Items tagged with Microsoft

  Back in late October, Microsoft announced the Windows 10 Creators Update, which will arrive next spring for customers. At its keynote, Microsoft introduced a number of consumer-centric features including Paint 3D, improved inking support, and support for new virtual reality headsets. In the weeks since the original announcement, we’ve also learned about the Unified Update Platform (UUP) which reduces the download size of major Windows 10 updates by up to 35 percent. While the Creators Update might seem like all fun and games at first glance, there’s a lot more going on just beneath the surface... Read more...
It looks as though Microsoft is looking to delve back in to the artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot scene with a follow-up to the ill-fated Tay. After some rather raucous behavior that eventually earned Tay a permanent stint in rehab, Zo is emerging as its true successor. Zo is the latest generation of Microsoft’s AI chatbot, and it is currently available in preview form for those that use the Kik messenger platform. Kik isn’t are popular as Facebook Messenger and Snapchat, and it definitely isn’t as pervasive as Twitter (which allowed Tay to become a hate-filled PR nightmare for Microsoft). Perhaps... Read more...
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 is long due for an upgrade -- while the current convertible is still a potent beast, it was originally released back in October 2015. A new report, however, suggests that we may have to wait a few more months for the Surface Pro 5, which will reportedly debut in Spring 2017. When the Surface Pro 5 launches, it will sport Intel’s latest Kaby Lake processors, which is to be expected. The source for this information, The BitBag, says that the Surface Pro 5 will come paired with up to 16GB of RAM and a “massive” 512GB SSD. We question the excitement over the 512GB SSD, as... Read more...
Smart home technology is on the rise and everyone is looking to get in on the action. That includes big players such as Amazon and Google, and pretty soon you can count Microsoft among the contenders as well. However, Microsoft's solution won't be a hardware product. Instead it has been working on a software solution called Home Hub since before the Anniversary Update for Windows 10 arrived.The Anniversary Update actually includes some features designed to work with Home Hub, such as being ability to summon Cortana from the lock screen. Even more features that link Home Hub's functionality with... Read more...
If you’re a Windows Insider that loves to see a steady stream of preview builds of Windows 10 come through via the Fast ring, things are about to slow down a bit. Microsoft announced yesterday that it will “pause” the release of Windows 10 Insider Preview builds on both the Fast and Slow rings. Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar broke the news in a blog posting concerning the release of Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 14977: We are getting ready to start releasing PC builds to Insiders using UUP. To prepare for this, we are going to pause all PC builds for both the Fast and Slow rings starting this... Read more...
Frank West, Capcom's popular freelance photographer and photojournalist turned zombie exterminator for the past decade, is about to return for some Christmas-themed carnage in Dead Rising 4. To welcome him back and celebrate his return, Microsoft's Major Nelson is giving away some goodies to randomly selected winners who answer a simple question—what is your favorite Dead Rising combo weapon (or weapon of choice during the zombie apocalypse)? There's an official form to submit your answer and those are the only ones that will be eligible for the contest. Major Nelson says he's trying out a new... Read more...
We saw in a teardown analysis earlier this week how difficult it is to perform at-home repairs and upgrades on Microsoft's recently announced Surface Studio all-in-one desktop, which comes with several core components soldered to the motherboard, but what about the hockey puck shaped Surface Dial accessory that goes along with it? Don't hold your breath hoping that it's any less difficult to work on. About the only thing that can be done on the Surface Dial without a bucket of courage and years of experience is swap out the pair of AAA batteries as needed. The rubber bottom protecting the battery... Read more...
Microsoft recently announced its first desktop PC, the Surface Studio, a sleek looking all-in-one with some unique features. As is the trend these days, the Surface Studio is pretty thin. It's also not a system that is easy to repair at home, a teardown analysis reveals. Much of the reason for that is because Microsoft opted to solder several key components to the motherboard. Getting into the 21-pound Surface Studio isn't all that difficult, though finding a pathway isn't all that obvious, either. Flipping the AIO on its base reveals a strip of air vents that border the entire bottom panel. In... Read more...
The Xbox One has been on a sales tear lately with Microsoft bragging earlier this month that its game console had outsold the PlayStation 4 for the fourth consecutive month in the United States, based on tracking data by The NPD Group. Things are not slowing down, either. As Black Friday sales morph into Cyber Monday, Microsoft noted "strong demand" for its console. "There was strong demand for Xbox hardware, accessories, games, and Xbox Live engagement on Black Friday, based on initial results, with a strong start to the holiday season," said Mike Nichols, Corporate Vice President of Xbox Marketing.... Read more...
Since the launch of Metro in Windows 8, Microsoft has iterated on its "Microsoft Design Language" a few times, with MDL2 being the most recent version to grace Windows 10. According to fresh rumor, it looks like a third iteration is en route for Windows 10, and it's called "Project NEON". What NEON ultimately is likely to become is "Metro 2", the overarching design of Windows and its apps (and the Windows Phone UI) that adheres to very strict guidelines. It's modern, clean and attractive. Microsoft's Metro design language was first introduced with Windows 8 While we're still a ways out... Read more...
Microsoft is at somewhat of a crossroads with its mobile division. Earlier this month, CEO Satya Nadella admitted that the company’s recent mobile efforts have been poor at best, stating, “We clearly missed mobile. There is no question.” Not only has Microsoft’s share of the mobile OS market sunk to sub 1 percent levels, but Lumia production has reportedly been put on ice. Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s hardware division has been a complete financial disaster and has result in the firing of thousands of employees. Despite these strong headwinds, Nadella is still convinced that there is a path... Read more...
Who hasn’t played a few rounds of Solitaire on a Windows PC when looking to pass the time? I know I spent too many hours playing the game in my high school drafting classes during the 90s (along with excessive amounts of Worms and the original SimCity). Microsoft’s take on Solitaire goes all the way back to Windows 3.0 in 1990, and now Microsoft is bringing the game to competing platforms. Microsoft announced today that the version of Solitaire included in Windows 10 will come to mobile gamers who carry around iPads, iPhones, and Samsung Galaxy smartphones (among other devices). Called the Solitaire... Read more...
Oculus Rift owners who also have an Xbox One console will pretty soon be able to stream their Xbox One games to their VR headset connected to a Windows 10 PC. It is an expansion of the ability to stream Xbox One games to Windows 10, a feature that rolled out to the masses with the Anniversary Update, and it also underscores the ongoing partnership between Microsoft and Oculus. "At Xbox, we’re continuously exploring new ways for you to get the most out of your gaming experiences by providing the choice to play how you want, where you want and with whomever you want. With the launch of Windows 10... Read more...
History (and Hollywood movies) taught us that you shouldn't pick on the school nerd, because it's the school nerd who goes on to become a raging success and gets the girl or guy. Apple missed that lesson. While Apple CEO Tim Cook was busy throwing shade at the convertible tablet category by comparing the concept to the futility of trying to merge a toaster with a refrigerator, Microsoft was busy designing the Surface Pro. Now it's Microsoft boss Satya Nadella who is getting the last laugh.Let's go back in time, shall we? If you set the DeLorean to early 2012, you can sit in and listen to Cook talk... Read more...
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