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By Rich Woods
Microsoft reportedly overhauling the Windows 10 UI in 21H2
by Rich Woods
Every few years, we tend to write up comparison articles showing how Windows 10 has changed since it was released. The OS is now over five years old and while a lot has changed, a lot hasn't. If it wasn't for Windows as a service and the fact that Windows 10 is an evergreen OS that's not going to be replaced, we'd be looking forward to Windows 12 at this point.
It's time for a change, and according to a report from Zac Bowden of Windows Central, that's exactly what's coming. The project is codenamed Sun Valley, and it's pretty much the whole UI that's getting updated. We'll see new Start Menu and Action Center looks, a better taskbar, and more.
It's possible that the new Sun Valley UI will be similar to what we're expecting to see from Windows 10X; however, the two likely won't be exactly the same. Microsoft has made this mistake before, with Windows RT and Windows 8, making two operating systems that look identical but do different things. It's more likely that while Sun Valley and Windows 10X will share certain design elements, Sun Valley will be adapted more for desktop PCs.
But there's nothing in the report about specifics like that, just that the UI will be overhauled, and that includes things like the Start Menu and the Action Center. This is apparently all going to arrive in the Cobalt update, which is the one that's set to arrive in the second half of 2021 (also known as 21H2). Being that Windows Insider Previews are about to come from the fe_release branch, we could start seeing these changes starting in a month or so when the Dev channel switches back to rs_prerelease.
By Abhay V
Microsoft releases manual update packages for removing Adobe Flash from Windows
by Abhay Venkatesh
Back in September, Microsoft reminded users about the removal of Flash from the Edge browser and Windows, stating that the company will release an optional update for the latter this fall that will remove Adobe Flash Player completely from the OS. As promised, the Redmond giant has made that optional update available for download through the Update Catalog (spotted by BleepingComputer).
The knowledge base article is KB4577586 and the update is called “Update for Removal of Adobe Flash Player” followed by the version number of the OS for which the package is designated for. You can head to the Update Catalog here to download the update package for your preferred version. The packages are available for all currently supported Windows versions – including LTSB versions – and the related Windows Server versions.
It must be noted that the package can currently be downloaded only via the Update Catalog for manual installation. The Redmond firm noted in the announcement earlier this year that it will begin releasing this very update via other channels such as Windows Update as a recommended update after Flash Player reaches the end of support on December 31, 2020.
Additionally, users that currently install KB4577586 manually do not have an option to uninstall or roll back the update and will have to perform a clean installation of the OS to be able to reinstall Flash. The company has also stated that it will be removing all APIs, group policies, and interfaces that are used for managing Flash later next summer.
Image credit: BleepingComputer Interestingly, folks over at BleepingComputer noticed that installing the update did not get rid of Flash both on Edge and in the OS. The publication has reached out to Microsoft to request clarification. It is not clear if the firm will release another manual update package before serving it to all users through the usual channels.
By Abhay V
AdDuplex: Windows 10 version 2004 is now the most popular version
by Abhay Venkatesh
As is the case every month, AdDuplex has released its report detailing the usage share of various versions of Windows 10 based on data surveyed from more than 100,000 PCs through over 5,000 Microsoft Store apps that use the AdDuplex SDK v.2 or higher, as of October 26, 2020. This month’s highlight is that Windows 10 version 2004 (May 2020 Update) is now the most used version of the OS.
Just last month, version 2004 overtook the May 2019 Update (version 1903) to become the second most popular version of Windows 10 with a 33.7% share, second to the November 2019 Update (version 1909). This month, version 2004 rose to 37.7% share to take the top spot. Version 1909 now sits at the second spot with a 32.4% share of the total, down from 34.5% last month.
A new addition to the chart is the October 2020 Update (version 20H2) that was released just last week. Considering that the Redmond giant is gradually rolling out the update, the latest version registers a tiny 1.7% market share – occupying a tiny blip at the bottom right of the chart. With Windows 10 version 1809 reaching the end of support next month, it will be interesting to see how the usage share shifts next month.
As for the older versions of the OS, the Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903) dropped from 25.7% to 22%, taking the third spot in terms of popularity. Version 1809 fell by 0.1% to 1.9%, and version 1803 interestingly gained slightly, going from 1.9% to 2.1%, possibly attributed to users on the Fall Creators Update (version 17909) and older version further decreasing, which is now bundled into one item that takes 2% of the overall share.
Lastly, the share of users running Insider builds took a drop from 0.7% last month to 0.2% this month. The decrease can be linked to the October 2020 Update making it out of the Release Preview Channel to production, prompting users to drop off the program.
Dynabook introduces new Portégé X40 with Tiger Lake processors
by João Carrasqueira
Dynabook, the company formerly known as Toshiba, has introduced a new Portégé laptop with Intel's newest 11th-generation processors, or Tiger Lake. The Portégé X40-J adds onto the lineup of devices Dynabook had already introduced last month, and is the company's first 14-inch laptop with Tiger Lake.
The Portégé X40-J has up to Intel Core i7-1165G7 with Intel's Iris Xe graphics, and it has up to 32GB of dual-channel memory, with one onbord chip and one SODIMM slot. Storage goes up to a 1TB SSD and battery life is up to 13.8 hours.The 14-inch display is only available in Full HD and it's an IPS panel, instead of the Sharp IGZO displays Dynabook has typically used. You do have the option for a privacy screen or touch support.
In terms of ports, there's one HDMI, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A ports, two USB Type-C 4.0 ports that also support Thunderbolt 4, a combo audio jack and a microSD card slot. The laptop also supports Wi-Fi 6 an Bluetooth 5.1. For security, there's an IR camera for Windows Hello, as well as an option for a fingerprint reader.
The Portégé X40-J will be available in November, starting at $1,299. Dynabook also announced pricing and availability for the Portégé X30L-J, which it introduced in September. It will also be available in November and starts at $1,329, though the base model comes with an Intel Core i5-1135G7, while the Portégé X40 has a Core i3 for its starting price.
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:
Update: While the AMD models are only available with a GTX 1650 or 1650 Ti on Lenovo's website, some users have spotted a configuration with a GTX 1660 Ti on Amazon.