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By Rich Woods
Lenovo Legion 5 (AMD Ryzen 7 4800H) unboxing and first impressions
by Rich Woods
Lenovo's Legion 5 is almost identical to the Legion 5i that I reviewed over the summer. In fact, Lenovo didn't even send over a new reviewer's guide because there's one key difference: it has AMD's Ryzen 4000 H-series processors. The 45W chip inside of the one that Lenovo sent me is the Ryzen 7 4800H.
The Ryzen 7 4800H is an octa-core processor with 16 threads, and as mentioned above, a 45W TDP. It has a base clock speed of 2.9GHz and a max boost clock of 4.2GHz. It's built on AMD's Zen 2 architecture, so it's on a 7nm process.
As far as graphics, this machine has an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti. Gone are the days of always seeing AMD Radeon graphics in AMD-powered gaming PCs. Here's the problem though. Like HP did with its OMEN 15, Lenovo gave the AMD version of its product only lower-end SKUs. The Legion 5 is offered with a GTX 1650 or GTX 1650 Ti, while the Intel-powered Legion 5i is offered with a GTX 1660 Ti or an RTX 2060.
Check out the unboxing video below:
Skype Preview now support 100 call participants
by João Carrasqueira
Despite having arguably fallen from grace, Microsoft's Skype service continues to get somewhat frequent updates, and new features have been added consistently this year as a result of more people working from home. Microsoft has just released version 8.66 of Skype to Insiders, and it has just one major feature - support for 100 call participants.
Up until now, Skype only allowed for up to 50 participants to be in a group call, but Microsoft's other big communication service, Teams, is much further ahead. Currently, up to 300 people can participate in a Teams meeting, though that's also a more business-oriented offering. Either way, you can now be on a Skype call with up to 100 people, which is a good option to have.
That's basically the only major addition with this release, though Microsoft does list a few bugs that have been fixed with this update:
If you're in the Skype Insider program, this new update should be available on your devices in the next couple of days. General users will have to wait a while longer to receive it.
By Ather Fawaz
Microsoft, Adobe, and C3.ai team up to bring an "enterprise class" AI-powered CRM solution
by Ather Fawaz
Today, Microsoft in collaboration with Adobe and C3.ai, which is a leading enterprise AI software provider for accelerating digital transformation, announced the launch of C3 AI CRM powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365.
The software is meant to be the first enterprise-class customer relationship management (CRM) solution that integrates Dynamics 365, Adobe Experience Cloud, together with C3.ai’s industry-specific data models, connectors, and AI models, to provide a suite of AI-powered CRM solutions in domains like marketing, sales, and customer service. For this venture, Microsoft, Adobe, and C3.ai have also agreed to:
Concretely, the CRM suite would allow teams to accurately forecast revenue, product demand, identify and reduce customer churn, identify high-qualified prospects, and use the power of AI inference to optimize segmentation, marketing, and targeting of products. The workflow would be optimized with integrations into the Azure, Microsoft 365, and the Microsoft Power Platform ecosystem.
C3 AI CRM is now available, but Adobe Experience Cloud does not come bundled in the package and will be sold separately. To check it out, you may visit the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketplace.
Deep Rock Galactic, Celeste, LucasArts classics and more head to Xbox Game Pass
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
It has already been a busy October filled with Xbox Game Pass additions, and Microsoft is preparing even more games to drop in the next couple of weeks. Today, the company revealed a bunch more titles incoming to the Xbox Game Pass for Console and PC subscriptions, as well as several games that are receiving cloud play capabilities.
Here are the titles that were included in the announcement today, though the classic LucasArts games' arrival was already revealed a little while ago:
Carto (Console and PC) – October 27 Day of the Tentacle Remastered (Console and PC) – October 29 Five Nights at Freddy’s (PC, Console, and Android) – October 29 Full Throttle Remastered (Console and PC) – October 29 Grim Fandango Remastered (Console and PC) – October 29 PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (Android) – October 29 ScourgeBringer (Android) – October 29 Unruly Heroes (PC, Console, and Android) – October 29 Celeste (PC, Console, and Android) – November 5 Comanche (PC) – November 5 Deep Rock Galactic (PC, Console, and Android) – November 5 Eastshade (PC, Console, and Android) – November 5 Knights and Bikes (Console and PC) – November 5 Ark: Survival Evolved: Explorer’s Edition (PC, Console, and Android) – November 17 For those in the dark, the Android mentions in the list are for games that are being added into the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription's cloud gaming portion. Also, as part of another separate announcement, Ubisoft's tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege arrived to the Xbox Game Pass for Console subscription last week.
As for what's scheduled to leave the services on October 30, there are six games:
Meanwhile, Microsoft recently introduced touch controls support for 10 more games available through its Game Pass Ultimate cloud gaming tier.
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.