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Microsoft turns its back on free Windows 10 promise

Microsoft turns its back on free Windows 10 promise

Microsoft takes back its Windows 10 free promise, says will only provide Windows 10 final release build without updates

On Friday, Microsoft had announced a way for to get a genuine Windows 10 enabled free of cost and updated forever. However, the company has done a turn around and retracted from this promise.

Microsoft stealthily made changes to the Windows Insider preview program blogpost and the reference to “remain activated” has since been removed. It had mentioned earlier that members who have signed up for the Insider Program running a preview version would “receive the Windows 10 final release build and remain activated.” However, now it only says that they will “receive the Windows 10 final release build.” The word ‘activation’ has been removed.

The company has also added a “clarifying” sentence: “It’s important to note that only people running Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 as part of the free upgrade offer.” This is strikingly different to what the company said on Friday, when Gabe Aul of Microsoft asserted that upgraded preview copies would be genuine.

All this is very confusing. The most important thing is that no clear communication regarding the licensing from Microsoft is expected to be heard any time soon. One doesn’t expect there to be any major technical difference. As mentioned in the past, Windows 10 installed via the preview will enable and show as genuine. It should be fully working (no “non-genuine” watermark on the desktop or anything like that), and importantly look identical from any other Windows 10 installation.

However, the arrangement has changed. This method of getting Windows 10 had a disguise of officialness to it on Friday. It was an absolutely recorded way of getting Windows 10 that was genuine and enabled for free. Well, that’s not the case anymore. This does not imply that it would not work, but it would mean that it is no longer entirely legitimate and officially approved.

The hobbyists and other home users really don’t care about this, as they just want a free Windows for their self-built PC; that few million users will be able to secretly get a free copy of Windows 10. However, it does matter to organizations, corporations and groups who may likely to be subjected to a software audit. Well, they cannot tell Microsoft “Oh yeah, we got Genuine copies of Windows by upgrading from the preview.” And that is what Microsoft really is concerned about.

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Microsoft to give away Windows 10 for free to users who test it

Microsoft to give away Windows 10 for free to users who test it

Test the Windows 10 and get it for free from Microsoft

Microsoft is constantly clearing out confusions as to how it would be making the next version of Windows 10 available to its users. Windows 10 will be available as a free upgrade to those running original Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 versions, provided it is installed within a year of its official launch on July 29. However, those running the fake version will be charged.

In its latest announcement, Microsoft said that if you install the latest Windows 10 preview (build 10130) on a device and use a Microsoft Account that is registered for the Windows Insider program, then it will offer the final version of Windows 10 for free. According to its blog, it says that once Windows 10 is available on July 29, registered previewers will simply need to upgrade with no charge.

Yesterday, Gabe Aul of Microsoft confirmed this method as part of a new blog post describing some new changes to the way the company tests Windows 10. “As long as you are running an Insider Preview build and connected with the MSA (Microsoft Account) you used to register, you will receive the Windows 10 final release build and remain activated,” says Aul.

To receive updated builds, Microsoft will soon need testers to use a Microsoft Account, and even after Windows 10 is finalized testers can opt-in and in the coming months keep getting future test versions. So if you’re running older versions of Windows XP or Windows Vista, you can install the Windows 10 preview and get the final version on the launch day (July 29).

However, if you are running the Enterprise edition of the Windows 10 Insider Preview, you will have to download it to upgrade to the final release of Windows 10 Enterprise and activate it from Volume Licensing Service Center, as this version does not qualify for free upgrade.

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Project Premonition is an initiative of Microsoft to catch mosquitoes through drones to stop outbreak of epidemics

Project Premonition is an initiative of Microsoft to catch mosquitoes through drones to stop outbreak of epidemics

Project Premonition of Microsoft involves building an army of drones to catch mosquitoes and stop epidemics by cloud computing the data.

Researchers are now planning to use drones in the field of medical science which will catch the mosquitoes and ultimately aid in preventing the spread of major mosquito borne diseases such as Dengue fever and malaria.

Project Premonition, is an initiative of Microsoft; it is basically a system which focuses to detect the outbreak of infectious diseases before they get converted into an epidemic.

The researchers at Microsoft plan to use a fleet of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) in remote areas which are prone to dengue fever or malaria.

Using the drone technology will help researchers to reach a huge crowd and save a larger number of lives from dreadful diseases.

The major key lies in catching mosquitoes and analyzing them for the potential viruses of diseases which these mosquitoes carry.

Ethan Jackson, a Microsoft researcher who heads Project Premonition mentioned in the company’s blog: “The mosquito is the most dangerous animal on the planet, because it carries so many pathogens. What we want to do is to be able to catch that mosquito efficiently, at scale and at low cost.”

In the present scenario, scientists hand pick the samples of mosquitoes by hanging traps from trees. Microsoft’s drones on the other hand would not only speed up the process but also it will be much cheaper because portable drones will be able to cover huge areas and they can collect much bigger samples to the base for tests.

Thus analyzing the samples brought by drones will help scientists to keep a constant check on spread of known diseases that are carried by mosquitoes. The other aspect here is that the samples will also help scientists to detect various emerging viruses present in the genes of the insect  and thus stop the widespread of epidemics even before they begin to spread.

To achieve this goal researchers are also developing special software which will accurately process the genetic data of the mosquitoes collected by the fleet of their drones. This study will further help researchers to understand the viruses which are responsible for widespread of diseases and also to understand how these diseases spread.

Though it might sound like some unbelievable stuff from science fiction movie, Project Premonition aims to be a fact than fiction.

Last week, Microsoft presented their findings at the Microsoft Innovation TechFair in Washington, DC. They had carried out at a feasibility study using their drones.

Currently, Microsoft researchers are focused on developing the system and they are taking help from various academic partners across multiple disciplines to develop the system into reality in the next five years. The system aims at collecting and analyzing the mosquitoes to check for early signs which could potentially spread harmful diseases.

Douglas Norris, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Maryland, said: “The ability to predict an epidemic would be huge.”

As they say ‘precaution is better than cure’, if one can get prior warning of some potential epidemic outbreak then it can be stopped or limited by using appropriate vaccinations and setting up apt health clinics. Besides government can put some travelling restrictions before the situation gets out of control.

Norris, often has to work in remote areas and he still uses the mosquito traps which were being used since 1950s or 60s. These traps are not feasible due to expensive batteries, chemicals which are difficult to source and the trap collects bugs of all sorts besides mosquitoes. Norris says these methods are in need of improvement in terms of technology and efficiency and this is where the Project Premonition comes into the picture.

The drones built by Microsoft needs to operate semi autonomously and it would be assisted by human pilots for now. The ability of the drones to navigate on their own would make sure that they would be able to travel greater distances and larger areas. In order to make Project Premonition a success researchers will have to do much more programming and research; however the team is looking to make this project a real success. The drones will also be attached with special mosquito traps which Microsoft will develop.

The next challenge after collecting the mosquitoes is their analysis to detect the potentially hazardous microbes and viruses which could be responsible for spreading diseases in humans.

James Pipas, a professor of molecular biology at the University of Pittsburgh and who is a part of the Premonition Project says: “Until recently, the idea of culling through mosquitoes to try to find diseases that are both known and unknown would have been wildly impractical.”

However, with an advancement in molecular biology and genetic sequencing researchers will be able to extract the multiple viruses, known as well as unknown, from the collected samples at much faster and cheaper ways.

Further, researchers can use the Cloud databases to store the important data which they find in the analysis of the samples and also come up with algorithms for figuring out which of these viruses present a potential threat to humans or animals that humans usually rely on.

According to Pipas, though it may be difficult to actually figure out as to which virus, from the ones identified, may pose a threat to humans and animals; however such a system will definitely help in preventing any outbreaks.

Researchers involved in the Project Premonition are hoping to build a robust system that will be capable of spotting the potential threat to humans and animals alike in near future.

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Microsoft Skype Translator to be integrated with Windows 8.1 PCs and Tablets

Microsoft Skype Translator to be integrated with Windows 8.1 PCs and Tablets

Skype for Windows app to get Translator preview built right in

After previewing its real-time translation for Skype over the last six months , Microsoft will be integrating the preview of its Skype Translator real-time translation service into the desktop versions of its Skype application on Windows PCs.

Microsoft’s trying to make the translator feature available to larger set of users. Since the removal of sign-up process last month, Skype Translator preview has seen a 300 percent increase in the usage, according to the company.

Skype Translator was announced in December last year. It lets you translate your speech in real time both as speech and text. Currently the service supports English, Spanish, Mandarin and Italian languages for real time speech translation, but Microsoft will roll out support to more languages in coming months.

The main aim for Skype’s translator service is to remove the language barrier between people trying to communicate with each other across the globe. The service employs machine learning algorithms which learns on the go and makes itself more intelligent. That means, the more the number of people using it, the better it becomes.

It is possible that with the upcoming release of Windows 10, Microsoft intends to combine the Windows PC and tablet versions of Skype into a single program. A new version of Skype has been released to Microsoft’s partners, so it is possible that we will see a single app across all versions of Windows 10, but there is no definite date set for this new version release.

Microsoft is expecting more feedback from users now that it has been made available to all.

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Windows 10 PC inside a power adapter; Microsoft shows off two tiny Windows 10 PCs at Computex 2015

Windows 10 PC inside a power adapter; Microsoft shows off two tiny Windows 10 PCs at Computex 2015

Microsoft shows off world’s smallest Windows 10 PCs at Computex 2015; one of the PC called Quanta Compute Plug fits inside a power adapter

Microsoft flaunted a bunch of upcoming PCs that will use Windows 10 during its Computex 2015 keynote address. What’s cool about this device is that it can serve as a PC just by being plugged into a wall and connected to a TV or monitor. It has three ports in all, including two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port, and it includes 2GB of RAM and up to 64GB of MMC flash storage. So it’s not a PC built for power users, but what did you expect from something the size of a power adapter?

“The new Compute plug from Quanta is a mini PC and power adapter in one that can be plugged into any outlet and connected to a TV to turn it into a smart computer that can be controlled using Cortana via a Bluetooth remote or headset,” Microsoft said while announcing Quanta Compute Plug. It is not the first such device. US chipmaker Marvell has promoted a range of similarly formed PCs since 2009. But they are designed to work with the less processor-intensive Ubuntu OS.

Devices like this are part of an emerging trend of ultra-compact PCs that don’t look anything like the desktops and laptops we’ve used for the past 20 years. Other examples include the low-cost bare-bones Raspberry Pi computer and Dell’s USB stick-sized PCs that can run multiple different platforms.

The software-maker also showed off another unusual device made by Foxconn – a Taiwanese company which is best known for assembling other company’s products.

Windows 10 PC inside a power adapter; Microsoft shows off two tiny Windows 10 PCs at Computex 2015

“The Foxconn Kangaroo is an ultra-portable desktop PC powered by the latest Intel Cherry Trail processor, featuring a six-hour battery and a fingerprint reader that supports Windows Hello. It can turn a TV into a full Windows 10 PC, and be used as a set top box or streaming device.”

These products are the latest attempts to put PC hardware inside tiny form-factors, similar to the recently unveiled Intel Compute Stick, which put a Windows 8.1 PC inside a HDMI dongle. There’s no commitment on the specific hardware inside the Quanta Compute Plug or the Foxconn Kangaroo, nor there is any information about the launch date or prices for these PCs.

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Microsoft released Windows 10 Custom ROM for Xiaomi Mi4 Users to capture Chinese Android marketshare

Microsoft released Windows 10 Custom ROM for Xiaomi Mi4 Users to capture Chinese Android marketshare

?Microsoft makes Windows 10 Mobile ROM available for Xiaomi Android phones, trying to get some of Android’s mobile market share in China

The release date for Microsoft Windows 10 for desktops, laptops and tablets is set for July 29. However, the Windows 10 Mobile, the smartphone version, will not be released until later this year.

In order to make it big in the Asian market, Microsoft has partnered with a Chinese Xiamoi smartphone user group and released a Windows 10 Mobile ROM for android devices. The Redmond, California, giant has released the windows 10 mobile ROM for Xiaomi Mi4 handset to a select group of power users.

Before this deal, Xiaomi, China’s largest smartphone vendor had been exclusively using MIUI, an Android-based operating system, which had been accused of openly copying Apple’s iOS 7 look.

Chinese blog IT Home cites that Mi4 users can go ahead and download the Windows 10 Mobile Technical Preview ROM. It also reports that the size of the Windows 10 Mobile ROM for Xiaomi Mi4 is 700MB. It installs the Windows 10 Mobile 12562.82 version.

Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive VP of operating systems, announced in March that “a select group of Xiaomi Mi 4 power users will be invited to help test Windows 10 and contribute to its future release later this year. These power users will have the opportunity to download the Windows 10 Technical Preview – installing it and providing their feedback to Microsoft.”

Microsoft aims to receive feedback by making the ROM available for Android users. It wants to go ahead and roll out the ROM for ZTE Nubia 9 and more Android smartphones in the near future.

Microsoft needs all the help that it can get to put Windows into Chinese smartphones. Windows Phone has only 0.8 percent share of the Chinese smartphone market, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. The new deal between Microsoft and Xiaomi is not likely to immediately boost Microsoft’s Chinese mobile market share; however, Microsoft’s intention are clear that it looking to capture a part of Android marketshare for Windows.

Here is video showing the Windows 10 working on Xiaomi Mi 4

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Microsoft accidentally leaks plans for a worldwide hassle Free Wi-Fi network

Microsoft accidentally leaks plans for a worldwide hassle Free Wi-Fi network

Microsoft Leaks Plan for Worldwide hassle free Wi-Fi Network to Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone users

Microsoft is preparing setup its new milestone by launching a worldwide Wi-Fi service that will reportedly give subscribers access to millions of hotspots around the world

Few details of the plan temporarily went live on a Microsoft webpage Tuesday, which VentureBeat captured in a screenshot before the page was wiped clean.

“We are evaluating a new service, called Microsoft Wi-Fi that will bring hassle-free Wi-Fi to millions,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to Time while declining to elaborate on any further details from the leaked webpage.

Those details are describing a network of 10 million hotspots in 130 countries that will lets subscribers dodge the over-elaborate login routines they’ve come to love and hate at airports, cafes or any other public places.

“Don’t waste time filling forms with personal information or managing different carriers to get connected,” the web posting read. “Sign in once and you are done.”

The service appears to mimic Microsoft’s existing offering of Skype WiFi, a network of more than 2 million hotspots around the world. But this latest version appears to be involved in a much bigger network of participating Wi-Fi providers.

Microsoft accidentally leaks plans for a worldwide hassle Free Wi-Fi network
(Image Credits: VB)

VentureBeat reports that the service will be available to existing Office 365 enterprise clients and subscribers to Microsoft’s Work and Play Bundle, which would costs $149 annually. The Microsoft Wi-Fi webpage included download links for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and Windows Phone also. According to VentureBeat, at launch, Microsoft WiFi will only be available to:

  • Active Skype WiFi subscribers (through the Microsoft Work & Play Bundle or the Surface 2 + Skype WiFi Bundle)
  • Employees of organizations with Microsoft Office 365 for Enterprise
  • Customers who received a special WiFi offer from Microsoft

Other than the leaked webpage, Microsoft isn’t sharing any more information right now, but we will update you when that changes.

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Official retail pricing released for Microsoft Windows 10

Official retail pricing released for Microsoft Windows 10

Windows 10 Pro to cost $199 (Rs.12700) while Windows 10 Home version is priced at $119 (Rs.7600) ; upgrading from Home version to Pro version will cost you $99(Rs.6300)

Microsoft has officially confirmed the pricing of its news operating system, Windows 10. After the launch date for Windows 10 was confirmed as July 29, Microsoft confirmed on Monday that the company will sell Windows 10 at retail for the same price as Windows 8.1: $99 for a Windows 10 Pro Pack to move from a licensed copy of Windows 10 Home to the Professional version, $119 for Windows 10 Home and $199 for Windows 10 Professional.

Upgrades from Windows 7 or Windows 8/8.1 as previously announced are free for the first year of availability. Windows 7 Starter, Windows 8/8.1, Home Basic and Home Premium users will receive Windows 10 Home. Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, and Windows 8.1 Pro users will receive Windows 10 Pro. However, Enterprise users will get nothing, as upgrading is usually considered a part of their license agreement.

According to Microsoft, on July 29, you will be able to either buy a new Windows 10 PC from retailers or download Windows 10. Further, if you click the “reservation link” that Microsoft is prompting through its most recent updates to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, you can probably sign up to preload the software as soon as it is available. Upgrades as promised by Microsoft will be free for the “supported lifespan” of the device; however, no proper explanation has been given regarding the same.

The free upgrade mentioned by Microsoft is available for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users, which apparently looks like a great saving. However, one needs to keep in mind that this upgrade is available for a year’s time only.

Jeff Barney, Vice President & General Manager at Toshiba America Information Systems said in a statement that “We know many people are out there on old Windows 7 clamshell devices. We believe Windows 10 presents a new opportunity to win over consumers and later this summer we will have new laptops built to take advantage of the key features of Windows 10 with functionality and designs that are completely different than what consumers had with Windows 7 four years ago.”

If you are using an operating system older than Windows 7 or planning to build a new PC, in that case, you will need a full non-upgrade version of the operating system, which will be chargeable.

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Microsoft Windows 7 and 8 users receiving prompts to upgrade to Windows 10

Microsoft Windows 7 and 8 users receiving prompts to upgrade to Windows 10

Users prompted to install test Windows 10 version on exiting Windows system and have a say in its operations

Microsoft has recently started to prompt Windows 7 and Windows 8 users about the showing the capacity it has to upgrade to Windows 10, giving us an insight as to how the upgrade process may work.

The prompt which in sync with an earlier report points out that this free upgrade will be a limited time offer. It further asserts that if users don’t claim the free upgrade within a year, the offer will be cancelled and they will have to pay for the upgrade.

The soon-to-be-released Microsoft Windows 10, even though not yet completed is already pretty good; however, it still has bugs in it causing it to freeze up from time to time. It is expected to be released in late July, if it’s completed in a month or so from now and Windows 10 is almost undoubtedly going to be very good indeed.

Microsoft Windows 7 and 8 users receiving prompts to upgrade to Windows 10

Windows 10 is set to replace Microsoft Windows 8. As far as the Windows 8 goes, it hasn’t been able to set a very high bar for itself so much so that even an unfinished software that crashes and involves hours of work is preferable. Also, one should have paid attention to Microsoft’s advice and held onto launching Windows 8 a bit longer before it was made public.

If you have a touch-screen device, Windows 10 will have the charm bar gesture on the edge of the screen that will slide from right-to-left for notifications and settings bar, similar to what one would find on a mobile phone. Windows 10 has started to share these features with mobile phone operating systems, as Microsoft plans to operate more or less universally, irrespective of whether one is using a notebook PC, mobile phone or tablet.

Further, let’s take a look at “Settings”. With every new build, more and more are getting fashioned differently in the universal style, which is created to work just the same with your finger touch on the screen as well as with a keyboard and mouse.

With every build, the start menus and the task bar, too, are getting better where many features are work exactly the same way you expect them to when you click on them.

For example, when you click on the date and time on the task bar of Windows 10, a big friendly calendar pops up, exactly the way you always wanted that click to do. It seems like Microsoft has been listening to its customers and is allowing us take a decision as to how things should operate on its Windows 10.

However, it looks like Microsoft has been exactly doing this for some time. A major reason of these Windows 10 builds is to let Microsoft observe how people do things and make the final product to match, irrespective of how much damaged the Windows 10 maybe.

Microsoft is paying keen attention as to why a feature is not clicked and if it is clicked why people are coming out of that feature. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that Windows 10 is going to be an operating system for the people with every passing build.

Windows 10 Professional was recently priced at $150 on Newegg’s website. Once the users book their free copy, they will be notified later on when the update is ready for download. Once that’s done, the Windows 10 will be ready for use.

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Microsoft announces Cortana for Android smartphones and iPhone/iPad

Microsoft announces Cortana for Android smartphones and iPhone/iPad

Microsoft announces Windows 10 companion; Cortana for iOS and Android

The Redmond based software behemoth is upping its stakes in the high margin smartphone market yet again. Today it announced that it will be bringing its PDA App Cortana to Android smartphones/tablets and iPhone/iPad.

Microsoft will be releasing a separate standalone Cortana Companion App for each mobile system. However Microsoft said that the Cortana for Android and iOS will do exactly the same tasks it would do on a Windows operating system.

According to Microsoft, Cortana Companion App will be available for Android in late June and for iPhone and iPad by the end of this year.

Cortana on iOS or Android won’t be as powerful as the Windows variant because of various integrations, Microsoft is still providing notification support on both operating systems. On enabling the option,  users will get on the spot notifications for sports results, flights, and most of the Cortana features that currently exist in the Windows Phone and Windows 10 versions of the digital assistant.

Microsoft’s Cortana is all part of a new phone companion experience for bringing services and features from Windows 10 to all smartphones. A video of the phone companion is given below :

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