Posts Tagged: Microsoft

Whistleblower says Microsoft spent millions on bribes abroad

In an essay published Friday on the whistleblower platform Lioness, former Microsoft manager Yasser Elabd alleged that Microsoft fired him after he alerted leadership to a workplace where employees, subcontractors and government operators regularly engaged in bribery. He further alleges that attempts to escalate his concerns resulted in retaliation within Microsoft by managers, and eventual termination from his role.

Elabd claims in his essay that he worked for Microsoft between 1998 and 2018, and had oversight into a "business investment fund " — essentially a slush fund to "cement longer-term deals" in the Mid-East and Africa. But he grew suspicious of unusual payments to seemingly unqualified partners. After examining several independent audits, he discovered what he believes is a common practice: After setting up a large sale to entities in the region, a "discount" would be baked in, only for the difference between the full-freight cost and discounted fee to be skimmed off and divided between the deal-makers.

“This decision maker on the customer side would send an email to Microsoft requesting a discount, which would be granted, but the end customer would pay the full fee anyway. The amount of the discount would then be distributed among the parties in cahoots: the Microsoft employee(s) involved in the scheme, the partner, and the decision maker at the purchasing entity—often a government official,” Elabd alleged.

The former Microsoft manager gave several examples of suspicious transactions and red flags he witnessed over his two decades working for the company abroad. In one audit, Microsoft gave the Saudi Ministry of the Interior a $ 13.6 million discount which never reached the agency’s doors. In 2015, a Nigerian official complained that the government paid $ 5.5 million for licenses "for hardware they did not possess."

In another example, Qatar’s Ministry of Education paid $ 9.5 million, over a period of seven years, for Microsoft Office and Windows licenses that went unused. Auditors later discovered that employees at that agency didn’t even have access to computers.

“We are committed to doing business in a responsible way and always encourage anyone to report anything they see that may violate the law, our policies, or our ethical standards,” Becky Lenaburg, a VP at Microsoft and deputy general counsel for compliance and ethics, wrote in a statement to The Verge. “We believe we’ve previously investigated these allegations, which are many years old, and addressed them. We cooperated with government agencies to resolve any concerns.”

Elabd claims his attempts to alert managers resulted in his being shouted at by one manager, iced out of certain deals and told by an executive that he had effectively set himself up to be let go after attempting to involve CEO Satya Nadella. After being terminated, Elabd wrote that he brought his documentation before the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice. He claims the DoJ refused to take up his case. According to Protocol, the SEC dropped the case earlier this month due to a lack of resources.

“As I alleged in my complaint to the SEC, Microsoft is violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and continues to do so brazenly. And why wouldn’t they?" wrote Elabd. "By declining to investigate these allegations and the evidence I’ve given them, the SEC and DOJ have given Microsoft the green light.”

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Microsoft opened Activision acquisition talks three days after CEO harassment report

When Microsoft announced it would spend $ 68.7 billion to buy Activision Blizzard to bolster its Xbox gaming division, the news came as a surprise to many. For months, the troubled publisher had been in headlines stemming from the workplace sexual harassment lawsuit filed by California’s fair employment agency in July. The bad press hit a fever pitch on November 16th after The Wall Street Journal published a report that asserted Activision CEO Bobby Kotick had not only known about many of the incidents of sexual harassment that had occured at the company but had also acted to protect those who were responsible for the abuse.

Days after that article came out, Xbox chief Phil Spencer reportedly told employees he was “distributed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions” that allegedly took place at Activision Blizzard and that Microsoft would re-evaluate its relationship with the publisher. It’s one day after that email that Spencer called Kotick to start the process that would end with Microsoft announcing plans to buy Activision Blizzard some two months later, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing first spotted by CNBC.

Starting on page 31 of the document, Microsoft devotes nearly 10 pages detailing the timeline of its talks with Activision. According to the filing, Spencer told Kotick during their November 19th phone call that “Microsoft was interested in discussing strategic opportunities” between the two companies and asked if he had time to talk to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella the following day. That Saturday, November 20th, Nadella made it clear Microsoft hoped to purchase the publisher, stating the company was “interested in exploring a strategic combination with Activision Blizzard.”

It turns out the quick pace at which the talks moved was mainly due to all the other companies interested in buying up Activision Blizzard after its stock dived in November. At least four other companies contacted the publisher about a possible acquisition. None of them are named in the SEC filing. However, one notably wanted to just buy Blizzard. Activision didn’t move forward with that option because the company’s board of directors deemed the sale would have been too difficult to pull off.

The document also details the terms of the purchase agreement. If the deal doesn’t go through due to antitrust complications, Microsoft has agreed to pay Activision Blizzard a termination fee of up $ 3 billion. A few years ago, that’s a possibility Microsoft probably wouldn’t have had to worry about too much, but 2022 finds the company in a very different regulatory environment. At the start of the month, NVIDIA abandoned a $ 40 billion bid to buy ARM after the Federal Trade Commission sued to block the purchase. President Biden appointed Lina Khan, the Commission’s current chair, to the position on the strength of her experience in antitrust law. When the NVIDIA-ARM deal fell through, the agency specifically noted it was "significant" because it "represents the first abandonment of a litigated vertical merger in many years." 

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Microsoft had to use Xbox dev kits to run a ‘Halo Infinite’ tournament

Even Microsoft is feeling the sting of ongoing Xbox shortages. Kotakunotes Microsoft resorted to using Xbox Series X dev kits (not pictured) to run the first big Halo Infinite tournament, the Halo Championship Series' Raleigh Major, this weekend. Simply put, the company couldn't find enough retail consoles to use — the "global supply chain shortage is real," 343 Industries' eSports lead Tahir Hasandjekic said.

The dev kits are "functionally identical" to off-the-shelf consoles and will operate in that mode, Hasandjekic added. They don't look quite the same, but competitors shouldn't notice any differences from the systems they have at home.

The irony is thick, but this also underscores the severity of console shortages over a year after the Xbox Series X made its debut. It's still difficult to buy the machine between scalpers and industry-wide chip shortages, and Microsoft doesn't necessarily have privileged access to its own hardware. With that said, the company probably doesn't want to make a habit of using developer units. We won't be surprised if Microsoft ensures future in-person HCS matchups rely on store-bought Xbox systems, if just for the sake of burnishing its public image.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Microsoft OneDrive app will stop syncing with Windows 7 and 8 on March 1st, 2022

Microsoft is trying to nudge more people toward newer Windows versions. As Thurottreports, Microsoft has warned that the OneDrive desktop app will stop syncing with personal Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 computers on March 1st, 2022. The software will no longer receive updates from January 1st onward. You can still use the web to manually transfer files, but that's clearly a hassle if you routinely access cloud files from an older PC.

Business customers won't have much of a reprieve, either. Microsoft is tying corporate OneDrive support to the Windows cycle for relevant machines. Windows 7 and 8.1 workplace users will have until January 10th, 2023 (the end of extended support for both platforms), while Windows 8 users are already out of luck.

The company wasn't shy about its reasoning. This will help "focus resources" on newer Windows platforms and technologies, according to OneDrive developers. In other words, Microsoft really wants you to upgrade to Windows 10 or Windows 11.

This isn't a completely unexpected move. Microsoft has long had trouble persuading some customers to upgrade to newer versions of Windows, to the point where companies and governments would rather pay for special support contracts than update. That hurts Microsoft's bottom line, of course, but it also poses security risks — WannaCry took advantage of organizations running outdated Windows versions. The new OneDrive policy may push some users to install newer Windows versions even if they're otherwise happy with an old operating system.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Good news! Microsoft says that Android 11 could roll out to the Surface Duo in 2021

Microsoft announced the Surface Duo 2 earlier this week which boasts fixes for many of the complaints leveled at the first model, including the presence of Android 11. Those who stumped up the cash for the original Surface Duo will be painfully aware that it’s still languishing on Android 10, the version of Android that […]

Come comment on this article: Good news! Microsoft says that Android 11 could roll out to the Surface Duo in 2021

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

Microsoft Surface Duo 2 vs. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3: Which reigns as king?

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is arguably the best folding phone on the market. How does it fare against Microsoft’s new Surface Duo 2?
Android | Digital Trends

How to pre-order the Microsoft Surface Duo 2

Microsoft has unleashed the Surface Duo 2, fixing much of what was wrong with the original. Here is how to pre-order one today.
Android | Digital Trends

How to pre-order the Microsoft Surface Duo 2

Microsoft has unleashed the Surface Duo 2, fixing much of what was wrong with the original. Here is how to pre-order one today.
Android | Digital Trends

Three things the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 needs to succeed

Microsoft plans to release the Microsoft Surface Duo 2 on September 22. Here are three things it needs to succeed.
Emerging Tech | Digital Trends

Microsoft is reportedly developing its own ARM-based chips for Surface PCs

It sounds like Apple isn’t the only company that wants to reduce its reliance on Intel. According to Bloomberg, Microsoft is developing in-house ARM processors to power its Surface devices and cloud infrastructure. While there aren’t many details on…
Engadget

Microsoft Surface Duo won’t make it outside of the US this year

The Microsoft Surface Duo folding phone in August 2020, bringing the company back into the cell phone game after the failure of Windows Phone. We had questions and concerns, however, and the least of which was availability. Microsoft Surface Duo launches in 2021 The phone itself has some questionable hardware, which is partly due to […]

Come comment on this article: Microsoft Surface Duo won’t make it outside of the US this year

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

Microsoft might bring resizable Android apps to Windows 10 from your phone

Microsoft gave up on Windows Phone, but lately we’ve seen a hard pivot into turning Android as the mobile companion to Windows 10. Every couple months it seems like we get a new feature teased that makes your smartphone and computer sync up a little bit better. Windows 10 Android apps The latest tease comes […]

Come comment on this article: Microsoft might bring resizable Android apps to Windows 10 from your phone

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

Microsoft outlines recent Edge browser improvements

In a new post on the Microsoft Edge blog, the browser’s Principal PM Lead Kim Denny has outlined how the company made it faster and more efficient over the past few months. To help users perform their tasks as quickly as possible, the team rolled out…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft releases a final preview for Windows 10’s October update

The Windows 10 20H2 update will arrive next month with a few new features, like a visually refreshed Start menu, improved notifications, preinstalled Chromium Edge browser and the ability to Alt+Tab through Edge tabs. It’s also bringing more of the f…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft Surface Duo teardown reveals ‘refreshingly simple hinge design’

iFixit has pulled apart a Microsoft Surface Duo, giving us a look at what’s inside the dual-screen device. One of the team’s most notable findings is that the Duo has a “refreshingly simple hinge design” compared to the ones found in foldable devices…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft says Apple’s game streaming policy will lead to ‘a bad experience’

Earlier today, Apple revised its App Store guidelines to give companies such as Microsoft and Google a way to offer their video game streaming platforms on iOS, but did so with a major caveat. Apple said those companies could release catalog-style ap…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft Launcher 6.2 released, containing new features and bug fixes including landscape mode

Microsoft Launcher 6.2 has been released, and the updated version includes several new features and a number of bug fixes to improve reliability and stability. We recently covered how the Microsoft Launcher received a major upgrade, and today’s update appears to be smaller but contains several useful new features. These include enabling landscape mode, a […]

Come comment on this article: Microsoft Launcher 6.2 released, containing new features and bug fixes including landscape mode

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

FT: Oracle joins Microsoft as a possible bidder for TikTok

For a couple of weeks, Microsoft had been the only name publicly attached as a potential buyer for TikTok, and it has about a month left before the announced September 15th deadline to make a deal. Since then, Twitter was reported as a company in “pr…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft says it’s aiming to close TikTok deal by September 15th

Microsoft added a dose of clarity to the reports of its impending TikTok purchase tonight, issuing a blog post that confirms it’s pursuing discussions with ByteDance. The company notes that CEO Satya Nadella discussed the matter with President Trump,…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft confirms free ‘Halo Infinite’ multiplayer running at 120FPS

After a leak from an Irish retailer gave up the goods, Microsoft has confirmed the news — Halo Infinite will include a free-to-play multiplayer mode, and it’s running at 120FPS. This news wasn’t revealed during last week’s Xbox Series X gameplay show…
Engadget RSS Feed

Looks like AT&T will carry the weird Microsoft Surface Duo phone

While the Microsoft Surface Duo was originally announced back in October of 2019, Microsoft wasn’t planning on an immediate launch. It’s been tentatively scheduled for a holiday 2020 release, and it seems like we’re still going to hit that date, even with a pandemic. Additionally, it looks like Microsoft has courted AT&T into the folding […]

Come comment on this article: Looks like AT&T will carry the weird Microsoft Surface Duo phone

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

Microsoft migrates ‘Minecraft’ from Amazon Web Services to its own Azure

Being owned by Microsoft, you would think Minecraft developer Mojang would be all about using tools like Teams and Office. But when it comes to some of its online infrastructure, the studio has been using the platform of one of Microsoft’s main compe…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft confirm Game Streaming service xCloud launch for September 2020

Microsoft have officially announced the xCloud launch. The Google Stadia rival game streaming service goes live in September. As part of a big update on the future of gaming, Microsoft gave further details on the Xbox Series X and xCloud. In September, the xCloud service will go live for current Game Pass Ultimate subscribers ($ 15 […]

Come comment on this article: Microsoft confirm Game Streaming service xCloud launch for September 2020

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

Microsoft Launcher updated to v6 complete with reduced memory use, quicker launch times, and more

Microsoft Launcher has been updated to version 6.0, which the company says has been built on a new codebase, allowing the developers to include more new features than ever plus reduced memory use, quicker launch times, and lower battery use. The Microsoft Launcher for Android was designed to make it easier to move from working […]

Come comment on this article: Microsoft Launcher updated to v6 complete with reduced memory use, quicker launch times, and more

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

Microsoft will resume optional non-security Windows 10 updates in July

Microsoft will soon start rolling out non—security updates again, just as the world starts loosening lockdown orders and we all get used to a new normal. The tech giant paused optional Windows updates back in March in response to the pandemic, so it…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft employees ask the company to end contracts with Seattle police

Hundreds of Microsoft employees are calling on the company to cancel its contracts with the Seattle Police Department (SPD) and make other changes in response to police use of tear gas and other violent tactics during recent peaceful protests, OneZer…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft launches Bing Wallpapers on Android for you daily dose of home screen customization

Microsoft really likes Android as a platform, and they’ve been consistently releasing new apps and features for phones over the last few years. This ranges from Microsoft Office apps to full home screen launchers, math solvers, and more. The latest addition to their mobile portfolio is a Bing Wallpapers app, which gives everyone access to […]

Come comment on this article: Microsoft launches Bing Wallpapers on Android for you daily dose of home screen customization

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

Microsoft made a Nike Air Max 90 Xbox but you can’t buy it

The Super Bowl is right around the corner, so here come all the brand collabs. To celebrate Sunday's showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers, Xbox, EA Sports and Nike have joined forces to create a limited-edition custom Xbox…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft workers say it’s making progress on diversity

Microsoft's push for greater diversity in its workforce appears to be paying off, and it's not just the company's management saying so this time. The tech giant's 2019 Diversity and Inclusion report offers the first public glimpse at Microsoft's Incl…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft merges all of their mobile productivity apps into one Office hub

Microsoft has announced that they’ll be taking their existing Word, Excel, and Powerpoint applications on Android and iOS and merging them into a single Office app. Fortunately there’s no loss of functionality with this change, but it should make things a little more fluid on your phone and take up less space, too. Alongside this […]

Come comment on this article: Microsoft merges all of their mobile productivity apps into one Office hub

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

Microsoft patent application describes a vibrating floor mat for VR

Microsoft has filed a patent for a floor mat that could prevent you from crashing into furniture while you're exploring new worlds in virtual reality. It's also an indicator the company is still interested in bringing VR to the Xbox ecosystem, after…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft has just announced the Surface Duo – a dual-screened smartphone running on Android

When you think of Microsoft and smartphones you might think back to the company buying Nokia and then failing to achieve anything other than pleasing a niche market with its Windows Phone OS. Since then, Microsoft has slowly but surely moved its focus to making its apps and services available via the Google Play Store, […]

Come comment on this article: Microsoft has just announced the Surface Duo – a dual-screened smartphone running on Android

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

The Morning After: Our 2019 Microsoft Surface event preview

Hey, good morning! You look fabulous. Microsoft's 2019 Surface event is just hours away, so before we kick off coverage at 10AM ET, it's time to lay out everything we're hoping to see unveiled. Also, Nintendo released a major upgrade for Super Mario…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft makes the Xbox One work with Google Assistant and Google Homes

Microsoft has announced a new integration for its home video game console, the Xbox One, and it should be a big deal for anyone building a smart home with Google Assistant. Like the previously announced Amazon Alexa integration, you’ll now be able to use Google Assistant to control your Xbox One. This works for turning […]

Come comment on this article: Microsoft makes the Xbox One work with Google Assistant and Google Homes

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

Google, Intel and Microsoft form data protection consortium

It's common to secure data when its sitting put or flying to its destination, but not so much when you're actually using it — there's still a risk someone could peek at your content while you work. Industry heavyweights might help keep your info se…
Engadget RSS Feed

[TA Deals] Save over 80% on the Microsoft Network and Security Fundamentals Certification bundle

Certifications for Microsoft software and networking are pretty valuable, but that doesn’t make the tests any less difficult. If you want to make sure you pass them, you’ll want to check out our bundle on the Microsoft Network and Security Fundamentals Certification. This bundle includes training material for two courses: Microsoft MTA-98-366 Network Fundamentals, and […]

Come comment on this article: [TA Deals] Save over 80% on the Microsoft Network and Security Fundamentals Certification bundle

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

[TA Deals] Save 92% on the Microsoft Technology Associate mastery bundle

If you’re ready to take a deep dive and get more familiar with some of Microsoft’s security and networking fundamentals, we’ve got a bundle for you. The Microsoft Technology Associate mastery bundle includes three extremely comprehensive courses. If you’re trying to start up a career using Microsoft tech, these classes will help you ace any […]

Come comment on this article: [TA Deals] Save 92% on the Microsoft Technology Associate mastery bundle

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

[Sponsored] Save big on Windows 10 and Microsoft Office keys from URCDKey’s big sale

Software can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. URCDKey is an online retailer that offers discount on activation codes and software keys, so you can get your computer upgraded without having to shell out a ton of money for things like Windows 10 and Microsoft. They’re currently running a deal on Windows and […]

Come comment on this article: [Sponsored] Save big on Windows 10 and Microsoft Office keys from URCDKey’s big sale

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

Microsoft, Alphabet team up to teach quantum computer programming

The very concept of a quantum computer can be daunting, let alone programming it, but Microsoft thinks it can offer a helping hand. It's partnering with Alphabet's X and Brilliant on an online curriculum for quantum computing. The course starts wit…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft previews Android-to-Windows notification mirroring

Microsoft is rolling out an update to insiders enabling notification mirroring from Android to Windows via their existing ‘Your Phone’ app. Microsoft introduced their ‘Your Phone’ app last year so Windows users can text from their PC, share files between devices, and even mirror their mobile screen as of a few months ago for a […]

Come comment on this article: Microsoft previews Android-to-Windows notification mirroring

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

UK investigates Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony over game service practices

Do you feel that game console giants hold you over a barrel by making you subscribe to a service to play online? You might have an ally in your corner. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority is investigating Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony to see…
Engadget RSS Feed

[TA Deals] Save 98% on the complete Microsoft and Oracle SQL certification bundle

Ready to master Microsoft SQL Server to pad out your resume? We’re running a killer offer on a certification bundle that will teach you everything you need to know about creating and administering Microsoft’s database software and managing a server with it. This bundle includes 11 courses, covering not only Microsoft’s SQL databases and server […]

Come comment on this article: [TA Deals] Save 98% on the complete Microsoft and Oracle SQL certification bundle

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

Microsoft Excel adds photo-to-spreadsheet feature with latest update

Microsoft Excel for Android has been updated with a nifty new feature that was originally teased at a conference last year. If you’re in a rush and need to turn a photo or image into a spreadsheet that you can actually edit, this is now your go-to app. The update uses image recognition and AI […]

Come comment on this article: Microsoft Excel adds photo-to-spreadsheet feature with latest update

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

[TA Deals] Save 97% on the Ultimate Microsoft SQL Certification bundle

Ready to master Microsoft SQL Server to pad out your resume? We’re running a killer offer on a certification bundle that will teach you everything you need to know about creating and administering Microsoft’s database software and managing a server with it. This bundle includes 7 courses that will help you become officially certified with […]

Come comment on this article: [TA Deals] Save 97% on the Ultimate Microsoft SQL Certification bundle

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

Microsoft and MIT can detect AI ‘blind spots’ in self-driving cars

Self-driving cars are still prone to making mistakes, in part because the AI training can only account for so many situations. Microsoft and MIT might just fill in those gaps in knowledge — they've developed a model that can catch these virtual "bl…
Engadget RSS Feed

Microsoft Launcher 5.2 opens up to beta testers with UI changes and better Microsoft Rewards integration

Microsoft may have totally abandoned Windows Phone but their Microsoft Launcher for Android is actually one of the better options for third-party launchers for your smartphone. It has a ton of extra features and integration with Microsoft services, and Microsoft frequently updates it with changes, fixes, and new stuff. The latest version of the launcher, […]

Come comment on this article: Microsoft Launcher 5.2 opens up to beta testers with UI changes and better Microsoft Rewards integration

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid

Apple hires former Tesla and Microsoft senior designer

Apple has hired Andrew Kim, formerly of Tesla and Microsoft, to bolster its design team. Kim captured the attention of many in 2011 with a custom iOS device stand and again in 2012 when, as a fan, he shared his vision for an overhaul of Microsoft's b…
Engadget RSS Feed

Apple and Microsoft are fixing a serious iCloud bug in Windows 10

The return of Windows 10's October update wasn't welcome news for everyone. Microsoft says it's "working with Apple" to solve an iCloud for Windows bug that creates problems updating or syncing shared photo albums when using the latest Windows relea…
Engadget RSS Feed

[TA Deals] Master Microsoft Office with this heavily discounted bundle!

Microsoft’s Office is the world’s most popular productivity suite. It handles documentation, presentations, spreadsheets, and more. If you’re going into business, you need to know how to use Office. The Microsoft Office Mastery Bundle on Talk Android Deals is the perfect way to master the entire suite for a fraction of what online academies charge. This bundle […]

Come comment on this article: [TA Deals] Master Microsoft Office with this heavily discounted bundle!

Visit TalkAndroid


TalkAndroid