One of the features that Microsoft put into Windows Phone devices when Windows Phone 8 launched a few years back was Rooms. The Rooms feature was an extension for the People hub that let users have chats, share photos, calendars, and other items in a private group. The feature was never very popular with users.
Apparently the Xbox One doesn't have enough software yet. It would appear that the next wave for the platform is to open the doors in a big way for developers, reaching out to these developers to get them to bring all manner of software to the device. Developers are said to be able to run beta apps for the Xbox One community in the near future, and Microsoft will bring a Software Developer Kit (SDK) to developers in May in preview mode.
Microsoft has thrown open its iOS Office apps to third-party cloud services, allowing any online storage provider to burrow inside, and with the same support for other mobile and browser versions in the pipeline. The feature, launching today on the iPhone and iPad versions of Office, but coming for Office for Windows 10 and for Android in time, should mean that no matter which cloud store you prefer - Box, iCloud, or something else - it should show up in the "Locations" file picker. Meanwhile, there's also new Office Online integration support, with Microsoft hoping other services will bake the apps into their platforms.
From time to time, Microsoft is able to come up with video ads that don't manage to embarrass itself while waging its marketing war against Apple. Remember the Cortana versus Siri ad about speakers? Now that one was done in good taste and has a pretty amusing punchline. Sadly, there are times when Redmond comes out with a video that makes you wonder what the marketing team has been smoking, like this new Cortana vid that is sure to strike a nerve with some members of the female gender.
Gone are the days when gaming consoles were just that, dedicated computers made for consuming games. Now they have become content creation devices as well that have even turned some gamers into Internet superstars. In the Xbox One world, this is made possible with the Upload Studio app. Today, Microsoft is pushing out a major update to the software that gives users a lot more control and even more options to let their creative juices flow and put together their next big Internet show.
With Windows 10, you’ll have more options for password protection. In a recent blog post, Microsoft announced they’ll support new Fast Identity Online Alliance (FIDO) standards, which they also helped contribute to. With FIDO 2.0, you’ll have wider availability to use biometrics, which means your next-generation PC might have some biometric scanners built right in. In fact, it could make that Synaptics touchpad, which also supports new FIDO guidelines, a must-have accompaniment for Windows 10, if you’re of the mind that fingerprints are better than passwords.
In the software security community, a debate rages around when and how to disclose vulnerabilities and bugs. One camp wants a fixed deadline in order to somewhat force software vendors to fix their bugs before word goes out to the public. Others want a slightly more secretive approach that will only disclose such issues if and only if a fix is already ready. Google's Project Zero has adopted a hard 90-day stance but now it's yielding just a wee bit to address some complaints against its policy.
While Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphone are often seen as one of the flagship Android devices, the manufacturer's default apps that come with the TouchWiz interface leave a lot to be desired. Mostly the ability to delete them. The apps do little more than take up storage space and slow the operating system down; in other words, bloatware. However, that trend may finally change with the S6, as an insider report from SamMobile is saying Samsung will drop its own apps in favor of shipping the smartphone with Microsoft offerings.
In 2014, Microsoft made its OneNote 2013 note-taking software free for personal use, something that was well received but not without its restrictions. To do away with those restrictions, you'd have to get a paid edition, something that Microsoft has decided to do away with entirely. From now on, OneNote 2013 will have a bunch of those previously restricted features available on the free edition (for personal users, obviously), something Microsoft said is in response to user requests received over past months.
If you thought Microsoft's adoption of N-Trig active digitizer technology in the latest Surface Pro 3 was a one time diversion, this latest rumor would perhaps banish that theory. Microsoft has reportedly fully acquired the Israel-based company, after gaining a 6 percent ownership through an investment back in 2009. Redmond is said to have spent at least $200 million on this purchase, which hints that Microsoft has plans to capitalize on the tech, probably for future iterations of its tablets and maybe even for new types of devices.