As I’ve said numerous times in the past, I actually like Windows 10. It’s still rough around the edges -- and the Anniversary Update, out in July, won’t fully change that -- but what I don’t like is Microsoft’s aggressive, relentless pushing of the OS on to people who not only don’t want it but have expressly rejected it.
It’s scummy behavior, totally unbefitting of a company of Microsoft’s size and reputation. The latest trick, making closing an unwanted upgrade popup the same as agreeing to the upgrade, should have people brandishing pitchforks and flaming torches and marching on Redmond, but it doesn’t. Why? Because Microsoft’s shitty tricks are now what we expect from the company which doesn’t care in the slightest about its customers.
Microsoft has quietly announced plans to reduce the number of updates that will be released each year for Windows 10. The company had previously said that there would be three 'feature updates' (like the Windows 10 Anniversary Update) per year, but this has now been scaled back to two.
Unsurprisingly, Microsoft has not made a great deal of noise about the change to the majority of Windows 10 users, choosing instead to make the announcement at the WinHEC conference in Taiwan. At the event, senior program manager Chris Riggs also revealed how the update scheduling will work for consumers and businesses.
When you think of the Raspberry Pi and other SoC-style boards, one word likely comes to mind -- Linux. Yeah, Linus Torvalds' adaptable kernel does scale well to these diminutive computers, but don't forget about trusty ol' Microsoft. Its Windows 10 IoT operating system can also work some magic on the Pi and others. While lesser known and used in this space, this special version of Windows certainly has a future.
Now, Microsoft is focusing on "makers" with a new app for Windows 10 IoT. You see, the app will run on a board such as the Raspberry Pi, enabling networked 3D printing. Essentially, it is turning your board into a 3D printer server -- very cool! Believe it or not, many popular such printers are already compatible. So what are you waiting for? Will you give it a go?
Ahead of the biggest update yet for Windows 10, Microsoft has published details of the minimum hardware requirements for Windows 10 Anniversary Update. Before you panic and start to worry that your current Windows 10 computer won't be able to run the update, the aim is actually to get the operating system on more devices.
The hardware requirement changes are aimed at developers, and open up both Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile to a wider range of screen sizes. The changes mean that Windows 10 Mobile can be run on devices with larger screens than before, while the desktop version of the operating system can be installed on smaller-screened devices. 32-bit devices with 1GB, however are being edged out.
Ever hungry for more user feedback, Microsoft has decided to make the Feedback Hub available for anyone to use. Previously only open to Windows Insiders, the tool gives Windows 10 users the opportunity to tell Microsoft exactly what they think about the company's latest operating system.
The Feedback Hub has been built into preview builds of Windows 10 for some time, but now the app is available to download from the Windows Store. With the launch of Windows 10 Anniversary Update just around the corner, it's clear that Microsoft is keen to gather as many comments and as much reaction as possible.
Microsoft has outlined its latest plans to crack down on terrorist and extremist content online. Recognizing that the "internet can be used for the worst reasons imaginable" the company has set out its approach for ensuring that content promoting terrorism does not make it online through its services.
Minecraft is insanely popular, and for good reason. Not only is it fun, but light on resources. In other words, it can run on many desktop and laptop computers, not to mention smartphones and tablets. There is even a special Windows 10 edition in Microsoft's app store.
Today, Microsoft announces that it is bringing Minecraft to China. While that news is great, the way they are announcing it is a bit disappointing. You see, the company has produced a video showing creative designer of Minecraft, Jens Bergensten, playfully mocking old-school dubbed martial arts videos. While I am sure it was not the intention, it feels a bit culturally insensitive. Surely the people of China are more than these tired stereotypes, right?
Global smartphone sales figures published by Gartner show that Windows-based devices have a market share of just 0.7 percent. The latest figures cover the first quarter of 2016 and reveal that fewer than 2.4 million handsets with Microsoft's OS installed were sold.
This is a dramatic drop from the first quarter of 2015. A year ago the numbers were hardly earth-shattering, but with a 2.5 percent market share they were decidedly healthier than right now. While Windows Phone continues to drop like a stone, Android's seemingly unstoppable rise continues, with Google increasing its market share from 78.88 percent a year ago to 84.1 percent in Q1 2016. Apple suffered a drop to 14.8 percent.
Since the release of Windows 10, the update of Microsoft Edge has been a little on the slow side. The addition of support for add-ons may help to increase the user base for Edge, but many enterprise customers still have a need for Internet Explorer.
When building Edge from scratch, Microsoft included Enterprise Mode to allow sites that rely on older technology to open with Internet Explorer 11 instead. With the upcoming release of Windows 10 Anniversary Update improvements are being introduced that will smooth out some of the rough edges of Enterprise Mode, including removing the friction that currently exists when switching browsers.
Shutterstock is now making it easy to find and add quality photos to your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, as it just launched a new add-in for the popular software that lets you explore and buy images from its vast collection.
"We know our customers are frequently using images to enhance their PowerPoint presentations", says Microsoft corporate vice president of Developer Experiences Steven Guggenheimer. "With this Microsoft Office 365 PowerPoint add-in, Shutterstock is broadening our ability to enhance productivity through its collection of high-quality imagery to professional users".
One of the oldest phone brands is making a comeback. Today, Nokia announces that we will see its name on new smartphones, feature phones and tablets again. And, this time round, the smartphones and tablets will be running Android, the most popular mobile operating system today, as opposed to Microsoft's Windows 10 Mobile or another niche OS.
Nokia will not be the one actually producing these devices though, as the Finnish company has given a third-party the right to manufacture mobile handsets featuring its well-recognized name.
Microsoft continues to try to stir up interest in Store in Windows 10. Insiders who have installed Windows 10 Build 14342 are now being treated to an updated version of the Window Store app complete with a batch of new features.
This update is about not only changing the overall Store experience, but also pushing apps more than ever. The new look mimics that of the updates Store in Windows 10 Mobile and it goes some way to improving usability and ironing out irritations.
Here at BetaNews, we try to avoid political topics; unless it is somehow technology related, of course. Obviously, one reason for this is that politics is not the focus of our site. Another reason that I personally avoid it, is that the subject of politics is very polarizing and can potentially lead to non-productive name-calling in the comments.
With all of that said, Microsoft has pulled me into the "Brexit" discussion, otherwise known as the EU referendum. Don't know what that is? Well, in very basic terms, the UK has to make a decision on whether or not to leave the European Union. As an American, I will keep my opinion on the matter to myself. Michel Van der Bel, Microsoft UK CEO, however, has decided to share the company's Brexit stance -- opposition to leaving the EU -- in a letter aimed at its UK employees. You can read the full letter below.
Microsoft brings Windows 7 fully up-to-date with new convenience rollup package, simplifies future updates for Win 7 and 8.1
The software giant today announces it has created a convenience rollup package for Windows 7 that will bring that operating system up to the newest patched version without users having to install all previous updates one by one. It’s also making monthly update rollups available for that OS and Windows 8.1 (as well as Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2).
Many customers of Microsoft's Xbox gaming platform utilize the company's Live service so that they can play against others from the comfort of their own home. And, like any service, when you set up an account you choose a user ID, in this case, it’s a gamertag, which is what you become known by when online.
Many of these handles have been used up over the years, and some of those early ones have since become inactive for a variety of reasons. Now Microsoft is going to be opening those monikers up again to allow other customers to grab them.