The Windows Phone landscape has evolved at a slow pace in the past three years, and the list of the ten most popular smartphones running the tiled operating system is proof of that. Since July 2013 Lumia 520 has held the top spot in the charts, taking Lumia 920's crown just a few months after being introduced. But, fast forward to today and we finally have a new king.
Before you get too excited and think that we finally have some major changes at the top you should know that Windows Phones appeal mainly to folks who shop in the low-end segment of the market. As such, the smartphone that follows Lumia 520 at the top of the pack is also an entry-level handset.
Last year, Microsoft announced plans to drop the free OneDrive storage amount from 15GB down to 5GB, and also discontinue the 15GB camera roll bonus.
Earlier this week we learned that the software giant will be putting this plan into action from July, which means if you’re currently using more than 5GB of storage you will either have to remove some files to get under the new limit, or upgrade to a paid plan. But hold on a minute. Before you do either, there is a third option which you can use to keep your free storage at 15GB.
Microsoft takes just 7 hours to patch colossal Office 365 vulnerability that exposed companies' data
Companies are often criticized for the length of time it takes them to patch security problems found in software. But this week Microsoft exceled itself, taking just 7 hours to patch a serious security hole in Office 365 that made it possible to gain unrestricted access to businesses' cloud accounts.
A problem with the SAML authentication system meant that it was possible to gain access to just about any Office 365 account, including accessing connected services like Outlook, OneDrive and Skype for Business. More than this, the exploit allowed an attacker to infiltrate companies and organizations such as Verizon, Georgia State University and British Airways who use Office 365. The researchers who unearthed the issue have praised Microsoft for dealing with it so quickly.
Holy cow, Microsoft makes it really hard to recommend its products lately. Windows 10 was a great way to wash the disgusting Windows 8 taste from consumers' mouths -- initially, at least. Unfortunately, the discovered privacy issues frightened many folks, causing them to delay upgrading.
The latest build has a wonderfully refreshed Start Menu, making me think that the company was back on track. Nope; I was wrong. Today, Microsoft announces an anti-competitive bombshell -- it is blocking all third party browsers and search engines from Cortana. Prefer using Chrome and Google? Tough luck. Firefox and Yahoo? Sorry. Microsoft just can't stop pulling boners, it seems.
With the new big update to Windows 10 just around the corner, Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to make sure that developers have access to the tools they need to take advantage of the new features. Windows 10 Anniversary Update is due for release in July and ahead of the big day Microsoft has released a new SDK.
Having open-sourced the Xamarin iOS, Android and Mac SDKs, the launch of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update SDK Preview gives developers a chance to make sure their code works ahead of the update rollout. It is compatible with Build 14332 (and newer) of Windows 10 Insider Preview and includes an important selection of bug fixes.
In order to hasten the transition from its traditional retail products to its cloud based products, Microsoft has just announced that it will be offering one year of free technical support to Azure users.
From May 1, 2016 through to June 30, 2017 users who purchase Azure Services under an Enterprise Agreement (EA) will receive a year of free support from the company.
Minecraft is a surprisingly popular game. The design pays homage to block-like graphics of games from earlier days -- a time when a large amount of Minecraft fans weren't even born! We have the technology to make more lifelike environments, with curved edges and circles, but that would be blasphemy to the Minecraft community. "What's old is new" as some folks say, I suppose.
Today, The Oculus Team announces that it has worked with Microsoft to bring Minecraft to Samsung's smartphone-powered virtual reality platform, the Gear VR. Owners of this solution can now experience a more-immersive Minecraft experience, by leveraging Samsung's heasdset and a third-party controller.
Microsoft has always played down this behavior, but an example of how the OS pushes upgrades on unsuspecting users was earlier today shown live on TV during a weather forecast.
Microsoft's embracing of the open source movement grows ever tighter, and today the company announced that its Xamarin SDKs (available for Android, iOS and Mac) will be open sourced. It's not long since Microsoft bought Xamarin, and just weeks later the SDKs are being opened up.
Announced at the Xamarin Evolve 2016 event, the move sees Microsoft trying to encourage mobile developers. The company says it has already made great strides in this area: "we helped nearly 3.5 times more developers get started building great apps with Xamarin than ever in our history as a company".
Google antitrust: Getty Images files complaint against search giant for image scraping and piracy promotion
Google is already embroiled in one antitrust case in Europe where the company stands accused of abusing Android's dominance. Now photo agency Getty Images is accusing Google of promoting piracy and engaging in anticompetitive behavior by 'scraping' images from third party sites.
In a familiar-sounding complaint, Getty Images also says that Google skews search results in favor of its own services -- such as Google Images. The photo agency says that this directly impacts upon rival services, but perhaps the big charge is that a change made to Google Images provided access to copyrighted material and "promoted piracy, resulting in widespread copyright infringement".
Windows 10 Mobile does not have much of a future. With two very disappointing quarters for Lumia sales, a market share of around one percent, poor vendor support, and no mention of it at Build 2016, this much is clear. You would expect Microsoft to pull the plug any minute now, but the software giant seems to be doing just the opposite.
In an internal email, Terry Myerson is encouraging "certain partners" to continue to pour their resources into the platform. Microsoft's EVP of Windows and Devices Group says that the company is still "committed" to Windows 10 Mobile, claiming that development of its "next generation products" is well underway. It sounds unbelievable, but that is just what you should expect Microsoft to say.
The very latest Fast ring release, Build 14332, marks the start of the Bug Bash, in which Windows Insiders will be set quests to help Microsoft eradicate problems and fix flaws in the OS in preparation for the big Anniversary Update out in July. However, the new build is not only about fixes, there are some new features and improvements too.
The future of computing is open source -- the writing is on the wall. Major companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Google are embracing this software ideology, and more and more consumers are expecting it.
Of course, for open source to continue its ascent, we will need students to be knowledgeable about it. Microsoft had this in mind when it announced its Open Source Challenge for students, and now we have four official winners. The top champion is a dude named Akond Rahman -- yeah, that is his smiling face to the right -- and he is now $5,000 richer. Better than the money, he has ultimate bragging rights in the open source community. Jealous?
Apple users will be familiar with Handoff. This feature lets you start working on one Apple device -- be it a Mac, iPad or iPhone -- and then pick up where you left off on another, provided the devices are within Bluetooth range of each other.
At Build 2016, Microsoft talked about its plans to introduce a Handoff-style feature to Windows 10, codename Project Rome, and the first glimpse of this has appeared in the latest build for Windows Insiders.
In November last year, Microsoft announced that it would be cutting back on the amount of free storage offered to OneDrive users, taking the base storage figure from 15GB to 5GB, and discontinuing the 15GB camera roll storage bonus. Office 365 Home, Personal, and University users were also informed that they would no longer get unlimited storage, and some paid tiers were to be removed too.
After an outcry from outraged OneDrive users, Microsoft backtracked and permitted users with 15GB of OneDrive space to keep their base storage quota and camera roll bonus, even after the changes rolled out, but only provided they acted before January 31 2016. If you didn’t take action before then, you’ve probably been wondering exactly when you were going to lose your storage. Well, now we know.