Articles about Microsoft

Xbox One April update preview brings voice messaging and more

Xbox One April update brings voice messaging and more

It's time for a new update to roll out to Xbox One consoles around the world, and April's offering has some key changes that are sure to go down well. The headline addition sees the reappearance of a feature that Xbox 360 owners will remember from the previous generation of Microsoft's console -- voice messaging.

Forget time-consuming typing, now a quick double-tap of the Xbox button is all that's needed provided you have the messages app snapped into place. This week's rollout builds on the features that were added to the version that Preview program members gained access to a week ago.

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Microsoft makes Surface Pro 3 even better with new update

Surface generated almost $1 billion revenue for Microsoft last quarter

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 is already a legendary computer, offering wonderful performance in a versatile package. Even though the hybrid computer is overdue for a refresh, it still competes with, and outperforms, many newer machines. Even Apple's comparably priced new MacBook is far less powerful.

Today, Microsoft releases an update that improves the Surface Pro 3. Not only does it fix existing issues, but it adds new functionality. If you own the computer, you should be excited.

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How to create a bootable Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 USB flash drive

man hand usb flash laptop drive business suit

If you want to install Windows from scratch, you have two choices -- you can install the OS from a CD/DVD or from a USB flash drive. The latter is the better option, especially as optical drives are becoming something of a rarity these days.

The process of creating a bootable USB flash drive for Windows 7, 8.1 or 10, is quick and easy. Here’s how to do it.

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LibreOffice moves to the cloud to take on Office Online and Google Docs

LibreOffice moves to the cloud to take on Office Online and Google Docs

Four years in the making, LibreOffice is working towards moving online. LibreOffice Online is due to spring from a partnership between IceWarp and Collabora with the aim of competing directly with Google Docs and Office 365. Upon launch, it will be the first cloud-based office suite to offer support for the Open Document Format (ODF) standard.

Based on HTML 5, there's not currently a launch date for LibreOffice Online but IceWarp and Collabora hope to drive competition and innovation by entering the market. The suite is already available for just about every mobile and desktop platform, so the move to the cloud was all but inevitable.

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Microsoft signs letter to congress calling for changes to government surveillance

Microsoft signs letter to congress calling for changes to government surveillance

Microsoft has teamed up with the likes of Mozilla, Silent Circle, Human Rights Watch, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and others, signing a letter to the White House and Congressional leaders that calls for an end to bulk collection of data. Many people and organizations have called for reform to the USA Patriot Act and this letter is the latest attempt to pile pressure on the government to make changes.

Scores of signatories point out that the USA PATRIOT Act Section 215 is due to expire in June, and now is the time to instigate reform. A call is made for greater privacy protection to be put in place when data is collected, as well as for improvements in transparency.

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How to install Windows 10 March Build (10041) on Oracle VirtualBox

virtualbox win10

Microsoft has just released ISO files for latest build of Windows 10 Technical Preview. There aren’t a massive amount of new features in Build 10041, although the Start menu gains transparency, you can drag and drop apps to Start, virtual desktops have been improved, and Cortana is now available in countries outside the US.

As with the previous releases, Build 10041 is still a very early version of the OS, so you wouldn’t be advised to run it as your main operating system, and while you could set it to dual boot, running it in a virtualized environment is probably a more sensible idea.

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Microsoft makes an investment in the youth of Vietnam

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The youth is obviously always the future and today's tech companies have good reason to invest in that, given a seeming shortage of necessary people to fill positions. Microsoft is just one company looking to help fill that void by providing resources to get kids started on the right path, regardless if it's with them or somewhere else.

The software giant has a global program it calls YouthSpark which aims to provide education and employment for the future of the young folks around the world. The latest move is a three million dollar investment, spread over three years, to help out in Vietnam.

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Windows 10: Smooth user experience it ain't

Windows 10: Smooth user experience it ain't

Despite months of work, Windows 10 still falls a long way short of what it should be by now. Based on the last time I wrote about Windows 10 in a less than positive way, I'm not expecting great feedback on what I'm about to write. Of course, there is the caveat that we're all using a pre-release version of the operating system and problems are to be expected, but that’s not really the point.

The point is that Microsoft has been working on Windows 10 for quite some time now. Public builds have been a little slow to creep out -- despite promises that things would speed up -- but I'm concerned about how little time there is until the planned release. While there's a lot that right with Windows 10, there's an awful lot that's still very, very wrong.

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Software vulnerabilities up 18 percent in 2014 and Microsoft isn't to blame

Software analyst testing

Errors in software, whether operating systems or applications, are usually the root cause of security issues, allowing hackers and cyber criminals a way in to systems.

In 2014, 15,435 vulnerabilities across 3,870 applications were discovered according to a new report from vulnerability intelligence specialist Secunia. That represents an 18 percent increase in vulnerabilities compared to the year before, and a 22 percent increase in the number of vulnerable products.

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Download the ISO image of Windows 10 Build 10041 directly from Microsoft

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When Microsoft released the latest build of Windows 10 Technical Preview it only made it available to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring, and only through Windows Update. It has now made it available to those on the Slow ring too, which means there are now official ISO files to download.

If you need to perform a brand new install -- either on a spare PC, or to run in a virtualized environment -- then grabbing the ISO image file is the easiest, not to mention quickest option.

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Microsoft decides sub-10.1 inch devices just aren't professional

Microsoft decides sub-10.1 inch devices just aren't professional

You've probably heard that size matters, and Microsoft agrees. If you're carrying about a mobile device that measures 10.1 inches or less, the chances are you're not using a "professional" device -- at least this is what Microsoft believes.

10.1 inches, 256.54 millimetres, 25.654 centimetres; this is the new dividing line between what is classed as a personal device, and which is professional. This is interesting to know, but what does it actually mean? For starters, if you fall into the "personal" category, you're entitled to a free copy of Office.

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Project Spartan and IE will no longer share rendering engines in Windows 10

Internet Explorer and Project Spartan will no longer share a rendering engine in Windows 10

It is now a couple of months since Microsoft started talking about Project Spartan, the Internet Explorer successor that's set to become Windows 10's default web browser. Some have suggested that this will lead to the death of Internet Explorer, but today Microsoft confirmed that the two browsers will live on side by side in Windows 10.

At the Project Spartan Developer Workshop, Microsoft went into more detail about the future of the two web browsers. In particular, there is the revelation that previous plans to use a new rendering engine in both Internet Explorer 11 and Project Spartan have been ditched. Internet Explorer will live on in Windows 10, providing legacy support for those who need it, and it will be virtually identical to the version found in Windows 8.1.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 SDK tools for developers

Microsoft releases Windows 10 SDK tools for developers

It has been a long time coming, but Microsoft has finally released the SDK for Windows 10 -- just ahead of next month's Build. Users have been playing around with various builds of Windows 10 Technical Preview, but this is the first chance developers have had to get hands on with the tools they'll need to create apps for the latest version of Microsoft's operating system.

The Windows 10 Technical Preview tools and Visual Studio 2015 CTP6 can be downloaded by Windows Insiders, and it gives developers the chance to try out the tools and provide feedback with the first technical preview. Templates are provided to make it easy to get started with the development of universal apps, and Microsoft is keen for developers to get to work.

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Samsung will pre-install Microsoft apps on even more Android devices

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Microsoft is now a services and devices company, meaning it is delivering its services and apps to all platforms -- not only its own. Heck, I bought the Microsoft Band over the weekend, and not only does it work with Windows Phone, but iOS and Android. In other words, the company is delivering on its services and devices mantra.

Having cross-platform apps is great, but you have to convince consumers to install them. With that said, it is much more preferable to have apps pre-installed on devices, which can make the consumer more likely to use them. Microsoft convinced Samsung to install some of its apps on the upcoming Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge; a major score for the company. Today, it announces that the partnership is expanding to even more of Samsung's Android devices.

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I'm a fat guy and I bought the Microsoft Band wearable -- Can it save my life?

Band1

Yesterday, my colleague Manish wrote about Microsoft's "desperation" with its Band fitness wearable. While I disagree with his sentiment about the promotion -- I do not think it is a desperate move -- I was intrigued by the free Starbucks gift cards. Since I was heading to the mall anyway, I decided to go to the Microsoft store under the guise of actually wanting the Band, even though I didn't, so I could get free gift cards. Hell, I even told my wife to try one on so we could get two cards!

Something crazy happened while I was there -- I bought one. Microsoft's promotion was a success. They got me into the store, and I ended up getting hooked. The salesperson, Christy, was very high on it, and when she showed me all of the features, I just had to have one. Truth be told, I am very much out of shape, and I really want to lose weight and be healthy -- I'm scared of dying. After many unsuccessful attempts to drop pounds, I am hoping the Microsoft Band will help me to be successful. In other words, I am depending on the wearable to help save my life.

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