Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft launches Azure-based Windows Virtual Desktop for running Windows in the cloud

Microsoft glass building logo

Microsoft has announced Windows Virtual Desktop, a way to run virtualized instances of Windows and Office in the cloud.

Running on Azure, Windows Virtual Desktop offers multi-user supports and enables several people to remotely log into the same Windows 10 virtual machine. Microsoft says that the service is also optimized for Office 365 ProPlus and notes that it includes free Windows 7 Extended Security Updates.

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Microsoft is launching the Surface Hub 2S in 2019, and the Surface Hub 2X in 2020

Surface Hub 2S

Microsoft has announced that it is launching the Surface Hub 2S in the second quarter of 2019. The next version of the company's gigantic, business-focused touchscreen display is (slightly) smaller at a mere 50.5 inches, rather than the existing 55- and 84-inch options.

Following on from this in 2020 is the Surface Hub 2X which brings not only multiuser login, but also the ability to rotate and tilt the screen. Interestingly, an upgrade will be possible from the 2S to the 2X by means of a removable processor cartridge.

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Windows 10 now has its own exclusive Linux distro -- WLinux

There are a number of Linux distros available for the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), including Ubuntu, openSUSE Leap 42, Debian GNU/Linux, and Kali Linux.

However, these distros tend to lack development tools and contain unnecessary packages, such as systemd. WLinux is a new, open source Linux distribution based on Debian stable that has been specially optimized for WSL.

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Microsoft is bringing Skype to Alexa devices

Skype on Alexa

Microsoft has announced that Skype is coming to a range of Alexa devices.

At its hardware event yesterday, Amazon revealed the updated Echo Show with integrated Skype, but later this year voice-activated Skype calling will be landing on other Alexa devices. The feature will make it possible to place and receive Skype voice calls, video calls and SkypeOut calls.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 October 2018 Update Build 17763 to the Fast ring

Three days ago, Microsoft rolled out Windows 10 Build 17760 to Windows Insiders. This build for the forthcoming October 2018 Update (aka Redstone 5) was the first with "no known issues”, showing how close we're getting to the actual release.

Since then, however, the company has found and fixed a number of additional problems, and encountered a couple more which will be addressed in a subsequent build.

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Everything removed or deprecated in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Microsoft is introducing a number of new features in Windows 10 1809, aka the October 2018 Update, including a dark theme for File Explorer, a new screenshot tool, and clipboard, search, Notepad, and Edge improvements. Sadly what promised to be the big new feature, Sets, hasn't made it into the OS this time around.

With each new Windows 10 update, some existing features get dropped, or stop being actively developed. Here are all the features that have been removed or deprecated in this forthcoming release.

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Microsoft and Canonical release Ubuntu Linux virtual machine image for Hyper-V Quick Create

Linux may be the future of computing, but Windows is the present -- on the desktop, at least. For now, both business and home users are wise to stick with Microsoft's operating system. With that said, tech savvy users might be better served by, say, Linux Mint or Ubuntu. While Windows 10 is riddled with privacy and user interface issues, it is still the least stressful way to use your computer -- you are less likely to have hardware or software compatibility issues.

If you are interested in Linux but need to use Windows 10, there are many ways to also run operating systems based on the open source kernel, such as dual-booting or running a virtual machine. Not to mention, with Windows Subsystem for Linux, you can even download and install distros directly from the Microsoft Store! Today, the Windows-maker and Canonical announce a new way to run Ubuntu on Windows 10 -- a special "Hyper-V Quick Create" VM image

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 October 2018 Update Build 17760 to the Fast ring, with no known issues

Microsoft is in the final stages of polishing up the next feature update for Windows 10. Insiders who were annoyed that the operating system interfered with the installation of Chrome and Firefox no longer need to worry as Microsoft has turned off this particular annoyance.

If you play Tencent games, you’ll be pleased to know that Microsoft now says the October 2018 Update will be fully compatible with them.

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Microsoft quietly stops interfering with Chrome and Firefox installations on Windows 10

Yesterday I revealed how Microsoft was interrupting attempts to install Firefox or Chrome on Insider builds of Windows 10 with an advert for its own browser, Edge.

This boneheaded move, designed to get people to try Edge for more than just downloading another browser, was rightly met with fury here and across the internet, and Microsoft has now pulled the "advert", claiming it was just a test. But a test for what? To see how far it can push users?

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Cold boot attack leaves Apple and Microsoft systems vulnerable to data theft

hacker laptop

Researchers at cyber security company F-Secure have discovered a weakness in modern computers' firmware that attackers can use to steal encryption keys and other sensitive information.

Physical access to the computer is needed to exploit the weakness, but once an attacker has gained this they can successfully perform the attack in around five minutes.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 19H1 Build 18237

Microsoft is busy polishing up the next big feature update of Windows 10, the October 2018 Update (aka Redstone 5), but is also working hard on the following update, codenamed 19H1.

This update, out next spring, isn’t hugely different from the current October 2018 Update release, but the latest build does add acrylic to the Windows sign-in screen.

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WTF? Microsoft now interrupting Chrome and Firefox installations to promote Edge in Windows 10

Microsoft wants you to use its Edge browser in Windows 10. I mean, really, really wants you to use it. If you open Edge and search for "Chrome" or "Firefox" using Bing, Edge’s default search engine, you’ll be presented with a massive banner informing you that "Microsoft Edge is the faster, safer browser on Windows 10 and is already installed on your PC". Four boxes below then show you how Edge lets you browse longer, and faster, offers built-in protection and built-in assistance.

If that doesn’t stop you, then Microsoft has a new, much nastier trick up its sleeve -- when you go to install Firefox or Chrome it intercepts the action and pops up a window promoting Edge with the same line about how its browser is faster and safer. It then gives you a blue button to click to open Edge, or a grey one you can click to install the browser you actually want to use. Oh, and this window will keep appearing, unless you go into Settings and stop Windows 10 from offering you app "recommendations".

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 October 2018 Update Build 17758, with one known issue

Windows Insiders testing the next big feature update of Windows 10 -- the October 2018 Update, aka Redstone 5 -- are used to just seeing builds with a long list of fixes and improvements now.

Build 17758, released today on the Fast ring, is no different.

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Forget Windows 10, it's Windows Vista -- 2018 Edition we want!

People have often said that Microsoft operating systems follow a pattern, with good and bad versions alternating -- Windows 95 (bad), Windows 98 (good), Windows Me (bad), Windows XP (good), Windows Vista (bad), Windows 7 (good), Windows 8.x (bad), Windows 10 (good -- now at least).

It’s mostly true, although if Windows Vista had been given the same length of life that Windows 10 has enjoyed to date, there’s a good chance a large portion of Windows users would still be using it today. Vista wasn’t bad as such, just very unfinished. If the aging OS had a modern makeover, could it win over Windows 10 users? I suspect so. Feast your eyes on the Windows Vista -- 2018 Edition and make up your own mind.

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Microsoft publishes Security Servicing Criteria for Windows, revealing how it classifies and tackles bugs

Microsoft glass building logo

Microsoft has published documentation that reveals how is classifies the severity of vulnerabilities in Windows, as well as detailing how it decides whether problems should be addressed with a security patch or in the next version of Windows.

The first batch of documentation shows for the first time how Microsoft defines "the criteria around security boundaries, features and mitigations in Windows". In releasing details of its severity classifications -- something known as the bug bar -- the company says that it is offering a "new level of transparency with the research community and our customers".

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