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Microsoft needs to cut the mobile cancer from Windows 10

Microsoft needs to cut the mobile cancer from Windows 10

In the new world of Microsoft there has been a distinct shift in focus; Satya Nadella has said that the company's focus is a "mobile-first, cloud-first" strategy. This is all well and good -- and in many ways makes a great deal of sense -- but there is a very real danger that Microsoft is focusing too much on these new goals and to the detriment of other areas.

Windows 10 is an excellent case in point. This is an operating system that is destined for a wide range of devices, from phones and tablets to desktops, consoles and IoT devices yet to be devised. But in catering to the mobile side of its dream for the future, Microsoft has lost direction for desktop users and has made far too many compromises.

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A quantum leap into the future of computing

A quantum leap into the future of computing

Year after year computers increase in power. Processors become faster and gain more cores, memory also speeds up and becomes more plentiful. But we're reaching the limits of what can be achieved with current technology -- a real sea change is needed to take things to the next level. Many futurists have set their sights on the possibilities encompassed in quantum computing.

Eschewing the binary states of 1 and 0, bits are replaced with qubits which can hold three states -- on, off, or both at the same time. This introduces the opportunity for much greater computing power, but also introduces more opportunities for errors to creep in. Now IBM engineers have found a new way to detect and correct errors, hopefully creating the building block on which future quantum computers may be built.

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LG Watch Urbane fast, first impressions [mini-review]

LG Watch Urbane Face

Early yesterday afternoon, LG Watch Urbane arrived from Verizon. Turnaround is quick for anyone who wants one right way, rather than waiting for Google to ship (now 1-2 days rather than by May 8). I am rushing a first-impressions review, and some comparison to the Moto 360 is mandatory. If round is your taste, consider one of these two smartwatches.

Meantime, to collect my thoughts for the review and for anyone considering the Urbane, I share something sooner. Overall, I am satisfied with the initial out-of-the-box experience. Urbane is gorgeous and looks like a traditional watch. The always-on, dimmed face contributes to the effect—without bleeding dry the charge. The watch is also more functional as a timepiece, as such. I mean, shouldn't it be?

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Razer releases Seirēn Pro microphone with USB and XLR


Look, I know what you are thinking -- you are the next YouTube star, right? Of course you are. You have watched and studied Pewdiepie, iJustine and Barnacules, and you think you can get rich using Google's video service. While getting famous from YouTube is not probable, it can't hurt to try.

Unfortunately, your hardware probably sucks. Investing in a quality video camera or web cam seems like a no-brainer, but don't forget the importance of audio; you will need a microphone. Today, Razer releases the Seirēn Pro mic aimed at professional YouTube vloggers and gamers. An update to the standard Seirēn, this Pro model gains XLR and a High-Pass Filter Toggle.

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Majority of UK companies will miss the Windows Server 2003 deadline


Two thirds of UK companies will continue running Windows Server 2003, after Microsoft cuts the support for the service on 14 July, a recent report has shown.

The continued use of a program with no developer support leaves the user open to many risks, it says in the report called Windows Server 2003 (WS2K3) End-of-Life Survey, conducted by endpoint security specialist Bit9 + Carbon Black.

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Microsoft buys Surface pen technology from N-Trig


Microsoft has confirmed that it is buying "advanced digital pen technology" from stylus manufacturer N-Trig. The company is behind the Surface pen and the acquisition sees Microsoft bringing more of its hardware production in-house.

The acquisition follows on from rumors that surfaced earlier in the year, and Microsoft has already been working closely with the company for several years now.

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Set your wallpaper to a single shade with LoneColor


Family photos, landscapes, animals, celebs, even live video: there’s no shortage of wallpaper options, or programs to help you change from one image to another.

While this seems like a good idea at first, there are potential problems. Really detailed images can be a distraction -- especially when they’re changing all the time -- and can make it harder to read icon captions.

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Best Windows apps this week


One-hundred and twenty eight in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps and games released for Windows in the past seven days.

Microsoft kicked off this year's BUILD conference with a bang as it revealed new information about its upcoming operating system Windows 10, the application ecosystem and other core company products. Check out our coverage on Microsoft Edge, the Continuum feature, Windows Store changes and information about the new build that just landed.

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Mozilla strong-arming websites to drop HTTP

boss bully mafia cigar

Mozilla plans to phase out HTTP support in Firefox, in a push to make browsing more secure. The organization wants websites to go all-in with HTTPS, revealing that it will leverage access to some of its browser's features and make proposals to The World Wide Web Consortium to get the ball rolling.

Mozilla's move may be seen as a way to strong-arm lots of website administrators into supporting HTTPS, as, after all, Firefox is the third most-popular browser today, with a desktop usage share of 11.7 percent. The protocol requires the purchase of a certificate, increasing website running costs, which can become a problem for smaller businesses.

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Windows 10 will launch this summer -- but for PCs only


When Microsoft announced it was planning a summer release for Windows 10, there were some raised eyebrows. When AMD suggested the new OS would launch in July, there were a lot more raised eyebrows. Windows 10 is coming on nicely, but there’s still a lot of work to do to get everything done and dusted in time.

It turns out Microsoft agrees. While Windows 10 will be released in the summer (not "July", just "summer"), it will only be available for desktop PCs, at first.

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Antivirus tool stripped of awards after cheating

Antivirus tool stripped of awards after cheating

Antivirus software produced by Qihoo 360 has been stripped of awards by three leading security testers after it was found to have cheated. AV‐Comparatives, AV‐TEST and Virus Bulletin discovered that Chinese company Qihoo 360 submitted one version of its software for testing, but then released a different one.

The publicly released version of the software had a key virus detection engine disabled, resulting in a lower level of protection for users. As a result of the findings, the security testing bodies are not only revoking any awards given to the software this year, but also calling for greater transparency so consumers know what they are getting.

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After disrupting electric cars, Tesla announces Powerwall and Powerpack batteries for home and businesses

Tesla Powerwall

Today electric carmaker Tesla Motors debuts into a new product category -- the second after cars -- called Tesla Energy. The company shows off new batteries designed to power homes, businesses, and even public utilities. The batteries called Powerwall will store solar energy and serve as a backup system during power outage. The batteries will be available for sale in US this Summer. It will eventually launch at other places as well.

At an event in Los Angeles, Tesla Motors Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk says that Tesla Energy holds the power to change the entire energy infrastructure in the world. "This is within the power of humanity to do," he says. "We have done things like this before. It is not impossible... In a lot of ways it's taking derivative technology from the car".

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Shhh! Anonymous messaging app Secret shuts down


The new trend on mobile is anonymous messaging apps capable of hiding all personal information, while allowing thousands of people to converse on one platform.

It looks like not all of the apps are making a killing. Co-founder of Secret, David Byttow announced he would be closing the application and deleting all the content in the coming weeks, following the steady rise of apps like Whisper and Yik Yak, which appeal to the same demographic as Secret.

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Microsoft reveals Code editor for Windows, Mac, Linux


Microsoft has announced the first public preview of Visual Studio Code, a free cross-platform developer’s editor for Windows, Mac and Linux.

As you’d expect with this kind of tool, there’s syntax highlighting, autocompletion, bracket matching and similar support for a lot of languages: C++, jade, PHP, Python, XML, Batch, F#, DockerFile, Coffee Script, Java, HandleBars, R, Objective-C, PowerShell, Luna, Visual Basic, Markdown, JavaScript, JSON, HTML, CSS, LESS, SASS, C# and TypeScript, with more to come,

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Microsoft releases Band SDK to developers

Microsoft Band SDK released to developers

In the world of wearables, Microsoft Band may not hold the same gravitas as Apple Watch or the various Android Wear devices, but the company is still trying to get more developers on board -- today launching the Microsoft Band SDK, following on from February's preview release.

With support for Windows Phone, Android, iOS, and full-blown Windows, Microsoft is clearly keen to appeal to as many developers as possible. This full SDK release offers access to all of Band's sensors -- as part of a push to get more third-party apps on the device.

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