Items tagged with Microsoft

Oh great, as if 2020 has not been challenging enough already, the latest Digital Defense Report from Microsoft outlines some troubling cybersecurity trends. Threat actors are "rapidly" increasing the sophistication of their cyberattacks, ultimately making them more difficult to detect, and more likely to trick "even the savviest targets." "For example, nation-state actors are engaging in new reconnaissance techniques that increase their chances of compromising high-value targets, criminal groups targeting businesses have moved their infrastructure to the cloud to hide among legitimate services, and attackers have developed new ways to scour the internet for systems vulnerable to ransomware,"... Read more...
The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launch is only six weeks away, and so too is the launch of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate with EA Play. Xbox Game Pass, with EA Play and Bethesda, is poised to offer many games in their library to stream and download to the new consoles come November 10th. This subscription from Microsoft could prove to be a better financial decision to play new games on the upcoming Xbox consoles. At the beginning of the month, it was announced that EA Play was coming to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Before the merge, “with [EA Play’s] subscription, you could play titles in series’ such as Battlefield, The Sims, Mass Effect, and more.” Now, as EA Play and Game... Read more...
Recently, an article entitled “Last phase of the desktop wars?” poses an interesting notion and question, that is both polarizing and provocative, regarding the future of Microsoft's OS strategy. What is next for Windows? As the author of the article, open source software developer and advocate Eric S. Raymond notes, Microsoft has added features to Windows to better align it with Linux. He also suggests that the divide between Linux and Windows could eventually shrink until the two operating systems essentially become one. As he puts it, Linux would win the desktop wars, “not by displacing Windows but by co-opting it. Perhaps this is always how it had to be.”... Read more...
We were told the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S would usher in a new era of gaming, run much faster than the previous generation, virtually eliminate load times, enable more expansive worlds, and bring about world peace! Okay, maybe not that last one. But the rest have all been hyped time and again. Will they deliver? We will find out in due time, but ahead of the upcoming launch, some early testing gives us a sneak peek at what is to come. From my own perspective, the most exciting thing about the Xbox Series X/S is the Velocity architecture. Sure, I am as excited as any geek about the console's guts consisting of custom AMD silicon based on its Zen 2 CPU and RDNA 2 GPU architectures, with... Read more...
Have you pre-ordered the Xbox Series X fro Amazon? Well, it may be a while until your brand new console will be in your hands. Amazon recently emailed customers to let them know that they may not receive the Xbox Series X on launch day. Several Twitter users have posted snippets of emails they have recently received from Amazon. The emails state, “We're contacting you about your order of Xbox Series X to let you know in advance that you may not receive this item on the day it is released due to high demand.” Amazon then notes that they are working with their suppliers to get more inventory and that they will keep their customers updated on their progress. Many of these same Twitter... Read more...
There is a very good reason why the Department of Homeland Security recently issued an emergency directive to federal agencies to patch their Windows Servers against Zerologon. Just five days after the directive, Microsoft confirmed on Twitter that Zerologon is actively being exploited by hackers. "Microsoft is actively tracking threat actor activity using exploits for the CVE-2020-1472 Netlogon EoP vulnerability, dubbed Zerologon. We have observed attacks where public exploits have been incorporated into attacker playbooks," Microsoft warned. Zerologon is serious threat affecting Windows Server systems that is rated a 10 out of 10 on the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS). Left unpatched,... Read more...
Almost two decades after it was launched, the source code for Windows XP has apparently been leaked to the web. Same goes for Windows Server 2003 and a few other Windows operating systems, all as part of a massive data dump. We have not taken a deep dive into the code, but there are several reports of the contents being legitimate. The roundup of Windows XP and other OS source code was packaged up in a 42.9 gigabyte (GB) torrent file and shared on 4chan. According to the comments in the thread, Windows XP's source code has been shared privately for years (Microsoft has afforded access to governments and certain organizations), but this is the first time we are of that it has been leaked publicly.... Read more...
Even though many are out of the office right now, Microsoft has made a sly announcement of a new version of Office software. This recent Office announcement came at Microsoft Ignite 2020, and the latest software is slated for the second half of 2021. At the conference, Microsoft announced the next versions of Exchange Server, SharePoint Server, Skype for Business Server, and Project Server coming in the latter part of 2021. Just below that, though, was a little blurb about a new Microsoft Office edition: Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021. The first takeaway from this is that a new version of Microsoft Office is in the works.... Read more...
We finally know pricing for the 1TB Game Drive that will be available for Microsoft's upcoming Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S game consoles, and it's not cheap. Best Buy is currently listing the Seagate 1TB Game Drive at a price of $219.99, which is surely to have many gasping in amazement. We should note that the Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S are using a PCIe Gen4x2 interface internally, which means that the onboard SSD is not nearly as fast as the PCIe Gen4x4 M.2 solutions that are available on the market for PCs. The 1TB Game Drive matches the speeds of the internal drive, which means that it offers I/O throughput of 2.4GB/sec raw, or 4.8GB/sec compressed. Pricing for the... Read more...
Microsoft is making AI a priority with its products from now on and this week they have announced a partnership with OpenAI to license the GPT-3 AI model exclusively. With this license, Microsoft can develop programs to write, translate language, and summarize long-form code. Back in March, Microsoft and OpenAI teamed up to develop an Azure-based supercomputer. Besides knowing that it would have 285,000 cores, 10,000 GPUs, and 400Gb/s network connectivity, details were scarce. Since Microsoft was working with OpenAI, it could be assumed that training AI would be the supercomputer's purpose. Now, it seems the relationship has blossomed into something more. Recently, OpenAI announced the GPT-3... Read more...
You have probably noticed that the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S look completely different from one another, despite several similarities in the hardware powering each console. Make no mistake, aesthetic decisions was a big part of the design process. So how did Microsoft arrive at two unique looks? Chalk it up to "intelligent geometry," among other things. The Xbox design team shared with Xbox Wire what went into the design language of each console. After sharing some prototype designs with customers in late 2017, one thing became clear to the team, which is that "gamers were most excited about something that felt new and different, but also easily fit into their homes wherever they played."... Read more...
When it comes to troublesome data breaches, this one is pretty significant, and it comes from a surprising company. The company in question is Microsoft, which left one of its backend servers that runs the Bing mobile app wide open. As a result, over 6.5TB of log files were leaked into the internet that contained a treasure trove of user search data. Inexplicably, Microsoft staffers left the Elasticsearch server online without any kind of password protection from September 10th through September 16th. This lapse in security by Microsoft was discovered by Ata Hakcil, who is a white hat hacker from the WizCase online security team. The data that was exposed comes primarily from Microsoft's... Read more...
At this point in time, we have learned and written about many of the details of the upcoming Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. Nevertheless, what do we know about the necessary accessories for these new consoles? Microsoft has just introduced their full line-up of next generation accessories. This line-up includes new controllers for the Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PCs as well as a better rechargeable battery solution. Xbox gamers will want to look into the new controllers. Microsoft has previously introduced the Xbox Wireless Controller in Carbon Black and Robot White, but there will be at least one more color option. Console players can purchase the Xbox Wireless Controller in... Read more...
Last week, HotHardware reported on preorders for the new Xbox consoles coming up on September 22nd. We also wrote about all the preorder snags with major device announcements, and it seems Microsoft will have its fair share too with limited availability of pre-orders at GameStop locations. Preorders seem to be a pain point for most major retailers, generally speaking. Between bots snatching up the orders, limited stock, and websites getting the “hug of death,” no one can pull off a launch where everyone is happy. It seems like this will be the case once more for Microsoft as Twitter user (and reliable leaker) Wario64 tweets that GameStop locations will be allocated a limited... Read more...
For the past several weeks, Microsoft has been investigating why a specific Windows 10 update was slowing some PCs down to a crawl. Apparently it has finally found the issue. It also has released a new update (KB4576754) to replace the problematic (KB4559309) one that was being forced onto some PCs. The main purpose of KB4559309 was to replace the old version of Microsoft's Edge browser with the retooled version that is based on Chromium, the same platform that powers Google's own Chrome browser. If you have not used Edge since Microsoft rebuilt it, you might be in for a surprise—it is actually pretty good. Whether Microsoft should have adopted Chromium is a different subject entirely,... Read more...
Microsoft has just announced a blockbuster deal in the gaming world by announcing its intent to purchase ZeniMax Media. If the ZeniMax name doesn’t sound familiar to you, maybe this one will: Bethesda. That’s right, we’re talking about the development studio behind such popular game franchises as DOOM, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls and many more. This purchase just solidifies Microsoft’s intent to bring more high-quality game development under its corporate umbrella, and perhaps develop more exclusives for the Xbox family of consoles. According to Microsoft, it will pay a total of $7.5 billion in cash for ZeniMax Media. In addition to Bethesda Softworks/Bethesda Game Studios,... Read more...
Yesterday, we came across more pictures of Sony's next-generation PlayStation 5 console with specific for qualification at the FCC and Taiwan's NCC -- and quite frankly, it's more than a bit porky. Insults were leveled against the Xbox Series X when it was fist unveiled, with people pointing to its towering monolith-like design. But the PlayStation 5 and its PlayStation 5 Digital Edition sibling take things to a whole new level, dwarfing even Microsoft's next Xbox. While we presented pictures and dimensions of two PlayStation 5 consoles yesterday, these two aspects of the consoles don't tell the full story of how big they are. However, new renders that were created by 3D modeler @keisawada... Read more...
If you are the type of person that simply needs to be on the bleeding edge of software releases, then we’ve got some good news for you today. Microsoft has announced that its next big update for Windows 10 is ready for release. We are of course talking about the Windows 10 October 2020 Update (Build 19042.508), which has previously been referred to as version Windows 10 20H2. The October 2020 Update will not bring any major feature updates to Windows 10 – that normally comes with “H1” updates, but it should be viewed primarily as a maintenance release to fix outstanding issues and improve overall stability. In order to get the October 2020 Update, you... Read more...
When it comes to modern web browsers, Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browser is already pretty energy efficient compared to its peers; especially compared to Google Chrome. However, Microsoft is working on a new feature that could further improve your runtimes for those of you with laptops. Microsoft is introducing what it calls Sleeping Tabs, which in effect will suspend any of your inactive tabs that are lingering around in the background. By suspending activity, the hope is that resources will be freed up, thus improving the overall efficiency of the Edge browser. However, in order to access this new feature, you need to be running the experimental Canary version of the Edge browser... Read more...
Oh what a time to be a video gamer, and the platform hardly matters. Fancy PC gaming? Great, the GeForce RTX 30 series is off to a hot start (minus the preorder snags), and Big Navi looms right around the corner. Prefer to game on console? Sony has opened up pre-orders for the PlayStation 5 (also with snags), and Microsoft will be doing the same for its upcoming Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles very soon. How soon? Next week, as a matter of fact. Pre-order availability kicks off September 22, which is next Tuesday, and barring any hiccups, you will be able to choose between either one. Note that there are key differences between the two. For one, the Xbox Series X is priced at $499 and... Read more...
Lenovo devices are tussling with Windows 10 and it is leading to many “blue screen of death” issues for ThinkPad devices manufactured in 2019 and 2020. Microsoft and Lenovo are working to solve the issue, but in the meantime, both companies have put out a workaround. According to Microsoft, if a Lenovo ThinkPad device received the Windows Update for KB4568831 Preview (OS Build 19041.423), you may encounter a stop error or blue screen of death (BSOD). This is caused by processes accessing peripheral component interconnect device configurations incorrectly. If Enhanced Windows Biometric Security is enabled in the UEFI of Lenovo ThinkPad devices made in 2019 or 2020, this error occurs.... Read more...
Having spent some hands-on time with the Surface Pro X, we can say it is an interesting and even a promising device (see our review of the Surface Pro X for an in-depth analysis). There is definitely room for some improvement, though. And improvements are likely coming, according to the latest rumors surrounding a refreshed Surface Pro X. The Surface Pro X is Microsoft's attempt to leverage Arm hardware in its Surface product line. Arm is everywhere these days, from smartphones and tablets, to a wealth of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and everything in between. And more recently, Arm has found its way into some Windows 10 PCs (which importantly should not be confused with Windows RT). According... Read more...
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