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Windows Server

Windows 10 to Get Floating Gadgets from Microsoft Edge

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Microsoft is increasingly trying to tie Microsoft Edge to Windows 10 through deeper integrations between the platform and web browser. In the latest move in this direction, Microsoft is working on resurrecting its Desktop Gadgets idea from back on Windows Vista.

While Vista was a much maligned version of Windows, the Desktop Gadgets were a cool concept. It allowed third-party developers and Microsoft to create widgets to add functionality to Windows. As the rise of apps and the Microsoft Store took over, it looked as though gadgets were gone for good.

However, Microsoft is bringing back the idea by integrating some Microsoft Edge gadgets onto the desktop. We have previously reported on the company’s news dashboard, and now another gadget is appearing on new Windows 10 preview builds.

Specifically, a floating search bar gadget. Importantly, along with the floating news dashboard, it seems Microsoft will be expanding floating widgets on Windows 10. I have previously argued these are sort of pointless, but if there is an audience for gadgets, opening to third-party developers in the future would be something worth seeing.

In terms of the floating search, it obviously taps into Microsoft Bing to surface search results. Importantly, gadgets are a way to entice Windows 10 users to browse with the native Chromium Edge app instead of an alternative like Chrome or Firefox.

Windows Search Integration

Recently, we reported on Windows Search becoming more connected to Microsoft Edge. The upshot here is you won’t need to open the Edge app to start some basic tasks such as access bookmarks, your browsing history, recent tabs, top sites, and so on. Previously, searches would open in Edge but that was about the extent of the integration.

Like the floating gadgets, the Windows Search integration is still testing on Canary branches of Edge.

Tip of the day:

Do you get flooded by notifications in Windows 10 from apps and want to disable them completely or just the notification sound? Our tutorial shows you how to do this. As an alternative you can also configure Windows 10 Focus Assist (Do Not Disturb Mode) and set quiet hours.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Windows Sandbox Receives New Runtime to Boost Performance

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Microsoft is rolling out an update for the Windows Sandbox feature on Windows 10. While there are no new tools coming to the service that acts as a secure partition, there is an important change. Microsoft says it has brought performance improvements to the Windows Sandbox.

That may look like an insignificant change on paper, after-all, performance improvements are typically nameless and unnoticeable. This is different, with users likely to see a more rapid Sandbox after installing this update.

It’s all to do with how the Sandbox functions.

Announced by Microsoft in 2018 and released in 2019, Windows Sandbox serves as an integrated virtual desktop for Windows 10 Pro and Enterprise users. As the name sandbox suggests, the desktop provides a secure location for users to run a desktop, or as Microsoft says a “lightweight… isolated, temporary, desktop environment.”

Windows Sandbox allows users to run software they may believe to be harmful on their PC. Organizations can run these programs without damaging the PC. Among the requirements for running Sandbox are 4GB of RAM, AMD64 architecture, and 1GB of free disk space.

If you’re interested in using the Sandbox, our tutorial shows you how to start the feature on Windows 10.

Performance Boost

However, in its current guise, the sandbox’s runtime matches the host platform, which harms performance such as when launching. In the upcoming Windows 10 21H2 Sun Valley update, Microsoft will add a new runtime that delivers improved performance.

This runtime will also benefit the company’s other container tools, such as Microsoft Defender Application Guard. Microsoft has configured the runtime to work specifically for container situations, providing a more lightweight Sandbox experience. Users should see noticeable performance gains, especially when running older or limited hardware.

The update is currently part of Windows 10 Preview Build 21343, which is a RS_PRERELEASE preview on the Dev channel of the Windows Insider Program. It won’t come to all Windows 10 users until this fall when version 21H2 ships.

Tip of the day:

Whether you’re planning an upgrade, tuning CPU timings, or just curious, it’s handy to know information about your RAM. In our tutorial, we show you how to check RAM speed, type, and size using several built-in Windows 10 tools.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft Reuploads Problematic Windows 10 Printer Patch

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Microsoft has sent out a fix for Windows 10 optional update KB5001649, this was put on pause last Friday. This is a cumulative update sent out last week to solve printer compatibility issue on Windows 10 20H2.

While the fix seemingly worked, the cumulative update was causing installation issues for just about all Windows 10 users. Microsoft put a pause on the update to ensure it did not reach more users. Over the weekend, the company worked on squashing the bugs causing the problems.

With that work out of the way, the KB5001649 optional update is once again available to Windows 10 users. It can be found on the Microsoft Update Catalog, weighing in at 400MB. If you already have the update installed, you will need to pick up this patch, which will weigh less.

Printer Issue Fix

KB5001649 is a rate out-of-band patch. Microsoft usually issues problem fixing patches as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday roundup. March 2021 Patch Tuesday has already gone and a problem with some printer brands causing a blue screen of death (BSOD) persisted.

Microsoft took the step to rush out a patch outside its regular cycle. The update seems to have fixed the printer issue and with installation problems seemingly removed, it should be good to install.

Several printer brands are seeing blue screen of death (BSOD) issues when running their printer on Windows 10 versions 1803, 1809, 1909, 2004, and last year’s 20H1. A patch is now available to solve this issue.

It is worth noting it is an option update that you will need to manually get from Windows Update.

Tip of the day:

File History is a Windows 10 back up feature that saves each version of files in the Documents, Pictures, Videos, Desktop, and Offline OneDrive folders. Though its name implies a primary focus on version control, you can actually use it as a fully-fledged backup tool for your important documents.

 

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft Announces Windows Community Toolkit 7.0

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Microsoft is releasing Windows Community Toolkit 7.0, announcing the latest version of its developer service. Microsoft says the new release comes from months of feedback from its developer community.

If you’re unfamiliar with Windows Community Toolkit, it is a suite of extensions and controls for dev’s. The idea is to give creators an easier way to access developer tasks when building .NET and UWP apps for Windows 10.

Leading the changes in version 7.0 is the movement of several tool packages. Microsoft says doing so allows packages to become less dependent on each other if only small components are in use. Previously packages would be coupled together, creating unnecessarily large apps.

According to the company, refactoring the packages means Windows Community Toolkit can now decease app footprints by up to 90%:

“We have refactored many packages within the Toolkit. This was to help reduce pulling in extra dependencies for the whole package when only a small number of components required them. This has allowed us to reduce the application size footprint impact of the Toolkit in common scenarios by 80-90%.”

It seems most of the movement is happening in Controls and Animations. It is worth checking Microsoft’s details to see how the changes affect applications.

More Changes

Version 7.0 also adds a new MVVM library to Windows Community Toolkit. This new addition strives to deliver performance, flexibility, and modularity to applications. Located in the Microsoft.Toolkit.Mvvm package, it is a library is for .NET Standard apps. Because of this, it works across platforms that support .NET.

Elsewhere in the update, Microsoft is improving notification support for .NET 5 and Win32 applications. Furthermore, there is a new TabbedCommandBar navigation UI, ColorPicker, AnimationBuilder class, and a XAML organizer called SwitchPresenter.

Tip of the day:

Did you know that you can assign keyboard shortcuts for starting applications quickly in Windows 10? This is a great way to have your most used programs always at your fingertips. In our tutorials we show you how to set those hotkeys for your favorite apps.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

How to Change Sleep Settings on Windows 10 and Adjust the Sleep Timer

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Sleep settings in Windows 10 are vital – particularly if you’re using a notebook or tablet. A strict sleep timer helps you squeeze enough juice out to complete the day and stops your laptop from draining when you aren’t using it.

For desktop PCs, having the correct sleep settings isn’t as vital – but it will affect your power bill and potentially the long-term longevity of your hardware. The more your hardware is used the more power it draws and the more it naturally degrades.

With both, however, there’s a balance to be made. You want your sleep settings to be useful, but not for your Windows 10 sleep timer to be so aggressive that it impacts productivity. In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to change your sleep time on Windows 10 via the in-built settings menu. By the end of it, you should have a balance that works well for you. First, though, let’s discuss what sleep mode is.

What is sleep mode in Windows 10?

There are various different sleep modes in Microsoft’s latest OS. Many get hung up on the details of hibernate vs sleep in Windows 10 and what your computer uses tends to depend on whether it’s a desktop or laptop.

In its base form, sleep is a power-saving state that lets your PC quickly resume from where you left off. It stops your CPU from clocking, pauses tasks, and prepares itself for when you next wake up your device. Your computer remains on and your documents are other tasks are saved to your system’s RAM.

Hibernate is a more extreme form of sleep typically used by laptops. Rather than the memory, which is volatile, your open programs and documents are saved to your hard drive. This allows the notebook to fully turn off yet still resume from where you left off in a relatively timely manner. It uses the least amount of power.

Hybrid sleep is sort of a combination of the two which is usually used by desktops. Your open documents and programs are saved to both your RAM and hard drive when it enters its low power mode. The reason for this is simple – if your PC is in hibernate and the power goes out, you won’t lose your work.

An understanding of these definitions isn’t necessary to follow the tutorial below, but having a better understanding of the different modes is always useful. With that said, we’ll stop the rambling and show you how to keep your computer from sleeping when you don’t want it to:

How to Change Sleep Time on Windows 10

If you’re wondering how to keep your computer from sleeping, the answer, like many things on Windows 10, is the settings menu. Microsoft has simplified the process over the years to make adjusting the sleep timer basically foolproof.

  1. Open settings

    Press Start, then click the settings cog above the power button.

  2. Click ‘System’

  3. Change your Windows 10 sleep timer

    In the left sidebar, click “Power & sleep” to enter your power settings. In here you’ll find two drop-downs – one for the screen and one for the PC itself.

    As you can imagine, the sleep setting for the screen just determines how long it will stay on while you’re not using it. Your PC will still be running as normal in the background, but as the screen is one of the biggest power drains you’ll still get a significant boost.

    The sleep setting, meanwhile, determines when your PC goes into a deep power saving mode which will take a bit longer to jump back into put save more power.

    If you’re using a laptop, you’ll see these settings twice – once for when you’re on battery and once on power. Set them all to suit your preferences and close the Settings windows at your leisure. They’ll instantly apply without the need for a restart.

Now that your sleep settings are set to your liking, you may want to turn off login after sleep or enable network connectivity in standby to ensure your emails are ready when you open the lid.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Windows 10 21H1 Coming with Remote Work Features

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Earlier this week, Microsoft confirmed Windows 10 21H1 will launch this spring across all Windows SKUs. This was the company putting an official stamp on a build we already knew was coming. Now we are finding out some more about what to expect in this latest major platform update. It seems Microsoft is focusing on remote work in this build.

We are usually used to the first half of the year Windows update being feature rich, with the second half of the year release focusing on quality. Microsoft is reversing that schedule this year. Windows 10 21H2 which will arrive in the fall is gearing up as a overhaul update, including a new design. It seems Windows 10 21H1 will be a smaller update:

“Windows 10, version 21H1 will have a scoped set of features improving security, remote access and quality,” explains John Cable, Microsoft’s head of Windows Servicing and Delivery. “The features we are releasing in this update are focused on the core experiences that customers have told us they’re relying on most right now.”

Among the changes coming this spring include remote work features:

  • “Windows Hello multicamera support to set the default as the external camera when both external and internal Windows Hello cameras are present.
  • Windows Defender Application Guard performance improvements including optimizing document opening scenario times.
  • and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) updating performance improvement to support remote work scenarios.”

Extrernal Camera Support

It’s hardly a surprise that Microsoft is boosting the remote work capabilities of Windows 10. Over the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a wave of remote workers. While most will return to work, millions will remain working from home. Reliable apps and tools that enhance the remote work experience are becoming hugely popular… just ask Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

Looking at the new features more closely, changes to camera tools allows users to use an external Windows Hello camera. This provides all the same abilities as a built-in webcam on a Windows Hello compatible PC. While Windows 10 already supports external webcams, integration with Windows Hello is not a smooth experience in its current form. Windows 10 21H1 aims to change that.

Tip of the day:

Tired of Windows 10’s default notification and other system sounds? In our tutorial we show you how to change windows sounds or turn off system sounds entirely.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft Planning Windows 10 Webcam Notification Feature

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As remote work becomes more common amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, webcams are becoming more necessary that ever. Furthermore, threat actors are looking for new ways to exploit a new workforce who are heading to their PCs to work for the first time. To help ease security concerns related to webcams, Microsoft has a Windows 10 feature in development.

Specifically, the new tool in Windows 10 will allow users to make their webcams more secure through a simple setting that tells them when the cam is in use. Furthermore, the platform will also notify users about which apps are using the camera.

It’s such a basic function that I cannot believe Windows 10 does not already have this capability. That’s Microsoft for you, but at least the company is now brining this feature to users.

Whenever the webcam is in use, Windows will tell the user with an icon in the taskbar. Hovering over that icon brings up a list showing which applications the camera is running in. You may be familiar with the general concept of the feature because it is similar to how Windows already handles microphone connection.

Windows Latest reports Microsoft is currently testing the tool in Windows 10X. However, it is expected the feature will be available in all Windows 10 SKUs.

Useful Tool

There are numerous reasons why this is a useful addition. During the pandemic, remote work has become a normalcy for millions of workers. Many of those many not be used to working on a camera. Mistakes and mishaps happen, including forgetting the webcam is on while you decide to dance to your favorite song.

Of course, it will also serve a more serious security function too, allowing users to know if an unwanted app is using the webcam without permission.

Tip of the day:

Whether you’re planning an upgrade, tuning CPU timings, or just curious, it’s handy to know information about your RAM. In our tutorial, we show you how to check RAM speed, type, and size using several built-in Windows 10 tools.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft Rolls Out Windows 10 Cumulative Updates to the Insider Program

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As is usually the case, Microsoft did not roll out any cumulative updates through December. That means January’s updates for Windows 10 are busier than normal. On the Insider Program, Microsoft is rolling out preview updates only available on the various testing branches:

Windows 10 Preview build 19042.782 for Windows 10 20H2

Windows 10 Preview build 21296 for Windows 10 21H1

Before getting into the details of those builds, it’s worth noting Microsoft is also rolling out preview updates for Windows 10 1909 and 1809. However, these are stable build release that any body can get.

Yes, build 19042.782 is also for a stable build (Windows 10 20H2), but it is currently only available to Insiders. Starting with that preview release, it is available now on the Beta and Release Preview rings on the Inside. That means they should come to all Windows 10 users running version 20H2 in the coming weeks.

Build 19042.782 Changelog

  • We updated the default values for the following Internet Explorer registry keys:
    • svcKBFWLink = “ ” (empty string)
    • svcKBNumber = “ ” (empty string)
    • svcUpdateVersion = 11.0.1000.
  • In addition, these values will no longer be updated automatically.
  • We enabled administrators to disable standalone Internet Explorer using a Group Policy while continuing to use Microsoft Edge’s IE Mode.
  • We enabled you to configure certain policies that support Microsoft Edge IE Mode using mobile device management (MDM).
  • We fixed an issue in the Universal C Run-time Library (UCRT) that causes printf() to incorrectly round floating point values.
  • We fixed an issue that displays a User Account Control (UAC) dialog box unexpectedly when you turn on speech recognition.
  • We fixed an issue that fails to notify the target application when you select the Copy link command on the Share menu.
  • We fixed an issue that causes the 64-bit fmod() and remainder() functions to damage the Floating Point Unit (FPU) stack.
  • We fixed an issue that causes a stop error or causes a device to stop responding when you play a game in full-screen or tablet mode.
  • We fixed an issue with using Ctrl+Caps Lock and Alt+Caps Lock to switch to Hiragana or Katakana mode respectively after upgrading to Windows 10, version 2004.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents you from opening a document that is on the Windows desktop and generates the error, “The directory name is invalid.” This issue occurs after changing the desktop location in the Location tab of the Desktop Properties dialog box (File Explorer -> This PC -> Desktop).
  • We fixed an issue that creates duplicate cloud provider folders in the File Explorer navigation pane.
  • We fixed an issue that occurs when the Mandatory Profile check box is selected when you copy a user profile.
  • We fixed an issue that might cause the Alt+Tab order to change unexpectedly and cause you to switch to the wrong window.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents ImmGetCompositionString() from returning the white space for furigana when using the Japanese Input Method Editor (IME).
  • We fixed an issue with some special key combinations used in DaYi, Yi, and Array IMEs that might cause an application to stop working.
  • We fixed an issue that displays a blank lock screen after a device wakes up from Hibernate.
  • We corrected historical daylight savings time (DST) information for the Palestinian Authority.
  • We added support for serial number control using the registry.
  • We fixed an issue that incorrectly deactivates some Windows 10 Education devices after upgrading to Windows 10, version 2004.
  • We fixed an issue that causes the upload of diagnostic logs to a management service, such as Microsoft Intune, to fail. The failure occurs because of a network time-out on a slow network.
  • We displayed a notification to a user when an administrator signs in to an MDM service, such as Microsoft Intune, to find the location of a managed device.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents users from using their smart card credentials when the user hint is the domain credential name (domain\username).
  • We fixed an issue in which using local Service for User (S4U) affects Data Protection API (DPAPI) credential keys and causes users to sign out unexpectedly.
  • We fixed an issue that causes the silent mode deployment of BitLocker to fail with the error 0x80310001. This issue occurs when deploying BitLocker encryption to Hybrid Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) joined devices.
  • We fixed an issue that might cause a black screen to appear or delay signing in to Hybrid Azure Active Directory joined machines. Additionally, there is no access to login.microsoftonline.com.
  • We fixed an issue that might cause systems that use BitLocker to stop working with the error 0x120 (BITLOCKER_FATAL_ERROR).
  • We fixed an issue that causes a device to stop working when deploying Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager if AppLocker is enabled on the device.
  • We fixed an issue that cause the LSASS.exe process to leak memory on a server that is under a heavy authentication load when Kerberos Armoring (Flexible Authentication Secure Tunneling (FAST)) is enabled.
  • We fixed an issue that causes LSASS.exe to stop working because of a race condition that results in a double free error in Schannel. The exception code is c0000374, and the Event Log displays Schannel event 36888, fatal error code 20, and error state 960. This issue occurs after installing Windows updates from September 2020 and later.
  • We fixed a memory leak issue that occurs when you authenticate a client certificate on servers that are configured as domain controllers.
  • We fixed an issue with Virtual Interrupt Notification Assert (VINA) interrupts.
  • We fixed an issue with HTTP caching that interferes with kiosk mode that targets Azure AD groups.
  • We fixed an issue that occurs when a Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) snapshot triggers on virtual machines (VM) that contain Resilient File System (ReFS) volumes. The triggered VSS snapshot fails with a time-out and prevents access to the ReFS volume for 30 minutes.
  • We fixed an issue that incorrectly logs Extensible Storage Engine Technology (ESENT) event 642 in the Application Event Log.
  • We fixed an issue with Administrative Template settings you configure using a Group Policy Object (GPO). When you change the value of the policy settings to NOT CONFIGURED, the system fails to remove the previous settings. This issue is most noticeable with roaming user profiles.
  • We fixed an issue that might cause a deadlock in Windows Virtual Desktop when a user disconnects before a driver fully loads
  • We fixed an issue that fails to show Extract all on the shortcut menu when you right-click an online-only ZIP file.
  • We updated the process for enrolling in online speech recognition. If you are already enrolled, you will see a message that asks you to review the new settings. If you choose not to contribute your speech data for human review, you can still use online speech recognition. The new settings contain one button to turn on online speech recognition and another button that turns on the collection of your voice clips. If you turn on the collection of your voice clips, you can turn it off at any time using the same button in the new settings page.
  • We fixed an issue that prevents the Start menu, Cortana, and tiles pinned to the Taskbar from opening. This issue occurs when an administrator copies an existing profile that has the Mandatory Profile check box selected.

Build 21296

Next up is Windows 10 Preview build 21296, which is for versions of Windows 10 21H1 that are currently testing on the Insider Program. Specifically it is available on the Dev channel and brings the following changes:

  • We’re starting to roll out an update to our converged clipboard history design (WIN + V) to support pinning, unpinning, deleting, and syncing individual entries. Appreciate your patience and feedback while we’ve been working on this. If you have any other feedback in this space, we welcome it in the Feedback Hub under Input and Language > Clipboard.
  • The ability to manage and create Storage Spaces from within Settings is now rolling out to all Insiders in the Dev Channel. If you have any feedback as you explore the changes, please file it under Files, Folders, and Online Storage > Storage spaces in the Feedback Hub.
  • The issue that could prevent Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War from launching has been fixed and is in the process of rolling out. Please update your game(s) to apply the fix.
  • We fixed an issue from the previous flight where Xbox Game Bar was launching on its own for certain games, without pressing WIN + G.
  • We fixed an issue where when the Xbox Game Bar was launched (like when pressing WIN + G), the PC might appear unresponsive.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in the Program Compatibility Assistant sometimes unexpectedly taking up a large amount of CPU resources in the last few flights.
  • We fixed an issue that could result in explorer.exe hanging when mounting ISOs.
  • We fixed an issue where the Windows Security app might show both a check for updates button and link at the same time.
  • We fixed and issue causing some Insiders to experience rendering / graphic issues after resizing certain app windows.
  • Installing this build will restore x64 emulation on ARM64 if it had previously broken after installing Build 21292.1010.
  • For Insiders using x64 apps on ARM64, there is an updated preview of the ARM64 C++ redistributable (version 14.28.29812) now available to install. This updated redist adds vcruntime140_1.dll and fixes crashes occurring in a number of CAD applications.

Tip of the day:

Do you often experience PC freezes or crashs with Blue Screens of Death (BSOD)? Then you should use Windows Memory Diagnostic to test your computers RAM for any problems that might be caused from damaged memory modules. This is a tool built into Windows 10 which can be launched at startup to run various memory checks.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Here’s Microsoft’s Windows 10X Running on a Surface pro 7 and M1 MacBook

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Windows 10X leaked online recently, giving people a first look at the upcoming modular version of Windows 10. Preview builds are allowing people to see what the platform looks like but have so far been limited to running in a virtual machine.

Hackers have been trying to get Windows 10X running on a device. It’s worth noting this is a modular version of Windows 10, meaning it runs and looks the same across form factors. In other words, 10X looks and feels the same on a mobile device as it does on laptop or tablet.

One Windows hackers, XDeltaXForce has been successful running Windows 10X on a Surface Pro 7. While it’s far from perfect, it does show how Windows 10X will look when running on a device.

He says the platform performs well and is functioning fluidly on the Surface Pro 7. Importantly, most drivers work, although he says the G-sensor does not, while the audio driver required a registry level patch.

XDeltaForce also says the battery performance is on par with the regular Windows 10 running on the device. If you’re interested in Windows 10X, it is worth checking out the video showing the platform on the Surface Pro 7 (above).

Other Successful Runs

Another developer, known as Ben, managed to get 10X running on an Apple MacBook with the new M1 processor. Considering the new Windows version is not built for Mac’s, it runs surprisingly well on the new Apple laptop. Of course, that’s partly because the M1 is an ARM chip.

 

Microsoft first promised Windows 10X for a 2020 release, but now says it will arrive spring 2021. In December, the company sent out the finalized launch preview of the platform.

Windows 10X was firstly planned to launch with the dual-screen Surface Neo. Microsoft later said the Surface Neo has been postponed, although the company insists not cancelled outright. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the company to reevaluate the needs to customers. With that in mind, Microsoft said Windows 10X would debut on single screen laptops.

Despite being deep into development, we are still learning about new Win10x features. Last week we reported on an Anti-Theft Protection tool that will debut on the platform. Anti-theft Protection will provide a blanket of security on Windows 10X. Specifically, it will stop others from resetting the host device.

Tip of the day:

Did you know that a virtual drive on Windows 10 can help you with disk management for various reasons? A virtual drive is just simulated by the platform as a separate drive while the holding file might be stored anywhere on your system.

The data in the drive is available in files or folders, which are represented by software in the operating system as a drive. In our tutorial we show you different ways how to setup and use such virtual drives.

Source Winbuzzer

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Windows Server

Microsoft Teases Affordable LTE Windows 10 Laptops and Classroom Pen 2 Update.

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Microsoft is teasing some new Windows 10 devices which will come with an LTE option. These are not new Surface devices following the recent launch of the Surface Pro 7 Plus, but are instead OEM laptops. They were announced by Microsoft at the Bett education conference by the Microsoft Education team.

Microsoft is a regular annual visitor to the Bett education conference each year. This year is a little different because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The conference is usually held at the ExCel in London but was cancelled this year.

Instead, the BettFest is being held as a two-day virtual event through January 20 and 21. Ahead of that event, Microsoft is teasing some new Windows 10 laptops that will target education users:

  • Acer TravelMate Spin B3, starting at $329
  • AcerTravelMate B3, starting at $239
  • Asus ExpertBook BR1100, starting at $279
  • JP-IK Leap Connect T304, starting at $229
  • JP-IK Leap T304, starting at $185

Microsoft says all of the above laptops have an LTE option. For the added connectivity, the price will increase around $100, but the company says these are still some of the most affordable LTE PCs on the market.

More Announcements

Also as part of its Bett announcements, Microsoft says it is releasing an updated Microsoft Classroom Pen 2. The main difference here seems to be a longer enclosure and a more affordable $19.99 price tag.

Looking at Microsoft Teams for education, Microsoft says the Reflect emotional well-being survey integration will come to Education Insights this spring.

The new Reflect tool allows educators to connect with students and engage in SEL classes. Praise Badges are SEL-specific (Social and Emotional Learning) Praise Badges that highlight students. They provide a way to give recognition to students who make small gains in learning.

Tip of the day:

Did you know that as a Windows 10 admin you can restrict user accounts by disabling settings or the control panel? Our tutorial shows how to disable and enable them via Group Policy and the registry.

Source Winbuzzer

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