Why isn’t Samsung rushing to support Windows 11 Android app emulation?

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SamMobile 29 June, 2021 - 08:23am 18 views

Can I get Windows 11?

Windows 11 will be free to upgrade on a Windows 10 PC or laptop. This means that you need to have a genuine Windows 10 copy on your machine to be able to download Windows 11 for free. The Windows 11 preview build that is now available is also free to download. India TodayWindows 11 now available: Will your PC support it, how to download and install it, and other questions answered

When will Windows 11 roll out?

Windows 11 is due out later in 2021 and will be delivered over several months. The rollout of the upgrade to Windows 10 devices already in use today will begin in 2022 through the first half of that year. CRNMicrosoft: Windows 10 Update To Windows 11 Not Until Next Year

Is Windows 11 available now?

Microsoft today released the first preview build of Windows 11 to those in the Dev Channel of the company's Windows Insider program. TechCrunchThe first preview of Windows 11 is now available

Does Windows 11 require TPM?

Microsoft has updated the webpage for Windows 11 requirements, saying that PCs will be required to have a TPM 2.0 chip to install the new operating system. www.computing.co.ukMicrosoft says TPM 2.0 is mandatory for installing Windows 11

Microsoft’s big security push is complicated

It’s an unusual surprise if you purchased a new PC for Windows 10, or perhaps you have a perfectly capable machine that’s even older. Windows 11 will require Intel 8th Gen Coffee Lake or Zen 2 CPUs and up, TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module) support, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage.

Microsoft doesn’t typically enforce such specific processor requirements with Windows — with both Windows 8 and Windows 10 only requiring a 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM (2GB for 64-bit), and 16GB of storage (20GB for 64-bit). Power users of Windows, and IT admins alike, have built up an expectation of being able to upgrade to the latest OS, regardless of what hardware they’re running. It looks like that’s about to end with Windows 11.

When you combine TPM with some of the virtualization technologies that Microsoft uses in Windows, there’s an understandable security benefit that we’ve discussed in detail previously. Microsoft claims that a combination of Windows Hello, Device Encryption, virtualization-based security, hypervisor-protected code integrity (HVCI), and Secure Boot “has been shown to reduce malware by 60 percent.”

You obviously need modern hardware to enable all these protections, and Microsoft has been building toward this moment for years. TPM support has been a requirement for OEMs to gain Windows certification since around the release of Windows 10, but Microsoft hasn’t forced businesses or consumers to enable it.

Microsoft’s decision to force Windows 11 users into TPM, Secure Boot, and more comes at a pivotal moment for Windows. It’s Microsoft’s operating system that’s always caught up in ransomware and malware attacks, and things are only going to get worse if the level of Windows hardware security doesn’t go up a notch.

Microsoft tried to offer some more clarity around this yesterday, but it wasn’t the level of detail we were hoping for. “As we release to Windows Insiders and partner with our OEMs, we will test to identify devices running on Intel 7th generation and AMD Zen 1 that may meet our principles,” says a blog post from the Windows team. That could be good news for the Surface Studio 2, a $3,499 device that Microsoft still sells with a 7th Gen chip that’s not on the Windows 11 list.

This same blog post also revealed that 7th Gen is probably as far back as Microsoft is willing to concede. “We also know that devices running on Intel 6th generation and AMD pre-Zen will not” meet Microsoft’s minimum system requirements, said the blog post before it was edited to remove this line. It’s not clear why Intel’s 6th Gen chips are definitely off the list, but part of this decision could be related to Spectre and Meltdown — two major computer processor security bugs that affected nearly every device made for 20 years.

“Microsoft’s CPU selections for Windows 11 don’t appear much at all to do with performance but look like security mitigations for side-channel attacks,” says Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy. “It also helps chipmakers focus driver work on the future, not the past.”

Side-channel attacks like Spectre and Meltdown were revealed just before Intel implemented hardware mitigations to protect against some speculative execution attacks in some 8th Gen chips in 2018. Not all of Intel’s 8th Gen chips include these hardware mitigations, though, but Microsoft has set a specific cutoff of 8th Gen and beyond. Microsoft hasn’t fully explained that decision, and the company is now telling people to wait and see if it’s able to include more older machines during its testing. Either way, there’s going to be a CPU cutoff that will affect millions of PCs.

Security expert Kevin Beaumont, who spent nearly a year working at Microsoft during the pandemic, has criticized the company over its Windows 11 hardware requirements. “In the middle of a pandemic when orgs are hurting, with a global chip shortage, Microsoft [is] trying to get people to replace things for security reasons that are questionable,” said Beaumont on Twitter. “Buy a Surface? No. Make a better OS.”

Microsoft’s hardware changes also arrive just weeks after Apple announced macOS Monterey, with support for Mac Pros sold in late 2013 and beyond, and Mac Minis sold from late 2014 onward. Apple obviously doesn’t have to support a massive range of hardware configurations like Microsoft does, but the latest version of macOS will still run on systems that are eight years old. Microsoft’s changes mean that some PCs that are only three years old will be excluded from the Windows 11 upgrade.

There will be some exceptions to Microsoft’s new rules, though. “Windows 11 does not apply the hardware-compliance check for virtualized instances either during setup or upgrade,” notes a Microsoft document (PDF) on minimum hardware requirements for Windows 11. That means if you run Windows 11 as a virtual machine, you can ignore the CPU and security requirements. That flies in the face of Microsoft’s big security push here, but the reality is that most consumers and commercial customers won’t be running Windows 11 in a VM.

Microsoft still has a few months left to test Windows 11, and feedback from the preview will inform “any adjustments [Microsoft] should make to our minimum system requirements in the future.” The software maker has also removed its PC Health Check app that led to a lot of confusion around Windows 11 upgrades. “We acknowledge that it was not fully prepared to share the level of detail or accuracy you expected from us on why a Windows 10 PC doesn’t meet upgrade requirements,” says the Windows team.

That gives Microsoft some breathing room between now and launch, and enough time for testers to play with Windows 11 free from these new restrictions. But if you’re testing Windows 11 right now on an older CPU that’s not on the official list, the chances are you’ll need to reinstall Windows 10 at the end of the preview period.

Microsoft is allowing testers to access Windows 11 on a wide range of hardware during the preview, but it’s planning to apply these new restrictions at launch. I would be surprised if there is a major change to these hardware requirements later this year, other than Microsoft stepping down to some 7th Gen chips. So enjoy testing Windows 11 while you still can.

Read full article at SamMobile

Android Central readers heavily favor Windows over any other desktop OS

Android Central 01 July, 2021 - 12:06pm

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Even though we like to talk primarily about mobile operating systems on this site (our name is Android Central, after all), we recognize that just about everyone uses a desktop computer of some sort on a daily basis. Here at AC, our team of writers and editors work from a mix of Macs, Windows PCs, Linux machines, and Chromebooks, and we generally are comfortable with our personal choice of devices and software. What we weren't sure of, however, was exactly which desktop operating systems our readers preferred to use.

Last week Microsoft unveiled the latest version of its desktop operating system, Windows 11, and aside from the design tweaks and functional improvements, one of the most talked-about features of the update was the fact that users will be able to download and run Android apps from Amazon's appstore. Actually, Windows users can also sideload Android apps, but the larger point is that Android apps can run on Windows 11. So this got us wondering — is Windows the most popular desktop OS choice for our readers?

It turns out the answer is a resounding YES. Over 60% of respondents said that Windows was indeed their preferred desktop operating system. Linux followed in a distant second place with around 17% of the vote. Perhaps most surprisingly, macOS and Chrome OS were virtually tied with around 11% of the vote each. We would have thought more Android faithful might stay in the larger Google ecosystem, but the results didn't bear that out here.

Here are some of the explanations our readers gave for their poll choices. Benjamin Haube told us that he voted for Windows, but he was also somewhat lukewarm in his support of the platform:

I am a #Windows and #Android user. I wouldn't say I LOVE either one of them, but they both get the job done without being stuck in Apple's inescapable garden.

I believe that reader Joey Moore echoed what a lot of the poll respondants were thinking when he told us:

Mac for daily use, Windows for gaming, Android for anything mobile.

Finally, we recognize that our audience skews toward the nerdier, more expiremental tech enthusiasts, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Linux beat out macOS and Chrome OS. Per reader Tournel Henry:

What about you? If you didn't get a chance to answer the weekend poll, what desktop operating system do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.

Every week, the Android Central Podcast brings you the latest tech news, analysis and hot takes, with familiar co-hosts and special guests.

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Samsung's next Galaxy Watch will be the first smartwatch to feature the new Wear OS update with faster performance and better battery life.

Samsung's new One UI Watch platform was unveiled at MWC 2021, showcasing an experience that's closely tied to its popular Galaxy smartphones. The platform is build off Wear OS, which is being designed alongside Google.

Samsung is ready to unveil the next big thing in wearables, and it's using MWC 2021 to do it.

The best cases for the Galaxy S9 are available for less than ever, including Samsung blowing out its stylish Hyperknit cases!

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Microsoft Wants Steam, Other Services in the Microsoft Store

ExtremeTech 01 July, 2021 - 12:06pm

As part of its overall Windows 11 push, Microsoft is partnering with Amazon to make its app store available for Windows devices. It’s a smart move for Microsoft. Windows x86 users will be able to buy Amazon mobile apps and run them via Intel Bridge technology. ARM and AMD-based systems will still be able to take advantage of the feature, and we assume (though this has not been confirmed) that Windows on ARM users who download apps from Amazon through the Microsoft Store will receive native binaries.

This is an interesting move for Microsoft with some clear analogs in mobile. ChromeOS can run Android apps and new M1-capable Macs can run iOS applications. According to the head of Windows and devices Panos Panay, the inclusion of Amazon is hopefully just the beginning. The Verge reports him as explicitly hoping other major storefronts, like the Epic Game Store and Steam, agree to be part of the Microsoft Store as well.

TikTok running via Android support in Windows 11.

“Windows already in many ways hosts those stores, and if we can host it through the Microsoft Store then of course,” says Windows and device chief Panos Panay, in an interview with The Verge. “For sure, it means as others want to come to the Store, they’re very welcome. As a matter of fact, encouraged, and that’s kind of why we’re building out some of these policies.”

From Microsoft’s perspective, this makes perfect sense. The company has been trying to build an ecosystem around its own storefront for nearly a decade at this point. Services like xCloud and Game Pass are intended to draw people into the combined Xbox/PC gaming ecosystem. Microsoft has made a lot of effort to integrate its gaming businesses, and Panay isn’t wrong when he says that Windows effectively hosts these storefronts already. It does. The same arguments for the security convenience of the App Store can be made for the Microsoft Store, and Microsoft has expanded the types of apps that can be sold there. Win32 apps, for example, are now included.

But would this be a good deal for Steam and Epic the way it might be for Amazon? The evidence there is decidedly mixed. When Amazon signs up to sell Android apps through the Microsoft Store, it expands its customer base. That’s a positive for Amazon. What do Steam and the Epic Game Store get in exchange for signing up to sell games through the Microsoft Store?

Gabe Newell famously launched SteamOS because he saw the Microsoft Store as a threat. The principal reason that threat never came to be is that gamers didn’t switch their buying habits. But selling Steam games (or Epic Store Games) through the Microsoft Store would seem to be a losing bet for both Epic and Valve. Neither company is hurting for visibility or the ability to attract new customers.

The Verge notes that having the ability to download all of your applications in one place would be a simpler setup method than visiting various websites to download installers. This is true. Reinstalling every necessary app for a new PC build is not an overwhelming chore, but it can take 2-4 hours to hunt down, download, and install every application, driver, and Windows Update, especially if you have to download a tranche of games. If you have a lot of games to download it could easily take 6-12 hours in total, depending on the games and the speed of your internet connection.

But while this might be simpler for users, it’s probably not in the best interest of Valve or Epic. It’s one thing for Amazon to work with Microsoft in the hopes of propping up its own app store, though I’ll note my colleague Sascha Segan at PCMag is dubious that this will work. It’s something else entirely for Steam or EGS to allow the Microsoft Store to function as a wrapper for their own content. Why jump through whatever additional hoop is required to buy from Steam through the Microsoft Store when you could buy from the Microsoft Store directly?

As an aside: If you want a one-stop application for downloading and handling the installation of multiple applications, I’d recommend the NiNite package installer. It’s a free-to-use batch installer that will download and install a fairly long list of applications (you customize your own list). It’s not quite the same thing as a universal Microsoft Store with Epic and Valve under the same roof, but it can simplify the process of getting software loaded on a new system.

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🖥️ Will Microsoft kill Slack?

The Hustle 27 June, 2021 - 07:00pm

Last Thursday, Microsoft hit a new milestone.

It became only the 2nd American company after Apple to reach a $2T market cap.

Despite its weighty valuation, the software giant is largely avoiding the antitrust scrutiny facing its Big Tech frenemies (i.e., Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook).

Also last week, Microsoft unveiled the latest iteration of its PC operating system: Windows 11.

In a move that raised eyebrows, Windows 11 bundles Microsoft’s messaging service (Teams) right into the taskbar, making access to the app easier than ever.

Teams’ most visible competitor is Salesforce-owned Slack. Even as a late entrant to the game, Teams already has 145m daily active users, according to The Verge. (Slack’s last quoted number is 12.5m users, pre-pandemic.)

It should. Microsoft’s bundling of Internet Explorer into Windows was made to snuff out the Netscape browser.

And, ultimately, it led to Microsoft’s antitrust case in the late 1990s.

Teams is already bundled into Microsoft’s wildly popular Office suite. The new Windows integration clearly puts more pressure on Slack.

Despite its Teams move, Microsoft made 2 competition-friendly announcements during its Windows update. Per The Verge:

While these moves clearly signal an openness to competition, Slack may have a quibble or 2.

The Biden administration is blocking 4 Chinese solar panel manufactures from entering the US. Why? Concerns over Uyghur forced labor in China’s Xinjiang province. #clean-energy

How did Google convince San Jose to let it build an 80-acre megacampus in the city’s downtown area? Half the campus is for public use and Google offered a $200m community benefits package. #big-tech

Activant Capital is the latest American VC firm to open up shop in Europe, as the continent’s startup ecosystem grows. #emerging-tech

China’s Uber (Didi Chuxing Technology) is seeking a $62-$67B valuation for its upcoming IPO. #emerging-tech

The world’s larges crypto exchange (Binance) has been ordered to cease operations in the UK. The country’s regulators are increasing scrutiny of the crypto economy. #fintech-cryptocurrency

Denim demand is rising…and consumers — many who have put on pounds during the pandemic — are looking for looser fits. #ecommerce-retail

When Americans get their COVID-19 vaccine, they get a paper card that, as John Oliver points out, doesn’t fit in any standard wallet.

A digital card might be easier, but it’s a little tricky due to political conflict and other concerns.

In a March press briefing, White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeffrey Zients said any vaccine credentialing system must be…

It also needs to be accessible — meaning both digitally and on paper for those without smartphones.

California’s new digital vaccine cards could work, thanks to the open source Smart Health Cards Framework developed by The Commons Project (TCP), per TechCrunch.

There’s a lot of debate about whether businesses, schools, and organizations can or should require proof of vaccination. A Kentucky bill might ban it. Pennsylvanian House Republicans want to. Florida has already banned mandatory vaccine passports.

New York’s voluntary Excelsior Pass — run by IBM — has been downloaded by ~2m people and grants quick entry to various venues. It may also cost taxpayers $17m — $14.5m more than the state initially claimed.

But most importantly, passes might become obsolete as vaccination rates rise. Until then, here’s a listicle of the best vaccine card protectors.

Ah, yes. The great non-fungible token craze.

If you haven’t heard, these “digital collectibles” have sold for tens of millions of dollars. Creators of every kind are cashing in, from Snoop Dogg to Tony Hawk to The New York Times.

NFTs are immutable. As in, forever and ever. If that’s a bit difficult to wrap your head around, HubSpot can explain.

This video breaks down the latest buzzword, summarizes the hype, and tells you why NFTs matter (maybe even for your business).

Don’t forget to like, comment, and subscribe to HubSpot.

We all know that Slack’s true purpose isn’t work (Source: Reddit)

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