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Xbox Series X to Remain in Short Supply Because of Chip Shortage into 2022 Says Xbox Chief

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Trying to buy an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 has proved a challenge since the rival consoles launches. So much so that used units sell for hundreds of dollars over their retail price. Part of the restriction has been demand, but chip supply issues also slowed availability. Microsoft’s Xbox chief now says console supply problems will continue through to 2022.

Speaking to The Wrap, Phil Spencer says it is likely Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles will continue to face supply issues into next year, including through the holiday season. He says while chip shortages are a factor, other supply constraints are also in play:

“I think it’s probably too isolated to talk about it as just a chip problem,” says Spencer. “When I think about, what does it mean to get the parts necessary to build a console today, and then get it to the markets where the demand is, there are multiple kind of pinch points in that process. And I think regretfully it’s going to be with us for months and months, definitely through the end of this calendar year and into the next calendar year.”

There have been chip supply issues throughout 2020 and 2021, mostly caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not a problem unique to consoles and has also been a factor behind slowing PC sales. Car manufactuers have also reduced production.

Ongoing Shortage

It is widely believed the shortage will continue, with Nvidia suggesting the shortage could last for most of 2022.

Last week, AMD said demand for the PS5 and Xbox Series consoles is behind its own GPU shortage. AMD is the sole GPUs supplier to both Microsoft and Sony, so it is bound by a contract to keep building for those devices. In fact, the company predicts demand for the consoles will stay high until 2022.

Tip of the day: Do you often experience PC freezes or crash 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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Microsoft Edge Lands on Xbox Series X with Game Streaming Support 

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Microsoft says it will roll out its latest version of System Center during the first quarter of 2022. The date was given this month during Microsoft’s Windows Server 2022 virtual event. System Center 2022 will be the next big release, according to Prasidh Arora, a program manager for the Windows Service team.

“System Center 2022 is planned for release in quarter one of next calendar year. Key areas of focus for System Center 2022 would be around adding capabilities to support heterogeneous infrastructure. We will be adding support for Windows Server 2022 and Azure Stack HCI 21H2. Using System Center Virtual Machine Manager, you can manage Azure Stack HCI clusters, and the upcoming release will also have Azure registration experience built into VMM to register Azure stack HCI clusters to Azure.”

Among the abilities of System Center 2022 is the Operations Manager directly integrating with Microsoft Teams for alerts. Furthermore, users can also set custom roles within the Operations Manager.

As for the Data Protection Manager, it will get folder-level restore capabilities for VM backups. Finally, restoring on parallel will be included for multiple virtual machines.

Alternative

Users can tap into System Center to handle more detailed Windows Server 2022 tasks. During the talk, Srividya Varanasi, a Microsoft senior program manager on the System Center team, joined in to highlight how the new version allows for more complex management needs:

“At your datacenter scale, you may want to standardize deployment production infrastructure at scale, and be able to monitor and backup multiple workloads and automate all of these processes. System Center suite helps in meeting all at-scale datacenter management requirements.”

Arora discussed System Center 2022 as a potential alternative to Microsoft’s Windows Admin Center, when managing Windows Server 2022. That would free up the Admin Center to focus on “managing servers, clusters, hyperconverged infrastructure, Kubernetes, and Windows 10 PCs”.

“Windows Admin Center is designed to be that lightweight browser-based management tool that is an alternative to RDP MMC tools, or even Remote PowerShell.”

Tip of the day: The Windows default font these days is Segoe UI, a fairly simple and no-nonsense typeface that’s used across many of Microsoft’s products. However, though some like this subdued style, others look to change Windows font to something with a bit more personality.

Thankfully, Microsoft does let you change Windows fonts, but it doesn’t make it particularly easy. I our tutorial we show you how to change system font in Windows 10, or restore it again if you don’t like the changes.

Source Winbuzzer

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Xbox Series X/PS5 Success Behind AMD GPU Shortage, Not Crypto Mining

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Chip giant AMD has been struggling to ship enough hardware to keep up with demand, especially with its RDNA2 graphics chip. However, the company’s CFO, Devinder Kumar, denies that this is happening because AMD is prioritizing GPUs for cryptocurrency mining instead.

Speaking at the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference, Kumar says crypto demand is playing no part in RDNA2 GPU shortages:

“We do not prioritize our product or make them for the crypto folks is not for the gamers and that’s a high priority from that standpoint. What’s driven the growth, as you know, we had the Radeon 6000 Series high end GPUs introduced very competitive and that is driving the growth in the GPU space.”

While some are accusing the company of focusing on crypto mining GPUs, the shortage is more likely because of the demand of creating chips for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. Both consoles have been hugely popular since launch last year. AMD has been working to keep up with demand for those devices, resulting in less GPUs available for retail.

AMD is the sole GPUs supplier to both Microsoft and Sony, so it is bound by a contract to keep building for those devices. In fact, the company predicts demand for the consoles will stay high until 2022. After-all, the 2021 holiday season is now just a couple of months away.

Growth

So, AMD is claiming its GPU business has grown despite some clear shortages in supply. Kumar also does not really answer why GPUs from the company have been hard to buy over the last year. Yes, there was an overall chip shortage during the pandemic, but AMD’s shortages have lasted longer than the industry.

AMD claims simply shipping more expensive hardware, focusing on high-end equipment sales.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft: Windows 11 Android Apps Not Coming to Xbox

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There has been plenty of confusion surrounding Microsoft’s support for Android Apps on Windows 11. At first it seemed the feature would land with the launch of Windows 11 on October 5. Microsoft soon nixed that notion, although a Windows Subsystem for Android page for the Microsoft Store was discovered on preview builds.

One of the most interesting aspects of that page was a suggesting Android apps would also work on Xbox. In a statement to Windows Central, Microsoft has now said Windows Subsystem for Android does not support Xbox consoles.

Android app support via the Amazon Marketplace on the new Microsoft Store is one of the big new features of Windows 11. When the feature was confirmed to not be launching with the platform, many worried this was another in a long line of blockbuster features Microsoft announces and then ditches.

Coming This Year

That does not seem to be the case with Microsoft still focusing on bringing Android apps to Windows. It is Microsoft’s latest effort to reduce the app gap. However, it is worth noting Amazon’s app store has significantly less apps than the Google Play Store (not least, Google apps).

“People will be able to discover Android apps in the Microsoft Store and download them through the Amazon Appstore – imagine recording and posting a video from TikTok or using Khan Academy Kids for virtual learning right from your PC. We’ll have more to share about this experience in the coming months. We look forward to this partnership with Amazon and Intel using their Intel Bridge technology,” Microsoft says.

Unlike Your Phone, that allows you to stream your Android phone to PC, app support will not rely on another device. Apps will be downloadable and usable directly within Windows without a third-party emulator.

Tip of the day: Having problems with pop-ups and unwanted programs in Windows 10? Try the hidden adware blocker of Windows Defender. We show you how to turn it on in just a few steps.

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Windows 10 Receives Auto HDR to Match the Xbox Series X

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Microsoft’s new consoles, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, both use a feature called Auto HDR, which helps with backwards compatibility. Microsoft is now testing HDR support for Windows 10, allowing over 1,000 PC games to take advantage of the tool.

Auto High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode upscales older titles automatically. In other words, older games have better visual performance than before without developers needing to do anything. It’s a technology that has been used on smart TVs for some time.

Microsoft is now brining the feature to Windows 10:

“While some game studios develop for HDR gaming PCs by mastering their game natively for HDR, Auto HDR for PC will take DirectX 11 or DirectX 12 SDR-only games and intelligently expand the color / brightness range up to HDR,” says Hannah Fisher, a DirectX program manager at Microsoft.

“It’s a seamless platform feature that will give you an amazing new gaming experience that takes full advantage of your HDR monitor’s capabilities.”

Available in Preview

Auto HDR is now rolling out in new Windows 10 preview builds. Specifically, Windows 10 Insider Build 21337, which is currently going through testing. This is a Windows 10 21H2 build, so it won’t reach general release until this fall.

Auto HDR is enabled automatically, but users can manually disable it if they want. Because this is just a preview, it does not cover all DirectX 11 or 12 games. Microsoft says eventually it will expand to cover over 1,000 titles. Furthermore, the company admits “Auto HDR does take some GPU compute power to implement.”

In other news regarding Windows 10 Preview Build 21337, Microsoft has opened a full preview of Windows Spotlight for desktop. This brings changing Bing images to the desktop for the first time.

Tip of the day:

If you need to create an ad-hoc network, you can do it on Windows 10. In our tutorial we show you how to easily create a shareable wireless internet connection in Windows 10 as a free WIFI hotspot.

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Minecraft Gets x UNIQLO Skins Vol 2 to Dress Characters

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As Microsoft keeps the Minecraft money train rolling, there are always tie-ins and endorsements around the corner. In the latest deal, Minecraft has extended a partnership with Japanese apparel brand UNIQLO.

Mojang and the clothes company are evolving their collaboration to bring Minecraft x UNIQLO Skins Vol 2. According to a blog post, the new skins will be available from March 12 in China and March 15 globally.

The idea here is players can dress their Minecraft characters in UNIQLO clothes:

“Wear your favorite Uniqlo x Minecraft apparel as you mine, craft, explore, or virtually hang out with friends. There are 15 skins in this free pack, so you can avoid the so-called faux pas of wearing the same outfit as someone else in your group.”

It’s worth noting that the skins pack is completely free and is available from the Minecraft Marketplace.

“But it doesn’t stop at the Overworld, oh no. There’s a new UT collection coming out for kids, including new Minecraft T-shirt and Steteco short designs. We’re also dropping new adult T-shirts, hoodies, and tote bags that you can customize with your favorite Minecraft characters and scenes at Uniqlo UTme!”

Recent Minecraft News

It has been a typically busy year in the world of Minecraft. Perhaps the biggest news is Microsoft’s decision to shutter Minecraft Earth. This was an augmented reality version of Minecraft. During the height of Pokémon GO popularity, AR gaming was seen as the future.

However, Minecraft Earth never took off. Microsoft says Minecraft Earth will be discontinued. The game’s team made the announcement in February, saying the title will continue to work until June 30, 2021. While that sucks for users, it is hardly a major surprise.

Tip of the day:

Did you know you can also use OneDrive to save folders and files in the cloud which are located outside the main OneDrive-folder. Check out our step-by-step tutorial to use this practical method also for your Windows 10-PC.

Source Winbuzzer

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Chromium Microsoft Edge Lands on Xbox

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The new Chromium based Microsoft Edge is finally coming to Xbox consoles, including the new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Microsoft has opened public testing of the browser, just over a year since it was first made available on Windows 10.

Xbox testers on the Alpha Skip Ahead branch can now test Microsoft Edge. As well as availability on the new consoles, the browser is also on Xbox One. As this is a test preview, the performance is slightly buggy but otherwise it’s the Edge experience we know on Windows.

That said, it so far lacks support for mouse and keyboard. We guess we are still a few months from the browser being fully launched on Xbox consoles. Maybe a launch to coincide with the year anniversary of default availability on Windows 10 is likely. That would mean a May launch for Xbox Edge.

Expanding Edge

Chromium Edge initially left preview on Windows 10 in January 2020, although only for manual installs. Microsoft introduced automatic default installs on Windows 10 starting with the 2004 update in May 2020. A few months later, the company brought the new experience to Enterprise and Education users.

Last week, Microsoft brought Edge stable build 89 to Windows 10.  Leading the lineup of new features is Vertical Tabs, a new tool for opening tabs in a vertical pane on the left side of Edge. Also in this latest update, Microsoft has added a startup boost tool. The idea with this feature is to notably reduce how long it takes to open Edge after closing it or even restarting the PC.

Tip of the day:

If your PC keeps connecting to the wrong WiFi network, you can set WiFi priority to avoid the need to manually select access points over and over again.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft’s Acquisition of ZeniMax Media (Bethesda) Given EU Green Light

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Microsoft has been given the green light by the European Union to acquire ZeniMax Media, the company behind Bethesda games. The authorization comes following similar regulatory back in the United States recently.

Bethesda and other ZeniMax properties will now be under the Microsoft Game Studios umbrella for Xbox and Windows 10.

The European Commission was expected to issue approval last Friday (March 5). It seems the EU has granted that approval. While this phase can be a stumbling block, it rarely is. Instead, it’s more of a formality for major acquisitions.

In its decision published Monday morning, the European Commission says the merger “does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market.” The EU “shall decide not to oppose it and shall declare that it is compatible with the common market.”

Microsoft recently received the same approval from regulators in the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Changing the Landscape

Microsoft announced the acquisition last year, the company behind Bethesda Studios, for $7.5 billion. The ZeniMax purchase was the biggest gaming acquisition ever, highlighting Microsoft’s commitment to Xbox Game Studios.

With ZeniMax and Bethesda under its wing, Microsoft will further drive into a player-centric gaming market. Replacing the old device-centric market, it is now players who dictate content. As Microsoft pushes further into the cloud, Bethesda will play an important role. That will start with the release of the company’s Starfield online title on Xbox Game Pass.

Creating a Netflix for gaming platform is something Microsoft has openly talked about before. That’s what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says Project xCloud could become.

Tip of the day:

By default computer names in Windows 10 tend to be quite plain. By default, they tend to be ‘WIN’ or ‘Desktop’, followed by a string of random letters and numbers. We show you how to change your PC name with Settings, Command Prompt or PowerShell to make it more easily identifiable.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Testing Project xCloud with 1080p Resolution

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Microsoft’s Project xCloud (Cloud Gaming for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate) is gathering steam as the beta service evolves. In the latest improvement for the cloud gaming service, Microsoft is boosting the capable resolution of the platform.

While Microsoft is not confirming it, reports point to the company carrying out a migration of Xbox cloud severs during this year. Specifically, the company is moving the servers from Xbox One architecture to Xbox Series X architecture.

Moving from last generation to current generation has benefits. Early signs of the improvement is the ability to run games at 1080p. According to Windows Central, Microsoft is currently only testing 1080p resolution for Project xCloud, but the early signs are good.

Until now, titles on the service have been capped to 720p. This low HD resolution helps to maintain a high bandwidth performance and keep controls responsive. In other words, Microsoft is trading screen resolution for performance quality.

By moving to new server architecture, the company is able to up the resolution without harming the performance. That’s a good development because target devices for Project xCloud (laptops, smartphones, tablets, and TVs) will mostly be at least 1080p  and in many cases higher resolution. For example, playing a 720p games on a large 4K TV may not have been a fun experience.

Coming Soon

It seems reasonable to think as the current Xbox Series X hardware gathers pace, Microsoft will be able to gain more improvements for xCloud. It is expected the new architecture will already bring significant performance improvements, including bettering loading times.

Microsoft has recently confirmed Project xCloud will launch this spring. We expect the improvements currently in testing to be available as soon as the platform leaves its beta phase.

If you’re unfamiliar with Xbox Cloud Gaming, it is a cloud streaming service for Xbox games. It allows Xbox Game Pass Ultimate customers to access Xbox titles from any device that supports the platform. Because all resources are held in the cloud and handled by Microsoft, people on underpowered devices like smartphones can play games.

Because Microsoft Azure handles the resources, these titles can run on mobile phones and even smart TV. We have also seen evidence of the service being compatible with smart home devices, such as a fridge.

Tip of the day:

Windows 10s Power Throttling can net up to 11% more battery savings per charge with little negative impact. In some scenarios you might consider turning Power Throttling off for single apps that you want run with maximum performance. Our tutorial shows you various methods to manage Power Throttling.

Source Winbuzzer

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Microsoft Making it Easier for Xbox Developers to Add Accessibility Designs to Games

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Developers will find it easier to get their games evaluated for accessibility features by Microsoft when creating for Xbox and PC. Microsoft has announced and expansion to accessibility on Windows 10 and Xbox. According to the accessibility team, games will now be tested by players with disabilities during the evaluation process.

Microsoft points out the initiative will help games become more accessible to gamers with impairments. Specifically, developers can choose to have a title tested against Xbox Accessibility Guidelines (XAGs):

“Developers now have the option to send Microsoft their Xbox or PC title and have it analyzed and validated against the recommendations provided in the XAGs,” says an Xbox blog post.

Xbox Accessibility Guidelines is documentations that provides details on how developers can integrate inclusive access into their games. Microsoft says the XAGs have been updated with clearer language and more examples of implementation.

Testing

When a game is tested, Microsoft will issue a feedback report that includes details from gamers with disabilities. Furthermore, the Xbox team will add information about partner nonprofits, accessibility experts, and how to include more accessibility designs.

When a problem is found, Microsoft says the developer will receive “reproduction steps, screenshots, and other information to help the developer understand what aspect of a given experience may be challenging for certain gamers with disabilities.”

This program expands Microsoft’s commitment to accessibility on Xbox and PC Gaming through Windows 10. Previously, the company has added Game Chat Transcription to both platforms. The feature allows players to turn chat speech into text. This allows them to read in-game chats on their screen in real time.

Microsoft also has the Xbox Adaptive Controller. At its core, the Adaptive Controller is specifically for gamers with disabilities.

Tip of the day:

Do you sometimes face issues with Windows 10 search where it doesn’t find files or return results? Check our tutorial to see how to fix Windows 10 search via various methods.

Source Winbuzzer

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