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Microsoft is reportedly building a Chromium-based browser to replace EdgeHTML

Microsoft is rumored to be reportedly working to replace EdgeHTML, the rendering engine that Edge is built on, with a new Chromium-based web browser for Windows 10

Microsoft is looking to replace EdgeHTML with a Chromium-based browser

Microsoft had launched its built-in web browser ‘Edge’ to replace the much-maligned ‘Internet Explorer’ as the default browser on Windows 10.

However, Microsoft Edge has not able to see success or gain popularity since its debut in 2015.

As a result, Microsoft is rumored to be reportedly working to replace EdgeHTML, the rendering engine that Edge is built on, with a new Chromium-based web browser for Windows 10, according to a new report from Windows Central.

The new web browser will be built using Chromium, a rendering engine, which as popularized by its rival, Google Chrome.

The project rumored to be codenamed as Anaheim is likely to appear in the 19H1 development cycle, and will finally completely replace Edge early next year.

If the rumors are true, Microsoft’s new web browser would provide the same experience to users that they would get while using Google Chrome. Ironically, in terms of experience, Microsoft Edge is lagging far behind in comparison to its rival, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

Currently, Microsoft is shipping Windows 10 with two browsers, Internet Explorer and Edge. Will Microsoft replace Edge with a new browser or add a third browser to the OS remains to be seen. Keep watching this space as it is a developing story.

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Windows 10 October 2018 Update Rolls Out Again, Still Full Of Flaws

Windows 10 October 2018 Update Rolls Out Again, Still Full Of Flaws

Windows 10 October Update Still Incompatible With Some AMD GPUs

After a delay of over a month, Microsoft finally re-released its latest Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) on November 14. When one thought that Windows 10 October 2018’s share of problems were far from over, it doesn’t seem so.

Microsoft has updated its Windows 10 Update history page for version 1809 that provides details of issues affecting Windows 10 client as well as Server.

“Mapped drives may fail to reconnect after starting and logging onto a Windows device,” Microsoft says, noting that symptoms include a red X on the mapped network drives in File Explorer.

Given below is the current status of Windows, version 1809, Windows Server 2019, and Windows Server, version 1809 that are affected as of November 14:

Date Current Status Affected Platforms Details
November 14, 2018, 6:00 PM PT Known Issue
  • Windows 10, version 1809
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server, version 1809
Mapped drives may fail to reconnect after starting and logging onto a Windows device.

Symptoms include:

  • In File Explorer, a red “X” appears on the mapped network drives.
  • Mapped network drives show as “Unavailable when you run the net use command from a command prompt.
  • In the notification area, a notification displays, “Could not reconnect all network drives.”

Workaround: See KB4471218 for workaround scripts to automatically reconnect a mapped network drive when you log on to the device.

Next Steps: Microsoft is working on a resolution and will provide updates in the 2019 timeframe.

November 14, 2018, 6:00 PM PT Upgrade block in place
  • Windows 10, version 1809
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server, version 1809

 

Microsoft and Trend Micro have identified a compatibility issue with Trend Micro’s OfficeScan and Worry-Free Business Security software when attempting to update to Windows 10, version 1809.

To ensure a seamless update experience, we are blocking devices running the affected business endpoint security products from being offered Windows 10, version 1809, until a specific Trend Micro Critical Patch (CP) is applied.

Next Steps: For information on when critical patches will be available for these products, please refer to Trend Micro’s Business Support Portal.

 

November 14, 2018, 6:00 PM PT Upgrade block in place
  • Windows 10, version 1809
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Server, version 1809
Note: AMD no longer supports Radeon HD2000 and HD4000 series graphic processor units (GPUs).

After updating to Window 10, version 1809, Microsoft Edge tabs may stop working when a device is configured with AMD Radeon HD2000 or HD4000 series video cards.

Customers may get the following error code:  “INVALID_POINTER_READ_c0000005_atidxx64.dll”.

Some users may also experience performance issues with the lock screen or the ShellExperienceHost. (The lock screen hosts widgets, and the ShellExperienceHost is responsible for assorted shell functionality).

Workaround: To ensure a seamless update experience, we are blocking devices with AMD Radeon HD2000 and HD4000 series graphics processors from being offered Window 10, version 1809.

Next Steps: Microsoft is investigating this issue.

 

As you can see from above, Microsoft is having a compatibility issue between the 1809 update and Trend Micro’s OfficeScan and Worry-Free Business Security software.

“If a customer tries to retrieve and apply the Windows 10 October 2018 Update via Windows Update before applying the required Trend Micro Critical Patch (CP) – validated by certain driver versions – it will not be able to obtain the update for a period of 60 days from the official release of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. Please note there will be no warning message,” Trend said.

“If a customer tries to apply the Windows 10 October 2018 Update via an installation package before applying the required Trend Micro Critical Patch (CP) – again validated by certain driver versions – a warning message will appear notifying the customer to first upgrade the Trend Micro product.”

A support page about the issue together with its patches has been posted by Trend Micro. Patches are only available for OfficeScan. Additionally, on the request of Trend Micro, Microsoft has blocked the 1809 update for devices running these security products until a patch from Trend Micro has been installed. Patches are only available for OfficeScan.

Also, machines with AMD Radeon HD 2000 or HD 4000 series video cards are facing problems. If you’re using either of these cards, the new Windows build is showing up an “INVALID_POINTER_READ_c0000005_atidxx64.dll” error code and locking the screen.

Meanwhile, Microsoft says it is working on a resolution but warns admins not to expect a solution until “the 2019 timeframe”.

Considering the share of problems still surrounding the latest Windows 10 October 2018 Update, it will be advisable for users to wait a bit before installing a fresh new OS update.

Source: Microsoft, ZDNet

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Microsoft Releases The New Light Theme In Windows 10 19H1 Insider Build 18282

Microsoft Releases The New Light Theme In Windows 10

Microsoft rolls out Windows 10 19H1 build 18282 to Insiders with a new light theme

Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18282 (19H1) to Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring on November 14. While the next Windows 10 iteration 19H1 includes several improvements and bug fixes, it also introduces a true Light theme for the Taskbar, Start menu, Action Center, touch keyboard, and more.

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Previously, if elements like the Taskbar, Start menu, Action Center, touch keyboard, etc., would be left out if one selected the Light theme. However, this changes with the new build.

“Ever since we introduced the ability to choose between light and dark in Windows 10, we’ve heard feedback asking for a truer separation between the two options,” Microsoft said in a blog post.

To enable light theme in Windows 10, you need to go to Settings > Personalization > Colors. Then, click the drop-down under ‘Choose your color’ and select Light. The new theme changes many elements of the OS UI, including the taskbar, Start menu, Action Center, touch keyboard and more. If you select the Light mode in the Settings app, all system UI elements will look lighter.

“When you update to this build, your system color won’t automatically change to the new light system color. This is because we want everything to be exactly as you left it before you did the update. We’re leaving the choice up to you,” Microsoft added.

As part of this new Light theme, Microsoft is also adding a new default wallpaper highlighting Windows Light. Go to Settings > Personalization > Themes and select Windows Light to apply it. This will change your PC to be light themed.

The UI change to Light theme is not ready yet. Microsoft is likely to introduce the new Light theme in the upcoming Windows 10 19H1 feature update due in Spring 2019.

The other notable changes in Windows 10 19H1 update are improved Action Center, dark themed OneDrive and more. Furthermore, there is also a new window snip option for Snip & Sketch, improvements to the printing experience, and more. Check out the general changes, improvements, and fixes for build 18282 here.

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Microsoft finally re-releases Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Windows 10 October 2018 Update

Microsoft resumes rollout of Windows 10 October 2018 (version 1809)update

Microsoft has finally re-released its latest Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809) that was delayed by more than a month after users started complaining of data loss that forced the company to pull the update offline.

“Based on (telemetry) data, today we are beginning the re-release of the October Update by making it available via media and to advanced users who seek to manually check for updates,” John Cable, Director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery, said in an announcement in a new blog post.

According to Microsoft, the so-called October 2018 Update that was delayed due to “data destroying” bug has been thoroughly investigated and all related issues have been resolved. The decision to re-release the update was reached after the careful study of diagnostic data from millions of Windows Insiders showed no further evidence of data loss.

Unlike the April Update which had the fastest Windows 10 update rollout rate, the company is taking a more measured approach with the Windows 10 October Update. The update is available to download for advanced users straight away via media and manual updates. However, those who receive the update automatically through Windows Update will see a slower rollout.

The update will be offered to users via Windows Update when data shows their device is ready. However, the update might not get installed in a user’s system if an issue is detected.

“We will offer the October Update to users via Windows Update when data shows your device is ready and you will have a great experience,” Cable continued.

“If we detect that your device may have an issue, such as an application incompatibility, we will not install the update until that issue is resolved, even if you ‘Check for updates’, so you avoid encountering any known problems.”

Microsoft has promised a renewed focus in the way it approaches quality issues, including better communication with customers.

Michael Fortin, Windows corporate Vice President said: “While we do see positive trends, we also hear clearly the voices of our users who are facing frustrating issues, and we pledge to do more.”

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Microsoft To Address Performance Issues With Its Spectre Fixes

Microsoft To Address Performance Issues With Its Spectre Fixes

Windows 10 19H1 update to fix performance slowdowns caused by Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities

Microsoft will be applying Spectre Variant 2 speculative execution side-channel attack in the next release of Windows 10, reports MSPowerUser who were the first to spot the news.

Codenamed as Windows 10 19H1, this Microsoft’s fix is expected to contain new adaptations to the Spectre-patch problem.

For those unaware, earlier this year, two serious hardware vulnerabilities, Meltdown and Spectre were discovered that affected many modern processors and allowed programs to steal sensitive data. Back then, while several companies faced slowdown on their networks, Google’s cloud systems faced little to no damage due to an alternative approach used by the company to mitigate the effects of Spectre and Meltdown.

The approach called as ‘Retpoline’ is a faster way of blocking Spectre-based attacks with “negligible impact on performance,” according to Google. While Microsoft patched the Spectre flaws back in January 2018, the fix affected the performance of the PCs resulting in slowdowns.

Microsoft is now looking to use the same approach used by Google in its own operating system to eliminate performance slowdowns. The tech giant will “enable Retpoline by default” starting from the next feature update that will be released to Windows 10.

“We have enabled retpoline by default in our [Windows 10 version] 19H1 [builds] along with what we call ‘import optimization’ to further reduce [performance] impact due to indirect calls in kernel-mode,” tweeted Microsoft’s Mehmet Iyigun, who works on the Windows kernel team. “Combined, these reduce the [performance] impact of Spectre v2 mitigations to noise-level for most scenarios.”

Windows 10 19H1 will be able to reduce performance impact caused by Spectre v2 mitigations to “noise-level,” according to Iyigun. In other words, end-users should be able to experience a huge improvement in the CPU performance that originated from previous fixes.

Fast and Skip Ahead Insiders who are currently testing the latest Windows 10 19H1 Insider builds should have the change in effect, as Microsoft had already started releasing the new 19H1 builds to them earlier this month. However, the patch will not arrive to Windows 10 users until the next major Windows 10 update that is scheduled for the first half of 2019.

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Microsoft open-sources 60,000 patents to protect Linux

Microsoft open-sources 60,000 patents to protect Linux

Microsoft makes 60,000 patents open-source to help the Linux Community

Microsoft has joined the Open Invention Network (“OIN”), an open-source group dedicated to protecting Linux and other open-source software programs from patent legal troubles.

The move will see the Redmond giant pledge its valuable and deep portfolio of over 60,000 issued patents open-source and available to other OIN members. Microsoft is positioning its move to show that it has no intention to use patents as a weapon against any free software, beyond just that free software which is part of OIN’s specific list.

“We know Microsoft’s decision to join OIN may be viewed as surprising to some; it is no secret that there has been friction in the past between Microsoft and the open source community over the issue of patents,” Erich Andersen, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.

“For others who have followed our evolution, we hope this announcement will be viewed as the next logical step for a company that is listening to customers and developers and is firmly committed to Linux and other open source programmes,” Andersen added.

“Now, as we join OIN, we believe Microsoft will be able to do more than ever to help protect Linux and other important open source workloads from patent assertions. We also hope that our decision to join will attract many other companies to OIN, making the license network even stronger for the benefit of the open source community,” Andersen said.

“We look forward to making our contributions to OIN and its members, and to working with the community to help open source developers and users protect the Linux ecosystem and encourage innovation with open source software.”

Andersen said that joining OIN reflects Microsoft’s patent practice evolving in lock-step with the company’s views on Linux and open source more generally.

“We began this journey over two years ago through programs like Azure IP Advantage, which extended Microsoft’s indemnification pledge to open source software powering Azure services,” he said.

“We doubled down on this new approach when we stood with Red Hat and others to apply GPL v. 3 “cure” principles to GPL v. 2 code, and when we recently joined the LOT Network, an organisation dedicated to addressing patent abuse by companies in the business of assertion,” Andersen added.

Founded in 2005, OIN’s mission has been to protect Linux developers from patent lawsuits. OIN owns more than 1,000 patents and comprises more than 2,650 companies that includes firms such as Google, IBM, Red Hat, and SUSE.

Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network (OIN), said that Microsoft’s participation in OIN “adds to our strong community, which through its breadth and depth has reduced patent risk in core technologies, and unequivocally signals for all companies who are using OSS but have yet to join OIN that the litmus test for authentic behaviour in the OSS community includes OIN participation.”

According to Bergelt, these newly open-sourced patents consist of tons of open-source technologies such as Android, the Linux kernel, and OpenStack; newer technologies such as LF Energy and HyperLedger, and their predecessor and successor versions.

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Windows 10 Update: Microsoft updates CPU requirements for the October 2018 update

Windows 10 Update - October 2018 update

Microsoft updates its Windows Processor Requirements page

Amidst the chaos created due to Microsoft users complaining of data loss caused by rollout of Windows 10 October 2018 update (version 1809), Microsoft has gone ahead and updated its Windows Processor Requirements page for the new version of the OS. The main modification is that it now supports Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon 850 chipset.

For standard versions of Windows 10 version 1809, it officially supports up to 8th-gen Intel Core processors (Intel Core i3/i5/i7-8xxxK/U/G), 7th Generation Xeon E3-xxxx v6***, and the current Intel Atom (J4xxx/J5xxx and N4xxx/N5xxx), Celeron and Pentium Processors. On the AMD front, it supports up to 7th Generation Processors (A-Series Ax-9xxx & E-Series Ex-9xxx & FX-9xxx), AMD Athlon 2xx processors, AMD Ryzen 3/5/7 2xxx, AMD Opteron**** and AMD EPYC 7xxxx****. Additionally, it also supports the Qualcomm Snapdragon 850.

Windows 10 Pro for Workstations and Enterprise also get support up to Intel’s 7th Generation Xeon CPUs, along with AMD’s Opteron and EPYC chips, along with AMD 7th Generation Processors (A-Series Ax-9xxx & E-Series Ex-9xxx & FX-9xxx), AMD Athlon 2xx processors, AMD Ryzen 3/5/7 2xxx, AMD Opteron**** and AMD EPYC 7xxxx****. However, the new LTSC (Long-Term Servicing Channel) release of Windows 10 Enterprise does not support Qualcomm Snapdragon 850.

*** Intel Xeon processors are supported on Windows 10 Pro for Workstations and Windows 10 Enterprise only.

**** AMD Opteron and AMD EPYC processors are supported on Windows 10 Pro for Workstations and Windows 10 Enterprise only.

The options for Windows 10 IoT Core 1809 (SAC and LTSC) haven’t changed on the official page, although support for NXP processors, including the i.MX 6, i.MX7, and i.MX 8M families is coming soon.

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise officially supports up to Intel 8th Generation Processors (Intel Core i3/i5/i7-8xxxK/U/G) and through current Intel Atom (J4xxx/J5xxx and N4xxx/N5xxx), Celeron and Pentium Processors. Additionally, it also supports AMD 7th Generation Processors (A-Series Ax-9xxx & E-Series Ex-9xxx & FX-9xxx), and AMD Ryzen 3/5/7 2xxx.

Further, Windows Server 2019 supports up to Intel 7th Generation Processors (Core i3-7xxxx/Celeron/Pentium; Xeon E3 v6; Xeon E21xx; Xeon SP 31xx, 41xx, 51xx, 61xx, and 81xx; and Xeon D 15xx), and Atom C33xx. In the AMD family, it supports up to 7th generation processors (AMD A-Series Ax-9xxx & E-Series Ex-9xxx & FX-9xxx), AMD Ryzen Family, and AMD EPYC 7xxxx.

Finally, the last Windows 10 LTSC release was version 1607, which only supported up to 7th generation Intel Core and Xeon chips, along with AMD 7th generation CPUs. It does not have Ryzen support.

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Microsoft launches office 2019 for mac and windows users

Microsoft launches office 2019 for mac and windows users

Microsoft has been always in the lead when it comes to its software diversity. They had a bunch of productive software, which helped tons of people all across the globe. They even had software for non-parent OS (Operating System) platforms such as Mac commonly known by Microsoft office for mac.

Like every new year, Microsoft really worked hard and launched its new Microsoft office 2019 version for both Mac ( Microsoft office for mac )and Windows platform ( Microsoft office for windows ).

Its been a ritual in Microsoft that every new update is first available for the people who have the insider preview feature turned on. But now Microsoft has officially rolled out its New office 2019 version for all Windows and Mac users as well.

It also means that all your favorite office software like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Outlook are getting an overhaul.

According to their official Blog post, all the new changes in Microsoft office 2019 version will be a subset of features that are already available on Microsoft Office 365. This also means that this new launch will be a one time release which further means it won’t be receiving any major updates except from regular security and stability updates.

Office 2019 also has new sets of enhancements since the Office 2016. For example, its PowerPoint now includes Morph and Zoom feature through which you can create cinematic presentations. Not only that, even with Microsoft Excel they added new formulas, charts and a bunch of enhancements to PowerPivot as well. In addition to that, they also gave a new data analysis feature which surely is very handy.

Now talking about the Word and Outlook the company had introduced its new features like  Text Spacing and Read Aloud. This feature helps in making content more easier and engaging. Also, there is Focus mode available on both the software which blocks out distractions.

The new version is though available for Commercial volume license customers which is already started from 24th September 2018. The company also confirms that they will keep on bringing the on-premises versions in coming years which is very nice.

At last, the price of Microsoft Office 2019 is $249.99 for both the Home and Business consumers.

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Microsoft releases first test build of Windows 10 19H1 for Insiders

Microsoft releases first test build of Windows 10 19H1 for Insiders

Microsoft releases two new Windows 10 preview builds, 17723 and 18204

Yesterday, Microsoft released the first Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18204 codenamed ‘19H1’ (also known as Redstone 6) to Windows Insiders who are in the Skip Ahead ring. Looks like Microsoft is no longer going to use Redstone codenames for the next version of Windows and instead use the newly re-named codename ‘19H1’, where 19 represents the year 2019 and H1 refers to the first half of the year.

“Going forward, RS5 builds will come from the RS5_RELEASE branch. For Insiders who chose to “skip ahead”, 19H1 builds will continue to come from the RS_PRERELEASE branch. Insiders can see the branch name in the watermark at the lower right of their desktop. Right now, the builds from these branches are largely the same which is why we’re only doing a single blog post for both of today’s new builds. However, in the future, we will be doing separate blog posts for each. To summarize all this, see the below graphic that explains what Skip Ahead is,” Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar writes in a blog post.

Those who are a part of the Skip Ahead Ring can now download the first Windows 10 Build 18204 (19H1) preview build.

Besides the 19H1 preview builds, Microsoft also released the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17723 (Redstone 5) for Windows Insiders in the Fast Ring.

Both the builds, 17723 and 18204 include the same new features, so there not many big changes in either of these releases. However, with the update to Windows 10, the company is adding a Mixed Reality Flashlight, improvements to Edge, and the addition of Emoji 11. Other smaller changes include time accuracy and traceability improvements, and an improved kiosk setup experience. Microsoft is also working on improving your update experience, and game bar enhancements.

You can click on the Windows Blog to know more about the full changelog, which also includes a list of known issues and more!

Source: Windows

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Microsoft announces open-source Quantum Katas project on GitHub to teach Q# programming

Microsoft announces open-source Quantum Katas project on GitHub to teach Q# programming

Microsoft launches a free series of programming exercises to learn quantum computing

Quantum computer is touted as the next big leap in technology. Microsoft has been working on to build a robust ecosystem for quantum computing for quite some time now.

Recently, the software giant announced the release of Quantum Katas, an open source project on GitHub for those who wish to learn about quantum programming and how to program in the Q# language.

Quantum Katas is a “series of self-paced tutorials aimed at teaching you elements of quantum computing and Q# programming at the same time.” It is a series of programming exercises that provide immediate feedback as you progress.

“Each kata offers a sequence of tasks on a certain quantum computing topic, progressing from simple to challenging,” Microsoft Quantum Team states. “Each task requires you to fill in some code; the first task might require just one line, and the last one might require a sizable fragment of code. A testing framework validates your solutions, providing real-time feedback.”

Currently, there are only four katas covering basic quantum computing gates, superposition, measurements, and the Deutsch-Jozsa algorithm, which are mentioned below.

Basic quantum computing gates. Tasks which focus on main single-qubit and multi-qubit gates used in quantum computing.

Superposition. Tasks which focus on preparing a certain superposition state on one or multiple qubits.

Measurements. Tasks which focus on distinguishing quantum states using measurements.

Deutsch–Jozsa algorithm. Tasks which focus on writing quantum oracles which implement classical functions, and the Bernstein–Vazirani, and Deutsch–Jozsa algorithms.

To get started with the Quantum Katas, you are required to install the Quantum Development Kit that is available for Windows 10, macOS, and for Linux. For more information about the Quantum Katas project, you can go to GihHub repository by clicking here.

Source: Microsoft

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