Items tagged with NASDAQ: MSFT

When Microsoft released its latest build (15048) of Windows 10 to its Insiders, its main reason for existence seemed to revolve around bug fixes and overall polish. However, this unsuspecting build actually includes a cool treat: a portal for mixed-reality content. Interestingly, this new feature follows news of Microsoft reportedly skipping HoloLens V2 to create the third iteration instead, and murmurs that Xbox One and Scorpio will be getting mixed-reality headset support in 2018. In order to access the feature, you need to of course be running the 15048 build. You then need to open up the Update & Security section of Windows' Settings screen, and click on "For Developers" on the left side.... Read more...
We might not even have Redstone 2, aka "Creators Update", in our hands at this point in time, but that hasn't stopped Microsoft from getting started on producing its first internal builds for Redstone 3 which is due out later this year. As we've talked about before, the upcoming Creators Update isn't going to be drastically different than the current stable version of Windows 10 (build 14393), but it is going to add a lot of polish and a couple of cool new features in the form of Game Mode, picture-in-picture windows, dynamic proximity lock, and more. Although Microsoft is hard at work on Redstone 3, final touches will still be put on Redstone 2 leading up to its final launch sometime in... Read more...
Here we go again. For the second time in a mere three months, Google decided to spill the beans on a Windows bug before the engineers in Redmond could release a patch for it. Microsoft has a Google countdown timer to thank for this latest disclosure; one that shows mercy to absolutely no one, or any company. The latest bug affects a key file in Windows' GDI, or Graphics Device Interface, which is responsible for rendering graphics and fonts in Windows applications. We use "latest" lightly here, as this bug, according to Google, was simply never fixed despite having been previously reported. It all began last March, when Google notified Microsoft of a collection of issues. In June, Microsoft released... Read more...
A couple of weeks ago, we reported on Beam hitting Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 15019, and now, those who have access to the Xbox One Insider Preview should be able to boot their console up and take almost immediate advantage of the same feature (an update will be necessary first, of course). Beam is of course Microsoft's solution for taking on the Goliath that is Twitch.tv. With it, players can watch their favorite Xbox or Windows-derived streams on the same platforms, in addition to Android and iOS (apps existed for those platforms before Microsoft acquired Beam last year). When Beam is loaded on the Xbox One, you'll be greeted to a dashboard that, on the surface, is quite similar... Read more...
We've been talking about Microsoft's 'Project NEON' for a couple of months now, and while we now have a good idea of what it's going to be bringing to the table, we're in for a rather long wait. The public release isn't slated to arrive until late 2017. Project NEON is an evolution of the design language in Windows 10, and will give a noticeable fresh coat of paint to both Windows 10 itself, and apps found in the Windows Store. The goal is to continue with the modern push, and implement a lot of blur for aesthetic enhancement. At a Windows Developer Day which took place yesterday, Microsoft inadvertently revealed Project NEON's updated look, although it was obfuscated behind marketing blurbs.... Read more...
A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft released the much-anticipated build of Windows 10 that added both Game Mode and Beam streaming, and now, the company follows-up with a smoothed-out build that includes yet more features for the upcoming Creators Update. Here's a cool one: Compact Overlay. As seen in the shot below, a user has pushed their TV show (or movie) to the top-right corner so as to be able to watch it, but also to be able to continuing working in at the same time. This window will essentially be flagged for "always on top", and despite being compressed and shoved in a corner, the window still retains all functionality of a full-screen app, as does the background app. It's important to... Read more...
At Microsoft's WinHEC 2016 conference, which took place in December in Shenzhen, the company outlined suggestions of what the hottest devices in 2017 should include. The company has finally made its presentation public, so we can get a feel for what's coming this year. Admittedly, not much should be a surprise, but it's good to see it laid out neatly. At the forefront, Microsoft wants to see a focus on cutting-edge designs, which includes ultraportables and convertibles. At the same time, vendors need to figure out how to make these same designs pack in as much functionality as possible, which ultimately takes a lot of real-estate on our ever-shrinking devices. Under "Cool Designs", Microsoft... Read more...
The upcoming 'Creator's Update' for Windows 10 is shaping up to be one of the best "service packs" (if we can call them that) that Microsoft has ever released. While it's not the most exciting feature being added with the update, enhanced security is something that will be appreciated by a broad spectrum of customers ranging from everyday consumers to the enterprise sector. As it stands today, Windows' most popular security-related features are kept separate, accessed either through the Windows 10 Settings screen or through the Control Panel. In the Creators Update, five "pillars" of security will cuddle together within the same app. The official components of "Windows Defender Security Center"... Read more...
When Microsoft first unleashed Windows 10 onto the world, everything seemed hunky-dory at first. It is without question Microsoft's most ambitious OS to date, but more importantly, it's stable, fast, and packed with the latest features and technologies. However, as we discovered not long after launch, the OS also comes strapped with a number of privacy concerns. We in fact published a quick guide shortly after launch, on how to keep Microsoft's nose out of your digital goods with Windows 10.  It has taken quite a while for Microsoft to respond to these concerns in a meaningful way, but the company is finally proving that it's taking things seriously by detailing some enhanced privacy... Read more...
What does 2017 look like for corporations such as Apple and Microsoft? According to the research firm Gartner, Inc., Apple devices will outsell its Redmond, Washington-based rival for the first time in the twenty-first century. Gartner has also predicted that the gap will continue to widen between the Apple and Microsoft’s number of shipments over the next three years. This past year, 260 million Windows-powered devices were sold, or roughly 11.2% of the market. Apple only shipped 248 million devices, a 10% decrease from the previous year. Apple’s results from this past fiscal quarter are not in, but the previous quarter was a bit of a disappointment. iPhone sales decreased from... Read more...
As 2016 winds down, the rumor mill is running at full power with expectations for 2017. Microsoft's upcoming 'Scorpio' console hasn't escaped the rumor mill's churn, despite the fact that it will not become available for purchase until late 2017. We've covered in the past that the only reason Microsoft announced 'Project Scorpio' already is because it didn't want to have to deal with raging fans wondering where a PlayStation 4 Pro competitor is. To that end, Microsoft has been kind enough to give us a couple of specs, so we're not totally oblivious to what we'll be dealing with at launch. With the PS4 Pro, Sony delivered a more powerful PlayStation that can play every single PS4 game ever released,... Read more...
Since the launch of Metro in Windows 8, Microsoft has iterated on its "Microsoft Design Language" a few times, with MDL2 being the most recent version to grace Windows 10. According to fresh rumor, it looks like a third iteration is en route for Windows 10, and it's called "Project NEON". What NEON ultimately is likely to become is "Metro 2", the overarching design of Windows and its apps (and the Windows Phone UI) that adheres to very strict guidelines. It's modern, clean and attractive. Microsoft's Metro design language was first introduced with Windows 8 While we're still a ways out from "Metro 2" making its debut, it's rumored to iterate on Metro rather than dramatically overhaul... Read more...
Each new "Redstone" release of Windows 10 is notable for a handful of reasons, but Redstone 3 could include one of the most ambitious features yet: x86 on ARM64 emulation. What that ultimately means is that ARM-based devices running Windows 10 Mobile, such as the Lumia 950 XL, could see an immediate boost of supported applications. x86 emulation could prove extremely important for ARM-based Windows devices, as it would allow users to run the same applications they're used to running on their x86 desktops and notebooks. If the emulation works well, it could dramatically bolster the number of apps Microsoft's mobile platforms could run, essentially giving it the best of both worlds -- especially... Read more...
It should be safe to call Windows 10 a "great" OS, but we can't ignore some maddening aspects of it including its data mining features and frustrating Windows Update mechanism. More than ever, the latest batch of Windows releases has clued the world into the fact that alternatives exist, and we're not just talking macOS. Free alternatives exist, such as the Ubuntu-based Zorin OS. Some Linux distributions make their goal of catering to those familiar with Windows clear, and Zorin OS is no exception. The GNOME-based desktop is designed to mimic Windows in some key areas, such as by having a taskbar at the bottom, and the main system menu located to its left. The clock and other system tray icons... Read more...
Up until Satya Nadella took the reigns at Microsoft, it wasn't a secret that Redmond company didn't take too kindly to Linux. The situation has sure changed over the past couple of years, though. Even the company's massive Azure platform supports Linux, and a couple of months ago, it ported its popular PowerShell admin tool to the Penguin-fueled platform. But now the company has officially fortified its interest in Linux by joining the Linux Foundation as a top-tier Platinum member. It joins the likes of Intel, Samsung, IBM, Cisco, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Qualcomm, NEC, and Huawei. This even gives Microsoft a better standing than Google, a company that has had Linux running through... Read more...
Microsoft is furthering its efforts to go green. The company just made its largest wind energy purchase (237 megawatts) through wind farms aligned with Allianz Risk Transfer (ART) and Black Hills Corporation. Microsoft plans to power its datacenter in Cheyenne, Wyoming entirely by this windpower. According to Microsoft’s President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith, “Innovation and sustainability go hand in hand. We’re thinking differently about our datacenters and how we can build and operate them in a more sustainable way. And the innovations we’re piloting in this deal are not only good for business, but also good for local communities and the environment as well.” Currently, roughly 44 percent... Read more...
What's that in the air? Could it be the smell of egg nog and pine? Nope, it's Microsoft Patch Tuesday, of course! This month's rollout is rather large and notable for a number of reasons. However, what matters most is that if you're not up-to-date yet, you'll want to take a little trip to the Windows Update section and take care of business. Speaking of business, the advice to update is imperative for those managing user PCs in the enterprise, as this rollout of patches includes a fix for a huge bug Google disclosed one week ago. This bug, called CVE-2016-7255, is a local privilege escalation flaw that is particularly dangerous, as it's been proven to be actively exploited. If you don't want... Read more...
In case you haven't already picked up on it, helpful artificial intelligence is making a big play to become embedded in many of the devices that we use on a daily basis. With its top-end Pixel smartphone, Google has an AI assistant running throughout the entire OS. And we just recently learned that Samsung will apparently push the AI focus hard with its upcoming Galaxy S8. Now, we learn that Microsoft wants to up its AI game with Cortana. The goal with any solution like this is to not only provide specific information at your beck and call, but to be able to interact with that AI in the same way you'd interact with a human: with real questions. In a new patent, Microsoft highlights... Read more...
When the concept of downloadable content for games first hit us, people en masse were enraged at the fact that companies couldn't just sell us a complete game from the get-go. Fast-forward to today, and DLC is a much more accepted, but that doesn't mean the underlying issues no longer exist. For the most part, many gamers today seem fine with purchasing DLC as long as it feels like it provides real value. If a game is a mere 8 hours long and has $40 worth of DLC to extend that, no one is going to be pleased outside of the game's most intense fans. But when happens when DLC for an otherwise multi-platform game is only available for one particular console as an exclusive? That's something that... Read more...
Unless you have been living under a rock the last few years, you probably know that Minecraft is an incredibly popular video game. The game seems to be especially well-liked by children and teenagers. Retailers have responded with everything from Minecraft toys and clothing to Minecraft-themed peeps. Now, the game is officially available in the classroom with Minecraft: Education Edition. Minecraft: Education Edition is “an open-world game that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive environment where the only limit is your imagination.” Students will be able to collaborate with the fellow classmates on projects, ask “tour guides” for help, document and share their... Read more...
When Microsoft announced its Xbox One Scorpio this past summer, it was assumed that it would bring a major VR focus with it when it comes out next year. However, according to Xbox chief Phil Spencer, we all need to readjust that thinking, as VR support is simply not planned at this particular moment. Sony just released its own VR solution, PS VR That notion might seem a bit bizarre on account of the fact that even the original PlayStation 4 - at about a third of Scorpio's total graphics performance - supports VR. However, Spencer has a reason: VR content just isn't there yet. That doesn't mean that Scorpio doesn't have VR planned; we're sure it does. It's just that right now, the timing doesn't... Read more...
Since the time Microsoft began releasing games en masse to its Windows Store, one glaring omission of the marketplace became clear: offline mode. While the problem isn't as pronounced today as it once was, finding yourself offline due to an issue outside of your control can be downright frustrating when it prevents a game from being played - especially a game that will help keep your mind off of the fact that you have no internet. That shouldn't be a problem any longer with games played through the Windows Store. We learned about the addition of Offline Mode through Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb, someone who's been quite vocal about Windows 10 gaming since Microsoft decided to begin porting Xbox... Read more...
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