One-hundred and ninety-nine in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 8.x and Windows 10 in the past seven days.
This week saw the release of a first batch of converted win32 applications like Kodi, Tweeten or PhotoScape X Pro in Store.
Back in January, Microsoft announced Minecraft: Education Edition. Later, the company released an 'early access' version to some educators. At the time, some folks were dubious that a video game could serve as a legit tool in the classroom. With that said, Minecraft isn't really a video game in the traditional sense -- it can be viewed more as a virtual world. In theory, the platform could better engage young students when compared to, say, sitting in a dull classroom and staring at a chalkboard.
Whether Minecraft: Education Edition will be a success remains to be seen, but we will find out soon. You see, on November 1, the tool will leave 'early access' and become available to all educators. It will be sold, of course, on the Windows Store. It will cost $5 annually per user, but Microsoft promises price breaks for school districts that purchase certain licenses. In other words, larger districts can likely negotiate to pay less per user.
The Raspberry Pi is popular for three major reasons -- it is small, inexpensive, and doesn't consume a lot of electricity. This makes the board very popular for things like education, servers, IoT projects, and media playback. Unfortunately, as many consumers find out quickly, the Raspberry Pi computers are woefully underpowered for some needs. In other words, despite the low cost, it isn't necessarily a bargain.
Today, SolidRun announces an Intel Braswell-based MicroSoM. Unlike the ARM-powered Raspberry Pi, this is x86 compatible, meaning it can run full Windows 10. Plus, if you install a Linux distro, there will be far more packages available, such as Google Chrome, which is not available for Pi. Heck, it can probably serve as a respectable desktop. Even though it costs more than the Raspberry Pi, is it a better deal?
The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has already ripped into Microsoft and Windows 10 for "blatantly disregarding user choice and privacy", and now consumer group Which? says Microsoft "must act over Windows 10 woes" and "do better".
Which? says it has received well over 1,000 complaints about Windows 10, with PC users claiming the new OS has brought them nothing but problems.
A week ago, Microsoft rolled out its first really big new Windows 10 Insider Preview build since the Anniversary Update. As well as fixing a lot of problems, Build 14926 introduced some experimental new features, including the ability to "snooze" a tab in Microsoft Edge.
Today, Microsoft releases Build 14931 to the Fast ring, but unlike recent builds it’s only available for PC. Build 14926 introduced a couple of big problems for Mobile last week, so Microsoft has decided to hold off issuing a new build until they are fixed.
15 months ago, in an effort to make it as easy as possible to upgrade to its new operating system, Microsoft introduced a Get Windows 10 app for Windows 7 and 8.1 that allowed users to reserve their upgrade.
While this tool was innocuous enough to start with, it soon turned into something much more akin to malware, becoming harder and harder to kill, and employing all manner of scummy methods in an effort to trick users into installing Windows 10 against their wishes.
Are you into gaming and can't wait to get your hands on the latest titles? You've got a big one on the way and now you don't have to wait quite as long to at least get a look at what you're missing.
Today, Microsoft is releasing the first full-length trailer for Gears of War 4. It is narrated by John DiMaggio who you may recognize as the voice of Marcus Fenix from the game.
There is no place for bullying in the world. Schools around the country are teaching this important lesson. When one person is mean to another, that is very bad. When two people join forces to bully someone, it can be even worse -- it is hard to stand up for yourself when you are outnumbered.
When Microsoft ran mean-spirited advertisements against Apple's MacBook, my colleague Mark Wilson took umbrage, calling the ads 'childish and imbecilic'. Today, in an all-new ad, Huawei MateBook is joining the Surface Pro in the Apple-bashing. The personified versions of two Windows 10 tablets come across as bullies, belittling Apple's iPad Pro.
You don’t need a valid license to run a Windows 10 Insider Preview Build on your PC. Each build is time-limited, but a new version will be released before the previous one expires.
Provided you keep updating your system to the latest build, you’ll have no problems. However, if you’ve installed a preview build and not updated it -- hey, free Windows! -- Microsoft is about to flip a kill switch that will stop it working entirely.
Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14926 for PC and Mobile arrives on the Fast ring, introduces experimental features
It’s been two weeks since Microsoft rolled out a new Windows 10 build to Insiders on the Fast ring. In that time the company has been busy upgrading its build monitoring services.
Today, it's business as usual once more, as the company releases Build 14926 for PC and Mobile. The latest build is well worth the wait as this not only fixes the issue that was killing Wi-Fi for some users, and the problem causing bluescreen crashes for Kindle owners, but introduces several notable new features.
Microsoft targeted "newer" devices first, with those on older systems set to receive the update shortly afterwards. If you were keen to upgrade, you could of course hurry things along or take matters into your own hands.
Microsoft dropped Windows Media Center from Windows 10, citing "decreased usage" as the reason it would no longer be available. In its place the software giant released a DVD Player, but this was expensive and incredibly basic.
If you miss Windows Media Center, and alternatives such as Kodi aren’t filling the gap for you, the good news is you can, with a little trickery, install Windows Media Center on Windows 10.
AMD makes very cost-effective and powerful processors. Even though some of its chips are a bit long in the tooth, gamers in particular can leverage them for a powerful machine without breaking the bank. Unfortunately, its AM3+ platform is lacking in some modern technology, such as DDR4 and PCIe 3.0. While DDR3 RAM is arguably still good enough, PCIe 2.0 is a bottleneck for modern NVMe SSDs.
Luckily, consumers won't have to wait long to get a desktop PC powered by AMD's latest 7th generation APU -- codenamed 'Bristol Ridge'. Windows 10 OEMs (Lenovo and HP only, for now) are finally shipping these AM4 machines, which feature DDR4 memory, PCIe 3.0, and more. Of course, as APUs, the systems will have solid graphic performance without the need for a dedicated graphics card. This paves the way for the even more-powerful Zen CPUs from AMD.
The Windows Store can sometimes be a satisfying place to download and manage video games, apps, movies, and music. Regarding apps and games, however, the store is littered with a lot of low-quality items. In other words, Microsoft still has a lot of work to do, but it is slowly getting there.
Today, the Windows-maker announces that Windows 10 users can now pre-order video games through the Windows Store. It is one of those things that probably should have been possible from the start, but better late than never, right? The real question is, should Valve, owner of Steam, be worried?
Windows Insiders are beta testers for Windows 10. They get their hands on the latest builds, and get to try out the latest features. However, they also get to experience known issues and occasionally encounter show-stopping bugs.
A number of Windows Insiders on the Fast ring who installed the latest new release, Build 14915, which was pushed out just yesterday are reporting that it kills their Wi-Fi stone dead.
Writing at the Community forum, Microsoft says: