Microsoft reveals xCloud can stream up to 3,500 games from the cloud


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Microsoft is revealing some of the more finer details about its upcoming xCloud game streaming service today. The software maker has been testing the service with employees recently, allowing them to take the service anywhere to test streaming of Xbox games. Microsoft is currently building out the servers required for xCloud, but it’s revealing today that the service “has the technical capability to stream more than 3,500 games” without developers needing to make any changes to their titles.

Game developers like Capcom and Paradox are now testing their games on xCloud, ahead of public trials later this year. “We’ve already deployed our custom Project xCloud blades to datacenters across 13 Azure regions with an initial emphasis on…

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ARM cuts ties with Huawei, threatening future chip designs


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Chip designer ARM has suspended business with Huawei, threatening the Chinese company’s ability to create its own chips. BBC News reports that ARM employees have been instructed to halt “all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements” with Huawei due to the US trade ban. The US has banned any US companies from doing business with the Chinese telecom giant without permission from the American government, but ARM is based in the UK and owned by the Japanese SoftBank group.

ARM is concerned it is affected by the US ban, with an internal memo reportedly revealing that its chip designs include “US origin technology.” ARM develops some processor designs in Austin, Texas and San Jose, California, which could place it…

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Microsoft removes Huawei laptop from store, remains silent on potential Windows ban


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Microsoft looks set to be the latest in a long line of US-based technology companies that are complying with President Trump’s new executive order to crack down on Chinese tech companies. Google cut off Huawei’s Android license over the weekend, but Microsoft has stayed silent on whether it will prevent the Chinese company from obtaining Windows licenses. The Verge has reached out to Microsoft multiple times for comment, but it has refused to offer any statement on the situation.

Huawei’s MateBook X Pro is one of the best Windows laptops available in the US right now, but without a Windows license, it’s no longer a viable alternative to Apple’s MacBook Pro or the HP Spectre x360 and even Microsoft’s own Surface lineup. Microsoft appears…

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Microsoft’s next major Windows 10 update is now available


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Microsoft is releasing its Windows 10 May 2019 Update to everyone today. The Windows 10 May 2019 Update includes a new light theme for Windows 10, alongside Kaomoji support, a Windows sandbox feature, and the separation of Cortana and Windows search. Microsoft first released this to testers last month, giving the company plenty of time to avoid potential issues. Today marks the official release to all existing Windows 10 users.

Alongside the release, Microsoft is also launching a new Windows release health dashboard that offers status on the rollout and any known issues for the May 2019 Update and other monthly updates. This is all part of Microsoft being more careful with its last-minute testing and being more transparent on issues…

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Surface Headphones are $100 off at the Microsoft Store


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Microsoft is discounting its Surface Headphones by $100. The deal is available over at the company’s online store, and it looks like a temporary price cut to $249.99 down from the regular $349.99 price.

Microsoft’s headphones have Cortana built-in, but they also work with Apple’s Siri or the Google Assistant on Android. Surface Headphones also include noise canceling (NC), smart switching between multiple paired devices, and USB-C charging.

Microsoft first released its Surface Headphones back in November, and this is the first major discount on the Surface cans since then. We reviewed the Surface Headphones and found them to have great wireless performance, excellent noise cancellation, but lacking in sound quality overall.

Rumors…

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Microsoft and Sony form cloud gaming and AI partnership


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Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft and Sony are announcing an unusual partnership today, allowing the two rivals to partner on cloud-based gaming services. “The two companies will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services,” says a Microsoft statement. Sony’s existing game and content-streaming services will also be powered by Microsoft Azure in the future.

Microsoft says “these efforts will also include building better development platforms for the content creator community,” which sounds like both Sony and Microsoft are planning to partner on future services aimed at creators and the gaming community. Both companies say they will “share additional information when…

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Microsoft warns of major WannaCry-like Windows security exploit, releases XP patches


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Microsoft is warning users of older versions of Windows to urgently apply a Windows Update today to protect against a potential widespread attack. The software giant has patched a critical remote code execution vulnerability in Remote Desktop Services that exists in Windows XP, Windows 7, and server versions like Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2008. Microsoft is taking the highly unusual approach of releasing patches for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 even though both operating systems are out of support.

“This vulnerability is pre-authentication and requires no user interaction,” explains Simon Pope, director of incident response at Microsoft’s Security Response Center. “In other words, the…

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HP’s new dual-screen gaming laptop lets you watch Twitch and play simultaneously


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HP is launching a dual-screen gaming laptop today, with an additional screen above the keyboard. The secondary 6-inch 1080p display is designed to be used with a real-time screen mirroring feature that can cut and magnify parts of the main display (like maps) and let you zoom into them while gaming. You can also use the display to chat to friends on Discord, stream tutorial videos from YouTube, or simply keep an eye on CPU and GPU performance.

We’ve seen plenty of wild gaming laptops before, but this secondary display could be useful to some. It’s like a giant version of Apple’s Touch Bar, but as it acts as a secondary screen so you can pretty much run any app on it. PC gamers often use dual-screen rigs to be able to watch Twitch…

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Microsoft brings PowerToys back to let anyone improve Windows 10 for power users


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Microsoft first introduced the concept of “PowerToys” in Windows 95. It was originally a way for Windows engineers to test a prototype feature, and Microsoft packaged some of the best ones into a PowerToys bundle. These PowerToys included popular utilities like Tweak UI to customize the Windows user interface, Quick Res to quickly change screen resolutions, and Send To X that let you send files and folders to the command line, clipboard, or desktop.

PowerToys disappeared after Windows XP, during a time when co-founder Bill Gates ordered a security review of everything that was going into Windows. These useful utilities are now being revived by Microsoft in a new effort to focus on what power users need in Windows 10. The software giant…

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Microsoft’s new Cortana chief outlines the company’s digital assistant vision


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Microsoft’s digital assistant has had a tough time recently. After starting off life on Windows Phone, Cortana appeared on Windows 10 PCs and looked set to launch on a range of smart speakers, fridges, toasters, thermostats, and more. While Alexa and Google Assistant have corned this part of the market, Cortana has been left behind, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella admitted earlier this year that Cortana no longer competes directly with Google Assistant or Alexa. Microsoft has a new vision for Cortana, involving conversational interactions for workers who are organizing their days. I sat down with the new Cortana chief, Andrew Shuman, this week at Microsoft’s Build conference to get an idea for how the company is approaching Cortana in…

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Microsoft’s Edge browser for Mac leaks, available to download early


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Microsoft just teased its Edge browser for macOS yesterday, but now, download links have appeared online a little early. Twitter user WalkingCat discovered official Microsoft download links to both the daily Chromium-powered Canary builds of Edge for Mac and the weekly Dev builds. Microsoft has been working to support Mac keyboard shortcuts, and it has been experimenting with button placement so its browser looks and feels like a Mac app.

Microsoft is also adding in Touch Bar support, with options for media control sliders and the ability to switch tabs from the Touch Bar. Rounded corners for tabs are also available in the macOS Edge version, and Microsoft is planning to bring this same UI to Windows. Microsoft also just announced new…

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Microsoft is going to ship a full Linux kernel in Windows 10


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Microsoft has surprised many in the Linux developer community in recent years. Surprises have included bringing things like adding the Bash shell to Windows, or native OpenSSH in Windows 10, and even including Ubuntu, SUSE Linux, and Fedora all in the Windows Store. Microsoft is now going even further, with plans to ship a full Linux kernel directly in Windows 10.

“Beginning with Windows Insiders builds this Summer, we will include an in-house custom-built Linux kernel to underpin the newest version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL),” explains Microsoft program manager Jack Hammons. “The kernel itself will initially be based on version 4.19, the latest long-term stable release of Linux. The kernel will be rebased at the…

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Watch Microsoft’s failed HoloLens 2 Apollo moon landing demo


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Microsoft opened its Build developer conference in Seattle this morning with an awkward start. The software giant was supposed to show a recreation of the Apollo moon landing with its HoloLens 2 headsets. Instead, the demo failed, a nightmare scenario for anyone running a live show. “Well, it seems doing a live demo is actually harder than landing on the moon,” said A Man on the Moon author Andrew Chaikin. “Thank you for your time,” said Chaikin, before exiting the stage and leaving the audience confused at a failed demo.

A minute or so passed, and then Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella appeared on stage, with no acknowledgment of the failed demo or what the company was trying to achieve. If the demo had actually worked, the result was…

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Microsoft just teased a slick new Minecraft AR game for your phone


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Microsoft has started to tease what appears to be a new Minecraft game for mobile devices. The software giant used a video at the end of the company’s Build 2019 keynote today to show Minecraft in augmented reality, running on a phone. In the video, Minecraft creative director Saxs Persson leaves his phone on a bench outside the Washington State Convention Center where Microsoft’s Build developer conference is being held. A passerby picks it up and is able to see Minecraft running in AR, suggesting that Microsoft is preparing a new game.

It’s not clear what this Minecraft game will be, but it could be a killer app for augmented reality. We’ve not seen many apps or games since Pokémon Go that have demonstrated the potential for augmented…

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Microsoft teases its Edge browser for macOS


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Microsoft first released its Edge Chromium browser as early Canary and Dev builds on Windows last month. While Windows 10 users can test the new browser, Mac owners have been waiting to hear more details about when Edge will be available on macOS. Microsoft doesn’t have any solid dates to announce just yet, but the company has started teasing what Edge will look like on macOS.

During the company’s Build 2019 developer conference, Microsoft is announcing new features for Edge on Windows and teasing the upcoming macOS release. We understand that the release will be available very soon, and Mac users should be able to access both the Canary and Dev builds of Edge just like Windows.

Microsoft’s implementation of Chromium on…

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Microsoft wants to make the web more productive with its new Fluid Framework


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Microsoft is unveiling a whole new Fluid Framework developer platform today at the company’s Build 2019 conference. Fluid Framework is designed to let developers build more shared and interactive services and apps on the web. Microsoft’s framework will include support for co-authoring on the web at a speed and scale “not yet achieved in the industry,” says the company. Microsoft has dabbled with multiperson collaboration on the web in both Office and its Whiteboard app, and it appears it’s bringing those learnings and benefits to everyone.

As part of this Fluid Framework, the content produced using this system will also be more componentized so developers can use it across apps or in a new flexible document format. Microsoft is also…

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Microsoft unveils Windows Terminal, a new command line app for Windows


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Microsoft is launching a new command line app for Windows, dubbed Windows Terminal. It’s designed to be the central location for access to environments like PowerShell, Cmd, and the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). Microsoft is adding multiple tab support alongside theming and customization for developers who want to tweak the Terminal app.

Windows Terminal will also support emoji and GPU-based text rendering. Microsoft unveiled the new Windows Terminal app during the company’s Build developer conference today. The software giant is planning to make it available in mid-June, and it marks Microsoft’s latest efforts to improve the developer environment on Windows 10.

Microsoft also previously added the Linux command line…

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