All the best new Windows 11 features and how to use them

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CNET 28 June, 2021 - 05:00am 22 views

How do you get Windows 11?

Most users will go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and clicking Check for Updates. If available, you'll see Feature update to Windows 11. Click Download and install. CNETWindows 11: Price, compatibility, release date and features for Microsoft's new update

Does Windows 11 require TPM?

TPM 2.0 was only released in 2019, suggesting that PCs made prior to that year may be incompatible with Windows 11. In an email to CRN on Friday, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that “TPM 2.0 is a minimum requirement; Windows 11 will not install without it.” CRNMicrosoft Now Says Windows 11 TPM Requirement Is For Version 2.0 CRN 2 hrs ago

When does Windows 11 roll out?

Upgrades to Windows 11 will begin to roll out late in 2021 and continue into 2022. During this time, we will be doing some behind-the-scenes testing and validating for your specific PC. Windows Update will provide an indication if and when your PC is eligible. You can check by going to Settings/Windows Update. microsoft.comUpgrade to the New Windows 11 OS

Watch the June 24Windows 11 event right here

While the dust is still settling on the news of Windows 11, the big story that is now dominating this discussion is not the UI, but rather can your PC get the free upgrade this fall? It's a sharp turn from the "Windows 11 is just a skinned update" a week ago, as now many people are salty that they may not be able to get the OS revision.

Of course, as usual, Microsoft is its own worst enemy here. While strict TPM 2.0 requirements have some weight to them, the seemingly arbitrary processor restrictions are the real mystery. And Microsoft's own PC Health Check app, which lets you know if you can get the update, seems more like an afterthought.

Step in the bright community at GitHub. A new open-sourced app called "WhyNotWin11," spotted by XDA, is available to download. While that app sets flags off for the Windows 10 "App & browser control," it also does much more than Microsoft's attempt.

Once you override your computer's security concerns (the app is not signed, so Microsoft Defender SmartScreen steps in), the app is barebones and to the point. WhyNotWin11 delivers a much more comprehensive look at where your PC may be lacking when it comes to Windows 11.

There are 11 categories the app checks against, including boot type, CPU architecture, generation, DirectX support, RAM, Secure Boot, and TPM Minimum, to name a few. The specificity of the CPU information – architecture, generation, core count, and frequency – goes much further than the PC Health Check app.

One crucial feature the app has is the ability to check for updates. As noted on the GitHub page, Microsoft recently revised the so-called "hard" and "soft" floor for Windows 11, and version 2.1 of the app reflects those changes. However, we expect Microsoft to clarify the reasoning behind the processor limits in a new blog post, perhaps as early as Monday, so these "requirements" may change soon.

For now, at least you can dig deeper into any potential limits on your PC. Microsoft has four months before Windows 11 gets a general release, so let us see how this all shakes out. My hunch is we'll see some changes very soon.

Forget Microsoft's hobbled PC Check App as WhyNotWin11 gives many more specifics about why your PC may not get the free Windows 11 upgrade later this year. The open-sourced app is free and gets updated based on Microsoft's own documentation.

Windows 11 brings a significant new feature: the ability to run Android apps directly within the OS. While users can get Android apps through the Amazon store, it has now been confirmed that, yes, you can also just sideload your favorite Android APK too 🙌

Windows 11 doesn’t have too many strict hardware requirements to run well, but Microsoft has thrown down the gauntlet on security. A Trusted Platform Module (TPM) is required, and what that means is causing a lot of confusion for some users. Here is what we know so far.

Microsoft appears to be taking privacy for granted in Windows 11, and that could become a big problem for the OS's messaging moving forward.

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Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007 back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Surface, laptops, and modern computing. Follow him on Twitter: @daniel_rubino.

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Microsoft Is Now Worth $2 Trillion -- Here's How It Gets to $3 Trillion

The Motley Fool 29 June, 2021 - 02:55am

Founded in 1993 by brothers Tom and David Gardner, The Motley Fool helps millions of people attain financial freedom through our website, podcasts, books, newspaper column, radio show, and premium investing services.

Two years ago, Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) market cap topped $1 trillion for the first time. On June 24, it ended the trading day with a market cap of over $2 trillion.

A company's market cap, which is calculated by multiplying its number of outstanding shares by its stock price, isn't a useful investing metric on its own. However, it's still remarkable for Microsoft -- one of the world's largest software companies -- to double in value in such a short time.

Let's look back at how Microsoft made the leap from $1 trillion to $2 trillion, and what it would take for the tech giant to cross the $3 trillion mark.

When Satya Nadella became Microsoft's third CEO in Feb. 2014, the company was worth just over $300 billion. At the time, Microsoft was struggling to integrate Nokia's smartphone unit in a desperate bid to save its embattled Windows Phone OS. Its Windows and Office businesses faced uneven upgrade cycles, and many users stuck with outdated versions of its desktop software.

Microsoft also didn't have a significant presence in the growing cloud services market, even as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) expanded AWS (Amazon Web Services) and salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) aggressively replaced desktop-based enterprise software with cloud-based services.

In other words, Microsoft had fallen behind the tech curve under Nadella's predecessor Steve Ballmer, who infamously proclaimed there was "no chance" Apple's iPhone would ever succeed.

When Nadella took the helm, he introduced a fresh "mobile-first, cloud-first" mantra. Under his watch, Microsoft ditched Windows Phone and developed mobile apps for iOS and Android instead. It transformed Office's desktop software into cloud-based services, which locked in users with subscriptions, and expanded Azure into the world's second-largest cloud infrastructure platform after AWS.

In 2015, Microsoft launched Windows 10 as the foundation of its "last" desktop OS, which would be continuously updated online and monetized with its app store and additional features. Windows 11, which was recently announced, will be offered as a free upgrade for all Windows 10 users.

The company also launched new Surface devices and Xbox consoles and expanded its gaming ecosystem with subscription-based downloads and a cloud gaming platform.

Between fiscal 2014 and fiscal 2020, which ended last July, Microsoft's commercial cloud revenue -- which primarily comes from Office 365 (now known as Microsoft 365), Dynamics, and Azure -- rose from $2.8 billion to $51.7 billion.

That astounding expansion -- which was fed by big partnerships, investments, and acquisitions (including the purchase of LinkedIn in 2016) -- boosted its total revenue from $86.8 billion in 2014 to $143 billion in 2020. Analysts expect Microsoft's revenue to rise another 16% to $166.2 billion this year.

Nadella's "mobile-first, cloud-first" approach initially squeezed the company's margins, but it clearly paid off and made it an exciting growth stock again. That's why Microsoft is now worth $2 trillion.

Microsoft's market cap doubled between 2017 and 2019, then doubled again between 2019 and 2021. To get to $3 trillion, its stock only needs to rise another 50% -- which could certainly happen within the next two years, for three simple reasons.

First, the global cloud services market could still grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.4% between 2020 to 2027, according to Allied Market Research. If Microsoft keeps pace with the market, its commercial cloud revenue should continue rising at high double-digit percentage rates and account for an even higher percentage of its top line.

Azure will continue to attract customers, especially retailers, as the top alternative to AWS. And the growing need for data storage and AI solutions will tether those customers more tightly to its platform.

Dynamics won't usurp Salesforce as the customer relationship management (CRM) leader, but it will profit from the same secular digitization of businesses. Microsoft 365 should also reinforce its leading position in the productivity software market with its sticky subscriptions. Windows 11 will keep all its users on the same page and enable it to roll out new services as smoothly as Apple and Alphabet's Google.

Second, Microsoft's gaming business will continue to grow as it introduces new Xbox consoles, expands its cloud gaming platform, and acquires more publishers like Bethesda to develop exclusive first-party games. Microsoft could gradually also remove the gaming boundaries between Windows PCs and Xbox consoles with more local streaming and cloud gaming options.

Lastly, Microsoft will continue to expand into next-gen markets. Its HoloLens augmented reality headset, for example, will likely pave the way for new consumer-oriented devices -- which will diversify its hardware business and expand its reach far beyond PCs and mobile devices.

Simply put, Microsoft is no longer in danger of falling behind the tech curve. Nadella steered the company ahead of the curve, and its momentum could propel its valuation past $3 trillion in the near future.

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What do we think of Windows 11? Plus, McAfee and Nintendo cap a big week in tech

USA TODAY 29 June, 2021 - 02:55am

After much speculation, and a reported leak, Microsoft finally unveiled Windows 11, the next step for its longstanding operating system.

A link has been sent to your friend's email address.

A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.

We now have a window into the future of Windows.

After much speculation, and a reported leak, Microsoft finally unveiled Windows 11, the next step for its longstanding operating system.

Windows 11 will be available this holiday, and expected to work on PCs running Windows 10 and all newer PCs. It's also going to be a free upgrade.

Obviously, impressions of Windows 11 are limited to what Microsoft has shown thus far, but it's clear Microsoft is taking steps to make sure its latest PC software is not only easier to use, but supports everything you need.

It's certainly come a long way from Windows 1.0 when it launched more than 35 years ago. There's the one-two punch of Microsoft's redesigned Store and the inclusion of Android apps as part of a partnership with Amazon. 

You also have tweaks to Windows' Snap functionality, allowing users to decide the layout of your apps on screen, and easily swap between layouts (like if you have a work profile versus personal).

We'll keep you posted on all things Windows 11 when it eventually lands on PCs. In the meantime ...

• John McAfee found dead. The eccentric entrepreneur who started a cybersecurity company bearing his name was found dead inside a jail cell in Spain after a court approved his extradition to the U.S. on tax-related charges.

• Remember Beeple? He's the artist who netted $69 million after auctioning his art as an NFT. His next project? An NFT venture called WENEW

• Speaking of NFTs. Charities are adopting them in hopes they'll become a new way to donate to worthy causes. And we before we forget to mention it, USA TODAY has its first NFT, too.

Hoping Nintendo will release a new version of its Switch video game console? Don't get too excited. It looks highly unlikely. One reason? Much like the new PlayStation 5 from Sony and Microsoft's Xbox Series X, the Switch has been very popular.

On the Talking Tech podcast, we talk about the new Beats Studio Buds, life after Amazon's Prime Day, and more on Windows 11.

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Fast Charge: Android apps on Windows have a lot to prove

TrustedReviews 29 June, 2021 - 02:55am

But that wasn’t really the case. While something of a buggy mess, the Windows 11 launch event showcased lots we didn’t already know about. Deeper Teams integration, auto-HDR in the Xbox app and, arguably most surprising, Android app support.

Android apps will run natively on Windows 11 when it launches towards the end of 2021 and they can be snapped alongside other apps and pinned to the new centrally-located taskbar.

While you’d probably expect a partnership with Google to underpin all this, it’s actually Amazon’s own App Store that brings these Android apps to Windows.

Now, this sounds great on paper. You’ll be able to find these apps directly through the Windows Store and while Amazon’s App Store doesn’t have the breadth of Google Play, there are still big services like Tik Tok and Uber to name but two.

But I have been excited by mobile apps on a laptop/desktop computer before, and had to learn the hard way that apps built for smaller displays don’t always translate well to the bigger screen.

Apple, for instance, allowed developers to run iPhone and iPad apps on Macs powered by the M1 chip. You’ve also been able to run Android apps on Chromebooks for a few years now – neither of these solutions work very well.

I’ve reviewed a couple of M1 Macs now, including the very good iMac 2021, and I have very little desire to use iPhone apps on it after trying a few. First off are the obvious issues: these apps are designed for small displays and ones that have touch as the main input. They’re also just far too buggy, which is probably why many developers skip this option altogether.

It’s a very similar story of Chrome OS. Apps here feel just as jerry-rigged to work on a bigger display as they do on an iMac, and the bugs are even more prevalent. It sounds great being able to use all these apps, but the reality is nothing feels quite right.

If Android Apps, via the Amazon App Store, are to be anything more than a fancy feature to use in Windows 11 marketing, then these issues need to be fixed – and at this stage, it’s up in the air whether that’ll be the case.

What I do like is how Microsoft is playing into the fact these apps are designed for smaller displays. The demo of Tik Tok being snapped to the side alongside another, more traditional, app makes sense and understands the size of the mobile app.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft’s Chief Product Officer Panos Panay said it would invite other Android app stores onto Windows so this does look like a strong focus going forward.

To get these apps working, Microsoft is using Intel’s Bridge tech so it stands that how well this functions will impact how well an app performs.

More apps on Windows is, of course, great news and the functionality so far looks good. But I have yet to be impressed by any other mobile app on either macOS and Chome OS so there’s still a lot that needs to be done to convince me of this is the future.

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