Items tagged with NASDAQ:MSFT

Black Friday and the holiday shopping season are just around the corner, so if you are in the market for a new gaming console, now is the time to start looking. If you've had trouble getting your hands on a current-gen console, we have collected some information to help you out in this difficult endeavor, as a couple of retailers have planned restocks in the coming days that have since leaked out. Target PlayStation 5 Drop Late last week, PlayStation and Xbox console restock tracker Jake Randall tweeted about a potential PlayStation 5 restock coming either on the 21st or 27th of October. However, since nothing came about on the former date, a drop of unknown size is likely coming on Wednesday... Read more...
Update: Wouldn't you know it? Almost as soon as we published this article, Microsoft began pushing out a fix for the L3 cache latency bug that was introduced with the first cumulative (Patch Tuesday) update for Windows 11, and which only affected AMD processors and platforms. This is great news for AMD chip owners. Along with the updated chipset driver highlighted below, the addition of Microsoft's patch (now available via Windows Update) means the performance issues affecting Ryzen processors should be completely resolved. AMD Ryzen 9 5950 L3 Cache Latency With KB5006746 Installed In fact, we installed the new drivers and patch moments after they became available and can confirm that L3... Read more...
One of the few really interesting announcements surrounding the roll-out of Windows 11 was the news that the latest version of Redmond's PC OS would also support apps from the dominant mobile platform, Android. That hype quickly died down as Microsoft admitted that such support wouldn't be available from day one. Some folks suggested it might never come at all. Well, surprise surprise—if you're on the Insider or Beta update track for Windows 11, you can now start downloading and installing Android apps on your Windows device. There's a whole pile of catches, though. First of all, when you think of "download and install Android apps," you probably think of the Google Play Store. However,... Read more...
Like it or not, eBay is the go-to dumping ground for items that are in high demand and extremely difficult to obtain, like the latest generation graphics cards and game consoles. Go ahead and add Microsoft's Xbox Series X Mini Fridge to the list as well. It's not even out yet, but after pre-order sales came and went in the blink of an eye, scalpers who managed to secure one are now hawking their score on the auction site...at more than triple the price. They are attempting to, anyway. Some of the current listings are asking for north of $300, compared to the $99 pre-order price the sellers paid for what amounts to one of this holiday season's subjectively coolest items. Unlike the mini fridge... Read more...
Microsoft's Flight Simulator is one of those things you have to experience before you can truly appreciate it, and not everyone will understand what's so special about it—much like the experience of flight itself. On the surface, it might not seem like a flight simulator would be that much fun. "What, you just fly around," doubters ask, "with no combat or conflict whatsoever?" Well, yeah. It's a simulator, after all. Clearly enough people "get it" to make the game a massive hit, though. Microsoft says Flight Simulator was the biggest hit for Xbox Game Pass for PC to date, with over one million players. Once you play it, it's easy to understand why. The game can be configured to be a relatively... Read more...
We've reported on the performance problems with Ryzen CPUs under Windows 11 a few times now, and produced our own test results to demonstrate the issues. AMD and Microsoft said they had patches forthcoming, and indeed, that seems to be the case. Testers in the Beta and Release Preview channels in the Windows 11 Insider's program will have received build 22000.282 by now, which includes among its myriad fixes a patch for the severely increased L3 cache latency issue on Ryzen processors. In case you didn't see our prior reporting, an unspecified bug in Windows' low-level services, drivers, or kernel somewhere caused L3 cache latency to spike to over triple its value on Windows 10. Such an increase... Read more...
Malware on Windows devices has become a real problem in the last few years, specifically with a recent uptick in ransomware. It appears that Microsoft has been trying to combat this issue, though, with updates to Microsoft Defender, so it has more teeth than ever before. However, what if Microsoft is part of the problem too? On Friday, cybersecurity researcher TheAnalyst explained on Twitter how BazarLoader malware leads to ransomware that can severely affect healthcare, among other industries. He then called out Microsoft, asking if the company has “any responsibility in this when they KNOWINGLY are hosting hundreds of files leading to this,” alongside an image of what appears to... Read more...
Now that Windows 11 is out, you might be internally debating whether to make the leap now, wait a bit for it to mature, or stick with Windows 10 (or whatever OS you are currently using) for the long haul. The decision is up to you, of course, but if you need help deciding, you can test drive Windows 11 without committing to it on your main system. One of the best ways to do that is to create a 'Windows To Go' USB flash drive. This made easy with Rufus, a handy image burning utility that streamlines the process of creating a bootable USB drive. And this doesn't have to be just for Windows 11, either—you could make a bootable USB flash drive based on any version of Windows. This guide is... Read more...
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...
Forces are at play to vastly reduce latency while gaming over Wi-Fi, and quite frankly, that is something that is long overdue. The secret sauce to make this possible is comprised of two main ingredients—Qualcomm's FastConnect hardware and the Wi-Fi Dual Station technology that is baked into Windows 11, developed in partnership with Microsoft. When mixed together, gaming over Wi-Fi can be akin to playing over an Ethernet connection. A wired-like gaming experience over a wireless connection may sound like a pipe dream, but this is something that has the backing of some major players, including Qualcomm, Microsoft, and Valve. What this essentially entails is harnessing multiple Wi-Fi bands... Read more...
Today may be the day that you finally get your hands on an elusive Xbox Series X. GameStop has confirmed that the cutting-edge console has been restocked and will soon be available for purchase. Here is everything you need to know about the GameStop Xbox Series X restock event. The restock will occur today, Thursday, October 7th, at 11am EDT. The console will only be available online and to PowerUp Reward Pro members. PowerUp Reward Pro members will want to be logged into their GameStop account by 11am and be ready to add the console to their carts. The PowerUp Reward Pro membership is $15 a year and may be worth signing up for if your hunt for the console has been frustratingly unsuccessful... Read more...
If you are an enthusiast that recently upgraded from Windows 10 to Windows 11 and have noticed some performance degradation, you’re not alone. Although we’re not sure why these issues didn’t rear their heads earlier during the Windows Insider testing phase, AMD confirms that its Ryzen and EPYC processors are affected by two performance-robbing bugs. The first issue involves L3 cache latency, which can increase by 3x compared to the same system running Windows 10. As a result, applications that are “sensitive to memory subsystem access time” could be affected, resulting in a performance hit of 3 to 5 percent in some applications. However, AMD notes that the performance... 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...
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...
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...
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...
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