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Windows 10 Could Come to Apple’s M1 MacBook’S despite Early Software Troubles

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Earlier this month, Apple launched its next generation MacBook laptops running the new M1 processor. This is important silicon because it is Cupertino’s first ARM chip. More importantly, Apple’s launch boasts suggest the M1 will solve many of the issues associated with ARM computing.

However, the early signs suggest Apple’s early confidence may have been premature. Still, there is a good chance Microsoft’s Windows 10 will one day run on M1 machines.

We are already familiar with the benefits of ARM computing, improved battery life and better performance. It is clear the M1-powered MacBook’s deliver on this in a way Microsoft’s own ARM Surface Pro X could not. In fact, better than any Windows 10 on ARM device.

Apple also promised the M1 could run any app, including x86 applications, better than Intel processors. Here’s the thing with Apple, the company usually delivers on its launch claims but sometimes one or two mistakes will creep through the cracks.

Remember when the company introduced the original iPhone as a game change? Little did the crowd know that the handset’s software was unfinished and messy. Few remember the first iPhone was as much software failure as it was hardware success.

Software Issues

So, is the M1 one of those broken Apple promises? Well, it’s too early to tell but a flood of users reports suggest there is a lot of software that is not compatible with the new chip. Analyst Patrick Moorhead went on a long Twitter threat listing software that would not work on his new MacBook.

 

The non-functioning software includes Microsoft Edge, Adobe Reader, Acrobat DC, as well as peripherals and hardware software. Moorhead has been joined by many users with similar problems.

Apple is a marketing king and knows hype arguably pays more than results. Just by hyping up the M1, the company has developers hustling to ensure their software is compatible. All software will work eventually, such is developer support for Apple devices, but let’s not forget Apple was discussing app support as an out-of-the-box thing.

Windows Integration

One of the questions following the launch of the M1 has been whether the chip will allow Windows 10 to run on Macs. Of course, throughout the Intel generation of MacBook’s (which are still available, by the way), Boot Camp would handle running Windows 10 on macOS.

When Apple confirmed its entry into ARM computing at WWDC earlier in the year, Microsoft suggested Windows 10 won’t run on the M1 laptops on the basis Apple would need access to Windows 10 on ARM:

“Microsoft only licenses Windows 10 on ARM to OEMs. We have nothing further to share at this time.”

While Microsoft’s comment seems final, Apple appears to believe there is still room for negotiation. Although, the company is putting the ball firmly in Microsoft’s court. Craig Federighi, SVP of Software Engineering, for Apple says it is up to Microsoft to allow Windows 10 support:

“That’s really up to Microsoft,” he said. “We have the core technologies for them to do that, to run their ARM version of Windows, which in turn of course supports x86 user mode applications. But that’s a decision Microsoft has to make, to bring to license that technology for users to run on these Macs. But the Macs are certainly very capable of it.”

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Windows 10 Preview Build 20262 Reaches the Dev Channel

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Windows Insider Program members are getting a new update this week. Microsoft is rolling out Windows 10 Preview build 20262. This update is available through the Dev channel, Microsoft’s replacement for the previous Fast Ring.

If you are unfamiliar with the update structure on the Dev channel, it is usually a stability branch. Microsoft rarely sends out new features to this channel, although it does happen sometimes. Instead the Dev channel is for fixing issues with Windows 10 previews and making performance improvements.

And that’s where Insiders stand with Windows 10 Preview build 20262. This is a patch update more than anything, focusing on making fixes in the Windows 10 21H1 (FE) branch.

As is usual, some fixes are more important that others, but all should improve the overall experience.

Fixes

  • “Fixed an issue resulting in certain apps launching unexpectedly transparent in recent builds, with no content visible.
  • Fixed an issue where old SleepStudy etls were unexpectedly not being cleaned up.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in no response the first time a pen was clicked after being paired due to an underlying crash.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in touchpad scrolling no longer working on the tab in focus after closing a browser tab using CTRL+W while scrolling on a touchpad.
  • Fixed an issue where the some of the notifications related to block at first sight weren’t being localized.
  • Fixed an issue where when using Narrator in scan mode, it wasn’t possible to activate the “Sign in with pin or smart card” buttons in the authentication dialog using space or the enter key.
  • Fixed a recent issue where when both Wi-Fi and cellular were connected, if Wi-Fi disconnected the network flyout would say cellular was still connected, but apps wouldn’t actually be able to use the internet.
  • Fixed a high hitting DWM crash impacting some Insiders in the last few flights.
  • Fixed an issue that could result in Settings crashing when navigating to Storage Sense.
  • Fixed an issue resulting in app registration issues for some of the in-box apps with the previous flight after upgrading.”

Known Issues

As is usual, Microsoft has also detailed some known issues that remain in Windows 10 after this preview. You can check them out below:

  • “Microsoft is looking into reports of the update process hanging for extended periods of time when attempting to install a new build.
  • Live previews for pinned sites aren’t enabled for all Insiders yet, so you may see a grey window when hovering over the thumbnail in the taskbar. Microsoft is continuing to work on polishing this experience.
  • Microsoft is working on enabling the new taskbar experience for existing pinned sites. In the meantime, you can unpin the site from the taskbar, remove it from the edge://apps page, and then re-pin the site.
  • Microsoft is working on a fix for an issue resulting in some users seeing error 0x80070426 when using their Microsoft account to sign into various apps. If you encounter it, rebooting your PC may resolve this.
  • Microsoft is investigating an issue where, in recent Dev Channel builds, no drives appear under Settings > System > Storage > Manage Disks and Volumes. As a workaround, you can manage your disks in the classic Disk Management tool.
  • Microsoft is investigating reports that some screens incorrectly have black text on dark backgrounds when dark theme is enabled.”

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft Windows Terminal Version 1.5 Arrives in Preview

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Microsoft’s Windows Terminal reached version 1.0 at the all-virtual Build conference in May. Despite being widely available for Windows 10, new builds of the command line overhaul still move through preview. This week, a new preview is making its way to Insiders.

Specifically, Windows Terminal version 1.5 is now available in preview. That means last month’s version 1.4 preview is now making its way to full release. Version 1.4 brings embedded hyperlinks, blink graphics, and jump lists to general availability.

As for version 1.5, it also has a lot of new features on board. Full hyperlinks are now supported, while the Terminal now detects hyperlinks without user input and allows the Crtl + click buttons to open links in a browser.

Elsewhere, version 1.5 adds support for emojis in profile icons. It is worth noting the emojis are not available in the new jump lists. Microsoft also points to a better tab switcher experience with this build. Users can now set tabs to switch from most recent or per order.

Moving on, the command palette gets some new tools. Microsoft has reconfigured the “>” prefix to action mode, like on Visual Studio Code.

Terminal is a new command prompt experience for Windows 10. Developers can leverage multiple tabs and customize the experience with themes. On that latter front, you’ll need to edit a JSON file to access the full suite of customization tools.

The app was launched in preview in June 2019 via the Microsoft Store.

Bug Fixes

This latest preview also brings fixes for the following bugs:

  • The terminal is much faster when launching, opening tabs, and closing tabs when you have a lot of profiles.
  • Clicking links inside the terminal will no longer hang.
  • The jump list will now display icons that use forward slashes in their file paths.
  • Failure to write to your settings file will now display a warning.
  • When using a screen reader, it is much faster when moving to the next word.

Windows Terminal is available from the Microsoft Store.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft Ends Support for Windows 10 Version 1809 Today

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Microsoft is today ending support for Windows 10 version 1809 (October 2018 Update). This is coming after Microsoft initially delayed the end of support for six months. The company took that action to help users avoid updates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is worth noting today’s cut-ff affects Windows 10 Home and Pro SKUs of version 1809. Also this week, Microsoft is rolling out the last cumulative update for the build as part of November 2020 Patch Tuesday.

As the version reaches two years old, that’s all Microsoft will support for Home and Pro users. Those running Enterprise or Education variants of Windows 10 have longer support of 30 months. In other words, those machines will be supported until May 2021.

Windows 10 version 1809 is one of the most infamous Windows updates of all-time. It was certainly one of the most problematic Windows builds in recent memory. Microsoft botched the update at release.

Microsoft  launched the platform on October 2 2018 during a Surface hardware event. However, version 1809 was quickly put on ice as the manual update was deleting personal user files. Other issues found in the update included a ZIP extraction fault, a file association problem, and an activation downgrade flaw.

Windows 10 Version 1809 Patch Tuesday

As part of November 2020 Patch Tuesday this week, Microsoft issued the monthly cumulative update for Windows 10 version 1809. The update is KB4586793, bringing the build number to 17763.1577. Users can manually download it here, with the following changes:

  • Updates to improve security when using Microsoft Office products.
  • Updates to improve security when using input devices such as a mouse, keyboard, or pen.
  • Updates to improve security when Windows performs basic operations.
  • Updates the 2020 DST start date for the Fiji Islands to December 20, 2020.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft Windows Zero Day Exploit Now in the Wild Says Google Project Zero

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Google Project Zero (GPZ) has this week disclosed a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that has already been exploited in the wild. According to the cybersecurity team, the zero-day allows bad actors to engage in privilege escalation and sandbox escape attacks, albeit only with local access.

This is the second Microsoft-related disclosure from GPZ this week. On Monday, Google’s security team disclosed a vulnerability in GitHub after the Microsoft-owned service failed to issue a fix in time.

If you are unfamiliar with Google Project Zero, it is a security team that hunts for security holes in popular software solutions. When a vulnerability is found, Google gives developers 90 days to issue a fix. If no action is taken, Project Zero publicly discloses the flaw.

With the GitHub disclosure it made sense, there was no fix issued within 90 days. However, this new Windows vulnerability is different. In fact, GPZ is disclosing the problem just seven days after it was first found.

This clearly has given Microsoft little time to issue a patch and goes against Google Project Zero’s usual methods. However, the team points out action was needed because the bug has already been exploited.

Vulnerability

The zero-day (CVE-2020-17087) occurs in Windows Kernel Cryptography Driver (cng.sys) processes input/output control (IOCTL). This is what Windows uses for input and output operations on devices that are outside normal system calls.

“[Cng.sys] exposes a \Device\CNG device to user-mode programs and supports a variety of IOCTLs with non-trivial input structures,” according to the bug report, published last Friday. “We have identified a vulnerability in the processing of IOCTL 0x390400, reachable through [a] series of calls.”

“The bug resides in the cng!CfgAdtpFormatPropertyBlock function and is caused by a 16-bit integer truncation issue,” the Project Zero team adds. “The integer overflow occurs in line 2, and if SourceLength is equal to or greater than 0x2AAB, an inadequately small buffer is allocated from the NonPagedPool in line 3. It is subsequently overflown by the binary-to-hex conversion loop in lines 5-10 by a multiple of 65536 bytes.”

Attacks are already happening, says Shane Huntley from Google’s Threat Analysis Group. However, he points out they are not related to this week’s U.S. Presidential election.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Windows 10 Gets Group Policy to Bypass Safeguard Holds on Feature Updates

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Users on Windows 10 can now bypass safeguard holds Microsoft places on hardware if there is a conflict with software. This is possible through a new Windows 10 group policy that was announced by Microsoft this week.

If you are unfamiliar with a safeguard hold, it is sometimes known as a compatibility hold. In essences, it is when Microsoft prevents certain devices from installing a new Windows 10 update due to some compatibility issue between the hardware and software.

We have seen a couple of safeguard holds this year following the release of Windows 10 May 2020 Update.

Microsoft’s reasons for placing these holds is simple. The company prevents updates to stop problems occurring on hardware that is not compatible with an update. Common incompatibility issues include devices crashing, poor performance, and security holes.

It is an annoying situation for users because Microsoft often does not provide much information about why it issues blocks. Admins are then left waiting for a fix to arrive. Sometimes these fixes come from Microsoft and other times from third parties through driver updates.

New Group Policy

Microsoft’s October 2020 Patch Tuesday last week included a new Windows 10 group policy. Specifically, a new policy titles “Disable safeguards for Feature Updates” is now available.

As the name suggests, this allows admins to bypass safeguard holds. However, it is only for the twice-annual feature updates such as Windows 10 20H1 and Windows 10 20H2.

Admins can check out the new policy by following: Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Windows Update for Business. In a support document, Microsoft explains how the new policy works:

“Enable this setting when Feature Updates should be deployed to devices without blocking on any safeguard holds. Safeguard holds are known compatibility issues that block the upgrade from being deployed to affected devices until the issue is resolved. Enabling this policy can allow an organization to deploy the Feature Update to devices for testing, or to deploy the Feature Update without blocking on safeguard holds.”

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft and HP Deliver Windows 10 Update to Boost Battery Life

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Microsoft and HP are sending out a collaborative update for Windows 10 users that will allow them to take advantage of better battery life. Specifically, for owners of HP laptops and PCs, the feature boosts battery efficiency without needing to tweak the system BIOS.

Rolling out as Windows 10 KB4583263, the update will not work for all HP products. In fact, the companies say it is compatible with only select notebooks. For those devices, the KB delivers a new algorithm for battery charging.

This is a non-essential update so it will not install automatically. Instead, users will need to find it through “Optional Updates” in the Windows Settings app.

It is worth noting that while this update will boost battery life, it is designed to solve an issue. That also explains why it is only available for select laptops.

Some HP enterprise laptops were having problems with the HP Battery Health Manager, affecting battery life. A new algorithm has been created for the manager tool, providing a BIOS-grade setting that is available directly within Windows 10.

In other words, you won’t need to dig into the BIOS to enable it. With this change, the laptops will be able to optimize battery charge based on charging patterns and usage patterns.

Update

If you’re worried about accidentally updating to an incompatible laptop, you can rest easy. Microsoft says even if you download to an unsupported device, no changes will be made.

It is also worth noting users of the affected laptops don’t need to download this update if they don’t want. Indeed, the same results can be achieved by heading into the manual configuration on the BIOS.

Source winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Arm to Drop 32-Bit App Support: Will Windows 10 on ARM Be Affected?

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At the Arm DevSummit this week, the chipmaker dropped some major news. While looking ahead to future products, the company said will stop supporting 32-bit applications on its ARM CPUs. While the decision puts pressure on Microsoft’s Windows 10 on ARM movement, the company is already moving behind 64-bit.

Arm says the support for 32-bit apps will end during 2022. The news come as many of the company’s partners are increasingly pushing forward with 64-bit. Apple is getting behind ARM CPUs with the company’s first ARM-based MacBooks launching this year.

In fact, Cupertino stopped support for 32-bit in 2017 for devices that support 64-bit apps. Google is taking a similar path, with a requirement all new apps and updates for the Play Store are 64-bit.

Is Microsoft Affected?

Microsoft is in a little more of an awkward position. Because of the continued use of 32-bit programs on Windows 10, the company needs to take a different approach. For Windows 10 on ARM, the company is going to tread a path of supporting both 32-bit and 64-bit apps.

We have been following the company’s struggles to get 64-bit app support on Windows 10 on ARM. Windows needs to support 32-bit apps to allow users to access classic desktop programs. To add 64-bit app support, the company is developing an emulator that will run these apps.

It is not ideal, but it looks like this will be necessary. It is unclear how Arm’s decision to end 32-bit app support will affect Microsoft’s plans. That said, it is worth noting Microsoft works with Qualcomm as its chip partner for Windows 10 on ARM. However, it seems reasonable to presume the company’s emulator will become even more important in the coming years.

Arm says the change will happen on high-end CPUs in 2022, while consumer devices will see it in 2023.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft PowerToys for Windows 10 Reaches Version 0.23

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Microsoft PowerToys users are getting a new update, moving to version 0.23. Redmond’s collection of customization tools for Windows 10 is unfortunately not getting any new features. Instead, this update is focused on making minor improvements and squashing bugs.

Since rebooting PowerToys, Microsoft tweaked existing tools and added new ones like Keyboard Configuration. As the development team moves towards version 1.0 of the suite, there are constantly new features coming.

Users were hoping the shortcuts to mute microphones and turn off webcams in Windows 10 would return. This feature debuted on PowerToys 0.22, but Microsoft admitted it was an experimental tool. The company now says the feature will return on the next experimental release, version 0.24.

Official Changelog

“General

  • Localization pipeline is flowing from our Github to the loc system and back. 0.25 should be localized now.
  • The EXE installer should be at parity now with the MSI. Please go to the wiki for (installer args)[https://github.com/microsoft/PowerToys/wiki/Installer-arguments-for-exe]

FancyZones

  • Fixed bug on not seeing a newly attached screen
  • Fixed spanning across monitors bug
  • Added in default layout for new users, a Priority Grid
  • Added keyboard support to grow / shrink to multiple zones
  • General bug fixes

PT Run

  • Multiple crash bugs fixed. Prioritized any users reported along with top hits from Watson reporting
  • Stopped PT Run from interfering with an install
  • Fixed folder bug if it had a # in it (Thanks @jjw24 for the PR!)
  • Fixed a screen flicker for
  • General bug fixes

Keyboard manager

  • Multiple crash bugs fixed. Prioritized any users reported along with top hits from Watson reporting
  • Fixed multiple accessibility issues.
  • General bug fixes

Preview Pane

  • Added in Frontmatter and better (but still basic) latex support.

Settings

  • Fixed scaling issue for responsive design on Image Resizer
  • Fixed crash on empty color value.
  • Fixed crash for toggling FancyZones on/off
  • Fixed 0x00 NFTS crash for settings
  • Fixed multiple accessibility issues.
  • Layout adjustments (Thanks @niels9001)
  • General bug fixes

Dev related

  • FxCop is being rolled out across all PowerToys. This should catch a lot of possible leaks.
  • Unified PT Run’s log system
  • PT Run’s calc plugin now has unit tests (Thanks @P-Storm)
  • Dev setup install script now supports VS preview (Thanks @TobiasSekan)”

Recent Updates

This year, Microsoft updated the suite to include the following tools: Image Resizer, Window Walker, File Explorer previews for Markdown (.md) files, and PowerRename. Elsewhere, Microsoft has also brought multi-monitor support to FancyZones.

As we reported in April, a new Launcher is also available in PowerToys

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft Preview for Windows 10 on ARM X64 App Emulation Could Arrive in November

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Windows 10 on ARM is about combining the best of PC technology with he benefits of mobile devices. For example, running a mobile processor to boost battery life for laptops or having mobile connectivity capabilities. However, while being touted as a best of both worlds, Windows 10 on ARM lacks some important tools. Microsoft is now aiming to solve one of the biggest problems.

For example, running x64 apps is off limits. Windows 10 on ARM supports ARM64 drivers but it won’t run apps. If an application or game was created for an x64 platform, you won’t be able to access it.

That’s a problem considering the vast number of apps that are x64. Back in May, we reported on Microsoft was working on a feature that would allow users to run x64 apps in an emulator. WindowsLatest reports Microsoft’s emulator is now almost ready for testing.

The company is working on “AMR64EC”, which is reportedly the architecture for Windows x64 applications.

Incoming Preview

In fact, a technical preview for the public should come to Windows 10 on ARM laptops before the end of November. While it is perhaps not the perfect solution to the ARM64 problem, it will make a huge difference for users.

It is likely any debut for x64 support will come directly to Microsoft own Surface Pro X. This is the company’s first-ever ARM-based device that launched last year.

Microsoft has had issues in the relationship between Windows 10 and ARM. We reported the Microsoft Store was not flagging which apps are not compatible for Surface Pro X users. This was frustrating because users were trying to download apps that didn’t work on their device.

Source Winbuzzer

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