Category: News

Microsoft Getting Into Home Automation

Microsoft is looking to invest in some home automation technology. Home automation is a hobby of mine, and I’d love to see Microsoft get more into it (without the BSOD when opening my Windows…). With programmable and learning thermostats like Nest becoming more common, as well as home security, lawn irrigation, door locks and others automated functions, it is about time a big player comes into the game.

Today, that strategy is taking a turn towards Microsoft’s home market, down the corporate route and stopping at the Internet of Things: Microsoft is launching a new accelerator in Seattle in partnership with American Family Insurance focusing on the home automation market. Applications are open from now until July 28, and the accelerator will run August through December.

IE11 Updates Require Windows 8.1 Update 1

Finally on the new server, so I can actually post news and articles again!

For those on Windows 8, make sure to keep your system updated, and update to Windows 8.1 Update 1. Microsoft has made the decision to make Update 1 required in order to obtain new Internet Explorer 11 security updates.

When Microsoft released the Windows 8.1 Update, IT feathers were ruffled by Microsoft’s decision to make it a compulsory update: without it, Windows 8.1 systems would no longer receive security fixes. As spotted by Computerworld’s Gregg Keizer, Microsoft is applying the same rules, at least in part, to Windows 7.

XBox Not Going Anywhere

Following rumors and speculation that Microsoft would spin off or sell their XBox division, Satya Nadella has squashed those rumors. The XBox isn’t going anywhere, and it staying with Microsoft management. Also, Skype is testing a on the fly translator for Skype, allowing people that speak different languages to communicate effectively.

"I have no intent to do anything different with Xbox than we are doing today," Nadella told interviewers Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg.

IE Exploit has Out Of Band Patch – Including Support for XP

The new Internet Explorer exploit that affected IE6+ on XP to 8.1 and server editions has a new out of band patch available. For those with automatic updates, you need not worry – it'll come through automatically. For those without automatic updates enabled, be sure to get your machine patched ASAP. 

We have made the decision to issue a security update for Windows XP users. Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft, and we continue to encourage customers to migrate to a modern operating system, such as Windows 7 or 8.1. Additionally, customers are encouraged to upgrade to the latest version of Internet Explorer, IE 11.

Internet Explorer Vulnerability Warning

Microsoft released a new KB article warning users of a new vulnerability in Internet Explorer. This affects most people if they are using Windows XP or newer. As it's been a couple weeks since XP was dropped from support, it will not be receiving a patch when this is resolved. So, XP users – either upgrade your OS or move to Chrome/Firefox/Opera or your other alternative browser of choice.

The vulnerability is a remote code execution vulnerability. The vulnerability exists in the way that Internet Explorer accesses an object in memory that has been deleted or has not been properly allocated. The vulnerability may corrupt memory in a way that could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user within Internet Explorer. An attacker could host a specially crafted website that is designed to exploit this vulnerability through Internet Explorer and then convince a user to view the website.

Escape from Windows XP

Microsoft has posted a nice little game that's occupied my lunch time. Escape Windows XP has you destroying Windows XP and Internet Explorer 6. A decent shoot 'em up in your browser. Just another way Microsoft is letting you know that Windows XP is end of life and ready for the head shot.


Final Windows XP Patch Cycle is Small

Windows XP support officially ends tomorrow, as does Office 2003. The last patch Tuesday for Windows XP is going to be a small one, though. So, after Tuesday, you can update your Windows XP machine and be done. It's probably best to update to Windows 7 or 8, though.

There will be a total of four updates released for all products, two for Windows and two for Office. Only one of the updates for each product is rated critical, although we don't yet know the number of vulnerabilities addressed for any of the products or their exact nature. All four updates are for remote code execution vulnerabilities.

Happy 39th Birthday, Microsoft

April 4th, 1975 Microsoft was founded in New Mexico. It's been a good 39 years with a lot of ups and downs. Cool thing that I turn 39 later this year, too. Happy birthday, Microsoft! 

They officially established Microsoft on April 4, 1975, with Gates as the CEO.[12] Allen came up with the original name of "Micro-Soft," the combination of the words microcomputer and software, as recounted in a 1995 Fortune magazine article. In August 1977 the company formed an agreement with ASCII Magazine in Japan, resulting in its first international office, "ASCII Microsoft".[13] The company moved to a new home in Bellevue, Washington in January 1979.[12]

Microsoft MVP Award

On a day with pranks and jokes, I received the email saying "Congratulations! We are pleased to present you with the 2014 Microsoft® MVP Award!". It wasn't a joke or a prank. I have earned the Microsoft MVP Award for Windows Expert: Consumer. Exciting to say the least. :) My MVP profile is now live. I am proud and honored to receive this award, and will continue to offer my time and knowledge to the Microsoft community. 




For more information on the Microsoft MVP progam, you can visit the MVP site

The Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) Award is our way of saying thank you to exceptional, independent community leaders who share their passion, technical expertise, and real-world knowledge of Microsoft products with others. It is part of Microsoft’s commitment to supporting and enriching technical communities. Even before the rises of the Internet and social media, people have come together to willingly offer their ideas and best practices in technical communities.
At Microsoft, we recognize the vital role these individuals play in the adoption and advancement of technology—and in helping our customers do great things with our products. This was the inspiration for the Microsoft MVP Award. Nearly two decades ago, we awarded 37 technical community leaders as MVPs.
Today, there are more than 4,000 MVPs worldwide. They represent more than 90 countries, speak over 40 languages, answer more than 10 million questions a year, and are awarded in almost 90 Microsoft technologies—reflecting the breadth of our products and our global communities.

Start Menu will Return to Windows

At the BUILD conference, Microsoft has confirmed the return of the Start Menu that so many people were complaining about and missing. This is great news for many people I've spoken with that really disliked the Start Screen. Metro style live tiles will remain, but a lot less intrusive as before. 

Millions asked for it, and Microsoft is providing it: the old Start Menu is coming back. Kind of. At its Build conference today, Microsoft announced a new Start Menu that looks like a hybrid of the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8. It's around the same size as the Windows 7 menu, but also features miniature Live Tiles along one side.