Articles about Microsoft

IDC was so wrong about Windows Phone

Mime Surprise Shock

I laughed so hard and so often at IDC's smartphone forecast, my response took nine days to write—okay, to even start it. The future isn't my chuckable—that data looks reasonably believable enough—but the past. Because 2016 was supposed to be the year that Microsoft's mobile OS rose from the ashes of Symbian to surpass iOS and to challenge Android.

In 2011, IDC forecast that Windows Phone global smartphone OS market share would top 20 percent in 2015. The analyst firm reiterated the platform's No. 2 status for 2016 in 2012 as well. Not that I ever believed the ridiculous forecasts, writing: "If Windows Phone is No. 2 by 2015, I'll kiss Steve Ballmer's feet" and "If Windows Phone is No. 2 by 2016, I'll clean Steve Ballmer's toilet". The CEO's later retirement let me lose from those obligations had I been wrong. I was confident in my analysis being truer.

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How will ARM support impact Windows 10?

Question

Microsoft can be surprising at times. After ditching Windows RT, the software giant has announced that it is working with Qualcomm to bring ARM support to Windows 10. In practice, that means that we will see Snapdragon-powered machines running Microsoft's latest operating system which, and this is key, can run proper x86 software.

Windows RT did not have that, as it was limited to apps available from Windows Store. And we all know how that worked out. However, x86 software on Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 devices can be seen as a game-changer as, in theory, it could pave the way to running resource-intensive programs, like Adobe Photoshop, on smartphones. And I am talking about the true Photoshop, not some dumbed-down mobile version. That could be huge, no doubt.

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Microsoft now officially owns LinkedIn

microsoft-linkedin

Six months after news of the acquisition was released, Microsoft's takeover of the professional social network has closed.

The aim had been to complete the deal by the end of the year, and the two companies managed to hit the deadline after the European Commission gave it the go-ahead. The $26.2 billion acquisition is being billed as helping to accelerate the mission to "connect the world's professionals".

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Microsoft aims to take 'mixed reality' mainstream in 2017

Windows10-MR-Devices-1024x576

Virtual Reality arrived properly in 2016, although it has yet to really make any mainstream impact. Augmented Reality did enter our lives via Pokémon Go, but that’s been about it so far.

Microsoft is targeting 2017 as the year that mixed reality starts to become a thing, and at the Windows Hardware Engineering Community event (WinHEC) in Shenzhen, China the company shared the PC specifications (co-developed with Intel) that will power the first MR headsets from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo set to arrive next year.

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Windows 10 coming to ARM -- paving the way for always connected, more power-efficient PCs

win10 snapdragon thumb

There’s a fair amount of news coming out of the Windows Hardware Engineering Community event (WinHEC) in Shenzhen, China at the moment, but potentially the most exciting announcement is that Windows 10 is coming to ARM.

A partnership with Qualcomm means that we’ll soon see a range of Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs with integrated cellular connectivity that run x86 Win32 and universal Windows apps.

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Microsoft and Intel’s Project Evo will 'raise the bar for what’s possible with Windows PCs'

Project Evo

At the Windows Hardware Engineering Community event (WinHEC) in Shenzhen, China, Microsoft made several announcements, including news that it is working with Intel on a new venture, called "Project Evo".

The aim of this, according to Microsoft, is to "deliver all-new ways for devices to light up with the latest in advanced security, artificial intelligence and Cortana, mixed reality, and gaming".

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14986 for PC arrives on the Fast ring, introduces many new features

Windows-10 key

New Insider Preview builds of the forthcoming Windows 10 Creators Update have been arriving on the Fast ring on a weekly basis. There was a gap over thanksgiving (naturally), and last week a blocking bug on the PC version meant that Build 14977 was only made available for Mobile.

This week it’s back to normal, with a new build for PC rolling out on the Fast ring, and the wait has definitely been worth it as Build 14986 comes packed with lots of new features and improvements. This is the most exciting new build in quite some time. Windows Insider Chief Dona Sarkar uses her Twitter account to tease new build numbers, and this week our very own Brian Fagioli provided the all important clue.

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Windows 10 Creators Update will offer more advanced security features

Security Lock

Mostly everything that Microsoft has revealed about the forthcoming Windows 10 Creators Update to date has focused on the "creator" side of things, and 3D in particular.

Not wishing to completely alienate users with no interest in 3D and mixed reality, the company today reveals how the update will improve security and better "protect, defend and respond to threats".

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Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter join forces to fight terrorism

StopTerrorismHand

Terrorism is a daily threat to our freedoms. It is unfortunate, as we used to be able to go throughout our days without the thought of violence. Now, it dominates the news. Heck, when I am in Penn Station in NYC, I see soldiers with machine guns. Sigh.

Unfortunately, terrorists thrive on the internet too. Using social media and video platforms like YouTube, these evil-doers look to recruit new members while sharing propaganda. Today, Google announces that it is partnering with some major players -- Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter -- to fight online terrorism with a special database. The partners will look to protect user privacy in the process.

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How to change Windows 10's taskbar color, but leave the Start menu and Action Center untouched

Colorful hands

Windows 10 offers a lot of personalization options. Go to Settings > Personalization and you can change the background, alter the color scheme, pick a different Lock screen background, and apply themes.

If you want Windows 10 to show a splash of color, go to the Colors section and toggle the 'Show color on Start, taskbar and Action Center' setting to On. There’s not an option to only change the taskbar’s color unfortunately, but it is possible to do this.

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Microsoft shares its '12 Days of Deals' for 2016 Holiday Shopping -- here's which days are best

christmas shopping

Well folks, December is here, and before you know it, Christmas and other holidays will be upon us. You know what that means -- shopping. For some ultra-responsible people, their holiday shopping is already done. For many other people, however, there are still many gifts to buy.

Technology-related gifts are always popular, and this year Microsoft is rolling out some great deals. In fact, unlike Black Friday which only lasts one day, the Windows-maker is offering a mind-boggling "12 Days of Deals". Many of the deals are available both online or at Microsoft's retail stores, but the ones labeled "In-Store Doorbuster Deal" are only available in the latter. While you can see all of the deals below, lets dive in and see which are the best.

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The state of SharePoint and Office 365 development

Office 365

SharePoint is the most widely used hub for modern businesses, while Office 365 is increasingly the first choice for cloud productivity. With these two platforms forming the bedrock of many companies' IT environments, business leaders need to understand how the platforms are changing and the needs of the employees who work with them.

SharePoint customization specialist Rencore has surveyed over 1,200 SharePoint and Office 365 developers and other professionals to get a picture of how the community is evolving.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14977 arrives on the Fast ring -- but it's for Mobile only

Windows-10 key

It’s been a while since we had a new Windows 10 Insider build -- Thanksgiving got in the way of Microsoft’s usual weekly schedule.

Today, the software giant releases Build 14977 to the fast ring, but it’s for Mobile only. The PC build has a blocking bug that results in broken apps on an upgrade, so we’ll have until next week for a new build for that platform.

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How to reliably disable Windows 10 updates

Happy PC user

Windows 10’s mandatory updates are designed to keep your system safe and always up to date. You do have limited control over the update process, but not as much as in Windows 7, for example.

You can stop updates in Windows 10, but it requires you to disable the Windows Update service in the Services manager, and most people won’t know how to do that. Thankfully there is an easier solution.

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Windows 10 share picks up again, after two disastrous months

Windows relief

According to NetMarketShare’s desktop operating system usage share figures, in September Windows 10, on the back of no longer being free, went into reverse gear and managed to lose market share. It was only a drop of 0.46 percentage points, but even so.

October didn’t show much of an improvement for the new OS either. In that month it managed a minuscule rise of just 0.06 percentage points. Some good news for Microsoft in November then, as Windows 10 finally returns to actual growth.

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