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By Abhay V
PowerToys 0.25 out with many fixes, Video Conferencing Mute utility coming next week
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft has released a new version of its PowerToys suite of tools, bringing version 0.25 to all users. Today’s release is heavy on bug fixes and stability improvements and does not bring the much-awaited Video Conferencing Mute utility that the firm has been working to add to the tool. The team states that the utility will be added in “about a week’s time” as it needs more work before it can be shipped to all users.
It also adds that the focus of version 0.25 has been on “stability, localization, and quality of life improvements for both the development team and our end users”, and to that end, there is a long list of fixes. The firm says it is adding 17 languages to the tool and is requesting feedback on the rough edges and issues. Other improvements include new color styles for the Color Picker tool, a host of improvements and fixes to Run, and much more.
Here is the complete list of fixes and improvements being made in version 0.25:
It must be noted that version 0.25 will roll out to users running the stable version of PowerToys, which is currently on 0.23.2. Users on the experimental version will receive a new build of the tool with all the fixes in 0.25 later.
If you are interested in looking at the complete list of commits and bug fixes made in this version, you can head to the issues page here. You can also head to the GitHub page here if you prefer to download the tool manually.
By Jefferson Mangubat
Alexa for Windows 10 adds Drop In support for video calls, fresh design, and more
by Jefferson Mangubat
Amazon has rolled out a new update for its Alexa app for Windows 10 that introduces an entirely new look and a bunch of new features that expand capabilities for users. The updated app has added support for Drop In during a video call to let you connect with friends and family more quickly, among other features.
The latest release brings with it a few improvements for the app's hands-free experience. If you're constantly listening to music via Spotify, Alexa for Windows 10 now allows you to play soundtracks in the music streaming app using your voice.
In addition, the app has gained a fresh music landing page that comes in handy if you search for new songs. The Click-to-Talk button has also moved to the top left of the screen and the Wake Word button is now found on the top right.
Of course, you will need to update to the latest version of the app in order to use the new Drop In experience. The refreshed Alexa app is available to download from the Microsoft Store.
Source: Windows Central
By Abhay V
Microsoft releases manual update packages for removing Adobe Flash from Windows
by Abhay Venkatesh
Back in September, Microsoft reminded users about the removal of Flash from the Edge browser and Windows, stating that the company will release an optional update for the latter this fall that will remove Adobe Flash Player completely from the OS. As promised, the Redmond giant has made that optional update available for download through the Update Catalog (spotted by BleepingComputer).
The knowledge base article is KB4577586 and the update is called “Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player” followed by the version number of the OS for which the package is designated for. You can head to the Update Catalog here to download the update package for your preferred version. The packages are available for all currently supported Windows versions – including LTSB versions – and the related Windows Server versions.
It must be noted that the package can currently be downloaded only via the Update Catalog for manual installation. The Redmond firm noted in the announcement earlier this year that it will begin releasing this very update via other channels such as Windows Update as a recommended update after Flash Player reaches the end of support on December 31, 2020.
Additionally, users that currently install KB4577586 manually do not have an option to uninstall or roll back the update and will have to perform a clean installation of the OS to be able to reinstall Flash. The company has also stated that it will be removing all APIs, group policies, and interfaces that are used for managing Flash later next summer.
Image credit: BleepingComputer Interestingly, folks over at BleepingComputer noticed that installing the update did not get rid of Flash both on Edge and in the OS. The publication has reached out to Microsoft to request clarification. It is not clear if the firm will release another manual update package before serving it to all users through the usual channels.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft earnings: $37.2B revenue with big Surface and gaming growth
by Rich Woods
Today, Microsoft announced its earnings for the first quarter of its 2021 fiscal year. Overall revenue grew by 12% (12% in constant currency) over the same quarter last year for a total of $37.2 billion. That's broken up into Productivity and Business Processes with $12.3B revenue and 11% (11% CC) growth), Intelligent Cloud with $13B revenue and 20% (19% CC) growth, and More Personal Computing with $11.8B revenue and 6% (6% CC) growth.
In the Productivity and Business Processes department, it was led by 9% increase in Office Commercial products and cloud services, including 21% (20% CC) growth in Office 365 Commercial. The other piece of products and cloud services, the products, declined 30% as more businesses move to the cloud.
For consumers, Office products and cloud services revenue grew by 13%, and Microsoft 365 Consumer subscribers are now at 45.3 million, a 27% increase. LinkedIn revenue grew by 16%, and sessions grew by 31%. For Dynamics, products and cloud services revenue grew by 19% (18% CC), driven by Dynamics 365 revenue, which grew by 38% (37% CC).
As usual, Azure drove the growth in the Intelligent Cloud section. All Server products and cloud services grew by 22% (21% CC), and that includes a 48% (47% CC) growth in Azure. Server products actually declined 1%.
For More Personal Computing, Windows OEM revenue actually declined by 5%, but that actually includes 31% growth in non-Pro revenue, so there was also a 22% decline in Pro revenue. Windows Commercial products and cloud services grew 13% (12% CC).
Surface revenue saw a big boost, with a 37% (36% CC) increase. For this and the increase in Windows non-Pro revenue, Microsoft attributes increased PC demand. Gaming revenue increased by 22% (21% CC), including a 30% increase in Xbox content and services. Finally, search advertising revenue, excluding traffic acquisition costs, was down 10% (11% CC).
By Abhay V
Microsoft posts a workaround for the 'Reset this PC' bug plaguing some Windows 10 PCs
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft offers an in-built solution to reset a Windows 10 PC through the Settings app if users choose to do so due to a corrupt build or issues with the operating system. The tool also gives users the choice to keep their files and only reset the OS settings to factory default. However, the feature might not be working as expected for some users running Windows 10 version 2004.
The company today posted a support article acknowledging the issue with the ‘Reset this PC’ feature that causes the tool to fail and prompt an error that reads “There was a problem when resetting your PC. No changes were made". The company also posted a workaround for users who are unable to use the feature and are experiencing the said error.
Here is the workaround as shared by Microsoft:
The workaround involves using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool to attempt to fix the issue. However, Microsoft does not mention any timelines on when a permanent fix for the problem is expected.
Interestingly, this is not the first time that the problem with the ‘Reset this PC’ feature has been acknowledged. A security update back in February introduced a similar issue and affected Windows 10 versions all the way back to version 1809. The update was then pulled by the company. While today’s documentation only mentions the May 2020 Update, it is not clear if the problem has been fixed for the earlier versions.
Source: Microsoft Support via BleepingComputer