Wayne Williams

2016 IT trends -- Keeping your finger on the pulse of what's next [Q&A]


A new year means a fresh start, and IT professionals will be looking at how the traditional enterprise can re-evaluate and re-discover itself to take on new relevance.

We’ll see recurring themes -- like cloud, 3D printing, data security, and the Internet of Things -- continuing to remain relevant in 2016. At the same time, these things will continue to blur the lines between enterprises and individual computing, shaping them into intertwined eco-systems. New trends will also emerge and shape the way enterprises operate, how they’re managed and where they’re headed. BetaNews talked with Xchanging’s Global Head of Technology and Innovation, Mani Gopalaratnam, about the trends every IT professional should have on their radar for 2016. Here’s what he had to say:

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Upgrade from Windows 10 Home to Pro using this product key

win10 product key

If you’re running Windows 10 Home and want to know whether it’s worth moving on to Windows 10 Pro, there’s a straightforward way of switching between the two versions of Microsoft’s latest operating system.

All you need to do is swap your current Windows 10 Home product key for the default Windows 10 Pro one which Microsoft has made available to all users.

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Microsoft announces Windows 10 Mobile Preview Build 10586.36, the last Windows 10 Insider build of 2015


Microsoft pushed out a new Windows 10 Insider Preview PC build to the Fast ring yesterday, and today it follows that up with a new update for Windows 10 Mobile.

Build 10586.36 is, as you can guess from the name, a cumulative update and will be released to Windows Insiders in both the Fast and Slow rings.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Redstone Build 11082 to Insiders on the Fast ring


Having rolled out Threshold 2 under the guise of the November Update last month (and then removed and reinstated it shortly afterwards), Microsoft is now on the Redstone branch of Windows 10 development -- the next big update which will be pushed out to all users of its new operating system next year.

Build 11082 is now available for Windows Insiders on the Fast ring and Microsoft’s Gabe Aul introduced the new build saying:

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Amazon selling illegal weapons in the UK

Amazon box

Unlike the US, the UK has tight firearms and offensive weapons laws designed to prevent easy access to guns, stun guns, knuckledusters, bladed items and so on.

However, an investigation by the Guardian has discovered that Amazon UK is selling banned and dangerous weapons in contravention of the law, and will even cheerfully gift-wrap them for you.

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Microsoft pulls its latest buggy Windows 10 Mobile build [Updated]

face palm head in hands embarassed

A week ago Microsoft pushed out a new Windows 10 Mobile build to Lumia 950 and 950 XL users. Build 10586.29 was the first cumulative update and originally made available to Windows Insiders.

However, things didn’t go particularly smoothly with the new version, and a large number of users reported having installation problems.

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The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero back in stock -- but you'll need to act fast

Pi Zero

Three weeks ago the Raspberry Pi Foundation shocked pretty much everyone with a new version of its popular barebones microcomputer. While previous models were hardly expensive, the new Raspberry Pi Zero was just $5 (plus any extras you required, of course).

Inevitably, demand was huge and the Zero sold out pretty much immediately.

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How to enable the Dark Mode in Windows 10's Films & TV app

Dark mode

Windows 10 is still very much a work in progress, as are the apps that come as part of it. The November Update (aka Theshold 2) introduced some cosmetic changes throughout, and there have been other changes made in the many other updates.

The Films & TV app recently gained a new Dark Mode which improves things greatly, but it’s disabled by default. Here’s how to turn it on.

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Focus by Firefox is a content blocker for Safari users on iOS 9

Focus by Firefox

Ever since Apple allowed adblockers on iOS 9, we’ve seen a steady influx of these types of apps appearing in the App Store. Today, yet another one arrives, but this new release has an interesting pedigree, coming as it does from Mozilla.

Focus by Firefox is a free content blocker for Safari users on iOS 9 that gives users greater control over their privacy by allowing them to block categories of trackers such as those used for ads, analytics and social media.

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IDC: Forget tablets, the PC could be set for a comeback in 2016


It used to be that a new version of Windows would be a major shot in the arm for PC sales, but that’s no longer the case. According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tracker, shipments are expected to fall 10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, bringing the overall decline for the year down by 10.3 percent.

As a result, IDC has revised its forecast for next year, but it does see things stabilizing by the end of 2016, and even predicts some growth.

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Microsoft continues to force Windows 10 on people who don’t want it

Angry PC user

This might come as a surprise to Microsoft, but not everyone wants to upgrade to Windows 10. As the slowing pace of the updates shows, there are plenty of people who are more than happy with Windows 7 or 8.1, and who don’t want to switch to the new OS.

While some people are simply delaying the upgrade, plenty of other users have no interest at all in Windows 10, and are actively taking steps to avoid it. But "no" doesn’t mean "no" to Microsoft. It apparently means "Yes, I want to upgrade"!

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Microsoft releases new Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10586.29


Microsoft is continuing to refine and polish its new mobile operating system, and is working to address feedback and issues reported by Windows Insiders.

The latest Windows 10 Mobile build doesn’t contain any exciting new features but rather is a cumulative update, which explains the new build number -- 10586.29. Microsoft is also planning to make this build available to additional devices early next week.

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Microsoft makes upgrading to Windows 10 a smoother experience for Windows 7 and 8.1 users

windows update

Microsoft really, really wants people to upgrade to Windows 10. Even though the new OS is free, users of Windows 7 and 8.1 are proving a bit reluctant to switch, so the software giant has rolled out some new updates for the older operating systems which promise to make the upgrade much smoother for those who do decide to take the plunge.

There are two updates available now, one for Windows 7 and one for Windows 8.1, both of which make improvements to the Windows Update Client.

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Windows 10's growth continues to slow as Windows 7 and 8.x gain share


NetMarketShare has released its usage share figures for November, and they make for interesting reading. As you would expect, Windows 10 grew its share again, but the growth rate is clearly tailing off, continuing the trend we’ve seen over the past few months.

Windows 7 and 8.x users show no great rush to migrate to the new OS, with only Windows XP shedding users.

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The tech item I'm most thankful for in 2015 [Wayne]

Giving thanks

I’m lucky I get to try out a lot of tech and, like my colleagues here at BetaNews, I buy a fair amount of shiny new products too. 2015 has been a good year for new hardware and I have a long list of items that have become essential to my daily life.

I picked up a trio of new Apple products this year -- an iPhone 6s, an iPad Air 2, and an Apple Watch -- but as much as I love them all, not one of those is the product I’m most thankful for in 2015.

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