Items tagged with Microsoft

Have you ever spent hours crafting the perfect online user name, only to discover it had already been claimed? Thankfully, Xbox Live users will now have more choices. Microsoft will release nearly one million Gamertags on Wednesday, May 18th at 2pm (EST). They will be available to Xbox Live Gold members with active subscriptions and at least one year of cumulative Xbox Live Gold tenure. The Gamertags will be released over a 24-period so that Xbox Live Gold members in different countries will have an equal chance of claiming one. Xbox Live policy permits one free Gamertag change request... Read more...
Are you planning an upgrade to Windows 10? If so, you might be contemplating a clean install instead of an in-place upgrade. The same goes for Windows Insiders testing preview builds on either the slow ring or fast ring. Either way, it's a chance to start fresh with the peace of mind that no corrupted bits or extra junk will carry over, and to make things easier, Microsoft is working on a new tool for clean installs. "Want a simple and easy way to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows? Looking for an easy way to do this? We're working on a tool to make this possible," Jason, a Microsoft... Read more...
If you enjoy seeing recommended apps in your Windows 10 Start menu, then you're going to love the fact that the upcoming Redstone update doubles the number you'll be able to see. Who knew Windows 10 could get even better? Alright, so that's a bit of an exaggeration, but considering the fact that it is happening, it does make us wonder what Microsoft is actually thinking. As it stands today, if you open your Start menu in Windows 10, a couple of recommended apps might appear. The goal is obvious: to lead user to the Windows Store to download an app or two. Ultimately, Microsoft hopes that you... Read more...
Microsoft's Project Spark had a ton of potential. It was built up (no pun) to be the ultimate builder game, allowing users to create their own worlds, mechanics, and fun. The game even had the benefit of being available on both the Xbox One and PC, but alas, it has proven to be one of those games that just wasn't mean to go on forever. In an official post, Microsoft and Team Dakota jointly announced that Project Spark support would be discontinued, and as of right now, the game is no longer available for download. If you already have the game downloaded, you'll be able to continue to play until... Read more...
This past fall, Microsoft surprised the world when it unveiled that a huge number of Xbox 360 games would be playable on the Xbox One. This even came as a surprise to Sony, which unveiled an arguably lackluster version of backwards compatibility, where gamers need to repurchase the games. When Microsoft released the first 100 or so titles for backwards compatibility on the Xbox One, it was hard to tell just how far the company would take things. However, all we really had to do was look to the Xbox 360 itself, which supported a huge number of original Xbox titles (important for those wanting to... Read more...
We’ve talked extensively about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that is coming for those running desktop, notebook and convertible PCs. However, the Anniversary Update is also being extended to Windows 10 Mobile as well. And we’re learning today that one of the big features coming to Windows 10 Mobile devices via the Anniversary Update is support for fingerprint readers. This is the first instance of direct software support for fingerprint hardware being embedded into Windows 10 Mobile. Smartphones running iOS and Android have supported fingerprint unlocking for quite some time, so it’s nice to... Read more...
We've all seen shady pitches to sell software and services that purport to fix our PCs, restore system performance, recover lost passwords, and so forth. The problem is many of them are outright scams. Rather than try to wade through them all and let only the good ones through, Microsoft has decided to ban all online technical support services from advertising on Bing. Microsoft's concern is over the "serious quality issues that can impact user safety," which is a polite way of calling scam services out on their shenanigans. There is no magic software elixir to turn a dilapidated PC into a smoking... Read more...
Microsoft continues to serve up fresh looks of future Windows 10 updates through its Insider Program, and for Windows Insiders who are subscribed to the Fast ring, there's a new build available, build 14342. Among other things, the newest build introduces updates for extensions in Microsoft's Edge browser.Rather than have to download extensions and then extract and load them from a local folder, every available extension can now be downloaded right from the Windows Store.Replacing the old method of downloading extensions and then extracting and loading them from a local folder, Microsoft made it... Read more...
Microsoft is angling to make Windows 10 “the” destination for gamers, as we’ve witnessed with increased crossover between PC and Xbox One gaming. The software giant is taking another step towards appeasing hardcore gamers by finally supporting a few features that have been missing from games purchased via the Windows Store. Universal Windows Program (UWP) games can finally have the option to disable v-sync, which will help to boost frame rates instead of being tied to your monitor’s refresh rate. Disabling v-sync can of course introduce artifacts, but gamers should be given the choice to do so,... Read more...
The concept and implementation of artificial intelligence is nothing new, but with today's computer hardware at our perusal, AI advancement only continues to develop at a rapid pace. Siri and Cortana are both effective AI bots, able to understand a great number of your queries and spit back an answer immediately. As time goes on, AI is only going to become more prevalent, and more important. That's a thought that Dave Coplin, Microsoft UK's Chief Envisioning Officer, agrees with. At an AI conference held late last week, Coplin made the huge statement that AI is the most important... Read more...
Microsoft announced last week what we all knew was coming: the end of the free gravy train for Windows 10 upgrades. Windows 10 launched as a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users on July 29th 2015, and starting on July 30th, 2016, everyone looking to make the upgrade will pay $119. Well, everyone with the exception of one group: those with accessibility needs. The clarification to the Windows 10 upgrade policy was posted on the Microsoft Accessibility Blog: As you may have heard, the free Windows 10 upgrade offer for customers running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 is set to end on July 29,... Read more...
Minecraft is seemingly taking over the gaming world with its accessible gameplay and simple (but fun) mechanics. The game is appealing to all ages of gamers and even serves as a learning tool in primary schools and universities, which is why Microsoft was so keen on purchasing developer Mojang for $2.5 billion back in 2014. That reach expanded when Minecraft: Wii U Edition launched this past December and today, Nintendo and Mojang have announced a strategic partnership to bring the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack to the platform. You’ll find Super Mario-themed textures, 40 skins (Mario, Luigi, Wario,... Read more...
It's only a matter of time before Microsoft releases a second generation Surface Book line, and rumor has it the Surface Book 2 is slated for a June release. Unless you need a detachable 2-in-1 right this very moment, this is one of those times we'd suggest waiting to see how things shake out with the new hardware.June is just around the corner, and if the rumor holds true, the Surface Book 2 will bring a 13.5-inch touchscreen display with a 4K Ultra HD resolution (3840 x 2160) to the detachable 2-in-1 party. The current generation Surface Book also boasts a 13.5-inch touchscreen display, but it... Read more...
When it comes to prediction algorithms, Microsoft usually doesn't horse around. It's making an exception for the Kentucky Derby, the annual horse race held in Louisville on the first Saturday in May. As Microsoft has done with other sporting competitions, it tasked Bing with making some bold predictions. The technology at hand is called Bing Predicts and it consists of analyzing web activity, social sentiment, and other signals to predict outcomes with sometimes surprising accuracy. Using Microsoft's Bing prediction engine, Cortana correctly picked 14 straight winners in the games leading up to... Read more...
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