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Microsoft rushes to fix Internet Explorer bug

Computer firm Microsoft is hurrying to fix a bug with the Internet Explorer browser after it emerged that hackers have already exploited the glitch with attacks on US companies.

Computer giant Microsoft is working to fix a bug with its Internet Explorer browser. Credit: DPA DEUTSCHE PRESS-AGENTUR/DPA/Press Association Images

Microsoft said the bug could allow hackers to take over a computer, install malicious programmes and create user accounts.

Cybersecurity firm FireEye said so far there had been "targeted attacks seemingly against U.S.-based firms, currently tied to defence and financial sectors".

Read: Heartbleed hackers could target 'unpatched systems'

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Microsoft criticised for searching blogger's email

Technology giant Microsoft has confirmed changes in its data policy after it admitted scanning the Hotmail email account - which it owns and operates - of a French internet blogger to gather evidence over possible information leaks.

It was claimed a former employee had leaked confidential copies of the Windows 8 operating system before it was released to the public.

Microsoft admitted breaking into the bloggers account. Credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

In a statement, Microsoft said in the future they will use an independent legal team to analyse whether or not they have the right to search personal accounts.

Vice president John Frank said they were "aware they needed to work to keep customer trust...and that privacy is incredibly important to us."

Read up on Bill Gates taking a new role as technology adviser

Bill Gates takes new role as technology adviser

Microsoft has announced Bill Gates, previously chairman of the board of directors, will assume a new role on the board as founder and technology advisor, in a shake-up that will see Satya Nadella become CEO.

The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates
The founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Microsoft said Gates, who founded the company in 1975, will devote more time to the company, supporting Nadella in shaping technology and product direction.

John Thompson, lead independent director for the board of directors, will assume the role of chairman of the board of directors and remain an independent director on the board.

Read: Microsoft names Satya Nadella new CEO

Microsoft names Satya Nadella new CEO

Microsoft has named Satya Nadella as Chief Executive Officer effective immediately, after a five month long search to find Steve Ballmer's successor.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO
Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO Credit: Microsoft

Nadella joined the compnay in 1992 and was charged with overseeing the company’s move to the cloud and the development of the cloud infrastructures that support Bing, Xbox, Office and other services.

“During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella,” said Bill Gates, Microsoft’s Founder

Nadella is the third person to lead Microsoft since Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded the company in 1975.

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Microsoft to 'distance itself' from Windows 8

Microsoft is expected to drop the Windows 8 brand following user criticism since its high profile launch in 2012.

Windows 8 launched in 2012. Credit: Reuters

The operating system was tipped to secure the technology giant's place on the tablet market, but sales have been poor and customers have not responded well to its colourful tile interface and lack of many Windows staples, such as the 'Start' button.

Watch: Windows 8 tries to combine the best of tablet and desktop computers

An update, Windows 8.1, was released last year but the company is ultimately expected to scrap the brand for a new operating system, codenamed Threshold. It is expected that the replacement will simply be called Windows 9 when it is rolled out in 2015.

Respected Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrock wrote on his website: "To distance itself from the Windows 8 debacle, Microsoft is currently planning to drop the Windows 8 name and brand this next release as Windows 9. That could change, but that's the current thinking."

XBox One vs Playstation 4: What the experts think

Microsoft's XBox One has launched a week earlier than Sony's Playstation 4, but which console will do best in the Christmas shopping wars? The experts take a closer look.

The XBox One goes up against the Playstation 4 in the Christmas shopping wars.
The XBox One goes up against the Playstation 4 in the Christmas shopping wars. Credit: REUTERS/Nick Adams

Stuff:

"The Xbox One is the more ambitious console, but it just doesn’t quite manage to follow through on all of its potential. Yet.

"The PS4 on the other hand might have less media and voice control powers, but its beefier specs promise a slew of eye-watering exclusive titles further down the line."

The Playstation 4
The Playstation 4 Credit: REUTERS/David McNew

Extreme Tech:

"In terms of functionality, polish, and games, the Xbox One is the better console.

"The Xbox One is a better launch-day console than the PS4, but I don’t think we’ll see a real leader emerge for a year or two: Microsoft needs to push a lot of software patches, and Sony needs to publish some games that really take advantage of the PS4?s superior hardware."

Expert Reviews:

"Microsoft has made bold promises of dedicated servers for multiplayer games and it has the track record to back them up.

"If online mutiplayer is more important to you than anything else, we'd be leaning towards the Xbox One."

The XBox One.
The XBox One on display earlier this year. Credit: Christoph Dernbach/DPA/Press Association Images

Techradar:

"Both systems are evenly matched in many respects and should be able to usher in the next generation of gaming that the [Nintendo] Wii U hasn't been able to deliver."

Xbox One: Key features of Microsoft's newest console

The new Xbox One console costs £429, and comes with one controller. Here's what users can expect:

  • Voice and gesture recognition
  • 500GB hard drive
  • Video recording capability of gaming - up to 30 seconds
  • Snap feature allows users to run two applications at once
  • Runs TV Kinect-powered
  • Launches with three games: Dead Rising 3, a zombie survival game; Forza Motorsport 5

Read: US fans wait in line for new Xbox One

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