Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will bring a new Timeline feature that will offer a historical view of everything that you do on your devices.
Microsoft says “Timeline allows users to jump back in time with a visual timeline that displays what a user was doing previously and easily hop back into files, apps, and websites as if it was real time.”
Built-in Windows 10 apps will leverage the Microsoft Graph to automatically log your activities, and third-party developers will also be able to use the Activity APIs to create engagement records as users interact with their applications. Developers will be able to customise how these activities are visualised in the Timeline by attaching an adaptive card to the activity. Android and iOS developers will be able to use the Project Rome SDK to achieve the same effect with their apps, which means your Timeline will also include activities you do on mobile devices.
If you are working on your smartphone on a document that’s stored on your OneDrive – which is getting some new capabilities as well – this activity will show up on your Timeline as well.
The Timeline view will also be available on Android and iOS devices via the Cortana app, which now also offers the ability to pick up where you left off on other devices. Microsoft is also making it easy to copy text on one device and pasting on another.
Disclosure: Microsoft sponsored the correspondent’s flights and hotel in Seattle for Build 2017.
Microsoft’s big push under Satya Nadella has been to meet users wherever they are, putting its Windows smartphone plans on the back-burner and reaching out to Android and iOS users in a big way. The upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is underlining this philosophy with features like Timeline and new Cortana capabilities that will make it easier for people to use their Android and iOS devices with Windows 10.
Continuing the theme is another new feature that Microsoft showcased for the first time during the keynote session on the second day of its Build developers conference in Seattle on Thursday. With the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the Clipboard too will become Cloud-aware, making it possible for you to, say, copy text on a Windows 10 device, and paste it on a Android smartphone.
Microsoft will make this possible using easy to access controls in the SwiftKey keyboard for Android, an app that Microsoft acquired last year. Since Clipboard is a system-level feature in Windows, and SwiftKey works across pretty much all apps on your smartphone, users will be able to use this feature to exchange information between practically any two apps on their Windows 10 and mobile devices.
The Redmond-based company says the feature will work for more than just text – you will also be able to photos, including animated GIF images. The feature will be able as part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Microsoft is bringing Apple Continuity-like features to Windows 10 by letting you start tasks on one device, and continue them on another. This will be achieved by leveraging Cortana, its virtual assistant that’s built into Windows 10, and available as a third-party app on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.
“With Cortana, you can pick up where you left off across Windows, iOS, and Android devices. Imagine logging off your PC and having the doc you were editing pop up on your phone. Cortana asks if you want to pick up where you left in your app, doc, or website,” is how Microsoft explains the feature.
Microsoft apps will support this feature – which is being called Pick up Where I Left Off (PWILO) – out of the box, so, say, if you are working on a PowerPoint presentation on your Windows 10 machine, you will be prompted by Cortana to continue working on-the-go when you switch to your Android or iOS device.
The Redmond giant says third-party apps will be able to utilise the PWILO functionality by registering with the Activity Graph using easy to implement APIs. If you are using a PWILO-enabled app on a device and switch to another where you don’t have the app installed, Cortana will even prompt you to install the app.
Microsoft hopes this ability to drive additional app installs will encourage app developers to implement this functionality.
Disclosure: Microsoft sponsored the correspondent’s flights and hotel in Seattle for Build 2017.
Microsoft on Thursday announced a new edition of Windows 10 Pro targeted at power users with high-end hardware. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will be available to power users as part of Fall Creators Update, which will be available this fall.
For those unaware, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is a high-end edition of Windows 10 Pro which comes with support for server grade PC hardware and has been designed to meet critical and compute intensive workloads.
Microsoft says that Windows 10 Pro for Workstations has been optimised to increase performance and reliability with features like ReFS (Resilient File System) which provides cloud-grade resiliency for data on fault-tolerant storage spaces and manages very large volumes with ease, and faster file sharing with a feature called SMB Direct which supports the use of network adapters that have Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) capability. It also promises persistent memory that provides the most demanding apps and data with the performance they require with non-volatile memory modules (NVDIMM-N) hardware. This ensures read and write of files with the “fastest speed possible, the speed of the computer’s main memory,” claims Microsoft.
“Users will now be able to run Windows 10 Pro for Workstations on devices with high performance configurations including server grade Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron processors, with up to 4 CPUs (which is today limited to 2 CPUs) and add massive memory up to 6TB (today limited to 2TB),” Microsoft’s Klaus Diaconu, Partner Group Program Manager, Windows and Devices Group wrote in an announcement blog post.
Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab said on Wednesday it would withdraw antitrust complaints made in Europe against Microsoft after the US technology giant agreed to change how it delivers security updates to Windows users.
Both companies simultaneously announced a resolution to nearly a year of disputes that included Kaspersky alleging that Microsoft had erected unfair obstacles for independent security vendors on its Windows 10 operating system.
Kaspersky Lab in June accused Microsoft of abusing its dominance in the personal computer market to unfairly harm third-party antivirus providers in how it distributed its own Defender antivirus software on Windows 10.
Company founder Eugene Kaspersky said at the time that Microsoft had removed Kaspersky’s antivirus software when customers installed Windows 10 in order to make users adopt Defender, which he derided as an “inferior” product.
Microsoft had denied breaking any laws and said that its goal was to help protect Windows 10 customers from cyber security threats.
In a blog post published late Wednesday, Microsoft said it would work more closely with antivirus vendors before software updates are launched to help mitigate compatibility issues.
The Redmond, Washington-based company said it will also allow antivirus providers to issue their own alerts and notifications to customers before and after subscriptions have expired and provide vendors more visibility and certainty around its update release schedules.
In a statement, Kaspersky said Microsoft’s proposed approach had addressed its concerns raised with Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service, and said that it was “taking all steps necessary” to withdraw its antitrust complaints made with the European Commission and Germany’s national competition regulator.
It added that the two companies had held “fruitful discussions” in recent months about how “antivirus services should operate in the Windows ecosystem to help ensure a safe environment for Windows users.”
The detente comes as Kaspersky Lab is facing mounting accusations from US intelligence officials and lawmakers that the company may be vulnerable to Russian government influence.
Kaspersky Lab has repeatedly denied having ties to any government or that it has helped any government conduct cyber espionage.
Parallels Desktop 11 brings always on Cortana to Mac. Parallels version 11 comes with full support for Windows 10 and Cortana works even while using Mac apps.
Parallels Desktop for Mac has been the choice software for hardware virtualization on Mac. With Parallels Desktop for Mac 11, there is enhanced support for Mac OS El Capitan and Windows 10 RTM.
To use the feature, you will need full copy of Windows 10 installation and a copy of Parallels Desktop 11. Apart from Cortana, Parallels 11 introduces new features like Travel Mode which cuts down on resource hungry programs to extend battery life and quick look viewer for Windows documents.
On the performance front, Parallels 11 increases boot up and shut down time by up to 50 percent in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Also users can experience up to 15 percent increase in battery life. Parallels also promises better speed while moving files between OS X and Windows.
Parallels Desktop 11 costs $79.99 while the Pro Edition and Business Edition cost $99.99 per year.
Microsoft announced its promising Timeline feature earlier this year, and claimed that it would arrive with the scheduled fall feature update. However, the company has now confirmed that the feature won’t be a part of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and instead, be rolled out in early builds by the end of the year.
This means that Timeline will see the light of day only in the next big Windows 10 update next year. Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore confirmed to The Verge that the feature won’t be a part of the fall update. “Timeline won’t be in the Fall Creators Update. We’re planning for it to be in early insider builds shortly after Fall Creators Update is out,” he confirmed.
For those unaware, Timeline is a feature that will offer a historical view of everything that you do across Windows 10 devices. Timeline will allow users to jump back in time with a visual timeline that displays what a user was doing previously on another Windows 10 device, and easily hop back into files, apps, and websites as if it was real time. For example, if you are working on your smartphone on a document that’s stored on your OneDrive, this activity will show up on your Timeline as well.
The Timeline view will be made available on Android and iOS devices via the Cortana app, which now also offers the ability to pick up where you left off on other devices. This works similar to how Apple’s Continuity feature offers for iOS and macOS.
Microsoft is expected to roll out the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update in September, while the next Windows 10 update with the Timeline feature should be rolled out in March next year.
Microsoft on Friday released a new Windows 10 Insider Preview build that solves an issue that has been nagging Windows users with high-resolution display. The latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build 16237 changes how the system reacts to DPI adjustments. Users will no longer have to log out and log back in to fix blurry desktop apps, which are mostly related to old Win32 apps, after docking, undocking, and remoting.
Presently, if a user changes the resolution of a display by docking/ undocking or via Settings, the scaling gets reflected throughout the apps only by logging out of the account and then back in. However, with the latest build, Microsoft is cutting down that process and will adjust the scaling by simply relaunching the the app to render them crisply on your 4K display or high DPI display, the company says in its blog post.
This will solve the issue for most legacy apps, but not all as yet, and one will have to wait for those apps to get updated to respond to DPI change. Microsoft says that the apps will get updated DPI-related data from Windows when restarting them individually rather than having to log out and back in, which is a lot more annoying and cumbersome. The company has also noted that the change won’t improve apps that are blurry on secondary displays when in “extend” display mode.
That’s not all coming that is to the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build. Microsoft has also made some improvements to the notification buttons, which now spreads across the bottom of the notification, instead of being right-justified. Furthermore, the first notification in each group will be expanded in the Action Center so that you can quickly see and take action, of say your email, reminders and texts, without having to expand every single one of them.
The latest preview build for Windows 10 Insiders comes with a lot more fixes and improvements such as the Edge’s ability to now read out loud on websites and PDFs with word and line highlighting. The Emoji Panel now supports the new 5.0 making it easier to type and input the emoji you want. There’s also a new animation on when you add a favourite along with minor bug fixes. You can check the full list of improvements and fixes of Windows 10 Insider Preview build 16237 on the company’s blog.
Owners of computers based on Intel’s Clover Trail generation of Atom processors, released between late 2012 and mid-2013, are reportedly finding that they are unable to install the Windows 10 Creators’ Update, also known as Windows 10 v1703. Users have reported seeing a message saying “Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC” when trying to complete the Windows 10 update process. An error code displayed with the message points users to a note that suggests that software incompatibility is the reason that the automated process fails.
The devices affected include low-cost laptops, tablets and convertible 2-in-1s. There are four consumer Clover Trail CPUs; the Intel Atom Z2760, Z2520, Z2560 and Z2580. It is likely that a huge number of Clover Trail-based PCs from all the world’s major manufacturers have been sold. Many were originally shipped with Windows 8 or 8.1, but users were prompted to upgrade to Windows 10 for free when it was released – with Microsoft promoting the upgrade heavily.
Neither Microsoft nor Intel has not yet published any information for affected users. However, an Acer support page surfaced by ZDNet.com seems to indicate that users were previously able to install the update but reported that text and icons were not showing up correctly on screen, or were appearing as solid blocks or bars. The Acer page goes on to state that Microsoft is working to create compatible drivers to address this problem, which indicates that the block might not be permanent.
This is the first known instance of old hardware becoming ineligible for a major Windows 10 refresh. Instead of a known end date for feature and security updates, Microsoft now promises to support Windows 10 for free in perpetuity, so long as a device is within its “lifetime”. However, that definition is vague, and depends on hardware compatibility, driver availability and OEMs’ support periods.
It is unclear whether affected Clover Trail PCs running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which is as of now the latest supported version, will be eligible for security patches or other critical Windows updates. Microsoft officially supports each major Windows 10 release for 18 months, which means that the Anniversary Update falls outside this period in early 2018. Ars Technica points out that security updates for Windows 8.1 are guaranteed till at least October 2023, leaving users who upgraded to Windows 10 at a significant disadvantage.
Microsoft Paint is something we grew up with. Since the 1980s, Paint has stood as one of the earliest tools that taught us how to draw, use different shape presets, make quick copy and paste jobs, or just scribble when we had nothing better to do. 32 years later, Microsoft is ready to take away a part of our childhood when it stops support for Paint with the release of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
Introduced in 1985 with Windows 1.0, Paint was one of the first graphics editors which became a household feature for Windows users. It was only by Windows 98 that one could start saving Paint files as JPEG. Apart from Paint, Microsoft has also added Outlook Express, Reader App, and Reader List to its list of “features that are removed or deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.” Paint falls under the deprecated column, which means that these apps will not be in active development and will likely be removed in future releases.
Update: Microsoft on Monday clarified that MS Paint is not going away, but will be made available as an optional download via the Windows Store.
Killing off Paint suggests that Microsoft wants to push users towards adopting Paint 3D, which was introduced in April with the Windows 10 Creators Update as a more professional editing software. Paint 3D gives users 3D image making tools along with the 2D tools. In fact, Microsoft’s support page also mentions that the 3D Builder app will no longer be installed by default, urging users to use Paint 3D instead.
Microsoft’s Paint software will be remembered for, among other things, its simple user interface that made it easy to create artistic content. Whether or not this move will push people to accept Paint 3D is something that will have to be seen once the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update rolls out.