Articles about Microsoft

Windows Phone hacked! Unlock Lumia bootloader, get root access, flash custom ROMs


If you are the type of person that likes to tinker, Linux-based operating systems are for you. You would probably have many hours of fun playing with an Android device or Raspberry Pi. With that said, Linux is not the only game in town.

Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile are probably the last operating systems you would expect to be hacker-friendly. After all, despite its occasional embrace of open source, Microsoft is largely a closed company. Today, this perception could begin to change, you see, as a new tool rocks the mobile community. Called "Windows Phone Internals", it allows Lumia owners to unlock their bootloaders, gain root access and even flash custom ROMs. Whoa.

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Microsoft confirms the Windows 10 November Update WAS pulled -- and this is why

Secret Tell Surprise Shock

Over the weekend we spotted that the Windows 10 November Update (aka Threshold 2) had been removed from the Media Creation Tool (MCT), and had seemingly disappeared from Windows Update too. We asked Microsoft why this was, and the software giant responded by saying it had decided to remove the November Update from the MCT (giving no actual reason for the decision) but that the update was still available through Windows Update.

This didn’t ring entirely true -- the November Update seemed more like Schrödinger's Update: both simultaneously mandatory, and not available -- but Microsoft had no further comment to make. Today, however, the company admitted to us that there was a problem with the update, and that was the real reason for its disappearance.

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Windows 10 uninstalling user programs without permission

Angry PC user

Windows 10 is a decent operating system, but it’s very much a work in progress, and one that’s definitely not without problems. It has some very rough edges (which are slowly being addressed), various annoying bugs (ditto), and of course, it spies on users.

The November Update (aka Threshold 2) fixed some issues (if you were able to get it) but also caused some new problems too. We reported previously how it had reset privacy settings and default apps for some users, but worse than that it appears the update has been uninstalling some third party desktop programs without asking.

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Microsoft messes up its gender diversity by ditching female employees


Every technology company is keen to develop as diverse a workforce as possible -- even if only for appearances. Microsoft, like Google and Apple, has taken to publishing its diversity figures, and the latest report is rather mixed.

While Microsoft says that racial diversity has increased slightly, the same cannot be said of the gender balance. The overall percentage of woman at the company has dropped by 2.2 percentage points, and Microsoft has an excuse straight from the 'my dog ate my homework' school of thought: restructuring its phone hardware business meant dumping a lot of women.

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To save money on Christmas shopping, forget Black Friday -- use Microsoft Edge, Bing, and Cortana


Holy cow, it is Thanksgiving week! Somehow the holidays just crept up on me this year. For retailers, this is of huge importance, as Black Friday is almost here. While I will probably do some shopping that day, I will avoid the craziness of Best Buy, Walmart and Target and focus on non-tech Christmas shopping at stores like Kohls.

So how will I save money on tech gifts then? Uhh, the Internet. Yes, I will look for deals online while preserving my sanity and avoiding long lines. According to Microsoft, leveraging Edge, Bing, and Cortana can help you save. Will you try?

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Windows 10 finally adds a new Path editor


The Path environment variable is an important setting which has been around since the days of DOS, yet for some reason Windows has always made it awkward to view and edit.

Fortunately that’s changed with Windows 10’s November update (1511), which finally offers an interface you might actually want to use.

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Windows 10 set to be the most widely installed version of Windows ever

Surprised girl with Windows 10

Windows 10’s growth might have slowed quite dramatically in recent months, but never underestimate the power of free.

According to the latest prediction from Gartner, the new operating system is set to enjoy not only the fastest growth of any version of Windows, but is poised to become the most widely installed Microsoft OS ever, quickly overtaking both XP and Windows 7.

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Microsoft pulls the Windows 10 November Update [Updated]

Shock horror

Here’s an interesting story for the weekend -- it seems as if Microsoft has pulled the recently released November Update (aka Threshold 2) from both the Media Creation Tool and Windows Update.

That means if you don’t currently have the update on your Windows 10 device, you won’t be able to download it directly now.

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Microsoft shoots itself in the foot using AppComparison to lure Android users to Windows 10 Mobile


After the slightly disappointing launch of Windows 10 -- at least in terms of reception, if not in terms of numbers (well, it was free) -- Microsoft is now switching its focus to Windows 10 Mobile. The aim now is to try to capture Android and iPhone users, convincing them that a Windows-based smartphone is a smart move.

But there's the problem of apps. It's something that crops up time and time again. Microsoft simply doesn't have the support of mobile developers in the same way that other platforms do. Not that Microsoft would admit this of course. To try to convince people that the 'app gap' no longer exists, the company has released AppComparison for Android to show off how many of the apps you use are available for Windows 10 Mobile. The problem is, there are still lots that simply don't exist.

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Speed up Windows 10 boot up with this simple tweak

Speed up

Because I have a super-fast PC with a large SSD as the system drive, Windows 10 boots up really quickly for me. The days of waiting 5 minutes or so for Windows to get to a usable state -- as was sometimes the case in the past -- are long gone, thankfully.

But if you find Windows 10 is taking too long to boot up for you, there’s a setting you can apply which can speed things up significantly. Even if you have no complaints with how quickly Windows 10 loads, it’s still worth applying this (if it isn't on already) because it will make a difference.

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Windows 10's privacy invading features aren't gone in Threshold 2


Since the launch of Windows 10, there have been various concerns relating to privacy. Some would dismiss this as little more than paranoia, but a lack of transparency about what was happening in the background broke a lot of people's trust. Many hoped that the release of the Threshold 2 update this month would address this, but in lots of cases it was actually a backward step.

In the RTM release of Windows 10, there was a service running in the background called Diagnostics Tracking Service (also known as DiagTrack), and people concerned about privacy -- who were in the know -- disabled it. In Threshold 2, this service is gone. A cause for celebration you might think; but think again. The service is still there, just under a different guise.

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Happy 30th birthday Windows! What's your earliest memory of Microsoft's revolutionary operating system?

Windows 1

I first started using Windows back in 1992, shortly after the release of Windows 3.1, and I’ve used every iteration since, including both the good (Windows XP, Windows 7) and the bad (Vista, Windows 8). Every time a new version was released, I upgraded pretty much immediately. I might own various Apple devices, and dip into Linux products from time to time, but for me there will only ever be one desktop operating system of worth, and that’s Windows.

Today is a huge milestone for the operating system that popularized home computing, and changed the world in so many ways. Microsoft Windows 1.0 was released on 20th November 1985, two years after it was first announced, and for the first time PC owners were able to control things using a mouse, rather than just typing in commands in DOS.

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Free up 24GB+ of hard drive space in Windows 10 by cleaning up after the November Update (Threshold 2)

Clean Win 10

Microsoft released its first major Windows 10 update last week, and this comes with lots of shiny new features and general improvements including cosmetic changes, Edge enhancements, and new (and better) apps. As all Windows 10 updates are mandatory, if you’re using the new OS you’ll likely have the update installed and be running the latest build (10586) already.

The November Update (Threshold 2 as it was codenamed) is pretty sizable and takes a while to download and install. Once the installation process has completed you might reasonably expect the new OS to clean up after itself and delete old files, but actually it doesn’t, meaning you can free up a large chunk of hard drive space by running a manual clean up yourself. And when I say a "large chunk" I mean it. Cleaning up after the November Update will give you back at least 24GB of hard drive space, so it’s well worth doing.

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Microsoft announces its Cyber Defense Operations Center for a mobile-first, cloud-first world


Microsoft invests more than a $1 billion every year on security, showing the company is taking one of biggest digital problems of today quite seriously. The information was unveiled on the Microsoft blog, where the company’s Chief Information Security Officer, Bret Arsenault, reported on CEO Satya Nadella’s keynote in Washington, D.C.

According to the blog post, not only does Microsoft invest large sums of money into security, it is also announcing the Cyber Defense Operations Center, a new state-of-the-art facility which will bring together security response experts from across the company to help protect, detect and respond to threats in real-time.

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Windows 10 popular among enterprise users


Almost half (49 percent) of companies which participated in a recent survey by Forrester Research say that they plan on upgrading to Windows 10 by 2016.

The news broke out yesterday, adding that 38 percent of workers who use a computer say they want Windows 10 on their next work laptop, with 9 percent already using it on their primary work device.

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