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By News Staff
Download Windows 10 for dummies ($24.99 value) for free - expires tomorrow
by Steven Parker
Timed advice on Windows 10. Claim your complimentary copy valued at $24.99 for free, before the offer expires tomorrow on Wednesday, September 22, 2021.
What's it about?
Welcome to the world of Windows 10!
Windows 10 For Dummies remains the #1 source for readers looking for advice on Windows 10. Expert author Andy Rathbone provides an easy-to-follow guidebook to understanding Windows 10 and getting things done based on his decades of experience as a Windows guru.
Look inside to get a feel for the basics of the Windows interface, the Windows apps that help you get things done, ways to connect to the Internet at home or on the go, and steps for customizing your Windows 10 experience from the desktop wallpaper to how tightly you secure your computer.
Manage user accounts Customize the start menu Find and manage your files Connect to a printer wirelessly Revised to cover the latest round of Windows 10 updates, this trusted source for unleashing everything the operating system has to offer is your first and last stop for learning the basics of Windows!
Free offer expires on tomorrow September 22, 2021.
How to get it
Please ensure you read the terms and conditions to download the this free resource. Complete and verifiable information is required in order to receive this free offer. If you have previously made use of these free offers, you will not need to re-register. Offered by Wiley, view other resources by Wiley.
Download Windows 10 for dummies ($24.99 value) for free
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By Steven P.
Nvidia GeForce 472.12 release is the first official Windows 11 Game Ready Driver
by Steven Parker
Nvidia today has launched its latest GeForce Game Ready 472.12 WHQL driver. Although the previous driver, released on August 31 supported Windows 11, Nvidia has made a point of stating that this release is the first official Windows 11 Game Ready driver, with the following announcement in the release notes:
Here's what's new
As usual, the new 472.12 driver also fixes some bugs:
There are also some unresolved issues that remain:
The 472.12 Game Ready driver is now available for download on the GeForce Experience app. Those looking for the official standalone installation links can find them below:
Download: Windows 7, 8, 8.1 | Windows 11, 10 – Standard | DCH
Windows 11, 10 - Standard
You may find more details on the official blog post here, and here are the release notes.
By Usama Jawad96
Closer Look: File Explorer in Windows 11
by Usama Jawad
Windows 11's general availability is just a couple of weeks away, and while we have covered its main features from a bird's eye-view already, we have also been diving deeper into the capabilities on offer to provide our thoughts on the changes via our Closer Look series too.
So far, we have taken a look at Search, Widgets, the Start menu, Snap Layouts and Snap Groups, the Taskbar, quick settings and notifications, Virtual Desktops, power and battery settings, and default apps configurations in Windows 11. Today, we'll be taking a look at a crucial part of the OS - from an end-user perspective -, namely, File Explorer.
For the purpose of this hands-on, we'll be taking a look at Windows 11 build 22000.194 that was released to the Beta Channel a couple of days ago versus a publicly available and up-to-date Windows 10 (version 21H1 build 19043.1237). As usual, it is important to note that the OS is still under active development so it's possible that some of the features we talk about may change by the time of Windows 11's general availability.
File Explorer in Windows 10 Instead of discussing the features and capabilities present in Windows 10 this time, I just want to focus on the UI of File Explorer. This is because it will take me a lifetime if I start writing about each and every feature. Frankly, I'm not even aware of all the capabilities it offers, and that's because my usage of File Explorer is highly dependent on my use-cases. There might be faster and better ways to perform the activities I do in File Explorer, but I don't Google (or Bing, or anything else for that matter) the most optimal way to complete a task on the software, unless I am blocked.
So, I'll just briefly talk about the UI. File Explorer offers a ton of customization options on this front, you could have checkboxes next to each item, file previews, file extensions, thumbnail size, sorting and filtering techniques, and whatnot when it comes to UI. There's also a ribbon which shows you categories like File, Home, Share, View, and more, depending upon the file you have clicked on. I find it quite satisfactory to use and I think it's a powerful utility to have.
File Explorer in Windows 11 Coming over to File Explorer in Windows 11, the first thing you'll likely notice is the new icons for Windows folders like Desktop, Documents, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos. This extends to other system icons like that for devices and drives as well as user-created folders. The new File Explorer also contains rounded corners, which is a design staple for Windows 11. I personally like the design revamp because it just feels fresher.
Another thing you'll likely notice is that Microsoft has done away with the traditional File Explorer ribbon, which has now been replaced with a set of quick action buttons. Depending upon the file you have clicked on, you'll see a set of quick action items such as New, Cut, Copy, Paste, Rename, Share, Delete, Sort, and View. This has all the options I need for most use-cases so I'm not bothered by this change at all. In fact, it simplifies the UI for me so I can quickly perform common tasks.
File Explorer ribbon drop-down in Windows 11 But if you're thinking about how you would perform other more advanced tasks, fret not. Microsoft has added a drop-down in the same quick actions pane that offers you some more customization, and groups other in the "options" category.
More options for File Explorer in Windows 11 While I haven't done a one-to-one comparison between all the configurations present in Windows 10 versus Windows 11, but I was able to most of the options I was looking for. As stated previously, I have never used all the utilities available in File Explorer anyway, but Microsoft hasn't detailed any functionality being deprecated from File Explorer in Windows 11. So if the company did remove any functionality behind-the-scenes without announcing it, I am yet to find it.
Context menu for File Explorer in Windows 11 There is a new context menu (or "right-click menu", depending upon what you call it) and just like the simplified ribbon in File Explorer, you'll see a set of quick actions like Cut, Copy, Rename, Share, and Delete in the pane at the top followed by some other functionalities below it. All the other options that you are likely used to on Windows 10 have been moved to the "Show more options" setting. That said, this is not a File Explorer-specific setting but is similar across the desktop's context menu too. As such, I plan to cover it separately in a dedicated Closer Look article in the near future.
That's pretty much it when it comes to File Explorer in Windows 11. No new functionalities to speak of (or nothing that I have found yet) but a bunch of design changes that I welcome. The UI is much more simplified and easier to use, especially for people like myself who only use the most common functionalities.
That said, if there was one new capability I would really appreciate in File Explorer, that would be the ability to have tabbed instances in the same app. I think this would enhance my productivity tenfold. Microsoft announced this interface revamp under the brand name "Sets" back in 2017, but the project was shelved in 2019. It isn't a part of Windows 11 either, which is a bit disappointing. I wasn't expecting it to be there at all, but given the mockups and general enthusiasm we have seen for the feature online, I really hope Microsoft considers starting development on it again.
What do you think of File Explorer in Windows 11? Do you like the design revamp and simplification? Are there any features that are present in Windows 10 but not available in Microsoft's upcoming OS? What else would you like to see the company improve? Let us know in the comments section below!
Take a look at the section here or select from the links below to continue exploring Windows 11 in our ongoing "Closer Look" series:
Closer Look: Search in Windows 11 Closer Look: Widgets in Windows 11 Closer Look: Start menu in Windows 11 Closer Look: Snap Layouts and Snap Groups in Windows 11 Closer Look: Taskbar in Windows 11 Closer Look: Quick settings and notifications in Windows 11 Closer Look: Virtual Desktops in Windows 11 Closer Look: Power and battery settings in Windows 11 Closer Look: Default apps settings in Windows 11
By Abhay V
Microsoft Weekly: Patch Tuesday, Windows 11 update blocks for VMs, and Office 2021
by Abhay V
With the passage of another week, it’s time to look at all the Microsoft stories that happened September 12 through September 18. As usual, there were new Windows 11 builds for the Dev and Beta channels, but they came with them some bad news for users running the OS on certain VMs. Considering that this week brought the second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft also released the monthly Patch Tuesday updates for all supported Windows versions. These updates were accompanied with new apps, Office LTSC and Office 2021 release dates, and much more.
Windows 11 builds, update blocks for VMs, Patch Tuesday, more
As is the case every second Tuesday of the month, Microsoft released cumulative updates for all supported Windows versions. These included supported Windows 10 versions – including for specific SKUs, Windows 8.1 users and those on Windows 7 that opted for Extended Security Updates (ESUs). The updates fixed a Windows zero-day vulnerability discovered earlier this month and brought other quality improvements. While the improvements were welcome for most users, the firm posted an advisory acknowledging that the August patches that contained fixes for the PrintNightmare vulnerability were breaking the ability for some users to print without admin credentials. This impacts commercial customers than any other, considering end users do not have access to admin credentials.
As for Windows 11, new builds were released for both Dev and Beta channel Insiders. The Dev channel was served build 22458 that brought a few fixes. While a new ‘Sign-in options’ link in the power menu was mentioned, it was made available with build 22454, but missed being noted in the changelog. Beta channel users received build 22000.194 that brought a bunch of new in-box apps that Dev channel users have been testing. These include the new Clock app with Focus Sessions, Calculator, and the unified Snipping Tool experience. More are on the way, though, such as the new Paint and Photos apps.
What did come as a surprise for Insiders was the inability for those running these builds in certain VMs – including on supported hardware – to update to the new builds, thanks to the enforcement of TPM requirements for virtual machines as well. This means that those running Windows 11 preview builds on anything but VMWare Workstation Pro or Hyper-V Manager included with Pro and Enterprise editions of Windows will be blocked from receiving future updates. Currently, Oracle seems to be readying a passthrough driver for TPM for VirtualBox, making its offering suitable to run Windows 11 builds.
Additionally, there was some news concerning those that were running Windows 11 builds on M1-powered MacBooks through solutions like Parallels Desktop. The Redmond giant has said to The Register that running Windows 11 on M1 Macs is not a “supported scenario”, casting doubt on whether there will be future blocks that render it difficult to run Microsoft’s latest OS on M1-powered machines.
Lastly, Microsoft announced that users can now delete their Microsoft account passwords to completely rely on alternate forms of authentication, further making the case for a password-less world. While the ability is available for consumer accounts now, the company aims to bring it to accounts that use Azure Active Directory (AAD) as well.
Office 2021, Office LTSC, new apps, and app updates
The biggest news this week relating to new apps came in the way of the announcement of Office 2021’s release date. The perpetual version of Microsoft’s productivity suite of offerings for consumers will be made available starting October 5, coinciding with the release of Windows 11. The version for commercial customers, Office LTSC, is now generally available. The LTSC versions differs from the consumer variant in some ways, one of which includes the support lifecycle. What both have in common though, is that they will not receive new features like the Microsoft 365 versions.
The start of the week also saw the arrival of the Movies Anywhere app for Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One users, bringing a native solution for watching purchased Movies Anywhere content in addition to the Movies & TV app. Another potential app expected to make it to the Microsoft Store is the firm’s own PowerToys suite, a listing for which was spotted this week. However, it seems like the listing will only introduce an installer for the app that then pulls in the suite of tools. PowerToys experimental version 0.46 also made it to testers, bringing a bunch of fixes. Another Microsoft app to receive an update was Edge, as Edge Dev users received a new build that brought a quick way to hide the extensions button from the menu from the address bar along with a bunch of bug fixes.
Talking about browsers, it was discovered that the latest version of Firefox allows users to directly change their default browser preference without going through the cumbersome steps to do so, which is a welcome change. It is not clear if this will be mirrored by more apps and browsers going forward, but the Redmond company has received backlash from browser rivals for making the process complicated and less user-friendly.
Mozilla also announced that it will begin setting Bing as the default search engine on Firefox as part of a test. This will apply to just one percent of desktop users and the test is expected to conclude in early 2022.
Xbox Game Pass additions, Remote Play on Windows, and more
This week, Microsoft announced the titles being added for Xbox Game Pass subscribers, which is the second drop for the month. There are 13 games being added, with eight of them being day-one launches. The list includes Aragami 2, Sable, SkateBird, I Am Fish, and many more. Additionally, there are 11 more games that have touch controls enabled when they are streamed through the cloud. There are five titles leaving the service, which happens on September 31.
If those wanting to run these games on Xbox Series X|S consoles are looking for additional storage and do not want to shell upwards of $200 on an expansion card, a 500GB option might be on its way, at least if a listing spotted in France is to be believed. However, if you have one of those consoles and wish to stream it to your PC, you can now do so using the updated Xbox app on Windows. The app also brings cloud gaming, giving users another way to use the service in addition to doing so from the web.
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and Xbox Live Gold members are also receiving a second round of games for the month, with Games with Gold bringing Mulaka for Xbox One and Samurai Shodown II for Xbox 360. Lastly, there are a bunch of discounts as part of Deals with Gold, bringing discounts for titles from the Assassin's Creed, Halo, Forza, and other franchises.
There doesn’t seem a week that goes by without Halo Infinite news. While minor, this week brought leaked images of Craig the Brute, showing off some visual improvements. This also hints towards the possible arrival of new gameplay that might show off the visual improvements being made.
Moving on, Call of Duty fans might be interested to learn that Call of Duty 2022 – possible called Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 – might launch next year. Call of Duty: Vanguard, on the other hand, is slated to launch in November this year.
Rounding off gaming news is the announcement of a new beta build of Age of Empires IV being made available this weekend. The invites for the beta included almost anyone who wished to try it out. Improvements made thanks to feedback from testers include a further zoom out distance, balance tweaks for English and Chinese civilizations, and a bunch of bug fixes.
Microsoft helps bring TEALS computer science curriculum to more schools PSA: Microsoft is ending support for Silverlight next month Xbox is returning to the Tokyo Game Show this year Microsoft’s Brad Smith becomes the vice-chair of the board Teams is getting Customer Lockbox that prevents unauthorized access from Microsoft Commercial Surface customers get more spares for repairs Logging off
We have been taking a detailed look at the various features and options being added with Windows 11 as part of our Closer Look series. This week, we went through the Default apps settings for the OS, which has been criticized for being less user-friendly by both users and app makers alike. Here is everything you need to know.
Missed any of the previous columns? Check them all out at this link.
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by Razvan Serea
StartIsBack++ restores original Windows 10 start menu with all its features: search, pinned and recently used apps, fully customizable settings. Start button and Start menu look and behave exactly as they used to in Windows 7.
StartIsBack is lightweight and secure: it does not require administrator rights to install, consumes minimal amount of system resources, does not run additional processes or services.
What's hot about StartIsBack on Windows 10 now:
Live badges for modern apps on taskbar and Start menu! Ability to reduce resource usage by disabling newer Start menu and Cortana processes from prelaunching Ability to use adequately sized (32x32) large icons and larger start menu button on taskbar Modern icon glyphs on Start menu right hand pane Modern blur, drop shadow and immersive context menus for start menu Fully dynamic DPI aware start menu and configuration app New modern style with round user picture Lots of new minor additions and tweaks Changes in StartIsBack++ 2.9.16:
Fixed update toast not displaying
Download: StartIsBack++ 2.9.16 | 1.4 MB (Free to Try, $3.99 to Buy)
View: StartIsBack Home Page
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