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Microsoft's takes the opportunity to make digs at Apple in its new Windows 10 ads. Featuring "the bug chicks" (two women who teach kids about bugs for a living), they praise functionality like touchscreen drawing and Cortana, then say things like, "Even on the new Macs they don't have that."
Also, real bugs are shown. In other words, if you're an Apple fan with a fear of bugs, these ads will make you simultaneously angry and terrified.
Valve's Linux-powered SteamOS now supports the Vulkan API, the cross-platform alternative to DirectX 12. For SteamOS users, this should result in significantly better performance when gaming, as well as more SteamOS games.
The latest version of SteamOS includes version 355 of the NVIDIA Linux driver, which supports Vulkan, so from here on out, it's good to go as far as NVIDIA hardware is concerned. Intel are said to be hopping on board soon too, and with an open-source driver, no less (NVIDIA's is closed-source). As for AMD, it is currently working on the Vulkan-friendly AMDGPU, which will replace its Linux/SteamOS fglrx driver.
What's more, the individual whose made the project has also been able to emulate Windows 1.01 and certain versions of Linux that all work just swimmingly. So if you're of the generation that never knew the glory of Windows 98, now's your chance to play around without having to install it in your own virtual machine. And you can easily dabble in Linux without the need for a Live-CD and even dabble in FreeDOS.
Windows Spotlight is a great feature that can actually be useful at times. Showing you some nice artistic photographs on your lockscreen and even suggesting some surprisingly useful apps on your start menu. A recent update seems to have added some annoying ads that go beyond simple suggestions. But thankfully there's a way to turn it off.
In fact, it's very simple. But it also means you won't get a rotating gallery of beautiful photos when you start-up. You might find ads magically appearing about games or even other products that aren't even related to Microsoft. Just follow the below steps and you'll be just fine, sans ads.
- Open the Start Menu and search for "Lock Screen Settings."
- Under "Background," select either Picture or Slideshow, instead of Windows Spotlight.
- Scroll down to "Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen" and this toggle.
Microsoft will be holding a press event later this month centered around its Xbox One and Windows 10 cross-platform ecosystem. Details are a bit light, but sources indicate that Xbox head Phil Spencer will be there, and a roadmap for future Windows 10 content will be presented.
Redmond wants to remind everyone that Windows 10 is still exciting, and to prove it, the tech titan is holding a new presser just three weeks head of GDC 2016. The Windows event kicks off on February 25, and will focus on the hottest new Xbox One games as well as the future of Windows 10 as a whole, so we'll probably get more info on Redstone and cross-platform Xbox One-to-Windows features.
According to Windows Central, who has been invited to the shindig, attendees will have "the chance to hear from Head of Xbox Phil Spencer and get hands-on with the best games and platform experiences launching this spring on Xbox and Windows 10." So we'll likely see the usual suspects like Xbox One's former-exclusive Quantum Break as well as the Windows 10 flavors of Killer Instinct and Gears of War.
Since the release of Windows 10, we've been slowly learning just how much of a spying tool it is for Microsoft, but these new numbers are going to blow you away.
Voat user CheesusCrust has completed some extensive testing on Windows 10, where he reports that during an 8-hour period, Windows 10 attempted to send back data from his PC to over 51 different IPS addresses owned by Microsoft, and at a staggering 5500 times.
After 30 hours, the data being sent back to Microsoft from Windows 10 expanded to a huge 113 non-private IP addresses. These IP addresses being non-private means that hackers can intercept that data, which makes anyone using Windows 10 very, very vulnerable. You might think this is just a once-off, and that the proof can't be replicated? Yeah, well, no.
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.