Microsoft

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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Microsoft HoloLens specs include “walking dead” Atom CPU

Microsoft HoloLens specs include “walking dead” Atom CPU

When Intel suddenly revealed that it was discontinuing the Atom line of processors, the Internet was ablaze with questions about the future of devices. As underpowered and disappointing as the chips might be compared to the ARM processors they are competing against, Atoms do power a good number of current devices as well as some that are still in development. Apparently, one of those is Microsoft's HoloLens. Windows Central took a peek inside the mixed reality headset to find an Intel Atom x5, which raises the question of the device's future iterations.

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Windows 10 cuts Google Search and Chrome from Cortana

Windows 10 cuts Google Search and Chrome from Cortana

Cortona's web search abilities no longer include Google in a move Microsoft calls its "Personalized Search Experience in Windows 10." According to Ryan Gavin, Microsoft GM of Search and Cortana, "with Windows 10, we have invested in delivering comprehensive, end-to-end search capabilities that make Windows more personal, intuitive and helpful." It's become apparent that users who've put Google's Search into that mix are no longer welcome.

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Microsoft Flow to be an IFTTT for very serious business

Microsoft Flow to be an IFTTT for very serious business

Although not exactly a household name among consumers, IFTTT has become the darling of power users of all shapes and sizes, platforms, and devices. The web-based service basically takes inputs, triggers, and other events that can send a sort of signal and ties it with any other action. Taking a page from that strategy, Microsoft has silently launched Flow, a service that sounds and looks almost like IFTTT. But, as they say, looks can be deceiving, and that's because Flow is only available for Microsoft's business and education customers.

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Microsoft locks Cortana down to using Edge browser only

Microsoft locks Cortana down to using Edge browser only

Back in the early days of the Windows 10 upgrade rollout, Microsoft was put on the hot seat for silently changing previously configured user settings. Specifically for changing the default web browser to the new Microsoft Edge, even if the user previously had a different browser, like Chrome or Firefox, set in Windows 7 or 8. Now it seems that Microsoft will once again be unpopular for a somewhat related move. It is now locking down Cortana to only use Microsoft Edge and Bing, to the exclusion of other browsers and search engines, especially Google's.

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Windows 10 notification rains on local weather forecast

Windows 10 notification rains on local weather forecast

Have you upgraded to Windows 10 yet? If not, you probably get hounded by Windows to make the switch every day. Microsoft has grown more and more persistant in their efforts to get everyone to upgrade to their latest OS. Not only are home users getting bombarded with notifications, but businesses are too. This includes one local news station.

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This special edition Xbox One was customized by Iron Man

This special edition Xbox One was customized by Iron Man

Microsoft has released custom, limited edition Xbox One consoles to celebrate the releases of games like Forza 6 and Halo 5, but now they've let the one and only Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, have a turn at designing one. Just in time for the release of Captain America: Civil War in theaters, a white Stark Industries version of the console has debuted, complete with its own arc reactor.

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Microsoft just bought 10m synthetic DNA molecules for data storage

Microsoft just bought 10m synthetic DNA molecules for data storage

In the future, when you need to store more than what your 100 terabyte storage drive can handle, you wouldn't be looking to the cloud for answers, you'll be looking inside yourself. Sort of. This almost zen-like idea isn't just science fiction anymore. It is very well the future of computing. Or at least Microsoft believes so, to the point that it just purchases 10 million long oligonucleotides, a.k.a. DNA molecules, from San Francisco startup Twist Bioscience. These DNA molecules will be used in Microsoft's own research into making synthetic DNA a viable commercial data storage solution.

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