Items tagged with NASDAQ:MSFT

Are the console wars transitioning to the cloud? Not so fast—both Microsoft and Sony have already shared a few detail's about each company's next-generation game console (Project Scarlett and PlayStation 5, respectively), and those won't even reach retail for another year. At the same time, however, companies are making plays in cloud gaming, and Amazon might be gearing up to throw its weight into the category as well. The spotlight is on cloud gaming right now because Google just launched its Stadia platform. Stadia is as ambitious as it comes—it's been likened to a Netflix for games, though the comparison is not entirely accurate. Still, the idea of playing games powered by servers... Read more...
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...
Several white hat hackers in China spent the weekend infiltrating some of the top web browsers and other applications, as part of the Tianfu Cup. Similar to Pwn2Own, hackers attempt to exploit various software in ways that have not been discovered before, with prizes and bragging rights on the line (as well as better security for us all). The rules between Tianfu Cup and Pwn2Own are pretty much the same. During the two-day event, hackers racked up points by exposing zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft's Edge, Apple's Safari, and Google's Chrome browsers, as well as other applications. Here's how it broke down on the first day of the competition... Microsoft Edge (old version, not Chromium):... 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...
Google's ambitious cloud gaming platform called Stadia is only a few days away from launching to the public, and there are still many questions that have yet to be answered. That said, Google did answer some of them during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit yesterday. One of them was in regards to which controllers will work with Stadia. Following the AMA session, Google updated its support pages to list exactly which controllers will (and will not) work with Stadia. Sony's DualShock 4 is one of them, as is Microsoft's Xbox One controller, both of which support USB and Bluetooth connectivity with Stadia on the desktop and through Pixel devices. Here's a look at the official list... Source:... 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 announced its Surface Pro X back in early October, and it first went on sale earlier this month. The convertible has been praised for its thin and light design, as well as its large 13-inch display. However, there have been serious questions raised about overall performance from the Arm-based Microsoft SQ1 SoC and the app compatibly. While the Surface Pro X can run native ARM64 apps in Windows 10 and 32-bit x86 app via emulation, it cannot run 64-bit x86 apps in emulation. That may change very soon according to a new report from Neowin. The publication says that although Qualcomm stated that 64-bit x86 emulation was never in the cards for its SoCs -- the SQ1 is an... Read more...
Today is the second Tuesday of the month, which means that its Microsoft's Patch Tuesday. Given the scope of Microsoft latest "major" update for Windows 10, it's quite appropriate that the November 2019 Update is landing today (as you'll read later). Microsoft has just announced that the Windows 10 November 2019 Update is now available to the public, but only to users that actively seek to download it. Instead of pushing it to all users, or asking you to install it when your PC automatically checks for updates, the user will actually have to click the "Check for updates" button and select "Download and install now" for the Window 10 November 2019 Update (also called version 1909). By... Read more...
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