Just because you don’t have to lay out money for software, that doesn’t necessarily make it “free.” In the last few days, users of Windows 10 have noticed full-screen ads on their lock screen if they happen to be using “Windows Spotlight” to put pretty pictures there. Fortunately, you can banish the ads from your screen, without even having to pay. [More]
Do you remember the WebTV? You may not have even known anyone who used them, but they were a device that turned a regular TV into a slow Internet terminal. Some people who find computers intimidating really liked the idea. However, they should not pick up this unit that Liz found on the shelf at her local Walmart, mostly because there’s not much you can do with it. [More]
Over at Mozilla HQ, they make web browsers that run on various platforms, including Windows. Over at Microsoft, they have their own new browser that is part of Windows, and they’d really like everyone to use it. According to Mozilla, the new version of Windows steamrolls over a user’s preferred app settings and makes Microsoft’s Edge browser the default. Mozilla is not fond of this change. [More]
Consumers have not embraced Windows 8, the current PC operating system from Microsoft. In fact, some people have paid to get rid of it and downgrade back to the more comfortable Windows 7. Microsoft wants users to give their latest offering a try, and are making Windows 10 available as a free download to users of their current operating systems. [More]
Do you need a copy of Windows Vista, a rather poorly-received version of the operating system? We can’t think of any circumstances under which someone would need a copy of Vista, but maybe there is one. If there is, one Walmart store has got them covered. [More]
Here’s some exciting news if you’re in the market for both a new smartphone and a fitness-tracking wristband: AT&T has a deal right now where you can pay $99 for a shiny new Nokia Lumia 830, and with that get a Fitbit Flex wristband, which costs $99 by itself. That sounds like a great deal: unless you’re part of the team that just launched Microsoft’s own fitness-tracking wristband. [More]
You don’t get it, Microsoft. Your customers tried to be nice about it: they don’t want to get e-mail from you. They unsubscribed from all of your news and webcast announcements. They don’t want to hear about your product trials. They don’t want to get e-mail from you. So what did you do? You e-mailed them to find out whether they’ve maybe changed their minds. [More]
Last June, we shared with you the exciting news that a documentary film crew would be searching the New Mexico desert for a video game legend. They would dig up the desert landfill where millions of unsold copies of the notoriously terrible 1982 Atari game E.T. were allegedly interred. What happened with that? Not much, it turns out. [More]
Some sort-of-good news for anyone still using Windows XP, including 95% of all ATMs in the world: Microsoft will still provide antimalware signatures for the operating system through July 15, 2015. That’s not the same as software patches, but does help consumer and business security programs identify malware on the system. The original end of support date of April 8, 2014 still stands. ATMs aren’t going to stop working or explode, but will be more vulnerable to malware and other badness. [Microsoft]
Who is still using Windows XP, an operating system which is now twelve years old? Other than “everyone’s mom,” the real answer might not be as obvious: the nation’s network of automated teller machines. ATMs all contain computers, of course. Computers are susceptible to malware. Systems running Windows XP may be more susceptible to malware after April 8 of this year, when Microsoft finally ends support and security patches for XP. [More]
A few weeks ago, we received an e-mail here at Consumerist HQ with the subject line, “Bill Gates screwing a 13 year old.” Well, that couldn’t be literally true, but it was intriguing. Rick was writing on behalf of his grandson, who had saved his money for months to buy a Microsoft Surface that had effectively been bricked by a software update. Microsoft refused to repair it under warranty due to a missing screw, and Rick had spent weeks fighting the company. He turned to Consumerist for help. [More]
We Consumerist editors kind of wish that companies would put us out of business. We wish that all consumers could resolve their problems with a few calm, reasonable phone calls or e-mails, and that getting anything done in a massive bureaucracy didn’t require hours of phone calls. We’re still here, though, and Steve’s story is a good example of why. [More]
Electronics that are popular and have been on the market long enough to be out of warranty have vibrant industries of third-party repair shops, replacement parts, and online repair manuals. Yes, we’re thinking of iDevices when we say that. The problem with owning a newer device like the Microsoft Surface is that this kind of cottage industry hasn’t had the opportunity to grow yet. Warranty replacements are the norm and the only way to get things replaced. [More]
Usually when we hear one big company is interested in buying out another big company, there’s an element of “Hmm, didn’t see that one coming…” But in the case of Microsoft reportedly toying with the idea of paying $1 billion for Barnes & Noble’s Nook business, it’s more of “It’s about time those two crazy kids made formal commitment.” Microsoft already invested $300 million in Nook last year, and it seems prepared to go all the way.
When something doesn’t go quite right the first time, what’s a ginormous technology company supposed to do? Why, just slap a couple of coats of paint on the ill-received Windows 8, fluff it up a bit and send it right back out on stage. Microsoft is reportedly tweaking its most recent iteration of Windows because customers have been complaining of confusion, and PCs aren’t selling so well.
In a world where game makers are releasing titles that demand players always be connected to the Internet or just not play, it’s not surprising that fans of Microsoft’s XBox were worried that the next iteration would also require a constantly-on connection. According to a leaked internal Microsoft email, that won’t be the case. Cue rejoicing.
“I still like print magazines, but I wish that they functioned as a portable wifi hotspot,” said no one ever. This wish came true for some people last week when they received a special edition of Forbes magazine in the mail that serves as a disposable wifi hotspot as well as a disposable news delivery device. [More]
In a time when almost any aspect of our lives can be translated into online terms and our personal information collected, tracked and used like so much currency, many people are understandably concerned about privacy in the virtual world. Microsoft is attempting to show its customers that it’s on top of things with a new campaign dedicated to discussing online privacy.