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Found 25 results

  1. Windows 10 1903 has been released to the world. People have been upgrading eagerly to this new release. If you missed the frontpage article, there's a lot of changes for 1903. Here's a recap! Speed Improvements (Thanks to Better Spectre Fixes) The news of Spectre shook the industry at the start of 2018. Spectre is a design flaw in CPUs, and it allows programs to escape their restrictions and read other programs’ memory spaces. Microsoft patched Windows to help block Spectre attacks, but the resulting patches reduced your PC’s performance in some scenarios—especially on PCs from 2015 and earlier, which don’t have the CPU features needed to speed up the fix. Now, a change in the April 2019 Update looks set to practically eliminate those performance penalties and speed your PC back up. Specifically, Microsoft is enabling “retpoline” and “import optimization.” All you need to know is your PC should get faster, and you won’t even need to think about it. But here’s a detailed document from Microsoft explaining how these optimizations work if you’re interested in the details. 7 GB of Your PC’s Storage Reserved for Updates Windows Updates can fail to install properly if your PC doesn’t have enough free disk space. This can be a problem on inexpensive devices with only a small amount of built-in storage. Microsoft is solving the problem by commandeering about 7 GB of your PC’s storage and making it into “reserved storage.” This space is used for Windows Updates, but programs can also store temporary files here. When Windows needs the space for updates, it deletes the temporary files and performs the update. So space isn’t completely wasted, as files that would have normally used space on your computer will just sit in the reserved storage space. The exact amount of storage space used depends on the optional features and languages you have installed, but it starts at about 7 GB. Home Users Can Now Pause Updates, Too! Microsoft says it’s “[made] the Pause Update feature easier to find” by placing it directly on the main Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update page. However, that’s not all. Microsoft didn’t announce this officially, but the Pause Updates feature now works on Home editions of Windows 10—at least in Insider builds, so this could easily change. Home users can now pause updates for up to seven days. It’s a great feature if you need a temporary reprieve from updates. However, as in the Professional version of Windows 10, Windows Update will immediately check for and install updates after it unpauses. Windows 10 Professional users can still pause updates for up to 35 days at a time. A Light Desktop Theme Windows 10 now has a shiny new light theme. The Start menu, taskbar, notifications, action center sidebar, print dialog, and other interface elements can now be light instead of dark. Windows 10’s latest update even features a new default desktop wallpaper that matches the new theme. Technically, Windows 10 now has two separate options: Windows mode and app mode. The old default theme, which combined a dark taskbar (dark Windows mode) with light apps (light app mode) is still an option. You can choose any combination of the two settings. File Explorer’s icon has been tweaked to have some brighter colors, and it now looks better with the new light theme. Windows Sandbox for Professional Users Windows 10 now has a built-in “Windows Sandbox.” It’s everything we’ve always wanted: an integrated, isolated desktop environment where you can run software in a container without affecting your host operating system. When you close the Sandbox, all the software and files in the sandbox are deleted. It uses hardware-based virtualization to keep the software confined to a container, just like Microsoft’s Hyper-V. The Sandbox is only available on Professional, Enterprise, and Education editions of Windows, so Home users will have to pay to upgrade from Home to Pro to install and use the sandbox. A Less Cluttered Default Start Menu Microsoft is cleaning up the default Start menu. The default Start menu is now just a single column and is much simpler. Yes, it’s not perfect, and it still has Candy Crush Saga—but at least that game is buried in a “Play” folder. You won’t see these changes on an existing PC. But, when you start using a new PC or start using a new user account on your current PC, you’ll see a cleaner Start menu. You can also unpin the default groups of tiles more quickly if you’d rather have a cleaner Start menu. Windows now lets you unpin groups of tiles by right-clicking them and selecting the “Unpin Group From Start” option. You don’t have to remove tiles one by one anymore. Windows 10 Lets You Uninstall More Built-in Apps If you want to uninstall more built-in apps completely, now you can. Windows 10 always let you uninstall some built-in apps like Solitaire, My Office, and Skype, but now it also lets you uninstall built-in apps like 3D Viewer, Groove Music, Mail, Paint 3D, and more. This doesn’t extend to all apps. There’s still no way to remove the Edge browser or Store app, for example. But you can remove most apps. Cortana and the Search Bar Are Separating Windows 10 has a search bar that’s integrated with Cortana, but they’re separating. In the April 2019 Update, the search bar functions as a normal search box, and there’s a separate Cortana icon on the Windows taskbar. You can leave the search box on the taskbar and hide the Cortana icon or hide the search box and leave Cortana. Of course, you can also hide both. The Search interface has a new start design, and it features options like “All,” “Apps,” “Documents,” “Email,” and “Web” after you click it. This is different from previous versions of Windows 10, which showed Cortana whenever you clicked the box and waited for you to type a search to present these options. Unfortunately, the standard Windows search bar still integrates online search results with Bing, so it doesn’t just search your PC. There are more options, too—you can even disable SafeSearch for results in the search bar, and Windows will show you previews of adult content, for some reason. But this does point to an interesting way forward and a decrease in the relevance of Cortana—now, you could leave the search bar on the taskbar and disable the Cortana icon, putting Alexa in its place. The Start Menu Searches All Your PC’s Files The Start menu’s search box is getting a lot more useful, however! The file search feature in the Start menu can now search for files anywhere on your PC using the Windows search index. In previous versions of Windows 10, it only searched libraries like Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos, and your Desktop. The search will still be quick thanks to the index. This is an elegant solution and makes a lot of sense. The Windows search indexer has been around for a long time and was always ignored by Windows 10’s Start menu for some reason, but Microsoft has finally seen the light. You can configure which locations are indexed and searched from within the Settings app. To enable this, head to Settings > Search > Searching Windows and select “Enhanced (Recommended)” to make the indexer search your entire PC. “Classic” indexing mode, which just searches your libraries and desktop, is still available as an option. You can also customize search locations to choose the precise folders indexed by Windows. Passwordless Login Microsoft is pursuing “a world without passwords.” You can now create a Microsoft account without a password online. That account is linked to your phone number, and Microsoft will text you a security code whenever you try to sign in. On the latest version of Windows 10, you can now sign into Windows 10 with these passwordless accounts and set up a PIN or other Windows Hello sign-in feature to secure your computer. The account doesn’t have a password you ever have to type. Of course, this isn’t mandatory. It’s just a new, optional type of account you don’t have to create. A System Tray Icon for Windows Update Windows Update now has a notification (system tray) icon for updates. You can head to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced Options and enable the “Show a notification when your PC requires a restart to finish updating” option to enable it. After you do, you’ll see a Windows Update icon with an orange dot in your taskbar’s notification area when you need to reboot your PC for updates. It’s a nicer way of getting alerted to a required reboot than a full-screen message; that’s for sure. A New Update Naming Scheme (For Now) Microsoft keeps changing Windows 10’s update naming scheme. Windows 10’s October 2018 Update was named Redstone 5 during development, and the previous four were also “Redstone” releases with different numbers. Now, to make things even simpler, the April 2019 update was named 19H1, as it was scheduled for release in the first half of 2019. This sounds simple, except Microsoft has already abandoned the new naming scheme and is about to change the naming next time around. The releases after 19H1 will reportedly be codenamed “Vanadium” and “Vibranium,” as the Windows 10 team is aligning its naming with the Azure team. Zoom (and More) in the Console Windows 10’s console now lets you zoom in and out. Just hold the Ctrl key and scroll with your mouse or trackpad. With the default Consolas font, text in the console scales nicely and doesn’t look pixelated, no matter how much you zoom in. The aspect ratio of the frame stays the same so text won’t overflow onto different lines, either. There are also some new experimental console features you can adjust. Right-click any console window’s title bar, select “Properties,” and click the “Terminal” tab to find them. For example, you can configure the text entry cursor’s color and shape. More Automatic Troubleshooting Windows has had troubleshooters for a while, but you had to know what type of problem your PC was having and then navigate to the correct troubleshooter. Now, you can just navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot. You’ll see a list of recommended troubleshooters that Windows thinks might fix your problem. In fact, Windows automatically tries to fix some problems in the background now. Here’s what Microsoft says about that: Microsoft can automatically fix certain critical problems on your Windows device to keep it running smoothly. For example, we may automatically restore default settings for critical services, adjust feature settings to match your hardware configuration, or make other specific changes required for Windows to operate normally. Critical troubleshooting happens automatically and can’t be turned off. Windows can perform recommended troubleshooting in the background, too. To control whether this happens, head to Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & Feedback. Under Recommended Troubleshooting, select “Ask me before fixing problems,” “Tell me when problems get fixed,” or “Fix problems for me without asking. By default, Windows 10 is set to ask. Notifications Hidden in Full-Screen Apps Windows 10’s next update can also hide notifications while you watch videos or use any other full-screen app thanks to an improvement in Focus Assist. Focus Assist can already hide notifications while you’re playing any full-screen game, but now it can work when you’re using any app, whether that’s a video player, full-screen spreadsheet, or web browser after you pressed F11. Notepad Improvements, Once Again Yes, Microsoft is still working on Notepad—even after all the improvements back in the October 2018 Update. Microsoft has also made changes to the way Notepad handles encodings. The status bar now displays the encoding of the open document. Notepad can now save files in UTF-8 format without a Byte Order Mark, which is now the default. This makes Notepad more compatible with the web, where UTF-8 is the default, and it’s also backward compatible with traditional ASCII. Notepad will now have an asterisk in the title bar when the current file has been modified and not saved. For example, if you’re working on a file named Example.txt and make some changes, the title bar will say “*Example.txt” until you save the file. New shortcuts are available, too. Press Ctrl+Shift+N to open a new Notepad window, Ctrl+Shift+S to open the Save As dialog, or Ctrl+W to close the current Notepad window. Notepad can also now save files with a path longer than 260 characters if you set a larger MAX_PATH on your system. There’s also a new Help > Send Feedback option that will open the Feedback Hub to the Notepad category so you can provide feedback to Microsoft. More Improvements and Changes You’ll see a banner at the top of the Settings app’s “home page” with your Microsoft account and links to common tasks like Your Phone, Windows Update—and Microsoft Rewards, for some reason. The official release of Emoji 12 is coming in March 2019, and Microsoft has added new emoji to Windows 10 in preparation. As always, you can press Windows + . (period) to open the emoji panel anywhere in Windows 10. They’re also available on the touch keyboard. Windows 10 now supports kaomoji in the emoji picker, too. Kaomoji is a Japanese term that translates to “face characters. For example, (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ is a popular kaomoji. And, when you open the emoji panel, you can now click or touch and drag it to move it around. File Explorer now shows “friendly dates” by default. So, rather than dates like “1/23/2019”, you’ll see dates like “Yesterday,” “Tuesday,” “January 11,” and “February 16, 2016.” You can disable this by right-clicking the top of the columns in the File Explorer window and unchecking “Use friendly dates.” This will give you the old format back. The Storage Settings page has been redesigned a bit, too. Head to Settings > System > Storage to see a breakdown of how your space is used. You can click each category to find actions that will help free up space. The Settings > Time & Language > Date & Time screen gains a “Sync Now” button to immediately synchronize your clock with an internet time server. It also shows you when the time was last synchronized and the address of your system’s current internet time server. This helps if your time is wrong for some reason—like, for example, if Windows doesn’t correctly change your clock for DST. The Settings app can now configure advanced IP settings for Ethernet connections. For example, you can configure a static IP address or set your favorite DNS server. Previously, this required using the Control Panel. Head to Settings > Network & Internet > Ethernet, click your Ethernet connection name, and click “Edit” under IP settings to find these options. Windows Update has had “Active Hours” since the Anniversary Update. You can tell Windows when you’re using your PC, and it won’t automatically restart your PC during these hours. In the April 2019 Update, you can enable a new “Automatically adjust active hours for this device based on activity” setting and Windows will automatically set your active hours, so you don’t have to think about them. This option is available at Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Change Active Hours. There’s now a new, globe-shaped icon that appears when your PC doesn’t have any Internet connection. This replaces the previous individual icons for Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and cellular data connections. Windows now has a microphone status icon, too. This icon appears in your notification when an application is using your microphone. You can mouse over it to see which application is using your mic. Click it to open the Settings > Privacy > Microphone screen. The Windows Security app—Windows 10’s built-in antivirus and security application—now has a redesigned “Protection History” pane. It shows you more information about detected threats and available actions. For example, in addition to threats detected by the Windows Defender antivirus, it also shows you blocks initiated by Controlled Folder Access. Windows Security now also has a new “Tamper Protection” option. When enabled, this setting protects important security settings. For example, it limits changes to many of the options controlled by the Windows Security app unless you open the app and make the changes. This prevents programs from changing them in the background. To enable this setting, head to Windows Security > Virus & Threat Protection > Virus & Threat Protection Settings. You can set a default tab in the Task Manager. This tab will open whenever you launch the Task Manager. To do so, use the Options > Set Default Tab in the Task Manager. The Task Manager now displays the high DPI awareness of the processes on your system, so you can see more information about which applications will work properly with high DPI displays. To find this option, open the Task Manager, click the Details tab, right-click the headers at the top of the list, click “Select Columns,” check “DPI Awareness” in the list, and click “OK.” Microsoft is also enabling the “Fix Scaling for Apps” option by default. This will help fix blurry applications on high DPI displays. This was added to Windows 10 back in the April 2018 Update, but Microsoft left it disabled by default to be conservative. The sign-in screen now has an “acrylic” background to blend in with Microsoft’s new “Fluent Design System. Previously, it had more of a blur—it’s a different visual effect. Speaking of Fluent Design, Microsoft is also adding shadows to Microsoft Edge’s context menus and other parts of the operating system. The Start menu’s design has been tweaked a bit, too. It has more “Fluent Design” touches and icons in the menus. For example, the Sleep, Shut Down, and Restart options in the menu now have icons. The Windows Hello options at Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options have been redesigned. All available sign-in options are now in a single list, and each option has an explanation under it. You can also now set up Windows Hello to work with a physical security key (like a YubiKey) directly from the Settings app. The brightness tile under quick actions in the Action Center is now a slider, which makes it a lot easier to quickly change your display’s brightness level. You can now right-click a quick action tile and select “Edit Quick Actions” to quickly edit your tiles right from the sidebar without opening the Settings app, too. The touch keyboard now lets you input more symbols. To find them, tap the old “&123” button to see symbols and numbers, and then tap the new “Ω” button see additional symbols. These symbols are integrated into the emoji picker, too. That same touch keyboard now helps you type more accurately by dynamically adjusting the targets around each key. So, if you frequently mistype a letter by tapping a little to the left or right, it’ll learn. This happens invisibly, under the hood. Windows now lets you choose a cursor color and size. You can make the cursor larger and change its color, making it easier to see. Head to Settings > Ease of Access > Cursor & Pointer to see available options. Even More Changes! There are always tons of new changes in these Windows 10 builds. Even this isn’t a complete list! But here are a few more: App Updates: Various apps included with Windows have been updated, as usual. For example, the Snip & Sketch app has more options for working with screenshots, including the ability to add a border to them and print them. It can now take delayed screenshots on a timer and screenshots of individual windows, too. Sticky Notes 3.0 is available, and it finally syncs your notes between computers. The Mail & Calendar app now has a navigation button for opening Microsoft To-Do. The Game Bar has a built-in gallery so you can see view screenshots and videos, right from the Game Bar interface. The Office app has been redesigned to be based on the new Office.com experience. It helps you launch Office apps on your computer, install ones that aren’t, and find recently used Office documents. Cortana + Microsoft To Do: Cortana now adds your reminders and tasks to lists in Microsoft To-Do. So, when you tell Cortana to add milk to your grocery list, you’ll see Milk appear on the “Grocery” list in the Microsoft To-Do app. Consistent Display Brightness: Your display’s brightness will not change automatically when you plug it into a charger. Previously, you may have lowered your display’s brightness, and it might become brighter when you plug it in. Now, it will automatically remember your preferred brightness—even when you plug it in. Download Folder Sorting: Windows 10’s Downloads folder will be sorted by “most recent” by default, which puts your most recently downloaded folders on top. This has always been an option, but it wasn’t the default. If you’ve chosen a default sorting method, your existing setting won’t be changed. Disk Cleanup Warning: The Disk Cleanup tool now displays a warning when you click the “Downloads” option, warning that this is your personal downloads folder and all files inside it will be removed. Windows Update Reboots: Windows Update can now reboot your PC immediately after installing updates rather than waiting for a more convenient time. This is an optional setting you can enable if you like, and Windows Update will be more considerate by default. Start Menu Reliability Improvements: The Start menu is becoming more reliable. Start was previously part of the ShellExperienceHost.exe process but is now its own process: StartMenuExperienceHost.exe. If a problem occurs with the main ShellExperienceHost.exe process, the Start menu should still be responsive. This will also make it easier for Microsoft to debug problems with the Start menu. Native RAW Support: Microsoft is adding native support for the RAW image format often used by professional photographers to Windows 10. Open the Microsoft Store and install the “Raw Image Extension” package to use it. This will enable image thumbnails, previews, and metadata of RAW files in File Explorer. You can also view RAW images in apps like Photos after installing the package. Font Management in Settings: Font management is improved. You can now drag-and-drop font files into the Settings > Fonts page to install them. You can click a font on this page to view its font faces and details or uninstall a font from here. (This installs the font for a single user. To install it system-wide, right-click a font file normally and select “Install for All Users.”) Clipboard History Redesign: The Clipboard History viewer added back in the October 2018 Update has a new, more compact design. Press Windows + V to open it. Streamlined PIN Resets: When signing into Windows 10 with a PIN, you can click the “I Forgot My PIN” link, and you’ll see a new, streamlined interface for resetting your PIN right from the welcome screen. Colors in the Task Bar’s Jump Lists: If you tell Windows to show your accent color on the taskbar from Settings > Personalization > Colors, the jump lists that appear after you right-click an icon on your taskbar will also be themed with your chosen color. Windows Subsystem for Linux: Windows Subsystem for Linux’s wsl command-line tool now has new options, including the –import and –export options for importing and exporting Linux distributions using tar archive files. Microsoft is also consolidating things—the wsl command now includes options from the wslconfig command, and Microsoft plans to only update the wsl command with command-line options in the future. FLS Slot Limit Increase: Microsoft raised Windows 10’s FLS (Fiber Local Storage) slot allocation limit. This is particularly useful for musicians, who will be able to load more unique plugins into their DAWs (digital audio workstations.) This will also aid any other application that wants to load hundreds or thousands of unique DLL files. Narrator Improvements: Narrator has a “Read by Sentence” feature that you can instruct to read the current, next, and previous sentences. The Narrator also works better with Google Chrome, too—which makes sense, as Microsoft Edge will one day be based on Chromium, the open-source software that forms the basis for Google Chrome. Narrator will now even warn you if the Caps Lock key is on when you start typing, too. It also has a new “Narrator Home” interface that appears whenever you turn on Narrator. Reset This PC Redesign: The “Reset This PC” interface that resets your PC to its original state was redesigned a bit, and now requires fewer clicks to go through. Insider Settings Redesign: The Windows Insider settings at Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program have also been streamlined and simplified, but all the same options are still there. Sound in the Notification Area Stays the Same: In earlier Insider builds of 19H1, Microsoft experimented with making the sound icon system tray open the Sound page in the Settings app. This change has been reverted, and the option in the volume icon’s context menu will now open the classic desktop volume mixer window. My People: Microsoft may kill Windows 10’s “My People” feature at some point, but this hasn’t been officially confirmed. Other new features include support for additional languages throughout the operating system. For example, SwiftKey’s typing intelligence now supports languages like English (Canada), French (Canada), Portuguese (Portugal), and Spanish (United States). If you write in Vietnamese, the touch keyboard now supports Vietnamese Telex and Number-key based (VNI) keyboards. Windows now also contains an Ebrima font that supports ADLaM documents and web pages, which is the language of the Fulani people, who predominantly live in West Africa.
  2. The next big update coming to Windows 10 will be called the Creative Update. The codename it's referred to in addition to the Creative Update is Redstone 2. There's also a changelog of known and discovered updates in the Insider builds, which you can view on ChangeWindows. Some interesting features coming: Built-in support for USB Audio 2.0 For Pro, Enterprise and Education, the range for Active Hours has been enlarged to 18 hours, up from 12 On devices with more than 3.5 GB memory, service hosts will be split into individual processes When one process fails, it will no longer take down the whole service host Task Manager will give a better overview of what Windows is doing in these background processes It will be easier to troubleshoot which process is causing issues for both IT pros and Microsoft Process will now all have their own individual permissions, improving security Installing Bash on Ubuntu on Windows will now install version 16.04 instead of 14.04 The Registry Editor now has an address bar Interestingly enough, that page does not yet list "Blue Light" (a placeholder name), which sounds a lot like f.lux. I previously posted some news detailing this and some other new features coming.
  3. Dial-a-fix does not support Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, or Windows 10. Dial-a-fix only supports Legacy Windows - that is Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, and XP. For more information please check the wiki. If you need support for these operating systems, please post in the corresponding forum.
  4. On August 2nd, Microsoft released the Anniversary Update for Windows 10 and when the bits arrived on computers around the globe, it brought with it new features and also broke webcams for millions of consumers. If your webcam has stopped functioning since the release of the Anniversary update, you are not alone but the good news is a fix is coming, hopefully in September. Microsoft made a significant change with the release of Windows 10 and support for webcams that is causing serious problems for not only consumers but also the enterprise. The problem is that after installing the update, Windows no longer allows USB webcams to use MJPEG or H264 encoded streams and is only allowing YUY2 encoding. Why did the company remove these options? The short answer is that with the Anniversary update there are new scenarios for applications to be able to access the webcam and the MJPEG or H264 encoding processes could have resulted in duplication of encoding the stream (poor performance) so the company limited the input methods to stop this from happening. View the full article
  5. Microsoft released Windows 10's Anniversary Update last week, but it's already getting ready to unveil new features for its next major update. The software giant has started testing its "Redstone 2" update to Windows 10, with an initial build available for Windows Insiders testing public beta copies. The new update doesn't have any big new features for public testers yet, as Microsoft is in the early stages of making structural improvements to its OneCore shared code of Windows across PCs, tablets, phones, HoloLens, Xbox, and IoT. The first few builds available for testing "may include more bugs and other issues that could be slightly more painful for some people to live" according to Windows software engineer Dona Sarkar. Microsoft has released Windows 10 build 14901, and the company is testing out new notifications within File Explorer to provide tips on what's new in Windows 10. You can opt out of the notifications, and they're just a test for now. View the full article
  6. With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, aka Windows 10 version 1607, released earlier this week, it's time to look forward to what's next. Windows 10 has multiple release tracks to address the needs of its various customer types. The mainstream consumer release, the one that received the Anniversary Update on Tuesday, is dubbed the Current Branch (CB). The Current Branch for Business (CBB) trails the CB by several months, giving it greater time to bed in and receive another few rounds of bug fixing. Currently the CBB is using last year's November Update, version 1511. In about four months, Microsoft plans to bump CBB up to version 1607, putting both CB and CBB on the same major version. The Long Term Servicing Branch, an Enterprise-only version that will receive security and critical issue support for 10 years, will also be updated. Currently, Windows 10 LTSB is essentially the Windows 10 RTM release with certain features such as the Edge browser and Windows Store permanently removed. On October 1, a new Windows 10 LTSB build will be released, starting another 10-year support window. View the full article
  7. Now that the Windows 10 Anniversary Update has been sent out what are everyone's thoughts? How did the overall process go? How long did it take? Have you encountered any issues, and if so, what issues?
  8. Starting today the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will begin rolling out for our customers around the world. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is full of new features and innovations that bring Windows Ink and Cortana to life; a faster, more accessible and more power-efficient Microsoft Edge browser; advanced security features; new gaming experiences and more. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update will start rolling out to Windows 10 Mobile phones in the coming weeks. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is being rolled out to Windows 10 PCs across the world in phases starting with the newer machines first. You don’t have to do anything to get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, it will roll out automatically to you through Windows Update if you’ve chosen to have updates installed automatically on your device. However, if you don’t want to wait for the update to roll out to you, you can manually get the update yourself on your personal PC. If you’re using a Windows 10 PC at work, you will need to check with your IT administrator for details on your organization’s specific plans to update. View the full article
  9. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update – the largest update to the PC operating system since its big revamp in 2015 – began rolling out to consumers on Tuesday. More than 350m devices have been upgraded since Windows 10 was released in a Microsoft campaign that bombarded computer owners with invitations to get the new version for free, pushed it out to computers automatically and installed it without users realising. The Anniversary Update sees Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana become more central, being used as part of any search, while a new feature called Windows Ink enables users to annotate on their screens more freely, and across different apps, with a stylus. View the full article
  10. Microsoft's year-long offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10 has now finished, albeit with a couple of loopholes still to be closed. Since the deal was launched last year there are now more than 350 million devices running the new operating system, mostly thanks to the offer. It's not especially surprising that users have quicker to upgrade to Windows 10 than earlier versions: Microsoft was giving it away for free, after all. Microsoft's offer was, to an extent, bowing to the inevitable: since the rise of the smartphone with regular free mobile OS upgrades, consumers increasingly expect to get new desktop OS upgrades for free (indeed, Mac users have done since 2013). The touch-centric look-and-feel that arrived with Windows 8, which confused and upset many users, was onther reason for the Windows 10 offer. Giving Windows 10 away for free helped Microsoft put that painful negative reception behind it, and in the process got rid of much of the Windows 8 installed base still out there (has any version of Windows appeared and disappeared so quickly?). View the full article
  11. A year after Microsoft introduced its free upgrade offer to Windows 10 for PCs running Windows 7 or Windows 8, the company finally put an end to this year-long opportunity last Friday. Microsoft’s significant upgrade push didn’t avoid some controversy during the past year, as many users complained that its Windows 10 upgrade prompts have been too aggressive and confusing, but there is no denying that the Windows 10 launch has been an overall success for the company. On June 29, the Redmond giant announced that Windows 10 was already running on 350 million devices (including PCs, phones, Xbox One gaming consoles and more), which was 50 million more devices than the previous milestone announced by the company on May 5. As we’re now just one day from the release of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, we expect the company to release an update on the number of devices running the latest OS pretty soon. View the full article
  12. Seeing as another major round of updates to Windows 10 is about to take place next week it only makes sense to see some fear-inducing articles. In fairness, the articles themselves aren't that bad (see PC World) as the content mostly explains away the so-called controversy. Nonetheless in the age of "I only read the headline" things like "You can't turn off Cortana in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update" with the fine print "...but you can lessen her awareness" does a disservice to the community. Normally, I ignore such articles as in June we wrote a detailed guide called "How to turn off Cortana and stop personal data gathering in Windows 10". That guide mostly applies to the current version of Cortana, but a lot of the privacy tips are relevant for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. View the full article
  13. It's just two days until July 29th, the last day that you can get the Windows 10 upgrade free from Microsoft. The free offer is currently available to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users. The upgrade process is simple, though a bit time consuming. It can take a few hours for the entire upgrade process. However, if you do the upgrade process through Windows Update you will have the latest version - 1511 10586.494 - which is current until August 2nd when the Anniversary Update is scheduled to arrive. Your Windows key will be converted to a Windows 10 key through Digital Entitlement. In the future you can either use your Windows 10 key or Windows 7/8 key to reinstall Windows 10. It is strongly recommended to back up any data that you deem important. If you like you can do a clean install of Windows 10 after the upgrade. You'll need the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft to create a bootable USB or get an ISO to burn to a DVD. From there you can use either your Windows 7/8 key or use Magical Jellybean Keyfinder to get your new Windows 10 key and use that key. The clean install will go much faster than the upgrade process, so you'll be up and running with a clean Windows 10 in no time! View the full article
  14. We reported earlier on France's demands to Microsoft with regards to bolstering its Windows 10 OS to better protect user data, and ultimately, their privacy. The fact that a watchdog would target Microsoft for collecting too much data probably strikes no one as a surprise, as that very complaint has been one shared by many users since the launch of Microsoft's latest OS. In the complaint, France's Chair of the National Data Protection Commission noted a couple of big issues, from the fact that the PIN code can be entered as many times as an attacker needs it to be and also that certain mechanisms of the operating system collect much more user data than is required for it to function. View the full article
  15. Windows 10 breaches French law by collecting too much personal information from users and failing to secure it adequately, according to the French National Data Protection Commission (CNIL). Some of the privacy failings identified can be remedied by users willing to delve deep into the Windows 10 settings, but one of the commission's gripes is that better privacy should be the default setting, not one users must fight for. CNIL served Microsoft with a formal notice on June 30, giving it three months to comply with the law, but only made it public on Wednesday. The commission conducted seven tests of the data sent back to Microsoft by Windows 10 in April and June of this year. Among Microsoft's faux pas was the collection of data about all the apps downloaded and installed on a system, and the time spent on each one, a process CNIL said was both excessive and unnecessary. View the full article
  16. This thread is for everyone to post their thoughts and impressions with Windows 10. So far for me, I've been enjoying the OS. No real issues (though I did a clean install). It's very fast and responsive.
  17. Before Microsoft Windows 10, users could customize all the systems sounds to be anything they wanted. Unfortunately, for reasons unbeknownst to the rest of us, Microsoft decided that certain sounds were off limits for customization in Windows 10. For example, you can't change sounds in the control panel for logon, logoff, and shutdown. But you don't have to let Microsoft get away with that, as long as you don't mind an excursion deep into the Windows 10 Registry file. Standard disclaimer: The Windows Registry file is vital to the operation of the Windows operating system. Incorrectly editing or otherwise corrupting the Windows Registry file could prevent your computer from booting properly. You have been warned. Delve deep To customize sounds in Windows 10, right-click the speaker icon in the system tray and then click the Sounds menu item. As you can see in Figure A, you will be presented with a control panel where you can modify system sounds. However, logon, logoff, and shutdown are notably missing from this list. View the full article
  18. Microsoft will end the free upgrade to Windows 10 offer that’s available for Windows 7 and 8.1 users on July 29, which means that those who can benefit from this promo have less than 50 days to do it. Redmond launched its new operating system last year on July 29 and decided to offer it free of charge to those who were running Windows 7 and 8.1, giving them one full year to upgrade without paying a single cent. For those who are still unsure whether this comes with a catch, here’s the thing. You can upgrade to Windows 10 any time by July 29, 2016, and the operating system will be available for you without any cost for the entire lifetime of your device. This means that you won’t get a trial version or a demo, and Windows 10 won’t turn into adware after July 29, as some people claimed, but to benefit from all of these, you have to upgrade before the offer expires. View the full article
  19. While I have not yet taken the free upgrade to Windows 10, I've been considering it lately. It'd be interesting to see who has upgraded.
  20. Microsoft is removing part of its controversial Wi-Fi Sense feature from Windows 10. "We have removed the Wi-Fi Sense feature that allows you to share Wi-Fi networks with your contacts and to be automatically connected to networks shared by your contacts," says Microsoft's Gabe Aul. "The cost of updating the code to keep this feature working combined with low usage and low demand made this not worth further investment." Wi-Fi Sense was originally introduced on Windows Phone and then updated and included with Windows 10. It's a feature that lets you automatically connect to open hotspots, and share your Wi-Fi passwords with contacts. Some security experts had expressed concerns over Windows 10 automatically connecting to open hotspots, but Microsoft is keeping this feature in place. Wi-Fi Sense's password sharing feature generated unnecessary noise from people who didn't understand it wasn't sharing all Wi-Fi passwords by default, but Microsoft has clearly received enough data and feedback to show that it's not widely used. View the full article
  21. During its Build 2015 keynote, Microsoft just unveiled a new Windows 10 feature it's calling Continuum for Phones. It allows smartphones running Microsoft's latest OS to transform into desktop PCs — or at least an experience that's very close — when connected to larger screens. We've already seen Continuum help ease the transition for users switching between tablet and PC modes, and this is an even better example of what's possible when developers go along with Microsoft's universal apps plan. View the full article
  22. Microsoft announced a four-pronged effort to bring developers and their apps to Windows at its build conference today. One of these prongs—a way for Web developers to present their sites as apps—was already announced at Mobile World Congress earlier in the year. The second prong is logical but not altogether surprising. In Windows 10, developers will be able to specially prepare existing Windows apps, whether Win32, .NET WinForms, .NET WPF, or any other Windows development technology, and sell them through the Windows Store. Unlike the "traditional" Windows application installation experience, these apps will be guaranteed to install, update, and uninstall cleanly—one of the important things that Store apps do to ensure that users feel confident trying apps out and removing them if they don't like them. Behind the scenes, virtualization technology will be used to provide this isolation and robustness. View the full article
  23. Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8 users this summer, but Microsoft is also extending its offer to software pirates. "We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10," says Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s Windows chief, in an interview with Reuters. The move means that thousands, perhaps millions, of machines will get a free copy of Windows 10 even if a license has not been properly acquired. "Anyone with a qualified device can upgrade to Windows 10, including those with pirated copies of Windows," says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. "We believe customers over time will realize the value of properly licensing Windows and we will make it easy for them to move to legitimate copies." View the full article
  24. There's lots of talking going around about the free upgrade. I'd like to get myself Windows 8 just to try it and be able to get the free upgrade to Windows 10.   Why is it now Windows 10 instead of 9? Because of third party programmers using the wrong code.   Quote source: http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/2hwlrk/new_windows_version_will_be_called_windows_10/ckwq83x   A huge offender is Java, just take a look at https://searchcode.com/?q=if%28version%2Cstartswith%28%22windows+9%22%29
  25. Windows 9. Threshold. Or just plain Windows. Whatever Microsoft ends up calling its next operating system, it's shaping up to be another big change from the Windows that came before it. Only this time, Microsoft is looking to mollify its user base—especially in the enterprise—instead of scaring people away. If months of leaks and rumors are accurate, Microsoft will undo some of the most drastic changes in Windows 8, but it will also kick off a major transformation for Windows—one that's long overdue. Microsoft is likely to reveal at least some of these changes at a September 30 event. Here's a look at all the details that have leaked out so far, and how we expect it all to come together: View the full article
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