Windows 10 Preview Build Gets DPI-Scaling Fix, Removes Blurry Apps on High-Res Displays

Microsoft on Friday released a new Windows 10 Insider Preview build that solves an issue that has been nagging Windows users with high-resolution display. The latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build 16237 changes how the system reacts to DPI adjustments. Users will no longer have to log out and log back in to fix blurry desktop apps, which are mostly related to old Win32 apps, after docking, undocking, and remoting.

Presently, if a user changes the resolution of a display by docking/ undocking or via Settings, the scaling gets reflected throughout the apps only by logging out of the account and then back in. However, with the latest build, Microsoft is cutting down that process and will adjust the scaling by simply relaunching the the app to render them crisply on your 4K display or high DPI display, the company says in its blog post.

This will solve the issue for most legacy apps, but not all as yet, and one will have to wait for those apps to get updated to respond to DPI change. Microsoft says that the apps will get updated DPI-related data from Windows when restarting them individually rather than having to log out and back in, which is a lot more annoying and cumbersome. The company has also noted that the change won’t improve apps that are blurry on secondary displays when in “extend” display mode.

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That’s not all coming that is to the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build. Microsoft has also made some improvements to the notification buttons, which now spreads across the bottom of the notification, instead of being right-justified. Furthermore, the first notification in each group will be expanded in the Action Center so that you can quickly see and take action, of say your email, reminders and texts, without having to expand every single one of them.

The latest preview build for Windows 10 Insiders comes with a lot more fixes and improvements such as the Edge’s ability to now read out loud on websites and PDFs with word and line highlighting. The Emoji Panel now supports the new 5.0 making it easier to type and input the emoji you want. There’s also a new animation on when you add a favourite along with minor bug fixes. You can check the full list of improvements and fixes of Windows 10 Insider Preview build 16237 on the company’s blog.

Windows 10 S Now Available to Test for MSDN Developers

In a new development, Microsoft has now allowed Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) subscribers to test its recently announced Windows 10 Soperating system. Announced for schools and education users, this version will enable developers to test their apps and see if they run properly.

This version is available in an ISO file, and MSDN subscribers can easily download it and install it on their systems to run their test. They can also ascertain whether Windows 10 S is suitable for school kids and education-focused areas.

In a bid to take on Google’s Chrome OS, Microsoft launched the Windows 10 S operating system for education in May this year. Windows 10 S is tied to the Windows Store, which means students can only run apps downloaded from the Store. It is built keeping in mind classrooms, which means students won’t be exposed to potentially dangerous apps, while every app is certified by Microsoft to ensure there is no performance drop over time. Several education-focused features will also be found on the Edge browser and Microsoft apps like Office 365 will also see more school-friendly features in the future as well.

Windows 10 S Now Available to Test for MSDN DevelopersNow, developers can also test Windows 10 S, provide feedback, and examine if their apps are compatible with it or not. Of course, you have to be an MSDN subscriber to be eligible to download for now. Not all users yet have the capacity to switch to Windows 10 S if they so wish to, but laptops from Acer and HP offer Windows 10 S starting at $299 (roughly Rs. 19,100). There’s also the Surface Laptop which is priced at a hefty $999 (roughly Rs. 64,000). Notably though, there are cheaper Windows 10 S PCs coming up, with Microsoft partners such as Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung, and Toshiba all making Windows 10 Education PCs available from $189 (roughly Rs. 12,100)

Furthermore, Microsoft is also making the Update Assistant Tool available next week, which will possibly allow all users to download and test Windows 10 S if they wish to.

Windows 10 Gets ‘Eye Control’ Feature, Command Prompt Console Gets Colour Overhaul

To empower physically-challenged people to operate an on-screen mouse and keyboard, Microsoft has announced beta version of ‘Eye Control’ feature for Windows 10 that lets users control much of the interface with just eye movements. The ‘Eye Control’ feature is now rolling out in the Windows Insider Preview Build 16257 for PC. Separately, Microsoft is also revamping its Microsoft Console aka command prompt with more colours for the first time in more than 20 years.

Microsoft has mentioned in its blog post that the Eye Control feature requires a compatible eye tracker, like the Tobii Eye Tracker 4C. When users turn on Eye Control, a launchpad appears that allows then reads eye movements and gives access to mouse, keyboard, and text-to-speech tool. Users will also be able to reposition the UI to the opposite side of the screen.” There is also an Eye Control interaction model to interact with the Windows UI, where looking at the UI will activate it along with voice guidance. Eye Control only works with the US English language keyboard support initially, with plans to add more keyboard layouts later.

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Users can control the mouse by simply selecting the mouse from the launchpad, position their eyes on the screen where they want the cursor to be placed. Users can select the keyboard from the launchpad and ‘dwell’ on the characters they want to type. However, the new tool faces challenges in direct sunlight and, therefore, the company said the device might require new calibration when moving to a location with different lighting conditions. Also, the launchpad partially blocks the Tobii UI during device calibration, which can worked around by turning the Eye Control off and turning it back again after calibration is done. The Eye Control feature currently supports only with selected eye trackers of Tobii hardware, however Microsoft plans to bring more devices in future.

Moving to the Microsoft Console aka command prompt that has now been overhauled to include a new colour scheme for the first time in more than 20 years. The same Windows 10 Insider Preview Build (v16257) now brings support for additional default colours on the command prompt, giving users a dramatic change to Windows Console’s legacy blue to improve its legibility. “The default colour values have been changed to improve legibility of darker colours on modern screens, and to give the Console a more modern look & feel,” notes the blog.

Windows 10 testers will only be able to see new colours as the default Console scheme only if they clean-install the build 16257. However, upgrading Windows to this new build will brings new colours but without the new defaults. Microsoft will also be soon releasing a tool that will help testers apply this new colour scheme and a selection of alternative colour schemes to the Windows Console.

Intel ‘Coffee Lake’ 8th Gen Core CPUs to Launch on August 21; Core i9 Specifications Revealed

Intel has announced that it will launch its 8th generation Core processors, codenamed ‘Coffee Lake’, at 8:00am PDT (8:30pm IST) on August 21. The launch will be streamed to the public using Facebook Live, and has been timed to precede the much-talked-about total solar eclipse which will occur the same morning. No specifics are known yet, such as the number of models that will be launched and which market segments Intel is targeting first.

Intel’s teaser claims that the 8th generation Core processors will be “blazing fast”, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. The company has previously stated that Coffee Lake will improve upon the 7th generation Kaby Lake by 30 percent. Coffee Lake will be the fourth generation to use the 14nm manufacturing process, breaking the three-year Process-Architecture-Optimisation cycle that Intel tried to introduce only last year. Prior to Coffee Lake and Kaby Lake, Intel’s ‘tick-tock’ strategy dictated that the manufacturing process would shrink every alternate year.

Intel was supposed to have launched its first 10nm generation, codenamed Cannonlake, last year, but this was deferred, with Kaby Lake and now Coffee Lake filling in. Intel could move to a “fluid” model using both 14nm and 10nm processes for Coffee Lake processors in different segments. Rumors also point to Intel introducing six-core mainstream desktop processors with this generation, either thanks to thermal and power design improvements, or because of strong competition from rival AMD after years with the highly rated Ryzen CPU line. It is also therefore likely that Coffee Lake will break compatibility with Intel’s current motherboard socket and platform controllers which are common to Kaby Lake and Skylake.

Intel ‘Coffee Lake’ 8th Gen Core CPUs to Launch on August 21; Core i9 Specifications RevealedIntel has stated that the launch event on August 21 will include demos of VR and “immersive experiences” that show the power of upcoming 8th generation Core processors. PC manufacturers are expected to demonstrate desktops, laptops and 2-in-1 systems based on these CPUs. Intel is also keen to grab the attention of anyone looking to buy a new PC this holiday season, indicating that products will become available in retail shortly after the launch event.

Intel has also released the full specifications and launch dates of its top-end Core i9 X-series desktop processors, which offer up to 18 cores. The 12-core/ 24-thread Core i9-7920X will become available on August 28, with a base speed of 2.9GHz, a boost speed of 4.3Ghz on all cores, and 16.5MB of cache memory. The 14-core i9-7940X, 16-core i9-7960X and flagship 18-core i9-7980XE will all become available on September 25. Base/boost speeds are 2.9/4.3GHz, 3.1/4.3GHz, 2.8/4.2GHz, and 2.6/4.2GHz respectively, and the cache amounts come in at 19.25MB, 22MB and 24.75MB respectively.

All four upcoming Core i9 parts can raise their speeds up as far as 4.4GHz on one or two cores if the workload demands it, and official RAM support goes up to quad-channel DDR4-2666 for each. They also share the same 165W TDP, and all have 44 PCIe lanes. Prices range from $1199 (approximately Rs. 76,362) for the i9-7920X to a whopping $1999 (approximately Rs. 1,27,313) for the i9-7980XE.

To see how these new processors stack up against the rest of the Core-X series, check out our complete guide to Intel’s Skylake-X and Kaby Lake-X CPUs, Motherboards, and Coolers.

Windows 10 Pro for Workstations Unveiled by Microsoft, Available This Fall

Microsoft on Thursday announced a new edition of Windows 10 Pro targeted at power users with high-end hardware. Windows 10 Pro for Workstations will be available to power users as part of Fall Creators Update, which will be available this fall.

For those unaware, Windows 10 Pro for Workstations is a high-end edition of Windows 10 Pro which comes with support for server grade PC hardware and has been designed to meet critical and compute intensive workloads.

Windows 10 Pro for Workstations Unveiled by Microsoft, Available This FallMicrosoft says that Windows 10 Pro for Workstations has been optimised to increase performance and reliability with features like ReFS (Resilient File System) which provides cloud-grade resiliency for data on fault-tolerant storage spaces and manages very large volumes with ease, and faster file sharing with a feature called SMB Direct which supports the use of network adapters that have Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) capability. It also promises persistent memory that provides the most demanding apps and data with the performance they require with non-volatile memory modules (NVDIMM-N) hardware. This ensures read and write of files with the “fastest speed possible, the speed of the computer’s main memory,” claims Microsoft.

“Users will now be able to run Windows 10 Pro for Workstations on devices with high performance configurations including server grade Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron processors, with up to 4 CPUs (which is today limited to 2 CPUs) and add massive memory up to 6TB (today limited to 2TB),” Microsoft’s Klaus Diaconu, Partner Group Program Manager, Windows and Devices Group wrote in an announcement blog post.

Microsoft Memo Shows High Return Rates for Surface Book: Report

Microsoft’s Surface products came under the scanner when Consumer Reports released a survey report claiming that the laptops and tablets in this series were not reliable. The non-profit publication surveyed 90,000 tablet and laptop owners and found that an estimated 25 percent of those with Microsoft Surface devices would be presented with “problems by the end of the second year of ownership.” While Microsoft dismissed these claims at first, it didn’t provide any clarity or detail to counter the findings. Now, an internal company memo has been leaked, and it seems to dive deep into the study and the possible reasons why these incorrect conclusions were derived by Consumer Reports.

According to the leaked internal memo, obtained by Paul Thurrott, high Surface Pro 4 and Surface Bookreturn rates could have influenced the findings of the Consumer Reports study heavily. The memo shared a chart that showed return rates for the Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Pro 3.

The Surface Book, notably, has suffered the most, with return rates reaching to 17 percent at launch. It remained above 10 percent for six months, and is reported to have the highest return rates than any other Surface product in two years of its life cycle. Surface Pro 4 had 16 percent return rates at launch, but dropped below 10 percent in one month. Lastly, Surface Pro 3 also saw 11 percent return rates, but that also dropped to 10 percent soon after.

Microsoft Memo Shows High Return Rates for Surface Book: ReportIn the memo, Surface products lead Panos Panay writes, “It’s important for us to always learn more from our customers and how they view their ownership journey with our products. Feedback like this [from Consumer Reports] stings, but pushes us to obsess more about our customers.”

Panay also writes that Microsoft has worked tirelessly to fix all the issues, and the return rates have reduced a lot over the past 12 months; however that does not reflect Consumer Reports’ findings, and the study is heavily reliant of Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book users only. He claims that subsequent devices have been launched in far more reliable states, and that Microsoft is adamant on letting its users know that.

“[We] have put together a comprehensive set of data that reflects the strength of our quality and our customer sentiment, and will be working with partner organizations, including marketing, retail, and sales, to share that information broadly,” Panay writes in the memo.

However, this memo proves that the Consumer Reports findings’ has put a dent in the Surface series’ armour, and Microsoft is doing everything it can to retain popularity and do damage control.

Xbox App On Windows 10 New Features Available

Xbox App On Windows 10

Microsoft has released more updates for its Xbox App on the latest Windows 10 operating system bringing with it a new Facebook Friend Finder in the Xbox app and on Xbox.com, a record voiceover feature for Game DVR clips on your PC and more.

Watch the video below to learn exactly what you can expect to enjoy in the latest Xbox App on Windows 10 update that has been made available this month.

Those of you running Windows 10 on your PC or tablet may have noticed some exciting updates in the Xbox app over the past few days. Just like on Xbox One, regular updates inspired by fan feedback have been a cornerstone for the Xbox app on Windows 10.

Your feedback through the Xbox beta app has been extremely valuable, and we’ve been listening. Today, you’ll notice an upgraded social experience in the Xbox app as we’re unifying your Xbox Live and Facebook communities with the release of the Facebook friend finder. This feature joins the recently launched Game DVR voice recording feature and improvements to the Xbox Store accessible through the Xbox app.

For a full list of all the new features that you can expect to enjoy in the latest Xbox App on Windows 10 update jump over to the official Major Nelson website via the link below.