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April 1, 2016

Microsoft is bringing the Bash to Windows 10

This is the GNU Emacs program running on an Ubuntu image with Windows.

This is the GNU Emacs program running on an Ubuntu image with Windows.

TechCrunch reporting from the Microsoft Build conference this week has reported that the Bash shell–commonly found in Mac OS X and Linux operating systems–is going to be on Windows 10. Bash runs natively within Ubuntu on Windows and it will be included as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer but it will be available to Windows Insiders before that and on the Windows Store soon. Bash also could be the beginning of more shells coming according to Microsoft VP Terry Myerson.

Under its new CEO Satya Nadella, the company has embraced the idea that it wants to target all developers and platforms and not just its own. Recently, Linux was embraced to run on their cloud service, Azure and they are also looking to make SQL Server available for Linux in return.

For more on this announcement, check out the article from TechCrunch.

Scott Hanselman’s blog delves deeper into how Bash will interact with Windows. Click here for more.

March 16, 2016

Project AIX using Minecraft to develop more intelligent technology

(From Microsoft blog, written by Allison Linn, March 13, 2016):

In the airy, loft-like Microsoft Research lab in New York City, five computer scientists are spending their days trying to get a Minecraft character to climb a hill.

That may seem like a pretty simple job for some of the brightest minds in the field, until you consider this: The team is trying to train an artificial intelligence agent to learn how to do things like climb to the highest point in the virtual world, using the same types of resources a human has when she learns a new task.

That means that the agent starts out knowing nothing at all about its environment or even what it is supposed to accomplish. It needs to understand its surroundings and figure out what’s important – going uphill – and what isn’t, such as whether it’s light or dark. It needs to endure a lot of trial and error, including regularly falling into rivers and lava pits. And it needs to understand – via incremental rewards – when it has achieved all or part of its goal.

For more on Project AIX, check out the remainder of the article at the Microsoft Blog.

February 24, 2016

Microsoft is putting data centers into the ocean


Popular Science reported earlier this month on Microsoft’s plan to create and install submersible data centers due to the energy required to keep the servers cool. In the United States alone, half of the power to power the Internet is used to cool the servers so they don’t overheat and crash. This mimics past attempts at using liquid-cooling systems but without the additional power requirements to operate such devices.

Project Natick is still in the research phase. Microsoft ran a successful prototype–over a period of several months–last year. The test was done one kilometer off the Pacific Coast. The proximity to land was required since the datacenter required terrestrial power but looks to make the switch to wind or oceanic current energy power conversion in the future. Some of the project rationales include providing quick deployment and latency reduction due to proximity to coastal populations and temporary usage for large events like the World Cup or the Olympics.

For more information, check out this article from Popular Science or the Project Natick page here.

May 21, 2015

The next step: Outlook.com is migrating into Office 365

The new Outlook Web App

Outlook.com’s web app is due to get an update and integration into Office 365 soon.

(Original article from Tom Warren for TheVerge.com)
Microsoft is migrating its Outlook.com email service over to Office 365 soon, and with it will come a new interface and features. In a significant overhaul of Outlook.com, Microsoft is adding 13 new themes to its email service. While the look is familiar, it’s now more closely aligned to the look and feel of the upcoming desktop and Windows 10 versions of the Outlook app.

Most of the new features are centered around improving the overall email experience. Clutter is designed to sort messages you ignore into a separate folder to keep your inbox clean. Microsoft says Clutter will automatically learn which emails to filter out over time, and you can manually drag messages in and out of the Clutter folder to help train it. If email filtering isn’t your thing, you can turn Clutter off to keep a classic inbox.

Microsoft is also improving the search interface for Outlook.com. Search suggestions will automatically highlight the people you email regularly when you’re searching for content, and a Refiners feature lets you filter search results based on sender, folder, date, and attachments. There’s even a highlight in search results so you can clearly find what you’re looking for. Search was one of the weak points of Outlook.com, so it’s encouraging to see Microsoft address this.

For more of this article, click here.

March 5, 2015

Office 2016 for Mac looks and acts like its Windows counterpart (Finally!)

New Office 2016 Icons

Icons for the new Office for Mac 2016. Preview released today via Microsoft’s Office website.

It’s slowly approaching five years since Microsoft first released Office for Mac 2011 in October 2010. While a final version of Office 2016 for Mac isn’t ready just yet, Microsoft is announcing a preview program today for Mac users to get an early look at the company’s work. Microsoft has been doing some great work with Office, bringing it to the iPad, extending it to Dropbox, and even acquiring impressive apps like Acompli to power Office on iOS and Android. Office 2016 for Mac is the latest result of Microsoft’s focus on cross-platform apps, and it finally matches its Windows equivalent.

For more information on the preview program and new features, check out this article from The Verge.

October 30, 2012

Windows 8

Windows 8 screenshotReview of Windows 8 is here.

CASIT recommends that you wait a while before upgrading your computer so serious bugs with Windows 8 and other software can be ironed out. CASIT is currently working on testing Windows 8 as well as other software that is used at the University.

October 8, 2010

Microsoft plans colossal Patch Tuesday next week

Microsoft today said it will deliver a record 16 security updates next week to patch a whopping 49 vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer (IE), Office and SharePoint.
Andrew Storms, director of security operations for nCircle Security, called the massive update “daunting, again.”

Four of the 16 updates were tagged with Microsoft’s “critical” label, the highest threat ranking in its four-step scoring system. Another 10 were marked “important,” the second-highest rating, while the remaining pair were labeled as “moderate.” (more…)

August 10, 2010

Microsoft delivers monster patch batch

Microsoft today issued a record 14 security updates to patch a record-tying 34 vulnerabilities in Windows, Internet Explorer (IE), Office and Silverlight.
(more…)

August 5, 2010

ADVANCE NOTIFICATION: August 2010 Microsoft Security Bulletin Release

On August 10, 2010, Microsoft is planning to release fourteen (14) new security bulletins. Below is a summary. We are releasing 14 bulletins addressing 34 vulnerabilities in Windows, Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, SQL, and Silverlight. Eight of the bulletins carry a Critical severity rating, and six are rated Important. (more…)

August 2, 2010

Microsoft ships rush patch for Windows shortcut bug

As promised, Microsoft today issued an emergency patch for the critical Windows shortcut bug attackers have been exploiting for several weeks.

Also as pledged, Microsoft did not deliver a fix for users running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) or Windows 2000, which were retired from support three weeks ago. (more…)

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