Tag Archives: Microsoft

Windows 10: Microsoft wants to know EVERYTHING you're doing, and this is the reason why

Microsoft wants its users to explain how they plan to use its hugely successful desktop operating system, Windows 10. The Redmond-based company is looking to introduce a new settings menu that will allow users to specify what they intend to do with their Windows 10 PC – enabling Microsoft to make some tweaks under the bonnet to improve performance. That’s according to new code unearthed by Windows 10 super-sleuth @thebookisclosed on Twitter, who published screenshots of the as-yet-unannounced feature.
While some will likely bristle at the idea of letting Microsoft know exactly what they plan to do with their new desktop, laptop or tablet two-in-one, there might be a good reason to keep Microsoft in the loop about what you’re up to. According to the leaked settings, Microsoft will push and pull a number of levers behind the scenes to tweak performance based on what you’re using your PC to do.

So, if you’re using Windows 10 to play some pretty graphics-intensive video games, Microsoft will ensure that you never lose a frame or have to crank down the graphics quality to keep playing. As well as performance tweaks, Microsoft is also expected to provide suggestions and tips based on your selection. So, if you tell Microsoft that you’re planning to use Windows 10 to track your expenses and run a small business, it might highlight new features in Office 365 that will be helpful. This will be handled through the preinstalled Microsoft Tips app.

Windows Insider Program Manager Brandon LeBlanc has confirmed that Tips will be used to provide suggestions of how to maximise Windows 10 based on what you’re trying to achieve with the software.

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While the categories aren’t live yet, tipsters suggest that we’ll see the ability to let Microsoft know what you’re doing on your PC soon. As it stands, there are six categories. Here are Microsoft’s different uses for its operating system and a brief description of what it thinks these categories mean you’ll be doing day-to-day ~

Gaming
Play and discover games, keep up with new releases

Family
Connect with the whole family, edit safety settings, and give everyone their own profile on this device

Creativity
Bring ideas to life – from novels and presentations to photos and videos

Schoolwork
Take notes, write essays, collaborate on projects

Entertainment
Watch videos, browse the web, connect on social media

Business
Track expenses, manage customers, run your business

The feature is currently buried in a beta test of Windows 10, although hopefully it’ll be finished in the coming months. Microsoft has a blockbuster update for Windows 10 scheduled for later this year, codenamed Sun Valley. It will bring a complete visual redesign for the desktop operating system – its first major lick of paint since its launch back in 2015. With any luck, this optimisation feature will be finished in time to make the cut for that upgrade, which is expected to land on PCs around October 2021.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

Use Microsoft Teams every day? You might want to avoid AirPods, Bose for new Surface cans

The Surface Headphones 2 Plus, which are priced at £289.99, also come with a beefy battery life that offers up to 15 hours of voice calling time, even when noise cancellation is turned on.

That will offer you more than enough juice to last you a few days before you need to recharge at the end of a working day. While Microsoft promised the Surface Headphones 2 Plus also offer all-day comfort, so they should seamlessly fit into your working day.

The new Surface Headphones also feature volume and noise cancellation controls as well as touch controls to easily answer and end calls.

Microsoft said the Surface Headphones 2 Plus are “certified for Microsoft Teams” and provide “the best meeting experience”.

Speaking about the new cans, the Windows 10 makers said: ” Empower employees with high-quality Microsoft Teams calls, a rock-solid connection with plug and play functionality, a dedicated Teams button, synchronised call controls to avoid the ‘you’re on mute’, and light states on the included dongle.

“Experience your calls, music, and shows like never before with rich, immersive Omnisonic sound and 13 levels of adjustable noise cancellation. Use the on-ear dials to easily turn up the volume or tune out background noise. Advanced microphones ensure you are heard loud and clear on calls. Enjoy music, podcasts, exceptional call quality, or peace and quiet all day.”

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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Microsoft Flight Simulator World Update IV: France, Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg Available Now

Summary

  • In September, we shared our vision for continuously improving Microsoft Flight Simulator by bringing meaningful updates to the simulator on a regular basis. Today, we are releasing our fourth World Update and are thrilled to provide simmers a riveting flight experience throughout Western Europe. 

Starting today, the latest free World Update for Microsoft Flight Simulator brings flight simmers to France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (FRBENELUX).

In the heart of Western Europe, embrace the spirit of a bygone era intermingled with modern influences and attractions as you explore a plethora of sights on display — from seaside communities to urban centers, idyllic vineyards to epic mountain ranges and world-famous resort towns – all featuring stunning upgrades and visual enhancements.

World Update IV: France, Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg brings improved digital elevation data and aerial imagery, high-resolution 3D photogrammetry for two of Europe’s most iconic cities, Paris and Amsterdam, and three new meticulously hand-crafted airports (Megève, Nice and Rotterdam), plus visual and logistical improvements to 100 additional airports throughout the area.

Newly-added architectural elements infuse authenticity to countless procedurally-generated locations, while more than 100 famous landmarks and points of interest have received custom treatment, bringing impeccable levels of detail to the region’s most unforgettable sights – more castles and cathedrals, monuments and museums, palaces, bridges, lighthouses, dams, windmills and stadiums.

Finally, to build on this bevy of visual improvements, two new activities have been added: an exciting Landing Challenge at La Salette, and an awe-inducing Bush Trip into the heights of the Pyrenees and the Alps.

World Update IV: France, Belgium, Netherlands & Luxembourg is available for free starting today to all Microsoft Flight Simulator users. Make sure your simulator is up to date, visit the Marketplace to download the FRBENELUX bundle and set a course for the timeless beauty of Western Europe. The sky is calling!

Microsoft Flight Simulator is available on Xbox Game Pass for PC, Windows 10, and Steam. Share your impressions with us on the dedicated forums or check out our FAQ if you have questions. For the latest information on Microsoft Flight Simulator, stay tuned to @MSFSOfficial on Twitter.

Jorg Neumann, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator
This article originally appeared on Xbox Wire

Microsoft will force Windows 10 fans to change the way they access the web this week

Windows 10 fans will be forced to have their web browser updated this week whether they like it or not. Microsoft has confirmed that it is pushing out a major upgrade tomorrow, April 13, which will see the older version of its Edge software removed from PCs and replaced with the firm’s all-new web browsing application which, rather confusingly, is also called Edge.
Microsoft first revealed this news late last year with the Redmond company saying that support and security upgrades for its legacy version of Edge would be ending on March 9.

With this ageing browser not getting the vital updates it needs to keep users safe online it seems Microsoft now wants to make sure everyone is moved over to its latest and greatest browsing experience.

In a post on its support page, Microsoft said: “To replace this out of support application, we are announcing that the new Microsoft Edge will be available as part of the Windows 10 cumulative monthly security update—otherwise referred to as the Update Tuesday (or “B”) release—on April 13, 2021.

“When you apply this update to your devices, the out of support Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop application will be removed and the new Microsoft Edge will be installed. The new Microsoft Edge offers built-in security and our best interoperability with the Microsoft security ecosystem, all while being more secure than Chrome for businesses on Windows 10.”

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That means you not only get some of Chrome’s most-loved features but also full access to many of its plug-ins and popular extensions. It’s also regarded as being much better for battery life meaning more time online without needing to plug in your laptop.

The new Edge has grown rapidly in popularity since it was launched in January 2020 with recent stats suggesting that it’s now the second most used browser on the planet.

With Microsoft now forcing it on more users, that user base could grow to even bigger numbers although it still has a lot of catching up to do before it gets close to beating Chrome which still accounts for almost 65 percent of all desktop web traffic.

Microsoft lets slip details about its next Windows 10 machine, and it could launch in days

Microsoft could launch a new Surface Laptop model as soon as next week, according to details unearthed in online support pages. Spotted by eagle-eyed Twitter tipster @WalkingCat, who is often a very reliable source of unannounced products from Microsoft and others, two models of the Surface Laptop 4 are now listed in the online documentation.

Unfortunately, the listing on Microsoft’s support pages seem to be placeholders, so there’s no a whole lot of detail to be found there. However, we might not have long to wait until we get all of the juicy details as @WalkingCat has predicted that we could see Microsoft hold an event for its new hardware as soon as this week.

That makes sense as it’s been a good while since we’ve seen a new Surface Laptop from Microsoft. Setting aside the wallet-friendly Surface Laptop Go, which launched late last year, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a new entry in the main Surface Laptop range. Surface Laptop 3, which kept the same exterior design as its predecessor but boasted some boosted internals, was unveiled alongside the Surface Pro 7 and Surface Pro X back in October 2019.

With a dramatically redesigned new version of Windows 10 set to launch in the next six months, we’d hope that Microsoft has some exciting new hardware up its sleeve to compliment the new desktop operating system. With the latest leak from @WalkingCat, it seems that might be the case.

Although there’s little to glean from Microsoft’s support pages aside from the existence of a fourth-generation Surface Laptop, blog WinFuture has shared some details from its sources about what we can expect to see from the next model from Microsoft. According to its sources within the Redmond-based company, Microsoft will use a mixture of AMD Ryzen 5 4680U and the Ryzen 7 4980U – a serious step-up in performance compared to the Surface Laptop from 2019, and Intel’s eleventh-generation Core i7 chipsets.

Microsoft looks set to keep the existing 13-inch and 15-inch screen sizes and 3:2 aspect ratio, which is slightly taller than 16:9 widescreen. That means you’re probably going to see black bars along the top and bottom of the display when watching movies on the go, but there’s much more breathing room when browsing online, running two apps side-by-side, and working on-the-go. Microsoft has become a bit of a trend-setter with this aspect ratio, which is now found in laptops from dozens of other manufacturers.

If an announcement is around the corner, Express.co.uk will be in the front row to bring you the latest details about the Surface Laptop line-up. So stay tuned!

Xbox Series X games news: Microsoft masterplan to bag Hideo Kojima's next game?

We’re only at the start of this gen but already Microsoft has shown they mean serious business with the Xbox Series X and S. From the Bethesda acquisition, to bringing Outriders and MLB The Show 21 to Game Pass, Phil Spencer and co have already dropped the mic a few times with some major announcements. And Microsoft could have another big reveal up their sleeves, as rumour has it legendary video game designer Hideo Kojima is in talks to bring his next game to Xbox.
According to a VentureBeat article from in-the-know journalist Jeff Grubb, Kojima is in talks with Microsoft about publishing his next game.

Grubb wasn’t able to confirm if the deal had been finalised yet, but Kojima is reportedly key to Microsoft’s plans to leverage Japanese talent.

Grubb dropped the bombshell in an article disputing a new rumour that has been circulating.

It had been claimed this week that the recently revealed – and gorgeous looking PS5 exclusive Abandoned – could secretly be Kojima’s next game.

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Kojima has form in elaborately revealing his next game – with Metal Gear Solid V originally being revealed as The Phantom Pain (sans the MGS moniker) and allegedly being made by a little known studio called Moby Dick, with the project led by Joakim Mogren.

There were clues this was actually a new MGS game, with Joakim being an anagram of Kojima and the character featured in the initial reveal trailer looking like Big Boss.

An actor was even hired to play Mogren for an interview, with Joakim teasing a full reveal for GDC 2013 – which is where Phantom Pain was officially announced as MGS V.

However, anyone thinking it was history repeating with Abandoned and developers Blue Box Game Studios will be disappointed.

Grubb in his article said: “The biggest piece of evidence I have that Abandoned is not a Kojima joint is that Kojima is in talks with Microsoft about publishing his next game, according to a source familiar with the matter. And yes, that statue on Phil Spencer’s shelf was referencing a potential deal with the legendary developer. I cannot confirm if Xbox closed the deal yet, but my understanding is that Kojima is the focus of a Microsoft plan to leverage Japanese talent.”

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While in a statement Abandoned makers Blue Box Game Studios added: “We received several emails regarding the Hideo Kojima rumour. We have no association with Hideo Kojima nor do we claim to have any association nor was it our intention to claim such a statement. We are a small group of developers working on a passionate title we wanted to work on for a long time.

“We have been assisting other studios in the past with their projects and we wanted to work on our very first big project. While it is true that we’ve been working on small projects in the past, we certainly didn’t use that for marketing purposes. We hope this has clarified this matter and hope to see you all in our very first gameplay reveal of Abandoned.”

If Microsoft manages to secure Kojima’s services then it would be a big coup for the Xbox Series X and S makers.

Xbox has historically struggled to make a dent in the Japanese market, with figures cited by CNBC suggesting the Xbox One sold around 140,000 consoles between its launch in Japan of September 2014 through to June 2019.

Compare this to the PS5, which has sold almost 600,000 consoles in a matter of months between its November launch and the end of March.

While latest sales figures for Japan say the Xbox One’s rival gen 8 consoles – the PS4 and Nintendo Switch – have sold 9.35million and just over 19million consoles respectively.

If Microsoft wants to finally crack the Japanese market, then having a big name creator such as Hideo Kojima – the man behind the iconic Metal Gear Solid series as well as legendary games like Snatcher, Policenauts and PT – would surely help sway over Japanese gamers to Xbox as well as Game Pass.

Xbox Series X and S UK stock update: Where to buy next-gen Microsoft console

Responding to a gamer looking to secure a next-gen console at the start of April the Argos Helpers Twitter posted: “We are working hard to replenish stock of the PS5/Xbox Series X at the moment. Please keep an eye on our website, where you will find the most up to date information on”.

While GAME, which has been arguably the best place to purchase a next-gen console in 2021, currently hasn’t updated its Xbox Series X order page since the last restock.

The GAME Xbox Series X order page currently has stock listed as having a release date of March 26 – which was for the last restock.

With it being a little while since GAME last got an Xbox Series X restock, gamers are eager to find out when the next stock drop could be.

And poking fun at this recently, the GAME Basildon Twitter account had a little joke.

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Time to ditch Chrome? As Google loses users, Microsoft Edge gets a massive boost

When it comes to web browsers, Chrome remains the undisputed champion. This hugely popular Google software has long reigned supreme and accounts for more than half of all traffic from PCs worldwide thanks to its vast user numbers. However, while it leads the pack by a sizeable margin it has lost some ground in recent months whilst one of its competitors is quickly gaining traction. Microsoft’s all-new Edge browser has been making progress since its reboot in January 2020 and is now the second most popular browser on the planet.
The latest set of figures from Statcounter have also revealed how many people have flocked to Microsoft Edge in recent months. The latest figures show that Edge now beats Mozilla’s Firefox in the global rankings for desktop browsing with an 8.03 percent share. That’s impressive growth considering Statcounter records Edge with a measly one percent share around one year ago.

Statcounter has also confirmed that Apple’s Safari software, which is preinstalled on all iPads, iPhones and Macs, is currently second with a 10 percent share. Google is, of course, way out in front with a whopping 67 percent share of all desktop browsing.

Although that may sound impressive, the number of people using Google Chrome to binge Netflix, shop online, browse social media and work has actually declined in the past four months. According to Statcounter, Chrome has lost around three percent of its users, which could be a sign that some users are switching to Edge.

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If you weren’t already aware, following its reboot early last year, Microsoft Edge is now based on the same Chromium platform as Google Chrome, which means it gets many of the features, updates and useful extensions found within Google’s own browser. However, despite sharing code – Edge isn’t simply a carbon copy of Chrome. There are a number of gains when using Edge over Chrome, with tests showing it’s faster and much better for battery life when browsing on Windows and Apple laptops.

Microsoft will now be looking to continue the charge with Edge coming pre-installed on all new Windows 10-powered PCs.

Microsoft is also moving to purge the previous version of Edge, which was built on the company’s own technology and was notoriously slow compared with the likes of Chrome and Safari, from PCs across the globe.

From April 13, Microsoft will release a monthly security patch for Windows 10 that will uninstall the previous unpopular Microsoft Edge from any PCs that still have a copy lying around on their hard drive. That could only go to boost the user numbers further and could give Google even more cause for concern.

Microsoft set to fix everything that's wrong with your Windows 10 PC

But thankfully it looks like April could – fingers crossed – see a change of fortunes for Windows 10 users.

As reported by BetaNews, at the end of last month the Redmond-based tech giant released an optional Windows 10 update.

Patch KB5000842 is available for Windows 10 version 2004 and Windows 10 20H2, and from the looks of it will fix tonnes of niggling issues with the world’s most popular desktop OS.

The patch – which is a preview of the download that will be released on the next Patch Tuesday bar any unexpected issues – addresses a litany of problems such as HDR monitor glitches that result in dark screens, crashes related to OneDrive and much more.

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The release of the upcoming Windows 10 patch was highlighted by the @WindowsUpdate Twitter which posted: “The March 2021 monthly “C” release preview update for Windows 10, version 20H2 and Windows 10, version 2004 is now available.”

This preview patch should get rolled out to everyone on the next Patch Tuesday which this month falls on Tuesday April 13.

And replying to the tweet from the Windows Update account, users have been tweeting their frustrations about past patches, and hopes that the next one will be different.

One tweeted: “Let’s hope nothing breaks this time.”

While another posted: “Hate these updates.Always cause problems. Can’t you go back to twice yearly.”

And one added: “These updates are so ridiculous. It made my PC so slow and won’t work basic things that worked before.”

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Interestingly, there is one other change that the next Patch Tuesday release will bring to the table.

The next Windows 10 update will accelerate the drive to move users onto the Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge, after the Legacy version reached its end of support on March 9.

The notes for the new Windows 10 update says: “Removes the Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop application that is out of support and installs the new Microsoft Edge”.

While Microsoft went into further detail about this change in an article which says: “In August 2020, we announced that support for the Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop application ends on March 9, 2021. After this date, Microsoft Edge Legacy will no longer receive security updates.

“To replace this out of support application, we are announcing that the new Microsoft Edge will be available as part of the Windows 10 cumulative monthly security update—otherwise referred to as the Update Tuesday (or “B”) release—on April 13, 2021. When you apply this update to your devices, the out of support Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop application will be removed and the new Microsoft Edge will be installed. The new Microsoft Edge offers built-in security and our best interoperability with the Microsoft security ecosystem, all while being more secure than Chrome for businesses on Windows 10.”

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We can’t believe Microsoft Teams has taken THIS LONG to get this overdue feature

“Native” notifications are the ones used by the operating system itself. As such, these will be stored in the notification bar – so your incoming messages from Microsoft Teams will be next to notifications about app updates, text messages from WhatsApp, emails, and more. This makes everything a little easier to keep organised.

Better yet, if you step away from your computer and miss a Teams alert then – with native notifications switched on, of course – you’ll be able to find it in the Windows action centre. Likewise, Mac notifications you’ve missed can be found in the notification menu, which is accessed with a swipe from right-to-left on your trackpad.

Another benefit to native notifications is these type of alerts adhere to Do Not Disturb and other core settings on your system. Before the latest update, Microsoft Teams messages would continue to ping and chime away – even if you’ve specifically switched on Do Not Disturb to have a few moments quite during a phone call, or a lunch break.

But while native notifications do bring plenty of benefits, some people prefer to have app notifications run separately from system alerts. This may be the case with a work-centric app such as Microsoft Teams.

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