Articles about Microsoft

Microsoft releases Windows 10 20H1 Build 18894 with File Explorer and Accessibility improvements

Windows 10 19H1 -- aka the May 2019 Update -- is currently undergoing testing in the Release Preview ring, with the aim being to start rolling it out to all by the end of the month.

In the meantime, the software giant is working on builds from the 20H1 branch, the feature update set to be released a whole year from now.

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PowerToys are back! Microsoft reboots the utilities as an open source project for Windows 10

PowerToys reboot

Microsoft is bringing back PowerToys for Windows 10 -- and this time it is open source. If the name doesn't mean anything to you, you probably weren't a Windows 95 user, but if this was your computing era, you'll remember tinkering with the likes of TweakUI, Send to X, QuickRes and numerous other delightful utilities.

Now the collection of utilities is back, rebooted for Windows 10 and due to be released as an open source project. At the moment, there are two tools being worked on -- Maximize to new desktop widget, and the Windows key shortcut guide -- but ten more are under consideration and due for release this summer.

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Microsoft's core platform isn't software, it's trust

For the first time in a half-decade, I watched a Microsoft Build keynote this morning. Time gives fresh perspective, looking at where the company was compared to where it is today. Listening to CEO Satya Nadella and other Softies, I repeatedly found myself reminded of Isaac Asimov's three laws or Robotics and how they might realistically be applied in the 21st Century. The rules, whether wise or not, set to ensure that humans could safely interact with complex, thinking machines. In Asimov's science fiction stories, the laws were core components of the automaton's brain—baked in, so to speak, and thus inviolable. They were there by design; foundationally.

Behind all product design, there are principles. During the Steve Jobs era, simplicity was among Apple's main design ethics. As today's developer conference keynote reminds, Microsoft embraces something broader—design ethics that harken back to the company's founding objectives and others that share similar purpose as the robotic laws. On the latter point, Nadella repeatedly spoke about "trust" and "collective responsibility". These are fundamental principles of design, particularly as Artificial Intelligence usage expands and more corporate developers depend on cloud computing platforms like Azure.

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Windows Terminal is a new Linux-inspired command line app for Windows 10

Microsoft’s developer conference Build 2019 is underway, and one of the things that the software giant announced today is a new app for command-line users.

The Windows Terminal is an update of the existing Command Prompt/PowerShell apps and is expected to arrive in the middle of June.

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Microsoft announces Internet Explorer mode for Edge to aid enterprise compatibility

As part of this week's Build 2019 Microsoft is announcing a number of enhancements to the Edge browser including an Internet Explorer mode for enterprises.

This is aimed at cutting the need for IT staff to manage multiple solutions. Allowing legacy IE-only content -- such as intranet sites -- to be opened in Edge without the need to change any settings or launch a different browser.

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Watch Microsoft's Build 2019 keynote here

Today is a big day for Microsoft as Build 2019 kicks off with a keynote from CEO Satya Nadella.

There likely won’t be too much to excite consumers, as the event is aimed squarely at developers, but as usual there will be some interesting news coming out of the event in Seattle, including more information about the next version of Microsoft Edge.

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Is it game over for the Microsoft Store? (And if not, why not?)

Microsoft’s app store came into being at the same time as Windows 8. It was, as I said at the time, part of an attempt to copy Apple's successful model. I think most people expected the Store to be a bit rubbish, but it turned out to be even worse than that. Seven years on and it’s wasteland full of knock offs and junk apps. It hasn’t fallen on hard times, it’s always been that bad.

Part of the problem is there’s no longer a need for the Store, or the apps that it offers. If you want a piece of software to run on your PC, or your Windows tablet, you can download it from a wide range of sources, and the versions you’ll find elsewhere -- programs, legacy apps, whatever you want to call them -- tend to be superior to the crippled and/or packaged apps Microsoft is offering. So what’s the point of the Store?

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 20H1 Build 18890 to the Fast ring

Windows 10 19H1 -- the May 2019 Update -- is currently undergoing additional testing in the Release Preview ring to try and solve a number of upgrade blocks, including one which prevents the update from installing if you have a USB drive or SD card plugged in.

Microsoft is still working on future releases though, and today pushes out Build 18890 to Insiders on the Fast ring (and those who had previously opted to Skip Ahead).

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Forget Avengers: Endgame or Game of Thrones -- watch 'Clippy: The Unauthorized Biography' instead

Steven Sinofsky was a senior executive at Microsoft who is perhaps best known for presiding over the creation of Windows 8 and RT. However, he also had a key role in the development of Microsoft Office back in the 1990s. This was a time when users feared to attempt to write a letter in Word because just starting it could well summon up Clippy -- the Candyman of productivity software -- who would attempt to help, but was rarely of any real use.

Clippy might have been retired for 15 years now, but to mark the Office assistant’s 25th anniversary, Sinofsky has made an Unauthorized Biography of the divisive animated paperclip which you can watch in full here.

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Windows 7 users not rushing to upgrade to Windows 10

It took a very long time for Windows 10 to finally overtake Windows 7, but the new OS finally achieved that feat four months ago, according to figures from NetMarketShare.

In March, Windows 10 made large share gains, while Windows 7 declined significantly, and that is a picture one would have expected to see continue in April, especially now that Microsoft has started alerting Windows 7 users to the impending end of life of their chosen OS. However, that has proven not to be the case. Despite the warning, it seems Windows 7 users aren’t in a rush to upgrade anytime soon.

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These are the current upgrade blocks for the Windows 10 May 2019 Update

After the disaster that was the buggy October 2018 Update, which most Windows 10 users have avoided like the plague, Microsoft has taken the wise step of introducing additional testing.

The next big feature update is expected to roll out to all by the end of May, but for the moment it’s undergoing extended analysis in the Release Preview ring.

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Personal details of 80 million US households exposed on unsecured Microsoft cloud server

Pink cloud and padlock

Security researchers have discovered an unprotected database stored on a Microsoft cloud server. The 24GB database includes personal information about 80 million households across the US.

The researchers from vpnMentor were working on a web mapping project when they made the discovery. They say that as the database they found left out in the open relates to American households which include multiple residents, the data breach could potentially affect hundreds of millions of people.

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Microsoft, Dell and VMware become partners in the cloud

Microsoft sign

Microsoft has announced that it is extending its partnership with Dell in a move that will enable Microsoft Azure customers to take advantage of VMware virtualization in the cloud.

The company is also bringing VMware into the Microsoft 365 ecosystem to extend the capabilities of its Windows Virtual Desktop too. It will also bring new management and security options to Microsoft Intune.

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Windows 10 users still avoiding the October 2018 Update like the plague

The Windows 10 May 2019 Update is currently undergoing testing in the Release Preview ring to ensure it should be relatively bug free when it finally rolls out to all (in theory at least).

Microsoft has already identified an issue that prevents the OS update from installing on systems with a USB flash drive or SD card connected.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18885 fixes drive letter assignment problems and brings Android notifications mirroring to Your Phone app

Your Phone notifications

Microsoft has released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18885 (or Windows 10 20H1, if you prefer) to the Fast Ring. The big addition in this latest build is Android notification mirroring in Windows via the Your Phone app.

If you have an Android 7.0 handset, you can (probably, barring handset-specific compatibility issues) take advantage of the ability to see phone notifications in Windows 10. The range of phones that can use the "phone screen" screen mirroring option has been expanded as well. With Build 18885, Microsoft has also addressed the problem that was preventing people from installing updates when they had a USB drive or SD card connected.

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