Items tagged with Microsoft

Microsoft has announced that it has added the Windows 10 Insider Preview build 19025.1051 (20H1) to the Slow ring. That means more Windows Insiders have a chance to try out the update before it lands for the masses during the first half of 2020. The build brings with it several improvements, unlike the Windows 10 November 2019 Update which was more of a service pack. Quick searches are now in the Search Home, allowing users to find information that matters to them more quickly. Four quick web searches were added, including weather, top news, today in history, and new movies. For other searches, there is a search box located below the quick searches. Another significant change in the preview build... Read more...
Microsoft is having a "Do'h!" moment, though not in the bumbling, Homer Simpson sense. Quite the opposite, actually. In a blog post, Microsoft announced its Windows Core Networking team is working on improving user privacy by implementing DNS over HTTPS, or DoH for short, into a future build of Windows 10. From Microsoft's vantage point, supporting encrypted DNS queries in Windows 10 would essentially close one of the last remaining plain-text domain name transmissions in common web traffic. At the same time, Microsoft says providing encrypted DNS support will not be easy without breaking existing Windows device admin configurations. "With the decision made to build support for encrypted DNS,... Read more...
Even though Microsoft is not sharing many concrete details about Project Scarlett, the codename for its next-generation flagship game console, the company is certainly building up expectations. It seems Microsoft has some clear goals in mind, some of which it has been sharing lately. So, what do we know about Microsoft's plans and goals? That depends on who is doing the talking. Last week, Xbox boss Phil Spencer made it clear Microsoft's goal is to be competitive with Sony's PlayStation 5 console in power and pricing right out of the gate. What was not really the case when the Xbox One debuted. "I would say a learning from the Xbox One generation is we will not be out of position on power or... Read more...
It is always and adventure when Microsoft rolls out a major feature update to Windows 10. Fortunately, the November 2019 Update is less ambitious than most previous ones (it's more akin to a Service Pack from yesteryear), and in my experience, it installs fairly quick and easy. Nevertheless, Microsoft has identified an issue and is blocking the update on potentially affected PCs. What this boils down to is a lingering compatibility issue between recent builds of Windows 10, including the November 2019 Update (version 1909) and a now-outdated version of Realtek Bluetooth driver. If you are running a driver version earlier than 1.5.1012, you will not be able to update Windows 10 to the latest version.... Read more...
The U.S. government recently conducted a competition to award a highly lucrative contract for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, aka "JEDI." JEDI provides next-generation cloud storage and security infrastructure for the Pentagon while simultaneously connecting the various agencies under its purview. The contract is worth up to $10 billion, and the competition was hard-fought between the last two companies in the running: Microsoft and Amazon. Amazon, as the loser, is not happy with missing out on the massive contract. Reports claim that the Amazon Web Services branch head has stated at an internal meeting that the company would be protesting the Microsoft win. The cloud services head allegedly... Read more...
As Black Friday bargains start to arrive, you may want to shop for a new wireless router, depending on old your current one is and whether it supports WPA2 (or later) encryption. Otherwise, you may soon find yourself unable to connect. Microsoft posted a list of features it plans to deprecate in Windows 10, and one of them is the older (and much weaker) WEP protocol. "Since the 1903 release, a warning message has appeared when connecting to Wi-Fi networks secured with WEP or TKIP (which are not as secure as those using WPA2 or WPA3). In a future release, any connection to a Wi-Fi network using these old ciphers will be disallowed. Wi-Fi routers should be updated to use AES ciphers, available... Read more...
The console wars will enter a new field of battle late next year when Microsoft's Project Scarlett goes up against Sony's PlayStation 5. It is a war that will not be won by either side in short order. However, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has made it clear that things will be different next time around, and that Project Scarlett will be competitive in power and price. Comparing the current generation gets a little fuzzy because there are so many different iterations, and at this stage of the game, prices can fluctuate wildly (particularly with Black Friday right around the corner). But if we look at sales, the PS4 is the clear victor—it recently breached 100 million units sold, reaching the achievement... Read more...
Anyone who missed the X019 show and wants to catchup will appreciate that Microsoft is going over everything it announced at the event. Among the good news is that there are 21 titles from developers in the ID@Xbox program that will launch day one with Xbox Game Pass and Project xCloud. One of the best announcements was a new survival game called "Grounded" from Obsidian. This is a new Xbox Game Preview title that will launch in the Spring of 2020 with Xbox Game Pass. The game looks a lot like the movie "Ants" or "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids." "Grounded" is a survival game where the players have been shrunken down and must survive the wild world of the backyard complete with bugs and spiders that... Read more...
Microsoft has been doing everything in its power to ensure that its customers are running the most recent versions of Windows 10. Microsoft's motivations are understandable, as newer Windows 10 builds have all of the latest features and security updates to ward of attacks from nefarious parties. The latest users that are under the microscope from Microsoft are those running Windows 10 1803 users, which is better known as the April 2018 Update. However, that version of the operating system has now reached end-of-life, which means that after this week's Patch Tuesday, it will no longer receive updates from Microsoft.  As a result, these customers will soon be automatically upgraded... Read more...
Microsoft's brand-new Surface Pro X convertible began shipping to customers earlier this week, and we've already seen that the device is surprisingly accessible when it comes to repairability. And we also can't argue with the good looks of the device, which has rounded edges, a slimmer chassis, and smaller display bezels than the Surface Pro 7. However, one aspect of the Surface Pro X that has come under fire from reviewers (and those that plunked down at least $999) is app compatibility -- or rather, the lack thereof in many cases. This problem was confounded by the act that it wasn’t made clear in the Microsoft Store that the Surface Pro X is incompatible with a number of apps... Read more...
Most of us will never get the chance to sit in the cockpit of an actual commercial jet or perform barrel rolls in something smaller. The next best thing is to take to the skies in a computerized simulation, and Microsoft's Flight Simulator as been the gold standard in the consumer space for a long time. A new version is in the wings, and there is a new alpha build coming out. Microsoft announced it will be opening up testing for the Tech Alpha 2 build. Anyone who was selected to participate in the Tech Alpha 1 should expect an email on updates to the Tech Alpha 2 build, as they have been automatically registered. Microsoft says it will provide updates on the timeline for the Tech Alpha 2 release... Read more...
Microsoft's Surface Pro X first began shipping earlier this week and it marks the company's return to building convertibles powered by Arm processors. The company first tiptoed into this arena with the Surface and Surface 2.  Today, however, the teardown experts at iFixit have gotten their inquisitive hands on the Surface Pro X and have given it a proper examination to determine its repairability. Given that the Surface Pro X features an all-new design compared to the Surface Pro family of convertibles, iFixit wasn't quite sure what to expect when it comes to gaining access to the internal components. However, they were pleasantly surprised to find that both the SSD and... Read more...
There may exist a parallel universe where Android is second fiddle to Windows Mobile. Or maybe Microsoft's ill-fated (in this universe) mobile operating is so dominant that Android falls by the wayside, relegated to a footnote in the history of tech. Things did not work out that way in the universe we reside, though according to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Windows Mobile could have won the war, had he not been distracted with an antitrust case brought forward by the US Justice Department. It is a relevant topic, particularly in today's political climate where presidential candidates debate on whether big companies like Facebook should be broken up. Microsoft faced a similar scenario back... Read more...
During a presentation at the Microsoft Inspire 2019 event, Julia White, CVP of Azure Marketing, announced "the future is here" following a nifty demonstration of the HoloLens 2. And indeed it is, with regards to Microsoft's second-generation augmented reality headset—HoloLens 2 has begun shipping to select customers. While there are many consumer AR and virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality headsets on the market, HoloLens 2 is geared more towards the enterprise and professional sectors. That is reflected the price—it costs $3,500 for the headset alone, and there are other subscription packages that include business oriented add-ons. Microsoft HoloLens 2 Technical Specifications... Read more...
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