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Microsoft forcing Windows 10 upgrade data to PCs without permission

09/11, 11:14am

Up to 6GB of hidden files downloaded to Windows 7, 8 PCs, report discovers

Microsoft is forcing users of earlier versions of Windows to download Windows 10, whether they elect to upgrade to the newer operating system or not. The company has confirmed Windows 7 and Windows 8 installations are automatically downloading files for the upgrade to Windows 10, with users facing a loss of between 3.5GB and 6GB of storage and a slower connection while they download, even if the user does not want to make the upgrade at all.


Hands On: Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard

09/11, 9:40am

Stop reading now and go buy it

Okay, no messing: this is a gorgeous keyboard that we were instantaneously smitten with, and then came to like more and more in our testing. The Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard is a simply superb piece of work, and a pleasure to write on. Fair warning: with a few mild caveats, the rest of this entire Hands On is going to be in much this same style -- so if you're already convinced, just know that it's available on Amazon for about $70, and away you go.


Living With: Windows 95 at 20

08/24, 3:49pm

Microsoft's hit operating system is two decades old

Memory is such a funny thing. Reportedly, Windows 95 was made generally available on August 24, 1995, but I so clearly remember it only just squeaking in to the tail end of that year. I remember thinking that's typical Microsoft, and also typical of the then-idiotic fashion of naming your software after the year. That never really caught on outside Microsoft (various versions of the iLife and iWork suites excepted).


Review: Windows 10

08/14, 7:06pm

Microsoft appeals to Windows 7, Windows 8 users with Windows 10 changes

Microsoft recently unleashed Windows 10 onto the world, with the software giant deciding to make it a free upgrade for Windows 7 and later systems. Not only that, but Microsoft also brought back the Start Menu following user feedback, as well as included the Cortana virtual assistant on the desktop for the first time. Is the latest version of Microsoft's operating system enough to keep existing Windows users happy, while also being attractive enough to bring a new audience onboard? Find out what we think in our review.


The MacNN Podcast, episode 27: introducing Microsoft Sponge

08/10, 7:43am

Latest episode a bit like a quick summer read, so try listening at poolside

This week, the usual suspects -- MacNN Editor Charles Martin, Managing Editor Mike Wuerthele, and staff writer Malcolm Owen -- deliver a lighter, shorter, 47-minute summer episode that tries to accentuate the positive, and make lemonade out of lemons. Having spent last episode complaining about iTunes 12.2, the iOS Music app, and (as required by law) Microsoft's Windows 10, this episode focuses on the new Back to School promo from Apple, what can be done to make iTunes better, how to make an OS X home server, how Windows 10 is working out, and Microsoft's new iOS-to-Windows initiative. Show notes after the jump.


Microsoft open-sources Windows Bridge to convert iOS apps to Windows

08/06, 3:43pm

Works with Intel-based Windows versions only at present, ARM-based version coming

On Thursday, Microsoft released and open-sourced an early version of a previously-announced tool now called Windows Bridge, which allows iOS developers to easily convert iOS apps to be able to run natively on Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 10 Mobile. While calling the early version "clearly a work in progress," the company asked that the "interested and curious" help improve the program by beta testing and filing reports on it.


Microsoft claims 14M installations of Windows 10 in first 24 hours

07/31, 7:10am

Content delivery networks feel strain of Windows 10 downloads

Windows 10 has been installed on over 14 million devices in the first 24 hours of its release, Microsoft claims, suggesting it to be a success. The blog post by Yusuf Mehdi, Windows marketing chief at Microsoft, advises that Microsoft still has "many more upgrades to go" in order to catch up with Windows 10 upgrade reservations, despite the high number of installations after just one day of availability.


Windows 10 upgrades use large amounts of bandwidth, issues arise

07/29, 9:58pm

Slow update downloads, unusual errors surface during Windows 10 release

Microsoft's distribution of Windows 10 to users may be causing issues for some Internet users, due to the sheer amount of bandwidth being used. While Microsoft has apparently put a lot of effort into making the release of the free upgrade as error-free as possible, problems are still surfacing despite attempts by the software giant to minimize issues, including extremely slow download speeds for a number of updaters.


Apple issues driver update for Windows 7, 8 on Macs

07/29, 12:41pm

Improves FaceTime compatibility with Boot Camp-based installs

In a seeming coincidence to being the day Microsoft has launched its latest version of Windows, on Wednesday Apple released a driver update for those running Windows 7 and Windows 8 on their 2015 series MacBook computers, including the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and the latest Retina MacBook. The update is a FaceTime Camera driver update that improves compatibility with Windows when using Boot Camp-based installations.


Microsoft ships Windows 10, upgrade for Windows 7, 8.1 available now

07/29, 7:05am

Update to Windows includes new Start menu, Cortana, Edge browser

Microsoft has finally made Windows 10 available to download for all users. The latest operating system from the software giant is out in 190 countries simultaneously, allowing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to start upgrading their systems to Windows 10, with Microsoft also commencing sales of full installations of the software via its own Microsoft Store as well as through Amazon and other traditional outlets.


Briefly: Windows 10 pre-load, Amazon Prime Music in UK

07/28, 9:14am

Users report Windows 10 upgrade files starting to download to systems

Microsoft is allegedly preparing for tomorrow's launch of Windows 10, by preloading the operating system on computers that have been booked in for the upgrade. According to WinBeta, users that have already reserved their free upgrade from Windows 7 or later will start to see the files being preloaded ahead of a release after midnight tonight. The report also warns upgraders they can also expect to download a day one patch for Windows 10, weighing in at over 1GB in size.


Leak claims Parallels 11 will allow OS X users access to Cortana

07/27, 8:21pm

Feature will allegedly allow Cortana voice commands to be always on in Parallels

Users of Windows 10 on OS X may be able to use Microsoft's digital assistant, if they are using Parallels' Desktop for Mac. A leaked product page for version 11 of the virtualization software allegedly suggests that Cortana's voice commands will continue to be usable by Mac users running the Microsoft operating system on their desktop, even if Windows 10 is not the foremost application at that time.


Microsoft quarterly results hit heavily by Nokia impairment charge

07/21, 5:23pm

Operating loss of $2.1B caused through $7.5B Nokia acquisition, other charges

Microsoft endured an operating loss of $2.1 billion for the most recent quarter, the software giant has revealed in its last financial results before the launch of Windows 10. The heavy loss, which works out to be a loss per share of $0.40, is largely accounted for by the $7.5 billion impairment charge relating to its acquisition of Nokia, and a restructuring charges of $780 million and $160 million, though the rest of the financials appears to be more positive for the company.


Microsoft issues RTM build of Windows 10, USB distribution revealed

07/17, 9:39am

Windows 10 will be sold on USB drives in stores shortly after launch

Microsoft has reportedly completed its Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build of Windows 10, in preparation for the operating system's July 29 launch. The RTM launch is one of a few items surfacing as Microsoft gets closer to the launch, with the company also making it easier for customers to use and install Windows 10, by making it available on USB drives in stores shortly after the launch takes place.


Microsoft rebrands Xbox Music, Video as Groove, Movies & TV

07/07, 10:31am

Xbox brand removed from apps in preparation for Windows 10 launch

Microsoft is updating its desktop media apps in preparation for the Windows 10 launch at the end of this month, by removing the Xbox name among other alterations. Xbox Video is going to be rebranded to Movies & TV in Windows 10, with Microsoft's Xbox Music service receiving the new name Groove, with both services also going through a visual upgrade as part of the changes.


Microsoft reportedly close to RTM Windows 10 build finalization

07/06, 1:54pm

Windows 10 RTM build could arrive this week

Microsoft is allegedly close to finalizing software included in the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version of Windows 10, one that it will be providing to manufacturers to install on their computers, notebooks, and tablets. Sources of The Verge claim the RTM build of Windows 10 will be ready sometime this week, ahead of the new operating system's final release to consumers that is scheduled to take place on July 29.


Some PC users won't get Windows 10 update on July 29 launch day

07/02, 10:50am

Windows 10 to be released to users in waves, following Windows Insiders

Prospective users of Windows 10 may have to wait before being able to use the next version of Microsoft's operating system, the software company has revealed. A blog post advises that it will be rolling out Windows 10 to Windows Insiders first on July 29, then reserved systems will be notified that they can upgrade in waves after the launch date, with subsequent waves increasing in size.


Briefly: QuickTime Windows update, Apple Q3 call announced

06/30, 9:30pm

First QuickTime update in nearly three months focuses on security

In addition to an avalanche of updates ranging from major to security-patches-only, Apple has released QuickTime 7.7.7 for Windows, the first update to the multimedia technology since early April. The update fixes a clutch of security issues with the QT Media Foundation, which could allow a maliciously-crafted file to lead to an unexpected application termination or arbitrary code execution. The root cause of the issue, multiple memory corruption issues, were addressed through improved memory handling.


Microsoft clarifies blog post about Insider upgrades to Windows 10

06/23, 2:37pm

Blog post on Friday mistakenly said Windows Insiders would gain full Windows 10 free

Microsoft has been forced to clarify the free Windows 10 upgrade offer, after a blog post on Friday suggested that anyone within the Windows Insider program would get it as well. The software giant's original post has been corrected, removing text about the activation, while also explaining how users could still use a final build of Windows 10 without upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.


Microsoft releasing Windows 10 on July 29 for PCs, tablets

06/01, 6:28am

Upgrade reservation notices sent to Windows 7, 8, 8.1 users

Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 upgrade on July 29, the software giant has confirmed. It is also revealed that users of Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 will find they will have a slightly different process for the free upgrade this time around compared to the upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, with Microsoft offering an upgrade prompt to "reserve" the upgrade download instead of forcing users to go through the Windows Store.


Windows 10 mobile support increases, Cortana heading to iOS, Android

05/26, 12:57pm

Microsoft virtual assistant app will head to iPhones, Android this year

Microsoft will be making Windows 10 more useful to smartphone owners, by making it easier to set up their desktop and mobile device to connect together and share files. The added mobile support is also supported by a second announcement that the Cortana virtual assistant will be available to download and use on other platforms than Windows Phone, with both iOS and Android set to receive access in the future.


Hands On: Postbox 4.0b4 (OS X, Windows)

05/21, 7:53am

Powerful replacement for Apple's Email

It used to be that free trumped everything, especially when that free was something built by Apple or Microsoft. When literally every Mac or Windows user has a particular type of software provided right there with their computer, it used to be that rivals simply died. Now we seem more open to persuasion, or at least to considering alternatives, and for some people Postbox 4 is going to be so ideal they'll wish they bought it two versions ago.


Game Replay: Diablo III Cow Level, Ubisoft quits last-gen consoles

05/17, 10:06pm

Gaming news summary for May 17, 2015

Welcome to the Game Replay, the twice-weekly post where MacNN and Electronista writes about some of the major stories in the wider world of gaming that have developed over the last few days. In today's edition, Blizzard brings back Diablo's "Cow Level" secret, Ubisoft gives up on previous-generation consoles, and Candy Crush Saga will be heading to Windows 10.


Windows 10 free upgrade will not be available to pirates

05/15, 11:10pm

Microsoft clarifies stance on free Windows 10 upgrade qualification

Microsoft will not be providing the free Windows 10 upgrade to owners of pirated operating systems, the software giant has clarified. A blog post by operating systems vice president Terry Myerson doubles back from earlier comments suggesting users of pirated software would receive the update, with the affected users now being required to pay for a full Windows license before receiving Windows 10.


Review: FileMaker Pro 14 (OS X, iOS, Windows)

05/13, 12:22pm

Excellent update to a superb but not flawless tool

Here's the thing. FileMaker Pro is a quietly spectacular app: it's for creating databases but for three decades now it has also created careers. There are people whose entire working lives have been devoted to creating databases in FileMaker Pro and they do it for lone freelancers, corner shop businesses and even corporations. Now a new FileMaker Pro 14 has been released for the app's 30th anniversary and, with one caveat, it is hugely recommended. Check our full review to see what we liked, and what we didn't.


Briefly: Amazon Echo Prime Stations, Windows Insider upgrades

05/11, 10:20am

Amazon adds Prime Stations to Echo wireless speaker

Amazon has updated the Echo portable wireless speaker to work with Prime Stations. An email sent to Prime subscribers owning the device advises that the Alexa digital assistant can be commanded to play a personalized ad-free station from Prime Music. The verbal command "Alexa, play the Bruno Mars Prime Station" will start streaming the relevant station through the speaker, with "Alexa, thumbs up/thumbs down" rating the track for further personalization, and "Alexa, what song is this?" to receive more track details.


Developer evangelist claims Windows 10 'last' version of Windows

05/08, 4:43pm

Comments suggest regular updates instead of milestone Windows releases in future

Windows 10 will be the "last" version of the operating system, a Microsoft developer evangelist has claimed. Speaking at the Ignite conference earlier this week, Jerry Nixon told attendees "Right now we're releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we're all still working on Windows 10," suggesting Microsoft will be taking an alternative path to upgrading the operating system.


Windows Media Center not shipping in Windows 10

05/02, 9:02pm

Microsoft ends upgrades of Windows Media Center for next operating system

Windows Media Center will not form part of the upcoming release of Windows 10. Microsoft has no intentions of bringing the software over into its latest operating system, meaning that users who have it running on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will no longer be able to access it if they decide to accept the company's offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10.


Microsoft brings Visual Studio Code to Mac, Linux

04/29, 1:12pm

Free version of Windows development suite heads to other platforms

Microsoft is bringing its Visual Studio suite to more platforms, the company announced at its Build conference keynote today. Visual Studio Code is a lightweight version of the long-standing code editing suite, with the new cross-platform version being made available in preview not only for Windows, but also OS X and Linux systems, and as a free download to developers.


Microsoft drops Xbox branding from Windows 10 Music, Video apps

04/01, 2:56pm

App previews for Music, Video available to download in Windows 10 Technical Preview

Microsoft has released preview versions of two universal apps that will ship along with Windows 10, providing access to the user's media. The new Music and Video apps are available to download from the Windows Store beta within the Windows 10 Technical Preview, with Microsoft notably dropping the Xbox branding from the front of both app names.


Microsoft bringing Windows 10 technical preview to more Lumia phones

03/29, 11:50am

Partition stitching addition widens reach of Windows 10 phone preview

Microsoft is making the technical preview of Windows 10 for smartphones available to more devices, the software giant has advised. Initially available to a small number of Lumia smartphones, the technical preview will be installable on a wider array of hardware, with over 30 Lumia devices on a preliminary list set to receive the software in the next preview release.


Windows 10 may not be free to new customers, virtualization users

03/27, 2:20pm

Microsoft dodges questions about free versions to pirates, Parallels users

Microsoft has made a passing attempt to clarify some of its policy on free upgrades to Windows 10. In an interview, senior director of product marketing at Microsoft Aaron Woodman detailed what the company has decided about the offering -- and an alarming amount of decisions seem to have not been made yet about licensing the OS.


Microsoft's China push reportedly involves upgrading pirates, Android

03/18, 9:43pm

Microsoft to provide PCs in China running pirated Windows with free upgrade

Microsoft may end up allowing more people to use a free version of Windows 10 than previously thought. One report claims Microsoft is going to be trying to make it easier for Android users to switch to a Windows mobile device by transforming their existing smartphone, and some pirates may also end up being able to upgrade their existing Windows installation to the new release.


Windows 10 shipping this summer, increasing presence in China

03/18, 7:18am

Microsoft partners with Chinese companies to help spread Windows upgrade

Microsoft will be releasing Windows 10 to the public in the coming months, the software maker has confirmed. Exiting its current Windows Insider technical preview program sometime this summer, the latest iteration of the operating system will be shipping in 190 countries around the world in 111 languages, with Microsoft also announcing a greater push into China.


Biometric security added to Windows 10, storage footprint reduced

03/17, 3:09pm

Fingerprint scanning, face and iris recognition coming to Windows 10

Windows 10 will be including more alternative log-in systems when it launches, with Microsoft embracing biometric security on computers. The software giant also advises that the team behind Windows 10 have made changes to the way it compresses system files and how the operating system handles recovery functions, helping reduce the software's footprint on the device's storage.


Microsoft may include peer-to-peer updates system in Windows 10

03/15, 12:48pm

Option to download from networked PCs, other systems found in leaked Windows 10 build

Microsoft may be using a peer-to-peer file distribution system for system updates in Windows 10, a report claims. A leaked build of Windows 10 is said to include an option to "get updates from more than one place," suggesting Microsoft may be shifting away from its existing direct-from-server system to a more modern system that is closer to BitTorrent and other similar file-sharing services.


Microsoft re-patches Windows to protect against Stuxnet exploit

03/10, 9:22pm

Initial 2010 Stuxnet patch left Windows PCs vulnerable for five years

Microsoft has finally fixed an issue with Windows that allowed it to be vulnerable to the Stuxnet worm, by issuing another patch. An initial fix released in August 2010 to fix the USB exploit is claimed by security researchers not to have completely solved the problem, subsequently keeping all Windows PCs susceptible to the attack over the last five years, though a patch released today as part of "Patch Tuesday" is claimed to solve it once and for all.


BitTorrent client uTorrent allegedly installing virtual currency miner

03/06, 11:28am

Some claim that installation was without user permission

BitTorrent client Āµtorrent is plaguing its users by installing a virtual currency miner alongside its latest revision. While the company denies tricking users into installation, the torrent client does come bundled with "Epic Scale," a Windows application that is used to mine Litecoin. Some users claim to have discovered it only after noticing significant processor load following installation of the client.


Windows, Blackberry also susceptible to HTTPS-breaking FREAK attack

03/06, 9:52am

Chrome, Firefox for OS X safe; no ETA on Android, Windows patches

In an advisory published on Thursday, Microsoft has admitted that all versions of its OS and browser are susceptible to the FREAK bug. Additionally, all BlackBerry devices are also vulnerable. The flaw allowing the attack exists in approximately 36 percent of websites that use HTTPS, and miscreants are able to intercept and modify data passing between a vulnerable browser and a susceptible site. Neither BlackBarry devices nor Windows devices were intially pegged as susceptible, due to a flaw in the coding of the test site.


Hands On: Airy (OS X, Windows)

02/28, 8:40am

Download and keep YouTube videos with this simple app

The newly-updated Airy - YouTube Downloader for Mac does what almost every word in its title says. It downloads YouTube videos, it runs on a Mac. Run this, grab a YouTube video, and save it to your Mac to watch later. It's so simple, you'll be surprised YouTube itself doesn't come with this functionality.


Windows 365 trademark filing could hint at incoming subscriptions

02/11, 8:05am

Trademark suggests Microsoft considering more subscription services

Microsoft may be considering a future change to a subscription-based version of Windows, according to reports. A trademark filing for "Windows 365," mirroring the Office 365 branding, strongly suggests the software giant is looking to possibly charging a regular fee to consumers for the operating system or some specific functionality, rather than using the current one-time payment system used for major version upgrades.


Microsoft updates Windows 10 Technical Preview with Cortana

01/23, 5:58pm

Latest Windows Insider preview build of Windows 10 available to download

Microsoft has made the latest version of its Windows 10 Technical Preview available to download by the participants of the Windows Insider program. The update introduces some of major features shown off during this week's Windows 10 event, with the Spartan browser and the Xbox One game streaming expected to arrive in Insider builds closer to launch.


Surface RT will miss out on majority of Windows 10 upgrades

01/23, 7:18am

Full upgrade to Windows 10 not available for Windows RT devices

Owners of the Microsoft Surface will not receive the full upgrade to Windows 10, but will still benefit from some updates, a report claims. While Microsoft will be making the next version of its operating system available to systems running Windows 7, 8, and 8.1, including the Surface Pro range, the Windows RT-based Surface will be missing out.


Microsoft shows 55- and 84-inch Surface Hub enterprise touchscreen

01/21, 3:53pm

Windows 10 device intended to simplify conferencing, communications

Microsoft's Surface ecosystem didn't get left behind in today's Windows 10 event. Unveiled at the media event was the Microsoft Surface Hub, which is either a 55- or 84-inch 4K display, utilizing a custom Windows 10 version, featuring touch and stylus input with voice and gesture controls.


Microsoft Hologram project unveiled, Hololens headset demoed

01/21, 2:27pm

Seven-year project integrated into Windows 10, release not imminent

Microsoft pulled the veil off of a project that it claims has been running for years -- Microsoft Hologram. The project, consisting of a new Hololens headset, aims to integrate Microsoft Windows in both a virtual reality and augmented reality system. Additionally, the company announced that every Windows 10 device will support the system in some way, with the API on every device. As expected, details are scant.


Windows 10 will gain Game DVR, social functions from Xbox One

01/21, 2:19pm

Xbox One will stream gameplay to Windows 10 devices

Microsoft's gaming ambitions will involve a new app for Windows 10, among other items, Xbox chief Phil Spencer has revealed. The Xbox app will be available on every PC and tablet running Windows 10, providing not only the usual social features already offered to Xbox One users, but also the Game DVR video creation and sharing function.


HP ships large collection of new Android, Windows tablets in US

01/21, 7:37am

HP Pro Slate 12, 8 include ultrasound-based Duet Pen stylus input

HP added a large number of tablets to its arsenal, running on Android and Windows. The main launches from the collection are two Android tablets, with the Pro Slate 12 and the Pro Slate 8 both equipped with the Duet Pen, an accessory using Qualcomm's ultrasound technology that lets the user write anywhere nearby and have the text appearing on the tablet automatically.


Briefly: Xiaomi launches Mi Box mini, Windows 10 event stream

01/15, 9:26am

Xiaomi launches compact Mi Box mini media streamer in China

Xiaomi has introduced a new compact media streamer in China. The Mi Box mini is a power adapter-sized device containing a quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A7 processor from MediaTek, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of storage, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a HDMI 1.4a output capable of showing 3D video at 1080p. While it offers DTS 2.0 and Dolby Digital Plus audio processing and has a Bluetooth remote control, it does not include any options to increase the storage or connect over Ethernet or USB. Shipping from January 27, the Mi Box mini is priced at 199 RMB ($32).


Windows 7 mainstream support ends, extended support period starts

01/13, 1:21pm

Security patches for Windows 7 will continue until January 2020

Microsoft is ending its "mainstream support" for Windows 7 today. The January 13 end date for the support, across all versions of Windows 7, means that from tomorrow onwards Microsoft will not be offering free support for issues with the operating system, though the company will be offering chargeable "extended support" until January 14, 2020.


Microsoft attacks Google for Windows 8.1 vulnerability publication

01/12, 11:18am

Google reveals Windows flaw despite Microsoft request to wait

Microsoft is asking for the online security community to better coordinate on the disclosure of vulnerabilities in code, after a publication of a flaw in Windows 8.1 by Google. The search company released details about the vulnerability in the operating system yesterday as part of Project Zero, two days before Microsoft was to offer up a fix in its well-known Patch Tuesday schedule.



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