Articles about Microsoft

How to use a video as your account picture in Windows 10

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Associating a picture with your Windows 10 account is just one way to personalize your computer, but it also serves as a way to easily differentiate between accounts. If you want to be a little different, you don’t need to stick with a dull static image on the login screen -- it is possible to use a video instead.

You can use your webcam and Windows 10's built in camera app to record a short clip and use it in place of your regular account image on the login screen. It might not serve any real purpose, but it's pretty cool. Here’s what you need to do.

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Amid Windows 10 controversy, Microsoft quietly releases privacy botching features to Windows 7 and 8

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It's been roughly a month since the release of Windows 10, Microsoft's newest desktop operating system. It packs in several enticing features including the digital assistant Cortana. But despite all the interesting offerings, Windows 10 isn't sitting well with many. Privacy advocates have criticized Microsoft for introducing several features that are seemingly concerning to those who care about their privacy. To make things worse, the company has now rolled out some of these annoying features to Windows 7 and Windows 8.

First spotted by Ghacks, some of the recent updates that Microsoft rolled out to Windows 8 and Windows 7 set a computer to regularly send reports of a machine's activities to Microsoft. The update dubbed 3068708, for instance, introduces the Diagnostics and Telemetry tracking service on the computers it is installed on. "By applying this service, you can add benefits from the latest version of Windows to systems that have not yet upgraded. The update also supports applications that are subscribed to Visual Studio Application Insights", Microsoft describes the purpose of the update.

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Microsoft releases Cortana to India, Australia and Canada for Windows 10 Insiders

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Microsoft on Tuesday announced that it is bringing Cortana, the company's digital assistant, to several new regions, including Japan, India, Australia, and Canada. The feature is available for users as an optional download on Windows 10 build 10532 (to be also available in the later builds). If you're in any other region, sadly, there is nothing here to get you excited.

Back in July, Microsoft had announced its plan to bring Cortana to more regions. As promised, folks in Japan can now use the digital assistant in their local language. The headline feature comes as an optional download.

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Mozilla, Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Intel and others form 'Alliance for Open Media'

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Both open and closed projects have their place; there are arguments for each as to which is better. For standards, however, open is preferable. By preventing licencing fees and legal patent battles, the technology can continuously evolve without interruption.

Today, Mozilla announces a partnership with Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Intel, Cisco and Netflix to form the Alliance for Open Media. This partnership will create a royalty-free standard for playing media on the web which will be released under Apache 2.0 license.

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Microsoft is the number one employer for Workforce Diversity

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Diversity is the current weapon tech companies are using to bludgeon each other with -- Twitter has even gone as far as publishing its goals. Facebook fails in this department while Apple, ever the master of spin, is keen to present itself in the best possible light. For many on the outside looking in, diversity is little more than an exercise in PR, but that's not going to stop companies celebrating wins here and there.

The latest win is for Microsoft. For the second year running, the company has been voted the number one employer by readers of Workforce Diversity for Engineering & IT Professionals magazine. Clearly this is something of a niche publication, but given its specialization, it’s a crown that Microsoft is only too happy to wear.

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iHeartRadio launches a Windows 10 app

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Windows 10 has been live for a few weeks now and is getting a lot of attention, deservedly so. Most users seem happy to either be away from Windows 8 or to have avoided it all together. Now it's a matter of getting the apps which are the lifeblood of any ecosystem, both PC and mobile.

To that end, music streaming giant iHeartRadio is announcing its Windows 10 compatible app. "iHeartRadio for Windows 10 will include its signature, customizable listening features known to iHeartRadio's audience of more than 70 million registered users as well as new innovations optimized exclusively for Microsoft Corp.'s most personal, productive and secure operating system yet", the company announces.

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Microsoft makes it easy to switch to Windows 10 with free PCmover Express

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Microsoft has teamed up with Laplink to try to encourage people to upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, offering a free copy of PCmover Express to anyone who wants it. Many people took the launch of Windows 10 as an excuse to buy a new computer with it pre-installed -- but then there is the problem of accessing the files stored on the old PC.

While it is possible to manually move files to your new computer, it's not something that everyone is comfortable with. Microsoft's solution to provide people with a data transfer tool for free is one that's likely to attract some attention, so here’s what you need to do to take advantage of this time-limited offer.

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Money talks -- Microsoft to provide details of Windows 10 updates to enterprise users

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A lot has changed in Windows 10, including the way updates are delivered. The forced installation of Windows updates -- including drivers -- has upset many people, but Microsoft has also managed to upset users by failing to provide details about what individual updates actually do to the systems they are installed.

The horror stories combined with the lack of information coming from Microsoft has led many people to seek ways to stop the automatic installation of Windows updates or to delay them. But it is enterprise users and system administrators who are most upset by the absence of changelogs, and Microsoft has listened to feedback. The company has announced that it is backing down slightly and will provide enterprise customers with update information.

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Ha-ha! Windows 10 is already twice as popular as Windows 8

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The last lot of desktop OS figures released by NetMarketShare showed that Windows 10 had doubled its usage shared in a matter of days, but it wasn’t exactly an exciting number. Upon release the new OS managed to go from 0.16 percent to 0.39 percent.

But now that Windows 10 has had a month to settle in, we can finally see exactly how well it’s doing. Microsoft has said that there have been over 75 million installs, but what does that equate to in terms of usage share? NetMarketShare’s figures for August always promised to be exciting, and they definitely don’t disappoint now that they’re here.

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Microsoft announces Xbox One Elite Bundle -- should existing owners be angry?

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When the Xbox One launched, many people -- myself included -- chose to wait before purchasing. I finally jumped into ownership this year when I bought the white 500GB model for $349. Soon after, Microsoft released a 1TB model, which bummed me out.

Now, I am even more disappointed. Why? Today, the company announces yet another model, the Xbox One Elite Bundle, and it looks amazing. This console features a 1TB SSHD -- a combination solid state drive and hard disk drive -- plus the all-new Elite controller. Since this drive will provide faster load times, the experience will be better than on previous models. Should existing owners be angry?

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How to do a clean install of Windows 10 the easy way -- no upgrade required

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If you want to upgrade Windows 7 or 8 to Microsoft’s new operating system you can do so through the Get Windows 10 App which appears in your system tray, or by using the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool. Upgrading to Windows 10 is very straightforward, but what if you want to do a clean install, which will clear out all the old clutter and give your PC a performance-boosting fresh start?

According to Microsoft, in order to do this you will need to upgrade your existing version of Windows first. This will upgrade your Windows key, and you’ll then be able to Reset your PC, or format the drive and run a clean install (you can do this because your upgrade entitlement is stored in the cloud). There is however, a clever trick that will allow you to perform a clean install without ever going through the upgrade stage.

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Full steam ahead for Microsoft phones after patent infringement win

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Microsoft has been cleared of patent infringement by the US International Trade Commission. The case dates back to 2007 when InterDigital Inc claimed Microsoft infringed its patents, and there were calls for a ban on the import of handsets.

InterDigital Inc has been battling in court for eight years, initially trying to claim royalties on phones made by Nokia, now transferred to Microsoft. As well as blocking the call for an import ban, the ITC stated that Microsoft did not infringe patents relating to the way mobiles make calls. In short Microsoft is in the clear and InterDigital's rights have not been violated.

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Twitter's diversity goals are completely meaningless nonsense

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Workforce diversity is something that every company wants to be seen to be getting right. At the moment -- particularly in the world of technology -- they're failing spectacularly. As in so many walks of life, it's a world dominated by white, middleclass men, and it's a problem that gets worse the further up the hierarchy you look. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft. They all have one thing in common: a desire to be seen as the most welcoming, ethnically and sexually diverse, forward-thinking companies out there.

It's great PR, and now Twitter is trying to step up its game. News of a commitment to making the Twitter workforce more diverse sounds great, but sounding great isn’t the same as being great. I've mentioned that talk of diversity is good public relations, and that's exactly what we see here -- spiel, empty gestures, misguided proposals, and embarrassingly ham-fisted approaches. Now Twitter is taking things a step further.

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Microsoft Surface 3: Interesting but flawed [Review]

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"You can't get there from here". That's how many customers must feel as they ponder the broken Windows 10 upgrade path for first-generation Windows 8 hybrid PCs. With Intel refusing to update the Atom z2760 video driver, and with existing Windows 8.1 drivers providing spotty compatibility, these early adopters are at a crossroads.

Do they stick with Windows 8.1 and watch while the bulk Microsoft's development effort goes into Windows 10 (leaving them clinging to an all but abandoned OS platform)? Or do they bite the bullet and begin vetting potential replacements for their still functional HP Envy x2s, Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2s, Dell Latitude 10s, etc?

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These are Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile flagships

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Known tech leaker Evan Blass has posted a couple of pictures on his Twitter profile which seem to be press renders of the upcoming Lumia phones.

According to the tweets, the two phones are Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950XL, codenamed Talkman and Cityman, respectively.

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