Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft opens up the Windows 10 Feedback Hub to everyone, not just Insiders


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.

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Microsoft updates policies to tackle terrorism on the internet


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.

As well as updating its terms of use to make it explicitly clear that terrorist content is not permitted, Microsoft is also planning to up its game in seeking out and removing offending content. To help with this task, the company is forging new partnerships with experts in the field, as well as employing new technology to help to automatically identify and remove terrorist material.

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Microsoft bringing Minecraft to China


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?

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Microsoft's share of the mobile market plummets to below 1% as Android continues to rise


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.

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update will improve interoperability between Microsoft Edge and IE 11


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.

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How to add Shutterstock photos to your Microsoft PowerPoint presentations

Microsoft PowerPoint presentation Shutterstock photo

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".

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Nokia smartphones are making a comeback, this time running Android

Nokia could boomerang back into the mobile market with Alcatel-Lucent purchase

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.

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Microsoft rolls out new-look Store to Windows 10 Redstone Build 14342


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.

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Microsoft opposes Brexit

British girl with tablet

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.

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Microsoft brings Windows 7 fully up-to-date with new convenience rollup package, simplifies future updates for Win 7 and 8.1

windows update

While Microsoft is desperate to get as many users as possible on to Windows 10 before the free period expires at the end of July, it hasn’t entirely forgotten about its previous operating systems.

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).

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Microsoft is recycling old gamertags for Xbox customers


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.

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Microsoft just tried to use Windows 10 to trick me into using Skype with a random account

Angry PC user

So there I was, typing away after using a couple of coffees to make myself feel vaguely human. Up popped a notification from Skype. This was odd. I don’t use Skype because I absolutely loathe it. The app isn’t even running. Nonetheless, there it is: a notification telling me that I have been signed into my account.

While I don’t use Skype, I do have a Skype username from back in days gone by -- but this wasn't the account Windows 10 told me I had been signed into. Rather it appeared that Microsoft had created a secondary Skype account for me (gee, thanks...) based on my name and decided to randomly sign me in to foist the terrible messaging app on me. What gives?

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Microsoft expands Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection Preview to more enterprise users

cyber security

Security is one of the features of Windows 10 that Microsoft has been particularly eager to highlight. It's something that's important to everyone, but especially enterprise customers. Earlier in the year the company launched a preview of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, and now this is being made available to a wider audience.

The program is still in the testing phase at the moment, but Microsoft is looking for feedback from IT professionals and enterprise customers. Although this is described as a public preview, would-be participants are required to register their interest and their applications are subject to approval.

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It may not be new, but Microsoft scheduling unwanted Windows 10 upgrades is still scummy behavior


I’ve been suffering with a shoulder impingement for a while, and seeing an osteopath to try and fix the problem. After today’s session, the osteopath tried to book me in for a new appointment, but the on-screen calendar was obscured by another appointment that had popped up -- this one for a Windows 10 upgrade. An upgrade that -- surprise, surprise -- the osteopath had neither asked for, nor wanted.

Not content with popping up at inconvenient times -- like during a live TV broadcast, for example -- Windows 10 upgrades are now being scheduled for a random date and time. You can cancel them but, like the best crapware, Microsoft has done its best to hide that option.

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Terrorist group Al-Qaeda threatens to murder Microsoft founder Bill Gates


When Al-Qaeda destroyed two World Trade Center buildings, it felt like everything changed. Seemingly overnight, the citizens of the USA went from being fairly care-free to having to constantly look behind their collective backs. It is now 2016 and when I go to Penn Station in New York City, I still see military people with assault rifles. Sadly, this is apparently the new reality.

Now, that same terrorist group is threatening business men and women in America. It is particularly sad that a person must live in fear because of their success. One particular person being threatened is Microsoft's founder, Bill Gates.

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