Archive for the ‘microsoft’ 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.

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

Microsoft wants Azure to be the multiplayer server solution for every platform

November 14th, 2018
<em>Sea of Thieves</em> is a game already using Azure for its server hosting and scaling.

Enlarge / Sea of Thieves is a game already using Azure for its server hosting and scaling. (credit: Rare)

Microsoft today launched a preview of PlayFab Multiplayer Servers, a new Azure-based service giving game developers dynamic, on-demand scaling of multiplayer servers.

Microsoft bought Seattle-based PlayFab earlier this year with a view to using it to expand Azure's reach in the gaming world. PlayFab is building all the cloud-based infrastructure needed for today's games: matchmaking (using the same algorithms as Xbox Live to try to group players of similar skill together), leaderboards, server hosting, player identity/profile management, commerce, and so on. Broadly speaking, the intent of PlayFab is to let games developers focus on their games, taking care of the server-side work for them. PlayFab's services are platform agnostic, and Microsoft has preserved this aspect: there are SDKs for Xbox, Windows, PlayStation, Switch, iOS, and Android.

At the time of the purchase, PlayFab ran atop Amazon's AWS. Some parts still do, but others have moved to Microsoft's own Azure. The Multiplayer Server feature, released in preview today, is one of the services on Azure. Microsoft has more Azure data centers in more parts of the world than Amazon or Google, which in turn means that Azure servers should generally be closer to where the players are. This should ensure lower latency and a better gaming experience for games on those servers.

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Posted in azure, cloud, development, Games, Gaming & Culture, microsoft, Multiplayer, Nintendo, playfab, PlayStation, servers, Sony, Switch, Tech, XBox | Comments (0)

63 New Flaws (Including 0-Days) Windows Users Need to Patch Now

November 14th, 2018
It's Patch Tuesday once again…time for another round of security updates for the Windows operating system and other Microsoft products. This month Windows users and system administrators need to immediately take care of a total of 63 security vulnerabilities, of which 12 are rated critical, 49 important and one moderate and one low in severity. <!-- adsense --> Two of the vulnerabilities

Posted in hacking news, microsoft, Microsoft Patch Tuesday, Microsoft update, Security patch Update, Vulnerability, Windows 10, Zero-Day Vulnerability | 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.

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

Keyboard and mouse controls finally hit Xbox One this week

November 12th, 2018
Lap-based keyboard-and-mouse solutions like the Razer Turret will soon be fully compatible with the Xbox One.

Enlarge / Lap-based keyboard-and-mouse solutions like the Razer Turret will soon be fully compatible with the Xbox One. (credit: Razer)

It has now been two years and four months since Microsoft's Phil Spencer first told PCGames that keyboard-and-mouse support for the Xbox One was "not years away, it’s more like months away." In any case, the feature is now just two days away, as Microsoft announced this weekend that support for the traditionally PC-based control scheme would be rolling out to Xbox One players on Wednesday, November 14.

In addition to Fortnite and Warframe, which should receive the new control options this week, Microsoft said the following Xbox One games would receive mouse-and-keyboard support in November:

  • Bomber Crew
  • Deep Rock Galactic
  • Strange Brigade
  • Vermintide 2
  • War Thunder
  • X-Morph Defense

Seven more titles will add mouse-and-keyboard support "in the future," according to Microsoft:

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, Keyboard, microsoft, Mouse, Xbox One | 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.

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

Microsoft’s special Costco Surface Go is now available to all

November 7th, 2018
Promotional image of a tablet device.

Enlarge / Surface Go. (credit: Microsoft)

Surface Go is Microsoft's cheapest Surface 2-in-1 available: $399 gets you a Surface Go with 4GB RAM and 64GB of eMMC storage. But the next step up in specs was a lot more expensive: it takes an extra $150 to double the RAM to 8GB and replace the 64GB eMMC with a 128GB SSD, a change that should provide a healthy boost in disk performance.

Strangely, there was no model that split the difference; a 4GB machine with 128GB SSD would be a lot more practical for many users. That is, unless you chose to buy your Surface Go at Costco, where a special 4GB/128GB system was sold. Now, however, that spec is available to all through the Microsoft Store, for $499.

While 4GB is a little miserly in the year 2018, it's not unprecedented at this price point. For a system used primarily for Web browsing, Microsoft Office, and media streaming, it's just about acceptable—and with the relatively weak processor in the machine, you likely wouldn't want to do much beyond those tasks anyway. The faster and larger SSD will ensure there's abundant space for music, photos, and videos without having to micromanage storage.

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Posted in hardware, microsoft, Surface, surface go, Tech | Comments (0)

Satya Nadella: The cloud is going to move underwater

November 1st, 2018
Lowering <em>Leona Philpot</em>, Microsoft's first underwater serverpod, into the water.

Lowering Leona Philpot, Microsoft's first underwater serverpod, into the water. (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says that underwater server farms are part of the company's plans for future data centers.

Microsoft has been experimenting with underwater servers for some time. Project Natick put a server pod underwater off the coast of California in 2016. Naturally enough, the pod uses water cooling, dumping waste heat into the ocean around it. It's designed as a sealed unit, deployed for five years before being brought back up to the surface and replaced. Since then, Microsoft has deployed a larger pod off the coast of Scotland.

Speaking at the company's Future Decoded conference in London, Nadella said that undersea deployments are "the way [Microsoft] will think about data center regions and expansion." He cites proximity to humans as a particular advantage: about 50 percent of the world's population lives within 120 miles of a coast. Putting servers in the ocean means that they can be near population centers, which in turn ensures lower latencies. Low latencies are particularly important for real-time services, including Microsoft's forthcoming Xcloud game streaming service.

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Posted in datacenters, environment, microsoft, Project Natick, Tech | Comments (0)

Unpatched MS Word Flaw Could Allow Hackers to Infect Your Computer

October 30th, 2018
Cybersecurity researchers have revealed an unpatched logical flaw in Microsoft Office 2016 and older versions that could allow an attacker to embed malicious code inside a document file, tricking users into running malware onto their computers. Discovered by researchers at Cymulate, the bug abuses the 'Online Video' option in Word documents, a feature that allows users to embedded an online

Posted in hacking news, microsoft, Microsoft office, Microsoft office 2016, Microsoft Office Exploit, Microsoft Office Vulnerability, Microsoft Word, Vulnerability | Comments (0)

Windows Built-in Antivirus Gets Secure Sandbox Mode – Turn It ON

October 29th, 2018
Microsoft Windows built-in anti-malware tool, Windows Defender, has become the very first antivirus software to have the ability to run inside a sandbox environment. Sandboxing is a process that runs an application in a safe environment isolated from the rest of the operating system and applications on a computer. So that if a sandboxed application gets compromised, the technique prevents its

Posted in anti malware, Anti-virus, antimalware, antivirus, Antivirus Sandbox, Best Antivirus, cybersecurity, microsoft, Microsoft Antivirus, sandbox, sandbox bypass, sandboxing, windows antivirus, Windows Defender | Comments (0)