Items tagged with Microsoft

Much has been made about the performance impact of Windows 11 on AMD Ryzen systems, due to a pair of acknowledged bugs that AMD and Microsoft are scrambling to resolve. Patches are supposed to arrive this month, though no firm release date has been announced. In the meantime, we decided to run some tests to see just how much performance Ryzen users stand to lose by upgrading to Windows 11 before the bugs are squashed. We'll get to the numbers in a moment, but first let's recap the issues at hand. One of the bugs is throwing L3 cache latency out of whack on Ryzen and EPYC processors. In a support article, AMD said applications sensitive to memory subsystem access time may be impacted, with an... Read more...
Attempting to upgrade a PC to Windows 11 when the system doesn't meet the minimum system requirements for any reasons elicits an ominous warning message foreboding potential doom and destruction. That's only a slight exaggeration. Part of the warning message states unsupported PCs are not entitled to receive updates. However, at least in the early going, users report seeing updates pushed out to their unsupported PCs anyway. There is a fair amount of confusion surrounding the release of Windows 11. A big reason why is that the system requirements call for PCs to support and enable Secure Boot and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0. The latter is a feature baked into most modern CPUs, but typically... Read more...
A recent job listing shows Microsoft is on the hunt for a Director of SoC Architecture, a full-time position within its Surface division. The job listing outlines the necessary qualifications to be considered for the role and some of the responsibilities, but the potentially most interesting aspect is what it doesn't outright say—that perhaps Microsoft wants to design its own silicon, just like Apple is now doing. Maybe. This is not a foregone conclusion by any stretch. Barring an official announcement of anything, we're left to read the tea leaves the best we can. So we mention this only as a possibility. One of many, actually, albeit the one that piques our interest the most because of... Read more...
Microsoft is understandably excited about Windows 11, but at the same time, it is taking a more cautious approach to its roll out with a few interesting restrictions. Chief among them is Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 support. This is semi-mandatory, but what if you have a slightly older PC without TPM 2.0 support? There's an easy way to bypass the requirement using the latest version of Rufus, a popular utility for creating bootable USB flash drives. Before you embark down this road, understand we are not necessarily recommending you attempt to skip past any of Microsoft's requirements or recommendations, we're merely pointing out how you can, if you so choose. And also before you begin,... Read more...
Consumers' right to repair their own devices is one of the lesser-discussed political battlegrounds in the United States, but it's probably one that most-directly affects gamers and hardware enthusiasts. It's a contentious issue: detractors claim that making their devices repairable will make them less reliable, less secure and more expensive, while supporters deny those claims and say that making devices repairable and sustainable will improve basically everything for everyone—even the companies making the devices. Right-to-repair has historically been opposed vehemently by American tech corporations, such as Apple and Microsoft, but yesterday, one of those titans seemingly switched... Read more...
Certain events can make you feel old, like your kids growing up and getting married, or seeing a formerly young and sprightly actor appear gray and weathered in their newest flick. Life just relentlessly marches on. I bring this up because today brought on of those moments for me today—a reminder that the original Xbox is about to turn 20 freaking years old! In celebration of Xbox's 20th anniversary, Microsoft is releasing some special edition peripherals that are a throwback of sorts. What you see above is the 20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Wireless Controller.  Microsoft opted for a translucent black finish and silver guts, for a kind of mix of retro and modern. "The nostalgic,... Read more...
Could it be true that even Microsoft is not a fan of its strict requirements for installing Windows 11? Namely its insistence that eligible PCs support Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0, and have a processor that falls within its list of compatible chips from AMD and Intel? It's probably (definitely) not true, but even so, Microsoft has done users a solid by providing a registry hack that will get Windows 11 up and running on some PCs that don't make the cut. As we noted in our article on how to get your PC ready for Windows 11, the first order of business is to download and run Microsoft's PC Health Check app. This performs a super-quick audit of your system to see if it meets the requirements.... Read more...
Windows 11 is now available. Assuming your system meets the minimum system requirements – which isn’t a given, even if your rig is happily humming along with Windows 10 -- you’re likely to receive a notification via Windows Update that a free Windows 11 upgrade is ready and available for installation. As was the case with Windows 10, Microsoft is offering free upgrades to Windows 11 to virtually anyone with a current, valid license installed on their systems, again assuming it meets the minimum requirements. So, if you’re ready, willing and able to make the switch, Microsoft’s newest OS is just a few clicks away. In-place upgrades of Windows have become relatively... Read more...
Last month, we provided you with a guide on how to upgrade your Windows 10 PC to the shipping build of Windows 11 using the Windows Insider Release Preview Channel. That method involves joining the Windows Insider Program, performing a few reboots, and then “seeking” the Windows 11 upgrade from Windows Update. However, an even more straightforward method is now available to upgrade using the Windows 11 Installation Assistant. Since Windows 11 is currently only being “pushed” to eligible Windows 10 PCs, the Installation Assistant represents your least restrictive avenue to upgrade. First of all, you can download the Windows 11 Installation Assistant directly from Microsoft.... Read more...
Acer announced its first sustainability-focused notebook, the Aspire Vero, and its popular Swift 5 will be available in North America today with Windows 11 pre-loaded. The company also announced that its Nitro 5 gaming notebook will be available with Windows 11 later this month. The Aspire Vero is made from recycled materials which delivers on Acer’s Earthion mission to offer products that support a sustainable future. The notebook is made from 30% post-consumer resin (PCR) plastic in the chassis, which saves approximately 21% in C02 emissions. Also, no paint is used on the surface of the chassis. The Aspire Vero earned a 2021 Red Dot Award for Brand and Communication Design with its... Read more...
When Microsoft first announced Windows 11 back in late June, many of its design changes and features were welcomed by enthusiasts. However, a lot of controversy brewed over the system requirements for the operating system, particularly with the mandatory support for Ryzen 2000/8th generation Core processors and TPM 2.0. With the launch of Window 11 taking place today, Microsoft is providing some background on why it has taken such a hardline stance on TPM 2.0 and Virtualization-Based Security (VBS), the latter of which we recently discussed regarding its negative effect on PC gaming performance. David Weston, Microsoft director of OS and enterprise security, spoke with CRN about the company's... Read more...
October 5th was supposed to be the big launch day for Microsoft's Windows 11 operating system. However, Microsoft is making Windows 11 available today as a free upgrade for "eligible Windows 10 PCs." Those eligible PCs include newly released systems that came with Windows 10 preinstalled. And, of course, those machines meet all of Microsoft's minimum system requirements for installing Windows 11. According to Microsoft, existing PC systems not covered by the automatic rollout will receive Windows 11 automatically through Windows Update in waves by mid-2022. However, if your current Windows 10 rig meets all the system requirements listed below for installing Windows 11, you can get the operating... Read more...
When it comes to games and who makes the biggest profit, one may not consider Apple being at the top of the list. But according to figures released as part of Apple’s recent antitrust trial, Apple made quite an operating profit from games in 2019. In fact, Apple made a massive $8.5 billion in profit from games in 2019. The fact that Apple does not make any of its own games makes this an astounding number. That was more than Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony and Activision Blizzard combined. This figure comes from the fact that Apple takes a 30% cut from all digital purchases made via its App Store. It is worth noting that Apple said during the trial that the total was incorrect and too high. To... Read more...
A few weeks back, we brought you the news that a cheaper, 512GB version of the Seagate Storage Expansion Card for the Xbox Series S and Series S is on the way. The initial tip came from a product listing at a French retailer, which priced the expansion card at 154,99€, or around $180. Today, we have further confirmation that the smaller and cheaper SKU is coming courtesy of Window Central. The publication says that a source provided an image of the retail shelf placard for the 512GB Seagate Storage Expansion Card. Unfortunately, the anonymous tipster didn't say which U.S. retailer spilled the beans on the new accessory. Still, we'd imagine that it will show up at the usual suspects like... Read more...
If you were eagerly anticipating that Microsoft might include a refreshed Arm-based model among its next-generation Surface announcements last week, you would have been disappointed when it didn't happen. Microsoft did introduce a Surface Pro 8 and Surface Duo 2, both with x86 hardware inside, but nothing that flexes an Arm chip. What gives? One could be in the works, and AMD might be involved with the design. This is only a rumor at present, but perhaps a plausible one, given the interest both companies have put into Arm. Let's talk about that for a minute. Earlier this month during the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference, AMD CFO Devinder Kumar fielded a question about Arm, saying AMD has a... Read more...
Microsoft Office apps are getting a makeover that is said to be both familiar yet modern. This will include softer window corners, neutral colors and a colorful presence indicator that will show you who is working on a document with you. Fans of dark mode will be happy to know that app themes will stay in sync with your chosen preference by default. All of this was done in concert with the release of Windows 11 to provide a seamless experience for those transitioning from older versions. Those who continue using Windows 10 will still have access to the update to Microsoft Office. A few of the features that will be included with Office 2021 are the ability to stay connected and productive on the... Read more...
It's no secret that Microsoft ramped up its baseline hardware requirements for Windows 11 compared to Windows 10. However, a large swath of the PC population is being left out by requiring AMD Ryzen 2000 and 8th generation Intel Core (and newer) processors and mandatory TPM 2.0 support. These steep requirements are readily apparent in the enterprise market, as a new survey by Lansweeper shows that over half of workstations in operation today are ineligible for the free upgrade to Windows 11. This data is based on an estimated 30 million Windows devices used across 60,000 organizations. For those that need a refresher, here's what Microsoft lists for Windows 11's minimum system requirements: Processor:... Read more...
Forza Horizon 5 is nearing release and it seems as though the game will look fantastic across Windows 10 and Windows 11 hardware configurations, no matter your setup. This is great news for PC players who have been seeing many new games push their PCs to the limit. The game should render stunningly realistic graphics on PCs down to the tiniest particles while driving through Mexico utilizing all new powerful graphical features. The PC specs are broken down based on different gameplay scenarios on both NVIDIA and AMD setups. The minimum specs have been updated from the previous estimate given on the Microsoft Store and Steam. Even with the recommended spec, all you'll need is a Ryzen 5 1500X... Read more...
The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have been on the market for almost a year now, they just have not been the least bit easy to obtain for the bulk of that time. Not unless you're willing to pay way above MSRP from a marketplace seller or on eBay. Yeah, no thanks. Is there an end in sight to supply coming up way short of demand? Maybe, but according to Microsoft's Phil Spencer, don't expect it to happen in the next few months, and for at least part of next year as well. That is disappointing for sure, though not unexpected. The pandemic and other factors have directly and indirectly put a strain on manufacturing, making it difficult to produce enough components to satisfy the demand for cutting... Read more...
It seems Microsoft has been hard at work on not only Windows 11, but also revamping and opening up the Microsoft Store to be able to include even more functionality for its customers. This will no doubt be advantageous to Windows users as the new Microsoft Store is set to launch alongside Windows 11 on October 5th. Perhaps the biggest news is that Microsoft is opening its doors to other storefronts making them discoverable within the Microsoft Store itself. This falls in line with Microsoft’s commitment to being an "open Store for an open platform." Epic and Amazon have already announced that they will be making their storefronts accessible as part of Microsoft's newfound generosity.... Read more...
Today, gamers with current-generation Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles are getting a sweet treat from Microsoft. The company announced this morning that Dolby Vision support has arrived for the consoles. The feature launched for Xbox Insiders in May, but it took months of testing to ensure it would be ready for the rest of the gaming public. If you have a supported Dolby Vision-enabled TV, you’ll experience more vivid color representation. This will have an immediate benefit by allowing you to sport more detail lurking in shadows, thanks to greater contrast in scenes. According to Microsoft, over 100 next-generation are optimized for Dolby Vision in HDR for Xbox Series S/X platforms.... Read more...
Those in the PC enthusiast community are well aware of the impending arrival of Microsoft’s Windows 11 operating system. After all, we’ve been with Windows 10 for over five years, and it’s about time for a change. Microsoft announced Windows 11 in late June and recently revealed that the operating system will ship on October 5th. However, most people in the United States have no clue that Windows 11 even exists, according to a new survey conducted by Savings.com. The site reports that 62 percent of the 1,000 people surveyed were completely unaware that the operating system is so close to release. This is understandable given that Microsoft hasn’t performed a huge marketing... Read more...
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