Tagged With microsoft

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Microsoft just updated its Translator app for iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire devices to support new optimised language packs that are (allegedly) up to 23 per cent better at helping you figure out how to say "where is the bathroom" on your next vacation. They also eat up around half as much space on your phone when you download them -- a wise move, since you don't want to be stuck without the ability to ask for directions if you're lost on your travels.

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One of the best ways to set a baseline of how your users react to security threats, and to conduct ongoing testing and education, is to carry out mock attacks. While the tools to do this have been around, typically it has involved using different service providers to do different types of attacks. A couple of weeks ago Microsoft released their new Security and Compliance Center with a bunch of new security tools.

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Microsoft Windows can get messy. It's not (always) the operating system's fault. You download tons of apps and files, and create new content stuff of your own, until your "Downloads" directory looks like a landfill for old content. Your desktop is so full of icons, you can't see your pretty wallpaper. Your Start Menu looks like an app buffet. In short, your operating system is a mess, but it's not unfixable.

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If you're keen and want to get into the next release of Windows 10, sign up for the Release Preview ring and it will install to your system. The next release of Windows 10, dubbed the Spring Creators Update, adds a bunch of new features and improvements to the most widely used operating system for personal computers

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Microsoft has opened two new Azure regions, both based in Canberra, in partnership with Canberra Data Centres. The new Azure Australia Central Regions will cater specifically to the needs of government and national critical infrastructure for Australia and New Zealand with a focus on high performance, resilience and availability. The new regions will not be be for broad-scale use, with multiple connectivity options available.

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The way we interact with the internet has advanced rapidly in the past decade. For some, plucking out a smartphone and asking a virtual assistant for advice has become the norm, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to consign the humble keyboard to the depths of history any time soon.

Microsoft’s Modern Keyboard shows how far you can take a simple desktop keyboard, if you’re willing to pay for it.

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Installing updates on Windows has always been a pain. Not only does Microsoft seem hellbent on forcing users to update their machines whether they want to or not - including in prior versions of Windows 10 a nightmare "feature" that forcibly seized control of users' systems to start the installation process - the process is infamously slow.

The combination of these factors can make updating a Windows machine feel less like a minor but necessary inconvenience than a suddenly imposed tug-of-war for control of a computer. Fortunately, Microsoft is now mulling ways to make the process less painful.

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For a 25-year-old format, JPEG has really stood the test of time. While GIF has been mostly superseded by PNG (still) and VP8 / H264 (motion), for photographs and the like, JPEG reigns supreme. That's not to say no one's come up with a better format -- they have, with the best contenders, such as WebP, basically wrappers around video codecs. This includes Nokia's High Efficiency Image File Format, or HEIF, which Microsoft will soon support in Windows 10. Whether it catches on, well, that's another matter.

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Technology comes and goes. If you've grown up with technology you'll know that one-time favourite devices and services can enter the world with a bang and then fade away. When I started playing with mobile devices - they were called PDAs, or personal digital assistants, back then - Psion was a big deal before Palm stepped in with their wonderfully easy-to-use devices before they were usurped by Windows CE and the Pocket PC. And now, we see the disappearance of yet another platform - the Windows Phone.

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This week, IDC released its latest figures for Australian smartphone shipments. For the first time in a while, iOS is leading the mobile OS pack, with a total shipment volume of 1.75 million units in Q4 2017. Android isn't too far behind, with close to 1.4 million. So where does that leave Windows Phone?

Sadly, Microsoft-fueled handsets managed to sell just 45 units in Q4 2017. That's forty-five phones over three months, Australia wide. This works out to a market share of 0.00 per cent. Ouch.