Articles about Microsoft

Windows 10 Build 10122's AMD problem fixed -- new release now safe for all to install

win10new

When Microsoft released the latest Windows 10 build earlier in the week, there was one big known issue which will have put some people off updating. Windows Insiders on systems with AMD GPUs were warned that the new build could lead to stability issues, and problems with Windows Edge (or Spartan as it’s still branded in the current build).

Microsoft did say, however, that AMD was working on new drivers, and the good news is the problem appears to have been fixed.

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How to back up all your Gmail emails

Gmail app running on Google Nexus 5

Gmail might be the most popular email service in the world, but even the biggest players fall sometimes, and once that happens, the little guys will be there to cheer.

Server outages and crashes have happened before, and even though Gmail is generally seen as a solid, well-built and stable product, it too can crash, leaving you without all those precious emails you’ve been saving.

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Microsoft threatened job cuts to influence UK government IT policy

Microsoft threatened job cuts to influence UK government IT policy

By threatening to implement job cuts in affected parts of the country, Microsoft tried to influence UK government IT policy. The company stands accused of trying to blackmail members of parliament when it disagreed with planned IT reforms.

The claims come from Prime Minister David Cameron's former strategy chief, Steve Hilton. He says Microsoft telephoned politicians in areas that the company has research and development departments with the threat of "we will close them down in your constituency if this goes through". And it seems that Microsoft is not alone in this sort of activity.

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Microsoft making Outlook.com prettier and more useful

outlookw

I am a hardcore Gmail user, as many people are, but I am not necessarily happy about it. Why? Google's Gmail.com user interface is horrid. Sure, it is functional, but it is outdated and hardly pleasing for the eyes. It is baffling as to why Google does not update such a popular service.

Conversely, Outlook.com is a treat to use, as not only is it more functional, but prettier too. Heck, you can even use your Gmail account with the site. Today, Microsoft announces a refresh of the Outlook.com website. Not only will it be more attractive than before, but it is also gaining many new features. Excited? Me too.

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Mid-range Microsoft Surface 3 available in Europe

Surface 3

When Microsoft announced Surface 3, the software giant revealed that its latest Windows 8.1 slate would be offered with two main hardware configurations: 64 GB of internal storage with 2 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of internal storage with 4 GB of RAM. Either can be had with or without 4G LTE cellular connectivity.

However, what most people do not know is that Surface 3 is actually available in a third hardware configuration, which slots between the two aforementioned models. It gives users 64 GB of internal storage and 4 GB of RAM to play with. And now, this model is surfacing in Europe.

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Microsoft to launch new iPhone messaging app

iPhone in Red leather case held in left hand, tapped on the screen

Microsoft is reportedly planning another messaging app for the iPhone, this time utilizing Outlook contacts without all of the formalities on email.

Spotted by Twitter user @h0x0d, Microsoft has named the app Flow and is preparing to launch it in the coming months. Instead of sending an email with titles and signatures, Flow will allow Outlook contacts to chat like they would on Facebook Messenger or any other messaging platform.

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Windows 10 Build 10122 arrives, here's what's new

Win 10 desktop

There are risks involved with running any early versions of programs. They’re not finished, sometimes they are far from finished, and could be riddled with bugs. You might not encounter any problems, or then again you might. You take your chances. If you’re a Windows Insider, you get to try Windows 10, in the knowledge you might encounter issues with the OS. If you’re in the Fast ring, that’s even more likely.

The latest build being rolled out to Insiders now being a good case in point. Build 10122 has a known issue with AMD GPUs which causes Microsoft Edge (or rather Spartan, as it's still branded in this build) to crash frequently. Microsoft could have held this back until a fix was available, but Windows Insiders voted for it to be released, and so here it is. When the next new build arrives on the Slow ring, this issue should have been fixed (AMD is working on new drivers), so if you have a PC with an AMD GPU you may wish to skip this build, avoid using Edge, or try the OS in a virtual environment, using VirtualBox. So that’s the main problem with the new build, but what about changes and improvements?

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Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner for Xbox One now available

Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner for Xbox One now available

A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced the upcoming release of an over-the-air TV tuner for Xbox One owners. Now the big day has rolled around and gamers in the US and Canada can now get their hands on the Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner for Xbox One.

Priced at $59.99, the TV tuner will be welcomed by cord cutters as it brings live over-the-air HDTV or analog TV with no monthly fee. It can be used with any Xbox One including the newly announced white Xbox One with Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It also brings extra features such as the ability to pause live broadcasts, but on the Xbox One this is limited to just 30 minutes.

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Microsoft announces limited edition white Xbox One with Halo: The Master Chief Collection

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The video game console wars are really heating up lately, with both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 selling well. Unfortunately, I still do not own either console, although I briefly had the PS4 before returning it. I am really impressed with the Microsoft ecosystem lately, so I have been considering buying Xbox One. When it comes to money, however, I am notoriously frugal.

Today the inside of my wallet may see some daylight. You see, Microsoft announces a beautiful new Xbox One model with an angelic white color. Best of all, it will come with the Halo Master Chief Collection Bundle at the same low $349.

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Windows 10's success hinges on apps, and overcoming developer apathy

Success or failure

It’s no secret that Microsoft has an app problem. The Windows Store is full of unexciting knock-offs, and it’s rare for quality releases to appear there these days. While many Windows Phone devotees will claim the "app gap" is a myth, and the only apps Microsoft’s mobile platform doesn’t have are rubbish ones that no one wants ("thousands of games and flashlight apps" as I’ve seen iOS’s superiority dismissed previously), that’s simply not true.

Microsoft is more than aware of the problem, and past efforts to get developers to port their apps to its ecosystem simply haven’t worked. That’s why with Windows 10 Microsoft is doing things differently. Universal apps can run on any Windows 10 device, from PCs to phones, and Microsoft has also made it incredibly simple for developers to port Android and iOS apps to Windows 10. But will that be enough?

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Microsoft releases May 2015 firmware upgrades for Surface Pro 3, Pro 2

Surface Pro 3 with red Type Cover keyboard

After a brief hiatus, Microsoft has released new firmware upgrades for its Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2 Windows 8.1 tablets. The May 2015 releases feature updated drivers and UEFI, which, as expected, are meant to refine the user experience.

There are no new firmware upgrades available for the original Surface Pro, however, nor for Surface RT, Surface 2 and Surface 3, the last of which Microsoft unveiled in late-March. Now, let us take a close look at what the latest Surface Pro 3 and Surface Pro 2 firmware updates bring to the table.

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Microsoft's VC3 security is encryption for the cloud

Microsoft's VC3 security is encryption for the cloud

The inexorable move towards the cloud continues apace, and something that remains a key concern is security. Microsoft thinks it may have come up with a solution in the form of Verifiable Confidential Cloud Computing, or VC3, which has been designed to keep cloud data encrypted and secure even when the data is being used to perform calculations.

Described as a "lockbox in the cloud", VC3 keeps data protected by using secure, managed hardware to perform any necessary decryption. Encrypted data is transferred to VC3-managed cloud hardware where it is then decrypted, used in calculations, and then re-encrypted.

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Microsoft Solitaire turns 25 -- what are your fondest memories of the game?

25sol

Back in the 90's, I got my first computer. I was not alone in this regard; at the time, Windows-based computers exploded in popularity thanks to the Internet. These machines were hardly inexpensive, often costing several thousand dollars. This was at a time when a thousand dollars was much more valuable than today.

The funny thing is, beyond using AOL to talk to strangers, we home users did not know what the heck to do with these expensive machines. Before you bought it, you would envision all of the magical things you will do, but ultimately, it was often used for one thing -- solitaire. Yes, many consumers justified their purchases by playing Microsoft Solitaire for hours on end. Hell, even in the corporate world, employees would play the game instead of getting work done; it was gloriously unproductive. Today, the game turns 25.

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Microsoft will keep your emails in check automatically

Microsoft will keep your emails in check automatically

Towards the end of last year, Microsoft launched Clutter. It's a tool designed to make it easier to focus on the email that matter by moving the less important ones into a separate folder. It works in a similar way to decluttering tools offered by Yahoo and Gmail, and now it's being rolled out to everyone.

Starting in June, there will be no need to manually activate the feature as it will be enabled by default. If you're not keen on having your emails tinkered with, you can disable it, but Microsoft explains that the aim is to save you time by reducing the amount of chaff you have to sort through to get to the wheaty content that matters.

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The best Microsoft Surface Pro 3 version gets a $150 discount

Surface Pro 3 with red Type Cover keyboard

If you are in the market for a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 then you should definitely get the 256 GB version with 8 GB of RAM. It is the best of the bunch, offering the right balance between price and performance. It is also the model that I would leave my 13-inch Apple MacBook Air for.

Luckily, if you are considering the aforementioned Surface Pro 3 version, Microsoft is now sweetening the deal with a $150 discount, which brings the price down to a more affordable $1,149. Normally, the slate costs $1,299.

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