update since it launched in July of last year. Now it's time to look ahead to Redstone 2, one of two major updates Microsoft has planned for next year. If you want to get an early look at what's in store, the first Redstone 2 preview build (14901) is available to Windows Insiders subscribers who are signed up to the Fast ring. At this early stage in Redstone 2's development, Microsoft says you won't see many big changes or new features. The focus for... Read more...
Tablet PCs have been around for ages, but when Apple released its first iPad, it's as if the world suddenly realized just how useful they could be. Immediately, iPads flew off the shelves, and a countless number of competitors popped out of nowhere with their own take on things. In recent years, Microsoft has even got in on the action, ruling the roost where Windows slates are concerned. But, as IDC's latest report highlights, tablets are on the decline, which is sure to leave a sour taste in the mouths of those who still love them. Decline doesn't mean down-and-out, though: there could always... Read more...
Have you ever sent a message that you immediately regretted even writing? If so, Yahoo has your back. Its revamped Messenger app is now available for Windows and Mac desktops. Austin Showmaker, Senior Director of Product Management stated, “With Messenger’s desktop notifications, you can multitask at your computer without having to worry about missing an important message from family, friends, or coworkers again.” Yahoo relaunched its Messenger app last December. The app was specifically redesigned with group chats in mind. Yahoo Messenger users can “like” any comment, photo, or GIF which... Read more...
If you are like me, the Aero themes under the Personalize menu in Windows 7 and Windows 10's minimalist design language are just not enough to give your PC a unique look. You want more than a new wallpaper, some icons, and simple color changes. There are utilities out there, both free and commercial, that will give you a custom desktop far beyond anything you can get from the Windows theme presets. You can go with the out of the box look, or customize things on your own with a little fiddling. Let's start with Rainmeter, an open source, free utility focused primarily on information display on your... Read more...
There's nothing wrong with showing up fashionably late to the party, and at long last, WhatsApp has decided to don the desktop with its presence. The wildly popular messaging application that's owned by Facebook announced the availability of its first desktop app for PCs running Windows 8 and higher and Macs running OS X 10.9 or newer.Since the desktop app runs natively on the desktop rather than through a web browser, WhatsApp brings support for native desktop notifications, better keyboard shortcuts, and so forth. But perhaps the biggest draw is end-to-end encryption. Much to the chagrin of government... Read more...
Despite significant user outcry that the Windows 10 upgrade mechanism has gone rogue, installing on customers' Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 machines when their backs turned or otherwise away from the computer, Microsoft is pleading innocent. We first brought you news of the automatic Windows 10 upgrades over the weekend, and in nearly every case, Windows 10 installed without user intervention — something that is clearly not supposed to happen based on previous commentary from Windows chief Terry Myerson. Microsoft issued the following statement regarding the “unplanned” upgrades: We shared in... Read more...
A few weeks ago, we talked about how Microsoft wants to improve the interoperability between the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. At the very least, games built using Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform can be developed for both Xbox and Windows at the same time, and part of that perk means that many (or all) of these games will allow gamers to play against (or with) each other cross-platform. Well, going forward, things could be improving in that regard. At the ongoing Game Developers Conference, Microsoft announced that it's aiming to pave the way for cross-network play in games released for both... Read more...
Microsoft has just released another update to Windows 10 Mobile, bringing us up to version 10586.122. The company notes that this isn't going to be the bulkiest release it's let loose, but that those coming from Windows Phone 8.1 should notice the most obvious improvements with regards to the upgrade experience. The company also added support for 4 new phones: MCJ Madosma Q501, BLU Win HD W510U, BLU Win HD LTE X150Q, and ALCATEL ONETOUCH Fierce XL. This is one of the rarer builds that actually goes to the Slow and Release Preview rings, so if you're running the Fast ring and want to go with a more... Read more...
Few operating systems are quite as iconic as Windows 95, which turned 20 just this past August. Compared to its predecessor, Windows 3.x, Windows 95 was an update unlike most others. The desktop environment was completely overhauled to offer easier navigation and a better experience overall. It was also the first Windows release to have a Start menu, a feature that has since remained in the bottom left-hand corner, and has been updated again and again (to the chagrin of some). There's lots about Windows 95 that can make people feel nostalgic. Take, for example, the classic game Hover, which Microsoft... Read more...
Microsoft caused a lot of confusion and anger in the enthusiast community when it was announced that customers running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on Skylake hardware would no longer be officially supported after July 17th, 2017. That means critical security updates will no longer be delivered to these systems, and even if they are provided, Microsoft will do so only “if the update does not risk the reliability or compatibility of the Windows 7/8.1 platform on other devices.” Although it wasn’t entirely clear at the time (because we couldn’t fathom that Microsoft would take this drastic of an action... Read more...
Microsoft is really pushing its Windows 10 operating system, and many people are actually taking the plunge. After all, Windows 10 is free upgrade for customers running Windows 7 and Windows 8, so it’s a compelling option for those that want to have the latest and greatest operating system at their fingertips. Windows 10 adoption is growing at a steady clip, with one recent report suggesting that global installs have topped 200 million. However, the same cannot be said for Microsoft’s Edge browser, the successor to the venerable Internet Explorer (now on version 11). New data from NetMarketShare... Read more...
With its Windows OS, Microsoft is likely the biggest victim of piracy on Earth, and it's no secret that China plays a major role in that. But, so too do other issues, such as the Chinese government's distaste or distrust of American companies. This ties into the reason that China is working to get its own CPU off the ground, as well as its own OS. Microsoft realizes this problem well, but can't ignore the huge potential of penetrating the Chinese government market. So it has decided to go out of its comfort zone to cater to the Chinese government's requirements. It's doing so by establishing a... Read more...
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