Microsoft Monday: Big Windows 7 And 8 Upgrade Change, Skype Voice Translator Update, Home Hub Rumor – Forbes

“Microsoft Monday” takes a look back at the past week of news related to Microsoft. This week, “Microsoft Monday” includes details about full desktop apps coming to Windows 10 mobile devices, the LinkedIn acquisition completing, the new custom game browser for Halo 5: Guardians, massive Windows 7 and Windows 8 upgrade changes, a rumor about the Windows 10 Home Hub, 3D Builder launching on Windows 10 Mobile and Xbox One, an announcement from Bill Gates about a $1 billion clean energy investment and much more!

Microsoft Is Going To Bring Full Desktop Apps To Windows 10 Mobile Devices

Last week at the WinHEC event in Shenzen, Microsoft said that desktop apps will be coming to devices powered by ARM processors. These Windows 10 apps will be the full desktop apps rather than the simpler touch-based Windows Universal apps. And developers will not have to change anything for the apps to work on mobile devices. Here is a video about how the full desktop apps would work on devices with ARM processors:

Microsoft Completes Acquisition Of LinkedIn

Microsoft announced on Thursday that it has completed the acquisition of professional social network LinkedIn. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that this deal brings together “the world’s leading professional cloud and the world’s leading professional network to deliver more connected, productive and intelligent experiences for our members and customers.”

The deal had to be approved by regulators in the U.S., Europe and several other countries before both companies could move forward. One of Microsoft’s biggest adversaries for the deal was Salesforce.com. Salesforce.com reportedly asked European regulators to investigate the deal for anti-competitive purposes.

In a LinkedIn post, Nadella said that the two companies will pursue a specific set of integration scenarios such as:

  • LinkedIn identity and network in Microsoft Outlook and the Office suite

  • LinkedIn notifications within the Windows action center

  • Enabling members drafting résumés in Word to update their profiles, and discover and apply to jobs on LinkedIn

  • Extending the reach of Sponsored Content across Microsoft properties

  • Enterprise LinkedIn Lookup powered by Active Directory and Office 365

  • LinkedIn Learning available across the Office 365 and Windows ecosystem

  • Developing a business news desk across our content ecosystem and MSN.com

  • Redefining social selling through the combination of Sales Navigator and Dynamics 365

Dropbox App Is Now Available On Xbox One

Dropbox app for Xbox One / Photo Credit: Dropbox

Dropbox app for Xbox One / Photo Credit: Dropbox

Today Dropbox announced that it is available on the Xbox One. This means you will be able to view the photos and videos you have saved on the cloud storage platform from the video game console. Dropbox said that you can use the Xbox One version of the app to manage all of your files with a new interface optimized for TVs and you can upload files and comment on them. And you can download Dropbox for the Xbox One from the Microsoft Store now.

Halo 5: Guardians Update Includes A New Custom Game Browser

Halo 5 Update / Photo Credit: 343 Industries

Halo 5 Update / Photo Credit: 343 Industries

Last week, a Halo 5: Guardians update was released. The update adds a custom games browser for Halo 5: Guardians on Xbox One and Windows 10. The browser allows users to search for games in-progress from the main menu. You can also customize search parameters by specific

“This Custom Games Browser is something the team has wanted to add for a long time for the community, but we needed the Content Browser and the search engine that powers it up and running first,” said 343 Industries in a blog post.

An “Observer Mode” feature is also coming to Halo 5 with the Monitor’s Bounty update. The Observer Mode allows any user in a Custom Game lobby to enter the match as an observer. And the observers do not have to wait for a film to be available to enter the match.

Microsoft Has Confirmed Massive Windows 7 And Windows 8 Upgrade Changes

Microsoft has made a major improvement to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. In a blog post titled “Update to Supersedence Behaviour for Security Only and Security Monthly Quality Rollup Updates,” Microsoft field engineer Scott Breen said:

Based on feedback, the team has updated the supersedence relationship of updates so that Security Only updates are not superseded. In addition, the logic of the updates has been modified so that if the Monthly Quality update is installed (which contains the security updates), the security update will not be applicable. This allows organisations managing updates via WSUS or Configuration Manager to:

  • Selectively install Security Only updates at any time

  • Periodically deploy the Security Monthly Quality Rollup and only deploy the Security Only updates since then, and;

  • More easily monitor software update compliance using Configuration Manager or WSUS.

Forbes contributor Gordon Kelly pointed out that this change puts an end to the accept all / reject all policy of the patches, meaning users would be able to accept the latest security updates without having to download anything else. Interestingly, this is how Windows 7 and Windows 8 used to work before Microsoft forced the Windows 10 upgrade. The return of the ability to selectively install Security Only updates is definitely welcomed! 

Rumor About The “Windows 10 Home Hub”

Screenshot of Home Hub code via Walking Cat / Photo Credit: Walking Cat

Screenshot of Home Hub code via Walking Cat / Photo Credit: Walking Cat

Microsoft is reportedly going to get into the intelligent personal assistant market by releasing a device that competes against the Amazon Echo and Google Home. The device is rumored to be called Home Hub. And recently, Twitter user Walking Cat discovered code that references “Family Desktop” in a preview build.

Home Hub will reportedly support individual per-user accounts on shared machines along with a shared Family Account and Family Desktop. The Family Account and Family Desktop will support shared calendars, music and photos.

According to Windows Central, the major Home Hub features are expected to ship in updates known as Redstone 3 and Redstone 4, which are expected to respectively arrive in late 2017 and 2018. And the digital assistant is expected to be integrated directly with Cortana. Using Cortana, you would be able to control smart devices such as lights, locks and thermostats.

Microsoft Launches A New Chatbot Called Zo

Microsoft is releasing a new chatbot designed with artificial intelligence known as Zo.ai. The chatbot is available through a request system built into the Kik messaging service.

Zo is Microsoft’s redo in terms of a useful chatbot launch. Microsoft ended up shutting down its previous chat bot called Tay — which became racist and misogynist due to a subset of people that coordinated an attack against it.  To avoid a similar problem, Microsoft has added several restrictions to Zo. For example, Zo is blocked from being able to provide information about politics.

“We’re excited about the possibilities in this space. Through our continued learning, we are experimenting with a new chatbot we’ve named ‘Zo.’ With Zo, we’re focused on advancing conversational capabilities within our AI platform,” said a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to ZDNet.

Microsoft Researcher Claims The Search Box Will Be Gone By 2027

As part of the Computer Science Education Week that took place globally, Microsoft asked 17 women within the global research organization about their views on what is likely to happen related to their fields in 2017 and 10 years from now. Many of the answers touched on artificial intelligence, virtual reality, machine learning, multilingual technologies and biological information processing.

This is what Susan Dumais, a distinguished scientist and deputy managing director at Microsoft’s research lab in Redmond, predicted for 2027:

“The search box will disappear. It will be replaced by search functionality that is more ubiquitous, embedded and contextually sensitive. We are seeing the beginnings of this transformation with spoken queries, especially in mobile and smart home settings. This trend will accelerate with the ability to issue queries consisting of sound, images or video, and with the use of context to proactively retrieve information related to the current location, content, entities or activities without explicit queries.”

Microsoft 3D Builder App Is Now Available For Windows 10 Mobile And Xbox One

Microsoft 3D Builder / Photo Credit: MIcrosoft

Microsoft 3D Builder / Photo Credit: MIcrosoft

The Microsoft 3D Builder app is now available for Windows 10 mobile devices and Xbox One consoles. Microsoft originally launched the app for PCs in 2014 and now it is available as a free download on mobile devices. The app makes it easy to print designs on 3D printers.

How does it work? The 3D Builder app for mobile devices can scan an object using the phone camera. You simply have to take a few photos of the object at different angles. From there, you can select how the design should be printed. If you do not have a 3D printer, then you can send the design to i.materialise and have it sent to you in the mail. The 3D Builder supports 3MF, STL, OBJ, PLY and WRL (VRML) files.

Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter And Google To Combat Terrorist Content

Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter and Google are collaborating on a project to prevent terrorist content from being spread. According to Mashable, the companies are going to create a shared database, which would contain “digital fingerprints” of accounts that are known for sharing terrorist content. This will make it easier to identify and remove the terrorist-related content.

If Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Google or YouTube removes a photo or video containing terrorist content, then a hash will be added to make it identifiable in the shared database. This will make it easier for all the companies involved to spot the same content on their own sites and remove it.

“Our companies will begin sharing hashes of the most extreme and egregious terrorist images and videos we have removed from our services — content most likely to violate all of our respective companies’ content policies,” said Facebook in a blog post. “Participating companies can add hashes of terrorist images or videos that are identified on one of our platforms to the database. Other participating companies can then use those hashes to identify such content on their services, review against their respective policies and definitions, and remove matching content as appropriate.”

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