Maybe DirectX 12 is bound for Windows 7, after all
AMD Chief Gaming Scientist Richard Huddy made waves in the media when he said Windows 7 will not support DirectX 12. He made the comment in a matter-of-fact manner while speaking at the PDXLAN event, which was caught on video (and later pulled from YouTube). Whether or not that ends up being true remains to be seen, but as far as his comments go, AMD called them "speculative," adding that he "misspoke" on the topic.
This time around, Microsoft isn't repeating its past mistake and will instead do Lumia phone customers a solid by committing to a Windows 10 update for all Lumia Windows Phone 8 handsets. Microsoft made the promise in response to a customer's question on Twitter. The customer said he was interested in buying a Lumia 930 phone but wanted to know if it would get the update to Windows 10.
Make browser-based calls via Skype using a new plugin
If for whatever reason you don't want to download and install Skype to your PC but are still interested in making calls through the service, you now can (or soon will be able to). Microsoft today introduced Skype for Web, a beta plugin that allows you to make Skype calls from your browser without having the download and install the full software package. You can also use it to send and receive chat messages.
Microsoft this week started rolling out Clutter to Office 365 business customers to help them better manage their emails. Previously known as Delve, Microsoft's Clutter tool uses machine learning to de-clutter your inbox by moving lower priority messages into a dedicated folder. In theory, what gets left behind are more urgent emails that need your immediate attention.
The second Tuesday of every month is known as Patch Tuesday for Windows users, and if you didn't install yesterday's batch of security updates, there's a good reason why you might want to put it on your short-term list of things to do. One of the patches in yesterday's Tuesday roundup addresses a critical bug in Windows that went unnoticed for 19 years and is present in every version of the OS from Windows 95 on up.
Just ahead of the holidays, Microsoft today unveiled its new Work & Play Bundle, a collection of four premium consumer services packaged up and offered together for $199 per year. Specifically, The Work & Play Bundle includes subscriptions to Office 365 Home, Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Music Pass, and Skype Unlimited World + Wi-Fi, plus associated goodies like 1TB of OneDrive online storage (comes with Office 365 Home).
When Microsoft acquired Nokia's smartphone business for $7.2 billion earlier this year, part of the negotiated deal was that Microsoft could continue to use the Nokia branding for the next decade. Now just two months after officially closing the deal, Nokia is dead to Microsoft, now just a reminder of where it doesn't want to be in terms of market share. With that said, meet the budget-focused Microsoft Lumia 535, the company's first branded handset.
Whether you thought it was a great deal or not, Microsoft has announced that its acquisition of Minecraft developer Mojang is now official. Back in September, it was announced that Microsoft would purchase Mojang for $2.5 billion. A decision that generated some discussions as to whether or not this was a good deal for Microsoft.
Holiday season offer applies to both console and bundles
Sony’s Playstation 4 has been continuously outselling Microsoft’s Xbox One ever since the two eighth generation consoles first went on sale in November 2013. Even Microsoft’s decision to offer the Xbox One sans the Kinect has been largely ineffective in reversing this trend. Things are so bad for Microsoft that during the latest quarter the PS4 comfortably outsold both the Xbox One and Xbox 360. Under the circumstances, it is going to take something special from Microsoft to turn the corner during the holiday season.