“Microsoft Monday” is a weekly column that focuses on all things Microsoft. This week, Microsoft Monday includes details about Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition, a document scanning feature in the Pix app, new privacy controls coming to Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, PWAs coming to the Windows Store, full HD capture coming to the Xbox One and much more!
Minecraft Is Now Available On Nintendo Handhelds
Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition is now available on the Nintendo eShop. Plus a physical version will be coming soon. You can play Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition on the New 3DS, New 3DS XL and New 2DS XL. But it will not work for the original Nintendo 2DS, 3DS and 3DS XL. The new Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition has creative mode, survival mode, five skin packs and two texture packs. On the lower touchscreen, you can access the crafting, inventory and mapping tools.
“We want to stress that the game is only on the New Nintendo 3DS series, and we've used all the technical might of the dual-screened wonder machine to give you world sizes of 2016×2016 and 128 blocks high! Multiplayer won't be available at launch but we'll have more to share on the feature later. This edition's closest equivalent is 0.15.4 of Minecraft: Pocket Edition, and we'll be continuing to update from there!” said Mojang in a blog post.
New GIX Building In Bellevue Named After Steve Ballmer
Microsoft is a founding partner of the Global Innovation Exchange (GIX), which is a partnership in science and technology between the University of Washington and Tsinghua University. And Microsoft announced $40 million in financial support when the partnership was announced in June 2015. By providing support, Microsoft was able to decide the name of a new GIX building in Bellevue, Washington. And Microsoft decided to name the building “The Steve Ballmer Building” in honor of former CEO Steve Ballmer.
The Steve Ballmer Building will be welcoming a 44 student batch later this month. And at the grand opening of the Steve Ballmer Building, current CEO Satya Nadella and President Brad Smith were in attendance.
At the building opening, Nadella told a story about when he first met Steve Ballmer in 1992. “Steve stopped by my desk and gave me one of the infamous high fives that only he can do,” said Nadella via GeekWire. “He expressed his immense enthusiasm for me joining Microsoft. I was an entry level guy at that time at Microsoft and here was the CEO walking by my office and sort of giving me this high five. In some sense, I was a changed person after that.” Nadella added that it was a privilege to learn from Ballmer and witness his “contagious ability to create energy in everything he does, the passion with which he approaches all of his work.”
At the event, the GIX also revealed eight members of the new Academic Network: École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the Indian Institute of Science, Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology, National Taiwan University, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Tecnológico de Monterrey and the University of British Columbia. And there are new members of the Industry Consortium: ARM, Baidu, Boeing HorizonX, and T-Mobile. Plus Hainan Airlines is signed up as a “Valued Partner.”
Microsoft Pix App Can Be Used To Scan Documents
Microsoft has updated the Pix camera app for iOS to detect when photos of whiteboards, business cards and documents are being taken. Then the app uses artificial intelligence to improve the images by cropping the edges, boosting the color tones and sharpening the focus. The algorithms used in the Pix app are similar to what is used in the Office Lens app. And then you can save the files in OneDrive or convert it into editable files for Word and PowerPoint.
“We have data that shows people are taking a lot of whiteboard photos at work, they are doing a lot of document scanning,” said Josh Weisberg, a principal program manager in the Computational Photography Group at Microsoft’s research group in a blog post.
Windows 10 Fall Creators Update To Include New Privacy Prompts For Apps
According to The Verge, Microsoft is adding some privacy improvements to the Windows 10 privacy controls. In the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, users will be able to see the full privacy statement during setup. And there will be a “learn more” section for every privacy setting during the setup — which will be more understandable. Plus Microsoft will be extending a dialogue box to apps in regards to location-based data. And the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will show prompts for gaining access to the camera, microphone, calendar, contacts and other personal data.
New Redstone 4 Update Reveals Features Coming To Windows Next Year
Last week, Microsoft rolled out a new version of Redstone 4 (Build 16362) to Windows Insiders — which previews some of the features that will be coming to Windows next year. For those of you in the Skip Ahead part of the Windows Insider’s fast ring, you will notice that several improvements have been added to the Windows 10 boot experience, the Windows Shell, the Edge browser, Narrator and the gaming experience.
The lock screen will now display how you personalized it with details like Windows Spotlight, the Calendar, Cortana status, etc. You can customize the Lock Screen under Personalization within Settings. And you can opt out of the personalization feature within the Privacy section of the Sign-in options.
There are also new choices for controlling Narrator. The Narrator feature speaks highlighted text on the screen. You will be able to select the audio channel for Narrator speech output under the Narrator section of Settings. In that section, there is a new option called “Sounds you hear.”
Microsoft Edge has several new improvements like a bug fix that causes multiple apps to crash if users log into Facebook. In some instances, Edge seems to crash after some users try to pin websites to the Start menu. And the build also fixes a number of bugs in the Windows Shell such as issues that affects Action Center and Start.
Progressive Web Apps To Launch On The Windows Store
According to Windows Central, Microsoft announced at the Edge Web Summit 2017 that it will be bringing Progressive Web Apps (PWA) to Edge next year. Microsoft will actually crawl the web for PWAs and add them to the Windows Store. Microsoft Teams will be one of the first PWAs to arrive in the coming months. PWAs can function offline and it has support for Live Tiles and the Action Center.
Xbox One To Be Able To Capture Streams In Full HD
Soon the standard Xbox One Game DVR will be getting an increase to 1080p from 720p at 30 fps. And you will be able to save those full HD recordings to an external hard drive. This is advantageous because it will save storage on your Xbox One and external hard drives previously only worked for saving games and apps.
Currently, this feature is limited to Alpha Insiders. The full HD recording feature should be fully rolled out later this year.
Microsoft To Fix Windows 10 Game Stutter Problem
There are many Windows 10 users that have reported that they are experiencing a stuttering problem while playing Mass Effect, Overwatch and Rocket League. Fortunately, Microsoft is aware of the issue and is actively working on fixing it.
“We have been analyzing the traces from your feedback and have identified several different problem sources surfacing as stutter in games. We have a fix for one of them in the Windows Insider build that flighted to the ‘Fast' ring (build 16273 and above),” said a Microsoft engineer in the Feedback Hub via Neowin. Build 16273 was released on August 23rd and it seems most likely that a patch will be issued to fix the problem shortly after the Fall Creators Update is released on October.
Beware Of Phishing Scams On LinkedIn
According to researchers at Malwarebytes, hackers are actively running a phishing campaign against LinkedIn users. The hackers are using compromised LinkedIn accounts to send messages containing malicious links to victims in order to steal personal information. So far, the hackers were successful at hijacking several LinkedIn users, including many Premium accounts. The malicious files often appear as a Google Drive link in the form of a shortened URL.
Once the user clicks on the link, they will see a login screen that looks similar to the real version of the website. If the user actually enters their Google, Yahoo! or AOL login information, then that information could be captured by the hacker. It is believed that about 250 people clicked through the phishing link so far.
Google Hires Former Skype Engineers In Stockholm
Back in March, Microsoft announced it would be shutting down the Skype office in Stockholm. Variety learned that Google is hiring a number of those former Skype engineers. And most likely, Google will have those engineers work on its messaging apps such as Duo video chat and the Meet video conferencing service.
Bill And Melinda Gates Release Goalkeepers Report
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has released the first annual Goalkeepers report, which will be published every year until 2030. The Goalkeepers report highlights public health milestones and acknowledges that there is a lot more work to do. On the plus side, there have been significant declines in poverty, childhood mortality and HIV infections. But equality for women and family planning has a lot of room for improvement.
“It’s a huge challenge to reach children in countries in conflict or in remote regions hours away from any infrastructure whatsoever. But it’s doable, and it’s more doable now than ever before,” said Melinda Gates in the report.
Bill Gates said that in the early 2000s, the world made a “huge investment” to address the AIDs crisis. However, the outlook for prevention is concerning because the rate of decline in new infections has been slowing down. AIDs has taken the lives of 35 million people, which Bill Gates says the “worst humanitarian disaster” in his lifetime. “A 10% cut in funding for HIV treatment could cost the lives of an additional 5.6 million people,” said Bill Gates in the report.
Microsoft Says There Are 330 Million Active Monthly Edge Devices
“Microsoft Edge users are active on 330 million monthly devices!” said the Microsoft Edge development team in a tweet. During a webinar, Microsoft also said that this number more than doubled since the Edge summit last year. It is unclear what these numbers are based on because it is unknown what the definition of “active” is in this case. And Microsoft used the words active monthly devices instead of active users.
Xbox One Games Will Not Require A Full Download To Play
According to GameSpot, Microsoft is designing a way to play Xbox One and Xbox One X games while using less hard drive space. The new system is known as Intelligent Delivery and it will essentially split game content into select chunks. And the players will be able to decide which chunks they want to play the game rather than downloading the whole game. This will especially come in handy so users do not have to download substantial 4K digital content for the Xbox One X after buying a game.
Another storage savings opportunity has to do with games with multi-language support. For example, players do not have to download audio assets in languages that they do not want. This is a big storage savings opportunity especially for sports games.
It is unknown when Intelligent Delivery will be arriving. But most likely, it will be released shortly after the Xbox One X launches on November 7th.
Microsoft To Combat Fake News With ‘Fact Check’ Label On Bing
Microsoft is adding “Fact Check” labels to Bing in order to combat fake news. The “Fact Check” labels will inform visitors whether certain news stories have been debunked. This label will either be applied to individual articles or certain websites as a whole.
Microsoft will utilize schema.org ClaimReview markup when scanning pages and stories to determine whether to apply the “Fact Check” labels.