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By Abhay V
AdDuplex: Windows 10 version 2004 is now the most popular version
by Abhay Venkatesh
As is the case every month, AdDuplex has released its report detailing the usage share of various versions of Windows 10 based on data surveyed from more than 100,000 PCs through over 5,000 Microsoft Store apps that use the AdDuplex SDK v.2 or higher, as of October 26, 2020. This month’s highlight is that Windows 10 version 2004 (May 2020 Update) is now the most used version of the OS.
Just last month, version 2004 overtook the May 2019 Update (version 1903) to become the second most popular version of Windows 10 with a 33.7% share, second to the November 2019 Update (version 1909). This month, version 2004 rose to 37.7% share to take the top spot. Version 1909 now sits at the second spot with a 32.4% share of the total, down from 34.5% last month.
A new addition to the chart is the October 2020 Update (version 20H2) that was released just last week. Considering that the Redmond giant is gradually rolling out the update, the latest version registers a tiny 1.7% market share – occupying a tiny blip at the bottom right of the chart. With Windows 10 version 1809 reaching the end of support next month, it will be interesting to see how the usage share shifts next month.
As for the older versions of the OS, the Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903) dropped from 25.7% to 22%, taking the third spot in terms of popularity. Version 1809 fell by 0.1% to 1.9%, and version 1803 interestingly gained slightly, going from 1.9% to 2.1%, possibly attributed to users on the Fall Creators Update (version 17909) and older version further decreasing, which is now bundled into one item that takes 2% of the overall share.
Lastly, the share of users running Insider builds took a drop from 0.7% last month to 0.2% this month. The decrease can be linked to the October 2020 Update making it out of the Release Preview Channel to production, prompting users to drop off the program.
By Asher Madan
Xbox Deals with Gold feature Borderlands, Destiny, and more
by Asher Madan
Every week, Microsoft and select publishers discount a number of titles for weekly Deals with Gold, Spotlight, and Publisher (Shocktober, Star Wars Mandalorian, and Watch Dogs: Legion Hack) sales. This week, games from Borderlands, Dead Space, and other franchises are available for substantially less.
Below, you'll find the Xbox One and Xbox 360 games with their respective discounts. Xbox Live Gold members receive additional discounts on a number of titles through the paid subscription which is denoted with an asterisk.
Many of the Xbox 360 games appear to be backward compatible so you'll be able to play them on your Xbox One and the upcoming Xbox Series X|S. Currently, Microsoft isn't adding any more backward compatible titles to the program, but that should change in 2021.
Which titles are you interested in? Did you pick any up? Let us know in the comments below.
Dynabook introduces new Portégé X40 with Tiger Lake processors
by João Carrasqueira
Dynabook, the company formerly known as Toshiba, has introduced a new Portégé laptop with Intel's newest 11th-generation processors, or Tiger Lake. The Portégé X40-J adds onto the lineup of devices Dynabook had already introduced last month, and is the company's first 14-inch laptop with Tiger Lake.
The Portégé X40-J has up to Intel Core i7-1165G7 with Intel's Iris Xe graphics, and it has up to 32GB of dual-channel memory, with one onbord chip and one SODIMM slot. Storage goes up to a 1TB SSD and battery life is up to 13.8 hours.The 14-inch display is only available in Full HD and it's an IPS panel, instead of the Sharp IGZO displays Dynabook has typically used. You do have the option for a privacy screen or touch support.
In terms of ports, there's one HDMI, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, two USB Type-C 4.0 ports that also support Thunderbolt 4, a combo audio jack and a microSD card slot. The laptop also supports Wi-Fi 6 an Bluetooth 5.1. For security, there's an IR camera for Windows Hello, as well as an option for a fingerprint reader.
The Portégé X40-J will be available in November, starting at $1,299. Dynabook also announced pricing and availability for the Portégé X30L-J, which it introduced in September. It will also be available in November and starts at $1,329, though the base model comes with an Intel Core i5-1135G7, while the Portégé X40 has a Core i3 for its starting price.
By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft develops new machine learning model to detect password spray attacks
by Usama Jawad
Over the past few weeks, Microsoft has been promoting digital security efforts as a part of its observance of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) in October. It has announced new initiatives to promote cybersecurity awareness, unveiled Zero Trust Deployment Center, released an Adversarial ML Threat Matrix, and launched a fairly successful offensive against the malicious Trickbot botnet.
Now the company has stated that it has developed a new machine learning-based algorithm that detects password spray attacks with considerably improved performance than its previous mechanism.
Image via Abine For those unaware, a password spray is a relatively crude and common form of cyberattack in which a malicious actor attacks tenants via thousands of IPs - using botnets in most cases - with a few commonly used passwords rather than trying numerous passwords against a single user. While this indicates that the success rate per account is quite nominal, it also means that the attack is very difficult to detect since it is spread out with such uneven consistency that a tenant may dismiss a couple of unsuccessful login attempts per account as part of the regular login pattern. So, this attack can only be detected across multiple tenants if you notice a single hash failing across numerous accounts.
To counter password spray attacks, Microsoft previously built a heuristic mechanism in which the company observed "the core failure in the system in... worldwide traffic" and notified organizations at risk. Now, the company has improved this mechanism by training a new supervised machine learning algorithm that uses features such as IP reputation, unfamiliar login properties, and other account deviations to detect when a tenant is under attack from password spray.
Microsoft claims that its new model has a 100% increase in recall compared to the heuristic algorithm. This means that it detects twice the number of compromised accounts. Furthermore, it also has a 98% precision, which means that if the model claims that an account has fallen victim to password spray, then this is almost certainly true across all such cases.
The new model will be available soon to Azure AD Identity Protection customers, who will be able to utilize it in the portal and APIs for Identity Protection.
By Jay Bonggolto
Microsoft starts rolling out trackpad support to Office apps for iPadOS
by Jay Bonggolto
Microsoft today announced fresh updates for its Office apps on iPadOS that introduce full support for trackpad capabilities, among others. The latest changes are live for those using Word, Excel, and PowerPoint on the iPad.
The software giant says the new updates should come in handy if you're using a mouse or Apple’s Magic Keyboard to move around texts in Word, resize content in PowerPoint, or select cells in Excel, for example. The cursor also automatically adjusts its function according to the content you're working on.
If you have been using these Office apps on Windows or macOS, the new iPad experience will look familiar to you. That said, today's announcement is not entirely surprising since a report earlier this year suggested that Microsoft would add trackpad support for its Office suite apps on iPadOS.
In addition, the Redmond-based company has introduced new start screens and a fresh ribbon of feature menus to the Word, Excel, and PowerPoint experiences. It says these enhancements provide a "cleaner and more modern" look in line with its Fluent UI design.
These updates are rolling out in phases and should be available to everyone in the next few weeks. In the future, Microsoft has promised to bring multiple document support in Excel, contextual menus, and offline file support for cloud files.