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The best hidden features in Windows 10’s major update | The Verge

Microsoft’s first major Windows 10 update debuted yesterday with some new features and changes. Most of the additions are obvious, but there are a few hidden away. Here are several Windows 10 features you might not have discovered yet.

Find my device


You’re probably used to using a find my device feature on your phone, but what happens if you lose your laptop? In most versions of Windows you’d have to settle for a third-party app to trust and track your laptop’s location, but Microsoft has decided to add this functionality straight into Windows 10. Just like the mobile equivalent, you can enable find my device and it will track the last known location of your laptop or PC.

It’s linked to your Microsoft Account so you can sign-in on the web from another device if you lose your laptop or it gets stolen. You can find the setting to enable it in settings > update & security > find my device.

Cortana will let you reply to texts and more


If you have a Windows Phone then Cortana gets a lot more useful with the latest Windows 10 update. A new option in Cortana’s settings section lets you enable missed call notifications. That’s useful if you simply miss a call, but it also lets you reply to calls with text messages. Cortana will use your phone and its number to send the text, and you can even say “text Joe Bloggs” to initiate a text message without having to miss a call.

Sadly this isn’t available yet in the new Messaging app, so you need to use Cortana at the moment to send text messages. If you have a device with a stylus then Cortana will also let you create reminders based on times, dates, and locations that you scribble into digital notes. If you’re an Uber user then you can even link your account so Cortana will offer driving directions for events alongside an option to request an Uber ride.

Automatic time zones


Windows has had the ability to set automatic time for years, but if you travel to another country it never changed time zones automatically. That’s changing with the latest Windows 10 update. Hidden away in settings > time & language is a new “set time zone automatically” option. It’s enabled by default if you install the latest update, and it does exactly what it says. Now if you’re travelling for vacation or work, you won’t get to your destination and be puzzled by your old time zone. It will finally work just like your smartphone does.

Cast media to device


Microsoft already supports DLNA and Miracast streaming inside Windows 10, but the latest update makes it a lot more discoverable. If you’re using Microsoft Edge then there’s a new option to “cast media to device” and elsewhere there’s a little cast icon in apps like photos or videos. The cast media feature lets you send photos, video, and audio to compatible devices with no setup required. It’s a lot like Google’s Chromecast feature now.

Microsoft Edge sync passwords and favorites


It’s surprising that password, favorites, and reading list sync wasn’t enabled for the Microsoft Edge browser in Windows 10, but that’s changing with the new update. If you use multiple Windows 10 devices then you can enable the sync option in Edge settings so the browser finally syncs passwords and favorites across all the laptops and PCs you use.

New Skype apps


Microsoft is including Skype integration with its latest Windows 10 update, but you might not even notice it at first. If you install the latest update then apps like Messaging, Phone, and Skype Video will also be installed. You can find them using Cortana or the app list, and they’re basic versions of Skype features. They’re useful if you want a lightweight messaging app to talk to Skype friends, but they still need some improvements.


Better app snapping


Windows 8 introduced some useful “Metro” app snapping features, and now Windows 10 is extending them to all apps. When you place two desktop apps side-by-side, like File Explorer and Notepad, you can now resize them individually and the other window will adjust to fill the gap. It’s a lot more like how Metro-style apps worked in Windows 8, and it’s great if you want to have apps side-by-side but have one act like it’s a sidebar. Just hover your mouse in the middle of two snapped apps and you’ll see a new slider will appear to let you adjust accordingly.

Verge Video: Windows 10 review

Source: The best hidden features in Windows 10’s major update | The Verge

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Microsoft’s Windows 10 launches on July 29th




A screenshot of the Windows 10 upgrade notification.

A screenshot of the Windows 10 upgrade notification.


The Windows 10 upgrade dialog box offer

The Windows 10 upgrade dialog box offer

Windows Logo

I’m moving along doing my techno geek thang and what do you know, I notice a little icon on the bottom of my screen. So Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 is coming on July 29th, and I don’t even need to get out of your chair to get a spot in the upgrade line. So everyone take a peek at your Notification Area in the Taskbar and you should find a Windows icon that, when clicked will open a new Windows 10 upgrade panel. As I mentioned before, users will have a year to climb onto the……………………FREE Windows 10 bandwagon, but once you do, you will get free security upgrades for the life of whatever you are installed it on. Be picky what you choose to install it on my fellows techs.


So on July 29th get some Windows 10 goodness and be relieved that your Start Menu is back……..

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Windows 10…

Microsoft has been busy lately making my last update referring to Windows 9 an old memory for the most part. You can read on it here. I say read it because a good portion of the information is valid actually you will be able to see a progression here going on with Microsofts next operating system which will now be Windows 10, totally skipping 9. Why would they skip 9 and go Windows 10? A question everyone is asking. Well let’s try and figure that out.

I do need to point out that between Windows 3 and Windows 7, versions of Windows were designated by a name rather than a number: 95, 98, NT, Me, 2000, Vista, and so on. When Microsoft announced Windows 7, there was also some disbelief and after a series of named versions of Windows it would be odd to jump back to numbers. The name of each Windows release doesn’t really match the real version number; for example, Windows 8.1 is actually version 6.3 of Windows. Windows 10 is version 6.4. The last time the release name actually matched the version number was Windows NT 4.0, which was released back in 1996. (Wow does anyone remember Windows NT? Makes me a bit nostalgic. I may just pop that disk in and install it somewhere just to get that urge out.) Windows 2000 (Called NT 5.0 during development) was actually version 5.0. Windows XP was version 5.1. Windows Vista was 6.0, Windows 7 was 6.1, Windows 8 was 6.2, and Windows 8.1 is version 6.3. WinRT, which powers Metro, is a new and separate beast, it is not a full Windows animal but it still sits on top of the core Windows kernel. Whatever right? You might as well just go with and iPad running iOS if WinRT is something you like. Modern versions of Windows are still based on the Vista (including Windows 10) which is actually Windows 6.4 and as times goes by there will most likely be more confusion.

I hear that the number 9 is considered unlucky in Japan. Microsoft having enough stigmas on its plate to get away from may have just simple skipped 9 to avoid any ill will. Funny thing is I remember an Antivirus software maker doing that (Trend Micro) and I always wondered why but never cared enough to really want to find out. Looking into it now I see Trend Micro is a Japanese company, go figure.

So again I ask the question and the response I find is from Tony Prophet (Microsoft corporate vice president, Windows Marketing) which is that “It came and it went.” I had to literally watch clips on youtube of the conference to even see it. Going through different clips I found his answer. I think he was quoting Satya Nadella (Microsoft CEO). The idea seems to be to distance Windows 10 from Windows 8 while Windows 10 not being some ,”incremental step from Windows 8.1.” Microsoft has had the the goal to make one thing for all devices and that goal continues further with Windows 10. Microsoft is handling things with Windows 10 different also. At this moment anyone can try out the Windows 10 Technical Preview which is updated pretty often. Windows 8 having a bad name Microsoft is definitely working for a change. I know Windows 8 sort of skip Enterprise customers and most if not all companies are just upgrading their PCs and running Windows 7. Prophet says Windows 10 will be different.

So what is new?…. Microsoft actually committed to a Summer 2015 date to release Windows 10. Microsoft is planning to launch Windows 10 in 190 countries and it will be available in 111 languages. Cool stuff that only gets better. Anyone tired of Window 7? or even XP? (Goodness no one should still have XP now.) Well Microsoft will be offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade for anyone running Windows 7 or Windows 8 which leaves out about 21% of all desktop users still using XP and/or Vista.

Microsoft is also partnering with different companies to help facilitate the upgrade to Windows 10 in China. In China pirating is big and it is said that about 75% of users in China are running some pirated version of Windows and Microsoft is giving Windows 10 away to anyone running pirated windows also. This will go on for 1 year. I microsoft will get a lot of coverage with this going on.

I thought about explaining Windows 10 and I will talk about a few things but I prefer to just show you. Here are some images of Windows 10.

I also have a video for you to give you a better idea of what Microsoft has so far.

Updates and Links:

Windows 10 will not support Media Center.

Checking out my twitter I see a tweet from old Gabe:

So those of you who decide to upgrade will lose Media Center functionality altogether. Gabriel Aul’s Twitter post will catch the attention of the die hard Media Center fans. He did mention,”If you have WMC now, we’ll have a DVD option for you in an update later this year,” which to most just means you will be able to play your DVD movies still but this does not say anything about those that use WMC to watch TV. What about the home theatre PCs that use the convenient funtionality of Windows Media Center?

Project Spartan Browser

Microsoft is working on a new browser for Windows 10. Looks like they are considering to get rid of Internet Explorer. I do believe Microsoft will keep Internet Explorer though for corporate use. Compatibility issues will arise and businesses are not keen up updating to the newest Microsoft anything as soon as it comes out.

Windows 10 Available on the Rasberry Pi 2 Micro Computer & the Intel Minnowboard Max

Project Spartan Browser now has a name……The Edge Browser

Again I say, farewell Internet Explorer and make way for Microsoft’s next browser, Edge. Edge will be the default browser for Windows 10 and will not run on older versions of Windows. (For now. I’m sure someone cool person will find a way around this. Although virtual windows could be an option.) The browser will be better though…..eventually. I can think of about 5 ways it will be better.

  1. Edge does have more optimized code base then IE. Microsoft stripped away all the code no longer needed to support backward compatibility and as a result is zippier. According to Microsft, the current build of Edge ran twice as fast as IE 11 in recent tests using the Google Canary benchmarking software. It also handily beat the latest beta 64-bit builds of the Chrome and Firefox browsers in this test supposedly. So far Edge has over 4,200 interoperability improvements over IE11. Built on Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform, the browser renders pages more uniformly across different devices, and brings it more in line with other browsers in this respect. An improvement since IE on Windows Phone struggles to render pages properly.
  2. Edge will support JavaScript-based extensions, allowing third parties to customize views of Web pages and add new functionality. Edge extensions must be written using the Web languages of HTML and JavaScript. Extension support won’t come with the initial release of the Edge, but will be available by the end of the year.
  3. Since the beginning, IE carries a lot of baggage for backward compatibility. IE 11 comes with a variety of legacy modes, mostly to support enterprises who built internal applications around IE6 or some other older version. Microsoft needed to make a clean break, especially given how quickly Mozilla, Google and Apple were updating their own browsers. Hmmm, Edge will not support Microsoft’s ActiveX, Browsers Helper Objects (BHOS), VBScript and third-party toolbars built for IE11, all of which are a pain in the butt for a tech like me. Everyone is always installing toolbars like those by Mindspark. All of these things slow down performance and add security issues. Edge will support Adobe Flash and Personal Document Format (PDF) and for those people who still require IE, Microsoft will maintain the browser for at least as long as it supports Windows 10, providing security fixes but no longer actively developing the browser.
  4. Edge is connected into Microsoft’s Bing search service and with Cortana, the company’s virtual personal assistant service. When you opt into these services, they can keep track of your actions on the browser in order to gather more context that would, in theory, help you in your travels across the Web. As you type a question in the URL address bar, Edge starts generating possible answers. Typing in the “msft” stock ticker will instantly return the current stock market price and company information. If you visit a Web page for a restaurant, the browser prepares a summary of information that might be of interest, like hours, directions, and a link to the menu. Edge can return movie show times and flight arrival times. I noticed launching the browser will give you a new tab start page with links to your most visited sites, as well as links to news stories and content that I guess it thought I may find interesting. I think it was just and estimation base on my browsing habits.
  5. Edge improves the user’s reading experience. The browser frame is less decorated with distracting menu commands and widgets. It will offer a “reading view,” which strips away all the menus, ads and other distracting elements that run alongside the text. Through a button click, Edge will also offer the ability to annotate Web pages. (I show that in the video) A user can make notes directly on a website, which can then be recalled the next time the site is visited. The browser will store the notes on the user’s computer and those with touch devices can also draw on top of the site. Annotations can be shared with other Edge users.

Windows 10 Release Date

Expected launched date is in July 2015

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Windows 9????

The rumor… A newer version of Windows, a 9th version? Windows 9. Now I still think more work is needed for Windows 8 or 8.1 bu tI have to admit 8.1 isn’t so bad.  I resisted moving from good ol Windows 7 but as I found the need for 3 screens and I found an issue with Win 7 always dropping into Aero Basic. So I try out Windows 8 and it had no issue with the 3 screens at all and obviously had more support for multiple screen setups. I could setup a random wallpaper for each screen based on image I placed in a folder. Cool right? Although I did have a serious issue with Windows 8 and no Start Menu button but 8.1 eased that out a bit. It is acceptable.

Moving on it seems September 30th is when one may get to see Windows 9 in a event preview by Microsoft. So what is the deal with Windows 8? Well it is an attempt to bridge the gap between desktop and phone/tablets…A unified O.S. (Operating System). Sounds good but not even Apple has that. (Looks can be deceiving.)

What is it?

Some say a complete update to Windows but how much different can Windows really get?

When is it out?


What will it cost?

No idea. Windows 8 though didn’t cost much to upgrade if that means anything to you.


In the meantime I am sure there will be a few updates, there has already been Windows 8.1, then Windows 8.1 update 1, and maybe a Windows 8.2. The new 8.1 update 1 update features improvements to the Start Screen including the ability to boot straight into the Desktop, a task bar to unify the old and new user interfaces which will be more familiar to some, and the return of shutdown on Start Menu. The update was announced at Build 2014, along with other features mentioned for Windows updates in the future.
Hmmm, looks like Microsoft is moving at a pace that the phone world moves at. Microsoft is set to put out new releases of Windows, Windows RT and Windows Server every year.
I reiterate, the next complete version of Windows is being called Windows 9 which may change. A new codename has appeared – Threshold, possibly in reference to moving across from our reliance on the desktop to a new world where the Start screen is at the heart of how we use Windows.
While still just a codename, Windows 9 was referenced by Microsoft in a job posting, spotted by MSFT Kitchen on March 13, 2013.In January 2014, well-known Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott said he believes the company plans to release Windows 9 (codenamed Threshold) in April 2015, less than three years after Windows 8. There are a lot of rumors so I’m not gonna get long winded here. Don’t you hate when the news site are not too the point? It’s like they are just trying to fill the webpage up with words. So here go some of the rumors and possible garbage out there:

Windoows Cortana?

Microsoft’s answer to Siri and Google Now on Windows Phone 8.1. Microsoft seems to be expanding its reach to the company’s desktop and tablet OS. Microsoft heads at Neowin seem to have inside sources that say Cortana is running on internal Windows 9 builds with performance improvements.

The Charms menu…

No more charms? No more pretty goodies anymore? A leak by Winbeta claims the Charms menu of the current OS will not be included in the desktop and laptop versions of Windows 9. And, I read on ZDNet, the feature will be gone for Windows 9 tablets and 2-in-1 laptops as well.

The Windows 9 experience and gestures too.

Features predicted for Windows 8 by serveral sites I wouldn’t really think too much of becauase they are based on Microsoft patents. I simple check on the government patent site and you could make the same prediction. There are also other technologies demonstrated by Microsoft leaders like CTO Craig Mundie that didn’t make it into the OS that if you were there or saw it you would think will eventually end up in Windows eventually. As with any company there are always features that get planned for whatever version of software that gets cut to ship on time; sometimes they reappear, sometimes they don’t.
Kinect-based 3D gestures might be around this time, especially since supposedly some notebooks will soon get 3D cameras. Cool right?
Although there are other ways to do it. They could use two cheaper webcams rather than an expensive 3D camera to make gesture recognition hardware cheap enough for laptops. This may not be the best thing for some. Being able to wave from a distance means maybe one should reconsider getting dressed in front of their open laptop.
And then there is Direct Experience. The patent explains this as a way of starting Windows to play media files in a special purpose operating system and there are improvements in Hyper-V for Windows Server 8 that Microsoft could use to make Windows 9 work better for this, like being able to move a virtual machine from one place to another while it’s running. I copied and pasted that part from a site. The patent sounds cool but is still rather vague for most eyes.


From Techradar

Windows 9 (You ever been alone in the woods and can hear all the crickets?)

A rumor but more of a confirmation, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella commented somewhere on the future of Windows recently, painting a picture of a unified operating system across all platforms. Nothing new there really, I’m saying… Windows 8 is like, uh, the proof of that direction being taken.
“In the past we had multiple teams working on different versions of Windows,” Nadella said. “Now we have one team with a common architecture. This allows us to scale, create Universal Windows Apps.” Ok so Microsoft is dedicated to the idea. I wonder who is gonna copy that idea? (Looking at an apple on the table that I feel I will lose eventually due to legal proceedings.)
So, will Windows 9 spur the beginning of a single OS for all Microsoft devices? I don’t know. Do I want that? Really want that? Techradar says, “We can only hope.” But I ask this question: If one Windows OS fits on all then will I need good antivirus on all of my devices?

Windows 9: Horray! The Start Menu

Well let’s see…during the Build 2014 keynote address something was a bit, teased I would say. The Start is basically guaranteed to make its return in Windows 9 which I figured they had no choice. Okay this is what I have seen. When I did remote tech support for Geeksquad during the beginning of Windows 8. Numerous calls came in from customers asking for help in just figuring out how to use their new computers. Some were using the power button to turn off their computers cause they couldn’t figure out how to shut it down. So since that preview of the Start menu showed up, having both Desktop and Modern UI elements, should be a shine of relief for a lot of people. I have a screenshot (seen below) of an updated version of the feature.
Whether or not the picture is legit, since Microsoft has publicly promised the return of the Start menu, it’s safe to expect its debut in Windows 9 … whenever that is.


Image from Yahoo News

Windows 9 and the cloud

This is a part of Windows 8 that sort of annoys me personally. You know sort of like how Windows 8 almost forces you to create a Microsoft account in order to login. Well the idea for a smaller version of Windows with more apps. Certainly still sounds good though. There are rumors that Windows 9 will focus heavily on cloud computing. WZOR claims to have information that supports the idea, alluding to a Chrome OS style operating system that requires an internet connection.
According to leaks from said leak groups, the core of Windows 9 will live in the given system’s BIOS (This has my attention), while the rest of the OS will reside in the cloud. What concerns me is what how much of the Windows functions would be left out. How much of Windows could be included in this manner? Would this say make Windows Media player a simple web-based player?

Windowed Modern UI apps?

What does that mean really? Most Windows users just wanna use their computers without having to read a manual. Well what it means is if you are familiar with Windows 8 you know on the Start Menu you have those apps and on your desktop you have your normal programs that you have been used to using for years. They are different even though there is some overlap like Internet Explorer. There is the Desktop version and the Start Menu app version. They look very different and definitely are not equal to each other in their abilities. Well this feature basically says you will be able to run those apps (on the Start Menu) in a window on your normal desktop. Sounds cool. Moving on, We already know that the new Start menu will be alive and well in Windows 9, but the latest leak points to this improvement that I explained. So when you see the words “truly windowed Modern UI apps” you will know what it means. Actually you can do this now, Modern UI apps can be opened and managed from the desktop, but they immediately switch to that interface when selected.
Myce claims through a newly-leaked screenshot (seen below) that this will be no more. The image, allegedly pulled from Threshold build # 9795, shows a Metro, or Modern UI, app opened in a window on the Windows 9 desktop.

Windowed Metro UI

From Digital Trends

Windows 9 Greenify…sort of.

I’m going to just copy and paste is part from techradar.com. “A recent Channel 9 video featuring Bruce Worthington, who leads the team working on Windows power management fundamentals, included some rather technical details about saving power in Windows and the improvement in Windows 8.
“If you look at the number of times we would wake up the CPU per second,” he explained, “for Windows 7 you would typically see numbers on the order of one millisecond. We would literally be waking up the CPU a thousand times per second. If you look at Windows 8, on a clean system, we have numbers that are better than a hundred milliseconds. ”
Now that Windows Phone 8 is based on the Windows Phone kernel, power management has to get better. “Now we’re looking forward to the next release and we can get even farther – especially as we start interacting more and more with our phone brethren.
“They want us to be quiet for multiple seconds at a time. They even talk about minutes in some scenarios which is pretty far afield for us, to be thinking about minutes of being completely quiet. At least getting into the multi-second we’re definitely ready to think about that.”
Especially with Intel Haswell bringing Connected Standby to Core systems, not just low-power Atom tablets, saving power looks like a priority for Windows 9 (especially if it comes out at the same time as Intel’s new chips.
“For the next release there’s all kinds of things we’ve already identified that are going be quite challenging but at the same time the user is going to get a tremendous boost forward,” Worthington promised.” So basically they want to save power. You know make those batteries last longer by pulling less energy while still being able to run those apps on your cool Windows 9 tablet. I think on a subject every 2 mins to make sure I remember it but maybe if I think on it every 5 mins instead of 2 I can save some brain power there. What you think?

Windows 9 to be smaller, with more apps

CFO Peter Klein made it clear that Microsoft has received the message that the Windows 8 tablets’ prices need to come down; “we know that our growth depends on our ability to give customers the exciting hardware they want, at the price-points they demand.” Uh yeah, your cool tablets cost too much.
A Microsoft job advertisement talks about having Windows Phone and Windows RT apps run on both Windows Phone and Windows. There goes that unify stuff again.
“Do you wish the code you write for Windows Store apps would just work on the Windows Phone and vice versa? If so, then this is the role for you! We are the team leading the charge to bring much of the WinRT API surface and the .NET Windows Store profile to the Phone.”
The advertisement was on the Microsoft Careers site at the beginning of February 2012 which is being lead by the Windows Phone team.

Machine learning and Windows?

Well I can create a heading but what the heck does it mean? Well, Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides computers with the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can teach themselves to grow and change when exposed to new data. This is what Peter Lee, Microsoft Research lead, wants out of Windows 9. In an interview with Digital Trends, he pointed to Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform and Bing to hopefully be the drivers behind the next versions of Windows.
“Using machine learning to extract relationships, entities, key ideas being worked on and bring those to the surface in tools. Maybe even digital-assistant tools to make companies more productive and smarter. That’s one area we’re going at”, Lee said.
He also says “If I write a document and I want to say, share this with the appropriate people that work with Vikram from the meeting, or say, ‘what’s trending around me at work,’ not in my personal space but at work … answering questions like that requires a very different kind of machine learning,”. Sounding pretty cool but for all you privacy freaks out there if you run into a chance to open your mouth make sure a way to disable these features is added. Your voice counts as long as you use it.


Microsoft has decide to skip Windows 9 and goto Windows 10.
CLICK HERE to read on…