Items tagged with Microsoft

The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 deals are starting to pile up, now that the popular convertible has been on the market for over a year at this point. The arrival of the Surface Pro 7+ could also be part of the reason for the sweet deals, but whatever the cause, we're not going to complain at discounts that are approaching 40 percent off for certain configurations. Starting off at the entry-level position, we have the Surface Pro 7 with a 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 128GB SSD. To further sweeten the deal, Best Buy is throwing in a Black Type Cover, which means that you'll have everything you need to use the convertible either as a tablet, or... Read more...
In one of the quickest reversals we've seen in the tech industry in recent years, Microsoft has already backtracked from its ill-advised and ill-timed decision to raise prices on its Xbox Live Gold subscription service. As we reported yesterday, the 1-month, 3-month, and 6-month subscriptions all received price hikes, with the latter being pushed to $59.99 (effectively making a year of Xbox Live Gold cost $120). Now, Microsoft is apologizing for its blunder, after realizing that raising prices during the middle of a pandemic (even though people are flocking increasingly to games) is not exactly a great PR move. "We messed up today and you were right to let us know. Connecting and... Read more...
In 2017, Microsoft filed a patent entitled “Creating a Conversational Chat Bot Of A Specific Person,” which was recently finally approved by the USPTO on December 1st, 2020. Over 21 pages of material are provided in the patent, covering the software, hardware, and other minutiae that come up with this idea. However, the basic premise is that Microsoft will scan and scrape "social data" from the internet about you, another person or perhaps even a loved one that has passed away. Then, the company will use that data to create a chatbot with the personality of the person being targeted, for a sort of persona replication, using machine learning and AI. This chatbot can then be paired... Read more...
In the coming weeks, Microsoft will reportedly be increasing the prices of its Xbox Live Gold subscription, much to the ire of people everywhere. Microsoft cites no change in price over the years, but customers view this as a way to shove people toward Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription. Whatever the reason, if you are an Xbox gamer, your online access price may go up soon. Over the next month, Xbox Live gamers will be receiving notice that Microsoft will adjust their membership pricing. The one-month subscription is getting a $1 bump to $10.99, and the three-month subscription is getting a $5 a month bump to $29.99. If you are an existing six- or twelve-month subscriber, you will not notice... Read more...
It's been roughly a year since Microsoft released the first public/stable version of its Chromium based Microsoft Edge browser. Before that point, Edge had been using Microsoft's own EdgeHTML engine, and wasn't doing much to gain market share in the browser space. However, the switchover to Google's Chromium project has led to a quickening pace of development and an increase in market share for Microsoft. To celebrate its 1-year anniversary, Microsoft has announced some big feature updates for Edge. One such addition is a new sidebar search feature, which can be invoked when highlighting a word on a website and clicking "search in sidebar". The sidebar will then slide over... Read more...
The SolarWinds breach and subsequent attacks are shaping up to be the most elaborate and long-lasting attacks in some time. Microsoft has done a deep dive into the second stage of the attacks and has found that the attackers are both skilled and elusive. Overall, though, the deep-dive gives us a look into what transpired to make these attacks tick, and it is rather interesting. Once on a network through the Solarigate backdoor (SUNBURST), getting anything done requires new malicious software and a level of secrecy that can be difficult to maintain. Moreover, when executing an attack, you do not want to burn the entire bridge if discovered on a network. Thus, the SolarWinds hackers attempted to... Read more...
Slowly but surely, Microsoft's upcoming Windows 10X initially designed for dual-screen (and later expanded to single-screen) devices is nearing completion. Microsoft has not yet announced a release date. However, previews of a nearly completed and leaked build have found their way to the web, including a video of the upcoming operating system running on the Surface Pro 7. In our Surface Pro 7 review that we posted last week, it was definitely not running Windows 10X, and instead shipped with Windows 10 Home. Nevertheless, someone did actually get Windows 10X up and running on the single-screen device. Have a look... Have a look... There were some caveats with the unofficial demonstration. The... Read more...
If you're the proud owner of a new Apple M1-based Mac and have taken a shine to Microsoft's Edge browser, we've got some good news for you today. An official public channel release of the native M1 version of the browser will soon be upon us, as it just arrived via the beta channel. Microsoft first launched an M1-specific version of Edge via its Insider Canary Channel back in mid-December. Then, on January 7th, support was added via the Dev Channel. With support now being extended to the Beta Channel, an official Stable Channel release can't be too far down the road. For those that are not familiar with Microsoft's software channels, Canary builds are the most unstable, and are released... Read more...
When you are at your wits end with Windows 10, one option is the "Reset this PC" feature, found within the Recovery options in System Settings. There are two subsequent options—keep your personal files, or go full nuclear and remove everything. Neither option had been working for some users for quite some time, though the underlying issue has finally been fixed. The feature is intended to restore your Windows 10 PC back to its default factory configuration (as you might be prone to do if you're running into BSODs that are proving difficult to diagnose), and is generally faster than reinstalling the OS outright. The caveat is that you will need to reinstall your programs afterward, as well... Read more...
The last thing you want to experience when working on your PC or playing a game is to experience a blue screen of death (BSOD) error, especially since these kinds of crashes can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. There are many reasons why you might experience one, though. Case in point, there is a rather odd bug that can crash your PC from within Google's Chrome browser. It is another bug for Microsoft's software engineers to investigate. You might recall that last week we reported on a different quirk that could scramble your hard drive, with a simple string of command-line code. One of the ways it could be leveraged is to hide the code within a system icon, and if downloaded to a PC, it would... Read more...
Now that Microsoft has announced a mid-cycle hardware refresh for its premium convertible with the launch of the Surface Pro 7+, it's a great time to score a deal on the standard version. The Surface Pro 7 starts at $749, but the discount that Microsoft is offering today extends to the flagship SKU that comes with all the bells and whistles. Today, you can get the Surface Pro 7 with a Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a capacious 512GB SSD for $1,649. This represents a $250 savings off the regular price of $1,899. However, Microsoft's bundle offer allows you to add a Surface Pro Signature Type Cover for just $50 to that discounted price ($110 off). So, in total, you'll be paying $1,699,... Read more...
Do you think Microsoft might be feeling the heat from Apple to improve the Windows 10 experience on Arm hardware, now that Apple has released its M1 chip? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, Microsoft last month released a preview build of Windows 10 on Arm to Insiders in the Dev channel, which added the ability to run x64 apps in emulation. However, a subsequent cumulative update breaks the experience. Windows 10 Insider build 21292 in the Dev channel is the one that adds support for x64 app emulation. It arrived in the second week of December 2020, and bolstered the functionality of Arm64 devices like the Surface Pro X and Lenovo Flex 5G. Those have been off limits up to that point, as when Arm64... Read more...
It has been over a decade since everyone’s favorite wise-cracking archaeologist has made an appearance in a major video game. Thankfully that is all about to change. Bethesda recently announced that a new Indiana Jones game is in the works. Bethesda posted a short teaser trailer of the upcoming Indiana Jones video game on Twitter this past week. The teaser trailer features a desk covered in old books, maps, and other travel paraphernalia. At the end of the trailer, a hand reaches for Indy’s classic hat to reveal his iconic bullwhip underneath. The game will be developed by Wolfenstein: The New Order developers Machine Games in collaboration with Lucasfilm and published by Bethesda.... Read more...
We've got 99 problems but Windows 10 ain't one. Just kidding—sometimes Windows 10 is one of those problems. We've had good luck with Windows 10 ourselves, but are aware of various issues people have encountered over the years. One of the stranger ones is a lingering bug that could easily corrupt your hard drive, just by downloading a icon. Security researcher and Twitter user Jonas L brought attention to the nearly three-year old bug in Windows 10, calling it a "nasty vulnerability" because it can be triggered just by opening a specially crafted file with a single-line command. NTFS VULNERABILITY CRITICALITY UNDERESTIMATED - There is a specially nasty vulnerability in NTFS right now. Triggerable... Read more...
Windows 10X is reportedly targeted to be Microsoft's optimized operating system for dual and single screen mobile devices like Microsoft's Surface Duo or traditional hybrid 2-in-1 laptops. As rumors and features begin to trickle out, so too do images and renders of what the Windows 10X user interface is supposed to look like. We have gotten a glimpse of what Windows 10X will roughly look like in the past, but some new imagery floating about Twitter seems to reaffirm Remond's new mobile device UI. Earlier today, Zac Bowden of Windows Central tweeted out what he called the "first look at Windows 10X for single-screen PCs." It features a redesigned Start Menu that lies in the middle of the screen... Read more...
The SolarWinds breach has been pervasive, and the world is still reeling from the effects. We have heard that hackers accessed data from Microsoft, U.S Government agencies, and other high-profile companies. Now we're learning about the full scope of the data that was allegedly obtained. A website recently appeared alleging that some of this data is available for sale, including partial Microsoft Windows source code for a whopping $600,000. That is just a bit more expensive than a real Windows license. The hackers, who seem to be operating under the moniker of “SolarLeaks,” describe their escapades as a “recent adventure.” Now, they are selling the spoils of this adventure... Read more...
The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating affects across the globe, upending the everyday lives of nearly everyone, while at the same time resulting in the death of hundreds of thousands. Because of how COVID-19 is spread, people that can work from home along with students participating in virtual learning have resulted in a massive spike in PC sales. According to Canalys, overall PC shipments for the year 2020 hit 297 million units, which was a 11 percent increase compared to 2019. In fact, 2020 represented the biggest leap in full-year PC sales growth since 2010, and marked the highest number of unit shipments since 2014. More specifically, looking at data just for Q4 2020, we see that PC shipments... Read more...
Although it's not a complete redesign of its popular 2-in-1 convertible, Microsoft today announced an extension of its existing Surface Pro 7, and it's called the Surface Pro 7 Plus. At first glance, you might not really notice much going on with its design on the outside, but Microsoft has made some key changes inside that make the device more appealing to education and business customers. For starters, Microsoft has performed a CPU upgrade across the board, adopting 11th generation Intel Tiger Lake processors. Base systems get the Core i3-1115G4, mid-range systems feature the Core i5-1135G7, and top-spec systems receive the Core i7-1165G7. The shift to Tiger Lake is partially responsible... Read more...
Earlier this week, WhatsApp unveiled a new privacy policy that effectively forced users to share data with Facebook. For an app that touted its user privacy and end-to-end encryption in the past, this recent development is none too kosher. It did not sit well with many users and prominent ones, like Elon Musk, who quickly and directly suggested on Twitter to switch to Signal. After Facebook bought out WhatsApp, there were concerns that the app would head down the wrong path as far as data privacy goes. It appears now that those concerns were on the mark, as Facebook will now be collecting data from the app starting on February 8th. If you do not want data collected, you do not have an option... Read more...
Picture yourself in a virtual meeting, and someone is going over Q4 company stats in PowerPoint with spinning transitions and buzzwords like “synergy” and “paradigms.” Though you were already bored, it does not help that the presenter or presentation looks small on the screen, so you cannot even attempt to focus even if you wanted to. While the presenter rambles on about “synergistically conceptualizing bleeding-edge e-service paradigms” in the next quarter, Microsoft wants to help you try to focus on the meeting. In March, Microsoft Teams is getting a Dynamic View feature that will do automatic optimizations or let users personalize their view in Teams. Remco... Read more...
Natural language understanding (NLU) is a massive yet challenging goal for AI. According to Microsoft, one of the benchmarks for NLU, SuperGLUE, is “currently among the most challenging”. It seems that the test was not all that bad, though, as Microsoft is now at the top of the leaderboard, beating out human baselines. The SuperGLUE benchmark has a series of ten tasks, which include things such as question answering, use of context, premise, and other language components to test AI. Microsoft uses the example of a task with the following: Given the premise “the child became immune to the disease” and the question “what’s the cause for this?,” the model... Read more...
November 2020 saw the introduction of four next-generation game consoles: the PlayStation 5/PlayStation 5 Digital Edition and the Xbox Series X/Xbox Series S. While the Xbox Series X is technically the most powerful of the bunch with respect to its CPU and GPU specs, it's the PlayStation 5 that has garnered the most attention due to exclusives like Spider-Man: Miles Morales and its new DualSense wireless controller. The DualSense controller has drawn particular attention for its adaptive triggers, which can vary their resistance if game developers decide to take advantage of the feature. For example, in basketball games, the triggers might be harder to press to fire off the perfect... Read more...
1 2 3 4 5 Next ... Last