Get Real, Microsoft: If the New Surface Pro Is a Laptop, Bundle It With a Type Cover

An anonymous reader shares an article: If Microsoft sold cars like it’s trying to sell its Surface Pro (2017), it would charge extra for wheels — and would be laughed out of the market. But Microsoft’s using this tactic to sell its new Windows tablet as a “laptop,” and we’re still trying to figure out why. Microsoft’s Surface Pro is clearly a Windows tablet, just like its predecessor, the Surface Pro 4. Nevertheless, devices chief Panos Panay calls it a “laptop” no fewer than three times in his blog post, including the very first sentence. No “laptop” or notebook PC forgoes a keyboard, however, as the Surface Pro does. Long-time Surface fans may know that Microsoft charges $ 129 to $ 159 more for that accessory, but does the average buyer get it? That’s where the confusion starts.

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Microsoft Wants To Monitor Your Workplace With AI, Computer Vision and the Cloud

“If you’re an employee under the heel of a giant corporation you should probably be terrified by the vision of the future of connected gadgets that Microsoft just revealed at its Build developer conference here in Seattle,” warns Gizmodo. Slashdot reader dryriver writes:
Gizmodo reports on a Microsoft Workplace Monitoring demo where CCTV cameras watch a workplace — like a construction site — on 24/7 basis, and AI algorithms constantly oversee and evaluate what is happening in that workplace. The system can track where employees are, where physical equipment and tools are at what time, who does what at what time in this workplace and apparently use Cloud-based AI of some sort to evaluate what is happening in the workplace being monitored. Spotting employees misbehaving, breaking workplace rules or putting themselves and expensive equipment at risk may be the intended “value proposition” this system brings to the workplace. Another aspect may be reducing insurance premiums employers pay by creating a strict, highly monitored work environment. But the system is also very Big Brother — an AI is monitoring people and equipment in a workplace in realtime at all times, and all the data ends up being processed in the Microsoft Cloud. Gizmodo gave their article the title, “Microsoft’s Latest Workplace Tech Demos Creep Me Out.”

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Microsoft Patents Flagging Technology For ‘Repeat Offenders’ Of Pirated Content

An anonymous reader quotes TorrentFreak’s report on Microsoft’s newest patent:
Titled: “Disabling prohibited content and identifying repeat offenders in service provider storage systems,” the patent describes a system where copyright infringers, and those who publish other objectionable content, are flagged so that frequent offenders can be singled out… “The incident history can be processed to identify repeat offenders and modify access privileges of those users,” the patent reads. [PDF] The “repeat infringer” is a hot topic at the moment, after ISP Cox Communications was ordered to pay $ 25 million for its failure to disconnect repeat offenders…
As far a we know, this is the first patent that specifically deals with the repeat infringer situation in these hosting situations, but it’s not uncommon for cloud hosting services to prevent users from sharing infringing content. We previously uncovered that Google Drive uses hash matching to prevent people from sharing “flagged” files in public, and Dropbox does the same.

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How Satya Nadella Brought Microsoft Back To Life In Just Three Years

At a time when Apple could do no wrong, Facebook was changing the world of communication and Amazon was blowing everyone away in cloud computing, Microsoft was the uncoolest 40-year-old imaginable.
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Microsoft Could Be First Tech Company To Reach Trillion-Dollar Market Value: Analyst

Microsoft’s $ 26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn could help the Redmond company become the first technology giant to reach a market value of $ 1 trillion, or so thinks a notable analyst. Analyst Michael Markowski believes that Microsoft will be able to leverage LinkedIn to become a leader in social media space and the emerging crowdfunding platform. So much so that it will beat Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook in becoming the first company to hit $ 1 trillion market value. From a report on GeekWire: Here are the market caps of these big tech companies as of Monday morning: Apple: $ 622.6B, Alphabet: $ 549.7B, Microsoft: $ 489.3B, Amazon: $ 358.7B, and Facebook: $ 337.6B. “The public has an insatiable appetite for making small bets and purchasing lottery tickets, etc., that provide the chance to make a big profit,” Markowski wrote. “The millennials will be a good example. Many will want to routinely invest $ 100 or even less into high-risk ventures that could produce returns of 10X to 100X.” Microsoft, through LinkedIn, will be able to take advantage of this trend because it has a monopoly on the business social media sphere. Markowski predicts that all the big tech companies will eventually build services to facilitate crowdfunding investments.

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How Microsoft Lost In Court Over Windows 10 Upgrades

In June a California woman successfully sued Microsoft for $ 10,000 over forced Windows 10 upgrades, and she’s now written a 58-page ebook about her battle (which she’s selling for $ 9.99). But an anonymous Slashdot reader shares another inspiring story about a Texas IT worker and Linux geek who got Microsoft to pay him $ 650 for all the time that he lost.

“Worley built a Windows 7 machine for his grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s Disease, [customized] to look like Windows XP, an operating system his grandfather still remembered well…” writes Digital Trends. “But thanks to Microsoft’s persistent Windows 10 upgrade program, Worley’s grandfather unknowingly initiated the Win 10 upgrade by clicking the ‘X’ to close an upgrade window.” After Worley filed a legal “Notice of Dispute,” Microsoft quickly agreed to his demand for $ 650, which he donated to a non-profit focusing on Alzheimer’s patients.

But according to the article, that’s just the beginning, since Worley now “hopes people impacted by the forced Windows 10 upgrade will write a complaint to Microsoft demanding a settlement for their wasted time and money in repairing the device,” and on his web page suggests that if people don’t need the money, they should give it to charities fighting Alzheimer’s. “If Microsoft isn’t going to wake up and realize that lobbing intentionally-tricky updates at people who don’t need and can’t use them actively damages not only the lives of the Alzheimer’s sufferer, but those of their whole family, then let’s cure the disease on Microsoft’s dime so their tactics and those of companies that will follow their reckless example aren’t as damaging.”
Worley suggests each Notice of Dispute should demand at least $ 50 per hour from Microsoft, adding “If recent history holds steady they might just write you a check!”

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FalseCONNECT Vulnerability Affects Software From Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, More

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: “Researcher Jerry Decime revealed details about a security vulnerability that allows an attacker to gain a Man-in-the-Middle position and intercept HTTPS traffic thanks to flaws in the implementation of proxy authentication procedures in various products,” reports Softpedia. The flaw can be used to collect user credentials by tricking victims into re-authenticating, sending data to a third-party. Multiple software vendors deploy applications that can handle proxy connections. Until now, Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, and Opera have acknowledged their products are affected. Lenovo said this bug does not impact its software. Other software vendors that are still evaluating the FalseCONNECT bug and may be affected include multiple Linux distros, Cisco, Google, HP, IBM, Juniper, Mozilla, Nokia, OpenBSD, SAP, Sony, and others.

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Microsoft Unlocks the Ability To Turn Xbox One Consoles Into ‘Development Kits’

Dave Knott writes: Today, Microsoft made good on a nearly three-year-old promise, unlocking the ability for all retail Xbox One consoles to become development kits. This mode will allow anyone to build, test and experiment with Universal Windows Program (UWP) development. Converting a console to Dev Mode requires no special equipment or fees, though to fully access the abilities, a user will need to create a Dev Center account. After setting up Dev Mode, a user simply pairs their Xbox One with Visual Studio, which sees the console as a Windows 10 machine to which it can deploy content directly through a wired connection. While this feature eases self-publishing on Xbox One, a developer will still have to go through Microsoft’s concept approval, which usually takes about two weeks, before the game is eligible to be published on Xbox One. The big change here is that while traditionally Microsoft had to give a hopeful developer a dev kit, now a developer can just switch over their own retail console.

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Microsoft To Unify PC and Xbox One Platforms

New submitter Serzen writes: According to The Guardian, Microsoft is planning to end fixed console hardware for the Xbox One as a move towards one ecosystem running Unified Windows Applications. The head of the company’s Xbox division, Phil Spencer, said that the Universal Windows Platform would be central to the company’s gaming strategy. “That is our focus going forward,” he told reporters. “Building out a complete gaming ecosystem for Universal Windows Applications.” What this could mean is that the Xbox One becomes more like a PC, with Microsoft releasing updated versions at regular intervals with more powerful processors and graphics hardware. In theory, because games will be written as UWAs, older titles will remain compatible with the new machines.

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Google Joins Mozilla, Microsoft In Pushing For Early SHA-1 Crypto Cutoff

itwbennett writes: Due to recent research showing that SHA-1 is weaker than previously believed, Mozilla, Microsoft and now Google are all considering bringing the deadline forward by six months to July 1, 2016. Websites like Facebook and those protected by CloudFlare have implemented a SHA-1 fallback mechanism. Both companies have argued that there are millions of people in developing countries that still use browsers and operating systems that do not support SHA-2, the replacement function for SHA-1, and will therefore be cut off from encrypted websites that move to SHA-2 certificates.

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