Wayne Williams

Windows 10 is now on 350 million devices

Windows 10 girl

Just under two months ago, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 was on 300 million devices. That’s a sizeable number, achieved in around nine months.

Today, in officially announcing the launch date of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft says the number of devices running the OS has jumped to over 350 million.

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Microsoft confirms Windows 10 Anniversary Update is coming August 2 -- here's what’s new

Win 10 anniversary update

Yesterday, Microsoft accidentally leaked the news that the eagerly awaited Windows 10 Anniversary Update is now set to arrive on August 2, and today the software giant confirms the news, along with details of what to expect from the update.

If you’re a Windows Insider, or have been following news of the various Insider Preview builds, you’ll know there’s a lot of new features and improvements in the update.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14376 for PC and Mobile arrives on the Fast ring

Windows 10

The much awaited Windows 10 Anniversary Update might not now be arriving until the start of August, but the Windows Insider previews continue to roll out at an impressive pace.

Today, Microsoft releases Build 14376 for both PC and Mobile to the Fast ring, and also pushes out Build 14372 to the Slow ring. Build 14376 contains over 1,800 fixes compared to the previous build released last week, which is quite some going.

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Oops, looks like Windows 10 Anniversary Update is arriving later than planned

Windows 10 delay

Microsoft’s big Windows 10 Anniversary Update introduces a ton of new features and improvements to the new operating system, including a revamped Start menu, support for extensions in Edge, Windows Ink, and more.

Windows Insiders have been testing these new features for a while, and it’s looking very much as if the Anniversary Update will be a great improvement. The big update was set to be released on July 29, the same day as the free upgrade offer ended, but according to an accidental release from Microsoft, it seems as if the software giant is going to miss that window.

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Microsoft finally lets users say no to Windows 10

Shocked PC user

Microsoft has used every trick in the book to get Windows 7 and 8.1 users to upgrade to Windows 10. From making the new operating system free, and introducing an app to simplify the upgrade process, to fooling users into requesting an upgrade even if they really don’t want it.

The latest approach has been to change the behavior of the red corner X in the Get Windows 10 popup. People who clicked the button to close the message assumed they’d rejected the new OS, but had in fact sanctioned the upgrade. Microsoft even went so far as to remove the X in some cases, so people couldn’t even close the popup without agreeing to install the upgrade either immediately, or at a time arranged by Microsoft.

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Windows 10 has 30 percent of the market and is catching up on Windows 7 -- according to Microsoft


NetMarketShare is set to release its monthly desktop operating system usage share figures for June in one week’s time, and given how aggressively Microsoft has been pushing Windows 10 in the run up to the launch of the Anniversary Update, and the end of the free promotion period, it should make for interesting reading.

Microsoft has just updated its own Windows market share figures, covering April 2016, and as you might expect they show Windows 10 making big gains. Huge gains, in fact.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14372 for PC and Mobile arrives on the Fast ring

Windows 10

Windows 10 Insider Preview builds are coming thick and fast now in preparation for the Anniversary Update on 29 July.

We had a new build on Tuesday (Build 14371), and today Windows Insider chief Dona Sarkar has pushed the button on another new release -- Build 14372 for PC and Mobile. That’s just one build newer, but includes fixes designed to improve overall performance and reliability. But that’s not all.

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Why can't 'no' just mean 'no' when it comes to free software?

Say no

As we’ve reported numerous times before, and with increasing levels of frustration, Microsoft won’t ever seem to take no for an answer when it comes to Windows 10. When the Get Windows 10 app appears to users of Windows 7 or 8.1 they might reasonably expect to have the choice of saying "yes" or "no" to the free upgrade offer. Except while "yes" means "yes", "no" apparently means "yes, but you’ll need to trick me into installing it".

It’s not just Microsoft which pulls this kind of stunt either. This is a recent experience I had when installing Auslogics Disk Defrag.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14371 arrives on the Fast ring

Windows 10

Microsoft is rolling out new Windows 10 Insider builds on a very regular basis in preparation for the big Anniversary Update at the end of July. Last week we had not one, but two new PC builds gracing the Fast ring, and today we get yet another -- Build 14371.

As you might expect there are lots of improvements and bug fixes in this new build, but there are also some new additions too.

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Fix Windows 10 Start menu problems with Microsoft's new troubleshooter tool

Windows 10 fixed

Windows 10 is a good operating system, but it can be a little buggy at times. Hopefully the forthcoming Anniversary Update will fix a lot of these issues, although it’s equally possible it may introduce more bugs along with the raft of new features.

If you’ve been having problems with the Start menu in Windows 10 the good news is Microsoft has released a new troubleshooting tool which can identify and fix many issues automatically.

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Doctor Google will soon be able to (more reliably) diagnose what's wrong with you

Clueless doctor

Feeling unwell? Not sure whether you’re coming down with a cold or something much more serious? One of the worst things you can do is Google your symptoms, as there’s a good chance that after 10 minutes of browsing you’ll have read enough to convince yourself it’s not flu but rather the early stages of Ebola, and you’re actually going to DIE, HORRIBLY. Time to Google "writing a will…"

Despite this being a BAD IDEA, millions of people still Google their symptoms on a daily basis -- the search giant says it amounts to roughly 1 percent of all queries -- but there is some bright news on the horizon as in the very near future those worried individuals should start seeing some more reliable results.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14366 now available on the Slow ring

Windows 10

With the planned release date for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update drawing ever nearer, Microsoft is hard at work squashing as many bugs as it can. Naturally, this means new builds released to Windows Insiders won’t offer any significant new features, but they will contain important fixes, general improvements and welcome performance boosts.

Yesterday, Microsoft released Build 14367 to the Fast ring, and today it follows that up by releasing that build's predecessor, 14366, to the Slow ring. It must be pretty stable as it only arrived on the Fast ring on Tuesday.

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Why latency is the big elephant in the room for the cloud [Q&A]

Cloud elephant

Yes, the cloud seems to be crushing it, but according to Ellen Rubin, CEO and co-founder of ClearSky Data, as many as 50 percent of cloud customers have brought workloads back on-premise due to latency and performance issues in production applications for dispersed workforces. This makes it a pressing issue for dispersed teams, and threatens forward momentum.

I spoke with Ellen about the problem, how latency affects businesses, and what CIOs can do to address the challenge.

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Microsoft's leaked Windows Refresh tool lets you start anew in Windows 10

Windows relief

Yesterday, something went horribly wrong with my PC leaving me with no option but to use the Windows 10 Reset option to wipe all my programs and start over. It was the first time I’d had to use it, and things went smoothly enough, even if it took forever to get everything setup again afterwards.

The ability to Reset Windows 10 -- re-installing the OS while keeping, or removing your personal files -- is a great idea (although admittedly not as good as being able to install Windows over the top of itself as you could with XP), and now Microsoft is spinning it off into a standalone tool.

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How to find and play Facebook's secret soccer game


Facebook has a couple of secret games you can play in Messenger. There’s a basketball game or, if you fancy something more intellectually stimulating, you can challenge your friends to a nice game of chess.

Timed, no doubt, to coincide with the European Championships, Facebook has now snuck in a football game (or soccer, if you’re in the US) that you can play.

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