Items tagged with Microsoft

  Microsoft’s Beam game streaming service was just formally integrated into Windows 10 with the Creators Update last month, but the company is already rebranding the service. Beam launched in January 2016, and was acquired by Microsoft in August of that year. A real clear reason wasn’t given for the name change, but Beam Mixer co-founder and Engineering Lead Matt Salsamendi stated, “This was a tough decision, and not one that we made lightly. We believe so much in the power of the platform and want to grow it in every major market around the world. “Unfortunately, that wasn’t something we... Read more...
  Microsoft just announced that its Xbox Game Pass service is now ready for primetime. Starting today, all Xbox Live Gold members can sign up for the subscription gaming service, which will allow you to access over 100 games — whenever you want — for $9.99 per month. Now before you get the idea that Xbox Game Pass will only provide you will old and crusty Xbox 360 games; there will also be current hit titles available to play including Halo 5: Guardians, and titles from the Gears of War franchise. Other games that you can access include NBA 2K16, Mega Man Legacy Collection, LEGO Batman and... Read more...
  The new Surface Pro is here, and it looks nearly identical to the old Surface Pro 4. Microsoft has dropped the numerical suffix to its popular convertible, which explains why Microsoft’s Panos Panay remarked earlier this month that there would be no “Surface Pro 5”, but it has also added over 800 “new custom parts” to the winning formula. First and foremost, the new Surface Pro includes Kaby Lake processors, which replace the Skylake chips that were getting a bit long in the tooth on the Surface Pro 4. Customers can choose from Core m3, Core i5 and Core i7 models, with the first two being... Read more...
When Microsoft announced a new SKU of Windows for education markets called Windows 10 S, it was very clear that it only support app installations from the Windows Store. Microsoft also recently announced that some Linux distros are headed to the Windows Store, and what wasn't so clear is whether users would be able to install them alongside Windows 10 S. Microsoft's answer is an emphatic "No!" in bold letters and an exclamation point. Microsoft's Rich Turner cleared up the confusion in a blog post. He notes that just because an app is available in the Windows Store does not automatically mean that... Read more...
Microsoft disrupted the hardware space when it took matters into its own hands and developed the Surface to showcase its vision for Windows 8. That feels like an millennia ago, and while Microsoft's hardware partners have stepped up to the plate with similar designs since then, the Surface lives on. Its latest model, the Surface Pro 4, is even expected to get a refresh next week.The form factor has not changed much since the original Surface, though the landscape sure has. These days it is all about Windows 10, which brings the focus back to the desktop while still offering a tablet interface for... Read more...
Microsoft is well on its way to shaping its second major Windows 10 release for 2017. The Windows 10 Creators Update was released in April, and the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is on track for release… in the fall. After releasing Build 16193 to Windows Insiders last week, Microsoft is at it again this week with the release of Build 16199 to the Fast ring. This time around, Microsoft is making some changes to way that emojis are displayed when chatting with friends in apps like Skype. If you are chatting with a contact that just so happens to be pinned in the taskbar, any emoji they send will... Read more...
Windows phone users have no need to worry about being abandoned; Microsoft recently stated that it will continue to support the platform. This announcement was in response to Microsoft’s increasing focus on support for iOS and Android devices. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore remarked at Build 2017, “We’re going to continue to support Windows phone. Windows is a platform that drives the experience on a whole range of devices. We live in a highly diverse world.” At the moment, Microsoft only has a 0.3% share of the smartphone global market. This past financial quarter, Microsoft earned $5 million in... Read more...
Last Friday, we reported on a major cyberattack involving ransomeware that hit a large number of computers - including some belonging to the UK's National Health Service. At first, the malware's reach wasn't too clear, but as the weekend went on, we learned that the number of affected PCs reached at least 200,000 worldwide. Given the nature of this beast, that is downright terrifying. The big question right now is, "Who's at fault?" The blame could easily be shifted to Microsoft, as the bug that allowed this to happen was directly attributed to its own code. While the company is to be commended... Read more...
Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP several years ago, though because some users and businesses (including government agencies) are still clinging to the legacy operating system, it has been known to release patches for more serious security threats. It does not happen often, but it does happen. Case in point, Microsoft has issued a security patch to protect Windows XP systems from the WannaCrypt ransomware that is spreading across the globe. Also known as WannaCry, WCry, and a handful of other names, WannaCrypt is believed to be one of the cybersecurity tools a hacking group pilfered from... Read more...
With all the attention surrounding Windows 10 S right now, it’s easy to forget that Microsoft has another variant of Windows 10 arriving later this year. In late 2016, Microsoft announced that it is working on a Windows 10 SKU that will run natively on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors. In a move that makes Windows 10 on ARM more capable than Windows 10 S, Microsoft announced this week at Build 2017 that the former will support all of your legacy Win32 apps. “You also have all of the apps that you’re used to,” said Microsoft Group Product Manager Hari Pulapaka during the Windows 10 on ARM Build... Read more...
Sometime around September (presumably), Microsoft will release the next major update to Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update. Not to be confused with the Creators Update that was just recently rolled out, the Fall Creators Update is another major release, the third since Windows 10 was made available to the public in July 2015. For those who want to get an early look at what the Fall Creators Update has in store, there is a preview build (16193) now available to download for Windows Insiders who are subscribed to the Fast ring.In case you're not familiar with the Window Insider program, it provides... Read more...
Have you been itching to get your hands on the Cortana Skills Kit? Microsoft just announced at Build 2017 in Seattle, Washington that the Cortana Skills Kit will now be available for public preview. The kit had originally only been available for select developers. According to Microsoft, Cortana is “the world’s most personal and extensible digital assistant—now easier than ever to integrate with your solutions.” Cortana uses natural language processing, therefore, developers do not need to code every variation. Cortana proactively suggests skills to each user and offers an unique experience based... Read more...
Late last year, we began hearing whispers about Microsoft’s HomeHub feature, which is being billed as a direct attack on devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Whereas those aforementioned devices are standalone hardware products, HomeHub is a primarily software solution that leverages that power of the Cortana AI assistant. Today, we’re learning a bit more about HomeHub thanks to leaks of internal concepts for the interface. At its heart, HomeHub is a shared PC experience that is being designed primarily for family and kitchen PCs. HomeHub consists of an always-on welcome screen that can... Read more...
A vulnerability researcher at Google is giving props to Microsoft for issuing a quick fix to what he described as a "crazy bad" remote code exploit in the company's malware protection engine. He also said it was the worst of its kind in recent memory, and that is because prior to the patch, a remote attacker could gain full control of a PC simply by sending a malicious email. The recipient needn't even open the communication for this nasty zero-day bug to work. "The update addresses a vulnerability that could allow remote code execution if the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine scans a specially... Read more...
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