Category Archives: Microsoft

Windows XP? Your Days Numbered

by Categorized: Microsoft Date:

One week left. In seven days Microsoft will end support for it’s Windows XP operating system that dates back to 2002.

Do you have XP on your computer? You can download Microsoft’s upgrade assistant here. It will tell you if you computer can handle an upgrade to Windows 8.1. If it can’t, you can either keep going with your current system and it will be vulnerable to virus and malware attacks as Microsoft stops supporting the operating system, or you could buy a new computer with a current operating system.

While 28% of the world’s computers are running Windows XP according to NetMarketShare, that number is down 11% since last year. Microsoft has been telling customers for years that this date is coming. Among those customers are banks and their Automatic Teller Machines, of which 95% use XP according to Bloomberg.

Microsoft Drops Price Of Surface Tablet

by Categorized: Apple, Microsoft Tagged: , , , , Date:

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The tablet war continues as Microsoft seeks to gain more traction with a Surface price drop.

The entry level 32-gb Surface RT tablet, which previously retailed at $499.99 has been reduced by $150.00 to $349.99.

The entry level model does not include the Surface Type Cover. The $129.99 cover also functions as a keyboard for the device.

According to CNET, this price drop comes in the wake of price drops and special promotions that Microsoft offered to help the sales of the device.

Bloomberg reports that as of March, Microsoft had sold approximately 1.5 million surface devices. About 400,000 were Surface Pros and about one million Surface RTs. Despite these sales, the article states that Microsoft expected to sell 3 million surface devices.

At launch the pro version of the surface cost $899.00.

According to Bloomberg, Apple sold 22.3 million iPads in 2012.

Photo courtesy of AFP/Getty Images

“One Microsoft”

by Categorized: Microsoft Date:

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wants to get all Microsoft employees sailing in the same direction.

In a memo sent out, All Things D reports:

A memo to employees titled, “One Microsoft,” Ballmer wrote, “we are rallying behind a single strategy as one company — not a collection of divisional strategies” and that the changes “will enable us to execute even better on our strategy to deliver a family of devices and services that best empower people for the activities they value most and the enterprise extensions and services that are most valuable to business.”

Ballmer is re aligning the company so that there is more divisional cooperation, in hopes to reduce problems when one group acts at odds with the strategy of another.

Office For iPhone Is Here

by Categorized: Apple, Microsoft, mobile phones Date:

If you need Microsoft Office for your iPhone, your wait is over.

TUAW reports that the app is available for a free download. It does require a subscription to Office 365.

Here are the equipment requirements from the release notes:

* An Office 365 subscription is required to use this app.
* Compatible with iPhone 4, 4S, and 5, iPod Touch 5th Generation. Requires iOS 6.1 or later.
* Microsoft Office 2013 on a PC is needed for features like recent documents and resume reading.

How Much Are Tech Firms Cooperating With The Government?

by Categorized: Government, Microsoft Date:

Microsoft gives the United States government the it’s bug fixes before releasing them publicly according to a report from Bloomberg.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the world’s largest software company, provides intelligence agencies with information about bugs in its popular software before it publicly releases a fix, according to two people familiar with the process. That information can be used to protect government computers and to access the computers of terrorists or military foes.

Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft (MSFT) and other software or Internet security companies have been aware that this type of early alert allowed the U.S. to exploit vulnerabilities in software sold to foreign governments, according to two U.S. officials. Microsoft doesn’t ask and can’t be told how the government uses such tip-offs, said the officials, who asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Internet carriers were also worried that allowing government access to their networks for security reasons might open them up to liability and according to sources, asked for and received letters of exemption from the Justice Department. Those letters were not confirmed by spokespeople for the companies.

Electronic Entertainment Expo Recap: Day 3

by Categorized: games, Microsoft Date:

By Jesse Tucker

 

For day 1, click here, and day 2 here.

Although all of the big announcements are typically over before Day 3, sometimes a few interesting nuggets of info do come out, especially about specific games.  Here’s what we found out today.

  • Many new indie games were shown off at the Horizon Indie Game Conference, including Fez II.
  • Microsoft detailed their new achievement system for the Xbox One, explaining that achievements can be earned outside of games now, but only game achievements earn gamerscore.  Additionally, there will also now be “challenges” that are time-based, can be community based, and can apply across several games.  Developers will be able to continue adding achievements and challenges after a game’s launch.
  • E3 2014 will be held June 10-12 at the L.A. Convention Center, where it will remain until at least 2015.
  • New interviews, trailers, gameplay demos and more have been added for many of the games on the show floor.  Check out the full list with links to all the info in IGN’s guide.

Electronic Entertainment Expo Recap: Day 2

by Categorized: games, Microsoft Date:

By Jesse Tucker

 

For day 1, click here.

With all of the press conferences over, day 2 didn’t bring nearly as much excitement as day 1, but there were a few new announcements of note.

  • It has been discovered that the touch pad on the PlayStation 4 controller is clickable.  What function this may cover is yet to be seen, but it never hurts to have an extra button.
  • Sony showed off prototypes for PS4 peripherals, including a headset, controller charging station, and the PlayStation Eye camera (similar to the Xbox Kinect).  So far, it seems all of these items will have to be purchased separately from the console itself.  This news somewhat lessens the Ps4’s $100 price advantage over the Xbox One, which comes bundled with both the Kinect camera and a headset, provided those peripherals are important to you.
  • Nintendo revealed in a financial briefing that it plans to release a free-to-play game before April 2014.  No further details were released except that it would not be a Mario or Pokemon game.  Nintendo is experimenting with new forms of software marketing, and might also release low-priced games and those that require monthly subscription fees in the future.
  • New interviews, trailers, gameplay demos and more have been added for many of the games on the show floor.  Check out the full list with links to all the info in IGN’s guide.

Electronic Entertainment Expo Recap: Day 1

by Categorized: games, Microsoft, Uncategorized Date:

By Jesse Tucker

 

E3 is officially underway and all of the biggest game and hardware developers are showing off their new stuff.  This is a handy guide of highlights for those without the time to sit through hours of press conferences and interviews.

Sony Press Conference

Sony has revealed in their press conference that the PlayStation 4 will launch at $399.  Unlike the Xbox One, the PS4 will not restrict the buying, selling, or lending of used games in any way, and will never require an Internet connection to play single-player games.  Existing PlayStation Plus accounts will carry over to the PS4, but PlayStation Plus will now be required in order to play games online.  For previously revealed details on the PS4, check out PlayStation 4: Rumor & Reality.

Newly revealed PS4 exclusive games:

Killzone: Shadow Fall

inFAMOUS Second Son

The Order: 1886

Driveclub

For a constantly updating list of all confirmed and rumored PS4 games, check out IGN’s guide.

Microsoft Press Conference

Microsoft has revealed in their press conference that the Xbox One will launch in November and cost $499.  Xbox Live Gold members will now receive two free game downloads every month, beginning with Halo 3 and Assassin’s Creed II.  Xbox has also now partnered with streaming service twitch.tv so that gamers can stream their play sessions in real time and even view comments beside the game while they play.  For previously revealed details on the Xbox One, check out Xbox One: Rumor & Reality.  Microsoft also revealed a new, slightly smaller model of the Xbox 360.

Newly revealed Xbox One exclusive games:

Quantum Break

RYSE: Son Of Rome

Killer Instinct

Sunset Overdrive

Forza Motorsport 5

D4

Project Spark

Crimson Dragon

Dead Rising 3

Below

For a constantly updating list of all confirmed and rumored Xbox One games, check out IGN’s guide.

Nintendo

Although Nintendo did not hold a press conference this year, they did have an online presentation.

Newly revealed Nintendo games:

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Super Mario 3D World

Mario Kart 8

Super Smash Bros. (for Wii U and 3DS)

Other Games

There are tons of big games being revealed and detailed at this year’s E3.  Destiny, Titanfall, Metal Gear Solid V, Thief, Assassin’s Creed IV, Mirror’s Edge 2, Final Fantasy XV, Kingdom Hearts 3, The Witcher 3, Bayonetta 2, Battlefield 4, Dark Souls 2, The Elder Scrolls Online…  This is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are way too many games to list here, so check out IGN’s constantly updating guide to the games of E3 and see what catches your eye.

 

 

 

Microsoft Starts Program To Help College Students Pay For Computers

by Categorized: Microsoft Date:

By Matt Zuzolo

2X00076_9Microsoft announced a new program on Tuesday that allows college students to crowd-fund computer purchases through friends and family.

”Mashable”reports Microsoft has launched ”Chip In”, an alternative way to pay for computers, which are a necessity for most students in college.

“You think about all of these big purchases that we make throughout our lives and a lot of them come as gifts,” said Kristina Libby, head of Windows consumer PR for Microsoft, in an interview with ”Mashable”. “So, encouraging your community to help you purchase a large good — we think that it’s going to become a much more standard practice [across the whole industry].”

Microsoft launched Chip In to treat computers like a traditional graduation gift.

Although anyone can start the crowd-funding, only students with an email address from an institution of higher education can redeem the coupon code that allows them to buy the device, after the crowd-funding goal has been achieved.

Students are encouraged to share their participation in the campaign with friends and family, and Microsoft even contributes 10% to each participant.

In the past, Microsoft has had similar programs that seek to aid college students. With the purchase of a certain laptops, students would have received an Xbox 360.

Would you participate in this kind of program?

 

Windows 8 Update Brings Back The Start Button

by Categorized: Microsoft Date:

Windows users can breathe a sigh of relief, the Start button is back on the Windows 8.1 update.

ArsTechnica reports that the update, which will be rolled out in the fall, will have a more customizable start screen which includes the button.

The Start screen is also more respectful of personalization. In Windows 8, newly-installed applications just dump their tile or icons on the Start screen. This undermined the personal nature of the screen; you’d have your own, neatly organized apps, but then you’d install a desktop program and it’d just spew a dozen icons all over the place. In Windows 8.1, new apps don’t get to automatically stick a tile on the Start screen. They’ll still show up in the all programs app view, and they’ll be highlighted as new, but the decision to pin them rests with the user.