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Kaspersky: Most Cyber Attacks Directed at Microsoft Office in Q4 2018

Having the world's most pervasive operating system (or office suite) is sure to leave a big mark on any company when it comes to exploitation attempts from hackers. It's a simple equation: aim your efforts at a software that runs in millions (if not billions) of machines and even a light chink in the armor could be enough to cause a cascading effect through that many users.

This principle applies to almost everything: a small effect across a billion users usually provides greater returns than a large effect on one or two players. Kaspersky labs on its security report, presented at the Security Analyst Summit, reported that the favorite target for cyber attacks was Microsoft's Office suite - a 70% figure suggests an incredible attention given to Office, really. These Office-related cyber attacks don't directly relate to the suite itself; there are other, OS-integrated components that can be targeted, or simply that Office file extensions are used as clever, headache-inducing ways of disguising malware as the second greatest evil in the world - spreadsheets.

Microsoft Launches Chromium-based Edge Browser

Microsoft has released the first public version of their Chromium-based rendition of Edge. Remember that Microsoft announced back in December of last year that they would be ceasing development efforts on their own browser back-end, and would instead be adopting the Chromium open-source coding - which powers the ubiquitous, 65% market share-earning Google Chrome. The plan is to streamline development efforts, reduce web development fragmentation, and contribute to a more open internet by building and contributing towards the Chromium project.

Now, users can take a look at the Chromium-powered version of Edge (yes, it did keep the Edge branding). The Chromium-based Edge release is nowhere near completion - MIcrosoft is instead using flighting programs, like it is doing with most of its products now, to aid in the development of features and bug correction - having a global Q&A is much better than having a dedicated team in-house, after all. This is being done via Canary and Developer builds of the Edge browser, where Canary are available daily, and follow the development flow of the browser at is being developed, or via weekly Developer builds, which should bring more impactful performance and feature upgrades - along with some added stability.

Microsoft Reconsiders: No More Forced Updates in Windows 10

One of the big no-nos for some users looking to upgrade do Windows 10 was the fact that Microsoft enforced constant, 6-month update cycles independent of whether users wanted them or not. This move was done to streamline the update process and keep all users at parity when it comes to important security and feature updates that Microsoft considered relevant. However, it seems Microsoft is now abandoning this practice, which means that users that like to know exactly what is being changed in their systems - and at a time of their convenience - now have one less reason to not upgrade.

Not only will Windows no longer push updates inadvertently, now home users will also have the ability to not only pause updates, but also remove them. There's a caveat, though - you won't be able to postpone feature updates forever. As it stands, Microsoft has an 18 month "end of life" period for major Windows 10 versions, which means that after your 18 months of postponing updates are up (and all of the kinks have been ironed out), you PC will still update to the latest version. There are some other details, which I will transcribe from the Microsoft blog post for your perusal.

DNA Successfully Used as Data Storage Medium, 5-byte Message Written, Stored, and Read

DNA, the most prominent genetic material, was successfully used as an end-to-end digital data storage medium. Nature reports that a team of biotechnologists led by Christopher N. Takahashi, Bichlien H. Nguyen, Karin Strauss & Luis Ceze with the University of Washington at Seattle, sponsored by DARPA and Microsoft, have succeeded in encoding and decoding digital information into DNA strands. With it, the team has developed an end-to-end DNA-based data storage device, which consists of an encoder that writes ones and zeroes into DNA sequences that are written into oligonucleotides; a liquid physical storage media in which the DNA is literally stored free from contamination and thermal hazards; and a decoder that consists of a nanopore sequencer.

The researchers have developed a protocol on how to convert 1s and 0s to A-G, C-T base-pairs, including error-correction. A 5-byte message "HELLO" was successfully encoded, stored, and decoded without data loss over a period of 21 hours. DNA-based storage unlocks innumerable possibilities. For starters, in the future, humans will be able to grow storage devices, store foreign information within their genome, and transmit digital information through plasmid agents such as purpose-built viruses. 007 writers must be rubbing their hands.

Maxon Offers Cinebench R20 Direct Download -Microsoft Store Not Required

Originally Cinebench R20 was released to the Microsoft Store which as you can probably guess caused a bit of negative PR for Maxon due to the benchmarks popularity within the enthusiast community. What really seemed to fuel the fire was the fact it was always freely distributed just about everywhere even here on TechPowerUp. Fast forward to the latest release and with it being locked to a digital walled garden of sorts really didn't sit too well within the community. However, it did not take long for enterprising enthusiasts to discover you could make it standalone.

This prompted Maxon to request the hosted files be taken down which generated quite the discussion within our own forums both for and against the move. Yet in the end, Maxon's reasoning behind their decision still remains a bit perplexing and with little clarity. Even more so now as the company has released there very own standalone version. Which leads us to wonder why they went about doing things in this circuitous manner in the first place. Still, this standalone release will likely be met with much more fanfare, well that is if the download link pointed to the right files. Currently, the official download page will direct users to a Mac .dmg file, which seems to be a copy and paste mistake. We figured out the correct link, it's listed below.
Download: Maxon Cinebench R20

Google Announces Stadia Cloud Gaming Service at GDC 2019

We knew this was coming, especially after Google's teaser from earlier this month. Project Stream was a proof-of-concept in collaboration with Ubisoft, to see whether AAA gaming was possible over the internet. Things were smooth most of the time in our own experience, but there remained questions over how the concept would translate over to a finished product, especially with infrastructure challenges on the client side of things. Google's keynote at GDC just wrapped up, and the main focus was Stadia- the now named cloud gaming service borne out of Project Stream.

Stadia is built with instant access in mind. An example demo came in the form of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Odyssey, which was used in the public test before. It is integrated with partner YouTube channels such that a trailer for a supported game would have an option to play said game, which would then launch immediately. Stadia is built with support from a wide partner network including AMD, Unity, id Software, and more, with details seen past the break.

Microsoft Paves the Way for Industry-Wide Adoption of Variable Rate Shading

Microsoft today via a devblog announced their push to make Variable Rate Shading an industry-wide adoption in the search of increased performance that can support the number of pixels and quality of those pixels in future games. The post starts with what is likely the foremost question on the mind of any discerning user that hears of a technique to improve performance: "does it degrade image quality?". And the answer, it seems, is a no: no discernible image quality differences between the Variable Rate Shading part of the image, and the fully rendered one. I'll give you the option to speak on your own perception, though: analyze the image below and cast your vote on the poll.

As resolution increases, so does the amount of work that any given GPU has to process to generate a single frame - and compare that to the amount of additional work that goes from rendering a 30 FPS, 1080p game to a 60 FPS, 4K one, and... It stands to reason that ways of squeezing the highest amount of performance from a given process are at a premium. Particularly in the console space, where cost concerns require the usage of more mainstream-equivalent hardware, which requires creative ways of bridging the desired image quality and the available rendering time for each frame.

DirectX 12 Makes Windows 7 Debut With Latest World of Warcraft Patch

In what is likely to create a good deal of controversy along with a few cheers, Blizzard will be adding DirectX 12 support to World of Warcraft on Windows 7 thanks to a bit of effort from Microsoft. You might be wondering how that is possible? Well after seeing massive performance gains in WoW when Blizzard released their DirectX 12 update for Windows 10 in late 2018, resulted in the company wanting to bring those performance improvements to gamers still holding out on Windows 7. To facilitate this, they began talking with Microsoft who after getting a great deal of feedback from Blizzard decided to act on it. To achieve this Microsoft decided to port the user mode D3D12 runtime to Windows 7, which will unblock developers, thereby allows them to take advantage of the latest improvements that the DirectX 12 API offers while still giving full support to customers on older operating systems.

For now, World of Warcraft is the first game to run in DirectX 12 on Windows 7 with the latest 8.1.5 patch. However, they will not be the last as more developers are working on porting DirectX 12 games to Windows 7 with more announcements to follow. Microsoft, of course, has taken it upon themselves to remind everyone that the best possible performance with DirectX 12 will still be had on Windows 10 due to numerous OS optimizations. How true this is remains to be seen, but for many curmudgeons still holding out on Windows 7, this will likely be seen as a form of vindication for sticking with the now venerable OS.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection Announced For PC

The last time an actual Halo game made its way to PC was 2007 when Halo 2 launched three years after the console version to little fanfare, as it required the Windows Vista operating system. Since then Microsoft has not bothered to release any of the mainstream titles on PC. However, that is no longer the case as Microsoft has announced that they will be bringing Halo: The Master Chief Collection to PC. While some may think it too little too late, considering the Master Chief Collection initially launched nearly five years ago, the fact remains with this release PC gamers now have access to the majority of the series including Halo 1, 2, 3, 4, ODST, and Reach which was just recently added to the collection. The only title missing at this point is Halo 5.

While a typical re-release is possible it appears that is not the direction 343 Industries will take as they recognize that PC gamers are an exacting bunch and as such have brought in help from Ruffian and Splash Damage studios in order to polish the collection ahead of its debut. As of now, you can expect support for 4K resolution, 60 frames per second gameplay, and HDR at least as a minimum along with proper controls. Overall the Master Chief Collection offers a ton of content including 67 campaign missions and 120 multiplayer maps when you include both Horde Survival and Spartan Ops. Pricing and availability currently remain unknown, but at the very least it will be available on Steam meaning it is not a Microsoft Store exclusive. That said, it will still require an Xbox Live account.

Microsoft Issues Fix for "Performance Degrading" Windows 10 Update

Let's give credit where it is due- Microsoft was quick in admitting that their Windows 10 update (KB4482887) from March 1 had a detrimental effect on performance, especially as it related to specific gaming scenarios. Under a week later, we now have a public fix available as well. The latest update from today, March 12, is version KB4489899 (OS Build 17763.379) and claims to address "an issue that may degrade graphics and mouse performance with desktop gaming when playing certain games, such as Destiny 2, after installing KB4482887", among other things.

Other listed improvements and fixes include improved HoloLens tracking and device calibration, solving a bug that caused some users to get "Error 1309" when dealing with some .MSI and/or .MSP files, and a host of general security updates to various Microsoft software solutions. There remain some issues with this update, however, which are listed in the source page linked below. The update should be available for download and install automatically via Windows Update, as of the time of this post.

Microsoft Confirms Latest Windows 10 Update May Decrease Performance in Certain Gaming Scenarios

Microsoft has confirmed that their latest Windows 10 update (KB4482887), which released on march 1st, can actually degrade graphics and mouse performance in some games. As Microsoft themselves put it, "After installing KB4482887, users may notice graphics and mouse performance degradation with desktop gaming when playing certain games (eg: Destiny 2)."

There's no word yet on a definitive listing of games that suffer this performance degradation, but Microsoft is hard at work fixing this for the next Windows release. Until then, users facing graphics and mouse performance degradation can simply uninstall the KB4482887 update.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection PC Version Announcement Incoming?

I am an assumed, and unabashedly proud, Halo fan, so yes, I believe the fact that the games' definitive (but by no means complete) The Master Chief Collection is coming to PC is a very important matter. The Halo series' efforts on the PC have been extremely lackluster, until now, barring the excellent Halo Wars 2 (in terms of how it runs and its PC-centric features; not talking about the game per se). Now, rumors of Microsoft being hard at work with porting the game to the PC platform have gained substantial traction, as Brad Sams, a tech journalist whose track record with Microsoft leaks has been notable, said that "Microsoft's open secret is that they've been working on the Master Chief Collection for the PC, and I'm hearing that that's getting close to release."

This "getting close to release" plays well into the upcoming E3 event, starting July 11th. The Master Chief Collection's release (and for wow factor, immediate availability) during the show would be an amazing way for Microsoft to market the Halo saga's true PC vision come to life. This would pave the way for a later Halo 5: Guardians release and the already-announced-for-PC Halo infinite, which is expected only with the next generation of consoles.

New "Thunderclap" Vulnerability Threatens to Infect Your PC Over Thunderbolt Peripherals

A new security vulnerability named "Thunderclap" severely compromises security of computers with USB type-C Thunderbolt ports, or machines with Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gbps) ports. This would be pretty much every MacBook released in the past two years, Macs, and PCs with certain aftermarket Thunderbolt 3 adapters. Chronicled in a paper by the Department of Computer Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge, Rice University and SRI International, is a method for Thunderbolt devices to bypass the host machine's IOMMU (I/O memory management unit), and read its main memory over DMA.

An IOMMU translates address-spaces between devices and main memory, and hence protects your memory's contents being read by just about any device. The group has detailed possible ways to mitigate this vulnerability, and forwarded these mitigations to Apple, Intel, and Microsoft. For now no public mitigation exists other than disabling the Thunderbolt controller of your machine in your motherboard's UEFI setup program.

Anti-cheat Software Runs Amok Causing System Crashes in Windows 10 Insider Previews

In what is likely to cause some hand wringing or chuckles depending on upon your personality, Microsoft's Windows 10 Insider Preview Slow Ring (beta versions of the OS) has not seen a new release in months. This is due to a common Anti-cheat software running amok and causing GSODs (replacement for BSODs in preview builds). The problem itself has existed for a few months and needs to be fixed by the creators of the software as noted by Chief of the Windows Insider program, Dona Sarkar, on twitter. Apparently, this isn't something Microsoft can fix due to how the software itself functions. Essentially the unspecified anti-cheat software runs in kernel mode and tampers with various aspects of the OS that it is not supposed to tamper with. While it is possible, the software is using allowed hooks in order to function. It is also possible that in the process it is damaging kernel data structures and code. This situation is likely to stir up debate on how effective anti-cheat software is considering it seldom seems to stop determined cheaters and as of now is causing the OS crash and is proving to be a thorn in Microsoft's side.

Still, this has more ramifications than just some system crashes or a software company that needs to edit some code. It directly results in Microsoft having to delay Preview releases. Since these Slow Ring builds can't be tested or validated. Pair that with the fact Microsoft's testing of Windows 10 builds is already considered lackluster with many bugs and issues going unresolved and you end up with a rather grim situation. After all, it was only a few short months ago that the October 2018 update was released after suffering numerous problems and delays. If issues like that continue, it seems the April 2019 update could be delayed as well. To avoid this and to get something done, Microsoft will be pushing out a Slow Ring build to systems that do not have the offending anti-cheat software. Better late than never but you would have thought that this solution would have been implemented sooner.

Microsoft May be Closer Than Ever to Importing Xbox Games Infrastructure to PC

In a report via Ars Technica, it seems that Microsoft is actually inching ever closer to having PCs powered by Xbox games (and Xbox servers). After the company pushed some free copies of State of Decay to a limited number of beta testers for its upcoming Windows 10 updates (and asking for feedback on the game's behavior), a number of users tried (and managed) to dig deeper.

It seems that Microsoft used the Xbox's distribution services instead of the usual Game Store ones for distributing State of Decay, which would mean a tight integration of its console distribution platform and its Windows PC one. Furthermore, the state of Decay files came in encoded on a proprietary, Xbox-bound .xvc file system. State of Decay, as it is being delivered, also tries to update the DirectX installation on the users' PC, which speaks of it being aware of some PC-specific requirements for it to be run, which wouldn't be present shouldn't that be the case. This is all part of Microsoft's GameCore initiative, which aims to build a common set of system services and APIs that allow for higher development integration between both the PC and Xbox platforms, lowering the coding barrier for games to run on both, and perhaps even enabling PCs to be recognized as equals to Xbox consoles when it comes to content distribution. Maybe we'll finally be able to get The Master Chief collection and... Red Dead Redemption in our PCs?

Microsoft Unveils HoloLens 2 Mixed Reality Headset

Since the release of HoloLens in 2016 we have seen mixed reality transform the way work gets done. We have unlocked super-powers for hundreds of thousands of people who go to work every day. From construction sites to factory floors, from operating rooms to classrooms, HoloLens is changing how we work, learn, communicate and get things done.

We are entering a new era of computing, one in which the digital world goes beyond two-dimensional screens and enters the three-dimensional world. This new collaborative computing era will empower us all to achieve more, break boundaries and work together with greater ease and immediacy in 3D. Today, we are proud to introduce the world to Microsoft HoloLens 2. Our customers asked us to focus on three key areas to make HoloLens even better. They wanted HoloLens 2 to be even more immersive and more comfortable, and to accelerate the time-to-value.

Google Keynote at GDC 2019 Hints Towards Dedicated Gaming Entry

Google sent out a fairly cryptic invite to the game developers and associated press this week in the form of a GIF (converted into relevant images below). It teases a keynote on March 19, 2019 and more information was made available shortly confirming this would be in the form of a keynote to be held at 10 am PST during GDC this year. The media giant promises to "reveal all", and also has developer-focused sessions throughout the course of the event. An early report from The Information suggests the keynote will have Google talk about their new game-streaming service, code-named Yeti. This is in line with our own expectations, after having participated in the fairly successful Project Stream beta test that concluded recently.

Kotaku went further to suggest that Yeti is a streaming service in conjunction with a hardware platform- a simple streaming box, if you will, to take on the dedicated game consoles of 2019 and beyond. Indeed, Google has been wanting to get into this highly lucrative market, with intentions to take over Twitch before Amazon pulled one over them. There remain many challenges in general to a game-streaming world, not least of which were detailed in our own editorial linked above. But, with the next generation consoles getting ready for development and Microsoft willing to explore a game-streaming future themselves, perhaps Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and others should pay very close attention to said Google keynote in less than a month's time.

Hadean Integrates Distributed Simulation Technology - Powered by Microsoft Azure

(Editor's Note: Hadean seems to be building a cloud-based OS that serves more than games via its Aether Engine: on its website, the company cites usages for gaming, multi-scale cellular models, and risk profile analysis with increased datasets than ever before. The idera of a cloud-based OS seems to stem from a desire to usher developers into an almost auto-sufficient system and interface, without the need for the layers of distributed engineeriuing, with multiple inputs and workflows for middleware, microservices, containers, and other parts. Users can take part in the 10,000 player stress test that's being planned for the end of February, and can register to partake in the experiment on the company's website.)

Hadean announced its Aether Engine will be powered by Microsoft Azure, allowing developers to more seamlessly scale their applications at increased speed and ease across the cloud. Hadean's technology will also be integrated with other parts of Microsoft's developer suite, including Visual Studio. Hadean's record-breaking 10,000 player gaming experience that will be unveiled at GDC 2019 will be powered by the Aether Engine running on Azure. Outside of gaming, this exact same technology is driving Hadean and the Francis Crick Institute's biomolecular simulation work in the field of cancer cell research.

ChromeOS-competitor Windows Lite to Feature a Reimagined UI, Chucks "Metro" Live Tiles

Windows Lite is a new upcoming PC operating system by Microsoft designed as a competitor to Google's ChromeOS, and being designed for machines with extremely slim hardware specifications. The OS could also target devices that work as "edge computers," with much of their processing being performed over the cloud. ChromeOS beats the bloated Windows 10 in one key department - a lightweight and uncluttered user-interface. This is the area where much of Microsoft's design efforts lie - UI elements and graphics that are lightweight not just on memory, but also Internet bandwidth, if the device is streaming a remote session (a la Citrix). Below is a concept by UX designer Jay Machalani.

The Windows Lite desktop looks familiar, with a taskbar and app buttons, and a Start menu, but one that's been redesigned without live tiles, but a simple list of icons. At this point it's unclear just how far Microsoft intends to go with the lightweight OS concept without cannibalizing sales of Windows 10 Home. The OS definitely features UWP, and from the looks of the screenshot doing rounds, also appears to support legacy Win32 apps, however, Microsoft has in the past restricted functionality of its cheapest OS products so as to not kill pricier Windows versions. Microsoft is innovating two brand new Windows user-interfaces for launches through 2019-2020, codenamed "Polaris" and "Andromeda."

UL Corporation Announces 3D Mark Port Royal Raytracing Suite is Now Available - Benchmark Mode On!

Perhaps gliding through the tech-infused CES week, UL Corporation has just announced that the much-expected Port Royal, the world's first dedicated real-time ray tracing benchmark for gamers, is now available. Port Royal uses DirectX Raytracing to enhance reflections, shadows, and other effects that are difficult to achieve with traditional rendering techniques, and enables both performance benchmarking for cutthroat competition throughout the internet (and our own TPU forums, of course), but is also an example of what to expect from ray tracing in upcoming games - ray tracing effects running in real-time at reasonable frame rates at 2560 × 1440 resolution.

Razer Announces Turret Living Room Keyboard+Mouse for Xbox One

Razer , the leading lifestyle brand for gamers, today introduced a new way to play on console with the Razer Turret for Xbox One, a wireless keyboard and mouse combo designed for Xbox One. "We're extremely proud to team up with Microsoft to bring you this exclusive collaboration," says Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. "With the Razer Turret for Xbox One, it is now possible to bring the full experience of a keyboard and mouse, with lighting and game integration to Xbox One."

Built for reliable gaming on the couch, the Razer Turret for Xbox One offers a fast and stable 2.4 GHz wireless connection via a single dongle for the mouse and keyboard, and battery life of up to 40 hours on a single charge. With Xbox Dynamic Lighting and Razer Chroma technology, console gamers now have access to the largest ecosystem of lighting, with up to 16.8-million color options and lighting effects for their keyboard and mouse. Additionally, Razer has been working with developers to bring Xbox Dynamic Lighting and Razer Chroma support in-game, offering immersive experiences on supported titles such as "X-Morph-Defense", "Vermintide 2" and more.

Microsoft Windows Sandbox Securely Runs Suspicious Apps in Isolation

In an always-online world having the ability to test unknown programs or .exe files on PC has required the use of extra software which has always come with issues of its own or the more in-depth use of a virtual machine. In order to eliminate the fear of running unknown programs along with the desire to make testing them easier, Microsoft has announced the development of their Windows Sandbox. This new feature will be coming to Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise next year and as you may have guessed it allows for the creation of a temporary desktop environment. This work environment is made to be secure and disposable meaning you can run an app in the sandbox check for compatibility, possible issues, malware, etc and once done just delete the entire sandbox. Thus keeping your real operating system free and clear of any potentially hidden nasty surprises.

The entire system works by using Microsoft's Hypervisor to create an entirely separate kernel isolated from the host PC. Each time its run it creates a pristine installation of Windows as nothing persists between uses. More importantly, the prerequisites for its use are quite low, with systems currently at the minimum needing Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise Insider build 18305 or later, virtualization capabilities enabled in the BIOS, 4 GB of memory, 1 GB free disk space and 2 CPU cores. Recommended specifications include a CPU with four threads, 8 GB memory, and an SSD, which in this day and age is quite minimal all things considered. While this feature is not likely to be a game changer for the average consumer it should make the lives of IT personnel a bit easier.

Could Microsoft and Steam be Looking Into Enabling Crossplay Between Services?

Crossplay has become an interesting point of contention for the industry, with some very popular games and companies advocating for a unified, non-fractured player audience enjoying their games across different media consumption screens, and even gaming platforms. Microsoft has been pushing this kind of capability for some time now, launching their Xbox Play Anywhere initiative which aims to bring PC, Xbox (or both) gamers to parity - acquiring a game on one platform equals having it on both, with all game data being synced.

A new update in the Steam beta update code explicitly refers to Xbox, with an "Xbox_pairwise_id" being present, which could point towards exploration of a future feature. Microsoft adding keyboard and mouse support to their Xbox consoles, news of a new streaming-based console for Microsoft's xCloud efforts, and Steam already offering controller support are some of the little details that could make this a winning bet for both companies.

Future Microsoft Office Versions Look to be Subscription Only

A job listing posted by Microsoft is being hailed as sign of subscription-based times to come to the company's Office 365 and Windows products. Honestly, I believe this to be a matter of time - Subscription services have been increasing at an alarming rate, Microsoft has already tasted the advantages of such a model on their bottom line with their Xbox Live and Games Pass systems, and of course, there're always the ever-giant Spotifys and Netflixes of this world.

Windows and Office as a service is nothing out of the ordinary, really. The job listing for a "Product Manager, M365 Consumer Subscription - Modern Life & Devices (MLD)", which has a job description along the lines of "market a great new Microsoft 365 Consumer Subscription" doesn't come as a surprise. Going from this Office 365 consumer subscription to a Windows one is a bit of a stretch on the basis of the job posting alone, but it is in the foreseeable future for Microsoft's strategy to safeguard Windows and its updates behind a monthly payment, ensuring that one-off purchases are no longer a thing - and guaranteeing a predictable revenue stream.

URCDKeys Now Selling Windows 10 Pro OEM and Office 2016 Lifetime Keys at Up To 92% Off

URCDKeys is a sensational new deep-discount online software license store. The store is selling two of its most popular products among TechPowerUp readers, at an unbeatable discount of up to 92% off the regular online price. Windows 10 Pro is a recommended flavor of Windows 10 for PC enthusiasts as it gives you greater control thanks to Group Policy Editor, and other administrative tools. URCDKey is selling the OEM license key to Windows 10 Pro for USD $14.86, which further goes down to $11.81 when you apply a TechPowerUp-exclusive coupon at checkout.

Your Windows 10 PC is incomplete without Microsoft Office, and URCDKey is stocked with Office 2016 Professional lifetime global license keys for just $38.02, with a further 20% off for TechPowerUp readers, making the effective price you pay just $30.42. That's a fraction of the price you'd pay for an annual subscription of Office 365. This deal is particularly useful for students, so they don't have to shell out $100 every two semesters.

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