Archive for Microsoft

Videos Of Windows 9 In Action Leaked

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 15, 2014 by itnerd

Well, this is interesting. Some videos have been posted that apparently show Windows 9 in action. Here’s what Tech Crunch reported:

A number of clips are up for watching, detailing how Windows 9 will handle multiple desktops, the return of the Start Menu, and more. Presuming that you have missed at least one, I’ve included each in this post.

The videos are worth considering as they demonstrate what Microsoft views as a proper remediation — and fusion — of its tablet-facing efforts included in Windows 8, and support of desktop features that echo the popular Windows 7.

The clips in question are on Youtube and I’ve reposted them below:

So, does this make you forgive Microsoft for Windows 8? For me, it’s too early to tell. I will wait until the preview comes out later this month.

Minecraft Now Owned By Microsoft

Posted in Commentary with tags on September 15, 2014 by itnerd

If you like playing the popular game Minecraft, you might want to sit down for this news. Mojang, the company behind Minecraft has been bought by Microsoft for $2.5 billion:

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will acquire Mojang for $2.5 billion. Microsoft expects the acquisition to be break-even in FY15 on a GAAP basis. Subject to customary closing conditions and any regulatory review, the acquisition is expected to close in late 2014.

The press release also says this:

Microsoft plans to continue to make “Minecraft” available across all the platforms on which it is available today: PC, iOS, Android, Xbox and PlayStation.

While it would be suicide to cut support for non Microsoft platforms, you’ll excuse me if I am skeptical. After all, they have Windows Mobile and Windows Desktop OSes to sell. So the may not nuke support for non-Microsoft platforms today, but they may well do so in the future. All one needs to do is look at Microsoft’s purchase Bungie. Mac support for all their games (in particular Halo) disappeared some time after the purchase.

In the meantime, expect fans of Minecraft not to be happy about this purchase.

Microsoft Agrees To Contempt Order So It Can Appeal Case Related To Data Held Overseas

Posted in Commentary with tags , on September 10, 2014 by itnerd

This was a plot twist that I did not see coming.

You might recall that Microsoft was actively fighting an order to hand over data from servers located in Ireland under the logic that you cannot serve warrants to search property in other countries. The district judge presiding over the case agreed with the government and ordered Microsoft to comply with its demands to hand over the data.

Here’s the plot twist: Microsoft cut a deal with the U.S. government in which the company would be held on contempt charges but would not be penalized for it until after the outcome of an appeal. The district judge endorsed the agreement (Warning: PDF).

I am not a lawyer, but it looks like to me that Microsoft is trying to force a clear judgment so everyone going forward knows what the rules are. It may win. It may lose. But this is a very good tactic.

More on this as it develops.

RIP: MSN Messenger

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 31, 2014 by itnerd

After more than 15 years of being live, Microsoft is putting MSN Messenger out to pasture on October 31st. Now most users were flipped over to Skype a while ago. But that didn’t include China as there is still a substantial market for MSN Messenger apparently.

Who knew?

Those users will now be flipped over to Skype as well. As recently as 2010, Windows Live Messenger had about 300 million active users, ranking it as the number one instant messenger platform in the world at the time, according to Microsoft’s blog. But it’s usage plummeted as other services came online.

Do you have any fond memories of MSN Messenger? Post a comment and share them with your fellow readers.

Microsoft Ignores US Order To Release Data Held Overseas

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 31, 2014 by itnerd

You might recall that I posted a story about the US Government wanting data from Microsoft servers located in Ireland. Apparently, Microsoft has said to use a Glee reference “hell to the no:”

“Microsoft will not be turning over the email and plans to appeal,” a Microsoft statement notes. “Everyone agrees this case can and will proceed to the appeals court. This is simply about finding the appropriate procedure for that to happen.”

This is good because I was always under the impression that you cannot serve warrants to search property in other countries. But I am a computer nerd and not a lawyer. Thus I will be watching with interest as to what the outcome of this case is as it has far reaching implications.


Microsoft To Hold Press Event To Announce Windows 9 In September?

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 21, 2014 by itnerd

The Verge is reporting that Microsoft is going to start putting the nails in the coffin of Windows 8 by having a press event in September:

Microsoft is planning to unveil its Windows 8 successor next month at a special press event. Sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans tell The Verge that the software maker is tentatively planning its press event for September 30th to detail upcoming changes to Windows as part of a release codenamed “Threshold.” This date may change, but the Threshold version of Windows is currently in development and Microsoft plans to release a preview version of what will likely be named Windows 9 to developers on September 30th or shortly afterwards. The date follows recent reports from ZDNet that suggested Microsoft is planning to release a preview version of Windows 9 in late September or early October.

Let’s face it. Windows 8 has absolutely failed. And we’re talking Vista levels of failure. The only way it could be worse is if Apple ran commercials that made fun of it like they did with Vista. So clearly they want to move on as quickly as possible.

This should be fun to watch.

Windows 8.1 Update Causing Blue Screen Of Death Issues

Posted in Commentary with tags on August 18, 2014 by itnerd

Last Tuesday, “Update 2″ for Windows 8.1 rolled out and it seems that some users are suffering from the dreaded Blue Screen Of Death after installing it. Here’s what Hot Hardware had to say: 

Since the patch rollout, it’s been discovered that four individual updates are causing random BSoD issues for its users, with KB2982791, a kernel-mode related driver, being the biggest culprit. Because of the bug’s severity, Microsoft is recommending that anyone who updated go and uninstall a couple of the specific updates, or rollback using Windows Restore.

The updates that should be uninstalled are:

  • 2982791 MS14-045: Description of the security update for kernel-mode drivers: August 12, 2014
  • 2970228 Update to support the new currency symbol for the Russian ruble in Windows
  • 2975719 August 2014 update rollup for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2
  • 2975331 August 2014 update rollup for Windows RT, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2012

Lovely. Microsoft has posted another workaround for this issue at this link. But I think this highlights why you should never install updates right away. Instead, wait a week and see if there are any issues and then upgrade. That way you avoid any downtime. 


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