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  1. Microsoft refuses to deny that it will block Windows 10 updates on Huawei laptops What does the Huawei blacklist mean for its laptops? Image credit: TechRadar Google’s decision to block Android updates for Huawei smartphones has been making waves around the world, but owners of Huawei laptops – such as the Huawei MateBook 14 – have been left wondering if Microsoft will follow suit and block Windows 10 updates for Huawei laptops. The idea that Microsoft would prevent Huawei laptops from installing important Windows 10 updates – and the security implications for users that entails – should be ridiculous, but with Google bowing to pressure from the US government, and Microsoft’s silence on the matter, makes us fear that we could see a similar ban for Huawei laptops. We contacted Microsoft to find out whether or not the company is planning on blocking Windows 10 updates for Huawei laptops, and we got a rather terse statement that “we have nothing to share.” While that doesn’t mean Microsoft is going to block Windows 10 updates, the fact that the company seems unwilling to deny it gives us concern. Not being able to update your Huawei laptop with the latest updates for Windows 10 would be a major blow for anyone using the devices. Huawei’s laptops are pretty great – and regularly top our best laptops list– but if they can no longer be updated, we wouldn’t be able to recommend them. It would be an odd choice for Microsoft – as the company will not want unpatched and updated Windows 10 laptops out in the wild – so if the company does block Windows 10 updates (and remember this isn’t confirmed either way at the moment), then it would likely be due to pressure from the US government, which has instigated the blacklist of Huawei due to security concerns. Intel and Qualcomm are joining the ban It’s also emerged that other major hardware makers including Intel and Qualcomm will not supply Huawei with their products. This would have major implications for future Huawei laptops, which so far run on Intel processors. With Microsoft’s reluctance to say whether it will block Windows 10 updates, things aren’t looking great for Huawei’s laptops. We’ve contacted Huawei for a comment and will update this story when we hear more. Source
  2. Microsoft and Sony strike games streaming deal Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES Microsoft and Sony have formed a partnership on video games streaming, despite being fierce competitors. It is expected Sony will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud service to host its upcoming PlayStation streaming service. Microsoft has been trialling a streaming offer of its own, under its Xbox brand. The firms said they would also work together on semiconductors and artificial intelligence applications. "For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas,” said Kenichio Yoshida, Sony’s chief executive. “I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content.” Microsoft’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, said: "Sony has always been a leader in both entertainment and technology, and the collaboration we announced today builds on this history of innovation.” The two companies have been bitter rivals in gaming since the launch of the first Xbox console in 2001. But in its pursuit to compete with Amazon Web Services, hosting PlayStation’s streaming service would be a major coup for Azure, the fastest growing part of Microsoft’s business. For Sony, if its PlayStation is to remain competitive, it too is likely to need to move heavily into streaming full, high-quality games over the internet. Industry analysts say Sony might have struggled to do it alone. "Everybody else has a head start on them,” said Rebekah Valentine, from GamesIndustry.biz. “There was a lot of discussion that Sony seemed to going the traditional route of making a normal console and continuing with what they had been doing in the past. This partnership with Microsoft shows they are fully exploring streaming technology.” 'Best choice' Sony already has a significant footing in games streaming - its PS Now service, which offers streaming access to the PlayStation back catalogue, accounts for 36% share of the $387m global games streaming market, said analyst Piers Harding-Rolls, from IHS Markit. However, with the streaming market expected to expand rapidly over the next five years, Sony’s comparative lack of expertise and infrastructure left it exposed. "It is clear that Microsoft is the best choice for Sony even with the competitive dynamic between Xbox and PlayStation,” Mr Harding-Rolls said. "Working together they have a better chance to head off competition from the likes of Google, which has gone on to dominate the last wave of technology disruption in the mobile space alongside Apple." While precise details of the partnership are still vague, the companies also said they would be working together on new semiconductors, image sensors and artificial intelligence. For Microsoft, that opens the door to getting its cloud technology integrated into more consumer products, such as cameras and televisions, rather than working mostly on business applications as it does today. Source
  3. The times, they are a-changin'—even bits of Windows will be open source. Enlarge The news from Microsoft's Build developer conference that surprised me most was that Microsoft will ship a genuine Linux kernel—GPLed, with all patches published—with Windows. That announcement was made with the announcement of Windows Terminal, a new front-end for command-line programs on Windows that will, among other things, support tabs. Microsoft's increased involvement with open source software isn't new, as projects such as Visual Studio Code and the .NET runtime have operated as open source, community-driven projects. But this week's announcements felt a bit different. The Linux kernel will be powering Microsoft's second generation Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). The first generation WSL contains a partial re-implementation of the Linux kernel API that uses the Windows NT kernel to perform its functionality. In choosing this approach, Microsoft avoided using any actual Linux code, and hence the company avoided the GPL license with its "viral" stipulations that would have arguably forced Microsoft to open source WSL and perhaps even parts of Windows itself. In the second-generation WSL? It's a full GPLed Linux kernel running in a lightweight virtual machine. This won't be part of the base Windows installation—I'm told that developers will need to enable Developer Mode in Windows first—but it is, nonetheless, a GPL-licensed component forming part of a Windows component. Windows' WSL feature has GPLed underpinnings, and that's not something I would have expected to write even a year or two ago. Opening up Windows itself No less significant is the Windows Terminal project. Many Windows users will know that Windows' command-line programs depend on a process named conhost.exe that's responsible for drawing the command-line windows. As part of Windows Terminal, Microsoft has published the source to conhost.exe. This is an important (albeit uninteresting) part of Windows itself, and Microsoft has published it using the permissive MIT license. This is, I think, unprecedented. While Microsoft has open sourced Windows utilities such as Calculator, this represents the first time that the company has published core Windows code—and with an open source license to boot. The Windows Terminal project is similarly permissively licensed. While it's branded an early alpha release at present, once it stabilizes and has a solid feature set, it's likely to be integrated into Windows itself and to ship as a standard Windows component. Just as with the publishing of conhost.exe, this too represents something of a first: a (new) core Windows component that's developed as open source. Microsoft has changed. It's not the company it once was. Open source is no longer the enemy—it's now something that has a role across the entire company. And open source is not just for discrete, standalone applications; it's now a viable building block for core Windows features. Back in 2015, Mark Russinovich said that Microsoft could open source Windows. At the time, I wrote that this wouldn't happen any time soon but that we might well expect individual components, such as increasing parts of the .NET Framework, having their source opened. Lo and behold, this appears to be the very path that Microsoft is taking. Open source is now just a part of the company's toolkit, and there's little apparent limit to where it can be used. Source: Microsoft: The open source company (Ars Technica - Peter Bright)
  4. It’s another sign that the company is changing in fundamental ways under the leadership of Satya Nadella. Thinkstock Most businesses know that a war with the people who buy and use their products is a war they can’t win. Microsoft has belatedly recognized this with regard to its Windows Update policies. And if you’ve been paying attention to shifts in the corporate culture in Redmond, the company’s surrender to its customers shouldn’t be a surprise. The long-simmering war has to do with the way that Windows 10 updates itself on PCs — specifically, the twice-a-year significant updates called “feature updates” that add new capabilities to Windows. For years, you’ve had, for all practical purposes, no choice about whether to update; your PC installed all updates automatically whether you liked it or not. (Technically, you could get around this, but it wasn’t an option most users would choose; more on that in a bit.) Windows users have not been pleased about this, and with good reason. Far too often, features updates have been released before they were ready for prime time, sometimes even causing damage to PCs and files. For example, the last one, the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, deleted files without letting users know, and those files were lost forever. Then there was the Windows 10 April 2018 Update fiasco, when people complained that it crashed their computers and displayed the notorious blue screen of death. Not many people did what was necessary to stop those automatic updates from being installed, because it’s not particularly easy, and the results aren’t ideal. I’ve written about a variety of tricky ways you can get around the automatic updates. But they involve doing things like turning off the Windows Update service using Control Panel, which means you won’t get any updates, including important security updates. So you’d only want to use those workarounds as a last resort. People complained, long and loudly. Microsoft ignored them. They complained some more and were still ignored. But now, with the upcoming Windows 10 May 2019 update, Microsoft has cried uncle. Late in the update’s testing phase, the company announced that it is going to give people control over whether to install feature updates. With the upcoming release, Windows won’t automatically install a feature update when it becomes available. Instead, Windows will notify you that it’s available by showing a “Download and install now” message and link in the Windows Update Settings pane. If you don’t want to install it, you can ignore the message. If you want to install it, click the link and follow the instructions. And if you want to wait a while — a few days, a few weeks, a few months — until you can make sure that the update isn’t problematic, you can go ahead and do that. The control, finally, is in your hands. Well, not completely. There is a caveat. When the version of Windows 10 you’re running reaches “end of service" and Microsoft no longer supports it or issues security updates for it, you’ll have to install the latest feature update. Usually, that’s 18 months after your current Windows version’s release. This makes plenty of sense, and it’s completely analogous to similar issues in public health. Just as it’s vital that people get vaccinations against diseases to protect everyone’s health by ensuring herd immunity, PCs should be protected against malware. If there are lots of unprotected PCs around, they can be used to breed malware or be turned into malicious bots and attack other people’s PCs. Note that you’ll still have to install the small patches Microsoft issues every month. That’s because they are often security updates, and everyone should have them. However, Microsoft has agreed to give you some control over when they’re installed. You’ll be able to delay them for up to 35 days. Why the change after so many years of Microsoft’s refusal to let people decide for themselves whether to install feature updates? It’s because Microsoft is a different company under Satya Nadella than it was under Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. It has shed its arrogance and is far more open to new ways of doing business and dealing with its customers. A few months ago, for example, it pulled the plug on its 25-year browser strategy and said it would replace Edge’s web rendering engine with one developed by the Chromium open-source project — a project originally launched by Google. Microsoft has also welcomed working with other open-source software, for example having Linux run the popular SQL Server database. And it killed off Windows Phone, a massive money pit, rather than continuing to use Windows as a battering ram to force people to use the mobile operating system. Listening to customers and giving them control over updating Windows isn’t just good for Windows users. It’s good for business as well. It will likely lead to increased customer loyalty. Under Nadella’s new openness, Microsoft has thrived. In late April, it became the third U.S. company to have a market cap of more than $1 trillion. So expect to see more moves like this in the future. Source: Microsoft surrenders in its Windows Update war with users (Computerworld - Preston Gralla)
  5. Microsoft Says It’ll Let Users Know More About the Data It Collects Microsoft has announced a series of changes regarding the way it collects data and informs users about the process regardless of product. The company explains that the data it collects would be categorized in two different groups for “major products,” namely required or optional. The required category includes data that Microsoft needs to provide users with the expected functionality of the products, including here the terms of a search query when looking for something on Bing, for example. This is information that Microsoft needs to provide relevant search results, and the company explains that other data includes the IP address, type and version of the device, as well as diagnostic data that could help fix and prevent failures and crashes. Microsoft says that users will be provided with controls over the collected data in some cases, but it’s important to know that this is tied to the functionality of certain products. “We are working on providing additional configuration options that will give customers more control over the collection of data that’s required for certain features or functions,” it says.Changes rolling out in a few monthsThe optional category includes data that users will have full control over, like information “about the pictures people are inserting into Word documents.” “We think there are compelling reasons for people to share this optional data, because it creates the opportunity for new and richer experiences. But we want people to understand what’s happening and to have the opportunity to make this choice for themselves,” Microsoft notes. Microsoft says it’ll also improve the documentation it offers to users and provide more information on this data collection process. A biannual report will also be published to detail changes made to data collection. All these changes will begin rolling out in the coming months, according to Microsoft, with the revised documentation and reporting to first target Windows 10 and Office 365 ProPlus. Source
  6. Hash Check Via MSDN: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/downloads/default.aspx#searchTerm=Windows%208.1%20with%20Update&ProductFamilyId=0&Languages=en&PageSize=10&PageIndex=0&FileId=0 Details: November 2014 update rollup for Windows RT 8.1, Windows 8.1, and Windows Server 2012 R2: New features and improvements/List of the fixed issues: Windows 8.1 RTM Installations-Keys Full versions : Core/Standard .......: 334NH-RXG76-64THK-C7CKG-D3VPTProfessional ........: XHQ8N-C3MCJ-RQXB6-WCHYG-C9WKBProfessional WMC ....: GBFNG-2X3TC-8R27F-RMKYB-JK7QTProfessional VL .....: GCRJD-8NW9H-F2CDX-CCM8D-9D6T9Professional VL WMC .: 789NJ-TQK6T-6XTH8-J39CJ-J8D3PEnterprise ..........: FHQNR-XYXYC-8PMHT-TV4PH-DRQ3HN-versions:Core/Standard N .....: 6NPQ8-PK64X-W4WMM-MF84V-RGB89Professional N ......: JRBBN-4Q997-H4RM2-H3B7W-Q68KCProfessional VL N ...: HMCNV-VVBFX-7HMBH-CTY9B-B4FXYEnterprise N ........: NDRDJ-3YBP2-8WTKD-CK7VB-HT8KWAll Other Edition Installation Keys:http://pastebin.com/M5VV6750 Windows 8.1 with Update [November 2014 Rollup] - 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DVD (English) File: en_windows_8.1_enterprise_with_update_x86_dvd_6050710.isoCRC-32: 31592527MD4: 68d0bb22e86bd92263ebfda5ef9fad21MD5: ce18de710a9c025323b8dee823bfbe7bSHA-1: 584a9ad7e2bb3d7e189adcfba44a497cc9155937magnet:?xt=urn:btih:c6b8fd001232c5a4662ccad3b09d933710af6632&dn=en%5Fwindows%5F8.1%5Fenterprise%5Fwith%5Fupdate%5Fx86%5Fdvd%5F6050710.iso&tr=udp://open.demonii.com:1337/announcemagnet:?xt=urn:btih:c6b8fd001232c5a4662ccad3b09d933710af6632&dn=en_windows_8.1_enterprise_with_update_x86_dvd_6050710.isoOr with Public Tracker Magnet Linkmagnet:?xt=urn:btih:C6B8FD001232C5A4662CCAD3B09D933710AF6632&dn=en_windows_8.1_enterprise_with_update_x86_dvd_6050710.iso&tr=http%3a%2f%2f94.228.192.98%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fannounce.torrentsmd.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.jamendo.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fexodus.desync.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fretracker.local%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.blazing.de%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.publicbt.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f10.rarbg.com%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fbt.rghost.net%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.token.ro%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.istole.it%3a80%2fannounceOr Multi Collection Magnet Link:magnet:?xt=urn:btih:2F7D04E7F4B3D29AEF3AB54D86016B47A80AE7B8&dn=Windows%208.1%20with%20Update%203%20%28English%29&tr=http%3a%2f%2fbt.nnm-club.info%3a2710%2f002e7cdbb48cbaace76c0eed6f2ec311%2fannounce ---------------------------------- * N Edition(s) * ---------------------------------- Windows 8.1 N with Update (multiple editions) - DVD (English) File: en_windows_8.1_n_with_update_x64_dvd_6051677.isoCRC-32: 0c6a8abaMD4: a2dc46badcc9e7222a4ad685c4d7797eMD5: 233e312a97f03b35010b6dbbac9e6044SHA-1: 457d02bd26a19965da172daae78f985cf53af692magnet:?xt=urn:btih:2f8a84ed6884457d5630f40ecc4248fba77f77b6&dn=en_windows_8.1_n_with_update_x64_dvd_6051677.isomagnet:?xt=urn:btih:2F8A84ED6884457D5630F40ECC4248FBA77F77B6&dn=en_windows_8.1_n_with_update_x64_dvd_6051677.iso&tr=http%3a%2f%2f94.228.192.98%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fannounce.torrentsmd.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.jamendo.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fexodus.desync.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fretracker.local%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.blazing.de%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.publicbt.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f10.rarbg.com%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fbt.rghost.net%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.token.ro%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.istole.it%3a80%2fannouncemagnet:?xt=urn:btih:07F0BF62E1510171E9E4A477EDCBF0A75DAE84B2&dn=Windows%208.1%20N%20with%20Update%203%20%28English%29&tr=http%3a%2f%2fbt.nnm-club.info%3a2710%2f002e7cdb7ba87f9f4d7dde0bb759b601%2fannounce Windows 8.1 N with Update (multiple editions) (x86) - 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DVD (English) File: en_windows_8.1_pro_n_vl_with_update_x64_dvd_6050969.isoCRC-32: 7fd3792dMD4: d7cf74125c320da14a941051d2afa372MD5: a047785bb6185dc77ee704f3504bda2cSHA-1: 169b23ac9f222426741f260607e090f327c03021magnet:?xt=urn:btih:b55e8fcac6e9a3ed828fcc906e4a844e85036461&dn=en_windows_8.1_pro_n_vl_with_update_x64_dvd_6050969.isomagnet:?xt=urn:btih:B55E8FCAC6E9A3ED828FCC906E4A844E85036461&dn=en_windows_8.1_pro_n_vl_with_update_x64_dvd_6050969.iso&tr=http%3a%2f%2f94.228.192.98%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fannounce.torrentsmd.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.jamendo.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fexodus.desync.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fretracker.local%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.blazing.de%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.publicbt.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f10.rarbg.com%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fbt.rghost.net%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.token.ro%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.istole.it%3a80%2fannouncemagnet:?xt=urn:btih:07F0BF62E1510171E9E4A477EDCBF0A75DAE84B2&dn=Windows%208.1%20N%20with%20Update%203%20%28English%29&tr=http%3a%2f%2fbt.nnm-club.info%3a2710%2f002e7cdb7ba87f9f4d7dde0bb759b601%2fannounce Windows 8.1 N Pro VL with Update (x86) - DVD (English) File: en_windows_8.1_pro_n_vl_with_update_x86_dvd_6051127.isoCRC-32: 1afbb41cMD4: 4b2816dc9058017de71085017833a770MD5: 36cfcecf1c7817976a2f42d06092b617SHA-1: ea571feb0ad31f1daa4916f161dc87416d8690camagnet:?xt=urn:btih:6dc4a106185e640a67d0105af951f63b21576eb9&dn=en_windows_8.1_pro_n_vl_with_update_x86_dvd_6051127.isomagnet:?xt=urn:btih:6DC4A106185E640A67D0105AF951F63B21576EB9&dn=en_windows_8.1_pro_n_vl_with_update_x86_dvd_6051127.iso&tr=http%3a%2f%2f94.228.192.98%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fannounce.torrentsmd.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.jamendo.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fexodus.desync.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fretracker.local%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.blazing.de%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.publicbt.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f10.rarbg.com%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fbt.rghost.net%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.token.ro%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.istole.it%3a80%2fannouncemagnet:?xt=urn:btih:07F0BF62E1510171E9E4A477EDCBF0A75DAE84B2&dn=Windows%208.1%20N%20with%20Update%203%20%28English%29&tr=http%3a%2f%2fbt.nnm-club.info%3a2710%2f002e7cdb7ba87f9f4d7dde0bb759b601%2fannounce Windows 8.1 Enterprise N with Update - DVD (English) File: en_windows_8.1_enterprise_n_with_update_x64_dvd_6050225.isoCRC-32: 7b73f762MD4: 7700c9878a61eeb98c8a0754d3c0a8f8MD5: 3dd3707820473dfa2adff73b2c44d4f3SHA-1: 33e141a1a7f02b4b3b4f590fb5ae47b71f18c3b8magnet:?xt=urn:btih:55208160763ccd10206f8952a96991835fc78e4f&dn=en%5Fwindows%5F8.1%5Fenterprise%5Fn%5Fwith%5Fupdate%5Fx64%5Fdvd%5F6050225.iso&tr=udp://open.demonii.com:1337/announcemagnet:?xt=urn:btih:55208160763ccd10206f8952a96991835fc78e4f&dn=en_windows_8.1_enterprise_n_with_update_x64_dvd_6050225.isomagnet:?xt=urn:btih:55208160763CCD10206F8952A96991835FC78E4F&dn=en_windows_8.1_enterprise_n_with_update_x64_dvd_6050225.iso&tr=http%3a%2f%2f94.228.192.98%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fannounce.torrentsmd.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.jamendo.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fexodus.desync.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fretracker.local%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.blazing.de%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.publicbt.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f10.rarbg.com%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fbt.rghost.net%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.token.ro%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.istole.it%3a80%2fannouncemagnet:?xt=urn:btih:07F0BF62E1510171E9E4A477EDCBF0A75DAE84B2&dn=Windows%208.1%20N%20with%20Update%203%20%28English%29&tr=http%3a%2f%2fbt.nnm-club.info%3a2710%2f002e7cdb7ba87f9f4d7dde0bb759b601%2fannounce Windows 8.1 Enterprise N with Update (x86) - DVD (English) File: en_windows_8.1_enterprise_n_with_update_x86_dvd_6050217.isoCRC-32: 3d8eee43MD4: b4007d7e4b7688ac036b5f090c418d92MD5: 826a4b6107f78e1e3310185534dc5155SHA-1: e4651c6ed8b6e5ad30da429a1dfb4be8760504f0magnet:?xt=urn:btih:a867941e07ad4f6e2e880b0850d8cd2181342921&dn=en%5Fwindows%5F8.1%5Fenterprise%5Fn%5Fwith%5Fupdate%5Fx86%5Fdvd%5F6050217.iso&tr=udp://open.demonii.com:1337/announcemagnet:?xt=urn:btih:a867941e07ad4f6e2e880b0850d8cd2181342921&dn=en_windows_8.1_enterprise_n_with_update_x86_dvd_6050217.isomagnet:?xt=urn:btih:A867941E07AD4F6E2E880B0850D8CD2181342921&dn=en_windows_8.1_enterprise_n_with_update_x86_dvd_6050217.iso&tr=http%3a%2f%2f94.228.192.98%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fannounce.torrentsmd.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.jamendo.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fexodus.desync.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fretracker.local%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.blazing.de%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.publicbt.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f10.rarbg.com%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fbt.rghost.net%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.token.ro%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.istole.it%3a80%2fannouncemagnet:?xt=urn:btih:07F0BF62E1510171E9E4A477EDCBF0A75DAE84B2&dn=Windows%208.1%20N%20with%20Update%203%20%28English%29&tr=http%3a%2f%2fbt.nnm-club.info%3a2710%2f002e7cdb7ba87f9f4d7dde0bb759b601%2fannounce ---------------------------------- * Windows 8.1 Language Pack with Update (Multiple Languages) * ---------------------------------- Languages: English, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, German, Greek, Spanish, Estonian, Finnish, French, Hebrew, Croatian, Hungarian, Italian, Lithuanian, Latvian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese-Brazil, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Serbian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Chinese - Hong Kong SAR, Chinese - Simplified, Portuguese-Portugal Windows 8.1 Language Pack with Update - DVD (Multiple Languages) File Name: mu_windows_8.1_language_pack_with_update_x64_dvd_6066963.isoSHA1: 70940468031652C3E7384AB92D4F7969FBF5A004magnet:?xt=urn:btih:BFCC5C9B8D97F4758622025E92F70FE970663726magnet:?xt=urn:btih:B21CC217C3A836FD12E57F3BCC7CFD72E8996A2Cmagnet:?xt=urn:btih:BFCC5C9B8D97F4758622025E92F70FE970663726&dn=mu_windows_8.1_language_pack_with_update_x64_dvd_6066963.iso&tr=http%3a%2f%2fannounce.torrentsmd.eu%3a6969%2fannounce.php%3fpasskey%3d1d5007ada34c95a6523ba4e4458cd7ec&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.publicbt.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fannounce.torrentsmd.me%3a8080%2fannounce.php%3fpasskey%3d1d5007ada34c95a6523ba4e4458cd7ec Windows 8.1 Language Pack with Update (x86) - DVD (Multiple Languages) File Name: mu_windows_8.1_language_pack_with_update_x86_dvd_6066964.isoSHA1: B6EAC4C1F57493C5B6F67A20A214BF4B0B62BF59magnet:?xt=urn:btih:5BECDDB1EA903A24BCA157EC843FFD35010E8C0Bmagnet:?xt=urn:btih:B21CC217C3A836FD12E57F3BCC7CFD72E8996A2Cmagnet:?xt=urn:btih:5BECDDB1EA903A24BCA157EC843FFD35010E8C0B&dn=mu_windows_8.1_language_pack_with_update_x86_dvd_6066964.iso&tr=http%3a%2f%2fannounce.torrentsmd.eu%3a6969%2fannounce.php%3fpasskey%3d1d5007ada34c95a6523ba4e4458cd7ec&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.publicbt.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.openbittorrent.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fannounce.torrentsmd.me%3a8080%2fannounce.php%3fpasskey%3d1d5007ada34c95a6523ba4e4458cd7ec ------- * Windows Server 2012 R2 with Update [November 2014 Rollup] - MSDN Edition(s) * -------- [English l Release Date: 12/15/2014] Hash Check Via MSDN: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/downloads/default.aspx#searchTerm=Windows%20Server%202012%20R2&ProductFamilyId=0&Languages=en&PageSize=10&PageIndex=0&FileId=0 Windows Server 2012 R2 Installations-Keys: Windows Server 2012 R2 with Update (x64) - DVD (English) Windows Server 2012 R2 VL with Update (x64) - DVD (English) Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 & Windows Server 2012 R2 Foundation with Update x64 DVD (English) Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with Update (x64) - DVD (English) --------------------------------- * Windows Server 2012 R2 Language Pack with Update (Multiple Languages) * ---------------------------------- Languages: Windows Server 2012 R2 Language Pack with Update (x64) - DVD (Multiple Languages) ---------------------------- * Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry with Update Edition(s)* ---------------------------------- Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Installations-Keys: Embedded=6Q7P9-NFD2F-7JGQR-3X277-9BQMREmbeddedEval=VV6W8-NF7BJ-FKHGQ-P424D-FHC7KEmbeddedAutomotive=J2ND2-BCW98-8669Y-HPBF3-RDY99EmbeddedE=MNKW8-HYCCD-G88JY-283WV-W9FX9EmbeddedEEval=VKKC6-NQQQH-JW3QX-XRVKX-KJJK9EmbeddedIndustry=GN7VX-YKPC2-XY98J-9RYKX-KP9HVEmbeddedIndustryA=TP7MN-9H7FK-P4PJM-K6KJT-Y97RYEmbeddedIndustryE=NDXXJ-YX29Q-JDY6B-C93G8-TQ6WHEmbeddedIndustryEEval=PPBKC-NQYJM-JJ8X6-26W42-VFQ4REmbeddedIndustryEval=XDJ76-KNBM8-BB9BK-B4CHH-XD6VRAll Edition Installation Keys: http://pastebin.com/M5VV6750 Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Enterprise & Pro with Update (x64/x32) - DVD (English) magnet:?xt=urn:btih:e4697090636dd157ab6e1eab46fc3ce7bdb06de6 magnet:?xt=urn:btih:E4697090636DD157AB6E1EAB46FC3CE7BDB06DE6&dn=en_Windows_8.1_Embedded_with_Update_3&tr=http%3a%2f%2f94.228.192.98%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fannounce.torrentsmd.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.jamendo.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fexodus.desync.com%3a6969%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2fretracker.local%2fannounce&tr=http%3a%2f%2ftracker.blazing.de%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.publicbt.com%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2f10.rarbg.com%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2fbt.rghost.net%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.token.ro%3a80%2fannounce&tr=udp%3a%2f%2ftracker.istole.it%3a80%2fannounce Credit & Thanks to: Threat, GezoeSloog, Paul [MDL]ru-board, NNM-Club also every nsane members contributing download links & discussion. : ) Some Of the Important Direct l Magnet l Torrent Download Links: * Be caution some links may be removed or Remote Upload may fail to order to get the original MSDN Hash etc... *
  7. Microsoft loses control over Windows Tiles subdomain Subdomain currently in the possession of a German security researcher, preventing any abuse. Microsoft has lost control over a crucial subdomain that Windows 8 and Windows 10 use to deliver RSS-based news and updates to Live Tiles --animated Windows start menu items. The subdomain (notifications.buildmypinnedsite.com) is currently under the control of Hanno Böck, a security researcher and journalist for German tech news site Golem.de. SUBDOMAIN USED BY WEBSITES TO DELIVER RSS NEWS The subdomain was part of the buildmypinnedsite.com service that Microsoft set up with the launch of Windows 8, and more specifically to allow websites to show live updates inside users' Start pages and menus. To take advantage of this new feature, websites could add a meta tag to their source code that allowed Edge users to pin a web page to the Start page in Windows 8 and the Start menu in Windows 10. On the client-side, when a Windows user opened the Start page/menu, their computer would read the meta tag on the desired site and then load content inside the live tiles. However, because the Windows Live Tiles service couldn't process the multitude of RSS feed formats, ever since its launch, Microsoft recommended that websites use the notifications.buildmypinnedsite.com subdomain to convert their RSS feeds into a special XML format that the Windows Tiles service would parse and create the animated Live Tiles inside the Start page/menu. Thousands of websites added this meta tag to their code, in the hopes of taking advantage of a new way to reach their readers. Image: ZDNet But today Böck said the service no longer works. "The host that should deliver the XML files - notifications.buildmypinnedsite.com - only showed an error message from Microsoft's cloud service Azure," the researcher said. "The host was redirected to a subdomain of Azure. However this subdomain wasn't registered with Azure." Böck registered this subdomain on his Azure account and is currently sinkholing any requests it receives. He also notified Microsoft of the issue but said the company did not reply. "We won't keep the host registered permanently. There's a decent amount of traffic reaching this host and running up costs," the researcher said. "Once we cancel the subdomain a bad actor could register it and abuse it for malicious attacks," he warned. Any threat actor who takes over this domain can use it to craft malformed XML files that could abuse the Windows Live Tiles service to run code on the computers of users who still have website-based Live Tiles in their Start pages/menus. Böck is also recommending that websites remove the HTML meta tag from their source code, or provide the specially formatted XML files themselves, without sending users over to the notifications.buildmypinnedsite.com subdomain. Some of the sites using this subdomain include Mail.ru, Engadget, BGR, TenForums, Golem.de, Heise.de, and others. Source
  8. Microsoft Latest Tech Giant to Build AirPods Rival Can the software giant take a bite out of Apple? Ever since Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) took the wireless earbud market by storm with AirPods in 2016, competing tech giants have been chasing the Mac maker with products of their own that hope to replicate AirPods' popularity. Apple released second-generation models last monthwith incremental improvements that will help it fend off rivals a little bit longer. Alphabet subsidiary Google released Pixel Buds in 2017, Samsung launched Galaxy Buds just last month, and Amazon.com reportedly has Alexa-enabled earbuds slated to debut later this year. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) isn't going to sit idly by. "Surface Buds" incoming? Thurrott reports that the software giant is similarly developing wireless earbuds, which are internally codenamed "Morrison." The product will probably be dubbed Surface Buds, although that could change between now and release. Most companies are integrating their respective virtual assistants into their wireless earbuds, which is now a key criteria in qualifying as wearable devices, as far as IDC is concerned, and Microsoft's Cortana is expected to make an appearance. Microsoft unveiled its Surface Headphones last year, its unexpected foray into the wireless headphone space that feature adjustable active noise cancellation and Cortana integration. At $350, Surface Headphones compete head-to-head with popular headphones like the Bose Quiet Comfort 35. Expanding into in-ear earbuds would be a natural addition to Microsoft's audio accessory portfolio, and it's worth noting that Apple is reportedly working on premium over-ear headphones as well. Trying to take a bite out of Apple Apple has never disclosed AirPods unit volumes, but IDC estimated the Mac maker shipped 5.8 million ear-worn wearables (also unfortunately referred to as "hearables") in the fourth quarter, which would include AirPods, as well as certain Beats models. More recently, Counterpoint Research estimated that Apple grabbed a whopping 60% of the hearables market in the fourth quarter, but sales slowed in the first quarter as consumers waited for the second-generation AirPods. The rest of the market is fairly fragmented, with most players grabbing relatively small slices for themselves, according to Counterpoint's estimates. Meanwhile, Microsoft's first-party hardware ambitions have only grown over time, with its line of Surface-branded products resonating among consumers and enterprise users. Surface revenue soared to a new quarterly record of $1.9 billion in the fourth quarter, following a slew of product introductions in October, including the aforementioned Surface Headphones. DATA SOURCE: MICROSOFT. CHART BY AUTHOR. CALENDAR QUARTERS SHOWN. Strong performance of the Surface portfolio has helped Microsoft mitigate softness in its Windows OEM business, where it licenses its flagship operating system to third-party manufacturers. "Results in our Windows OEM business were lower than expected, partially offset by strong Surface results," CFO Amy Hood said in January. Surface is selling well, and additional complementary accessories should help Microsoft build on that momentum. 10 stocks we like better than Microsoft When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has quadrupled the market.* Source
  9. Microsoft Reveals Email Breach, Says Hackers Accessed User Data Microsoft has just revealed that it suffered a breach earlier this year and hackers were able to access certain user email information. In an email sent to impacted users and obtained by TechCrunch, Microsoft explains that a malicious actor managed to compromise the credentials of a Microsoft support agent. This allowed individuals not working for Microsoft to access information stored in Microsoft email accounts (@outlook.com, @hotmail.com, @msn.com), and according to the cited source, businesses weren’t affected. The information exposed to hackers includes email addresses, folder names, subject lines of emails, names of other email addresses that users communicate with. No email content or attachments were exposed to hackers, Microsoft claims. The unauthorized access was recorded between January 1, 2019 and March 28, 2019, Microsoft says, but the company hasn’t provided any specifics as to how the hackers managed to compromise the credentials of the support agent.Passwords not exposedThe software giant says it immediately disabled the compromised account once it detected the breach. “Upon awareness of this issue, Microsoft immediately disabled the compromised credentials, prohibiting their use for any further unauthorized access. Our data indicates that account-related information (but not the content of any e-mails) could have been viewed, but Microsoft has no indication why that information was viewed or how it may have been used,” the firm says in the email sent to affected users. Microsoft now warns of an increasing number of phishing emails that could be sent to users, and it recommends everyone to reset passwords. However, it’s important to know that passwords weren’t exposed to hackers, albeit Microsoft says it’s better to change them “out of caution.” For now, it’s not yet known how many users were exposed, but as per the cited source, there’s a chance at least some are based in Europe. You can read the full email below, and for additional information and assistance, you can reach out to the company’s Incident Response Team at [email protected] Source
  10. Microsoft, Amazon are the last bidders standing for the $10 billion DoD JEDI cloud contract The Pentagon is expected to award its $10 billion JEDI cloud contract to either Amazon or Microsoft sometime later this summer, at the earliest. U.S. Department of Defense officials have decided this week that the only two cloud vendors able to meet their requirements for a huge, winner-take-all project are Amazon and Microsoft. That decision takes Oracle and IBM out of the running for the $10 billion JEDI contract. The DoD's JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) contract is designed to upgrade legacy systems with newer cloud services. According to the original proposal, "JEDI Cloud will provide enterprise-level, commercial IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) to the Department and any mission partners for all Department business and mission operations." Google dropped out of the JEDI bidding last year, acknowledging it couldn't meet the requirements (and citing its AI principles, as well). Oracle officials had protested the bidding process, claiming bias against a former military employee who also worked at Amazon AWS. Oracle filed a lawsuit over this late last year. In February his year, it looked like the DoD was going to have to postpone the award of the contract as a result of a required review. The DoD was expected to name a winner in April, but now the soonest the JEDI winner will get the nod is mid-July, according to Bloomberg. Over the past year-plus Microsoft has been working to get all its required certifications lined up so that it can meet the JEDI requirements. Source
  11. Microsoft releases first test builds of Chromium-based Edge for Windows 10 Microsoft officially is releasing the first Developer and Canary test builds of its Chromium-based Edge browser for 64-bit Windows 10 only. Here's where to get it and who should (and shouldn't) download it. Microsoft is making available test versions of the first of its Chromium-based Edge browser builds. On April 8, Microsoft officially released the first Canary (updated daily) and Developer (updated weekly) Edge builds for 64-bit Windows 10. They are available for download from the Microsoft Edge Insider site by any interested parties. Beta-quality builds and promised builds for Windows 7, 8.1 and the Mac will come later, officials said. The new Edge builds released today are early and focused on fundamentals, so all the intended features, language support and UI changes are not there yet. Today's builds have not been optimized for performance and promised capabilities like smooth scrolling, inking on the Web, PDF support and tab sweep are not yet enabled. Right now, Chromium-based Edge feels a lot like Chrome, except with MSN news feeds built in. Today's test builds are meant for web developers, early adopters and "enthusiasts," not everyday users. Sometime this summer, Microsoft is expected to add more features and functionality of interest to the IT pro audience to Chromium-based Edge test builds and introduce a "Beta" channel at that time. Anyone downloading today's test build who may have installed any builds of Chromium-based Edge that leaked recently are advised to first uninstall the leaked builds before trying the ones released today.Even though the leaked Chromium-based Edge build worked fine on Windows 7 (ask me how I know), Microsoft is not releasing officially its Chromium-based Edge for Windows 7 yet. Anyone using the current Microsoft Edge (based on EdgeHTML, not Chromium) can just continue using the existing Edge browser for the foreseeable future; Microsoft has not said when the company plans to switch users off the current Edge browser. And users of Edge on iOS and Android won't be affected, as those Edge browser apps already use the WebKit and Blink rendering engines tied to those OS platforms, not EdgeHTML. In December 2018, Microsoft officials said they were redoing Edge so that it would be built on top of Chromium in the name of improving compatibility across the web. Chromium is an open-source browser implementation that is used as a base by a number of browser developers, including Google (with its proprietary Chrome browser), Vivaldi, Opera, Yandex, Brave, and more. Simultaneous with the launch of Chrome in 2008, Google released the bulk of Chrome's code as open source, birthing Chromium in the process. Source Chromium-based Edge: Hands on with Microsoft's new browser The first public preview of Microsoft's replacement for its Edge browser is now available. Should you try it out? If you can't beat 'em, clone 'em. After trying and failing to convince Windows 10 users to adopt its Edge browser, Microsoft is returning to its roots with an all-new Edge that is, for all intents and purposes, a clone of archrival Google's Chrome browser. The new Edge, based on the open-source Chromium engine, makes its public debut today, four months after Microsoft's announcement that it was giving up on the EdgeHTML engine that had defined the new browser for the past four years. I've been using an earlier build of the new Chromium-based Edge, supplied by Microsoft, for the past few days. Based on that experience, here's what you can expect. This initial release is a stripped-down build, available only for 64-bit versions of Windows 10, that focuses on the core of the browsing experience. (Later releases will be available for Windows 7, for 32-bit Windows 10, and for MacOS.) Although I found this preview stable and usable, it has almost none of the consumer or enterprise features that will be part of the final shipping product. Instead, the goal of this release is to make a basic, highly compatible browser available for early adopters and web developers to provide feedback on. That feedback, of course, includes the telemetry that is at the core of Windows 10. In terms of the "highly compatible" goal, this build succeeds admirably. The widely used HTML 5 test page, for example, gives the new Edge a score of 535 out of a possible 555. By comparison, the shipping EdgeHTML-based browser in Windows 10 version 1903 scores 492 points, and Google Chrome version 73 scores a mere 509 points. The new Edge Dev release runs alongside the current Edge and can be installed or uninstalled anytime. Edge Dev is distinguished by a green banner across the blue Edge icon, as shown above. It uses the same menu structure as the current Edge release, with options available when you click the three dots arranged horizontally at the right side of the address bar. That menu includes the traditional options for Favorites, History, Downloads, and Extensions, along with a new category, Apps. Those lists appear in cascading menus rather than in the dockable pane that's part of the current Edge version, an example of a consumer feature that will arrive later. Speaking of extensions, the Chromium-based Edge Dev includes roughly 120 Microsoft Edge Insider Add-ons, including stalwarts like LastPass and AdBlock Plus. But that assortment pales compared to the massive selection of extensions available in Google's Chrome Web Store. The solution? A switch on the Edge Dev Extensions page that allows you to install extensions from other stores. When you flip that switch and visit the Chrome Web Store, a banner appears at the top of the page alerting you that the "Add to Chrome" menu works in Edge, too. The resulting interface should be familiar to any Chrome user. The new Edge can install extensions from the Chrome Web Store I had no problem installing extensions from both sources. The Extensions menu in Edge Dev opens the edge://extensions page shown below, which groups all installed extensions by source. The Edge Extensions page groups installed items by source For advanced users, that's a perfectly acceptable workaround, which takes advantage of the compatibility of the underlying Chromium browser engine. In the long run, though, Microsoft will have to deal with some usability issues that are certain to confuse unsophisticated users: How to navigate between the two stores, how to deal with the fact that one store uses a Microsoft account and the other requires a Google account, and how to explain that "Add to Chrome" really means "Add to Edge." One of the most compelling features of the new Edge browser is the fact that it doesn't require a connection to Google's data-collection networks. Signing in with a Microsoft account uses Microsoft's servers to sync favorites and saved passwords. In a later release, the browser will sync open tabs between devices running Edge, including mobile devices, PCs, and Macs. In theory, using a Microsoft account should be a more attractive option to users who are concerned about Google's data-collection practices, which drive the world's largest advertising network. It remains to be seen, however, whether Microsoft can convince the public at large that it's a better steward of data than its corporate rival. In this release, you can adjust browser settings, including user profiles and privacy options, by going to edge://settings. User profiles and settings, including privacy options, are available here Advanced users and developers will find the expected edge://flags for working with advanced settings and experimental features. Web developers will find this page familiar Should you install an Edge Insider build? Although this early release is far from feature-complete, it's surprisingly solid, in my experience. If you're comfortable with the idea of using multiple browsers, I can't think of any good reason not to add this preview release to an existing Windows 10 installation. To install the preview build, go to the Microsoft Edge Insider page. You can choose from Canary builds, which are updated daily, or Developer builds, which are updated weekly. Although the update process is fast, most users will probably prefer the weekly Developer channel to minimize disruption. Source
  12. BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU data protection authorities are investigating whether the European Commission and other EU institutions comply with the bloc’s strict data privacy rules in their software deals with Microsoft. The 28-country European Union adopted the landmark General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) about a year ago, giving Europeans more control over their online information and privacy enforcers the power to impose hefty fines. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), which monitors the bloc’s 70 institutions on their GDPR compliance, launched its investigation on Monday. The probe will look into the Microsoft products and services used by the institutions and whether the contractual agreements between them and the U.S. software company are GDPR-compliant. “When relying on third parties to provide services, the EU institutions remain accountable for any data processing carried out on their behalf,” said Assistant EDPS Wojciech Wiewiorowski. “They also have a duty to ensure that any contractual arrangements respect the new rules and to identify and mitigate any risks,” he said. The EDPS can impose fines up to 50,000 euros for each infringement. Microsoft said it was ready to assist its customers in the EDPS investigation. “We are committed to helping our customers comply with GDPR, Regulation 2018/1725, and other applicable laws and are confident that our contractual arrangements allow customers to do so,” Microsoft said. The EDPS said some of the data protection worries could be similar to Dutch concerns raised in November about the data collected through Microsoft ProPlus, which includes popular software such as Microsoft Word writing software and Microsoft Outlook email. The concern related to information stored in a database in the United States in a way that the Netherlands said posed major risks to users’ privacy. The company subsequently made some changes to comply with EU rules. Source
  13. Microsoft to Release a New Batch of Windows 10 Cumulative Updates Tomorrow The April 2019 Patch Tuesday rollout will kick off tomorrow, and as it happens every month since mid-2015, Windows 10 gets its very own cumulative updates. The Patch Tuesday cumulative updates include both security and non-security fixes, and Microsoft is expected to resolve several vulnerabilities in its software. All Windows 10 versions will get cumulative updates tomorrow, albeit it’s worth knowing that for consumers only the Fall Creators Update and newer are supported. In other words, users running the Home or Pro SKUs need to be on version 1709 or later in order to get updates. Enterprise and Education devices, as well as systems enrolled in the LTSC branch, are also getting updates regardless of version.The end of the Fall Creators UpdateThe April 2019 Patch Tuesday also marks the end of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. Microsoft will ship the last batch of updates for this particular version on Home and Pro SKUs tomorrow, after which consumers are recommended to upgrade to a newer Windows 10 release. At this point, the most recent stable version of Windows 10 is the October 2018 Update (version 1809), with Microsoft getting ready to introduce another major update called May 2019 Update. Its rollout would kick off next month, and the update is currently available for Windows insiders. As we do every month, we’ll publish the full details of the Patch Tuesday cycle when the rollout begins. We’ll also keep an eye on the main feedback channels to see if any issues are reported, especially as there’s growing concern among users and IT admins that the installation of cumulative updates could fail. On the other hand, given critical security fixes are likely to be included, users are recommended to consider patching as soon as the rollout starts depending on the resolved vulnerabilities. Source
  14. Microsoft Could Evolve Into Shopify's Newest Competitor The tech giant could bundle e-commerce tools with its cloud services soon. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is mulling the development of e-commerce tools for its cloud customers, according to a recent interview with Shelley Bransten, Microsoft's VP of retail and consumer goods, at The Information. Bransten stated that it was something Microsoft was considering "very seriously," which could be dire news for Shopify (NYSE:SHOP). Shopify provides businesses with tools for building e-commerce websites, processing orders and payments, crafting marketing campaigns, maintaining customer relationships, analyzing data, and more. It bundles all those services together as a "one-stop shop" that brings offline businesses online. IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES. Shopify, which was founded 15 years ago, enjoys a first-mover's advantage in this market. Its growth also remains robust -- its revenue rose 59% to $1.07 billion in 2018, and it anticipates 37% sales growth this year. However, Shopify isn't profitable on a GAAP basis, and a growing list of similar services -- including Adobe's (NASDAQ:ADBE) Magento, Facebook's Instagram Checkout, and Square's Weebly -- threaten to derail its growth. Will Microsoft toss its hat into that ring and cause more headaches for Shopify? Why Microsoft wants to offer Shopify-like services Microsoft's core growth engine is its commercial cloud business, which includes Office 365, its Dynamics CRM (customer relationship management) and sales services, and its Azure cloud infrastructure platform, which stores data and powers cloud-based applications for enterprise customers. Microsoft's commercial cloud revenues rose 48% annually to $9 billion last quarter and accounted for 31% of its top line. Within that total, its Office 365 Commercial revenues grew 33%, Dynamics 365 climbed 50%, and Azure surged 76%. Azure mainly competes against Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN) Web Services (AWS) in the cloud platform space. Azure generates less revenue than AWS, but it gained a growing listof retail customers -- including Walmart, Walgreens, and Kroger -- that see Amazon as the enemy. Many of these large retailers have built their own e-commerce platforms. However, many smaller companies and a growing number of large companies -- including Tesla Motors, AB InBev's Budweiser, and Penguin Books -- use Shopify's e-commerce services. Shopify served 820,000 merchants worldwide at the end of 2018. Shopify Plus, its platform for larger businesses, had 5,300 customers. IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES. Therefore, if Microsoft bundles Shopify-like e-commerce services into Azure, it could boost its revenues per customer, widen its moat against AWS, and ensure that its cloud business' fastest-growing segment stays healthy. Furthermore, Microsoft can integrate those services with Dynamics' sales, marketing, and CRM tools -- which would also make it a "one-stop shop" for digitizing a business. Microsoft certainly has the market clout to pull that off. Windows is the world's top PC operating system, and Azure ranks second in the cloud platform market after AWS. Should Shopify investors worry? Shopify investors shouldn't jump to conclusions, since Bransten merely stated that Microsoft was considering the development of e-commerce tools to address rising demand from retail customers. This means that Microsoft won't launch a "Shopify killer" anytime soon, and that pent-up market demand could boost Shopify's sales instead. Shopify's stock also trades at over 230 times its forward (non-GAAP) earnings estimate, so it's already pricey relative to its growth potential. Therefore, any news about potential rivals can rock this volatile stock. Shopify's stock dipped after Adobe acquired Magento, its biggest e-commerce services rival, but that takeover didn't dent Shopify's growth over the past year. The stock slipped again after the recent news about Facebook, Square, and Microsoft -- although there's no proof that any of these services will do any more damage than Adobe-Magento. Investors should monitor all these developments, but they shouldn't assume that Shopify will simply roll over and let these rivals gain ground. 10 stocks we like better than Microsoft When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has quadrupled the market.* David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Microsoft wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys. Source
  15. Microsoft release firmware update for Surface Pro 5 and Surface Pro 6 (changelog) Microsoft has released new firmware updates for the Surface Pro 5 and the Surface Pro 6, bringing a number of fixes and improvements. See the changelog below: Surface Pro 6 Intel Corporation – Display – Improves system stability and performance. Intel Corporation – Extension – Improves the stability and performance of the system. Surface – Firmware – 239.2638.257.0: Improves battery stability, fixes CPU throttling at 400MHz and connection failure with the Type Cover. Surface – System – Improves display color. Surface – System – Improves the stability and performance of the system. Surface Pro 5 For the fifth-generation Surface Pro tablet, there is a much longer list of updates to the official changelog from Microsoft. Intel Corporation – Display – Improves the stability of the browser. Surface – Firmware – 239.2638.257.0: Improves the stability of the system. Surface – Firmware – 234.2344.769.0: Improves GPS location service and battery reliability. Intel – HIDClass – Improves system stability. Surface – HIDClass – 23.608.139.0: Improves system stability. Realtek Semiconductor Corp. – media – Improves system stability. Intel – SoftwareComponent – Improves system stability. Realtek – SoftwareComponent – 11.0.6000.91: Improves system stability. Intel – Extension – Improves system stability. Intel (R) Corporation – System – Improves the stability of the application of a music service. Intel system – Improves system stability. Intel system – Improves system stability. Intel System 8.4.11000.6436: Improves System Stability. Intel System 8.4.11000.6436: Improves System Stability. Intel System Improves system stability. Intel System Improves system stability. Intel System – 1815.12.0.2021: Improves system stability. Intel Corporation – System – 30.100.1823.1 IO GPIO Host Controller: Improves system stability. Intel Corporation – System – 30.100.1823.1 IO UART Host Controller: Improves system stability. Intel Corporation – System – 30.100.1823.1 IO 12C Host Controller: Improves system stability. Intel (R) Corporation – System – Realtek Semiconductor Corp. – Universal Serial Bus controllers – Improves system stability. Surface System – Improves system stability. Surface – System – Improves system stability. You can download the latest firmware by simply Checking for Updates in Settings, Source
  16. Microsoft announces PowerShell 7 for all the platforms Just a week after announcing the General Availability of PowerShell 6.2, Microsoft has announced an upgrade for PowerShell on all the platforms. The new upgrade will bump PowerShell directly to version 7. In a blog post, Microsoft explained why the company decided to make a jump from 6.2 to version 7. PowerShell Core usage has grown significantly in the last two years. In particular, the bulk of our growth has come from Linux usage, an encouraging statistic given our investment in making PowerShell viable cross-platform… However, we also can clearly see that our Windows usage has not been growing as significantly, surprising given that PowerShell was popularized on the Windows platform… This means that Windows PowerShell and PowerShell Core users will be able to use the same version of PowerShell to automate across Windows, Linux, and macOS and on Windows, and PowerShell 7 users will have a very high level of compatibility with Windows PowerShell modules they rely on today. – Microsoft In other words, Microsoft wants to put all the platforms on the same version of PowerShell for better cross-platform compatibility. Microsoft is also making changes to the Support Lifecycle of PowerShell. The company will release LTS (Long Term Servicing) and non-LTS versions of PowerShell 7 to align it closely with the .NET Core support lifecycle. Microsoft will release PowerShell 7 for Windows users but will allow users to switch between PowerShell 5.1 and PowerShell 7. Microsoft will roll out PowerShell 7 in May 2019. The General Availability of PowerShell will take time as Microsoft will need to align the release with .NET Core 3.0. Source
  17. Microsoft workers shared dozens of sexual harassment stories on an internal email chain Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images Microsoft employees have been sharing stories of sexual harassment and discrimination in an internal email chain that exceeds 90 pages, as first reported by Quartz. Many say that they had brought up initial complaints to HR, but no action was taken. Now that the email chain has taken off, senior human resources employees say they will look into it. Beginning on March 20th, one employee sent out an inquiry to other women at Microsoft about how to tackle the glass ceiling, and stories about demeaning behavior and sexist comments came pouring out. “This thread has pulled the scab off a festering wound. The collective anger and frustration is palpable. A wide audience is now listening. And you know what? I’m good with that,” one employee wrote in an email response to the chain, as seen by Quartz. Another Microsoft employee said she had complained to HR about an employee of a partner company who asked her to perform sex acts, but no action was taken. A third woman said she had worked at engineering teams at Windows, Azure, and Xbox and had been called a bitch by other colleagues. She said that other women at Xbox shared that they had also been the target of such demeaning language. “I WILL PERSONALLY LOOK INTO THE SITUATION WITH MY TEAM.” Microsoft’s head of human resources, Kathleen Hogan, responded to the dozens of emails on March 29th to say that she would investigate the claims women had made. She wrote, “I would like to offer to anyone who has had such demeaning experiences including those who felt were dismissed by management or HR to email me directly. I will personally look into the situation with my team.” Microsoft verified Hogan’s response to The Verge and provided further details. Hogan went on to say that Microsoft would hold sessions on the week of April 22nd to hear feedback from women employees and determine what actions needed to be taken. She added, “I also read and agree with the comments that for us to solve this as a company, the burden does not reside only with us women.” “We are appalled and sad to hear about these experiences. It is very painful to hear these stories and to know that anyone is facing such behavior at Microsoft. We must do better,” Hogan continued. “While reading some of this is very disheartening, I am proud and encouraged to see people empowered to speak up, say this is not right, and stand together for change.” “THE BURDEN DOES NOT RESIDE ONLY WITH US WOMEN.” Last year, unsealed court filings revealedthat women at Microsoft had filed 238 internal complaints about gender discrimination and / or sexual harassment between 2010 and 2016. Out of 118 gender discrimination complaints, Microsoft only deemed one of these complaints as “founded.” Microsoft has been fighting a class-action lawsuit brought by three female employees in 2015 that alleges the company discriminates against female engineers in their performance evaluations and consideration for pay raises and promotions. In the same suit, a Microsoft employee said that she had been raped by a fellow employee when they were both interns at Microsoft. After a dropped investigation, Microsoft hired the alleged rapist and the woman, telling her that they would not have to work together. This turned out not to be true, she said, as she was placed on the same team as the man after a reorganization. Source
  18. Microsoft Officially Launches Visual Studio Code as a Snap for Linux Users Microsoft and Canonical today announced the official availability of the Visual Studio Code IDE on the Ubuntu Snap Store for GNU/Linux systems. While Visual Studio Code was already available as a Snap package in the Snap Store since May 2017, Canonical and Microsoft partnered to make it official. The old snap package was ported by an independent developer, but not users can install the official package developed and updated regularly by Microsoft itself. "The automatic update functionality of snaps is a major benefit. It is clear there is a thriving community around snaps and that it is moving forward at great pace. The backing of Canonical ensures our confidence in its ongoing development and long-term future," said João Moreno, Software Development Engineer, Microsoft Visual Studio Code. Microsoft Visual Studio Code is a powerful IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for developers with top-notch features like embedded Git control, intelligent code completion, code refactoring, syntax highlighting, debugging support, and snippets. Microsoft Visual Studio Code was previously available for Linux systems in other binary formats.How to install Microsoft Visual Studio Code as a SnapSnap is a conternized and universal package developed by Canonical for Ubuntu, and later ported to numerous other Linux-based operating systems. It provides security and rolling updates as soon as they're available upstream. Microsoft Visual Studio Code as a Snap makes the installation across a multitude of GNU/Linux distributions a breeze. Installing Microsoft Visual Studio Code as a Snap is as easy as running the "sudo snap install code --classic" command in a terminal emulator or directly from the Snap Store via you favourite package manager. However, keep in mind that your GNU/Linux distribution must be Snap-enabled first. After installation, you'll receive updates automatically as soon as Microsoft releases them. Source
  19. Microsoft Fully Embraces Siri Shortcuts on iOS with OneDrive Update Microsoft has released a new update for the iOS version of its OneDrive client, and this time the changelog includes several welcome improvements. First and foremost, it’s worth knowing that this update brings OneDrive to version 10.60 on both iPhone and iPad, and it includes support for Siri Shortcuts. In other words, you can now ask Siri to perform a series of tasks in OneDrive, which obviously comes in handy when you want to access the app without even touching the iPhone. For example, the digital assistant can scan a whiteboard, a business card, or a document, and everything takes place instantly. All you have to do is enable OneDrive shortcuts by heading over to Settings > Siri & Search on your iPhone.iMessage fixes also includedAdditionally, Microsoft is also implementing a change for business users, as it’s renaming the Sites view to Libraries. All features are there, so the only thing that’s changing is the name. For iMessage users, there are new fixes for icons, which Microsoft says looked awkward within the app. “We’ve fixed an issue in the iMessage app where our icons were showing up pixelated. Thanks to the keen eye of our TestFlight user Nikolaj, we’ve fixed this issue and our iMessage icons are now clear as day. A non-Seattle day, that is,” the company explains. And last but not least, the OneDrive update also includes refinements for the VoiceOver experience in the Shared page, “and it will now behave a little more human, and a little more accessibly.” Other changes might also be included under the hood, so the app overall should also run smoother. You can download the new OneDrive version from the App Storehere. It requires at least iOS 11.3, and it is compatible with iPhone, Pad, and iPod touch. Source
  20. Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Cumulative Update KB4490481 Microsoft has released a new cumulative update for Windows 10 insiders in the Release Preview ring. The company hasn’t provided any specifics on this update, but given it’s only available for users in the RP ring, the purpose of cumulative update KB4490481 is most likely to help test improvements that would be shipped on Patch Tuesday next week. Installing this cumulative update increases the OS build number to 17763.404, and you can check this by typing winver in the Start menu. While details are missing, this appears to be the second version of Windows 10 cumulative update KB4490481 after the original update was published on March 20, also for the Release Preview ring. The first iteration of KB4490481 increased the OS build number to 17763.402.Windows 10 October 2018 UpdateWhat’s important to know is that this cumulative update is aimed at Windows 10 version 1809 (October 2018 Update), as the Release Preview ring hasn’t yet received 19H1 builds. Windows 10 version 1903, also known as April 2019 Update or 19H1, is currently in the latest development stages, and preview builds are available for download for users in the Fast and Slow rings. Microsoft is believed to be working on finalizing the RTM, with the public rollout projected to kick off later this month. The next patch Tuesday cycle takes place on April 9, and just as expected, all Windows 10 versions will get cumulative updates with both security and non-security improvements. The Release Preview ring is being used by Microsoft to try out cumulative updates in advance of the public launch for the latest stable Windows 10 version, and it’s likely this approach would continue after the rollout of the April 2019 Update begins this month. Today’s update seems to install correctly judging from the majority of user reports, but it remains to be seen how everything works when the broad rollout kicks off on Patch Tuesday. Source
  21. Microsoft details Tamper Protection in Windows Defender April 2019 Update In a blog post Microsoft detailed a new feature in Microsoft’s security product Windows Defender ATP. Tamper Protection is a new setting available in the Windows Security app which provides additional protections against changes to key security features, including limiting changes that are not made directly through the app. The feature is available to both home and enterprise users (where it would be managed centrally via Intune) and has been in testing by Windows 10 Insiders for around 2 months now. When enabled other (possibly malicious) apps will be prevented from changing: Real-time protection, which is the core antimalware scanning feature of Microsoft Defender ATP next-gen protection and should rarely, if ever, be disabled Cloud-delivered protection, which uses our cloud-based detection and prevention services to block never-before-seen malware within seconds IOAV, which handles the detection of suspicious files from the Internet Behaviour monitoring, which works with real-time protection to analyze and determine if active processes are behaving in a suspicious or malicious way and block them The feature also prevents the deletion of security intelligence updates and the disabling of the entire antimalware solution. The feature will be on by default and will roll out to all users with the Windows 10 April 2019 Update in the near future. Source
  22. Microsoft Quietly Includes Chromium Microsoft Edge in Latest Windows 10 Build An unofficial build of the Chromium-powered Microsoft Edge browser is already available for download, and while everyone’s waiting for Microsoft to publicly ship a testing version of the browser, it looks like the company could be trying a different approach. A report from German site Deskmodder reveals that Microsoft has quietly included the Chromium version of Microsoft Edge in the latest preview build of Windows 10 for Skip Ahead insiders. This is Windows 10 build 18865, which is part of the 20H1 update scheduled to be released to production devices in the spring of 2020. According to the cited source, not all users are getting the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, as Microsoft is just conducted a very limited experiment. This means there’s a big chance you won’t be getting it for the time being until Microsoft makes it available for everyone in the Insider program. By the looks of things, the new Edge is only available in Windows Sandbox, and it’s available at the following location: C:\Users\WDAGUtilityAccount\AppData \Local\MicrosoftEdge In other words, the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge doesn’t replace the existing version of the browser, and a shortcut wasn’t even created, so you have to dig in deeper in the operating system to find it. While the folder mentioned above does exist on my instance of Windows 10 build 18865, the new Edge isn’t stored there, so I can’t confirm the report is accurate for the time being. However, given it’s said to be a very limited test, there’s also a slight chance only a small number of users are getting the browser. No matter if the report is real or not, you can still try out the new Microsoft Edge version using the download link in the first paragraph. Just keep in mind that it’s still an experimental build and not everything might work as expected. Source
  23. Security researcher pleads guilty to hacking into Microsoft and Nintendo 24-year-old also involved in Vtech breach Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge A 24-year-old security researcher narrowly avoided prison today, after admitting to hacking into Microsoft and Nintendo servers and stealing confidential information. Zammis Clark, known online as Slipstream or Raylee, was charged on multiple counts of computer misuse offenses in a London Crown Court on Thursday, and pleaded guilty to hacking into Microsoft and Nintendo networks. Prosecutors revealed that Clark had gained access to a Microsoft server on January 24th, 2017 using an internal username and password, and then uploaded a web shell to remotely access Microsoft’s network freely for at least three weeks. Clark then uploaded multiple shells which allowed him to search through Microsoft’s network, upload files, and download data. In total, around 43,000 files were stolen after Clark targeted Microsoft’s internal Windows flighting servers. These servers contain confidential copies of pre-release versions of Windows, and are used to distribute early beta code to developers working on Windows. Clark targeted unique build numbers to gain information on pre-release versions of Windows in around 7,500 searches for unreleased products, codenames, and build numbers. IRC AND WEB SHELLS WERE KEY PARTS OF THE INTRUSIONS Clark then shared access to Microsoft’s servers through an Internet Relay Chat (IRC) server chatroom, allowing other individuals to access and steal confidential information. Prosecutors say other hackers from France, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries were then able to access Microsoft’s servers. Police found the stolen files on Clark’s home computer after a joint investigation involving Microsoft’s cyber team, the FBI, EUROPOL, and the NCA’s National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU). 26-year-old Thomas Hounsell, known in the Windows community for running the now discontinued BuildFeed website, also appeared alongside Clark in court on Thursday. Hounsell has always closely followed Microsoft’s development processes and used Clark’s server breach to conduct more than 1,000 searches for products, codenames, and build numbers over a 17-day period. Photo by James Bareham / The Verge NINTENDO ESTIMATED DAMAGES OF UP TO $1.8 MILLION The Microsoft intrusion ended when Clark uploaded malware onto Microsoft’s network, and he was subsequently arrested in June, 2017. Clark was then bailed without any restrictions on his computer use, and went on to hack into Nintendo’s internal network in March last year. Clark gained access through Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and used similar software to hack into Nintendo’s highly confidential game development servers. These servers store development code for unreleased games, and Clark was able to steal 2,365 usernames and passwords until Nintendo eventually discovered the breach in May 2018. Nintendo estimates the cost of damages between £700,000 ($913,000) and £1.4 million ($1.8 million), and Microsoft previously provided the court with a vague estimate of around $2 million in damages. Clark, who was employed at the Malwarebytes security company at the time of the Microsoft hack, was also previously cautioned by British police after being arrested for his role in the massive Vtech data breach in 2015. Clark accessed the account details of millions of Vtech toy users, including children’s accounts. Names, dates of birth, profile images, and even addresses were stolen. Clark fully admitted to the Vtech breach, but the toymaker did not wish to assist with the prosecution so the case went no further. Vtech was eventually fined $650,000 for violating children’s privacy. Clark has also been involved in security research for a number of years, previously uncovering flaws in school internet monitoring software and preinstalled apps on laptops sold by Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba. THE JUDGE COMMENDED CLARK’S PARENTS Clark’s defense barrister said that because the former security researcher is an autistic person and has face blindness, he would be highly vulnerable to violencefrom fellow prisoners or even at a greater risk of reoffending if imprisoned for his crimes. Sentencing Clark, Judge Alexander Milne, QC, compared the offenses to that of a common burglar who had entered a house, stolen goods, and altered a home. While the offenses are certainly serious, and similar cases have involved jail sentences, the judge weighed up the unique aspects of this particular case. “Everything I have heard and been told leads me to believe this is a young man who would suffer disproportionality if he went to prison,” said Judge Milne. The judge revealed a letter penned by Clark’s parents, detailing his plans for rehabilitation and his challenges with autism, had weighed heavily on his decision. Clark’s mother has given up her day job to help supervise her son and work on his rehabilitation, and the case had clearly taken its toll on the family. “The heartbreak, and I can only see it as heartbreak for his parents, comes across loud and clear. They are to be commended,” said Judge Milne. Clark was sentenced to a total of 15 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. A Serious Crime Prevention Order was also granted for a period of five years, which carries an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison if breached. Hounsell was also sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and given 100 hours of community service. These suspended sentences mean neither Clark or Hounsell will spend immediate time in prison, providing they don’t reoffend. Ending his sentencing, Judge Milne said “I am trusting this will be a lesson from which you will all learn.” “Today’s action by the Courts in the UK represents an important step. Stronger internet security not only requires strong technical capability but the willingness to acknowledge issues publicly and refer them to law enforcement. No company is immune from cybercrime. No customer data was accessed, and we’re confident in the integrity of our software and systems. We have comprehensive measures in place to prevent, detect, and respond to attacks,” says Tom Burt, CVP of customer security and trust at Microsoft in a statement to The Verge. We’ve also reached out to Nintendo for comment on the sentences, but the company did not respond in time for publication. Source
  24. Microsoft Release Firmware Updates for Several Surface Models Microsoft has released new firmware updates for several Surface models, including both the first- and the second-generation Surface Laptop. This month, however, the new versions do not bring too many significant improvements, though they refine the experience with certain components. First and foremost, the Surface Laptop series is getting a new firmware, with both the original version and the model launched last year being provided with this release if they are still running Windows 10 April 2018 Update (version 1803) or newer. Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is the oldest version of Windows 10 that still receives updates for Home and Pro users, so if the Surface Laptop is running this version, it should be first updated to the latest Windows 10 feature update to get the new firmware.No updates for the Surface Pro 6According to the official changelog, the Surface Laptop firmware update comes with driver improvements, as the Surface Intersil Ambient Light Sensor (HID) – System devices component is bumped to version to improve device stability. The same improvement is available on both Surface Laptop models. At the same time, Microsoft has also released new drivers for the Surface Studio 2, but this time no changelog has been provided, despite the fact that the new version can already be downloaded using this link. The other Surface models haven’t yet received new firmware updates. The Surface Pro 6, for example, got the latest pack of improvements in October 2018, and at the time of writing this article, there’s no information as to when Microsoft could ship a new update. As always, you are recommended to keep your device plugged in while updating the firmware and avoid to interrupt the process. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to install the new release and a reboot is obviously required. Source
  25. Microsoft Now Takes Control of 99 Websites that Used for Hacking Operations by APT 35 Hackers A result of cyberwar between Microsoft and the APT 35 hackers group, now Microsoft authorized to seize 99 illegal domains that operated by the APT 35 For various illegal hacking operations. Microsoft won the court case that filled in the U.S. District Court for Washington D.C against the APT group 35 also known as Phosphorus and granted an order by the court to take down all the 99 websites. APT 35 or Charming Kitten is a well-known Iranian cybercrime group that performing the various illegal hacking operation using various domains which was continuously tracking since 2013 by Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC). Since the court has given the complete permission on last week, Microsoft has taken the complete control of 99 websites the group uses to conduct its hacking operations. All these domains were misused under the names of well-known brands, like Microsoft and other related domain such as outlook-verify.net, yahoo-verify.net, verification-live.com, and myaccount-services.net. APT 35 mainly used these illegal domains for various sophisticated cyber crimes, and it’s specifically designed to gain access to the computer systems of businesses and government agencies and steal sensitive information. Now All The 99 Domains are Under Microsoft Control Microsoft now takes complete control of all the 99 domains that was used for various malicious hacking operations and all these domains traffic has been redirected from infected devices to Microsoft Digital Crime Unit’s sinkhole. A sinkhole is basically a way of redirecting malicious Internet traffic so that it can be captured and analyzed by security analysts. In this case, all the intelligence collected from this sinkhole will be added to MSTIC’s existing knowledge of Phosphorus and shared with Microsoft security products and services to protect customers in the future. According to Microsoft, “Phosphorus also uses these domains and a technique whereby it sends people an email that makes it seem as if there’s a security risk to their accounts, prompting them to enter their credentials into a web form that enables the group to capture their passwords and gain access to their systems.” Throughout the course of tracking Phosphorus, we’ve worked closely with a number of other technology companies, including Yahoo, to share threat information and jointly stop attacks. We are grateful for their partnership, Microsoft said. Source
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