Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft releases the first PowerToys of 2021

PowerToys

Just days ago, Microsoft pushed out PowerToys v0.29 as the last release of 2020 -- now it's time for the first release of 2021.

Skipping over versions 0.29.1 and 0.29.2, the company has unleashed PowerToys v0.29.3. So, what is there to look forward to in this first release of the new year?

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Quick! Upgrade to Windows 10 for free in 2021

Windows keys

When Microsoft first released Windows 10, the company made a big deal about the fact that the operating system was available as a free upgrade for a limited time.

The free upgrade period -- supposedly -- came to an end some time ago, but actually it is still possible to jump from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10 for free in 2021. Here's what you need to know about getting a free upgrade to Windows 10.

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Forget boring Windows 10, it's Windows Vista: Remastered Edition we want!

People often claim that Microsoft operating systems follow a pattern, with good and bad versions alternating -- Windows 95 (bad), Windows 98 (good), Windows Me (bad), Windows XP (good), Windows Vista (bad), Windows 7 (good), Windows 8.x (bad), and Windows 10 (mostly good).

It’s largely true, although if Windows Vista had been given the same length of life that Windows 10 has enjoyed, there’s a fair chance a good portion of Windows users would still be running it today. Vista wasn’t bad as such, just very unfinished. If the aging OS had a modern makeover, could it win over Windows 10 users? I suspect so. Feast your eyes on the Windows Vista Remastered Edition and make up your own mind.

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Microsoft releases PowerToys v0.29 as the last build of 2020

PowerToys

We might be in the middle of the holiday season, but that doesn't mean that software developers stop working. As we approach the end of 2020, Microsoft has pushed out one final version of PowerToys for the year.

PowerToys v0.29 lays the groundwork for big changes and additions that are planned for 2021. There are quite a lot of fixes and improvements in this releases, but it is the promise of what's to come that is arguably of greater interest.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

Four-hundred-eighteen in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Microsoft Store in the past seven days.

More than 84 percent of all Windows 10 users use Windows Hello to sign-in to the system according to Microsoft. What about you? Do you use Windows Hello?

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

Four-hundred-and-seventeen in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Microsoft Store in the past seven days.

Future versions of Windows 10 will feature additional options in the Settings including options to manage Cameras in the Devices section.

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Windows 8 Remastered Edition is better than Windows 10

Microsoft took a big gamble with Windows 8. Back in 2012 the tech giant believed that touchscreens were the way we’d all be interacting with our devices, and so overhauled Windows to give it a touch-first design and a Start screen in place of the traditional Start menu -- which didn’t go down at all well with the Windows faithful.

Although the company relented and eventually added a Start menu and made various other user-requested tweaks, Windows 8 is viewed by many as one of the worst versions of Windows, which is a little unfair as it had much to recommend it.

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Microsoft foists the Surface Duo and its chunky bezels on more countries

The Surface Duo is a pretty cool device on paper. If you aren't familiar, Microsoft essentially connected two Android smartphones using innovative hinges. Why did the company do this? Well, the goal was productivity -- having two apps running simultaneously on two displays would be great for business use (and entertainment).

Unfortunately, Surface Duo doesn't just exist on paper -- it is an actual product. And for the most part, it has been panned by critics. Its software is reportedly buggy and the hardware durability is questionable -- the damn thing develops cracks. Its bezels are large and unsightly, making it look very outdated. There are reports that the camera is horrible too.

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Microsoft is making big changes to Settings in Windows 10

Windows key on keyboard

Microsoft has made some very dramatic changes to the look and feel of Windows 10 over the years, and this is not a trend that's set to change any time soon. Continuing its plan to kill off the legacy Control Panel, the company is introducing big changes to Windows 10's Settings app.

The changes will be important to anyone who is keen on customizing or taking control of Windows, giving them two important new options that are sure to be welcomed by power users -- especially those who want to kill off the Task View button.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Build 20279

Last week, Microsoft released two different Windows 10 builds to the Dev Channel, giving Insiders a chance to choose if they wanted to stay on the FE_RELEASE branch or switch to the more experimental RS_PRERELEASE branch.

For those who stuck with the FE_RELEASE branch, Microsoft now has another new build to try out (those on RS_PRERELEASE won’t get this).

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Microsoft releases experimental Windows 10 Build 21277 with new emoji and x64 emulation on ARM PCs

From now, Windows 10 Insiders on the Dev Channel currently have the choice of installing preview builds from the FE_RELEASE or RS_PRERELEASE branches. By default, Insiders will get flights like new Build 20277 from the FE_RELEASE branch, but you can switch to RS_PRERELEASE if you’re feeling more adventurous.

To get the alternative download, Build 21277, you will have to actively choose to download it via Windows Update. Be warned though, once you’ve switched to RS_PRERELEASE you won’t be able to download FE_RELEASE builds any more.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Build 20277

We're used to Microsoft rolling out a new Windows 10 Dev Channel build on a weekly basis, but this time around it has something different for us -- two Dev Channel builds, from different branches. It’s like a choose your own adventure.

The first of the new flights, Build 20277, comes from the usual FE_RELEASE branch and sports a handful of fixes and known issues.

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Microsoft releases an off-schedule update to PowerToys

PowerToys

Having released the experimental PowerToys v0.28 earlier this week complete with the video conference mute feature, Microsoft has now released an update to the stable version of its Windows 10 utility collection.

We were not expecting to see an update to PowerToys v0.27 just yet, but Microsoft has produced one out of the blue. The company says it deemed the release "important" as it addresses a number of issues.

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Create your own functions from formulae in Microsoft Excel using LAMBDA

Excel LAMBDA

Microsoft has launched a new feature for Excel which it says will revolutionize formulae. Called LAMBDA, the new capability is being made available to Beta users for now, and it introduces the ability to create custom functions using Excel's formula language.

The company points out that Excel formulae are the world's most widely used programming language, and now it has gained the option of defining custom, reusable functions. There's no need to learn a complex programming language, making LAMBDA accessible to all.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

Four-hundred-and-fifteen in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Microsoft Store in the past seven days.

New features could soon be introduced independently of feature updates on Windows 10. Microsoft plans to use the Windows Feature Experience Pack to deliver (smaller) feature updates to Windows 10 devices that install just like any other update.

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