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In a just year's time, Windows 10 will completely phase out its beloved predecessor Windows 7 on all new PC's. Now we know exactly how Microsoft will get its wish of one billion Windows 10 users--simply not giving new PC buyers a choice.
The Redmond-based tech giant today revealed the revised lifecycle for existing Windows operating systems, confirming that as of October 31, 2016 all new retail PC's will only ship with Windows 10. Microsoft has mandated that OEM's like Dell and HP will no longer be able to ship laptops, all-in-ones, desktops or hybrid systems with Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 preinstalled after the cut-off date.
This timeline is notably more aggressive and accelerated than Microsoft's usual lifecycle amendments. Microsoft typically announces these changes a full two years after a new OS rolls out, but given the company's assertive evangelical stance on Windows 10 it's no surprise things are speeding up.
Last week we reported Android was going to consume Chrome OS once the two operating systems merged. Google has clarified this is not true, and that Chrome OS isn't actually going anywhere.
"While we've been working on ways to bring together the best of both operating systems," they write in a blog post, "there's no plan to phase out Chrome OS."
Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10576 is out in the wild, and with it comes a fairly exciting feature, if you have the device(s) to support it: media casting.
Via Edge, you can send videos, pictures, and audio to any Miracast and DLNA enabled device in your home. This includes support for YouTube videos, Facebook photos, and Pandora songs, but in theory you may be able to cast just about anything. Sadly, protected content is not supported, so you can't cast Netflix, Hulu, etc. -- one of the key reasons to cast in the first place.
Other changes in this build include Xbox beta app voiceover recording and search and purchase functionality, a fix for the Xbox beta RAM usage issue which popped up under specific circumstances, and Hyper-V performance improvements.
Following recent reports Windows 10 was attempting to self-install on some systems, Microsoft assured the public this was a mistake and would be rectified in short order. That's true (the upgrade will be flagged as an "Optional Update" now or soon), but come early 2016, Windows 10 will officially adopt this behavior when it becomes a recommended update.
To be clear, Windows 10 will not automatically install itself, it will simply begin the process, at which point you can stop it or continue. As well, you can change this behavior and whether or not you see the notification upgrades via settings. Lastly, you'll have the option to roll back to your previous version of Windows within 31 days of installing Windows 10.
According to reports published by the Wall Street Journal, leading tech giant Google will unify Chrome OS and Android to build a new synergized operating system that will roll out sometime in 2017.
WSJ notes that Google has been planning to fuse Chrome OS and Android for "roughly two years", and have recently made significant progress in the merger. Google plans to showcase an early build of the unified OS next year.
As Android will consume Chrome OS, this means we'll likely see Android-powered PC's. Fusing the beleaguered and under-used Chrome OS with the widely-adopted Android makes a lot of sense, as the two operating systems each have their own strengths. Android has a huge app ecosystem but is pretty bad with a keyboard and mouse, and Chrome OS is optimized for a PC experience, but its "browser-only" approach is more closed off and lacking in software.
Build 10581 of the Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview rolls out today. While it doesn't contain big new features, it does fix that dreadful upgrade bug plaguing the last couple releases, so if you skipped those, you do get to finally enjoy the features they introduced (text from PC, Skype integration, Uber/Cortana integration, Cortana background power usage optimization, and improved texting, among others). Microsoft says it's "very happy" to have the bug behind them.
New changes include photo sharing through third party apps, better battery life, and improved video recording, to name the bigger ticket items.
Be aware you may see a black screen upon installing this update for approximately five minutes. This is normal, so don't be alarmed.
Apple shot a series of aerial videos over New York, San Francisco, Hawaii, China, and London for its Apple TV screensaver, with astounding results. If you want that on your Mac, an open source project now lets you achieve that. Hit the source for the download and instructions.
Unfortunately, there is no day/night cycle support (so you only see day versions in the day, and night versions at night). Redditor InkognitoV says it doesn't seem to support it right now, but he "may fork the project and try to add this feature" if he can find the time.
Those preview builds we've been reporting on in recent weeks will roll out to the public in early November, Microsoft says.
Among the changes and additions:
- darker title bars
- smaller context menus for mouse usage
- improved Media Creation Tool
- Cortana improvements (including text from PC)
- Edge improvements (Tab Preview and Favourites and Reading list items syncing, among others)
- extra column of live tiles on the Start menu
- native Skype calling and messaging
These were all intended to make it into the launch version of Windows 10, so when the update hits, you can rest easy knowing you have the version of of the operating system its designers wanted you to have.
Windows 10 Mobile Preview Build 10572 is now live, and as with the last release, it includes many exciting changes and feature additions. Perhaps most exciting of all is the ability to text from your PC -- no need to leave your phone by the desk or go get it to text someone anymore.
The new feature is handled through Cortana which can also show you missed calls. When you see a missed call, you simply click "text reply" and proceed to, well, text reply. If you want to text someone at any time, type or speak "text" and who you want to text (as you would on your phone), and Cortana will handle the rest.
To set it up, sign into Cortana with the same Microsoft account on your phone and PC. Notifications can be disabled on any device at any time through Cortana.
The Windows 10 upgrade already automatically downloads on Windows 7 and 8 machines, but recently it's gotten even more aggressive. User reports have come in stating the upgrade attempts to automatically install without them initiating the process. You are still required to intervene to actually begin the installation, but this is still disconcerting.
Microsoft says this is a simple error that will be rectified, if it's not already: "As part of our effort to bring Windows 10 to existing genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers, the Windows 10 upgrade may appear as an optional update in the Windows Update (WU) control panel. This is an intuitive and trusted place people go to find Recommended and Optional updates to Windows. In the recent Windows update, this option was checked as default; this was a mistake and we are removing the check."