After watching early footage of Microsoft's virtual assistant Cortana in Windows 10 (below), its impending takeover of the Microsoft Borg seems inevitable. There's a lot riding on Cortana, after all.
After being released in the U.S. earlier this year, it's now slowly rolling out across the globe. While an obvious response to Apple's Siri, Microsoft's devotion to Cortana is also a reminder of just how important these virtual assistants are becoming. It's as if Siri, Google Now, and Cortana will end up personifying the operating system wars.
Microsoft today announced it will release seven security updates on Tuesday, three of them critical, to patch Internet Explorer (IE), Windows, various pieces of the Office suite, and the SharePoint and Exchange server software.
The Exchange update was originally intended to ship last month, but Microsoft pulled it at the last minute because of a problem with the installer package for Exchange Server 2013.
Next year, Apple's deal with Google for the default position on iOS devices will expire which means that the company is soliciting bids from the big players to see who is willing to pay the most to gain control of this position.
While Google and Microsoft are using large amounts of free cloud storage to sell inexpensive consumer notebooks, Apple has stood above the fray. But there's no reason Apple can't join in.
On Friday, Google announced that all Chromebooks purchased through Dec. 31 will be eligible for a free one-terabyte allowance to Google Drive for two years.
A long-standing oddity of Windows is that its branded number has for some years now not matched the version number stamped into the kernel and other parts of the operating system. Windows 7, for example, reported itself to software as being version 6.1. Windows 8 is 6.2, and Windows 8.1 is 6.3.