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Author Archives: warnermheather

About warnermheather

A programmer, writer, and investor. She is redited with helping to launch the personal computer age with work that made the machines more accessible and powerful.

Windows Paint is now officially not getting updated any more

Enlarge / Who needs Aurich’s artistic talents, anyway? (credit: Peter Bright)

The venerable Windows Paint program, known to many by the name of its executable, mspaint.exe, has been marked as deprecated in the forthcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, The Guardian reports.

Deprecation states formally that the feature is no longer actively developed, and it serves as a warning that Microsoft may remove the feature in a future release. Removal isn’t guaranteed, however; there are parts of the Win32 API that have been deprecated for 20 years but still haven’t been removed. It’s possible that Paint will continue to ship with Windows in a kind of zombie state: not subject to any active maintenance but kept around indefinitely since it’s self-contained and not a security risk.

Indeed, the end of the development of Paint is not going to surprise anyone who actually uses the thing; the last time it received any non-negligible improvements was in Windows 7, when its user interface was updated to use a ribbon control. Before that, it had an interface that had been largely untouched since Windows 3.1. As such, Microsoft’s official deprecation is merely confirming something that was already obvious; it’s not an indicator that anything has actually changed.

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Posted by on July 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

BentoBox, the website builder for restauranteurs, cooks up $4.8M Series A

 Restaurant owners have a lot of responsibilities and a wide array of skills to handle those responsibilities. That said, building a website isn’t usually within that skill-set. That’s where BentoBox comes in. The company, which helps restaurant owners quickly build full-featured websites for their restaurants, has just closed a $4.8 million Series A funding round. The round was led… Read More

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Microsoft’s secret weapon in ongoing struggle against Fancy Bear? Trademark law

Enlarge (credit: Harald Deischinger)

On Friday, representatives of the notorious hacking entity known as Fancy Bear failed to appear in a federal court in Virginia to defend themselves against a civil lawsuit brought by Microsoft.

As the Daily Beast first reported on Friday, Microsoft has been waging a quiet battle in court against the threat group, which is believed to be affiliated with the GRU, Russia’s foreign intelligence agency. For now, the company has managed to seize control of 70 domain names, but it’s going after many more.

The idea of the lawsuit, which was filed in August 2016, is to use various federal laws—including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), and American trademark law—as a way to seize command-and-control domain names used by the group, which goes by various monikers, including APT28 and Strontium. Many of the domain names used by Fancy Bear contain Microsoft trademarks, like microsoftinfo365.com and hundreds of others.

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Posted by on July 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Microsoft’s most baffling release yet, Surface Laptop is just a laptop

(video link)

After several years of building systems that compete with, but aren’t quite, laptops, Microsoft has built a plain old laptop: the Surface Laptop.

I think there’s a good chance that the Surface Laptop will become Microsoft’s best-selling piece of PC hardware. This is such a straightforward proposition: it’s a regular PC laptop. It has no trickery; no tear-off keyboard, no special hinge, no detachable GPU, none of the other things that have made the Surface Pro, Surface Book, and Surface Studio notable or unusual. It can’t be said any plainer: Surface Laptop is just a PC laptop.

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Posted by on July 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Microsoft 4Q17: Office 365 revenue surpasses traditional licenses

(credit: Julien GONG Min)

In the fourth quarter of its 2017 financial year, Microsoft posted revenue of $23.3 billion, up 13 percent on a year ago, with an operating income of $5.3 billion (up 73 percent), a net income of $6.5 billion (up 109 percent), and earnings per share of $0.83 (up 112 percent on the same quarter last year).

For the full 2017 financial year, revenue was $90.0 billion (up 5 percent on 2016), operating income was $22.3 billion (up 11 percent), net income was $21.2 billion (up 26 percent), and earnings per share were $3.31 (up 29 percent).

Microsoft currently has three reporting segments: Productivity and Business Processes (covering Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype, and Dynamics), Intelligent Cloud (including Azure, Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, and Enterprise Services), and More Personal Computing (covering Windows, hardware, and Xbox, as well as search and advertising).

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Posted by on July 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Microsoft earnings beat expectations thanks to strong cloud performance

 Following its longstanding tradition of reporting quarterly earnings for its fourth financial quarter of the year in July, Microsoft today announced non-GAAP revenue of $24.7 billion and GAAP earnings per share of $0.83 (and non-GAAP earnings per share of $0.98) for the last three months. Operating income was $7.0 billion non-GAAP. Read More

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Clover Trail systems won’t get Windows 10 Creators Update, ever

Enlarge / One of the affected Atom processors. (credit: Intel)

Systems using Intel’s Clover Trail Atom processors and running Windows 10 won’t ever receive the Creators Update, or any major Windows 10 updates in future. But in an exception to its normal Windows 10 support policy, Microsoft has said that it will provide security updates to those systems until January 2023.

We wrote earlier this week about the tricky situation of the Clover Trail systems. Those machines shipped with Windows 8 and 8.1 were due to receive software support until 2023. However, the systems were also eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 10. But to receive security fixes on Windows 10, you have to keep pace with the periodic regular major upgrades that Microsoft makes to that operating system. Each of these named releases is only supported for 18 months, after which you have to upgrade, or else you’re cut off from security fixes.

This is a problem for the Clover Trail machines, because those systems are prevented from installing and using the Windows 10 Creators Update, leaving them stuck on last year’s Anniversary Update. Support, including security fixes, for the Anniversary Update is due to end in early 2018. As such, it appeared that upgrading from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10 has taken Clover Trail systems from being supported until 2023, to supported until 2018, a five-year regression.

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Posted by on July 20, 2017 in Uncategorized