Category Archives: Windows

Skype previews texting feature for PCs

Skype has given Insiders on Android a sneak peek of an upcoming feature called "SMS Connect." Windows Blog Italia has spotted an option in the latest version of Skype Preview's settings that would allow you to send and receive texts using Skype on Ma…

Next Windows 10 update nearing completion as it gets its official name

Enlarge (credit: Peter Bright / Flickr)

The last few Windows Insider preview builds of Windows 10 have offered few new features; instead these have focused on fixing bugs.

The latest build, released today, takes a step towards completion: it’s changed the operating system’s version stamp. Until now the previews have called themselves version 1803, the release from earlier this year. Today’s build updates that version label to 1809, showing that Microsoft intends to wrap up its development in September with an October release likely to follow.

Version 1809 will be the last of the five Redstone-codenamed Windows releases. The next release, likely to come in April 2019, is codenamed simply “19H1,” with Microsoft opting for date-based codenames to go with its date-based releases.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Valve may offer tools to play Windows games on Steam Machines

Valve's Steam Machine platform hasn't really taken off, and it's not just because of the hardware. When few developers are willing to release Linux-native versions of games to run on Steam OS, there just isn't a lot to play. Thankfully, the company…

Microsoft’s phone-to-Windows app is available for Android

If you've been waiting to be able to access your Android phone's files and notifications on your Windows desktop, you can relax. The PC app, called "Your Phone," is now available for everyone, not just Insiders.

Windows 10 to get disposable sandboxes for dodgy apps

Enlarge (credit: F Delventhal)

Microsoft is building a new Windows 10 sandboxing feature that will let users run untrusted software in a virtualized environment that’s discarded when the program finishes running.

The new feature was revealed in a bug-hunting quest for members of the Insider program and will carry the name “InPrivate Desktop.” While the quest has now been removed, the instructions outlined the basic system requirements—a Windows 10 Enterprise system with virtualization enabled and adequate disk and memory—and briefly described how it would be used. There will be an InPrivate Desktop app in the store; running it will present a virtualized desktop environment that can be used to run questionable programs and will be destroyed when the window is closed.

While it would, of course, be possible to manually create a virtual machine to run software of dubious merit, InPrivate Desktop will streamline and automate that process, making it painless to run things in a safe environment. There’s some level of integration with the host operating system—the clipboard can be used to transfer data, for example—but one assumes that user data is off limits, preventing data theft, ransomware, and similar nastiness.

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Chrome now using native Windows 10 notifications, Action Center

As of today, Chrome users on Windows 10 are going to start seeing Chrome notifications delivered as regular Windows notifications. This means that they’ll use the same styling as Windows notifications and that they’ll all show up in the Action Center.

Google is doing a staged rollout of the new notifications; currently, 50 percent of users with the current stable version of Chrome, 68, will be opted in to the native notifications. That percentage will increase over coming days or weeks. If you don’t want to wait, the “Enable native notifications” option in chrome://flags can be used to force the use of Windows-style notifications right now.

This is a very welcome change, because it means that Chrome’s notifications will now respect Windows’ settings. In particular, Focus Assist (previously known as Quiet Hours) means that notifications will automatically be suppressed when playing a game, mirroring your screen, or at certain times of day. For those of us with lots of Chrome notifications (I personally have Calendar, Slack, and Twitter, among others), this will make the alerts much less annoying and make Web apps feel a lot more like real software.

Read on Ars Technica | Comments

Firefox experiment suggests articles based on your web history

You can already save articles for later viewing in Firefox thanks to Pocket integration. That's not going to help you find articles, however, and it's all too tempting to stick to the same old sites for your reading habits. Mozilla wants you to be…

Another Windows 10 SKU is on its way, this time for remote desktops

Enlarge / A VT100 remote terminal, which is basically the same thing as Windows Remote Desktop. (credit: Wolfgang Stief)

Most of the Windows 10 builds published in the Insider program don’t come with ISO disk images, so the Windows 10 installer doesn’t get a ton of scrutiny. Every now and then, however, ISOs are published (in theory every time there’s a build pushed to the slow channel) allowing for fresh installs. Twitter user Tero Alhonen has spotted a new installation option in the latest ISO: Windows 10 Enterprise for Remote Sessions.

As the name rather implies, the Windows 10 variant supports multiple users logged in to multiple remote desktop sessions simultaneously, with at least 10 concurrent users allowed.

Some kind of remote desktop capability has been a part of Windows since Windows 2000 (and before that with third-party extensions), but Microsoft has always restricted it in various ways. Windows Server supports a single remote session for remote administration, or with suitable licensing, multiple remote sessions to provide desktops (or individual applications) for thin clients and remote workers. Desktop Windows (Pro or better) supports only a single remote session. Connecting to it locks the screen of the physical console, preventing multiple simultaneous users.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

‘Steven Universe’ and ‘OK K.O.!’ are coming to Nintendo Switch

Cartoon Network and Outright Games will release a boxed set bundling both Steven Universe: Save the Light and OK K.O.! Let's Play Heroes to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for $40 on October 30th. Currently available as digital downlo…

Valve’s pay-to-play ‘Dota’ card game will be released November 28th

Valve's next title Artifact, a trading-card game, will be released November 28th. Digital trading card games like Gwent from Witcher developer CDProjekt Red and Hearthstone from Blizzard have been doing surprisingly well lately. That's probably somew…