The Lumia 950 XL may finally receive Android app support through Windows 11; phone functionality already supported

Technology 30 June, 2021 - 05:18pm 22 views

When does Windows 11 come out?

Video: Microsoft reveals Windows 11 And many press images for Windows 11 include a date of Oct. 20 in the taskbar, The Verge noted. Plus, Walmart's website lists a "free Upgrade to Windows October 2021 when available" on certain laptops. CNETWhen does Windows 11 come out? The release date will be here before you know it

One of the builds supports ARM chipsets, so it should come as no surprise to see that it has been installed on a Lumia 950 XL. As Gustave Monce's video below shows, of the Lumia WoA project, the Lumia 950 XL does not currently handle Windows 11 all that way. However, this is the first Insider Preview, so it will only be the beginning of Windows 11 development for the Lumia 950 XL and, by extension, the Lumia 950.

Windows 11 also recognises the Lumia 950 XL's LTE modem, allowing you to make calls in the new OS. Ultimately, it is impressive that the Lumia 950 XL runs Windows 11, irrespective of how well. The promise of Android app emulation within Windows 11 could breath yet more life into the ageing flagship, too.

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How to Install Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4

Tom's Hardware 01 July, 2021 - 08:39am

No TPM, no problem for the Raspberry Pi 4

However, before you begin, please note that this is not an official Microsoft product and the source of the images and software used is from a passionate and vibrant community working together to create this project. The Windows 11 image file is easy to source but there is a process that we have to follow in order to create a valid image which can be used with our Raspberry Pi. We can’t vouch for the safety or legitimacy of any of the custom files the community has created for this project so proceed at your own risk. 

Before using Windows 11 on the Raspberry Pi 4  with an SSD, we first need to ensure that the firmware and bootloader of our Raspberry Pi 4 is set to the latest version so that we can boot from USB 3. Note that this update can only be performed using the official Raspberry Pi OS, it cannot be done via Windows 11. If you plan to use a microSD card instead of an SSD to run Windows 11, you can skip this section. 

1. Boot from a standard microSD card with the latest Raspberry Pi OS on it.

2. Open a Terminal and update your OS and firmware by typing: 

4. Install the latest bootloader by typing

6. Open a Terminal and launch raspi-config

8. Select Boot ROM Version and press Enter. 

9. Select Latest and then Ok. 

10. Select No to use the latest boot ROM. This will trigger the Raspberry Pi to complete a series of behind the scenes configuration steps. Press Ok to close the next dialog. 

11. Select Boot Order and press Enter.  

12. Select USB Boot and click Ok. Note that if there is a bootable micro SD card inserted, the Raspberry Pi will boot using that. Press Ok to close the next dialog.  

13. Select Finish and when asked to reboot select No

Your Raspberry Pi 4 is now ready to boot from a USB 3 SSD and you can now move on to install Windows 11 on your SSD. 

To install Windows 11 on a Raspberry Pi 4 we first need to create a viable installation image.

2. Select the latest build for “arm64”. 

3. Set your preferred language

4. Choose the edition of Windows 11 that you would like. We chose Windows Home and Pro. Click Next. 

5. Set the download method to “Download and convert to ISO” then click “Create download package”. 

6. Extract the contents of the download into a folder called “win11” and go to that folder. 

7. Double click on the uup_download_windows.cmd file. This will trigger a security warning. Click on “More info” and then “Run anyway” and finally allow the app to make changes to your device.

The command prompt will now fill with text. This is the output of a command that will download the Windows 11 for Arm image, patch it and then prepare an ISO image. This process may take some time, depending on your Internet connection and the power of your computer. 

8. When the process is complete, press 0 to close the prompt. 

We now have an ISO image that we can install to a micro SD card or SSD.

1. Insert a micro SD card / SSD via USB into your computer. The drive should appear and be ready for use. Please note that the drive will be formatted, and any existing data on the drive will be lost.

3. Open WoR and allow the application to make changes to your computer. Set your preferred language and then click Next

4. Select the micro SD / SSD storage device that you wish to install Windows 11 to. Then set the device type, in this case a Raspberry Pi 4 / 400. Click Next to move on. 

5. Select the freshly-created Windows 11 ISO image and click Next. 

6. Use the latest driver packages, available from the remote server. These files are cached locally for future installs. 

7. Use the latest UEFI firmware from the server. This is also stored locally for future installs. 

8. Click on Next to accept the current configuration. Only make changes here if you understand what you are changing. 

9. Check the installation overview. Is the correct drive selected? Have you chosen the correct model of Raspberry Pi? Click Install. The installation process will take  around 10 minutes for an SSD. MicroSD installations are longer. 

10. Close WoR when finished, eject the micro SD / SSD and insert it / connect it into your Raspberry Pi 4. Connect up your Pi peripherals and power on. 

With the Windows 11 micro SD /  SSD inserted and our Raspberry Pi booting we now have to setup the Windows 11 install using the standard post installation setup sequence. Follow the process and your Windows 11 Raspberry Pi is ready for use.

There are a couple of tweaks that we can make to the install, especially if we are using a Raspberry Pi 4 with 4GB or more of RAM.

1. Reboot / power up the Raspberry Pi and press ESC when prompted.

2. Scroll down to Device Manager and press Enter

3. Select Raspberry Pi Configuration

4. Select Advanced Configuration.  

5. Set Limit RAM to 3 GB to <Disabled> and press F10 to save. Press Esc to exit.

6. Select Display Configuration

7. Set the resolution by highlighting the option and press Enter. Press F10 to save and then Esc to exit. 

8. At the time of writing this feature is disabled, but in CPU Configuration we can set the CPU speed, overclocking our Raspberry Pi 4. 

9. Ensure that the CPU Clock is set to Default, Any overclocking at this time will prevent Windows 11 from booting. Press Esc until you reach the first menu. 

10. Select Continue to exit the BIOS and boot Windows 11 with the new settings. 

In our testing, overall performance is decent, in fact it was much better than our 2020 Windows 10 install. Boot time was good, longer than Raspberry Pi OS, but nothing major. Feeling more like an Intel N4100 Celeron in general use. 

Once the desktop was loaded the overall feel of Windows 11 on Raspberry Pi was responsive. Windows 11 responded to our input with minimal lag, and moving windows around the screen held up pretty well. The Edge web browser provided a good browsing experience. 

Heavy sites such as YouTube proved troublesome due to the lack of a hardware graphics driver which meant our CPU was working harder to render an image. Videos at 480p were smooth, 720P was passable. Going fullscreen caused a large delay, and a number of dropped frames. We didn’t attempt 1080p as the odds are that it will be a slideshow.

We ran a brief test to install applications. First we installed the Arduino IDE via the Microsoft Store, and the installation was successful, but did take some time. 

The Arduino IDE successfully loaded, and we were able to open one of the included examples to flash to our Arduino Uno board. Here is where we hit a snag, we couldn’t locate a COM port for the Arduino. Nothing was listed in the device manager, so we rebooted and tried again, nothing. Uninstalling an app is not done via the store, rather we have to go into Settings and then add / remove applications. This felt counter-intuitive. We then installed the Arduino IDE using a typical x86 .exe file and were surprised to see the app install, and open. But the COM port issue remained, and we were unable to use the Arduino IDE to control our Uno. 

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Apple's always sold itself as the anti-Microsoft. Now Windows 11 is the anti-Apple

CNET 01 July, 2021 - 08:39am

At first blush, Microsoft's Windows 11 looks to be a compelling update to the operating system software that powers most of the world's PCs. The software has a new streamlined look, reminiscent of smartphones and tablets. Microsoft also added capabilities to help people navigate the pandemic-redefined world, like built-in video chat software, new ways to organize apps and documents on the screen, and technology to make video games look better.

But its most important feature is what it doesn't do. After unveiling Windows 11 last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said his company's technology is being built to work with as many products as possible, including software for competing Google Android smartphones.

Stay current on the latest Microsoft news, plus reviews and advice on Windows PCs.

"Today, the world needs a more open platform -- one that allows apps to become platforms in their own right," he said. "Windows is a platform where things that are bigger than Windows can be born."

He pushed this point by inviting Google to bring its app store onto Windows. He also told developers they're now allowed to sell programs on the Microsoft Store for little to no commission, a stark shift from Apple's and Google's 15% minimum take that's led to lawsuits and antitrust probes around the world. And he said he'd welcome Apple's FaceTime and other technologies on Windows 11 and in the Microsoft Store.

"We want to remove the barriers that too often exist today and provide real choice and connection," he said. "Operating systems and devices should mold to our needs, not the other way around."

Microsoft is building its Teams video chat into Windows 11.

Microsoft's move with Windows 11 marks the latest in a sea change for the world's most highly valued software company. Two decades ago, Microsoft's attempts to crush competitors through its Windows software led a federal judge to declare it a monopoly. Microsoft's sharp-elbowed tactics and problem-prone software made it so reviled that people across the tech landscape shorthanded the company as M$ in chatrooms for putting profit before the needs of people using its products.

Competitors joined in too. In the early 2000s, Google marketed its nascent search engine with the corporate ethos "Don't be Evil." And when Apple began formulating its "Get a Mac" campaign to help market its computers in 2005, it cast the Microsoft-powered PC as a bumbling and arrogant fool.

"The fact is you're selling like hotcakes now, and I've got to get my message out, so I'm doing a little buzz marketing for good old PC, the only computer you'll ever need," said the character PC, played by comedian John Hodgman, who then holds up signs saying "Amazing!" and "Totally cool!"

But things have changed since then. Google dropped its famous "Don't be evil" corporate mantra in 2015, opting instead for "Do the right thing." (Perhaps not coincidentally, the search giant's now facing antitrust scrutiny itself.) And Apple's controlling approach to the iPhone and its App Store have fueled lawsuits and government investigations in Europe and the US, fueled by complaints from major partners such as Tinder dating app maker IAC, music service Spotify and Fortnite developer Epic Games.

Read more: Windows 11: These are the best new features, and how to use them

Meanwhile, Nadella's been instituting changes at Microsoft since he was named CEO in 2014. He's pushed Microsoft to soften its approach with partners, competitors and even within its own divisions. It's about "the renaissance as much as about just sort of fixing something that's broken," Nadella told CNET in 2018.

Now, with Windows 11, Microsoft sees an opportunity to stand out from the crowd, rather than merely compete.

"Now is the time," said Maribel Lopez, an analyst at Lopez Research. For a long time, Nadella has told developers that Microsoft's more open, easier to develop on and, with hundreds of millions of PCs sold every year, still a platform with opportunity. Even Microsoft's biggest hurdle -- the lack of a smartphone operating system -- is fading as mobile chips begin to power more PCs and the lines blur further.

That's not to say there's an easy road ahead for Microsoft. While the company is making its single operating system more accessible to developers, Apple boasts two popular platforms in iOS and MacOS.

"You can't take Apple lightly," she said, noting that there's a "war" going on for the future of tech. 

In the 1990s, when people were buying their first desktops and logging onto the internet for the first time, Microsoft's stated corporate mission was to put "a computer on every desk and in every home." By 2015, it had largely succeeded -- and that groundwork even helped put a computer in everyone's pockets as well. (Despite Microsoft's best efforts, though, the devices didn't have a Windows logo on them).

So what do you do next? Nadella decided he wanted Microsoft to "empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more." That thinking ended Microsoft's obsession with Windows, solidifying it more as a company whose products help other company's products run.

But the Microsoft of old didn't entirely go away. Analysts believe Nadella's broadsides against Apple during his Windows 11 launch speech weren't just about knocking Microsoft's biggest frenemy. His tone wasn't jovial, nor was he dismissive like former CEO Steve Ballmer when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs first showed off the iPhone in 2007. Nadella was serious.

"He's attempting to pierce the veil," said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, referring to Apple's position as the innovative cool kid in the tech industry. "How many opportunities do you have to pierce the veil?"

Moorhead noted that Microsoft's put a lot of effort into making sure its Office productivity apps, Teams chat software and other programs run well on iPhones, iPads and Macs. But Apple's barely updated iTunes on Windows over the years, and it hasn't even made apps like FaceTime available to download.

Microsoft declined to make Nadella available for an interview to discuss the motivations behind his speech. Whatever his reasons, Nadella's move showed that beneath Microsoft's cool-by-being-uncool veneer, it still has that monopoly-making cutthroat business sense.

"I can see why they envy Apple -- everyone bows down to that company like it's a religious talisman," said Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst Roger Kay.

Read more: Windows 11: All the big differences from Windows 10

But attacking Apple may not be enough to change people's perceptions. In 2001, more than nine out of every 10 computers on the planet was powered by Windows. Today, it's closer to seven out of 10, according to StatCounter. 

The iPhone makes Apple a hard nut to crack.

So Nadella may want to position Windows 11 as the anti-Apple, but Microsoft's influence these days largely extends to the people who already have Windows. And those people will either download the free Windows 11 update when it's released this fall or wait until the IT team at their company lets them.

"Microsoft's only competing against themselves," Kay said. "No one else cares."

And if that isn't enough, Microsoft's building its Teams software into Windows in a way similar to how Apple's used FaceTime with its devices. But it's clear Microsoft wants to carve out its own identity with the way it's opening up Windows.

"We're building for the next decade and beyond," Nadella said in that Windows 11 speech. "This is the first version of a new era of Windows."

And maybe most important to him, it won't be Apple.

Windows 11 is a new and refreshing approach to an old and familiar home

The Verge 01 July, 2021 - 08:39am

Microsoft’s first Windows 11 preview looks promising

Windows 11 isn’t a massive change either, but then it’s not supposed to be. Windows chief Panos Panay compared Windows to his family home last week, a place that has been renovated and changed over the years, but still manages to stay familiar and feel just like... home.

That’s really what Windows 11 feels like. Microsoft has a new design, a new Start menu, and a new app store, but underneath it all, it’s still the Windows you’ve been used to using for years. Windows 11 is a new and refreshing approach to an old and familiar home.

Where that simplification really starts to become obvious is in the Settings interface in Windows 11. Microsoft has been trying to move away from its traditional Control Panel ever since Windows 8, and nearly 10 years later we finally have a settings area that feels very easy to use.

It took me a few hours to get used to the new Windows 11 settings, but I do like the way Microsoft has carefully refreshed this to make it easy to find the settings you need. There’s a panel on the left that also lets you quickly navigate between sections, something you couldn’t do on Windows 10 without jumping in and out.

Settings also still throws me into areas of Windows I don’t want to see. Instead of building additional mouse settings into the main devices section, Microsoft will teleport you to a control panel applet that looks like it hasn’t been touched since the Windows XP days. It’s a far cry from the beautifully simple settings interface.

It’s also a reminder that this is a preview version of Windows 11, and that things are a little inconsistent at times and bound to change between now and release. There’s clearly more UI to be done, as the dialog box that you’re thrown into in the additional mouse settings doesn’t even have a dark mode if you’ve enabled it system-wide. That’s the same across the Task Manager, the Run prompt, and many other sections of Windows 11.

If you’re not a huge fan of this centered interface for Windows 11, it’s easy to move the Start menu to appear on the left-hand side and keep that familiarity you’re used to. Speaking of familiarity, File Explorer looks similar but different at the same time. Microsoft has overhauled the icons in Windows 11 and removed the ribbon interface in favor of a command bar. I prefer this personally, as it leaves more room for the files I want to manage.

I still think Microsoft could go much further with File Explorer to simplify things, and add tabs for power users, but there are some subtle changes here that will take some time to get used to. A new context menu is present across File Explorer, which means you now need to search for a rename icon rather than scan the context menu for the rename option. It’s a tiny change, but it alters the way you use Windows 11 daily.

I think widgets will be useful for some people, but they’re certainly not for me. I also greatly dislike that Microsoft forces you into its Edge browser if you click on links in widgets, instead of respecting your default browser in the OS. The search interface in Windows 11, which remains largely unchanged, also still forces you into Edge. This a gross part of Windows 11, and I hope this changes between now and release.

As part of Microsoft’s simplification effort in Windows 11, the volume fly outs, network controls, and notification center also get some subtle improvements here. I think Microsoft could still go further to simplify controlling app volumes and switching between devices, but for most people who just use a pair of headphones or a speaker the changes should be enough.

I love this approach to surfacing something that’s a power user feature and allowing anyone to discover it. Coupled with Snap Groups, it should also mean that when you plug a laptop into a monitor with Windows 11, your apps don’t go flying around and Windows will intelligently remember where you place them.

The last significant change to Windows 11 that we’re able to test right now is the new Microsoft Store. To put it simply, Microsoft’s app store for Windows has sucked since it first appeared nearly 10 years ago. Microsoft is finally allowing developers to submit any win32 traditional desktop app, and Microsoft Store has already become far more useful during a beta than it ever was before.

Outside of what’s visible in Windows 11, Microsoft is also making some changes that will improve PC gaming thanks to the company’s Xbox work. The new Xbox app will be integrated into Windows 11, offering a much better way to download and install games from Xbox Game Pass, and eventually xCloud game streaming, too. There’s also the Auto HDR feature from Xbox, automatically improving compatible games where developers haven’t added HDR support.

DirectStorage, the same system used on Xbox, will also appear in Windows 11 to boost load times in compatible games. And there’s also Dynamic Refresh Rate, which will dynamically change refresh rates on laptops with 120Hz displays to save battery life. Microsoft is even adding in haptic feedback for stylus support in Windows 11, which means we’re about to see new hardware that will make inking an even better experience.

But underneath Windows 11, it’s still fundamentally Windows. Microsoft has done some impressive surface-level work here to make Windows 11 feel new, fresh, and still familiar. This is only a preview, but it’s clear this OS isn’t quite finished. There are some inconsistencies across built-in apps and areas of the OS where you can feel that Microsoft is still mashing together Windows from a decade ago with this modern UI.

I truly hope those inconsistencies will be cleared up in the coming months, because Windows 11 feels like a really solid foundation. Much like Panos Panay said about Windows being a home, the Windows 11 preview is a home renovation phase where Microsoft is letting us get an early look at what the builders are crafting.

Windows 11 Review: My Experience So Far 01 July, 2021 - 08:39am

Microsoft Windows 11 was unexpectedly released. We thought this was the end of new Windows versions and Microsoft will keep on updating Windows 10. However, it turned out that Windows 10 is not the last major release and we will keep on getting new Windows versions. The reason behind the new launch is not specified. It could be to create the hype again and compete against the new versions of macOS. But the real question is if Windows 11 is any good or not. I have been using Windows 11 as my daily driver for a couple of days now and here is my experience so far.

The worst thing about Windows 11 is the bizarre requirements. TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot are required according to Microsoft. But for the leaked dev preview build, I installed it on my years-old Core i5-4300U powered laptop that has TPM 1.2. You can easily install Windows 11 without having the latest TPM 2.0. If your system is around 7 years old, there is a great chance it has TPM 1.2 and it works just fine. The next required; Secure boot is not a big pain. You have to dig in the bios, disable legacy mode and enable UEFI to use Secure Boot. Make sure you are not using UEFI Hybrid as only UEFI is supported. Bios digging is all you need for installing Windows 11.

If you are using Windows 11 Home, there is no chance you can complete the setup without logging into your Microsoft Account. And also, if by mistake you connect WiFi while in setup then again Microsoft account is compulsory. I was installing Windows 11 Pro, and stupidly I connected my WiFI and it didn’t let me skip Microsoft Account login. It is just bizarre in my opinion for a non-Microsoft account user. Here’s a tech tip for you; don’t connect your WiFi while setting up your Windows 11.

If I could define Windows 11 in two words, it would have been “So Smooth.” Literally, the effects and transitions of Windows 11 are incredible. Rounded corners make Windows 11 aesthetically pleasing.  First of all, let me tell you about the new desktop. It’s simple as it can get. The wallpapers are amazing. Windows 11 comes with six themes including Windows (light), Windows (dark), Glow, Captured Motion, Sunrise, and Flow. My favorite themes are Windows (dark) and glow. The color scheme is just amazing.

The most controversial feature of Windows 11 is its taskbar. By default, the taskbar is in the middle just like MacOS. However, you can change it to left by going to settings. But believe me, you will love the center taskbar. It’s so simple and aesthetically beautiful. From the start of Windows, we have seen the left-aligned taskbar and now seeing it in the middle is so refreshing. Plus, there is a gradient taskbar in the Glow theme which looks super good.

Start Menu has gone a lot more simple. It is now less noisy and shows pinned apps and recommended apps in a small window. By right-clicking on the Windows icon, you can see a list of options including Apps and features, task manager, run, etc. It is easy to access so it’s again a better start menu. Coming to search, it’s now just an icon compared to a huge text bar. You can search for applications as well as browse the web quickly.

Task View is another great feature of Windows 11. You can easily multi-task thanks to it. Plus, now you can quickly change desktops. You can personalize each desktop accordingly. For example, you can set up a productivity desktop and a gaming desktop. Coming to Widgets, it is not a big deal as Microsoft was making it to be. To be honest, I hardly opened widgets. It tells you about weather conditions, money market followed by Microsoft News. You can personalize news according to your interests.

To my huge surprise, Windows 11 performs better than Windows 10 on my laptop. I first installed Windows 11 in HDD and was surprised to see how quickly it boots up compared to Windows 10. It has great backward compatibility. Windows 10 applications work just fine. I have used applications like Adobe Photoshop, XAMPP, and Visual Studio Code. I faced no issues whatsoever. Do note that this review is coming from an underpowered laptop, so yes no gaming test was performed. In a nutshell, applications will perform better a tad better in Windows 11.

Windows 11 is just a redesigned Windows 10, but that shouldn’t stop you from upgrading. There are several additional features plus this initial review is of the leaked Windows 11 build. And if my experience with this version is good, then I’m optimistic about the final build. For now, I will keep on using this version of Windows on my laptop. I won’t be making a switch as this version is serving me great for now with little to no bugs.


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