What a month it's been for Lenovo, the world's top supplier of PCs and generally a well liked company. The OEM put both of those traits at risk by pre-loading adware onto its consumer laptops and desktops, adware that was later discovered to be a serious security threat. We might never know for sure how savvy Lenovo was to the software's nefarious methods of serving up ads, but in the wake of it all, there have been apologies, explanations, a software tool to remove Superfish, a class action lawsuit, and now a promise -- Lenovo wants to be the leader of clean PCs.
Microsoft is bringing back the Start Menu in Windows 10, though it won't look exactly the way you remember seeing it in Windows 7. If that's what you're after, you might be interested to know that Stardock is putting the final touches on Start10, its Start Menu replacement for Windows 10 that makes it look like it did in Windows 7. If you're an Object Desktop subscribers, you can try out the Start10 beta today.
Free Office 365 for education offer extends beyond the U.S.
Microsoft had already been doing teachers and students living in the U.S. a solid by offering them free Office 365 subscriptions, and now that same offer is extending beyond the border. How far? Try all the way around -- if you're an eligible teacher or a student living in a place where Office 365 is available, a subscription is yours for the taking once you provide a valid school email address.
Plugin allows developers to add virtual hands to games
Epic and Leap Motion have teamed up to create and launch an official Windows plugin for Unreal Engine 4 that's supposed to make it easy for developers to integrate virtual hands into their games. The plugin is available in the Unreal Engine 4.7 source code, which they can download from Unreal's GitHub repository to immediately start building and creating a custom VR experience.
Lenovo's been in damage control ever since news broke that it was installing a careless piece of adware called Superfish onto consumer laptops and desktops, but the court of public opinion isn't the only one it has some explaining to do. According to reports, a class-action lawsuit against Lenovo and Superfish was filed at the end of last week claiming "fraudulent" business practices.
Lenovo took to Twitter to issue an apology over Superfish, the visual search software it installed on consumer laptops and desktops without permission, and has posted instructions on how to remove it. Initially Lenovo issued a statement saying that it installed the software with good intentions and that there's nothing to be concerned about from a security perspective, though evidence points to the contrary.
Even the floppy disk would have to be impressed with how long Windows XP has been able to hold onto relevance. Sure, most of the world has moved on, but there are still a lot of Windows XP machines out there, especially in various enterprise sectors. Rather than upgrade, businesses can ink custom support agreements (CSAs) with Microsoft to continue receiving support. However, it's being reported that the cost of those Windows XP CSAs are about to double.
Microsoft has been granted a patent for "Windows 365" by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and of course, the immediate reaction is that Windows is headed toward a subscription model similar to Office 365. Indeed that may be the case, though from everything that we know, it probably won't apply to Windows 10, which will remain a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users for the first year.
Current version of Project Spartan is said to be only marginally better than IE11 in HTML5 compliance
When it officially unveiled the Project Spartan (codename) browser last month, Microsoft said it would not be part of “our first few Insider builds.” It is hard to say how much longer we might have to wait for the first publicly available Windows 10 preview build with Project Spartan, but one thing is for sure: leaks, whether of entire builds or images therefrom, are never far off.
I've written about the demise of Windows RT on more than one occasion over the course of the last couple of weeks, and in the comments section of both articles, there's mention of Microsoft Bob. Prior to those incidents, it had been a long time since I've seen anyone bring it up. References to Microsoft Bob usually only manifest when talking about forgettable Windows releases, like ME, Vista (pre-SP1), and RT. However, Microsoft Bob wasn't actually a Windows version, it was a patronizing GUI that foreshadowed Windows RT's demise. Never heard of it? Let's take a trip back in time.