Articles about Microsoft

Windows 10 cumulative updates rolling out for Anniversary Update

Windows 10

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update hasn’t gone as smoothly as Microsoft would have liked. Despite extensive testing from Windows Insiders, users have reported problems with the OS causing their systems to freeze, reinstall previously removed apps, and kill webcams.

Microsoft is today pushing out two cumulative updates that bring the Anniversary Update to 14393.82.

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Microsoft launches 'Xbox One S Madden NFL 17 Custom Console Sweepstakes'


The Xbox One is the best console of the current generation -- according to me, that is. Of course, some folks -- such as my colleague Wayne Williams -- think that PlayStation 4 is best. This is hardly an argument that will end anytime soon. Look, the PS4 is cool, but Microsoft's console runs Windows 10, making it have, arguably, more potential -- am I right? Oh well, to each his/her own.

Microsoft recently released the more powerful and svelte 4K capable Xbox One S and I totally want one -- I am sure you, dear readers, want one too. Luckily, if funds are tight, you can maybe win one from the Windows-maker. Microsoft is giving away 32 customized NFL consoles -- each featuring the logo of one team --  which will be extremely rare. Why? Because they will not be sold -- the limited consoles are exclusive to this sweepstakes!

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Microsoft reveals the secrets of HoloLens' specs, including a 24-core processor


At the Hot Chips conference this week, Microsoft has shed some light on the hitherto secretive specifications of its augmented reality HoloLens. Now that anyone with $3,000 spare is able to buy a headset, there's never been more interest in what's actually inside the case powering the AR goodness.

The holographic processing unit (HPU) at the heart of HoloLens is a seriously multi-cored beast. The Register reports that it is a "TSMC-fabricated 28nm coprocessor that has 24 Tensilica DSP cores". Of course, there's much more to the device than just this chip.

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Microsoft apps will be pre-loaded on Lenovo and Motorola Android devices

MS Android

There was a time when Microsoft was seen as the enemy of the Linux and Apple communities. Understandably, at the time, the company only wanted Windows to succeed. Nowadays, however, the operating system is sort of inconsequential. Microsoft seems happy to have its software succeed on 'competitor' platforms such as iOS, Android, macOS, Ubuntu and more.

Today, Microsoft announces that it has partnered with Lenovo on a new mobile initiative. The Windows-maker's productivity apps will be pre-loaded on Lenovo and Motorola-branded devices running Google's Linux-based Android operating system.

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Microsoft buys Genee to bolster Office 365 intelligence

artificial intelligence

If you are running a business (regardless of size), a certain tool can help you to achieve success -- Microsoft Office. True, there are free solutions, such as LibreOffice, but they simply don't compare. When you use Office with Microsoft's other solutions, such as SharePoint, everything just works together in a brilliant way. Office 365 in particular is such a great value for both home and business.

Today, Microsoft announces it is acquiring a company called 'Genee'. This is an acquisition which will make Office 365 even better. How? With a major focus on intelligence, it can help employees to work smarter, not harder.

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Webcam stopped working? You could blame Windows 10 Anniversary Update (plus, a workaround!)


Windows 10 Anniversary Update has been gradually rolling out to computers around the world and like any big software update it has caused its fair share of problems. The latest issue to rear its head sees Anniversary Update killing webcams.

The problem comes about as the update prevents USB webcams from using MJPEG or H264 encoded streams, instead requiring the use of YUY2 encoding. Microsoft is aware of the issue and is working on a fix that should be released in September, but all is not lost in the meantime.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update reinstalls bundled apps you've previously removed

Annoyed PC user

Windows 10 has a history of interfering with user choice when it comes to software. The operating system was found to be uninstalling some user programs without permission shortly after the November Update arrived, a problem that persisted for some time.

Now it seems as if the Anniversary Update is doing the reverse, and bringing back bundled apps that users have previously uninstalled. Is it a mistake on Microsoft’s behalf, or is the company, once again, running roughshod over user choice?

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Security researcher accuses Microsoft of 'sneaky data mining' in Windows 10


Ah, you can never get enough paranoia nowadays, can you? Security researcher Mike Patterson -- founder and CEO of security analytics organization Plixer -- says Microsoft's Windows 10 sends encrypted data from your machine every five minutes, and there’s basically very little you can do to stop it.

Even when he opted out of everything he could find, regarding data transfer, the OS still continued to do it. The weirdest part about it is that you can’t really determine what is being sent. The content was encrypted so that it is impossible to know what’s going out, essentially hiding this information from the end-user.

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Microsoft helps Apple macOS users switch from Evernote to OneNote with import tool


Evernote is a very popular organization and note-taking solution. Not only is it easy to use, but it is cross-platform. In other words, users can sync their content between multiple devices running different operating systems. Unfortunately, earlier this year, Evernote did something shocking. It limited its free "Basic" option to two devices. This was not popular.

This abrupt change was a deal-breaker for users that leveraged more than just a pair of devices. While some folks were willing to pay for a tier that met their needs, other people decided to switch to other solutions, such as Microsoft's free (and wonderful) OneNote. In fact, Microsoft created an import tool to help Windows users make the switch. Today, that tool comes to Apple's macOS (OS X 10.11 or higher).

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Microsoft PowerShell now open source and available for both macOS and Linux


Microsoft has been a big proponent of open source and Linux lately. Heck, Ubuntu binaries are in Windows 10! Satya Nadella's leadership seems to be a big catalyst here. While we do not yet have top-tier software like Microsoft Office running natively on Ubuntu or RHEL (yet), the company has been putting resources behind open source projects and Linux-compatible software such as Skype.

Today, the Windows-maker cements its status as a Linux and open source champion by putting its command-line PowerShell tool and language on GitHub. This shows a strong commitment from Microsoft towards the Linux community. Is this a bad sign for Windows?

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14905 for PC and Mobile arrives on the Fast ring

Windows-10 key

Microsoft finally began rolling out the Anniversary Update for Windows 10 Mobile yesterday, but today there’s already a new Redstone 2 build for those users on the Fast ring. Build 14905 is also available for PC users.

The new build doesn’t fix the freezing issues that some users have reported following installation of the Anniversary Update (although there are workarounds you can try if affected) but it does include several improvements and fixes for PC and Mobile.

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Windows 10 freezing after installing the Anniversary Update? Microsoft has more workarounds to try

Windows 10 freezing

Despite being tested over a long period of time by Windows Insiders, Windows 10 Anniversary Update is not problem free. A large number of users have reported issues with the updated OS freezing on them.

While Microsoft doesn’t yet have a fix available, it is aware of the problem and a few days ago suggested some workarounds. Today, it updates its suggestions, with some additional things for users to try.

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EFF rips into Microsoft and Windows 10 for 'blatantly disregarding user choice and privacy'


Two months ago, we reported on a petition that had been set up to persuade the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) to investigate Microsoft for "malicious practices regarding Windows 10".

That petition picked up close to 6,000 signatures, and today the EFF responds with a deep dive into Microsoft’s sneaky tactics and Windows 10’s spying, and its take on things is pretty damning. According to the EFF, Microsoft’s strategy for user adoption has "trampled on essential aspects of modern computing: user choice and privacy" and, naturally, the privacy-focused organization thinks that’s wrong.

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Microsoft Rewards replaces Bing Rewards -- collect points to get free stuff!


Microsoft's point-collecting program Bing Rewards is being renamed Microsoft Rewards. It will work in very much the same way as before (collect points and use them to buy games, apps, movies and so on), but there are a few changes that accompany the rebranding.

As before, Microsoft Rewards will be limited to the US and India, and the program lets you earn points by shopping in the Microsoft Store and Windows Store as well as searching with Bing and simply browsing with Microsoft Edge. If you're a seasoned user, there are a few changes to note.

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UAC vulnerability in Windows 7 and Windows 10 allows for traceless code execution


Windows' User Account Control (UAC) feature was designed to help keep computers safe from malicious software installations, but there are already at least a couple of ways to bypass it. A new technique for circumventing UAC not only makes it possible to execute commands on a computer, but to do so without leaving a single trace.

Security researchers Matt Nelson and Matt Graeber discovered the vulnerability and developed a proof-of-concept exploit. The pair tested the exploit on Windows 7 and Windows 10, but say that the technique can be used to bypass security on any version of Windows that uses UAC.

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