Microsoft is Making A Foldable Phone And It Might Change Phones For Forever

It is no doubt that Windows Phone has been a big disappointment for Microsoft. So much so that even Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates uses Android Phones now. In a situation like this, it makes sense that Microsoft will try something completely new in the mobile space, and it looks like Microsoft is trying to do exactly that.

David Breyer

A new patent filing in the US revealed many details about Microsoft’s upcoming phone. The project is codenamed Andromeda and the patent shows that Microsoft’s phone will be foldable, similar to ZTE’s new foldable phone. The screen will be made of two separate AMOLED panels. The patent discusses many ‘modes’ of the phone including tent, laptop, and flat configuration.

There is a USB-C port and with references to a Sirlink connector for external connectivity. A Reddit user who claimed to e a former employee claimed that the phone won’t be launched for at least another year and added “Nobody knows what they are working on right now, but they don’t seem to be giving up,” the user added.

“Some special phone-PC-like Windows 10 ARM device will probably arrive in late 2018 or 2019. I have no more info on that, but I think Windows 10 ARM is much further away than some of us hope.”

These are not the first details coming about Microsoft making a foldable phone either, we covered another patent filing almost a year ago.

NEXT STORY: Meet Zanco, World’s Smallest Mobile Phone

Microsoft Adds Much Awaited Timeline And More Fluent Visual Updates To Windows 10 Insider Builds

After announcing it a few months ago, Microsoft has finally launched its much-awaited Timeline features in the latest insider preview build of Windows 10. These features are currently in the fast ring for users who have opted to skip ahead, here is the complete changelog:

What’s new in Build 17063

Introducing Timeline

Timeline is here! We know that it can be difficult to get back to stuff you were working on in the past. If you’re like us, you might sometimes forget which site or app you were using or where you saved a file. Now you can finally close apps without worrying—with Timeline, you can get right back to where you left off.

Timeline introduces a new way to resume past activities you started on this PC, other Windows PCs, and iOS/Android devices. Timeline enhances Task View, allowing you to switch between currently running apps and past activities.

The default view of Timeline shows snapshots of the most relevant activities from earlier in the day or a specific past date. A new annotated scrollbar makes it easy to get back to past activities.

Task view has been enhanced to include a Timeline of past activities.

Figure 1. Task view has been enhanced to include a Timeline of past activities.

There’s also a way to see all the activities that happened in a single day—just select See all next to the date header. Your activities will be organized into groups by hour to help you find tasks you know you worked on that morning, or whenever.

Browse all your activities for a single day.

Figure 2. Browse all your activities for a single day.

And if you can’t find the activity you’re looking for in the default view, search for it.

Search Timeline to find exactly what you are looking for.

Figure 3. Search Timeline to find exactly what you are looking for.

Activities

In Timeline, a user activity is the combination of a specific app and a specific piece of content you were working on at a specific time. Each activity links right back to a webpage, document, article, playlist, or task, saving you time when you want to resume that activity later.

App developers are working hard to enhance their apps by creating high-quality activity cards to appear in Timeline. In this Preview release, you can see and resume web-browsing activities in Microsoft Edge, files you opened in apps like Microsoft Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, and updated UWP versions of Maps, News, Money, Sports, and Weather.

We encourage app developers to update their apps to support timeline.

The new activity history settings page allows you to control which accounts appear in Timeline. This is most relevant for users with multiple accounts, such as a personal Microsoft account, and a work or school account. Settings here also let you disable activity collection and clear your activity history.

The activity history settings page lets you choose which accounts you want to appear in your timeline.

Figure 4. The activity history settings page lets you choose which accounts you want to appear in your timeline.

Cortana

In addition to resuming past activities through Timeline, your personal digital assistant Cortana will suggest activities you might want to resume to help you stay productive as you switch between your phone, laptop, and other Cortana-enabled devices. This experience is powered by the same activities that appear in Timeline.

Cortana helps you resume activities when switching between devices.

Figure 5. Cortana helps you resume activities when switching between devices.

Getting started

Use your PC normally. After a while, select the new Task view icon in the task bar. (You can also open Task view by pressing Windows logo key Tab.) Below your running apps, you’ll see past activities in Timeline.

The Task view icon has been updated to reflect new timeline capabilities.

Figure 6. The Task view icon has been updated to reflect new timeline capabilities.

If you have more than one PC, try using Timeline on all of them—you’ll see the same activities no matter which PC you’re using. And if an activity from one PC used a modern app that you don’t have installed on another PC, Windows will help you install that app.

We’d love to hear your feedback, so please press the feedback button in the upper-right corner of Timeline if you have any problems or suggestions.

Microsoft Edge Improvements

Fluent updates in Microsoft Edge: Microsoft Edge now supports an updated Dark theme, with darker blacks, and much better contrast with all colors, text, and icons. This addresses many accessibility contrast issues, making the Microsoft Edge UI easy to navigate and more visually pleasing. As well, Microsoft Edge now supports Reveal on our navigation buttons, action buttons, buttons in the tab bar, as well as on lists throughout Microsoft Edge (such as in the HUB: Favorites, Reading, History, Downloads), making navigating Edge UI even easier. We’ve heard your feedback and have also updated the Acrylic in the tab bar and in-active tabs, allowing more color to show through.

Bookmark button and flyout become one: With this build, Microsoft Edge has also simplified adding and managing bookmarks for EPUB and PDF books. Based on your feedback we now allow you to add bookmarks and manage your list of bookmarks from the same location. This provides a very consistent experience across the different book formats and makes it really easy for users to manage their bookmarks from one location.

Offline web sites and push notifications: Microsoft Edge now supports Service Workers and the Push and Cache APIs. These new web standards allow web pages to send push notifications to your Action Center or refresh data in the background, even when the browser is closed. In addition, certain web pages can now work offline or improve performance, by using locally cached data when the cache is up to date, or when your device has a poor connection. You can learn more about these features in our post Service Workers: Going beyond the page. These features lay the technical foundation for Progressive Web Apps on Windows 10 – we’ll have lots more to share about this topic soon on the Microsoft Edge Dev Blog!

Web Media Extensions Package: This build installs the Web Media Extensions package for Microsoft Edge, which extends Microsoft Edge and Windows 10 to support open-source formats (OGG Vorbis and Theora) commonly found on the web. Try out your favorite OGG content (such as Wikipedia videos or audio)! We will be monitoring feedback from this feature in Insider flights to eventually expand to broader availability to Microsoft Edge customers in the Current Branch.

Gesture Improvements for Precision Touch Pads: This build introduces a new gesture experience for Precision Touch Pads (found on Surface and other modern Windows 10 devices). You can now use gestures like pinch and zoom, or two-finger panning, to achieve the same interactions on web sites that you can do with a touch screen today. For example, you can now pinch-to-zoom on a map in Bing Maps to zoom in the map without zooming the entire page. Developers can learn more about how this change is implemented and how to make sure your sites are ready for modern input experiences over at our blog post, Building a great touchpad experience for the web with Pointer Events.

Sets

A few weeks ago, we announced a new Windows 10 feature called “Sets” (we may end up calling it something else by the time it ships) which would be coming to Windows Insiders as a controlled study. The concept behind Sets is to make sure that everything related to your task: relevant webpages, research documents, necessary files and applications, is connected and available to you in one click. Office (starting with Mail & Calendar and OneNote), Windows, and Edge become more integrated to create a seamless experience, so you can get back to what’s important and be productive, recapturing that moment, saving time – we believe that’s the true value of Sets. Starting with today’s build, Sets will be available to Insiders however because it is being introduced as a controlled study, not all Insiders will see Sets. For more on this – see my blog post here.

Cortana Improvements

Cortana’s Notebook has a new look: Notebook has undergone a UX transformation to be more responsive to Cortana’s evolving capabilities and allow users to easily complete their tasks.

  • Your content has a new home called Organizer that lets you access your lists and reminders with ease. And all Skills are together, so you can easily configure Cortana to suit your needs. Configuration experience has also been significantly simplified.
  • Tabbed view to cleanly segregate your content and configuration and single page to manage Cortana’s Skills and easy way to discover more.
  • Simplified configuration experience page with easy interest management.
  • This is a server side change currently rolling out for those using English (United States) and will be rolled out to other markets with time.

Account entry point in the navigation menu: To improve discoverability and consistency, we’re moving the account entry point out of Cortana’s Notebook and into the navigation menu (that’s the side bar that contains elements like Home, Notebook, and Collections).

Lists and Collections – better together! Cortana Collections have been merged with Lists, so you get personalized suggestions and help with List creation – all in a rich, attractive interface. Cortana helps you track your To-Do’s and manage Grocery lists. She also suggests items of interest –  restaurants to try out, recipes to make, books to read, movies & shows to watch, things to shop for – and makes it easy to add them to your lists.  See and use your Lists and suggestions in the List home:

You can access it from Notebook:

For now, this feature is only available for Insiders using English (United States), who are logged into both Windows and Cortana with their Microsoft Account.

A note about Collections: We’ve made an underlying breaking change to how Cortana’s Collection works – if you’ve been using this feature in previous builds we need to migrate your data to our new collection APIs. Because of this, once you upgrade to this build you’ll notice all of your existing saved list items have moved under suggestions. If you want to keep these suggestions, please drag and drop them back into the list. Thank you everyone who’s given us feedback so far about the Collections experience – please continue doing so!

Cortana loves music: You can now use Cortana to control music playback on more of your favorite music apps (EN-US only). Starting with this build, we are enabling natural language compatibility for Spotify just like the Harman Kardon Invoke! This will work on both, above the lock screen (PC is locked) as well as below! You can try queries like…

  • Play Christmas music on Spotify
  • Play my discover weekly playlist on Spotify
  • Play <Artist/Track/Title/Genre/Mood> on <AppName>
  • Play some Drake
  • Play focus music
  • Play rock music
  • Play my tracks

Once music is playing you can ask Cortana what’s playing like this:

  • Hey Cortana, what’s playing?

Cortana will keep you posted on your tracks.

To start rocking to your favorite tracks just get the latest app update and sign into Spotify in the notebook under the music section.

NOTE: For the above to work, you need to have a Spotify account (free or premium).

Windows Shell Improvements

Bring on the Fluent! Today, Start and Action Center support acrylic to align with Fluent design principles. And now we’re bringing the next wave of Shell UI to the party by applying acrylic to the taskbar, Share UI, Clock & Calendar flyout, Network flyout, Volume flyout, and Input flyout. Try it out and let us know what you think!

Note: The acrylic background is disabled if you enter battery saver mode. We’re also investigating an issue where if you have scaling > 100% the blurred background may appear distorted.

Save notification drafts: Notifications are inherently transient – one thing we’ve heard from you is how it can be frustrating to have started writing a response into a notification (such as one from Skype), only to have the response disappear if you didn’t submit it before the notification went away. Well, no more! If a toast gets dismissed with unsubmitted text, we will now save the draft; open the action center and your text will now be saved with the notification.

Simplified letter grouping in Start for East Asian languages: One of the top feedback items from our users is that it’s too hard and takes too long to find apps in the all apps list because of the way the apps are grouped when using East Asian languages. We hear you, and we’re happy to announce that with this build we’ve simplified the grouping of apps in the all apps list for Chinese (Simplified), Japanese, and Korean. This change is most noticeable for Chinese (Simplified) and Japanese, where we’ve reduced the number of groups by 29 and 36, respectively. If you use Windows in these languages, please take a moment to check it out once you get the build and let us know how it feels.

Chinese (Simplified) previous and new all apps list sections

Japanese previous and new all apps list sections

Cloud states for the Navigation Pane: In an effort to further keep you informed about the state of your OneDrive files and folders on demand, we’re looking at adding a state icon to use in File Explorer’s Navigation Pane. If you’d like to turn this off, there’s an option in the File Explorer ribbon View tab – click the Options button, then in the dialog that appears go to the Navigation Pane section of the View tab and uncheck “Always show availability status”.

A consistent Network flyout on the login screen: Continuing our work to modernize all the elements of Windows 10, we’ve now updated the network flyout on the login screen to use the same familiar network flyout you’ve grown to love in the taskbar.

Improving your update experience: In an effort to keep you informed about the state of your PC, if Windows Update Settings shows a warning or alert, we will now echo that via a new Windows Update system tray icon. If you right click the icon, you will see options relevant to the current state, such as restart, schedule the restart, or go to Windows Update settings. If visible, this icon can be turned off from within Taskbar Settings.

An improved My People experience

Based on your feedback we’ve been working on evolving the My People experience and taking it to the next level. This build brings with it a number of requested features, improvements and changes including:

  • Drag and drop rearrange: Checking off one of our top feedback requests – you can now drag and drop contacts to rearrange them in the taskbar! You can also drop contacts into and out of the People flyout. Note: as part of this feature change, when you upgrade, if you have multiple contacts pinned to taskbar you will notice that their order will reverse direction on the taskbar

  • You decide how many contacts to show in the taskbar: With the Fall Creators Update you could have a maximum of 3 people pinned to the taskbar, with any additional pins appearing in the People flyout. We’ve heard your feedback and today’s build brings a new setting so you can decide how many you’d like to show – from one to ten, or you can choose to show them all in the overflow. You can find the setting with the other People settings under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.
  • Animations for people in overflow: To improve discoverability you’ll now see an animation across the People icon to let you know when someone is pinned to the overflow list in the flyout. In addition, previously you could only receive emotive notifications from contacts that were directly on your taskbar – with today’s flight this experience is now available for people pinned within the People flyout as well! Here’s a glimpse of how it looks (showcased using our favorite “windows10” Skype emoji). Want to try it? Get one of your pinned contacts to send you a “(poke)”, or add, pin, and ping our emoji bot.

  • Fluent in the flyout: As part of our larger ongoing effort to reach our Fluent Design goals, you’ll notice that the People flyout now makes use of acrylic, reveal, and light effects.
  • Improving app discoverability: As developers work to integrate My People support into their apps, we’ll now suggest apps that you might be interested in. There’s an option to turn this on or off in the People settings under Settings > Personalization > Taskbar.

Add a new dimension to what you capture in Snipping tool

This build brings a new “edit in Paint 3D” button to the Snipping Tool so you can take your snip to the next level via Paint 3D.  Move (or remove) objects with Magic select, augment and annotate with a variety of options, bring in 3D objects from Remix 3D, and more!

Windows Settings Improvements

Settings gets a new look: You’ve already seen we say “bring on the Fluent!” in other areas of Shell, and Settings is no different. With today’s build you’ll find not only have we refreshed the Settings UI leveraging Fluent Design principles, but we’ve also taken a look at the Settings homepage and redesigned it with an eye for visual acuity. As you explore the plethora of new and improved settings below, take a moment to get a feel for the updated design as a whole and let us know what you think.

Security questions for local accountsWith the Fall Creators Update, we started working on self help solutions for password recovery from the Lock screenToday, we’re adding this functionality to local accounts as well, through the newly available use of security questions for local accounts. If you already have a local account, you can add security questions by going to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in Options > “Update your security questions”. If you’re installing a new PC using a local account, setup will walk you through adding these questions and answers right there in the workflow. Once your security questions are set up, if you find yourself unable to remember your password on the lock screen, you will see a link to reset your password, whereupon clicking you’ll be prompted to enter the answers to your security questions.

View your display info in one convenient location: Beginning with Build 17060, you can now view detailed information about your display by visiting the new “Advanced display settings” page linked at the bottom of Settings > System > Display.

Most of the information should be self-explanatory, but here are a couple of pieces that you might want more detail on:

  • Desktop resolution vs active signal resolution. Typically, your desktop resolution and your active signal resolution will be identical. To provide a smoother experience, Windows prefers to keep your display running at its native signal resolution. If you change your display resolution under Settings > System > Display > Scale and layout > Resolution, you may see a difference between your desktop resolution and your active signal resolution.
  • The mysterious 59 Hz refresh rate. Display enthusiasts may remember this conversation from the Windows 7 days. You may see 59 Hz listed as your refresh rate even though you have set it to 60 Hz, but rest assured that this is by design for monitors and TVs that report only 59.94 Hz but not 60 Hz. Learn more about it here.

Stay tuned for more improvements to display settings! Your feedback is important to us – if there are new features you would like to see in display settings in the coming releases, please let us know through the Feedback Hub. Search for and upvote your favorite features, or file your suggestion under the Desktop Environment > Settings.

Improving your scaling experience: In this flight we’ve made it easier for you to fix apps that become blurry if you dock/undock, RDP, or change display settings. Some desktop apps can become blurry in these scenarios. When this happens, you have to log out and back in to Windows to have these apps render properly. In this flight, you can turn on a feature that will enable these apps to be fixed simply by re-launching them. There are three components to this feature:

  • A new setting in the Display Settings page: Under Settings > System > Display > Advanced scaling, you’ll find a new section called “Fix scaling for apps” where you can enable a setting to let Windows try and fix apps so they’re not blurry.

  • A toast that pops up when we detect that you might have blurry apps on your main display.

  • A per-app override of the global setting. By right clicking on the exe for a desktop apps and choosing properties, you can select “Change High DPI Settings”, then “Override System DPI”, then configure the behavior.

NOTE: This won’t work for all desktop apps and it only improves blurry desktop apps while they’re on the main display. If you’re using multiple displays with different scale factors and running in “Extend” display mode, these apps might still be blurry on secondary displays.

A new Keyboard Settings page: We’re introducing a new Keyboard Settings experience on PC! Now found under the Time & Language Settings, you’ll be able to easily add new keyboard layouts, switch between Japanese 106/109 and English 101/102 keyboard layouts, turn on and off settings like key sounds and autocorrect, and other advanced keyboard-related settings. Additionally you can now change the default keyboard independently of the display language, for example using the French display language and having English as the default keyboard (this option was previously available in Control Panel, but has now been moved to Settings). Duplicate settings from Control Panel have been removed.

A new and improved Region & Language Settings page: As part of our ongoing effort to converge Settings and Control Panel, as well as improve Settings usability, you’ll find with today’s build that we have reimagined the Region & Language Settings. We’ve added icons to each language entry to indicate when language support is installed for display language, text-to-speech, speech recognition, and/or handwriting. We’ve also added an entirely new language selection experience – enabling you to quickly identify available language features per language. This also marks the initial integration of Local Experience Packs, native AppX packages, that with Microsoft Store to enable us to regularly update language resources with translation improvements collected from Windows Insiders and other feedback channels. We’re still fine-tuning the UI, so expect some small changes over the next few flights.

Set data settings to prefer cellular usage: In Cellular Settings you can now choose to use cellular instead of Wi-Fi always or when Wi-Fi is poor. This updated Windows feature allows people with fast LTE connections and large/unlimited data plans to favor cellular whenever available and avoid being stuck on poor Wi-Fi connections.

NOTE: The Cellular Settings page will only be visible for people using PCs with cellular connections.

Improved Data Usage Management: You can now configure data limits and/or place background data restrictions to Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections, in addition to cellular connections, in the Data usage page. The updated settings page aims to support a diverse set of devices and users. Whether you have a PC with cellular connectivity or a metered ethernet network connection, tailor your data usage to your budget and needs. Want to see your data usage at a glance? Right click on the Data usage tab in Settings and pin it to the Start menu to see a data usage live tile.

Reset your Game Mode Settings: Under Settings > Gaming > Game Mode there is a new option called ”Reset Game Mode Settings” that allows you to restore Game Mode settings for their PC back to the default values for the feature.

Improved Per-app Settings: When we added a new context menu option to go straight from the app in Start to the per-app settings in Settings, we mentioned turning this page into a one stop shop for settings related to each app. In today’s build you’ll notice that we now bubble up any permissions the app has asked for, along with an easy option for you to toggle them. We’ve also added links to check background usage, lock screen notifications, and defaults, and options to terminate and/or uninstall the app.

Windows Defender Improvements

Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) update: You spoke, and we listened. Microsoft is bringing Windows Defender Application Guard to Windows 10 Professional in the next feature update of Windows 10. Now, like Windows 10 Enterprise users, Windows 10 Pro Users can navigate the Internet in Application Guard knowing their systems are protected from even the most sophisticated browser attacks.

Windows Defender Application Guard provides unprecedented protection against targeted threats using Microsoft’s industry leading Hyper-V virtualization technology. Check out this recent RSA talk on Window Defender Application Guard if you’d like to understand this feature in some more detail.


You can read rest of the changelog on Microsoft’s blog.

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Everything New in Windows 10 Insider Build 17017

New week, new Windows version. The Redmond giant rolled out a new insider version of Windows to Windows Insiders in the fast ring. THe new build mostly focuses on Cortana and adds some new settings to manage apps that launch automatically after booting the PC. Following is the complete changelog from Microsoft’s official Blog post.


What’s new in Build 17017

Introducing Cortana Collections: Cortana now saves you time and stress by noticing and remembering things for you and putting them at your fingertips. Cortana can gather things you’re interested in such as items you shop for, restaurants, recipes, and books you’d like to check out, movies and TV shows you want to watch – and puts them all into neatly organized lists from which you can pick the ones you like best. Cortana is always learning, so the more you let Cortana help you, the more Cortana does for you. Check out the quest we’ve set up for more info on how to try this out and let us know what you think! (Available for EN-US Insiders only.)

Add a movie you were checking out in your browser to your Collection! Cortana Collections.

Simplifying actions between Cortana and Action Center: In the previous feature updates of Windows 10 (including the Fall Creators Update), there were two places to go to see the next action you might need to take: Cortana and Action Center. We heard feedback that this was confusing as it wasn’t clear where to go. The fact that Cortana’s insights and recommended actions lived outside of Action Center also made it impossible to focus Cortana’s user interface on Cortana’s natural language and search capabilities. To fix both of these problems, Cortana’s proactive content is going to migrate to Action Center so that you have one place to go to find out what action to take next and to see the important insights Cortana has for you. This frees up Cortana’s user interface to provide tips, educating customers about what can be said to Cortana, and to provide tools for search so that you can get the information you need as quickly as possible. You will see the first part of this change starting with this build with Cortana no longer offering proactive content. Over time, you will see the proactive content that used to be available in Cortana show up in Action Center.

Startup Settings: The list of apps that are configured to run at startup or user log-in is currently maintained via the Startup tab in Task Manager. As part of our ongoing effort to consolidate our settings experience, now you can configure them in Settings! In our new Startup page under Settings > Apps, you can see all startup tasks installed for the current user, and enable/disable each of them. We will also display the impact they have on your startup time, as shown in the below picture.

Startup apps in Settings.

For more info about how UWP apps can appear listed as startup apps, see here. For more info about how win32 apps can appear listed as startup apps, see here.

General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC

  • We fixed an issue a small percent of Insiders were experiencing where uninstalled apps might unexpectedly reinstall after a reboot.
  • We fixed an issue where wallpaper changes might not roam to devices on the Windows 10 Creators Update with “Sync your settings” enabled.
  • We fixed an issue from the previous flight where Storage Settings would crash on launch.
  • We fixed an issue where changing time zones would result in the lock screen clock being incorrect until logging out and back in.
  • We fixed an issue where the Action Center wouldn’t scroll with touch if you started the scrolling motion on top of a notification.
  • If a notification doesn’t support being dismissed into the Action Center, the toast will now show an X instead of an arrow.
  • We fixed an issue where the touch keyboard might unexpectedly auto launch after a system restart on non-touch PCs if you’d used the touch keyboard prior to restarting.
  • We’ve updated the language settings icon in the input flyout to be consistent with that used in the touch keyboard.
  • We fixed an issue where the “2” character wasn’t rendering correctly in some apps when using the Courier New font.
  • We fixed an issue where duplicate icons might be displayed in the Volume Mixer when playing certain games or online videos.
  • We fixed an issue causing reduced performance in some DirectX 9 games running at high framerates. If you’re a fan of gaming, please take a moment to try playing your favorite games on this build and share feedback.
  • We fixed an issue where certain graphics drivers might result in night light displaying with unexpected colors when enabled in recent builds.
  • Going forward from this build, the settings to disable hibernate and Fast Startup will be preserved across the upgrade.
  • We fixed an issue some Insiders were experiencing where after upgrading to recent flights their optical drive wouldn’t be listed under This PC.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in some Insiders seeing 0x80070005 when trying to upgrade to the last few flights.
  • We fixed an issue from recent flights where you might see code 0x80070002 when trying to update apps from the Store.
  • We fixed an issue where Hyper-V couldn’t create a VM on 3rd party network storage.
  • We fixed an issue where for the first few minutes after clean installing a non-English build many inbox app names might unexpectedly appear with English app names.
  • We fixed an issue where gaming apps using WebView with heavy use of HTML canvas might have unexpectedly had very low FPS in recent flights.

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Microsoft Adds More Fluent Design in Windows 10’s Latest Build (Change-log)

New week, new Windows 10 build. On 27th September, the Redmond giant released build 17004 of Windows 10 to the Windows Insiders who have opted to skip ahead. The new build. Rather than adding any new major feature to the build like the Creators update did, the new build is focused on some extensions to fluent design and improvements in Microsoft Edge and other parts of Windows 10.

Following is a detailed Changelog from Microsoft’s official blog post.

What’s new in Build 17004

Fluent Design: As we progress into the next feature update, you’ll begin to see more and more elements of Fluent Design light up. We love the enthusiasm we’ve seen for Fluent Design, and with today’s build you’ll notice that Reveal is now visible on Start in All apps.

More Fluent Design!

Microsoft Edge Improvements:

  • We fixed an issue where typing a web address into the address bar from the New Tab and Start Page and would sometimes clear the text and not result in any page navigation
  • We fixed an issue resulting in keyboard layout changes potentially not being applied when using Microsoft Edge after setting focus to the address bar.
  • We fixed an issue where the tab previews for PDFs were black with a white bar on each side.
  • We fixed an issue where the first time you pressed Ctrl + F to open Search, the search box doesn’t get focus. We also fixed an issue where you might be unable to type in the address bar after clicking on CTRL+F text field.
  • We fixed an issue where “Open with previous pages” wouldn’t recover tabs after dragging a tab between two Microsoft Edge windows.
  • We fixed an issue resulting copy/paste and the print dialog not working for those using the updated Youtube.com website design.
  • We fixed an issue where Ctrl + Click on a link in a PDF wouldn’t open the link in a new tab.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in PDFs potentially rendering blank after panning down a few pages and back up.
  • We fixed an issue from recent flights where Alt + D wouldn’t bring input focus to the address bar when certain keyboards were active.

Input Improvements:

  • We fixed an issue resulting in the enter key not working properly in Facebook Messenger.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in the Delete key on the full touch keyboard layout unexpectedly inserting a period in UWP apps.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in a stutter when selecting long strings in certain single line editable text boxes (for example when naming favorites in Microsoft Edge).

General changes, improvements, and fixes for PC

  • RS4 builds include many of the same fixes included in the latest RS3 builds.
  • We are introducing a new color wheel to Color & High Contrast Settings to help you get a feel for the effect of each of the different available color filters.
  • You may see a Microsoft Edge shortcut on your desktop after upgrading to this build. You can delete the shortcut, upgrade from this build and it will not return.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in Mod Organizer no longer load mods into Skyrim in recent flights.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in the last flighted build sometimes green screening with a SYSTEM_SERVICE_EXCEPTION in win32kfull.sys.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in the WIN+X menu sometimes unexpectedly missing the accelerator key underline hints.

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Windows 10’s Insider Build 16215 is Out, Here is Everything You Need To Know

After the last build update a couple weeks ago, Microsoft announced the rollout of a new build of Windows for its insider program. The build number 16215 is currently released to Insiders in the fast ring and older builds, this one is more focused on adding Microsoft’s new Fluent Design and Microsoft Edge improvements.

Aside from that Microsoft has made some improvements to Cortana, PDF reader and Handwriting experience too. The company posted a detailed Changelog on its blog, following are some of the most notable new features:

Start & Action Center bring elements of Fluent Design

This build introduces new UI for Start and Action Center that includes elements of our new Fluent Design System which was announced at Build 2017.

Start improvements include:

  • Acrylic: If you have transparency enabled for Start, you’ll notice it’s now been updated to use the new acrylic design.
  • Vertical resize: No more glitches at the bottom of the frame.
  • Horizontal resize: The frame now starts resizing horizontally immediately (like vertical resize), as opposed to only “snapping” to certain widths.
  • Diagonal resize: The frame can be resized diagonally!
  • Resize grips: It’s now easier to “grip” the edge of the frame to start resizing.
  • Tablet mode transition: Smoother transition into tablet mode.

A new look for Action Center: Action Center has been redesigned based on your feedback to provide much clearer information separation and hierarchy. And the new design for Action Center also includes elements of our Fluent Design System such as acrylic! (and in case you were wondering, we’ve also added acrylic to our notification toasts!). As a reminder, you can customize the visible quick actions by going to Settings > System > Notifications & actions.

Microsoft Edge Improvements

Pin your favorite websites to your taskbar: Pinned sites are back! We heard your feedback, and are in this build you can now pin a website to the taskbar from Microsoft Edge! We’ll use the site’s icon to give you quick access to your favorite sites right from the taskbar. Simply select “Pin this page to the taskbar” from the settings menu in Microsoft Edge.

Pin websites to your taskbar with Microsoft Edge!

Full screen mode (F11) in Microsoft Edge: This build introduces a new Full Screen experience in Microsoft Edge. Simply press F11 or choose the new Full Screen icon in the Settings menu to take your websites full-screen. You can exit Full-Screen view by pressing F11 again, or by clicking the Restore icon in the top-right corner.

Cortana Improvements

Taking Cortana reminders to the next level through vision intelligence: Most of us have experienced taking a picture of upcoming event poster or bookmarking an event site for future reference, only to forget about it later. With this build, we’re rolling out two new features starting with the en-us market to help you never again miss an event you’re interested in!

Cortana camera roll insights: With your permission, Cortana will now prompt you to create a reminder when she notices event posters in your camera roll! To try it out, make sure you’re signed into Cortana with your MSA or work account, and then give Cortana permission to access your camera roll via Settings > Cortana > Permissions & history > “Manage the information Cortana can access from this device”. The next time you take a picture of a flier for an upcoming event, Cortana will reach out asking if you want to create a reminder for that time.

Cortana Lasso: Are you a pen user? If so, Cortana can now help keep track of future events on your screen! Use the new lasso tool to circle the relevant information and Cortana will recognize the time, and offer suggested follow-ups through a context menu. Keeping track of upcoming events has never been easier! To try it out, go to Settings > Device > Pen & Windows Ink > Press and hold, and select Cortana Lasso in the dropdown picker. Find a website with upcoming event info, or an event poster someone shared in social media – once you have the event on your screen, just press and hold the pen back button, circle the time information, and watch Cortana do her magic. That easy!

Hardware keyboard Improvements

Entering emoji on your hardware keyboard just got easier: We’ve heard your feedback, and today we’re happy to announce the new Emoji Panel! Press Win + period (.) or Win + semicolon (;) while focus is in a text box and the Emoji Panel will pop up for you to quickly scroll through and pick the emoji you want.

The new Emoji Panel!

In the “People” emoji category, you can change the skin tone of the emoji by clicking the button on the top-right:

In the "People" emoji category, you can change the skin tone of the emoji.

To get the update, you need to opt-in to Microsoft’s Windows Insider Program, because Insider builds (especially the Fast Ring ones) can be buggy, I wouldn’t recommend you to run in on a PC that you use for work.

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5 of the Microsoft’s Biggest Flops of All Time

In recent months, Microsoft has enjoyed great success by building impressive hardware such as The Surface Tablets and it has also won a lot of praise with Windows 10, however, the Redmond giant has not always been as good in building products as it is today and over past few years, the company has failed miserably in making and marketing products. Let’s take a look at Microsoft’s biggest flops in recent years.

Zune

Microsoft Zune

When the Zune was  launched in 2006, it was supposed to give a head-on competition to the iPod. However, it could not match up to Apple’s music player and thus became one of the most disappointing products that Microsoft made. It did not live up to any expectation in terms of sales and popularity.

Windows Me

Windows ME desktop
Windows ME desktop

Often referred as Windows Mistake Edition, Windows ME was released as Microsoft’s major OS upgrade after the popular Windows 98 but did not live up to the expectation. Which is why it wan not supported for more than a year. ME failed because of being too buggy and unstable.

Microsoft Kin

Microsoft Kin
Microsoft Kin

It was launched as social networking phone and Microsoft had invested two years and nearly $1 billion in terms of engieering time and money.
Microsoft promised to provide a revolution for younger cell phone users with the launch of this Microsoft Kin, but it failed miserably. It couldn’t last more than 2 months. It went through bad criticism and poor sales. Users were not even able to upload a photo on Twitter with the phone and lack of a proper app store only made the problems worse.

Windows Vista

Windows Vista Desktop
Windows Vista Desktop

It was launched after Window XP. It got mix response from the users, but alongside, it got negative reviews in terms of security, privacy, performance and product activation. Vista was too resource hungry for computers at that time and most new featurees could only run on new PCs.

MSN Messenger

This messenger was launched after huge investment done by Microsoft as it was targeted internationally. But, it has also come as a failure. It could not be as popular as pre-release AOL’s AIM. However, it could prove itself as a great IM client for beginners.

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Microsoft’s Upcoming Surface Pro 5 Just Got Leaked

Fans of Microsoft’s Surface series have been gushing about the elegant design and the notepad comfort that the devices have added in the gadget world. It had been since its 2015 release of Surface Pro 4, that a coming update was awaited. Looks like the wait is soon to be over and the patience rewarded. A recent leak reported by VentureBeat has unraveled few features that Microsoft’s newest surface device will include. Also, Microsoft is supposedly making an announcement of a new Surface Pro on its China Hardware Event coming week which may reveal more about the coming releases by the tech giant.


The successor of Surface Pro 4, will be titled simply as “Surface Pro“. It retains the much admired elegant design of its series and rather focuses on updated internals along with specs. VentureBeat leak also suggests that the tablet is about to hit the market this year  And by the coming the Monday they are to provide a detailed info of its specification in particular.


The leak also details that while its accessories remain quite the same as of Surface Pro 4, latest Type Cover and Surface Pen Renders are to come out in new colors with this release, to be quite much on the pattern of those which released for Surface laptops recently. The innovation and compatibility of new Type Covers and Surface Pen paralleled with new gadgets bestow a unique color sense for it’s Surface Pro alternative.

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Windows 10 PC build 16199 is Out For Insiders, Here are All The Changes

After last week’s update, Microsoft announced just a few hours ago that a new build for Windows 10 PC and Windows 10 Mobile is rolling out for the Fast Ring of Windows Insiders. While the new build does not add that many significant changes over the last one, some new features are definitely interesting. The company uploaded a complete changelog for Mobile and PC Windows versions here, Following are some of the important ones:


What’s New in Build 16199 For PC

Emotive Experience in My People: The next wave of cool features for My People is now available for Windows Insiders! In addition to being able to place your favorite people to the taskbar, today’s build brings even more personal ways to stay in touch and share with the people closest to you. We’re adding:

  • See emoji from your pinned contacts: When you receive emoji from your pinned contacts you can now watch them appear and animate right from the taskbar! Have one of your pinned contacts send you an emoji via Skype (for example “(hero)”) and see what happens! If you’d like to turn this off, open taskbar settings by right-clicking on the taskbar.
  • Notification Badging: The contacts pinned to your taskbar will now display a counter if there are unseen messages, ensuring you have at-a-glance access to communications you have missed from your pinned contacts. Note: You might need to update Skype to version 11.16.556.0 to see notification badges when new Skype messages come in.
  • People-first Sharing: You now have two easy ways to share with your people in Windows 10! Drag-and-drop files directly onto the contacts in your taskbar to start an email, or share directly to your contacts via the share picker by choosing from a list recommended people to email.
  • Improved Game Settings: We’ve made some improvements and adjustments that PC gamers will enjoy via Settings > Gaming and the Windows Game bar (WIN + G).

Incoming call notifications

For our Insiders with Android phones, Cortana can now display cross-device incoming call notifications! Install the Cortana app on your phone, go to “Settings” > “Sync notifications” and turn on all the Cortana cross-device features. The next time you receive a call, a notification will appear on your Fast ring PC telling you who it is and giving you the option to text back a reply or decline the call.

Changes, improvements, and fixes for PC

  • Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG) will now work as expected on touch-enabled PCs.
  • [DEVELOPERS] The XAML designer in Visual Studio 2017 hits an error causing a squiggle error under ThemeResource references to XAML’s generic.xaml resources. Please update to the latest version of Visual Studio 2017 Preview (Version 15.3 – 26510.00) or later. If Visual Studio 2017 Preview is already installed, users can update by starting the Visual Studio Installer, and clicking the Update button. You can confirm you have the right build of Visual Studio Preview by going to Help > About to confirm you are on Version 15.3 (26510.0-Preview) or later.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in many Win32 apps not launching if certain 3rd party antivirus programs were active prior to upgrading.
  • We’ve updated Windows Defender Security Center so as to no longer flag disabled drivers as issues. We have also adjusted the health scan logic so that using maximum brightness when connected to AC power will not flag a warning. Appreciate all who shared feedback on the subject.
  • As a result of low usage, we’ve made the decision to remove the Note quick action.
  • We’re updated our migration logic so that going forward from this build the state of rotation lock will be preserved across upgrades.
  • We fixed an issue resulting in color profiles being ignored after launching certain fullscreen games.
  • ADDED: To help you quickly find the option you’re looking for, we’ve updated the context menus for apps and tiles in Start to now include icons for more actions, including Share, Uninstall, and Rate.

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WTF is Windows 10 S : Everything You Need To Know

Microsoft has introduced a brand new variant of the Windows 10. The Windows 10 S is the company’s brand new approach towards operating systems, that is mainly aimed towards the speed-hungry users. It will be incorporated in a number of devices in the future including just announced Surface Laptop.

The Windows 10 S is a variant of the Windows 10. Its working is pretty much similar to the Windows 10 Pro with a few differences that are explained below. The major highlight of the Windows 10 S is that it only allows apps from the Windows Store. This a good thing as all the apps on Windows Store are verified by Microsoft and are incredibly safe. Secondly it decreases that load on your device and makes your system run faster. The Windows Store has the full Office Suite available, so you will be able to use PowerPoint, Word etc.

The Windows 10 S was mainly designed by Microsoft to serve the education sector. As Most of the schools use computers to teach children the Windows Store only policy and the fast speed of Windows 10 S will get the students to work in no time. In an effort to get its point across Microsoft is offering Windows 10 S for free to all those schools that are already working with Windows 10 Pro.

However if you want an app that isn’t available on the Windows Store you can always upgrade to Windows 10 Pro and get it. Windows 10 S will be available on all the new devices you will buy. Microsoft has partnered with Dell and Asus to produce in expensive laptops that will come with Windows 10 S. Windows 10 S will be launched this summer beginning with the Surface Laptop that will launch on 15 June.

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Everything You Should Know About Microsoft’s Windows 10 Cloud

Windows 10 Cloud is a new version of the Windows 10 made with the aim of competing with Googles Chromebooks in the field of education. With the Windows 10 Cloud, Microsoft plans of taking the education field by storm. Here we have compiled a list of all that you need to know about Windows 10 Cloud

It is not really a ‘Cloud’ OS

The word cloud in its name confuses many people. It is just like any other OS with no connection with Cloud services. Apart from the usual OneDrive sync support. It is possible that You will be pushed a bit more on Windows 10 Cloud toward the OneDrive, other than that it is totally similar to Windows 10 Pro or Windows 10 Home.

It looks almost same as  Windows 10

With just one look at it, you will think that Windows 10 Cloud isn’t all that different from all the other versions of Windows 10. It looks like any other version of Windows 10 apart from the fact that the wallpaper on it is a bit different.

This will be a plus point as users will be familiar with the Windows 10 experience so they won’t take much time getting used to it.

It will be locked to the Windows Store

The biggest thing that sets Windows 10 Cloud apart from other versions of Windows 10 is the fact that it is locked to Windows Store for apps and games. This means you can not install programs from the Web. The Windows 10 Cloud will refuse to download any program that isn’t from Windows Store.

There is no way to turn this feature off. All you can do is upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, but then you will no longer be on Windows 10 cloud.

It should be more secure

As you can’t download any apps from the outside it makes the system more secure. It won’t allow any malate from downloading on its own as it won’t run on the Windows 10 Cloud. All the programs are from Windows Store where they are first checked by Microsoft then made available for download.

It is not a Lite version of Windows 10

Many people believe that because it is tied to Windows Store it is a Lite version of Windows 10. But this isn’t true, it has the ability to run full Win32 programs. Any software available on Windows Store will run on Windows 10 cloud.

That means if Google puts Chrome on Windows Store it will run on Windows 10 Cloud.

Microsoft Office will a big part of Windows 10 Cloud

It is very likely that Microsoft will push the full version of Office with its Windows 10 Cloud. Word 2016, PowerPoint 2016, Excel 2016 and OneNote are pinned to the Start menu by default. This means that they won’t be downloaded on your system, once you click on the pin you will be taken to the store to download it.

It’ll (probably) be free for hardware makers

It is possible that Microsoft will make Windows 10 Cloud available for free for hardware makers to be preloaded on the low-end as well as high-end devices. And if the cost of low-end devices are kept very low it will make it more affordable for the users.

This strategy was used by Microsoft back with Windows 8.1 with a version called Windows 8.1 with Bing. It was similar to Windows 8.1 except for the fact that it was available to hardware makers for free if they kept Bing as the default browser on the device. This strategy could be used with Windows 10 Cloud as well.

Microsoft will likely officially unveil Windows 10 Cloud on May 2, along with new Surface hardware.

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