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  • Paul Thurrott on that fabulous new Win10 Start menu, currently in testing

    Posted on July 2nd, 2020 at 08:35 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Credit: Microsoft

    See the difference? Me, neither.

    Paul Thurrott nailed it again. Talking about the minor tweaks in the Start menu that were released yesterday in the beta Fast Ring, er, Insider Developer Channel:

    It’s so minor, in fact, that it doesn’t even rise to the level of “lipstick on a pig.”

    That was precisely my reaction, particularly when I read all the fawning accounts of how beautiful and wonderful the new, new Start menu turned out.

    Paul has a great analysis on his Premium site ($64/yr and worth every penny).

  • Windows Insiders (beta testers): You’re being moved to the new, new channels soon

    Posted on June 30th, 2020 at 07:17 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you haven’t been moved already.

    Amanda Langkowski posted yesterday:

    Update 6/29: Today, we have begun rolling out the Channels naming to the Windows Insider Program Settings page under Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program. The rollout will happen over the course of the next few days.

    I talked about the truly baffling re-naming effort back on June 18.

  • Acknowledged bug in the Chromium version of Edge

    Posted on June 25th, 2020 at 10:55 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    MS has admitted that there’s a bug in all Chromium-based versions of Edge that have either AdBlock (Plus) or Adblock for Youtube extensions installed. The bug makes YouTube videos break:

    If you’re experiencing this bug, you will likely encounter a black screen on the video player when attempting to load a video on YouTube. (See the screenshot below.) We’ve found that this behavior is happening on all operating systems and all Microsoft Edge channels.

    It sounds like MS isn’t really, really sure that the problem’s confined to AdBlock:

    We’d love to know if you’re seeing this error message but not using an Adblock extension, or if the above workaround doesn’t resolve the error. If so, please submit feedback through Microsoft Edge

    The solution? Disable the ad blocker.

  • Windows 10 Insider Program Changes

    Posted on June 16th, 2020 at 09:45 joep517 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft has announced changes to the Windows 10 Insider Program. The rings will be renamed channels with the channel names better aligned with other Microsoft products. Additionally, Microsoft says that the focus of the releases will change from frequency to quality. See Introducing Windows Insider Channels for a more in-depth discussion.

  • Coming to a PC near you: Win10 2004, the ‘May 2020 Update’

    Posted on June 8th, 2020 at 01:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Woody Leonhard

    Two weeks ago, Microsoft started rolling out the latest Windows 10 feature update — to little enthusiasm from customers.

    Yawn   another Win10 release?

    If you’re running Win10, you may have already seen an offer to “Download and install” version 2004. Or you might’ve seen a notice that your machine isn’t yet ready. As usual, the situation’s a bit complex — unnecessarily so.

    But as with every new release of Windows, you’re well advised to avoid Version 2004 for now on any production or personal system.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.22.0 (2020-06-08).

    UPDATE: Tero Alhonen reports on Twitter that a Surface Pro 4 is getting Win10 version 2004 through Windows Update.

  • KB 4541302 – The new Chromium-based version of Edge is coming

    Posted on June 4th, 2020 at 07:22 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft has started officially rolling out Chredge, the Chromium-based version of Edge, to Windows 10 version 1903 and 1909 customers… which is to say, most of us.

    According to Martin Brinkmann at Ghacks, it’ll appear as

    • KB4541301 — for Windows 10 version 1803 and 1809
    • KB4541302 – for Windows 10 version 1903 and 1909
    • KB4559309 — for all Windows 10 versions from Windows 10 version 1803 to 2004.

    (I’ve seen KB 4559309 on Win10 version 2004. Not sure if that specific KB appears on earlier versions.)

    Apparently it arrives as a regular Windows update – which means if you’ve Paused updates, it wont’ show up, but when you remove the Pause (or it runs out), you’ll get it.

    Installation’s a bit odd — the new Edge replaces (but doesn’t remove) the old Edge, which is now called “Edge Legacy.” It’s possible to run the old Edge Legacy, if you stand on your head and squint real hard, but why would you want to? The old Edge was an also-ran for a reason. Many reasons, actually.

    Reviews for the new Edge are good – although I’ll be sticking with Brave (my new preference), Firefox and Chrome for awhile.

  • UWP is dead… sorta

    Posted on May 15th, 2020 at 07:47 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    You remember the Universal Windows Platform, UWP, right?

    It started out as the future of Windows programming. In Windows 8 days, UWP apps were known as Metro-style apps. You got them from the Windows Store, which was due to become the source of all Windows stuff – with Metro guiding the way.

    As I said a year ago:

    You can define “UWP” in a million different ways – the API, the interface, the “Store app” location. There are parts of UWP that’ll be absorbed into other Microsoft products. That absorption is under way now. You can think of the absorption as a manifestation of UWP’s longevity. But the push on devs to build UWP apps or be left in the dust? The “Win10 über alles” mindset? That’s headed out the door.

    UWP is on its way out and there’s nothing the fanbois can do to stop the shift. We saw the same thing happen with ActiveX and Silverlight – Microsoft getting devs all fired up about using a new technology, only to have the rug pulled out from under them.

    You can draw your own conclusions, but everything I’ve seen points to an extended, painful demise of UWP as we know it. And I, for one, won’t miss it.

    I took a lot of flak from the faithful for that at the time, but guess what? It’s happening right now.

    Last week, Mary Jo Foley reported on an interview with MS VP for the developer platform Kevin Gallo, saying:

    When Microsoft launched UWP originally with Windows 8 (and continuing with Windows 10), officials promised that the platform would provide apps with better performance and security because they’d be distributable and updatable from the Microsoft Store. Developers would be able to use a common set of programming interfaces across Windows 10, Windows Phone, HoloLens and more, officials said, when selling the UWP vision. The downside: UWP apps would work on Windows 10-based devices only. Developers would have to do work to get their apps to be UWP/Store-ready. And Win32 apps wouldn’t get UWP features like touch and inking.

    Arguably, Gallo told me, “we shouldn’t have gone that way,” meaning creating this schism. But Microsoft execs — including Gallo — continue to maintain that UWP is not dead.

    I love that “arguably” part.

    Paul Thurrott has been sorting through the session list for the Build 2020 conference — the place MS dazzles the devoted developers, developers, developers — and found:

    “Learn how the Windows app platform is evolving and unifying Win32 and UWP so your present and future apps can easily target 1 billion+ Windows devices,” the description of a session titled Unifying and evolving the Windows app platform reads.

    He found a few other Build 2020 sessions that discuss UWP — and they all have the same tone. “Project Reunion” is the way of the future, and UWP gets kicked to the curb.

    Again, I won’t miss it one bit.

  • Windows 10X coming to a laptop near you – some day

    Posted on May 4th, 2020 at 11:59 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It’s official. Windows honcho Panos Panay just posted an update to Microsoft’s gameplan for Windows 10X, the Chromebook challenger due later this year on foldable devices.

    Oh. Wait a sec. No, the foldable devices are out.

    No. Wait another sec. It might not arrive this year.

    Panay starts with a recap of the Win10 version 2004 release we’re expecting later this month:

    In this update, we are going to make some things easier and faster for our customers like introducing a more streamlined way to pair Bluetooth devices in Windows… We are bringing practical improvements in the bigger things, like an improved tablet experience when you detach your 2-in-1’s keyboard, allowing you to keep the familiarity of your desktop while at the same time optimizing for touch. As always, we are continuing our focus on empowering everyone with Windows, and with the May 2020 Update we are bringing “drag and drop” to those who use our Eye Control functionality*. We are even bringing in some fun, like making kamoji available directly in the Windows emoji keyboard. ☜(゚ヮ゚☜)

    Which is great if you really want to streamline Bluetooth pairing, need a better experience when you detach your 2-in-1’s keyboard, use drag ‘n drop for Eye Control, and you’re suffering from a dearth of kamoji. Be still my beating heart. Add to that great advances for Windows under Linux, Notepad, and Cortana getting kicked to the Office curb, and we have a whole lot of cool stuff to look forward to later this month.

    With the marketing blurb out of the way, we get to the crux of the matter:

    With Windows 10X, we designed for flexibility, and that flexibility has enabled us to pivot our focus toward single-screen Windows 10X devices that leverage the power of the cloud to help our customers work, learn and play in new ways. These single-screen devices will be the first expression of Windows 10X that we deliver to our customers, and we will continue to look for the right moment, in conjunction with our OEM partners, to bring dual-screen devices to market.

    So dual-screen phones/tablets aren’t in the near future. Nevermind. I wasn’t really that interested anyway.

    It would be nice if we could get an operating system that challenges ChromeOS for stability and ease of use, but still runs Windows programs. That’s the promise. Let’s see if we get it.