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Microsoft has been pretty secretive about the contents of its Windows 10 updates, but that's no longer the case as of today. The company has launched a new section of its website which details all updates in changelog form, starting with two updates released today (one for each Windows 10 branch).
"We're committed to our customers and strive to incorporate their feedback, both in how we deliver Windows as a service and the info we provide about Windows 10," they write. "In response to this feedback, we're providing more details about the Windows 10 updates we deliver through Windows Update. You'll see a summary of important product developments included in each update, with links to more details. This page will be regularly refreshed, as new updates are released."
As it was foretold back in October, Windows 10 has been moved from Optional update status to Recommended. This means for anyone who has Automatic Updates and the "Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates" settings enabled, the upgrade process will begin automatically. If you want to change this, type 'Windows Update settings' in the start menu, click 'Advanced options', and change the aforementioned settings.
Note that although some files will be downloaded regardless of what you do to make upgrading quicker, the upgrade will still not actually take place unless you give it permission to do so.
Windows 10 is continuing to jump up the adoption ladder, especially when we look at the latest figures from NetMarketShare, which show Windows 10 has a global OS market share of 11.85%, up from 9.96% in December.
If we compare Windows 10's global OS market share of 11.85% against Windows 8.1 and its 10.4%, and even Windows XP with 11.4%, we can see Windows 10 is doing quite well so far. Microsoft said last month that Windows 10 is the fastest growing version of its OS ever, with 75 million installations in the first month, and 110 million after 10 weeks. In December, Windows 10 had found its way onto 200 million active devices, which is getting closer to Microsoft's plans of having Windows 10 on 1 billion devices "in two or three years".
To try it head out, head here and click the 'Start Windows 95' button. Be warned the disk image is 131MB uncompressed, so it will take a few minutes to load on an average connection, and even once loaded, it will probably run slower than you remember for a variety of technical reasons. Once you're in, click the Fullscreen button to gain control of the OS.
Windows 95 launched 20 years ago and was a landmark OS for Microsoft. Support for it ended just a day prior to 2002.
Cortana is getting quite the upgrade today, with new features that'll help you manage your schedule, and keep your promises. It happens to the best of us, we say we'll do something, forget to actually put in on the calendar, then we forget. Cortana is going to make sure that that doesn't happen anymore.
Microsoft Research has come up with a better way to integrate Cortana into the OS and to leverage her natural attentiveness in order to automatically recognize any sort of commitments you make in through email, and scheduling those for you on the calendar. The way they've done this is through the implementation of a new Natural Language Processing algorithm that can identify these things, determine a time-frame you're likely to setup, and remind you to do those tasks. Now there's no excuse for forgetting to pick up more coffee at the store.
Another new feature coming to Cortana is how she'll be able to better organize your calendar too. Not only will there be automatic scheduling of meetings, but you'll get notified of any conflicts in times and anything outside your normal routine will be flagged so you can adjust accordingly.
Just how profitable has Android been for Google since it acquired the company? Thanks to Oracle's lawyer in their court proceedings against Google, Bloomberg reports that Android has generated $31 billion in revenue and $22 billion in profits since it launched.
Most of the money made has been from Google ads shown on Android phones, and from Play Store revenue. Oracle attorney Annette Hurst said: "Look at the extraordinary magnitude of commerciality here". Google, until now, has been keeping Android earnings a secret, has requested the judge to seal the transcript from that part of the hearing.
Google says the Oracle lawyer received her information from internal, confidential documents marked "Attorney's Eyes Only", and that they should never have been released. Google wrote in its request to the judge: "That non-public financial data is highly sensitive, and public disclosure could have significant negative effects on Google's business".
An interesting story has floated to the surface of the Internet over the weekend, where Microsoft has announced it will not support older operating systems on new platforms, in the very near future.
The company wrote: "Through July 17, 2017, Skylake devices on the supported list will also be supported with Windows 7 and 8.1. During the 18-month support period, these systems should be upgraded to Windows 10 to continue receiving support after the period ends. After July 2017, the most critical Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 security updates will be addressed for these configurations, and will be released if the update does not risk the reliability or compatibility of the Windows 7/8.1 platform on other devices".
Considering Intel's Skylake architecture isn't that old at all, it's concerning that Microsoft will drop support for Skylake processors in Windows 7/8.1 next July. The Redmond-based OS giant has added that operating systems like Windows 7 were never designed for the latest and greatest technological advances we have on PC.
Microsoft added: "Windows 7 was designed nearly 10 years ago before any x86/x64 SOCs existed. For Windows 7 to run on any modern silicon, device drivers and firmware need to emulate Windows 7's expectations for interrupt processing, bus support, and power states- which is challenging for Wi-Fi, graphics, security, and more. As partners make customizations to legacy device drivers, services, and firmware settings, customers are likely to see regressions with Windows 7 ongoing servicing".
The research firm IDC conducted a survey about Windows 10 and has just now published the results of that survey. And the data they have seems to suggest that Windows 10 is quite the success. People actually enjoy it. And they're liking it far more than they did upgrading to previous releases.
Satisfaction is abnormally high for Windows 10. That is, 60% of those that said they have Windows 10 picked a "favorable" or "very favorable" rating when asked how they saw the OS. But not everyone enjoys the new OS, with 1 in 10 having chosen an "unfavorable" rating or lower. But the positive responses still outweighed the negative, indicating that it was at least generally a better and more smooth launch than 8 or 8.1.
The survey was given to 1,000 adults who owned PC's in the US and was carried out in September of last year. But with the survey being conducted so soon after the July 2015 launch of Windows 10, it might be that the responses were slightly colored with the relative "newness" of the new OS. If you weren't part of the preview program, it was different enough from 8.1 to feel better overall, despite issues that seemed to crop up later. Regardless, the Steam hardware survey shows that Windows 10 64 bit has a 31.25% share of all machines running Steam, which is up 2.44% over last November. That isn't insignificant.
A heap of new features are coming to version 9.3 of iOS. Once it launches, you'll be able to sleep better, read better, exercise better, teach better, and basically just be an all around amazing human being.
One of the key additions is "Night Shift". If you've used f.lux before, you know the drill: warmer colours on your display in the evening. This restores melatonin production in your brain to normal levels, allowing you to sleep easier. That's the gist of it, anyway.
Usually OS's get supported for at least 10 years from the date their released, and sometimes even longer if certain sectors take a unique liking to them. But in the case of vanilla Windows 8, support and security updates ends today, January 12th 2016. So upgrade unless you want to be vulnerable.
It seems that because Microsoft released Windows 8.1 as a separate operating system, support for the previous OS will end. If you upgrade to 8.1, then you'll extend your OS support until January 10th 2023. Downgrading (or upgrading, depending on your point of view) to Windows 7 gives you security updates until January 14th 2020, and of course Windows 10 is available and quite the nice OS thus far.
Windows 8 is perhaps one of the finest mistakes that Microsoft has ever made. They were shooting for something nearly completely different that missed the mark while helping to drive the innovation necessary to reach Windows 10 and the more fluid update system that's been implemented.