Category Archives: Windows

Microsoft is putting together a Microsoft 365 subscription for home users

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Microsoft has had success in the enterprise space with its Microsoft 365 subscription, which bundles Office 365, Windows 10, and remote management with Enterprise Mobility + Security. Its home-oriented Office 365 subscriptions have also been growing steadily, with 32.5 million subscriptions as of the company’s most recent financial reports. And now Microsoft is planning to bring these things together with a Microsoft 365 subscription aimed at non-corporate users, reports Mary Jo Foley.

Microsoft 365 Consumer would be a subscription bundle with a consumer focus. Foley notes that there have been job advertisements alluding to such a product, and the move would seem to be consistent with the company’s plan to re-engage with consumers. At its Inspire partner event earlier this year, the company said that it wanted to target “professional consumers” by offering software and services to enhance their “Modern Life and Devices.” The meaning of this is not entirely clear, but it seems to mean that the company will continue to make its services work better wherever you use them (greater support for iOS and Android phones). Syncing and replication will ensure that your work and current context moves seamlessly between devices.

Less clear is what a Microsoft 365 Consumer bundle would actually include. Office 365 is an obvious component; it’s already being sold to consumers, and it remains the heart of Microsoft’s productivity vision. But beyond that? Windows 10 is, for home users, functionally free already. There have long been fears/rumors/speculation that Microsoft will move to a monthly Windows subscription model for consumers, but there are no signs that this is happening. Given the way Windows 10 has been positioned—the “last version” of Windows that will be updated and upgraded indefinitely—it’s hard to imagine it ever happening.

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Latest Windows Insider build makes a major upgrade to, uh… Notepad

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There’s a new Windows Insider build out today, and the biggest changes appear to be none other than Notepad, Windows’ venerable barebones text editor.

Notepad already received a significant update in the recent October 2018 Update: Microsoft added support for files with Unix-style line endings. But the work hasn’t stopped there. Oh no.

The new and improved Notepad now has better Unicode support, defaulting to saving files as UTF-8 without a Byte Order Mark; this is the standard way of encoding UTF-8 data, as it maximizes compatibility with software expecting ASCII text. The status bar will now show the encoding being used, too.

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John Romero gifts ‘Doom’ 18 new levels for its 25th birthday

Ready to feel ancient? The original Doom is 25 years old — and co-creator John Romero wants to make sure you know it. He's preparing an add-on for the 1993 game, Sigil, that serves as a "spiritual successor" to the classic shooter's fourth episode…

‘Street Fighter V’ will display in-game ads starting December 11th

Fighting game fans are used to seeing ads in tournaments, but now they're infiltrating the games themselves. Capcom is introducing "sponsored content" to Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition on December 11th to promote its purchasable bundles, costumes…

‘Anthem’ demo will be open to everyone on February 1st

No, you won't have to plunk down some cash to play the Anthem demo before the game's February 22nd debut. BioWare and EA have announced that the sneak peek on February 1st through February 3rd is an open demo that will be accessible to anyone on PC,…

Report: Microsoft is scrapping Edge, switching to just another Chrome clone

Report: Microsoft is scrapping Edge, switching to just another Chrome clone

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Windows Central reports that Microsoft is planning to replace its Edge browser, which uses Microsoft’s own EdgeHTML rendering engine and Chakra JavaScript engine, with a new browser built on Chromium, the open source counterpart to Google’s Chrome. The new browser has the codename Anaheim.

The report is short on details. The easiest thing for Microsoft to do would be to use Chromium’s code wholesale—the Blink rendering engine, the V8 JavaScript engine, and the Chrome user interface with the Google Account parts omitted—to produce something that looks, works, and feels almost identical to Chrome. Alternatively, Redmond could use Blink and V8 but wrap them in Edge’s user interface (or some derivative thereof), to retain its own appearance. It might even be possible to do something weird, such as use Blink with the Chakra JavaScript engine. We’ll have to wait and see.

Since its launch with Windows 10, Edge has failed to gain much market share. The first iterations of Edge were extremely barebones, offering little more than a basic tabbed browser—no extensions, little control over behavior. Early releases of Edge were also not as stable as one might have liked, making the browser hard to recommend. Three years later on and Edge is greatly—but unevenly—improved. The browser engine’s stability seems to be much better than it was, and performance and compatibility remain solid (though with the exception of a few corner cases, these were never a real concern).

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The first major ‘Battlefield V’ update arrives December 4th

EA DICE is about to release the first of Battlefield V's numerous major updates, and it's clear that the studio wants to start off on a strong note. "Overture" is launching December 4th with an intriguing (and apparently "emotional") single-player s…

Windows 10 1809: iCloud incompatibility fixed, but other blockers remain

Windows 10 1809: iCloud incompatibility fixed, but other blockers remain

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While the rollout of Windows 10 version 1809 (the October 2018 Update) has been problematic, Microsoft really does try to avoid sending the update to configurations that it knows just won’t work properly.

One of these situations involved PCs with Apple’s iCloud client. The system would break when trying to sync or update Shared Albums when used on Windows 1809, and, accordingly, Microsoft blocked installation of the update on systems with iCloud installed. Similarly, the iCloud client could be installed on Windows 1809 because Apple had a broken version check that didn’t recognize that version 1809 was indeed the current Windows version.

Both issues appear to be fixed now. Apple has released iCloud for Windows version 7.8.1, which resolves both the crash and the bad version check. After upgrading to this version, the Windows 10 Update will no longer be blocked and will install in the normal way.

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Microsoft briefly surpassed Apple as world’s most valuable company

Apple's reign as the world's most valuable company might be in jeopardy. Microsoft briefly claimed the title on November 26th after its market cap surpassed Apple's, climbing to $812.93 billion versus its erstwhile rival's $812.60 billion. The lead…

Latest Windows 10 update breaks Windows Media Player, Win32 apps in general

Part of the group Cydnidae, these are a type of shield bug. These two are apparently on the verge of producing a number of additional shield bugs.

Part of the group Cydnidae, these are a type of shield bug. These two are apparently on the verge of producing a number of additional shield bugs. (credit: jacinta lluch valero (jaclluch at Flickr))

The important data loss bug that interrupted the rollout of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, version 1809, may be fixed, but it turns out there are plenty of other weird problems with the release.

As spotted by Paul Thurrott, the update also breaks the seek bar in Windows Media Player when playing “specific files.”

This is the kind of bug that leaves me scratching my head, wondering what changed to break such a thing, and why. The various old and new Windows media stacks are certainly complicated beasts, but it’s not clear what the October 2018 Update even changed in this area. At least this time around, it doesn’t seem that the bug was reported before 1809 actually shipped, though it’s hard to be definitive about this given the difficulty in finding anything in the Feedback Hub bug reporting tool. Microsoft does promise to fix the bug, but the timeframe is vaguely open-ended: it will be “in an upcoming release.”

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