It’s alive. Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is here!

Microsoft finally let the tiger roars out of the gate. The much anticipated version of Windows 10 is now available. Dubbed the Fall Creators Update is the must install update for your current version of Windows 10, bringing the figure up to 1709 after six months of development.

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It’s an exciting release for many reasons. First, the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update brings up one particular goody, it’s the Fluent Design language. The new UX for a the operating system. When Windows 10 hits the shelves in its initial release all the way back in mid 2015, I was complaining about the flat UX that the OS bore across the board. It reminded me the Watercolor UX that debuted during the development of Windows XP, 17 years ago. But now, the Fall Creators Update finally brings niceties to the OS with this fresh user interface, with some elements that quite reminiscent to the AERO look-and-fell from Windows Vista.

The Fluent Design won’t be visible across the board. That’s it to say, don’t expect to see its elements being integrated into the OS as you get your hands on the Fall Creator Update. That’s it the UX will be updated sporadically with the next releases. Redstone 4, will certainly bring lot of niceties of the Fluent Design when it will hit the shelves next year.

Here are the improvements coming to the table for the Fall Creator Update :

Windows Mixed Reality. Microsoft’s hardware partners are now selling the first generation Windows Mixed Reality headsets, which provide access to a new spatial interface for Windows itself as well as new virtual reality (VR) and 3D games, apps, and other experiences.

Remix: Photos, videos, and 3D effects. One of the most stunning Microsoft consumer demos ever is now available as a feature inside of the Windows 10 Photos app.

OneDrive Files On-Demand. One of the best features from Windows 8—OneDrive placeholders—is back and better forever as OneDrive Files On-Demand. This feature lets you navigate your entire OneDrive storage directly from File Explorer and access files and folders that are stored only in the cloud in a very seamless fashion.

Pick up where you left off. With the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft is finally getting serious about integrating your PC with your smartphone, and while some of these features will get better over time, the basics are there now.

My People. It’s nice to see Microsoft bring its people-centric user experiences to the desktop. And while My People isn’t for everyone, those who prefer this type of interaction will wonder how they ever used Windows without it.

Microsoft Edge improvements. As has been the case with each Windows 10 version, Microsoft Edge gets a major update this time around, adding big performance improvements, many more extensions, simple and consistent full-screen support, and many ink-based updates.

Gaming improvements. In the Fall Creators Update, Windows 10 gets several gaming-related improvements, including an improved Game Bar with easier access to Game Mode, improved Mixer broadcast capabilities, improved Game settings, and GPU performance tracking capabilities.

Inking improvements. Windows Ink has improved all across Windows 10, with new inking capabilities in Microsoft Edge for ebooks and PDFs, an improved handwriting panel with overflow and correction support, more customizable palm rejection capabilities, pen scrolling, and a new Find My Pen feature.

Security and privacy improvements. Windows Defender now includes ransomware protection for the first time, with controlled access to protected folders. And with the Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has once again tweaked the system’s privacy features to make them more transparent and easily managed.

That’s it. Windows 10 Fall Creator Update is a huge upgrade for any Windows User. Highly recommended.

Sofiane MEROUANI

 

That’s all folks. Windows 10 Mobile is no more.

It’s over for Microsoft. They tried hard but they just admit they failed to get into the business of the smartphone, still dominated by Apple and Android.  And if you do own, a Windows Phone or a Windows 10 Mobile, I advice you to keep it as a relic of the past. Microsoft will no longer put lot of efforts on upgrading their mobile platform.

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Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft no longer use Windows Phone device, but instead, he switched to Android platform. Not providing the name of the device he owns, many readers speculate that Gates might use a Galaxy S8 Edge bundled with Microsoft apps, as the device is showcased in many Microsoft Stores.

Joe Belfiore, the strongman behind the platform admitted that Microsoft Windows Phone and Mobile are dead. They put the platform on “servicing mode”, providing only bug-fixes and security updates, and that’s all folks.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO wants the company to focus on the future and what the technology of tomorrow has to offer, like Virtual Reality.

The Lumia sale was a complete disaster in you compare it to the dominate iPhone and Android devices.

 

However, for the Microsoft fans, don’t be disappointed it.  Rejoice. Many official Microsoft apps are now ported to iOS and Android, namely Cortana and Edge web-browser.

Sofiane MEROUANI

 

Lenovo unveils retro ThinkPad 25th Anniversary

It’s a remake of some sort for Lenovo

They did it again. It’s a do-over. A remake of some sort. Lenovo just unveiled The 25th Anniversary of its successful Think Pad laptop computer.

Even if every ThinkPad looks retro, this is a particularly retro version of the ThinkPad design based on the current ThinkPad T470 model.

The original ThinkPad, designed by Richard Sapper and engineered in Japan, was inspired by the traditional Japanese bento box, and Lenovo has taken some of these classic elements and fused them with modern hardware. The overall design is very similar to the retro-classic ThinkPad. It has the classic rubberized coating, a TrackPoint, ThinkPad keyboard with ThinkVantage blue enter button, the colorful ThinkPad logo, and lots of status LEDs.

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Even the laptop retains the classic retro look, under the hood, it’s all modern and high tech.Lenovo is using Intel’s 7th generation Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, an Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics chip. It also has all the modern ports you’d expect from a laptop in 2017: USB-C port (Thunderbolt 3), three regular USB ports, an SD card reader, HDMI port, and Ethernet connectivity. There’s even a fingerprint reader that lets you log into Windows 10 with Windows Hello.

And it is ain’t cheap though, the 25th Anniversary Editon is price-tagged $1,899.

Sofiane MEROUANI

Windows Phone was a complete failure

It is almost a tragic story for  Microsoft. As Apple unveiled its latest iteration of iPhone and the brand-new 10th anniversary edition dubbed iPhone X, Microsoft did actually shot its foot despite its multi-year head start in mobile business.

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Traced back in 2000, Microsoft embarrassed the notion of mobility with the introduction of the Windows Mobile for PDA and smartphones. But no one saw Apple coming from the ashes and ate it its market share slowly but surely when it unveiled iPhone in 2007.

It was a real threat. And it was too late.

It was too late for Microsoft for a simple reason. When Windows Phone 7 was revealed in 2010, three years after iPhone, the mobile ecosystem was dominated by Apple and Google. Despite the steady improvements of Windows Phone and the doomed acquisition of Nokia, consumers yawed and were bored by the lack of a rigid ecosystem from Microsoft. Windows Phone Store was a complete disaster. Flagship apps from iOS and Android were not even available on the Windows Phone Store.

Despite Microsoft’s vast resources, they simply couldn’t compete in a mobile oriented market that had quickly pegged them as irrelevant. Indeed, even as Windows Phone launched, many were quick to proclaim that the initiative was doomed from the start.

Another reason is that Microsoft was focused on Windows and Office products, which are simply the company cash-cows. While Apple focused on hardware and Google on the search engines and mobile ecosystem.

The Longhorn project that Microsoft embarked back in early 2000s, was amid the reasons that Microsoft missed the boat to get into the mobile business. By the time Longhorn was completed and renamed as Vista, iPhone in its first iteration hit the shelves. Microsoft needed to refocus on how to correct the Vista mistake. By the time Windows 7 and 8 hit the computer landscape, Apple and Google enjoyed their two house race, as Microsoft was seen from their rear view mirror.

If Microsoft engineers and executives had experienced that same type of urgency, the smartphone market today might very well look a lot different than it does today.

Sofiane MEROUANI

 

Microsoft to remove legacy Paint app from the next iteration of Windows 10

The Windows 10 Fall Update is coming pretty soon and users are shocked to hear that the legacy Paint app is on the chopping block. Microsoft stated that the application is no longer in development and has to be removed off the next version of Windows.

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Released 32 years ago as Paintbrush, Paint became a legendary app known for every Windows user. Limited to BMP files, Paint was updated to support JEPG format back in 1998.

Paint was present in every version of Windows, but never grew up into a mature software like its third-party alternative Paint.NET.  Paint never embarrassed the Luna user interface when XP was released. It was as if the Windows engineers just ported its Windows 98-style into the eye-candy XP UX. Worse, when Windows Vista hits the shelves, the same scenario happened. Paint adopted Aero windowing interface but in its deepest root, it  sported the same Win 98 UX. When Steven Sinofsky took the helm back in 2009, Paint finally adopted the Windows 7 look and feel. Still, the version was poorly-featured.

Windows 10 came in, and engineers added a Paint 3D to simplify the presentation. But with the next version of Windows 10, the so-called Fall Update, it will be for Windows users to bid a final goodbye to a such lovely piece of software that embarrassed a legendary status as much as Solitaire.

Fare Thee Well Paint.

Sofiane MEROUANI

Windows Vista. The End of an Era

It’s an end of an era that started in summer 2001.

Microsoft finally bids a farewell to Windows Vista, an operating system that was released ten years ago and ended up being targeted by a ton criticisms from both consumers and professionals alike.

Microsoft ended support for Windows Vista (“You will remember it as Longhorn”).

Microsoft Launches Vista Operating System

Windows Vista is an operating system that could have been a revolution for Microsoft is they were listening to the consumers instead of being obsessed of keeping hold of Windows’s monopoly that the company was enjoying for more than ten years.

Originally code-named Windows Longhorn, Windows Vista breathed life all a way back in July 2001, a month before Microsoft would wrap up Windows XP.  It was an ambition product that spiraled out of control. The operating system would have included a WinFS storage system that would search for your files on your ever-increasing hard drive and retrieve them up as quickly as possible.  WinFS was scrapped midway through the development process.

Windows Vista was so resource hog that you current 2005 era computer would experience difficulties and program crashes. You really needed to buy a new Windows Vista capable PC to enjoy a better experience.

Windows Vista arrived at the moment when Apple was poised to take the world by storm with the release of the iPhone. As a result, Microsoft missed the chance to enter the smartphone arena and compete with iOS and Android in time.

While it’s easy to point out the bad parts of Windows Vista, its release did many good things for Windows. A new search interface provided a strong foundation for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10, and many of the Start menu changes and design choices that still exist in Windows 10 today. Microsoft had much bigger ambitions with Vista that failed, but the fundamentals certainly pushed Windows forward in design, functionality, and security.

So long Windows Vista.

This is an updated copy to correct some typos.

Sofiane MEROUANI