From Apple and Windows PCs to Android devices, Intel bug affects them all

A major design flaw has been discovered in the Intel processors. It is found that the bug is affecting devices as old as 20 years. Initially, reports only talked of the damage it wascreating towards Mac OS and Windows computers. However, it is now being noticed that Android smartphones are being affected too. While Google has patched the bug on several platforms, Microsoft and Intel have confirmed the bug to be 2018’s first major widespread flaw.

As per Engadget, “We are in the process of deploying mitigations to cloud services and have also released security updates to protect Windows customers against vulnerabilities affecting supported hardware chips from Intel, ARM, and AMD,” said Microsoft.

The Gadgetsnow reported that Google’s Project Zero has confirmed that the bug is running on both Android and ChromeOS platforms. An update will be rolling out on January 23 for the Chrome users so as to help them mitigate the attack. For now, users can enable the ‘site isolation’ feature as a temporary method for protection.

The chipmaker has acknowledged the existence of the vulnerability; the vulnerability being towards gathering sensitive data from the computers. However, Intel also stated that the bug cannot corrupt, delete or modify data.

“Contrary to some reports, any performance impacts are workload-dependent, and, for the average computer user, should not be significant and will be mitigated over time,” said the company’s newsroom website.

Also, the company has sent out updates about its firmware and hardware to its partners to decrease the level of impact. Intel is yet to give out details pertaining to when and how will it be rolling a fix to this flaw.

Sources:  Gadgetsnow , Endgadget


Microsoft offers the highest package of Rs 1.39 crore a year

Microsoft, the biggest technology company of US is ready to welcome students from the Indian Institute of Technology with a ransom pay package. The placements for the passing batch of 2018 commences on December 1. Numerous companies are a part of this process, offering impressive offers to grab the most talented engineers from one of the topnotch institutes of India.

According to the Economics times, Microsoft is recruiting students for their Redmond headquarters with an annual pay check of Rs 1.39 crore. The exorbitant salary will include a base income of $108,000, along with performance gratuity of $21,600, joining bonus of $15,000 and stock units worth $70,000. All of this adds to a total of $214,600. As compared to Microsoft’s offer during the previous placement season with a package of $136,000 inclusive of all bonuses, this year’s offer is a remarkable leap.

 Reports from Business Standard stated that one among the chief recruiters is Uber Technologies, the US-based cab aggregator. Uber is set to provide a total package of Rs 99.87 lakh ($155,000), with a base income of $110,000. The other top hirers include Samsung Korea with an offer of Rs 96.8 ($150,000) and Rubrik, an American cloud data management company with Rs 74 lakh ($115,000).

Sources claim students from Kanpur, Bombay, Madras, Banaras Hindu University and Roorkee campuses are more likely to bag such opportunities.


Economic Times, Business Standard

Microsoft‘s ML conference in India

Microsoft is holding its first edition of Machine Learning and Data Sciences Conference in India. The event is organised for two days in Bengaluru on August 8-9. After Apple, the software mammoth Microsoft is looking at India as a new emerging market for technologies.

Government officials, startups, developers, students, industry executives and more 600 people are expected to contribute.

According The Times of India, Microsoft India R&D managing director Anil Bhansali said
“It is time of transformation at Microsoft as we sharpen our focus around mobile and cloud and lay out ambitious plans that will have a big impact on future of computing as it is experienced by billions of users around the world. At the event, we will showcase some of the very latest developments in this area. It will help gain new insights into how the power of analytics and ML can transform businesses and society.”

Further, he added that the company’s primary focus is on Machine Learning (ML). This is Microsoft’s important initiative to make inroads, both in the real customer support and R&D breakthroughs.

ML has been used in personalising the Facebook news feeds and in Microsoft’s voice assistant Cortana. The company has used ML in developing many applications which incorporates the app to help the Indian farmers to forecast the correct sowing dates for particular crops. With this it has also developed a predictive analytics app for students and ordinary people.



Microsoft to cut additional 2,850 jobs in smartphone business

San Francisco, July 29: Microsoft Corporation has announced the cut down of 2,850 additional jobs over the next twelve months in the phone business. Hit by a $7.6 billion failed Nokia experiment, the technology giant has decided to cut 7,400 jobs globally by the end of fiscal year 2017. 

Earlier in May, the company had cut 1,850 jobs signaling the end of Nokia experiment writing off $950 million, of which $200 million was used for severance payments. 

As reported by The Indian Express, a spokeswoman said, “the large scale effects are to be felt in the smartphone hardware operations and sales related sectors and most jobs are likely to be cut in Finland.” 

 The company’s Lumia and Windows restructuring strategy has incurred huge losses and fall in market shares since its inception.  Microsoft had reported earlier this month that its revenue fell by nine per cent. 

Speaking on the issue, CEO Satya Nadella told the Indian Express that the company shall continue with its innovation. The company plans to refrain from launching anything in the immediate future and rather focus on the development of Windows 10.  

Source: The Indian Express, The Hindu

Microsoft to acquire UK based SwiftKey

UK based AI driven company, SwiftKey is to be acquired by Microsoft for a $250 million deal, reports The Financial Times. SwiftKey is best known for producing the break-through predictive keyboards in mobile devices, employing artificial intelligence.

Though the firms refused to comment on the report, investor sources according to TechCrunch allege that the deal “which is all-cash, is definitely going through and will be announced imminently.” Raising a total of $21.59 million from Index and Octopus ventures, the UK based firm is also known for being behind renowned physicist Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair software.

The firm’s keyboards are now to found in more than 500 million iOS and Android smartphones. While the predictive keyboards act as huge time-saving mechanisms, the US tech giant has uses more than just their keyboards. The predictive engine employed by SwiftKey can be put to more uses, according to TechCrunch.

Microsoft is developing a new technology for smartphones

Microsoft is planning something big and exciting for the techno world –  It is working on a technology that will change the way a smart phone works. Hong Tan, a researcher at Microsoft, believes that we are using a flawed system on smartphones and tablets. She believes we shouldn’t be limited to tapping or sliding our fingers on a glass screen.

The software giant is working on developing a touchscreen technology for mobile devices that will differ in touch sensations based on the way you tap the screen. If you type something with your touchscreen keyboard, you would feel like you are pressing a key.

Photo Courtesy –

If you press an on screen button, you would feel something similar to a mouse click. You would also be able to feel the weight of a folder, while dragging and dropping a group of files.

Researchers are investigating various methods to get the desired effect on screen, both on software and hardware. Different touch responses will correlate with various software features for this to happen.

Microsoft will use a variety of different methods to achieve good results. For keyboard sensation, a layer of material is kept under the glass that bends under electronic voltage. With each key press, the glass will bend.

Efforts are high and strong to make smartphones and tablets our primary computers in the near future. Such a technology will definitely be another benchmark in the digital age we are heading towards.

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Microsoft’s Politics to Drive out Google

Mark Penn's scroogle initiative
Mark Penn’s scroogle initiative

In a bid to strip Google off its monopolistic demeanour in the search engine market, Microsoft roped in political strategist, Mark Penn. Penn, responsible for ousting enemies of the likes of the Clintons, is currently the Corporate Vice President for Strategic and Special Projects at Microsoft Corporation.

Often called the ‘Brawler’ by the media, Penn devised an ad campaign that makes Google take full offence for their new initiative, ‘Google Shopping’ where paid product listings pop up as search results. The campaign- ‘Scroogled’ is a website where Microsoft uses the signatory Google colours to warn customers off the initiative and urges them to try its Bing for honest results.

Showing excerpts from the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of Google Commerce which say that Google Shopping will exclude members who do not ‘participate’ in the transaction, Penn has hit Google where it hurts most. In lieu of the anti-trust lawsuit that Google is facing, the search engine giant maybe heading to a gigantic downfall.

Search engine wars have been a trend on the internet with Yahoo! trying to stave off Google since 1995. Bing, overtook Yahoo! but still has a Goliath in the form of Google to beat. Microsoft is pulling out all stops to sow a doubt about Google’s unbiased search results. The ‘Don’t be evil’ preach at its inception has been attacked by the Scroogle initiative as Microsoft calls Google an “evil empire” built on a “pure commercial model.”

The SWAT-style team that Penn has assembled for the campaign includes political advisors, public relation officers and Josh Gottheimer, counsellor to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. A poll conducted by the team showed that consumers of Google where unaware of the monetary transaction and were hardly bothered by it. Microsoft warns holiday shoppers that they might not get the best merchants or prices through Google Shopping.

Penn who is of the opinion that “negative ads are, by and large, good for [our] democracy”, has put a step forward for Microsoft in the search engine war. Microsoft which already has Apple on its back will have to strive to sustain this initiative, lest it loses face among millions of internet users.

See the Scroogle campaign here: