Microsoft

Windows 10 upgrades getting scheduled, whether you like it or not

Windows 10 upgrades getting scheduled, whether you like it or not

If you thought getting reminded to upgrade your TV studio's computers to Windows 10, right in the middle of a weather report, was the worst, things are about to get hairier. Good news: you might no longer get a reminder to upgrade before the world ends on July 29. The bad news: that's because Microsoft is now automatically scheduling the upgrade on its own, without the user's knowledge and whether they like it or not. And if they've held out as long as this, chances are, they don't.

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Xbox One will now play your multi-disc Xbox 360 games

Xbox One will now play your multi-disc Xbox 360 games

Microsoft has been doing an excellent job of consistently adding more games to support the Xbox One's backwards compatibility feature since it debuted last year. It seems like every month a handful of popular Xbox 360 titles get added to the list, and with the latest update, multi-disc games are now supported too. In a post on Reddit, Microsoft's Larry Hryb revealed that the first game take advantage of this is Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut.

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Microsoft shutting down game-creation tool Project Spark on August 12

Microsoft shutting down game-creation tool Project Spark on August 12

Microsoft has pulled Project Spark from its online stores, making it no longer available for download on the Xbox One or PC. The "game"/creativity tool allowed users to, well, make their own video games as a free-to-play service. The company says Project Spark's servers will be shut down on August 12th, thus removing access to the game's online features.

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Windows 10 Mobile will soon have fingerprint support

Windows 10 Mobile will soon have fingerprint support

Some time this summer, Microsoft will add fingerprint support to Windows 10 Mobile, giving mobile users another security option. Microsoft recently confirmed the planned fingerprint support at the WinHEC conference, saying that it’ll be available as part of Windows Hello, the Windows 10 feature in which a device recognizes its owner using facial recognition and more.

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PC market needs the “WOW” factor to revitalize buyer’s interest

PC market needs the “WOW” factor to revitalize buyer’s interest

We've all heard the marketing spiels before. "The PC is dead". "This is the device that will replace your PC". Or even "this is the new PC". Whatever the tune, they almost all have the same chorus: replacing the venerable yet perhaps outdated computing devices, otherwise known as desktops and laptops, most of them running Windows versions of ages past. And maybe they're right. Maybe these will indeed replace those PCs. Maybe the sudden surge in popularity of 2-in-1's, detachable, and convertibles are going to save the dying PC market. Or maybe it will only for a short time, because what consumers these days are looking for aren't just PC replacement. Ultimately, they're looking for new, modern experiences.

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Sunrise was so good, Microsoft bought it: On August 31, it’s dead

Sunrise was so good, Microsoft bought it: On August 31, it’s dead

Sometimes, an app comes along that charms the socks off iOS and Android users by virtue of its simplicity and thoughtfulness. Doing that for calendars was Sunrise, handiwork of a start-up that got so much positive attention, Microsoft swept in with an open wallet and snatched the team up back in February last year.

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Surface Book and Pro 4 devices get another round of updates

Surface Book and Pro 4 devices get another round of updates

While Microsoft's Surface Book is one of the more innovative products that the company has released in a while, both it and the Surface Pro 4 have had a rocky time since their launch. Last month we saw a number of updates from the company that seemed to have taken care of many of the major problems that plagued users. Not all of them were solved, but a new firmware is hoping to take care of the last of the bugs.

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Surface Book 2 to have USB-C port, 4K screen

Surface Book 2 to have USB-C port, 4K screen

If you have been waiting for the next iteration of the Surface Book before sinking your teeth into Microsoft's first laptop, then your patience might be paying off. Or not. The Surface Book is undoubtedly an impressive piece of tech but it was still rough around the edges and suffered first gen problems. A new generation of Surface Books is expected for the second half of this year which could address many of those pain points. But the addition of a USB-C port and an upgrade to a 4K resolution screen might not exactly be what others would consider a significant improvement.

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Too late the hero: Windows 10 upgrade nag ends July 29

Too late the hero: Windows 10 upgrade nag ends July 29

While Microsoft's rollout of Windows 10 has generally been successful, it hasn't been without its fair share of controversy. From upgrades that change users' previously selected defaults to ones that quietly change security and privacy settings. But perhaps the most reviled part of the Windows 10 upgrade process is the nagware notifications that have plagued and irritated users to no end. Good news: Microsoft will be putting an end to that in about two months. But not because they've finally listened but because Windows 10's free upgrade is ending anyway.

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Smartphones next big thing: “Pre-Touch”

Smartphones next big thing: “Pre-Touch”

Androids and Windows Phones and iPhones rejoice, the next big thing you didn't know you wanted but now need is almost here. Pre-Touch. A system with which you'll find your fingers affecting your touchscreen device before they actually physically tap the surface. Sound familiar? It should. If you've ever used a Samsung Galaxy Note device before, you've seen their S Pen (stylus) and its ability to "hover" - appearing as a circle on-screen before it touches said screen. Now a project led by Ken Hinckley, principal Microsoft researcher, makes this feature far larger for your fingers and hands.

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The free Windows 10 upgrade gravy train is ending soon

The free Windows 10 upgrade gravy train is ending soon

The days of a free Windows 10 upgrade are numbered, with Microsoft confirming that, after July 29, you'll be expected to open your wallet if you want to bring an older Windows PC up to the cutting edge. As part of its efforts to get Windows 10 on as many PCs as possible, as soon as possible, Microsoft had launched the OS with a year-long free upgrade offer.

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Xbox 360’s Red Ring of Death cost Microsoft $1 billion

Xbox 360’s Red Ring of Death cost Microsoft $1 billion

The Xbox 360 is perhaps one of my favorite consoles of all time. There were so many great games that I enjoyed on it, and nearly a decade later, I still have my trusty 360 that still gets used from time to time. Of course, I don't have my original launch 360. That device died long ago, as did many other of the originals. After all, the dreaded Red Ring of Death was a serious issue that lasted for years.

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