Archive for the ‘Windows’ Category

To complement the new Windows 10 dark theme, Microsoft is adding a light theme

November 14th, 2018
The new Windows 10 light theme.

Enlarge / The new Windows 10 light theme. (credit: Microsoft)

While end users have been customizing the color schemes of their computers for decades, we've lately seen operating system developers follow their users' lead with built-in, first-party support for dark themes. The dark theme was a big part of the appeal of macOS Mojave, and dark theme support in applications such as Windows Explorer was no less welcome.

With the next feature update of Windows 10, codenamed 1H19 and likely to ship in April next year, Microsoft is going a step further, with the introduction of a light theme. The light theme also comes with a new wallpaper (an iteration of the default Windows 10 wallpaper), and it will brighten up certain areas of the operating system that have always tended be dark regardless of the theme being used.

If the screenshot is anything to go by, it's going to be a good-looking theme, too.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in dark theme, design, microsoft, Tech, user interface, Windows | Comments (0)

Surface Go with integrated LTE available for preorder now, from $679

November 12th, 2018
Surface Go.

Enlarge / Surface Go. (credit: Microsoft)

Last week Microsoft added an extra configuration to the Surface Go lineup. Today it's rounding out the range and filling the final gaps, adding systems with integrated LTE to the product mix.

LTE adds $130 to the system price. At $679 is the consumer SKU: 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD storage, Windows 10 Home, and integrated LTE. Business users have two configurations: 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD storage, Windows 10 Pro, for $729, or the same spec with 256GB SSD storage, for $829. The LTE option adds a fraction to the weight (0.02lb/10 grams) and equips the machine with a nano-SIM tray, GPS, and GLONASS positioning.

Microsoft estimates that the LTE model has marginally lower battery life than the Wi-Fi version, quoting 8.5 hours of video playback for the LTE model, in contrast to 9 hours for the Wi-Fi version. This is likely a small price to pay for the ability to get online anywhere and everywhere. Microsoft has positioned the Surface Go as an ideal system for frontline workers: people who may be out in the field on customer or other remote sites. Adding LTE means that these workers are always online and able to reach their corporate systems for inventory management, support tickets, or whatever else they need.

Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in always connected, hardware, LTE, microsoft, surface go, Tech, Windows | Comments (0)

Windows 10 users finding their legit installs are being deactivated

November 8th, 2018

For reasons that are currently unclear, Windows 10 Professional users are finding that their properly licensed installations are being deactivated.

On systems affected by the issue, Windows is complaining that a Windows 10 Home license key is being used with a Windows 10 Pro installation. To fix things, the system needs to be wiped and Windows 10 Home installed. Otherwise, a genuine Windows 10 Pro key needs to be used.

Microsoft has acknowledged that the problem exists and that some unspecified issue with the Windows Authentication servers is causing the problem, but as yet, there's no fix. The Windows 10 Pro licenses do seem to be valid, and some resolution is promised within a couple of business days.

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

Posted in bug, microsoft, product activation, Tech, Windows, Windows 10 | Comments (0)

Half of enterprise machines run Windows 10, as Windows 7’s end of life looms

October 25th, 2018
Who doesn't love some new Windows?

Enlarge / Who doesn't love some new Windows? (credit: Peter Bright / Flickr)

On Microsoft's earnings call for the first quarter of its 2019 financial year, CEO Satya Nadella said that "more than half of the commercial device installed base is on Windows 10."

A Microsoft spokesperson "clarified" this to say, "based on Microsoft's data, we can see that there are now more devices in the enterprise running Windows 10 than any other previous version of Windows." That description offers a little more wriggle room; Windows 10 might only have a plurality share of enterprise systems rather than the majority share Nadella claimed. But either way, a substantial number of machines in the enterprise are currently running Windows 10.

Equally, however, it means that there's a substantial number of machines not running Windows 10. Those systems are likely to be running Windows 7. Windows 7 is due to drop out of support in January 2020. Beyond that date, Windows 7 users will either have to pay for up to three years of patches or switch to Microsoft-hosted virtual machines, which will receive the three additional years of patching at no cost.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in enterprise, microsoft, support, Tech, Windows, Windows 10, windows 7 | Comments (0)

Microsoft is bringing all-you-can-play Game Pass subscription to PC

October 25th, 2018
The arrow is pointing to a PC that's just off-frame to the right.

Enlarge / The arrow is pointing to a PC that's just off-frame to the right.

Microsoft says PC players will be able to access a version of its all-you-can-download Xbox Game Pass subscription service some time in the future.

The news comes from CEO Satya Nadella, who mentioned the move offhandedly in response to a question about cloud gaming in a recent earnings call. Nadella said "increasing the strength of the community" around the Xbox brand is important to the company's bottom line and that "obviously, bringing Game Pass to even the PC is going to be a big element of that."

It's not clear which PC games exactly would be included with such a subscription or whether PC games would require their own separate subscription on top of the existing console Game Pass. For years, Microsoft has been promoting its "Play Anywhere" initiative for games that you buy once and play across PC and console, though we've run into trouble with that compatibility in practical testing.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in games pass, Gaming & Culture, microsoft, PC gaming, Windows | Comments (0)

Microsoft posts a record $29.1 billion Q1. Same old, same old

October 24th, 2018
Microsoft posts a record $29.1 billion Q1. Same old, same old

(credit: Julien GONG Min / Flickr)

Microsoft has posted the results of the first quarter of its 2019 financial year, which runs up until September 30, 2018. Revenue was $29.1 billion, up 19 percent year on year, to set a new record for the company's first quarter. Operating income rose 29 percent to $10.0 billion, and net income was up 34 percent to $8.8 billion. Earnings per share were up 36 percent at $1.14.

Microsoft currently has three reporting segments: Productivity and Business Processes (covering Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype, Dynamics, and LinkedIn), Intelligent Cloud (including Azure, Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, and Enterprise Services), and More Personal Computing (covering Windows, hardware, and Xbox, as well as search and advertising).

Productivity group revenue was up 19 percent to $9.8 billion, with operating income up 29 percent to $3.9 billion. Both commercial and consumer Office sales were up by 17 and 16 percent respectively, and Office 365 continues to grow; commercial seats were up 29 percent year on year, and it now has more than 155 million monthly active users. There are also now 32.5 million consumer subscribers. This ongoing switch to the cloud meant that perpetually licensed Office revenue was down 12 percent. Dynamics revenue is up 20 percent, and LinkedIn revenue has grown 33 percent.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Biz & IT, Business, financials, microsoft, Tech, Windows | Comments (0)

After the Windows update fiasco, Microsoft needs to shake up its dev process

October 20th, 2018
Windows 10 during a product launch event in Tokyo in July 2015.

Enlarge / Windows 10 during a product launch event in Tokyo in July 2015. (credit: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

It's fair to say that the Windows 10 October 2018 Update has not been Microsoft's most successful update. Reports of data loss quickly emerged, forcing Microsoft to suspend distribution of the update. It has since been fixed and is currently undergoing renewed testing pending a re-release.

This isn't the first Windows feature update that's had problems—we've seen things like significant hardware incompatibilities in previous updates—but it's certainly the worst. While most of us know the theory of having backups, the reality is that lots of data, especially on home PCs, has no real backup, and deleting that data is thus disastrous.

Windows as a service

Microsoft's ambition with Windows 10 was to radically shake up how it develops Windows 10. The company wanted to better respond to customer and market needs, and to put improved new features into customers' hands sooner. Core to this was the notion that Windows 10 is the "last" version of Windows—all new development work will be an update to Windows 10, delivered through feature updates several times a year. This new development model was branded "Windows as a Service." And after some initial fumbling, Microsoft settled on a cadence of two feature updates a year; one in April, one in October.

Read 49 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in development, Features, git, microsoft, source code, Tech, updates, Windows | Comments (0)

Samsung launches Snapdragon 850-powered Windows 2-in-1

October 18th, 2018

Samsung

Samsung today announced the Galaxy Book2 (sic; the company has not put a space between the word and the number), a 2-in-1 tablet running Windows 10, powered by a Snapdragon 850 processor.

The first generation of Windows 10-on-ARM machines were roundly criticized for the performance of their Snapdragon 835 processors. The second generation of machines, however, uses the Snapdragon 850, a variant of the Snapdragon 845 that's designed for the bigger batteries and higher power dissipation of laptops and tablets. This is widely hoped and expected to bring performance up to respectable levels.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in microsoft, Qualcomm, Samsung, snapdragon, Tech, Windows | Comments (0)

Microsoft making more of the Windows 10 built-in apps removable

October 18th, 2018

It will soon be possible to discard more of the in-box apps that ship with Windows 10.

Currently, a handful of pre-installed apps can be removed, including OneNote, Skype, and Weather, but most of the other built-in apps are permanent fixtures. Windows 10 has also promoted a number of third-party applications such as Candy Crush Saga to the chagrin of many. These don't appear to be going away, but such apps have always been uninstallable if you don't want them. However, the latest preview build of Windows 10, build 18262, enables the removal of apps such as Mail, Calendar, Movies & TV, and the Groove Music app.

The ability to remove these apps doesn't really mean much in terms of disk space or convenience, as none of them are very big. The move may be of more interest to corporate deployments; an organization that has standardized on Outlook, for example, might want to remove the Mail and Calendar apps to reduce user confusion.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Posted in Crapware, microsoft, Tech, Windows | Comments (0)

Windows security hole – the “Orpheus’ Lyre” attack explained

July 19th, 2017

A long-standing bug in the network authentication protocol called Kerberos led to a security hole in Windows, Linux and more.

Posted in Exploit, Kerberos, samba, Vulnerability, Windows | Comments (0)