Since today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we’ll review how a few of the big tech companies are helping with accessibility when it comes to their products and services. Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) began back in 2012 with a goal to drive the dialog about making digital access to resources/services accessible to those with disabilities. On the seven-year anniversary of the establishment of GAAD, tech companies are showing how they are making their own technology even more accessible. Microsoft The folks in Redmond have become pretty good at building hardware over the last few years with their Surface line of devices and accessories. Today, they showed how that same approach can make a significant difference for gamers with the unveiling of their upcoming Xbox Adaptive Controller. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
I recently shared details about the retirement of HomeGroup from the Windows 10 April 2018 Update. This feature update was made available for download last week; as of this month’s Patch Tuesday, the update is now beginning its rollout through Windows Update. Microsoft had given users a heads up about the removal of HomeGroup from this fifth feature update for Windows 10 which is why we knew that was coming. When they began the availability of the update to the public last week that triggered the publication of the complete list of features that were either removed or planned for removal/replacement in this update. On the page listing these changes for the feature update there is a caveat from Microsoft which states: This list is subject to change and might not include every affected feature or functionality This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
In last weeks’ newsletters (Tuesday and Thursday), we took a closer look at some of the new features of what we called the Productivity Update, i.e. the Windows 10 April 2018 Update aka Windows 10 Version 1803 (OS Build 17134.1). Note: If you are interested in seeing more about some of the enterprise/business related features in this update you can check out the review we posted at ITPro Today last week. This week, we are going to review the various methods for upgrading or clean installing your current Windows 10 installation to this fifth feature update for the operating system. Windows Update (Automatic) When Microsoft begins an automatic roll out of an update like this, they usually begin with known hardware configurations. That means targeting hardware such as first-party Surface devices, some of their OEM partners’ machines, or newer machines that are more likely to be compatible with the update to Windows 10. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Welcome back to our examination of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update (also be known under its official name of Windows 10 Version 1803 (OS Build 17134.1). In part one of the review, I suggested it be called the Productivity Update. I’ll keep calling it that in this examination of some other highly useful features: Cortana, Startup Apps Control, Accessibility, Microsoft Edge and Security. Cortana Cortana has received a slight makeover with new information cards for both her Notebook and Skills areas when you click on the Cortana icon on the Windows 10 Taskbar. This makes these settings faster to access because they are just one level away when you open Cortana. There is also an edit icon next to your name so that you can adjust the Places which Cortana knows about such as Home and Work. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Q. Is HomeGroup Really Leaving Windows 10? I can confirm that this is, in fact, happening. It’s been happening for a while: Microsoft notified testers during the Redstone 4 feature update development cycle when they released Build 17063 in December of last year. You must scroll almost all the way to the bottom of those very lengthy release notes to find the details about HomeGroup’s retirement under the Other notable changes section. I know many of you are still on Windows 7, which means you may also be using the HomeGroup features on your home network. (In fact, HomeGroup was introduced as part of Windows 7 when it was released to general availability in October 2009.) In those ensuing eight and a half years, technology has come along that really eliminates the need for HomeGroup as it was originally devised. When parallel services can adequately replace the feature in Windows 10, then it makes sense for the Redmond company to stop supporting that part of the code base. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Last year during Microsoft Ignite in Orlando, I sat in on a presentation about a new collaborative tool for the Windows 10 desktop called Microsoft Whiteboard. Microsoft already had a collaboration tool for its Surface Hub line of devices; the idea behind this new app was to bring that level of group creativity from the conference room to the desktops, laptops, and tablets running Windows 10. In December of last year, the Microsoft Whiteboard App preview was released in the Microsoft Store. Since then it has been updated multiple times and continues to become more robust through bug fixes, performance enhancements, and feature additions. The app is reliable enough after five months of availability for daily use. So why not try it? Get started by downloading it from the Microsoft Store and then opening the app for the first time so it can be associated with your Microsoft Account. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
My first version of Microsoft’s fledgling operating system was Windows 3.0. I had spent the previous years learning BASIC banging on the keyboard of my Commodore 64. This past week I got to go back in time: The original File Explorer program that was part of Windows in the 90’s was open sourced by Microsoft under the MIT Open Source Software license. Note: The MIT OSS license retains all original copyright and license notices but allows the code for commercial and private use, modification, and distribution. The WinFile source code is being hosted on GitHub and anyone can contribute and make pull requests. You can download the latest stable release, which runs as an x86/x64 desktop app. When I heard about this being available, I went to GitHub and downloaded the latest stable release, marked as version 10.0, and extracted it into a directory on a Windows 10 desktop PC. This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.
Q. I heard that Microsoft is going to discontinue the desktop version of OneNote! Is this true? If so, what will take its place? You did hear correctly. This announcement was made within the last 24 hours by OneNote Program Manager William Devereux. He confirmed that active development of new features and capabilities is ending for OneNote 2016. This was the last version of OneNote built for the standard Windows desktop. It is compatible with the currently supported versions of Windows (7, 8.1, and 10.) Later this year, when Office 2019 is released as the last stand alone version of Office, there will not be a desktop version of OneNote included. However, there are still options for those of you who are fans of OneNote 2016 on the desktop. According to an FAQ posted by the OneNote team, this announcement does not mean the end of OneNote 2016 is imminent. OneNote 2016 will be under mainstream support until October 13, 2020, and extended support until October 14, 2025. You’ve got a little over seven years left with this product as-is. Installing Office 2019 when it is released later this year will not remove OneNote 2016 from your system. OneNote for … Read More
Q. Can I postpone receiving the next feature update for Windows 10? Microsoft has been developing the fifth feature update for Windows 10 since late last year, and that work is now in the final stages as they stabilize the update and prepare for its general availability next month. When Windows 10 first came out almost three years ago, there were no official options for consumers to delay the installation of a new feature update. Once it arrived on Windows Update for your device there was no turning back from that upgrade cycle. However, if you are running Windows 10 Professional, settings have been built into the OS that will give you a couple of options for delaying the upgrade to the latest feature update. Note: This option is not available as part of Windows 10 Home. If you go into Windows Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and then click on Advanced Options under Update settings. This is where you have two options for postponing updates to Windows 10. Let’s take a closer look at what is at your disposal for delaying a feature update upgrade. First, let’s begin by looking at the last option on the page … Read More
Microsoft did a very controversial thing when they released Windows 10. In several spots in the operating system, by default, they are providing tips and suggestions to users as they navigate around Windows 10. When these items first appeared many labelled them as advertisements on Windows and felt that their OS should not be a vehicle for ads. Others viewed them as tools of discovery for apps and system capabilities in the flagship OS. Whether you agree with Microsoft’s use of the OS in this matter or not, like many other areas of the operating system, you can customize these settings and opt-out of this information being presented on your system. Caevat: Many of us who have been using Windows 10 since it was released are very familiar with the OS, its capabilities, and many of the apps that are available in the Microsoft Store. However, if you provide family tech support for someone who is likely not as familiar with the OS as you are, I recommend you consider leaving these discovery tools active. This will allow these users to possibly discover something they didn’t know previously and benefit from that method of discovery. This article is part of … Read More