Items tagged with NASDAQ: MSFT

At its core, Minecraft is a game. It's designed to be fun, immersive, and challenging. But as we've seen in recent years, it can become a lot more than just a game, thanks in part to its extreme modularity. Especially with the introduction of the Redstone block, we've seen people create everything from calculators to conveyor belts to printers. With Minecraft, the sky really is the limit. So too is the potential of the game itself, it seems. Despite its modest graphics and extremely blocky nature, Microsoft sees great things coming from Minecraft. While some might just want to chop down a tree in the game engine itself, Microsoft sees artificial intelligence researchers making use of the game... Read more...
It's been known for a while that Microsoft has been planning to roll out a mechanism that would allow someone to purchase one copy of a game and have it playable on both the Xbox One and PC, and at last month's E3 event, we discovered that it'd be called 'Xbox Play Anywhere'. Now, we also know its launch date: September 13. It's almost surreal to think that Xbox Play Anywhere is actually going to happen, as it's something that gamers have wanted for a long time. Sometimes, people simply like to play a game on multiple platforms, but never does someone actually want to spend twice the money to do so. It's one game, after all. Forza Horizon 3 Well, when the Windows 10 Anniversary Update drops,... Read more...
2016 has been a great year for Halo 5: Guardians so far, as it's received five great content updates which have included new game modes, new maps, and of course, new REQs to seek out. The next update, though, called Warzone Firefight, looks like it will be the biggest of the eight updates released so far. As we teased about a couple of months ago, this particular update includes a new multiplayer mode called Warzone Firefight. As its name implies, Warzone Firefight is a fork of Warzone, which means that the huge maps you've come to appreciate are going to be featured here. The mechanics behind the mode are quite different, though. It's important to note that Warzone Firefight is a co-op mode,... Read more...
We learned last week that Sony is planning to release an updated PlayStation 4 console, one with much greater capabilities than the original. While specifics are being kept mum until later, Sony's confirmation of the 'PS 4.5' spurred questions about whether or not Microsoft would follow-suit, even though certain executives have shot down the idea in recent months. Well as it happens, Microsoft is going to be releasing an upgraded Xbox One, codenamed 'Project Scorpio'. It's said to be up to four times faster than the original Xbox One, which should put it well ahead of the PlayStation 4.5 (we still don't have confirmation of specs from Sony). While no one who owns an Xbox One is going to want... Read more...
It's been quite the month for Windows 10, for both good and not so good reasons. On the plus side, the OS continues to grow in popularity; conversely, part of the reason might be due to the fact that the company has been outright nagging most of its customers to upgrade. But being asked to upgrade is one thing; it's another to have a software company try and trick you into it. This ongoing debacle is undoubtedly going to make it in the history books, as it affects customers so far and wide. We reported just last week that Chinese users have been affected to the extent where millions of messages regarding it are showing up on social network service Weibo. Ultimately, Microsoft backpedaled... Read more...
It looks like Windows Phone could soon be enjoying an update that lets Xbox One gamers stream their favorite titles over to their mobile devices. As many revelations have been made known lately, this one was discovered by a reddit user who quickly revealed their discovery on the website. It's not a light one, either; there has since been other people to back the original founder up. When a friend messaged them on their Windows smartphone, reddit user eric5949 accidentally clicked on the name of the game that it was attached to and noticed interesting wording: "Play from console". Normally, this says "Play on console", so it stood out like a sore thumb. Unfortunately, tapping on that option doesn't... Read more...
Sometimes, it's amazing - potentially jaw-dropping - to see huge companies make really boneheaded decisions. A great example of this came to us this past week when Microsoft rolled out an update to its Windows 10 upgrade mechanism in Windows 7 and 8 that could automatically start the process of the upgrade by closing the dialog box. It seems crazy to even say out loud! To say that this caused outrage would actually be an understatement. The world over, people were suddenly having their PCs upgraded after vigilantly dismissing the upgrade offer for months, or even the past year. For experienced users, this would be downright frustrating, but just picture all of those who know just enough about... Read more...
If you enjoy seeing recommended apps in your Windows 10 Start menu, then you're going to love the fact that the upcoming Redstone update doubles the number you'll be able to see. Who knew Windows 10 could get even better? Alright, so that's a bit of an exaggeration, but considering the fact that it is happening, it does make us wonder what Microsoft is actually thinking. As it stands today, if you open your Start menu in Windows 10, a couple of recommended apps might appear. The goal is obvious: to lead user to the Windows Store to download an app or two. Ultimately, Microsoft hopes that you may eventually find your way towards paid software, for which it'd get a cut. In the current iteration,... Read more...
Microsoft's Project Spark had a ton of potential. It was built up (no pun) to be the ultimate builder game, allowing users to create their own worlds, mechanics, and fun. The game even had the benefit of being available on both the Xbox One and PC, but alas, it has proven to be one of those games that just wasn't mean to go on forever. In an official post, Microsoft and Team Dakota jointly announced that Project Spark support would be discontinued, and as of right now, the game is no longer available for download. If you already have the game downloaded, you'll be able to continue to play until August 12, at which point the game's servers are going to be shut down. While it's never great to see... Read more...
The concept and implementation of artificial intelligence is nothing new, but with today's computer hardware at our perusal, AI advancement only continues to develop at a rapid pace. Siri and Cortana are both effective AI bots, able to understand a great number of your queries and spit back an answer immediately. As time goes on, AI is only going to become more prevalent, and more important. That's a thought that Dave Coplin, Microsoft UK's Chief Envisioning Officer, agrees with. At an AI conference held late last week, Coplin made the huge statement that AI is the most important technology anyone is working on today. It's something that's not just going to benefit the companies... Read more...
When we hear about IoT, or Internet of Things, it often relates to products like smart clothing, accessories or even home automation. But IoT can also play a major role in the enterprise space, as Microsoft has just confirmed with its acquisition of an Italian company called Solair. In its blog post, Microsoft notes that Solair is well-established in the IoT space, having established itself involved in manufacturing, retail, food, and transportation. One of the things that no doubt stood out to Microsoft most about Solair is the company's appreciation for its Azure cloud platform, as all of its products revolve around it. Solair CEO Tom Davis Microsoft provides a couple of examples of where Solair... Read more...
A couple of months ago, Microsoft revealed that it would begin making a far greater push into gaming on Windows 10, and was planning to do that by merging the Xbox and PC worlds. At that time, the company promised that PC gamers would finally be able to play Forza on the platform of their choice, with a special Windows 10 version called Forza Motorsport 6: Apex. Since that announcement, quite a bit has happened. Despite Tim Sweeney's absolute distaste of UWP, Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform, we saw the introduction of Killer Instinct last month, and Rocket League becoming playable against PC and PlayStation 4 gamers on the Xbox One version. The way Microsoft is handling this melding... Read more...
If you're an Outlook user on Android and also happen to own an Android Wear device, you're in luck -- Microsoft has just released a new update that adds support for smartwatches. At the moment, the update can be snagged from the Google Play store in some areas, but in the event your device isn't pulling down the latest version, you can manually snag the update here. Note that the up-to-date version is 2.1.0 (Google Play currently shows 2.0.57 for us.) According to the folks over at Android Central, Microsoft sums up the update, writing, "This week, we're bringing the best of Outlook to Android Wear. Stop reaching out for your phone, everything is now happening on your watch. Check your Outlook... Read more...
Microsoft has been at the forefront of the machine-learning craze, having developed demos that are both neat and useful. About a year ago, the company released a tool that took a guess at your age, and just this past fall, it created a tool to help identify your emotions. The company has even developed a solution that can give a computer a sense of humor. There's seemingly no limit to where machine-learning can take us. Not all in this machine-learning realm can be perfect, though. Just last month, Microsoft had to pull a Twitter bot it called "Tay" from the internet after people managed to manipulate its "thoughts" for the worse. In no time, Tay became racist and sex-crazed, and we're pretty... Read more...
We learned a couple of weeks ago that Microsoft and Canonical would be teaming up to bring some Linux goodness to Windows 10, and a mere week later, we saw the functionality hit the 14316 Insider Preview build. With that build now in the hands of tinkerers, some neat features are now being discovered. After Microsoft made the mind-blowing announcement that Linux's BASH terminal would be supported on Windows 10, many began to wonder if it'd be possible to initiate an X server (the accelerated window manager for Linux) to run GUI applications. In its shipping form, both Microsoft and Canonical expect people to use only command-line based applications in the BASH terminal, but as it happens,... Read more...
It's been quite an eventful year so far for Microsoft and its Xbox One, and the company is only just getting started. Last month, we learned the surprising news that Microsoft would be enabling cross-network capabilities on its Xbox One. That means that Xbox One gamers - with a supported game - would be able to play against those on the PC or, eventually, Sony's PlayStation 4. The first cross-network game on the Xbox One is a crowd favorite: Rocket League. Psyonix's vehicular soccer game became one of the rare games that could be played between PC and PS4 gamers, so the company could have very well played a big role in encouraging Microsoft to open up a bit more. Any developer that... Read more...
If you're an iOS user who's been dying to try out a new on-screen keyboard, Microsoft has a new one that's well worth testing. Called "Hub Keyboard", Microsoft aims to make the simple on-screen keyboard a lot more powerful, and intuitive. If you're an Office 365 user, the app's usefulness can greatly improve your workflow. Do you hate having to switch apps just to complete routine tasks, such as pulling in a URL or pasting a block of text you recently copied? Hub Keyboard is all about shortening the amount of time it takes to conduct such tasks, even inserting a period. With this solution, simply double-tapping the space bar will insert the period, reducing the chance of you accidentally hitting... Read more...
At the start of March, Microsoft surprised the world by announcing that it'd be bringing all future Xbox One games it publishes to Windows 10. Even more exciting is the fact that Microsoft has extended the ability to any Xbox One developer that wants to take advantage of the company's Universal Windows Platform. With it, Windows would see more Xbox One games, and perhaps the inverse could happen as well. As Tim Sweeney pointed out not long after Microsoft's announcement, UWP does bring with it a number of big caveats, including one that involves Microsoft having far too much control over that particular ecosystem. If services like Steam and Origin are... Read more...
In December, HotHardware reported that Microsoft had entered the planning stages for introducing a tweaked version of its Windows 10 operating system in China, and just three months later, the first iteration is being delivered. You have Windows 10 Pro? China has Windows 10 'Zhuangongban'. That rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it? The Chinese government has in the past made it no secret that it's skeptical of potential spying code that could run on software (or hardware) produced by American companies, which results in companies such as Microsoft having to face uphill battles anytime it wishes to release a new product in Asia's largest market. To... Read more...
To say that Microsoft's Surface Hub has had a bit of a rough start would be an understatement. Time and time again, just when we thought it was about to officially launch, Microsoft would pull up the reins announcing the wait would be a bit longer. But, no more. Surface Hub is here, and it's shipping. Microsoft's Surface Hub is designed primarily for the enterprise, with the goal of helping teams accomplish more collaboratively. This isn't just some marketing fluff; Microsoft itself has been using Surface Hub in house for the same purposes it's promoting. Brian Hall, Microsoft's GM of Devices Marketing says about the Hub: "I can tell you confidently, our Surface team works together better because... Read more...
With agencies like the NSA and FBI wanting to peer into our personal communications at will, we have to be proactive about keeping ourselves safe. But what if there's a fault we can't work around and simply have to live with? Unless you're a skilled developer, you have to rely on other to come up with an improved solution. All of us want to stay a step ahead of those who want to intrude on our digital lives, and thankfully, many major companies do too. The latest example is with an improvement of SMTP, an extremely popular email protocol that lets you interact with your email in real-time, unlike POP3 which will download emails before they're displayed. SMTP has a number of benefits, but also... Read more...
In 2016, you would think we'd finally be past the point where companies throw parties involving dancing girls dressed in attire that's on the verge of stripper-wear. Apparently, someone forgot to tell Microsoft that conduct like this alienates many women in the industry - game designers, developers, PR, executives and countless other members of the community. And at Game Developers Conference (GDC) this week in San Francisco, Microsoft's event planning team somehow once again let things go off the rails.  To its credit, Microsoft apologized for conduct at its party almost immediately, but we wonder who behind those Redmond walls thought it'd be a good idea to bring dancers in school-girl... Read more...
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