Items tagged with Microsoft

Microsoft has recently been playing nice with other game consoles to some extent. The software giant had announced that it would publish the game Ori and the Blind Forest Definitive Edition on Nintendo Switch. That game was initially an exclusive on the Xbox One and the PC, but Microsoft has stated that it has "no plans" to release more exclusive titles on PS4 or Switch. As for why Microsoft first allowed exclusive games to head to other consoles and then said it would stop, it has to do with its purchasing of developers to add to the Xbox Creative team. Microsoft points out that as the new devs were purchased and brought in house, it knew that there were some existing commitments to other platforms... Read more...
Microsoft raised quite a few eyebrows when it announced that it would no longer develop the Edge browsing using the homegrown EdgeHTML engine, and would instead adopt Google's Chromium. Browser competitor Mozilla was quick to bash the move, saying that Microsoft was caving into Google and making it easier for the search giant to further control the web. Undeterred, Microsoft has continued to develop the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser, releasing Dev and Canary builds for Windows and macOS. Now, the company is ready to take the next step with the release of the Beta channel to the public. According to Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, the preview builds of Microsoft Edge were download... Read more...
Patch Tuesday was less than a week ago, but Microsoft is already pushing a wide range of Cumulative Updates for older version of Windows 10. The updates were first pushed out on August 17th, and covers Windows 10 Versions 1809 (October 2018 Update), 1709 (Fall Creators Update), 1703 (Creators Update), 1607 (Anniversary Update) and 1507 (Original Release). The key thing to remember with these updates, which were first noticed by Neowin, is that they are not automatically applied when you go to Windows Update and check for updates. Instead, they are completely optional and can be installed at your discretion. It's also notable that there are no security-related items in these updates, which... Read more...
When Microsoft decided to move its browser to Chromium, significant changes were bound to happen with Microsoft working on code for Chromium. One of the things that Microsoft is working on improving for Chromium is battery life for devices when users are working away from an outlet. A new experimental feature is in testing that will improve battery life by disabling media caching to disk. The change lessens disk activity allowing the browser to consume less power. Microsoft had the battery life lead in browsers with Edge, and it is looking to extend its battery life lead to its new Chromium-based browser as well. The idea for the new feature that reduces battery consumption came from Microsoft's... Read more...
Is your Bluetooth connection secure? Researchers recently discovered a Bluetooth vulnerability that could allow hackers to intercept and manipulate a user’s communications. The researchers tested and found seventeen vulnerable Bluetooth chips in devices from companies such as Intel, Apple, Lenovo, and Qualcomm. The findings were presented at the USENIX Security Symposium by researchers from the Center for IT-Security, Privacy and Accountability (CISPA). The vulnerability has been nicknamed “Key Negotiation Of Bluetooth” or “KNOB”. Every time two Bluetooth devices establish a connection, they also create a new encryption key. Unfortunately, not every device has a... Read more...
Due to the inclusion of some important security patches, it is in your best interest to apply Microsoft's latest Patch Tuesday update as soon as possible. At the same time, some users have reported issues getting it to install, while others are blaming the update for borking their PC, saying it is causing random restarts. Oh boy! This is why automatic updates are both a blessing and a curse. Some people prefer to wait a bit before patching Windows with the latest security updates, for this very reason—this is certainly not the first time a Patch Tuesday roll out has seemingly caused problems. What makes this tricky, however, is Microsoft's recent disclosure of four new wormable exploits... Read more...
Do not hold your breath waiting for a version of Project Scarlett built exclusively for streaming. Xbox boss Phil Spencer threw cold water on what was becoming a hot rumor, fueled in large part by comments he previously made regarding the company's future console plans. As it stands, Project Scarlett will stick to the usual script. The speculation stems in part from Project xCloud, a streaming service Microsoft is working on that will allow users to play games on any device. This is not meant to replace power consoles like Project Scarlett, the codename of Microsoft's next flagship Xbox console, but rumors of a dedicated streaming SKU launching alongside the main console have persisted nonetheless.... Read more...
It appears as though a recent firmware update is causing Surface Pro 6 and Surface Book 2 devices to heavily throttle the processor to well below where it should be running. Multiple users who own one or the other device have reported seeing their CPU speeds stuck at 400MHz, and in some cases, the throttled state persists after a system reboot. There have been similar reports of this type of behavior in the past. However, reports have increased in frequency since Microsoft rolled out firmware update two weeks ago. After doing some digging, users discovered a link between the aggressive throttling and an Intel CPU flag called BD PROCHOT (bi-directional processor hot). This can be set by any peripheral,... Read more...
A new generation of game consoles will be unveiled next year, namely Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's next flagship Xbox codenamed Project Scarlett. Little by little, we are learning additional details about these consoles. As it pertains to the latter, Microsoft tipped one of its primary focal points, which is to deliver high frame rates. A big boost in performance is also going to be the expectation from gamers, given the time that has elapsed between console generations. Both the PS5 and Project Scarlett will feature custom silicon from AMD inside, with Zen 2 CPU cores and Navi graphics working in harmony. While the precise specs are not yet known (and probably have not been finalized),... Read more...
Microsoft is killing off a way that many people were able to score deeply discounted versions of Office for home use. Office 2019 is available to purchase with a perpetual license (meaning you purchase it once, and it's yours forever), but Microsoft is removing this option from its Home Use Program (HUP). HUP allows business and educational institutions that purchase licensed software from Microsoft to offer that same software to employees at [often times] incredibly low prices. For example, my wife is a teacher, and her school district allows her to purchase Office Professional Plus 2019 for around $15 for use on her computer at home. Microsoft has now updated its HUP FAQ to state.... Read more...
Researchers recently uncovered Windows kernel security flaws that affect over 40 drivers from 20 different vendors. The vulnerabilities could give attackers access to a device's hardware and firmware. Researchers from Eclypsium shared their troubling findings this past week at the DEF CON 27 security conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Why are there so many vulnerable drivers? According to Mickey Shkatov, Principal Researcher at Eclypsium, bad coding practices are to blame. Many drivers are meant to be flexible and able to perform a wide variety of actions instead of performing specific tasks. Shkatov noted, “It's easier to develop software by structuring drivers and applications this way,... Read more...
Over the last few weeks, there has been an increasing amount of concern over what Apple, Amazon, and Google are doing with the voice commands and conversations that their respective digital assistants hear and record. All of those companies have employees or contractors who listen to the transcripts of commands issued to the digital assistants to see if they answered correctly and to improve the service. It's easy to forget that Microsoft operates in this digital assistant space as well, and a new report claims that its workers are eavesdropping on Skype chats and Cortana interactions. Word of Microsoft's policy comes from a Microsoft contractor who was able to provide Motherboard recordings... Read more...
You might not have even been aware of this, but last month's Patch Tuesday update for Windows contained a long overdue mitigation for a security flaw in Intel processors. Left upatched, the flaw essentially allows an attacker to bypass fixes that had previously been rolled out to deal with Spectre and Meltdown, the names given to serious side-channel vulnerabilities that were disclosed last year. Security researchers at Bitdefender discovered the flaw and reported it to Intel a year ago. Even though it affected every Intel processor dating back to Ivy Bridge (introduced in 2012), and potentially earlier ones as well, Intel shrugged it off, saying it already knew about the vulnerability and was... Read more...
Gears 5 fans who have been waiting to step up the Xbox One X might want to make this the time to upgrade. A new special limited-edition Xbox One X bundle has landed called the Xbox One X Gears 5 Limited Edition Bundle (1TB), and it's up for preorder now. The limited edition console will ship on 9/26/2019. The bundle sells for $499 and includes the console with 1TB of storage space inside, a copy of Gears of War Ultimate Edition (with Gears of War 2, 3, and 4) included in the bundle. The console also comes with a Kait Diaz Limited Edition Xbox Wireless controller. The controller has a design that looks like frosted metal. The console has the Crimson Omen peering through snow and ice on its side.... Read more...
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