Photos showing a Galaxy S8 model allegedly running Windows 10 Mobile surfaced earlier today. While everyone knew that was a fake, hardcore Windows phone enthusiasts couldn’t help but imagine how their favourite mobile platform would be if ever Samsung decided to launch their dream project.
If truth be told, a Windows version of a Samsung Galaxy S8 isn’t so far off, mostly because Microsoft is itself is selling the phone in its own stores and Samsung agreed to pre-install a series of apps like Skype, Office, and OneDrive.
But as far as the fate of Windows 10 Mobile is concerned, it doesn’t even matter if Samsung launches such a device or not because of a very simple reason: the lack of devices wasn’t the only problem of Microsoft’s mobile ecosystem failed and now a single device can barely make a difference.
The Samsung Galaxy S8 is by all means a masterpiece so having it running Windows 10 Mobile would clearly be an important win for Microsoft. But the win will not be a game-changing one. Even if tomorrow Microsoft launches the Galaxy S8, the sales will not be enough to save the platform.
The lack of devices was not the biggest problem of Windows Phone of the ecosystem, although it surely was one major drawback. The lack of developer support, which in turn led to the lack of apps, and also the slow pace at which Microsoft delivered updates had a big impact on Windows phones, with reduced interest from OEMs only the tip of the iceberg which was Microsoft’s problems with its mobile ecosystem.
Another important point to make here is that it is not known if the Galaxy S8 will be able to support the Windows 10 mobile platform or not. The reason being the Snapdragon 835/Exynos 8895 processor that powers it is not supported by Microsoft’s operating system.
Microsoft does support this chip but only for Windows 10 on ARM, a new emulation system that brings the full version of the operating system on ARM processors. With this project, Microsoft wants to bring new devices to the market, though there’s still no evidence that phones are also included in this plan.
In the meantime, there’s a good chance that neither Microsoft nor Samsung see a Galaxy S8 running Windows 10 Mobile as a good idea, especially with Redmond’s increased focus on Android and iOS lately.
So your PC came pre-loaded with Windows 10 S and you want to install programs from outside the Store. Here’s how to upgrade your Windows 10 S machine to Windows 10 Pro.
Some devices come pre-installed with Windows 10 S, which is locked to the Windows Store for apps and games. Luckily, Microsoft offers Windows 10 S devices an upgrade path to Windows 10 Pro, unlocking the ability to install programs from the web. Here’s how you can upgrade your own Windows 10 S device to Windows 10 Pro.
How to upgrade Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro
A PC running Windows 10 S can be easily upgraded to Windows 10 Pro. It takes just a few seconds, and on some devices may even be a free upgrade. In most cases however, the upgrade will cost $49.99.
To initiate the upgrade process:
Press the Start button located at the bottom left of your screen.
Select the Settings icon, located just above the power icon on the Start menu.
Select Update & Security in the Settings app.
Select Activation, and then select Go to Store.
Select the Install option. On some devices, this button may display a price. If so, you will have to pay for the upgrade.
Make sure you’ve saved all your work, and select Yes, let’s go to get the upgrade started.
After a few minutes, your PC will restart and Windows 10 Pro will be installed.
And there you have it, once the restart is complete, you’ll see a popup that says the upgrade was successful. You can now install programs from the web, and do a clean install of Windows 10 Pro if you wish.
Windows 10 Creators Update added two display settings that make sitting in front of your laptop or PC a more pleasant experience. I’ll cover these two new display settings along with some old standbys so you can get Windows 10 ($92.99 at Amazon.com) looking its best.
1. Use the night light at night
Staring at an unnaturally blue screen at night can shift your body’s natural clock and make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Your phone likely has a way to switch to warmer colors at night, and now Windows does, too. Creators Update added a setting to lower the blue light of your PC. Head to Settings > System > Display (or just right-click on your desktop and choose Display settings) and click Night light settings. You can use a slider to choose how warm you want your display’s color temperature to get a night and schedule night-light mode to come on at sunset or manually set hours. You’ll also find a new Night light button in the Action Center to toggle the setting on and off.
2. Fix old apps with high DPI scaling
It’s a bummer to upgrade to a 4K display only to find that some of your apps look blurry, because the developer has yet to update them to run on a screen with so many pixels. Creators Update adds a way for you to override DPI settings so individual apps can scale properly (read: crisply) on high-resolution displays. For apps that look less than crisp on a high-resolution display, right-click on the app and choose Properties. Click on the Compatibility tab and check the box for Override high DPI scaling behavior and then choose System (Enhanced) from the pull-down menu.
If you are having trouble reading text, recognizing icons and navigating apps because your high-resolution display makes everything look so tiny, then you need to check out Windows 10’s scaling options. On the Display settings back is an option for Scale and layout. Windows will recommend a percentage but you can play around with the offerings to find the right balance between legibility and screen real estate.
4. Use your display’s native resolution
You should make every effort to use your display’s native resolution, which Windows calls the recommended resolution. It’s the highest resolution offered. If you select a lower resolution, then your screen image will look blurry. At its native resolution, each pixel on your LCD display is directly mapped to a pixel in the image sent by your PC’s graphics produce a sharp image. When those pixels don’t line up, things get blurry. Try to adjust the size of text and icons and so on by using the scaling option in tip 3 before you lower your screen resolution from the recommended setting.
5. Do a little color calibration
Windows has a built-in color calibration tool that’s hiding out in the Control Panel. Just search for color calibration and select Calibrate color display. You’ll be stepped through a number of display tests to adjust gamma, brightness, contrast and color balance. The tool helpfully shows you examples prior to each test image so you know what to look for to get the best results.
Microsoft has released new security updates for older versions of Windows as it warns of potential cyber-attacks by government organisations.
The patches include updates to Windows XP, the operating system that was targeted by the WannaCry ransomware attack in May that attacked parts of the NHS and other companies worldwide.
Typically, Microsoft only issues updates for its operating systems that are still supported – for consumers, that means Windows 7 and newer (with the exception of Windows 8, which is meant to be covered by the free upgrade to Windows 8.1). But in the wake of the WannaCry outbreak, which saw a ransomeware worm take advantage of un-patched versions of windows to encrpyt millions of computers worldwide, Microsoft is reassessing that policy.
“Due to the elevated risk for destructive cyber-attacks at this time, we made the decision to take this action because applying these updates provides further protection against potential attacks with characteristics similar to WannaCrypt [alternative name to WannaCry],” Adrienne Hall, the head of Microsoft’s Cyber Defense Operations Center, said.
Although Microsoft has not said what characteristics of the new vulnerabilities have led it to believe there is the potential for state-sanctioned attackers, the WannaCry reference has led security experts to conclude that the company is referring to leaked NSA hacking tools, released online by an entity calling itself The Shadow Brokers. The Shadow Brokers were responsible for releasing the vulnerability, referred to by the NSA as EternalBlue, which led to WannaCry being able to replicate itself and do so much damage internationally.
WannaCry wasn’t the only malware that used EternalBlue to spread, but it was by far the most destructive. The Shadow Brokers have promised to release further vulnerabilities in the future, offering them to “subscribers” willing to pay $10,000 (£7,850) a month for the privilege.
The new patches fix 16 vulnerabilities, of which 15 are ranked by Microsoft as critical. Craig Young, security researcher at infosec firm Tripwire, said: “Anyone still using Windows 2003 or XP should install these patches ASAP with the expectation that they will be actively exploited in the near term. This move may indicate that Microsoft has been made aware of exploits that may be pending imminent release from the Shadow Brokers.
“WannaCry was orders of magnitude smaller than some successful malware campaigns of the past,” Young added. “We may not be so lucky the next time this happens.”
But some criticised the move, arguing that continuing to support older versions of Windows was just delaying the inevitable. Peter Bright, from technology site Ars Technica, said: “patching is the wrong decision: it sends a clear message to recalcitrant corporations that they can stick with Windows XP, insecure as it is, because if anything too serious is found, Microsoft will update it anyway … Every time an organisation resists upgrading to Microsoft’s latest operating system, it jeopardises its own security.”
The WannaCry outbreak led to criticisms of the NHS for the widespread use of outdated software across the health service. Windows XP was not affected by the malware (although the operating system is weak to the EternalBlue exploit, WannaCry itself persistently crashed before managing to encrypt drives), but a number of the affected systems were running Windows Vista, a slightly newer unsupported version of the operating system.
Windows 10 users will get a new Creators Update, available to download in SeptemberTesting has begun for the upcoming Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, ahead of a planned September 2017 release date for the big patch.
Fast Ring Insider testers received the update to download in the past few days and have been trying out the new features of Microsoft’s flagship OS.
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update brings with it changes to the Action Centre notification area, which now has a separate section for apps.
The Windows Phone keyboard will also be coming to PCs, with enhanced text prediction to the touch keyboard in Windows 10.
There will also be a new touch keyboard layout, similar to the phone keyboard, for one handed use and Windows 10 users will be able to use dictation to input English or Chinese text on the desktop with the microphone button.
Voice commands can also be used for basic editing and punctuation as part of the new experience.
Users of the Edge browser are getting a brand new Full Screen Option (by hitting F11) and will be able to pin websites to the Taskbar.
While Microsoft have also added in new Cortana features, such as giving you reminders of upcoming events if you’ve taken a picture of the event’s poster and the voice assistant gets a new Lasso tool to circle relevant information on screen using a pen that supports Press and Hold.
Microsoft will also be adding in a brand new Emoji Panel to Windows 10.
By pressing the Windows and the full stop buttons, it will bring up the Emoji panel and you can quickly scroll through and pic the emoji you want.
The latest Windows 10 update, due out in a few months time, follows on from the most recent Creators Update in April.
It brought with major improvements to 3D modelling, virtual reality support and a new Game Mode for Windows 10 PCs that prioritised resources for games.
Windows 10 Creators Update is FINALLY here
If you haven’t upgraded to Windows 10 yet and are wishing you had signed up during the official free upgrade period, you may still be in luck.
Express.co.uk recently revealed that despite the Windows 10 free upgrade offer ending last year, you could STILL download it for free.
The official end for the free upgrade was July 29 2016.
However, if you are currently running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, you may still be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for nothing by following a few simple steps.
The Action Center will get a new look with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will let you pin websites to the taskbar from Microsoft Edge
The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update will also feature a new Emoji panel
Users need to go to the Download Windows 10 webpage and click the ‘Download tool now’ button.
After that has downloaded, people need to run the Media Creation Tool.
You can then choose ‘Upgrade this PC now’ if you have downloaded the Media Creation Tool onto the PC you want to upgrade and if you’re only upgrading one machine.
Windows 10 S is the latest version of Microsoft’s new and improved operating system, which is about to launch with the new Surface Laptop and a series of machines from third-party manufactures.
It joins Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro as the three versions of Windows aimed at consumers. However, confusingly it is not an upgrade to either, but a class of Windows in and of itself.
Strictly speaking Windows 10 S is Windows 10 Pro but with some limitations that are designed to, in Microsoft’s words, “be streamlined for simplicity, security and speed”. In other words Windows 10 S is meant to be more secure, faster and have longer battery life, like-for-like on the same computer.
The biggest limitation is that it is restricted to using only apps downloaded from the Windows Store, of which there are about 700,000 available. The quantity is not the issue, but the quality is: the Windows Store is full of dross, from outdated and abandoned apps, to clones and useless junk – but the situation is improving almost monthly.
How do I get it?
You can’t buy Windows 10 S without a machine: it will only come on new computers – primarily those aimed at the lower-end or the education market, aside from the Surface Laptop.
If I don’t like it can I change it?
Users can upgrade from 10 S to Windows 10 Pro with a few button presses, as Windows 10 S is built on Windows 10 Pro. For many the upgrade will be free for a limited amount of time. Surface Laptop users can upgrade to 10 Pro for free until the end of 2017 – or face a fee of around £50 after.
What’s it like to use?
Windows 10 S is the fastest version of Windows I have ever used – from switching and loading apps to booting up, it’s noticeably quicker than either Windows 10 Home or 10 Pro running on similar hardware.
If you only use the built-in Windows apps, such as Mail and Calendar, People, Skype, Edge and Office, Windows 10 S won’t seem any different – expect the speed. It behaves just like any other version of Windows 10. It has the normal Start menu and of course the same mix of new-looking Windows 10 interface hiding the ancient Windows XP-era Control Panel, if you dig deep enough.
It’s not restricted in any noticeable day-to-day way (you can even mess with drivers, disks and group policy, just not the registry), apart from where you can install apps.
I found Windows Store restriction to be more bothersome than I expected. About half the apps I use on Windows come from the Store, which is great and makes setting up machines easier and faster. But the other half I find it very difficult to live without. For instance, I haven’t found a good simple text editor in the Windows Store – although there are many – and as I do not use Adobe I struggle to find an image-editing program that will do what I need.
Photoshop Elements 14 is available via the Windows Store, so if you were to stick with Windows 10 S that would be your best bet – but it’s no full Photoshop. Photoshop isn’t available on the Windows Store, and neither are excellent image editors such as Affinity Photo and the free Gimp.
I’m also a Spotify user, and as the desktop app isn’t available in the Windows Store, I was confined to the Flash-based Spotify Web player in Edge, which was a terrible experience (I quit after it failed to play more than two songs sequentially before falling over). I also missed the WhatsApp Windows 10 app, the Signal Chrome extension and Steam and all the games I have.
While I can get by with alternatives most of the time, one of the biggest issues I had with Windows 10 S was the limited browser selection – you’ve got Edge and that’s pretty much it unless you want to deal with Internet Explorer 11. You can’t install Chrome, Firefox, Opera or any other browser; they’re not available in the Windows Store and are highly unlikely to be – though given that Apple’s iTunes is coming to the Windows Store, never say never.
Microsoft’s Edge is an interesting problem. Some will like it – a more stripped-down experience of the web that you can draw all over. It has some nice features, but I found that it just wasn’t up to scratch as the only browser you have access to.
It’s faster than Chrome, Safari and all the rest – according to Microsoft – but I didn’t find it to be. It choked on some of the more mundane sites, requiring a couple of reloads to get it to render them correctly, and it wasn’t anything to do with plugins or Flash.
It failed to load Microsoft’s Office install subscription page, meaning I had to switch to another computer using Chrome to deactivate an older install of Office to activate it on another one. Not even being able to render your own site fully is a bit embarrassing.
Edge will struggle with anything built with Chrome or Firefox in mind. Trying to use the Guardian’s editorial tools was a nightmare of jumping text cursors, copy and paste garbage and straight-up broken features, all of which work perfectly fine in Chrome, Firefox and Safari.
The Wire browser messaging app didn’t work properly, missing certain characters from pasted text. Not even tech site Engadget’s galleries worked as they’re meant to.
Should all these sites and web apps work in Edge? Probably, but unless Windows 10 S becomes a storming success and grabs Edge a greater slice of the worldwide browser market share (it’s currently claiming just 1.73% compared to Chrome’s 54.14% according to data from StatCounter) then it’s unlikely everything will become compliant.
If you’re setting it up in anywhere quiet, plug in headphones before you start it up the first time as Cortana shouts at you
Most peripherals work fine, but if you need a particular utility to run your printer or scanner or any other peripheral, you can forget it
It comes with BitLocker to encrypt your hard drive
If you upgrade to Windows 10 Pro there’s no going back
I couldn’t find a way to paste plain text or to keep formatting in Edge
Edge was incredibly vexing
Windows 10 S is a nice attempt by Microsoft to create an easier to manage, faster Windows 10 experience. It feels like it is intended to become Microsoft’s default operating system – a step below Windows 10 Home – and that might be what happens unless consumers rebel.
It lives up to most of Microsoft’s promises. It is faster. It is more secure in that at least it won’t run anything that’s not downloaded from the Windows Store, and it is simpler. The underlying Windows 10 experience is great, so if all the normal applications people install were available through the Windows Store, it would be brilliant.
But they aren’t, and Edge simply isn’t ready to be your only browser – it is holding the whole of Windows 10 S back. The app situation may change, particularly if Windows 10 S becomes popular enough to be a draw for developers to get their programs into the Windows Store.
For now by all means try Windows 10 S, but be prepared to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro almost immediately.
Windows 10 S is a streamlined version of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system designed to improve performance by limiting the programs it can run.
The software can only run apps downloaded from Windows’ Store, making it Microsoft’s answer to Google’s Chrombook.
Announced in May, the company has called the software a “walled” version of Windows 10 that will help computers “run as well as they do on day one as they do on day 1,000”. One reason laptops slow down is invasive software, Microsoft says, so the new system will be welcome to many users.
However, the operating system restricts what apps users can download, meaning some users may want to stick to a more traditional program. For them, there is an option to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for a $49 (£38) fee.
What is Windows 10 S?
Similar in many ways to Microsoft’s current operating system Windows 10 Pro, the new software has the same task bars, multi-tasking and hot keys as the current system, as well as the same look. The operating system has been showcased on Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop, released on June 15.
So what has changed? Apps installed on Windows 10 S are “contained” to prevent them from making changes to the operating system, which should mean the laptop performs better over its lifetime. Microsoft says the system should boot 15 seconds faster on average than a similar machine running Windows 10 Pro.
It also helps to secure the system by limiting the device to apps that are verified and downloaded through the Windows Store, which prevents malicious and unwanted software from slowing the system down.
The operating system is also designed to lock down and secure devices for use as education tools, tapping into the market that has been dominated by Google’s ChromeOS.
Chrome and Firefox will not be available
One issue that may cause some people to change their operating system from Windows 10 S is the limitation of popular apps. The operating system limits users to Microsoft’s Edge web browser and makes Bing the default search engine.
The restrictions mean users cannot set Google as their default search engine or download the Chrome app. Other search engines like Firefox aren’t available either, while popular systems such as gaming platform Steam and Adobe’s Creative Cloud Suite cannot be downloaded.
More apps are coming to the Windows Store, however, with Spotify and iTunes some of the latest additions. Any user attempting to install an app that is not approved by the Windows store will be met with the following pop up.
Should I upgrade to Windows 10 Pro?
If you really want to use apps that can’t be accessed on the Windows Store you have the option of upgrading to Windows 10 Pro, Microsoft’s current software.
The quickest way to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro is by attempting to download an app from outside of the Windows Store, which triggers a pop-up offering the upgrade.
The download will be free to users on the Microsoft Surface Laptop until December 31, after which users will incur a fee. The software upgrade cannot be reversed, meaning once you switch to Windows 10 Pro you cannot easily return to 10 S.
The update also won’t be free on cheaper Windows devices, with those under $700 (£550) incurring a $49 (£39) fee for upgrading. Microsoft has not yet confirmed UK pricing.
What devices will run Windows 10 S?
The flagship device for Windows 10 S is Microsoft’s new £979 Surface Laptop. It will also come on a range of new devices from Acer, Dell, HP Acer, Asus and Samsung. These devices will largely be cheaper than the Surface Laptop, although few are available in the UK at the moment.
Google blew the lid off of Chrome OS yesterday in a big way, and one of its key features is now ready to roll. Cloud Print was unveiled back in April, a method to enable Google mobile devices to print via nebulous networking, and it’s now here
with some caveats. The biggest being that right now the only host for a non Cloud Print-compatible printer (basically all but this one) is a Windows PC running Chrome 9.0.597.1 or greater. Set up the service through there and the browser will host your good ‘ol printer to your Chrome OS device. Don’t have a Chrome OS device? You will. Eventually more printers will support this natively, eliminating the middleman, and we’re sure printing support will be coming to Androiddown the road too. When? In due time, fair reader. In due time.
Microsoft officially ended support for Windows XP in 2014
The company issued free security patches for Windows XP last month
Microsoft has advised users to move to the latest versions of Windows
Microsoft was criticised last month for not providing free security patches to Windows XP users early enough to help protect against WannaCry ransomware. It seems like the Redmond-based company has taken the criticism seriously, as it has now included additional security updates for earlier versions of Windows as part of ‘Update Tuesday’. These updates are said to offer enhanced protection against cyber-attacks with characteristics similar to WannaCry.
While reviewing the security updates for June, Microsoft identified there certain vulnerabilities posed “elevated risk of cyber-attacks by government organisations, sometimes referred to as nation-state actors or other copycat organisations,” Adrienne Hall, General Manager, Cyber Defense Operations Center, said in her blog post on Tuesday.
In order to address these vulnerabilities, Microsoft is providing additional security patches with the update, even to those customers who are on earlier versions of Windows. “Due to the elevated risk for destructive cyber-attacks at this time, we made the decision to take this action because applying these updates provides further protection against potential attacks with characteristics similar to WannaCrypt,” Hall said. Notably, Microsoft officially ended the support for Windows XP in 2014.
Microsoft says that if you are on Windows 10 or Windows 8.1, the currently supported versions, and have Windows Update enabled, you don’t need to do anything from your side. Further, the company has warned users that the “best protection” is to be on a modern up-to-date system and that “older systems, even if fully up-to-date, lack the latest security features and advancements.”
WannaCry ransomware, which erupted last month, hit more than 150 countries and encrypted files on more than 200,000 computers. In order to unlock the files, the malware creators reportedly demanded a ransom of $300 (roughly Rs. 19,300) worth of Bitcoins from the users. It seems like Microsoft has now taken a more pro-active approach to the situation and decided that it should provide further protection to those users who are on unsupported versions as well.
Microsoft earlier said it will ship development kits in March
The new VR controllers will not work with HoloLens
The new controllers don’t require any external sensors
In March this year, Microsoft announced that the company will start shipping development kits for Windows Mixed Reality (earlier called Windows Holographic) later in the month itself. However, the company seemed to have changed its mind later as it didn’t happen. Now the Redmond-based company has finally started taking pre-orders for the mixed reality development kits from HP and Acer. Microsoft also announced its own motion controllers for Windows 10 VR at its Build conference.
Notably, Microsoft has still not announced the release dates for these development kits but interested users can now pre-order the development kits from the company’s website. While the Acer Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition has been priced at $299 (roughly Rs. 19,200), the HP Windows Mixed Reality Headset Developer Edition is available for pre-orders at $329 (roughly Rs. 21,200). The option for pre-orders is currently available for users in the US and Canada.
Both HP and Acer’s Windows Mixed Reality headsets come with some common features including two high-resolution liquid crystal displays with a 1440×1440 pixels resolution, front hinged displays, 95-degree horizontal field-of-view, display refresh rate up to 90Hz (native), built-in audio out and microphone support through 3.5mm jack, single cable with HDMI 2.0 (display) and USB 3.0 (data) for connectivity, and inside-out tracking. Additionally, the HP headset comes with double-padded headband and easy adjustment knob, as per Microsoft.
Microsoft has further provided the list of recommended system specifications for developers on its blog. Needless to say, you will need a powerful configuration to support the mixed reality development kit from the company.
Moving to the motion controllers for Windows 10 VR, Microsoft says “a customer who pairs a Windows Mixed Reality headset with motion controllers will have a rich and immersive experience across creativity tools, productivity, games, and entertainment.”
Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers don’t require any external sensors and offer “precise and responsive” movement tracking, as per company’s claims. The company says that it plans to market and sell these controllers on retail shelves this holiday. The company has confirmed that these controllers will not work with HoloLens headset, as per a report by CNET.
Microsoft announced that Acer will sell its Windows Mixed Reality headset and motion controller bundle priced at $399 (roughly Rs. 25,700) this holiday season.