Microsoft updated the “Microsoft Services Agreement” on August 1st, 2015 which prohibits the use of pirated software or unauthorized hardware. The new policy has a revision which clearly states:
“Sometimes you’ll need software updates to keep using the Services. We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices.”
“You may also be required to update the software to continue using the Services. Such updates are subject to these Terms unless other terms accompany the updates, in which case, those other terms apply.”
“Microsoft isn’t obligated to make any updates available and we don’t guarantee that we will support the version of the system for which you licensed the software.”
This means Microsoft can disable any software in a database it deems as illegitimate. One could argue that this isn’t a problem to users opting for genuine software and only applies to pirates. However, anti-piracy measures can often be a disaster and takedown genuine pieces of software due to a malfunction. Additionally, unsupported hardware could refer to a motherboard change, or using an unofficial controller. Although, I highly doubt the latter would be true.
Whatever the case, these terms are quite disturbing and emphasizes Windows 10 is more of a service than an operating system. Honestly, I can see this causing a myriad of problems in the future. Even applying game mods or fan-patches could flag as being pirated. Microsoft already adopts a heavy-handed approach with its UAC system and this measure does little to alleviate concerns about snooping.
Windows 10’s uptake has been astonishingly successful and already accounts for approximately 3.55% of web traffic. However, negative press surrounding Microsoft’s data policy and lack of overall polish could affect the operating system’s reputation. Possibly, the most glaring example revolves around the KB3081424 update, released on Wednesday. This combines a number of smaller updates into one package to make the experience more user-friendly.
Unfortunately, the Microsoft forums are awash with users reporting issues with this update which causes an endless reboot cycle. This occurs as the installer reaches a certain percentage and fails before attempting to roll-back the process. Microsoft’s mandatory update system means this can lead to a reboot loop or makes the operating system unstable. One particular user, called BrettDM, described his personal experience:
“It downloads, reboot to install. Gets to 30% and reboots. Gets to 59% and reboots. Gets to 59% again and then states something went wrong so uninstalling the update. Wait a few minutes and reboot. Back to login screen.”
“This happens without fail, every single time.”
Essentially, the update can completely ruin your entire Windows 10 install as the operating system fixates on applying this buggy patch. There is a workaround but this involves manually altering the Registry. As a result, this procedure is only recommend to technically-proficient users:
Firstly, locate the search box and type “regedit” before executing the command. Then, navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList”. Before continuing, backup your registry by clicking “File” and “Export”. Now, a number of profile IDs will be displayed such as S-1-5-18, S-1-5-19, S-1-5-20. Check each entry for “ProfileImagePath” and look for anything which doesn’t correspond to your user account. Once found, right click the profile ID and select “Delete”. Finally, close the program, and restart your computer.
Frankly, this whole situation is a mess but it’s not unexpected given how new Windows 10 is. While it’s had a rather lengthy Beta, this doesn’t adequately prepare for mass market adoption. Previously, I commended Microsoft for forcing online updates but situations like this have made me rethink my position.
Thank you InfoWorld for providing us with this information.
The launch date of Windows 10 has finally arrived after an extensive Beta testing period for users in the Windows Insider Program. Microsoft’s latest operating system is designed to be light on system resources and implement the Metro user-interface in a less obnoxious way. Windows 8 was heavily criticized by Microsoft customers, game developers and even Valve who became so concerned, they pushed their own Linux-based operating system. Microsoft’s strategic direction was too focused on mobile devices and tried to implement touch functionality at the expense of Desktop PCs.
Microsoft made a catastrophic error in trying to enforce full-screen applications through the Metro user-interface. As a result, it was extremely awkward to arrange multiple Windows and the OS felt pretty cluttered. Furthermore, navigating to newly installed programs, the Control Panel or advanced settings seemed counter-intuitive and hidden behind too many sub-menus. The end result was a terrible operating system for power users or customers opting for a traditional keyboard and mouse control scheme.
Windows 8.1 alleviated some of these concerns but kept the garish Metro system and Microsoft were unwilling to admit defeat. Many users derogatorily refer to Windows 8 as “the next Vista” and refuse to upgrade from the highly acclaimed Windows 7 operating system. Given the amount of disdain Windows 8 received, you might be a little perplexed about not upgrading today. However, there are a number of factors which you should take into consideration before upgrading.
Slow Download Servers
As with any digital product launch, the download servers are being hammered and resulting in extremely slow download speeds. This can create a rather frustrating experience as the queues grow and Microsoft struggles to keep up with demand. Perhaps waiting a few days is a more cogent option so you can download the update when the servers aren’t overpopulated. Also, the free download only applies to existing customers. Subsequently, you cannot legitimately acquire an ISO from a fast mirror and apply the update yourself. Personally, I would perform a re-format of my existing operating system, then install Windows 10; unless you have a boot SSD and few programs, this may take a while.
Windows 10 Could Suffer From Undocumented Compatibility Problems
Despite undergoing a thorough Beta testing phase, Windows 10 hasn’t been adopted on such a widespread scale. This means various third-party programs, games or hardware could experience teething problems. For example, older printers using a Parallel to USB converter might no longer work until the manufacturer releases a fix. Of course, this is a very small percentage of people but emphasizes what kind of problems you might run into. More commonly, many older games could become unstable or fail to detect the platform being used. It shouldn’t be a major issue due to Windows’ compatibility mode, but it’s something to be wary of.
Additionally, mods or unofficial game patches are untested and it’s sensible to let others be the guinea pig. Another factor to take into consideration is the amount of old games like Wing Commander which already struggle on modern operating systems. Windows 10 is brand new, so the amount of threads with information to get the game running will be minimal. Hopefully, the Windows 8.1 fixes work on Windows 10, but this is still an unknown entity.
DirectX 12 is Here, the Games are not
In terms of potential, DirectX 12 is one of the most revolutionary changes to PC Gaming in over a decade. This new low-level API reduces CPU overheads and theoretically increases the performance of games by an estimated 20%. However, there are no games on the market able to leverage this extra performance and it’s up to developers to begin supporting the new API. Realistically, this could take at least a year before modern games are reworked to use DirectX 12.
A large quantity of older games were produced by defunct studios and unable to implement DirectX 12 functionality. I highly doubt this could be done by a modder since the engine needs to be reworked. The data on DirectX 12 is quite new and we need to wait until the API has matured before analyzing its significance. Make no mistake, DirectX 12 will be a monumental change, but gamers shouldn’t expect to see this anytime soon.
Windows 10 Will be Free for a Year
It’s remarkably easy to get into the hullabaloo of a product launch and be disappointed by the final result. There’s no need to rush if you want to upgrade because Windows 10 will remain free for an entire year. As such, you could wait a month to see how well the operating system has been received and until the launch bugs are patched. Perhaps Windows 10 doesn’t offer enough of an improvement from Windows 7 and isn’t worth the hassle of learning a new visual style. This will be fairly prominent with those who aren’t technically minded and struggle to navigate around an operating system.
The Metro UI Still Exists
For all Windows 10’s posturing about returning to its Desktop roots, the Metro UI is still an integral component, albeit in a less obtrusive manner. In Windows 10, clicking the Start icon brings up the familiar Start menu. Unfortunately, this takes up a lot more space as the Metro icons are positioned adjacent to the Start menu. Once pressed, the menu can take up to 50% of your screen space instead of the narrow 20% seen in Windows 7. Microsoft’s ideology revolves and integrating all their services together including mobile, PC and Xbox. This sounds like a good idea, but I strongly believe Microsoft should release two versions of Windows 10; a Metro-based tablet edition and PC version which drops the Metro UI completely.
Windows 8 or 8.1 users can download an invaluable tool called Classic Shell which removes the Metro UI and replaces it with a simple, yet customizable Start menu. I’m surprised Microsoft didn’t take greater notice of this software which creates a much better experience than Windows’ 10 default setup. While the tool should work on Windows 10, this is just another example of how previous operating systems can be made more intuitive than Microsoft’s latest effort.
Windows 10 is shaping up to be a highly successful release, as Microsoft attempts to transfer individuals from older operating systems through the free upgrade incentive. Despite this, launch dates are always marred with a wide array of problems. In this case, the servers are almost at breaking point and I wouldn’t recommend downloading the update right now. Furthermore, DirectX 12 games could be some time off, and the Metro user-interface is still an integral part of the user-experience.
There’s no need to rush out and instantly download the update either as the average user will not majorly benefit from upgrading today. This doesn’t apply to technology enthusiasts or tweakers who want to play with the latest operating system. I’m still wary about the lack of mature drivers for unusual peripherals and wonder if they will work without any complications.
Microsoft has hinted that this could be the last version of Windows formally released. After that, Windows could possibly become a service platform which evolves without reselling the operating system as a product revision. Windows 10 is here and you should definitely upgrade, but now is probably not the best time for everyone.
Windows 10 is just on the horizon and whether you’re a gamer or PCenthusiast, we are all curious about the sort of things Windows 10 will bring to the table and it looks like Microsoft will be making some adjustments to its update policy, as well as the ability to turn off updates, will be entirely removed from Windows 10.
As Ars Technia points out the new windows 10 EULA includes a statement that does imply users to agree to an automatic update without any additionalnote
The software will periodically check for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them to your system. you can obtain updates from Microsoft or an authorized sources, however, Microsoft will have to update your system in order to provide you with those updates. By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice.
Although, do not be too alarmed if this certain policy troubles you, it is quite possible for things to change between the time before release and even after the release, as it wouldn’t be the first time Microsoft announced a new policy for a product only to reverse their decision later on. In fact, Microsoft hasn’t announced this at all, yet.
Do you think automatic updates are good idea?
Thank you LifeHacker for providing us with this information
Have you faced the glitches and bugs while enjoying Witcher 3 : Wild Hunt, a role-playing game? The developers are right where they should be, fixing the game and that is how we get more information about the upcoming patch 1.05 for PC and 1.04 for consoles. Community Coordinator Marcin Momot mentioned that a hot fix on Monday will actually come in the full patch 1.05 for PC, which will be released on Tuesday or Wednesday that would solve the issue that causes XP not to be assigned for certain quests and as pushing hot fix on Monday and then pushing the game patch on the very next day is not the best way to deliver updates.
“That’s correct. It’s getting fixed next week. We were trying to release a hotfix on Monday but since the 1.05 on PC is coming right after that, we might just release 1.05 and include the XP fix in there as well. That will happen most likely Tuesday/Wednesday.”, said Marcin Momot. “We do not stop working. We are trying to fix everything. Thank you for your understanding.”
Momot clarified few things on twitter and official forums today. Bugs such as micro stutter issue, wrong total play time and buggy quest of Pyres of Novigrad will be fixed with the upcoming patch. It was made clear that the 30 FPS lock on Xbox is not optional.
“1.05 is coming after the weekend. This patch will address majority of bugged quests. The Pyres of Novigrad quest will be fixed in the upcoming patch, both on consoles and on PC. Sorry about the delay.”, said Marcin Momot.
@Zsoo21 We are hoping it's a matter of a week, a week and a half or so.
At Microsoft Ignite conference this week, Microsoft’s developer Jerry Nixon stated “Right now we are releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we are all still working on Windows 10.” He also explained about the release of Windows 8.1 when Windows 10 was in works. As there is no secret update to Windows 10, employees can freely talk about future updates. Although it seems like the tech giant is killing off ‘Windows’ by not doing any future versions but the reality is quite different.
It’s all about Windows as a Service. Microsoft has changed the way it engineers and delivers Windows, and Windows 10 is the initial result. It is probably the end of the idea of version numbers. There will be just regular improvements and updates made to Windows 10 instead of big releases.
“Recent comments at Ignite about Windows 10 are reflective of the way Windows will be delivered as a service bringing new innovations and updates in an ongoing manner, with continuous value for our consumer and business customers,”confirmed a Microsoft spokesperson when approached by The Verge for confirming Nixon’s comments.
The results will however will be reflected after a few months. Microsoft is already said to have engineered apps like Xbox, Mail and even Office for regular monthly updates in Windows 10. This in an interesting step taken by Microsoft. Let us see how it turns out to be.
Are you a Google Chrome user that hasn’t upgraded since Windows XP? Well, the future looks bright and full of patches! Google just announced that it will provide support for its Windows XP browser up until the end of year!
The decision apparently was made for the company to add an extra layer of security to the decommissioned operating system. Microsoft has announced on the 8th of April 2014 that it will stop providing support for its XP operating system, therefore it has been over a year since the OS received any security updates.
“At the operating system level, computers running XP are inherently in danger of being infected by malware and viruses, making it increasingly difficult for Chrome to provide a secure browsing environment. That’s why we strongly encourage everyone to update to a supported, secure operating system.” Google states in their blog post.
But why make a hassle out of it and keep updating old stuff? Because a lot of people still use it, that’s why! The number of XP users is said to still be in the millions and that means that millions of people are still using an outdated ‘protectionless’ operating system. Crazy, isn’t it? If you are one of those people, it might not be.
Google aims to keep the current XP users secure and updated, at least when they browse the Web. However, the company is not planning to do this indefinitely! Google stated that it will continue updating the XP Chrome browser up until the end of the year. After that, you’re on your own!
“We will continue to provide regular updates and security patches to Chrome on XP through the end of 2015.” Google stated in the same blog post.
How about you? Are you still using Windows XP and the Chrome browser? Do you feel more secure that Google is pushing updates to its browser client? Let us know!
Overkill, Payday 2’s developer, announced that it will continue support for the tittle until 2017. The studio apparently has reached a deal with publisher 505 Games that will allow it to deliver content for two more years. The current model for Payday 2 mixes free updates, optional paid DLCs and new campaigns.
“We’ve seen many of your comments already. At Overkill, we are still celebrating,” producer Almir Listo explained in a new blog post. “We are very excited about this. On behalf of the rest of the crew, thank you everyone for your support through the years! We wouldn’t be where we are without you guys! We will honor your support by continue supporting Payday 2 for two more years. Alright! We have a lot in store for the rest of the year and have no time to rest.”
Overkill stated that it is currently getting ready to release the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the title with all DLCs up to date this June. Also, the developer has a detailed roadmap of paid and free content updates laid out and with a database of over 9 million users, it would only make sense for them to continue support for the title and keep its fans happy.
“We could [make Payday 3],” Listo stated. “But it would just bite us back in the end.”We want to build a long-term relationship with the community. Five years ago we barely existed. We’ve always respected them and their devotion to the Payday universe.”
Overkill is said to also be working on a new The Walking Dead title and a mysterious sci-fi project called Storm, which is due in 2016.
Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information
As of 13th January, 2014, Microsoft’s Windows 7 is no longer under mainstream support, so will no longer receive any new product updates or features. The operating system has now moved into what is known as the extended support phase, a period in which critical security updates will still be issues, and will last until 14th January 2020.
Windows 7 has been Microsoft’s most popular operating system since XP –– and is currently Microsoft’s OS market leader. Within six months of its release in late-2009, Windows 7 sold over 100 million copies, making it Microsoft’s fastest-selling OS to date. After the major GUI overhaul of Windows 8, and with its predecessor Vista considered an unstable failure, many users stuck with Windows 7 instead of upgrading.
With the technical preview version already available, Windows 10 is expected for full release later this year.
Users of Microsoft’s Office on iPad can now export files as a PDF on the mobile platform, this has been a heavily requested feature since it first became available on IOS. This isn’t the only feature that the update brings, all apps within the Office range can now crop images to focus them on areas you wish to drawn focus to and every app now supports third party fonts, just in case there isn’t one you like pre-installed.
Excel also gets improved support for external keyboards and support for “Flick to Select” so you can select data in a cell with a flick of your finger. The new features for Word include the Picture Tools, fonts, and PDF feature. PowerPoint received more improvements with a new Presenter View, new presenter tools for highlighting and drawing, and more. So now you can do almost anything you want with the Office suite on IOS that you can do on a regular PC, just shows how far the mobile platform is coming in terms of usability. Obviously there are more updates to come with Office for IOS that will bring more features that you request but i’m afraid you’ll just have to wait for Mr paperclip on your iPad.
Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying is with this information
Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 4 received a lot of appreciation when it was first released, having its presence grow as it entered the VR community recently. The company has added support for Oculus Rift a few months ago, followed by the more recent Project Morpheus VR headset integration. The company has also stated that it will provide constant updates to the tool set and will improve support regularly
However, nobody seems to know what will happen later on. The question arose when the developer stated that some ‘cool surprises’ are planned in the following months. Nick Whiting, Lead Engine Programmer, revealed that the company has something special prepared in the future, but it seems his statement was vague. He has emphasized that some “cool suprirses in the coming months in the VR scene.”
Looking at the company’s announcements, Epic Games will be releasing the Couch Knight demo next month at the same time as Oculus Rift launches its second development kit, namely the DK2. This could mean that Epic Games would release a fully fledged video game with support for both Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus. On the other hand, Epic Games might use the timing in order to tease the development tools at hand. Nevertheless, whatever it might relate to, it will most certainly be ‘Epic’.
Thank you VRFocus for providing us with this information Images courtesy of VRFocus
ADATA Technology, a leading manufacturer of high-performance DRAM modules and NAND Flash application products, has released a firmware update for the company’s solid state drives equipped with LSI SandForce 2200 series controllers. This update is applicable to SSD models SX910/SX900/SP900/SP800/S511/S510/S396.
The new firmware optimizes TRIM completion behavior and SATA stability, and improves disk recovery in instances of unsafe or improper shutdown.
The Latest patch for Battlefield 4 on PC has fixed the “kill trading” bug, alongside the sound loop error and a bug related to the China Rising expansion’s SUAV not exploding properly. The phenomenon of kill trading, or when two players seem to die at the same time after shooting at each other, has had the time window of being able to get a kill after death decreased for players with higher latencies, which should alleviate the situation for many players.
However since releasing the patch, players have been reporting two new bugs. DICE has released a statement saying
“We have noticed that players who have SLI enabled (using two graphics cards at once to render a single screen) on their graphics card may be experience graphical flickering. Also we are looking into the issue where the revive bar would get stuck on-screen in some instances. Both of these issues have our attention and we are investigating both of them.”
DICE’s full patch notes for it’s December 16 update:
Fix for a crash that would cause the game to stall, resulting in a sound loop. This should eliminate most of the problems relating to this.
Fix for the SUAV (introduced in the China Rising expansion pack) not exploding when hitting enemy soldiers. While these indeed should be deadly, they were never designed for “road-killing opponents.
Fixed one of the issues related to the so-called “Netcode” (see below for details).
Fix for an issue where 4x the damage from a vehicle’s mini-gun would be applied to the chest when a player had the Defense Specialization equipped.
Fix for player tags not always showing when needed to, resulting in players shooting team members.
Fix for graphical flickering appearing on terrain.
Fixed the instance where players suddenly would transition into Spectator Mode while playing the Defuse game mode.
Fix for a Defense bug where none of the teams would win a round by letting the timer run out.
Fix for players getting stuck in the revive screen after being killed.
Fix for players getting stuck in the kill camera after being revived.
Fix for the game mode specific ribbons being counted twice in the multiplayer progression.
Made NVidia 331.82 or later driver versions mandatory for all players.
Disabled DirectX 11.1 on NVidia cards that have outdated drivers.
Fixed driver version not being properly detected on NVidia Optimus systems.
Fixed a minor crash that could occur when bringing up the scoreboard.
Amazon has released its latest OS update, the Kindle Fire 3.1, for the Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX variants. The update consist of various improvements, optimizations, as well as new apps.
One of the key features in the update is Goodread, which is now integrated into the OS. This means that every book you read will automatically be synced with the Goodread account set up on the device. Other features consist of printing, the ability to push content to your PS3 or Samsung Smart TV and there is also word of PS4 support coming in the near future.
A list of the updates, improvements and features can be seen below:
Find and share books with Goodreads
Goodreads on Kindle lets you connect with the Goodreads community to follow friends and see what they are reading, and share and rate books on your Kindle Fire.
Organize your content with Cloud Collections
Organize your content library into collections like “Favorite Books” and “Sports Apps” that are synchronized with compatible Kindle devices and reading apps.
Watch movies and TV shows on another device with Second Screen
Fling movies and TV shows from your Kindle Fire to your 2013 Samsung Smart TV or PlayStation 3 using Second Screen.
Learn more about books with Smart Lookup
With the Smart Lookup feature, you can quickly look up words in the dictionary or Wikipedia or translate text in a book.
Print from Your Kindle Fire
Print Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents, photos, e-mails, calendar events, and contact information from your Kindle Fire to a printer that supports mobile printing.
Free up storage space with 1-Tap Archive
With 1-Tap Archive, your Kindle Fire groups all content that has not been used recently so you can move it to the Cloud with just one tap.
Enhanced enterprise features
Manage security certificates and connect to your company’s Wi-Fi network—whether you’re at home or at work—with remote VPN capabilities.
Set alarms and view additional time zones with the Clock app
Use the all-new Clock app to check the date and time, set an alarm clock, and more
Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information
Microsoft is planning a big patch for next Tuesday, just in time for Patch Tuesday, which aims to fix more than eight flaws in Windows, Office and Internet explorer next week. The patches will fix an unspecified number of vulnerabilities in their flagship products. Three of the updates, affecting Windows and Internet Explorer, are rated critical.
Windows versions, including the recently-released 8.1, are affected by at least one critical vulnerability. The one bulletin that affects IE fixed a critical vulnerability in all versions of the browser, including the new IE 11. Three other Windows bulletins are rated Important. Two other bulletins, both rated important, affect all supported versions of Microsoft Office.
In this patch Microsoft will include the routine updates as well, with a new version of the Malicious Software Removal Tool and a large number of non-security updates. While it was though that Redmond will be fixing a zero day bug in Windows and Office, it appears that Patch Tuesday updates this month will not address this vulnerability. The bug is being used in zero-day attacks specifically against Microsoft Office.
In their defense, Redmond said that only some Office users are being attacked and not users of the other products who are not running an affected version of Office. This is not likely to be a good excuse, since there are users out there who are being affected by the vulnerability, however if the fix will be arriving soon or not, we can only speculate.
Thank you Fudzilla for providing us with this information
Great news for HTC One users as the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean updated has started to be available for OTA download. It is reported also that the HTC One will run smoother and faster with the new 4.3 OS than the Samsung competitor, the Galaxy S4.
The update started to become available to unlocked HTC One devices on the 28th of September and carrier locked phones will soon be given the update later on (if not already received). It is worth noting that Android 4.4 KitKat will soon be available in October, so updates are on the roll for android users.
The main improvements that users will see in the new Android 4.3 update for HTC One are:
Improved colour contrast in low-light environments using the camera
New battery charging animation in power-off state
Video highlights can now feature soundtracks
Several bug fixes
Improved overall system performance
Aside from the modifications and improvements provided by HTC to the One smartphone, the new firmware features several Jelly Bean goodies from the Android 4.3 version.
Some features owners should expect from the new software update are as follows:
OpenGL ES 3.0 version for realistic and high performance 3D graphics rendering
Virtual surround sound powered by Fraunhofer Cingo – Beats Audio technology may have overridden this
Bluetooth Low Energy and compatibility with Bluetooth Smart accessories
Improved dial pad functionality with Autocomplete
Better keyboard and text input
Wi-Fi only location scanning
Disabled apps tab found in the “Settings > Applications”