Continuing coverage of Microsoft's Windows 8
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.
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.
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.
Why Microsoft isn't spooked by the Apple-IBM alliance
The Apple-IBM partnership will have little effect on Microsoft's dominance in the enterprise, or drastically change its mutating mobile strategy.
Microsoft plans price war to stymie Chromebook growth
Microsoft's COO says his company and its army of OEMs will compete on price with Google's Chromebooks, a milestone in Microsoft's battle against the encroaching enemy.
China calls the iPhone and iOS 7 threats to national security
China's state-run TV is telling iPhone owners that the device is a threat to national security because it tracks their movements.
Russian Windows leaker denies link to ex-Microsoft worker who stole trade secrets
Notorious Russian leaker Wzor denied any link between the publication of internal Microsoft info and a former employee who stole trade secrets.
Patch alert: Update browsers' Flash ASAP to block log-on theft
While Google's Chrome and Microsoft's IE10 and IE11 browsers will automatically update to the latest version of Adobe Flash, anyone using Safari, Firefox, Opera or older versions of IE must do so manually.
Microsoft slates critical IE, Windows patches for Tuesday
Microsoft plans to ship six security updates to customers next week, patching all versions of Internet Explorer and nearly all supported editions of Windows.
Windows 8 uptake sags, flirts with flop
Windows 8's uptake stumbled last month, and the perception-plagued operating system flirted with falling behind the tempo of the Windows Vista flop of seven years ago.
Update: Skype to retire recent editions for Windows, Mac; upgrades mandatory
Skype plans to retire older versions of its desktop Internet calling application, including versions on Windows and OS X launched as recently as January and February of this year.
The enterprise PC: Not quite dead yet
Tablets haven't killed off the PC market, which is about to return from a downturn.
Microsoft strips some Windows 7 users of IE11 patch privileges
Microsoft has quietly stopped serving security updates to Internet Explorer 11 on consumer and small business Windows 7 PCs unless the customer has successfully applied a browser update from April.
Microsoft withholds monster IE update from Windows 8.1 dawdlers
Microsoft refused to give Windows 8.1 customers another reprieve, requiring most to upgrade their devices to April's Windows 8.1 Update before the firm's Windows Update would serve up today's mammoth patch slate.
XPocalypse, not now
Two months after Microsoft ended support for Windows XP, the catastrophic wave of exploits security experts expected to wash over the aged operating system have failed to materialize.
Microsoft's latest countdown: Update Windows 8.1 before Tuesday
Microsoft plans to deliver seven security updates to customers next week, including an almost-habitual one for Internet Explorer, and others for Windows, Office and Lync.
China escalates rhetoric in campaign to ban Windows 8
China's state-run television today took new shots at Microsoft's Windows 8, using a two-and-a-half-minute segment on a national show to blast the OS as a data thief.
Chrome on Windows champs at the 64-bit
Google today promoted the 64-bit Windows version of Chrome to a pair of preview channels, and promised that the browser is more stable and faster than its 32-bit sibling.
Cook jabs at Windows, Android in WWDC keynote
Apple may have had a lot to dish out Monday to developers, but that didn't stop CEO Tim Cook from taking time to talk a little smack about rivals Microsoft and Google.
Microsoft debuts personalized patch dashboard for IT pros
Microsoft launched a Web-based security dashboard for IT professionals that displays a customized view of the company's past patches.
Perspective: The Surface Pro is Microsoft's latest premature introduction problem
Microsoft has become mildly famous -- in hindsight -- for being early, far too early, to important technology products and trend swings. Is history repeating itself with the Surface Pro 3?
Microsoft prays for service revenue with free Windows 8.1 with Bing for tablets
Microsoft today confirmed that it will give a new version of its OS, "Windows 8.1 with Bing," to tablet makers for free as it tries to boost the market and sales shares of its flagship OS.
No harm, no foul: Windows 8 hasn't harmed Microsoft's software satisfaction score
Customer satisfaction with Microsoft's software -- primarily Windows, but also Office -- climbed slightly in the last year, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index.
Windows RT isn't dead -- yet
The troubled Windows RT operating system got nary a mention at Microsoft's Surface event today, but don't plan for RT's funeral just yet.
Surface do-or-die moment? Not so fast
Microsoft's scheduled unveiling of new Surface tablets next week is not a last-chance moment for the company's hardware dreams, analysts said, countering a theme popular on the Web.
iOS 8 split-screen hints at iPad's enterprise ambition
Apple will debut a split-screen feature for the iPad in this year's iOS 8, tilting its tablet toward PC-like functionality and mimicking a core feature of Microsoft's Windows 8 on tablets, according to a report Tuesday.
Microsoft to webcast next week's Surface event
Microsoft will webcast its Surface event next Tuesday, boosting the chance that the company will reveal significant news and/or multiple products.
Microsoft sticks to vow, leaves XP exposed to ongoing attacks
Hackers are already exploiting an Internet Explorer vulnerability left unpatched in Windows XP on Tuesday, Microsoft and security experts said.
Microsoft: We're serious this time; XP's dead to us
It's Patch Tuesday for Microsoft, but Windows XP users aren't getting any of the security updates. Get used to it, the company says.
Firefox UI revamp sparks complaints, searches for alternatives
Some Firefox users, cranky over the browser's user interface changes, have scrambled to find ways to make the latest version look more like older editions.
As Patch Tuesday looms, Microsoft gives Windows 8.1 users a reprieve
For the third time in four weeks, Microsoft has backed away from a customer cutoff by postponing enforcement of the Windows 8.1 Update migration deadline until June 10.
Windows XP die-hards can slash attack risk by dumping IE
By switching to a non-Microsoft browser, Windows XP users can halve the number of vulnerabilities that apply to the OS, according to a survey of flaws Microsoft fixed in the second half of 2013.
Hackers now crave patches, and Microsoft's giving them just what they want
At least one of Microsoft's Patch Tuesday updates looks like an excellent candidate to hackers as they poke around for bugs in the now-retired Windows XP.
Tick, tock: Windows 8.1 users face patch ban as Microsoft sets next week's updates
Microsoft will issue eight security updates to customers next week that will include fixes for Internet Explorer, Windows, Office and SharePoint.
Microsoft seeds doubt by erasing XP line in the sand
Microsoft's decision to patch Windows XP after its support deadline passed has sowed confusion and will likely encourage bad behavior by some customers, analysts said.
XP's retirement triggers another wave of deserters
Windows XP users continued to put the old OS out to pasture last month, but the now-unsupported operating system still powered more than a quarter of all PCs on the planet.
Microsoft's Bing goes ad-free for all U.S. schools
Microsoft yesterday opened its ad-free Bing search engine option to all U.S. K-12 schools, both public and private, after running a pilot program since August.
Apple kicks off public OS X beta testing
Apple today followed Microsoft in opening up pre-release, or beta, versions of its personal computer operating system to all comers.
Russian leaker resurfaces, claims Microsoft will issue second Windows update this year
A notorious Windows leaker dubbed 'Wzor' says Microsoft will issue yet another update to Windows 8.1 later this year, evidence of an even-faster acceleration in the company's development tempo.
Windows' new normal shows software-as-a-service ambitions
Microsoft's new updating "normal" for Windows -- a faster-paced tempo that demands customers apply releases within weeks -- is a first step in moving the OS to a services-style model. But companies may be leery of the change.
Microsoft extends Windows 8.1 Update migration deadline for business
Microsoft on Wednesday extended the Windows 8.1 Update migration deadline for businesses by three months, but again told consumers they had less than four weeks to make the move before the company shuts off their patch faucet.
Microsoft puts the squeeze on Windows to shoehorn it into 16GB devices
Microsoft has revealed how it will squeeze Windows 8.1 onto devices with storage space as small as 16GB to fulfill a promise earlier this year that OEMs could produce low-cost tablets and laptops.
Google quashes 31 vulnerabilities, restores Metro mode 'steppers' with Chrome 34
Google this week updated Chrome to version 34, patching 31 vulnerabilities and paying out nearly $30,000 in bug bounties to outside researchers.
Microsoft drags customers 'kicking and screaming' into its world of faster updates
Microsoft's demand that Windows 8.1 users install this week's major update was another signal that the company is serious about forcing customers to adopt its faster release strategy, experts said today.
Windows 8.1 Update deep-dive review: An OS that makes more sense
In Windows 8.1 Update, Microsoft may be finally getting it right: The latest version of its operating system finally bridges the gap between touch and traditional computing.
Microsoft suspends Windows 8.1 Update release to businesses
Microsoft suspended serving Windows 8.1 Update to businesses that rely on WSUS (Windows Server Update Services), saying that a bug would prevent devices from recognizing future updates.
Windows 8.1 Update arrives today
Microsoft will deliver the much-awaited update to Windows 8.1 Tuesday, and with it comes a packed goody bag of treats for laptop and PC users.
Microsoft requires migration to Windows 8.1 Update within 5 weeks
Windows 8.1 users have a narrow window to upgrade to Windows 8.1 Update, the refresh that begins rolling out to customers today, to continue receiving future bug fixes, patches and enhancements.
FAQ: Good-bye old pal, old paint, Windows XP
Today's the day: Microsoft will serve up its final public patches for Windows XP, the aging OS that's been around since 2001.
Microsoft to restore Start menu to Windows
Microsoft this week gave customers a bare-bones peek at the future of Windows, saying that the next iteration after Windows 8.1 Update will restore a Start menu and let users run "Metro" apps on the classic desktop.
Microsoft sketches out final Windows XP security updates for next week
Microsoft today said it will ship four security updates to customers next week that will include the final public fixes for flaws in Windows XP and Office 2003, both slated for retirement from security support on Tuesday.
Microsoft teases touch-first Office for Windows
Microsoft teased a touch-first Office for Windows 8.1, but contrary to many experts' expectations, previewed only one app and declined to define a release window.
Hell freezes over: Microsoft makes Windows free for some devices
Microsoft will give away licenses to Windows Phone and Windows to device makers building smartphones or tablets with screens smaller than 9-in. measured diagonally.
Microsoft slates April 8 release of Windows 8.1 Update
Microsoft today said that it will ship a Windows 8.1 refresh, a set of new features designed to make the struggling OS easier to use for customers with a mouse and keyboard, on April 8.
Last-minute lazybones dump Windows XP
Windows XP and Windows 8 returned to their traditional pattern in March, with the soon-to-be-retired XP losing the most user share since December while Windows 8 gained ground.
Where's the touch-first Office for Windows?
When Microsoft unveiled Office for iPad on Thursday, neither CEO Satya Nadella nor the company said much of anything about a similar touch version for Windows 8.1. Analysts expect that to change this week.
Nadella wins praise for public debut as CEO
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella's first public appearance on Thursday was a hit with analysts, who gave him a thumbs up for his time on stage as the company unveiled Office for iPad.
On eve of expected Office for iPad, some remain skeptical
Although rumors have pegged today as the day when Microsoft will announce a long-awaited Office for iPad, some remain skeptical that the company will actually pull the trigger.
Microsoft returns to scare tactic well in dump-XP campaign
Microsoft yesterday pulled out a fear-of-God approach to scare users into dumping Windows XP, telling them that the most popular tasks done on a PC will put them in the crosshairs of cyber criminals.
2-in-1 devices face a long, slow slog to credibility
Microsoft's efforts to push the concept of a "2-in-1" device, a tablet that does double duty as a notebook, will continue to struggle, an IDC analyst said Tuesday.
Google Now alerts hit desktop Chrome, OS subversion continues
Google yesterday began rolling out Google Now notifications to users of its desktop browsers on Microsoft's Windows and Apple's OS X.
Firefox's UI face-lift on track for April debut
Mozilla is on track to debut the new "Australis" user interface for Firefox next month after promoting the UI to its beta build last week.
Microsoft tries to tempt XP diehards with $100 discount on new PCs
Microsoft is pitching another deal at pry-XP-from-my-cold-dead-hands customers, offering them $100 off a new Windows 8.1 device if they spring for one that costs more than $599.
Ex-Mozilla engineer blames Microsoft's rules for Metro Firefox's death
A former Mozilla engineer who worked on the "Metro" version of Firefox says that poor adoption of Windows 8's radical user interface wasn't behind the decision to shelve the browser.
Talk is not cheap: Microsoft adds $23B to market cap on rumors of Office for iPad
Microsoft's share price cracked $40, setting an 11-year high in trading on Thursday.
Windows leak site Wzor goes dark a day after feds arrest Microsoft mole
The noted Windows leak site Wzor.net was offline Thursday and its Twitter account had disappeared, a day after an ex-Microsoft employee was charged with stealing trade secrets from the company.
Microsoft's OneNote strategy: Battle Evernote, or something bigger?
Microsoft today began offering Mac users its OneNote application free of charge, making rumors last week about a release a reality.
Microsoft dangles $50 carrot in front of XP users
Microsoft has anted up in its attempt to convince last-minute laggards to abandon Windows XP by handing a $50 carrot to people who buy a new Windows 8.1 device.
Mozilla shelves Metro Firefox, cites user apathy toward Windows 8
Mozilla on Friday abruptly canceled the release of its touch-enabled Firefox browser for Windows 8, just four days before it was to ship and after two years of work.
Microsoft's new lower-priced Office 365 is 'obvious preface' for iPad suite
Microsoft's announcement today of a less expensive Office 365 subscription for consumers was the strongest hint yet that the company will soon offer an edition for Apple's iPad, an analyst said.
Researchers pocket record $400K at Pwn2Own hacking contest's first day
Researchers cracked Microsoft's Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla's Firefox and Adobe's Flash and Reader at the Pwn2Own hacking contest, earning $400,000 in prizes, a one-day record for the challenge.
Perspective: Microsoft risks security reputation ruin by retiring XP
Microsoft's plans to ship the final public patches for Windows XP on April 8 could undo its hard-won reputation for security and hurt itself as much as the customers who end up with an infected XP system.
Microsoft plans to patch critical under-attack IE bug next week
Microsoft will deliver five security updates to customers next week, two tagged as "critical," including one that will quash the open vulnerability in Internet Explorer that hackers have been exploiting since January.
Microsoft reaches RTM milestone for Windows 8.1 update
Microsoft has reached a critical milestone for its next update to Windows 8, which is slated to ship early next month, according to reports.
OS upgrades: Cheap is better than pricey, free is better than cheap
Lowering the price of an operating system upgrade boosts its uptake five-fold, but pushing it out for free speeds uptake as much as 12 times, data from an analytics company shows.
No special treatment for China on XP, patches end April 8 in the PRC, too
Microsoft today said it has not changed the end-of-support policy for Windows XP users in China, and will still cut off those customers -- as it will others around the world -- from security patches after April 8.
Microsoft ships Office 2013 SP1 the old-fashioned way
Microsoft delivered the first service pack for Office 2013 on Tuesday, making good on a promise last year to ship the update in early 2014 and synchronizing its release with prior editions' initial service packs.
Microsoft's 'go-low' play puts Windows revenue on the line
Analysts were uncertain today whether the recent stretch of "go-low" moves by Microsoft means that the company has tweaked its strategy to emphasize services at the expense of devices.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Windows 7 lives!
More and more for Windows users, there's no OS like an old OS.
Users mock Microsoft for asking their help on XP-to-Windows 8.1 upgrades
Astute Windows users have pointed out the Achilles Heel of Microsoft's plea for help in getting customers to dump Windows XP: The lack of a smooth upgrade path to Microsoft's newest OS, Windows 8.1.
Microsoft concedes Windows 8.1 needs more for mouse, keyboard customers
Microsoft on Sunday publicly acknowledged what leaks had shown, that the company will issue an update to Windows 8.1 this spring that provides more tools for owners of traditional PCs controlled by mouse and keyboard.
Microsoft tries to jumpstart cheap Windows devices with license price cut
Microsoft has cut the price of Windows 8.1 by nearly three-fourths to device makers who produce lower-cost laptops and tablets.
Why Apple needs a $700 MacBook Air
Apple has been able to maintain high prices and high margins for its computers even as competitors jumped into a pricing pit. But with computer sales drooping, Apple may use the opportunity to lower prices.
Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch: A lightweight contender
We test Lenovo's latest ThinkPad X1 Carbon Touch ultrabook, which is sleek and powerful, offers an impressive display and comes with an interesting keyboard innovation.
Microsoft delivers stopgap defense against active IE10 attacks
Microsoft on Wednesday issued a stopgap defense that protects IE9 and IE10 against ongoing attacks until the company issues a patch, probably in three weeks.
What if Microsoft threw an iPad Office party, and no one came?
Microsoft will make a killing when it launches Office apps for Apple's iPad and tablets powered by Android. Or will it?
Microsoft claims 200M Windows 8 licenses sold, but how many are in use?
Microsoft last week said that it had sold 200 million licenses of Windows 8 since the operating system launched more than 15 months ago. But how many copies are actually being used?
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: You can keep using XP for another year, but do you really want to?
While clinging to the 11-year-old OS after Microsoft issues its last security patch in April is defensible, the security risks are going to keep mounting.
Microsoft sets Oct. 31 as stop date for Windows 7 consumer PC sales
Microsoft has set Oct. 31 as the end of sales of new consumer-grade Windows 7 PCs, but for now has left open the do-not-sell-after-this-date for business machines.
Perspective: Microsoft hedges on Office for iPad, cites 'thoughtful' decisions
'Thoughtful' was the watchword yesterday for Tami Reller, Microsoft's chief of marketing, when she was asked how the company plans to extend its lucrative Office franchise to mobile platforms other than Windows
IE10 under attack as hackers exploit zero-day bug
FireEye today said it had discovered that attackers are actively exploiting a new, unpatched vulnerability in Internet Explorer 10.
Windows XP isn't the only software getting the knife in 8 weeks
Microsoft will call it quits not only on Windows XP in less than two months, but will pull the plug on Office 2003 the same day.
Microsoft adds critical IE, XP fixes to Tuesday's patch slate
Microsoft on Monday unexpectedly added two more critical security updates to the list it will deliver tomorrow, including one for all versions of Internet Explorer and another for the soon-to-be-retired Windows XP.
Backlash slaps Microsoft's 'help-a-friend-dump-XP' plea
Microsoft's appeal to its technically-advanced customers to help friends and family ditch Windows XP didn't quite work out like the company had hoped.
Perspective: Microsoft asks for volunteers to join its kill-XP army
Microsoft today implored its technically astute customers to help friends and family who are still running Windows XP get rid of the soon-to-be-retired operating system.
Nadella's rise renews appeals for Office on iPad, Android tablets
The anointment of new CEO Satya Nadella has renewed calls by analysts that Microsoft free its profitable Office franchise from Windows and release full-featured versions for Android and iOS tablets.
Microsoft promises Nadella up to $18M for fiscal year 2015
Microsoft this week set Satya Nadella's annual base salary at $1.2 million, nearly twice his predecessor's but right on the average of CEOs in the tech industry, an executive compensation expert said today.
Humorists strike gold with Nadella's promotion, Gates' job change
Humorists stuck a minor gold mine yesterday when Microsoft anointed Satya Nadella, a veteran company insider, as its new CEO, proving that funny can be found in the most unlikely places.
Bill Gates steps aside as chairman, becomes Nadella's 'consigliere'
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates will step down as chairman of the board to spend his time with the company advising the new CEO, Satya Nadella.
Windows 8.1 refresh leaks to the Web
An early build of Microsoft's Windows 8.1 Update 1, a tweaked refresh of last fall's revamp to 2012's original Windows 8, has leaked to pirate websites, according to Web searches.
Our bloggers on Windows 8
Patch Tuesday for July 2014: Pass the hash for cash
For this July Patch Tuesday, Microsoft has released six updates with two rated as critical, three as important and the final patch rated as moderate. Normally, this would represent an average update from Microsoft for this time of year. We also have seen the release of three advisories from Microsoft, which may relate to more important security vulnerabilities and patching processes than our standard monthly updates.
Windows 8 loses market share. Is there no hope for it left?
Think things are bad for Windows 8? They're worse than you think -- the struggling operating system lost market share last month, something almost unheard of for the latest version of a Microsoft operating system.
Did Microsoft just admit Windows 8 is its worst operating system ever?
Reports say that Microsoft will abandon the Windows 8 Start screen interface for traditional computers in the next version of Windows, code-named Threshold. That's a pretty drastic step. Does it mean that Microsoft recognizes that Windows 8 was the biggest operating system bust in its history?
5 top tips and secrets for Windows 8
Want to get more out of Windows 8 and 8.1? I've got help. Check out five of my favorite tips.
Trade in a Macbook Air for a Surface Pro? In your dreams, Microsoft.
Microsoft is so serious about pushing the Surface Pro 3 as a laptop replacment that it has launched a campaign to get people to trade in their Macbook Airs and use the credit towards buying a Surface. Nice try, Microsoft, but this campaign is a non-starter.
Will new bargain basement $100 tablets save Windows 8?
Microsoft built Windows 8 mainly for tablets, but so far, tablet buyers have stayed away in droves. Microsoft's new strategy has prices dropping to $100 and $200. Can that solve Microsoft's Windows 8 mobile woes?
Which is better as a laptop, the Macbook Air or the Surface Pro 3?
Microsoft is pitching its Surface Pro 3 not just as a tablet, but as a laptop replacement, and has the Macbook Air in its cross-hairs. Which of the two is better as a laptop?
Apple CEO's astonishingly misleading claims about Windows 8 at WWDC
Apple CEO Tim zinged Windows 8 multiple times at his WWDC speech, much to the delight of the Apple faithful. But if you take a closer look at his claims, you'll find that they're astonishingly misleading. In fact, Windows 8 is cleaning Mavericks' clock.
Microsoft's top Surface exec: We're all in with Windows RT
Last week's introduction of the Surface Pro 3 was noticeably lacking an RT version of the device -- the first time a Surface Windows tablet was announced without a Windows RT companion. But Panos Panay, in charge of the Surface, today insisted that Microsoft is committed to Windows RT for the long haul.
Does the world really need a Surface Mini Pro?
Tomorrow Microsoft will likely introduce a 7- or 8-inch Surface Mini running Windows RT. Some rumors also point to a Surface Mini Pro as well, running full-blown Windows 8. Does the world really need a full-bore small Windows 8 tablet?
Dear Microsoft: Give me back the Start Menu now!
The upcoming Windows 8.1 update will have a slew of nice-to-have updates that make the operating system better to use with mouse and keyboard. But it will be missing a new Start Menu that Microsoft is promising will some day appear.
Why wait, Microsoft? I want it now!
Can free Windows forever save Microsoft?
Yesterday's announcement that Windows Phone and Windows for small tablets will be free for device makers was an admission from Microsoft that its mobile strategy has failed. Will it help save the company in mobile, or is it too little, too late?
Can universal Windows apps close Microsoft's app gap?
One big reason Windows tablets and smartphones don't sell well is the app gap: There are far fewer apps available for Windows tablets and Windows Phone devices than for iOS and Android. With Microsoft's announcement of universal apps that run on all Windows devices, though, that may well change.
Did Microsoft diss Windows 8 when it released Office for the iPad?
The release of Office for the iPad is an even bigger deal that it might seem. It means for the first time, Microsoft has released a version of its software for a competing operating system rather than its own -- a truly touch-based Office isn't yet available for Windows 8. Is this a sign of things to come?
Hate Windows 8? How about a return to DOS?
Plenty of people, including me, are no fans of Windows 8. But be happy it's here -- at least you don't have to compute like people did in the days of DOS. Then again, if you want, you can now return to those days, thanks to the free code being made available to all takers.