microsoft

Windows 8.1 update coming in spring, to improve controls, allow lower end hardware

BARCELONA, Spain--Microsoft plans to provide an update to Windows 8.1 that it hopes will address the concerns that early adopters have expressed with the operating system.

The update will improve the non-touch user interface controls, expand the options for hardware makers to create more affordable devices, and include compatibility for use in schools and large business.

The update will come in spring, according to Joe Belfiore, vice president of operating systems for Microsoft.

Windows 8 originally focused on pushing touch screen as a primary method of control. But people used to the typical mouse and keyboard control were frustrated … Read more

Microsoft said to slash Windows 8.1 price on low-cost devices

Microsoft will implement a 70 percent discount on the price of Windows 8.1 for inexpensive devices, according to a report from Bloomberg. This follows a similar report last year.

Device makers will be charged $15 "to license Windows 8.1 and preinstall it on devices that retail for less than $250, instead of the usual fee of $50," according to Bloomberg.

A similar report emerged from Asia last year. But that report cited size and device-type restrictions. That will no longer apply, however, said Bloomberg. (Other reports last year also cited discounts.)

Some observers see this as … Read more

Apple is the next Microsoft, analyst says

The first time I ever talked to an analyst, she told me that I was perfectly sane, but merely needed a few hundred Prozac to lighten my burden.

This early, troubling experience has tended to color my encounters with the word "analyst."

However, in the venal world of money, every time an analyst speaks, numbers seem to twirl on Wall Street in nervous reaction.

I am surprised, therefore, that Wall Street and half of California didn't endure electrical faults on hearing that an analyst had declared Apple heading down Microsoft Way.

As Business Insider reports, Barclays' Ben … Read more

Change your name in Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook.com

When you signed up for a new Web e-mail account, you probably filled out your account profile and entered your real name. When you send e-mails with that account, your real name is displayed in the From: field of the e-mail header.

You may, however, want to change your name so that only your first name is displayed for privacy reasons, or use a completely different name just for fun. All three of the major Web e-mail providers (Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook.com) offer a way to change your name.

Gmail

Step 1: Click on the gear icon, then … Read more

Nokia's Here Maps to expand to all Windows 8.1 devices

All Windows 8.1 users will soon be able to tap into Nokia's free mapping and navigation app.

Currently limited to Nokia's Lumia 2520 tablet, Here Maps for Windows 8.1 will land in Microsoft's online Windows Store over the coming days, Nokia said on Friday. Starting its new journey in North America and Europe, the app will be free to download for any PC or tablet owner running Windows 8.1 or Windows RT 8.1.

Like other mapping apps, Here Maps offers navigation and directions, points of interest, and satellite and 3D images of any … Read more

Microsoft taps gamers to test next Xbox One update

Xbox One owners may be hearing from Microsoft about taking the game console's next major update for an early spin.

Due in early March, the update will add new features and fixes related to the Xbox One's party and multiplayer features. The goal is to prepare the console for the release of "Titanfall," an online, multiplayer game.

To stress-test the update, Microsoft is now inviting a number of Xbox Live members to preview the new features, according to Xbox Director of Programming Larry Hyrb, aka Major Nelson. Microsoft wants the testers to offer feedback on the … Read more

Nokia at MWC 2014: Join us Monday (live blog)

BARCELONA, Spain -- Will Nokia finally go Android?

On the first official day of Mobile World Congress, Nokia is widely expected to unveil an Android-powered smartphone -- a departure from its previous decision to solely stick with Microsoft's Windows Phone platform. The company will likely unveil a few Windows Phone devices as well, but an Android phone would certainly capture all of the headlines.

CNET senior editor Jessica Dolcourt, photographer Sarah Tew, and I will be bringing you all the details, photos, and commentary from the event. The event kicks off at 8:30 a.m. Monday local Barcelona … Read more

Adobe issues emergency patch -- again

Adobe Systems and Microsoft on Thursday issued patches with emergency measures for critical vulnerabilities in Flash and Internet Explorer.

Microsoft, which usually fixes security problems once a month on Tuesdays, distributed the off-calendar repair for Internet Explorer 9 and 10 because of the severity of the exploit. The fix is highly recommended for people who use those versions of IE since Microsoft described the previously unknown vulnerability in its security bulletin as actively being used in "limited, targeted attacks."

However, people who use those browsers must apply the fix manually with the FixIt shim tool. A permanent fix … Read more

How to edit your OneDrive documents via HopTo's iPad app

Still waiting for Microsoft to release Office for the iPad? Don't bother. Here's another app that fits the bill, and it's free.

Released in November for the iPad, HopTo lets you view, edit, and create Word documents and Excel spreadsheets, and view PowerPoint presentations. You can access and edit those and other types of files from your local computer and from Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive. And thanks to the latest update, you can now tap into your Microsoft OneDrive files.

Updated on Wednesday, the newest version of HopTo directly supports OneDrive, though the app still refers … Read more

Bye XP, hello Windows 7: Yeah, the change made me nervous

I knew this day was coming. The portents were all there. Microsoft swore back in 2011 it would no longer offer support, patches, or fixes for Windows XP come this April. The company snarkily told customers they should move to a "modern operating system." A plague of locusts descended on my home office.

On a cloudy day last week, at 11:43 in the morning, I turned off my Windows XP-loaded Dell for the last time. It made a little whining, sighing noise as it powered down. All my important files were offloaded to an external hard drive and a brand-new custom-made Windows 7 desktop sat nearby, gloating about its ascendance with its shiny black case and complete lack of cat hair sucked into the fan.… Read more