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By Hamza Jawad
Microsoft Flight Simulator gets SDK update and new Marketplace products
by Hamza Jawad
Microsoft unveiled a new world update for its Flight Simulator title earlier today, featuring a refreshed look for Japan. This was hinted toward in last week's development update, with a mysteriously labeled 'Update' deliverable marked in the new development roadmap. Continuing in the same vein, the spotlight this week shines on an SDK update, a new Feedback Snapshot, new products in the Marketplace, and more.
The Flight Simulator SDK team now boasts a larger number of members, focused on adding more functionality and improved documentation in a more efficient manner. New changes that have been introduced recently include:
Moving on, a visually enhanced version of the Feedback Snapshot has now been released, showcasing a look at the number of votes garnered by the issues causing the most concern to the community and top items in users' wishlists. Each list features the top 20 items, with the amount of posts made regarding each of them being noted alongside as well.
The Flight Simulator team's Twitch schedule for the next few days includes the monthly developer Q&A, an event featuring guest pilot Shinji Maeda, and a guided fly-in tour for the community.
Moving on, the Marketplace has received four new products - three new airports and a new aircraft - and an update for the Paderborn-Lippstadt Airport which was released a couple of weeks back. Microsoft has also noted that the number of applications for its Marketplace Partner Program have now crossed the 1000 mark, with the amount of approved partners now numbering over 40.
And finally, the Partnership Series deliverable featuring Gaya Simulations has now been pushed to next week. Going by the newest iteration of the development roadmap, the upcoming development update may also bring new episodes for the Around the World Series and the Feature Discovery Series.
Microsoft sheds light on Edge's upcoming Sleeping Tabs feature
by Anmol Mehrotra
Recently we reported that Microsoft is working on a new feature that will allow users to put inactive tabs to sleep to save resources. Called 'Sleeping Tabs', the feature was recently added to Microsoft Edge Canary as well.
Now, Microsoft has published its preliminary findings that show the benefits of using Sleeping Tabs to conserve resources. According to the company's internal testing, Sleeping Tabs showed a median memory usage reduction of 26% while using Microsoft Edge.
Source: Microsoft Microsoft's testing also registered a 29% increase in CPU usage by normal background tabs when compared to Sleeping Tabs. These results will of course vary depending on the hardware but Microsoft is confident that it will help reduce resource and battery consumption.
Source: Microsoft The company noted that the feature is built on Chromium's 'freezing' technology that pauses scripts to free up resources. Microsoft's version of Chromium's freezing technology puts the tabs to sleep so they can be resumed when needed and is a bit different from discarded tabs that require the page to be reloaded.
Microsoft has also highlighted some of the activities that will prevent tabs from going to sleep. These include active tabs, intranet sites, tabs that are playing audio or capturing the screen and more. The company also noted that it will be adding a group policy to let enterprise users block certain websites from going to sleep. By default, tabs that have been inactive for more than two hours will go to sleep. However, users choose a different time interval by navigating to ellipsis menu > Settings > System.
Currently, Sleeping Tabs is available on Edge Canary and will be coming to Microsoft Edge Dev with the version 87.0.649.0 update. As usual, the feature will be rolling out to users in phases but you can enable the feature by navigating to edge://flags and searching for 'Sleeping Tabs' after receiving the version 87.0.649.0 update.
By Rich Woods
Edge Dev 87.0.644.4 is out with dark theme in sidebar search
by Rich Woods
Microsoft usually releases its latest Edge Dev build earlier in the week, but it can be forgiven since the team was pretty busy. This week was Microsoft's Ignite 2020 conference, the company's biggest event of the year. News from the Edge team is that the browser is coming to Linux next month.
Today, the team released Edge Dev version 87.0.644.4. There isn't much in the way of new features, but there are a couple of things. For one thing, there's dark theme support in sidebar Search. Here's the full changelog:
Of course, there are a bunch of fixes and known issues. Here's what got fixed for improved reliability:
Here's what got fixed for changed behavior:
Finally, here are the known issues:
As always, you can force update your browser by going to Settings -> About Microsoft Edge, or you can just wait for it to be updated in the background.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft's next digital Ignite event will be held in March
by Rich Woods
Back in March, Microsoft made the decision to turn its Ignite 2020 conference into a digital event, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, it said that it's not holding any in-person events between then and July 2021. A few months later, it said it was splitting its big Ignite conference into two events, one of which will be held next spring.
Now that it's wrapping up Ignite 2020, the company announced that the next Ignite (Ignite 2021? Ignite 2020 part two? 2 Microsoft 2 Ignite? Ignite Duo?) will be held in March.
When Microsoft decided to split the event in two, it made it clear that this second event is not replacing Build, which will still be a virtual event, likely in May. Other than that, the company's events for next year are still up in the air. If it does still plan to move back to in-person events after next July, there may be changes. Still, there should be an Ignite conference next September, likely in New Orleans, being that that's where it was supposed to be held this year.
By Abhay V
LinkedIn's massive mobile app and website redesign brings Stories, new UI, and more
by Abhay Venkatesh
LinkedIn today announced a major design refresh for its web and mobile clients. The company says that this redesign comes almost five years after the previous refresh, and aims to make the experience “easy, inclusive, enjoyable”. As part of the refresh, the firm is bringing UI enhancements that improve navigation, new features for search, and focuses on accessibility as well.
The UI now brings more rounded corners, larger icons, and warmer colors. The larger touch targets and overall UI changes help improve interaction capabilities for those that use accessibility features and for the differently-abled. The Microsoft-owned company also plans to add a dark mode to the app and web client soon.
In addition to the look and feel, the company has also revamped the search experience. Search results are now organized by categories such as jobs, groups, courses, and more. The mobile versions of the service are also receiving keyword filters. Users can filter through these categories from a carousel at the top on mobile, or use the filters on the search results page itself, on the web. Search results are also personalized with the results displaying similar “liked” courses or “People also Viewed” lists in addition to the search query’s results.
The redesign also brings the ‘Stories’ feature that the firm has been testing internally. The company says that it “took the time to understand how this format fits in the professional context” and calls Stories a “more human way of sharing”. The feature is identical to Stories on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Another significant area of improvement is the messages section. The company is working to add support for users to directly connect to video meetings on Teams, Zoom, and other third-party services right from direct messages. Other features include the ability to edit, react to, and bulk manage messages.
The redesign begins rolling out today to users globally and will be available to everyone in the coming weeks.