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Microsoft

Many Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users don’t want to upgrade their machines to Microsoft’s newest Windows 10 operating system now or anytime soon. Isn’t it?
But what if you wake up in the morning and found yourself a Windows 10 user?

That’s exactly what Microsoft is doing to Windows 7 and 8.1 users.

Windows 10 Upgrade Becomes More Aggressive

Ever since Microsoft launched its new operating system over the summer, Windows 7 and 8.1 users have been forced several number of times to upgrade their machines to Windows 10.
It was relatively inoffensive at first, but as days have passed, Microsoft has become increasingly aggressive to push Windows users to upgrade to Windows 10.
Microsoft has left very little choice over whether to upgrade their systems to Windows 10 or not. At last, the users end up upgrading their machines to the latest Windows operating system.
Users now see a pop up on their computers, as InfoWorld reports, that displays only two choices for you:
Upgrade Now ‘OR’ Upgrade Tonight

But, What’s the Catch?

Yes, there is a catch to get rid of Windows 10 upgrade, temporarily, anyways.

What users will see is the above two options but what they’ll not see is the third option hiding in plain sight: The ‘X’ button in the top-right corner of the upgrade window.
While you can click the ‘X’ button to make the upgrade go away, the less knowledgeable users would end up upgrading to Windows 10 either then and there or at that night.

Moreover, since the dialog box warns that “Upgrading to Windows 10 is Free for a Limited Time”, some users could interpret that if they close the pop-up window, they may not be able to upgrade their machines Free at a later date.

Microsoft silently started pushing Windows 10 installation files on PCs running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 over a month after its launch, even if users have not opted into the upgrade.

Almost two months ago, some Windows 7 and 8.1 users also claimed that Windows 10 had begun to install itself automatically on their PCs, which Microsoft later called it a mistake.

Although there is nothing we could predict what tweaks Microsoft has planned for future upgrades, the next time you may get a pop-up window with a single button that says “Upgrade Now.”

The rumoured Nokia C1, the smartphone that has been in leaks since late last year, has now surfaced in a new render image on the Web. While all the leaks and rumours until now pointed out the handset to run Android with the company’s Z Launcher, the new render shows the smartphone to run Windows 10 OS as well – tipping the handset could be offered in two variants for the two operating systems.

The leaked image render for the Nokia C1 shows the handset in White, Gold, Pink, and Grey colour variants alongside two more units. While the unit in foreground is seen running the Nokia Z Launcher for Android, the one in the background (right side) is seen running Windows 10 Mobile. The tipster who leaked the image said (via Nokiapoweruser) that the handset will arrive in both OS versions.

In addition, while a leaked image from September showed the smartphone’s rear camera at the centre, the latest render shows it placed on the top-left corner. Since Nokia is still silent on the matter, the latest leaked render should be taken with a pinch of salt.

Going by past leaks and rumours, the Nokia C1 is tipped to include a 5-inch FHD display, an 8-megapixel rear camera, and a 5-megapixel front-facing shooter. It is said to run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow as well. Previous reports have suggested that the Nokia C1 will be powered by an Intel chipset and feature 2GB of RAM.

It needs to be pointed out that Nokia can’t use its brand on smartphones until Q4 2016, because of the acquisition of its devices and services division by Microsoft. Earlier this year, Nokia announced that it intends to get back in the smartphone business by licensing designs to hardware manufacturers. The Finnish-based technology company, which once held the pole position in the mobile handset market, lost its dominance with the rise of Apple and Android smartphones, and its decision to use Windows Phone as its operating system of choice instead of Android arguably speeded up its demise

Smartphones have easily become the most important devices on the planet. Since their inception, they’ve ruled the way we live, becoming more like an appendage than a gadget. These devices store all of our personal information: our social media accounts, our credit card information, everything that you would ever want to keep safe from the outside world. It’s this high level of sensitivity in our smartphones that make people like Steve Lord, 15 year white hat hacker, so terrifying.

WhatMobile did an interview with Steve Lord, talking about what a white hat hacker does, why they’re important, and what the state of cyber security in the world is. It’s something that is, without a doubt, highly enlightening to anyone who lives their life through the screen of their smartphone. What should be especially interesting, however, is what Steve had to say about which smartphones are currently the most secure.

 

“All have benefits and drawbacks. Currently Windows Phone seems to be the hardest nut to crack. Blackberry has a long history of being very security-focused. If I have physical access to the device, I find Android’s usually the easiest target. Then comes iPhone, then older versions of BlackBerry. If it’s over a network or I have to attack via email or message, Android’s usually the softest target.”

It’s good to hear that Windows Phones are currently more secure than their competitors, though it’s not really that big of a surprise. Microsoft has always been a company that focuses on keeping phones secure – for a company whose audience consists largely of business executives, that security is absolutely vital. When you’re sporting the “most secure Windows ever,” you should always feel safe from hackers.

This doesn’t mean that Windows Phone is perfect, or entirely impenetrable. No device will ever be safe from hackers, and you should always take care to keep your information safe with your own precautions. That said, with Microsoft at your back, you should always feel like you’re one step ahead of the people who would want to take your personal information.

While Microsoft is being targeted for stealing the user data with the new Windows 10, the company is once again returning to the court to continue its battle with the US government. The company is resisting the demand that it should hand over some emails stored at a data center in Ireland.

The emails involved belong to an alleged crime suspect. In the past two judgments, Redmond has faced defeats in the lower courts. For the third time, the company is challenging the US government in the U.S. Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit.

Microsoft said that it is fighting this case on behalf of everyone and calls this a fight to protect the fundamental right to privacy and international sovereignty. However, the US Department of Justice says that it’s necessary to access the data stored in foreign data centers as it would be helpful in the prosecution of criminals.

Microsoft has showed off letters of support from the likes of Apple, Amazon, HP, AT&T, Verizon and others. Also, Microsoft has the Irish government on its side. It’s being seen as a move to retain the trust of the customers who keep complaining that the tech companies and governments is sniffing their activities and data.

These emails were first sought in 2013 and the judge will be deciding their fate very soon.

The hearing will take place today and we’ll keep you updated.

What are your thoughts? Should the government be allowed to access the user data stored in overseas data centers?

Google is making it safer and easier to add third-party accounts to Gmail for Android. Soon Gmail users will see the option to add Microsoft and Yahoo accounts via OAuth. That means users will no longer have to enter their user names and passwords into Gmail for Android to add these services.

Instead, Gmail will rely on Microsoft and Yahoo for authorization. If you’re logged in to your Outlook.com account, for example, Microsoft will present users with a button to allow Gmail for Android to access your account. Once that’s done, Microsoft gives Gmail a token (basically a text file) that allows the app access to that account.

If the user isn’t logged in to Microsoft, they’ll have to go through the Outlook.com login process before getting to the OAuth screen.

While OAuth is new to Gmail for Android, it’s something most users should be familiar with. Anyone who’s ever authorized an app to access a Facebook or Twitter account, for example, will be immediately familiar with the Gmail for Android process.

The new Gmail for Android feature is rolling out now. Google says it should be available to all in the next few days.

The impact on you at home: OAuth support offers a higher degree of security, because you don’t have to enter your account details into Gmail for Android. That means an unknown vulnerability in Gmail for Android could never leak your Microsoft or Yahoo credentials, because it doesn’t have them. In the event of a hack, OAuth also allows you to quickly de-authorize Gmail for Android with one click from your Microsoft or Yahoo account settings. In addition, Google says OAuth makes it easier to use added security features like two-step verification, which typically won’t work when you enter a primary password directly into a third-party app.

Windows 10 will be the last major Windows release, with all subsequent updates issued as regular instalments, Microsoft has confirmed. Developer Jerry Nixon told a crowd at Microsoft’s Ignite conference that “Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10”.

If this sounds strange, Microsoft didn’t help. The company today stepped forward to defend Nixon’s comment to The Verge saying it was “reflective” of the company’s opinion. So what is going on? Is Windows 10 really the end?

Recent comments at Ignite about Windows 10 are reflective of the way Windows will be delivered as a service, bringing new innovations and updates in an ongoing manner, with continuous value for our consumer and business customers. In the future, Windows could be updated more like Mac OS X, with small, free updates periodically, or even like Google’s Chrome browser, which updates almost weekly with barely any user intervention.

Microsoft’s wording suggests that in being “the last version of Windows” Windows 10 must transform into the all encompassing ‘Windows’ during its life cycle. If not it wouldn’t be the last major version of Windows, the subsequent everlasting ‘Windows’ would be.

So how will Microsoft decide where to draw the line with ‘free’? It is highly unlikely that those who move to Windows 10 within the first year will not be charged for a Windows update, upgrade or major new feature ever again.

Microsoft is getting ready for a newer and unexpected battle with Google. This time, Microsoft plans to take on Android by investing in Cyanogen.

Cyanogen is a startup which makes and maintains its own version of Android. Cyanogen is currently being used in the OnePlus One, the flagship killer, a smartphone which has garnered rave reviews last year.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft is investing $70 million in Cyanogen which is best known for its customized version of Android. Cyanogen has reportedly raised $100 million to date. This should be noted that Cyanogen recently refused an offer from Google and hopes to live its dream of being an open version of Android alive.

WSJ writes:

“Microsoft would be a minority investor in a roughly $70 million round of equity financing that values Cyanogen in the high hundreds of millions.”

What could be Microsoft’s intentions?

This is important and unusual because Microsoft is owner of its very own Windows Phone operating system and is gearing up for the upcoming launch of Windows 10 for mobile devices. This move of Microsoft can be attributed to its commitment to embrace open source and maybe some mischief.

Cyanogen claims to have a team of 9,000 volunteer software developers. Cyanogen’s Chief Executive Kirt McMaster told WSJ last week:

“We’re going to take Android away from Google.”

Apart from different versions of Android for the smartphone makers, Google also releases the Android core under an open-source license. This version is free for everybody and anyone can use and modify or fork this core without linking the Google services. The best examples are Amazon’s products which run on forked Android. These independent versions are already very popular in China where Google has struggled to leave its mark.

These types of Android versions, which are not under Google’s control, are a problem for Google because not every forked version promotes and uses Google’s services and hence, Google makes no money. Due to this Microsoft’s investment in Cyanogen, it will be harder for Google to bring all version of Android under its control.

Microsoft and Cyanogen, both have declined to comment. By investing in Cyanogen, Microsoft can get more users and claim a bigger share of the mobile market. Under the new CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has shown such commitments to open source in the past.

iMicrosoft is getting ready for a newer and unexpected battle with Google. This time, Microsoft plans to take on Android by investing in Cyanogen.

Cyanogen is a startup which makes and maintains its own version of Android. Cyanogen is currently being used in the OnePlus One, the flagship killer, a smartphone which has garnered rave reviews last year.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft is investing $70 million in Cyanogen which is best known for its customized version of Android. Cyanogen has reportedly raised $100 million to date. This should be noted that Cyanogen recently refused an offer from Google and hopes to live its dream of being an open version of Android alive.

WSJ writes:

“Microsoft would be a minority investor in a roughly $70 million round of equity financing that values Cyanogen in the high hundreds of millions.”

What could be Microsoft’s intentions?

This is important and unusual because Microsoft is owner of its very own Windows Phone operating system and is gearing up for the upcoming launch of Windows 10 for mobile devices. This move of Microsoft can be attributed to its commitment to embrace open source and maybe some mischief.

Cyanogen claims to have a team of 9,000 volunteer software developers. Cyanogen’s Chief Executive Kirt McMaster told WSJ last week:

“We’re going to take Android away from Google.”

Apart from different versions of Android for the smartphone makers, Google also releases the Android core under an open-source license. This version is free for everybody and anyone can use and modify or fork this core without linking the Google services. The best examples are Amazon’s products which run on forked Android. These independent versions are already very popular in China where Google has struggled to leave its mark.

These types of Android versions, which are not under Google’s control, are a problem for Google because not every forked version promotes and uses Google’s services and hence, Google makes no money. Due to this Microsoft’s investment in Cyanogen, it will be harder for Google to bring all version of Android under its control.

Microsoft and Cyanogen, both have declined to comment. By investing in Cyanogen, Microsoft can get more users and claim a bigger share of the mobile market. Under the new CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft has shown such commitments to open source in the past.

Windows 10 is a Free Upgrade for the First Year for Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 users – Microsoft

Microsoft operating system chief Terry Myerson announced Wednesday that Windows 10 upgrade will be free of cost to the current Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 user for the first year. The surprising announcement was made during the Windows 10 event in Redmond.

Most of the devices will be able to get the upgrade facility depending upon the hardware and software requirements, he said.

“It is our intent that most of these devices will qualify, but some hardware/software requirements apply and feature availability may vary by device. Devices must be connected to the internet and have Windows Update enabled. ISP fees may apply. Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 Update required. Some editions are excluded: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 8/8.1 Enterprise, and Windows RT/RT 8.1. Active Software Assurance customers in volume licensing have the benefit to upgrade to Windows 10 Enterprise outside of this offer. We will be sharing more information and additional offer terms in coming months.”

Since now, Microsoft has been charging for every OS, this will be the first time when a present Windows 7,8/8.1 user will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for a year for free.

Though not the latest but Windows 7 is currently the most popular operating system leaving behind the current Microsoft’s Windows 8  which many users find a bit radical in approach and are still hesitating to upgrade too. Most probably because Windows 7 is more user friendly than its successor Windows 8 and not to forget mentioning how difficult it becomes for the first few weeks to shift to a newer interface.

Windows 10 is said to loaded with a bit more user friendly interface than its predecessor Windows 8.

Windows 10 will be available for all of the Microsoft gadgets including Windows phones, PCs, tablets and Xbox. Windows phone users will be also able to upgrade to windows 10 for free.

It however remains to be seen as to how much Microsoft charges for Windows 10 after the free period of 1 year comes to an end.  And since Microsoft has stopped giving extended support to Windows 7 since 13th Jan, what will happen if Windows 7 users who upgraded to Windows 10 want to fall back on their old Windows 7.

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US Internet giant Google has made public more Microsoft security bugs public.

The search giant has made public a bug found Microsoft’s operating system in Windows 7 and 8.1 after its deadline of 90 days passed.

Microsoft has heavily criticized Google and its 90-days security disclosure policy after the firm publicly revealed two zero-day vulnerabilities in Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system one after one just days before Microsoft planned to issue a patch to kill the bugs. But, seemingly Google don’t give a damn thought.

Once again, Google has publicly disclosed a new serious vulnerability in Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 before Microsoft has been able to produce a patch, leaving users of both the operating systems exposed to hackers until next month, when the company plans to deliver a fix.

One of the problems affects both Windows 7 and Windows 8, while the other is regarded a less serious and only affects Windows 7. The Windows 7 security vulnerability is, as pointed by Ars Technica, not regarded as serious enough to warrant a fix from Microsoft, but it’s a different story for the second problem that has been exposed — a problem with the CryptProtectMemory function. This particular problem could lead to user data becoming exposed due to it not being properly encrypted.

There’s something of an irony in the fact that while Microsoft kicked up a stink after Google exposed one vulnerability two days before the patch was scheduled to be released, this second serious problem was also due to be fixed in the same Patch Tuesday update. Unfortunately for Microsoft, and possibly for users of Windows, a problem was discovered with the patch itself so it was pulled at the last minute.

On Sunday, before the latest disclosures, Microsoft published a statement criticizing Google for its actions:

Although following through keeps to Google’s announced timeline for disclosure, the decision feels less like principles and more like a “gotcha”, with customers the ones who may suffer as a result. What’s right for Google is not always right for customers. We urge Google to make protection of customers our collective primary goal.

To Microsoft’s point, if a company lets Google know it’s working on a fix but it isn’t ready — and Google publicizes it anyway — then potential attackers could prey on that security weakness.

It’s unclear how Microsoft feels about these latest developments, but the tech giant probably hasn’t completely come around on Project Zero in just a week’s time.

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