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O&O ShutUp10 1.8.1414
by Razvan Serea
O&O ShutUp10 a small portable utility that provides access to almost 50 privacy-related tweaks, most of them hidden or not easily accessible to the average computer users. Using a very simple interface, you decide how Windows 10 should respect your privacy by deciding which unwanted functions should be deactivated. Using ShutUp10 you can easily disable Windows Defender, turn off telemetry, disable peer-to-peer updates, turn off Wi-Fi Sense, disable automatic Windows updates, turn off and reset Cortana and more.
ShutUp10 allows you to create a System Restore point before you apply any changes, so that you can revert your system at any time if you run into problems.
O&O ShutUp10 is entirely free and does not have to be installed – it can be simply run directly and immediately on your PC. And it will not install or download retrospectively unwanted or unnecessary software, like so many other programs do these days!
O&O ShutUp10 1.8.1414 changelog:
FIX: NCSI setting upgraded to critical, as it can lead to problems under Windows 10 2004
Available in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Chinese (simplified)
Download: O&O ShutUp10 1.8.1414 | 1.3 MB (Freeware)
View: O&O ShutUp10 Home Page
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Windows 10 version 20H2 is coming - here's what you need to know
by João Carrasqueira
For the past few months, Microsoft has been working on the next feature update for Windows 10, the one to follow up the May 2020 Update. We’ve covered the changes in every Windows 10 feature update since the May 2019 Update, so of course we're also going to go over the next one. But before we do, if you missed any of the previous updates, you can use these links to check the additions from the past few releases:
Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903) Windows 10 November 2019 Update (version 1909) Windows 10 May 2020 Update (version 2004) Moving on to the next update, Microsoft is changing the way it designates new versions of Windows 10, so instead of being version 2009 or 2010, Microsoft is calling it version 20H2, with a more friendly name being October 2020 Update. Instead of indicating the month the update was finalized in, the version now just indicates whether the update was released in the first or second half of the year. This should help alleviate some questions users have had, since the month indicated in the version number was almost always different from the month used in the friendly name.
Windows 10 version 20H2 is a relatively small feature update, just like version 1909 was last year. If you’re running version 2004, this update will simply be an enablement package, essentially turning some features that are already baked into version 2004, but turned off. Because of that, users on version 20H2 will get all the same monthly cumulative updates as version 2004. This also means there’s not a lot of new features, but there are some notable ones nonetheless. Let’s take a look.
Easily the most immediately noticeable change in this release is in the Start menu, especially if you have tiles pinned to it. Microsoft has added theme-aware tiles, which means they’re now using a transparency effect instead of being a solid color. Not only that, they will now follow your system theme – light or dark – instead of always being colored, so you can have monochrome tiles to help app icons pop. You can also enable color for the Start menu in Settings -> Personalization -> Colors, and tiles will be colored while retaining the transparency effect.
There are also some improvements to the All Apps list, though. App icons are no longer forced to fit into colored squares, so not only are the icons themselves bigger, but the list as a whole looks a lot cleaner. Plus, there’s a new icon for folders, which falls much more in line with Microsoft’s design language.
Moving down to the taskbar, there’s a small change for new accounts, which may now see some different apps pinned to the taskbar when they login for the first time. Usually, Windows 10 pins Edge, File Explorer, Microsoft Store, and Mail icons to the taskbar out of the box. With this change, you may see some different ones, like the Your Phone replacing Mail if you have linked an Android phone to your Microsoft account, or the Xbox app if you have a gaming PC. This won’t affect you if you’re just updating Windows 10, though, only new users starting with this version, such as with a clean install.
Image credit: Windows Blogs There are also some changes for 2-in-1 devices and the tablet experience, as Microsoft continues to deprecate the traditional tablet mode. When you detach a keyboard or rotate it behind the screen, you’ll no longer see a prompt to switch to tablet mode proper, and instead you’ll see a new experience for tablets, which increases spacing between some items and adds a touch keyboard button to the taskbar to make the touch experience better.
This tablet experience was already available in Windows 10 version 2004, but unless you had a Surface device, you’d still see the tablet mode prompt, and saying no would take you to the new tablet experience. You can re-enable the prompt in Settings -> System -> Tablet if you want to use the classic tablet mode.
On this note, there are a couple of other changes. If your device doesn’t have a touch screen, the Action Center will no longer show the tablet mode button so you don’t enable it by accident. Microsoft has also improved the logic so when you turn on the computer, it will deliver the right experience based on whether you had tablet mode enabled at the last shutdown and if there’s a keyboard attached.
Another thing that’s new in this update is that it’s the first version of Windows 10 to ship with the new Chromium-based Edge, though you’ve been able to install it for a while. However, with the new Edge being bundled into the operating system, there are some new features to improve the integration between the two.
On the taskbar, there are some improvements to pinned sites. If you pin websites to the taskbar using Edge, the taskbar icon will now let you keep track of all the tabs you have open for that website, even if they’re in different Edge windows. The feature requires version 86 of Edge, which is currently only available in beta, but it should be promoted to the stable channel by the time Windows 10 version 20H2 is generally available.
Another Edge-related improvement is in the task switcher, which you access with Alt+Tab. If you have multiple Edge tabs open, you’ll now see each one individually listed in the task switcher, so you can more easily switch to it. By default, up to five Edge tabs will be visible, but you can change this in Settings -> System -> Multi-tasking, so you can see just three tabs, every tab, or only open windows.
Microsoft has made some notable improvements to the way notifications are presented in this update, which makes them a lot easier to understand. For one thing, the name of the app and its icon are now shown at the top, whereas the previous design only showed the app name in small text under the notification content (and even that only appeared for some apps). On top of that, there’s a new X button to immediately dismiss notifications. Before, you’d only be able to hide the notification into the Action Center, and then dismiss it from there, but now it can be dismissed directly from the notification toast.
Old style New style You’ll also notice that the gear button to adjust the notification settings has been replaced with a three-dot button, albeit only in notification toasts and not in the Action Center itself.
On the topic of notifications, Microsoft has also disabled notifications for when Focus Assist is turned on by an automatic rule. Focus Assist mutes incoming notifications automatically during certain scenarios, such as gaming or when using apps in full screen, but when this happened in previous versions of Windows, there would be a notification in the Action Center to indicate that Focus Assist had turned on automatically, as well as a notification when Focus Assist turns back off, letting users know what they missed. Both of these notifications are now disabled by default, but you can re-enable them in Settings -> System -> Focus Assist.
A smaller change can be found in the Settings app, specifically in System -> About. Microsoft has made this the default experience for viewing system information, replacing the equivalent page in the old Control Panel. Links to additional settings can be found here now, and there’s a new button to copy your system information in case you need to share it with someone.
Finally, for businesses and IT administrators, the Modern Device Management (MDM) experience for local users and groups now allows for granular control of policies for groups, just as you would on devices with on-promises Group Policy management.
The Windows 10 October 2020 Update, or version 20H2, was recently brought to the Release Preview channel of the Insider program, and Microsoft is getting ready to release it to general users in the near future, though a date isn't set yet. As usual, feature updates won't install automatically, but it should show up as an optional update in Windows Update, and you can install it manually. For devices running older versions of Windows 10, which might be nearing the end of support, then the update will eventually be pushed to your device so you can keep getting security updates.
What's your favorite change in this release? Will you be installing it as soon as possible? Let us know in the comments!
By Abhay V
Google brings Flutter to Windows in Alpha form, aims to add UWP support soon
by Abhay Venkatesh
Just a day after popular Apple-developed programming language Swift made it to Windows, Google has announced that it is bringing Flutter – its open-source, cross-platform framework – to Windows in Alpha form. The search giant has been working to bring the development platform to Windows for some time and there has even been a technical preview since June. The Alpha is supported on Windows 7 and newer.
Flutter provides developers the ability to reuse code when building apps for multiple platforms while also leveraging the native capabilities of each platform. The Mountain View giant says that as per its own statistics, more than half of Flutter developers use Windows and that the addition of support for native desktop elements and APIs further expands the reach of the cross-platform framework.
While the platform began with touch-based OSes like iOS and Android, it has added support for other input methods such as keyboards, mice, and more, while also adapting for larger screen sizes. This also includes support for plugins that work in unison with native code, bringing more capabilities to apps developed using the framework. The list of added components for the alpha version includes:
The company has also created sample apps for developers to reference, which can be downloaded from GitHub here. Interested users can also head here to read more about how the app was built. The firm has also updated the Flutter Gallery app with support for desktop platforms to exhibit the prowess of the framework. The Flutter SDK can be downloaded from here. Google also recommends that developers read the additional requirements here and has provided a detailed document on getting started in its blog post.
The firm has also created a few plugins, such as the URL launcher for launching URLs in the browser from Flutter apps, and more. Developers can also build their own plugins for Windows. There are various other resources that have been listed in the document here.
With the Alpha release now out, Google says that it is working towards “completing the feature set and stabilizing the product for release”. It is working to improve “accessibility, globalization and localization, enhanced keyboard and text handling, support for command line arguments, and more”.
In addition to supporting Win32 APIs, the company said that it is also working to bring a UWP version of the Flutter shell to add support for platforms such as Xbox and Windows 10X. It has also released a UWP version of the Flutter Gallery app in the Microsoft Store as a proof of concept.
Here's what's fixed, improved, and still broken in Windows 10 build 20221
by João Carrasqueira
A new Wednesday is upon us, and of course, that means it's time for a new Windows 10 build for Insiders enrolled in the Dev channel, which used to be called the Fast ring. Microsoft has just released build 20221, and it only comes with a new Meet Now feature.
In addition to the new feature, there are some smaller changes in this release. For example, Microsoft has removed the People app from the Start menu, and you can only access it through Mail and Calendar.
Naturally, the build also comes with a list of bug fixes that should also make the experience better, including a fix for Windows Update while downloading updates. Here's the full list:
And, of course, it wouldn't be a Windows 10 build without some known issues, and build 20221 has a sizeable serving of them. While updates won't get stuck in the "downloading" state anymore, build upgrades can still take a while. Here's the full list of issues:
As usual, it's worth keeping in mind that these builds are in the vNext development branch, and they're not tied to a specific public release of Windows 10. New features that get added for Insiders may take a while to make their way to the general public.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft releases Windows 10 build 20221 to the Dev channel with Meet Now
by Rich Woods
It's Wednesday at 10am PT, so Microsoft released a new Windows 10 Insider Preview build in the Dev channel. The build is number 20221, and the only new feature is called Met Now, something that was previously exclusive to Skype. Now, it's going to show up in the taskbar, letting you quickly start a meeting.
Other than that, there's a new pinning feature for notifications in Your Phone, but that's an app update and it's not exclusive to this build. Here's the full changelog:
This build is from the Windows 10 development branch, as are most builds in the Dev channel, and that means that it's not tied to a specific feature update. Once something is promoted to the Beta channel, we'll see which features will arrive in which update.