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By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft will not take a cut from developers using third-party payment systems in apps
by Usama Jawad
A few hours ago, Microsoft took the wraps off Windows 11, revealing the minimum system requirements for consumers and device manufacturers. You can read our detailed coverage on the topic here. Another major announcement Microsoft made was around the Microsoft Store supporting Android apps via an integration with the Amazon App Store. However, that's only one of the many improvements the company is making to its app distribution platform.
The redesigned Microsoft Store, which is coming to both Windows 10 and Windows 11, will include curated stories and collections to keep you updated on the latest current and upcoming releases. Another major productivity-focused feature coming to the Store includes a more streamlined approach to installing apps from the web. If you locate an app on the Microsoft Store through your web browser and click on the download button, a "pop-up store" will allow you to directly manage the install without redirecting you to the Microsoft Store app. This is different to what currently happens where you get a pop-up telling you to open the Microsoft Store app, interrupting your workflow.
There are a bunch of developer-focused enhancements coming to the Microsoft Store as well. From today, Windows developers can publish any app to the Microsoft Store regardless of the technology framework and the packaging mechanism.
While Microsoft already offers a competitive 85/15 and 88/12 revenue splits for apps and games respectively in the Microsoft Store, the company is making one major change. Starting July 28, developers are allowed to use their own or third-party payment mechanisms without having to pay Microsoft a dime. However, this only applies to apps, and not games, as reported by The Verge.
This is in stark contrast to Google and Apple which do not support third-party payment mechanisms at all and force developers to adopt the native billing system, essentially allowing them to take a 15% or 30% cut depending upon how much money your app is generating. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is well aware of the edge it is offering to developers with this latest change, excerpts from his closing speech yesterday have been posted to his Twitter account and are as follows:
Microsoft plans to release the first Windows 11 build to Insiders next week, and we'll likely find out more about the company's visual redesign of the Store as well as new capabilities then.
By Abhay V
Microsoft confirms that Windows 10 version 21H2 will be released later this year
by Abhay Venkatesh
It’s Windows 11 day today as Microsoft finally took the wraps off the next major version of Windows. The OS brings with it a revamped UI, new Microsoft Store that can house Android apps, and a bunch of other improvements aimed at productivity, touch, and more. The firm also shared the updated minimum requirements for running the OS, though, you can bypass those for now.
The Redmond firm posted a separate blog post for IT admins detailing the changes to update cadence and the support lifecycle, announcing that the company will move to an annual update cadence for Windows 11. In that post, it added that once Windows 11 becomes available for Windows Insiders, it will let enterprise customers test the OS out on Azure Virtual Desktop.
Additionally, in a note at the bottom of the blog, the company confirmed that it will be shipping Windows 10 version 21H2 later this fall. Here’s the verbiage included in the post:
It is not clear whether version 21H2 will contain any consumer-facing features, at the moment. The firm says that users can update to 21H2 to “stay on an updated, secure, and supported version of Windows 10 as [they] plan [their] Windows 11 journey”, so it is anybody’s guess what the plans for Windows 10 are, post the H2 update for this fall. While the PC Health Check tool does assure incompatible device users that they will “keep getting Windows 10 updates”, it is not clear as to how long that will be.
Additionally, there is no word on what the specifics are for LTSC customers with Windows 11 as the firm is expected to release the next LTSC version this fall, which is most likely version 21H2. It is also not known if 21H2 will be yet another enablement package as has been the case with the last two “feature updates”. The company might share more details as it heads closer to the launch of Windows 11.
By Steven P.
How to get Windows 11 if your PC does not meet minimum requirements
by Steven Parker
Earlier today, Microsoft officially announced Windows 11 and with it updated minimum hardware requirements. On Twitter many people have already complained that their relatively new hardware isn't compatible, including Microsoft hardware like the Surface Book 2 (released in 2017) and even newer hardware. This can be blamed on the fact that Microsoft is now requiring a TPM 2.0 module be present in the device, as helpfully explained by the Twitter handle @KorokuGaming below:
You can check if your device has the compatible TPM by opening Windows Powershell and giving the command get-tpm, here's one from one of our recently built gaming rigs:
In a nutshell, if you are planning to try out Windows 11 then you'll need the minimum specs below:
1Ghz 64-bit dual-core processor 4GB RAM 64GB storage 9-inch display (1366x768 resolution) UEFI, Secure Boot TPM 2.0 DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x
If you're seeing the above message when running the Windows PC Health Check app, then there is a way to still get Windows 11 next week when it is released to Insiders, you'll need to opt into the Dev channel of Windows Insiders within Windows 10, and you'll automatically get the build when it is released, minimum specs be damned.
To opt into Windows Insiders, go to All settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program (you may be promoted to turn on Optional Diagnostic & Feedback) and then click on Get started, and when available pick the Dev channel (you may have to restart Windows in order to switch channels).
The entire process is outlined in this post at the Windows Insider Blog:
Microsoft does warn that people who opt into getting Windows 11 Insider builds despite the device not being eligible may experience bugs that will never be fixed, which may mean that those people will be flagged as running an incompatible device when submitting bugs to Microsoft.
Come here my pretty! In addition if you run in to problems and decide to reinstall Windows by resetting the PC, those devices will be immediately opted out of Windows 11 Insider Preview builds, and will not be able to upgrade to Windows 11. Microsoft notes that these devices will be treated like a new PC and the minimum hardware requirements will be enforced.
Finally, when Windows 11 becomes generally available, meaning when the final build ships, those PCs will be opted out of flighting and will need to clean install back to Windows 10.
By Abhay V
Windows 10 version 21H1 is now available to all seekers, rolls out to more 2004 users
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft began rolling out Windows 10 version 21H1 to users earlier in May, bringing just a small set of features, thanks to the update being nothing but another enablement package, just like version 20H2. Though the release was a minor one, the rollout was staggered and was only being served to select devices, which is why many users might have not seen it show up on Windows Update.
Today, the firm announced that it is making version 21H1 completely available for those who manually check for updates – or seekers, as the firm called them in the past – through Windows Update. The Redmond company has posted more about this on the release information page for Windows 10 as well, hinting that all upgrade blocks from version 20H2 have been removed for those who wish to install the latest version.
In addition to serving the May 2021 Update to seekers, the company will begin automatically upgrading more users running version 2004 to the latest offering based on its machine learning algorithms. This is because some SKUs of Windows 10 version 2004 (May 2020 Update) reach the end of support in December this year. Unlike in the past, feature updates (which 21H1 is treated as despite it being an enablement package) are no longer automatically installed on users’ devices unless the version they are running on nears the end of its support.
Those upgrading from 2004 will notice a few differences, such as the new Start menu design for tiles and other touch-focused UI improvements. These features are hidden in version 2004 and are lit up via the enablement package that also bumps the version number.
It must be noted that those running Windows 10 Enterprise, Education, and IoT Enterprise SKUs have an additional year of support, so those users will not be updated to version 21H1 automatically. Additionally, with Windows 11 expected to be announced soon, there is no information on what the plan is for Windows 10 and if version 21H2 is to be expected in the fall.
by Razvan Serea
Windows 10 has brought back a start menu, but the focus is heavily on apps, which are preloaded and pre-organized and are viewed as tiles rather than in the simple list of programs in Windows 7. The start menu is there, but consumers may feel the brunt of this app-focused layout. Start10 returns the familiar start menu to Windows 10, and allows for additional look and feel customization with just the couple of clicks of a mouse.
Start10 brings a more familiar look and feel to the Windows 10 start menu. The new start menu in Windows 10 has a very app-focused layout, and Start10 helps users with a familiar Windows 7 style layout, and also offers additional customization with just a few mouse clicks.
Start10 also maintains the familiar “folders” metaphor. Right now in the Windows start menu everything is listed in alphabetic order, which can make the start menu quite long, whereas in previous versions of Windows applications like Word, Excel and the other Office applications were found in the “Microsoft Office” folder on the start menu.
In Windows 10 the search bar has been taken out of the start menu and placed on the task bar. Start10 allows you to have the search functionality back in your start menu.
Start10 1.97 changelog:
Fix to work around a problem with start buttons having buttons go under them and potentially being made much less wide with that MS patch to add in the News and Weather link on the taskbar when that setting is set to be hidden. Forum post: https://forums.stardock.com/505189/get;3808445
Start10 is only $4.99. For more information about Start10, please visit www.start10.com.
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