Microsoft Now Helps Studios Port Direct X 12 Games to Windows 7

In a surprising move, Microsoft is now helping developers to bring their Direct X 12-only games to Windows 7.

For the longest time, Microsoft continues to be saying that people really need to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10, in part so that we can get all the nutrients that comes with Direct X 12.

It turns out that peoples don’t usually do what Microsoft is letting them know and when we can belive the Steam statistics, almost 20% of users continue to be using Windows 7, showing no intention of switching. Many like the operating systems, while some don’t possess the hardware to help make the switch.

“Can’t ignore so many users”

Since Microsoft’s plan to have everyone on Windows 10 isn’t exactly going on schedule, the company has become instructed to do something about it towards the strategy. A big reason behind Microsoft’s change of heart is the push from major companies such as Blizzard, for instance.

A while back, Blizzard chose to upgrade wow client so that it can take advantage of Direct X 12. The community responded with joy because the frame rates increased, and who doesn’t want that? But a lot of players remained as using Windows 7 and Blizzard wanted to help them as well, so they reached out to Microsoft.

Jianye Lu, a senior program manager at Microsoft, explained the original scope of their porting process has been expanded to include more games. “We announced “World of Warcraft uses DirectX 12 running on Windows 7″ back in March. Since that time, we have received warm welcome from the gaming community, and that we continued to utilize several game studios to help evaluate this work. To better support game developers at larger scales, we’re publishing the following resources to permit game developers to run their DirectX 12 games on Windows 7.”

The time include a Development Guidance Document, the D3D12onWin7 NuGet package, and D3D12 sample. With this particular support, studios should have a much easier time bringing Direct X 12 games to Windows 7, much like it happened using the upcoming Gears 5.

How to Upgrade to Windows 10 free of charge in 2019

In November of 2017, Microsoft quietly announced it had been closing its free Windows 10 upgrade program. If you didn’t get your free version of its best operating system up to now, well, you had been virtually at a complete loss. Or, therefore we thought.

Not long ago i found that Windows 10 updates still work just as they always had, and I’m currently managing a version on the pieced together PC after upgrading from a working form of Windows 8.1. It’s not as cut and dry, as Microsoft has deleted the tool which makes all of our lives simpler when upgrading, however with a tiny bit of work, you too can upgrade older versions of Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 to some fully-functioning version of Windows 10. You’ll want to do so earlier than later now that Windows 7 is anticpated to be eliminated. Read our guide to get ready for the end of Windows 7.

How you can Upgrade to Windows 10 for Free

1. Find a copy of Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 as you’ll need the key later. If you don’t get one available, but it’s currently placed on your system, a free tool like NirSoft’s ProduKey can pull the product key from software currently running on your computer.

2. This is a good stop to stop and support anything you’d prefer to save on your present PC before continuing.

3. Came from here, you’ll have to create a Windows 10 installer by visiting this site and then configuring the installer (Create installation media for an additional PC) together with your desired hardware. Use ISO file if you are planning to burn it to a DVD or USB flash drive if you’d rather install it from the USB device. You’ll should also select 32 or 64 bit versions of Windows.

4. Insert the installation media, restart the computer after which press F2 to create a different boot priority. This will permit the Usb memory card (or DVD) to operate before booting into the operating system. This will be slightly different on all PCs, based on their BIOS setup, but it’s pretty cut and dry — select the drive or the DVD as well prior to the main HDD or SDD.

5. Reboot your pc once more.

6. After the installation runs, you’ll have to provide your key. Enter it here and click on Next.

Windows 10 will quickly have better raw support for photos

A new Windows 10 preview has been deployed, bringing by using it improved support for the raw image format, and further focus on the Light Theme, in addition to news the big ‘bug bash’ with this update has begun (more about that later).

Build 18323 (19H1) caters for photographers who like to utilize raw image files – pictures which haven’t been touched or processed through the camera, or subjected to compression just like a JPG – by improving native support under Windows 10.

The functionality comes using a raw codec package which may be downloaded in the Microsoft Store. Once installed, it enables for viewing image thumbnails, previews, and camera metadata in File Explorer (i.e. in your everyday folders under Windows).

And in addition it implies that you can open and view your raw files at full resolution in Windows 10’s Photos app (or any other application which utilizes the Windows Imaging Component framework, for that matter).

You are able to grab the appropriate raw Image Extension package at the shop here, although don’t try and install this if you aren’t running build 18323. As ever, expect some bugs, because the codec package continues to be currently in beta.

Light side

Furthermore, the sunshine Theme for Windows 10, which was introduced with Build 18282 (in November 2018) – and it is, unsurprisingly, the polar opposite of the Dark Theme – has gotten some useful tweaks.

These comprise of resolving various issues whereby certain elements of the interface weren’t correctly switching to a light shade, or were becoming unreadable. In other words, you should see fewer glitches when switching in to the Light Theme.

Finally, once we mentioned at the outset, the bug bash has just officially began, and will run through until February 3. This can be a big drive to stamp out bugs in the 19H1 update, also it comes with ‘quests’ which you can take a look at around the Feedback Hub.

For a full list of changes, improvements and known issues, check out Microsoft’s blog post on the new build.

Windows 10’s Xbox Console Companion may be the new way for PCs to have interaction with Xbox

Microsoft is overhauling the Xbox app in Windows 10 in preparation for which the company claims is going to be “a new desktop experience”.

The largest change is the name – the app will now be known as the Xbox Console Companion, and a message from Microsoft says it will be “a dedicated app for your Xbox console’s features and settings”.

We didn’t think there is anything wrong with the name from the Xbox app – it had been nice and concise – but Microsoft’s change of brand name possibly hints at the company’s future plans based on how Windows PCs and also the Xbox One – and it is successor, the Xbox Two (or whatever it will likely be called) – works together.

New experience

The “new desktop experience” Microsoft promises using the Xbox Console Companion app is intriguing. As the Verge points out, the sport Bar feature in Windows 10 has been recently updated, which includes features which make the Xbox app in its current form feel a bit redundant.

Microsoft is anticipated to show more information about its next Xbox console at E3 2019, using the company holding an event on June 9. The brand new Xbox Console Companion could be laying the groundwork allowing you to connect the new console to Windows 10 PCs.

This follows Phil Spencer, executive vice-president of Gaming at Microsoft, recently reiterating the company’s commitment to PC gaming. Could the new Xbox Console Companion app be its method of bringing console and PC gamers closer together? Hopefully, we won’t have long to discover.

Windows 10 patch breaks Destiny 2 along with other games on some PCs

A brand new cumulative update for the latest version of Windows 10 is playing havoc with gaming performance on some users’ PCs, a minimum of going through reports online.

The patch in question is KB4482887 for Windows 10 October 2018 Update, which was very recently unleashed to provide a lot of fixes, including enabling ‘Retpoline’ which should improve the performance of PCs by mitigating any sluggishness caused by the Spectre variant 2 fix.

However, rather ironically, the update seems to have had the opposite effect for some in a few games, delivering a big performance hit – even though this might not have anything to use the Retpoline fix (more on that later).

Multiple threads have put their hands up on Reddit describing performance issues primarily with Destiny 2, but also with other games.

One commenter asserted their mouse settings felt wrong, plus they were getting ‘much less’ than 60 frames per second in Destiny 2 on a seriously powerful rig with twin SLI RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards. Uninstalling the KB4482887 update fixed the problem (which apparently affects both Nvidia and AMD GPUs alike).

There are multiple reports of significant Destiny 2 woes along these lines, and the other Reddit thread observed “massive lag spikes in older games, like CoD4 and CoD MW2” and hugely laggy mouse performance. Again, these issues disappeared after uninstalling the update (and came back if it was reinstalled).

Feed it back

Chipping in on the former Reddit thread, a Microsoft employee said: “This is probably not associated with Retpoline (Spectre mitigation) since it’s not enabled for retail users yet (by 3/4/2019).” The Microsoft staffer then urged anyone with gaming-related performance issues to submit feedback (providing a link which appears to be broken, however, you can use the feedback hub).

Note that the state response isn’t certain about this being unrelated to the Retpoline fix, but we all do realize that the second is being deployed gradually like a phased rollout, so may not actually be survive a lot of PCs yet.

However, perhaps those experiencing issues could be the “certain devices” that Microsoft noted the Retpoline fix has gone reside in these initial stages of deployment. Still, the Microsoft employee clearly believes that any gaming performance hit probably isn’t related.

Anyway, the takeaway for now is to dump KB4482887 (or avoid installation to begin with) if you’re experiencing sluggishness with Destiny 2 or other games on Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

Hopefully we’ll learn more about the exact real cause, and hopefully a resolution to the aforementioned issues, before too long.

Getting to grips with your brand-new Windows 10 laptop

So, you’ve just purchased a shiny new laptop or tablet. It’s unpacked, plugged in, and running great. However, what in the event you do alongside ensure you’re getting the most from your brand-new Windows 10 laptop?

The answer is to set up a Microsoft account. This is actually the answer to unlocking everything that’s great about Windows 10, along with the wider suite of Microsoft products, tools and services.

One account for all

At its simplest, a Microsoft account acts as your PC’s first line of defence. That’s because the password you select when opening your account becomes the one which grants access to your copy of Windows 10 and, ultimately, for your new device.

Move beyond that and a Microsoft account also enables you to access your email. Have a further step and your account will let you explore great products for example Skype, and your Office 365 subscription; it’ll allow you to buy games, music, apps and films, and access your videos, photographs and documents via Microsoft’s OneDrive.

In short, a Microsoft account may be the gateway to Microsoft’s magic kingdom. Before we explore the technicality of establishing your account, it’s worth looking at some simple computing theory. Specifically, we’ll discuss the cloud.

Until very recently, information – your files, pictures, movies and documents – counseled me stored locally. Quite simply, these were stored inside your PC, as well as on a tough disk. The benefit was you could get their way quickly. There was, however, a big disadvantage to by doing this of storing information. Should you lost your laptop, you’d lose all of your files too. Also, if you desired to notice a file on a different machine, it might involve some particularly cumbersome messing going to get it.

The cloud is really a tech expression used to describe a different type of storage. Here, your information lives on a remote computer, on the internet. If you want to access information you simply access that external machine and get at the data that way. This style of working has numerous benefits. If you lose your device, your computer data remains safe. Storing data in the cloud also makes it simple to access it all your different computers and devices.

A Microsoft account enables you to embrace the advantages of this smarter way of working. In practice, it means your data will feel like it’s following you around! When you have everything set up, pictures taken on your phone is going to be viewable on your laptop, tablet or Xbox. You can reach your email, again, from the of the Microsoft devices. In a nutshell, you can get to all your data, all of the time, immediately.

The only caveat is you’ll need to be connected to the internet. If you’re not, your machine will still work but, Windows 10’s clever data-sharing features will be paused until you’re next online.

Safety and privacy

The concept of storing your data on the computer you do not own and also have never witnessed can seem to be rather threatening. That’s because our information is precious to us, so handing over valuable stuff to a stranger might seem like a leap in to the unknown.

But there’s you don’t need to worry. Microsoft will protect your data by storing it very securely, cosseted and cared for like the Crown Jewels. In fact, statistically, you’re more likely to lose data through your computer’s hard disk failing than through Microsoft having some catastrophic problem.

And when you use an established VPN plan to encrypt your traffic on its way to and from Microsoft’s servers – we recommend ExpressVPN, an all-around standout – then you’re protecting your computer data against hacks on public Wi-Fi or snooping by your ISP and any other organizations. (For more on the advantages of a VPN, for example unblocking TV from other countries and concealing your IP address, take a look at our best vpn buying guide for 2018.

There’s, however, one major point of weakness in relying on the cloud, and that’s you. Or, more specifically, the password you choose when creating your Microsoft account (see the walkthrough below). It must be hard to guess, so don’t use words that come in the dictionary, and then try to avoid names of the friends and family. Rather, use something that combines upper and lower-case letters and numbers or play one of the best password managers.

Let’s get started

Switch on and boot your machine, then decide what color you would like Windows to become dressed in. Just slowly move the on-screen slider with the pallet until easy reach a shade you like. Don’t be concerned if you change your mind at a later date, the color isn’t fixed and you can amend it.

The following screens you will see cover settings – here you can just click ‘Express settings’. With this done you will be asked for your Microsoft account details. For those who have a merchant account already, go into the username and password when prompted. If you haven’t got one, click or tap ‘Create a new account’. Next, you will be walked through the procedure for making your account by tapping in certain basic personal details, just like your name, date of birth and email address. See the walkthrough in this article for more information about this.

When you’ve filled in the forms, Microsoft will be sending a verification code to your current email address or cell phone (you are able to determine which). Whenever you receive the code you will need to come in into Windows 10. And, you’re done. All of those other process is automatic (though just a little slow – it can take a few minutes for Windows 10 to configure itself), and will include a computerized reboot. You’re now almost free to start using Windows 10.

Final tasks

Once Windows 10 is up and running there’s one final bit of housekeeping which will have to be done. You have to ensure Windows 10 is fully updated wonderful Microsoft’s security and gratifaction patches. These will keep your computer happy, healthy and safe.

To set up the patches consider notifications popping up in the system tray area. Alternatively, click the Search bar, type Check for updates, and then click ‘Check now’. The process will take a couple of minutes to accomplish. With this done, you’re all ready to start exploring Windows 10 and everything it has to offer!

Windows 10 October 2018 Update: release date, news featuring

Microsoft, in the continuous mission to make Windows 10 fantastic, finally released the Windows 10 October 2018 Update after last year. This update follows in the footsteps of the Windows 10 April 2018 Update.

The Windows 10 October 2018 Update, much like previous versions from the OS, brings a ton of new and exciting features to renew your computer experience. With new features such as the Windows 10 News app and improved phone integration, the Windows 10 October 2018 Update revolutionizes the way you use Windows 10.

The Windows 10 October 2018 Update also brings some improvements to Windows Mixed Reality as well as some Hololens improvements. If this sounds attractive, you’ll gladly realize that – after getting pushed back because of it deleting user data – the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is available now.

However, problems appear to keep emerging. For instance, the most recent Windows patches have conflicts with a few antivirus apps, like Avast and Avira, causing users PCs to slow down or secure. But, hey, a minimum of you can remove a USB drive without ejecting it now.

So, now you can download and install the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, we thought it was time to jump into all the details. So, keep this page bookmarked and we’ll update it with any new information which comes our way.

Cut to the chase

What could it be? The next major update for Windows 10
When could it be out? The Windows 10 October 2018 Update is available now
What will it cost? As with previous major Windows 10 updates, it is free

Windows 10 October 2018 Update release date

The Windows 10 October 2018 Update is finally out now, even though there are many problems.

It had been initially launched back at the beginning of October, but it was pulled after bugs were discovered that were deleting user data. But, Microsoft has lifted that restriction, and it’s available to download once again. Then, earlier in March, Microsoft released a patch that fixed some performance issues related to the ‘Retpoline’ Spectre fix. But, this same patch broke some PC games.

Either way, should you haven’t updated yet, we’ll demonstrate how to download and install the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. Or, should you would like to hold back until the Windows 10 May 2019 Update (we don’t blame you), you’ll gladly know that update has entered the last stage of testing, and should be out at the end of May 2019.

Windows 10 October 2018 Update name

While Redstone 5 is what it was called during development, the particular name will probably be the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. It’s less catchy as past launches such as the ‘Anniversary Update’, or even the ‘Creators Update’, but at least it features a very clear title, we guess.

Windows 10 October 2018 Update confirmed features

Since the Windows 10 October 2018 Update is available, we know all of the features that made it in to the final update. From the Cloud Clipboard that lets you copy between devices towards the new release of DirectX Raytracing, which takes advantage of the brand new Nvidia Turing cards, listed here are all of the features that are contained in the Windows 10 October 2018 Update.

Improvements to Windows 10 Fluent Design

Microsoft introduced aspects of the Fluent Design user interface with the April 2018 Update, and at its Build 2018 event, it showed off more effects and features which will come in Redstone 5.

So, expect more apps, including standard Windows programs, while using Fluent Design interface, and there is going to be some eye-catching 3D effects for Mixed Reality experiences.

Improved Game Mode and Game Bar

Windows 10 Game Mode was already a definite benefit to gamers – even when it’s hardly noticeable. With Windows 10 Redstone 5, Microsoft has stated that it’s adding more options to game mode to help optimize gaming performance, but it didn’t really enter into specifics.

However, the improvements to Game Bar might be more noticeable, as well as actually helpful to PC enthusiasts and power users. Instead of needing to operate a third-party program like MSI Afterburner, users can see visualizations of system utilization – think GPU, CPU and RAM usage, in addition to frame rate. This will be an incredible addition, be going a long way to informing users why their games start to run slow.

Intelligent multitasking with Sets

While Sets is among the more hotly-anticipated new features, Microsoft recently pulled it from Redstone 5’s preview builds.

Based on Microsoft’s Dona Sarkar inside a article announcing the 17704 preview build, “we’re taking Sets offline to continue making it great. Based on your feedback, a few of the things we’re concentrating on include improvements to the visual design and recurring to better integrate Office and Microsoft Edge into Sets to enhance workflow”.

So what is Sets, anyway? Well, the fundamental idea is to bring the idea of tabs from the web browser towards the entire interface of the OS in general, so that you can have windows with tabs which contain webpages, apps, folders – a mixture of everything essentially.

At Build, Microsoft showed off more about the potential of Takes hold Windows 10, showing the best way to come with an open document, and clicking one of the links will open the site in a tab next to the document, with everything else you open organized for the reason that Set.

You’ll then be reminded with prompts while your working about the tabs, that ought to provide you with intelligent help when working across a variety of documents, apps and websites.

It doesn’t seem like Sets will make it into the final discharge of the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, but we might have it within the next major Windows 10 release.

Storage Sense

Within the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, Microsoft implemented a brand new storage feature called Storage Sense. This can automatically release space for storage in your hard drive through getting rid of old files you don’t use anymore. It’ll take these files and back them on OneDrive, so you’ll still have access for them – without clogging up your hard disk.

You’ll need to manually enable this feature in Redstone 5, but it might be a great choice for anyone who doesn’t wish to manually sort through countless files to optimize storage performance.

Better Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are websites (or web apps) which are implemented as native apps and act just like a normal app would, giving users notifications, live tiles, as well as working offline in Windows 10. At Build 2018, Microsoft showed how these web apps will integrate better with Windows 10 in Redstone 5.

They’ll look and behave a lot more like standard Windows 10 apps thanks to an improved interface, and Microsoft also says you’ll be able to download the apps from its Edge web browser.

Improved Your Phone app

Microsoft is making a big deal of getting Windows 10 use all manner of devices, with Redstone 5, we should visit a radically improved Your Phone app that will permit you to definitely easily communicate with your smartphone through Windows 10.

This is accomplished by downloading the Your Phone Companion App (previously named Microsoft Apps) on Android. This app continues to have the opportunity to highlight other Microsoft Android apps, though will permit you to communicate with your PC through your phone.

You’ll be able to read and answer texts out of your Windows 10 device, as well as easily share files, photos and more involving the PC and your phone.

Windows 10 News App

With Windows 10 Redstone 5, we’re getting a far more refined News App, that will let users gather all of the news relevant to them in a single curated spot. Including hints of Microsoft’s fluent design, it’ll your style directly into the many other recently revolutionized tools in Windows 10.

Microsoft is hoping to make use of this news apps to take on services like Apple News or Google News, with a focus on a simple, intuitive news experience.

Cloud clipboard

A brand new feature spotted by people using an early version of Redstone 5 may be the cloud clipboard, which will allow users to copy and paste across different devices because of the new cloud-powered clipboard. User can trigger the new function by simply hitting Windows Key + C.

The copied content will be accessible in other Windows 10 devices, as well as in the near future Android and iOS devices as well.

Microsoft Mixed Reality improvements

It wouldn’t be Windows 10 without improvements to Mixed Reality, and the October 2018 Update must have them in spades. In one of the newest Windows 10 Redstone 5 builds, Microsoft included a variety of improvements to Mixed Reality quality of life, including the capability to seamlessly take screenshots and immediately import them into an e-mail.

And, if you’re utilizing a backpack PC to fuel your Mixed Reality desires, you’re fortunate. Microsoft has removed the necessity to connect a monitor to use a Mixed Reality headset.

Improved search previews

Another feature due to arrive with Windows 10 Redstone 5 is improved search previews. These now support apps, documents and other files, and should make searching Windows 10 even easier.

This hack makes the MacBook Pro Touch Bar useful – but only when running Windows 10

Since Apple introduced the Touch Bar, a slim OLED panel that sits above the keyboard, in its 2016 refresh from the MacBook Pro, people have been divided over how useful the feature really is. Now, however, a developer has found a genuinely beneficial use for this – but only if you’re running Windows 10.

A developer on GitHub has proved that it’s easy to display the Windows 10 taskbar – which supports the icons and shortcuts for your applications – around the Touch Bar, which would allow it to be easy to open up and switch between Windows apps, and may imply that you don’t have to show the taskbar on the main display, giving users more desktop space.

It’s certainly an imaginative hack, and it shows lots of potential for running Windows 10 on a MacBook Pro. It calls for using Microsoft’s USB Common Class Generic Parent Driver (USBCCGP) along with a modification to the Registry, along with a driver to aid FrameBuffer transfer.

Driving results

Based on the developer, this custom-made driver permits the taskbar to appear on the Touch Bar, and it can react to touches.

The project is still at the begining of development, so it’s unavailable for people to test themselves, however the answers are promising – also it shows there are people out there picking out novel methods to make use of the Touch Bar.

Of course, if this project does see the light of day, it won’t be officially supported by Apple, and it will only work should you run Windows 10 on a MacBook Pro.

There are many reasons why you’d want to run Microsoft’s operating-system on Apple’s hardware, and this new feature could make by using their combination better still later on.

Microsoft Releases Microsoft Edge Dev Build 77.0.235.4

Microsoft has released an updated form of Edge Dev for Windows and Mac, and also the changelog includes both additional features and fixes for that found bugs.

Microsoft Edge Dev 77.0.235.4 adds the opportunity to never translate pages in a specific language, as you’re now supplied with an option that allows you to block this translation from running.

Also, there’s a keyboard shortcut for that menu on Macs, as well as a button to maximise the feedback screenshot editor window and options to resize it. For enterprise users, this version includes group policies to permit SmartScreen management.

Their email list of fixes is fairly huge, and you can check it entirely within the box following the jump, but worth highlighting would be the improvements that address first-run crashes and other issues resulting in the browser to close unexpectedly when typing in the address bar or using the built-in translator.

Improved stability and reliability on Mac

Mac users are getting a bunch of refinements that belongs to them, such as improvements for the light and dark themes that haven’t previously been applied correctly to system pages.

Overall, this new update should make Microsoft Edge Dev more reliable on both Windows and Mac, and testers are recommended to install this as quickly as possible.

As for Canary users, all the improvements which are included in this build have originally been tested by Microsoft in updates released to this channel, so you can very well stick with your overall installation.

There is no target date for when Microsoft Edge is projected to be finalized, but Microsoft is likely to switch the existing Windows 10 version with the Chromium sibling in the desktop OS in the spring of 2020. If this sounds like indeed the plan, beta builds of Microsoft Edge should ship in the coming months, a minimum of on Windows 10.

Microsoft Refines Optional Features in Windows 10 20H1

Windows 10 20H1 is extremely prone to bring a lot of refinements for a way you work with optional features in the operating-system.

Twitter user Albacore, who already has a good track on finding new items that Microsoft has worked on lately, learned that the control over optional features in the 20H1 update will be further enhanced with the help of new tools.

Windows 10 20H1 is projected to be released for production devices in the spring of 2020, and preview builds are already available for users enrolled in the short ring from the Windows Insider program.

Among the new features coming to this screen is supposed for sorting and looking out. This should obviously turn it into a lot easier to find an optional feature to install, especially because the list here is always growing, so quickly choosing the item you want to install might not necessarily be a super-fast process.

New options arriving spring 2020

Additionally, Albacore says regional packs would no longer be listed here in the Windows 10 20H1 feature update.

The optional features screen is quite limited at this time. It’s found at the next path in Windows 10:

Settings > Apps & features > Manage optional features

This screen only gives you the available optional features, how big the package that was downloaded, and a straightforward add feature button that displays a list of another features you can upload. However, there’s no search button, so you’ve to manually scroll through the list to check out an item you need.

This improved version should escape to insiders in the coming builds, as the necessary code seems to already be available in the most recent releases. If everything goes well, it could be enabled within the next preview build for insiders.