Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Windows Vista/7/8 Update Disables Safedisc DRM

Last month we reported that Windows 10 wouldn’t run games that employ SafeDisc or certain versions of Securom DRM. This decision was made by Microsoft in response to security concerns, but as a side effect rendered hundreds of old games unplayable on the new operating system without players installing no-CD cracks or re-buying the games via modern digital distribution services which don’t use the now-abandoned DRM.

Now Microsoft have released a security patch that also removes support for the Safedisc DRM from Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. Check below for more detail and instructions on how to get those old games working again.

Read the rest of this entry »

An Easy Fix For Windows 10 Privacymageddon

Windows 10 is Microsoft’s best operating system in a quite a while, and possibly ever, despite a few foibles. Trouble is that it really, really wants to get mixed up in all your business and then tell the highest bidders all about it – which may or may not be why an upgrade to it from Windows 7 or 8 is currently free. Most of the OS’s monitoring can be turned off, but it’s a bit of a hassle and Windows 10 is far from transparent about what it all does. There is now a quicker method of raising your blast shields, if you so wish.

Read the rest of this entry »

Windows 10 Won’t Run Games Using SafeDisc Or Securom DRM

Windows 10 won’t run games that employ SafeDisc or certain versions of Securom DRM, rendering hundreds of old disc-based games potentially unplayable without complex workarounds. Games which used these forms of DRM range from Crimson Skies to Grand Theft Auto 3, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 to the original The Sims. Yet despite this change coming in Windows 10, blame can’t likely be placed at Microsoft’s feet. For one, SafeDisc is notoriously insecure and Microsoft’s decision to block it from their new operating system will likely protect more users than it hurts.

More details below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft Can Disable Pirated First-Party Games

Microsoft can disable “counterfeit games” and “unauthorized hardware peripheral devices” according to the recently updated Microsoft Services Agreement. The agreement, which pertains to the Windows store, suggests they can detect pirated first-party XBox and Windows games you have installed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Windows 10 Is Spying On You: Here’s How To Stop It

Windows 10‘s privacy settings very much need to be frowned at. Essentially: unless you pay close attention to the fluffy options offered when you first install Microsoft’s new operating system, it’s going to quietly track your behaviour and use it to fire targeted ads at you, as well as keeping tabs on your location history, data from messages, calendars, contacts and God knows what else. It is a bit scary, despite coming off the back of Microsoft’s own pledge to offer ‘real transparency’. You may or may not be OK with this yourself, but in any event at least some of this stuff can be turned off after the fact. I’ll explain how to do that below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Windows 10 Is Quietly Sharing Your WiFi Password

It wouldn’t be a new version of Windows without at least a few entirely bewildering decisions on Microsoft’s part, but this one’s a high speed collision of face and palm even by the standards of the company behind Windows 8. In a nutshell, there’s this feature in Windows 10 which will automatically share your wifi passwords with any and all Outlook, Skype and Facebook contacts who also use Win 10. Or, were they to manually enter your password into their Win 10 device, it would by default be treated as ‘their’ network and shared with their contacts. In other words, be vigilant – otherwise you’ll end up with Kevin Bacon using your internet connection whenever he wardrives past your house.
Read the rest of this entry »

How Has Microsoft Changed Minecraft?

Stepping into the main hall at Minecon, the huge annual get-together for Minecraft fans all over the world, you wouldn’t know that Microsoft existed – much less that it paid $2.5 billion dollars to acquire Mojang less than a year ago. The only sign of the multinational software giant’s presence is a monochrome rendition of its logo on the shoulders of its staffers. A logo which, coincidentally, is four flat blocks. Most people probably aren’t even aware the company is there at all.

Since the Mojang acquisition, Microsoft has very carefully stayed in the shadows to avoid spooking the game’s tens of millions of enthusiastic players. At this year’s Minecon I spoke to Mojang staff and Minecraft fans to find out how the acquisition has affected one of the world’s most popular games.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tabletop Gaming: HoloLens Meets Minecraft

Microsoft wowed me with an impressive display of their HoloLens augmented virtual reality visor yesterday. Jury’s out on whether it was real magic or just an illusion, but the hardware’s integration with Minecraft looks like the stuff of sci-fi. Minecraft worlds appear on your tabletop with full gesture and voice commands allowing you to navigate and interact in realtime.

Read the rest of this entry »

When To Watch The Big E3 Press Event Streams

Sleep is for the weak and the uninformed and the sensible. Which is why I’ll be up until the stupid hours of the morning watching the E3 festivities play out like a parade of dreams (or a collection of marketing hoo-hah and 30sec reveal trailers, depending on your outlook). It all kicks off today, and you can see all of the big press conferences streaming over on Twitch or YouTube at the following times:

Read the rest of this entry »

Start Again: Windows 10 Coming On July 29th

I WILL GLADLY CLICK THERE TO 'START'

Windows 10 [official site] looks like one of the good versions of Windows, one you’ll upgrade then stick with for years as Microsoft add guff to later versions that you couldn’t possibly want – joining the likes of Windows 98 SE, 2000, XP, and 7. It seems to mostly do good things, promising faster boot times and the return of the Start menu, and at worst things I’m different to, like Siri-esque voice-controlled computer friend Cortana and some Xbox One guff. And it’ll be free to upgrade to from Windows 7 or 8.1.

This morning Microsoft announced Windows 10’s release date: July 29th.

Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Ori And The Blind Forest

Forest loveliness

Ori and the Blind Forest [official site] is a beautiful game. That’s the first thing you’ll notice. The extended intro sequence plays out like a vaguely interactive Studio Ghibli animation as your character – a glowing mouse-like guardian spirit called Ori – is cared for by adopted bear-like parent Naru after she falls into the forest from the Spirit Tree. The animation is luxurious as Ori perches on Naru’s shoulders as they seek apples and while the pair build a bridge over a pool. It’s the first cut scene in a long time where I’ve sat back and watched rather than mash buttons in order to move the action along.

As the intro draws to a close the story and the forest darken. A gigantic angry-looking owl has disturbed the natural order of things, ripping the light from the woods and from the Spirit Tree which cares for the area. It’s at this point that the game proper begins with Ori stranded in a tangled wilderness, needing to heal or repair the damage to the land.

From this point you’ll find a tight, polished Metroidvania-style platformer with echoes of Ocarina of Time.

Read the rest of this entry »

You Can Have Windows 10 This Summer, If You Like

yes, yes grimdark macho colours for xbone fans

Is Windows 10 out this summer? Yes, Windows 10 is out this summer. Honestly, some news stories are hard to take anywhere.

Er. Well, it seems that, in the Northern Hemisphere at least, June 21 is the first official day of summer and September 22nd the last, so there’s your Windows window. Unless Microsoft pull a fast one and go with Southern Hemisphere timing. They’re crrrrrrrrazy like that, these Microguys.
Read the rest of this entry »

Ori And The Blind Forest Launch Trailer Gets Intense

THE OWL HAS ARRIVED.

Get ready to feel feelings like you’ve never felt before, emotional puzzle-platformer Ori And The Blind Forest [official site] is just around the corner, with release coming on Wednesday. The launch trailer has been let loose, showing it isn’t all sad bears and melancholy trees – there’s also extremely angry owls and lava. It also had a short segment on stream at PAX East, showing off the intriguing way objects, enemies and projectiles can be used to throw yourself around a level.

Read the rest of this entry »

Is Windows 10 Good For PC Gamers Or XBone Owners?

“It’s time for us to talk about gaming in Windows,” promised Head of Xbox Phil Spencer in December. A little over a month later, Microsoft has finally stepped up to the plate with a slew of big announcements about Windows 10, Xbox and PC gaming delivered at its Redmond campus yesterday morning.

The big news for gamers—aside from holograms—is that Windows 10 will not only support multiplayer gaming between Xbox One and PC, but allow you to stream Xbox One games locally to PCs or tablets.

Which is all well and good for Xbox fans, but where does that leave PC gamers, especially ones who don’t particularly care about Xbox?

Read the rest of this entry »

Hands On With HoloLens And Augmented Reality Minecraft

“Is it real?” I ask. I’m looking around at the landscape of Mars, where a dusty, rocky desert stretches in every direction, reddish mountains rising in the distance. It looks so vivid, so strangely plausible that it’s hard to believe that I’m actually looking at the surface of another planet and not the set of a sci-fi movie.

The gentleman who works for Microsoft assure me that it is, in fact, real—depending on how you think about it. I’m currently wearing a prototype version of the HoloLens, a new augmented reality headset announced yesterday by Microsoft, and exploring real three-dimensional images collected from the Mars Curiosity rover using a tool called OnSight.

Read the rest of this entry »

Microsoft Announce HoloLens Augmented Reality Headset

Microsoft have announced the HoloLens, an augmented reality headset for games and general computing. Which is maybe not what we were expecting when we were invited to Redmond to hear about the company’s future gaming plans this evening. While our correspondent is trying the thing on as I type, you can whet your appetite for impressions with the video Microsoft used to introduce the device. It’s not clear what parts of it are hypothetical and which are already functional – depicting augmented reality glasses from a third-person perspective is hard, after all, so it’s all mock-ups – but the gaming application depicted is, predictably, some form of Minecraft.

Read the rest of this entry »

Extra Win 10 Reveals: Free Offer, DX12, More Xbox Games


Our roving reporter at the big Windows 10 event in Redmond is currently playing with Microsoft’s newly-announced holo-goggles, more on which soon, but she has been able to send back to useful bonus info about Win 10 and games in the meantime – including whether DirectX 12 is exclusive to the new OS, how this ‘upgrade to Win 10 free for a year’ offer works and whether there’ll be keyboard/mouse support for streamed Xbox One games.
Read the rest of this entry »