Microsoft

Major security flaw in Internet Explorer opens PCs to hijacking

Update: On May 1, Microsoft released a fix for Internet Explorer -- all affected versions: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11. Surprisingly, that includes versions that run on Windows XP -- though Microsoft no longer supports XP, the severity of this security flaw prompted the company to patch XP-compatible versions. Your system should download the patch automatically; if it doesn't, enable automatic Windows Update.

This weekend Microsoft issued a security advisory for Internet Explorer, warning that hackers can exploit a vulnerability that lets them run commands on remote computers. In other words, hackers exploiting this flaw can hijack … Read more

Office 365 gets personal for $6.99

Since its initial release two years ago, Microsoft's Office 365 has been steadily winning over fans. With the release of the companion iOS apps, there's no better time to sign up. Now Microsoft has sweetened the pot with the introduction of Office 365 Personal and a price tag of $6.99/month or $69.99/year.

For less than the price of a Netflix subscription, you'll receive:

The entire Office 365 suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook). 20GB of OneDrive cloud storage. Skype PC-to-phone world calling.

You can choose between the PC or Mac version, plus additional access … Read more

Microsoft PowerPoint for iPad review

Microsoft PowerPoint for iPad lets you view, edit, create, and play a presentation, all right from your iPad, no matter where you are. It provides all of the tools you're used to using in PowerPoint, optimized for the touchscreen interface of the iPad.

Pros

Finger laser pointer: If you're projecting a presentation straight from your iPad, you can just use your finger as a laser pointer. Drag your finger across the image on your iPad, and whatever you do will show up just like a laser pointer on the main display.

Full-featured: With this app, you'll have … Read more

Microsoft Excel for iPad review

Microsoft Excel for iPad brings the versatility and functionality of this powerful spreadsheet program to your iPad with an intuitive and attractive interface. Create, edit, and send all types of spreadsheets right from your iPad, and maintain proper formatting across all of your devices with this app.

Pros

Template options: Excel for iPad is a full-featured application, so it brings all of your favorite things about Excel along with it. One of the nicest of these, in our opinion, is the number of template options available. Whether you're putting together an annual financial report, a household budget, or a … Read more

Microsoft Word for iPad review

Microsoft Word for iPad gives you the ability to open, create, and edit Microsoft Word documents on your iPad while maintaining proper formatting. With this app, you can work on the same document across all your devices, wherever you are and whenever you need to.

Pros

E-mail preferences: If you want to share the document you're working on with someone else, you can e-mail it either as a link or an attachment directly from the document, itself. In addition, you can decide whether the recipient of the e-mail can edit the document or only view it, which is a … Read more

5 tips for running Windows XP relatively safely

Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, an OS still used by approximately 20-25% of Windows customers. That means one in four PC users must upgrade to a more secure, supported version of Windows or risk their un-updated, un-patched version of Windows XP catching a virus or other Internet bug. As a rule of thumb, we always recommend upgrading your OS and then updating it as often as possible to protect your system. If you're switching to a new OS, read how to migrate easily from Windows XP. However, if you're a die-hard who wants to keep a Windows … Read more

Windows 8.1 announcements at Build 2014

Today Microsoft officially announced upcoming features for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 at the Build developer conference in San Francisco.

The Windows Phone 8.1 update introduces the Action Center, a slide-down panel for notifications and phone activity similar to what's available for iOS and Android. The update brings customizable notification settings for developers, including app-specific triggers for vibration and sound.

Another big update is the introduction of Cortana, Microsoft's personal assistant powered by the Bing search engine. Though the keynote demo had some hiccups, Cortana's voice recognition shows a lot of progress and … Read more

Microsoft revises privacy policy in wake of Hotmail search case

Microsoft promised to toughen policies regarding the company's potential reading of Hotmail users' emails, after an outcry over Microsoft searching a user's Hotmail account to discover the identity of someone now charged with stealing company secrets.

John Frank, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, said that in the future, the company would meet a more rigorous standard before peeking into a non-employee's Hotmail account.

There are four parts to the new standard, Frank said:

We will not conduct a search of customer email and other services unless the circumstances would justify a court order, if one were available. … Read more

Phil Spencer on Xbox One 'always-on' debacle: 'We could have been more clear'

SAN FRANCISCO -- Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer, who heads up the company's video game production arm, reflected on the Xbox One's controversial always-on policies rolled back last year in an interview with Gamasutra editor in chief Kris Graft on the final day of the Game Developers Conference here Friday.

"We could have been more clear and concise about what our real soul around the product was," Spencer said. Touching on the topic briefly yet apologetically, Spencer outlined how it was a learning experience, but that the blame was deserved because Microsoft fumbled the communication with … Read more

Microsoft: Here's $100 if you drop Windows XP

April 8 is the day support for XP ends. So, Microsoft is reaching into its bag of discount tricks to get users to drop the decade-plus old operating system.

If you own a PC with XP and upgrade at the Microsoft Store, you get $100 off, 90 days of free support, and a "free data transfer," as spotted by Neowin.

The offer includes a new PC or Surface device priced at $599 or more and excludes Surface 2 "and some PCs," Microsoft said.

And you have to make an online purchase with a Windows XP machine … Read more