Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft pulls download links to Windows 8.1 August Update, recommends users uninstall some updates

PC problem

The August Update for Windows 8.1 (once rumored to be Update 2) has been pulled from the web and is currently no longer available for download after Microsoft received complaints that it was causing errors and system instability for some users.

If you attempt to visit the original download links you’ll be met with a message stating "The resource you are looking for has been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable".

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Microsoft considering rebranding Internet Explorer


In a Reddit AMA yesterday, the Internet Explorer team discussed the negative reputation surrounding Microsoft’s browser and confirmed that internally they had considered changing the name.

Front-end Engineer Jonathan Sampson admitted, "I remember a particularly long email thread where numerous people were passionately debating it. Plenty of ideas get kicked around about how we can separate ourselves from negative perceptions that no longer reflect our product today".

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Windows 8.1 August Update arrives -- minor improvements and bug fixes the order of the day


Microsoft’s long-awaited "Update 2" for Windows 8.1 users has materialized in the guise of August 2014 update rollup for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2. Also available separately for 64-bit Windows, the update is currently listed under optional updates in Windows Update.

The update is not as major as the previous Update 1 release, but does nonetheless contain a number of improvements and tweaked features.

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I'm tired of my Microsoft PC breaking down on the Information Superhighway

breakdown car

Ninth in a series. User experience is an ongoing series of surprises -- discovery of something unexpected and useful when positive and discovery of annoying glitches when negative. Both evoke emotional responses. The latter is devastating as little frustrations build to crescendo. That's the state I near with my "Microsoft All-In" experiment. Dissatisfaction grows.

I started this journey on July 1, after buying Surface Pro 3. The tablet-hybrid promised so much, and my overall experience with the hardware is excellent. I can't say the same about the operating system, web browser, or supporting services. Clunky is good word. Think old car that runs well on the highway but sometimes stutters and stalls at stoplights. The overall UX is nowhere as smooth as Chrome OS or OS X.

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Watch Microsoft's Xbox briefing at Gamescom 2014 LIVE


Gamescom 2014, Europe's largest gaming event and tradeshow is taking place in Cologne, Germany right now, and Microsoft’s Xbox Briefing will be one of the highlights.

The Xbox One is losing ground to Sony’s rival PS4, which is massively outselling it at the moment, but with the right games, Microsoft’s console could be right back in the running. At Gamescom we’ll get to find out what is coming up for the Xbox One.

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Surface Pro 3 marketing is spot on target

Surface Pro 3 Keyboard

I understand that it's the dog days of summer, when news is light, readers vacation, and writers struggle to produce current content. So I'll forgive colleague Mihaita Bamburic, for his misguided attack against Surface Pro 3. He asserts that Microsoft markets the computer to the "wrong crowd". If that would be tech writers, he gets a nod. Otherwise, I shake my head and point a finger.

I've read this misguided diatribe before, from tech reviewers switching to the Microsoft PC from an Apple, but never expected it from him. As someone who has bought and paid for MacBook Air and Surface Pro 3, I say that Microsoft's marketing is spot on target. The problem isn't the potential consumer buyer but geek writers, particularly those already using Macs.

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Microsoft pitches Surface Pro 3 to the wrong crowd

indifferent not listening ignoring wife woman husband man

Microsoft will have a hard time convincing consumers who wish to buy Apple's MacBook Air to get Surface Pro 3 instead. That is not because the former is the better purchase, but because these devices aim to please two different crowds. You're either a Mac or a PC, as the old Apple commercials would say today.

I believe that Microsoft does not realize that it is pitching Surface Pro 3 to the wrong crowd. Swaying would-be MacBook Air owners in the hybrid's direction is not a simple matter of touting feature benefits, as in Surface Pro 3 can be more and do more than MacBook Air. People have to be convinced that those features are things they want; just because they are offered does not automatically mean that they will immediately gravitate towards the device that has them. Yes, some do not want more just because they can get more. And, would-be MacBook Air users do not want more. It's more likely that would-be Surface Pro 3 users do.

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Microsoft bets on dumb phone to help Windows Phone


Microsoft is right to ditch Nokia brands that may interfere with its Windows Phone plans. X devices of questionable value and out of fashion Asha feature phones do not represent the future. But, the company's homebrew smartphone platform might, and it needs all the attention it can get to become an immediate rival to Android and iOS. Right now, consumers are not seeing Windows Phone as a top pick, so changing this perception should be the one and only task Microsoft should undertake as far as phone-making is concerned.

Yet, today, Microsoft announces a new dumb phone, known as Nokia 130, which it calls "the most affordable mobile phone with video and music player". It costs €19, which is much, much less than what a prospective buyer can expect to shell out for an entry-level Nokia Lumia Windows Phone, like, for instance, Lumia 520. So why is Nokia 130 here?

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Microsoft and iFixit launch a new gadget repair site


Microsoft and gadget repair website iFixit have announced the launch of Pro Tech Network, a service designed to teach more people how to fix gadgets.

The partnership should help give people the skills they need to fix devices, set up businesses and recycle the valuable materials within electronic products.

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Xbox One launching in India exclusively through Amazon


Microsoft is slowly expanding the number of territories in which it’s possible to buy its new game console, a move which will no doubt help in the sales battle against rival Sony’s PS4. The Xbox One is set to go on sale, officially, in China in September, and it will be launching in India soon too.

Rather than pushing the console out to brick and mortar stores in India, Microsoft has chosen instead to launch it exclusively through While it might seem a rather strange move to limit the console’s availability to a single online retailer, it actually makes a lot of sense. The Xbox 360 flopped badly in India at launch, and Microsoft will be keen to avoid a repeat of that experience.

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Microsoft posts its worst-ever quarterly Surface loss


Microsoft’s Surface range of tablets has posted its worst single quarter loss since its launch leaving analysts to question whether the fledgling slate is still a viable option for the company.

Two separate sets of figures show that the Surface line of slates ended up posting negative gross margins for the final quarter of FY2014 and the experiment has ended up costing Microsoft $1.73 billion  since it first launched.

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Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 will not reach HTC's 8S

HTC Windows Phone 8S

All Windows Phone 8 devices are supposed to be compatible with Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, but it looks like one of them, namely HTC's inconspicuous Windows Phone 8S, will be stuck running Windows Phone 8.1 going forward. That's a shame.

Due to what appear to be hardware incompatibilities, HTC has announced that the first major update for Windows Phone 8.1 will not be offered to its Windows Phone 8S users. The Windows Phone 8X flagship, which it introduced in late-2012, will, however, receive Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 coming to 25 new markets

Surface Pro 3

For some strange reason, Microsoft is repeating the same mistake over and over again -- whenever a new Surface tablet is launched, its availability is limited to a low number of markets. No surprise then that the lineup is a sales flop. Consumers may like what they're seeing, but if they cannot buy Surface they will get something else. I know I've been there. Fortunately, not long after launch, Microsoft fixes this problem.

Less than two months after it went on sale, Surface Pro 3 is finally heading to 25 new markets, announces Microsoft's Brian Hall. Prospective buyers will be able to get all variants of the slate (starting with the entry-level Intel Core i3 model and the Intel Core i7 flagship), from the end of this month.

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Microsoft has no plans -- at all -- for a Windows 8.1 Update 2


Microsoft has confirmed that it will be delivering an update for Windows 8.1 on August 12, as part of Patch Tuesday, and as I reported yesterday, it will be a pretty unexciting release.

Anyone hoping that Microsoft was going to surprise us all with a feature packed update will be doubly disappointed as not only is the August update not the rumored Update 2, but Microsoft has no plans -- zero, zip, zilch, nada -- to release an Update 2 at any point in the future. Clear signs that the tech giant is focusing all its attention on Windows 9 (aka Threshold) now.

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Microsoft's '3 Reasons Windows 8.1 is better' won’t convince anyone to switch


Microsoft continues to try and change opinions regarding its tiled OS, and today the company introduces a new video showcasing three reasons Windows 8.1 is better. It doesn’t say what it’s better than -- Windows 8, possibly, or Windows 7 -- but it does show how you can use Windows the way you want.

The minute long video is fast paced, colorful, and set to a pumping music track ('Sassy Gang' by Mike Sampey and Mark O'Grady). Frankly if you’ve never used the tiled OS before you probably won’t have a great idea of what is going on, but the flashy captions might help you make some sense of things. As for the three reasons? They are, in order, The Desktop ("it comes up automagically!"), The Apps (which you can pin to the desktop or the Start screen), and The Navigation (the ease with which you can switch between desktop and full screen apps).

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