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Source: This article was published techcrunch.com By Ron Miller - Contributed by Member: Jennifer Levin

If you have an essential Internet of Things device running Windows 10 IoT Core Service, you don’t want to be worried about security and OS patches over a period of years. Microsoft  wants to help customers running these kinds of devices with a new program that guarantees 10 years of updates.

The idea is that as third-party partners build applications on top of the Windows 10 IoT Core Services, these OEMs, who create the apps, can pay Microsoft to guarantee updates for these devices for a decade. This can help assure customers that they won’t be vulnerable to attack on these critical systems from unpatched applications.

The service does more than provide updates though. It also gives OEMs the ability to manage the updates and assess the device’s health.

“The Windows IoT Core service offering is enabling partners to commercialize secure IoT devices backed by industry-leading support. And so device makers will have the ability to manage updates for the OS, for the apps and for the settings for OEM-specific files,” Dinesh Narayanan, director of business development for emerging markets explained.

It gives OEMs creating Windows-powered applications on machines like healthcare devices or ATMs this ability to manage them over an extended period. That’s particularly important as these devices tend to have a more extended usage period than say a PC or tablet.”We want to extend support and commit to that support over the long haul for these devices that have a longer life cycle,” Narayanan said.

Beyond the longevity, the service also provides customers with access to the Device Update Center where they can control and customize how and when the devices get updated. It also includes another level of security called Device Health Attestation that allows the OEMs to evaluate the trustworthiness of the devices before they update them using a third party service.

All of this is designed to give Microsoft a foothold in the growing IoT space and to provide an operating system for these devices as they proliferate. While predictions vary dramatically, Gartner has predicted that at least 20 billion connected devices will be online in 2020.

While not all of these will be powered by Windows, or require advanced management capabilities, those that do can be assured if their vendor uses this program that they can manage the devices and keep them up-to-date. And when it comes to the Internet of Things, chances are that’s going to be critical.

Categorized in Internet of Things

Search tips to help you search your PC faster and smarter with and without Cortana.

Do you feel you spend too much time searching for things on your PC and not enough time actually doing things? If so, this handful of tips can help you do more and search less.

Know your filters

When you use the search box in the taskbar -- either by typing in your search query or asking Cortana -- you can quickly get overwhelmed by the results, with hits appearing from your local files, the web and elsewhere. Windows 10 ($155.99 at Amazon.com) has search filters that can help you narrow the results. Have you noticed those icons at the top of the search panel? Those are your filters. You can also click the down-arrow button in the top-right corner to see all of the filters available to you.

search-filters
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

You don't need to wait until after you search for something, however, to filter the results. If you know where you want to look before you begin a search, you can type in a filter term right in the search box. Just enter a filter term -- Apps, Documents, Folders, Music, Photos, Settings, Videos and Web -- followed by a colon and then add your search terms.

Settings app vs. Control Panel

Windows 10 added a new and useful Settings app but the old Control Panel is still kicking around. It's a confusing arrangement and I still don't know which settings are in the Settings app and which are in the Control Panel. Thankfully, there is a way to search both. When you search using the search box in the taskbar, the results under Settings will have either a black-and-white icon next to them or a color icon.

Here is your key:

  • Black-and-white icon = a setting in the Settings app
  • Color icon = a setting in the Control Panel

The Settings app also shows results from the Control Panel (in addition to settings from within itself, of course) with the same colorful icons and will kick you over to the Control Panel when you click on such a search result.

settings-vs-control-panel
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Quick calculations

For a simple calculation, you can skip the step of searching for Windows 10's Calculator app and just enter an equation directly in the search box in the taskbar. Not only will you get your answer right then and there, but you'll also get an online calculator courtesy of Bing for further number crunching.

calculator
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

Search from File Explorer

The Cortana-powered search box in the taskbar isn't the only search box in Windows 10. Just as I use Chrome or Edge to search the web, I use Windows Explorer to search my PC. If you are already in Windows Explorer, there's not need to jump out of that window to find a file -- just use the search box in the top-right corner. It will search for whichever directory you have selected in the left panel. Results may be a bit slow in returning when searching a large directory, but searching a specific folder in Windows Explorer is much faster.

Save your searches

If you find yourself performing the same searches week after week, you can save a search in Windows Explorer to make those subsequent searches easier. After entering your search terms in Windows Explorer's search box, click the Search tab from the ribbon that runs along the top of the window. Here, you can tweak your search parameters for date, file size and type, and so on. When you have your search parameters set just right, click Save search and give your search query a name. Your saved searches are saved in the Searches folder of your user folder by default, but you can save them to any folder you like.

Source: This article was published cnet.com By MATT ELLIOTT

Categorized in Search Engine

We're all getting used to voice assistants, so it should be no surprise that Microsoft has a great new feature in Windows 10 that uses Cortana, the company's digital assistant, to guide you through the setup process. This is new in version 1703 or "Creators Edition" and it represents a real change to how friendly PCs can be these days.

I only found out about this by chance, because like most people I only rarely do a fresh install of Windows. But an old laptop had stopped booting because I'd clearly installed a platform preview of Windows 10 and forgotten to update it. So I wiped everything and did a fresh install of 10 on the machine.

The Cortana process is slick as anything. It works best - I would imagine - on laptops that have built-in microphones and speakers. You're basically equipped to use Cortana out of the box here, where desktop PCs might require drivers and such to get their microphones working. I don't know how Windows manages if it can't find a microphone - presumably it just guides you with Cortana's voice to input things with the keyboard.

Cortana speaks instructions, and prints them on the bottom of the screen too.
Cortana speaks instructions, and prints them on the bottom of the screen too.

The process is great though, and for anyone with a disability or trouble operating a keyboard and mouse, this is a really nice introduction to Windows. You need to give Windows a Wi-Fi password and username, although the Wi-Fi is probably optional - there's no option to spell out these inputs, which makes sense because it could go horribly wrong.

I found it nice enough to speak to the laptop and say "yes" or "no" to the questions I was asked. This is a pretty low-friction way to install a computer OS, and for an old goat like me, it feels very high tech. I can remember the first days of talking to a PC back when Soundblaster introduced basic Windows controls with its sound cards. It was painful, and could only perform a very small number of tasks and would almost certainly mess it up.

Now we have computers that speak clearly, can explain what's happening and why and get you to confirm you're happy to carry on. It's a deeply impressive advance and it's nice to give a shout-out to Microsoft when it gets something right. We can talk about the countless ads and annoyances that are creeping in to Windows 10 another day.

Source: This article was published forbes.com By Ian Morris

Categorized in Science & Tech

Many school administrators love Chromebooks, precisely because Google's stripped-down operating system is like a pair of rubber training wheels for children who can't be trusted to drive a full-fledged OS. Microsoft is banking on schools purchasing laptops with Windows 10 S installed, because the company's new operating system severely limits which apps users can install while giving IT administrators fine control over your system.

Unfortunately, Windows 10 S also locks users into Microsoft's ecosystem, forcing you to use Edge as your browser and Bing as your default search engine while preventing you from installing a number of really important apps that don't appear in the Windows Store. If you're an educator, the lack of choice should give you pause and, if you're buying a laptop for yourself or your child, these training wheels are probably a deal breaker.

If you want to use Chrome, Firefox, Opera or pretty much any browser other than Edge, you should not get a laptop with Windows 10 S. In its support FAQ, Microsoft writes that:

"Microsoft Edge is the default web browser on Microsoft 10 S. You are able to download another browser that might be available from the Windows Store, but Microsoft Edge will remain the default if, for example, you open an .htm file. Additionally, the default search provider in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer cannot be changed." (emphasis mine)

I just checked the Windows Store, and I can't find any other major browsers there (or even minor ones). There's an entry for Opera browser, but when you install it, you just get a window with a download button which directs you to opera.com to actually download the app.

Opera App

Perhaps some day, Google and Mozilla will get their browsers into the Windows Store. However, even if that happens, Edge will still be the default browser which opens any time you click a link in an email, a chat app or anywhere else in Windows 10 S. And every time you search by typing a query into Edge's address bar, you'll get results from Bing, with no option to change it to Google.

Now, to be fair, many people like using Edge browser, which is fast and has a clean UI. However, if you need any kind of browser extension to make a website work, you probably won't be able to use it on Edge. At present, Edge has only 32 extensions and, unlike Mozilla and Google who let anyone publish an extension, Microsoft hand picks the few developers that can do it.

image_3101161493757768

Some web services just can't work with Edge right now. For example, at work, we use a single sign-on service called Okta, which requires a plugin to work, a plugin which isn't available for Edge. A number of conferencing apps, including Bluejeans and Zoom, require either plug-ins (which Edge doesn't have) or downloadable apps, which aren't in the Windows Store. My mother is a college professor who sometimes grades standardized tests on the weekends, and the online tool she is required to use will only work on Chrome or Firefox.

Microsoft says that Windows 10 S will work with every app in its Windows Store. However, nearly two years after the store launched with Windows 10, a lot of the most important programs aren't available in the store. Here are a few of the many apps which weren't available when I wrote this article:

  • Visual Studio Community / Professional / Enterprise -- Microsoft's own development tool is not in its store so forget about teaching kids to program Windows apps on their Windows 10 S computers.
  • Adobe Photoshop / Adobe Premiere -- You can get the lightweight Adobe Photoshop Express and Photoshop Elements, but forget about the professional versions of Adobe's creative suite.
  • Notepad++ -- My favorite text editor is great for coding and building web pages. You won't find it in the store. There are other text editors in the store, though.
  • Android Studio -- Kids who want to learn how to build apps for Android phones and tablets won't be able to get Google's official development kit.
  • Google Drive -- You can visit Google Drive in your browser in Windows 10 S, but none of the Google client-side apps, including Google Drive, are in the store.
  • Slack / Hipchat -- The two popular group chat apps aren't available in Windows Store.
  • OpenVPN -- There are VPN apps in the Windows Store, but not this popular freeware program.
  • WhatsApp -- Lots of kids chat with this, but they can't on WIndows 10 S.
  • iTunes: Need to interface with your iPhone or download some media from Apple's store? Get a different Windows.

Hopefully, the developers of these apps and others will work with Microsoft to get into the Windows Store. It's almost certain that Microsoft will move its own apps (ex: Visual Studio) into the store at some point too. However, as of this writing, there are so many gaping holes in the store coverage.

For some schools, Windows 10 S's restrictions may initially be a strength rather than a weakness, but if those institutions want to use an education app that's not in the store or a web tool which won't function with Edge, they could have buyer's remorse. Fortunately, Microsoft is going to offer its EDU clients free upgrades to Windows 10 Pro, which I can imagine many of them using.

For individual users who are considering purchasing a Windows 10 S-powered computer like the Surface Laptop, Windows 10 S makes no sense at all. Would you really want to limit what apps and browsers you can use, right out of the box? Isn't the main benefit of Windows over Chrome OS the wide variety of software and services that you can use?

If you've been following Microsoft for a few years, you'll remember Windows RT, a failed version of Windows 8, which also only ran special Store apps. RT failed because of its lack of apps and Windows 10 S faces most of the same challenges. There's just one major improvement: any Windows 10 S user can pay $49 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, which can run every Windows program in the world and any browser you want. I expect a lot of people to pay that fee.

This article was  published in laptopmag.com by Avram Piltch

Categorized in Others

Microsoft says a PC running its Edge browser will last 77 percent longer than Firefox, and 35 percent longer than Chrome.

To prove its point, Microsoft has once again employed a time-lapse video of three unplugged Surface Books side by side streaming video for several hours with Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

The Surface running Edge lasts 12 hours and 31 minutes, while the Chrome device peters out after nine hours and 17 minutes, with the Firefox unit lasting seven hours and four minutes.

Microsoft released similar video last June, again showing Edge outlasting its rivals, which prompted a reply from Google showing Chrome's battery improvements.

To counter any claims of bias, Microsoft has published the methodology it followed for the test. The Surface Books featured an i5-6300U processor at 2.5GHz, with 8GB RAM, and an Intel HD Graphics 520 GPU.

The devices were running Windows 10 Pro Build 15063.0 or the Creators Update, with Edge 40, Chrome 57 64-bit, and Firefox 52 32-bit. These are the newest version of each browser.

Microsoft says it gave each device the same "realistic" user setup, but switched off some key tasks that could have interfered with the tests. The display was set to 75 percent brightness, and volume was muted, while location, Bluetooth, updates, and the ambient light sensor were disabled. Quiet hours was enabled, each device was connected to a wireless network, and Windows Defender was running. Windows Battery Saver mode was set to activate at 20 percent battery and the cache on each browser was cleared.

Microsoft attributes Edge's battery performance to "encouraging HTML5 content over Flash, improving the efficiency of iframes, and optimizing hit testing".

Besides improvements to energy efficiency, Edge in the Creators Update brings feature updates, as well improvements to responsiveness and performance.

In the Speedometer browser benchmark that Google used to show 'real-world' performance improvements in Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine, Edge has seen its scores double over the past two years, according to Microsoft.

The new Edge also introduces a number of key technologies for the future of the web, including the WebVR to bring the web to VR headsets, Web Payments, WebRTC, Web Authentication, and Web Assembly.

source : zdnet.com

Categorized in Search Engine

Without knowing you, it’s easy to guess what activity you do more than anything else on your Windows 10 PC. The best Windows 10 laptops, desktops and tablets are stuffed with apps and games, but chances are you browse the web more than anything else. Microsoft Edge is one of the operating system’s most ambitious undertakings. The company knows that you do a lot of web browsing. It’s hoping all that browsing happens in Microsoft Edge. That hope sets the battle for all the Edge vs Chrome talk you might have heard from friends and family that follow these things.

Since the early 2000s, companies have battled over who can offer users the best browser. For years, Microsoft dominated web browsers with Internet Explorer. It was able to do so by installing it on nearly every machine that ran a copy of Windows. Soon it was the only browser to choose from. Seeing the success others had found in the space, Google Chrome arrived to give everyone easy access to the company’s best online web apps, like Gmail.

It’s tough to decide whether to use Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome on your Windows 10 PC.

Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome are locked in an epic battle. Both want to desperately be your default web browser. They each want to help you find what you’re looking for in their search engines. Both sync your tabs from across different devices with ease.

Should you use Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome? Like all things technology related, it’s a little more complicated than it may seem. That being said, there is a clear winner.

Edge vs Chrome: Built for You

Microsoft Edge exists because Internet Explorer slowly became hated by most users. Certainly, by the time Windows 10 arrived in 2015, Microsoft had alienated enough users that it needed to start over. Despite attempts to make it more user-friendly with Windows 8, Internet Explorer’s design wasn’t particularly suited to both a mouse and touch, for example. Technologies inside the browser were long outdated.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge

Edge uses a new engine called EdgeHTML to render web pages. Its design is flat to match the rest of Windows 10. Because it supports the latest standards that websites use, Edge is supposed to be more compatible with the websites and web apps that everyone uses today. In attempt to keep you safe, Microsoft Edge blocks pop-ups by default and has a kill switch for Adobe Flash. That’s a web plugin that used to need to be downloaded for certain sites. The browser connects directly to your Microsoft Account, meaning your browser history and favorites travel with you from PC to PC, provided you’re logged in with the same credentials. You can’t add themes to Microsoft Edge but you can make the window a dark gray for better night-time reading.

Google Chrome is by far the most popular web browser there is. Launched in 2008, it quickly made a name for itself by being fast and stable. Frequent updates didn’t hurt either. Neither did its built-in support for Extensions.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Its browser is available everywhere that you’d expect a browser to be. It’s the default browser on Android smartphones and has a companion app on iPhone. All the different versions of Chrome are tied together by your Google Account. As such, your favorites and browsing history are always with you. Flash is baked into the Windows version and can be turned off with just a switch. Google Chrome has theming too, something Microsoft Edge doesn’t have.

Edge vs Chrome: Speed, Battery Life & Stability

Speed is at the heart of any browser experience. The best browser for you might have a few features that you like, but you care more about web pages loading quickly and without issue. Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome have battled each other in speed contests and stability for a long time now.

To let Microsoft tell it, Google Chrome is slightly slower than Microsoft Edge. It points to Edge’s 31427 Octane 2.0 score. Chrome scored a 28466 in that same Google-made Octane benchmark. Speed isn’t everything, though. It’s also Microsoft’s assertion that some normal activities in Microsoft Edge take longer to kill your battery than in Google Chrome. It takes the Surface Book streaming through Edge almost 9 hours to die while streaming 1080P video. Chrome dies at around 6 hours.

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What this speed test doesn’t show is just how unpredictable Microsoft Edge can be. Perhaps because of the new technologies behind the scenes, Microsoft Edge sometimes can’t load web pages that every other browser can. Either the entire window locks or the browser keeps trying to refresh the page until it declares it uses older web technology. When this happens, it surfaces a button that opens the page in Internet Explorer. Microsoft Edge isn’t a big fan of web pages covered with ads. It sometimes takes issue with web apps too.

Google Chrome handles every web page that you can throw at it well. The browser never invites you to use another browser or fails to load a web page. It is known to become unstable the more tabs that you keep open, though. It’s not exactly battery-life friendly either.

Edge vs Chrome: Extensions and Features

Chrome has the best Extensions library of any browser. Developers can and have created thousands of different feature additions to the browser.

Chrome Extensions can help you keep your accounts safe by integrating with lots of password management apps, LastPass being the most well-known of them. Google makes feature additions of its own, like Google Keep and Hangouts for video chatting. PushBullet will let you check your messages and track alerts from your Android smartphone on your PC. Chrome Apps lets developers create entire experiences directly in Chrome.

Google Chrome Extensions.

Because it’s younger, Microsoft Edge doesn’t have a huge library of Extensions. There are just 25 available in the Windows Store today, making Chrome better than Edge for those that want to add features to their browser. AdBlock, Evernote, LastPass, Pocket and Amazon are the only notable Microsoft Edge extensions.

Microsoft tries to make up for the lack of extensions with a huge number of features it thinks will improve your browsing experience. Cortana, the company’s personal assistant will automatically surface to offer you coupons and discounts as you shop. A Reading List feature makes it easy to save reading material for later.

Cortana in Microsoft Edge.

Cortana in Microsoft Edge.

There’s a built-in PDF viewer, and Microsoft plans to add eBook support to Edge when the Windows 10 Creators Update arrives for free. Sharing is baked into the app. Sending links to your friends through email or Twitter takes a few taps or clicks. The Windows 10 Creators Update will introduce tab management features so that you can save important windows for later without having them clog up your browser and drag down performance.

New tab management features coming to Microsoft Edge.

Both Chrome and Edge default to their own search engines, but you can easily add more. In Windows 10, you can use other browsers but using the search area in the taskbar will always open a window into Edge for some reason.

Edge vs Chrome: Chromecast & Cast Media

The Google Chromecast Ultra allows any laptop, desktop or tablet equipped with Chrome to send video footage directly to a television set or audio to a speaker system. Say that you don’t want to continue watching your favorite program on your Surface Pro 4. You can tell Google Chrome to forward the video to a television equipped with a Chromecast device. The feature is very useful for less tech-savvy households that don’t have lots of set-top boxes at the ready. It’s only available in Chrome.

The Google Chromecast Ultra

The Google Chromecast Ultra

Edge tries to mimic Chromecast with a Cast Media option of its own. Unfortunately, the feature can be temperamental. Finding compatible hardware to plug into your television isn’t as straight forward as it as with Chromecast.

Edge vs Chrome: Which Should You Use?

If you value any of the additional features that are baked into Microsoft Edge, it’s the browser that you should use. Syncing web history is effortless and you’ll always have your favorites with you. The positive impact that streaming video with the browser can have on battery life is important too.

That being said, Google Chrome is the right browser for almost everyone. The companion apps for iPhone and Android make it easy to track your web history regardless of device. Its Extensions library is the best that exists today, with thousands of features just waiting to be added to your experience. More important than all of that, Google Chrome loads pages quickly and works on any website. It doesn’t make excuses for what’s going on and recommend you open another browser instead. The ease of Chromecast pushes it over the top.

If you’re trying to decide between Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome, chances are you’ll be in better hands with Chrome, even though you’re using Windows 10.

Source : gottabemobile.com

Categorized in Others

There's been heaps of controversy associated with Microsoft's latest operating system Windows 10 since it was launched, but the latest issue takes the cake – apparently Windows has been quietly logging every single keystroke users make on their keyboards from the beginning. Even better, that data is being constantly sent to Microsoft's servers on a regular basis.

We're not sure why on earth Microsoft would want users' keystrokes, as this data is only really useful to cybercriminals seeking to crack passwords to steal sensitive data, and IBTimes UK has asked the computing giant to clarify, but in the meantime, it is possible to solve this problem.

Here's advice on how to turn off the Windows 10 keylogger:

Concerned about privacy? Then always say no

If you haven't yet installed Windows 10 but are thinking of upgrading, then your road ahead is simple. When you install Windows 10, make sure that you select 'custom install'.

Read all the options on the installation window carefully, and make sure you always select 'no' for all options relating to sending data to Microsoft. It is also safe if you simply choose to just say 'no' to all options – it will not affect your usability on Windows 10.

I have Windows 10. What should I do?

If you have Windows 10 installed, then you need to go to the Start menu and then select Settings > Privacy > General. Turn off the option that reads, 'Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improve typing and writing in the future'. To be safe, restart your computer after selecting this option.

I have technical knowledge. Is there anything else I can do?

Yes, there are several things you can do to prevent being tracked. The problem is that even if you turn tracking options off, if in the future Microsoft decides that it wants the options to be turned back on for any reason, it can easily do so during the monthly Patch Tuesday through the automatic Windows Updates function.

There are ways that you can prevent this from happening, however, please be aware that these methods come from the user community, and some of these fixes could potentially cause problems to your PC. We've listed possible options ranked from "harmless" to "most likely to mess up your computer".

Method One: Windows Update MiniTool
Rank: Harmless

The Windows Update MiniTool freeware by MajorGeeks allows users to check for Windows Updates and see a description of what they do. You can decide whether you want to install the available updates, hide the ones you don't like and even delete updates that have been installed that you disagree with.

This software explains what the updates do with a user-friendly interface, and if you are not happy with the changes, you can easily search for and reinstall them.

Method Two: Set up a metered connection to reduce updates

Rank: Harmless

If you don't think you have the time to review incoming Windows Updates, you could also choose to set up a feature in Windows 10 that was designed by Microsoft to help users who have low internet bandwidth.

Instead of receiving all Windows Updates, Microsoft cuts out updates that are unimportant, and only send you priority updates that fix critical security problems (to keep the hackers out) or stability problems affecting the operating system.

Please note however that this will only work if you are on a Wi-Fi connection, but not if you're using an Ethernet cable to connect to the internet.

To do this, go to the Start menu and then select Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi.

In Wi-Fi, click 'Advanced Options' and then select 'on' for the option 'Set as metered connection'.

Method Three: Turn off Windows Updates completely

Rank: Not advisable

If you think you know better than Microsoft, then you could just choose to disable Windows Updates completely. Some people with advanced technical knowledge have done this, and they routinely check for important updates, but we wouldn't advise it, as this means you could risk missing critical patches from Microsoft.

However, this is how you do it:

Go to the Start menu and type 'Run' in the search field. Click on the program, type "services.msc" and then click 'OK'. Look in the list of services, find the 'Windows Update' listing and double-click on it. Click on the drop down menu for 'Startup type' and select 'Disabled', then click OK to confirm and restart your computer.

You can change this back at any time using the same method and selecting 'Automatic' or 'Manual' from the drop down menu.

Categorized in Science & Tech

By default, Edge is configured to use Microsoft’s Bing for web searches. Oddly, Google Search is not an option. But you can fix that if you know the trick.

Note: This tip is derived from the Windows 10 Field Guide, which is now being updated for the Windows 10 Creators Update.

If you navigate to Edge’s Advanced Settings interface—Settings and More (“…”) > Settings > View advanced settings > Change search engine (under “Search in the address bar with”), you will discover something unexpected: Google Search is not even an option.

To fix this, use Edge to navigate to Google.com (or your favorite Internet search engine’s website). Then, return to the Change search engine option in Advanced settings. (Shown above.)

Now, select “Google Search (discovered)” (or whichever search engine you visited) and then the Set as default button at the bottom of this pane. Future address bar searches will use that search engine instead of Bing.

Note: There is one major downside to this change. Certain Edge features, like Quick answers, will no longer work if you change the search engine from Bing.

Author : Paul Thurrott

Source : https://www.thurrott.com/windows/windows-10/107298/windows-10-tip-change-microsoft-edge-search-engine

Categorized in Search Engine

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Microsoft announced its Creators Update during its press event earlier this week, and a fast-paced video has highlighted a number of new changes. While we're expecting to see features like better trackpad gesture control, blue light reduction (like F.lux), and Windows Holographic integration, Microsoft has a whole lot more planned. Brad Sams over at Thurrott.com has surfaced all of the big additions in the Windows 10 Creators Update, and it's safe to say there are some surprising changes.

Action Center

Action Center Windows 10 update

Microsoft is making changes to its notifications center (Action Center) in the Windows 10 Creators Update. Some of the quick actions have been refreshed, but the big change is sliders for both volume and screen brightness. Windows 10 users will welcome this change,

as you'll now finally be able to adjust these in smaller increments than the 25 percent levels that are currently offered as quick actions.

Custom Accent colors

Accent colors Windows 10

If you use a custom color for the Windows taskbar and other UI elements then you're about to get a lot more options. While Windows 10 offers a number of custom accent colors right now, Microsoft is going to provide a picker with advanced options and the ability to preview what your crazy color might look like throughout Windows. It's a nice change that will help people even further customize the look of Windows 10 to match a particular wallpaper or preference. Microsoft also appears to be adding video help manuals into the settings pages of Windows 10.

Themes for Windows 10 in the Store

Windows 10 themes in Store

Microsoft is going to start selling themes for Windows 10 in the Windows Store. As part of the custom accent color options, the software maker is adding a "personalization" section to the Windows Store, complete with collections of themes that are designed to change the appearance of Windows 10. Some of the collections include Minecraft and League of Legends themes, and it's possible these custom themes could extend over to the dashboard for Xbox One consoles.

The People bar

Windows 10 people bar

Microsoft demonstrated its new people integration into the Windows 10 taskbar, but this extends into little widgets that let you quickly send Skype or emails to your favorite friends. You'll be able to switch between Skype and Email within the same window, and it will be interesting to see if Microsoft extends this type of app integration to third-party app developers.

Groove Music Maker

Groove Music Maker

Microsoft appears to be working on a separate Groove Music Maker app. It looks a little like Microsoft's Surface Music Kit Remix apps for the Surface cover that it never released broadly. It's clearly a simple-to-use music creation tool that's designed with touch in mind. Judging by the brief demonstration, you'll be able to select riffs from a library, add sounds from different instruments, and alter the BPM and length of tracks easily. It's another example of Microsoft aiming Windows 10 at creators.

Full pen support in Microsoft Word

Office pen Windows 10

Based on Microsoft's video, it looks like the company is finally bringing full pen support to Word. Microsoft teased better pen support for Word during its Windows Ink introduction earlier this year, and it looks like it's finally arriving with the Creators Update. You'll be able to manipulate and delete text a lot more easily in apps like Word, and even leave comments on documents in just ink.

Microsoft Edge tab browsing

Microsoft Edge tab browsing

Microsoft appears to be making some changes to its Edge browser with the Creator Update. Edge has a tab browser option which lets you navigate current tabs by expanding the page-preview option. Microsoft also appears to be working on a session manager for Edge, allowing you to restore tabs from before you rebooted or closed Edge. This will include tabs that were open days or weeks ago.

Windows Defender update

Windows Defender

Microsoft is also updating Windows Defender in the Creators Update. Windows Defender currently exists as a classic win32 desktop app in Windows 10, but Microsoft's video appears to show a Defender app that looks a lot like a universal app. If Microsoft does move Defender to the universal platform then it's one more step from preventing the jarring process of having to shift between these modern apps and the old desktop ones for basic settings in Windows 10.

Source : theverge

Categorized in Science & Tech

Windows 7 has been out for ages now — its successor is but a few months away. With a big portion of the world’s population running this operating system, its nooks and crannies are well explored. Well, almost!

Here are more than forty not so obvious features and shortcuts to make your life that much more easier! In the interest of keeping this fairly lightweight, I haven’t included your run of the mill registry hacks and such. Look for a nerdier roundup very soon! Now off we go!

1. Launch Taskbar Apps in a Cinch

You probably have all your favorite apps pinned to your taskbar. Launching each requires you moving your mouse all the way down and clicking. Boring!

An easier is to press the Windows key and the position of the app in the taskbar. For example, in the example below, I have Explorer in the first position. Pressing Win+1 will open it up right away. Oddly, using the numpad for this doesn’t seem to be working.

I wish I could multitask better

2. Search Within Documents

By default, Windows doesn’t search the contents of files that aren’t indexed. If you’re in a hurry and need everything searched, prefix your search keywords with content: and Windows will look for every instance of the word.

3. Change the ‘Shut Down’ Button Behavior

For people like me who hibernate on a whim, the shut down button in the start menu is an absolute hindrance. Two clicks to get what I want? Unacceptable. Fortunately, you can easily customize this behavior.

I still prefer XP's approach. Win followed by U and enter.

Go to your Control Panel, click Appearance and Personalization -> Taskbar -> Start Menu. Select the Start Menu tab and choose the Hibernate option and you’re good to go.

4. Enable Internet Searches from the Start Menu

A slightly impractical but still very useful tip. From the start menu, run gpedit.msc. In the window that opens up, go to User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Start Menu and Taskbar. In the right page, you should find an entry called Add Search Internet link to Start Menu. Go ahead and enable it to see Windows display a Search the Internet link with every search.

As I mentioned, not very practical but at least saves you from opening a browser

5. Copy into the Command line

Let’s start off with a nerdy one. Often when you’re following a tutorial online, you’ll be asked to run a few commands in your command line. You coyly press Ctrl+V but uh oh. What’s this? Nothing happened.

To copy something into the command line, press Alt+Space which invokes the windows menu. Now go to the edit option and choose paste. Voila! To make it even shorter Alt+Space followed by E and Pgets it done in four keystrokes.

6. Use the Volume Mixer to Granular Audio Control

Did you know Windows ships with the ability to control volume on a per app level? You’d usually control the volume by clicking on the speaker icon in your system tray. For the volume mixer, right click on the icon and choose the mixer. You’ll notice a window with options for your main playback device as well as each application that’s capable of outputting sound. In the example below, I have Firefox, and Winamp running.

Great song, if you're wondering.

As an added bonus, if there’s a ungodly sound blaring from you speakers and you don’t know where it’s coming from, the mixer is the place to check!

7. Create a Picture Slideshow on your Desktop

Tired of using the same wallpaper but tired of having to constantly change your wallpapers? Windows 7 has a solution.

The much easiest way is to select multiple images in an explorer shell anywhere, right clicking and choosing Set as Background. Windows will automatically cycle through the chosen images.

You're free to select as many as you want

If you’re itching for a little more control, right click anywhere on the desktop, choose Personalize -> Destkop Background and choose multiple images. You can now choose the interval between changes as well as the order in which they are shown.

8. Invoke the Run Utility in a Single Keystroke

As a power user, I’m constantly looking for getting things done quickly. The run utility is a big help in this aspect. Launching it is still a chore. The easier way? Win+R. Keep in mind that the utility is launched with user level permissions only.

Hola there, indeed!

9. Adding Additional Clocks

I work as part of a distributed team and I frequently have to look up times in different cities. To make this work in Windows 7, click the clock icon in your tray. Choose Additional Clocks in the windows that pops up and add the additional cities you want. Unfortunately, the additional times don’t exactly get displayed in your tray — you need to hover over the clock.

Yes, I'm writing this article this late.

10. Instant Window Docking

Do you have multiple windows open at a time and in need of some immediate organization? Press the Windows key and the left or right arrow key to dock that window to that portion of the screen.

Once docked, you can revert to your earlier position and size by pressing the Windows key and the opposing arrow key.

11. Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Did you know you can launch your favorite applications through custom shortcuts? Let me show you how, it’s easy.

Great game and gets a thumbsup from me!

Just right click the application or its shortcut and click on Properties. Select the Shortcut tab where you’ll find a field for Shortcut Key. Just use a keystroke combo that doesn’t clash with existing shortcuts!

12. Maximize and Minimize Windows in a Heartbeat

Tired or too busy to click the maximize button? Windows provides you with a super quick shortcut: Win+Up key. What about minimizing, you ask? Win+Down key . Pretty nifty when you’re juggling lots of windows.

13. Clean Up Your Text Rendering

One thing I adore on OS X is the clean, crisp typography that it renders. While earlier versions of Windows struggled with this aspect, 7 is pretty spot on.

If you’re unhappy with the current way it renders text, you can always tune it up. Go to Control Panel -> Appearance and Personalization and choose Adjust ClearType text under the Fonts category. The utility that pops up should walk you through setting up text rendering the way you want.

Pay attention to this tool -- it relies on user input for proper calibration

14. Turn Your PC Into a Wifi Hot Spot

Windows 7 ships with the ability to turn any run of the mill wifi adapter into a working, basic wifi router.

Setting it up is a matter of running two commands as well as clicking a few checkboxes. But for the sake of brevity, I’m not including the full guide today — you can find it here.

15. Tweak the Autorun Behavior

By default, Windows 7 pops up an autoplay window when you plugin new media. While a lot of people find it quite useful, it merely gets in the way for me.

Thankfully, you can tweak this behavior in a granular manner. Want your audio CDs to autoplay in Winamp but want your movie DVDs to open with VLC instead? Or want autoplay disabled on just your USB devices? Easy. Go to Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound. There you can find a separate section just for autoplay. The first link lets you tweak everything to your heart’s contents.

It's best to disable autoplay for software

16. Open Folders in New Processes for Added Stability

Folders are opened under the same process by default which, while more efficient, can cause issues when you’re dealing with an unstable file system. You can work around this issue by opening each folder in its own process. You can do so by pressing Shift when right clicking a folder and choosing Open in new process.

The approach is pretty similar to how browsers sandbox plugins and tabs.

17. Use the Inbuilt Black Box

Windows 7 ships with a utility that records the steps you’ve taken on the computer automatically including mouse clicks. You can use these recordings to speed up issues when you’re dealing with tech support.

Use the previously mentioned Win+R combo to bring up the run dialog and type in psr. Just click on the bright red button to get started with recording your steps.

This tool is a boon when you need tech support.

18. Remove the Recycle Bin from the Desktop

I tend to run a super tight ship on my desktop. No icons whatsoever. When I first started using Windows 7, the recycle bin was a thorn in my side. Vista let me right click and delete the entry but Windows 7 denied me that.

As I figured out earlier, the functionality is still present — just behind a couple of clicks. Right click on the desktop, choose Personalize and then Change Desktop Icons on the left side pane.

Uncheck the relevant entry and off the bin goes!

It should be apparent which options is relevant here

19. Insta-Lock Your Workstation

Do you have someone at the door in the middle of a financial transaction or something else sensitive? It’d be wise to lock your computer before leaving but it takes multiple pesky mouse movements and clicks to get it done.

There is a simple combo in 7 to instantly lock your desktop: Win+L. Really helps when you’re in a hurry and has saved me lots of times.

20. Minize All Open Windows

If you’re running a Rainmeter or otherwise widget heavy desktop like me and need to look at your desktop instantly to look something up, the traditional way is a bit of a chore.

Look no further than a quick Win+M which will instantly minimize all open windows. Win+D does roughly the same thing except it seems to render the widgets invisible as well.

21. Restore the Quick Launch Bar

I was one of those people who used the quick launch bar fervently in Vista. Even though, this feature is not enabled by default in 7, there is a quick workaround.

Right click your taskbar, choose Toolbars -> New toolbar. In the dialog that pops up, paste in %AppData%\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Quick Launch. You can now tweak the bar’s position, enable/disable titles and the size of the icons.

Start here

22. Show the AM/PM Symbol in the System Tray

Depending on which locale you selected during installation, the time in the system tray may not display the AM/PM marker. Changing it takes only a few steps.

Go to Control Panel -> Clock, Language and Region and choose Change the date, time or number format. In the window that pops up, look for the Short time setting and change it to hh:mm tt

I still can't get over the way the yanks format their dates

23. Set the Taskbar to Show Text Along with Icons

The default taskbar is setup so that apps only display their icons. Which works for me but you may feel otherwise — specially if you’re feeling nostalgic about Vista.

aka Vista mode

To display each icon’s text as well, right click the taskbar and choose Properties. In the popup, change the Taskbar buttons setting to Never combine.

24. Disable Aero Peek

When you hover over the icon at the end of your taskbar, Windows displays renders just the borders for each window letting you take a look at your desktop — otherwise called Aero peek. This might be a performance killer if you run an older generation machine.

For those reading these captions -- again, some excellent music

To turn this off, right click your taskbar, choose Properties and uncheck Use Aero Peek.. This method seems to have a variable success rate so let me know how it’s working out for you.

25. Zoom in Effortlessly

For users who need to zoom into their screen quickly, here is an alternative that’s mouse free: Win plus + button. The Windows magnifier tool will kick in at 200% magnification. You can zoom in further or zoom out once done.

Yes, the tool really is this small. Works great though.

26. Shift Click for a New Instance of an App

Here’s a cool trick: if you have an app running that has an icon in your taskbar, shift or middle click on its icon and Windows will launch a fresh instance of the application.

As an added bonus, Ctrl + Shift + click will open an instance with admin privileges.

27. Automatically Reduce the Volume When a Call Arrives

I think a vast majority of our readers use our PCs to make voice calls. Windows 7 has lots of built-in functionality around this feature. Let’s take a look at one of the most practical.

When you’re using a PC to make calls and you have a sound producing app on the side, Windows 7 will automatically reduce the system volume. I prefer completing muting everything and that’s how I’ve set mine up. Here’s how.

Press Win+R and type in mmsys.cpl. This will take you directly to the Sound section of the Control Panel. Click on the Communications tab and choose Mute all other sounds. As expected, this will automatically mute everything but the call.

28. Move Your Page File

This is one of those fabled performance tricks told over the years: moving your system’s paging filr from the C partition to a separate hard drive gives you a nice little performance boost. I’ll let you google up about the whys but here is how to do it.

Open Control Panel -> System -> Advanced System Settings. Choose the Advanced tab and click on the settings button of the Performance category. In the popup, click on the Advanced tab and finally the change button. Uncheck the solitary checkbox and create a new page file in a different hard drive after selecting the No paging file option for the C partition. Phew!

29. Activate God Mode

Though the name is quite misleading, the fabled God mode is a neat trick. Invoking it is pretty easy. Create a new folder titled GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} and the folder’s icon will change to resemble a control panel and will contain a plethora of control options.

And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.

30. Shake to Minimize

This is another of those nifty little window management tricks. When you’re working on a cluttered desktop, grab the titlebar of a window and give it a vigorous shake and every other window will minimize meekly providing you all the focus you need.

As a bonus, Win+Home does the same thing.

31. Drag and Drop to Path Glory

When working in the command line, there are plenty of times where you need to provide the path to a specific file or folder. Compiling code, for example. Instead of typing it out, just drag the file into the command prompt and its path will automatically be inserted.

32. Enable Hidden Wallpapers

Considering wallpapers are, well, free this isn’t as impressive as I’d like but hey, hidden is hidden and unlocking equals dopamine. Right? Right?

Go to C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT and you’ll find it stuffed with folders named MCT-xx where xx is a named region. Each of these folders contains region specific themes and wallpapers. Go nuts. Or not. It’s your call, really.

Yay! Dopamine!

33. AutoArrange Your Desktop

You can ask Windows 7 to arrange your desktop by right clicking on the desktop and choosing View -> Auto arange. Once enabled though, you don’t have to go through all those clicks to re-arrange your desktop. Pressing and holding F5 does the trick!

34. Easier App Switching

Alt+tabbing is nice but there is an easier way to switch to your apps. Press the Windows key plus the position of the app in the taskbar. For example, if an app is placed first in your taskbar, press Win+1 and the app will get focus. If it’s not running, it will be launched, as mentioned earlier above.

35. Open a Command Prompt at a Specific Folder

Again, a tip that works out for devs. Press the the Shift key when right clicking on a folder and you’ll see additional options. One amongst them is Open command window here. Really helps if you don’t feel to comfortable with the command line.

That's the Ruby root folder, if you're interested.

36. Calibrate Your Screen

Windows 7 ships with calibration tools in built. While you google around for the long way, here is a quick tip. Press Win+R, and enter dccw.exe in the popup. The Windows Display Color Calibration tool will pop up to sort out your issues.

The calibration tool's welcome screen

37. Monitor Your Performance with Resource Monitor

Windows 7 is usually incredibly quick for me but if yours is acting out, here is a quick little tool buried in Win 7 to help you diagnose the issue.

Click on the start menu and type in resmon to launch the Resource Monitor. The tool provides you with an indepth look at what is eating your CPU cycles, memory and network.

Only video games and transcoding seem to make any kind of dent in modern CPus

38. Enable Checkboxes to Select Multiple Files

I think everyone knows to press the Ctrl key to make multiple selections. Here is a keyboardless way to make it happen.

Go to any folder, click on the the Organize button on the top and select Folder and search options. Go to the view tab and enable the Use check boxes to select items option. Once done, a small checkbox will appear next to each item letting you select multiple items with just a mouse.

Yes, I know the file names are incredibly chaotic

39. Navigate Your Taskbar With Your Keyboard

You can easily move through your taskbar directly through just your keyboard. Press Win+T to cycle through the taskbar icons. Once the initial combo has been pressed, you can also use the arrow keys to navigate your apps.

40. Launch Task Manager in the Proper Context

I bet you always press Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up the venerable task manager. Have you noticed there is a slowdown before it launches?

While you can deal with the technicalities of why it happens here, here is a quick little shortcut that step around the entire process: Ctrl+Shift+Esc.

Looking for More?

Source : iphone.appstorm.net

Categorized in Science & Tech
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