Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft releases the much-improved PowerToys v0.27.0

PowerToys

Only yesterday we wrote about some of the exciting changes coming in PowerToys v0.27.0. Microsoft had teased upcoming improvements to the much-loved utilities but gave no hint of just when this particular build would be released.

As it turned out, we did not have to wait long. PowerToys v0.27.0 is now available to download and in includes not only numerous bug fixes, but also various improvements and enhancements. Oh... and if you were wondering if you'd somehow managed to miss a build, Microsoft explains "we skipped 0.26's release for higher priority work". And this is the result.

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Microsoft makes changes to Productivity Score over privacy concerns

Colorful Microsoft logo

Microsoft has announced that it is committed to privacy as the company introduces changes to its Productivity Score tool that raised concerns recently.

The tool is part of Microsoft 365 and was designed to help employers analyze the performance of teams working on projects. But privacy advocates said that the ability to monitor employees on an individual basis amounted to it being a "full-fledged workplace surveillance tool". With the newly announced changes, Microsoft is hoping to allay such fears.

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Here's how to get a longer timeframe to remove Windows 10 feature updates

Windows 10 - Do great things

When you install a feature update for Windows 10 -- the likes of Windows 10 October 2020 Update (20H2), for instance -- Microsoft does not give you very long to change your mind and uninstall it. If you decide you don't like the changes introduced by a feature update, you have just 10 days to easily remove it without having to go down the route of using a backup.

It might not just be the fact that you don't like changes that have been made to the way Windows 10 works. There have been numerous updates to the operating system that have been problematic and buggy, but Microsoft still only gives you 10 short days to go back to your previous version of Windows 10. But there is a way to get yourself more time to play with.

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Microsoft is using Windows Feature Experience Pack update to add great new features to Windows 10

Windows 10 laptop

Normally when Microsoft adds new features to Windows 10, it does so using the twice-yearly Feature Updates -- such as Windows 10 May 2020 Update and Windows 10 October 2020 Update (20H2). But this is changing.

We have seen references to Windows Feature Experience Pack updates in preview builds of Windows 10, and now Microsoft is starting to test out the feature. Using the new method of delivering updates, the company is bringing some interesting new features and options to the operating system.

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PowerToys is making it easier to manage open windows across multiple monitors -- UPDATED

PowerToys

Microsoft has been gradually developing PowerToys for Windows 10, and the collection of tools is growing. While still in its relative infancy -- we're a long way from version 1.0! -- there are already some PowerToys that are proving firm favorites.

One of the most popular is FanzyZones. It offers a great way to quickly organize a large number of open programs and windows into preset layouts... and it's about to get even better.

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Project Latte could see Android app support coming to Windows 10

Android on smartphone

Having already embraced Linux with WSL 2 (Windows Subsystem for Linux), Microsoft looks set to do the same with Android. The company is said to be working on a project which will make it possible to run Android apps in Windows 10.

The arrival of a new subsystem in Windows 10 is something that will be welcomed by Android fans looking to enjoy mobile apps on the desktop. While Microsoft is yet to confirm its plans, Project Latte could see the light of day as soon as late 2021.

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Microsoft 365's 'Productivity Score' raises serious privacy concerns

Microsoft building in California

Microsoft has attracted the attention of privacy campaigners over the Productivity Score feature of Microsoft 365. The tool uses telemetry to enable employers to track the activities and performance of workers.

The analytics tool has been criticized for being a serious invasion of privacy, as it gives employers the ability to closely monitor individuals. One data privacy researcher describes it as "turn[ing] Microsoft 365 into a full-fledged workplace surveillance tool".

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Google rewards stupid behavior by extending Windows 7 Chrome support

Windows 10 was not a surprise, nor was the fact that support was ending for Windows 7. Both home and Enterprise users were well informed of Windows 7's impending doom and given ample time to upgrade or buy new machines. Guess what happened? Smart people left Windows 7 before support ended while stupid people did not.

Look, I hate name-calling, but anyone still on Windows 7 is, in fact, stupid. OK, I suppose they could instead be lazy or indifferent, but ultimately, it is stupid behavior to run an unsupported operating system -- especially for a business. And that's why it is very disappointing to learn Google is extending Chrome support for Windows 7.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Build 20262 with lots of welcome fixes

Although Insiders in the Dev Channel do occasionally get to try out upcoming features in Windows 10, more often than not the new builds Microsoft rolls out focus on fixing problems and tweaking settings.

That’s certainly been the case with the previous two flights, and today’s new release, Build 20262 (FE_RELEASE) is no different.

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Get 'Microsoft Office 365 All-in-One For Dummies' ($24.00 value) FREE for a limited time

Microsoft Office 365 offers the same productivity power as past versions of Microsoft Office along with tools designed to boost collaboration in the workplace and instant access to the latest Office updates without buying a whole new software package. It’s an ideal solution for both the office and home use.

The author of the bestselling Microsoft Office All-in-One For Dummies shares his advice on how to navigate the nuts and bolts of getting things done with Office 365. Look inside for step-by-step instructions on Excel, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Access, and OneNote, along with a dive into the cloud services that come with Office 365.

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Microsoft is holding back on Windows 10 updates in December

Windows 10 laptop

Microsoft has announced that it will not be releasing any preview releases in December as the company winds down for the end of the year.

The Windows maker cites the "minimal operations during the holidays and the upcoming Western new year" as the reason for scaling things back. Microsoft adds that things will return to normal in January.

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Failing KB4586781 update installations are causing 0x8007000d errors and more for Windows 10 users

Colorful Microsoft logo

The latest update for Windows 10 that is proving to be problematic for people is the recently released KB4586781. While not causing quite as many issues as other updates, it is still causing plenty of problems.

KB4586781 is a cumulative update for people running Windows 10 May 2020 Update and Windows 10 October 2020 Update. Among the issues being reported by users are error codes 0x8007000d and 0x800f0831.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Build 20257 with loads of important fixes

Insiders in the Dev Channel can look forward to test driving exciting new features in Windows 10 before anyone else. However, not every new build that gets rolled out can be a show stopper.

Sometimes, instead of exciting additions, what you get from a new flight is a bunch of fixes, which is the case in new Build 20257.

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Windows 21 is the operating system we'd love to be using next year

2020 has been an awful year for most people. The coronavirus has torn through our lives, we’ve experienced lockdowns and job losses, the United States is more divided than ever, and let’s not even mention the ongoing shitshow that is the presidential election.

Although it’s not likely to be much better to begin with, 2021 really can’t come soon enough. A redesigned Windows 10 isn’t going to be at the top of most people’s wishlists for the upcoming year, but Windows 21 has got our attention.

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Microsoft releases patch for Windows zero-day flaw found by Google

Microsoft building in California

Last month, security researchers at Google's Project Zero released details of a zero-day vulnerability in Windows that was being actively exploited.

Hacklers were taking advantage of a Windows Kernel Cryptography Driver security flaw (CVE-2020-117087) to gain elevated privileges in Windows 7, 8, and 10, as well as Windows Server 2008 and higher. As part of yesterday's Patch Tuesday release, Microsoft has now issued a fix for the vulnerability.

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