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By Abhay V
Windows 10 21H1 is now being pushed to all Beta channel users
by Abhay Venkatesh
After radio silence about the existence of a Windows 10 21H1 update for a long time, Microsoft finally acknowledged the impending release of the next update and began rolling it out to users in the Beta channel a couple of weeks ago. However, the update was rolled in a way that users could opt to download the cumulative update for 20H2 or choose to jump up to 21H1, which meant just a single build number change from 19042.844 to 19043.844.
Today, the company updated its original blog post to note that 21H1 is now being offered as a “recommended update”, meaning that those who are still on 20H2 or build 19042, will now automatically be served 21H1, instead of an optional feature update banner. Indeed, the change does not mean anything other than the build number, since the release is nothing but an enablement package, lighting up a few new features in the OS that are hidden in the previous version, such as support for multiple cameras for Windows Hello, Defender Application Guard performance improvements, and more.
With 21H1 being another enablement package for 20H2 – which itself was an enablement package for the May 2020 Update –, the three latest versions of Windows 10 will be serviced by the same cumulative updates. Additionally, it will be the first time that all versions of Windows 10 will be served the same cumulative updates when version 1909 reaches the end-of-support this May.
While there is no word on when exactly this version will be released to all users, the update coming in the second half of this year (21H2), codenamed Sun Valley, is expected to bring a major overhaul to the OS. In a fireside chat as part of the ongoing Ignite conference, Panos Panay referred to a “next generation of Windows” coming later this year, possibly hinting at both Windows 10X and Sun Valley. Windows 10X is expected to be made official some time this spring, which could also be why 21H1 ended up being a minor update.
By Rich Woods
Panos Panay is pumped for the "next generation of Windows"
by Rich Woods
Today was the first day of Microsoft's spring 2021 Ignite conference, and in a brief, 14-minute fireside chat, Chief Product Officer Panos Panay and CVP and Product Manager Roanne Sones sat down to talk about Windows for a bit. Unfortunately, there's not much that they actually talked about.
Panay did tease the "next generation of Windows" and say that he's pumped about it, but he also said that that's not for this event. In fact, one thing that was left unsaid is that Microsoft is actually planning a Windows-focused event. Here's what was said (thanks to transcription by Windows Central):
The worst-kept secret at this point is that Microsoft actually has some big plans for Windows. Windows 10X should be set to launch this spring, arriving on entry-level devices. And while we know pretty much everything that there is to know about Windows 10X, which is coming in the spring, a big Windows 10 overhaul is coming in the fall.
That overhaul is codenamed Sun Valley, and either one of them could be what Panay was talking about when referring to the next generation of Windows. Windows 10X is mostly a new OS, shedding a lot of legacy components, so that could be considered what's going to be the next generation of the OS some day. On the other hand, Sun Valley is a major UI overhaul, a spiritual Windows 11, if you will.
More likely, of course, is that Panay is referring to both of those things as the next generation of the OS, and we'll have to wait and see what Microsoft chooses to reveal and when it chooses to do it.
By Rich Woods
Universal Print is now available for Microsoft 365 customers
by Rich Woods
Today at its spring 2021 Ignite conference, Microsoft announced that its new Universal Print service is now generally available, specifically for education and enterprise users. It's included in Windows and Microsoft 365 offerings, or can be purchased separately.
If you're unfamiliar with Universal Print, it's Microsoft's attempt to kill off the print server. Not only that, but it's meant to kill off an even bigger paint point: printer drivers. Indeed, it takes all of that Windows Server print functionality and just moved it to the cloud, and you find a dashboard for your printers on Azure.
The feature was first announced last March, and then there's been a public preview available since July. Microsoft, of course, recommends using a printer that's made for Universal Print, although you can also use a proxy application to hook up a printer that's not officially supported.
When this was first announced, the Redmond firm said that it was working with Canon on supported printers, but now that we're hitting general availability, the list has grown. You can get a Universal Print printer from Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Konica Minolta, Lexmark, Toshiba, Ricoh, and Xerox. You can learn more here.
O&O ShutUp10 1.8.1418
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 1.8.1418 changelog:
FIX: Determining registry key permissions has resulted in fewer displayed settings on some NT domain systems.
Available in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Chinese (simplified)
Download: O&O ShutUp10 1.8.1418 | 1.3 MB (Freeware)
View: O&O ShutUp10 Home Page
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By Abhay V
Windows Terminal Preview 1.7 improves window management, settings UI, and more
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft today announced a new preview release of Windows Terminal, bumping up the version to 1.7. This also means that version 1.6 is now being made generally available. As for version 1.7, the company is bringing a bunch of improvements to the newly added settings UI, enhancements to windowing, and the usual crop of bug fixes.
The biggest additions come to windowing, as the tool now lets users choose where a new terminal instance launches thanks to the ‘windowingBehavior’ global settings. The options include the ability to open a new window in an already existing terminal instance or a new window. There are three available options and they can be found on the Startup page of the new settings UI.
The tool is also getting a ‘newWindow’ action that allows users to open a new window through keyboard shortcuts. Additionally, there are new arguments for commands to choose between the windows that one wants to interact with. For example, users can open a new tab with the default profile in the current window or in a new window.
Another interesting addition coming with version 1.7 is the read-only panes feature. As the name suggests, users can prevent input into panes by using the 'toggleReadOnlyMode' action, letting them avoid untoward key presses when a build is in process. Currently, there are no shortcuts assigned to it. The tool is also getting the option to automatically move focus to a pane by hovering on it with a mouse. This setting is present in the Interaction section of the settings UI or can be enabled using the 'focusFollowMouse' action. It is set to false by default.
Next up are improvements to the new settings UI. The UI is now being made the default for Preview users. However, not all options from settings.json are available in the UI yet, and the firm is requesting feedback on users’ preferences on GitHub here. As for the improvements, there’s a new Actions page to list all the keyboard shortcuts, a redesigned Color Schemes page that aims to be less cluttered, and enhancements that make it easy to use with a screen reader or the keyboard alone, improving accessibility.
Other changes coming with version 1.7 include JSON fragment extensions support, a new centerOnLaunch setting to always launch the terminal in the center of the screen, a new action for search that allows users to search between the next and previous matches, and a few bug fixes.
Here are the miscellaneous improvements made for the release:
And here are the bug fixes:
Those that installed Windows Terminal from the Microsoft Store should be able to update to the latest version automatically. These updates can also be installed manually from the GitHub page here that contains both the preview version and the version being made generally available.