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By Abhay V
Microsoft's cloud technologies will power the all-digital CES 2021 event
by Abhay Venkatesh
Back in June, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced that it will be holding an in-person event for CES 2021, which it then changed to an all-digital event likely after a survey that the association conducted with potential attendees. Now, the CTA has announced that it has chosen Microsoft as its technology partner to help conduct the virtual event and will use the company’s cloud technologies to “enable the all-digital event platform”.
Bob Bejan, CVP for global events, production studios, and marketing community at Microsoft writes:
Bejan adds that the team intends to share the learnings from conducting the firm’s own – and large – virtual events such as the annual Build conference, and five other events. The company supposedly had already started planning the live events for the year, including Build 2020, and had to move to a virtual setup thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions.
Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA says:
The Redmond firs says that it adapted to the challenges brought by working remotely and hosted close to 197,000 attendees during build and a whopping 266,000 during the Ignite conference. In addition to its own conferences, the company also boasts of its collaboration with the likes of the NBA and the NFL.
CES 2021 is slated to take place from January 11-14.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft announces general availability of its Chromium-based WebView2
by Rich Woods
Today, Microsoft is announcing the general availability of WebView2 for Win32 C/C++ apps. The new component can be used across various Windows versions, and Microsoft says that it's releasing a forward-compatible SDK.
WebView2, if it's not obvious, is the successor to WebView, and it's based on the new Chromium-based Edge browser. It's been promised since the Redmond firm first said it was building a new browser from Google's open source Chromium. The original WebView was based on EdgeHTML, and the old Edge browser is now referred to as Edge Legacy.
Apps that use WebView are still supported and will continue to be supported. While WebView2 is available for Win32 apps today, there are more versions on the way. It's part of Project Reunion, so you'll have to wait for the general availability of WinUI 3 to use it in a UWP app, and GA for WinForms and WPF will be later this year.
Microsoft plans to introduce a new WebView2 SDK every six weeks, timed with Edge updates in the stable channel. The WebView2 that's available today is considered to be Evergreen, meaning that it will continue to be updated with the latest version. Coming later this year is a Fixed Version, which won't get updated.
By Rich Woods
Bug in Microsoft Edge causes Office PWAs to be installed without your permission
by Rich Woods
At some point in the past week or so, you might have found that your PC has installed a new version of Office on your PC. Moreover, it's been installed alongside the version of Office that you already have. This second version of Office is the suite of web apps, and they're showing up on PCs without users' permission.
There's no need to get upset about some conspiracy about Microsoft forcing you to put a new version of Office on your PC, especially when you're already running the productivity suite. As it turns out, this is a bug in the Edge browser and it's being fixed.
Here's the deal. Microsoft has historically added pinned Office web apps in the Start Menu, but they were simply links to the apps, which would open in a tab in the browser. However, these would only show up if Office wasn't already installed. Due to a bug, these pinned websites were converted to being installed as apps, even if you have Office installed. Being installed as an app means that it opens in an Edge window that looks like a separate app, without tabs or an address bar.
As it stands right now, the rollout of this change is being paused while Microsoft fixes the issue. If you've been affected by the issue, you can get rid of the Office web apps through the Control Panel or Settings.
Rainbow Six Siege is coming to Xbox Game Pass on consoles and Android via cloud
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Ubisoft games are rather rare additions to Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass subscription, but another one is coming soon. It was announced today that the popular tactical shooter title Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege will be introduced to the service later this week.
The game won't be available on every Game Pass service Microsoft offers, however, as only the console and Android cloud gaming variant will receive it. Unfortunately, the PC version was not mentioned in the announcement, not even as a coming soon. This is to be expected considering Ubisoft has a rival service of its own to Game Pass, Uplay+, that offers the title on PC.
Currently in its fifth year of support and played by over 60 million players, the Ubisoft-developed first-person shooter offers a highly tactical five versus five experience. The title is known for its destructive levels and the multitude of operators with their own gadgets and abilities that players can choose to gain an edge over opposing teams.
A free next-gen upgrade is also planned for taking Rainbow Six Siege forwards into Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5. Obviously, those enjoying the game through Xbox Game Pass will also receive the upgrade when it drops.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege goes live on October 22 on Xbox Game Pass for Console as well as Android via game streaming for those subscribed to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Microsoft is also bringing in three classic LucasArts titles among other games to Xbox Game Pass this month.
By Abhishek Baxi
Microsoft is the most imitated brand by hackers according to a report
by Abhishek Baxi
Check Point Research, a cyber threat intelligence company, has highlighted the brands that hackers have imitated the most to lure people into giving up their personal data or payment credentials in its quarterly brand phishing report.
According to the report, for the period of June-July-August 2020, Microsoft was the brand most frequently targeted brand by cybercriminals. Microsoft soared from the fifth place in the second quarter to the first place in the third quarter for brand phishing attacks, making up 19% of all global phishing attacks in the period (from 7% in Q2).
Microsoft is followed by DHL and Google – both accounted for 9% of all brand phishing attempts globally each. Others in the top ten include PayPal, Netflix, Facebook, Apple, WhatsApp, Amazon, and Instagram.
During the period, email was the top attack vector making up 44% of all phishing attacks, closely followed by web phishing (43%). The top phishing brands exploited by email phishing attacks were Microsoft, DHL, and Apple in that order and those exploited by web phishing attacks were Microsoft, Google, and PayPal.
For example, in mid-August, Check Point researchers witnessed a malicious phishing email trying to steal credentials of Microsoft accounts by luring the victim to click on a malicious link which redirects the user to a fraudulent Microsoft login page.
The spurt in phishing attempts by imitating Microsoft is to capitalize on large numbers of employees working remotely because of the pandemic, many for the first time ever.
Source: Check Point