Articles about Microsoft

Forget buggy Windows 10, Windows 7 2020 Edition is the Microsoft operating system we need!

Windows 10 is a good operating system, for the most part, but it’s not without its problems -- I covered just some of these here on the eve of its 5th birthday at the end of July. It seems every new update Microsoft rolls out these days introduces fresh annoyances. No wonder millions of people are still sticking with Windows 7, even though that OS is no longer supported.

For many people, Windows 10 is the operating system they have to use, but not the one they want to. With that in mind, it's not hard to see the appeal of this remastered Windows 7 2020 Edition.

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Microsoft releases KB4497165 and KB4558130 microcode updates for Windows 10 to fix Intel security flaws

New Intel logo

Earlier in the year, Intel announced that it had completed software validations on fixes for a series of security flaws affecting many of its processors discovered a couple of years ago. Now Microsoft, in conjunction with the chip-maker, released microcode updates for Windows 10 to fix these issues.

The four problems are connected to the now-infamous Spectre and Meltdown flaws from 2018. They relate to problems with the speculative execution function of many chips, and could allow for sensitive data to leak.

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Microsoft launches Expressive Pixels app to help you create animations

Microsoft has launched a new open source app for Windows 10 which has been designed to help users create and share animated content. The company says that the primary target for these animations is small, third-party LED panels but Microsoft Expressive Pixels can also be used to turn creations into animated GIFs which can be used in a variety of ways online.

While animations can be as simple or as complex as you like, the tools you're presented with in the app serve to make the entire creation process as easy as possible. It does not really matter if you have never used an animation tool previously, as Microsoft Expressive Pixels works very much like a standard image editing tool, albeit it one that lets you easily build up a series of frames into a looping ?animation.

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Microsoft releases KB4571744 update to fix lots of Windows 10 problems

Microsoft building in California

Microsoft has released a new non-security update for Windows 10 version 2004. KB4571744 for Windows 10 May 2020 Update was previously delayed, and it is designed for testing purposes; it will be included in a future cumulative update.

But what is notable about the KB4571744 update is the sheer number of issues it fixes. Among the problems the update addresses are issues with blurry screens, problems with Windows Update itself, and it also fixes an issues that resulted in SSDs being defragmented too frequently.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

Four-hundred-and-two in a series.?Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Microsoft Store in the past seven days.

Microsoft announced this week that it is bringing the Direct Storage API to Windows 10 to boost game loading times significantly on devices with supported NVMe storage solutions.

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Microsoft releases two new PowerToys builds and adds new 'Video conference global mute' utility

PowerToys

It seems like it has been a little while since Microsoft made any significant changes to PowerToys for Windows 10, but now the company has pushed out a pair of new releases.

For people who want to stick with the more stable releases, there is PowerToys v0.21.1 which is largely about bug fixes and addressing stability issues. For anyone looking for new PowerToys utilities, however, there is the "experimental" version 0.22.0 which features a new 'Video conference global mute' tool.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Build 20206 with an evolved Emoji Picker and other new features

Dev Channel releases are where new Windows 10 features arrive first, and Build 20206 comes with a collection of input extras which Microsoft says will help users better communicate using text and voice on their devices.

This new build sees improvements to the Emoji Picker, unifying features and introducing new capabilities.

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Microsoft is bringing the DirectStorage API to Windows 10 to speed up gaming

Game controller

Microsoft is taking steps to improve game performance in Windows 10 by implementing some of the Velocity Architecture used by the Xbox Series X.

Specifically, Microsoft is bringing the DirectStorage API to Windows 10 to help overcome NVMe bandwidth bottlenecks. With compatible hardware, the change will not only mean that games load faster, but also that graphics can be even more detailed.

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Microsoft blocks the installation of Windows 10 version 2004 on laptops with?LTE modems

Colorful Microsoft logo

Microsoft is blocking the installation of Windows 10 version 2004 on laptops with LTE modems. The company is investigating why the May 2020 Update is causing connectivity problems for some systems with such modems.

Microsoft has acknowledged that "certain WWAN LTE modems might not be able to connect after waking from sleep" and has implemented a block on the update to prevent more people from suffering connectivity issues. The company has also issued advice for anyone who has already installed Windows 10 version 2004.

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Microsoft pushes out KB4023057 yet again to force Windows 10 feature updates

Microsoft building in California

Many of the updates and patches Microsoft releases for Windows 10 prove to be unpopular, usually because of the new problems they can introduce. But with the KB4023057 update, people have another reason to consider avoiding installing it.

KB4023057 has been pushed out by Microsoft several times before, and the company has just started to push it again. The aim of the patch is to address issues that have been preventing some people from upgrading to newer versions of Windows 10, and also override any blocks that users have put in place to stop feature updates from being installed. The problem is that there are many people with good reason to stick with an older build of Windows 10, but KB4023057 is ready to ride roughshod over such plans.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

Four-hundred-and-one in a series.?Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Microsoft Store in the past seven days.

The next feature update for Windows 10, version 20H2, is already available for download. While it is usually better to wait, those interested in installing the update right away may check out Mark's guide on how to do that.

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Microsoft releases Windows Terminal Preview 1.3 with advanced tab switcher, new commands and more

Windows Terminal

Microsoft has released two new updates to the Windows Terminal app, starting off with version 1.2 for the main release.

But for those looking to try out the very latest features, the newly launched Windows Terminal Preview 1.3 is probably of more interest. A raft of new features and options have been added including a command palette and an advanced tab switcher for easier navigation.

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Microsoft will support Windows 10 version 1803 until 2021 because of Coronavirus

Colorful Microsoft logo

In light of the Coronavius pandemic, Microsoft has thrown a lifeline to people who are doggedly hanging on to older versions of Windows.

Some people running Windows 10 version 1803 (also called Windows 10 April 2018 Update) have been granted an extra six months of support. ?Version 1803 of the operating system will now reach end of service in 2021 rather than this year, but the extension does not apply to everyone.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Build 20201 to Dev Channel

It’s not going to be too long until Microsoft starts to roll out Windows 10 20H2 to users -- in fact you can already install the feature update now, should you choose to.

Insiders that prefer to be on the cutting edge today get a new Dev Channel build to play around with, although this one is mostly about fixes and general improvements.

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Celebrate 25 years of Microsoft Windows 95 by running it on Windows 10, macOS or Linux -- here's how

Windows 95

If you’re looking for a way to feel particularly old, the news that Windows 95 was released a quarter of a century ago today should do it. You can read my recollections of its launch here.

If that’s not enough nostalgia for you, why not experience Microsoft’s game changing OS for yourself, by running Slack developer Felix Rieseberg’s app version.

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