Articles about Microsoft

Nokia issues warning for potentially shocking Lumia 2520 charger

2520_charger

Nokia is warning owners of the Lumia 2520 tablet that they should stop using the European and UK versions of the AC-300 charger. The warning affects customers in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia, Switzerland and UK, with tablets owners being warned to "suspend use of the charger until further notice". At the moment there is no word on whether or not a full recall will be made, but the problem also affects the Lumia 2520 travel charger that was available in those countries and the US.

Unlike other charger problems that have emerged in recent times, Nokia's warning does not relate to an overheating issue, but the risk of electric shock. This time it has been determined that in "certain conditions" -- which Nokia does not specify -- the charger's plastic cover could work loose and come off, exposing internal components that "pose a hazard of an electric shock if touched while the plug remains in a live socket".

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Windows 8.1 business users get Update reprieve

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Microsoft has had a rather lax policy when it comes to providing Windows updates, allowing users to receive patches, for a long period of time, even without having the latest service pack applied. That changes with Windows 8.1, as the software giant has revealed installing Update becomes mandatory to apply future updates that will be rolled out starting this May's Patch Tuesday.

This move gives Microsoft more leverage than ever before, as the software giant now has a real chance of convincing Windows 8.1 users to more quickly apply Update. But, businesses, which have had trouble getting Update through WSUS (Windows Server Update Services), are getting a reprieve.

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Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard is ready for some HTPC action

FeatMSK

Over the years, many hardware companies have had varying levels of quality. However, there are two companies that you can almost always depend on for solid input devices -- Logitech and Microsoft. Both of these companies make phenomenal mice and keyboards. Sure, there are missteps every once in a while, but for the most part, their hardware can be trusted to work well and last long.

Last week, Logitech announced the brilliant Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard K830 -- a combination keyboard and trackpad. It is an elegant solution (BetaNews will be reviewing it soon), but is a bit pricey at $99. Today, Microsoft announces similar hardware, called the All-in-One Media Keyboard. The price? A very low $39. Is this the perfect low-cost solution for HTPC and Raspberry Pi?

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How to slipstream Windows 8.1 Update into a custom installation ISO

Windows 8.1 Update

Microsoft’s tiled operating system is best viewed as a work in progress. The tech giant made major changes from Windows 8 to 8.1, and has just released the mandatory Update, which adds tweaks and new features aimed primarily at keyboard and mouse users.

The downside of these changes is that if you ever have to reinstall Windows you’ll need to update your computer with the Update and other security patches and so on afterwards. Fortunately, you can create a new, more up to date installer by slipstreaming (integrating) the Update with the original disc files.

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How to download and install the Windows 8.1 ISO -- using a Windows 8 or 8.1 key

iso

I’ve been asked by a couple of people in the past week how to download the Windows 8.1 ISO file from Microsoft. Downloading the ISO file necessary to install the OS at a later date, or on another system, is very straightforward, although it’s far from obvious. I covered this six months ago, but things have changed and less trickery is involved now.

At the moment the provided ISO file doesn’t contain the recently released Update, so you’ll need to update Windows straight after installation has finished to guarantee you have the latest version.

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Windows 8.1 without Update will no longer receive security updates

Security breach

Microsoft has trouble convincing Windows users to upgrade to newer versions of the operating system, even when the update is free of charge. Windows 8 still has a larger market share than Windows 8.1, according to the latest NetMarketShare data, even though the latter is better and can be installed without paying a dime.

So that Windows 8.1 Update does not follow the same path, Microsoft has announced it will no longer make security patches compatible with Windows 8.1 installations which do not have Update applied. It is the new Microsoft, everyone.

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Windows XP user survey shows little hope for change

Windows XP

Last week was the much talked about XPocalypse, meaning support came to an official end for XP, despite a large number of users, both home and business, still running the operating system. It seems that this setback isn't doing much to daunt those users, either.

Security firm Avast has released a survey it conducted just before April 8th, and results will be disappointing to Microsoft. Many customers plan to stick it out with the aging platform.

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How to install Windows Phone 8.1

Windows Phone 8.1 Preview for Developers

After almost a year and a half of waiting, Microsoft has unveiled a new major update for its smartphone operating system. Windows Phone 8.1 is finally here, with myriad new features in tow. Noteworthy additions include support for a wider range of hardware configurations, a much-awaited notifications center, improvements to the browser, calendar, camera and email apps, enterprise-friendly enhancements, and a new personal assistant, to name a few.

And, just like Windows Phone 8 Update 3 which came before it, Windows Phone 8.1 is available through the Preview for Developers program. It was introduced by Microsoft, last year, in order to give developers and early adopters the opportunity to experience the latest iteration of the OS ahead of the public roll-out. Here is how you can leverage it to install Windows Phone 8.1.

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The most popular stories on BetaNews this past week: April 6 -- April 12

April 6-12

Microsoft was in the headlines this week not for launching new products but for, finally, bringing an end to support for Windows XP. Yes, the now ancient and decrepit -- although still much loved and used -- operating system is no more. It will be interesting to see how long it manages to survive now it has been officially dropped -- some are suggesting that a move to Linux might be in order, or even a switch to Chromebook. But, of course, it hasn’t all been about XP. After the announcements at Build, Joe Belfiore revealed on Twitter that developers will be able to get their hands on Windows Phone 8.1 in the "first part of April".

There is also renewed interest in Windows 8.1 following the release of Update, and Microsoft published a guide to making the most of the new features and options. Will the operating system be viewed as fondly as XP in years to come? Only time will tell. Working in conjunction with Google, Microsoft also gave a new and improved YouTube experience to Xbox One owners.

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Microsoft: Azure? Windows? Heartbleed? No way, maybe if you're using Linux

Security Lock

You will have heard by now that a major vulnerability in the OpenSSL library was just made public. Called Heartbleed, it affects the security of a huge number of cloud services and sites as well as various products, like operating systems and apps, which have employed it during the past two years. The impact can be devastating, as there is no way of telling if Heartbleed was exploited, or how much data may have been stolen so far.

A number of companies have already announced the patching of their OpenSSL-toting services and products. Google was among the first to do so, yesterday. Evernote, however, just revealed that its users are not affectedMicrosoft has also decided to shed light on whether Heartbleed impacts its users, saying that Windows Azure, Microsoft account, and Windows are immune.

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Why Microsoft's Perceptive Pixel is the coolest touch TV you can't buy (yet)

perceptive pixel

It's tough for me to get too excited about TVs these days. I'm past the glitz of the 3D craze. And "large" 60 and 70 plus inch screens are neat, but after enjoying a 114" viewing area thanks to my home projector the last few years, anything smaller pales in comparison.

Yet when I got to try out an 82" Perceptive Pixel touch TV at Microsoft's Chicago offices earlier today, I couldn't resist wanting one for my own condo or even office. It's that unique of a TV screen, and if when it goes mainstream, it will completely change the way we view interactive entertainment displays.

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Microsoft OneNote team creates Tony Award-worthy YouTube performance

Broadway

As a Long Islander, I am only a short train ride from Manhattan. And so, I have been to my fair share of Broadway shows. After all, if you are going to live in New York, you might as well take advantage of it.

While musicals on Broadway are commonplace, it is odd to see them come from Redmond, Washington. However, that is exactly what has happened, as the Microsoft OneNote team delivers a Tony Award-worthy YouTube parody of the song "One Day More" from Les Misérables.

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Hello, Chromebook!

HP Chromebook 11 Keyboard

Today Mihaita Bamburic bids "Goodbye, Windows XP!" Meanwhile, Wayne Williams walks down eXPerience memory lane. For good reason: This week, Microsoft pulls the life support plug -- following many, many, many delays. Henceforth, you use XP at your own risk, or forcibly march forward into the second decade of the 21st Century. You could follow Microsoft to Windows 8.1, or be truly courageous. Mac or Linux laptop are options, or you could go Chromebook. Yeah, you read right.

Here in the United States, Best Buy will trade in your XP clunker and give "minimum of $100 toward the purchase of a new Windows computer, Apple computer or Chromebook". The offer ends April 19, so hurry. The cash back will practically pay for a new Chromebook, which costs so little and does so much -- surely more than your XP wheezer. Someone from the Windows division once told me that O2, as in Oxygen, was one of the runner-up names for XP. How fitting. Your old machine has been living off oxygen for far too long. Pull the plug. I'll give you some reasons why Chromebook.

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Windows 8.1 Update: Microsoft invites you to meet the new Windows

windows new

Windows 8.1 Update is out today, as if you didn’t know, and is a mandatory update for all users of the latest iteration of the tiled OS.

We’ve covered it in depth here, and Microsoft released a power guide for it yesterday, but if you still want to know more about what’s new, and why you might want to consider upgrading to "New Windows" Microsoft has rolled out a selection of introductory videos.

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XP was the Windows 8 of its day -- but things turned out all right in the end

Windows XP

Although millions of people will continue to use Windows XP after today, the 'end of life' milestone is still hugely significant. It’s the official end of a very long era for XP.

I remember the operating system’s launch clearly. It took place on Thursday, 25 October, 2001, with events coordinated globally across 63 cities. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates hosted the New York launch, while CEO Steve Ballmer presided over the London event. I attended the latter which was held at the Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank. Security was very tight -- attendees were searched going in, and our bags were X-rayed -- this was a high profile event, and with the horrors of 9/11 still very raw in everyone’s minds, the organizers were taking no chances.

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