Microsoft Weekly: AD’s woes, acquisitions galore and Bingo was its name

We are at the end of the week and although it has been relatively slow due to the holiday season, there are still things worth recapping in case you haven’t been keeping up with our daily coverage. This week, we learned more about Active Directory (AD) issues, one of Microsoft’s naming considerations when Cortana was baptized, as well as some cool stuff about Windows 11. Find out more in our recap from December 18 to 24.

The woes of Active Directory

Windows 10 logo gradient from blue to peach

Earlier this week, Microsoft issued an advisory on some vulnerabilities reported in AD a few weeks ago. Although the company released fixes in November, it is again asking customers to immediately apply the fix to domain controllers because a proof-of-concept tool that exploits the issues has now been released and can be used by malicious actors. Threat actors can now gain domain administrator privileges in AD quite easily as long as they can compromise a regular user account, which means it is essential for organizations to update their domain controllers. as soon as possible.

Acquisitions galore

The Microsoft logo in front of the EU flag

There are two notable acquisitions to be covered in this week’s recap. The first is Microsoft’s purchase of Nuance, which was ultimately approved by the European Union (EU). Nuance is a transcription software company, and the EU has given unconditional approval to the deal, which is said to be valued at $ 16 billion. The EU’s blessing is a major hurdle Microsoft has overcome in terms of finalizing the deal as the US and Australia have already felt it poses no competition concerns and have given it the green light.

The second acquisition is in a whole different area. Microsoft has entered into a contract to acquire Xandr, which is AT & T’s global programmatic advertising marketplace. With the support of Xandr, Microsoft will be able to accelerate the delivery of digital advertising solutions for the open web by bringing together Xandr’s data-driven platforms for advertising and Microsoft technology and the global advertising customer base.

Bing-o was (almost) his name-o

Face of Cortanas in space

It turns out that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer wanted the company’s virtual assistant to be called “Bingo” instead of Cortana. For those who don’t know, Cortana is the name of AI’s virtual companion for Halothe main protagonist of Master Chief, while Bingo … well, it probably comes from the word “Bing”, which is Microsoft’s search engine. While the latter may have made sense to Ballmer in terms of functionality and branding, the name Cortana received overwhelming support from the Windows and Windows Phone user base.

Speaking of Windows, a third-party developer has released a Dark Mode for Paint on Windows 11. Although the ability to officially activate it has already been promised by Microsoft, we have yet to see this happen. If you just can’t wait and are on the Windows 11 Dev Channel, you should probably check out the workaround, while taking the risk of installing third-party packages.

Finally, fans of Microsoft’s Edge browser will be pleased to learn that the web capture tool now works with PDF files in the Canary Channel. It’s unclear when the feature will make its way to the stable channel, but it should be as soon as possible, in light of current development.

Development channel

Gold Games January 2021

Under the projectors

A screenshot of News & Interests in Windows 10

This week, I explained how I missed the news and interests integration with the taskbar when using Windows 11. The operating system widgets just don’t work. the same feel as they essentially behave as a separate application rather than providing information and utilities in the taskbar. , which should be the main focus of Widgets, and something that Windows 10 provides to some extent, in my opinion.

Feedback Hub graphic on a laptop with the logo on the left

I also explained how Microsoft needs to correct the number of upvotes in its Feedback Hub. Currently, we’ve seen drops of up to 40% in the Popular Comments metric, and it’s clear that something is wrong. Since there is no way to vote against comments in the tool, this has led to speculation as to whether this was a malicious bug or intentionally malicious behavior by Microsoft. , but it is clear that action must be taken.


Header image showing eighty percent game compatibility

Our most interesting news of the week came from our new reporter Dean Howell, who noted that 80% of Steam’s top 100 games now run on Linux. This includes titles like Microsoft Flight Simulator, No Man’s Sky, Back 4 Blood, Cookie clicker, Dark Souls III, and more. You can expect these games to work on Linux just like they do on Windows. Check out Dean’s analysis here.

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Steven L. Nielsen