Items tagged with NASDAQ: MSFT

This coming Tuesday, April 9, is going to be a busy one for Microsoft’s update servers. In advance of what have become known as “Patch Tuesday”, Microsoft posted nine early security bulletins to notify users and system administrators of the slew of impending Windows updates. Two of the patches have been deemed critical, while the remaining seven are flagged as important. And all of the updates are likely to require a restart. The exact details of the two critical updates are not posted just yet, but one of them affects Windows and Internet Explorer; the other is solely a Windows update. Though the details aren’t posted, critical updates are usually deemed as such because... Read more...
One of the reasons to considering upgrading to Windows 8 is the improved security Microsoft baked into its latest operating system. This is especially true if you pair the touch-friendly OS with an antivirus or Internet security suite program, a point that's underscored by the latest results published by AV-Test.org, an independent testing firm located in Germany. For the first time, AV-Test examined antivirus protection in Windows 8, testing more than two dozen programs, including Microsoft's built-in Windows Defender 4.0 engine. Remarkably, all 26 programs put under the microscope were awarded the AV-Test certificate when used with Windows 8. That doesn't mean all AV programs performed the... Read more...
As we covered just yesterday, a leaked build of Microsoft's upcoming Windows Blue (aka: Windows "8.1") is floating around the net "somewhere", and as it appears, there's quite a bit that has changed. No, we didn't get rid of the Start screen, but many further enhancements have been added, along with other niceties around the OS. Neowin wasted no time in exploring the latest build, and in doing so discovered a subtle but extremely notable tweak that Microsoft has conducted with Internet Explorer 11. It's no secret to anyone by this point that coding a website to support older IE versions is a pain - even Microsoft itself acknowledges this. However, things still are not perfect, and for that reason,... Read more...
A software platform is only as good as its apps, and towards that end, Microsoft's Windows Store now boasts over 50,000 of them. There are 50,341 at the time of this writing, according to MetroStore Scanner, a site that makes Windows Store apps easily searchable from the Web. The number of apps is steadily rising, having more than doubled since the end of November, and increasing from a little more than 44,000 apps a month ago. As we head into summer, the pace of new apps to hit the Windows Store might accelerate even further. How so? Microsoft recently announced a "Keep the Cash" campaign that, as of March 8th, started paying developers $100 for each app they develop for Windows 8 or Windows... Read more...
The fate of Windows 8 is yet to be determined, but amid lagging PC sales and grumpy customers who just aren’t all that excited about Microsoft’s latest operating system, there’s a bit of a dark cloud over it. The cloud is even darker over tablets running Windows 8; for example, Microsoft's Surface tablets have badly missed sales expectations among average consumers, and the likes of Samsung have actually cancelled some Windows RT tablet launches. However, according to a white paper by Patrick Moorhead, former AMD executive and current analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy (with help from Paul Teich), the enterprise could be the market where Windows tablets find their footing.... Read more...
When Microsoft decided to launch its own hardware with the Surface tablet, it was a big gamble, and many noted that even after its unbridled success in the operating system, software, and gaming hardware markets, the company may find the tablet hardware side of things to be tougher sledding. According to Bloomberg, that’s indeed what is happening now, as sales of Microsoft’s tablets are falling far short of expectations. Three sources told Bloomberg that the company has sold approximately one million Surface RTs and 400,000 Surface Pro tablets; while that’s not nothing, Microsoft reportedly ordered 3 million Surface RTs, which means that there are still 2 million of them sitting... Read more...
Microsoft wants to remind you that Google isn't the only game in town. There's also Bing, and Bing Maps, the latter of which just received a pretty significant update with new top of the world and updated high resolution satellite imagery spanning more than 13 million square kilometers. "We are pleased to present our new seamless base satellite imagery provided by TerraColor. This imagery has a resolution of 15 meters per pixel, providing coverage of the entire world!," Microsoft said in a blog post. "This new imagery will enhance overall viewer experience with Bing Maps and the Windows 8 Maps App. Experience it yourself by visiting the Windows 8 Maps App or Bing Maps. The new Top of the World... Read more...
Microsoft has just joined the small list of companies that have experienced a cyberattack this past month, made all the more interesting due to the fact that it's the same one that Apple and Facebook suffered. Compared to Facebook's informative post, Microsoft's could be considered minimal, with the bulk of what's important seen below: "Consistent with our security response practices, we chose not to make a statement during the initial information gathering process. During our investigation, we found a small number of computers, including some in our Mac business unit, that were infected by malicious software using techniques similar to those documented by other organizations. We have no... Read more...
Earlier this week, we reported that it appeared as though Microsoft had changed language in the EULA for Office 2013 that would trap your license on one PC forever. This was a stark departure from EULAs for past version of Microsoft Office that allowed users to move their software licenses to new computers. The Age was the first to notice that peculiarity, and now ComputerWorld has confirmed it via emails to and from Microsoft: Once you activate your Office 2013 license on a given PC, that license is tied to that PC forever. If you want to have Office 2013 on a different PC at any point and for any reason at all, you have to buy a new license. Indeed, when posed the question of whether or not... Read more...
The Microsoft Surface Pro has defied description somewhat, and it hasn’t been clear if it’s a laptop or a tablet. After what sounds like a grueling challenge, iFixit has an answer: It’s got to be a tablet, because a laptop wouldn’t be so difficult to work on. The site ended up giving the Surface Pro its lowest possible repairability rating--one out of ten. First of all, the screen was glued down with so much black tar-like adhesive that they had to melt the stuff to remove the display. (Cutting the glue wasn’t sufficient.) Then, to remove the plastic bezel to get to the guts of the machine, they had to pull out 23 screws. Taking out the motherboard assembly and SSD... Read more...
Either someone at Microsoft screwed up the language in the licensing agreement for Microsoft Office 2013, or the company really, really wants everyone to switch to an Office 365 subscription instead of the locally-installed version of the software. The Age spotted some confusing language in the Office Home & Student 2013 license agreement that appeared to limit the installation to a single computer. Mind you, that’s not one computer at a time, but one computer--ever. This is similar to the OEM licensing model, which marries Office with whatever machine it ships on forever. Of course, that really doesn’t make any sense at all for the average user. If every copy of Office 2013 is... Read more...
Billionaire, Genius, Playboy, Philanthropist - these are terms you may have heard in reference to the fictional Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. In reality however, super heroes these days come from all walks of life, including Super Geek Heroes like Bill Gates. There's little question, few people have done more to shape the face of the modern computing than Mr. Gates. In his earlier days, the man was either revered, feared or loathed (competitively) for his business prowess, creativity and analytical foresight.  These days, the Bill Gates is a shining example of what it means to give back to your fellow man. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does some pretty amazing things for charities in... Read more...
Google's privacy practices have come under fire in the past six months; the company was fined for continuing to track Safari users after previously promising not to do so. Last fall, Microsoft launched a campaign against Google's shopping search, informing users that Google no longer displayed relevant data, but ranked results by what advertisers were willing to pay to be in the top spot. Now, Redmond is expanding the claim to Gmail and informing users that they've been "Scroogled." "If you’re a Gmail user, Google scans all of your sent and received messages, extracts keywords that they think are relevant to you, and then uses that data to target you with ads," the company claims at Scroogled.com,... Read more...
In what sounds like a scene out of one of those (well meaning, but never remotely accurate) cyber-action movies, teams of technicians from Symantec and Microsoft’s Digital Crimes unit wielding a court order from the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, were escorted by U.S. Federal Marshals in raids on data centers in New Jersey and Virginia yesterday. Yes, that happened. According to Reuters, the purpose of the raids was to shut down the Bamital botnet by yanking offline servers that had been used to control between 300,000 and 1 million infected PCs as part of a massive click fraud campaign perpetrated by at least 18 individuals scattered across the globe, including in Russia,... Read more...
Microsoft’s Surface Pro appeared on Best Buy’s website today, complete with an Ivy Bridge processor and your choice of 64GB or 128GB of storage. The lower-capacity tablet rings in at $899.99, and the 128GB model is priced at $999.99, so you’re looking at $100 to double the storage. Keep in mind that part of that storage is dedicated to the OS itself, as we discussed earlier in the week. The Surface Pro is expected to be available on February 8th, so it’s not that surprising to see it appearing on Best Buy’s site at this point. However, Best Buy is already planning on free shipping for both models and you can add it to your wish list. Thanks to the Intel Core i5 processor... Read more...
After freaking out the gaming community with an email that seemed to signal the end of DirectX, Microsoft is now assuring everyone that DirectX is alive and well. The Microsoft XNA toolset is what’s being cut loose. It looks like DirectX isn't going anywhere, after all. The confusion arose from an email that was sent to DirectX/XNA MVPs by Microsoft. The email told MVPs that the MVP Award Program for DirectX/XNA would be retired by April 1 of 2014, giving many people the impression that both components were being put out to pasture. After a flurry of news reports on the topic, Mary Jo Foley got to the bottom of the issue: Microsoft goofed. The company confirmed that the email was inaccurate... Read more...
My, how time flies. It seems like just yesterday we were taking the wraps off of our shiny new copy of Office 2010, and now it appears that Office 2013 will grace us with its presence shortly. According to the official teasers on Twitter, Microsoft is planning announce Office 2013 from Bryant Park, New York later today with the (large, orange) key themes being “amaze”, “create” “imagine”, and “explore”. Microsoft hit the RTM (Release to Manufacturing) mark with the latest version of its ubiquitous software in October, and some users got a lengthy firsthand look at the Office 2013 Professional Plus edition in November. There are new versions of Word,... Read more...
Last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was arguably the most important one in Microsoft's history. Think about the circumstances: tablets and smartphones are getting the attention that desktops and notebooks once had, PC sales growth is down, and Windows 8 is an operating system for a new era, one in which Microsoft very much wants to be a part of. Why, then, didn't Microsoft make a bigger splash? It's a curious question, one that led the Associated Press to deem CES a "missed chance" for Microsoft to promote the heck out of all these new Windows 8 devices unveiled at the convention. CES was also a great opportunity to build solidarity between Microsoft and its hardware partners.... Read more...
Here's a curious thing. If you direct your browser over to the Major Nelson blog, which covers Xbox Live related topics, you'll find a countdown timer to the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 158 days and some odd hours from now. Above the timer is a three word statement: "And it's on..." Yes folks, it's on indeed. Perhaps one of the worst kept secrets in cyberspace is that Microsoft is planning to unveil its next generation Xbox console at E3, and posting a countdown timer on the Major Nelson blog is a pretty big hint that Microsoft is prepping a big reveal. If not the Xbox 720, or whatever the next Xbox will be called, what else could it be? We won't even go there, because with all the... Read more...
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