Headlines 

Microsoft’s Project xCloud is basically Netflix for Xbox games

Image: microsoft At the annual E3 trade show in June, Microsoft hinted at some kind of streaming service. Now it has a name (albeit a seemingly temporary one): Project xCloud. The service is pretty much what you’d expect if you’ve been following all the chatter around game streaming. With xCloud, Xbox people will be able to play their games on a variety of different screens, from PC monitors to smartphones. SEE ALSO: This greaseproof Xbox One controller needs to become the standard It’s a streaming thing, to be clear. Don’t…

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Will Others Follow Microsoft’s Lead on Paid Parental Leave?

An objectively good thing happened in big tech Thursday: Microsoft said it will require companies that supply it with subcontractors—think cafeteria and custodial staff—to give those workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave. In doing so, Microsoft is once again taking the lead in ensuring contractors get benefits that other big companies reserve for full-time employees. Back in 2015, Microsoft began requiring its suppliers to give their employees 15 days of paid vacation and sick leave annually. That prompted other tech companies like Facebook to follow suit. Labor advocates hope…

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Odds and Ends 

Microsoft stands up Azure Stack for government as JEDI contract looms

Microsoft announced today that it’s released Azure Stack for Azure Government at a time when it’s battling rivals at Amazon and other cloud companies for the massive winner-take-all $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract known as JEDI. Azure Stack provides customers with a similar set of cloud services that they would get in the public cloud, but inside the cozy confines of the customer data center. For Azure cloud customers who are looking to manage across public and private environments, often referred to as a hybrid approach, it gives a common…

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The Elite Microsoft Hacker Team That Keeps Windows PCs Safe

“Windows is still the central repository of malware and exploits. Practically, there’s so much business done around the world on Windows. The attacker mentality is to get the biggest return on investment in what you develop in terms of code and exploits,” says Aaron Lint, who regularly works with red teams in his role as chief scientist at application protection provider Arxan. “Windows is the obvious target.” “In most browser attacks, you first need to compromise what’s called the browser sandbox, and then you need a way out of that…

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Microsoft is switching from a gun emoji to a water pistol, too

Finally, consistency, and safety.Image: emojipedia Cross-platform consistency, and gun sense, has taken hold in the emoji universe. Microsoft announced on Friday that it will be switching its gun emoji to a water pistol. The change came two days after Google rolled out an update that replaced its gun emoji with the colorful water pistol toy. Facebook also confirmed to Emojipedia on the day of the Google update that it was in the process of making the switch, too.  SEE ALSO: Everyone (except Microsoft) is using the water pistol emoji now…

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Odds and Ends 

Microsoft built its own custom Linux kernel for its new IoT service

At a small press event in San Francisco, Microsoft today announced the launch of a secure end-to-end IoT product that focuses on microcontroller-based devices — the kind of devices that use tiny and relatively low-powered microcontrollers (MCUs) for basic control or connectivity features. Typically, these kinds of devices, which could be anything from a toy to a household gadget or an industrial application, don’t often get updated and hence, security often suffers. At the core of Azure Sphere is a new class of certified MCUs. As Microsoft president and chief…

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The Young and the Reckless

I. The Bumper The trip to Delaware was only supposed to last a day. David Pokora, a bespectacled University of Toronto senior with scraggly blond hair down to his shoulders, needed to travel south to fetch a bumper that he’d bought for his souped-up Volks­wagen Golf R. The American seller had balked at shipping to Canada, so Pokora arranged to have the part sent to a buddy, Justin May, who lived in Wilmington. The young men, both ardent gamers, shared a fascination with the inner workings of the Xbox; though…

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Odds and Ends 

Microsoft launches AI and entry-level software development courses

Microsoft today launched two new courses in its online education program for developers: an entry-level software development class and an AI course for more advanced developers who want to expand their knowledge of machine learning. It’s no secret that there aren’t enough data scientists and machine learning developers available to fulfill the current demand. It’s no surprise, then, that a number of large companies have started to teach the fundamentals of these disciplines to their existing employees; starting today, anybody can take the AI courses that Microsoft first developed for its…

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These are the top 5 skills you need to be a data analyst

Image: Pixabay Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission. Are you the type of person who flaunts their Excel and Powerpoint skills at every opportunity? Microsoft’s Office Suite is pretty much essential to any kind of job, and knowing how to use it efficiently can make a big difference in how you do your work. But there are a few Microsoft apps that aren’t as well known and…

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Odds and Ends 

PuTTY Begone! Microsoft will ship an OpenSSH client

The first thing I download on a new Windows machine – after Chrome, of course – is PuTTY. This tried-and-true OpenSSH client has served millions of devs quite well for the past twenty years and I’m sure it will still remain a favorite but Microsoft has added its own ssh client to Windows, a move that points to more openness on the part of Redmond. The folks at ServeTheHome have found a way to install the software now on your own machine. It’s still in beta but ssh this one…

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Odds and Ends 

Microsoft just purchased all of GEs newest Irish wind farm capacity for the next 15 years

Microsoft signed an agreement with GE today to purchase every last bit of the wind energy from GE’s brand-new 37-megawatt Tullahennel wind farm located in County Kerry, Ireland for the next 15 years. This is a big deal on several levels. First of all, it means Microsoft will be using a clean energy source to power at least some of its cloud data centers in Ireland. That will likely result in a lower energy bill for Microsoft, while reducing the pollution related to running cloud services. But this could have…

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Microsoft confirms plans for a new flagship store in Regent Street opposite Apple

Shopping may be turning into an increasingly virtual exercise, with people buying goods online and through apps, but there is no denying the power of a physical in-store experience — a lesson that Microsoft is taking to heart. Today the company announced it will be opening a new flagship store in London in Regent Street near Oxford Circus — just a stone’s (or an iPhone’s) throw from the Apple flagship store that saw a huge revamp a year ago. The area around Oxford Circus, which is at the intersection of Oxford…

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Odds and Ends 

Microsoft will soon shutter its music store and streaming service, move users to Spotify

You can’t fault Microsoft for trying, but Groove Music, its Spotify competitor, never took off. Today, the company is admitting defeat. Microsoft today announced it will soon shutter both its Groove Music Pass streaming service and the ability to purchase songs and albums in the Windows Store. Given how competitors like Spotify and Apple now own the markets for streaming and purchasing music online, this move doesn’t come as a total surprise. What does come as a surprise, though, is that Microsoft has partnered with Spotify to move all its…

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Odds and Ends 

Microsoft Excel is about to get a lot smarter

Microsoft Excel users rejoice. Your favorite spreadsheet is about to get a lot smarter, thanks to the help of machine learning and a better connection to the outside world. As Jared Spataro, Microsoft’s general manager for Office, and Rob Howard, the company’s director of Office 365 ecosystem marketing, showed me during a briefing at the company’s Ignite conference today, Excel will soon be able to understand more about your inputs and then pull additional information from the internet as necessary. “We’re pleased to introduce new data types,” Spataro explained. “That…

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Headlines 

Bill Gates has finally switched from the Windows Phone to an Android

Image: Getty Images At last, Bill Gates has joined us in the present. The Microsoft co-founder announced in an interview with Fox News Sunday that he’s now using an Android phone.  The move was probably inevitable. Windows on mobile has effectively been a dead platform ever since Microsoft gutted its phone division two years ago. While Windows 10 technically works on phones, there’s been pretty much zero support from hardware makers and app developers outside of Microsoft. Gates told Fox that the phone he uses is an “Android phone with…

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