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AdDuplex: Windows 10 version 20H2 slows down, still in third place
by João Carrasqueira
AdDuplex is kicking off its monthly reports on the usage of different versions of Windows 10 with data for January. As usual, this data is collected from about 5,000 apps in the Microsoft Store, which are using the AdDuplex SDK v2 or higher, and the data refers to January 27, with nearly 80,000 PCs being surveyed.
As you'd probably expect, this month continues to see the growth of Windows 10 version 20H2, released this past October, though the growth rate has slowed down. The latest feature update now sits at 16.8%, up from 13.6% in December. While growth slowed down compared to the past couple of months, adoption of Windows 10 version 20H2 is outpacing version 1909, which sat at 15.2% by this time last year.
In exchange for its growth, most older versions have dropped. The May 2020 Update, or version 2004, lost a few decimal points, falling to 39.8% usage share from 40.4% last month, and the November 2019 Update, or version 1909, dropped the most - from 33.2% to 31.2%. The slowly-dying version 1903, is now at 6.6% usage share, down from 7.1%, and older versions haven't changed much.
Version 1809 stayed put at 1.5%, while 1803 actually gained one decimal point and sits at 1.8%, and older versions also remained the same at 2.2%. The number of Windows Insiders accounts for just 0.2% of users this month, down from 0.3%.
As we can see in the trends chart, version 20H2 seems to line up with the past few updates in terms of adoption rate over time. Updates aren't immediately forced on users when they're released anymore, so it takes a bit longer for new updates to grow than it did with earlier releases of Windows 10.
By Jay Bonggolto
Microsoft announces general availability of Application Guard for Office
by Jay Bonggolto
Microsoft unveiled a couple of security features for Microsoft 365 early in 2020, which included Application Guard. Today, the company announced that Application Guard for Office has hit general availability.
The feature basically puts documents from untrusted sources in a container before opening them in order to ward off malicious threats. Microsoft also noted that it analyzes every malicious attack contained by Application Guard to bolster its threat intelligence. Your files are also protected from kernel-based attacks since it uses Hyper-V-based containers.
Unlike Protected View which opens documents in read-only mode, Application Guard opens files in a virtualized sandbox where you can still edit and print documents in a limited capacity without leaving the container. These files include those coming from untrusted sites, files stored in potentially unsafe folders or network, and documents blocked by File Block.
That said, you can still choose to disable protection for a specific file if necessary, provided you're confident that it's safe. Prior to opening that file, it will be scanned with the Safe Documents feature if it's enabled. In addition to documents, emails are protected as well with combined security from Application Guard and Microsoft Defender for Office 365.
The new feature is turned off by default and administrators will need to set the right policy for each user in an organization. It's available to customers on Current Channel and Monthly Enterprise Channel while a rollout in Semi-Annual Enterprise Channel is scheduled later this year.
Here's what's fixed, improved, and still broken in Windows 10 build 21301
by João Carrasqueira
We're back to the typical Wednesday schedule for new Windows 10 builds, as Microsoft has just released build 21301 to Insiders in the Dev channel. Unlike last week's build, which had no new features, build 21301 actually brings some new stuff in the form of improvements to the touch keyboard.
Of course, in addition to brand-new features and improvements, there's also the usual array of smaller fixes and changes to the experience. First off, there are some small improvements, such as the ability to open the file location of files in jump lists:
In terms of actual fixes, build 21301 includes the decently long list of them:
And it wouldn't be an Insider build without some known issues. Here's what you'll need to be aware of:
As usual, it's worth noting that these builds come from an active development branch and aren't attached to a specific Windows 10 update. The features added in these builds may or may not show up in the next Windows 10 feature update, which is expected in the fall of this year.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft releases Windows 10 build 21301 to Dev channel with touch keyboard improvements
by Rich Woods
It''s Wednesday, and Microsoft is back on schedule for releasing a new Windows 10 Insider Preview build. Today's build is 21301, and it's available in the Dev channel.
There's actually not much that's new in today's build. In fact, the only things listed under new features are some improvements for the touch keyboard, something that Microsoft seems to keep trying to get right. Here's the full changelog:
As you can see, there's nothing crazy here. As usual, you can grab the build through Windows Update. If you're not on the Dev channel yet, you can sign up via the Windows Insider Program tab in Settings.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft releases a new Windows Feature Experience Pack with screen snipping improvements
by Rich Woods
Back in November, Microsoft finally explained what a Windows Feature Experience Pack is, as it had been spotted inside Windows for some time. It's a way to deliver new features without delivering a new build, and today, Windows Insiders on the Beta channel are getting Windows Feature Experience Pack 120.2212.2020.0.
This new Windows Feature Experience Pack (presumably, this incredibly long name isn't the final name of the product) doesn't have much in the way of new features, but it's meant to improve the reliability of the screen snipping experience. Part of how that's happening is removing the ability to paste a screen snip into a folder in File Explorer.
The reason that's being removed is because there was an issue that was filed by Windows Insiders, and the team is planning to add the feature back at some point.
In order to get today's Windows Feature Experience Pack, you'll need to be on the Beta channel and on build 19042.662 or higher. It will arrive via Windows Update, just like all other updates. Microsoft also noted that it plans to deliver more significant Windows Feature Experience Packs, and it plans to release them more often. At some point, it's going to be part of the normal servicing process.