Tag Archives: microsoft

Attention PC users! A Windows 10 Downloader can be Hiding in your Security Updates

WindowsUpdate

Microsoft has hidden a Windows 10 ad-generator/downloader in a latest security update KB 3139929. This security update is meant for IE11 users who are running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. So, if you haven’t already, take a moment to look at what’s inside.

 

Microsoft’s Windows 10 updates are often labeled as security updates, feature updates, and bug fixes. While it’s hard to distinguish between a new feature update and a bug fix, the security updates are released as a separate release.

Although I’m a little late to the party (this has been going around since March 11th 2016), it’s important that I share this with you guys. The desire to install Windows 10 on more devices has forced Redmond to change the rules and hide Windows 10 download ads in the latest Internet Explorer 11 security patch. If we look at Microsoft’s documentation regarding Patch Tuesday’s KB 3139929 Internet Explorer security update, it also installs a new Windows 10 ad routine called KB 3146449.

“This update adds functionality to Internet Explorer 11 on some computers that lets users learn about Windows 10 or start an upgrade to Windows 10,” Microsoft describes the update.

However, it isn’t clear how does this update affect your browser. Some websites report that after installing the update, IE11 shows you a big Windows 10 upgrade banner if you visit MSN.com.

IE11-Default-windows-10-ad.png

Other users have already complained that they have been seeing giant Windows 10 pop-ups that prompt them to upgrade Windows 10 when theyMSN.com — all this without installing the new IE11 security update. I’ve tried to reproduce this behaviour on my spare Windows 7 PC but failed to do so.

This Windows update was first spotted by InfoWorld.

If this behaviour is exactly the way it’s being reported, it’s a part of Microsoft’s strategy to increase the pace of Windows 10 installations. In the past, it was reported that company is using some shady promotional tactics and the latest saga is the new low. So for those of you who are avoiding Windows 10 right now, be careful, it’s waiting for you.

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Xbox One: Microsoft Wants Cross-Platform Play Enabled for Consoles

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Have you heard? Looks like something finally clicked for Microsoft because they’re looking to cross platforms with Sony (PS4 to XBone) via online gaming as well as with PC (specifically Windows 10) gamers.

Here’s a little more info according to sources:

Microsoft has announced it will natively support cross-platform play between Xbox One, Windows 10, and other “online multiplayer networks.” The move effectively opens the Xbox Live platform so that it can accommodate players on Sony’s PlayStation Network, among others.

They also mentioned that Chris Charla, director of ID@Xbox, said “it’s up to game developers to support this feature” and noted that players will “always have the option of choosing to play only with other Xbox Live players.”

This is an absolutely splendid, prolonged idea that was waiting to happen but egotists (ahem, Xbox staff) kept blocking the idea. As far as I’m concerned, PS4 has been open to the idea way before this. Maybe the Xbox team was waiting for the “right time”, whatever that might be. Your thoughts?

It’s evolving! Internet Explorer transitioning to next-gen web browser – Project Spartan for Windows 10

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Resuming some Windows 10 updates: In Microsoft’s recent Windows 10 press conference they have demonstrated its new web browser, which is codenamed Project Spartan, for the first time. There are a few features that they took the time to show off and share with us.

The first feature of Spartan was a way to let you mark up web pages just as you would do if you were using a marker on a piece of paper. It also lets you share marked-up pages with people you’re collaborating with and can work on both touch-based and non-touch devices.

The second feature is improvements to improve your overall reading experience on the web that will include the ability to save content offline through a reading list that essentially freezes bookmarks in place and lets you read them later even if you have no web connection. It will also sync your reading list across all devices so you can read them on your phone if you’ve saved them on your PC and vice versa.

Cortana revealed as a Windows 10 feature
Cortana revealed as a Windows 10 feature

Finally, Microsoft allowed access to Cortana, their voice assistant, in the Spartan web browser so that you can use voice search when surfing the web. Here’s the cool part, since Cortana learns and adapts to your behavior, Cortana can let you know things about pages you’re looking at. Are you looking for a specific type of computer? Well, if you shop on a site, Cortana can tell you if that particular computer is available there.

Sounds promising! 2015 is sounding like a good year for Microsoft. My thoughts? Buh bye Internet Explorer… This. Is. Spartan!

Microsoft plans to fuse Windows 10 OS to Xbox One

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It’s confirmed, sometime in the future Microsoft will be meshing the Windows 10 operating system into the Xbox One console. What’s the purpose? Sharing applications across devices and platforms, of course.

This could be a good move on Microsoft’s part. Except, according to the head of team Xbox, Phil Spencer assured that the games platform wouldn’t be compromised by enterprise-centric and desktop-focused applications. Mr. Spencer did have something to say as well:

We won’t see people using Excel on the Xbox, but Microsoft is making it easier to port experiences from PC over to Xbox where they make sense…

We’ll treat gaming on Windows 10 with the same passion as we’ve put into the Xbox console.

That’s basically all that was said. There are no details as to how Windows 10 will operate nor how interactive it will be. Sigh.

However, Phil Spencer did mention more details will be available this March, during the Games Developer’s Conference.

On a side note, in case you don’t know, here’s some facts about Windows 10 OS. You will be able to stream Xbox One games. Also, if you’re a customer and own Windows 7 and up, you can get Windows 10 for free but only for the first year. This also applies to you Windows phone owners. Lastly Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-activated personal assistant, will be available on Windows 10 for PC.

Stay tuned for more soon.

Nostalgia: MS-DOS games are available to play free on your browser

Screenshot of one of MS-DOS popular games "The Oregon Trail"
Screenshot of one of MS-DOS popular games “The Oregon Trail”

Enjoyed playing MS-DOS games way back when? Well enjoy it right now — for free! The Internet Archive has laid out the many childhood-memories for us to play and re-live the good and bad moments of playing some of these games. Through the use of the EM-DOSBOX in-browser emulator, these programs are bootable and playable. However, it appears that this browser-based emulator is still in the beta phase so expect random bugs/issues [for now].

There’s Duke Nukem, Street Fighter, Burger Blaster, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Lion King, Chuck Yeager’s Advanced Flight Trainer and more, totaling to about 2,306 (according to their search results) MS-DOS based game titles ready to play in an engaging lesson in interactive internet care.

I personally am not too familiar with all MS-DOS games, I didn’t own my very own computer until the early 2000’s, but I’ve certainly grew up during that era of gaming. If you’re not familiar with MS-DOS at all, nows a great time to get your hands dirty and your brain working.