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Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

xbox one header

For the current generation of consoles, Sony and Microsoft have the same problem on their hands – both the PS4 and the Xbox One are based on the X86 processor architecture, whereas both of their previous products were based on IBM’s PowerPC acrhitecture, which is very different from anything else on the market. Both the PS4 and the Xbox One already have a decent library of titles to choose from, but both brands have an incredible back catalog of games that they could emulate or otherwise offer backwards compatibility for.

While Sony works out the kinks for PS Now and deals with PS1 and PS2 emulation on the PS4, Microsoft is doing its part in the matter and is investigating the chances of emulating Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One.

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Last week a young boy from San Diego named Kristoffer Von Hassel figured out how to log into his father’s Xbox LIVE account without using the correct password. “I got nervous. I thought he was going to find out,” Kristoffer told television station KGTV. “I thought someone was going to steal the Xbox.” Luckily for Kristoffer when his dad found out and sent the details of the flaw to Microsoft, not only did he receive a number of free games, but he was also listed as a “security researcher” on Microsoft’s website. Hit the jump to find out how he managed to log in.

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Just in case anyone needs a reminder, Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 Update, bringing some new features and UI improvements to the OS, will be available to download starting tomorrow, 8 April 2014. The update will be available through the Windows Store and there’s no need to reformat your computer to install it, as was the case with the 8.1 updates to standard Windows 8. Windows 8.1 Update is also entirely optional and may be skipped for now until you discover an app or a critical piece of software that you work with that needs it to function.

Note that the big changes recently announced, including DirectX 12, won’t be in this or the next update. Microsoft will most likely reserve those changed for the Windows 9 launch. In addition, the Windows Phone 8.1 update is still on track for a mid-year launch, but most devices currently running Windows Phone 8 will be able to run it.

Windows 8 success kid header

Microsoft’s quest to make Windows 8 palatable and useable to the general public has been met with much failure, wailing and gnashing of teeth. Despite the improvements under the hood to the OS and the unification of interfaces through Modern UI, Windows 8 continues to show slower growth than Windows 7 and Microsoft isn’t yet at the level they thought they’d be just over two years into the operating system’s life. But they’re making up for past mistakes with new features for Windows 8 and for the first time, a march back to the way things were.

Windows 8.1 Update will become available to download through the Windows Store on 8 April 2014, the day of the death of Windows XP support. Follow me after the jump to see what’s going to be changed!

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Phil Spencer

So with the news that Microsoft was appointing Stephen Elop to the head of the devices and services division of the company, you may have been worried about the future of the gaming platform under the man who pretty much demolished Nokia. Well depending on how you like him already, you can either sigh in relief or scream in a flat panic because Phil Spencer now heads up the Xbox division in its entirety. With Marc Whitten leaving the company to pursue other personal projects, Spencer has been made to step up to the plate and steer the ship.

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Kinect for Windows V2

Well, it’s on the way! If you began to drool at the thought of being able to use the Kinect module bundled in with the Xbox One on your desktop computer, you probably won’t have much longer to wait. Microsoft recently revealed Kinect for Windows V2 and it’s an exact replica of the one paired to their games console, with a few external changes. Development kits have already been shipped to developers working on applications that use Kinect V2 and apparently people are very excited for the camera’s release.

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MS Dos retail boxes

Microsoft as we know it really started to take hold of the computing world with Windows 3.1 and Windows 95, two operating systems which changed the paradigm for personal computing on a much deeper level than Apple had in mind with their competing Macintosh and Lisa desktop computers. But before that, Microsoft’s tiny team of less than 100 employees was given the contract by IBM in November 1980 to take the concepts of the CP/M operating system and produce a version of it for the IBM Personal Computer. Microsoft bought a CP/M clone for the project for $75,000 (86-DOS, whose creator was also hired by Microsoft) and their end result was MS-DOS, which was licensed again by IBM and rebranded as PC DOS.

Thus began the very long and very lucrative relationship between the two companies. To celebrate their long history and to educate younger minds about the history of the computer, Microsoft has released the source code for MS-DOS 1.1 and 2.0 and Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1a.

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If you’re using Microsoft Office 2010 and haven’t patch paid much heed to e-mails and attachments that you open, you may be open to a zero-day vulnerability which targets Outlook 2010 by using a vulnerability in Word 2010 to gain access to your e-mail and operating system. The attack is delivered through a RTF-formatted Word document or through a RTF-formatted e-mail with hidden elements and code. There’s a temporary fix available which prevents users from opening up affected RTF files, but Microsoft has not announced a deadline for an official fix. This also affects Office for Mac 2011, but not the Office 2013 suite. If you want to avoid these issues for now, open e-mails in plain text only or use alternative software suites to open up your files, like Mozilla Thunderbird or Libre Office.

Source: Microsoft Security TechCenter

DirectX 12 header

Microsoft took to the stage of the 2014 Game Developer’s Conference just four days ago to discuss DirectX 12, a new version of the DirectX API that has driven Windows’ domination over the computer market for over ten years. DirectX 12 will launch in 2015 and for the moment, developers will have access to a very early, very small part of the API as Microsoft learns how to use and tweak it for maximum impact and efficiency. DirectX 12 represents the biggest shift for Microsoft in a long time and has been in the works for over a year. Hit the jump to see it explained in a non-confusing way. Maybe.

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Looks like it’s Microsoft’s turn to lose a long-time executive employee: Marc Whitten, the Xbox chief product officer has resigned from the company. This comes just more than a week after Sony experienced a similar high-profile departure from their PlayStation brand: SCEA CEO Jack Tretton.

Whitten has been at the forefront of the Xbox brand ever since the first Xbox console launched in November of 2001. He was also instrumental in establishing Xbox LIVE and ushering in subsequent console iterations: the Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

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