Items tagged with Microsoft

Microsoft may have seemed bonkers to shell out a staggering $2.5 billion to acquire Mojang, the developer behind Minecraft, around three and a half years ago, but on hindsight it's looking like a smart play. Minecraft continues to grow in popularity, hitting all-time highs in pretty much every important metric. For example, there have been 144 million copies of Minecraft sold across more than a dozen platforms, with 74 million active players every month. "We just recently set a new record in December for monthly active users, so now we're at 74 million monthly active users — and that's really... Read more...
We all know that Microsoft has made some incredible advances in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) over the past few years. However, the software giant is taking things to the next level with new AI that was developed using a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN). Put simply, Microsoft calls the AI a “drawing bot”. The drawing bot is capable of generating images using caption-like text descriptions as the input. Using this technique, Microsoft's researchers were able to achieve a three-fold uplift in image quality compared to previous text-to-image methods. When drawing an image,... Read more...
Microsoft has just announced that its new Surface Book 2 is available in 17 new markets as of today in both 13-inch and 15-inch variants. Pre-orders are now underway in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Additional regions will get the Surface Book 2 13-inch and 15-inch notebooks beginning in February and the rollout will continue in March and April. Those countries include Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Portugal,... Read more...
We have the feeling that deep down inside, Microsoft doesn't want to end its program to allow free upgrades to Windows 10. Microsoft officially ended free upgrades to Windows 10 for Windows 7 and Windows 8.x users on July 29th, 2016, but it still allowed customers that rely on assistive technologies to continue making the leap for free. The kicker here, however, is that even if you don't use assistive technologies in Windows, you can still take advantage of the free upgrade. So, for anyone that wants a legitimate Windows 10 license without having to fork over any money, this is about as good as... Read more...
When the news of Meltdown and Spectre processor vulnerabilities first started making the round, Intel by far received the brunt of the hits with regards to negative reaction from customers and the press. Intel processors are susceptible to both Meltdown and Spectre, so that accounts for some of the reaction. However, AMD processors are vulnerable to Spectre, yet it has largely skated through unscathed. AMD's Chief Technology Officer, Mark Papermaster, looked to clarify the impact of Meltdown and Spectre on its expansive family of processors. With regards to Variant 1 (Spectre, Bounds Check Bypass),... Read more...
When we look back at Windows operating systems over the past decade or so, it's commonly understood that Windows Vista was loathed, Windows 7 was seen as a return to Windows 2000's glory days (and is still popular to this day), while Window 8.x was greeted with a collective "meh". Windows 8 was first released in late October 2012, and was followed by Windows 8.1 (essentially a service pack) in October 2013. If you have made the transition from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 and have stuck with the operating system instead of upgrading to Windows 10, the time has come to reevaluate your decision. Mainstream... Read more...
The PC industry is still trying to come to grips with the fallout from the revelation of the Meltdown and Spectre chip vulnerabilities. Meltdown only affects Intel processors, while Spectre -- the more serious exploit -- affects processors from Intel, AMD, and ARM. Hardware OEMs and OS manufactures have banded together to release patches to help mitigate the effects of any attacks based on Meltdown or Spectre, although some of those patches have been disastrous. For its part, Microsoft is addressing some of the performance ramifications for installing patches to mitigate the Meltdown and Spectre... Read more...
Microsoft certainly meant well by releasing patches to address the serious Meltdown and Spectre chip security vulnerabilities that have been making news for the past week. However, the company's efforts to put the kibosh on Meltdown and Spectre had the unfortunate side effect of crippling many machines running AMD processors. If there's any good news to these frequent reports of machines that are unable to boot after applying the patches, it's that the problem seems to mainly affect older AMD processors, like the Athlon X2 6000+. Given the many reports of [now] inoperable systems, Microsoft has... Read more...
Microsoft has begun rolling out security patches to deal with Meltdown and Spectre, the names given to a pair of vulnerabilities that between the two affect practically every modern processor made by Intel, AMD, and ARM. Intel seems to be the most impacted of them all, though some AMD users are suffering from the fallout more than others—there are complaints that Microsoft's emergency patch is bricking some AMD systems. From sifting through the early complaints, the issue seems to be limited to older AMD processors, such as the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ and similar chips that were released more... Read more...
We could have seen thing one coming from a mile away. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it would no longer offer free upgrades to Windows 10 for customers that use assistive technologies. Microsoft gave a deadline of December 31st for the program to end, meaning that all customers at that point would be required to purchase an upgrade to Windows 10. Well, December 31st has come and gone, and the free offer is still alive and kicking on Microsoft's website. Microsoft has also updated the language on its website to reflect a new termination date: If you use assistive technologies, you can... Read more...
There are plenty of smart thermostats on the market today with the devices from Nest being the most popular. Microsoft has announced that JCI (Johnson Controls) has launched a new smart thermostat called GLAS that uses Windows 10 IoT Core as the operating system and integrates Cortana. Smart thermostats in general are aimed at helping users save money on heating and cooling bills by giving more control over how energy is used and at what time. Microsoft notes that 40% of the energy use in a commercial building or home is due to heating and cooling. GLAS is a very slick looking thermostat with a... Read more...
When it comes to recommending the Edge browser to its massive customer base, it often seems as though Microsoft is talking to a brick wall. For the past two years, the company has continually assaulted Google Chrome, highlighting the browser's well-known shortcomings with respect to consuming resources and draining batteries. However, Windows 10 customers don't seem to be listening -- at all. According to the latest numbers from NetMarketShare, Google Chrome has 59 percent of the browser market, while Microsoft is looking rather dire in its positioning, with a dismal 3.78 percent share. Despite... Read more...
In this latest episode of HotHardware's Two And A Half Geeks webcast. Today we'll be chatting about Apple's iPhone throttling controversy, the beastly Alienware Area-51 Threadripper Edition gaming PC, AI Voice Assistant devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home potenitally being used as corporate spy machines, the LG V30 gets Android Oreo, and we'll offer specific details of a great new holiday GIVEAWAY we're holding with Lenovo, where you could score some pretty sweet new Tech gear... Show Notes: 03:28 - Apple Accused Of Throttling CPU Performance On iPhones With Aging Batteries 04:35 - Apple Slapped... Read more...
When Microsoft released the original Surface Pro five years ago, the mobile market was completely different – Windows tablets were an afterthought and weren’t the svelte and snappy performers you can buy today. The first-generation Surface Pro wasn’t perfect, but it was a huge step in the right direction for Windows 2-in-1’s and tablets. Today’s mobile computing device landscape is completely different versus five years ago and one could argue it was significantly re-shaped by the success of the Surface Pro. Each notebook manufacturer has its own interpretation of... Read more...
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