Archive for the ‘microsoft’ Category

Microsoft: Windows 10 Mobile support to end, so use Android or iOS instead

January 18th, 2019
Lumia 950

Lumia 950 (credit: Peter Bright)

Windows 10 Mobile will receive its last patches and security updates on December 10 this year, as Microsoft winds down the last remaining bit of development of its smartphone platform.

The last major notable to the platform was October 2017, when it was bumped to version 1709. At that point Microsoft ended feature development entirely, shipping only security updates and bug fixes. That's going to come to an end on Patch Tuesday this coming December.

Certain online services will continue to operate beyond that date; device backups for settings and applications will work for three months, to March 10, 2020, and photo uploads and restoring devices from backups will work for 12 months beyond the end of support.

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Posted in Android, iOS, lumia, microsoft, Nokia, smartphones, Tech, Windows, Windows 10, windows 10 mobile, Windows Mobile | Comments (0)

Next Windows 10 version will let you search without Cortana’s involvement

January 16th, 2019
The Cortana button is now no longer part of the search box.

Enlarge / The Cortana button is now no longer part of the search box. (credit: Microsoft)

Today's Insider build of Windows 10, number 18317, changes how search and Cortana are used, as Microsoft is working to reposition Cortana as a productivity-focused digital assistant and integrate search with Office 365.

Currently, Windows 10 has a single text box on the taskbar that's used for searches and Cortana commands. Type a word or two and it'll search the Start menu, settings, and documents. But type a command ("tell me a joke," say) and no search is performed; instead, the command is delivered to Cortana, and she duly responds. In the new build, the text box is used solely for searching. To give Cortana a command, you'll have to speak to her or click a separate Cortana button on the taskbar.

The combination of the two features was an oft-criticized part of the Windows 10 interface, as there's no particular reason to bundle them together. Both can respond to typed commands, so using the text box for two different things saved some space. Because searches are popular, it's likely that some people were introduced to Cortana as a result of a search. Separating the two things should make the Windows interface a little more logical. The settings pages have also been disentangled.

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Posted in Cortana, digital personal assistant, microsoft, Tech, Windows | Comments (0)

Microsoft removes Forza dances amid Fortnite lawsuits

January 16th, 2019
Actor Alfonso Ribeiro shows off "The Carlton" during a <em>Dancing with the Stars</em> performance.

Enlarge / Actor Alfonso Ribeiro shows off "The Carlton" during a Dancing with the Stars performance.

Forza Horizon 4 no longer features two dance emotes—the Carlton and the Floss—which were previously available for use by in-game avatars. The removal is listed under the "Other Improvements" section in the notes for the game's Series 5 update, which launched yesterday with a new online adventure playlist and new Mitsubishi cars for the game, among other changes.

Microsoft has not offered a public explanation for the removal, though a spokesperson told Kotaku "Forza Horizon 4 features a large portfolio of content and is continuously updated." The move comes, though, after both dances became the subject of lawsuits regarding their similar inclusion in Epic's Fortnite.

The Carlton—popularized by actor Alfonso Ribeiro on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air—and the Floss—popularized by Russell "Backpack Kid" Horning in a Saturday Night Live performance—are the apparent inspiration for two Fortnite emotes that can be purchased as part of various Battle Pass DLC packages. Lawsuits filed against Epic by those dancers accuse the Fortnite maker of illegally profiting from their copyrighted dance creations.

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Posted in copyright, dance, emotes, forza, Gaming & Culture, Legal, microsoft | Comments (0)

Microsoft’s fonts catch out another fraudster—this time in Canada

January 15th, 2019
The Calibri font. Don't use this if you're forging anything written before 2007.

Enlarge / The Calibri font. Don't use this if you're forging anything written before 2007. (credit: Peter Bright)

You'd think that people forging documents would have learned by now. Canadian Gerald McGoey was judged to have falsified documents in an attempt to protect certain assets from bankruptcy proceedings, because—and stop me if you've heard this before—the documents used Microsoft's modern "C" fonts, which didn't become widely available until 2007. This would have been fine, were it not for the minor detail that the documents were dated 2004 and 1995. Whoops.

McGoey was CEO of Look Communications when it collapsed and left him bankrupt. The company was liquidated, and McGoey was ordered to replay $5.6 million to creditors. McGoey claimed that the assets in question—homes, in this case—were held in trust by his wife and three children and hence beyond the reach of the courts. To prove this, he presented two signed documents. Unfortunately for him, he'd created the documents using typefaces that didn't exist at the time of the documents' purported creation.

The first trust document was dated 1995 and used the Cambria font. The second, dated to 2004, used Calibri. Cambria was designed in 2004, while Calibri was between 2002 and 2004. But neither became widespread until 2007, when they were bundled with Windows Vista and Office 2007. That software included seven different fonts with names beginning with "C"—the "C fonts"—that were optimized for ClearType antialiasing. With their release, Microsoft changed Word's default font from the venerable Times New Roman to Calibri. Using the new fonts instantly betrays that a document wasn't written any time prior to 2007.

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Posted in fonts, fraud, microsoft, office, Tech, Windows | Comments (0)

Reminder: Microsoft to end support for Windows 7 in 1-year from today

January 15th, 2019
A new reminder for those who are still holding on to the Windows 7 operating system—you have one year left until Microsoft ends support for its 9-year-old operating system. So it's time for you to upgrade your OS and say goodbye to Windows 7, as its five years of extended support will end on January 14, 2020—that's precisely one year from today. After that date, the tech giant will no longer

Posted in extended support, microsoft, Microsoft Windows 10, operating system, operating system security, windows 7, windows 7 support | Comments (0)

Windows 7 enters its final year of free support

January 14th, 2019
Licensing and support lifecycles are not really the easiest topics to illustrate.

Enlarge / Licensing and support lifecycles are not really the easiest topics to illustrate. (credit: Peter Bright)

Windows 7's five years of extended support will expire on January 14, 2020: exactly one year from today. After this date, security fixes will no longer be freely available for the operating system that's still widely used.

As always, the end of free support does not mean the end of support entirely. Microsoft has long offered paid support options for its operating systems beyond their normal lifetime, and Windows 7 is no different. What is different is the way that paid support will be offered. For previous versions of Windows, companies had to enter into a support contract of some kind to continue to receive patches. For Windows 7, however, the extra patches will simply be an optional extra that can be added to an existing volume license subscription—no separate support contract needed—on a per-device basis.

These Extended Security Updates (ESU) will be available for three years after the 2020 cut-off, with prices escalating each year.

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Posted in cloud, microsoft, patches, security, support, Tech, vdi, Virtualization, Windows, windows 7 | Comments (0)

Windows 10 will chew up another 7GB of disk space to make sure it can update

January 10th, 2019
Windows 10: Doing great things sometimes requires 7GB?

Enlarge / Windows 10: Doing great things sometimes requires 7GB? (credit: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The latest Windows 10 Insider build, number 18312, introduces a new feature wherein the operating system reserves a big old chunk of disk space, effectively expanding its on-disk footprint by another 7GB.

The storage reservation is to ensure that certain critical operations—most significantly, installing feature updates—always have enough free space available. Windows requires substantial extra disk space both during the installation of each feature update (as it unpacks all the files) and afterward (as the previous version of Windows is kept untouched, so that you can roll back if necessary). Lack of free space is one of the more common reasons for updates failing to install, so Microsoft is setting space available on a long-term basis, allowing those periodic updates to be sure they have what they need.

The exact amount reserved will depend on the optional features and language packs installed, but about 7GB will be typical. The reserved space isn't entirely lost during normal usage, with certain temporary files having their disk usage charged against reserved space rather than free space. Being temporary, such files can be safely discarded each time an update is available to reinstate the full reserved capacity.

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

Hackers Using Zero-Width Spaces to Bypass MS Office 365 Protection

January 10th, 2019
Security researchers have been warning about a simple technique that cybercriminals and email scammers are already being using in the wild to bypass security features of Microsoft Office 365, including Safe Links, which are originally designed to protect users from malware and phishing attacks. Safe Links has been included by Microsoft in Office 365 as part of its ATP (Advanced Threat Protection

Posted in Advanced Threat Protection, Email Phishing, hacking news, html code, microsoft, Microsoft Antivirus, Microsoft office, Microsoft Outlook, phishing attack, zero width spaces | Comments (0)

Lenovo takes on Microsoft’s Surface Studio with its own tilting all-in-one

January 9th, 2019

Microsoft's Surface Pro tablet stimulated a range of copycat systems from PC OEMs, with all the major PC companies coming out with their own riff on the tablet with kickstand and detachable keyboard/cover. It's now Surface Studio's turn to inspire clones.

Lenovo's Yoga A940 copies the central Surface Studio concept: it's an all-in-one PC with a large touchscreen mounted on a hinge so that it can be laid relatively flat (an angle of 25 degrees). Lenovo's display isn't as eye-catching as Microsoft's: it's a 27-inch display with a conventional 16:9 aspect ratio and either a 2560×1440 or 3840×2160 resolution. It supports stylus input from an active stylus using Wacom's AES technology. Lenovo even has its own riff on Microsoft's Surface Dial peripheral; on the left-hand side of the screen is a rotary control named the "Precision Dial," which can control features of various Adobe applications. At the top of the display is a 1080p webcam with an infrared camera for Windows Hello facial recognition.

While the screen is smaller, the base unit, containing the integrated PC, is quite a bit bigger than Microsoft's. It includes a desktop (65W) 8th generation Core i7 processor, so it should outpace the mobile chip found in the Surface Studio. On the other hand, the discrete GPU is an AMD Radeon RX 560, which is quite a bit slower than the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 in the Surface Studio 2. The A940 has up to 32GB of RAM, up to 512GB of PCIe SSD, and 2TB of hard disk storage.

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Posted in CES, hardware, Lenovo, microsoft, surface studio, Tech | Comments (0)

Microsoft, Kroger team up to fight Amazon with high-tech grocery stores

January 8th, 2019
Microsoft, Kroger team up to fight Amazon with high-tech grocery stores

Enlarge (credit: Microsoft/Kroger)

Big grocery stores are adapting to the changing times and the ever-increasing threat from Amazon. Kroger is the latest grocery giant to team up with a tech company—Microsoft—in order to give itself an edge. The two have come together to make a new high-tech grocery store experience, leveraging cloud computing, digital displays, and other technology to make the shopping experience more convenient for customers and employees.

Currently, two Kroger stores are being used to pilot the program—one in Monroe, Ohio, and one in Redmond, Washington—close to both companies' headquarters. Microsoft's Azure stores and processes in-store data, while new electronics change the ways that customers and employees interact with products. New digital displays replace paper tags and list products' prices, promotions, and nutrition information. They can more easily change when products move throughout the store or when Kroger makes pricing and promotion changes.

The displays will also change to show icons that correspond to nearby customers' grocery lists, making it easier for them to find what they need. As for employees, a new "pick-to-light" system lights up areas of shelves with needed products, letting employees fulfill curbside pickup orders more efficiently.

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Posted in amazon, azure, Biz & IT, grocery, Kroger, microsoft, online shopping | Comments (0)