Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft blames US Government for 'WannaCrypt' ransomware disaster


The "WannaCrypt" ransomware has proven to be a disaster globally. This malware will encrypt a user's files and then demand some Bitcoin ransom to decrypt them. While the amount being demanded is relatively low at $300 or $600, the scam can be modified for even larger amounts. Heck, even after the ransom is paid, there is no guarantee that the bad guys will follow through with the decryption, making it quite the gamble. As the ransomware has disrupted government agencies, medical services, and other critical computers, the ransom is being paid by some, as it can literally be the the difference between life and death -- surgeries and other procedures have been delayed.

While there are many directions in which you can point the finger of blame, Microsoft should absolutely not shoulder any of the responsibility. After all, the vulnerability that led to the disaster was patched back in March. It never even affected the most recent version of the operating system, Windows 10. The company has even since patched the archaic Windows XP! So who is to blame? Users and administrators that failed to keep their systems up to date are partially at fault. The biggest blame belongs to an unlikely party -- the US Government! You see, an agency of our own government -- the NSA -- knew about the exploit, and rather than alert Microsoft, it chose to stockpile it for intelligence purposes. Sadly, the exploit itself got leaked, and as a result, it landed into the hands of evildoers.

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Microsoft patches Windows XP to fight the WannaCrypt ransomware attacks


Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP back in 2014, but today it releases one more security update for the ancient OS.

The software giant is taking this "highly unusual" step to fight back against the WannaCrypt ransomware cyber attacks that have so far hit nearly 100 countries around the world. And XP is not the only unsupported system receiving this patch.

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Microsoft brings Fluent Design System to Windows 10 -- but WTF is it?


When Windows 10 arrived on the scene, much was made of the Metro (or Modern) look of the apps. This was Microsoft's design language of the time and now it's time to throw out the old and usher in the new. We've heard a bit about Project NEON in recent months, and this has now evolved in to the Fluent Design System.

This is the new design language for Windows, and it will be making an appearance in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update -- although you can already see glimpses of it in the Redstone 3 builds if you are a Windows Insider. Microsoft describes it as "an eloquent design system for a complex world," and introduces five main building blocks: Light, Depth, Motion, Material and Scale. But just what is it going to mean for the future of Windows 10?

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Best Windows 10 apps this week


Two-hundred-and-thirty in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Windows Store in the past seven days.

Microsoft revealed during the keynote speech at the Build 2017 developer conference that Windows 10 is installed on 500 million active devices, and that iTunes will make an appearance in the Windows Store later this year.

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Microsoft releases 'Windows 10 Fall Creators Update' Build 16193 to the Fast ring


It’s been another very busy day for Microsoft today. At Build, the software giant announced that the next big update of its new operating system will be called Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and now we have a new build of that for Windows Insiders.

Build 16193 introduces some of the new features that Terry Myerson announced on stage at Build, including the new Story Remix app and Power Throttling.

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Hell freezes over: iTunes is coming to the Windows Store


Yes, you did read that correctly. Today at Build Microsoft announces that iTunes is going to appear in the Windows Store by the end of the year. Apple and Microsoft playing ball together like this is a pretty rare occurrence.

With the recently announced Windows 10 S, the timing is interesting, and in embracing the iPhone, Microsoft is sending out yet another message that Windows Phone is dead -- it's iPhone and Android smartphones that matter.

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Build 2017: Microsoft bringing mixed reality to all with new affordable headsets and motion controllers

HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition

Microsoft has been working on its vision of mixed reality for a while. It first showed off its HoloLens headset two years ago, and then debuted a developer edition last August, but sales weren’t great, not least because it came with a $3,000 price tag.

Microsoft said at the time that the best, and cheapest, HoloLens VR headsets would not be made by itself, but by third-party hardware developers, and today at Build it announced the first of these headsets, as well as Windows mixed reality motion controllers -- no markers required. If you’ve been excited to try Microsoft's implementation of augmented reality for yourself, the wait is nearly over.

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Build 2017: Microsoft announces Windows 10 Fall Creators Update with Story Remix


Windows 10 is an absolute success -- it can not be disputed any longer. After all, the operating system is running on over 500 million active devices! Think about that, folks. A half billion devices running an OS in under two years. The latest version of Windows 10 in particular -- the Creators Update -- has proven to be very refined and chock full of useful features.

Today, Microsoft announces that is is taking "creation" a step further with the next version of Windows 10. This time, it is called the "Fall Creators Update." Why is it called this? For two reasons. For one, it is a continuation on the current Creators Update, with a focus on creation. Secondly, it will be released in the Fall.

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Microsoft officially releases Visual Studio 2017 for Mac

Visual Studio 2017 for Mac

We first learned of Microsoft's plans to bring Visual Studio to the Mac last year in November, but it is not until Build 2017 that the software giant announced the general availability of the much-awaited version of its IDE. That's right macOS users, Visual Studio 2017 for Mac is finally here.

Visual Studio 2017 for Mac arrives two months after Microsoft released the Windows version and the fourth beta of the macOS IDE, and brings with it a number of new features related to things like .NET Core, web tooling and Xamarin.

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Watch Microsoft's Windows 10-focused Build keynote here, live


Microsoft’s Build developer conference got under way yesterday, revealing interesting information, such as Windows 10 is now on 500 million active devices, and the software giant has developed a wearable for Parkinson’s disease suffers.

Today’s keynote will be exiting for anyone interested in Windows, as Terry Myerson, Microsoft EVP of the Windows and Devices Group, will be taking to the stage.

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Build 2017: Microsoft's 'Project Emma' is a wearable for Parkinson's disease sufferers


Today at Build 2017, Microsoft unveiled many cool new technologies, but there was one particular announcement that truly touched the hearts of many in attendance. Called "Emma," it is a wrist wearable that can help people suffering with Parkinson's disease.

The device is named after the Parkinson's sufferer that helped Haiyan Zhang, Innovation Director at Microsoft Research, create the device. What exactly does it do? Well, the incurable disease causes body tremors in those inflicted, and as a result, Emma has very shaky hands. This disease makes it impossible for her to draw straight lines or write legibly. With the wearable on her wrist, however, normal writing and drawing is possible. Remarkably, how it works isn't 100 percent known.

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Build 2017: Microsoft wants to avoid 1984


Microsoft has faced a lot of criticism regarding privacy in Windows 10, and rightfully so. Look, even if the company has good intentions for its use of telemetry, users are wise to question how their data is being used. Make no mistake, it is the user's data that is being transmitted to Microsoft's servers.

Today, however, at the 2017 Build developer conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella makes a shocking statement -- he is fearful of technology taking humanity down a dangerous path. He even mentions George Orwell's classic novel 1984 where "big brother" is always watching.

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Windows 10 now on 500 million active devices, but growth has slowed dramatically

Windows 10 numbers

During the Build developer conference keynote in 2015, Microsoft said that it expected over 1 billion Windows 10 devices to be in consumers hands within 2-3 years.

Two years have passed since then, and at this year’s Build conference Microsoft announced that Windows 10 is now on 500 million Windows 10 devices, active monthly. That’s an impressive number, even if it’s only half of the original projection.

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Watch Microsoft's Build 2017 keynote live, here


Microsoft is kicking off its annual Build developer conference in Seattle today, starting with its opening keynote this morning (a second keynote is happening tomorrow).

As it’s a developer conference we’re not expecting to see any new hardware this year, but we will likely have more details on the newly announced Windows 10 S, Cortana skills, mixed reality, and more.

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Any browser coming to Windows 10 S will have to use the EdgeHTML rendering engine

Tired, Exasperated, Frustrated man at mac

Windows 10 S, Microsoft’s new education-focused operating system, has a lot of restrictions in place. The main one, of course, being that it only allows you to install apps from the Windows Store. If you want to install programs from outside its ecosystem, you’ll need to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro.

Edge is the default browser in Windows 10 S, and Bing the default search engine, and unlike in Windows 10 itself, you can’t change these. That might be something of a deal breaker for any browser-makers interested in bringing their product to Windows 10 S, but that’s not the only issue they’ll face.

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