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Lifehacker 16 July, 2021 - 11:00am 39 views

Is Windows 11 released?

Windows 11 isn't here yet, but will be coming later this year. If you're excited, there are some things you can do in the meantime to get ready. microsoft.comUpgrade to the New Windows 11 OS

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

BetaNews 16 July, 2021 - 12:00pm

Four-hundred-forty-six 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 plans to release Windows 11 and Windows 10 version 21H2 later this year. If you intend to stay on Windows 10 for the time being, check out Sofia's article on the changes in the new Windows 10 feature update.

Windows 7 and 8.1 devices can't be upgraded to Windows 11 directly. Options include upgrading to Windows 10 first before upgrading to Windows 11, or doing a clean install, provided that the system requirements are met.

As always, if I've missed an app or game that has been released this week that you believe is particularly good, let me know in the comments below or notify me via email.

The following list is a selection of the best deals. Make sure you check out the Store for all offers.

Some apps are discounted for more than one week. Only new apps and games are listed below. Check out the previous post in the series for past offers that may still be valid.

Darker is a simple program that assists you in changing between light and dark themes. It adds an icon to the system tray that you may click on to toggle the theme type.

The system and application theme is changed by default, but you may configure that to affect only one of them if you prefer.

Kdenlive is a free cross-platform open source video editor that is available for Linux, BSD and now also Windows.

It supports features such as multi-track video editing, support for all major and many uncommon audio and video formats, a titling and DVD authoring tool, lots of effects and transitions, proxy editing, automatic backups and a lot more.

TikTok can now be installed from the Microsoft Store. The official app is a PWA that offers the same features and functionality as TikTok's website.

Browse, search and watch TikTok content, or sign-in to use account-specific features to upload and edit videos to the service.

Adobe Photoshop Express for Windows 10 update introduces a Blur effect tool.

Hiren's BootCD's base has been updated to Windows 10 version 21H1. The boot CD includes a boot environment and tools that you may run, e.g. to check for viruses, manage partitions, copy files, or run tests on the system.

UltraUXThemePatcher, a program to enable the installation of third-party themes, is now compatible with Windows 11 and Windows 21H1.

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Microsoft reveals first Windows 365 pricing for PCs in the cloud

The Verge 16 July, 2021 - 12:00pm

More pricing options will be available on August 2nd

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The pricing option was revealed during a Microsoft Inspire session yesterday, as the company demonstrated how businesses can sign up to the service. For the $31 monthly subscription, Microsoft offers two CPUs, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. This is part of the Windows 365 Business option, designed for businesses with fewer than 300 overall users.

“This is pricing for just one SKU. Microsoft will have many more options, both in terms of configurations and price points, to share when the product becomes generally available on August 2nd,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge.

It’s difficult to compare this pricing directly to Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop offerings or even competitors like Citrix and Amazon WorkSpaces, as there are often additional charges for compute power or bandwidth used. Microsoft has designed Windows 365 to be simple for businesses to access, and the pricing structure includes all license entitlements, usage, and compute.

Citrix offers virtual desktop access for around $30 per month, but the pricing varies depending on the length of contract and number of users. Amazon offers a virtual Windows PC with two CPUs, 4GB of memory, and 50GB of storage for $35 per month.

Pricing aside, Microsoft has also offered some more details on Windows 365, including the various PC configurations and supported features. Here’s what businesses will be able to pick from:

Each Cloud PC will also be able to access an impressive internet connection, with 10Gbps download speeds and 4Gbps upload speeds. Microsoft is also exploring the option to redirect video and other multimedia in virtual sessions. Naturally, the best way to experience Windows 365 will be through connecting from an existing Windows PC since features like multiple monitors (up to 16), USB, Teams AV redirection, and support for scanners will only be available if you’re connecting from Windows.

Microsoft is planning to launch Windows 365 fully on August 2nd, so we’ll know all pricing options in less than three weeks time.

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OnPodcast Episode 41 Teaser: Cloud PC, Windows 10 21H2

OnMSFT.com 16 July, 2021 - 12:00pm

First off, we'll be talking about Windows 10 21H2, which Microsoft recently confirmed as the second update for Windows 10 this calendar year. We'll also shift our attention to Windows 365 and Cloud PC, which is Microsoft's way of bringing Windows to the cloud for enterprise and business users. Finally, we'll showcase Microsoft's new emojis, and even talk about Clippy being resurrected from the dead.

As is our specialty, we also have our Fast Recap and Week Ahead segments. In Fas Recap, we'll speed through the details of the latest Windows 11 build, then switch over to talk about a Teams preview app and some new filters which could make you look better on your calls. Meanwhile, in Week Ahead, our Kareem Anderson will talk about some new accessories he has in for review and a look back at the history of Windows 10 on its 6th birthday.

OnPodcast airs on YouTube every Sunday at 12PM ET/9 AM PT. Add our playlist to your bookmarks so you can catch up on all our episodes, and see the latest episode when it's live.

Also check us out on Spotify, SoundCloud, and our other platforms via the links above our post. Thanks as always for watching and listening to us. We hope to see you on Sunday!

Nunavut lights up the north with Windows 365

Microsoft 365 16 July, 2021 - 12:00pm

Now that Windows is in the cloud, what about the Mac?

Computerworld 16 July, 2021 - 12:00pm

Appleholic, (noun), æp·əl-hɑl·ɪk: An imaginative person who thinks about what Apple is doing, why and where it is going. Delivering popular Apple-related news, advice and entertainment since 1999.

Microsoft has put Windows online with Windows 365, which means any Mac, iPad, iPhone, or even Linux user can run a a virtualized PC in the cloud. Can, and should, Apple do something similar?

Windows 365 will let you run Windows as a service in the cloud on your choice of device. When you move between devices, you’ll always find your cloud PC just as you last used it, which enables you to work on the device most convenient to you at any time.

You access the cloud PC using a web browser or native app, and the service requires fewer technical skills than it takes to run Azure Virtual Desktop. “Windows 365 provides an instant-on boot experience that enables users to stream all their personalized applications, tools, data, and settings from the cloud across any device including your Mac, iPad, Linux device, and Android," said Microsoft 365 General Manager Wangui McKelvey.

Given Windows 365 is only available in Business and Enterprise editions, this doesn’t appear to be a consumer-facing solution; Microsoft hasn’t yet announced pricing.

Microsoft is pivoting to address the needs of the new hybrid workplace. As a business tool, its service will enable easy provisioning of computer access to remote staff, including short-term project teams. That matters, as Gartner estimates remote workers will represent 32% of all employees worldwide by the end of 2021, up from 17% in 2019. In addition, as offices reopen throughout 2021, 51% of those employees will be in a hybrid environment, working from home at least one day a week.

Gartner also expects that through 2024, remote workers will use at least four different device types for work, up from three in 2019.

In a multi-platform mobile computing world, we get things done across computers, tablets, and phones — that’s what Microsoft is playing for here.

One thing it hasn’t done (yet) is enable Windows in a VM using Parallels on a Mac following the removal of Boot Camp from M1 hardware. I do think it makes sense for Microsoft to offer casual users some form of cloud PC access on short-term contracts, but I doubt it sees much value in such a nickel-and-dime business, so better just let us use Parallels.

While there are services that mean you can run Macs in the cloud, Apple’s business remains firmly device-based. It wants to sell you hardware, and keeps the experience of owning that hardware interesting with regular software updates, exciting new features, and a highly rewarding user experience. But it still needs to ship units to make money.

Apple is diversifying, of course. The company’s fast-growing services income and its move to make those services available across a multitude of platforms and devices show it understands the crazy, mixed-up, multi-platform journey we’re all on.

At the same time, until it has a really good reason to give macOS a life away from devices — by which I mean, a high probability of selling stuff to customers — it’s unlikely to introduce Mac-as-a-service. Though it does now have the Cloud+ brand within which it will be able to offer it.

What excuse might Apple need to set macOS free? It really only makes sense if it has a companion hardware device it can sell.

We think the first generation of that hardware device may turn up next year when Apple is expected to introduce AR glasses, undoubtedly running some virtualized form of iOS. Given both iOS and macOS can be controlled using your voice, at what point might Apple put a Mac in your eyewear?

Unlikely, perhaps, but not impossible. And with Gartner predicting that more than 15 billion IoT devices will connect to enterprise infrastructure by 2029, platforms as a service may become the next big thing in the emerging metaverse.

Jonny is a freelance writer who has been writing (mainly about Apple and technology) since 1999.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

Windows 365: The version of Windows that will change the PC world

Computerworld 16 July, 2021 - 12:00pm

We’ve been moving towards a version of Windows in the cloud ever since Satya Nadella took over as Microsoft CEO. Windows 365, unveiled this week, is his signature version of Windows, but it is only at the beginning of its evolution. In the future will come advanced AI support, quantum computing elements, and virtual assistants so capable they don’t yet exist outside of science fiction. The biggest constraint won’t be CPUs or GPUs, it will be the network.

Let’s look at just what Microsoft announced.

Windows 365 provides a synced cloud image and related virtual machine to stream Windows through a browser when connected and work on your synced desktop when you aren’t. You have a wide choice of “hardware” ranging from a single-core virtual PC with 2GB of memory and 64GB of storage to a full-on workstation with eight cores, 32GB of memory, and 512GB of storage. Costs won’t be released until early August. (Note: there isn’t yet a GPU spec for the hardware choices though I expect that will change as this service emerges.)

Much like today, if you have multiple PCs on Windows 10, your settings will transfer between the Windows instances. And if you only work in the cloud, that instance will remain constant. This week’s release focused on enterprise use and the requirements for a variety of other Microsoft services. Still, it could also work for individuals, small businesses, and medium-sized companies. These licenses include Windows Pro endpoints (Windows 10 Enterprise or Windows VDA), an Azure subscription, a Virtual Network (vNET) in Azure subscription, and Intune.

Here’s a complete list of dependencies

Having a local Windows Instance will allow you to work while offline. But as 5G rolls out, airplane wireless performance improves, and Wi-Fi 6 becomes more common, most people will only need a terminal and can likely forgo a second Windows instance in favor of the browser-focused operating system. The resulting terminal, or thin-client set-up, is still rare today — but it’s likely to become the standard as Windows 365 becomes more common. 

Initial beneficiaries of this move should be Qualcomm and Dell — Qualcomm’s desktop hardware solution favors connectivity over localized performance, and Dell already maintains a robust thin client option. (It should pivot more rapidly than most to this new normal.) In the home market, the Xbox could easily be turned into a thin client desktop, and I’d expect Microsoft’s Surface line to begin optimizing against a hybrid or pure-play Windows 365 configuration by the end of the year. 

Eventually, WAN-enabled laptops and hard-wired thin clients should become effective new hardware standards. Long term, you could use the processing power around you — say, in an intelligent car, game system, smartTV, or advanced monitor — connect up a microphone (for advanced voice command and voice-to-text) or a wireless keyboard and mouse and not have a PC at all.  And if you move to a head-mounted display, suddenly you have an entirely new class of computing for this new service. 

The advantages to this approach include lower maintenance costs, higher resistance to cyberattacks and malware, faster provisioning, less downtime for PC failures, easier patching, less disruptive, updates and far easier shifts to and from work-from-home. Also, you should be better able to share content collaboratively because you can build that sharing more aggressively into apps. 

Among the disadvantages: additional costs (yet to be determined), more dependency on the network, higher latency (cwhich ould adversely impact some types of work), and more aggravation due to the use of dual-factor authentication. (The latter will be critical to securing Windows 365.)

Integrating macOS with Windows 365 might become problematic as Apple is unlikely to want Microsoft to make its OS redundant. I’d anticipate Apple blocking or crippling Windows 365 on its products because it doesn’t want competing offerings on its platform. Given the agreements between Microsoft and Apple, this could lead to large-scale litigation.

It took Windows 95 nearly five years to move the market to its new model after it was launched; I  expect a similar timeline for Windows 365.  That’s not because it’s as challenging to deploy as Windows 95 was, but because Windows 365 represents a whole different paradigm, with Windows-as-a-service and critical paths for deployment tied to network upgrades and 5G availability. It will take time to get comfortable with the new model. 

I also expect licensing changes as we move from paying for the OS with our hardware to just signing up for Windows 365 and using a client device that doesn’t have a native version of Windows. It’s possible  Microsoft makes desktop Windows free and then looks to recapture revenue through Windows 365 signups. (I wouldn’t expect that change until the second half of the decade, if ever.) In fact, this move to services could eventually justify future hardware subsidies much as is in place for cable companies now.

Regardless of how the overall ecosystem evolves, the future of Windows is here.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

How to turn on Power Mode in Windows 11 for increased performance

PCWorld 16 July, 2021 - 12:00pm

If you’re wondering how to increase the performance of your Windows 11 PC, you may already know one way: Use the Windows power-performance slider. But in Windows 11, Microsoft has hidden it. We’ll show you where.

Microsoft offers you an easy way to boost performance in Windows 10, as our previous article notes. On the Windows taskbar, clicking the battery icon opens what we know as the power slider, where you can trade lower performance for extended battery life.

In Windows 10, finding the Windows power-performance slider is simple: just click the battery icon.

Naturally, this feature is common on laptops, less so on desktops. But it does make a difference. Microsoft, for example, dials down the performance slider on its devices to their most minimal settings, preserving battery life at the cost of performance. On Surface devices like the Surface Laptop 4 and the Surface Pro 7+, simply sliding the performance slide to “best performance” can give you an extra boost of six to seven percent, depending upon the benchmark. (Check out those reviews for the actual numbers.)

As our first hands-on with the first official build of Windows 11 revealed, Microsoft—deliberately, apparently—left out the power-performance slider. The most recent update added it back in, but it’s not where it used to be. Clicking the battery icon on the Windows 11 taskbar actually opens the Windows 11 quick settings, where you can adjust the volume levels, turn on Focus Assist, and more.

Whoops! There’s no way to get to the Windows 11 Power Mode from here.

In Windows 11, the Windows power-performance slider isn’t a slider. In fact, it has a formal name: Windows 11 Power Mode.

To get to it, you’ll need to visit the Windows 11 Settings menu proper, either by navigating through the Start menu or just by clicking the WIN+X button and navigating to the proper location. Within Settings, go to System > Power & Battery, then scroll down to the “power mode” button. Here, you should see several options, capping them off with “Best performance.” Choose the one that works for you.

Go to the Windows 11 Settings > System > Power & battery menu to access the Windows 11 Power Mode dropdown menu.

Note that these menu choices are dependent upon your PC’s hardware maker. If you’ve bought a desktop or built one yourself, you may not see any options here under Power Mode. But if you’ve purchased a laptop, you should have several options from which to choose. Why not crank up your PC to maximum power?

As PCWorld's senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats.

PCWorld helps you navigate the PC ecosystem to find the products you want and the advice you need to get the job done.

Microsoft starts talking about Windows 365 pricing

XDA Developers 15 July, 2021 - 07:55am

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This week at its Inspire 2021 partner conference, Microsoft announced Windows 365, its Windows 10 and Windows 11 subscription offering in the cloud. At the time, the company said that Windows 365 pricing would be made public when the service is available on August 2, but it did let one detail slip in a session.

For two CPUs, 4GB RAM, and 128GB of storage, pricing is going to be $31 per user per month on the Windows 365 Business plan. Unsurprisingly, this is not an inexpensive product. Indeed, that’s $744 over two years, and you can buy a laptop with better specs for that money.

But that’s not the point of Windows 365. The service is meant to provide benefits that you can’t get from just buying a new Windows 11 laptop. It’s easier to manage, and you can run your installation of Windows from any device. It allows employees to work from anywhere, and it saves companies the hassle of having to handle devices.

That pricing is for just one of many tiers. And to be fair, it’s not the top tier or the bottom tier, the latter of which actually comes with a single CPU, 2GB RAM, and 64GB of storage. Indeed, it doesn’t even come with enough RAM to run Windows 11. Also, that tier was for Windows 365 Business; let’s not forget about Windows 365 Enterprise, which will have its own, more expensive pricing.

One thing that’s key though, is that this is flat rate pricing. You’re not getting charged extra by usage time, bandwidth used, or anything like that. Every tier is going to be a straightforward, per-user price. Presumably, Microsoft is already assuming that you’ll be using the service throughout an eight-hour workday.

The Redmond firm will provide more details on Windows 365 pricing on August 2, which is the day that the service will be generally available. Microsoft will have plenty more to share.

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