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Minecraft Earth Gets New Mobs, Minis, and Monetization

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Minecraft Earth R13 is now rolling out to players, bringing some significant additions to the augmented reality title. It ushers in new boosts and mobs while bringing some customization in the form of sheep dying.

Boosts are Microsoft’s way of making money from the game. Each one contains a buff like increased attack damage, crafting speed, or max health, and can be purchased from the in-game store or obtained by scanning a $5 ‘Boost Mini’ figure with NFC.

There are a total of 12 boosts, and each has three levels that can increase its power, duration, of both. Assumedly, these will be available through ‘blind boxes’, essentially a physical version of a loot box, like the other Minecraft Minis. Each boost has three levels, so perhaps duplicates can be used to upgrade them. Here’s the full list of boosts:
“Increase Attack Damage
Increase Crafting Speed
Increase Max Health
Increase Mining Speed
Increase Player Defense
Increase Tappable Radius
Increase XP From Adventures
Increase XP From Collecting Mobs
Increased Health Gained from Eating
Keep Items in Backpack On Death
Keep items in Hotbar On Death
Smelting Speed Boost”
The new mobs are the Glow Squid and Skeleton Wolf, and they may also be coming to a store in physical form at some point in the future, as part of blind boxes. Personally, I’m not thrilled at the monetization model, which adopts gambling-like techniques for products aimed at children, but that appears to be a standard in toys these days.
This build also comes with the usual bug fixes, including a fix for an exploit that let players sign into Minecraft Earth from multiple devices. Those experiencing crashes may also get some relief from this build.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Microsoft Begins Automatic Chromium Edge Rollout

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Microsoft released its new Chromium Edge browser experience on January 15 following nearly a year of preview development. However, since the launch the new Edge has been optional for Windows 10 users. Microsoft promised an automatic rollout would arrive and has now started the release schedule.

Windows 10 users on the Windows Insider Release Preview ring are now receiving Chromium Edge automatically. This means they don’t have to manually download the browser as it is now the replacement for the old HTML5-based Edge.

Microsoft says the rollout is gradual but should come to everyone on the Release Preview ring soon. Once that happens, a push to the end-user Windows 10 experience used by the general public should arrive shortly after.
If you’re unfamiliar with the new Edge experience, it is an updated version of Microsoft’s web browser. It is based on Google’s Chromium web rendering language, which is also the underpinning for Chrome.

This means both Chromium Edge and Chrome are developed over the same foundation. Both browsers can share features, something we have seen happen consistently since Microsoft made the switch.

It is worth noting the automatic Chromium Edge release won’t be coming to Enterprise and Education users.

Edge Availability

For users who want the new Edge experience, there is no need to wait for the automatic rollout to reach your PC. Instead, you can download the browser directly from the official website. Furthermore, while the browser is now generally available, Microsoft continues to run a three-tiered preview and development structure.

This means if you want the latest Edge features before they are generally available, you can use the preview version of the browser.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Microsoft Fixes OneDrive, GSODs and VMs in Latest 19569 Insider Build

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Microsoft is hard at work prepping the next versions of Windows via its community of dedicated Insider testers. The standout addition in Windows 19569 is its new icons, which we covered yesterday, but it also makes several important fixes and improvements.

These additions may not be the most exciting in the world, but they do help stability, especially for those using the builds as their daily driver (which isn’t recommended), or developing.

A particular annoyance of the last build was the amount of CPU resources OneDrive has been using. This occurred after a Windows upgrade error and can have particular slowdowns in a VM, where the machine often has limited resources already. Thankfully, Microsoft has now fixed this bug.
Speaking of VMs, those running into issues with third-party ones on the previous build should be happy. The source of the problem was an update failure after SCSI driver’s malfunctioned. Unfortunately, though that issue has been fixed, Microsoft still has some work to do fixing additional driver incompatibility errors.
Other fixes include a start menu issue that affected its reliability, as well as GSoDs, which were displaying with the ‘Systemthread exception not handled’ error. Though it’s not fixed yet, Microsoft is also investigating issues that are preventing Insiders from updating to newer builds.
If you missed the news about the icon yesterday, many of Microsoft’s apps on 19569 now have the new versions. They adhere to new Fluent design standards, looking slightly out of place on regular Windows 10 but great on Windows 10X. You can grab the build via the usual channels, which are Windows Update and the official ISO.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Outlook for iOS Gets Support for iPad’s Split View Multitasking

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Several months after the release of SplitView for iPad, Microsoft has updated Outlook for iOS with full support. For the unfamiliar, the feature lets users section their screen, much like in Windows. Dragging one app beside the other lets you view both at the same time, aiding productivity, with the option to scale their screen real-estate to meet your needs.

However, full support for Split View actually goes further than that. With Outlook 4.23.0, Microsoft is letting you drag and drop text from other apps for easy calendar additions and more.

“Multi-task like a pro with Outlook, now optimized for Split View on iPad. Open your mail and calendar side by side or drag and drop text into a message with your fingertip,” reads the full changelog.

Split screen app support is becoming increasingly important for Microsoft as it gears up for the release of its Surface Duo and Surface Neo devices, which will be dual screen. Though these are Android and Windows 10X devices, respectively, it looks like it’s willing to share the love with Apple users.

“Feel free to send us any comments or questions through our in-app support in Settings – we’d love to hear from you,” the company emphasizes in regards to its Split View support.

Back in June, Microsoft Edge for iOS also received Split View support. Outlook clearly took a bit longer to implement, so there’s hope we’ll see it in its other apps soon. You can download Outlook for iPad from the App Store here.

Source Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Microsoft Store 95% App Revenue Split Has Been Removed

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Microsoft is seemingly backtracking on its commitment to give developers as much as 95% of revenue from sales made through the Microsoft Store. According to reports, the company is updating app developers of the change now.

If this is the case, it would make less than a year that the revenue model has been in place. Interestingly, Microsoft seemed reluctant to roll out the pricing structure despite promising it.

Developer Rob took to Twitter to say Microsoft has informed him the revenue split program is ending. He develops apps such as Easy Writer and says Microsoft has now updated its App Developer Agreement.
It now states the share program has been removed.

First announced at Build 2018, the revenue split program was welcomed by developers. It allows them to get up to 95% of revenue back if a customer discovered their app through the developer’s own promotion.

Interestingly, it doesn’t seem Microsoft has changed the other portion of the agreement. Specifically, for a normal app download (found through Store or Microsoft promotions), the developer can receive up to 85% of the revenue.

If the 95% revenue split for self promotion has been removed, it seems likely the 85% split is now default for all app downloads form the Microsoft Store.

However, it is worth noting Microsoft has made no official announcements regarding this change.

Microsoft Store for Business Closure

Yesterday we reported on Microsoft’s plans to shutter its Microsoft Store for Business and Education. The teams that manage the running of both Store forks have decided neither will continue. They are expected to be removed from the wider Microsoft Store by the end of June (June 30).

Source – Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Microsoft Patent Shows a Surface Pro with Solar Panel Charging

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It sounds like a crazy idea, but Microsoft is seriously considering a solar-powered Surface Pro. A patent filed on October 2, 2018 suggests adding four or more of them to its stand.

“A cover for a mobile device includes solar panels and an integrated keyboard,” reads the abstract. “The solar panels are positioned on a stand of the cover and angle associated with the solar panels can be changed so as to maximize input from a light source. The cover can be used to supply power and keyboard input to a mobile device while in use.”

It wouldn’t be the first company to deliver a solar-powered computer, but it could be the first 2-in-1, and one with the most compact form factor. Just look at the size of the panels on the Sol and you’ll realize that this is meant to extend your wall-charged battery, not replace it entirely.
Microsoft describes two scenarios: a Surface Pro stand with integrated panels and a keyboard cover. The first sounds like the most ideal, simply because the user would be able to position the stand so the solar panels better catch the light. Either way, the patent considers integrating a separate battery that you can use for a bit of juice between charges.
The Surface Pro 7 didn’t feature many changes in design, that being left to the Pro X’s slimmer bezels. The assumption is that the Pro 8 will be a bigger leap, but what are the chances that the solar panels will be a thing?
Well, as always, a patent is no guarantee that a product will make it to market. It just indicates that Microsoft thinks the idea has enough merit to protect. With solar panels especially there could be various hurdles, such as the cost versus the benefit to the customer. Just like the wacky Surface Pen earpiece before it, we’ll have to wait and see.

Source – Winbuzzer

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Business Technology

Ericsson Partners with Microsoft to Use the Connected Vehicle Platform

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Communications giant Ericsson has announced a major partnership with Microsoft, that will see the company adopt Azure. Specifically, Microsoft’s cloud services will underpin Ericsson’s Connected Vehicle Cloud platform.

Connected Vehicles Cloud is one of the most popular platforms for in-car connected systems in the world. It is available in more than 130 countries and in over 4 million vehicles. Ericsson says the system will now function on top of Microsoft’s Azure-powered Connected Vehicle Platform.

Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Business Development at Microsoft says: “Together with Ericsson, we intend to simplify the development of connected vehicle services to help car makers focus on their customers’ needs and accelerate the delivery of unique, tailor-made driving experiences.”

Microsoft’s Connected Vehicle Platform is a new cloud-based service that was debuted in September.

Billed as an evolving platform, Microsoft discussed how automotive OEMs can leverage MCVP to include the following services in their vehicles:

  • In-vehicle experiences
  • Autonomous driving
  • Advanced navigation
  • Customer engagement and insights
  • Telematics and prediction services
  • Connectivity and over the air updates (OTA)

Across the categories, Microsoft is offering 40 Azure-powered cloud services that have been tailored for vehicles.

Ericsson Partnership

According to Ericsson, Microsoft Azure will allow its Connected Vehicle Cloud to provide carmakers with scale and deployment of in-car systems.

“The Ericsson and Microsoft partnership will deliver a comprehensive connected vehicle platform at scale to the market. Our integrated solutions will help automotive manufacturers accelerate their global connected vehicle solutions and offer a better experience for drivers and passengers,” says Åsa Tamsons, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Technologies & New Businesses.

source- Windbuzzer

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Business Technology

Samsung Confirms Claim of 1 Million Galaxy Fold Sales Was Incorrect

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Samsung has been forced to issue a correction shortly after reports that Galaxy Fold sales topped one million. It didn’t, however, confirm the correct number.

The original reports came from a very reliable source – Samsung Electronics President Young Sohn. He first mentioned that “a million people” want to use the Fold at TechCrunch Berlin, before confirming the company had sold 1 million units.

It now seems this was a genuine mistake. Talking to Yonhap News, a Samsung spokesperson confirmed one million was Samsung’s sales target. Sohn had confused the sales target with the actual units shipped, which the spokesperson said is below a million.

This is another reminder that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The Galaxy Fold faced significant backlash with its first review copies, which ended up with damaged screens due to space between the hinge and a ‘screen protector’ that actually formed a vital part of the display.

As a result, Samsung delayed the fold from April 26 to September 23. At that point, the company expected to sell 500,000 units at its $2,000 price point. The inflated sales target may mean it has exceeded that estimate, but it could also be a stretch goal.

Either way, foldable are expected to pick up in 2020, Samsung’s efforts included. It’s reportedly working on two new foldable, one with a vertically folding clamshell design and one that folds like the Huawei Mate X.

Kyobo Securities analyst Choi Bo-young told Yonhap that he expects Samsung to sell 6 million foldable units in 2020 and 20 million in 2021. However, it remains to be seen if consumers can actually get behind foldable and some of their disadvantages, or if the perception of unreliability will remain.

source- windbuzzer

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Business TechnologyHybrid

Microsoft Explains Rust Project Verona Development to Improve Coding Security

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Microsoft has expanded on its experimentation with Mozilla’s Rust programming language, which the company is developing. Redmond explains the goal of Rust development is to make Windows coding more secure, under the codename Project Verona.

The company has previously discussed the potential security benefits of Rust but not expanded on the details. Earlier this year, Microsoft signaled its interest in the language as an alternative to C and C++ for Windows developers.

While C and C++ remain very popular, they are aging languages. Rust is a modern programming tool that is considered “memory-safe languages”. That’s because it is specifically designed to protect against vulnerabilities in memory corruption.

Microsoft has said it is exploring the idea of re-writing its products in Rust. The company’s interest in the security-focused language to combat a consistent problem. Specifically, the company points out over 70% of all patches it sent out over the last 10-years dealt with memory bugs. Rust was developed to deal with these problems.

Early experiments with Rust were successful, albeit with some features missing.

Project Verona

Matthew Parkinson, a Microsoft researcher from the Cambridge Computer Lab in the UK   gave a talk last week explaining the company’s vision for dealing with memory issues. Specifically, the company is working with MemGC (Memory Garbage Collector) on Edge and Internet Explorer.

“We built a garbage collector (GC) for the DOM. That big bulge in use-after-free was basically people finding ways of exploiting memory management in the DOM engine in IE,” said Parkinson.

“And then [Microsoft] introduced MemGC, which is a conservative GC for the DOM. It was very targeted at this particular style of vulnerability and then basically eradicated that as an attack vector.”

Microsoft is rewriting some components in Rust in an effort to make coding more secure.

“If we want compartments, and to carve up the legacy bits of our code so [attackers’] exploit code can’t get out, what do we need in the language design that can help with that?”

source- windbuzzer

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