You have to hand it to Microsoft for serving up some tantalizing offers as part of its "12 Days of Deals" promotion that's currently on its second to last day. There's been a little something for everyone, and today, that something is an HP Pavilion x2, a hybrid 2-in-1 PC that Microsoft marked down to $199 from its original price tag of $329. It's also a Signature Edition system, meaning there's no third-party bloatware.
Around one out of 10 Windows 10 users ran into trouble when trying to install a update intended to fix a problem that was causing Explorer.exe to frequently crash following an upgrade to Windows 10 Build 9879. The problem was further exacerbated by the fact that Microsoft said it didn't have a new build planned until early 2015. If you're one of the people who ran into trouble, here's a heads up that Microsoft has released a hotfix to address the issue.
There are several interesting things taking place in the leaked Windows 10 build, the one that Microsoft is apparently super calm about making the rounds. One that we wanted to touch a bit more on is a new Xbox app. This is something that Microsoft is still working on, as the app clearly states when it's fired up, but the Redmond outfit is so excited about it that it wanted to give early users a sneak peek.
Voice over IP communication is entering a new era, one that will hopefully help break down language barriers. Or so that's the plan. Using innovations from Microsoft Research, the first phase of the Skype Translator preview program is kicking off today with two spoken languages -- Spanish and English. It will also feature over 40 instant messaging languages for Skype customers who have signed up via the Skype Translator sign-up page and are using Windows 8.1.
Excuse us as we do a double take, the only normal reaction to Microsoft being totally chill with a new build of Windows 10 being leaked to the public before its intended release. We're referring to Build 9901, which contains a whole bunch of consumer-specific features and improvements, not all of them working. It leaked to the web over the weekend, and Microsoft's response is refreshingly relaxed.
This holiday shopping season has been highlighted by numerous deals on lots of different items, though the sales didn't end after Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Several retailers continue to pitch discounts, including Microsoft, which is in the home stretch of its 12 Days of Deals promotion. Effective today (and today only), Microsoft is offering the Asus Transformer Book Flip (TP500LA) Signature Edition Laptop for a comparatively low $299.
Microsoft plans to shed light on the consumer side of Windows 10 at a special event on January 21, 2015. If the release of the consumer preview can’t come soon enough for you, there is now a new leaked preview build that you can turn to for some valuable clues as to the kind of consumer experience that the Redmond-based company has in mind with the upcoming operating system.
Buggy updates caused problems with some Windows rigs
It's been a bit of a rough month for Microsoft and various Windows users, at least in terms of software updates. It started with Microsoft telling Windows 10 Preview users to uninstall Office prior to applying Patch Tuesday updates or else the installer would fail. However, it's not only uses of pre-release software who ran into trouble. Microsoft has gone and pulled two security patches because they were causing problems for some users.
You can now add money to your account using Bitcoin
After spending all that time collecting hardware and setting up virtual coin mining machines, you're now ready to cash in, but where can you spend your cryptocurrency? We've seen a rise in the number places accepting Bitcoin over the past year, and believe it or not, Microsoft has now jumped on the bandwagon as well. Sort of, anyway. You can now use Bitcoin to add money to a Microsoft account, and in turn buy apps and other digital goods from its online stores.
Microsoft's Gabriel Aul of the Windows Preview team tweeted out some inconvenient news to Windows 10 users who have Office installed. In order to install the crop of updates for this month's Patch Tuesday, Windows 10 users will have to first uninstall Office, or the installer will fail. Once all the security patches are applied, users are free to then reinstall Office on their Windows 10 rigs.