Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update Release Date Confirmed

Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update Release Date ConfirmedMicrosoft is set to release a new, major update to Windows 10 on August 2 – just a few days after the system’s first anniversary.

The company made clear when Windows 10 debuted that the new system would break from the old rhythm of updating – going years between major upgrades. Instead, the firm said that it would release smaller, but more frequent updates to the system. The company already released a significant upgrade in November, which added some Skype-based messaging apps, features for business and some visual tweaks.

The Windows 10 Anniversary update adds a few features, including a major change to the company’s voice assistant, Cortana. Users will now be able to ask Cortana for help even when their devices are locked, extending the assistant’s usefulness and matching competitors. You won’t have to be actively using your computer, phone or tablet to set reminders or check traffic.

There are several other updates as well. Microsoft has updated its Edge browser, which replaced Internet Explorer, and boasts that the new browser is so energy efficient that it can last “three hours longer than Google Chrome.” It’s also going to allow users to add extensions to the browser, starting with a small group that includes Pinterest’s pinning button.

Security is another priority in the new system: Users will be able to sign in with their faces on certain websites that agree to use Microsoft’s facial recognition technology. The update will also mean more notifications from Windows Defender, the built-in anti-malware service.

The Anniversary update will also include more support for the stylus, with a Windows Ink suite that gives users more places throughout the system to use the pen. Gamers also get a few perks, including more support for Xbox Play Anywhere, which allows gamers to access the same games on the Xbox One and any Windows 10 device.

Nearly all Windows users have the option to redeem a free upgrade to Windows 10 – an offer that will expire July 29. Adoption for Windows 10 has been faster than any of its predecessors, though Microsoft has taken some heat for how aggressively it’s asking users to upgrade. In fact, the company recentlyagreed to pay $10,000 (roughly Rs. 6.7 lakhs) to a woman who said an upgrade she didn’t want crashed her system; the Seattle Times reported the company paid the money to avoid further litigation.

Users should expect future updates to come at about the same pace as we’ve seen in this first year, Microsoft said.

AMD Radeon RX 480 Officially Launched in India, Starts at Rs. 22,990

AMD Radeon RX 480 Officially Launched in India, Starts at Rs. 22,990AMD has taken the wraps off its latest GPU, the Radeon RX 480. The launch of the RX 480 marks the debut of AMD’s new Polaris architecture, after many years of iterative refreshes to previous chips. Graphics cards based on the new GPU will target gamers in the value-focused mid-range segment.

The company is focusing on delivering smooth VR experiences to users at all budget levels. Radeon RX 480 cards will also be aimed at gamers who target a playable resolution of 2560×1440 with quality settings turned up. The GPU, codenamed Polaris 10, is manufactured using a new 14nm lithography process which helps reduce heat and power consumption.

The Radeon RX 480 is a full implementation of the Polaris 10 design, with 2304 stream processors divided into 36 clusters. Its base clock speed is 1120MHz but it can achieve bursts of up to 1266MHz when needed. Peak performance is rated at 5.8 Teraflops. Either 4GB or 8GB of GDDR5 RAM will sit on a 256-bit memory bus. Total power draw is rated at 150W, and AMD promises 2.8X better performance per Watt compared to Radeon R9 200 series cards.

AMD’s release notes highlight the new architecture’s ability to deliver support for emerging DirectX 12 and Vulkan standards, which let game programmers tap into hardware capabilities at a very low level, reducing driver overhead.

Graphics cards following AMD’s reference design will have a blower-style cooling shroud, three DisplayPort outputs and one HDMI output. Only a single 6-pin PCIe power connector will be required.

AMD has also announced new software with this launch. An overhauled Radeon Software app introduces new performance controls, and a new overclocking utility called Radeon WattMan allows users to tweak voltages, frequencies and fan speeds, and track usage across various metrics.

With this launch, AMD is positioning its top single-GPU card for this generation well below the flagship level that Nvidia has established with the incredibly powerful GeForce GTX 1080 and 1070 (Review). Theupcoming Radeon RX 470 and 460 GPUs will cater to 1080p gamers and eSports enthusiasts respectivly, and should launch in the coming months. Future products based on the separate Vega architecture will bolster AMD’s performance capabilities at the high end when they are released early next year.

AMD has announced pricing of Rs. 28,990 for reference Radeon RX 480 graphics cards with 8GB of GDDR5 RAM in India, but that figure comes with a surprising disclaimer which states “Please note that the announced price doesn’t factor duty, freight, distribution margins, retailer margins, local taxes etc.” Considering that the global price of $239 works out to approximately Rs. 16,120, there should be no reason for such a wide price gap. Asus, Sapphire, Gigabyte, MSI and PowerColor will be releasing reference Radeon RX 480 cards as well as versions with their own cooling solutions, but stocks are not expected to be available in the market for a few weeks, according to a channel source Gadgets 360 spoke with.

Indian pricing for reference Radeon RX 480 cards with 4GB of RAM has not been released, but the global price is $199 (approximately Rs. 13,420). AMD had previously indicated channel pricing of Rs. 20,000 for the Radeon R9 380X, the final retail price of which turned out to be Rs. 25,999. If that is anything to go by, AMD’s latest products will not be priced competitively compared to Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 970 and the middle tier of the GeForce GTX 1000 range, which will undoubtedly launch before the end of this year.

Update, July 1 2016: AMD has announced a reduction of Rs. 2,000, which brings the 8GB reference Radeon RX 480 down to Rs. 26,990 plus local taxes. The price of the 4GB version has also now been announced as Rs. 22,990 plus local taxes. The company’s latest official  statement lacks the disclaimer in the original announcement. At least one retail listing for a Sapphire branded 8GB reference model has appeared, with a price of Rs. 26,999 (approximately $400). Prices are therefore not as exorbitant as AMD initially led us to believe, and the difference in US and India pricing is consistent between AMD and Nvidia.

Microsoft Kills ‘Messaging Everywhere’ Feature Ahead of Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Microsoft Kills 'Messaging Everywhere' Feature Ahead of Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Microsoft is expected to roll out the Windows 10 Anniversary update on August 2. However, it has been releasing preview versions regularly, hinting at all the new features the update will entail. One of the most anticipated features came with the April preview build – a feature called Messaging Everywhere. It enabled Windows 10 users to send and receive cellular text messages on their PCs. It aimed to work in a similar manner as Apple’s iMessage cross-platform integration. However, Microsoft has just listed all the things coming with its latest preview build, and looks like this feature is being put to rest.

The company is going to kill this feature and not introduce it with the Windows 10 Anniversary update, and has instead decided to bring back the Skype app integration (this was previously killed off in favour of the universal messaging app). Microsoft has been working on this universal Skype app that will work in sync on all platforms – be it desktop, tablet or mobile. On the blog, the company says that it expects to deliver an experience that is ‘even better’ through the new Skype app.

“The ‘Messaging Everywhere’ feature was well-received by Insiders however we believe we can deliver an even better experience through the Skype app. Because of this, we decided not to release this feature as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer. Starting with Build 14376 and going forward, Insiders will no longer have the ability to reply to text messages from their phone via the Messaging app on their PCs. Going forward, we will be working with the Skype Team on delivering a great “messaging everywhere” experience on your Windows 10 devices through the Skype app,” Microsoft explained on its blog.

For all those using the beta version, the latest update will remove the ability to send and receive text messages through the Messaging Everywhere feature. However, users can still reply to text using Cortana on their PCs. The new build is said to roll out for Insider members soon. The entire changelog is detailed on Microsoft’s blog post.

When the final update rolls out, it will be free for Windows 10 users, but will cost $119 (roughly Rs. 8,000) to those who will upgrade from previous versions of Windows.

Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update May Release on August 2

Microsoft Windows 10 Anniversary Update May Release on August 2Microsoft might be coming up with Windows 10 Anniversary Update on August 2. The uncertainty is due to the fact that the company published a blog on Tuesday with just the headline and no content saying “Microsoft announces Windows 10 anniversary update available Aug. 2” and then pulled the story, which had no content, moments later.

The company might have pulled the story due to incorrect date or it could be a case of clicking the publishing button before the content was written. It is therefore uncertain whether Microsoft would release the update on August 2 or not.

The update will be free for Windows 10 users but will cost $119 (around Rs. 8,000) to those who will upgrade from previous versions of Windows.

The company announced the Windows 10 Anniversary Update back in March during its annual Build conference and showcased how the update will improve the use of stylus with Windows Ink and other notable enhancements for its browser Edge. The update will also bring certain improvements to Hello and Cortana.

Cortana will be able to make suggestions to the user through the day post the Windows 10 Anniversary Update – like offering to arrange for transport – and will be available right on the lock screen so that you don’t have to unlock the PC to access it.

Windows 10 is estimated to have been installed on around 300 million machines around the world as of date.

Along with PCs and tablets, the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will roll out to Xbox One and will bring features like Cortana, universal store, and background music to the gaming console.

Microsoft’s offer for free upgrade to Windows 10 for existing Windows users will end on July 29.

The company has been criticised for its aggressive push of the Windows 10 update since its release last year and has reportedly even agreed to pay $10,000 as compensation to a woman based in California recently for force installing the Windows 10 update on her PC without her permission.

Stay tuned in for further updates and confirmation regarding the release date of Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

PC Shipments to India Declined in First Quarter: Gartner

PC Shipments to India Declined in First Quarter: GartnerPersonal computer (PC) shipments to India totalled about 2 million units in the first quarter of 2016 – a 7.4 percent decrease over the first quarter last year, market research firm Gartner said on Tuesday.

“Consumers accounted for 45 percent of total PC sales in the first quarter of 2016, down from 48 percent in the first quarter of 2015,” said Vishal Tripathi, Research Director at Gartner.

There was decline in both the enterprise and consumer segments in buying in the first quarter of 2016.

“With the first quarter being the end of the financial year for some companies, there were expectations that enterprises would exhaust their budgets. However, it did not have much of an impact on the PC market, and the market continues to face a challenging time,” he added.

HP was in the number one position in PC shipments to India in the first quarter of 2016 due to a strong presence in channels and online consumer purchases, according to Gartner.

In the first quarter, mobile PCs declined by 13 percent year-on-year primarily due to a lack of enthusiasm in consumer buying.

Microsoft Paying Woman $10,000 for Force Installing Windows 10: Report

Microsoft Paying Woman $10,000 for Force Installing Windows 10: ReportMicrosoft apparently is paying a woman $10,000 as compensation for force installing the Windows 10 update on her PC without her permission. California resident Teri Goldstein sued the company for trying to automatically installing Windows 10 on her PC, which she claimed then refused to work properly – making her lose all her files.

Goldstein runs a travel agency in California, and she sued Microsoft for forcibly installing the update even though she didn’t authorise it. She told The Seattle that the update had failed, and made her laptop really slow. The laptop would crash sporadically, and wouldn’t work for days at once.

“I had never heard of Windows 10. Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to update,” Goldstein told the publication. Microsoft decided to not levy litigation expense, and just drop its appeal. Effectively, Microsoft will pay her $10,000 according to the judgement.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 is currently available as a free upgrade for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. The operating system was unveiled in July 2015, and will be free for upgrade till June 29. The company has been running an aggressive campaign to get people to switch to Windows 10 while it’s free. Frequent notifications, and continual pop-ups have been reported by many users, and Goldstein’s case is one of the extreme examples.

Pop-ups with no option to decline the update raided many Windows PCs a while ago, and Microsoft was forced to change it after hordes of users left negative feedback. While many users are claiming it to be a nasty and deceptive way to force them to make the switch, Microsoft claims that it isn’t trying to be sneaky. On its blog, the company says it shows users at least two notifications before it activates Windows 10. It also allows any PC owner to reverse the installation and go back to their old software if they do so within 31 days.

Microsoft announced earlier this month that 300 million devices are running Windows 10 – a faster adoption rate than either of the two previous Windows versions.

HP Chromebook 11 G5 With 12-Hour Battery Life, Optional Touchscreen Launched

HP Chromebook 11 G5 With 12-Hour Battery Life, Optional Touchscreen LaunchedHP has taken the wraps off its new affordable Chromebook 11 G5. The laptop is priced starting $189 (roughly Rs. 12,800), and will be available online from July, while retailers will sell it from October.

The laptop comes with the Chrome OS interface, which means eventual support for Android apps on the laptop. Google has announced a long list of Chromebooks that will get Google Play support, but also mentioned that all the latest devices will get to use Android apps. There’s a variant that even supports touchscreen for added usability, especially while using Android apps on Chromebook.

As far as the specifications go, there are two choices of display. Users can choose from an 11.6-inch HD (1366×768 pixels) IPS touchscreen display with Gorilla Glass protection, or an 11.6-inch HD (1366×768 pixels) anti-glare standard display. The HP Chromebook 11 G5 is powered by an Intel Celeron N3060 (2 cores, 2 threads, 2MB L2 Cache, 1.6GHz base clock, 2.48GHz Burst clock) processor, paired with either 2GB or 4GB of RAM. Optics include an HP TrueVision HD webcam at 720p resolution, and storage options can be configured either to 16GB or 32GB.

The touchscreen variant weighs about 1.14kg, while the standard model weighs 1.18kg. Furthermore, the HP Chromebook 11 G5 touchscreen variant lasts for about 11 hours on a single charge, while the standard model lasts for about full 12 hours 30 minutes. Both models come with support for two USB 3.1 ports, and a headphone jack.

HP further claims that the Chromebook 11-inch G5 was made keeping in mind students and teachers, and the primary target market is education. The company took feedback from students using a Chromebook, and tried to incorporate that into its new offering. HP’s Chrome OS lineup also includes Chromebook 11, Chromebook 11 EE, Chromebook 13, and Chromebook 14

Apple Discontinues Thunderbolt Displays

Apple Discontinues Thunderbolt DisplaysApple has been reportedly working on a refreshed Thunderbolt Display, and is expected to release it sometime this year. Now, however, Apple has issued a statement saying the current Thunderbolt Display will only be available till stock lasts, but it won’t replenish stocks. In other words, Apple is discontinuing the Thunderbolt Display.

The Cupertino giant says that it will sell the Thunderbolt Display through its retail stores, official retailers, and its online store till stocks last. After which, it won’t refill the stock. This either means that Apple is killing off Thunderbolt display altogether, or coming out with new 5K displays. The new displays will get a fresh name, presumably, and many are rooting for it to be called ‘Apple 5K Display’.

“We’re discontinuing the Apple Thunderbolt Display. It will be available through Apple.com, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers while supplies last. There are a number of great third-party options available for Mac users,” said an Apple spokesperson in a statement given to TechCrunch.

The new displays are expected to come with integrated GPU and a screen resolution of 5120×2880 pixels. Rumours claims that Apple has decided to integrate a GPU into the display to make it future ready. The integrated GPU will help the new Thunderbolt Display maintain compatibility with future Macs, and will also reduce the need of high resolution displays to be powered by high-performance computers featuring top-end GPUs.

In any case, the possibility that Apple might just have killed off the entire product line cannot be ruled out either. The new displays were expected to be announced at WWDC, but that evidently didn’t happen either.

Samsung Notebook 7 Spin Windows 10 Laptop Hybrid Launched

Samsung Notebook 7 Spin Windows 10 Laptop Hybrid LaunchedSamsung has unveiled a new laptop hybrid, the Notebook 7 Spin, in 13.3-inch and 15.6-inch display sizes. The notebook will be available from June 26 on Best Buy and the Samsung website in the US. The price for the Notebook 7 Spin begins at $799.99 (roughly Rs. 54,500).

The Samsung Notebook 7 Spin’s display rotates completely till the back, and can be used in tent mode for watching movies, or even tablet mode (when rotated all the way to the back). As mentioned, it features two display sizes -13.3-inch and 15.6-inch – with full-HD (1920×1080 pixels) resolution, and comes with an additional Video HDR mode. The Windows 10-based 2-in-1 can be configured to the new sixth-generation Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, paired with up to 12GB of RAM. There’s up to a 1TB of hard drive option to choose from, and the choice of SSDs.

Samsung claims that the laptop can last up to 2 hours with just 20 minutes of charging. The fast charging tech will fully charge the 15.6-inch Notebook 7 Spin in just 90 minutes, while the 13.3-inch variant will take 100 minutes to get fully charged. The laptop comes with auto-backlit keyboard for ease in typing during low light conditions. Samsung has not mentioned any availability details for the Indian market.

In March, Samsung had launched its high-end Samsung Notebook 9 laptops running on Windows 10. They were made available in four different configurations, with prices starting from $999.99 (roughly Rs. 67,000). The highest configuration went all the way up to $1,499.99 (roughly Rs. 100,500). The Notebook 9 variants were first unveiled at CES 2016 in January this year.

Google Demonstrates How Android Apps Run on Chrome OS

Google Demonstrates How Android Apps Run on Chrome OSGoogle finally let the cat out of the bag and announced at I/O 2016 that Android apps were coming to Chromebooks, alongside support for Google Play. What this means is that all the apps (and content) on Google Play will soon be available on Chrome OS-powered machines. At I/O, Google had demoed to the developers how apps would seamlessly work on Chrome OS. And now, the company has uploaded the video on YouTube to provide clarity for everyone.

The Google Play icon rests on the taskbar below, alongside other options. Clicking on the icon will open up Google Play, and allow users to install apps of their preference. Director of Product Management Kan Liu demoed the integration by showing how the apps can be installed. He showed how photo editors, and games worked seamlessly on the Chromebook without any lag, and how touchscreen controls were used on a laptop. Music, movies, and photo editing apps work completely offline as well, just like on smartphones.

It is important to note that the demo was done under the best of conditions, and whether this seamless integration holds true for old devices, only time will tell. Watch the full video to know exactly how Google has integrated Android apps into the Chrome OS.

In any case, Google will begin supporting Android apps on Chrome OS v53 M53 developer channel for touch-enabled Chrome OS computers. Only Acer Chromebook R11, Asus Chromebook Flip, and Google’s 2015 Chromebook Pixel will be able to test this feature first. The company states that the support should hit the stable channel by September or October.

Google has listed out almost 50 Chromebooks that are slated to get Android support over the rest of the year. Several Chromebooks from Samsung, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Toshiba, and HP have been listed.