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Microsoft Weekly: Edge on Linux, the October 2020 Update, and more games
by Florin Bodnarescu
Another Windows 10 feature update, the arrival of Edge on Linux, as well as the beginning of testing for the Halo 4 PC port via the Insider program. You can find info about that, as well as much more below, in your Microsoft digest for the week of October 18 - 24.
Edge on Linux
We begin this week with a bunch of changes surrounding the Chromium-based Edge browser. For one, the Beta channel is now on version 87, while the Dev channel has moved on to version 88. If you’re on the latter, you’re now able to take a screenshot of a webpage and add a link to it, as well as take advantage of a couple of new management policies.
If you’re running a build from the Canary channel, PWAs now support tabs, and if you’re running either a Canary of Dev build, you’re also able to reset your sync data. Staying a little longer on the subject of PWAs, there is a bug that needs highlighting, which specifically causes Office PWAs to be installed without your permission. We’re talking here about those tiles you would see in the Start menu if you didn’t have Office installed, which were simply links. Due to this bug, they are no longer pinned websites, but rather installed apps, which appear even if you have Office installed.
In a little better news, Microsoft has announced that its WebView2 component for Win32 C/C++ apps is now generally available and that the Dev channel of the browser at long last has a Linux build that testers can download.
The October 2020 Update
Unsurprisingly, we’re going to touch upon some update news this week too, with Microsoft pushing out a couple of optional updates for still-supported versions of Windows 10. These are:
May 2019 Update / November 2019 Update (1903/1909): KB4580386, build 18362.1171 / 18363.1171 – adds Meet Now to the Taskbar, fixes an issue with Xbox Game Pass whereby users weren’t able to play games they should be able to, as well as fixing a screen flashing reliability issue and addressing the issue with USB printers that causes the port to disappear after restarting. Known issue: When updating to v1903 or v1909 from any previous version, you may receive a compatibility report dialog with “What needs your attention” at the top of the error. “Continuing with the installation of Windows will remove some optional features. You may need to add them back in Settings after installation completes. Additionally, a compatibility warning might also be received when Local System accounts are blocked in a firewall from accessing the internet via HTTP. This is caused by the Windows 10 Setup Dynamic Update (DU) being unable to download the required packages. October 2018 Update (1809): KB4580390, build 17763.1554 - contains updates for an issue with the out of box experience (OOBE) that prevents the update from completing on certain devices. Known issue: After installing KB4493509, devices with some Asian language packs installed may receive error “0x800f0982 – PSFX_E_MATCHING_COMPONENT_NOT_FOUND.” Switching over to the upcoming version of the operating system, the October 2020 Update has been officially released, complete with a list of known issues that this time, thankfully, doesn’t have any surprises. In case you aren’t up to speed on what this feature update contains, make sure to check out our handy guide. And if you’re determined to get this update, these are the various ways you can go about obtaining it.
In terms of more update news, Microsoft released build 19042.608 to the Release Preview channel, posted a workaround for the ‘Reset this PC’ bug affecting some PCs, and added a new Group Policy that lets IT admins disable feature update blocks.
Insiders in the Dev channel were also treated to a new build of the vNext branch, namely 20241, which brought theme-aware splash screens for some of the built-in apps. In other words, no longer will you get a splash screen with your chosen accent colour, but one that’s either light grey (for the light theme) or dark grey (for the dark theme).
The build contains a fair few fixes, but is also still plagued by the bug which causes the update process to hang for extended periods of time.
Microsoft subsequently pushed out build 20241.1005, which contained no changes.
This week was rather eventful on the gaming side of Microsoft too, with an Xbox Live issue preventing folks on console and Windows 10 from launching games. The problem was likely due to an authentication issue with the service, but luckily, in a little over an hour, the bug had been mitigated. In the same realm of authentication and login, though not a bug, the Java Edition of Minecraft will soon require a Microsoft account.
On the subject of other first-party Microsoft titles, the Flight Simulator VR beta inches closer, Halo 4 Insider testing is now live across PC and console with cross-play support, Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be optimized for Xbox Series X and S, and Doom Eternal’s The Ancient Gods – Part One standalone expansion is now available.
Speaking of expansions, the list of games with Xbox touch controls for cloud gaming via Game Pass Ultimate has been expanded by 10 – including Killer Instinct, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, and Tell Me Why -, while the Xbox app has had its feature set expanded with support for remote play on iOS and Android.
In terms of games to pick up, there are currently Deals with Gold in place for a number of Fallout games, Destiny 2, Madden NFL 21, Need for Speed, and more. In case existing games aren’t what you’re looking for, but rather new games, here’s a handy list of Xbox One games launching next week, and here’s a brand-new wireless gaming headset from Corsair, which has just been announced. The $149.99 pair will be compatible with Windows 10 PCs, Xbox One, Series X, and Series S.
Microsoft is the most imitated brand by hackers, per new report The all-digital CES 2021 event will be powered by Microsoft’s cloud tech Outlook for iPadOS now lets you drag and drop files in split view Teams now integrates with Zoho Notebook Teams on iOS now supports Caller ID, spelling suggestions, and more The Microsoft Remote Desktop app for iOS has gotten a number of fixes and improvements in its latest update Microsoft Forms is now available for personal users The Redmond giant has disabled 94% of Trickbot’s critical operational infrastructure Honeywell and Microsoft have announced a collaboration centered on Azure and Dynamics 365 Microsoft, Nvidia, IBM, and more have partnered to release Adversarial ML Threat Matrix Windows 10 Team 2020 Update will be available for Surface Hub 2S next week The Surface Duo is now $200 off at the Microsoft Store Logging off
We end with a look at what Microsoft thinks cloud computing and the datacenter are going.
Following its experiments with submerged datacenters via Project Natick, the Redmond giant has perfected its modular approach to building datacenters, so much so that these are now essentially available in a box. Mind you, this is a rather big box, but the Azure Modular Datacenter (MDC) is designed for high-intensity secure cloud computing in environments where power and building infrastructure are unreliable.
And if you thought remote locations are the only places the company is looking at, you’d be partially right. Microsoft is in fact looking at space itself as the newest place to expand its datacenter reach. Via the newly-announced Azure Space, the firm wants to make space connectivity and computing across industries.
Finally, still on the subject of remote, but this time remote work, Microsoft will let employees continue to work from home until July 2021.
Missed any of the previous columns? Be sure to have a look right here.
By Usama Jawad96
Discuss: Which abandoned video game franchise do you wish would make a comeback?
by Usama Jawad
Video game franchises come and go all the time but there are some that stay close to our hearts for one reason or the other. These reasons could be anything including pure nostalgia, fun gameplay, an intriguing story, and best of all: a combination of all of the above.
We've seen various video game franchises stay relevant with time to the point that they still get new releases, rather than just remasters and remakes. Examples of long-staying franchises include Pokémon, Tekken, Halo, Mario, Wolfenstein, Resident Evil, DOOM, Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, and more. All of these have huge fanbases which have kept interest in these titles alive even several decades after their original launch. In fact, a lot of titles from these franchises are still the among the bestsellers even in the current generation of video games.
And then there are other, less fortunate, franchises which have seemingly been abandoned. These include series like Dino Crisis, Portal, Max Payne, Twisted Metal, Road Rash, Silent Hill, and Chrono Trigger, among others. It is important to note that not all of these have been officially put on ice due to lack of interest. In fact, rumors have often popped up regarding the revival of each of these series from time to time, but nothing concrete has surfaced yet except the occasional mobile spinoff or a remaster, at best.
That said, via browsing through various internet forums and listicles, it is clear to see that avid fans of these seemingly abandoned franchises would still love to see their beloved video game series make a comeback. And given the fact that a lot of video game series haven't officially been canceled as of yet, there is still hope that people see their favorite games make a triumphant return.
We would like to know: Is there any video game franchise that is currently on hold or canceled that you would love to see make a comeback in the future? Let us know the comments section below!
Weekend PC Game Deals: Halloween specials, bundles, and freebies begin pouring in
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Weekend PC Game Deals is where the hottest gaming deals from all over the internet are gathered into one place, every week, for your consumption. So kick back, relax, and hold on to your wallets.
Just as expected, Humble showed up this week carrying a Halloween-themed bundle, which will be available for the next 10 days or so. The Thrills and Chills Bundle offers up 10 games in its three tiers, and starting things off with the $1 first tier are copies of Pacify and DISTRAINT 2.
Paying over the average cost of the bundle, currently hovering around $9.50, gets you five more games, Detention, DESOLATE, Blood: Fresh Supply, DARQ, and The Letter - Horror Visual Novel.
The final tier comes in at $15, and gets you DUSK, The Blackout Club, and Layers of Fear 2. However, note that Layers of Fear 2 is currently free on the Epic Store, as you'll see below, so it probably shouldn't factor into your decision on bumping up to the third tier.
To nobody's surprise, the latest games to enter Epic Games Store's weekly giveaway are also Halloween-themed, with Layers of Fear 2 and Costume Quest 2 now being available for free. If you've kept up with previous Epic giveaways, you should have the original games of these sequels in your library too.
Layers of Fear 2 is a first-person psychological horror title developed by Bloober Team. The exploration and narrative-focused title puts players into the shoes of a disturbed actor stuck on an ocean liner. Pulling back on the horror scale but still keeping the Halloween spirit, Costume Quest 2 arrives from Double Fine. The RPG follows a group of kids trying to stop Dr. Orel White from destroying Halloween and bringing forth a dental dystopia.
You have until October 29 to claim the duo, which is when Epic will bring in Blair Witch and Ghost Busters: The Video Game Remaster as the next giveaways.
Those looking to try out some new experiences this weekend have four free events from varying genres waiting for them.
The Bethesda multiplayer RPG Fallout 76 is free to play through October 26, offering full access to the post-apocalyptic open world. Meanwhile, strategy fans can check out Paradox's Europa Universalis IV during the weekend for their grand strategy needs.
Moreover, the space-set sandbox building and survival title, Space Engineers, as well as the latest entry in the long-running Formula One racing series, F1 2020, can be played this weekend for free as well.
While Halloween sales are slowly creeping in, Bethesda is celebrating the Fallout Bombs Drop Day with sales across the franchise. There's a rather large digital tabletop games-focused promo going on Steam as well. Find out the big deals for this weekend below in our handpicked list:
DEATH STRANDING – $41.99 on Epic Store Red Dead Redemption 2 – $40.19 on Epic Store F1 2020 – $35.99 on Steam OCTOPATH TRAVELER – $29.99 on Steam The Outer Worlds – $29.99 on Steam GTFO - Early Access – $27.99 on Steam Disco Elysium – $27.99 on Steam Control Ultimate Edition – $27.99 on Epic Store XCOM 2 Collection – $24.95 on GameBillet Mortal Shell – $23.99 on Epic Store Hades – $19.99 on Epic Store RESIDENT EVIL 2 – $19.99 on Humble Store Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition – $19.58 on Steam Crysis Remastered – $19.49 on Epic Store Total War: WARHAMMER II – $16.99 on GamesPlanet Fallout 76 – $15.99 on Steam Darksiders III – $14.99 on Humble Store Mega Man 11 – $14.99 on Steam Darksiders Genesis – $14.99 on Humble Store CARRION – $14.99 on Humble Store HITMAN - Game of The Year Edition – $14.71 on Steam WHAT THE GOLF? – $13.99 on Steam Space Engineers – $13.99 on Steam Total War: WARHAMMER – $12.99 on GamesPlanet Frostpunk – $10.19 on Steam Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales – $9.99 on Steam DiRT Rally 2.0 – $9.99 on Steam Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales – $9.99 on Steam Tabletop Simulator – $9.99 on Steam Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 – $9.99 on Steam Pummel Party – $9.89 on Steam Call of Cthulhu – $8.99 on Steam Fallout 4 – $8.39 on Fanatical Warhammer: Vermintide 2 – $7.49 on Steam Rise of the Tomb Raider – $7.49 on Steam Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition – $6.98 on GameBillet DiRT 4 – $6.24 on Steam Mega Man Legacy Collection – $6.00 on Steam Don't Starve Together – $5.09 on Steam Deep Sky Derelicts – $4.99 on Steam Monster Prom – $3.72 on Steam Do Not Feed the Monkeys – $3.6 on Steam Ryse: Son of Rome – $2.99 on Steam Hitman: Blood Money – $2.49 on Steam Immortal Redneck – $1.99 on Steam Sentinels of the Multiverse – $0.99 on Steam Layers of Fear 2 – $0 on Epic Store Costume Quest 2 – $0 on Epic Store DRM-free Goodness
If you're fast enough, you can currently get a free copy of the classic grand strategy game Europa Universalis II on the GOG store. The offer will be available until 1 PM UTC today, October 24. Moving on, as is usually the case, there are plenty of DRM-free games having sales this weekend also, see our highlights from them below:
The Outer Worlds - $29.99 on GOG Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition - $7.99 on GOG Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition - $7.99 on GOG Singularity - $7.49 on GOG Wasteland 2 Director's Cut Classic Edition - $7.49 on GOG Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun - $5.99 on GOG The Technomancer - $4.99 on GOG Metro 2033 Redux - $3.99 on GOG Metro: Last Light Redux - $3.99 on GOG NEO Scavenger - $3.74 on GOG The Flame in the Flood - $2.99 on GOG Fallout 2 - $2.99 on GOG Fallout - $2.99 on GOG Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes - $1.99 on GOG POSTAL 2 - $0.99 on GOG Deponia - $0.99 on GOG Journey of a Roach - $0.69 on GOG Keep in mind that availability and pricing for some deals may vary depending on the region you're in.
And that is it for our pick of this weekend's PC game deals folks, and hopefully, some of you have enough self-restraint to not add even more games to your growing backlogs this Halloween season. Of course, there is an enormous amount of more deals ready and waiting all over the internet if you comb through it hard enough, so keep your eyes open for those, and have a wonderful weekend.
By Namerah S
War Thunder's 'New Power' update teased, PS5 launch also revealed
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
Today saw the announcement of a new update for the vehicular combat MMO War Thunder. The military-themed game has been around for many years - dating all the way back to 2011 -, however, the game was officially announced in 2016. Initially, it launched for the PlayStation 4 and PC but it was later available for the Xbox One as well.
Developed and published by Moscow-based studio Gaijin Entertainment, the current-gen War Thunder is set to receive a new update titled New Power. The content update is slated to roll out in mid-November. According to the game's developer, the upcoming New Power update will add "a new version of the Dagor Engine, blue-water naval power and a lot of other surprises" to the base game.
Aside from the content update announcement, the Russian video game maker also revealed in the teaser that the combat title will release on the PlayStation 5. The news isn't exactly a surprise as an Xbox Series S|X version was just announced about a week ago. While Microsoft's next-gen consoles are scheduled to get the free-to-play title at launch, it is unsure exactly when War Thunder will land on the PS5.
As for the upcoming New Power update, the mid-November release window applies to next-gen in addition to the aforementioned current-gen and PC platforms. More information about the PS5 and Xbox Series S|X variant of War Thunder is likely to be posted on the game's official website in the coming days.
By Asher Madan
You can earn these Destiny 2: Trials of Osiris rewards from October 23 to 27
by Asher Madan
Every week, Destiny 2 hosts a Trials of Osiris event where teams of three compete for access to The Lighthouse. The Lighthouse promises Pinnacle rewards that boost you closer to the current Power Level cap.
The player vs. player competition also grants other items if you get three, five, or seven wins. However, you'll have to get seven wins in a row, without a loss, if you want to grab the Pinnacle gear from The Lighthouse. You can take a look at the Trials of Osiris rewards from October 23 to 27 below.
Three wins: The Scholar legendary scout rifle Five wins: Exile's Curse legendary fusion rifle Seven wins: Mark of the Exile legendary armor Flawless: Legs of the Exile legendary armor Trials of Osiris starts at 1 PM EDT on Friday and lasts until 1 PM EDT on Tuesday. You can use the Passage of Mercy from Saint-14 because it forgives one loss if you're aiming for Flawless. If you manage to get seven wins in a row, you'll have to manually select The Lighthouse location displayed in the Crucible menu to obtain the Pinnacle reward. This involves jumping across a few platforms and opening the chest where Saint-14 and Osiris are standing.