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By Abhay V
Windows Terminal Preview 1.7 improves window management, settings UI, and more
by Abhay Venkatesh
Microsoft today announced a new preview release of Windows Terminal, bumping up the version to 1.7. This also means that version 1.6 is now being made generally available. As for version 1.7, the company is bringing a bunch of improvements to the newly added settings UI, enhancements to windowing, and the usual crop of bug fixes.
The biggest additions come to windowing, as the tool now lets users choose where a new terminal instance launches thanks to the ‘windowingBehavior’ global settings. The options include the ability to open a new window in an already existing terminal instance or a new window. There are three available options and they can be found on the Startup page of the new settings UI.
The tool is also getting a ‘newWindow’ action that allows users to open a new window through keyboard shortcuts. Additionally, there are new arguments for commands to choose between the windows that one wants to interact with. For example, users can open a new tab with the default profile in the current window or in a new window.
Another interesting addition coming with version 1.7 is the read-only panes feature. As the name suggests, users can prevent input into panes by using the 'toggleReadOnlyMode' action, letting them avoid untoward key presses when a build is in process. Currently, there are no shortcuts assigned to it. The tool is also getting the option to automatically move focus to a pane by hovering on it with a mouse. This setting is present in the Interaction section of the settings UI or can be enabled using the 'focusFollowMouse' action. It is set to false by default.
Next up are improvements to the new settings UI. The UI is now being made the default for Preview users. However, not all options from settings.json are available in the UI yet, and the firm is requesting feedback on users’ preferences on GitHub here. As for the improvements, there’s a new Actions page to list all the keyboard shortcuts, a redesigned Color Schemes page that aims to be less cluttered, and enhancements that make it easy to use with a screen reader or the keyboard alone, improving accessibility.
Other changes coming with version 1.7 include JSON fragment extensions support, a new centerOnLaunch setting to always launch the terminal in the center of the screen, a new action for search that allows users to search between the next and previous matches, and a few bug fixes.
Here are the miscellaneous improvements made for the release:
And here are the bug fixes:
Those that installed Windows Terminal from the Microsoft Store should be able to update to the latest version automatically. These updates can also be installed manually from the GitHub page here that contains both the preview version and the version being made generally available.
Games with Gold: Metal Slug 3 and Warface: Breakout are now free
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Sticking to the schedule Microsoft announced last month, the first wave of the March Games with Gold has landed heralding a double drop of bonus games to Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game pass Ultimate members. The two games available now are the Xbox One title Warface: Breakout and the Xbox 360 title Metal Slug 3.
Warface: Breakout is available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, while Metal Slug 3 is up for grabs across the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
Use the store links below to add the titles to a Gold activated Microsoft account:
Warface: Breakout (Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)
Metal Slug 3 (Xbox 360, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One)
Those who haven't yet managed to claim Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition from the previous Games with Gold promotion still have two weeks left before the game is replaced by the next Xbox One Gold game, Vicious Attack Llama Apocalypse.
As always, keep in mind that Xbox 360 games claimed via these promotions will continue being playable even if the Gold subscription is discontinued. However, claimed Xbox One games are only playable while the account has an active subscription to Gold.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft job listing hints at 5G and a better camera in the next Surface Duo
by Rich Woods
Microsoft first announced the Surface Duo in October 2019, showing a video where something in a bag rang, and immediately the crowd knew that the long-awaited Surface phone had arrived. While it was planned to launch in the holiday 2020 season, it arrived over the summer, but it definitely had some shortcomings.
It included a Snapdragon 855 chipset, which was last-gen even then. However, it's entirely possible that the reason was because a Snapdragon 865 would require 5G and reworked antennas. The camera also wasn't impressive, packing a low-end 11MP f/2.0 sensor, and being that the device itself is so thin, there's only so much z-depth that the camera can possibly offer.
According to a job listing that was spotted by Windows Latest, both 5G and a better camera should be coming in the next model. OF course, none of this is surprising, as the new Snapdragon 888 comes with an integrated 5G modem and a separate 5G modem is a requirement for the Snapdragon 865, 865+, and 870. The job listing calls for someone with experience with 3GPP standards and 5G radio technologies.
And then there are the camera improvements, where apparently, Microsoft will be using machine learning and artificial intelligence for better image processing. While this will certainly help with a camera that's mediocre even in broad daylight settings, there's only so much that image processing can do to overcome the barriers set by entry-level hardware.
Other than that, there's not much to say. Again, this stuff isn't surprising, but it's nice to see that Microsoft is working on solving the weaker points of the Surface Duo's hardware.
By Usama Jawad96
Microsoft quietly fixes weird Windows 10 drive corruption bug, but only in Insider build
by Usama Jawad
Last month, it was revealed that Windows 10 contains a weird bug in which the OS throws an error message that the drive is corrupted and that you should reboot the system, when a certain location is accessed via the Command Prompt or a browser. While Microsoft appears to have quietly fixed the issue in the latest Insider Preview build 21322, it still appears to be present in other versions of Windows 10.
Bleeping Computer reports that when you run the change directory "cd" command on the Command Prompt with a specific location, Windows warns that "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable", recommending that you reboot the machine with chkdsk to fix the drive. This happens even when users with low privileges access the NTFS volume. Microsoft had previously stated that the corruption message is inaccurate and the drive isn't actually corrupted, but another report from OSR claims that in its testing, one instance of Windows 10 failed to reboot even after repeated chkdsk.
Microsoft has fixed the issue in its latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build 21322 pushed out a few days ago, and it does not allow users to access the problematic location as can be seen below:
Naturally, we tested accessing the location on our virtual machines powered by other, older versions of Windows too. On Windows Vista, the location in question is not accessible either:
However, when we tried to access the location via Command Prompt on an old machine with Windows 10 Pro version 1803 - which is an older version of the operating system that is no longer supported. True to reports, there is an error message that the "file or directory is corrupted and unreadable", and the system recommends that you close all apps, restart the PC, and repair drive errors to fix the issue:
In our case, Windows 10 fortunately did manage to reboot with chkdsk and did not get stuck in a loop. We expect other versions of Windows 10 prior to Insider build 21322 to behave in the same way, barring any serious anomalies:
It's a six-year-old PC! It is important to note that other vendors and companies are trying to block access to the problematic location from their end. Mozilla Firefox 85.0.1 has a check which disables access to locations with the ":$" symbol, while OSR has released an unofficial patch which disallows access to the path. That said, it is rather strange that Microsoft is not pushing out a hotfix for older versions of Windows 10. We have seen similar issues with other operating systems such as iOS in the past, and while they may not be dangerous in most cases, it is always worth fixing these issues to prevent viral pranks that can be a nuisance for PC owners who are not tech-savvy.
By Rich Woods
Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga unboxing and first impressions
by Rich Woods
Lenovo's ThinkBook 14s Yoga is the first convertible ThinkBook, so while ThinkBook is a modern take on the company's business PC efforts, it's worth remembering that the firm actually invented the convertible under the ThinkPad brand. But unlike most of the ThinkPad convertibles that we've seen, this one is all aluminum, and it doesn't come with legacy features like the TrackPoint.
It does come with one feature that we've seen from plenty of Lenovo convertibles: the pen garage. It has a pen built right into it, so the pen is always with you, and it's always charged. It also comes with a ThinkShutter privacy shutter.
Personally, I'm excited for the new Abyss Blue color, which is apparently limited edition. It's very pretty, and along with the two-tone look, it really stands apart from the crowd. Of course, you can also get it in the old Mineral Gray color if that's more your speed.
Naturally, the ThinkBook 14s Yoga comes with up to an Intel Core i7-1165G7, and this particular model comes with 16GB RAM and a 512GB SSD. The 14-inch screen is FHD. It also comes with Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, solving one of my pain points in a previous ThinkBook review.
Check out the unboxing video below: