Microsoft Archives - Castillon Limited

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Source: Slashgear

Outlook users have been asking for the ability to sync email signatures across all of their devices for years, something Microsoft revealed that it is working on back in September 2019. It has been a while since we last heard any news about this plan, but a new note on the company’s product roadmap reveals that it is close to completion and will be arriving soon.


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Source: Hindutimes

Microsoft has its own Windows NT kernel, based on which is the latest Windows 10 operating system. But as interesting as it may sound, there’s a Windows OS version based on Linux kernel as well. Spotted by a Redditor and shared by Liliputing website, there is a ‘Windows 12 Lite’ operating system available in the market. It has been mentioned that Windows 12 Lite, a software that has not been announced officially anywhere, is a Linux distro based on LiteOS that has a Windows 10 wallpaper.

From the image of the pamphlet shared by the Reddit user and the official website named webhouses.co.uk/lite, ‘Windows 12 Lite’ is said to be for those users who wish to upgrade from Windows 7. “Lite’s 4.8 desktop is designed for those who migrate from Windows 7 with the Lite background. You just add it to your pictures then select it as background using System settings,” states the website.

Also mentioned in the promotional pamphlet is that the operating system boots up in 15 seconds, which is way less than Windows 10. It is also touted to be secure, free from ransomware and doesn’t upgrade during work.

One of the features advertised for ‘Windows 12 Lite’ is that it is free from adverts and has a ‘great’ support forum.

Of course the ‘Windows 12 Lite’ is far from anything official and it will be hours before Microsoft strikes a hammer on it for potentially violating the trademark/copyright and asks to remove it before users start downloading and installing it. Even the website doesn’t look complete and is outright bad with old design and shady information.

So don’t fall for this and we recommend you to use a genuine version of the operating system.


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Source: Komando
Since its release nearly five years ago, Windows 10 has grown to more than 900 million users worldwide. It’s also packed with more features than ever before, including apps like Your Phone that brings your PC and smartphone closer together.

Getting the most out of Windows 10 isn’t just about convenient apps — it’s also important to know how to maximize productivity, find the best ways to maintain your PC, learn how to modify the system to make it easier to use, clean it up and more.

With the end of support for Windows 7, hopefully, you’ve made the switch to Microsoft’s latest OS. Whether you’re new to Windows 10 or someone who’s been using it since its debut, we’re here to help you find the right tools to maintain your computer and customize settings. Let’s start with productivity apps.

Stay on task

Whether you work in a bustling office or on a laptop in the comfort of your home, it’s easy to get distracted. Alternately, it’s also very easy to get a little too into your work, resulting in more programs running than you can count and a cluttered browser.

The best way to combat distractions and overwhelming yourself? Helpful apps that organize your workflow and keep you focused.

Here are two of our favorites.

TidyTabs

Tired of jumping from window to window and tab to tab? It’s time to clean up that desktop with TidyTabs. Even if you have different apps open, like Excel, Word and PowerPoint, you can use TidyTabs to create a single window with each program in its own tab.

You can drag tabs in and out of windows and even create layouts to help streamline your workflow. Just save a group so your apps automatically come together in a specific order within the same window, or use a more complex arrangement by customizing the auto-grouping rules.

It also offers automatic tab sorting, keyboard shortcuts and more. There are three license options, but the one you need is Personal Freeware (free). Download TidyTabs to help keep your desktop clutter-free. For more information, visit the website.

StayFocusd

Do you often take breaks to check your social media accounts? It’s time to stop wasting time and start being more productive. Download browser extension StayFocusd to block unnecessary sites during customizable times and dates — like Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

You can also wean yourself from websites by giving yourself daily limits, like only 30 minutes of Facebook each day.

Obviously, if you really want to access these sites, you can use your phone or another device, but it’s not about stopping you — it’s a tool to help you reach productivity goals and learn to limit distractions. Whether you use it and learn from it is entirely up to you.

System tweaks
Cheerful satisfied retired mature person sitting at table in the kitchen working on computer received good positive news from bank using laptop for entertaining watching online program or funny video.

One of the best parts about owning a computer is all the customization options. You can do anything from using your smartphone to access your PC to completely redesigning and getting that classic Windows 7 look.

Feel like showing off your PC skills and customizations? Here are two simple but effective options to help get you started.

Connect your phone

No, we don’t mean plug your smartphone into your PC so you can download backups of photos and videos. You can actually use your device to interact with your computer.

There’s a trick that’s perfect when you’re having trouble with your wired mouse or the power died on your wireless mouse and you’re out of batteries. The solution? Combine your two favorite pieces of tech: Your phone and PC.

Tap or click here for the best apps to turn your phone into a computer mouse.

Get it back

If you’re one of the people who had to update from Windows 7 following the conclusion of support, you probably miss the look of your old operating system. But don’t worry, there’s still hope.

This app can help you make Windows 10 look like Windows 7 — but be prepared for multiple steps, since you’ll have to adjust everything from your Start menu to the File Explorer.

Your computer can last several years if you remember to maintain it correctly. Yes, dusting it off and cleaning the screen can help keep it in shape, but those are superficial. What you really need to focus on is what’s inside your system.

The more often you use your computer, the more it takes on clutter in the form of log files, cookies and more. But what can you do about it?

If you don’t know much about computers, it can be dangerous to start deleting things you don’t think you need. Instead, try CCleaner. It automatically cleans your browser cookies, trackers, internet history and download history.

Maintenance

Your computer can last several years if you remember to maintain it correctly. Yes, dusting it off and cleaning the screen can help keep it in shape, but those are superficial. What you really need to focus on is what’s inside your system.

The more often you use your computer, the more it takes on clutter in the form of log files, cookies and more. But what can you do about it?

If you don’t know much about computers, it can be dangerous to start deleting things you don’t think you need. Instead, try CCleaner. It automatically cleans your browser cookies, trackers, internet history and download history.

More helpful tools
Happy asian man drink coffee while use laptop.

Now that you know how to clean, maintain, customize and prioritize things on your computer, it’s time for a little fun. There are tons of free programs you can use to edit photos or videos, watch movies or TV shows or stream other content.

Here are our top two favorite “extras” that can help transform your computer from a mere work tool to an entertainment machine.

Free editing software

If you love taking pictures, then take your time editing them, too. A few touch-ups are what make good pictures great. Try Pixlr, the free, Flash-based photo editing software that lets you draw, make quick adjustments, add filters and more.

Want to take your editing skills above and beyond? Try the paid service, which connects to Dropbox and lets you access Pixlr from any device, securely back up files, share edited photos and more.

Tap or click here to add Pixlr to your repertoire, then post all your stunning images across social media.

The program you never knew you needed

Computers are capable of amazing things. They help us get work projects done, connect to others, create, build and edit. But the one thing that often stands out more than anything else? Watching and listening to a variety of media files.

Try VLC, the VideoLAN Client can play DVDs, audio CDs, VCDs, MP3 and MP4 files. This free program is perfect for people who want to access their physical and digital media files without paying or dealing with ads.

Tap or click here to learn more about the free media player that plays just about everything.

Now that you know how to have fun with your device during downtime and how to clean up your gadget properly, the sky’s the limit for your Windows 10 laptop, PC or tablet. Whether it’s for work, school or play, with help from these apps and programs, you’re ready to go.

Bonus: Clean up your tech

Part of maintaining a healthy device is to ensure it is free of dust, grime and moisture. Luckily, unless you’re sweating over your keyboard or accidentally spilled a drink on your laptop, the moisture thing isn’t such a big issue.

What matters is whether your ports are choking on dust particles, your keyboard has food crusted to it or if your mouse is grimy.


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Source: InidaToday

Apple has a problem. At a time when the company is trying to get behind its experiments with keyboards, Oscar winner Taika Waititi on Monday slammed the recent MacBooks over their new keyboards.

Apple’s Monday is going to start on a bad note. At a time when the company is trying to get behind its experiments with the MacBook keyboards this is why the new 16-inch MacBook comes with the older keyboard technology the company faced criticism from Taika Waititi, a celebrated director and writer who won an Oscar for his script of Jojo Rabbit.

After his win at the 92nd Academy Awards, Waititi slammed MacBook keyboards, saying that it was impossible to write something on them. ’’Apple needs to fix those keyboards,” said Taika Waititi, director of Jojo Rabbit.

When asked about the needs of the writers, Waititi addressed the Writers’ Guild Association. He said, Apple needs to fix those keyboards. They are impossible to write on. They’ve gotten worse. It makes me want to go back to PCs.

He even asked from the audience for a show of hands for those who are still using the PC. The bounce back on your fingers is way better on a PC, Waiki continued. ”You know what I am talking about,” he said. ”Those Apple keyboards are horrendous The writers’ guild of America needs to step in and do something.

In case you are wondering about what Waititi is highlighting, let us explain. Apple used to have scissor-style keyboards in MacBook until a few years ago. These were some of the best keyboards ever put in a laptop, and while they were not always the best The Lenovo laptops continue to have top class keyboards typing on a MacBook was a delightful experience compared to typing something on a Windows laptop. This was because the MacBook keyboards used to have a bit of bounce, a hint of resistance and deeper key travel, among other things that typists like.

The keyboard, however, in the new MacBooks started using butterfly-style keyboards. These are keyboards with shallower keys, and while switch to butterfly-style keyboard helped Apple reduce the thickness of the laptop, it also affected the user experience. Most long-time Apple users hated the new keyboards, which also had reliability issues.

Apple finally sort of acknowledged the issue in 2019 when it released the 16-inch MacBook Pro that uses older scissor-style technology in its keyboard. The keyboard in the this new MacBook, as India Today Tech had noted in its review of the MacBook Pro, is much better than keyboard in MacBooks released between 2015 and 2019. This new keyboard is also set to come to the other MacBook models this year. Unfortunately for Apple, Waititi is suffering now. At the Oscar ceremony, Waititi highlighted that he suffered shoulder problems that and that the MacBooks with butterfly-style keyboards aggravated his problems.

“I’ve got OOS (a term for repetitive stress injury that writers can suffer) You know what I’m talking about, if you guys are ever writing. And what happens is you open the laptop and you’re like this we’ve just got to fix those keyboards. The WGA needs to step in and actually do something, he told reporters after winning his Oscar.


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Source: Tech Radar

Almost every time Apple launches a new product, it often instantly becomes an icon, whatever the niche. The 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro is a fine example of that, but with excellence comes a hefty price tag.

This leads some in the Windows sphere to see an opportunity to offer a competitive yet affordable alternative. Enter HIDevolution, a company that builds bespoke mobile workstations based on existing laptops.

HiDevolution has taken an MSI Prestige 15 A10SC laptop and upgraded it heavily. You could do this at home, but using an authorised built-to-order seller means there’s less chance of frying your laptop or having to return components because of incompatibility issues.

This is one of the best Windows alternatives to Apple’s award-winning MacBook Pro 16. It comes close, but doesn’t quite match its rival. It has a slower CPU, a little less battery capacity and a lower screen resolution, but you’ll save $2,700 (a 45% price difference).

The Prestige 15 has an Nvidia Geforce graphics card with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, 64GB of RAM and an 8TB SSD. It’s also just as portable as the Apple device, winning out on weight.

However, HiDevolution’s device falls behind the MacBook Pro on screen resolution (full HD) and battery capacity (82Whr). It also features an Intel Core i7-10710U, which will have a very hard time competing with the Macbook’s i9-9900HK.

Should you buy it? Well, the Dell XPS 15 7590 remains our firm favourite. It’s even cheaper at less than $3,000, boasts a 4K display, a one-year antivirus subscription and Dell’s expansive warranty and services. One thing it lacks is storage capacity at “only” 2TB.

HiDevolution’s MSI Prestige 15 is a great piece of kit, but doesn’t quite cut the mustard when compared with Apple’s device.


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Source: Channelnewasia

BRIGHTON: Microsoft’s recent announcement that it would end support for users of its Windows 7 operating system had stress written all over it. The company advised that important day-to-day tasks such as personal banking and online shopping would no longer be safe on users’ now out-of-date and hacker-friendly Windows computers.

It’s hard to know how many people are affected but one estimate suggests it could be hundreds of millions. The company’s recommendation was to upgrade immediately and ideally buy a new laptop, as the older one might be too slow or not function as well with the current Windows 10, a cost which many people will not be able to afford.

DO WE NEED THE STRESS?
When I looked into this subject, I found over 100 expert articles referring to the process of upgrading to new operating systems as being stressful for users. One even referred to it as a process of suffering. The majority of these experts assumed stress was part of the process and offered tips on how to minimise or reduce that stress.

But do you need a buy a new laptop, or is it time to switch to a different device altogether? Microsoft would have you believe that Windows 10 is the last version of Windows and instead of making new editions they will improve your experience on a more ongoing basis.

Apple and Android operating systems also suffer from upgrades to new versions, with regular announcements that support or security upgrades for older versions will end, along with warnings that staying with legacy systems will compromise online security.

SCAREMONGERING
Simply put, if your bank balance gets raided, you – the user – have only yourself to blame. It might be true that researchers and hackers regularly find vulnerabilities in legacy devices. And research shows that attackers are more likely to find vulnerabilities in older and more familiar code.

They are made by huge, rich companies with more than enough resources to create patches and keep our older devices safe. Stopping support creates fear and customers who are more than happy with older devices end up surrendering to pay for new gadgets and software versions.

READ: Commentary: Big Tech is showing some love to the US government – which comes as no surprise
In many cases, it seems to persuade people to make the leap of faith and just buy a new laptop.

There is certainly evidence of a short-term hike in laptop and PC sales. But some people have already begun to desert the laptop market.

THE DEATH OF THE LAPTOP
Research shows that PC and laptop ownership, usage and importance have declined over the past three years, replaced largely by smartphones.

A survey of internet users found just 15 per cent thought their laptop was their most important device for accessing the internet, down from 30 per cent in 2015, while 66 per cent thought their smartphone was most important, up from 32 per cent.

This has led some commentators to predict the slow death of the laptop because of young people’s preference for and greater familiarity with the devices in their pocket. But a survey by UK regulator Ofcom in 2017 also found there has also been a record rise in older people using smartphones and tablets.

Even for those who love a QWERTY keyboard, you arguably no longer need a PC or laptop thanks to the emergence of better keyboards for mobile devices and the growth in alternative products such as hybrid tablets (with keyboards) and foldable gadgets.

Aside from these preferences, there are other reasons to consider not surrendering to a new Windows 10 upgrade and spending a small fortune on a new laptop. Not least is the fact that the new operating system isn’t without its own bugs and other security issues. In fact the US National Security Agency recently found a flaw so serious that it took the unusual step of issuing a public warning.

There are other devices to do your online banking and similar important and sensitive tasks. Your older laptop will be perfectly good for tasks that come with security risks. You could hold fire on giving your money to the laptop makers and sellers and spend it better elsewhere.

This is new territory for Microsoft and you, the customer, are part of the experiment (for which you are expected to pay). Paul Levy is Senior Researcher in Innovation Management at the University of Brighton. This commentary first appeared in The Conversation.


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Source: Dailymail
Today, Microsoft announced a major corporate restructuring that will merge its hardware team with the Windows group.

The new group will be called ‘Windows + Devices’ and will be overseen by Panos Panay.
Panay previously created the company’s laptop-tablet hybrid, the Surface, and ran the hardware division responsible for keeping it updated.

The official changeover will go into effect on February 25, according to a report from ZDNet. Panay made the announcement to both teams via email sent out earlier today.

‘Personally I’m very excited to lead the Windows Client for Microsoft, which will help us streamline our decision-making processes, be clear on our priorities, and deliver the best end user experiences from silicon through operating systems across all Microsoft apps and service connected devices (OEMs and Surface),’ Panay wrote in the email.

‘We believe this will make the Windows Client experience better for the entire PC ecosystem.’

‘Designing hardware and software together will enable us to do a better job on our long term Windows bets (dual screen, silicon diversity, connectivity, app platform, etc.) and having a single point of Windows Client Experience leadership driving consistent priorities and resourcing across all of Windows client will help all of us accelerate innovation and improve execution.’

‘This is such an amazing time and opportunity to bring more energy to Windows and our customers using Windows. It won’t be easy, but extending our growth will be key for our company strategy.’

The Windows team was previously led by Joe Belfiore, who will now be in charge of the Microsoft Office team.

In recent years, Microsoft has put a special emphasis on updating Windows in ways that take advantage of its own hardware products, something that began in 2012 when the company announced the original line of Surface products.

Today, the Surface division generates around $4billion in revenue for the company.


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Source: 

The good news: Windows 10 is still a free upgrade for the millions of Windows 7 users who must now upgrade. The bad news: as new update warnings hit users, sometimes it feels like you get what you pay for. (02/02 new update below)

Picked up by the eagle-eyed WinCentral, Microsoft’s long-awaited fix for Windows 10’s File Explorer issues (KB4532695) is now causing a wide array of new problems itself, including broken audio, slow performance, game incompatibilities, driver issues and blue screen of death (BSOD) crashes. 

“This installed and now I do not have any sound. I have two different sources. HDMI cable and soundcard. Neither works now… I have not changed anything, just updated Windows and now no sound!! **** MICROSOFT!!! FIX YOUR ****!” – source

“I have also lost my TPM Driver and now bitlocker is not working and I am constantly getting BSOD (Memory Management). Not expecting anything better from MS though.” 

“I AGREE !! Installed update and Sound went bonkers. Multiple devices installed by update in Bluetooth. In addition my PDF Software ceased to function from MS Office 365. Menu creation broken. Am getting sick and tired of MS fouling up my computer through updates.” – source

“This update was such a hassle for me, I had to do a clean install of Windows… I have been on the phone with Microsoft technical support for hours now (they have been VERY helpful!)”. This mostly boiled down to a problem with drivers, and all the error codes I was getting from the BSOD were all driver related (so I was told by the helpful technician). Instead of me trying to update any driver, it was less time and hassle to do a clean reinstall of Windows, but quite a hassle none the less.” – source

“Installed this in an Intel NUC8i3BEH and encountered very slow boot times. Windows would get stuck at splash or welcome screen for around 5 minutes. I deinstalled this update and reinstalled twice, with the same results.” – source

“As soon as I got the latest update, I keep going in these boot cycles… Just endless, telling me an error had been found… Then when Windows boots up, it eventually crashes. I’ve reinstalled Windows from an ISO image, same problems. I’ve restored from a back up from three weeks ago, same problems. I’ve come realize that this new update is huge trouble.” – source

Others are reporting it breaks popular anti-cheat software Battle Eye for some titles and Windows Latest has found, for some, it also fails at its primary task: fixing the File Explorer issues. 

The good news at this point is KB4532695 remains an optional update, but enthusiastic updaters need to be careful because on the patch’s official support page Microsoft still states it “is not currently aware of any issues with this update.” This is familiar territory with Microsoft often using this statement long after problems have been reported (1,2,3,4,5) and it means Windows 10 users continue to be given the green light for updates which may prove damaging. 

02/02 Update: reports of problems with KB4532695 continue to build. “Yea I’m getting the BSOD after installing the update, I’ve had a different code every time…got the BSOD about 15 times since updating last nite,” notes one user.

Windows Latest also reports new complaints: “My desktop just updated to 1909 and tried to reboot. It locked up and won’t boot up. In fact, it does not respond to the power button at all. I can not access the BIOS or do anything at all. This update had been a problem in all my computers, usually slowing down the computer or locking up the screen. This is the first time that I have been unable to uninstall the update to regain the use of the computer.”



As such, definitely be careful with this update as Microsoft continues to state it “is not currently aware of any issues with this update.”

To its credit, Microsoft has long-admitted to shortcomings in its Windows 10 testing processes changes are being made (a whistleblower is a fine motivator) but there’s still a long way to go.


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Source: LaptopMag

Acer knows extremes. Between the lightweight Swift 5 and the monstrous Predator Helios 700, Acer has pushed the boundaries of laptop design in every direction. Now it’s improving upon a laptop we fell in love with last year: the Swift 7. Just like its predecessors, this year’s Swift 7 has an impossibly thin chassis that you’ll want to show to all of your friends. And while portability is the highlight of the Swift 7, this attractive laptop also offers a beautiful 14-inch display and surprisingly long battery life