Two-hundred-and-sixty-six in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Windows Store in the past seven days.
Microsoft plans to move Font management to the Settings application in the next feature update of Windows 10 (out March/April 2018). Users may download fonts from the Store.
Microsoft releases Windows 10 Preview Build 17074.1002 with AMD boot fix related to Spectre and Meltdown
A week ago, Microsoft released a new Preview Build of Windows 10 -- 17074. It was chock-full of new features and fixes, making it a wise upgrade for anyone in the Insiders program.
Sadly, it was discovered that Build 17074 had a huge bug -- it made some AMD systems unbootable. Yikes! Apparently, this was related to fixes for Spectre and Meltdown. True, this is pre-release software, so bugs should be expected, but losing the ability to boot can really ruin a user's day. Today, that bug is fixed, as Microsoft pushes out Build 17074.1002. It also fixes an issue where some computers would hang.
However, according to the Firefox Hardware Report, a public weekly survey of the hardware and software used by everyone running the release channel desktop build of Mozilla's web browser, Windows 10 still has a long way to go until it catches up to Windows 7.
Windows 10 Insiders on the Fast ring have got used to weekly new builds from Microsoft, but just lately we’ve been having to go a lot longer between releases. There have been just two new builds in the past seven weeks, although both have been jam packed with new features and improvements, so it's easy to understand the reason for the delay.
Build 17074, the latest release for the Fast ring (and Skip Ahead), has a lot to offer users and shows the direction the OS is taking these days. Here’s what’s new.
Microsoft rolls out two Windows 10 feature updates a year. The Creators Update arrived last April, followed by the Fall Creators Update in October. In order to limit the number of issues that users experience, Microsoft staggers the rollout.
There is a problem with this approach, however. While it means -- hopefully -- fewer headaches for people updating to the latest incarnation, it also means that the update can take forever to reach all users. In fact, in the case of the Creators Update, a quarter of users still didn’t have it by the time its successor arrived.
The number of decent apps available in the Microsoft Store pales in comparison to those in the Apple App Store and Google Play. Big names drop out almost as quickly as new ones arrive, which doesn’t help.
In yet another bid to woo developers to the platform, Microsoft is introducing subscription add-ons for Windows 10 Anniversary Edition, and later.
Amazon and Microsoft said that Alexa and Cortana would be able to talk to each other by the end of the 2017, but the two personal assistants have yet to receive this functionality until today. However, even without Cortana's help, Alexa is making a big leap forward in the Windows space.
Amazon has teamed up with leading PC manufacturers Acer, ASUS, Lenovo and HP to include its personal assistant on new Windows 10 devices that will arrive in 2018.
The software giant provides Windows 10 for free to anyone using assistive technologies, and doesn’t require you to prove you have any kind of disability in order to make use of this upgrade offer. However, all good things must come to an end, and Microsoft is set to close this free upgrade route.
Two-hundred-and-sixty-four in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Windows Store in the past seven days.
Microsoft ended the streaming functionality of Groove Music some days ago and removed the Music entry from the Store entirely.
Windows 10 S is Microsoft’s locked down version of Windows 10 that only allows users to install apps from the Windows Store. It’s much faster than Windows 10 because it isn’t bogged down in the same way the main OS is. It can run on lighter hardware as a result, and deliver significantly better battery life.
Users who buy a laptop running Windows 10 S -- such as the Surface Laptop -- can switch to Windows 10 Pro for free until March 31, if they decide they require a more flexible OS. However, it seems Windows 10 S Insiders are currently getting Pro without asking for it.
News of an enormous security bug affecting millions of processors can't have escaped your attention over the last 24 hours or so. While Intel goes into a panicked meltdown, desperately pointing out that there's another bug affecting other processors too, software fixes are starting to emerge.
macOS has already been patched, and fixes have started to roll out to numerous Linux distros as well. Now Microsoft has pushed out a rare, off-schedule emergency fix for Windows 10 users which should be automatically installed. Users of Windows 7 and Windows 8 will have to wait until next week for a patch.
While Windows 10 is gaining some serious ground in the PC market, the same cannot be said about Microsoft Edge. Looking at the usage share of the major browsers on Windows 10, it is pretty much in the same place as it was a year ago -- a distant second to Google Chrome.
While it may be easy to dismiss Edge, Microsoft has rolled out major improvements since it debuted in mid-2015. And it's touting the benefits every chance it gets. Two new ads released by Microsoft promote better battery life and increased security over its main rival.
Microsoft officially called time on the free Windows 10 upgrade offer in 2016, but allowed anyone using assistive technologies to continue to upgrade to the new OS without paying a penny.
This offer worked on an honor system -- you weren’t required to provide any proof that you used assistive technologies in order to make use of the deal -- allowing anyone to continue to upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Microsoft finally closed this loophole on December 31, 2017, except (whisper it) the site, and the deal, are still available.
Steam’s monthly usage survey, which shows usage share from the gamers’ perspective, paints an entirely different picture however. It has consistently reported Windows 10 as the top operating system of choice, until recently, when Windows 7 roared into the top spot.