About Usama Jawad
Usama is a freelance writer at XDA who has a decade of experience in covering technology news across a variety of topics, with the primary area of focus being anything related to Microsoft.
He also has a bachelor's degree in Computer Science and loves to play video games and read books in his free time.
WSL's September 2023 pre-release update brings a number of exciting features including improved networking, firewall, and automatic VHD shrinking.
Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a handy utility present in Windows 10 and Windows 11 that allows developers to run GNU/Linux environments directly inside the operating system without requiring virtual machines (VMs) or dual-boot configurations. The implementation became generally available via the Microsoft Store about a year ago, making it easier for interested users to install it quickly. Now, Microsoft has rolled out a new pre-release version of WSL with a lot of interesting, experimental features.
Customers leveraging Python in Excel can now utilize a new Python Editor designed for longer code scripts, with other advanced features in tow too.
Less than a month ago, Microsoft finally announced support for Python in Excel, allowing customers to use the powerful programming language in tandem with conventional Excel formulas to analyze and manipulate data. The move was greeted with a lot of enthusiasm and to capitalize on this excitement, Microsoft has released a Python editor for its Office application.
Microsoft is ending support for the translation feature in the OneNote for Windows 10 app later this year. It's recommending the newer app instead.
OneNote on Windows is a bit of an odd duckling. Depending upon your desktop configuration and use, you may have access to two OneNote apps. The first is the OneNote for Windows 10 - which is based on the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) - and has been delisted from the Microsoft Store. The second is the newer unified version based on the classic OneNote desktop app that comes with Microsoft 365. Now, the Redmond tech firm has announced that it is ending support for translation capabilities in the old OneNote app.
Microsoft has ended support for the original Surface Duo, three years after release. The device will no longer receive OS or security updates.
Microsoft announced the Surface Duo and Surface Neo back in October 2019 and while the latter device was canceled ahead of release, the Duo became available in September 2020. We reviewed the dual-screen Android handset and praised its hardware while still acknowledging its limitations, high price tag, and the very specific market niche that it targets. Today, Microsoft has ended support for the Surface Duo.
Microsoft has committed to defending commercial customers of its AI Copilot customers against copyright lawsuits.
Microsoft has been going all in on its AI endeavors recently. The company has been integrating its AI Copilot services across its Microsoft 365 suite of products and even Windows. However, as the Redmond tech firm expands services in this field of generative AI (GAI), there are natural concerns regarding the potential legal and regulatory hurdles, due to the technology being at a stage of relative infancy. Now, Microsoft has addressed some of the questions in this area in an attempt to assure commercial customers that they should use its GAI technologies without worrying about the legalities.
In a major move, Microsoft has announced that it will soon stop third-party printer manufacturers from bundling drivers in Windows Update.
With the general availability of Windows 10 version 21H2 back in April 2022, Microsoft also began offering built-in support for Mopria-compliant printer drivers interfacing through USB and internet connectivity via the Microsoft IPP Class Driver. Although this particular version of the operating system is no longer supported for most users, the change in driver implementation has carried over to newer versions of Windows too, including the upcoming Windows 11 version 23H2 too. As such, Microsoft has announced that it is winding down support for third-party printer drivers offered via Windows Update.
Following Microsoft's denial of any wrongdoing, MSI has worked with Intel to issue BIOS updates for its motherboards running into Windows BSOD errors.
A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft documented an issue affecting several Windows 10 and 11 customers who were reporting instances of Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) with error messages of "UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR". This problem was seemingly impacting MSI customers who had installed the optional preview Windows update in August 2023, but after conducting an initial investigation, Microsoft emphasized that it was not to blame for these BSODs. Now, MSI has taken ownership for the issue and rolled out BIOS updates for affected motherboards.
Microsoft is implementing a controversial change in OneDrive's storage space policy that may affect many.
OneDrive is one of the best cloud storage services out there, especially because of its cost and how tightly it integrates with Microsoft Office applications. The service is due to receive some AI features next month if the latest rumors are to be believed, but ahead of that, Microsoft has announced a change in policy that may be deemed controversial by many.
28 years ago, eBay started off as AuctionWeb and sold its first item: a broken laser pointer.
Over a Labor Day weekend in 1995, 28-year-old Pierre Omidyar began writing code for a website that would initially be called AuctionWeb. It was meant to offer an "honest and open marketplace" that would connect buyers to sellers directly. AuctionWeb went live on Sept. 3, 1995, with the first item purchased being Omidyar's broken laser point for $14.83. Omidyar reached out to the buyer asking if he had accidentally purchased the defective item. He learned that the transaction was intentional because the buyer wanted the spare parts to build his own.
Microsoft has announced the imminent demise of WordPad in Windows, the application won't be receiving updates moving forward.
It's seemingly the season of deprecations and removals when it comes to software developed by big tech. A few days ago, Microsoft made a surprise announcement that it is killing off Visual Studio for Mac. Prior to that, it also revealed a list of features that it is sunsetting in Microsoft Edge, around the time Google announced the end of the Pixel Pass subscription too. Now, Microsoft has decided to get rid of WordPad for Windows.
Google has raised the price of its Nest Aware and Nest Aware Plus subscription plans by up to $20 and $30 per year, respectively.
Back in May 2020, Google launched its updated Nest Aware plans with simplified pricing, essentially offering a single subscription for all your Nest smart home devices instead of having to pay separately for each piece of hardware. Fast-forward three years, and the company is hiking the price of these plans by up to $30/year depending upon which subscription you opt for.
Microsoft is removing Teams from its enterprise subscription plans in several European countries, offering it as a standalone product at €5/month.
Back in 2020, Slack alleged that Microsoft is engaging in anticompetitive practices by bundling Teams in Microsoft 365 subscriptions for business customers, increasing the cost of the plan for users while still making it difficult for them to opt for an alternative since they are already paying for other services and applications included in the subscription. The European Commission (EC) formally began investigating the matter last month, but prior to the regulator revealing its findings, Microsoft has proactively announced some remediations.
Microsoft Teams received over 50 features during the month of August 2023, spread across various areas and audience categories.
Yesterday, Microsoft published a comprehensive list of all the new features that it added to Excel during the month of August 2023. Now, with the month ending soon, the Redmond tech firm has detailed some new capabilities and hardware that it introduced to its Teams software too, similar to the previous month. This time around, the company added a whopping 52 features.
Microsoft Excel received a bunch of features this month across Windows and web, with the headliner being support for Python.
Last week, Microsoft Excel customers got a pretty nice surprise when the Redmond tech firm announced support for the Python programming language in the software. This is meant to make it easier for data analysts and scientists to manipulate and visualize data using Python libraries and leveraging Excel formulas and PivotTables directly in the application at the same time, but only for Insiders currently. Now, the company has published its roundup of all the features that it added to its popular spreadsheet software during the month of August 2023.
Google has sunset its Pixel Pass service which bundled the latest Pixel with premium services for $45/month for two years.
Back in 2021, Google launched the Pixel Pass subscription service with the Pixel 6 series of handsets. This product served as a counterpart of the Apple One service, bundling the latest Pixel, YouTube Premium, YouTube Music Premium, device protection via Preferred Care, Google One, and Play Pass at $45/month for a period of two years. However, it seems like the model failed to gain enough traction as the company has now announced that it is shutting it down with immediate effect.
Google's new Duet AI for Workspace customers will cost $30/user/month for large organizations.
Microsoft has been making a lot of waves in the artificial intelligence (AI) space recently thanks to innovations in services and tools like Bing Chat, Microsoft 365 Copilot, GitHub Copilot, and ChatGPT. With interest growing in this area, it's natural to see big tech firms investing money and effort in this area to attract more customers by enticing them with the latest advancements in technology. Now, Google has announced integrations between its Duet AI and Google Workspace products pretty much across the board.
Google Flights will leverage various data points to recommend you the best time to book a flight.
Google Flights is a fairly mature service, launched over a decade ago, which enables customers to book flights to various destinations around the globe through third-party suppliers. It packs a ton of features including the ability to filter based on budget, destination, carbon emissions, and more to find the best possible flight in terms of bang for your buck. Now, the company is improving this service even further through three new and existing capabilities.
The latest WhatsApp Beta allows users to share photos and videos with media quality intact, along with a major catch.
Up until a couple of weeks ago, WhatsApp had this rather annoying limitation where photos and videos shared through the app saw a significant loss in quality and resolution. Meta finally mitigated some of these concerns recently when it enabled sharing of this media content in a higher-resolution "HD" format. Now, the company is looking to go a step beyond this by allowing users to share media content with no compression.
Many Edge customers will be pleased to know that Microsoft is cutting down on some bloat in its browser soon.
Microsoft Edge may not be the most popular browser out there in terms of market share, but it's definitely a capable one. Microsoft regularly adds new features to the browser both for developers and consumers in order to gain further traction in an uphill battle against the likes of Google Chrome. Stable Channel releases are made available on a monthly basis, but Insider rollouts give some insights about what to expect. Now, the latest Edge Beta version has revealed that Microsoft is deprecating some features in its browser.
Microsoft has finally decided to expand general availability for Bing Chat outside of Edge by rolling it out to all Chrome desktop users.
Bing Chat has been out for a few months now and has been attracting attention from various market segments. Seeing the popularity of its latest chatbot, Microsoft also updates it with new features - such as image creation through text - on an intermittent basis.