Two-hundred-and-eight in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on Windows Store in the past seven days.
Microsoft can be surprising at times. After ditching Windows RT, the software giant has announced that it is working with Qualcomm to bring ARM support to Windows 10. In practice, that means that we will see Snapdragon-powered machines running Microsoft's latest operating system which, and this is key, can run proper x86 software.
Windows RT did not have that, as it was limited to apps available from Windows Store. And we all know how that worked out. However, x86 software on Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 devices can be seen as a game-changer as, in theory, it could pave the way to running resource-intensive programs, like Adobe Photoshop, on smartphones. And I am talking about the true Photoshop, not some dumbed-down mobile version. That could be huge, no doubt.
Virtual Reality arrived properly in 2016, although it has yet to really make any mainstream impact. Augmented Reality did enter our lives via Pokémon Go, but that’s been about it so far.
Microsoft is targeting 2017 as the year that mixed reality starts to become a thing, and at the Windows Hardware Engineering Community event (WinHEC) in Shenzhen, China the company shared the PC specifications (co-developed with Intel) that will power the first MR headsets from Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo set to arrive next year.
There’s a fair amount of news coming out of the Windows Hardware Engineering Community event (WinHEC) in Shenzhen, China at the moment, but potentially the most exciting announcement is that Windows 10 is coming to ARM.
A partnership with Qualcomm means that we’ll soon see a range of Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs with integrated cellular connectivity that run x86 Win32 and universal Windows apps.
At the Windows Hardware Engineering Community event (WinHEC) in Shenzhen, China, Microsoft made several announcements, including news that it is working with Intel on a new venture, called "Project Evo".
The aim of this, according to Microsoft, is to "deliver all-new ways for devices to light up with the latest in advanced security, artificial intelligence and Cortana, mixed reality, and gaming".
Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14986 for PC arrives on the Fast ring, introduces many new features
New Insider Preview builds of the forthcoming Windows 10 Creators Update have been arriving on the Fast ring on a weekly basis. There was a gap over thanksgiving (naturally), and last week a blocking bug on the PC version meant that Build 14977 was only made available for Mobile.
This week it’s back to normal, with a new build for PC rolling out on the Fast ring, and the wait has definitely been worth it as Build 14986 comes packed with lots of new features and improvements. This is the most exciting new build in quite some time. Windows Insider Chief Dona Sarkar uses her Twitter account to tease new build numbers, and this week our very own Brian Fagioli provided the all important clue.
Not wishing to completely alienate users with no interest in 3D and mixed reality, the company today reveals how the update will improve security and better "protect, defend and respond to threats".
Windows 10 offers a lot of personalization options. Go to Settings > Personalization and you can change the background, alter the color scheme, pick a different Lock screen background, and apply themes.
If you want Windows 10 to show a splash of color, go to the Colors section and toggle the 'Show color on Start, taskbar and Action Center' setting to On. There’s not an option to only change the taskbar’s color unfortunately, but it is possible to do this.
Two-hundred-and-seven in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on Windows Store in the past seven days.
As always, if I missed an app or game that has been released this week that you believe is particularly good, let me know in the comments below or notify me via email instead.
This may be a bit of a generalization, but children are not the most responsible people. Since they don't yet really understand the value of a dollar, they may not appreciate or care for belongings as well as they should. This can be especially true when things are given to them for use at school, such as textbooks, musical instruments, or computers.
HP apparently understands how destructive some kids can be, as the company has created a rugged (MIL-STD 810G) education-focused convertible laptop. The all-new 11.6-inch touch-screen (1366 x 768) ProBook x360 11 Education Edition runs Windows 10, and is designed to take a beating.
Today, the software giant releases Build 14977 to the fast ring, but it’s for Mobile only. The PC build has a blocking bug that results in broken apps on an upgrade, so we’ll have until next week for a new build for that platform.
Windows 10’s mandatory updates are designed to keep your system safe and always up to date. You do have limited control over the update process, but not as much as in Windows 7, for example.
You can stop updates in Windows 10, but it requires you to disable the Windows Update service in the Services manager, and most people won’t know how to do that. Thankfully there is an easier solution.
According to NetMarketShare’s desktop operating system usage share figures, in September Windows 10, on the back of no longer being free, went into reverse gear and managed to lose market share. It was only a drop of 0.46 percentage points, but even so.
October didn’t show much of an improvement for the new OS either. In that month it managed a minuscule rise of just 0.06 percentage points. Some good news for Microsoft in November then, as Windows 10 finally returns to actual growth.
The BitLocker feature of Windows is supposed to offer a degree of peace of mind that files are going to be secure -- but one expert points out that a simple key combo is all it takes to bypass the security feature.
A bug has been discovered in the way Windows 10 handles a Feature Update -- the installation of a new build of the operating system. By taking advantage of the bug, it is possible to access a Command Prompt and gain unrestricted access to the contents of the hard drive.
Virtual reality is rather cool, although it requires money and commitment. To truly experience VR on a PC, you need a powerful computer and, sometimes, a room to be dedicated to it too. After all, the VR mask usually has to be tethered to the desktop PC -- a messy experience, leading to tangled wires. Sadly, it is these wires that really limit the fun of VR on PC.
Thankfully, some PC manufacturers have wisely created backpack computers -- a PC designed to be worn on the user's back. This creates greater mobility while experiencing VR, although it does have the downside of requiring batteries (which ultimately need charging). Today, ZOTAC unveils a new backpack PC, and it looks amazing. Called 'VR GO' it is equipped with two 6600 mAh batteries, allowing up to two hours of game play. You can buy additional batteries and swap them for even longer gaming sessions, however.