Tag Archives: Windows

Surface Laptop Studio shows off Windows 11 with a trick no other laptop can do

MICROSOFT has taken the wraps off an all-new Surface laptop with a never-before-seen trick. The Surface Laptop Studio was designed to show-off Windows 11 and will launch worldwide next month. Here’s everything you need to know, including the best features and that all-important price.

Read more here Daily Express :: Tech Feed

New emoji are coming to iPhone, Android and Windows …but one is already controversial

Get ready to express yourself in a whole new way – 102 new ways, to be exact. That’s how many fresh emoji are coming to your smartphone, computer and web browser later this year. Draft versions of these all-new characters have been released to mark World Emoji Day on July 17, 2021 and you can already vote for your favourite.

New emoji are usually unveiled in March each year, however, this latest batch was delayed due to Covid. That means the designers have had a little bit longer to work on them and it seems to have paid off in some unusual and unique designs. Voting for the World Emoji Awards is now open and you can vote for any of the new emojis in the “Most Anticipated Emoji” category.

For some, the new uses cases for the characters are pretty obvious. You will be able to send a friendly handshake in 18 different skin tone variations, while a smart saluting emoji is perfect for those patriotic moments.

The sweet “heart hands” symbol is sure to become an instant favourite for sending support to loved ones. Another shows a face peering through its fingers – maybe cringing at a horror movie or car-crash reality show. The shiny new disco ball will be welcomed by fans of ABBA and Eurovision. A troll character could be used to point out bad behaviour on social media.

Others are a little more obscure. The “hand with eye” emoji is a “hamsa” symbol, which is popular throughout the Middle East as an amulet said to ward off the “evil eye”. We can’t see many uses for the x-ray, beans or ring buoy emojis, although the melting smiley will come in handy during heatwaves.

However, the most controversial by far has been the “pregnant man” and “pregnant person” characters, which have already sparked debate across the internet. One man said that despite the intended use, “I’m just gonna use it whenever I eat too much.” Another joked “this is the emoji you send your mate after drinking all evening and scranning a dirty kebab”.

Others said it was a gesture of inclusion to the few hundred transgender men who give birth every year. “Trans men can get pregnant, AND trans men are just as much as a man than those who are born in the right body,” wrote one Twitter user.

Love them or loathe them, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer to start using the new designs. At the moment the emoji are just proposals from Unicode, the organisation which creates and manages all official emoji.

The final versions will be approved in September this year. And because every vendor, like Apple, Samsung and Google, can choose how to display the symbols, they might end up looking a little bit different by the time you see them again.

In other emoji news, Microsoft has redesigned some old favourites for its Office range of products. Instead of a paperclip, users will see a miniature Clippy, the hated “virtual assistant” from Windows 97, which made a dramatic return this week. It has also created more colourful 3D versions of the other emojis, like the unicorn and smiley faces, with quirky new expressions.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Tech

Windows 10 users could pay a monthly fee to unlock Windows 11 on all of their devices

Microsoft is poised to offer a completely new way to get Windows running on your PC. Dubbed Windows 365, the Redmond-based company will begin allowing commercial customers the chance to subscribe for remote access to Windows 10, with an upgrade to Windows 11 as soon as it becomes available. Named after its hugely-successful Office 365 subscription, which lets users access applications like Word, Excel, Outlook across a multisite of devices for as long as they pay the monthly fee, Windows 365 will operate in a similar way.

So, rather than paying a set fee to download Windows 11, you’ll pay a smaller cost each month to gain access to the operating system. To begin, this scheme will only be available to commercial customers. Businesses will charged per user per month, rather than paying for each new installation of Windows on the company PCs, laptops and tablets handed out to employees.

“Windows 365 is a cloud service that introduces a new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11 for workers from interns and contractors to software developers and industrial designers,” Microsoft 365 general manager Wangui McKelvey explains.

“Windows 365 takes the operating system to the Microsoft Cloud, securely streaming the full Windows experience—including all your apps, data, and settings—to your personal or corporate devices. This approach creates a fully new personal computing category, specifically for the hybrid world: the Cloud PC.” 

Following the launch of Windows 10, which Microsoft heralded at the time as the “last version of Windows”, many assumed the immensely-popular operating system would move to a subscription model. Software giant Adobe has enjoyed huge success with its Creative Cloud subscription – as has Microsoft with its Office 365 option for enterprise and consumers.

As well as the lack of individual software licenses for each device, there are some other advantages to Windows 365 over the traditional approach.

According to Microsoft, since the computers in its server farm are doing most of the heavy lifting, Windows 365 will provide an “instant-on boot experience”. Not only that, but it works with virtually all devices, including Macs, iPads, Linux PCs, and Android tablets and smartphones.

Microsoft will remember the last state of the operating system too, so that each time you sign in – you’ll pick up exactly where you left off. That’s true regardless of whether you’re logging back into the same machine, or picking up a new one. The ability to move from desktop PC in the office, to laptop on the train home – and have the same documents, files, and half-drafted email open and ready to go is sure to be a hit with users.

Windows 365 will be available to companies of all sizes from August 2, 2021. Unfortunately, there’s no word on pricing quite yet.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Tech

Remember Clippy? Microsoft’s most hated Windows feature is making a surprise comeback

The set of retro backgrounds was created by Microsoft’s designers to add some excitement to remote working and video calls, because “a little trip down memory lane can be good for the soul”.

The other three images are similar throwbacks. The classic time-killing card game Solitaire, which since its release in 1990 has been one of the most-played video games of all time, has been recreated in 3D. An homage to old-school creative app Microsoft Paint shows a brush escaping to smear paint across the virtual walls.

The best might be the recreation of the Windows XP default wallpaper, which shows gently rolling hills and a bright blue sky. The new version has included a sprinkling of tiny dandelions – perfect to soothe nerves during stressful meetings.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Tech

Windows 11 promised to improve battery life but instead, it’s making it worse

Later in 2021 Microsoft will unleash its new Windows 11 operating system with this software giving PCs a new look and plenty of bonus features such as a rebooted Start Menu, info-packed widgets and something called Snap Layouts which helps organise the windows on the screen faster. At its launch last month, Microsoft also boasted that users should see improved performance, faster software updates and better battery life for anyone working on a laptop.

However, right now, that power boost seems far from reality. An early version of Windows 11 has just been released via the Insider programme and some early adopters who have already downloaded this new version of Windows are not exactly seeing improved life from their batteries. In fact, some are suggesting that things are actually worse than when using Windows 10.

Posting messages on Reddit, one Windows 11 user said: “So I noticed this issue after upgrading to 11. My laptop went from working from 3-4 hours on casual use, which is good enough for a gaming laptop, to now barely an hour or 1.5 hours max. Has anyone else faced this issue on their laptop with this build?”

In response, one Microsoft fan said: ‘Getting that issue too, on Windows 10 I get around 4hrs of usage on my laptop, after using the Dev build of windows 11 I get only around 2hours.”

And another added: “Same here. Heavy draining. It’s getting warm during normal tasks. Maybe because win 11 is using more of the CPU than in win 10.”

READ MORE: This first-of-its-kind Android smartphone has just taken everyone by surprise

And the broken search bar isn’t the only headache for beta-testers.

Other known issues, acknowledged by Microsoft, in the current beta version are…

• System text scaling will scale all widgets proportionally and may result in cropped widgets

• Taskbar will not be shown across multiple monitors but will return in an upcoming build

• The preview window may not display the entire window when hovering over Task View on the taskbar

• A small set of Settings legacy pages as well as fit and finish bugs will be addressed in future releases

• When using Quick Settings to modify Accessibility settings, the settings UI may not save the selected state

• The install button might not be functional yet in some limited scenarios in the Windows Store

• Rating and reviews are not available for some apps

Windows 10 users hit by ‘nightmare’ bug that’s giving them an impossible choice to make

That’s now leaving Windows 10 users with a huge headache as it appears the only other way to fix the issue is to uninstall the vital KB5004945 update.

“We are seeing the same problems and the only solution right now is to uninstall the update,” said one user on Zebra’s forum page.

Clearly, uninstalling KB5004945, will mean users are able to print again but it will then leave their PC open to attack from hackers.

As Microsoft explains: “A remote code execution vulnerability exists when the Windows Print Spooler service improperly performs privileged file operations. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.”

Author: David Snelling
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Tech

Windows 10 fans get the best news yet about upgrading to Windows 11

Windows 11 will launch later this year with Microsoft packing a swathe of new features into this blockbuster upgrade. Those making the switch will be treated to a swathe of features and upgrades including a new Start Menu, easy access to info-packed widgets and improved integration with Microsoft Teams.

Windows 11 users will also find it easier to keep their PCs updated thanks to downloads that are 40 percent smaller and Microsoft is boasting that laptops could see improved battery life thanks to better efficiency.

If all that sounds exciting then expect more news on when you can upgrade later in the year. However, if you are nervous about making the jump to Windows 11 then there’s good news as it appears there will be an easy way to ditch it if you hate it.

As spotted by the team at Windowslatest, it seems Microsoft and some PC manufacturers may offer the option to switch back to Windows 10 if you can’t bear the new design and features packed inside Windows 11.

READ MORE: Windows 10 fans confused and angry as Windows 11 won’t work on their PCs

A support document posted by Lenovo confirms that a rollback feature will be available when Windows 11 launches that will offer an easy way to get the old OS back on your laptop.

“Once you have upgraded to Windows 11, you have 10 days to utilize the rollback function to move back to Windows 10 while keeping files and data that you brought along with you. After that 10-day period, you will need to back up your data and do a “clean install” to move back to Windows 10,” Lenovo explains.

It’s unclear if this option will be available to all users or if it’s something exclusively available to Lenovo owners but it could certainly offer some comfort for those who are worried about moving to Windows 11.

News of this rollback function comes as Microsoft recently revealed that not everyone will be able to switch to Windows 11 in the first place.

That’s because this new software needs something called a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip to work.

This piece of hardware makes things far more secure and it seems Microsoft wants Windows 11 to be safer for people to use.

As Microsoft explains, “Trusted Platform Module (TPM) technology is designed to provide hardware-based, security-related functions. A TPM chip is a secure crypto-processor that is designed to carry out cryptographic operations. The chip includes multiple physical security mechanisms to make it tamper resistant, and malicious software is unable to tamper with the security functions of the TPM.”

It appears that any PC running a processor that’s older than 8th Gen Intel Core and AMD Ryzen 2000 will not work. That means an expensive trip to the local gadget shop to buy a new computer.

Author: David Snelling
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Tech

Windows 10 warning: Microsoft releases another critical update – download it immediately

Microsoft is acting fast to fix a shocking new bug that could give hackers full control of Windows-powered PCs. The PrintNightmare bug only surfaced a few days ago but it’s so serious that the US technology firm has already begun releasing updates that must be installed without delay.

The first batch of fixes was pushed out to users on July 6 with the majority of PCs being targeted by the security update. However, a number of versions of the Windows operating system were not included in the release meaning many users were still vulnerable to the attack. These included Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10, Version 1607.

Luckily, anyone using that software can now breathe a sigh of relief with Microsoft confirming that it has now patched those operating systems as well.

In an updated post on its security page, Microsoft said: “The security update for Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10, Version 1607 have been released. Please see the Security Updates table for the applicable update for your system. We recommend that you install these updates immediately. If you are unable to install these updates, see the FAQ and Workaround sections in this CVE for information on how to help protect your system from this vulnerability.”

As Microsoft explains: “A remote code execution vulnerability exists when the Windows Print Spooler service improperly performs privileged file operations. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could run arbitrary code with SYSTEM privileges. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.”

The initial threat was discovered by cybersecurity researchers at Sangfor with the team finding an issue residing within the Windows Print Spooler service.

If you haven’t updated your Windows PC then do not delay as it could leave your personal data exposed to hackers.

Author: David Snelling
Read more here >>> Daily Express :: Life and Style
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Taking Microsoft’s Windows 11 for a Test Drive

A mobile-inspired overhaul makes Microsoft’s newest operating system feel equally modern and unoriginal.

For tech reviewers, critiquing a new operating system is something of an absurd ritual.

It’s like being a professional house inspector who delivers a report that always goes like this: Here’s what you need to know about the home you are about to move into. Some parts are great, but there are major problems. You’re moving in anyway, though, so you’re going to have to learn to live with it.

That’s because operating systems are essentially where your digital life takes place. If you own a personal computer made to run Windows, you’re probably going to keep using the next version of Windows no matter how good or bad it is.

That’s how I felt as I tried out Windows 11, Microsoft’s first big operating system update in six years. The company has marketed it as a new start to Windows with a modern, people-centric design. (Not new is how tech companies constantly remind us that their products were designed for users, as opposed to being for my Labrador retriever.) The software will be a free update for many Windows personal computers this holiday season.

New to Windows are tools for productivity, like the ability to instantly shrink and reorganize windows, and support for mobile Android apps. Yet Windows 11 is ultimately an evolution. While there are improvements, parts of it feel frustratingly familiar.

I tested an early, unfinished version of Windows 11 for a week. There are some highs, like a design that makes the software behave similarly to mobile devices, and some lows, like the dated concept of widgets, which are essentially miniature apps that live inside a dashboard on your screen.

Here’s my inspection report summing up the good, the meh and the ugly.

The Good

Taking Microsoft’s Windows 11 for a Test Drive
Brian X. Chen / The New York Times

Microsoft executives have called Windows 11 a new start to personal computing that centers on people. The corny wordplay was intended to highlight the biggest design change in Windows: The iconic Start button, which has traditionally been squeezed into the bottom-left corner, has shifted toward the bottom center. And no longer does the Start button load a list of settings and apps; it shows a folder of your apps.

This is the same interface we use on Apple and Android smartphones and tablets, which showcase a tray of important apps at the bottom center of the screen. Still, it’s a welcome change. The Start button in previous versions of Windows opened a laundry list of apps and settings that felt tedious to scroll through.

Brian X. Chen/The New York Times

The most interesting new design change is a feature called Snap Layouts, which I loved. In the upper-right corner of an app, when you hover your mouse cursor over the maximize-window button, a grid opens up to show different arrangements that automatically shrink down or reposition the app.

So if you want to reposition an app window so that it takes up only the left side of the screen, you click on the corresponding icon to snap it into that position. That’s much quicker than moving a window and dragging a corner to the proper size.

The Meh

Brian X. Chen / The New York Times

Many additions to Windows 11, including support for Android apps, were designed to keep people in the flow on their machines, said Yusuf Mehdi, a Microsoft executive. When you order an Uber, for instance, you no longer have to pick up an Android phone to summon the car and can do it directly from the Uber app on the Windows machine.

Yet many of the new features didn’t keep me in the flow.

One of them is the ability to create multiple desktop spaces, which Microsoft calls Task Views. The idea is that you can have a desktop screen for each aspect of your life. One desktop could be devoted to work and show shortcuts to your email and calendar apps. Another could be devoted to your personal life and show shortcuts to all your games.

This all sounds good, but divvying up my life into separate desktop screens quickly felt irksome. Switching to a specific screen and looking for the right app to launch took much more time than using the search tool to quickly find and open an app.

Windows 11 also reintroduces the widget, a concept that Apple and Google operating systems have long used. Widgets are basically a lightweight app that always remains open, like a weather app, a calendar or a stock ticker, so that you can instantly glance at important information. To view widgets, you click a button that shows a drawer of all of them running side by side.

I never got into the habit of using widgets on any of my smartphones or computers because they feel superfluous — and it was the same with Windows 11. Widgets show a bite-size amount of information, like a truncated view of your calendar to show the current date and your next appointment. But whenever I checked my calendar widget, I ended up wanting to open my full calendar app anyway to see all my events for the month.

Microsoft plans to allow Windows 11 users to have access to Amazon’s app store for downloading Android apps. This was not available yet to test, but I predict it could bust your flow with widgets. Let’s say you love a great Android to-do-list app and add all your tasks in there. If the same app isn’t also available as a widget, you won’t be able to view your to-do list in the widgets dashboard. Why bother with widgets?

The Ugly

These are still early days, since Windows 11 is officially due for release in the holiday season and much about the software is subject to change. But one issue that is unlikely to change is that for security reasons, personal computers must, at a minimum, include fairly recent chips from Intel and AMD to install Windows 11.

That means millions of computers running Windows 10 on older hardware, including some that are a few years old, will not be able to run Windows 11. So at some point, those users will have to buy new computers to gain the stronger security benefits and new features in the operating system.

In other words, unlike past updates that have been free, Windows 11 may mean you have to pay for a truck to move into a house that feels quite familiar, with some new window dressing.

Author: Brian X. Chen
Read more here >>> NYT > Technology > Personal Tech