Amazon's New Encryption ProtocolAmazon

  Amazon aims to remain a major player in Internet circles, and this new venture into Internet security demonstrates that with certainty. Securing Internet traffic has always been a chief concern for Internet users, especially those who serve data. Whereas Internet security is clearly an ever-evolving challenge it makes clear sense to ensure that protocols used to secure information also evolve. Most people have heard of the term SSL and some maybe even know what TLS is but Amazon's new encryption protocol is known as s2n which is a very new term and a new endeavor for Amazon. So what does this all mean?


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Windows 10 Will Be FREE For Most PC Users


  Microsoft announced today that Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for most PC users, and it will also be free for Windows Phone 8.1 users. If you are currently running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on your PC you will be able to upgrade later this year to Windows 10 at no cost, over the first year following release. If you are running a Windows phone using Windows phone 8.1 you will also be able to upgrade that OS to Windows 10 for free. It is important to remember that when Windows 8 was released it was offered as a "low-cost" upgrade for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 users. This free upgrade Microsoft announced today is a little different and probably for good reason, whereas Windows 8 had suffered so much criticism from the public and the industry. It was clear that Microsoft needed to make it right with its customer base and that is what they intend to do with this free upgrade to Windows 10.


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  This free upgrade to Windows 10 is not the only thing that was announced about Windows 10 today by Microsoft. It is quite clear that Windows 10 is intended to be almost completely cross-platform, engaging many devices and hoping to entice a new customer base beyond that which currently uses PCs, laptops, tablets, and smart phones. The different kinds of devices being used today across the world present themselves as a new market for the Windows OS and Microsoft intends to grab a market share and at the same time restore faith in their company and Windows.This could be a daunting task and I'm fairly certain that Microsoft understands that. In the next few months the current Windows 10 "insiders" who are testing the Windows 10 technical preview will get a chance to test even more functionality such as the new Cortana and perhaps something called HoloLens (can you say holograms?). The next few months will be very interesting and in fact critical to Microsoft's Windows reputation as the attempt to deliver Windows 10 commercially to the public is slated to be some time this summer.



  The new Windows 10 OS is intended to be used on devices with all sizes of screens and even devices that do not use screens. Microsoft's Xbox will use Windows 10, wearables will use Windows 10, hybrids and televisions will use Windows 10. Microsoft also states that between all devices that Windows 10 can run there will be a single common development platform for developers to use. This will also be a move in the right direction for Microsoft in making it easier for those wishing to develop apps to do so and have them work on multiple devices more easily. If you would like to see all the details, the webcast for Microsoft earlier today is available for replay here.


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Microsoft to Change Their Business Model


  With the release of the newest Microsoft OS next year there will also be a formal change to the way Microsoft generates revenue with its software. According to Microsoft's current COO Kevin Turner the company is looking to change its business model to conform with changes occurring in many businesses including technology and software. What Microsoft has done for decades, as most every other software manufacturer also had done, is to charge the customer up front for the full cost of their software products. Whereas many of Microsoft's products now have competition from other Tech Giants offering free alternatives as well as subscription alternatives, Kevin Turner states that Microsoft "needs to monetize it differently". This can refer to the upcoming Windows 10 OS and other Microsoft offerings. So what exactly does this mean for the consumer?




Windows 10 Technical Preview Now Available


  No more speculating on what the "new Windows" will be named - Microsoft released the Windows 10 Technical Preview yesterday for those who wish to evaluate it and essentially help them develop Windows 10. Microsoft has moved things up a notch (or maybe that's 1.9 notches) by skipping over what might have been named Windows 9 and gaining a degree of separation from Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. This Technical Preview is really exactly that, meaning two basic things: To use this software requires a certain level of Technical capability, AND it is only a Preview of what Windows 10 will eventually become. There are definitive caveats which accompany downloading and using the Windows 10 Technical Preview, so please do be very careful as to how you might proceed if you decide to become a Windows Insider and actually use this software. Please note that to use the Windows 10 Technical Preview you must have a computer currently running either Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8/8.1.



Microsoft Still Issuing Some Updates For XP


  Microsoft had stated that as of April 8th 2014 Windows XP would no longer be supported; however, evidently Microsoft is in fact still supporting Windows XP to a certain extent. Starting later in April with several updates to Windows Defender and one for Internet Explorer 8, Microsoft later also issued a Security Update for Windows XP on April 11th 2014 (KB2510531). Since that time, there have been updates to Windows Defender, IE8, Microsoft Office, and even Silverlight. Interesting also that there was an update issued specific to Windows XP (KB890830) entitled "Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool July 2014". But wait - there's more...