Group invaded networks, stole more than $100 million worth of software
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) released a statement today in regard to a group of hackers charged with a string of computer breaches related to the theft of software from several large game companies. More than $100 million in software was stolen as a result of their activities, including a US Army helicopter training program developed by Zombie Studios, developer of America's Army: Special Forces.
Windows 10 reintroduces Start Menu, lessens Live Tile use
Microsoft has formally announced the latest iteration of its computer operating system at its media event, but it isn't named Windows 9. The incoming Windows 10, set to be made available to users next year, is being billed by the company as the "most comprehensive platform ever," with the software expected to run on the broadest range of device types, including computers, mobile devices, and the "Internet of Things" ecosystem.
Cortana issues public transport notifications, local concert suggestions
Cortana, Microsoft's virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1, has been updated with two event-related changes. WMPU reports the service will now show notifications for when a user's favorite music acts are performing nearby under "Concert Watch," while WP Central notes users in the US and UK can now benefit from public transport notifications, including delays, outages, and advising of the best time to head to an appointment or event.
Flagship Microsoft Store several blocks away from iconic Apple Cube store
Microsoft will be launching its first flagship retail location in Manhattan, a few blocks away from Apple's iconic Fifth Avenue glass cube store. The software giant has confirmed its Microsoft Store will be taking the place of a Fendi shop located at 677 Fifth Avenue, with executives claiming the store has already been five years in the making.
Microsoft Indonesia president reportedly confirms free major Windows upgrade
The next version of Windows may be a free upgrade for some Windows users, numerous reports claim. The software, potentially called Windows 9 and codenamed "Threshold," may end up being offered to owners of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, though users of earlier operating system iterations are likely to be required to pay for the upgrade.
Pilots able to replace charts, manuals with Surface Pro 3 for flights
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is now qualified to be used as an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) by pilots, the company has announced. Following in the footsteps of the Surface 2, the qualification allows the Surface Pro 3 to be used as an EFB for all stages of flight, Microsoft writes, meeting regulations from both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Small delay keeps console on track to be first console since ban lift, 1,300 units sold in Japan
The delay of the Xbox One's release in China appears to only be a small hiccup for Microsoft. Reuters reports that the console will be going on sale on September 29, pushing the console back less than a week from its initial launch date of September 23. Meanwhile, sales of the console in Japan have sunk even lower, hitting approximately 1,300 units sold in its third week on the market.
New bill gives information same protection as material goods under law
In the shadow of Microsoft's dispute with the US Department of Justice, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Senate Judiciary Committee member Chris Coons (D-DE) have proposed legislation to codify law enforcement access to citizen's data stored internationally. The bill, titled the Law Enforcement Access to Data Stored Abroad Act, seeks to authorize the use of extraterritorial search warrants, but vacate said warrants if it requires parties involved to break the laws of a country to do so.
Wireless Display Adapter mirrors Miracast device display on connected television
Microsoft has unveiled a new compact adapter for wirelessly streaming video from a computer or device to a television. The Wireless Display Adapter can be used to share content from any Miracast-enabled device, allowing for a television to be used as a secondary monitor or as a larger display for presentations and watching videos.
Is that wizard really from the moon and actually worth spending $60 on?
Let's just cut through the normal crap of a boring introductory paragraph. If you've been alive and a gamer for more than 15 years, you know who Bungie is. More than 25 years, and you've played a Bungie game or two. At more than 40 (and a Mac user), you've played games from the company that shipped on 3.5-inch disk. Bungie is now freed from the clutches of Microsoft, and under the thrall of a new master -- Activision. Destiny is the first title from the thrice-born company, and it's -- different. Is it any good, and more importantly, how is the experience on the seemingly-omnipresent previous generation of console?
Microsoft says it needs more time to ready 'the best experiences possible'
The Xbox One has hit a snag, just as it was readying for a September 23 release of the console in China. Only disclosing that it was seeking to create a better experience, Microsoft announced that the console wouldn't release until later this year. In January, the Chinese government lifted the ban on the sale of foreign video game consoles, positioning Microsoft to sell the first legal console in the country since the ban was implemented in 2000.
Free space can be used for anything, but requires backup feature activation
Microsoft has increased the free space offering on its file storage system OneDrive. Users on Android, Windows Phone, or iOS who switch on "camera backup" to the online storage locker will get a 15GB space bonus, increasing the amount of free space from 15GB to 30GB. Users have until the end of September to activate the feature to get the bonus space.
Country-wide redirection from Nokia part of gradual branding changes
Microsoft is slowly migrating away from the Nokia branding it has used since it bought the phone manufacturer's Devices and Services division. Visitors to Nokia.com located within the United Kingdom are now being pointed towards the mobile sections of Microsoft.com, with the Microsoft Mobile Devices site also receiving a refresh in the process.
Company continues towards 18,000 layoffs, 35 percent coming from Washington
Microsoft has moved into phase two of its previous announcement to part ways with 18,000 employees. Today, the company released an additional 2,100 employees in order to move closer to the July 2015 deadline that was previously laid out. It's unknown which sections of the company are seeing the layoffs, but the job cuts are happening on a global scale.
Keyboard works on iOS, Android, Windows, new wireless mice also on the way
Microsoft announced a slate of new accessories with wireless features today, one of which is ready for use with three of the major mobile operating systems. A universal keyboard, wireless mouse, Bluetooth mouse and a PC-ready Xbox One controller are expected to make their way to consumers, starting in the fall.
Event to give insight into what is to come for Windows, enterprise users
Microsoft started circling invites today for an event that it's holding later this month. The September 30 event plans to give attendees a chance to see what is coming down the pipe for enterprise and Windows, but offers no specific information on what the event will entail. The Verge previously reported that a press event on the announced date would be used to unveil Windows 9 according to sources close to the matter.
Mojang acquisition involves exit of company founders including Markus Persson
Microsoft has officially confirmed it is acquiring Mojang, the Swedish game studio behind Minecraft. Purchased at the rumored cost of $2.5 billion, the deal will include the majority of the Mojang development team, though notably company founders Carl Manneh, Jakbok Porser, and Markus "Notch" Persson will be leaving the company once the acquisition is completed.
New bundle comes with two games, limited to Wal-Mart, Microsoft Store
Consumers looking for a replacement Microsoft Xbox 360 will have another option coming on October 7, just in time for the holiday shopping season. The new version of the almost nine-year-old console is bathed in blue, adding arctic blue accent pieces on both console and controller. Priced at $250, the Xbox 360 Special Edition Blue Bundle comes with a 500GB hard disk in the console, a month of Xbox Live Gold, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
Owners witnessing buzzing, clicking sounds at the dashboard since August
Since August, Xbox One owners have been complaining about a noise emanating from the console, leading owners to believe that new Xbox One consoles are faulty. Users are experiencing a loud clicking or buzzing sound coming from the hardware itself, with a majority of the faulty units purchased without the Kinect sensor. Microsoft now appears to be issuing exchanges for properly working models, according to a statement made to gaming site Kotaku.
New screenshots reportedly reveal multiple changes in Windows 9
The next version of Windows has apparently leaked yet again, with a new collection of screenshots surfacing. Believed to depict the Windows 9 Technical Preview, the images show a number of previously-rumored features which will probably appear in the preview version, expected to be released to developers within the next few weeks.
Leaked document also claims Windows Phone to be replaced by Windows brand
Microsoft may start producing mobile devices without the Nokia branding by the end of this year. An alleged leaked internal document from Microsoft Mobile, the Devices and Services arm of Nokia acquired by the company, apparently shows that both the Nokia and Windows Phone names will be replaced on new smartphones with Microsoft and Windows respectively.
Sale would be against Mojang's philosophy, could bolster Xbox support for Microsoft
Microsoft has entered into discussions that could see it signing a deal to purchase Mojang AB for more than $2 billion, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Mojang AB is the developer behind Minecraft, one of the most popular games across the globe. The potential sale marks a shift in philosophy for the Swedish developer, as its majority shareholder and founder Markus "Notch" Persson has been a proponent against large corporations and mainstream video games.
Increased settlement offers make resolution of deal by chairman's exit unlikely
Google's latest settlement offer to fend off anti-trust allegations in the European Union has been refused. The European Commission has issued a statement regarding complaints by businesses and competitors over Google's settlement offer, saying that the search engine giant must add to the settlement package, and the offer as it stands is insufficient, given the arguments which "should be taken in consideration" with any counter-offer.
Cards in Office Delve show related contacts, documents
Microsoft is introducing a new search system to Office 365, which aims to provide information to the user just as they need it. Office Delve, previously codenamed "Oslo," will operate similar to Google now in pulling content from various online services and files stored in the cloud, in order to try and find relationships between documents, messages, and contacts.
Getty legal pressure makes Microsoft remove Bing Image Widget temporarily
Microsoft has taken down the Bing Image Widget, following legal pressure from Getty Images. The software company has removed the item from the Bing website, a few days after the photography agency alleged the tool "turned the entirety of the world's online images into little more than a vast, unlicensed 'clip art' collection" usable without the permission of the image's copyright holders.
Microsoft, German publishers demonstrate proposal's inadequacy
A coalition of Microsoft and some German publishing companies have escalated their rhetoric against the European Union's antitrust agreement it is proposing with Google. "The current proposal does not put traffic diversion to an end," claimed Microsoft's chief antitrust lawyer. Microsoft claims to have new evidence it gathered from a modification of Bing's search results that the settlement, and dedicated space for competitive services in search results, would fail to accomplish anything substantial in the case.
Millions of images at risk of theft, according to Getty court filing
Getty Images has launched a suit against Microsoft's usage of Internet imagery with its "Bing Image Widget." The suit alleges that Microsoft, with its new tool "has turned the entirety of the world's online images into little more than a vast, unlicensed 'clip art' collection for the benefit of those website publishers who implement the Bing Image Widget" without permission of the copyright holders.
Lumia Selfie app preinstalled on Lumia 730, Lumia 735
Aside from the Lumia 830, Microsoft revealed two other Nokia-branded Lumia devices at IFA. The Lumia 735 and the Lumia 730 Dual SIM differ in terms of the number of SIM cards they each hold, but are effectively the same smartphone, with both using the same 4.7-inch 1,280x720 OLED display and quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor.
Update for Lumia devices will include 4K video capture, Dynamic Flash
Microsoft has detailed the version of the Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 heading onto its Lumia smartphones. On top of the expected new additions, including wider resolution support, Live Folders, and the Cortana virtual assistant, the Lumia Denim update includes some Lumia-specific extras, with the majority of new features relating to photography, though some functions are said to be dependent on the phone's hardware.
Rear 10MP PureView camera used in Lumia 830
Part of a launch of three smartphones at its IFA event, Microsoft revealed the Lumia 830. Offering a 5.5-inch 1280x720 display, the Windows Phone device is billed by the company as an "affordable flagship," with the aluminum-framed smartphone packing a rear 10-megapixel PureView camera aided with various camera app functions in the accompanying Lumia Denim software update.
Includes Home, Personal tiers
Microsoft has today updated the Office iPad apps -- including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint -- with in-app purchases of monthly Office 365 subscriptions. These are divided into Personal and Home tiers. The first costs $7 per month, and is limited to one iPad and one PC/Mac. It does, however, come with 1TB of cloud storage, and 60 minutes of Skype calling to cellphones and landlines.
Weibo posting about Windows 9 Start Menu quickly pulled from view
Microsoft's Chinese business arm may have jumped the gun, by mistakenly promoting Windows 9 too early. The company's regional Weibo account reportedly put an image up promoting the next iteration of Microsoft's operating system along with a question hinting at the Start Menu, a posting which has since been removed from view.
Latest remarks give Microsoft 20 days to respond to anti-trust complaints
China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) has questioned Microsoft Vice President Chen Shi regarding allegations of abuse of Microsoft's monopoly on operating systems, productivity software, and browsers in the country. As part of the questioning, Microsoft has been given 20 days to respond to complaints alleging that Microsoft's use of serialization of software may have violated China's anti-monopoly laws.
New ruling forces defiant Microsoft to hand over data held overseas
A stay giving Microsoft permission to deny a warrant ordering email release from a user whose data is stored in Ireland has been lifted by Judge Loretta Preska. As a result of the order, issued on August 29, Microsoft has until September 5 to coordinate with the US Department of Justice and inform the court how it will comply with the original court order, demanding Microsoft surrender the data. Microsoft promises to fight the order, and does not intend to hand over the data.
Chinese MSN Messenger service closure marks end of app's 15-year life
Microsoft is ready to close the last remnants of MSN Messenger, also known as Windows Live Messenger, on October 31st. Chinese users have reportedly received a notification of its shutdown via e-mail, encouraging users to migrate over to Microsoft's other messaging service, Skype, before the service is terminated in the country.
Microsoft, SAIC refuse comment on reports of executive's travel
Sources close to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claim that the executive is slated to visit China in late September. While the visit is scheduled, and has been for at least two weeks, unclear is whether Nadella will visit the Chinese government, or attempt to clear up any issues related to the China State Administration for Industry and Commerce's (SAIC) antitrust examination of the software giant.
App crackdown part of Microsoft Windows Store certification changes
Microsoft is cleaning up its Windows Store catalog, by ejecting misleading apps. After modifying the Windows Store app certification requirements to try and prevent fake apps from reaching the app store in the first place, the company has started to comb through its app listings, and has already removed more than 1,500 apps from the store.
Improves language detection, complex object handling, Outlook accounts
On Wednesday, Microsoft updated its standalone version of Office for Mac, Office 2011, to version 14.4.4. The update provides the latest fixes for Office, and includes general functionality improvements in Microsoft Word, particularly with keyboard language detection. For PowerPoint, it improves handling of certain complex objects, and in Outlook the update includes new descriptions for supported account types.
POSReady updates rolled into single service pack, release client being worked on
Windows XP hold outs might be able to put off upgrading to a new version of Windows for the time being, as long as they don't mind patching the operating system through unofficial channels. While support for the operating system was officially dropped by Microsoft on April 8, a new service pack has been released by a community project that's keeping the aging operating system alive.
Head of China SAIC declares target, investigation expected to expand
Mirroring similar complaints in the EU and United States from a decade ago, the current antitrust investigation in China has been confirmed to be over the bundling of Internet Explorer and Microsoft's Windows operating system. The investigation, and target of China's antitrust State Administration for Industry and Commerce, was confirmed at a press briefing by the head of the agency Zhang Mao earlier today.
Price cut in Surface 2 suggests stock clearance for another Microsoft tablet launch
Microsoft has cut the price of its Surface 2 Windows RT tablets by $100. The drop in price across the entire range, putting the 32GB, 64GB, and 64GB LTE versions at $349, $449, and $579 respectively, could be a sign that Microsoft is preparing to launch an updated version of the tablet to go alongside its already-released Surface Pro 3.
Build upgrade option could lose need to reinstall Windows in preview version
Microsoft may make the next version of Windows easier to update, starting with the preview version. A report claims current internal builds of the operating system, also known as Windows Threshold, can be upgraded to a newer build with a single click, which could mean that those using the public preview may be able to use a newer build without uninstalling and reinstalling the software.
New device would receive video streamed from Windows Phone, PCs
Microsoft appears to be in the process of developing a Google Chromecast-like device. Filings with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) show the software giant to be at least considering a HDMI dongle with Wi-Fi and a USB port, using Miracast to send content from a Windows device in a manner similar to Apple's Airplay. The device would fill an unserved market, with AirPlay only on iOS and OS X devices, and Google Cast on Android, iOS, and web apps.
Company complies with only half of judge's controversial order
Following a ruling by a Brazilian judge that anonymous social apps such as Secret violate the Brazilian constitution, Apple has removed the program from the App Store in that country, citing that its own guidelines require that apps comply with local laws in the country they're sold in. In addition to Apple, the judge ordered Google and Microsoft to also remove the app or similar apps. There has not, however, been any reports of Apple or the other companies remotely deleting the app from users' devices.
New OS will ultimately feature removal of charms, inclusion of Cortana
Microsoft has reportedly scheduled a September 30 preview date for the latest incarnation of its Windows operating system -- Windows 9. Rumored to be unveiled at the event is an early version of the system for developers, but it is not known if CEO Satya Nadella's espoused vision of "one OS" will come to fruition so early in his tenure.
Surfaced screenshot of Xbox One menu suggests new trial system being tested
Microsoft may be preparing to offer games to play before purchase on the Xbox One. A screenshot has surfaced on Reddit showing some titles under the company's existing Games with Gold program, with some game listings being labeled "Free Play Day with Gold," suggesting that Gold subscribers would soon have the option to trial the game.
Chat notifications hidden on unused devices if Skype in use elsewhere
Microsoft has updated the way Skype handles some of its notifications for multiple devices. As part of wider ongoing effort to improve the way Skype synchronizes messages between clients on different devices and systems, the Active Endpoint feature will only deliver chat notifications to the device currently being used, rather than to all logged-in devices.
Apple, Google, Microsoft required to delete Secret from customer phones or face fines
A Brazilian judge has ordered Apple, Google, and Microsoft to remove Secret, an app used for anonymously sharing information with others, from citizen's phones. The unusual ruling requires both Apple and Google to delist Secret from the App Store and Google Play, with Microsoft ordered to do the same for the Windows Phone-equivalent Cryptic, as well as deleting it remotely from mobile devices in the country.
Outgoing Ballmer to spend time with Los Angeles Clippers, teaching
Steve Ballmer has stepped down his position as Microsoft board member, six months after being replaced as CEO by Satya Nadella. In a letter to the current CEO, the former leader advises that he is departing "effective immediately," citing his involvement with teaching and his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers as keeping him "very busy."
Microsoft-provided fix involves registry modification, manual deletion
Plagued by crashes, Microsoft has retracted its Windows patches from August 12. Users that have installed patches 2982791, 2970228, 2975719 and 2975331 are at risk of system instability, or a "0x50 Stop" error on startup, which prevents the system from booting. A fix requires either a clean OS install, or registry modification to purge the afflicted updates.