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How users are fixing Windows 8.1 Update install problems

It wouldn't be a Windows release if there weren't problems, but some people are finding fixes.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Wed, 04/16/14 - 3:42pm.

Within days of Microsoft unleashing Windows 8.1 Update, users began flooding Microsoft support boards with problems during the install. Microsoft has been rather mum on the issue, but skilled users have found fixes to the problem.

The problems began piling up on Microsoft's Answers forum and continue to this day. The first problem was reported on the day of the launch of Windows 8.1 Update, referred to as KB 2919355 in Microsoft patch parlance.

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Windows XP holdouts explain why they haven't upgraded

They're not lazy or uninformed - many Windows XP users can't upgrade for reasons that Microsoft can't address.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Mon, 04/14/14 - 3:08pm.

OK, Armageddon has passed, and I was wrong. April 9 was not the new Y2K bug. In this case, I'm glad I was wrong. However, Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows XP (and Office 2003, we often forget that) and a lot of people are still using it.

RELATED: Attention Windows 8.1 users: Update 1 is not an option

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Attention Windows 8.1 users: Update 1 is not an option

All fixes in the future will require Update 1, so you have no choice but to upgrade.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Fri, 04/11/14 - 3:46pm.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 (that is so clumsy) has been rolling out all week and reviewers are singing hosannas to the update, which focuses on making the OS more keyboard- and mouse-friendly. See our own in-depth review for more details.

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50 years of BASIC: Celebrating the programming language's long, eventful life

May 1st is the gold anniversary of the language most programmers first learned, including Bill Gates.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Thu, 04/10/14 - 10:34am.

Credit: Dartmouth College Library
BASIC creators John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz.

The mainframe isn't the only technology hitting the ripe old age of 50 this year.

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What's next for the Chrome extension that hacked LinkedIn profiles?

Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Wed, 04/09/14 - 8:55am.

A Chrome/Firefox browser extension caused some consternation at LinkedIn because of a feature that would have let users "hack in" to profiles, even if you are not connected with that person.

Sell Hack is available as a free extension for the Chrome and Firefox browsers (but not IE) and, once installed, will pop up a "hack in" button on LinkedIn profiles. The product is currently in beta testing now and will work on other social media.

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Windows Phone Builds some momentum

It has the apps and now corporate support is starting to tick up. What more does Windows Phone need to compete with Android?
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Thu, 04/03/14 - 7:37am.

Even in the days leading up to the Build conference, it was clear Windows Phone was getting some wind behind its back. Windows Phone has surpassed 400,000 apps and the Windows Store now gets 14 million downloads a day. IBM has sort-of endorsed WP as its mobile OS of choice, although not officially.

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Here's hoping Microsoft gives away more code

Microsoft recently got my hopes up, donating code to MS-DOS 1.1 and 2.0, as well as Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Thu, 03/27/14 - 1:57pm.

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View is a trip down memory lane like no other. My first few computers were non-PCs, and these days, that's the only place I can find a working Apple IIe or Amiga 3000.

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Microsoft's Nokia acquisition continues to look like a mistake

Microsoft is having a harder time buying Nokia than it expected, and that's reducing its value in the process.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Wed, 03/26/14 - 2:20pm.

Microsoft had hoped to finish buying up Nokia's Devices and Services business by this quarter. With the end of the quarter now just a few days away, that is now looking less likely, and more hurdles are emerging in Microsoft's way.

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Can GameStop survive competition from Microsoft and Walmart?

Some heavy hitters are entering GameStop's market.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Tue, 03/25/14 - 9:47am.

Second-hand games are a $2 billion market, and most of that goes to the GameStop chain. But now Walmart wants a piece of that action, the second bit of bad news for GameStop in as many months. It came as no surprise, then, that GameStop's stock tanked for a few days.

Starting next week, Walmart customers can trade in video games for store credit at both Walmart and Sam's Club stores, the Walmart chain's warehouse competitor to Costco. The value will vary based on the title's popularity, from a few dollars for older games to $35 or more for newer ones.

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In defense of Microsoft's leak investigation

Some people may be upset with Microsoft for going into the leaker's email account, but it had no choice.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Mon, 03/24/14 - 1:17pm.

By now, you've probably heard about the former Microsoft employee arrested for spilling trade secrets to a French website, and the impact it has had throughout the underground community that thrived on leaks. How Microsoft was able to get him might be trust-damaging to some, but not to me.

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My most-wanted software feature: rollbacks

Four times in recent months, software upgrades were a disaster, but there was no going back. That needs to be addressed.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Tue, 03/18/14 - 10:24am.

The conventional wisdom is to always use the latest version of software. The latest version is supposed to be the most stable, up-to-date, and secure version, right? Not always.

RELATED: What happens when your Office 365 subscription runs out? Ransom

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What happens when your Office 365 subscription runs out? Ransom

This may make you think twice before shifting to a subscription model vs. an installed model.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Mon, 03/17/14 - 3:05pm.

It's no secret that Microsoft would like to move as many customers as it can to a subscription model for Office instead of the traditional version installed on PCs. That was the impetus behind the restrictive licensing terms in Office 2013 - to push individuals and single users over to the on-demand version.

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If Microsoft gives away Windows Phone 8, will anyone take it?

In a bid to increase licensees and gain some badly needed market share, Redmond won't charge for its phone OS anymore.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Thu, 03/13/14 - 4:28pm.

Rumors and speculation have swirled on this for months, but now it's official: Microsoft is giving away Windows Phone for free, at least to a pair of Indian handset makers. If this can drive sales, it might become a worldwide policy, which could be the game-changer Microsoft needs and wants.

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Why IBM thinks Windows Phone is best for the enterprise

As BlackBerry fades out, Microsoft's phone is the choice of enterprises to replace it.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Mon, 03/10/14 - 10:29am.

The BYOD movement is how Apple got into the enterprise, but if it were up to IT pros, you'd be issued a Windows Phone. That's what IBM has found in its work with large firms.

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Microsoft can make the walls of your room display webpages

A research project shows how Microsoft will turn your surroundings into a display.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Wed, 03/05/14 - 9:47am.

Microsoft has a hefty research arm, with offices in Seattle, Silicon Valley, and other parts of the world. In these little oases, a whole lot of PhDs work without the stress of bringing a product to market on projects that aren't just iterations of existing products, but whole new products and ideas.

And unlike its competitors, Microsoft isn't shy about showing these projects off well in advance before they ever hit the market, which is pretty brave if you think about it. I've seen projects that never made it to market, while others have become major products, like Bing.

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A wish list for Windows 9

Whether it comes in October or next year, there are some features I'd really like to see added.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Tue, 03/04/14 - 10:05am.

I have to give Reddit some credit for becoming the place where people make amazing admissions. The Ask Me Anything (AMA) threads are always interesting, fascinating and sometimes shocking.

A few weeks back, a Windows interface designer did an AMA with some shocking admissions that will either cost him his job or were approved at the top levels of the company. What he said was the despised Windows 8 interface was made with casual data consumers in mind.

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Nearly all apps are vulnerable in some way, report says

A new study says 96% of the apps it tested show at least one security vulnerability. The scary thing is that 96% is actually an improvement.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Mon, 03/03/14 - 1:26pm.

Cenzic, a developer of application security assessment tools, has published a report (PDF) that claims 96% of all apps tested showed at least one security issue, ranging from poor programming practices to excessive access.

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A graphics library war is a win for everybody

Whether AMD woke Microsoft from its slumber or this was planned, it doesn't matter.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Thu, 02/27/14 - 11:09am.

For a while, it was looking like the graphics libraries for Windows were being left behind. Microsoft had not updated DirectX in a major way since DirectX 11 came out in 2008, while the Khronos Group, maintainer of the OpenGL library, had been a little better, releasing significant updates for the last few years.

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No hard feelings, Alan? Ford reportedly will dump Microsoft's Sync

The car maker turns to an unlikely source for a new in-car computing system.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Wed, 02/26/14 - 10:25am.

Ford Motor, the company whose CEO was the discussion of furious speculation as a potential CEO for Microsoft, is set to dump Microsoft's Sync software used to control the in-car system due to poor performance.

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Breaking down Microsoft's Mobile World Congress announcements (so far)

Microsoft and Nokia don't have new handsets to show, but that doesn't mean the company is any less committed to Windows Phone.
Submitted by Andy Patrizio on Mon, 02/24/14 - 3:58pm.

The smartphone world is gathering in Barcelona, Spain, for the annual Mobile World Conference show, and while Microsoft and Nokia will be there, there won't be any new hardware shown. However, that doesn't mean Windows Phone is slipping as a priority. Far from it.

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