Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft jogs users' memories about disabling old TLS protocols in Windows

Microsoft logo

Hot on the heels of a reminder about the end of support for Windows 11 21H2, Microsoft has reminded everyone that Windows will soon have TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 disabled.

Transport Layer Security (TLS) has been around for a number of years, with TLS 1.0 not only dating back to 1999, but having been superseded by far more secure versions. TLS 1.2 and TLS 1.2 are now very much the norm, so Microsoft is following others in the industry by dropping 1.0 and 1.1.

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Nitrux 3.0.0 raises the Linux bar while outshining Microsoft Windows 11

Today is an exciting day in the world of Linux; Nitrux 3.0.0 has just been launched, and you can download an ISO here. This groundbreaking release screams innovation and forward-thinking, something that seems to have escaped Microsoft’s latest Windows 11.

Nitrux 3.0.0 comes with a robust set of improvements, from its use of Linux Kernel 6.4.12-2 (Liquorix) to an updated Firefox version 117.0. But let’s talk about the ‘Nitrux Update Tool System’ that even offers a rescue operation for backup redundancy. Imagine your update process gets interrupted; this feature allows you to restore the root partition from a Live session. This isn’t just an update; it’s a lifeline, something Windows 11’s update mechanism sorely lacks.

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Microsoft is dropping WordPad from Windows 10 and Windows 11

WordPad is going to die

Having just delivered an impressive update to the much-loved text editor Notepad, Microsoft has revealed that its (slightly) more advanced sibling, WordPad, is to be discontinued.

Serving as a halfway house between the barebones Notepad and a fully-fledged word processor, WordPad has been a feature of Windows for decades -- having been preceded by Write . But now Microsoft feels that the time has come to pull the plug, saying that the app is now longer being developed and will be killed ff.

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Microsoft reminds Windows 11 21H2 users of impending forced upgrades ahead of end of service

Windows 11 laptop

There is now a little over a month until Windows 11 21H2 reaches end of service. When October 10 rolls around, the operating system will no longer receive updates.

With just a few weeks to go, Microsoft has issued a reminder to users of this two-year-old version of Windows 11 that support is coming to an end. More than this, the company has warned users of Windows 11 21H2 that they should expect to be forcibly upgraded to a supported version of the OS very soon.

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Microsoft treats software stalwart Notepad to a long-overdue update

Notepad with automatic saves

Notepad is one of the longest standing Windows apps, having been around for decades. Over the years, there have been slow, gradual improvements and now Microsoft has delivered a much-needed update to the beloved text editor.

Bringing the app more in line with word processors like Microsoft Word, this latest update sees the arrival of automatic file saves and more.

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Microsoft releases PowerToys v0.73.0 with a wealth of updates and new Crop And Lock utility

PowerToys Crop and Lock

Kicking off the v0.73 release cycle, which is "focused on new features, stability and improvements", Microsoft has released PowerToys v0.73.0, complete with a new module -- Crop And Lock.

The latest addition to the PowerToys family is described as making it possible to "crop a current application into a smaller window or just create a thumbnail. Focus the target window and press the shortcut to start cropping". This update also includes a number of bug fixes and a range of new features for existing modules.

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Microsoft gives Windows 11's Snipping Tool an important ease-of-use upgrade

Snipping Tool menu

Microsoft has released an updated version of its screen capture and screen recording utility, Snipping Tool. As well as bug fixes there are improvements and additions to the Windows 11 tool.

The latest version of the app introduces a number of key changes including the arrival of the combined capture bar, something Microsoft says simplifies switching between screen grabbing and screen recording. There are also changes to audio recording options.

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Microsoft Edge gains a secret option for screen grabbing videos

Blurry Microsoft Edge logo with mobile in foreground

It is usually the case that when a web browser, or any other app for that matter, gets an interesting new feature, the company behind said app shouts about it. Usually, but not always.

A newly discovered option in Microsoft Edge is a good example. Microsoft has made no announcement about it, but has snuck a handy new "Copy video frame" option into the browser that makes it possible to grab a still from a video.

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Defender bypass allows threats to be removed from protection database

Microsoft Defender on a laptop

A lot of people rely on Windows Defender to protect their systems, it's free and installed by default so why not?

Defender uses a blacklisting approach to stop threats. Before allowing a file to execute, it will compare it against its database of known threats and stop it from executing if it's on there. However, researchers at SafeBreach have uncovered an exploit that can allow threats to be removed from the database.

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Microsoft is unbundling Teams from Microsoft 365 and Office 365 to address European antitrust concerns

Microsoft Teams on laptop screen

Microsoft has announced that it will unbundle Teams from Microsoft 365 and Office 365 in the EEA and Switzerland starting in October -- and this will mean a price reduction.  

The move comes after the European Commission expressed concerns about the bundling of the software. Microsoft describes the decision as being part of "proactive changes", and the company will no doubt be hoping that it is enough to stop further probing and legislation. For now, the unbundling is limited to Europe.

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Microsoft is testing OS-level plugins for Windows Copilot in Windows 11

Windows 11 logo on a laptop

Windows Copilot -- Microsoft's latest AI tool -- may not seem groundbreakingly useful yet, but all of this is set to change. Microsoft is currently testing a series of plugins for the artificial intelligence-powered assistant that will make it a valuable asset for getting things done at OS-level in Windows 11.

Rather than simply being a glorified version of the new AI-driven Bing, Windows Copilot's plugins allow for tight integration with Windows 11. This means that users will be able to call on Copilot to change settings, interact with the operating system and apps, and much more. Importantly, by taking a plugin-based, modular approach, Microsoft is helping to ensure that Windows Copilot does not become a bloated behemoth.

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Microsoft reveals how to mitigate the Downfall vulnerability affecting Intel processors running Windows 10 and Windows 11

Downfall vulnerability logo

Following on from the Meltdown flaw and other related vulnerabilities, a more recent security issue was discovered in the form of Downfall. Tracked as CVE-2022-40982, exploitation of the flaw is known as a transient execution attack and it affects Intel CPUs.

Microsoft has not only acknowledged that the problem exists, but has now provided details of mitigation techniques that can be used. In security advisory KB5029778, the company gives instructions for users of Windows 10, Windows 11 and Windows Server.

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These horrendous Windows bootlegs have to be seen to be believed

In some countries, it can be hard to get hold of genuine versions of Microsoft Windows. Even if you live somewhere that does sell them, you might not want to pay Microsoft for its operating system.

If you hunt around on the internet, you can find plenty of pirate copies of Windows, but you'll also find some truly horrible bootlegs.

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MiracleOS is everything we want Windows 12 to be (and more)

Microsoft is planning on pulling the plug on Windows 10 relatively soon, leaving users with the choice of sticking with an unsupported operating system, or switching to Windows 11. It's possible the software giant will announce Windows 12 before that happens, but Microsoft has so far said nothing about its future OS, although we have seen some hints about it tucked away in Windows 11.

If you're wondering what Windows 12 could look like, take a look at MiracleOS.

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Best Windows apps this week

Five-hundred-and-fifty-seven in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 and 11 on the Microsoft Store and elsewhere in the past seven days.

The optional update KB5029331 for Windows 10 brings the Windows Backup app to the operating system. It is not a full backup solution, as it limits backups to specific data and offers to save the data only to OneDrive.

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