Wayne Williams

Microsoft adds some last minute polish to the Windows 10 April 2018 Update

Having finally named the next big feature update for Windows 10, and come up with a release date for it too, Microsoft now has to actually get it ready for non-Insiders.

The RTM build, Build 17134, has already made its way through the Fast, Slow and Release Preview rings, and Microsoft has today pushed out an update which will tidy things up a little.

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Microsoft officially announces the Windows 10 April 2018 Update, available on April 30

For a long time, it was believed that the next big feature update for Windows 10 would be called the Spring Creators Update, following in the footsteps of the Fall Creators Update, and the Creators Update.

Then it was discovered that Microsoft was intending to call it the April Update, even though it looked increasingly like the new release wouldn’t arrive this month. Finally though, we have an official name, and a release date.

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The Fall Creators Update is now easily the most installed Windows 10 update ever

By now, most Windows 10 users would have been expecting to either be running the Spring Creators Update/April Update (take your pick of the name), or be waiting to be offered it. However, that’s not the case.

With no word from Microsoft on exactly when the new feature update will arrive, the Fall Creators Update remains the latest (non-Insider) version of Windows 10. And it also has the greatest usage share of any Windows 10 update, ever.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Redstone 5 Build 17655 for Skip Ahead

While we’re still waiting for a release date for the next feature update of Windows 10 -- the April Update expected in May -- Microsoft has rolled out another Redstone 5 build for Insiders who have opted to Skip Ahead.

Build 17655 introduces a makeover for mobile broadband (LTE) connectivity and there’s a number of other changes and fixes to be aware of.

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'Awexa, play Disney songs' -- Amazon unveils new Echo Dot Kids Edition

While the likes of Google and Apple are making some headway in the home voice assistant market, Amazon remains king. Part of the reason for its success (beyond simply being the first to market) is the retail giant offers a range of Alexa compatible devices to suit every need and budget.

Today, it adds another device to its range, targeting a different, but inevitable demographic -- Echo Dot Kids Edition.

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Inside Samsung d’light, a three-storied futuristic exhibition space in Seoul

I recently spent an amazing fortnight in South Korea. For a tech enthusiast such as myself, it was a no brainer that at some point I would visit Samsung d’light, a three storied exhibition space in the lower portion of one of the company’s massive buildings in Seocho-Gu, Seoul.

Here you can try out different products, including VR, and see what Samsung is working on. It's a glimpse of the future.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Redstone 5 Build 17650 for Skip Ahead

Microsoft is busy trying to kill the last remaining -- but problematic -- bugs in the Spring Creators Update (or whatever it ends up being called) but work is still continuing apace on its successor.

Build 17650 for the Redstone 5 branch introduces a number of changes and fixes, including a Fluent Design refresh for the Windows Defender Security Center.

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This 1920's radio runs Windows 10

I have some friends who own, and regularly use, a 1920s wind up gramophone. It’s a great piece of audio equipment and there’s something very satisfying about lifting the arm and dropping the needle down on a 78 record and enjoying the tinny sound it produces.

Getting use out of a similar-era radio isn’t as easy, which is why Derek Traxler, the owner of a computer store and repair shop in Uptown Minneapolis, decided to go to rather extreme measures to breathe new life into his 1920’s battery-powered Claratone tube radio.

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Opera VPN app to be permanently discontinued

Opera launched its VPN app for Android and iOS two years ago. The free app provided users with secure VPN encryption to the web (with support for spoofing one of five countries), plus the blocking of both ads and tracking cookies.

At a time when privacy is at the forefront of a lot of people’s minds, and VPNs are growing in popularity, it will perhaps come as a surprise to hear that Opera has made the decision to discontinue its app as of April 30. Yes, that’s the end of this month.

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Microsoft releases new Windows 10 Spring Creators Update RTM candidate, Build 17134

Windows 10 Redstone 4 Build 17133 was widely thought to be the RTM for the forthcoming Spring Creators Update after it rolled out to Insiders on the Fast, Slow, and Release Preview rings in quick succession.

However, Microsoft’s discovery of a blocking bug threw a rather large spanner in the works and delayed the release of the forthcoming feature update.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Spring Creators Update Build 17133 to the Slow ring, but not for all

Microsoft only released Windows 10 Spring Creators Update (Redstone 4) Build 17133 to the Fast ring a few days ago, but it’s already been cleared for the Slow ring.

However, as part of some deployment testing, not everyone on the Slow ring will receive it immediately. You will be able to force the update if you want to though.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Redstone 5 Build 17634 for Skip Ahead

The Redstone 4 branch of Windows 10 -- the Spring Creators Update -- has reached RTM, and will begin rolling out to non-Insiders around the April 10.

For those users already looking to the future, Microsoft is already pushing out builds for the following feature update, codenamed Redstone 5. Build 17634, for users on the Skip Ahead ring, adds search functionality to the calendar and a number of other improvements and fixes.

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NirSoft launches a software Easter Egg challenge -- can you track down 10 new programs on the site?

Prolific software developer Nir Sofer has created 10 more new tools, but they aren’t currently linked to on his site, or anywhere else.

They are somewhere on the NirSoft site, but finding them won’t be easy. Do you have what it takes?

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Windows boss Terry Myerson leaves Microsoft as part of a major shakeup

Terry Myerson, the executive vice president of Windows, is to leave Microsoft "in the coming months". Myerson has been at Microsoft for 21 years, and has been involved in Windows Phone, Windows 10, Xbox One, and Surface devices.

His departure is part of a large reorganization at Microsoft that sees Rajesh Jha, the executive VP of Microsoft Office products, expanding his responsibilities to take over Myerson's role, and Panos Panay serving as the company’s Chief Product Officer.

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Google views Kodi as a piracy tool, makes it harder to search for

Kodi is a perfectly legal, open source media center. It can play any kind of audio and video, and is packed with features. However, its support for third-party add-ons, including those that allow for illegal streaming, means that it’s often viewed as being synonymous with piracy.

Google frequently tweaks its search algorithm to downgrade pirate related terms, and Kodi's reputation -- deserved or not -- means it has become a victim of this approach.

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