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Microsoft Weekly: Game streaming devices, vertical tabs, and Patch Tuesday
by Florin Bodnarescu
A game streaming stick from Microsoft, some nice vertical tab improvements, and even the usual Patch Tuesday updates were revealed or confirmed in the last seven days. You can find info about that, as well as much more below, in your Microsoft digest for the week of June 6 - 12.
Game streaming devices
It’s not much a surprise that off the back of its rather successful hardware launch last year, as well as the debut of Xbox game streaming (formerly Project xCloud), Microsoft has been looking to expand its reach.
There were previous rumors of a Chromecast-like streaming solution that the firm was working on, but this week, the company came out and actually confirmed it. It mentioned that it’s working closely with TV manufacturers to integrate the “Xbox experience” into these devices, allowing folks to leverage their Game Pass subscriptions for cloud gaming.
Furthermore, echoing previously outlined ambitions, Microsoft wants to launch at least one first-party Xbox game every quarter. This is certainly possible with the gaming arm’s ever-increasing focus on first-party studios (which just this year officially grew to 23 thanks to the ZeniMax acquisition going through).
In terms of other bits of news, Project Acoustics 2.0 has been announced, which allows for the simulation of immersive acoustics in 3D environments, and integrates with engines like Unity and Unreal. Microsoft’s Project Acoustics 2.0 supports deployment across Windows, Xbox, Android, and macOS.
Moving onto game news, players making use of Fallout 76 Battle Royale mode will have just a few more months to enjoy this variant of the game, as it’s scheduled for shutdown in September. To prepare for this, you can go ahead and pick some of the games that are currently on sale, like Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War, GreedFall, and others, as part of the Deals with Gold initiative.
Last but not least, if you have any Game Pass installation errors, make sure to check for updates, as Microsoft has released an optional patch to fix the aforementioned issues.
We’ll be able to see what else the company has in store in terms of games later today, as the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase kicks off at 10AM PT.
For folks running the Chromium variant of Edge in the Beta channel, version 92 has begun rolling out, adding various improvements to vertical tabs. Among said improvements is the ability to turn the feature off for different open windows, as well as to hide the title bar when vertical tabs are enabled.
Those in the Dev channel got to play with Edge 93.0.910.5 which includes support for automatic HTTPS, font rendering improvements, improved inking experiences, and other enhancements targeted at those running the browser on a Mac.
As is tradition, the second Tuesday of the month has rolled around, signaling that it’s time for Microsoft to push out its usual set of patches to supported versions of its operating systems.
If you’re on Windows 10 v2004 (May 2020 Update), 20H2 (October 2020 Update) or 21H1 (May 2021 Update), you’ll be receiving the same update, KB5003637, with the build numbers changing to 19041.1052, 19042.1052, and 19043.1052, respectively. The revision number at the end is identical due to the three updates being built essentially on the same codebase.
The above contain mostly security and file management improvements.
Those running Enterprise, Education, or IoT Enterprise variants of 1909 (November 2019 Update) will receive KB5003635, bumping the build number up to 18363.1621 and containing mostly the same updates as the newer versions of Windows 10. There is one additional fix here though, for a bug which prevented folks from signing into some Microsoft 365 desktop apps after installing the May 11, 2021 update.
There are of course some other supported variants, like Enterprise and Education SKUs of 1809 (October 2018 Update) – receiving KB5003646 and bumping the build number up to 17763.1999 -, as well as the LTSC variants of 1607 (Anniversary Update) and 1507 (Windows 10 RTM). The latter two will get KB5003638 and KB5003687, bumping the build numbers up to 14393.4467 and 10240.18967, respectively.
Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2 got their very own update in the form of the monthly rollup found under KB5003671 (with KB5003681 being the security-only update). Not to be forgotten, businesses paying for ESUs got KB5003667 (or KB5003694 for the security-only variant) for their Windows 7 SP1 and Server 2008 R2 SP1 systems. All the updates just mentioned carry the same known issues that have been there for months.
Last but not least, Microsoft pushed out build 21390.1000 to Dev channel users to test its servicing pipeline. The firm does this either when a new version of Windows is close to release, or, for this special case, when it wants to hold back the visuals of Windows codename Sun Valley (or Windows 11, or whatever it ends up being called) for the event on June 24. We’ll probably hear more on that date at 11 AM.
Windows Virtual Desktop is now Azure Virtual Desktop, and has added some has new features. Natural language queries and dictation have been added to Outlook on iOS. Microsoft Search will soon be able to go through Teams meeting transcriptions. OneDrive will run natively on M1 Macs later in 2021. A Teams bug caused users to be prompted to a select a certificate, an issue which has now been resolved. Those using the Teams Public Preview are now able to have two 7x7 video grid pages during calls. Logging off
We end things with a guide related to fonts, and a small reminder of what’s coming later today.
Whether it’s a Photoshop project that requires it, or a mere PowerPoint slide deck, a custom font can definitely spruce things up.
In case you’re looking to install such a font, our very own Usama Jawad has put together a guide, detailing the places you can go to obtain these fonts, the ways to install (or indeed uninstall them), as well as highlighting the fact that they can be installed on a per-user basis, among other things.
And since it’s June 13, we really should highlight that the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase will take place later today. It’s expected that we’ll see a brand-new look at Halo Infinite, as well as updates and new title announcements from across the Redmond giant’s 23 studios. We may even hear about some new studio acquisitions, if prior years are any indication.
The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase kicks off today at 10AM PT (that’s 1PM ET, or 6PM BST).
Missed any of the previous columns? Be sure to have a look right here.
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Here's how to catch the Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase today
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
With E3 in full swing, Microsoft is almost ready to take to the stage for showing off upcoming gaming products for Xbox consoles and Windows. This will also be the first chance the company has gotten to present what's next from its latest acquisition of Bethesda studios.
The Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase goes live at 10am PT / 1pm ET today, and it will be a 90-minute-long conference. Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and the various regional channels of Xbox across the globe will be broadcasting the show in 1080p at 60FPS. Microsoft was quick to point out that 4K 60FPS versions of trailers will be made available right after the live session via YouTube.
Moreover, versions of the broadcast with American Sign Language (ASL) and Audio Descriptions (AD) will be happening right alongside the main YouTube stream.
Without giving much away Microsoft is simply saying the show will present the latest games — from its studios and partners — that'll be releasing this holiday, even more Xbox Game Pass announcements, and other reveals.
343 Industries is sure to bring out Halo Infinite here, possibly with more than one trailer to show off what's improved since the last showing and perhaps multiplayer. Bethesda Game Studios' next RPG Starfield is another game that should have a big presence. Considering there are 23 studios under the Xbox flag now, and there are massive goals to hit, expect to have a packed show.
There have already been some leaks and rumors about Xbox Game Pass arrivals as well , with the remaining Bethesda games, Back 4 Blood, and Yakuza: Like a Dragon being the prime suspects to hit the service soon. This is also the show to catch for those waiting for Battlefield 2042's gameplay unveiling, while Far Cry 6 is supposed to be there in some capacity.
By Usama Jawad96
How to install new fonts in Windows 10 for apps like Office
by Usama Jawad
Fancy! While Microsoft already ships a decent set of fonts with Windows 10 which Office apps also utilize, there may come a time in your life when they may not be enough and you may feel the need to install a custom font downloaded from the internet. Such a moment came recently in my professional life when a client wanted my team to develop a dashboard in Microsoft Power BI using a custom font. Although we thought there would be a straightforward solution for this requirement, we learned that we would need to specify the font in a JSON theme file, but it would only work if said font is installed on your Windows machine.
Much to our disappointment, we learned that the font the customer wants us to utilize is not available in Windows 10, which means that we have to install it first. Thankfully, the process to install new fonts on Windows 10 is easier than I anticipated, and today, I will walk you through what you need to do in order to enable the same, should you ever be faced by a similar requirement - or if you just want to try new fonts. This approach will also work for apps installed on Windows 10, like Microsoft Office.
Step 1: Download a custom font
First up, you obviously need to have the custom font downloaded on your machine. There are multiple ways to do this. Starting with the built-in options on Windows 10, you need to head over to Settings > Personalization > Fonts and click on "Get more fonts in Microsoft Store", as can be seen in the screenshot above.
This will open a dedicated section in the Microsoft Store listing some custom fonts. Choose any font that tickles your fancy, and click on the "Get" button from the store listing. For the sake of this guide, I clicked on the "Ink Journal" font, as can be seen above.
Once the font is installed, it will be visible to you in Office apps from the fonts drop down. As you can see in the screenshot above, I selected the "Ink Journal" font which I just installed, and I can use it without any issue.
But wait, what if a font you want is not available in the Microsoft Store? That is a completely valid scenario considering the Microsoft Store just contains a couple dozen custom fonts, and it's very likely that if you're looking for a specific obscure font, it won't be there. Or maybe you just like the fonts available there.
In this case, we would want to download something from the web. Good news is that this is fairly simple too. Supported font file format types in Windows 10 are .ttf and .otf, which stand for TrueType and OpenType respectively. If you're interested in knowing the difference between them, there are multiple guides available on the web which tell you exactly that, however, this is out of the scope of this article.
In our case, we are only interested in downloading .ttf or .otf font files and install them on Windows 10. Luckily, there are lots of dedicated websites which offer exactly that, such as Font Squirrel and DaFont, among others. Most downloads will contain a .zip file which you would need to extract using WinRar, 7Zip, or some other compression tool. In our case, I downloaded "Cassandra", just because it looks fancy, sue me. As you can see in the screenshot above, there is font file named "CassandraPersonalUseRegular-3BjG.ttf", which is what I'll be installing in the next step. This concludes our first step in terms of your options for downloading fonts not available on the Microsoft Store. For the sake of simplicity and brevity, I'll refer to whatever font you downloaded as the ".ttf file" in the next parts of this guide.
Step 2: Install a custom font
Now that you have downloaded a .ttf file from the web, your next step would be to install it on your machine. There are multiple ways to do this but you may require administrative privileges on your operating system because fonts on Windows 10 are installed in the C:\Windows\Fonts directory by default.
One way to install the custom font would be to once again open the Settings > Personalization > Fonts configuration in Windows 10, and at the top, you'll notice an option called "Drag and drop to install". Do exactly that with the .ttf file you downloaded, and that's it. After you do this, it will also be visible in the fonts list on the same page. A screenshot of this option is attached above.
Another way to install a font is via the context menu. Simply right click on your .ttf file which will open the context menu containing two options called "Install" and "Install for all users". The first will install it just for the current user, the second will install it for all users and is something to consider if you are using a shared machine. Click on either of these options depending on your preference as shown in the screenshot shown above, and you're done.
Yet another option to accomplish the same as the two alternatives described above in this step is to simply double-click on the .ttf file which will automatically open it in a dedicated editor. Click on the "Install" option at the top, and that's pretty much it.
Once you're done with either of the options explained in the step above, the font will be visible in the list on the Settings > Personalization > Fonts page as well as the C:\Windows\Fonts directory. A screenshot of the former is above. You could copy-paste the font file to the C:\Windows\Fonts directory directly and while that may be the fastest option, it's not the most user-friendly if you're not familiar with the Windows directory structure.
Step 3 (optional): Uninstall a custom font
If you viewed this article just to find out how to install a custom font, you don't need to read further. That said, there may come a day where you would like to uninstall a custom font just to clear the bloat on your machine as well as the options available to you in Office apps on Windows 10.
In this case, simply head over to the same Settings > Personalization > Fonts page, locate the font you want to uninstall and click on it. This will open a dedicated page for the font, where you'll see a button called "Uninstall" as shown in the screenshot above. Click on it, and the font will be uninstalled. This concludes our guide as well!
Did you find this guide useful? Have you ever come across this use-case before? What other tutorials would you like to see on Neowin next? Sound off in the comments section below!
By Abhay V
Nvidia to drop Game Ready Driver updates for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 starting this October
by Abhay Venkatesh
Nvidia today detailed its plans for Game Ready Drivers upgrade support for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1. The company posted a support article that states that it will cease to provide Game Ready Driver updates for its graphic cards for the mentioned versions starting October 2021. However, it does note that it will continue to serve “critical security updates” for systems running those operating systems until September 2024.
Microsoft ended support for Windows 7 in January 2020, while Windows 8 lost its support in January 2016 – a short life span for the OS thanks to Windows 8.1 and the debacle that Windows 8 was. However, while Windows 8.1 reached the end of mainstream support back in 2018, the OS is still being serviced with security updates and will be till January 2023.
Nvidia, says that a “vast majority” of its GeForce customers have migrated to Windows 10 and that it aims to provide the “best possible security, support, and functionality” for those users, which is why it is focusing on Windows 10 alone. In the FAQ section, it adds that it will ship the last Game Ready Driver that supports the three operating system on August 31, with the first drivers to drop support for the versions completely expected to ship in October.
The change might not be a major one considering that most users are running the latest offering from the Redmond giant. However, for those that are still on older versions, they can rest assured that their GPUs will be served with updates to address any critical vulnerabilities. However, they will lose out on upgrades with performance enhancements, new features, and bug fixes, Nvidia says.
By Abhay V
Teams Public Preview users can now have two 7x7 video grid pages during a call
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft introduced the Teams Public Preview program late last year to let businesses test features before they are rolled out to the public. The firm has since been testing a few updates, including UI changes, through the program. Today, another new change that the company is beginning to test is that of a paging feature for Large Gallery views. The firm detailed the change in a Tech Community post.
The Redmond firm introduced Large Gallery view early last year, bringing a 7x7 grid for video calls. However, meetings with a higher number of attendees would mean that not all participants could be viewed simultaneously. Of course, though the use cases for such meetings might be remote, the company is adding the option to create a secondary page with video feeds for meetings of more than 49 participants. The feature will allow up to 98 participants to be viewed across the two pages on 7x7 grids.
The feature is rolling out to all users who are enrolled in the Public Preview program and does not need any user action to enable it. Once enabled, new navigation controls to switch between these feed pages appear at the bottom of the gallery view, allowing users to select between the pages that they would like to view.
Paging in Large Gallery view is currently available for Windows and macOS users, but there is no word on whether it will be made available to other platforms once it is out of the preview form. Microsoft is expected to roll out Large Gallery view for iOS and Android this month, bringing a nifty way for users to view more participants on a smaller screen. The paging feature does seem apt for a smaller display, so it will be interesting to see if the feature indeed ends up making it to the mobile clients first.