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Microsoft Monday: Foldable Smartphone Patent, Surface Pro With … – Forbes

Microsoft Monday: Foldable Smartphone Patent, Surface Pro With … – Forbes


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The Microsoft logo displayed at the annual shareholders meeting in Bellevue, Washington. Photo credit: JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images

“Microsoft Monday&quot; is a weekly column that focuses on all things Microsoft. This week, Microsoft Monday includes details about initiatives for ending the use of passwords, a patent for a foldable smartphone, availability of the Surface Pro with LTE, hints about the release of Andromeda, Edge preview for iOS receiving 3D Touch and more!

Microsoft Points Out The Need To Shift From Traditional Passwords

Microsoft writer and editor Suzanne Choney wrote&nbsp;an interesting op-ed article&nbsp;where she said that&nbsp;it is “time to kill the password.” And I couldn’t agree with her more because it can be quite tedious to remember the combination of letters, numbers and characters.

“Quick: Change your password again. Make sure it has a combination of capital letters, numbers and special characters. Wait, no. Instead, come up with a long random phrase that you should be able to remember. Wait, no. Stop. Stop the madness! It’s time to kill the password,” wrote Choney. “This relic from the early days of computing has long outlived its usefulness, and certainly, its ability to keep criminals at bay. More than two-thirds of people use the same, usually not-very-strong password across dozens of different accounts. Weak passwords and stolen identities are the No. 1 source of data loss. Last year alone, 81 percent of major data breaches could be traced back to one individual’s compromised identity.”

Choney also pointed out that the standard approach for changing passwords frequently is based on guidance issued in 2003 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). And Bill Burr, the retired engineer who write the guideline, said this method has not worked well.

Microsoft has been working on eliminating passwords with the introduction of Windows Hello in Windows 10. Windows Hello works with any Windows 10 device that has biometric sensors to verify the identity of users based on certain physical characteristics such as a face or fingerprint.

And another way Microsoft is eliminating passwords is by integrating with other devices you have with you. For example, the Microsoft Authenticator App on iOS or Android makes it easier to sign into your Microsoft account with a pin or fingerprints for verification. And businesses will soon be able to offer the same authentication features through Azure Active Directory and Microsoft 365.

FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, a nonprofit consortium of companies, is pushing for getting rid of passwords in favor of simpler and stronger authentication. Microsoft is a member of the FIDO board of directors and the consortium also includes Intel, Google, Samsung, Qualcomm, Visa, PayPal, eBay, Bank of America, MasterCard, American Express and Verizon.

Microsoft Files Patent For A Foldable Smartphone

Microsoft

Microsoft’s patent for a foldable smartphone

Windows Latest has spotted&nbsp;a&nbsp;Microsoft patent filing for a foldable smartphone with a hinge that would give people dual screens. There have been rumors that Microsoft is planning to get back into the smartphone market at some point, but with a device that is not like anything else that we have seen before. This would definitely be a game changer if Microsoft releases it.

“Mobile phone displays have increased in size to the point where they can now consume almost the entire viewing surface of a phone. To increase the size of displays any further would require an increase in the size of the phones themselves. This is not desirable, as users want their mobile phone to fit comfortably in their hand or in a shirt or pants pocket,” said Microsoft in the patent,&nbsp;which is titled Hinge with Free-Stop function. &quot;As a result, dual-display devices are becoming more popular. With a dual-display device, the mobile phone or tablet can include an open, expanded position where both displays are flush so that the user feels like there is a single integrated display. In a closed, condensed position, both displays are face-to-face so as to protect the displays. In a fully-open position, the dual displays can sit back-to-back so the user needs to flip the device to view the opposing display.&quot;

Given that this is just a patent, Microsoft still seems like it is far from launching anything based on this idea especially considering Windows 10 Mobile is being phased out and the company wrote off the $7.6 billion acquisition of Nokia in 2015. But Microsoft also surprised many people when it first announced&nbsp;the Surface devices as it did not seem like&nbsp;the company was going to introduce its own computer hardware anytime soon.

Microsoft Starts Testing Andromeda Apps In The Windows Store

According to Windows Central, Microsoft has started testing apps for the Andromeda operating system. Andromeda is believed to be a codename for one of Microsoft’s upcoming operating systems, which is based on a concept where parts of it are modular and can be customized specifically for the device that it is running on.

Under the “Available” section of a Microsoft Store app listing in the Windows Store listing, there was a number that said ‘8828080’ next to PC, Mobile, HoloLens and Hub. The number 8828080 appears to be a placeholder for Andromeda and is based on the phone number (425) 882-8080.

It is also believed that the&nbsp;Andromeda operating system will be used for the hypothetical device running on the patent mentioned above or perhaps&nbsp;a Surface Phone in the future.&nbsp;Several other apps also showed the Andromeda operating system listed in the “Available” section as well like Spotify, but it appears to be removed from all of the apps now.

By temporarily placing the availability of the apps on 8828080, it seems like Microsoft is getting closer to launching the new operating system.

The Surface Pro With LTE Is Now Available For Purchase

Microsoft

Commercial Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced

Microsoft began selling the LTE version of the Surface Pro in early December for business customers and said that consumers would be able to purchase them in 2018.&nbsp;The Commercial Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced is now available at the Microsoft Store with a base price of $1,149. The base model has an Intel Core i5 processor with a 128GB SSD and 4GB of RAM. And the $1,449 version comes with a PixelSense touchscreen display, a&nbsp;Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD and&nbsp;13.5 hours of battery life.

Preview For Microsoft Edge On iOS Receives&nbsp;3D Touch

The preview version of the Microsoft Edge browser for iOS has been updated to support 3D Touch, according to Softpedia. Now when the Edge icon is pushed down, it will allow users to quickly launch a voice search, create a new tab, open an InPrivate tab or launch a QR code scanner.

Plus the updated app has support for LastPass and 1Password. These extensions appear in the share sheet so users can have their usernames and passwords saved in the app to be automatically filled out. Pending&nbsp;the feedback that Microsoft receives, these features should be added to the main Edge app soon.

Microsoft Monday includes seven days worth of updates from the Redmond-based software giant. What are your thoughts about the “Microsoft Monday” news from this week? Please leave a comment!

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The Microsoft logo displayed at the annual shareholders meeting in Bellevue, Washington. Photo credit: JASON REDMOND/AFP/Getty Images

“Microsoft Monday” is a weekly column that focuses on all things Microsoft. This week, Microsoft Monday includes details about initiatives for ending the use of passwords, a patent for a foldable smartphone, availability of the Surface Pro with LTE, hints about the release of Andromeda, Edge preview for iOS receiving 3D Touch and more!

Microsoft Points Out The Need To Shift From Traditional Passwords

Microsoft writer and editor Suzanne Choney wrote an interesting op-ed article where she said that it is “time to kill the password.” And I couldn’t agree with her more because it can be quite tedious to remember the combination of letters, numbers and characters.

“Quick: Change your password again. Make sure it has a combination of capital letters, numbers and special characters. Wait, no. Instead, come up with a long random phrase that you should be able to remember. Wait, no. Stop. Stop the madness! It’s time to kill the password,” wrote Choney. “This relic from the early days of computing has long outlived its usefulness, and certainly, its ability to keep criminals at bay. More than two-thirds of people use the same, usually not-very-strong password across dozens of different accounts. Weak passwords and stolen identities are the No. 1 source of data loss. Last year alone, 81 percent of major data breaches could be traced back to one individual’s compromised identity.”

Choney also pointed out that the standard approach for changing passwords frequently is based on guidance issued in 2003 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). And Bill Burr, the retired engineer who write the guideline, said this method has not worked well.

Microsoft has been working on eliminating passwords with the introduction of Windows Hello in Windows 10. Windows Hello works with any Windows 10 device that has biometric sensors to verify the identity of users based on certain physical characteristics such as a face or fingerprint.

And another way Microsoft is eliminating passwords is by integrating with other devices you have with you. For example, the Microsoft Authenticator App on iOS or Android makes it easier to sign into your Microsoft account with a pin or fingerprints for verification. And businesses will soon be able to offer the same authentication features through Azure Active Directory and Microsoft 365.

FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance, a nonprofit consortium of companies, is pushing for getting rid of passwords in favor of simpler and stronger authentication. Microsoft is a member of the FIDO board of directors and the consortium also includes Intel, Google, Samsung, Qualcomm, Visa, PayPal, eBay, Bank of America, MasterCard, American Express and Verizon.

Microsoft Files Patent For A Foldable Smartphone

Microsoft

Microsoft’s patent for a foldable smartphone

Windows Latest has spotted a Microsoft patent filing for a foldable smartphone with a hinge that would give people dual screens. There have been rumors that Microsoft is planning to get back into the smartphone market at some point, but with a device that is not like anything else that we have seen before. This would definitely be a game changer if Microsoft releases it.

“Mobile phone displays have increased in size to the point where they can now consume almost the entire viewing surface of a phone. To increase the size of displays any further would require an increase in the size of the phones themselves. This is not desirable, as users want their mobile phone to fit comfortably in their hand or in a shirt or pants pocket,” said Microsoft in the patent, which is titled Hinge with Free-Stop function. “As a result, dual-display devices are becoming more popular. With a dual-display device, the mobile phone or tablet can include an open, expanded position where both displays are flush so that the user feels like there is a single integrated display. In a closed, condensed position, both displays are face-to-face so as to protect the displays. In a fully-open position, the dual displays can sit back-to-back so the user needs to flip the device to view the opposing display.”

Given that this is just a patent, Microsoft still seems like it is far from launching anything based on this idea especially considering Windows 10 Mobile is being phased out and the company wrote off the $7.6 billion acquisition of Nokia in 2015. But Microsoft also surprised many people when it first announced the Surface devices as it did not seem like the company was going to introduce its own computer hardware anytime soon.

Microsoft Starts Testing Andromeda Apps In The Windows Store

According to Windows Central, Microsoft has started testing apps for the Andromeda operating system. Andromeda is believed to be a codename for one of Microsoft’s upcoming operating systems, which is based on a concept where parts of it are modular and can be customized specifically for the device that it is running on.

Under the “Available” section of a Microsoft Store app listing in the Windows Store listing, there was a number that said ‘8828080’ next to PC, Mobile, HoloLens and Hub. The number 8828080 appears to be a placeholder for Andromeda and is based on the phone number (425) 882-8080.

It is also believed that the Andromeda operating system will be used for the hypothetical device running on the patent mentioned above or perhaps a Surface Phone in the future. Several other apps also showed the Andromeda operating system listed in the “Available” section as well like Spotify, but it appears to be removed from all of the apps now.

By temporarily placing the availability of the apps on 8828080, it seems like Microsoft is getting closer to launching the new operating system.

The Surface Pro With LTE Is Now Available For Purchase

Microsoft

Commercial Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced

Microsoft began selling the LTE version of the Surface Pro in early December for business customers and said that consumers would be able to purchase them in 2018. The Commercial Microsoft Surface Pro with LTE Advanced is now available at the Microsoft Store with a base price of $1,149. The base model has an Intel Core i5 processor with a 128GB SSD and 4GB of RAM. And the $1,449 version comes with a PixelSense touchscreen display, a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD and 13.5 hours of battery life.

Preview For Microsoft Edge On iOS Receives 3D Touch

The preview version of the Microsoft Edge browser for iOS has been updated to support 3D Touch, according to Softpedia. Now when the Edge icon is pushed down, it will allow users to quickly launch a voice search, create a new tab, open an InPrivate tab or launch a QR code scanner.

Plus the updated app has support for LastPass and 1Password. These extensions appear in the share sheet so users can have their usernames and passwords saved in the app to be automatically filled out. Pending the feedback that Microsoft receives, these features should be added to the main Edge app soon.

Microsoft Monday includes seven days worth of updates from the Redmond-based software giant. What are your thoughts about the “Microsoft Monday” news from this week? Please leave a comment!

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