Windows Phone 8.1 Preview is available for developers
Wondering if Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant software will live up to the hype? You can find out by downloading the Windows Phone 8.1 Preview, which is now available for third-party developers. This isn't intended for the general public, though if you just can't shake that curiosity and want to be one of the first to try out the new software, you can apply the update without writing apps. Here's what you need to know.
IRS is paying Microsoft to recieve custom XP patches after failing to upgrade in time
Microsoft put the whole world on notice that it intended to end support for Windows XP, and as the deadline came closer into view, Redmond's attempt to get users to upgrade intensified. Unfortunately for taxpayers, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service ignored the warnings and watched the deadline come and go. As a result, the IRS will pay Microsoft hundreds of thousands of dollars to continue receiving out-of-retirement security patches for another year.
New security measures keeps your installed Android apps in check
It's not unusual for a malicious Android app to sneak into Google Play, though they're obviously much more prevalent from third-party sources, especially from sketchy areas of the web. To help protect users from falling prey to an app's malicious intentions, Google is rolling out a new enhancement to its security scheme that will examine an app's behavior after it's been installed.
Well, that's it folks. Support for Windows XP officially ended on Tuesday, marking the end of a run that lasted nearly 13 years. Some will inevitably cling to the dead operating system, though as PC shipment data shows, many have also chosen to migrate rather than risk running an abandoned OS. As a final reminder to those who have yet to upgrade -- and perhaps as a fitting homage -- Microsoft created "Escape from XP," a fun (and free) time waster that's available to play on modern browsers.
Tim Sweeney confirms there's interest in porting Unreal Engine 4 to Windows Phone and RT
When the time is right, Epic will make its Unreal Engine 4 platform available on Windows Phone and Windows RT. Exactly when that time will be is still up in the air, but thanks to a forum post in which Epic co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney responded to a user question, we at least know it's something the company is both interested in and has been working towards to some degree.
Today is a busy one for Nvidia. In addition to launching new beta drivers intended to steal some thunder away from AMD's Mantle API, Nvidia upgraded its GeForce Experience platform to version 2.0. The new release is described as a "major update" to the software that's been installed on 35 million PCs to date, and among the new features is ShadowPlay support for GeForce GTX notebooks.
To those of you who might have had this article bookmarked, you'll notice it's a bit longer than before. Why? Well, we originally wrote this piece back in 2009, and quite a bit has changed since then, so we thought we'd add to it. After all, it's been five years, which might as well be an eternity in technology time. For example, the amount of free space Google gave Gmail users to play with in 2009 was less than half of what it is today. That's partially the result of Google merging storage across Gmail, Google Drive, and Google+ Photos. Whereas you used to have 7GB of storage for Gmail, you now have 15GB per account, and you can spread it out through those three services however you wish.
Mozilla co-founder was pressured to resign due to his support of an anti-gay marriage law
After barely more than a week on the job, Brendan Eich has made the decision to resign as Chief Executive Officer of Mozilla, and is giving up his seat on the board as well. Eich was named CEO on March 24, 2014, which immediately drew the ire of several employees and members of the LGBT community over his support of California's anti-gay marriage law, otherwise famously known as Proposition 8.
Straight to the point, Microsoft is bringing back the Start menu to Windows via an upcoming update to Windows 8.1. Along with everything else that will be introduced, we feel like Brennan from Step Brothers after he and Dale received pirate hats, dirty magazines, and crossbows - "You guys finally came to your sense and got us something cool!" And yes, despite all the criticism up to this point, Windows 8.1 finally has a shot at being a cool OS.
With yet another month's worth of data to digest, it's becoming increasingly clear that Windows 8 might never catch up to Windows 7. How you want to view that is up to you -- it could mean that Microsoft hit it out of the park with Windows 7, making it exceedingly difficult on itself to duplicate that kind of success, or that Windows 8 is a foul ball off of a broken bat. Let's look at some numbers.