microsoft http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/190/ en Microsoft Flips Kill Switch on EU Browser Ballot http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_flips_kill_switch_eu_browser_ballot_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/microsoft_sign_7.jpg" alt="Microsoft Sign" title="Microsoft Sign" width="228" height="138" style="float: right;" />Has it been five years already?</h3> <p>Technology news can make you feel old. To wit, it may not seem like <strong>five years has passed since Microsoft agreed to a five-year deal in which Windows users in Europe would be offered a choice of browser upon first boot</strong>, but that commitment is not behind the Redmond outfit. Having lived up to its end of the deal, Microsoft has yanked the so-called browser ballot, which may not have done much anyway.</p> <p>The browser ballot came about following an investigation by the EU's Competition Commission into Microsoft's bundling of Internet Explorer with Windows. Microsoft agreed to show users in Europe a browser screen with download links to other browsers for a period of five years, though the company still faced a fine -- a technical oversight in Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 inadvertently removed the ballot screen in 2013, resulting in a $732 million penalty for Microsoft.</p> <p>While it's been costly for Microsoft, there's not much evidence that the ballot screen did much good for other browsers. As pointed out by <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/article/2860886/microsoft-nixes-eu-browser-ballot-screen.html" target="_blank"><em>ComputerWorld</em></a>, Opera lost 27 percent of its global usage share between December 2009 and November 2014, based on stats by StatCounter. Firefox fell even harder, dropping 42 percent of its share. There's a bit of irony there, as Opera Software and Mozilla were most critical of what they perceived as Microsoft's unfair advantage in the browser wars.</p> <p>What does the EU think? In an email to <em>ComputerWorld</em>, the EU called the browser ballot a "successful remedy," noting that it saw 795 million views resulting in 165 million browser installs.</p> <p>Image Source: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/scobleizer/2264764769" target="_blank">Flickr (Robert Scoble)</a></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_flips_kill_switch_eu_browser_ballot_2014#comments browser ballot eu european commission european union microsoft Software Windows News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:55:05 +0000 Paul Lilly 29116 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Marks Down HP Pavilion x2 Hybrid PC to $199 http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_marks_down_hp_pavilion_x2_hybrid_pc_199_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/hp_pavilion_x2.jpg" alt="HP Pavilion x2" title="HP Pavilion x2" width="228" height="107" style="float: right;" />Another solid gift idea</h3> <p>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 <strong>HP Pavilion x2, a hybrid 2-in-1 PC that Microsoft marked down to $199</strong> from its original price tag of $329. It's also a Signature Edition system, meaning there's no third-party bloatware.</p> <p>The Pavilion x2 sports a 10.1-inch IPS display with an LED backlight, 1280x800 resolution, and 10-finger multi-touch support. It's powered by an Intel Atom Z3736F processor (1.33GHz to 2.16GHz) and 2GB of DDR3L-RS 1333MHz RAM. Other features include 32GB of eMMC storage, microSD card reader, USB 2.0, micro HDMI, headphone/microphone combo, HD webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi (Miracast enabled), Bluetooth, and Windows 8.1 with Bing (32-bit).</p> <p>Those aren't the kind of specs that will knock your socks off, though respectable for the money. It also comes with a detachable keyboard and a year of Office 356 Personal, the latter of which is a $70 value.</p> <p>Interested? <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/HP-Pavilion-x2-10-k077nr-Signature-Edition-2-in-1-PC/productID.309725500?icid=12Days_ModA_Day11_HP2" target="_blank">Go here</a> to pick one up. And if not, here's a heads up that tomorrow's deal -- the last of the promotion -- is going to be half off a <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/12-Month-Xbox-Music-Pass/productID.258412400?icid=12Days_D12_XMusic" target="_blank">12-month Xbox Music Pass</a> ($49.90 instead of $99.90).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_marks_down_hp_pavilion_x2_hybrid_pc_199_2014#comments 12 days of deals 2-in-1 Hardware hp pavilion x2 laptop microsoft notebook tablet News Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:47:53 +0000 Paul Lilly 29113 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Issues Hotfix for Windows 10 Update Issue, 12 Percent of Users Rejoice http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_issues_hotfix_windows_10_update_issue_12_percent_users_rejoice_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_fix.jpg" alt="Windows Fix" title="Windows Fix" width="228" height="208" style="float: right;" />All is good again</h3> <p>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 <strong>Microsoft has released a hotfix</strong> to address the issue.</p> <p><a href="http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_tp-windows_update/how-to-install-windows-10-technical-preview-update/7454922c-cbcf-49f7-ba52-a2d85a5b4bdc" target="_blank">According to Microsoft</a>, the problem affected about 12 percent of PCs when installing the update. In those instances, the update would fail to install, and after doing some digging, Microsoft determined there were two underlying bugs that needed squashed.</p> <p>The first is that in Build 9879, Microsoft introduced some new System Compression code that systems with SSDs can take advantage of to reduce disk usage by the OS. However, the logic for low-space detection would get inverted in some instances, and Windows compresses automatically as a background operation.</p> <p>A second bug appeared on PCs that had system compression enabled. It would muck with how the file system tracks deletes, causing the installer to think the temp files failed to extract correctly.</p> <p>There was a workaround for the problem, though now the easiest solution is to apply the new hotfix that's now available through Windows Update, according to Microsoft's <a href="https://twitter.com/GabeAul/status/544612956198039553" target="_blank">Gabriel Aul</a>.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_issues_hotfix_windows_10_update_issue_12_percent_users_rejoice_2014#comments hotfix microsoft operating system OS patch Security Software windows 10 News Tue, 16 Dec 2014 16:27:49 +0000 Paul Lilly 29098 at http://www.maximumpc.com Xbox App Pops Up in Leaked Windows 10 Build http://www.maximumpc.com/xbox_app_pops_leaked_windows_10_build_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/xbox_logo.jpg" alt="Xbox Logo" title="Xbox Logo" width="228" height="228" style="float: right;" />Yes console games, we can all get along</h3> <p>There are several interesting things taking place in the <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/leaked_windows_10_build_9901_packs_slew_ui_changes543">leaked Windows 10 build</a>, the one that Microsoft is apparently <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_turns_new_leaf_isnt_bothered_windows_10_leaks_2014">super calm</a> about making the rounds. One that we wanted to touch a bit more on is a <strong>new Xbox app</strong>. 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.</p> <p>The folks over at <a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/14/7389563/windows-10-xbox-app-cortana-features" target="_blank"><em>The Verge</em></a> have been playing around with Xbox app. They say it appears to act as a gateway into the entire Xbox ecosystem -- you'll have access to achievements, your friends list, activity feeds, and the Store. And since it's an extremely early version, there's speculation that the final release might include SmartGlass integration as well.</p> <p>As our sister site <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/windows-10-leaked-build-reveals-new-xbox-app/" target="_blank"><em>PC Gamer</em> points out</a>, there's a chance this could be what Microsoft's Phil Spencer was referring to a week ago when he said it was "time for us to talk about gaming on Windows." We're crossing our fingers that Spencer was hinting at something more than an Xbox app -- as cool as that is, accessing our Xbox achievements on our Windows rigs isn't exactly game changing.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/xbox_app_pops_leaked_windows_10_build_2014#comments app Gaming microsoft operating system OS Software Windows windows 10 xbox News Mon, 15 Dec 2014 19:30:13 +0000 Paul Lilly 29095 at http://www.maximumpc.com Skype Will Begin Translating Your Speech Today http://www.maximumpc.com/skype_will_begin_translating_your_speech_today_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/skype_translator.jpg" alt="Skype Translator" title="Skype Translator" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />¿Cómo estás?</h3> <p>Voice over IP communication is entering a new era, one that will hopefully help break down language barriers. Or so that's the plan. <strong>Using innovations from Microsoft Research, the first phase of the Skype Translator preview program is kicking off today with two spoken languages</strong> -- 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.</p> <p>It also works on preview copies of Windows 10. What it does is translate voice input from someone speaking English or Spanish into text or voice. The technology relies on <a href="http://blogs.skype.com/2014/12/15/skype-translator-how-it-works/" target="_blank">machine learning</a>, so the more it gets used, the better it will be at translating audio and text.</p> <p>"This is just the beginning of a journey that will transform the way we communicate with people around the world. Our long-term goal for speech translation is to translate as many languages as possible on as many platforms as possible and deliver the best Skype Translator experience on each individual platform for our more than 300 million connected users," Skype stated in a <a href="http://blogs.skype.com/2014/12/15/skype-translator-preview-an-exciting-journey-to-a-new-chapter-in-communication/" target="_blank">blog post</a>.</p> <p>Translations occur in "near real-time," Microsoft says. In addition, there's an on-screen transcript of your call. Given the many nuances of various languages and the pace at which communication changes, this is a pretty remarkable feat that Microsoft's attempting to pull off. There's ton of upside as well, from the business world to use in classrooms.</p> <p>If you want to test it out yourself -- and Microsoft hopes you do, as it's looking for feedback at this early stage -- you can register for the program by <a href="http://www.skype.com/en/translator-preview/?intcmp=blogs-_-generic-click-_-skype-translator-preview-an-exciting-journey-to-a-new-chapter-in-communication" target="_blank">going here</a>.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/G87pHe6mP0I" width="620" height="349" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/skype_will_begin_translating_your_speech_today_2014#comments microsoft Skype Software Translation VOIP News Mon, 15 Dec 2014 17:57:41 +0000 Paul Lilly 29092 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Turns New Leaf, Isn't Bothered By Windows 10 Leaks http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_turns_new_leaf_isnt_bothered_windows_10_leaks_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_10_1.jpg" alt="Windows 10" title="Windows 10" width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" />It's all good in Redmond's hood</h3> <p>Excuse us as we do a double take, the only normal reaction to <strong>Microsoft being totally chill with a new build of Windows 10 being leaked to the public</strong> 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 <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/leaked_windows_10_build_9901_packs_slew_ui_changes543" target="_blank">leaked to the web over the weekend</a>, and Microsoft's response is refreshingly relaxed.</p> <p>"@GabeAul Im really enjoying your MS/'s attitude regarding preview/leaked builds. It's refreshing," Twitter user Brian Haslip <a href="https://twitter.com/blackroseMD1/status/544221580445110272" target="_blank">posted</a> to the microblogging site.</p> <p>In response, the longtime Microsoft veteran <a href="https://twitter.com/GabeAul/status/544222969212325888" target="_blank">tweeted back</a>, "How could we be upset about lots of people wanting to try our new stuff? We'd prefer you stick to official builds though," followed by a smiling emoticon.</p> <p>That's a different type of response than we're used to hearing from Microsoft. Consider that in the past, Microsoft would warn users that pre-release versions of Windows 7 could contain malware, an honest statement but also one that was intended to scare users away from playing with leaked builds.</p> <p>This time around, Microsoft seems fine with the curiosity, perhaps because it needs Windows 10 to be a smashing success. The only thing Aul warns is that "If you install 9901, the next build will notcome to you automatically. You'll have to install it via ISO."</p> <p>Duly noted.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_turns_new_leaf_isnt_bothered_windows_10_leaks_2014#comments Gabriel Aul microsoft operating system OS Software windows 10 News Mon, 15 Dec 2014 17:19:20 +0000 Paul Lilly 29091 at http://www.maximumpc.com Asus Transformer Book Flip Signature Edition Now Just $299 at Microsoft Store http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_transformer_book_flip_signature_edition_now_just_299_microsoft_store_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/asus_transformer_book_flip.jpg" alt="Asus Transformer Book Flip" title="Asus Transformer Book Flip" width="228" height="111" style="float: right;" />Great price on a snazzy 2-in-1 hybrid</h3> <p>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), <strong>Microsoft is offering the Asus Transformer Book Flip (TP500LA) Signature Edition Laptop for a comparatively low $299</strong>.</p> <p>That's $200 off its normal selling price of $499 and representative of the kinds of ongoing deals that are out there. This happens to be one of the better ones, as the discounted price approaches budget territory for a decently spec'd 15.6-inch 2-in-1 device.</p> <p>The Asus Transformer Book Flip's HD touchscreen display is powered by an Intel Core i3 4030U processor and 4GB of RAM. It also boasts a 500GB HDD, 2-in-1 card reader, two USB 2.0 ports, a single USB 3.0 port, HDMI output, headphone/microphone combo port, GbE LAN, webcam, 802.11n Wi-Fi (Miracast enabled), Bluetooth, and Windows 8.1 64-bit.</p> <p>As its name implies, the Transformer Book Flip's display can flip to any angle from 0 to 360 degrees, allowing you to use it as a laptop or a tablet.</p> <p>It's available now at the <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/ASUS-Transformer-Book-Flip-TP500LA-Signature-Edition-Laptop/productID.307250200?icid=12days_Day8_Flip" target="_blank">Microsoft Store for $299</a>, or $379 with Office 365.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/asus_transformer_book_flip_signature_edition_now_just_299_microsoft_store_2014#comments 12 days of deals 2-in-1 asus Hybrid laptop microsoft microsoft store mobile notebook OEM rigs News Mon, 15 Dec 2014 16:10:39 +0000 Paul Lilly 29089 at http://www.maximumpc.com Leaked Windows 10 Build (9901) Packs Slew of UI Changes http://www.maximumpc.com/leaked_windows_10_build_9901_packs_slew_ui_changes543 <!--paging_filter--><h3>A precursor to the Windows 10 Consumer Preview</h3> <p><strong>Microsoft plans to shed light on the consumer side of Windows 10 at a special event on January 21, 2015</strong>. 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.</p> <p><a href="http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/14/7389563/windows-10-xbox-app-cortana-features" target="_blank">Build 9901</a>, which began circulating the web earlier today, is the <a href="http://www.neowin.net/news/windows-10-build-9901-has-leaked" target="_blank">third Windows 10 test build to have leaked onto the internet this month</a>. Even though it is technically a “technical preview”, it is notable because it <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEbiHIFTqIE" target="_blank">contains a number of new consumer-specific features and improvements (video)</a>, not all of which appear to be functional.</p> <h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/win9901.jpg" alt="Windows 10 Build 9901" title="Windows 10 Build 9901" width="620" height="407" /></h3> <p>Just to the right of the Start Button on the taskbar, there is a search bar that can be used to summon Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana. App settings can now be accessed from within the Modern apps themselves instead of the Charms bar, which no longer includes a settings option. Further, Modern apps also include an improved task bar with new-look minimize, maximize, menu (“hamburger” instead of window) and close buttons.</p> <p>This build also includes a bunch of new apps. Chief among them are a new Xbox app and overhauled Windows Store (beta) app that includes music, video, games and apps all in one place.</p> <p><em>Image Credit: Collection Book <br /></em></p> <p><em>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/leaked_windows_10_build_9901_packs_slew_ui_changes543#comments consumer preview cortana microsoft operating system OS Software windows 10 windows 10 technical preview build 9901 xbox News Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:31:10 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 29085 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Yanks Two Patch Tuesday Updates After Problems Arise http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_yanks_two_patch_tuesday_updates_after_problems_arise_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_bug.jpg" alt="Windows Bug" title="Windows Bug" width="228" height="225" style="float: right;" />Buggy updates caused problems with some Windows rigs</h3> <p>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 <a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_tells_windows_10_users_uninstall_office_prior_applying_patch_tuesday_updates_2014">uninstall Office</a> 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. <strong>Microsoft has gone and pulled two security patches because they were causing problems for some users</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/microsoft-pulls-two-updates-patch/" target="_blank">According to <em>InfoSecurity</em></a>, the first incident involves KB 3004394, a patch that prevented some Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 machines from being able to install future updates. Those affected are advised to install an update title KB 3024777, which will remove the original patch from their systems.</p> <p>The second issue involves Exchange Server 2010 SP3 Update Rollup 8. A day after it was released, Microsoft had to pull it offline while it works on putting out a new version.</p> <p>"The issue impacts the ability of Outlook to connect to Exchange, thus we are taking the action to recall the RU8 to resolve this problem," Microsoft said. "We will deliver a revised RU8 package as soon as the issue can be isolated, corrected, and validated."</p> <p>Microsoft bundles security fixes and bug patches into a monthly roll out on the second Tuesday of every month known as Patch Tuesday. Typically they fix a bunch of issues, but every so often, they cause trouble themselves, as is the case here.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_yanks_two_patch_tuesday_updates_after_problems_arise_2014#comments microsoft Patch Tuesday Software windows 7 News Fri, 12 Dec 2014 18:24:32 +0000 Paul Lilly 29084 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Bets on Bitcoin, Begins Accepting Cryptocurrency http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_bets_bitcoin_begins_accepting_cryptocurrency_windows_store_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/bitcoin_1.jpg" alt="Bitcoin" title="Bitcoin" width="228" height="152" style="float: right;" />You can now add money to your account using Bitcoin</h3> <p>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. <strong>You can now use Bitcoin to add money to a Microsoft account</strong>, and in turn buy apps and other digital goods from its online stores.</p> <p>The always attentive folks at <a href="http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&amp;jsonp=vglnk_14183179590387&amp;key=2b0adaafa9ad8a29fede7758fada1730&amp;libId=24bc4489-05de-4fbc-a51a-5b2aee9ebd61&amp;loc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pcworld.com%2Farticle%2F2858612%2Fmicrosoft-starts-accepting-bitcoin-payments.html&amp;v=1&amp;out=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.reddit.com%2Fr%2FBitcoin%2Fcomments%2F2oxrx7%2Fmicrosoft_beat_google_to_accepting_bitcoin%2F&amp;ref=http%3A%2F%2Fnews.google.com%2F&amp;title=Microsoft%20starts%20accepting%20Bitcoin%20payments%20for%20Windows%20Store%2C%20Xbox%2C%20Windows%20Phone%20%7C%20PCWorld&amp;txt=was%20discovered%20on%20Thursday%20by%20Reddit%20users%20on%20the%20Bitcoin%20subreddit" target="_blank"><em>Reddit</em> brought attention</a> to a help page on Microsoft's website that talks about Bitcoin. The way it works right now is you can't use Bitcoin directly to make purchases, though Microsoft does let you add money to your Microsoft account (Microsoft wallet or digital gift card) by redeeming your Bitcoin currency. Just go to Payment options &gt; Microsoft account &gt; redeem Bitcoin and follow the instructions.</p> <p>Microsoft says that most Bitcoin transactions should process immediately, but if it doesn't for whatever reason, it asks that you wait up to two hours for the transaction to complete before contacting support. You should also note that Bitcoin redemption on Microsoft (through Bitpay, it appears) is only available in the U.S.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_bets_bitcoin_begins_accepting_cryptocurrency_windows_store_2014#comments bitcoin cryptocurrency microsoft virtual coins windows phone windows store xbox store News Thu, 11 Dec 2014 17:29:33 +0000 Paul Lilly 29075 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Tells Windows 10 Users to Uninstall Office Prior to Applying Patch Tuesday Updates http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_tells_windows_10_users_uninstall_office_prior_applying_patch_tuesday_updates_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/windows_10.jpg" alt="Windows 10" title="Windows 10" width="228" height="141" style="float: right;" />The pitfalls of pre-release software</h3> <p>Microsoft's Gabriel Aul of the Windows Preview team tweeted out some inconvenient news to Windows 10 users who have Office installed.<strong> In order to install the crop of updates for this month's Patch Tuesday, Windows 10 users will have to first uninstall Office</strong>, or the installer will fail. Once all the security patches are applied, users are free to then reinstall Office on their Windows 10 rigs.</p> <p>Alternately, Microsoft could have worked on a fix, though "rather than rolling a new fix (losing several days in the process) we're going to publish as-is," Aul said on Twitter. You can view the series of tweets at <a href="http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2386122/windows-10-users-forced-to-uninstall-office-on-patch-tuesday" target="_blank"><em>The Inquirer</em></a>.</p> <p>Times like this underscore one of the drawbacks to working with pre-release software. Windows 10 is in Preview form, meaning it's not yet finished and still needs polishing. That's not to say something like this couldn't also occur with finished software, it's just more likely when working with an early build that isn't yet ready for prime time.</p> <p>December's Patch Tuesday contains seven updates with fixes for two dozen vulnerabilities, four of which are rated Critical and three others rated Important.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_tells_windows_10_users_uninstall_office_prior_applying_patch_tuesday_updates_2014#comments microsoft office operating system OS Patch Tuesday Software windows 10 News Wed, 10 Dec 2014 19:11:40 +0000 Paul Lilly 29070 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Keeps Mum on New Plans to Monetize Windows, Will Reveal Strategy in 2015 http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_keeps_mum_new_plans_monetize_windows_will_reveal_strategy_2015 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_10_systems.jpg" alt="Windows 10 Systems" title="Windows 10 Systems" width="228" height="174" style="float: right;" />Along with a new OS release comes a new strategy to make money</h3> <p>Things are going to be different with Windows 10 in a number of ways, and all presumably for the better (or so we're hoping and knocking on wood with Hulk-like force). It's not just the features and design that Microsoft is altering, however, but also its business model. <strong>Microsoft COO Kevin Turner spoke at a Credit Suisse technology investment conference recently, revealing that his company is looking at new ways of making money off of Windows</strong>.</p> <p>One of the strategies has already been put in motion, and that's the removal of royalties on devices with screens that are 9 inches or smaller. The intention there was to fight back against the Chromebook push and reinvigorate the low-end laptop market with Windows machines. As a result, it's now possible to find plenty of Windows laptops in the range of $200, and a few that even go for half that much.</p> <p>However, giving Windows away for free isn't something we should get used to, as Microsoft has no plans of making Windows 10 a loss leader. <a href="http://hexus.net/tech/news/software/78149-microsoft-unveil-new-plans-monetise-windows-early-2015/" target="_blank">According to <em>Hexus.net</em></a>, Turner revealed that Microsoft will instead make up some of the difference in revenue by looking at other ways to make money from Windows, though he didn't say exactly what they would be.</p> <p>"We've got to monetize it differently. And there are services involved," Turner said. "There are additional opportunities for us to bring additional services to the product and do it in a creative way. And through the course of the summer and spring we'll be announcing what that business model looks like."</p> <p>Turner added that Microsoft's first 39 years was highlighted by "one of the greatest business models of all time built around" Windows, though said that's in the past. Looking to the future, he sees opportunities in "becoming a cloud OS, a devices operating system, having first party hardware light up those experiences," while also providing a dual-user experience (work and play, basically).</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_keeps_mum_new_plans_monetize_windows_will_reveal_strategy_2015#comments kevin turner microsoft operating system OS Software Windows windows 10 News Tue, 09 Dec 2014 18:40:43 +0000 Paul Lilly 29062 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Kicks Off '12 Days of Deals' with $79 Toshiba Encore Mini Tablet http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_kicks_12_days_deals_79_toshiba_encore_mini_tablet_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/toshiba_encore_mini.jpg" alt="Toshiba Encore Mini" title="Toshiba Encore Mini" width="228" height="143" style="float: right;" />Save on a new item every day until December 19th</h3> <p>Black Friday? Check. Cyber Monday? Check. Ongoing savings, Steam Weeklong Deals, and GOG DRM-Free Big Winter Sale? Check, check, and check again! Phew, talk about a busy holiday shopping season, and it doesn't feel like it's coming to a close anytime soon. Instead, more and more promotions keep popping up, like <strong>Microsoft's 12 Days of Deals starting with a Toshiba Encore Mini tablet for $79</strong>, marked down from $119.</p> <p>It's the first of a dozen deals over as many days, and to sweeten the pot, Microsoft is throwing in a 16GB microSD card ($20 value) with the package. The tablet already has 16GB of built-in storage, so the microSD card brings the total storage space to 32GB, minus what's used for Windows and Office 365 Personal, the latter of which you get free for a year (a $70 value).</p> <p>Toshiba's Encore Mini sports a 7-inch HD touchscreen display powered by an Intel Atom Z3735G processor and 2GB of RAM. Other features include a micro USB 2.0 port, microphone/headphone combo port, 802.11n Wi-Fi (Miracast enabled), front-facing and rear-facing cameras, and the aforementioned software.</p> <p>Tomorrow's deal will feature an unlocked BLU Win HD phone for $129, marked down from $179. Beyond that, you'll have to keep checking the <a href="http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/cat/12-days-of-deals/categoryID.67001200?Icid=Homepage_Header_Tab3_12Days_120414" target="_blank">12 Days of Deals website</a> for the latest offer.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_kicks_12_days_deals_79_toshiba_encore_mini_tablet_2014#comments 12 days of deals encore mini Hardware microsoft mobile slate tablet toshiba Windows News Mon, 08 Dec 2014 19:28:14 +0000 Paul Lilly 29053 at http://www.maximumpc.com Windows 10 Expected to Release in Early Fall of Next Year http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_10_expected_release_early_fall_next_year_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/windows_10_0.jpg" alt="Windows 10" title="Windows 10" width="228" height="171" style="float: right;" />The general release time frame for Windows 10 gets narrower</h3> <p>In the past, we were told that Windows 10 would launch to the public sometime in late 2015. While no specific release date has yet been set, Microsoft has at least tightened the launch window by revealing <strong>Windows 10 is on track to come out in late summer or early fall" of next year</strong>. That's according to Microsoft Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Turner, who talked a little about Windows 10's release at a Credit Suisse Technology Conference recently.</p> <p>"We’ll have a developer preview and be able to talk to that in depth in the early summer timeframe," Turner said. "And then by next late summer and early fall we’ll be able to bring out this particular OS."</p> <p>The other thing to extrapolate from all this is that Windows 10's ongoing development appears to be on schedule and coming along without any hiccups that might cause a delay. And <a href="http://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-windows-10-on-track-for-latter-half-of-2015/" target="_blank">according to <em>CNET</em></a>, Microsoft next month will show off its January Technology Preview of Windows 10, along with a first preview of the Windows 10 mobile build that will run on Windows Phones, ARM tablets, and Intel tablets.</p> <p>Windows 10 is the next major release of Windows after Windows 8/8.1. Microsoft decided to skip over Windows 9 because the next version is supposed to be such a drastic change, that a single number jump wouldn't do it justice.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/windows_10_expected_release_early_fall_next_year_2014#comments microsoft operating system OS Software windows 10 News Mon, 08 Dec 2014 19:07:51 +0000 Paul Lilly 29052 at http://www.maximumpc.com Microsoft Wipes Hands of Nook Business, Sells Shares Back to Barnes and Noble http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_wipes_hands_nook_business_sells_shares_back_barnes_and_noble_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u69/nook_1.jpg" alt="Nook" title="Nook" width="228" height="153" style="float: right;" />Software giant closes the book on Nook</h3> <p>Back in 2012, Microsoft invested $300 million into Barnes and Noble's Nook business, giving the Windows maker about a 17 percent share of Nook media. Things didn't turn out as planned for either side, and with <strong>B&amp;N planning to spin off its Nook Media arm, Microsoft agreed to sell its stake back to the company</strong>, thus concluding a two-year partnership that never really went anywhere to begin with.</p> <p>Unfortunately for B&amp;N, consumers flocked to rival Amazon and its Kindle/Fire line of tablets and e-readers in the low-cost arena, as well as Google's Nexus 7. Nook sales suffered as a result, with <a href="http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com/press_releases/12_4_14_2015_2Q_earnings.html" target="_blank">B&amp;N posting</a> Nook revenues of $64 million for its fiscal 2015 second quarter ended November 1, 2014, a decrease of 41.3 percent from a year ago. Device and accessories sales plummeted 63.7 percent year-over-year to just $18.7 million, while digital content dropped 21.2 percent to $45.2 million.</p> <p>According to <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/04/us-barnes-noble-results-idUSKCN0JI1IP20141204" target="_blank"><em>Reuters</em></a>, the cash and share deal between Microsoft and B&amp;N is estimated at around $125 million. As part of the agreement, Microsoft will receive about 22.7 percent of the total proceeds from Nook's digital business (doesn't include college bookstores) if it's sold in the next three years.</p> <p>Looking ahead, B&amp;N expects sales to continue to decline, though in the low single digits. The company's stock is down around 6 percent today, while Microsoft's is up around 2 percent.</p> <p><em>Follow Paul on <a href="https://plus.google.com/+PaulLilly?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/paul_b_lilly" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, and <a href="http://www.facebook.com/Paul.B.Lilly" target="_blank">Facebook</a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/microsoft_wipes_hands_nook_business_sells_shares_back_barnes_and_noble_2014#comments barnes and noble microsoft nook News Thu, 04 Dec 2014 18:25:42 +0000 Paul Lilly 29033 at http://www.maximumpc.com