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Microsoft Teams to be integrated into SAP solutions
by Paul Hill
Microsoft has announced that its collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams, will be integrated into SAP’s suite of solutions. Complementing this move, Microsoft and SAP have agreed to accelerate the adoption of SAP S/4HANA on Microsoft Azure.
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing places of work to close, more people have been forced to work from home. By integrating Microsoft Teams with products like SAP S/4HANA, SAP SuccessFactors, and SAP Customer Experience, the two firms hope that they can boost user productivity and engagement which could help support growth in economies after being hit hard by the virus.
Commenting on the agreement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said:
SAP customers using any of the aforementioned solutions should be able to use the Microsoft Teams integration sometime in the middle of the year, according to Microsoft. With regards to the two companies’ plan to accelerate the integration of SAP S/4HANA on Azure, a SAP document says that customers broadly favour Azure as their choice to move on-premise SAP S/4HANA to the cloud.
The YouTube app for Xbox now supports HDR videos
by João Carrasqueira
In the summer of 2016, Microsoft introduced the Xbox One S, bringing support for HDR to the Xbox family for the first time. Now, after four and a half years, Google has implemented HDR video support into the YouTube app on Xbox consoles, as reported by FlatpanelsHD (via Windows Central).
HDR has become a fairly standard feature in modern TVs and every iteration of the Xbox since 2016 has supported it. YouTube itself also added support for HDR videos later that year, so it's certainly interesting that it took this long for those two things to come together.
It's not completely clear when the capability was added to the YouTube app, but FlatpanelsHD points out that it wasn't available on the Xbox Series X back in December. The report confirms HDR is working on both the Series X and the One S, and there's no reason why it wouldn't also work with the One X and Series S.
You'll need to make sure you have the latest version of the app for HDR to work, or you can download the app from here if you haven't yet. While HDR support in the YouTube app is good news, it doesn't look like it's working as well as some might hope just yet. The app only supports HDR in videos using Google's VP9, instead of adopting the more modern AV1 format, which has also been backed by Google. Hopefully, a future update will address that issue.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft is doubling the price of Xbox Live Gold
by Rich Woods
Today, Microsoft announced that it's increasing the price of Xbox Live Gold in a big way. The price of a one-month subscription is increasing by $1 to $10.99, and price of a three-month membership is increasing by $5 to $29.99, and a six-month membership is now $59.99.
Indeed, $59.99 is the same price that a year of the service used to cost, and for now, you can still get that on Amazon and at other retailers. You'll want to jump on that now though. You can also keep renewing your existing subscription for the same price as before if you have a six-month or annual subscription already.
Naturally, Microsoft wants gamers to switch to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which was originally meant to combine Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold, and has since added Xbox game streaming and Xbox Game Pass for PC to the value proposition. The company is still offering a deal where it will convert your Xbox Live Gold to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for no charge, up to three years. That means that if you have a year left on your Xbox Live Gold subscription, you can turn that into a year of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (yes, that even works if you buy that one-year subscription linked to above right now).
Microsoft says that in many markets, the price of Xbox Live Gold hasn't changed in years, and in some, over a decade. Indeed, in the United States, the service has been $59.99 a year for quite some time. Many have speculated that Xbox Live Gold might go away at some point in favor of Game Pass, and this price hike might be another step toward that.
Editor's note: We've added a note indicating that it's still possible to renew existing six-month or 12-month subscriptions at the previous price. We apologize for this oversight.
By Rich Woods
Xbox Games with Gold for February include Gears 5 and more
by Rich Woods
Today, Microsoft announced the Games with Gold that Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will be able to claim for free during the month of February. Typically, this includes two Xbox One games and two Xbox 360 games that are playable via the Backward Compatibility program. This month, however, there are five free games, one of which is optimized for Xbox Series X|S, and that game is a big title: Gears 5.
Here's the full list:
Gears 5 (Xbox One, Optimized for Xbox Series X|S, February 1 -28)
Resident Evil (Xbox One, February 1 - 28)
Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition (Xbox One, February 16 - March 15)
Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb (Xbox, February 1 - 15)
Lost Planet 2 (Xbox 360, February 16 - 28)
As usual, it's also not too late to claim some of this month's Games with Gold. You can still claim Little Nightmares (Xbox One) and Breakdown (Xbox) until the end of the month, and Dead Rising (Xbox One) until February 15.
By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft Edge will now let you know if your password is compromised
by Usama Jawad
Yesterday, Microsoft announced a bunch of new features coming to its Edge browser, including sidebar search, history sync, and more. Another nifty capability coming to the browser is Password Monitor, which alerts you if you are using unsafe credentials. The service began rolling out to Insiders back in June 2020 and is now being made available to the general public in Edge 88. Microsoft has detailed the feature in a dedicated blog post.
Password Monitor is the outcome of collaboration between the Edge product team and a former Microsoft Research incubation group called the "Cryptography and Privacy Research Group". The underlying technology is based on homomorphic encryption and is built on top of the Microsoft SEAL homomorphic encryption library.
Simply stated, Password Monitor contacts a server periodically and verifies that the credentials you have saved in Edge are not present in a database of breached credentials. If they are, the user is immediately alerted and asked to change them. It is important to note that neither Microsoft nor any other third-party can see your credentials, with the technology also secure against man-in-the-middle attacks so a malicious actor cannot hijack your password during transit between your browser and the server.
Microsoft has also modified its SEAL library to ensure multi-platform support on various architectures including ARM, x86, and Mac, and it is also compatible with low-end devices. The firm has described the principles of homomorphic encryption in its blog post as well for our more cybersecurity-savvy readers. Microsoft has emphasized that the process consumes minimal network bandwidth, optimizes CPU utilization, and that the Password Monitor service is capable of handling a "large number" of client requests.
Password Monitor will be made available to Edge users on a rolling basis so it will not be immediately visible to everyone. You can head over to the dedicated supported page to find out how to enable it.