Articles about Microsoft

Tackling the social engineering bonanza caused by the Microsoft Exchange hack [Q&A]

Social Rngineering

In early March, Microsoft disclosed that Chinese hackers had exploited software vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange on-premises servers to gain access to the email accounts of thousands of Microsoft customers.

While these companies are now laser-focused on deploying patches and other security measures to remediate the vulnerabilities in their email software, Josh Douglas, VP of product management -- threat intelligence at Mimecast, believes these technical fixes will only go so far.

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Microsoft kills off its Windows 10 Translator app

Although the Microsoft Store is home to loads of Windows 10 apps, there aren’t many truly great ones available to download. The biggest problem is programs (legacy apps as Microsoft likes to call them), which are typically found elsewhere, are often better and more powerful. And there are also web apps that are just as capable as many Windows 10 apps but don’t require installation.

It’s no surprise therefore that developers don’t go out of their way to create apps for the Microsoft Store. Of those that have given it a try, many have ceased development because the demand just isn’t strong enough. You’d think Microsoft would continue to develop apps for its own platform, but even it knows when it's time to pull the plug.

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Microsoft launches a public preview of the 64-bit version of OneDrive

OneDrive

It has been a very, very long time coming, but Microsoft has finally decided to dole out some 64-bit loving to OneDrive.

The company has announced the availability of a public preview version of the 64-bit OneDrive sync client for Windows. For anyone running the 64-bit version of Window, making the switch makes complete sense thanks to improved performance and better handling of large files. The bad news for now is that there is no 64-bit ARM version available, only one for x64-based systems.

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How to add Windows 10 version information to your desktop

If you run an Insider version of Windows 10, you’ll see a watermark on the bottom right-hand side of the desktop showing the version of Windows you’re running and the current build number.

This makes it easy to see which build you’re on, so you’ll know whether or not you’re up to date.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Build 21354 with new personalization options for 'News and interests'

Due to some issues, Microsoft didn’t roll out a Dev Channel build to Insiders last week, but the bugs have been overcome and today a new build arrives, and this one sees a branch name change in the watermark at the lower right corner of the desktop.

Build 21354 comes from the CO_RELEASE branch, and the first additions to this flight are new personalization options for the 'News and interests' feed on the taskbar.

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Paint will soon be available to download from the Microsoft Store

Four years ago, Microsoft announced plans to kill off Paint, a fixture of Windows since the operating system’s first release back in 1985. There was a huge outcry at the news and Microsoft eventually backtracked, stating its simple graphics program would live on, but in the Microsoft Store.

Paint failed to materialize in the Store after the announcement however, and two years ago the app was given a stay of execution, with Microsoft stating it would continue to remain part of Windows for the foreseeable future.

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Microsoft previews its open source Java distribution for Windows, macOS and Linux -- Microsoft Build of OpenJDK

Microsoft headquarters

Microsoft has launched a preview version of its own distribution of Java, making it available for Windows, macOS and Linux. The company has named the release Microsoft Build of OpenJDK, and describes it as its "new way to collaborate and contribute to the Java ecosystem".

The company has made available Microsoft Build of OpenJDK binaries for Java 11, which are based on OpenJDK source code. Microsoft says it is looking to broaden and deepen its support for Java, "one of the most important programming languages used today".

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Microsoft has killed off Cortana... partially

Hi, I'm Cortana

When digital assistants are mentioned, it tends to be Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa that come to mind; it is only for real Microsoft diehards that Cortana features.

So it is little wonder that Microsoft has seen sense and decided to kill off some implementations of its own digital assistant. Cortana will still be found in Windows 10, but mobile users will find that it is no longer available for either iOS or Android.

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Microsoft releases optional KB5000842 update to fix lots of Windows 10 problems

Windows key on keyboard

For Microsoft, March was marred by a string of problematic Windows 10 updates that caused a series of problems with printing and more. As we reach the end of the month, the company has released an optional patch which it will almost certainly be hoping proves less problematic.

The optional KB5000842 update is available for Windows 10 version 2004, and Windows 10 20H2. This monthly "C" release preview update aims to address a number of issues with the operating systems including problems with dark screens and other monitor glitches, and as well as system crashes associated with OneDrive.

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Microsoft releases KB5001205 update to fix Windows 10 Secure Boot vulnerability

Microsoft headquarters

Microsoft has released a new servicing stack update for Windows 10. The KB5001205 update is available for version 1909 of the operating system, and it addresses an issue with the Secure Boot feature.

The company says that the update fixes an issue that prevented another update installing. It also includes quality improvements to the servicing stack to help with the overall update experience in Windows 10.

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Microsoft is making an important change to the implementation of the taskbar in Windows 10

Windows key on keyboard

Whatever you use your computer for, the taskbar is something you interact with to some extent every day. It's a component that lies at the heart of Windows 10, and Microsoft is finally making a key change that will be welcomed by many users.

With the release of Windows 10 build 21343 the other day, we have already seen some of the visual changes Microsoft is bringing to Explorer. But in Windows 10 21H2, the company is also freeing the taskbar from the explorer.exe process into its own library. It's a move that means the Sun Valley update for Windows 10 should help to improve stability and eliminate problems with Explorer resulting in taskbar crashes, as is so often the case currently.

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Microsoft's Electric Volt and Daystrike Camo Xbox controllers are environmentally friendly

Microsoft loves to release special editions of its Xbox controllers with fun colors and designs, and apparently, consumers really enjoy buying them. After all, if these controllers weren't selling well, it is doubtful Microsoft would bother to continue putting them out. Are these special controllers just money-grabs? Sure. But hey, if people enjoy them, so be it

Today, Microsoft announces two new special edition Xbox One controllers -- Electric Volt and Daystrike Camo. Both look very cool, but I happen to prefer the former -- that green reminds me of yummy Mountain Dew. Color and design aside, these controllers are extra special, as they are environmentally friendly too. You see, this is the first-ever Xbox hardware to be produced with post-consumer recycled resins. In other words, Microsoft is keeping some plastics, such as old compact discs and water jugs, out of landfills. Nice.

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Fix your Windows 10 printing problems with this PowerShell script

Windows key on keyboard

If the recent printing problems caused by a string of Windows 10 updates weren't so disruptive -- and if the poor quality of updates from Microsoft hadn't been an issue for so long -- the situation would almost be funny.

As it is, however, those who have been affected by the bug-riddled updates find themselves extraordinarily frustrated and losing trust in Microsoft's ability to deliver reliable software. With so many updates, patches, bug fixes and workarounds having been released in the last couple of weeks, keeping on top of problems has been difficult. This PowerShell script should get things sorted once and for all.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Build 21343 with a new look for File Explorer

Microsoft is planning on giving Windows 10 a major design overhaul later in the year as part of its 'Sun Valley' refresh, and you can get a good idea of what it will look like here.

At the moment, new design tweaks are beginning to trickle through in Dev Channel Insider builds, and today, Microsoft gives us a look at how File Explorer will benefit from its design update.

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0xc004c003 error and problems activating Windows 10? Microsoft has a workaround

Windows 10 logo on a beach

To get the most out of Windows 10, and to avoid being pestered by constant reminders, you need to activate it. This is not always the smooth, trouble-free process it should be, and people often run into problems.

If you have installed the KB4598291 update for Windows 10, you may well have been plagued by activation failure with a 0xc004c003 error. Now Microsoft has provided details of what is going wrong, as well as revealing a workaround.

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