Items tagged with NASDAQ:MSFT

Have you tried buying a next-generation game console? If so, you might have a hole in your wall, from where you punched it out of frustration. The Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and both PlayStation 5 consoles have been almost impossible to buy, thanks to a combination of factors—high demand, not enough supply, bots, etc. If it comes as any consolation, Xbox boss Phil Spencer feels your frustration and wants to change the pre-order process for the better. The question is, how can Microsoft (and Sony) go about doing that? Let me share my own experience, before diving in to that. Having missed out on the initial pre-order run, I've tried a few times to order one of the next-gen consoles. But... Read more...
It is once again time for a new console generation and Microsoft has two shiny new products ready for the holiday 2020 shopping season. Continuing its tradition of sometimes fuzzy model branding, we have the new Xbox Series X and Series S, which succeed the previous-gen Xbox One X, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and the console formerly known as Xbox. This time around, Microsoft is focused solely on the gaming and entertainment experiences – there is no Kinect accessory or multimedia hub with HDMI input. The Xbox One X is all about improving the core gaming experience and all that comes with it. The two-tier console launch approach is unique this generation, with the Series X being the full-blown next-generation... Read more...
Microsoft is really going all-in with game streaming for its Xbox platform. While gamers can go out and buy previous- or current-generation hardware like the Xbox One X or the Xbox Series X, Microsoft also gives you the option to stream games on mobile devices using Project xCloud (which is now part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate). Xbox Chief Phil Spencer recently gave an interview with The Verge and covered a wide number of topics regarding Xbox in general and the new Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X consoles. However, it's no surprise that Microsoft wants to get Xbox games into the hands of more people, across a variety of platforms. To further that goal, it looks as though the company... Read more...
Have you been looking to snag some PC parts or a new console this year but have found that they are all out of stock? You are not alone in this endeavor, and we are here to help. Today we have some tips and tricks to get you the latest hardware that has been tough to come by in the last few weeks. r/buildapcsales Reddit is a great place to look for sales, new information, and where to buy items. The buildapcsales subreddit has plenty of people who have their fingers on the pulse (or maybe they are just bots). In any case, you can regularly check this subreddit to see if new AMD CPUs or NVIDIA GPUs are in stock. Moreover, you can also find some occasional killer deals here, so it is worth checking... Read more...
As the cybersecurity landscape evolves, so do the skilled attackers at every turn. Protecting devices from threats becomes a cat and mouse game, and there is always a new attack on the horizon. Security chips built into computers have tried to slow the attacks, such as Apple’s T2 chip, but even it has its flaws. Now, Microsoft is looking to build hardened security directly into the CPU while being isolated from the system. They have adapted this new system, named the Microsoft Pluton processor, from technology created from Xbox and Azure Sphere, so end-users will be more secure than ever. According to Microsoft, “Windows 10 is the most secure version of Windows ever, built with end-to-end... Read more...
We've got some bad news if you think that the start of 2021 will magically mean that Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles will come back in stock. Back in late October, Xbox Chief Phil Spencer said that there will be "more demand than supply" and that "we're going to live in that world for a few months". "So, on the supply chain side, it's like, what can we do to get more inventory, but most of my energy is focused on the next couple of years," Spencer added. Well, that long-time commitment is playing out in real-time as Microsoft confirmed last week that we'll be waiting even longer to see Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X supply stabilize. Tim Scott, who serves as the chief financial... Read more...
A handful of viral videos might have you believing that some early Xbox Series X adopters caught on video their shiny new consoles going up in smoke, an apparent result of overheating. Indeed, that would be a major fire hazard, if true. But it's not true. Instead, some dingbats figured out they could blow vape smoke into their console and have it exhaust through the top, which prompted Microsoft to put out a statement saying that is not a good idea. "We can't believe we have to say this, but please do not blow vape smoke into your Xbox Series X," Microsoft stated on Twitter. Microsoft is keeping a good sense of humor about the situation, posting several follow-up tweets, one of which reads, "The... Read more...
Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Xbox division leader, recently sat down for an interview in which he gave his wide-ranging thoughts on the gaming industry. While the whole interview was an interesting read, we got some insights into Xbox's present and future plans as a whole. Spencer specifically talked about present competition and the issues of supply versus demand and how that affects sales overall. When it comes to console preorders (and, frankly, any other preorder) this year, there have been issues of supply meeting the immense demand. Preorders sold out nearly instantaneously, and it was a concern for many. Spencer addressed these concerns complaints during the Shacknews interview. When... Read more...
If you we were one of the few that managed to get in a preorder at Amazon for an Xbox Series X, you probably considered yourself lucky. After all, preorders sold out quickly, and it's likely that there won't be sufficient stock available until sometime in 2021. However, some people that preordered from Amazon won't be able to enjoy launch day bliss, as their console isn't arriving today as initially promised. Instead, Amazon sent an email to some unlucky customers to inform them that their Xbox Series X console might not arrive until December 31st at the latest. What's even more infuriating for these customers is that Amazon didn't even bother to send this email to customers until... Read more...
The color blue is thought to have a calming effect on people, and it is widely reported that Microsoft purposely chose it for that reason, for crashing errors in Windows. Except at this point, running into a blue screen of death (BSOD) error is anything but calming. And it still happens. In fact, a couple of recent support articles at Microsoft highlight two specific instances that could prompt it, both after installing the October 2020 Update for Windows 10. Otherwise known as Windows 10 version 20H2, this is the latest build of Microsoft's operating system. If you are not sure which version you have installed, press the Windows key + R to bring up the Run box, then type winver and hit enter.... Read more...
It was inevitable that Microsoft would release a Surface Pro 8, but no one expected that we would come across it in this manner. An alleged Surface Pro 8 engineering sample was sold on eBay for $1,300, and it comes with some interesting specs. Whereas the Surface Pro 7 is powered by 10th generation Ice Lake processors, this prototype is rocking Intel's latest 11th generation Tiger Lake processor (Core i7-1165G7). Not only does Tiger Lake bring some healthy gains in performance over Ice Lake, but it also supports PCIe 4.0, USB 4 and comes with a far superior Iris Xe integrated graphics engine. In this case, the Core i7-1165G7 processor is paired with a generous 32GB of DDR4-4266... Read more...
Google’s Project Zero team, which is tasked with discovering 0-day vulnerabilities, has uncovered an exploit in the Windows kernel that can lead to sandbox escape or privilege escalation. The bug, given CVE-2020-17087, is of the buffer overflow type in the Windows Kernel Cryptography Driver (CNG.sys) and is being actively exploited. Thankfully, this exploit is targeted and is not related to any U.S. election hacking, which could become more prevalent in the coming days. Last week, the Project Zero team discovered an exploit in Google Chrome and Chrome OS. Around the same time, they found the Windows Kernel bug, and it was “subject to a 7-day disclosure deadline.” It was subject... Read more...
Back in 2005, Microsoft teamed up with ATi, now part of AMD, for the graphics processor in the Xbox 360. In the 15 years since, the two companies have cozied up to form a console alliance for the ages. That's a relationship, Microsoft says, that affords it a closer alignment with AMD's RDNA 2 architecture than its rivals at Sony. As a result, the Xbox maker claims that its Xbox Series X and Series S make use of AMD's graphics tech in a way that the PlayStation rivals at Sony just can't match. Considering both consoles use the same combination of Zen 2 CPU cores and RDNA 2 graphics tech, this is a pretty bold claim to make.  What does seem to be proprietary to Microsoft is the way it leverages... Read more...
One would think that once a vulnerability received ample coverage and explicit warnings that encouraged uses to patch, we might see a drop-off in attacks. That is not the case; however, as Microsoft is again reporting that the Zerologon security flaw is still being exploited in the wild. This is another succinct warning on top of the pile already saying that Zerologon is dangerous, and people need to patch their systems ASAP. In late September, we reported, as others did, that hackers were actively exploiting the Zerologon security flaw. Following a Department of Homeland Security emergency directive, Microsoft confirmed that they were tracking the use of Zerologon. Microsoft also reported that... Read more...
Following a brief delay to work out some kinks with its autopilot feature, the fifth update for Microsoft Flight Simulator has pulled in the hanger. Among the list of changes, it offers improved autopilot behavior for pitch management, along with better altitude capture and stability for the Cessna 208 B Grand Caravan EX, Cessna Citation Longitude, Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, and Daher TBM 930. This patch was supposed to arrive a little bit earlier than it did, but Microsoft announced on Tuesday that it needed a small bit of additional time before pushing it out to the public. "We encountered some issues related to the autopilot across various planes right before we were set to release Update... Read more...
Earlier this month, Microsoft officially updated Windows 10 with a refreshed design for the Start Menu in the October Update. It seems that this is not the only refreshed design Microsoft has in store, however. There are now rumors that Microsoft is planning a Windows 10 UI refresh during the latter half of 2021. The project, codenamed "Sun Valley," has been described in internal documentation as "'reinvigorating' and modernizing the Windows desktop experience." Over the last several years, macOS and Linux's flavors have had refreshes in design, whereas Windows has taken a more measured approach. Thankfully, Microsoft agrees with this and seemingly has plans to update the UI. As Windows... Read more...
If you have your mind set on getting a new gaming rig in the next few weeks -- perhaps with a Ryzen 5000 Series CPU and a Radeon RX 6800 Series GPU inside -- you're going to expect peak performance in just about any game that you throw at it. However, chances are that you might have some software applications lurking in the background that are doing their best to leech resources away from your current gaming session. With this in mind, Microsoft today is delivering a new update to the Xbox Game Bar for Windows 10 that will now easily let you track how your resources are being used with the aptly-named Resources widget. While there are a number of third-party utilities that will provide the same... Read more...
Some of you reading this probably tried, in vain, to order a GeForce RTX 3070 this morning, only to be met with error messages, slow loading sites, and ultimately disappointment. Not that anyone should be surprised—it was always going to be that way, given the excellent bang-for-buck proposition, and how the previous launches went. But there is always the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S right around the corner, right? Technically, yes. Though if you did not jump on the pre-order train when it rolled down the tracks, you might have a tough time scoring one at a retail store next month, or even in December. That is not just a hunch, but essentially what Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently said,... Read more...
While Microsoft is continuing efforts to kill Adobe Flash, this company is also trying to put Internet Explorer out of its misery. Next month, users who try to go to websites like YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and more will be automatically redirected to the page opening in Microsoft Edge. This “forced IE-to-Edge” action is part of Microsoft’s broader plan to extinguish Internet Explorer in favor of the newer Microsoft Edge browser. This month, Microsoft sent an email out to businesses warning them of the phaseout of Internet Explorer and how it would affect them. At that time, Microsoft said Internet Explorers support would be “ending for Microsoft... Read more...
Early in September, Microsoft announced the looming end of support for Adobe Flash Player in the Edge browser as we close out 2020 into 2021. We are now creeping toward the end of 2020, and Flash is finally beginning to get the boot. Microsoft has released an update to remove Adobe Flash from Windows and prevent future reinstalls. Adobe Flash and Flash Player were once the rulers of the roost online. Content, games, ads, and more were all driven by Flash. It became incredibly popular and subsequently was targeted by malicious people. This made Flash a dangerous point of attack for millions of devices. As we wrote last month, “Couple that with poor performance on some machines, Adobe’s... Read more...
Microsoft’s Azure Active Directory has some neat features built-in, and it is always expanding. Yesterday, the Azure team implemented a way to detect “one of the most popular attacks, accounting for more than a third of account compromise in organizations.” This attack is called password spray, and by now using machine learning, Microsoft can detect patterns and alert organizations to this attack. Password spray is a “low and slow” form of attack, where “bad actors try a few common passwords against many accounts from different organizations.” This method of testing passwords over several days can go undetected as logins can come from thousands of IPs... Read more...
We are roughly two weeks away from the release of the next generation of gaming consoles, and the Xbox team is itching to show off their "baby". With a new video released today, Microsoft is giving “fans an in-depth look at what they can expect when they boot up their next-gen Xbox consoles on November 10.” Thanks to Malik Prince, Xbox Community PM, and Harrison Hoffman, Xbox engineer, we get to see some of the new features, like a redesigned UI, game experiences, as well as a closer look at the controller. The Redesigned UI Will Be Shared With The Xbox One Family With a new generation of consoles comes a unique experience with the Xbox consoles. Harrison Hoffman, principal program... Read more...
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