Items tagged with Microsoft

There are no days off in Redmond, at least not for Microsoft. Hot on the heels of dealing with the WannaCry ransomware outbreak, Microsoft has now addressed reports of a new ransomware making the rounds, one that shares similar code with Petya, a nasty piece of ransomware in and of itself. What makes this new strain so dangerous is that it is capable of spreading across networks like a worm. This new ransomware is more sophisticated than the original Petya outbreak. According to Microsoft, the initial strain seems to originate from a Ukrainian company that builds a pierce of accounting software... Read more...
Recent ransomware scares such as the WannaCry outbreak have collectively put a spotlight on PC security. It has even prompted Microsoft to release patches for unsupported operating systems, including Windows XP and Windows Vista. However, it is Windows 10 that receives the lion's share of Microsoft's security efforts, and we will see that on display when the Fall Creators Update arrives in a few months. Among other things, the Fall Creators Update will represent a "hardening" of the Windows platform. Security has always been a major focal point with Windows 10, but in a blog post outlining some... Read more...
One of the biggest marketing pushes surrounding Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One X has been 4K support, and it's for good reason. People love crisper images, and when Microsoft's upcoming unit is close to 50% more powerful than the nearest competition (PlayStation 4 Pro), bragging rights are in order (even if a lot of 4K content will be throttled to 30 FPS). While both Microsoft and Sony offer their own takes on 4K consoles, Microsoft's implementation is arguably much better, as games designed for Xbox One are naturally going to be able to take advantage of more powerful hardware if the game was designed... Read more...
Picture this: you are sitting in a coffee shop working away on your laptop when you realize you need a refill. Do you get more coffee and risk your laptop being stolen or do you simply sit there and stay thirsty? Fortunately, you may not need to be as concerned about this decision in the future, as Microsoft’s recent patent detailed a method that would discourage potential laptop thieves. The patent suggests that the laptop could be wiped and locked through a cellular network, without necessarily being connected to it. The patent noted, “Accordingly, the device may receive a disable command... Read more...
Well, this is not good. Chunks of source code related to internal Windows builds that have not yet been released to the general public were leaked online. According to The Register, a "massive treasure trove" totaling 32TB of official and non-public installation images and software blueprints was compressed down to 8TB and uploaded to BetaArchive.com, an online repository for beta software and what is known as abandonware.Image Source: Flickr (Julien GONG Min) Why this is potentially a big deal is because having access to source code—in this case, code that is normally closely guarded—allows hackers... Read more...
Getting on-board with an operating system like Windows 10 S may be difficult for some users. Only a certain type of user would purposefully opt to use a whittled-down, locked-down OS by choice, but for the security conscious, it makes a lot of sense. After all, 10 S is still Windows -- it's just supposed to be safer. That's been Microsoft's message since the OS' launch, and its logic is sound: the more locked-down an OS, the lower the chances are that a piece of malware -- including ransomware -- will make it onto the system. To put it simply, using Windows 10 S is akin to locking your doors... Read more...
The Windows 10 Creators Update had a number of features that were introduced primarily to cater to gamers. The upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will continue to add new gaming features, and a new one has been revealed in Build 16226. The Windows 10 Task Manager has been updated to include GPU resource tracking. Not only will you be able to monitor the utilization of the 3D pipe, but also video decode/encode engines. You can even keep tabs on dedicated and shared memory usage for your GPUs. Given that we are still very early in the development process for the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft... Read more...
  If you are of a certain age, hearing the theme music for Super Mario Bros. World 1-1 will send you into an instant state of nostalgia. Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. was an iconic masterpiece in gaming history and still delights players to this day. So, imagine our surprise to see the game’s first level recreated for a life-sized augmented reality gaming experience using Microsoft HoloLens. A HoloLens developer by the name of Abhishek Singh took his love of the game to the extreme by painstakingly recreating the objects, surrounding environment, enemies and power-ups from the game. To demonstrate... Read more...
Computer security has always been somewhat of a hot topic, though it has intensified in recent weeks in the wake of the global WannaCry ransomware outbreak. In response, Microsoft has issued a series of updates to Windows, including legacy versions no longer supported such as Windows XP and Windows Vista. Microsoft also used the heightened focus on PC security as an opportunity to explain its stance on antivirus software and how Windows 10 handles third-party AV programs. You might recall that Kaspersky, one of the more popular third-party security outfits, took Microsoft to task over the way Windows... Read more...
Microsoft’s Surface Laptop is its first full-fledged, no compromises take on the traditional notebook form-factor. The Surface Book and Surface Pro can operate as quasi-notebooks with their keyboards attached, but they are tablets first and foremost. While the Surface Laptop is a desirable piece of hardware in its own right, it ships from the factory with Windows 10 S installed. For those unfamiliar with this Windows 10 SKU, you cannot install or run Win32 apps with Windows 10 S; instead, you’re relegated to installing Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps from the Windows Store. Given the rather... Read more...
In a sense, the era of 4K gaming is already here. All it takes is a powerful PC with a burly graphics card (or two) and a 4K monitor. While not as robust, 4K gaming has even spilled over into the console space—Sony with its PlayStation 4 Pro, and Microsoft with its forthcoming Xbox One X. The latter will be the more powerful of the two in terms of raw horsepower, and if you're wondering what all the fuss is about, just take a peek at some of 4K screenshots of Forza 7 and Sea of Thieves. You'll need a 4K monitor or television to get the full effect. If you have one, you can view a bevy of screenshots—41... Read more...
Microsoft is treating its next Patch Tuesday like a level in Serious Sam where it emerges with guns blazing. Only in this case, instead of taking out extraterrestrials who are intent on destroying all of humanity, Microsoft's mission is to neutralize more bugs than ever before. More specifically, the Patch Tuesday for June will address a record 94 vulnerabilities across multiple versions of Windows. One thing we have seen from Microsoft lately are patches for Windows XP even though it's officially a defunct operating system (at least for consumers). We saw this with the WannaCry ransomware outbreak... Read more...
  Microsoft has quietly launched a new keyboard for desktop computers (or your docked notebook/convertible). Called the Modern Keyboard, the peripheral is an evolution of the existing Surface Keyboard with two key differences. The first is the integration of biometric authentication. Microsoft has incorporated what it calls a hidden fingerprint sensor or “Fingerprint ID” on the aluminum keyboard. We don’t know if we can really call it hidden given that the dedicated sensor is embedded into a key that is etched with a representative fingerprint. As you might expect, this functionality integrates... Read more...
It has been an interesting thing to witness Microsoft's transformation over the past several years. Give Steve Ballmer credit—he knew that Microsoft needed fresh blood and so he handed the reins Satya Nadella. Microsoft has been a different company ever since, one that innovates in the hardware space. Even Apple is following Microsoft's lead, or at least that is what the Redmond outfit will tell you in regards to the iPad Pro.Ryan Gavin, general manager for Surface, said the iPad Pro is a "clear example" of Apple following in Microsoft's footsteps. That has not always been the case and these days,... Read more...
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