Microsoft is giving away a limited number of Windows Phones this weekend
Statistically speaking, if you own a smartphone, there's a high probability that it's running Android or iOS. Microsoft is taking steps to change that, and if you're intrigued by what the company is doing with its Windows Phone platform, you may want to stop by a Microsoft Store this weekend, provided it's not too far out of your way. Those who do will have a chance to win a free Windows Phone.
Windows XP is proving one tough bugger to kill. Perhaps that's because the majority using it have no intention of upgrading their ancient rigs, so it's simply easier to roll the dice. For the rest of you, if you're building a new PC, Windows 8.1 is better than it's ever been and continues to improve with each new update. Want to give it a spin? Now's a good time -- today's top deal is for Windows 8.1 64-bit for $85 with free shipping (normally $100 - use coupon code: [EMCPEPW22]). Unlike XP (RIP, old friend), Windows 8.1 is supported with monthly security updates.
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Just like you're supposed to do when dealing with the undead, Microsoft aimed for the head when it cut off support for Windows XP last month, the legacy operating system that's proving impossibly difficult to kill. Despite the risk of unpatched vulnerabilities (a pretty big deal) and no more tech support (largely a non-issue for consumers, but important for some businesses), Windows XP is installed on more PCs than Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows Vista combined.
Microsoft is planning to do away with the Nokia branding on smartphones
Today is the first business day with Stephen Elop serving as Executive Vice President of the Microsoft Devices Group, which now oversees an expanded devices business that includes Lumia devices from the Nokia acquisition. As part of the deal, Microsoft is free to use the Nokia brand for the next 10 years, though Microsoft is fairly eager to drop the brand from its smartphone offerings. Stephen Elop revealed as much (and more) and in a Q&A today.
Microsoft has warned Internet Explorer users of a remote code execution vulnerability (CVE-2014-1776 ) that is present in versions 6 through 11. The company is aware of limited, targeted attacks aimed at exploiting the vulnerability, the Redmond outfit said in a security advisory issued on Saturday.
Microsoft is allegedly prepping a second update to Windows 8.1
Through the release of Windows 8.1 last year and the minor update that followed it this month, Microsoft has made an effort to attune the latest version of Windows to the tastes of purists (of which there are plenty, going by Windows 8’s lackluster showing). The concessions, as we learnt at Build 2014 earlier this month, are going to continue, with the sorely missed Start Menu all set to make a comeback at an as-yet-unknown time in the future.
Microsoft has revealed its financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2014. During an investor call, the company reported that there was a gross revenue of $20.4 billion for the period of January 1 to March 31, 2014 with a net income of $5.66 billion,Gamasutra reported. While the Xbox One was not the primary topic of discussion, implications were made that Xbox One production might cease or slow down in the coming months.
Child protection laws prevent Cortana from interacting with kids under 13 years old
Here's something interesting -- if you're planning to purchase a Windows Phone device for your child who's not yet 13-years-old, be aware that the Cortana voice assistant software will give him or her the silent treatment. The revelation came in a Microsoft forum post in which a father asked why Cortana was telling his daughter she needs to be older to use that feature.
Microsoft and Nokia clear all remaining hurdles in mobile unit sale
It took a bit longer than anticipated -- regulatory hurdles require a lot of jumping and maneuvering, especially when it's on a global scale -- but just as originally planned, Microsoft now owns substantially all of Nokia's Devices & Services business (essentially the company's mobile division). The transaction also includes an agreement to license patents to Microsoft, Nokia announced.
Only a few days remain before Microsoft closes its acquisition of Nokia's mobile business
If things had gone exactly to plan, Microsoft would have tied the knot with Nokia by now. However, red tape is sometimes sticky business, especially when it's coming from all directions. Regardless, Microsoft today announced that it's completed all the necessary steps to finalize its acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Services business (mobile handsets and such, in other words). The transaction will be complete on Friday, April 25.