Latest on Microsoft: News, Features, Opinions and More
Microsoft engineer: 'Definitely problems' with test process after crippling Windows patch
A week after Microsoft pulled a Patch Tuesday update that crippled some Windows 7 PCs, the company has yet to provide a working fix for either the original flaw or the resulting problem.
Microsoft jumps into NoSQL market with new Azure data store
Jumping into the growing NoSQL market, Microsoft has debuted a simple data store through the Azure cloud hosting service.
Opera Mini becomes default browser for Microsoft's fading feature phones
Opera Software and Microsoft have struck a deal to replace Nokia's Xpress browser with Opera Mini on Microsoft's dying line of feature phones.
AT&T to get the M8 for Windows, too; it's not just Verizon
Less than a day after the HTC One (M8) for Windows went on sale "exclusively" on Verizon Wireless, AT&T also said it will carry the new smartphone, too.
Review: VMware VSAN turns storage inside-out
VMware's Virtual SAN 1.0 combines easy setup and management with high availability and high performance -- and freedom from traditional storage systems
China paving the way for big Xbox One sales
China has approved the sale of 5 million Xbox One units, opening the way for Microsoft to make a big splash in the country's emerging console sector.
Ballmer's exit from Microsoft's board expected, boosts Nadella's standing, analysts say
It's not surprising that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer abruptly gave up his board seat some six months after leaving the top job, and the move should help cement the regime and strategy of his successor Satya Nadella, according to several industry observers.
Ballmer quits Microsoft board, cites NBA commitments
Ex-CEO Steve Ballmer resigned from the Microsoft board today, effective immediately.
In his own words: Best quotes of Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer's decision to step down from Microsoft's board draws to a close a 34 year-long career that took him from business manager to CEO.
Steve Ballmer steps down from Microsoft's board
About six months after retiring as CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer has relinquished his seat on the company's board of directors effective immediately, citing a busy schedule and confidence in the company's current and future financial performance.
Petition demands Apple fix MacBook Pro graphics woes
A petition started last year that urges Apple's CEO to recall older MacBook Pro laptops to fix a graphics problem has passed the 10,000-signature mark, part of an ongoing effort to get Apple to do something.
Why HTC put Windows on its M8 smartphone
HTC announced the HTC One (M8) smartphone for Windows todayl it's available exclusively at Verizon Wireless for $99 on a two-year contract.
Microsoft tweaks SharePoint Online to free up site storage
Microsoft has tweaked the controls in SharePoint Online to let administrators make better use of storage resources allocated to SharePoint websites.
Azure services down again
Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform, wobbly for more than a week, is again experiencing outages and interruptions that are impacting multiple products in the U.S. and abroad.
Microsoft offers custom Windows OS to all first-gen Intel Galileo owners
Microsoft is encouraging more hardware hackers to develop Windows-based smart devices and appliances with expanded availability of a preview OS to all owners of Intel's Galileo board.
Update: Microsoft pulls crippling patch from Windows Update
Although Microsoft has pulled a patch from Windows Update that crippled some computers, it is still pushing a truncated version of the security update that contained the flawed fix.
New Microsoft same as the old Microsoft
For all the talk by its CEO about a new and different Microsoft, the company's money-making software groups remain lashed to hardware-intensive divisions that increasingly drag down the firm's overall margin.
Microsoft urges customers to uninstall 'Blue Screen of Death' update
Microsoft is quietly recommending that customers uninstall one of last week's security updates after users reported that it crippled their computers with the infamous "Blue Screen of Death."
Windows 'Threshold' to go public within weeks
Microsoft will issue a preview of "Threshold," the current code name for Windows 8's successor, as soon as next month, according to an online report today.
Microsoft: Give IE another chance
In a wide-ranging "Ask Me Anything" chat on Reddit, developers and program managers from the Microsoft Internet Explorer team urged users to give the browser another chance.
The API economy's weak point
A lot of technology platforms only work well if other services play nicely.
Azure cloud services have a rough week
Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform suffered a series of outages and service disruptions in the past week that affected several products and impacted customers in various parts of the world.
What failure looks like in Microsoft's cloud-first world
Continuous delivery, company-wide hackathons, growth hacking, features driven by user feedback through sites like user voice: The new face of Microsoft is all about moving faster and being more responsive. Moving faster can also mean things breaking. But failure, and what you do when things go wrong, look rather different in a cloud-first mobile-first world.
How risky will it be to run old IE after Microsoft's 2016 patch stoppage?
Microsoft's decision to stop patching older versions of Internet Explorer in 17 months may not be as big a show-stopper as many assume.
The news isn't good for Windows Phone
As global smartphone shipments hit a historic high of 301.3 million in the second quarter, the third-ranked operating system, Windows Phone, saw its share of that pie stumble to well below 3%.
Deja vu all over again: Windows 7 will be the new XP
Even as enterprises try to get rid of their last Windows XP machines, Gartner analysts are urging them to start planning for the end of Windows 7.
Neura's novel approach: Baking intelligence into connected devices
A well-known problem in the Internet of Things is that many connected devices operate in silos. Your Fitbit doesn't communicate with your Nest thermostat, for example.
Microsoft opens new site for Lumia apps beta tests
Microsoft is closing the Nokia Beta Labs site, but users will still be able to test apps under development via the new Lumia Beta Apps site, designed to elicit more feedback and make it easier for users to participate.
Wyoming to close data centers in cloud shift
The state of Wyoming is planning to discontinue most of its data center operations and move its physical equipment to commercial colocation facilities.
Microsoft makes Bing search more chatty
Microsoft has added some new smarts to its Bing search engine that lets you phrase queries in a way that feels more natural.
Microsoft postpones IE's Java blocking after IT complains
Microsoft has postponed the implementation of Java blocking within Internet Explorer and will give customers a little less than a month to deal with the unexpected change.
Microsoft chooses home automation startups for accelerator program
Microsoft has chosen 10 home automation startups that it will support in various ways through an accelerator program, in the hopes of helping them develop their technologies and products.
Microsoft whacks Apple with new Surface Pro 3 ads
Microsoft is taking on Apple's MacBook Air with a trio of new ads, doubling down on its contention that the Surface Pro 3 is a better laptop than the real laptop.
U.S. asks court to vacate stay in Microsoft email privacy case
The U.S. Department of Justice has asked a New York court to vacate a stay on an order that would require Microsoft to turn over to the government certain emails held abroad.
Microsoft to speed up Bing with FPGAs next year
It started off as an experiment, but Microsoft now wants to speed up and return more accurate Bing search results with the help of reconfigurable chips called FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays) in data centers.
SAP makes it cheaper, easier for customers to use Hana in certain scenarios
SAP has relaxed hardware requirements for using its Hana in-memory database platform for development and testing, in a move that could make existing Hana customers' operations easier and less expensive while also generating more Hana sales.
Microsoft's Patch Tuesday updates focus on Internet Explorer
Microsoft has issued 26 patches for its Internet Explorer browser, including one fixing a critical vulnerability that would allow a remote attacker to gain access to a computer from over the Internet.
Chromebooks may grab 5% of PC market, about the same as Apple's Mac
With more than 5 million units expected to be sold this year, Chromebooks will account for about 2% of all personal computers.
Windows tech support scammers take root in the U.S.
In a new trend, Windows tech support scams have gone home-grown, with twists that include bogus warnings from malicious websites urging users to call a toll-free number for "help."
Microsoft pitches Windows for Internet of Things
Hoping to cover all its bases in the emerging Internet-of-Things market, Microsoft is proffering a helping hand to 'makers,' DIYers, hardware hackers and other builders of things that may one day end up on the Internet.
Microsoft still believes in basic phones, launches Nokia 130 for $25
Microsoft's Devices Group has unveiled the Nokia 130, a mobile phone that costs just $25 but lacks an Internet connection and apps.
Even crooks couldn't profit from Microsoft's Surface flop
A former Microsoft finance manager was sentenced to two years in federal prison Friday after pleading guilty to an insider trading scheme that netted he and a partner more than $400,000.
Microsoft slashes IE support, sets 'huge' edict for Jan. 2016
Microsoft is giving customers 17 months to stop using older versions of Internet Explorer, including the most popular of them all, IE8.
Win Phone 7 users aghast Microsoft axed Skype for their phones
Owners of Windows Phone 7 smartphones are apoplectic that Skype no longer works on their devices.
Windows 8's no-name update plan nails OS's coffin shut
In a noteworthy change of strategy, Microsoft plans to release future feature updates to Windows 8.1 in smaller chunks more frequently.
UK public sector starting to spread the ICT spoils
Mid-sized companies are starting to outperform the leading IT suppliers to government, according to a report by analysts from TechMarketView.
Nadella leaves no doubt about who is in charge in first six months as CEO
Say what you will about Satya Nadella's first six months as Microsoft CEO, but no one can deny the man jumped in with both feet from day one and has led the company with decisiveness.
Windows 8.1 biz users face patch freeze as Microsoft sets critical updates
Microsoft plans to deliver nine security updates next week, incljuding a pair of critical patches for Internet Explorer and all versions of Windows.
Windows 9: Goodbye, Charms bar, hello virtual desktops?
Reports about the next major Windows release keep getting better and better. It looks like Microsoft has finally come to its senses and will dump the Charms bar in Windows 9 (also known as Threshold) slated for release next spring. Even better, Microsoft is planning a surprise for multi-taskers with the addition of multiple virtual desktops.
How to create relational databases in Excel 2013
Excel used to be the poor schmuck's database,A with spreadsheets that just sort of sat there. You could create something more sophisticated with LOOKUP functions, but they were a huge hassle to set up.
Big tech firms back Wi-FAR for remote broadband
Google, Microsoft and Facebook are cranking up an emerging wireless technology known as Wi-FAR to help reduce the digital divide in remote and unconnected regions of the world.
IE plays security catch-up, will block outdated Java plug-ins
Microsoft's Internet Explorer will begin blocking out-of-date ActiveX controls when the company updates the versions that run on Windows 7 and Windows 8 next week.
Google ships 64-bit Chrome for OS X
Google has pushed the 64-bit version of Chrome for Windows to the browser's Beta distribution channel, and boosted Chrome for OS X to 64-bit on the more preliminary Canary and Dev builds.
Microsoft discounts Surface for college kids, goes for price edge over Apple's MacBook Air
Microsoft has kicked off a month-long deal on its new Surface Pro 3 tablet-slash-notebook for college students, cutting prices between 10% and 19%.
Windows Phone communicates better via upgraded Facebook, Viber apps
Windows Phone is getting better voice and chat features thanks to upgraded applications from Facebook and Viber -- and that's key if Microsoft wants its OS to gain share.
Revenue explosion from Office for iPad fails to ignite
Contrary to some experts' expectations, Microsoft hasn't been "printing money" since it launched Office for iPad in March.
Gates cashes out another 20M Microsoft shares for $882M
Bill Gates has sold another 20 million shares of the company he co-founded, driving his portfolio under the 300-million mark for the first time, according to regulatory filings.
China reads Microsoft the riot act: Don't mess with antitrust inquiry
Chinese authorities publicly warned Microsoft not to hinder the ongoing antitrust probe into the company's practices in the People's Republic.
Surface damage mounts at Microsoft as red ink reaches $1.7B
Microsoft lost money on its Surface tablets throughout its just-concluded 2014 fiscal year, adding hundreds of millions of dollars in red ink.
Why your online identity can never really be erased
One seemingly unshakeable truth about the online world since it began is this: The Internet never forgets. Once you post anything online, it is recoverable forever -- the claims of former IRS official Lois Lerner about "lost" emails notwithstanding. Even promises of photos disappearing after a few seconds have been shown to be bogus.
Microsoft continues global CRM expansion in battle against Salesforce.com
Microsoft has expanded the availability of its cloud CRM software into 17 additional countries in a move sure to step up its rivalry with Salesforce.com.
Build your own private cloud
Borrowing from public cloud architecture and technologies, the private cloud weaves a new management layer around virtualized data center systems
Chrome passes 20% share milestone, locks up 2nd place
Google's Chrome browser last month broke the 20% user share bar for the first time, according to Net Applications.
Windows 8's uptake falls again, now slower than dud Vista
Windows 8's uptake was stuck in reverse for the second month in a row.
Microsoft sues Samsung, says it stopped paying for patents
Microsoft filed suit against Samsung on Friday, claiming the device maker has backed out of an agreement that requires it to pay licensing fees to Microsoft for the Android phones it sells.
Microsoft Office 365 vs. Google Apps: The ultimate guide
Download this handy PDF to learn all the ins and outs of the two major cloud productivity suites and decide which option is best for you
Microsoft ordered to turn over customer data stored in the cloud
Microsoft has been ordered to comply with a U.S. government demand for a customer's emails stored on a company server in Dublin, Ireland.
Microsoft's EMET 5.0 puts a security leash on plugins
The latest release of a Microsoft security tool that's designed to stop exploits lets administrators control when third-party plugins are launched, a long favored route for attackers.
Almost 200,000 people may have been affected by US visa system crash
Computer problems with the U.S. State Department's system for issuing passports and visas may have affected up to 200,000 people, it emerged Thursday, as the scale of the problem became clear for the first time.
End for Windows Server 2003 support could push sales in '15
Server sales could spike with the expiration of extended support for Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 OS in July next year, a Dell executive said.
Windows Phone 8.1 update takes Cortana to China, UK, and three other countries
Microsoft's voice-activated digital assistant Cortana is coming to China in a beta version nicknamed 'Xiao Na,' as part of several new functions packed into a Windows Phone 8.1 update.
Chinese officials seize Microsoft PCs, emails, financial info in antitrust probe
Regulators in China today said that they made sudden appearances at several Microsoft offices on Monday to gather evidence for an antitrust probe.
Microsoft, IBM make cloud gains against Amazon
Microsoft and IBM are gaining momentum in the cloud infrastructure services market, putting pressure on Amazon and outpacing rival Google, according to a new study.
Yosemite's traffic share triples after public beta debuts
The preview of Apple's OS X Yosemite public beta last week resulted in a tripling of the upgrade's share of online traffic.
Chinese regulators target Microsoft for office visits
Officials today from the China government appeared at four Microsoft offices, but the purpose of the visits was unclear.
Consumer Office 365 tops a half-billion dollars in annual revenue run-rate
Microsoft's Office 365 'rent-not-buy' subscription service is at an annual revenue run-rate of more than half a billion dollars.
Layoffs cool Microsoft employees' opinion of CEO Satya Nadella
The percentage of Microsoft current and former employees who approve of CEO Satya Nadella has dropped since the company announced layoffs.
How Microsoft's CEO sees growth for Windows Phone and Lumia
During an earnings call this week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella repeatedly promoted Lumia smartphones running on the Windows Phone platform. The call was just five days after the company announced a record 18,000 layoffs that raised concerns about Microsoft's long-term commitment to its phones.
Microsoft wants you to forget Windows 8
Unless MIcrosoft radically changes its habits, it will throw Windows 8 down a deep memory hole even before a successor ships.
EU hears Google, Microsoft, Yahoo on 'right to be forgotten'
Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are meeting with European data protection authorities Thursday to discuss how to implement a recent ruling that gives people the right to have personal information excluded from search results.
Deep-dive review: The Lumia 635 smartphone -- a study in contrasts
Nokia's new low-cost Lumia 635 smartphone makes some unfortunate hardware compromises, but on the plus side it comes with the excellent Windows Phone 8.1.
Microsoft again writes off Surface inventory, renews profitability doubts
Microsoft again took a hit on its Surface business, the company acknowledged Tuesday.
Microsoft revenue lifted by cloud sales to businesses
Strong sales of cloud products to businesses helped lift Microsoft's revenue by 18 percent last quarter, though its profits declined.
How Nokia both helped and hindered Microsoft's earnings
Microsoft paid more than $7 billion for Nokia's handset and services business, and the jury is still out as to what it means for its future. In the past quarter it boosted Microsoft's revenue but also ate into its profit.
Microsoft brings two open source tools to Azure
Following through on promises from new CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft continues to add support for non-Microsoft technologies, allowing them to run well on the company's Azure cloud hosting platform.
Intel releases its most reliable pro SSD
Intel today unveiled its Pro 2500 series of flash drives, which include 2.5-in. drives and M.2 flash cards for mobile devices.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Bye, Nokia, nice knowing you
Nokia, once a great company and the pride of Finland, is shuffling to its grave under Microsoft's leadership.
'Nadella Effect' makes Ballmer $2.8B richer
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's 'devices and services' strategy may be in tatters, discarded by his successor, Satya Nadella, but Ballmer must be smiling all the way to the bank.
Microsoft reveals bankruptcy of devices strategy by dumping Nokia feature phones
Microsoft decision to ax the feature phone business it got when it bought Nokia's handset business for $7.2 billion shows the investment 'went for naught.'
Microsoft combines several enterprise IT conferences into one for '15
Microsoft will hold next year a new conference that encompasses its enterprise IT products, including the productivity and server Office software, IT management wares and development tools, and replaces several shows that are narrower in scope.
Lenovo spins 180, says it's still in the 8-in. Windows tablet game
Lenovo on Friday said it would continue selling sub-10-in. Windows tablets in the U.S., backing away from statements it made the day before.
Cloud message resonates with Microsoft partners
Microsoft has been screaming "cloud" in many partners' deaf ears for several years, but the company found a more receptive audience at this week's Worldwide Partner Conference.
Google starts work on Chrome bug that slurps Windows laptop juice
Google engineers have begun working on a fix for a months-old Chrome bug that drains Windows' laptop batteries, a move triggered by a story on Forbes' website.
Microsoft may drag out layoffs for a year
It could take Microsoft a year to lay off the 18,000 workers it plans to cut, resulting in a drawn-out morale-busting process criticized by both labor experts and industry analysts.
Microsoft now leads in tech layoffs
Microsoft's planned 18,000 job cuts, or 14% of its workforce, is the biggest tech layoff announced this year, surpassing Hewlett-Packard's announcement in May that it was cutting 16,000 jobs.
Layoffs raise questions about Nadella's commitment to Nokia deal
Microsoft's 14 percent staff reduction, the largest in its history and focused heavily on employees acquired from Nokia's devices and services business, has some observers thinking Satya Nadella got a bad case of Lumia-induced indigestion.
Surface survives Microsoft cuts, but tablet strategy remains muddled
Microsoft plans to press ahead with its in-house Surface tablets, but the company's strategy remains vague and elusive.
EU privacy watchdogs to quiz Google, Microsoft on 'right to be forgotten'
European privacy authorities have invited Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to discuss the implementation of a landmark ruling by Europe's top court that gives people the right to have personal information excluded from search results.
As it lays off workers, Microsoft also kills its low-end Nokia X smartphones
In addition to announcing its largest job cuts ever, Microsoft today also signaled a retreat from its low-end Nokia X line of Android phones.
Update: Microsoft to lay off 18,000 in next year
Microsoft announced Thursday morning that it will cut its workforce by up to 18,000 jobs, or 14 percent, in the next year, as part of a broad effort to streamline the company in the wake of its acquisition of phone-maker Nokia.
Our bloggers on Microsoft
Why Windows 9 download date will be a HUGE step for Microsoft
Big boy Satya Nadella: Size matters.
Microsoft is said to be ready to launch Windows 9 at the end of next month, with a preview download available soon. Code named Threshold, the new operating system is expected to finally fix our gripes with Windows. It's akin to Windows 7 after Vista. At least, that's the hope.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder if Satya's plans measure up.
Will September 30 be the date a Windows revival begins?
Reports say that the first Windows 9 preview will be released on September 30. Will that be the day that Windows finally gets back its mojo, or will the operating system continue to be lambasted by critics and users alike?
Steve Ballmer's 5 greatest YouTube hits
With Steve Ballmer leaving the Microsoft board, it's time to bid him a fond farewell -- and the best way to do it is with a look at five of his greatest YouTube hits.
16 tips for Mac users who must use Windows
I was forced to use a Windows PC the other day. It was a shock, particularly because search engines generally generate tips for switching from Windows to Mac when queried on this. It made me suspect Mac users may sometimes need a little help when they use Windows because they can't get to a Mac. I assembled these short tips to help such temporary migrants:
Steve Ballmer: ''Bye, Microsoft board.'' Bloggers read between lines
A lot of words, but what do they mean?
Microsoft has lost a key Board member. He's called Steve Ballmer -- you might remember him. Resigning his seat on the Board of Directors, Ballmer cited the pressure of his other commitments, but included some pointed warnings to his protégé, Satya Nadella.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers say the words that, while said, remained unsaid. Not to mention: developersdevelopersdevelopersdevelopers…
Is the Windows-based HP Stream 14 a Chromebook killer?
Microsoft may have the answer to the Chromebook surge: An under-$200 laptop from HP with full-on Windows 8.1, a 14-inch screen, and 100 GB of free cloud-base storage. Will this be the machine that kills off Chromebooks?
6 Apple lessons Microsoft never learned
If only Microsoft had been able to learn from Apple across the last few decades, it's possible the company wouldn't be in the state it is in.
HP's $199 Windows notebook vs. Chromebooks: FIGHT!
Microsoft and HP: Ripping off the head of Chrome OS?
HP (NYSE:HPQ) seems almost ready to launch its low-cost Windows laptop. Vanguard of the next phase in Microsoft's battle against the ever-growing threat of the Google Chromebook advance, the HP Stream 14 has fairly decent specs at a dirt-cheap price.
We were expecting some sub-$250 units, but aggressive pricing like this is bound to make the market pay attention.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers watch the movie, but forget the popcorn.
A double negative really ain't no positive thing
This pilot fish has a batch of Windows 7 laptops to configure so that their users will be required to use Ctrl-Alt-Del to log in. But once he finds where to make the change, he's confused.
August Patch Tuesday: An update to the update process
For this August patch Tuesday, Microsoft has released nine updates, with two rated as critical and the remaining seven rated as important by Microsoft. The number of updates for this month meets the recent averages with a lowering trend from the high of 15 updates from Microsoft in 2010 to an average of nine or ten for the past three years. In addition, we see a change in the way that Microsoft views its update strategy.
Chromebooks sales will triple -- is Microsoft right to fear them?
A new report from Gartner forecasts that Chromebook sales will triple in the next three years and gain a small chunk of the PC market. Do they represent a real threat to Microsoft, or are they just a side show?
Surface Pro 3 ads target the Macbook Air. Bad move, Microsoft -- the Macbook wins.
Microsoft is ramping up its assault on the Macbook Air with a series of ads touting the Surface Pro 3's superiority to Apple's laptop There's just one problem. The Macbook Air is better. Here's why.
Windows 9 will kill Charms, be an operating system you can love
Windows 9 is going to strip out even more of Windows 8 than we thought: It will kill the Charms Bar. Considering that it will also add back the Start menu, and allow Metro apps to run as windows apps on the desktop, when it's done it may be an operating system you can love.
Windows 9 Threshold download release date ''soon''
Morrissey celebrates Microsoft ditching the Charms Bar, with gladioli.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is said to be giving up on the whole Charms schtick. Windows 9 -- the assumed name for codename Threshold -- will instead move those Metro controls into a title bar. So here's the obvious question: Is Redmond on the threshold of greatness or irrelevance? (And other lame puns.)
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers pamper life's complexities, when the leather runs smooth on the passenger seat. Not to mention: Will nature make a man of me yet?…
Pointless Windows 8.1 Update 2 shows Microsoft has given up on Windows 8
The fat lady has finally sung for Windows 8. With a list of non-features slated to be rolled out next week in what was once called Windows 8.1 Update 2, Microsoft has made clear it's given up on improving the struggling operating system, and instead focusing on Windows 9.