After more than 12 years of service, Microsoft finally pulled the plug on Windows XP by ceasing to support the operating system last week. However, Microsoft did promise to keep doling out updates for its Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) software, including the version that runs on XP, but in doing so, the Redmond outfit only made things worse. That's because the latest MSE update is causing some XP machines to freeze up and run slow.
Sales encourage gamers to stockpile more games than they have time to play
It seems like there's always a major Steam sale taking place. There isn't, but certainly Steam sales aren't exactly rare. These sales introduce big discounts to popular titles, both current and ones that are slightly older, and we often find ourselves stockpiling titles with plans to play them at a future date. Apparently that's a common practice, as a new report suggests that nearly 37 percent of registered Steam titles have never been loaded.
Declining hardware sales and expensive layoffs hurt IBM's bottom line
It was another rough quarter for IBM, which reported a drop in revenue. That marks eight quarters in a row of revenue declines. For the first quarter of 2014, IBM's total revenues reached $22.5 billion, down 4 percent from the first quarter of 2013. On the plus side, IBM is still making a profit -- $2.4 billion in Q1 2014, though even that figure is marred by the fact that it's down 21 percent year-over-year.
Watch Dogs creative director confirms specs for running title at Ultra settings
The minimum system requirements to run Watch Dogs on a Windows PC makes the game pretty accessible to anyone with a relatively modern PC (we're talking Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 or AMD Phenom II X4 940 era hardware). However, the recommended system requirements are quite a bit more demanding, and if you want to run Watch Dogs with Ultra settings, you'll need a GeForce GTX 780 graphics card.
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.