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Skype calling is coming to Amazon’s Alexa devices

Available later this year<p>Microsoft and Amazon are continuing their close partnership by bringing Skype calling to Alexa. Devices like Amazon’s Echo range will be able to access Skype’s basic calling, and Alexa-powered hardware like the Echo Show will also include video calling support. You’ll also …

Windows 10

Microsoft is adding 'commercial' LinkedIn revenues to its 'Commercial Cloud' tally

Microsoft's self-defined 'commercial cloud' bucket just got bigger, with the inclusion of a significant portion of LinkedIn revenues added to the …

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft backs off from Windows 10 ‘warning’ about Chrome and Firefox

It was just a test, for now<p>Microsoft started testing a warning for Windows 10 users last week that displayed a prompt when Chrome or Firefox was about to be installed. The software giant is now reversing this controversial test in its latest Windows 10 preview, released last Friday. <i>The Verge</i> …

Windows 10

Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 2 may come in a black variant

We’ll find out on October 2nd<p>Microsoft could be preparing to return to a black color for its upcoming Surface hardware. While the software giant originally launched its Surface RT in a black “VaporMg” magnesium alloy, the company quickly switched to a silver color for the Surface 2. German site …

Technology

Microsoft slows down Windows 10 update pace for businesses following complaints

Relief for IT admins<p>Microsoft is altering its support cycle for businesses running Windows 10. The software maker currently releases two major Window 10 updates per year, and businesses have 18 months before they need to move from one to another more recent update. It’s all part of Microsoft’s …

Windows 10

Surface Pro 2018 release date event set by Microsoft

Microsoft has sent out invites for October “a moment of your time” event<p>Microsoft could be set to launch the Surface Pro 2018 as invites to a …

Surface Pro

Microsoft releases new Windows 10 preview with Storage Sense improvements

Microsoft today released a new Windows 10 preview for PCs, Storage Sense improvements, and five bug fixes. This build is from the RS5 branch, which represents the Windows 10 update the company plans to release in October. The company is also releasing builds from the 19H1 branch, which, as its name …

Windows 10

Microsoft adds ‘warning’ in Windows 10 when you try to install Google Chrome [Update]

Google Chrome has been around for 10 years and at this point, it’s one of the most popular browsers on the planet. That’s put a lot of pressure on Microsoft to convince Windows users to go with its own browser option, and now it seems Microsoft is adding a warning when you try to install Google’s …

Windows 10

Microsoft lets companies pay for Windows 7 support until 2023

It's trying to avoid a repeat of Windows XP's seemingly endless lifecycle.<p>Microsoft must still be scarred by having to support Windows XP well past its expiry date, as it's drawing a line in the sand for Windows 7 users. Corporate and institutional customers can only pay for extended security …

Windows 10

Skype has yet another new design, but hasn't fixed its core problems

Microsoft today announced it would be walking back previous updates to Skype, and returning to the basics of video calling and messaging. Essentially, it’s finally dropped the hokey makeover it forced on users last year. While it’s nice to see Microsoft eating a proper amount of crow over that, …

Skype

Microsoft announces Surface event for October 2nd

Microsoft is planning to hold a fall press event in New York City next month. The software maker has started sending invites to the media today, asking for a “moment of your time.” The event will start at 4PM ET / 1PM PT on October 2nd, and focus on Microsoft’s latest hardware, software, and …

Windows 10

Microsoft brings Alexa support to Xbox One for Kinect-like voice controls

Available to testers today<p>Microsoft is starting to test Alexa support on the Xbox One today with its Xbox Insiders. The software giant is releasing an Xbox Skill for Alexa that will allow Echo, Sonos, and various other Alexa-enabled devices to control an Xbox One. With the new skill you’ll be able …

Google Assistant

Microsoft is ending its Surface Plus financing program

Existing users will be able to finish out their plans<p>Just a year after it was launched, Microsoft’s Surface Pro financing program has come to an end. Microsoft says (via <i>OnMsft</i>) that it stopped accepting new users on Friday, but says that existing users will be able to finish out their plans or or …

Klarna

Microsoft improves Office 365 device limits for subscribers

New limits on October 2nd<p>Microsoft is increasing the number of devices you can use with Office 365 Personal and Home subscriptions. Starting on October 2nd, Office 365 Personal and Home subscribers will be able to install the Office desktop apps on an unlimited number of devices. Currently, …

Apps

Windows 10’s next major update arrives in October

Microsoft is officially unveiling the name for its next major Windows 10 update today. Previously codenamed Redstone 5, the “Windows 10 October 2018 Update” will arrive at some point in October. It will include a number of new features for devices, like a new cloud clipboard that syncs across …

Windows 10

Skype drops Snapchat-like feature since people weren't using it

It's part of a larger back-to-basics move.<p>Microsoft's about-face on Skype now extends to one of its not-so-subtle attempts to ride the social media bandwagon. As part of a broader app update, Microsoft has revealed that it's axing its Snapchat-like Highlights feature for mobile users in a bid to …

Social Media

Microsoft removes device install limits for Office 365 subscribers

However, you can only be signed in on five devices at once.<p>Microsoft is removing limits on the number of devices on which some Office 365 subscribers can install the apps. From October 2nd, Home users will no longer be restricted to 10 devices across five users nor will Personal subscribers have a …

Software

Microsoft to contractors: Give new parents paid leave

Microsoft will begin requiring its contractors to offer their U.S. employees paid leave to care for a new child.<p>It's common for tech firms to offer generous family leave benefits for their own software engineers and other full-time staff, but paid leave advocates say it's still rare to require …

Paid Leave

Microsoft reportedly wants to rent out Xboxes to gamers for a monthly fee

Microsoft is prepping a new subscription plan that will net US-based gamers an Xbox console, and access to Xbox Live and Xbox Game Pass for a monthly fee starting at $22 per month, reports Windows Central.<p>That could be a boon for folks who’ve been meaning to get into console gaming, but have found …

Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft Investigated For Alleged Bribery and Corruption in Hungary

U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating Microsoft for possible bribery and corruption in its pursuit of …

Corruption

Windows 95 app brings nerd nostalgia to macOS, Windows and Linux

Hello, memory lane.<p>If you're nostalgic about old tech and software, then get ready: Slack developer Felix Rieseberg has created an app that allows you to run Windows 95 on Windows, macOS and Linux (which is perhaps more practical than running it on an Apple Watch). If you're interested in …

Linux

Microsoft’s new Xbox avatars now available for Windows 10 testers

Microsoft first started testing its new and diverse Xbox Live avatars with Xbox owners back in June. The software maker is now making these available to Windows 10 testers today ahead of their official release in October. A new Xbox Avatar Editor is downloadable from the Microsoft Store, granting …

Microsoft Adds End-to-End Encrypted Chat to Skype Using Signal

Microsoft has given Skype a major security upgrade.<p>It’s not that the online calling and chatting service Skype lacked protection before. It’s always …

Privacy

Microsoft uncovers more Russian hacking ahead of midterms

Microsoft has uncovered new Russian hacking efforts targeting U.S. political groups ahead of the midterm elections.<p>The company said Tuesday that a group tied to the Russian government created fake websites that appeared to spoof two American conservative organizations: the Hudson Institute and the …

International Republican Institute

Microsoft and Amazon launch preview for cross-device collaboration between Alexa and Cortana

Amazon and Microsoft hope you’ll help them teach Cortana and Alexa to play nicely together. Starting today you can sign up for a preview that’ll let you run the virtual assistants on each others’ respective devices.<p>Announced last fall, the collaboration is finally here in limited testing form. …

Windows 10 users can now try Microsoft’s Your Phone app to mirror phone content to a PC

Available for all Windows 10 users with Android devices<p>Microsoft started testing its Your Phone app with Windows 10 Insiders last month, and now the company is making it available to all Windows 10 users. If you’re running Windows 10 with the latest April 2018 Update, Your Phone is available to …

Microsoft unveils new translucent Phantom Black Xbox Wireless Controller, more

We know Microsoft is set to unveil some new hardware at gamescom 2018 next week, but it looks like the Xbox division jumped the gun with a pair of new special edition gamepads. While many are suspecting to see something regarding a next generation Elite controller soon, today’s reveal consists of …

PS4 Pro

Microsoft embraces the dark side with new Windows 10 File Explorer theme

Perhaps attempting to keep up with Apple's Dark Mode in the upcoming macOS 10.14 Mojave, Microsoft has announced that the next major release of …

Microsoft stands up Azure Stack for government as JEDI contract looms

Microsoft announced today that it’s released Azure Stack for Azure Government at a time when it’s battling rivals at Amazon and other cloud companies for the massive winner-take-all $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract known as JEDI.<p>Azure Stack provides customers with a similar set of cloud services …

Microsoft’s undersea data center now has a webcam with fish swimming past 27.6 petabytes of data

Any fin is possible<p>If you’ve always wanted to watch fish swim past a data center with 27.6 petabytes of storage, stop surfing around as today is your lucky day. Microsoft has taken the oppor-tuna-ty to install a webcam next to its undersea data center, offering live views of just how well the metal …