Best of the Web for Windows users - 21 - 27 August 2016
This week Microsoft has acquired a startup that uses machine intelligence to schedule meetings based on the participants’ schedules. It also revealed details behind the Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) chip used in its virtual reality HoloLens specs. And if you are curious how come the Xbox One S looks so good, we have learned who the man behind this project is. To see more about these events, as well as other interesting news, read this week’s recap:
Microsoft: the news of the week
These articles are this week's most important news in Microsoft's ecosystem:
Microsoft is buying another AI startup. This one automatically schedules meetings. - The buying spree of machine intelligence startups continues, with Microsoft announcing that it is acquiring automated calendaring service Genee, which launched in 2014. The service uses artificial intelligence to help automatically schedule meetings based on the participants’ schedules.
Microsoft's HoloLens secret sauce: A 28nm customized 24-core DSP engine built by TSMC - Microsoft revealed a first look at the inside of its Holographic Processing Unit (HPU) chip used in its virtual reality HoloLens specs. The secretive HPU is a custom-designed TSMC-fabricated 28nm coprocessor that has 24 Tensilica DSP cores arranged in 12 clusters. It has about 65 million logic gates, 8MB of SRAM, and a layer of 1GB of low-power DDR3 RAM on top, all in a 12mm-by-12mm BGA package. We understand it can perform a trillion calculations a second.
No wonder Microsoft's Xbox One S console is so beautiful, look who designed it - The latest update to Microsoft’s flagship gaming console is a very pretty box, and now we know why: Andrew Kim was part of the design team. In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, Kim is a "visual and product" designer who came to work for Microsoft after making a splash when he put together his own design concepts for the company’s rebranding in 2012
Cortana comes to new regions with tonight’s Xbox One Preview build - The Xbox One Preview Program is the console’s equivalent of the Windows Insider Program, and it’s been getting a lot of updates lately. Cortana’s been at the forefront of some of these, and she’s constantly getting improvements on the platform.
HP’s new laptop screen can prevent people from spying on you - Sometimes you really don’t want the people around you to see what’s on your laptop screen, so HP has come up with a solution. It’s developed a new screen that can cut off viewing angles with the press of a button, making it much harder for anyone on either side of a laptop to see what’s being displayed.
Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update is now rolling out to carrier-locked devices - Microsoft finally began rolling out the Windows 10 Mobile Anniversary Update for carrier-locked devices. As expected, the news comes exactly one week after it was released to unlocked phones.
Microsoft to shutdown Lumia regional accounts on Instagram - Just as it has started doing for its Twitter and Facebook Lumia accounts, Microsoft has announced it will begin shutting down its regional Lumia Instagram accounts, opting instead to consolidate them under one global account.
Microsoft announces shutdown of regional Lumia Twitter accounts, and @LumiaHelp support - The @LumiaHelp Twitter support account plus other regional Lumia Twitter accounts have posted that they will also soon shut down.
Microsoft goes after VMware with free(ish) Windows licenses for Hyper-V converts - With the imminent release of Windows Server 2016, due to be launched some time in September with its new per-core licensing, Microsoft is making a concerted effort to win over VMware users and get them to switch to Hyper-V.
Cool tips and guides
We would like to share several tips and guides from other websites in the tech blogosphere:
How to Stop Your Webcam From Freezing and Crashing on Windows 10 - Windows 10’s Anniversary Update just broke millions of webcams. Microsoft supposedly has a fix coming in September, but there’s a registry hack you can use to fix the problem and get your webcam working properly today.
The 10 best features hiding in the Android Nougat update - Google is starting to roll out the latest version of Android. If you have a Nexus device, you can grab the update now. While many of the biggest improvements — like longer battery life, better security updates and VR-ready features — won't be immediately obvious once you get the update, there are still plenty of new features to get excited about.
WhatsApp Will Share Your Phone Number With Facebook: But You Can Stop it From Happening - WhatsApp has been the go-to messaging service for millions of people around the world, mostly due to its ease of use, fast performance even on slow cellular networks and the fact that it had users’ best interests at heart. But 2 years and some months after its acquisition by Facebook, we now hear that WhatsApp will be sharing users’ phone numbers with its parent company.