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By Steven P.
New Microsoft teaser hints at a renewed focus on touch in Windows 11
by Steven Parker
We don't have much longer to wait as tomorrow, Microsoft will reveal their plans for Windows 11. Throughout the past week, the company has released a few teasers, the first one likely hints at the return of the startup sound, and yesterday's teaser seems to show a glimpse of the new default wallpaper, one of the many that were found in the leaked build. The latest one just dropped, which you can view below.
The teaser incorporates the two previous ones, which had to do with sound and visuals and this latest one ends with someone pressing a finger on glass, which can only mean that some (additional) thought has been given to touch capability within Windows rather than the failed Windows 8 which put all of its eggs in one "touch-capable" basket.
As we've already seen from the leaks, it does not look like Microsoft will be making the same mistakes it made with Windows 8. Things can still drastically change, but one would hope they learned from the past and we can expect to be wowed tomorrow at 11 AM EDT.
Limbo, Prodeus, NFS: Hot Pursuit Remastered, and more head to Xbox Game Pass
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Microsoft isn't done with adding games to its subscription programs this month just yet. The company today unveiled the second wave of June arrivals — though half of the games are landing on July 1 — which include Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered as part of EA Play, the re-imagined retro-style shooter Prodeus, Playdead's Limbo, and more.
Here are all the games announced today and their arrival dates during the next two weeks:
Medieval Dynasty (PC) ID@Xbox – Available now Worms Rumble (Cloud, Console, and PC) ID@Xbox – Available Today Iron Harvest (PC) – June 24 Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered (Console and PC) EA Play – June 24 Prodeus (Game Preview) (PC) ID@Xbox – June 24 Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (Cloud) – July 1 Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling (Cloud, Console, and PC) ID@Xbox – July 1 Gang Beasts (Cloud, Console, and PC) ID@Xbox – July 1 Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars (Cloud, Console, and PC) – July 1 Limbo (Cloud, Console, and PC) ID@Xbox – July 1 As a special addition, Microsoft is also bringing Space Jam: A New Legacy – The Game as an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Perk starting on July 1. The movie tie-in title will be exclusive to the subscription until July 15, and it will become a free-to-play experience afterwards.
Meanwhile, Xbox Touch Controls have reached eight games for easier play sessions on mobile devices while using the cloud. The titles are Dirt 5, Double Kick Heroes, Eastshade, Empire of Sin, Haven, Octopath Traveler, Torchlight III, and Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
Lastly, eight games are leaving the subscription programs on June 30:
Aside from the two waves of June games, Microsoft also delivered 10 more games to Game Pass during its E3 presentation earlier this month, adding Yakuza: Like a Dragon and a bunch of more Bethesda titles. A massive number of upcoming games that will be coming to the subscription programs on day one was unveiled as well, find all the details here.
By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft Outlook extension is now available in preview for Edge
by Usama Jawad
Outlook is available on multiple platforms already including the web, iOS, and Android. But today, without much fanfare, Microsoft seems to have made its new Outlook extension for Edge available for the public, albeit with a "preview" tag. The name of the extension is "Microsoft Outlook" but the "preview" iconography can be seen its store listing.
The extension, which can be downloaded from the Microsoft Edge Add-ons store here, essentially allows you to use Outlook directly in any tab of the browser without opening a new window. After you download it, an icon for Outlook will be visible on the address bar, and when you sign in, you'll be able to get a view of your emails, calendar, contacts, and tasks, among other things. The features mentioned in the store listing are as follows:
Access work or personal accounts Read, send, and manage email and get new email notifications Create events, view upcoming ones, and join online meetings Create, track, and manage tasks Manage contacts It is important to note that the extension can only be downloaded on Microsoft Edge and is not compatible with other browsers like Google Chrome.
The store listing indicates that the extension was last updated on June 14, 2021, so it's currently unclear whether it has just been made available to the public or if it's only been discovered now. Given the lack of an official announcement from Microsoft as well as the fact that it doesn't pop up in search results, any possibility is equally likely. Although some users have reported they have already started seeing ads for the extension in their Outlook clients. We'll let you know when Microsoft officially announces the extension but in the meantime, you can take it for a spin on Edge here.
By Jay Bonggolto
Microsoft introduces photo editing features for OneDrive on Android and the web
by Jay Bonggolto
Microsoft announced today a bunch of new photo editing features for OneDrive on the web and Android. The file storage and sharing app is also rolling out a new experience on Android in terms of viewing and organizing photos.
Starting today, you will be able to crop an image in order to remove clutter and put more focus on your subject. You can choose to crop your photos to standard sizes using built-in presets including square, 9:16, 16:9, 4:5, 5:4, 3:4, 4:3, 2:3, 3:2,1:2, and 2:1. On the other hand, you can select your own image size as well.
There's also an option to rotate an image to the left or right by 90 degrees, with incremental degree rotations to adjust tilted photos. You can also flip photos by 180 degrees. For photos with low contrast or dull colors, you can adjust their brightness, exposure, contrast, shadows, highlights, and color saturation.
For now, these capabilities are rolling out to OneDrive's web version as well as to mobile devices running Android 6.0 or higher with the OneDrive app version 6.30 or later. The rollout is gradual, and the photo editing tools are currently available only to OneDrive personal accounts. Microsoft expects to launch these options on OneDrive for work and school accounts this summer. The software giant also vowed to bring these features to iOS later this year.
In addition to the editing tools, OneDrive now lets you cast your photos and videos from your phone to your TV with Chromecast. On Android, the app is also adding the ability to organize photos by date and group them by month or year. This option will go live within the next two months. The app is also gaining a new setting that will automatically create folders based on the source of photos. For example, OneDrive will automatically create a dedicated folder for images that you've saved from Facebook.
Finally, there's a new option to filter your view so you see images only from the Pictures folder in OneDrive or all of the photos saved in it. This is available both on Android and the web.
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.