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We've talked a lot about how Microsoft managed to shoot Windows 10 (and consumer goodwill) squarely in the foot by refusing to seriously address OS privacy concerns, and by using malware-style tactics to try and force users on older versions of Windows to upgrade. While Microsoft's decision to offer Windows 10 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 made sense on its surface, the company repeatedly bungled the promotion by making the multi-gigabyte upgrade impossible to avoid, which was a huge problem for those on capped and metered broadband connections.
Capping an AI-themed week at Microsoft, the company released MS MARCO, a data set of 100,000 questions and answers that researchers can use to train their artificial intelligence (AI) systems.
The software maker's own researchers based MS MARCO, short for Microsoft Machine Reading Comprehension, on anonymized data gleaned from the real-world queries posed to the company's Bing search engine.
Adobe Flash continues its long, slow fade from the mainstream. The latest step is today's announcement that the next release of Microsoft Edge will disable Flash by default, giving users control over whether and when Flash-based content runs.
The feature will appear in upcoming Insider Preview builds and will be released to the general public in the Windows 10 Creators Update, due to arrive in early 2017.
Microsoft has quietly fixed a software update it released last week, which effectively prevented Windows 10 users from connecting to the Internet or joining a local network.
It's unclear exactly which automatic update caused the problem or exactly when it was released—current (unconfirmed) signs point to KB3201845 released on December 9—but whatever it was appeared to break DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol), preventing Windows 10 from automatically acquiring an IP address from the network.
Microsoft has patched a backdoor in Skype for Mac OSX that would allow an attacker to log and record Skype call audio, retrieve user contact information, read the content of incoming messages, create chat sessions, modify messages, and carry out other malicious activity.
The backdoor provided nearly complete access without authentication to Skype on OS X, and appears to have been around since at least 2010, security vendor Trustwave said in an advisory this week.