January 2017
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Razer acquires Nextbit, the startup behind the Robin smartphone
Razer Nextbit smartphone
Three months after acquiring iconic audio tech company THX, Razer is making another move to expand its business beyond hardware and software for the gaming community. The company has acquired Nextbit, the startup behind the Robin smartphone, founded by Android veterans who had set out with high hopes (and some decent funding) to rethink how to build a mobile phone that leaned on cloud storage.
Financial terms of the deal, which closed earlier this month, have not been disclosed by either company, but sources hint that there was a decent equity portion to it. Nextbit had raised $18 million in funding from Accel, GV and Dentsu, plus another $1.36 million on Kickstarter as part of a crowdfunding campaign partly used to market the Robin smartphone.
Razer will be bringing on Nextbit’s staff of 30, and Min-Liang Tan, Razer’s co-founder and CEO, said in an interview that the plan will be to develop more products keeping the Nextbit brand, which will operate as its own standalone business unit.
“We’ve been huge fans of what Nexbit has been doing,” he said, “both the work on the phone technology and on the cloud-based storage side of things. There is a lot of potential and talent.”
But the carry-over will not include Nextbit’s Robin phone — which in any case was no longer being sold by Nextbit, either. Min confirmed that the Robin has been discontinued, but the software and existing phones will continue to be supported for at least the next six months.
As for what is coming next, Min would not specify whether that will be something similar to what Nextbit has made before or something else altogether.
“We’ll be ready to talk about that when we’re ready,” Min said in an interview. “With Nextbit, it was really the software and design talent we wanted to bring in. We have a good track record of going into traditional markets and building out from there.”
After THX, and gaming company Ouya, this is the third recent acquisition for Razer (which itself has disclosed around $125 million in funding from backers like Intel and Accel, with a valuation of well over $1 billion). But as a possible guidance of where Razer might go with Nextbit, we could look further back to 2008, when Razer quietly acquired another company, OQO, whose team served as the core of its move into laptops.
Another clue might be found in something that Tom Moss, the co-founder of Nextbit who served as its CEO, told me about the acquisition. He said there were others who approached Nextbit, “the companies you would expect, some interested in what we were already doing in hardware, and others interested in what we were doing in software,” but the good thing about Razer, he added, “is that we can continue to do both.”
(Moss and Min were introduced, he said, not by common investor Accel but by John Lagerling, VP of partnerships at Facebook, which is probably the perfect job for him.)
Razer has been focused squarely on gaming (the company’s motto is “For Gamers. By Gamers”), and it has been a pretty aggressive believer in targeted, vertical integration, building a wide range of hardware and software for the gaming market. So it’s interesting that before now, the company has stayed away from making mobile phones, which have such a strong link to the gaming world.
It’s not clear why that’s the case, but it’s worth wondering what kind of a role the branding of another “Razr” phone may have played.
Motorola, now owned by Lenovo, made a very popular range of handsets under the Razr brand in two phases, first a “razor-thin” flip phone and then the Android-based Droid Razr, and you can imagine how potential trademarking issues or just concerns about brand confusion would have kept Razer away from the mobile handset game.
(Small, coincidental side note: Years ago, Moss started, and his Nextbit co-founder MIke Chan worked at, a startup called 3LM, which was eventually acquired by none other than Motorola.)
For Nextbit, the startup has found a landing place where its business can tap a large existing audience of Razer customers and (importantly) fans.
But on the other hand, its decision to go the acquisition route underscores the many challenges of building hardware or cloud-based businesses (let alone a company that wanted to do both) from the ground up in today’s market — where both areas are dominated by scale: outsized companies, huge customer bases and lots of capital.
Nextbit itself was no stranger to those problems: the company had planned, and sold against, but ultimately cancelled a plan to launch a CDMA version of its original GSM-based Robin handset, a crucial turning point for the startup.
Time will tell if Razer will be a big enough platform to step up into the race more definitively. In its favor, it’s had an interesting and quietly successful track record so far.
And there are the bigger trends of the tech world. “Every time there is a status quo for top players, something else comes along,” Moss said. “Innovation definitely slowed in the past few years, but I think of it as more of a pause. As well as technology being on the bleeding edge, there is still a lot of opportunity for change. There always has been.”
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Google launches Android 7.1.2 beta for Pixel and Nexus devices [Update]
Google Pixel and Pixel XL
Google has announced a new Android beta release: Android 7.1.2. The update is the latest in Google's new "incremental maintenance release" strategy, which should see users get smaller builds of Android more frequently.
The rollout of the beta is for the Pixel, Pixel XL, and Pixel C, as well as the Nexus 5X and Nexus Player. The Nexus 6P isn't on the list for today, but Google says 6P will get the update "soon." Missing are the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, which might be hitting end-of-life status with this release. Users of the eligible devices can head to android.com/beta and opt-in to the beta rollout. Alternatively, beta factory images are available here.
So what's new? Google promises "a number of bugfixes and optimizations, along with a small number of enhancements for carriers and users." A quick glance does not reveal a huge amount of changes. The dialer has references to a "multimedia call," Bluetooth was touched (bug fixes, I'm sure), there are a few Verizon-specific things like a demo mode (on the Pixels, at least), and a new "high temperature" warning probably has something to do with Daydream VR mode overheating the phone. If something amazing pops up once we get it flashed, we'll let you know.
Update: Google doesn't have a feature list, but it does have a "Known issues" list:

General

  • On Pixel C devices, Quick Settings may not be visible in some cases.
  • Pixel launcher may crash when trying to search apps while a physical keyboard is connected.
  • Occasional UI hangs
  • Wi-Fi stability issues

Setup wizard

  • Black screen during transition from boot animation to Setup wizard.
  • Wi-Fi is turned off after completing Setup, even if user has chosen to set up the device using mobile data.
  • SMS messages may not be restored during device-to-device transfer.
Update #2: We have official confirmation from Google that the two years of OS updates for the Nexus 6 and 9 are over, and they won't be receiving Android 7.1.2. The devices will still receive security updates, though.
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Silicon Valley Security Officers Protecting Facebook and Others Unionize
Facebook campus
As the cost of living in Silicon Valley continues to rise, the security officers that work on the campuses of some of the biggest technology companies have moved to unionize in an effort to demand higher wages.
About 3,000 security officers, including some who work at companies like Facebook and Cisco have received union recognition in what the SEIU United Service Workers West calls the “largest private sector organizing win ever in Silicon Valley.” The bargaining for the first contract will begin in about a month, a representative for SEIU tells Gizmodo. The security officers are currently drafting their bargaining priorities. The security officer are not directly employed by these technology giants, but rather by security firms Allied Universal, G4S, Securitas, and Cypress.
These security officers aren’t the first hourly employees in Silicon Valley that have fought to unionize. In 2015, bus drivers for Facebook who shuttle employees to campus unanimously voted to unionize. The new contractor negotiated by those drivers pushed the average salary from $18 an hour to $24.50 an hour, according to SFGate.
The security officers currently earn wages around $12 to $20 dollars an hour, which officers involved in the unionization effort say isn’t sufficient to live in the Bay Area. In just 2016 alone, the Consumer Price Index in San Francisco increased by 3.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to the 2/1 percent increase nationally.
The security officers contend, correctly, that they protect some of the world’s richest companies, and should be compensated accordingly. One officer told the San Fransisco Chronicle that he’d like to see his pay increase to $27 an hour.
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Majority of Android VPNs can’t be trusted to make users more secure
Android VPNs 
Over the past half-decade, a growing number of ordinary people have come to regard virtual private networking software as an essential protection against all-too-easy attacks that intercept sensitive data or inject malicious code into incoming traffic. Now, a comprehensive study of almost 300 VPN apps downloaded by millions of Android users from Google's official Play Market finds that the vast majority of them can't be fully trusted. Some of them don't work at all.
According to a research paper that analyzed the source-code and network behavior of 283 VPN apps for Android:
  • 18 percent didn't encrypt traffic at all, a failure that left users wide open to man-in-the-middle attacks when connected to Wi-Fi hotspots or other types of unsecured networks
  • 16 percent injected code into users' Web traffic to accomplish a variety of objectives, such as image transcoding, which is often intended to make graphic files load more quickly. Two of the apps injected JavaScript code that delivered ads and tracked user behavior. JavaScript is a powerful programming language that can easily be used maliciously
  • 84 percent leaked traffic based on the next-generation IPv6 internet protocol, and 66 percent don't stop the spilling of domain name system-related data, again leaving that data vulnerable to monitoring or manipulation
  • Of the 67 percent of VPN products that specifically listed enhanced privacy as a benefit, 75 percent of them used third-party tracking libraries to monitor users' online activities. 82 percent required user permissions to sensitive resources such as user accounts and text messages
  • 38 percent contained code that was classified as malicious by VirusTotal, a Google-owned service that aggregates the scanning capabilities of more than 100 antivirus tools
  • Four of the apps installed digital certificates that caused the apps to intercept and decrypt transport layer security traffic sent between the phones and encrypted websites
Majority of Android VPNs can’t be trusted to make users more secure
Android VPNs 
The researchers—from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, the University of South Wales, and the University of California at Berkeley—wrote in their report:
Our results show that—in spite of the promises for privacy, security, and anonymity given by the majority of VPN apps—millions of users may be unawarely subject to poor security guarantees and abusive practices inflicted by VPN apps... Despite the fact that Android VPN-enabled apps are being installed by millions of mobile users worldwide, their operational transparency and their possible impact on user's privacy and security remains terra incognita even for tech-savvy users.

Majority of Android VPNs can’t be trusted to make users more secure
Android VPNs 
 Not every behavior called out in the report is an automatic indication of a privacy or security failing. A variety of VPNs have been called out in the past for leaking IPv6 and DNS traffic. In some cases, the shortcomings may compromise only anonymity, rather than allowing attackers to monitor or manipulate traffic to and from a phone. Still, most security and privacy experts agree that at a minimum, the behaviors found in the study are things that should be avoided by VPN developers.

Majority of Android VPNs can’t be trusted to make users more secure
Android VPNs 
One of the few apps to be lauded in the study was F-Secure Freedome VPN, made by the Finnish security company F-Secure. In keeping with F-Secure marketing promises, the app blocks all traffic from a pre-defined list of Web- and mobile-tracking domains, including Google Ads, DoubleClick, Google Tag, and comScore. The researchers found at least one site, nytimes.com, where Freedome interfered with embedded content video because the app blocked some of the JavaScript served by the domain. Other than that, one of the researchers told Ars, Freedome had no issues. App licenses cost $50 per year for use on three devices which, in addition to Android, can run Windows, MacOS, or iOS.

Majority of Android VPNs can’t be trusted to make users more secure
Android VPNs 
The research was based on Google Play apps that, as of November, used a permission called BIND_VPN_SERVICE, which allows apps to intercept and take full control of all traffic flowing over an affected phone or tablet. The results don't take into account apps that have been added, removed, or modified since then. Still, however the Google Play offerings have changed in the past two months, the findings should serve as a wakeup call for anyone using a VPN app on an Android device. Those relying on an app that isn't Freedome should consider dumping it or at least suspending use of it until they have reviewed the app's performance.


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How To Remove Virus From Computer Using Command Prompt
How To Remove Virus From Computer Using Command Prompt
In this method, we will discuss some ways, by using them, you can make your computer virus free, and also your computer will run faster and perform better. So have a look at these methods below.

Step 1. First of all, click on Start and type cmd. Now right click on a cmd icon and select Run as administrator. Now command prompt window will open, now select your drive where you want to remove a virus.



How To Remove Virus From Computer Using Command Prompt
How To Remove Virus From Computer Using Command Prompt
Step 2. Let the drive be D. So now type “dir D: attrib -s -h /s /d *.*” and press enter.

How To Remove Virus From Computer Using Command Prompt
How To Remove Virus From Computer Using Command Prompt
Note: Capital D is the considered as the drive to be checked you can change the drive according to your needs.
Step 3. Now the command prompt will explore your selected drive and will load all the files on your drive.
How To Remove Virus From Computer Using Command Prompt
How To Remove Virus From Computer Using Command Prompt
Step 4. Now if you notice and unusual file.exe and any of autorun.inf then rename it with the command (rename filename.extension new filename)

How To Remove Virus From Computer Using Command Prompt
How To Remove Virus From Computer Using Command Prompt
That’s it! Now you can access your drives without affecting from viruses.

For any question or complain drop your message at Post Comment box and we will reply within short period of time.

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Microsoft fails to impress tech media by selling thousands of HoloLenses
Microsoft media tech
In an interview with the Inquirer, Microsoft's Roger Walkden, commercial lead for HoloLens in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) region, said that sales of the augmented reality headset numbered "in thousands, not hundreds of thousands."
HoloLens developer kits first went on sale in the US and Canada in late March last year. Initial deliveries were made in "waves," with prospective developers having to wait months for hardware to become available. Since then, the hardware has spread to a few more countries—the headsets started shipping to Australia, Ireland, France, Germany, New Zealand, and the UK in November 2016, and they should go on sale in China in the first half of this year. The waiting lists have gone away, so supply constraints have eased up to some extent. But compared to most Microsoft products, the developer kits' availability is still very restricted.
The HoloLens developer kit is also very expensive. Initially, Microsoft offered only a $3,000 (£2,700) developer kit. This has been joined by a $5,000 (£4,500) "production" version for enterprise customers. Both use the same hardware, but the production version adds a limited warranty, while the developer kit has no warranty and no refunds available for buyers. The $5,000 kit also includes an "enterprise" version of the HoloLens-specific variant of Windows that adds "kiosk mode" (wherein the headset boots directly into an application, making it a single-purpose device) and some management capabilities.
Clearly, this is not a piece of hardware aimed at the mass market. With the limited availability, one would expect that sales measured in the thousands feels about right. Walkden agrees. He says that Microsoft was "happy with the level of sales" and that shipping thousands of units was "all we need." HoloLens is, for now, a supply-constrained, specialized piece of hardware primarily aimed at developers, but it has seen enough interest from enterprise users that Microsoft has done the bare minimum to repackage it for corporate buyers. This is not a recipe for massive sales.
But the Inquirer appeared unimpressed; its headline reads that Microsoft "admits sales figures are in the 'thousands'"—"admits" being one of those weasel words that creates the implication of guilt or a cover-up without requiring evidence of either. Betanews, too, seemed unimpressed and repeated the "admits" word in its headline. It writes that "Microsoft is not bothered by what could be seen as disappointing sales." Exactly who would see the sales as disappointing, and why they'd do so, is unclear.
The more interesting question about HoloLens is what Microsoft's long-term ambitions for the device are. Microsoft's position in the hardware space is a peculiar one; on the one hand, the company wants to push the computing market in various ways, but on the other hand, it doesn't want to squeeze out its OEM partners. We see this balancing act with the Surface line, for example; Microsoft has inspired copycat designs from the OEMs, but Surface's relatively premium pricing ensures plenty of space for competitors.
In the broader, mixed-reality space, we're probably going to see a similar pattern. When announcing the Creators Update for Windows 10, Microsoft said that a handful of affordable virtual reality headsets from OEMs including Lenovo and Dell would ship this year, supporting the Windows Holographic APIs. But HoloLens won't be Redmond's last foray into this kind of hardware: Walkden said that the current hardware "is version one, and there will be future versions," adding that "the roadmap does exist." This suggests that Microsoft will continue to develop its more technologically advanced, high-end device to sit alongside the simpler headsets.
So while version one may not have the sales levels required to wow the tech press, perhaps version two or three will do the trick.
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Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has decided to backtrack on his decision to sue hundreds of native Hawaiians, which would have likely forced the families to sell their land at a public court auction to the highest bidder.
The lawsuits, which were filed back in December, targeted hundreds of native Hawaiians, some of whom were dead. In an open letter published in a local Hawaiian newspaper today, however, Zuck declared that he’s nixing the legal maneuver.
“Upon reflection, I regret that I did not take the time to fully understand the quiet title process and its history before we moved ahead,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Now that I understand the issues better, it’s clear we made a mistake.” It’s quite a different tone from a Facebook post he wrote last week, in which he complained about the “misleading stories about our plans in Hawaii.”
The story starts back in 2014, when Zuck dropped $100 million to acquire 700 acres of beachfront land on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. But as it turned out, several pieces of the land within those 700 acres were actually what’s known as “kuleana lands.” These small parcels are passed down though generations, sometimes without a written will or deed. So, Zuck, the sixth richest person in the world, launched a series of quiet title and partition lawsuits to identify some of the land owners, which were ultimately aimed at forcing the owners to sell their land.
These lawsuits are common in Hawaii, especially because it’s difficult to determine who might own a small portion of land. However, the reaction to Zuck in particular wasn’t overly positive—hundreds of Hawaiians are reportedly planning to protest in front the six-foot wall he built on the land.
“People are furious down here with him,” said Hart, a hibiscus farmer who lives about a quarter-mile from one edge of Zuckerberg’s roughly 700-acre property. Hart is encouraging people who attend the march to blow conch shells and bang drums in peaceful protest.
[...]
Neighbors of Zuckerberg like Hart have said the Facebook CEO’s security team has used intimidation tactics to keep them off the public beaches and trails that intertwine with Zuckerberg’s mostly undeveloped property.
Hart said he was recently confronted by security guards while walking along a public beach adjacent to Zuckerberg’s property.
“We were walking along and they tried to say that this was private,” he said. “I’ve been walking on this since I was a little kid.”
It’s unclear whether the protests will still happen, given that Zuck is now walking back on the lawsuits. It’s also unclear how, exactly, he plans to move forward with the land, but he noted he’s going to try his darndest.
“The right path is to sit down and discuss how to best move forward. We will continue to speak with community leaders that represent different groups, including native Hawaiians and environmentalists, to find the best path,” he wrote in the open letter. 
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Twitter Tries, One More Time, to Help You Figure Out Twitter
SINCE PRACTICALLY THE very beginning, one of Twitter’s biggest challenges has been helping people find the best of what’s happening on its platform. (Other challenges include curbing abuse, dealing with Nazis, and Donald Trump’s Android phone.) Years ago, the app had a “Discover” section that was meant to help you find the best, coolest, most #important things on Twitter. From its ashes rose Moments, a tool for collecting tweets to tell stories longer than 140 characters.

Now the company’s trying yet again, as it comes into something like a do-or-die year. Beginning today and rolling out over the next few weeks, users will start to see a new section, called Explore, that’s designed to help you find all the things happening on Twitter right now. The new section is a mix of algorithm-personalized and human-curated: it bundles Moments, trending topics, search, and live video into a single page. All together, Twitter hopes Explore will give you a more complete picture of the Twitterverse at any given moment.
In a way, Explore almost sounds a bit like a 2017 take on a newswire—a real-time look at what’s happening in the world, sourced directly from videos and tweets. That’s very much in line with Twitter’s vision of its role in the world, as the place where news breaks and is discussed. Explore also sounds like a blissful reprieve from the timeline, which to many has started to feel less like a social network and more like the beginning of a hernia. “Reading Twitter these days is like ordering a coffee and getting two rails of coke instead,” the writer Chris Jones tweeted on Wednesday. In short, Twitter has become exhausting. There are too many bad apples, who are too hard to ignore. There’s too much bad news, too much hot-takiness, too much everything.

Twitter Tries, One More Time, to Help You Figure Out Twitter
There’s good stuff happening on Twitter, though. Somewhere. There are comedians, news-breakers, and those fighting for justice. It’s where we get to hang out with our favorite couple, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend. It’s a place for the President of the United States to do some late-night policy thinking. But in the tidal flood of tweets, most of which are (let’s face it) terrible and unnecessary, it’s easy to miss the stuff you’d actually want. So Twitter’s primary objective seems to be finding ways to surface the good stuff.

Problem is, that’s been Twitter’s goal for a while now, without much to show for it. Moments didn’t make Twitter the digestible place it hoped to be; algorithmically sorting people’s timelines didn’t send users flocking to the platform either. And this is all ignoring Twitter’s biggest problem, the harassment and abuse that face too many of its users. The company has sworn it’s committed to that problem as well, but it’ll likely be an uphill climb. “I personally believe,” Nick Bilton, whose book Hatching Twitter chronicled the beginning of the company, told me last year, “that people are just fed up with social networks. And they think of Twitter as a really mean place.” For Twitter, he says, the question is “how are you going to entice people to get back on the network?”

If Explore works, it could help people find the fun parts of Twitter, the events and stories that make everyone gather around the global water cooler. If it doesn’t, that second tab in the Twitter app will become something else in a few months. President Trump seems likely to ensure Twitter’s relevance for at least four years, so maybe it has a few tries left.
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Microsoft’s 2Q17: cloud growth slows, Windows surprising, Surface resilient
Microsoft image
In its second quarter of its 2017 financial year, Microsoft posted revenue of $24.1 billion, up 1 percent year on year, with operating income of $6.0 billion, up 3 percent, net income of $5.0 billion, up 4 percent, and earnings per share of $0.62, up 6 percent.
As ever, Microsoft also offered alternative figures that book Windows 10 revenue up front instead of amortized over several years, and which hold exchange rates constant to remove the impact of rate fluctuations year-on-year (which gives some indication of year-to-year changes in actual sales transactions, if not of money in the bank). Using that regime for both this year and last, revenue was up 4 percent at $26.1 billion, operating income was up 8 percent at $8.2 billion, net income up was up 10 percent at $6.5 billion, end earnings per share were up 13 percent at $0.83.
Microsoft's LinkedIn acquisition completed on December 8, 2016, with the company saying that this small contribution added $228 million in revenue, and losses of $201 million, $100 million, and $0.01, to operating income, net income, and earnings per share, respectively.
Microsoft currently has three reporting segments: Productivity and Business Processes (covering Office, Exchange, SharePoint, Skype, and Dynamics), Intelligent Cloud (including Azure, Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, and Enterprise Services), and More Personal Computing (covering Windows, hardware, and Xbox, as well as search and advertising).
The cloud business continues to be strong, with the company claiming a $14 billion annualized run rate, compared to $13 billion in the previous quarter and $12.1 billion the quarter before that. More unexpected, Windows OEM revenue was up 5 percent, suggesting some strengthening of the PC market, and Surface revenue was down only 2 percent, showing surprising resilience in spite of a lack of major hardware updates. The PC doesn't appear to be dead just yet, and Surface seems to be carving out a solid niche for itself in the PC industry.
Productivity and Business Processes revenue was up 10 percent to $7.4 billion, with strong performances all round: commercial Office revenue was up 5 percent, consumer Office revenue was up 22 percent, and Dynamics revenue was up 7 percent. The number of commercial Office 365 seats continues to grow strongly, up 37 percent year-on-year, and consumer adoption of Office 365 is also continuing, with 24.9 million subscribers. There are 65 million monthly active users of Office for iOS and Android, more than twice the number of last year.
In spite of the revenue increases, operating income for the division fell 1 percent to $3.3 billion. The company attributed this wholly to the LinkedIn purchase: operating expenses were up 14 percent as a result of Microsoft buying the professional social network, and this caused operating income to drop 6 percent.
Intelligent Cloud revenue was up 8 percent to $6.86 billion. SErver products and cloud services revenue was up 12 percent, thanks to double digits growth in subscriptions, and Azure revenue was up 93 percent. Not for the first time, compute usage on Azure was described as more than doubling year on year. Enterprise Services revenue dropped, however, by 4 percent, due to a decline in custom support agreements for Windows Server 2003.
This shift in revenue from Enterprise Services to cloud services saw gross margin go up by 2 percent. Operating expenses, however, grew by 12 percent, attributed to investments in cloud engineering, sales capacity, and developer outreach. Overall, operating income for the division was down 7 percent, to $2.4 billion.
More Personal Computing held the surprises. Revenue overall was down 5 percent to $11.8 billion. This overall fall was because of the collapse of phone revenue (down 81 percent year on year) and Xbox price cuts and lower sales. But there were many gains: Windows OEM revenue was up 6 percent for Pro SKUs and 5 percent for non-Pro SKUs. This is driven by sales of Windows preinstalls on PCs, and that growth outperformed the PC market. Enterprise Windows subscriptions and related revenue were also up, by 5 percent. Although overall gaming revenue was down 3 percent, Xbox software and subscription revenue was up 18 percent, with Microsoft reaching $1 billion of transactions in the busy Christmas quarter. Xbox Live monthly active users also hit a record high of 55 million, representing 15 percent growth.
As bad as the phone situation is, Microsoft's other foray into hardware, Surface, seems to be doing rather better. Revenue was down ever so slightly, falling 2 percent to $1.3 billion. That's a 2 percent fall even though the Surface Pro 4 was not refreshed at all, and the Surface Book saw only a minor upgrade with the introduction of the high price Performance Base. The rollout of the Performance Base was also very narrow, with sales substantially limited to US markets. Microsoft did introduce one all new piece of hardware in the quarter, the Surface Studio, but again, this was a US-only release, and availability during 2016 was severely limited. The lack of updates didn't appear to discourage buyers, and gross margin went up 6 percent due to a shift in purchases from the Surface 3 to Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book.
Search revenue also continued its steady growth, up 10 percent due to a greater number of searches, with each search yielding more revenue.
Operating income for the division rose 33 percent to $2.5 billion. The growth in Windows and search improved gross margin dollars by 3 percent, and operating expenses dropped 12 percent. Compared to a year ago, phone expenses and Surface marketing expenses were both down, and this quarter last year also included a one-time legal settlement.
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Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
We are discussing here 10+ best OS for hacking with their little bit descriptions and features, and you can check them out and download the one that you think is well suited for your work. So have a look on these OS below.


1. Kali Linux


Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
It is one of the most modern OS that is being used by hackers for pentesting and lots of security exploits. This is a Linux based OS that provides you privacy and safety from the vulnerabilities that other OS have in it. So must try out this cool OS on your PC.

Features Of Kali Linux

  • Full Customisation of Kali ISOs
  • The Kali Linux ISO of doom – an excellent example of the flexibility of live-build, and the types and complexity of customizations possible.
  • Kali Linux Live USB persistence with LUKS encryption
  • Kali Linux Full Disk Encryption
  • Kali Linux on a Raspberry Pi and a bunch of other interesting ARM devices

2. Backtrack


Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
The other well-known Linux based Operating system is backtrack that is being used from few previous years and best known as the OS for network cracking and pentesting. And it’s also the one of the best OS that can perform various network hacks with privacy.

Features Of Backtrack

  • One-stop-shop for all of your security needs
  • Metasploit for integration
  • Wi-Fi drivers supporting monitor mode (rfmon mode) and packet injection
  • Cisco OCS Mass Scanner, a very reliable and fast scanner for Cisco routers to test default telnet and enabling password.
  • A large collection of exploits as well as more conventional software such as browsers.

3. Pentoo


Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
This is one of the best OS for hackers that is just in the form of Live CD. In this, you just have to create a bootable USB of this OS and then simply boot on your PC, and there is no requirement to install it, you just have to run it on your PC and do hacking attacks.

Features Of Pentoo:

  • Available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions, the latter having a significant speed increase from 32bit
  • Includes the required environment to crack passwords using GPGPU with OpenCL and CUDA configured ‘out of the box'[5][6][7]
  • Built on hardened Linux, including a hardened kernel and toolchain
    Hardened kernel with extra patches[8]
  • Uses a pentoo overlay, which allows tools to be built on top of a standard gentoo build.

Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
The another good operating system that every pentester would love to try out on their PC. This OS is being developed after the great necessity of many things that are not present in another Linux based OS.

5. Parrot-sec forensic os


Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Parrot Security is an operating system based on Debian GNU/Linux mixed with Frozen box OS and Kali Linux to provide the best penetration and security testing experience for the attackers and security testers. It is an operating system for IT security and penetration testing developed by the Frozenbox Dev Team.

Features Of Parrot Security:

  • Custom hardened Linux 4.3 kernel, rolling release upgrade line
  • Custom Anti-Forensic tools
  • Custom interfaces for GPG
  • Custom interfaces for crypt setup
  • “Forensic” boot option to avoid boot automounts
  • Most famous Digital Forensic tools and frameworks out of the box

Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
The another best OS for security testing which comes in the form of Live CD and you can directly boot on your computer, and you can easily run this OS on your PC and do various hacks on your PC.

Features Of NST:

  • Many tasks that can be performed within NST are available through a web interface called NST WUI
  • Visualization of ntopng, ntop, Wireshark, traceroute, NetFlow and kismet data
  • JavaScript console with a built-in object library with functions that aid the development of dynamic web pages

Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Arch Linux is a Linux distribution for computers based on IA-32 and x86-64 architectures. It is composed predominantly of free and open-source software and supports community involvement.

Features Of Arch Linux:

  • Arch Linux uses its Pacman package manager, which couples simple binary packages with an easy-to-use package build system.
  • The minimal Arch base package set resides in the streamlined [core] repository.
  • Arch Linux uses a “rolling release” system which allows one-time installation and perpetual software upgrades.
  • Arch strives to keep its packages as close to the original upstream software as possible.

Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
BackBox is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution penetration testing and security assessment oriented providing a network and information systems analysis toolkit. And this OS also provides you the privacy and vulnerable free environment.

Features Of Backbox:

  • BackBox has built one of the very first cloud platforms for penetration testing.
  • Designed to be fast, easy to use and provide a minimal yet complete desktop environment.
  • BackBox is fully automated and non-intrusive, with no agents required and no network configuration changes needed to accomplish regularly scheduled, automated configuration backups.
  • With the BackBox dashboard overview, you save time and eliminate the need to track individual network devices

Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
After the release of backtrack five this OS is being developed and is now one of the best OS used for pen testing and network cracking, and it is based on a Linux distribution. Must try out this OS.


Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Bugtraq is a distribution based on GNU/Linux aimed at digital forensics, penetration testing, Malware Laboratories, and GSM Forensics and is one of the best choices of attackers.

Features Of Bugtraq:

  • Bugtraq system offers the most comprehensive distribution, optimal and stable with automated services manager in real time.
  • Kernel generic of 3.2 and 3.4 available in 32 Bits & 64 Bits has a huge range of penetration, forensic and laboratory tools.
  • The systems are available in 11 different languages
  • It has tools like mobile forensic tools, malware testing laboratories, tools of the Bugtraq-Community, audit tools for GSM, wireless, Bluetooth and RFID

Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
DEFT stands for Digital Evidence and Forensic Toolkit, and it’s open source distro of Linux that is built around the Digital Advance Response Toolkit (DART) software. Deft is Ubuntu customization. Computer forensics and incident response tools that DEFT Linux includes can be used by IT auditors, investigators, military, and police.


Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Blackbuntu is a penetration testing Linux distribution which is specially designed for training security students and information security practitioners. It is currently built on Ubuntu 10.10 with the Gnome desktop environment. Blackbuntu will also include the KDE desktop in the final release of Blackbuntu Community Edition 0.3.

Features:

  • Blackbuntu is designed for training students, or people wanted to learn more about computer security, penetration testing, internet security and information security.
  • Tools like Information Gathering, Network Mapping, Vulnerability Identification, Penetration, Privilege Escalation, Maintaining Access, Radio Network Analysis, VoIP Analysis are included

13. Cyborg Hawk


Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
It is one of the most advanced, powerful and yet beautiful penetration testing distribution ever created. Lined up with the ultimate collection of tools for pro Ethical Hackers and Cyber Security Experts.

Features:

  • Tons of tools are ready to reveal their power.
  • Latest tools packed to deal with ongoings
  • Can cope with abnormalities without compromising the essential components.
  • Everything is in just right place to make it easy to use.

14. Matriux


Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
Top 14 Best Operating Systems For Hackers
It is a fully featured security distribution based on Debian consisting of a powerful bunch of more than 300 open source and free tools. These tools can be used for various purposes including, but not limited to, penetration testing, ethical hacking, system and network administration, cyber forensics investigations, security testing, vulnerability analysis, and much more.

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