BetaNews: Paint will soon be available to download from the Microsoft Store. “Four years ago, Microsoft announced plans to kill off Paint, a fixture of Windows since the operating system’s first release back in 1985. There was a huge outcry at the news and Microsoft eventually backtracked, stating its simple graphics program would live on, but in the Microsoft Store.”
CNN: Microsoft earns contract worth up to $21.9 billion to make AR devices for the US Army. “The Army announced Wednesday that it had awarded Microsoft (MSFT) a contract to produce augmented reality systems based on its HoloLens 2 device called Integrated Visual Augmented Systems (IVAS). The devices are designed to help soldiers, ‘fight, rehearse and train using a single platform,’ the Army said. The deal has a five-year base and a five-year option to extend, and could be worth up to almost $21.9 billion over the full 10 years.”
BetaNews: Microsoft releases optional KB5000842 update to fix lots of Windows 10 problems. “For Microsoft, March was marred by a string of problematic Windows 10 updates that caused a series of problems with printing and more. As we reach the end of the month, the company has released an optional patch which it will almost certainly be hoping proves less problematic.” Again.
Pocketnow: Microsoft’s new tool turns Word files into PowerPoint presentation using AI. “Microsoft has announced a new feature that uses AI to turn Word files into a PowerPoint presentation. Called Export to PowerPoint presentation, the feature has started to roll out for Word and PowerPoint on the web, and users with an Office 365 subscription can now access it. All you have to do is open a Word file on the web, hit the Export button on the left sidebar, then tap on the Export to PowerPoint presentation, and you’re good to go.” Apparently this feature only supports text-based Word files, so we’re still at step one, but what a great start.
TechRadar Pro: Speech-to-text apps: Microsoft vs Google – which is the best for dictation?. “Microsoft Azure Speech Service and Google Cloud Speech-to-Text are leading platforms for voice typing, transcription, and productivity. But when push comes to shove and you have to choose one of these platforms over the other, which is better? In this guide, we’ll compare the Microsoft and Google speech-to-text apps to help you decide.”
CNET: Microsoft reportedly in talks to buy gaming chat app Discord for $10B. “Microsoft is in negotiations to acquire Discord — a messaging app for gamers — for $10 billion, Bloomberg reported Monday. That followed an earlier report by VentureBeat that the San Francisco-based company had received interest from several buyers.”
MakeUseOf: How to Automate Routine Tasks Using Microsoft Power Automate. “Microsoft Power Automate is a cloud-based service that allows you to automate workflows. Say you have a routine task like checking for an email from your manager every day. It’s easy to forget this simple task. Using Microsoft Power Automate you can schedule a reminder notification to check for your manager’s email at a set time. There are also many more workflows you can automate including complex data collection business processes. In other words, Microsoft Power Automate is more than a simple task scheduler. It is a secure cloud service that can help you streamline your business.”
The Register: Microsoft sets the date for the Great Return to the Redmond offices (kind of). “Microsoft has firmed up plans to reopen its facilities and set 29 March as the date when employees might once again set foot in its Redmond-based HQ.”
AP: Tool created to aid cleanup from Microsoft hack in broad use. “A tool designed to help businesses protect themselves from further compromises after a global hack of Microsoft email server software has been downloaded more than 25,000 times since it was released last week, the White House’s National Security Council said Monday. As a result, the number of vulnerable systems has fallen by 45%, according to an NSC spokesperson.”
PC World: Microsoft’s ‘Find My Device’ is the PC management tool you didn’t know you needed . “We originally covered Find My Device when it debuted about six years ago as a service to, obviously, find a lost device. It’s changed so little that you can still use the instructions in the original article to enable it. The feature made far more sense when Microsoft actually sold devices that could be lost—i.e., Windows phones. Once Microsoft discontinued Windows 10 Mobile, you might think that much of that value went away. Over time, though, the opposite occurred.”
BetaNews: Windows 10 update saga continues as Microsoft re-releases KB5001649 printing patch. “Over the weekend we reported that Microsoft had paused the rollout of the out-of-band patch for the ongoing printing problems in Windows 10. The cessation came after reports of installation problems associated with the fix. Now it appears that the company has re-released the KB5001649 update, but it remains to be seen whether this finally brings to an end the lengthy and embarrassing saga for Microsoft.”
PC World: Microsoft is testing its own IFTTT clone within Windows. “Microsoft’s Power Platform is an entire suite of Microsoft applications you’ve probably never heard of. Think of it as a framework for developing apps for people who can’t develop apps. And now one of the applications, Power Automate Desktop, may be headed to Windows as a sort of superpowered macro tool.”