Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft Edge Beta available to download now for Windows and macOS

Four months ago, Microsoft released official Dev and Canary builds for its Chromium-based Edge browser, and has been rolling out regular updates for them ever since, with new features and general improvements.

However, it’s the Beta release that many people have been holding out for, and today Microsoft has finally made it available for all supported versions of Windows and macOS. If you’ve been wanting to try out the new browser but haven’t fancied installing buggy preview builds, then now's your chance.

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Minecraft is getting better graphics thanks to real-time ray tracing by Nvidia

Minecraft RTX

Microsoft may have canceled the Super Duper Graphics Pack update for Minecraft, but the blocky game is still due for a graphical improvement... for some people, at least.

At Gamescon in Germany today, Nvidia and Microsoft announced that a real-time ray tracing technique called path tracing will be coming to the Windows 10 version of Minecraft -- but only for systems with NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs. The graphic improvements will give Minecrafters better lighting, colors and shadows, and will be delivered by a free update to the game.

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Microsoft is working to fix error 0x80073701 in Windows 10

Windows 10 boxes

Microsoft is investigating a problem that has struck many users installing KB4512508 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 1903.

People whose systems are affected by the problem complain that updates do not install, and Error 0x80073701 is displayed. The issue affects both Windows 10 and Windows Server 1903.

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Microsoft releases action-packed Windows 10 20H1 Build 18963

Microsoft is busy rolling out new Windows 10 20H1 builds on a weekly basis. Build 18956, released nine days ago, introduced some network and notification improvements.

Today’s new flight, Build 18963, brings updates to Task Manager, Virtual Desktops, Optional Features in Settings, Notepad, account profiles, and Windows Search.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and Surface Book 2 hit with CPU throttling issues

Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft is trying to fix a mysterious issue with Surface Pro 6 and Surface Book 2 devices which is causing CPU speeds to be throttled to a painfully slow 400 MHz.

At the moment it is not clear what is causing the problem, but it appears to be related to an Intel CPU flag -- BD PROCHOT which throttles processor speeds in a bid to reduce temperature.

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Chromium-based Microsoft Edge has more natural-sounding Read Aloud voices thanks to the cloud

Microsoft Edge Read Aloud

Having your browser read web pages to you is a great accessibility feature, and it also allows for multi-tasking. There's just one problem -- the computerized voices used are little short of terrible... often to the point of being distracting.

With the Dev and Canary builds of Chromium-based versions of Microsoft Edge, however, this changes. Embracing the power of the cloud, Edge now features 24 more natural-sounding voices driven by Microsoft Cognitive Services.

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Microsoft cancels major Super Duper Graphics Pack update for Minecraft

Minecraft

It is now two years since Microsoft announced the Super Duper Graphics Pack for Minecraft, a major upgrade and new look for the game, but now the update has been canceled.

The company says that the "ambitious initiative" has "proved too technically demanding to implement as planned".  Performance is cited as a reason for ditching the update, but Microsoft promises that it will work on developing a new look for Minecraft in other ways.

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Microsoft is at it too: workers are listening to your Skype and Cortana conversations

Eavesdropping

The idea that conversations you have with or via your computer are confidential has been completely dispelled over the last couple of weeks. We've learned that not only were Google workers listening to recordings of people using Google Assistant, Apple workers were listening in on Siri commands, and Amazon workers could hear what you're saying to Alexa.

If you thought Microsoft would not engage in such activity, think again. A new report reveals evidence that contractors working for Microsoft are listening to Skype calls made via the translation feature.

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Microsoft announces Windows 10 20H1 Build 18956 with network and notification improvements

Last week, Microsoft released Build 18950 to Insiders on the Fast ring, and it’s fair to say it wasn’t the most exciting of releases with the headline addition covering Japanese IME improvements.

Today’s new flight, Build 18956, is much more interesting with a redesigned Network Status page, notification settings improvements, and Calculator and Cortana app updates.

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Leaked: download the Microsoft Edge for Mac beta

Big Microsoft Edge logo

Microsoft continues with the development of Edge, and a new leak gives Mac users a chance to see what the company is doing with the web browser for their preferred operating system.

Renowned leaker WalkingCat has provided a download link to an unreleased beta version of the Mac build of Microsoft Edge. As it's a beta that hasn't been released to official channels, there are possible stability issues, but it serves as a chance to try out the latest Chromium-base version of Edge for Mac.

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Users complain that Windows 10 is stuck in S mode

Windows 10 S logo

Windows 10 S mode is proving problematic for some people, with a number of users complaining that they are unable to get their computers out of the limited mode.

A number of laptops -- including the Surface Go and Surface Laptop -- come pre-configured to run in Windows 10 S mode, preventing users from changing their search engine in Edge, or from installing software from outside of the Microsoft Store. It is supposed to be possible to exit S mode, but the option has been broken for a number of days.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 20H1 Build 18950 and teases forthcoming 'Cloud download' feature

Microsoft released two Windows 10 20H1 builds to Insiders last week --18947, which was pushed out accidentally to all Insiders and sported an ugly revamped Start menu without Live titles, and 18945, which rolled out as expected and came with welcome improvements to Cortana, Windows Subsystem for Linux, and File Explorer.

Today we’re back to how things usually run, with a new build for Insiders on the Fast ring.

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Microsoft announces that Skype for Business Online will be retired

Microsoft building logo

As Microsoft continue to push Teams, the company has announced that Skype for Business Online will be retired in 2021.

While this is far from surprising, this is the first time a date has been mentioned so users can prepare to transition away. With the retirement date set at July 31, 2021, users have two years to get ready for a move to Teams.

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Users still aren't in any rush to install newer versions of Windows 10

AdDuplex monitors the state of adoption for the various Windows 10 versions. Its figures for June showed the October 2018 Update (1809) was only on 30 percent of systems (down from 31.3 percent in May), while the May 2019 Update (1903) was to be found on 6.3 percent of devices in the same time frame.

The monitoring firm has just released its figures for July and they show that the May 2019 Update has made its way on to more systems, but at a very cautious pace.

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Windows 10's WSL 2 now lets you add a custom Linux kernel and enjoy localhost access

For Windows 10 users looking to install a Linux-based operating system within Windows, WSL -- Windows Subsystem for Linux -- was a blessing from Redmond. And things are just getting better and better.

The latest Insider build of Windows 10, Windows 10 20H1 build 18945 includes Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2) with a couple of key enhancements. Not only are you now able to gain localhost access to network resources, you can also make use of your preferred Linux kernel.

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