Build 14986 is coming down the pipeline for Fast Ring insiders of Windows 10. Some very nice additions this build. Especially if you’re a fan of Cortana. I think this is starting to fit in more with the connected home Microsoft is starting to implement. Check out the blog post for the large list of other great features this build.
Turn off your computer, change volume with voice commands: Being able to control your computer with just your voice is one of the top requests we get with Cortana, so we’re excited to say that we’ve added several new features to Cortana that let you do just that. Now you can shut down your PC just by asking Cortana. You can also restart, lock, or put the system to sleep, and raise and lower your system volume with just your voice. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
A new build for Windows 10 Mobile Insiders, Build 14977, has been released. Like the desktop release last week, you can now read EPUB books on your phone, which is a nice addition.
Read EPUB books in Microsoft Edge on your phone: In addition to being able to read any unprotected e-book in the EPUB file format on your PC with Microsoft Edge – you can also read unprotected e-book in the EPUB file format with Microsoft Edge on your phone! When you open an unprotected e-book in Microsoft Edge, you will be taken into a customizable reading experience where you can change the font and text size and choose between 3 themes: light, sepia, and dark. As you read, you can leave bookmarks. To navigate through an e-book, you can use the table of contents or seek bar at the bottom of the browser. And you can also search for words or phrases and use Cortana to define specific words.
Windows 10 Anniversary Edition has apparently gone through enough testing via consumers and enterprise pilot programs to reach the CBB (Current Branch for Business) release stage. For more information on the servicing options and how they work (Insider Program, Current Branch, Current Branch for Business, Long-Term Servicing Branch), check out this link.
Windows 10 is also simplifying IT and significantly reducing deployment times. For example, with Windows Upgrade Analytics, customers can better assess their readiness for Windows 10 deployment and reduce an upgrade process that used to take years to just months or weeks. Windows 10 is also our most compatible release ever and with 99% of the top 3,000 apps shown to be compatible, customers are deploying at scale with confidence.
The Redmond Microsoft campus, all 500 acres of it, is certified at the Gold Level or Zero Waste Certification from the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council. I’ve visited the Redmond campus more than a few times, and there is a big push for recycling. Well done, Microsoft. Some excellent work done there!
Microsoft is the first technology company in the country to achieve this important benchmark. It underscores our commitment to being responsible corporate citizens and supplements the zero-waste certification we have held for eight years from the Green Restaurant Association (GRA) for our sustainable dining practices. Our goal is to continue diverting as much of our waste as we can from landfills.
For those on the Fast Ring of Windows 10 Insiders, build 14971 is now available. EPUB is now supported in Microsoft Edge, which will be nice.
PowerShell in the Shell: In an effort to bring the best command line experiences to the forefront for all power users, PowerShell is now the defacto command shell from File Explorer. It replaces Command Prompt (aka, “cmd.exe”) in the WIN + X menu, in File Explorer’s File menu, and in the context menu that appears when you shift-right-click the whitespace in File Explorer. Typing “cmd” (or “powershell”) in File Explorer’s address bar will remain a quick way to launch the command shell at that location. For those who prefer to use Command Prompt, you can opt out of the WIN + X change by opening Settings > Personalization > Taskbar, and turning “Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when I right-click the Start button or press Windows key+X” to “Off”.
Build 14965 for Windows 10 Fast Ring Insiders is now available. Also, this week started the Bug Bash which runs until November 13th. A few good updates this round. Also, a few great fixes for those having some issues.
Controlling external monitors from tablets just got easier (PC): You can now drive content on a second display from your tablet without ever having to attach a mouse. The virtual touchpad lets you do more with a tablet and a second screen – just connect to another monitor, PC, or TV, go to Action Center and tap on the “Project” Quick Action to extend your screen. Use it just like you would a physical touchpad to control content on the connected screen. To enable it, press and hold on the taskbar and select “Show touchpad button”. A touchpad icon will now appear in the notification area (just like Windows Ink Workspace does), and tapping on it will bring it up the virtual touchpad.
Halloween marked more than just a sugar rush, but also the end of sales for PC’s with Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 pre-installed. For those in the market for a new PC, it’s Windows 10 from here on out. At least from the OEM. You can still install Windows 7 or 8.1 and have some support, but even that is coming to an end. The Microsoft Windows Lifecycle Fact Sheet shows the date of general availability, Retail software end of sales and the end of sales for PC’s with Windows preinstalled. Without much fanfare, the October 31st, 2016 deadline has passed.
When Microsoft launches a new version of Windows, we will continue to allow OEMs to sell PCs preinstalled with the previous version for up to two years after the launch date of the new version unless otherwise announced. Certain OEM versions of Windows products include downgrade rights (as outlined within the software license terms). Downgrade rights make it possible to use a previous version of Windows instead of the licensed software preinstalled on a new PC.
Today had quite a few new announcements from Microsoft. A couple really stuck out for me.
The Xbox One will support audio bitstreaming which will support Dolby Atmos for those with a home theater that supports it. This is another thing that will help put the Xbox One into your home theater rack.
VR Headsets. With the competition releasing a lot of new VR headsets, Microsoft is set to do the same. But, they are launching next year with a relatively low price of $299.
Microsoft’s Beam service which is a direct competitor to other game streaming services like Twitch.
Surface Book i7, with a massive 16 hour battery life and a better GPU. For those needing the extra performance, this is the one to have. (Start at $2399).
Surface Studio. This was the all in one device that was rumored. It’s a lot better that previously thought, as well. A very nice device for those that can use the power and can handle the price (starting at $2999).
Surface Dial. This looks cool. While I would only use a fraction of the features on it, there are some that this will be an excellent accessory. I may pick one up just to play with it and see if I can get some use out ($100).
For those in the fast ring of the Insiders group on Windows 10 or Windows Mobile, build 14955 is now available. I’m glad the Feedback Hub sign in issue is fixed!
Upcoming Bugbash Just a reminder that we are planning to kick off our next bugbash starting on Tuesday, November 8th and finishing at the end of the day on Sunday, November 13th. I’ll have more details in the coming weeks. Looking forward to seeing a lot of participation from Insiders! If you have ideas on what Quests you will like to see for the Bug Bash, let us know!