Microsoft


'Microsoft' Articles

Bill Gates Regrets Microsoft Losing to Android as Dominant Platform Beyond iPhone

At a recent event hosted by venture capital firm Village Global, highlighted by TechCrunch, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates lamented on losing to Android, calling it "one of the greatest mistakes of all time." Skip to the 11:40 mark: Transcript:In the software world, it's very predictable for platforms. These are winner-take-all markets. The greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is. Android is the standard phone platform — non-Apple phone platform. That was a natural thing for Microsoft to win. It really is winner take all. If you're there with half as many apps, or 90 percent as many apps, you're on your way to complete doom. There's room for exactly one non-Apple operating system. […] It's amazing to me having made one of the greatest mistakes of all time… our other assets, Windows, Office, are still very strong… we are a leading company. If we'd gotten that right, we'd be the leading company.In fairness to Gates, it was Steve Ballmer who served as Microsoft's CEO between 2000 and 2014. Ballmer infamously laughed off the iPhone, but Apple had the last laugh, as Windows Phone failed to ever gain any significant market share among mobile operating systems and is ultimately being abandoned. Gates added that there is room for exactly one non-Apple mobile operating system, which is certainly the case as of today. Together, Android and iOS have an estimated 99.9 percent market share, according to research firm Gartner, having squeezed out former heavyweights like BlackBerry and Nokia.

Microsoft Prepping Foldable Dual-Screen Surface Tablet That Runs Android Apps

Microsoft plans to launch a small foldable Surface tablet in the first half of 2020, according to Jeff Lin, an analyst at research firm IHS Markit. Microsoft Surface Go In an email shared with Forbes citing supply chain information, Lin said he expects Microsoft to debut a Surface with dual 9-inch screens featuring a 4:3 aspect ratio. Perhaps more interestingly, Lin also claims Microsoft's forthcoming next-gen Windows operating system, Windows Core OS, will be able to run Android apps natively. The new Surface will also apparently support Apple's iCloud services in Windows 10. The device will also reportedly adopt an Intel 10nm Lakefield system-on-a-chip (SOC). Lin believes the dual-screen Surface could arrive as early as the first quarter of 2020, or by the first half of 2020. Bearing in mind the problems that foldable displays have already presented for Samsung, it will be intriguing to see how Microsoft intends to implement a dynamic dual-display in a foldable tablet design. Additionally, it's unclear how Microsoft plans to host its own Android App Store separate from the Google Play store, and how that would align with the company's existing Universal Windows Platform, which provides developers with a common app platform on every device that runs Windows 10. Earlier this year reports began appearing that Microsoft is planning to launch a dual-screen mobile device, codenamed "Centaurus." The company even teased dual-screen Surface hardware in an all hands event for its devices team earlier this month, according to The Verge. IHS Markit analyst

Microsoft To-Do App Now Available on the Mac App Store

Microsoft has released a native Mac version of its To-Do app for the first time, meaning macOS users will no longer have to rely on company's the web app to access the to-do list service. Microsoft To-Do is free on the Mac App Store, and offers users a personalized daily planner called My Day with suggested tasks, including tasks pulled from Outlook. Got something on your mind? Get Microsoft To-Do. Whether you want to increase your productivity, decrease your stress levels or just clear up some mental space, Microsoft To-Do makes it easy to plan your day and manage your life.The app features the ability to sync tasks across devices, attach files up to 25MB, create color-coded lists, break tasks into manageable steps, add notes to tasks, share tasks and lists, and set reminders, The release of the Mac app on the Mac App Store [Direct Link] completes Microsoft's aim to bring native versions of the software to all platforms, including iOS, Windows, and Android. (Via Thurrott.com)

Apple Launches New iCloud for Windows App in Microsoft Store

Apple today introduced a new iCloud for Windows app designed for PCs, according to a blog post shared by Microsoft. The new app is designed to allow Apple users to access their iCloud content on their Windows 10 PCs. The iCloud app for Windows includes iCloud Drive, iCloud Photos, Mail, Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Safari Bookmarks, and more. What you can do with iCloud for Windows - Safely store your photos and videos in iCloud. With iCloud Photos, any new photos and videos that you take on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch automatically download to your PC. And you can upload new photos and videos from your PC so that you can access them from your other devices too. - Use Shared Albums to share photos and videos with just the people you choose. Then invite friends to add their own photos, videos, and comments. - Get your documents on every device you use with iCloud Drive. Simply drag your documents into the iCloud Drive folder on your PC and access them at any time, on any device. - Keep your iCloud Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and Reminders up to date automatically between your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, and PC. - Keep your Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Google Chrome bookmarks on Windows the same as your Safari bookmarks. - Update your iCloud preferences, see how much iCloud storage you're using, delete items to free up storage, and update your storage plan whenever you want.According

Microsoft Brings 'Insert Data From Picture' Excel Feature to iOS Devices

Microsoft today announced that the Excel app for iOS is gaining the Insert Data from Picture feature that was previously made available on Android devices. Insert Data from Picture lets you take a photo of data in a table format and convert it to a digital format in Excel. You can capture financial spreadsheets, work schedules, task lists, time tables, and more, so long as it's in a table format to begin with. According to Microsoft, Insert Data from Picture combines optical character recognition technology, layout understanding techniques, and machine learning to convert information written on paper into digital data. As of today, the Insert Data from Picture feature also supports 21 languages on both iOS and Android. The Excel iOS app from Microsoft can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Microsoft Launches First Microsoft Edge Preview Builds for Mac Users

Microsoft today announced the launch of a preview or canary build of its Microsoft Edge browser designed for the macOS operating system. Microsoft Edge for macOS can be installed from the Microsoft Edge Insider site on compatible Macs. Microsoft first unveiled plans to bring the Microsoft Edge browser to the Mac at its annual Build developer conference in Seattle, held on May 6. Shortly after, a canary version of the browser appeared on Microsoft's site, but it was not made officially available until today. According to Microsoft, Edge on the Mac will be quite similar to the Edge experience on Windows, but with "user experience optimizations" to make it "feel at home on a Mac." The overall look and feel of the browser will be tailored to match "what macOS users expect" from Mac apps. Microsoft says that the initial build available today includes several interface changes to meld the Microsoft design language with the design language of macOS.Examples of this include a number of tweaks to match macOS conventions for fonts, menus, keyboard shortcuts, title casing, and other areas. You will continue to see the look and feel of the browser evolve in future releases as we continue to experiment, iterate and listen to customer feedback. We encourage you to share your feedback with us using the "Send feedback" smiley.Exclusive user experiences for macOS are also coming in the future, such as "useful and contextual actions" for the Touch Bar on Touch Bar-compatible Macs. Trackpad gestures will also be supported. To use the new macOS version of Microsoft Edge, a

Microsoft Provides Sneak Peek of Edge on Mac, 16 Years After Safari Replaced Internet Explorer [Update: Now Available]

Microsoft has kicked off its annual Build developer conference in Seattle with a preview of its upcoming Edge web browser for Mac. In a blog post detailing new features coming to Edge, which is being rebuilt with the same open source Chromium rendering engine as used by Google Chrome, Microsoft provided a sneak peek at how the browser will look on macOS. While only a brief glimpse, the browser looks somewhat similar to Chrome. Microsoft shipped its first preview builds of its revamped Edge browser for Windows last month, but the browser remains listed as "coming soon" for macOS. The Verge believes the Mac version will be available "very soon," likely including both the Canary and Dev channel builds as on Windows. Edge will be Microsoft's first web browser on the Mac since Internet Explorer received its last feature update nearly 16 years ago. Internet Explorer was the default web browser on the Mac between 1998 and 2003, when Apple released Safari on Mac OS X Panther, which has been the default ever since. Edge succeeded Internet Explorer as the default web browser on Windows in 2015 and is also available for iOS and Android. Update: According to a post shared on reddit, a canary version of Microsoft's Edge browser is now available for download. [Direct Download Link]

PSA: Microsoft Outlook Breach Worse Than Expected, Hackers Could Read Emails of 6% of Affected Users

Microsoft has revealed that one of its support agent's credentials were compromised, enabling unauthorized parties to access information from a "limited subset" of users, including e-mail addresses, folder names, subject lines, and the names of recent recipients, between January 1 and March 28 of 2019. It gets worse, unfortunately. In a statement issued to The Verge, Microsoft said that the unauthorized parties had access to the actual content of roughly six percent of affected email accounts, as exposed by Motherboard. In an email to affected users shared by TechCrunch, Microsoft said it has now blocked this unauthorized access, disabled the passwords of compromised accounts, and increased detection and monitoring to further protect users. Microsoft recommends users change their passwords out of an abundance of caution. The breach affected a "limited subset" of Microsoft-managed email accounts, including Outlook, MSN, and Hotmail email addresses. No enterprise customers are believed to be affected, according to TechCrunch. Microsoft told affected users that it has no indication why the information was viewed or how it may have been used. The company has yet to reveal how it discovered the breach, how the support agent's credentials were compromised, or if the agent was a Microsoft employee, according to TechCrunch.

Microsoft Working on Wireless In-Ear 'Surface Buds' to Rival AirPods

Microsoft is planning to launch a pair of wireless earbuds under the Surface brand that will be a direct competitor to Apple's AirPods, according to sources familiar with the company's plans who spoke to Thurrott. The earbuds are currently in development under the code name "Morrison." These are described to be in-ear wireless headphones, just like the AirPods. This isn't the first time Microsoft has created and sold its own headphones, as it currently sells the $349.99 Surface Headphones on its website. The Surface Headphones are large, over-ear headphones with advanced features like noise cancellation. The new device would likely carry over a few features seen in the Surface Headphones, however, like Cortana integration and "a way to improve interactions between a phone and the earbuds to make reading content easier on the phone." At this time, the name of the earbuds is not yet confirmed, but the simple moniker of "Surface Buds" is said to have been tossed around within the company. Apple just updated the AirPods to version 2, which includes "Hey Siri" functionality and wireless charging. The full lineup now includes the AirPods 2 with Wireless Charging Case ($199), AirPods 2 with standard Charging Case ($159), and the standalone Wireless Charging Case ($79) that adds wireless charging capabilities to your existing AirPods.

Microsoft Opens Up Xbox Live Data Syncing to All iOS and Android Apps

Last month, a post from the GDC 2019 scheduling website hinted that Microsoft was preparing to launch a new software development kit that would sync your Xbox Live data to any compatible iOS app. This week, Microsoft confirmed the launch of the cross-platform mobile SDK, enabling developers to build achievements, Gamerscore, friend lists, clubs, and more into iOS and Android apps (via The Verge). Game developers will be able to "pick and choose" the parts of Xbox Live they want to integrate into their apps, and all of the features will be enabled on the consumer side through a single sign-in to their Microsoft account. The company is using Minecraft as a template for what other developers can do in this space. “We believe so strongly in community, and Xbox Live really being at the heart of our gaming community,” explains Kareem Choudhry, Microsoft’s gaming cloud chief in a media briefing this week. “If you watch what we’ve done, especially with Minecraft, over the past few years we’ve taken Xbox Live to as many platforms as Minecraft is on as possible. Really uniting all those communities together with a consistent singular experience for those gamers.” The new SDK is part of the "Microsoft Game Stack" initiative, which has the goal of bringing together Microsoft's tools and services to help both indie and AAA developers create games. At the moment, there are a few iOS games with Xbox Live features like achievements, but they're only available in games that were released by Microsoft Studios. With the new SDK, these features will greatly expand to any

Apple's MacBook Air vs. Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2

The MacBook Air, last updated in 2018, is Apple's most affordable notebook machine, with pricing that starts at $1,199 for the newest hardware. Microsoft also makes a comparable machine, the Surface Laptop 2, which came out right around the same time Apple released its 2018 MacBook Air update. In our latest video, we decided to pit the MacBook Air against Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 to determine which machine is the better value and the best buy. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Both the MacBook Air and the Surface Laptop 2 are thin, light machines, with each one weighing in right around 2.75 pounds. The Surface Laptop 2 has a 13.5-inch display with a 2256 x 1504 resolution, while the MacBook Air has a 13.3-inch display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600, so all in all, design wise, these two machines are quite similar, though the Surface Laptop 2 offers a 3:2 display. The Surface Laptop 2 comes in a matte black color (it's also in burgundy and blue) that we were a fan of because it's a nice deviation from the standard gold, silver, and space gray shades Apple uses for its notebooks. Inside, the MacBook Air is all aluminum, but the Surface Laptop 2 uses an Alcantara fabric design, which has become a key feature of the Surface lineup. When it comes to key feel, the MacBook Air wins out, though those who are not fans of the butterfly key design might not agree. The MacBook Air also has a better trackpad, which is unsurprising because most

Microsoft Working on SDK That Will Expand Xbox Live Features to More Games on iOS

Microsoft is working on a new software development kit that will allow your Xbox Live data to sync "to almost every screen" that you own, including iOS devices, Android smartphones, and Nintendo Switch, in addition to existing support on Xbox consoles and Windows PC. The SDK will bring your Xbox achievements, friends list, clubs, and more to supported iPhone and iPad games in the future (via Windows Central). The news comes from the GDC 2019 scheduling website, hinting at more details for the feature to come during the conference, which takes place in San Francisco the week of March 18. Microsoft already supports cross-platform play for certain smartphone games, like Minecraft on iOS, but the new SDK is described as a big expansion to this existing feature, since it would support games besides first-party, Microsoft-owned titles. Now Xbox Live is about to get MUCH bigger. Xbox Live is expanding from 400M gaming devices and a reach to over 68M active players to over 2B devices with the release of our new cross-platform XDK. Xbox Live players are highly engaged and active on Xbox and PC, but now they can take their gaming achievement history, their friends list, their clubs, and more with them to almost every screen. This will break down barriers for developers that want their communities to mingle more freely across platforms. Combined with PlayFab gaming services, this means less work for game developers and more time to focus on making games fun. The SDK will allow developers to build cross-platform Xbox Live achievements, social features, multiplayer modes,

Microsoft Suggests Windows 10 Mobile Users Switch to iOS or Android as Support Winds Down

With support for the now-discontinued Windows 10 Mobile devices set to end on December 10, 2019, Microsoft is recommending that its current Windows 10 Mobile customers move to an Android or iOS device instead. Microsoft made the recommendation in a Windows 10 Mobile support document (via Thurrott) explaining its plans to stop offering security updates and patches for Windows 10 Mobile. With the Windows 10 Mobile OS end of support, we recommend that customers move to a supported Android or iOS device. Microsoft's mission statement to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more, compels us to support our Mobile apps on those platforms and devices.Microsoft ended support for Windows Phone in July 2017 and stopped active development on Windows 10 Mobile in October of that year, leading to the death of the platform. Microsoft struggled to get app developers to write apps for the device, and it was also never able to establish a strong user base. With the abandonment of Windows 10 Mobile, Microsoft has been focusing on other platforms and has a wide array of apps available for both iOS and Android devices. All customers who have a Windows 10 Mobile device will be able to keep using it after December 10, 2019, but no further updates will be

Microsoft Office Apps Now Support Dark Mode on macOS Mojave

Microsoft today updated its suite of Office for Mac apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, with support for Dark Mode on macOS Mojave and several other new features. The updates are available to both Office 365 subscribers and to users who purchased Office 2019 for Mac as a one-time purchase. The update also makes it easier to insert a photo from an iPhone or iPad into a PowerPoint slide using Apple's new Continuity Camera feature. This allows users to control-click in a PowerPoint window where you want the photo to appear, quickly take a photo on a nearby iPhone or iPad, and import it into a slide. And with v16.20 some customers will see our Ribbon Visual Refresh with new icons and styling in Office 365 for Mac, as we begin rolling out and getting your feedback! On macOS Mojave, the new icons adapt to Light and Dark Mode as well! #Office365 pic.twitter.com/2iLdWNx7qD— Derek Snook (@derek_snook) December 11, 2018 Office for Mac apps can be updated via the Microsoft AutoUpdate mechanism by navigating to Help > Check for Updates in each app. For a full list of new features, read the Office for Mac version 16.20 release notes. (Thanks, Daniel!)

Microsoft Edge Web Browser Coming to the Mac Over 15 Years After Internet Explorer for Mac

Microsoft today announced that it expects to bring its Edge web browser to the Mac, possibly as early as next year. "Microsoft Edge will now be delivered and updated for all supported versions of Windows and on a more frequent cadence. We also expect this work to enable us to bring Microsoft Edge to other platforms like macOS," said Microsoft. The news was revealed as part of Microsoft's larger announcement that Edge will be rebuilt based on the open source Chromium rendering engine, the same engine used by Google Chrome. Microsoft said it expects to have a preview build of the Chromium-based Edge browser ready in early 2019 for users to try. However, it's unclear if the preview will initially be limited to Windows or extend to the Mac simultaneously. Edge succeeded Internet Explorer as Microsoft's default web browser on Windows in 2015, with a mobile version later released for iOS and Android. It will be Microsoft's first web browser on Mac since Internet Explorer for Mac received its last feature update over 15 years ago, in June 2003. Internet Explorer was the default web browser on Mac between 1998 and 2003, when Apple released Safari on Mac OS X

Microsoft Shares Holiday Ad Promoting Surface Go Over Apple's iPad: 'Big Dreams Need a Real Computer'

Microsoft this week shared a new ad on its Microsoft Surface YouTube channel, this one aimed at promoting the Surface Go. As the ad begins, a little girl stares into the window of a Microsoft Store and begins singing about her preference for the Surface Go over Apple's iPad, to the tune of the song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." She sings, "Grandma don't run out and buy an iPad, it was fine when I was six but now I'm 10. My dreams are big so I need a real computer, to do all the amazing things I know I can." Microsoft's ad is aimed at Apple's own "What's a Computer?" ad campaign, which began in 2016 and showed off a few of the things that the iPad Pro can do as a replacement to a traditional laptop computer. Microsoft's description of the video includes a reference to needing a "real computer": "Big dreams need a real computer, like the Surface Go, to help make them come true. This holiday season, discover all the possibilities with the Surface Go. Portable, powerful and starts at $399." The Surface Go launched over the summer at a price point of $399, making it a direct competitor to Apple's cheaper iPads. The Go is basically a smaller version of the $799 Surface Pro, including the integrated kickstand and a front-facing camera above the 1800 x 1200 resolution IPS touchscreen

Apple Releases iCloud for Windows Update to Fix Incompatibility Issues

Apple this afternoon released an update for iCloud for Windows, which is the iCloud software designed to run on the Windows operating system for those who have both Windows machines and own Apple devices. iCloud for Windows version 7.8.1 is designed to fix compatibility issues with the latest version of Windows 10. Earlier this month, Microsoft blocked the iCloud for Windows software from being downloaded by Windows users after Apple discovered an incompatibility that could result in problems updating Shared Albums after users upgraded to Windows 10 version 1809. At the time, Microsoft said that it was working with Apple to provide a version of the iCloud software compatible with the latest version of Windows 10. The fix isn't mentioned by Apple, but the company did revise a support document that had previously suggested iCloud for Windows was only compatible with Windows 10 through the April 2018 update rather than the most recent

Microsoft Passes Apple to Become Most Valuable U.S. Company

Microsoft today surpassed Apple to become the world's most valuable publicly traded company as a result of Apple's continually declining share price, reports Business Insider. Microsoft has reached a market capitalization of approximately $814 billion, while Apple's is now slightly less. Apple earlier this year became the world's only trillion dollar publicly traded company, but it lost that status in November and its market cap has steadily declined since then over concerns of weak iPhone sales and its announcement that it will no longer share iPhone, iPad, and Mac sales on a unit basis. According to Bloomberg, Microsoft's market cap has not previously matched Apple's since mid-2010, eight years ago. Microsoft's growing cloud business and strong PC sales made Microsoft one of the few tech companies to grow in value following its September quarter earnings results. Apple's valuation, meanwhile, has fallen more than 20 percent since its own earnings results. Microsoft shares hit a high of $105.94 in intra-day trading, while Apple's have dropped to a low of $170.27. As stock prices fluctuate, Microsoft and Apple are now competing for the most valuable company title with the lead company shifting back and forth.

Microsoft Releases Redesigned Cortana App for iOS

Microsoft today released an updated Cortana app for iOS, which features an overhauled interface and new features like music and podcasts support. For those unfamiliar with Cortana, it is Microsoft's version of Siri or Alexa, an AI-based personal assistant that can answer questions and complete small tasks. Microsoft has been testing the revamped version of Cortana since October. The new interface is focused on conversational experiences with Cortana, plus it includes support for music and podcast suggestions, and a focus on setting reminders, timers, and meetings. Cortana 3.0 offers up a new conversational experience when asking questions, and there is a new dedicated spot for setting up and managing Cortana devices. Microsoft's full release notes for the update are below:What's new: · A new conversational experience for answers · A new place to manage and set up your Cortana devices · Listen to music and podcasts on the go · Stay on top of your tasks managing meetings, emails, reminders and To Do on the go · Join your next Skype or Teams meeting by simply asking CortanaMicrosoft's Cortana app for iOS can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link

Dark Mode Coming to Microsoft Office for Mac

With the release of macOS Mojave in September, Apple introduced a Dark Mode to its desktop operating system that some users prefer the look of, or just find more forgiving on the eyes. Many third-party apps have followed suit with their own darkened interfaces, and now it looks like a similar interface option is also headed for Microsoft Office. MS PowerPoint in Dark Mode Microsoft Office product manager Akshay Bakshi has been teasing as much on social media, with two tweets posted on October 29 and 30 indicating that users of Office for Mac will soon have the ability run at least some apps included in the productivity suite in a new native Dark Mode. Look closely at the Pictures icon. Office running on macOS Mojave in Dark Mode. #OfficeInsiders #office365 pic.twitter.com/xDSTFvNr5q— Akshay Bakshi 🎉 (@AgentAkki) October 29, 2018 According to the tweets, Dark Mode will be available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, featuring new dynamic ribbon and icon styling. Users signed up to the Insiders Fast community getting access to the visual refresh first in build 181029. 📣 Office Visual Refresh and Dark Mode support rolling out now to Insiders Fast with build 181029! 🎀 New Ribbon and icon styling in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. 🌙 Dark Mode in Word, Excel and PPT on macOS Mojave. https://t.co/gTrEQbJoiN#OfficeInsiders #office365 pic.twitter.com/rTvFvOsqE1— Akshay Bakshi 🎉 (@AgentAkki) October 30, 2018