Microsoft Outlook users have been plagued by a frustrating bug that leaves them unable to send emails. When hitting the “Send” button, they are confronted with an error message that simply states: “Cannot send this item”. Hundreds of frustrated Outlook users have flooded to Microsoft’s community site to bemoan the error, which is causing havoc for millions working and studying from home, as well as those who run their small business using the almost-ubiquitous email management tool.
The first reports of the error message seemingly popped up at the start of February, but things have really started to escalate in recent weeks. The issue seems to crop up when replying to a lengthy email thread. Some Outlook users claim the issue is more likely to surface when pasting a long URL into the body of an email. The problem seems to only impact Outlook on PC, with the web app seemingly allowing users to continue replying to messages without a hitch.
Whatever is causing the glitch on your PC, it’s supremely annoying. Thankfully, Microsoft has confirmed that it’s aware of the problem and is currently working on a fix.
According to the Redmond-based company, Outlook on PC will be patched later this month. The updated version of the application – Outlook version 13913.10000 – should drop in the coming weeks, so make sure to keep checking the Windows Update app to ensure you’re running the latest update.
Of course, a “late April” release date is still a few weeks – a period of time that could feel infinitely longer when you’re spending your day trying to reply to lengthy email threads and swatting away error messages. Microsoft has provided a few workarounds that its engineers believe will solve the problem temporarily until the final fix rolls out in the coming weeks.
According to Microsoft, one sure-fire way to get rid of the “cannot send this item” error message whenever you reply or forward an email in Outlook is to change the email format from HTML to Rich Text. To do this, in the message, click Reply, Reply All, or Forward. Next up, if you’re working in the Reading Pane, click Pop Out. Finally, the banner along the top of the message window, click the tab marked Format Text. On the left hand-side, highlight Rich Text if the message is already on HTML.
Another way to stop the error plaguing your work from home day is to strip out any long web links (URLs) in the body of your email. If these links are essential to the message, you can always login to your Microsoft account online in the web version of Outlook to send the same message without an issue.
With any luck, the error will be in the rear-view mirror in a few weeks, so there won’t be any need to continue jumping through these hoops.
The decision removes a voice assistant option for Android and iPhone users. While there’s still Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa, those who are deeply invested in Microsoft’s suite of software and hardware might’ve preferred an option with deeper ties to Windows 10 and Xbox, for example.
Cortana launched on Android and iOS with its own app a little under three years ago back in November 2018. With the removal from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, no new users will be able to download and install the software. For those who haven’t deleted the app from their device yet, it won’t be automatically stripped from your phone.
However, any content that you created within the Cortana app will no longer work within the software.
Lists and reminders will no longer be accessible or editable within the Cortana app. Instead, if you need to access either of these, you’ll need to download Microsoft’s To Do app on iOS and Android. If you’d rather use voice commands, you can still use Cortana to summon your lists – but only on Windows 10.
After stripping out Cortana completely from Windows 10, Microsoft is slowly bringing back the talkative voice assistant for a limited number of features. Moving forwards, Microsoft has promised to shift focus so that its Halo-inspired voice assistant will help users with Microsoft 365 services.
With Siri and Google Assistant core parts of iOS and Android, respectively, using an alternative voice assistant takes some work. Finding and launching a dedicated app to use a voice command is much harder than the hands-free access offered by the defaults from Apple and Google. The removal of the Cortana app from the App Store and Google Play Store seems like an admission that a device-independent voice assistant wasn’t as popular with smartphone owners as Microsoft had hoped.
Clearly, the costs associated with maintaining and updating these mobile apps were no longer worth it for Microsoft.
For the most dedicated Windows 10 users, that will be a real blow. But for most iPhone and Android users, they likely won’t even notice the disappearance.
Microsoft Teams in April will be filling in one surprise gap in its CV. Microsoft Teams has surged in popularity since countries around the world were plunged into lockdown, with millions of people having to ditch the office to work from home due to social distancing measures. With this brought increased demand for remote working solutions such as Microsoft Teams, which the Redmond-based tech giant has regularly updated with new features and functionality.
And once again in April the Windows 10 makers will be adding more features to Microsoft Teams.
But one of the upcoming additions may leave you surprised – not because it’s a jaw-dropping feature that will blow you away, but because it’s not already in the app’s suite of features.
As reported by Techradar, in April Microsoft Teams will be getting an update which lets users respond to specific messages and quote the original in the reply.
This may seem like a basic feature for a messenger to have, with Slack for years letting people create message chains.
READ MORE: Microsoft Teams Android and iOS apps just got a big new update
Microsoft outlined the upcoming Teams feature in the 365 Roadmap, with the quoted replies set to be available in one on one chats, as well as group and in meeting conversations.
Describing the reply to a specific message feature Microsoft said: “When chatting in Teams, you will be able to reply a specific message.
“The original message will be quoted in the reply text box, helping everyone in the chat to more easily understand the message’s context.
“Quoted replies will be available in 1:1, Group and Meeting chats.”
The feature will be generally available for Teams users.
And this isn’t the only new Teams feature that will be launching in April.
READ MORE: Microsoft Teams getting new meeting shortcut for Raise Hand feature
Microsoft has also revealed that they’re prepping a big update to Teams’ emoji offering, increasing the amount of emoticons from 85 to over 800.
In the Microsoft 365 Roadmap the tech giant added: “The expanded emoji update offers people more fun and expressiveness in Teams.
“It also introduces a wider range of diversity and representation. The emoji set has expanded from 85 to over 800 emojis, with a category selector, skin tone selector and short code picker.”
Towards the end of last year Microsoft said Teams had 115million daily active users. This October figure was compared to 32million towards the start of March last year.
Microsoft Corp. is in talks to acquire Discord Inc., a video-game chat community, for more than $10 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Discord has been talking to potential buyers and software giant Microsoft is in the running, but no deal is imminent, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private. Discord is more likely to go public than sell itself, one person said. Representatives for Microsoft and Discord declined to comment. VentureBeat reported earlier on Monday that Discord was engaged in sales talks.
San Francisco-based Discord is best known for its free service that lets gamers communicate by video, voice and text, and people stuck at home during the pandemic have increasingly used its technology for study groups, dance classes, book clubs and other virtual gatherings. It has more than 100 million monthly active users and has been elaborating its communication tools to turn it into a “place to talk” rather than merely a gamer-centric chat platform.
Microsoft, which last year sought to buy social-media app TikTok and held talks to acquire Pinterest Inc., has been shopping for assets that would provide access to thriving communities of users, according to people familiar with the company’s thinking. Microsoft’s Xbox business has also been expanding the suite of subscription perks it provides as part of its Game Pass offering. Microsoft shares were up about 1.2% in the first minutes of trading Tuesday.
“Microsoft possibly acquiring Discord makes a lot of sense as it continues to reshape its gaming business more toward software and services,” said Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst Matthew Kanterman. “There’s a big opportunity to bundle Discord’s premium offering, Nitro, into the Game Pass service to drive more subscriptions from the last reported 18 million.”
After Microsoft’s recent $7.5 billion purchase of ZeniMax Media Inc., owner of The Elder Scrolls and Doom publisher Bethesda Softworks, an acquisition of Discord would signal the Redmond, Washington-based software giant’s willingness to keep investing in its video-game unit.
“We expect Xbox to remain acquisitive to keep bolstering the value proposition of Game Pass and drive subscriptions higher,” Kanterman said.
Discord reached out to Microsoft to gauge interest, and Xbox chief Phil Spencer has been talking to the company, according to one person. The company raised $100 million at a $7 billion valuation last year, according to Pitchbook.
Discord has also held discussions with Epic Games Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. in the past, according to two people familiar with the matter. Epic didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Amazon declined to comment.
BIG TECH CRITICS GET THEIR PICK: President Biden on Monday announced his intention to nominate influential antitrust scholar Lina Khan to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Khan, a 32-year-old associate professor at Columbia Law School, would be the youngest FTC commissioner if confirmed by the Senate.
She is best known for a paper written while a law student at Yale titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” which laid out how the e-commerce giant could be violating antitrust law.
More recently, Khan served as an aide to the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee during its investigation into the monopoly power of major digital platforms.
Who’s happy about this: Progressive critics of big tech have been pushing for Khan’s nomination.
“A champion of small businesses, entrepreneurs, and working people, Professor Lina Khan is an extraordinary choice for the Federal Trade Commission,” said Sarah Miller, executive director of the American Economic Liberties Project.
NEW COALITION: Thirty-plus privacy, consumer and anti-monopoly groups are coming together to stop big tech platforms from tracking and categorizing individuals for the purpose of narrowly targeting advertising.
The broad coalition, launched Monday, is calling for a ban on the practice they term “surveillance advertising.”
What is “surveillance advertising”? “Behavioral advertising, targeted advertising, what Facebook has tried to describe as personalized advertising, really feels like they’re trying to describe it as if they’re doing us a favor, when in reality they are extracting our data, they’re exploiting us and they’re selling us to advertisers,” said Rishi Bharwani, director of partnerships and policy at Accountable Tech, one of the member groups.
“So we just thought it was a more appropriate term,” he explained to The Hill.
The coalition argues that the data collection and advertising practices of the biggest platforms — specifically Facebook and Google, which are the two dominant players in the digital advertising space — increase the spread of misinformation, hate speech and extremism by incentivizing the companies to try to keep users engaged and online as much as possible.
MICROSOFT REOPENING: Microsoft will begin allowing more workers back into its headquarters in Redmond, Wash., the company announced Monday.
Nonessential on-site workers will be given the option to work from the office, from home or a hybrid of both.
Any worker who does choose to go to the office will continue to have to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
The company’s reasoning: “Our goal is to give employees further flexibility, allowing people to work where they feel most productive and comfortable, while also encouraging employees to work from home as the virus and related variants remain concerning,” Microsoft executive vice president Kurt DelBene said in a blog post Monday.
The company is describing the latest update in its recommendations as step four on a six-step dial.
CASE DISMISSED: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected Facebook’s appeal to scale back a $ 15 billion lawsuit that accuses the tech giant of illegally tracking its users’ internet activities.
The lawsuit alleges Facebook violated the Wiretap Act by tracking users’ online activities that utilize features such as the platform’s “like” button without their consent between April 2010 and September 2011.
A blow to Facebook: The justices declined to take up Facebook’s appeal of a lower court ruling allowing the class-action lawsuit against the company to move forward.
SURPRISE! TIKTOK OK: The source code for Tik Tok and its Chinese counterpart Douyin is no more intrusive than that of other social media apps, a report from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab found.
In the report, released Monday, researchers found no evidence that either app collects user data without the permission of its users.
The popular video-sharing app came under legal jeopardy during the Trump administration after the White House moved to ban it, citing national security reasons. However, that ban never went into effect while the company vowed to fight it in court.
ICYMI – CYBER CZAR PRESSURE: President Biden is coming under increasing pressure from lawmakers and other officials to nominate a White House cyber czar as the government starts formulating its response to two major foreign cyberattacks.
More than halfway through his first 100 days in office, Biden has yet to name his pick for national cyber director, a Senate-confirmed position that comes with a 75-member staff.
The absence of a leader to coordinate federal policy on cybersecurity is becoming glaring as the administration works to quickly respond to both the Russian SolarWinds hack and the Microsoft Exchange Server vulnerabilities exploited by Chinese hackers.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is the latest entry in Microsoft’s longest running franchise with a history of 38 years, but it is not just a popular simulator – it is also a development platform. Today, we are proud to announce that the team at Aerosoft, in close collaboration with the development team at Asobo Studio, is releasing the first highly-complex add-on aircraft for the simulator: the Aerosoft CRJ 550/700.
Aerosoft GmbH is based in Paderborn, Germany and is one of the most influential companies in the flight simulation space. Founded in 1991, the company focuses on the development and publishing of software and hardware for flight enthusiasts. Their first release was an add-on to Microsoft Flight Simulator 4 in 1992 and since then, Aerosoft has developed and published hundreds of add-ons for the Microsoft Flight Simulator franchise. Due to this long history and deep understanding of flight simulation, Microsoft selected Aerosoft to release the physical edition of the new Microsoft Flight Simulator in Europe.
The new Canadair regional jets released today have a capacity of 50-100 passengers and feature a three cabin layout. These planes are used by many airlines around the world and are known for their efficiency, low operating cost and safety. In flight simulators, these jets are also very popular with hobbyist airplane pilots as these planes are often used on routes that are less than three hours in duration and are perfect for a flight session.
This unique add-on was created in close and fruitful collaboration with Microsoft and Asobo Studio, and we’ve ensured that all available features of Microsoft Flight Simulator have been implemented. The CRJ is simulated in its complete complexity right up to the smallest of details – even the cockpits include nearly all systems, operating just like the real aircraft, including the complex Flight Management System (FMS), the electronic Flight Bag and the Head-up Guidance System (HGS) in a never-before-seen visual and technical quality that will thrill ambitious pilots.
Every user has access to the Software Development Kit (SDK) that is embedded in the sim and can create aircraft, airports, scenery, missions and other add-ons. Through the last two decades, the flight sim genre has attracted several hundred add-on companies that are both highly-knowledgeable in the world of aviation and also prolific creators who were often the driving innovative forces behind the simulation hobby.
We are very excited about the level of sophistication that Aerosoft has achieved with these aircraft and it is a great sign that the Microsoft Flight Simulator SDK has advanced to the point at which the flight sim creator community can successfully develop many other highly complex add-ons. The Sky is Calling!
The CRJ 550/700 is available on March 16 in the Microsoft Flight Simulator in-sim marketplace and at www.aerosoft.com. The next add-on in this series, the CRJ900/1000, will be released at a later date.
Xbox Series X and S UK stock is still extremely hard to come by. Following a flurry of UK restocks towards the start of the month the Xbox Series X is once again like gold dust. The last major Xbox Series X UK restock happened last week when both Argos and the Microsoft Store had stock to buy.
Since then – however – the Xbox Series X has been unable to buy across the board in the UK.
But there is a slight bit of good news. Previously Microsoft bigwigs said the Xbox Series X stock shortage situation would continue until April 2021.
These comments were made previously by Xbox’s chief financial officer Tim Stuart who said: “I think we’ll continue to see supply shortages as we head into the post-holiday quarter, so Microsoft’s Q3, calendar Q1”.
We’re fast approaching this magic period where Xbox Series X stock should become more plentiful in the aftermath.
So fingers crossed it shouldn’t be too much longer that the in-demand next-gen console from Microsoft is hard to come by.
In the meantime if you’re looking to snag an Xbox Series S console there are still a few places you can purchase it from.
ShopTo has the Xbox Series S as listed for purchase and available via backorders.
While GAME also has the Xbox Series S and Series S bundles available for purchase via pre-orders, with stock available from March 26.
Express.co.uk were able to get a number of these Series S purchase options into our baskets.
Depending on where you are in the country, Argos also may have Xbox Series S stock available for you to purchase – with delivery or click & collect options available.
While the Xbox Series S isn’t as powerful as the Xbox Series X, it’s a cute little next-gen console that comes in at a very appealing price tag.
Both Argos and GAME has the Xbox Series S priced at £249.99, while at ShopTo it’s £259.85.
The Xbox Series S is built for 1440p gaming as opposed to the Series X which is for 4K and even capable of 8K.
The Series S, however, can upscale to 4K and also plays the same great selection of games as the Xbox Series X.
So that means the highly anticipated return of Master Chief with Halo Infinite, as well as other Xbox first-party games such as Forza Motorsport, State of Decay 3, Hellblade 2, Everwild and much more.
And thanks to the recent acquisition of Bethesda by Microsoft the Series S along with the Series X will be the best place to play games from the Fallout and Elder Scrolls makers thanks to the inclusion of the blockbuster studio’s games – old, new and upcoming – on Xbox Game Pass.
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However, Outriders looks to be breaking this mould – with Microsoft confirming today that the huge Square Enix game will be available at launch on Game Pass.
Announcing the news in a blog post, Megan Spurr – community lead for Xbox Game Pass – said: “We all got a taste of Outriders with the recent demo, so I’m thrilled to announce that Outriders will be available on Console and Android phones and tablets via Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) with Xbox Game Pass on day one!
“Starting April 1 (not an April Fool’s joke, I assure you), Xbox Game Pass for Console and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate members can jump into this true genre-hybrid from Square Enix, which combines brutal combat with deep RPG systems. Outriders is set in the distant future where players attempt to colonize a planet that they believe to be a new home for humanity. Turns out, the planet doesn’t want them there. Oops. A mysterious storm called the Anomaly burnt out all the tech that’s more advanced than a lightbulb, hyper-evolved the wildlife into ferocious monsters, and colonisation efforts broke down into a bitter war of attrition for the last remaining resources available to humanity.”
The Outriders news is a big boost for Xbox Series X and S fans as well as the Xbox Game Pass service.