New cumulative updates for Insiders on slow and release preview rings now available

New cumulative updates for Insiders on slow and release preview rings now available

Microsoft has released a cumulative update for Windows Insiders on release preview ring and slow ring  that jumps the build number from 14393.187 to 14393.222. The Knowledge base number of the update is KB3194496.
The following change-log was posted on Feedback hub:

  • Improved reliability of the Windows Update Agent, shared drives, virtual private network (VPN), clustering, HTTP downloads, Internet Explorer 11, Hyper-V platform, multimedia playback, and Microsoft Edge.
  • Improved performance of push and local notifications, Hyper-V platform, and some social media websites using Microsoft Edge.
  • Addressed issue where mapping a drive from an elevated command prompt doesn't work with administrator credentials.
  • Addressed issue causing movies that were ripped using the transport stream (.ts) format to play without sound in Windows Media Player and the Xbox One Media Player app.
  • Addressed issue causing the Movies & TV app on the Xbox to stop working when attempting to play content that was just purchased from the Store.
  • Improved support for networks by adding new entries to the Access Point Name (APN) database.
  • Addressed issue causing "Print all linked documents" to not work in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Addressed issue preventing some users from changing the default download location in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Addressed issue causing unnecessary notifications about fixing Microsoft account in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Addressed additional issues with multimedia, Windows kernel, Windows shell, enterprise security, storage file system, Remote Desktop, core platform, Hyper-V platform, Windows Update for Business, display kernel, near field communication (NFC), input and composition, Bluetooth, Microsoft Lync 2010 compatibility, Windows Storage API, app registration, Trusted Platform Module, Group Policy, Internet Explorer 11, virtual private network (VPN), BitLocker, wireless networking, datacenter networking, Cortana, PowerShell, Active Directory, connection manager and data usage, Microsoft Edge, Windows Recovery Environment, file clustering, Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, audio playback settings, DShow Bridge, app compatibility, licensing, cloud infrastructure, domain name system (DNS) server, network controller, USB barcode reader, and Adobe Flash Player.

 The only way to get this is through Windows update as the update is also not available at Microsoft catalog until now. More to come soon.

Windows 10 now running on 400 million devices

Windows 10 is now running on 400 million active devices, the software giant said Yesterday in the Ignite conference being held at Atlanta. The previous milestone, aka 300 million in May and 350 million being in June.
By active devices, Microsoft counts a PC that is active at least once in 28 days.This figure includes not only PCs, Mobiles and Hololens as well. Also, it has been widely claimed by Microsoft that the adoption rate is ~110 percent more than Windows 7. I except the adoption to be slower day by day as the free upgrade offer has expired on July 29th.
Reviews of windows 10 are mostly postive

Microsoft had targeted that 1 billion devices would run Windows 10 by 2018, but later on they conceded that this target wouldn't be achievable by 2018.
At the Ignite conference, Microsoft teased a feature that would be coming soon for Microsoft edge.Firstly for redstone 2 insider builds, called Windows defender application guard would run Microsoft edge in a light virtual machine called the container that would prevent spreading of malicious code to the host computer and the computers on the network. This would be a very useful feature, specially for the Enterprises.
For those who want to test it, Microsoft would allow them to test this feature as soon as early next year.

[turn off the lights available now]New extensions on the way for Microsoft Edge

With the release of Anniversary update to Windows 10, Microsoft Edge includes extensions support. For those who don't know, extensions provide more support and usability to the browser. When the Anniversary update was released, only some of the extensions were available as the software giant made the extensions development program a very closed one. The number of extensions that were available to public were very less, I suppose 5.

Ad-block plus was one of the first extensions to Edge

Things are almost the same now, but the program is expanding slowly. Microsoft is working on some more extensions, informed by Microsoft Edge development team on Twitter.


So that means 3 more extensions are on the way and more to come soon. The extensions would first roll out to Windows Insiders and then to Anniversary update build.We should expect them anytime soon as I hint the development at last stage.I expect more extensions to come soon though Microsoft hasn't made the extensions program public yet so that everyone can develop the extensions.


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Update: Turn off the lights extension is now available through store now. Head over to this link to get it!
[Updated]Microsoft releases KB3193494 that replaces KB3189866 and fixes issues as well

[Updated]Microsoft releases KB3193494 that replaces KB3189866 and fixes issues as well

A new cumulative update for Windows 10 v1607 was released Yesterday with the knowledge base number of 3193494. The build number however remains the same- as well as the change-log which was posted for KB3189866:
  • Improved reliability of Windows Shell, map apps, Internet Explorer 11, and Microsoft Edge.
  • Addressed issue causing push-button reset to not work correctly and roll back on devices with language set to any of the Unicode languages.
  • Addressed issue causing devices to crash after disconnecting an e-reader that was attached to the device.
  • Addressed issue causing devices to not recognize a Secure Digital (SD) card if it is inserted and removed multiple times.
  • Addressed issue causing some apps to not respond to the commands in the app bar in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Addressed issue that sometimes blocks alarm notifications in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Improved support for using the camera app in Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise.
  • Addressed additional issues with rendering 4K resolution, missing Start menu tiles when running on battery, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, Bluetooth compatibility, graphics, display rotation, app compatibility, Wi-Fi, Feedback Hub, Miracast, Windows Shell, revised daylight saving time, and USB.
  • Security updates to Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows kernel, and Adobe Flash Player.
The reason of re-issuing the update being the issues the users were facing as the update got stuck on 45 percent or 95 percent. This issue was widely reported on community forums as well. The only solution in this case was to manually download the update and make it work. Now the newly released update acknowledges this issue and the following is written against about this update:
We encountered a network transmission issue that affected update 3189866, published on September 13, 2016. The quickest way to address this issue was to reissue the update to all Content Delivery Networks. This new update package, KB3193494, includes the same set of fixes as KB3189866. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. 
For more information, you can go here. The update is available via Windows update and if you want to manually download this one, you can always do using the following article:
Download windows updates from catalog through any browser

Update

For 64 bit systems update MSU is here and 32 bit systems can be found here. Just run the file as soon as it downloads.
Microsoft issues KB3184143 that removes get Windows 10 app from Windows 7 and windows 8

Microsoft issues KB3184143 that removes get Windows 10 app from Windows 7 and windows 8

With the Introduction to Windows 10, Microsoft made available Windows 10 for free as an upgrade to devices running Windows 7 and Windows 8 for 1 year. The offer became somewhat confidential in between the middle, where people reporting automatic upgrades to 10 without their consent.After July 29th, the upgrade offer ended and the people who wished to stick with the older OS, took a sigh of relief.
After the free upgrade offer ended, the upgrades did stop, but still Get Windows 10 app was still present and said the free upgrade offer has ended.That being said, upgrading manually still worked- People can use a Windows 7/8 key to activate Windows 10 .Confirmed by Paul thurott:
Looks like Microsoft is giving a grace period quietly to the users who wish to do a free upgrade.
Nevertheless, a recent update released yesterday also removes the get Windows 10 app from both of the OS. The following is what is written against the about this update:
 This update removes the Get Windows 10 app and other software related to the Windows 10 free upgrade offer that expired on July 29, 2016. For a complete list of the software removed by this Windows Update, see the update replacement information.
According to Zdnet, this is what Microsoft had to say:
"The Get Windows 10 (GWX) application was designed to make the Windows 10 upgrade process easy for existing Windows 7 and 8.1 customers for the one year free upgrade offer which ended July 29th. Beginning on September 20th, the Get Windows 10 app and all other updates related to the Windows 10 free upgrade offer will be removed from Windows 7 and 8.1 customer's devices.

The  Knowledge base number is 3184143 and this update is available via Windows update.
The cumulative update model for Windows 7/8.1 wouldn't include Internet explorer patches in the beginning

The cumulative update model for Windows 7/8.1 wouldn't include Internet explorer patches in the beginning

A while ago we told you about Windows 7 and 8.1 being moved to Cumulative update model and this is expected to start as soon as next month in October. The cumulative update model would result in only 1 update that fixes issues with the OS, security updates and introduction to any feature(s)(applies only to 8.1).

For Windows 7 and 8, the software giant expects the security updates to IE in between the cumulative update roll-up, but this would not happen next month. Nathan Mercer, the senior product manager said the following for the roll-up packages expected to start next month:
“IE version upgrades will not happen with Monthly rollup, but we plan to eventually include patches for which ever version of IE you currently have installed in the Monthly rollup, similar to the .NET rollup.”
 Also read:
Microsoft releases roll-up package for windows 7 that contains all post Service pack 1 updates

Download windows updates from catalog through any browser

A while ago I shared a nice and handy tutorial to download Windows update via Offline method called Microsoft update catalog that allowed downloading of cumulative and security updates of Windows through Internet explorer rather than Windows update.
Download updates through Microsoft Update catalog

The shortcoming of this method was to use Internet explorer. Though the software giant said that they would update the website this summer, but looks like it is not in the cards yet. A new technique discovered by Woody of Infoworld now allows you to download Windows update through any browser. To do that we would use RSS feed url like the following:
http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Rss.aspx?q=KBXXXXXX
Replace KBXXXXXX with the KB number of the update, let's say 318966, released recently for 1607, So the URL becomes:
http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Rss.aspx?q=KB3189866

When opened in Chrome, the page looks like this:

The link tag has the link we want to open. You will notice there are two link tags on the page, one being for X64 based systems and one for X86 ones.copy that address from the link tab of the update and open it in a new Tab/same tab.For google chrome, select the text and open in a new tab. You will be greeted with the following screen:
Now click on Download now and the update would be downloaded. So, you need just the Knowledge base number of the update to download the update you wish.




[Links of 1607 updated]New cumulative updates for windows 10 available now

[Links of 1607 updated]New cumulative updates for windows 10 available now

It is patch Tuesday of September and Microsoft has shipped number of patches to its products. As far as Windows 10 is concerned, the cumulative updates for all the 3 versions have been made available and more details are below.

Version 1607

The latest Anniversary update has got a cumulative update with KB number KB3189866  that jumps the build number from 14393.105 to 14393.187. The key fixes are the following:
  • Improved reliability of Windows Shell, map apps, Internet Explorer 11, and Microsoft Edge.
  • Addressed issue causing push-button reset to not work correctly and roll back on devices with language set to any of the Unicode languages.
  • Addressed issue causing devices to crash after disconnecting an e-reader that was attached to the device.
  • Addressed issue causing devices to not recognize a Secure Digital (SD) card if it is inserted and removed multiple times.
  • Addressed issue causing some apps to not respond to the commands in the app bar in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Addressed issue that sometimes blocks alarm notifications in Windows 10 Mobile.
  • Improved support for using the camera app in Windows 10 Mobile Enterprise.
  • Addressed additional issues with rendering 4K resolution, missing Start menu tiles when running on battery, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge, Bluetooth compatibility, graphics, display rotation, app compatibility, Wi-Fi, Feedback Hub, Miracast, Windows Shell, revised daylight saving time, and USB.
  • Security updates to Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Graphics Component, Windows kernel, and Adobe Flash Player.
You can download it manually using catalog using this link.(Detailed Instructions are here)
We have the direct download links now:

Version 1511

Version 1511 widely known as November update has received a cumulative update  KB3185614. The build number has jumped to 10586.589.
 Key changes include:
  • Improved reliability of Internet Explorer 11, USB, and the .NET framework.
  • Addressed issue with the link to "Change my environment variables" in the User Accounts Control Panel not working correctly.
  • Addressed issue where a device, which previously had Internet access, has the incorrect time and date after joining a network with no Internet access to SSL servers.
  • Addressed issue where someone with a mandatory profile can’t use the Start menu, Cortana, search, and some pre-installed apps.
  • Addressed issue where, after installing a package using Windows Installer (MSI), customers can’t run any command line utility unless they restart or sign out and then sign in to their device.
  • Addressed issue causing “Print all linked documents” to not work in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Improved support for networks by adding new entries to the Access Point Name (APN) database.
  • Removed the Copy Protection option when ripping CDs in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format from Windows Media Player.
  • Addressed additional issues with excessive security logging, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), consumer storage, Add-On List Group Policy Object, mobile broadband, filter drivers, Internet Explorer 11, Windows Media Player, graphics, revised daylight saving time, and Windows Shell.
  • Security updates to Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Graphics Component, Microsoft Edge, Windows Secure Kernel Mode, Windows SMB Server, Windows kernel, Windows Lock Screen, and Adobe Flash Player.
You can download it manually using catalog using this link.(Detailed Instructions are here)

Version 1507

The RTM Windows 10 has got the update that jumps build number to 10240.17113. The KB number is  KB3185611. The changes include:
  • Improved reliability of Internet Explorer 11, .NET Framework, and Windows Kernel.
  • Addressed issue causing print jobs to not complete, when printing multiple documents in succession.
  • Addressed issue where recovery of encryption certificates for a virtual smartcard doesn’t work.
  • Addressed issue preventing many built-in groups (such as Hyper-V administrators) from being created during setup of new devices using Windows 10 Enterprise.
  • Improved support for the Group Policy setting for signing in using a PIN.
  • Addressed issue causing links to webpages to display blank pages when Enhanced Protected Mode is enabled in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Addressed issue causing “Print all linked documents” to not work in Internet Explorer 11.
  • Improved support for networks by adding new entries to the Access Point Name (APN) database.
  • Removed the Copy Protection option when ripping CDs in Windows Media Audio (WMA) format from Windows Media Player.
  • Addressed additional issues with Internet Explorer 11, Windows Installer, Shell, Windows Media Player, revised daylight saving time, and Windows Update for Business.
  • Security updates to Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer 11, Windows kernel, OLE automation, Windows lock screen, Windows Secure Kernel Mode, Windows SMB Server v1.0, Microsoft Graphics Component, and PDF.
 You can download it manually using catalog using this link.(Detailed Instructions are here)

Restore Windows photo viewer in Windows 10

Well, I might be writing this article late, but as said better late then never. Windows 10 comes up modern app known as Photos and is a replacement for Windows photo viewer present from ages in Windows.
A comparison of Windows photo viewer and photos app

Though photos app provides far more feature than the traditional photo viewer like Editing,sharing a photo etc. Still many people like me prefer Windows photo viewer over Photos app. Sometimes the photos app take ages to load a tiny photo, sometimes the app is broken and doesn't even open etc. etc.
So to overcome this, restoring Windows photo viewer is a good idea.
Windows photo viewer still exists in Windows 10 but is limited to open only TIFF files(which are very common :)). With the help of  a registry edit, we can restore windows photo viewer for common extensions like JPG, GIF etc etc.

Download

Download the registry edit to restore Windows photo viewer
Open the downloaded file, press yes when prompted.
Afterwards, you would be asked "How to open this kind of file??"
Select Windows photo viewer once and you are done!

Undo changes

However, if you want to restore default settings, the following registry script would work
Registry script to Restore photos app as default

No new Insider builds this week as Microsoft upgrading services

No new Insider builds this week as Microsoft upgrading services

If you are expecting a new Redstone 2 build this week(though it is Friday today), you would be disappointed to know that no builds would be released this week, the reason being Internal upgrading of services which collects and monitors build delivery. The most common effect to the users of this is that if you change insider settings-it wouldn't be effective. This work is expected to complete as soon as next week.
The following was posted in feedback hub:
Hello Windows Insiders,
We are performing some upgrades this week to our services that are used to approve and monitor builds from the Development Branch to our Windows Insiders. Once the upgrade is complete, just as we flight the OS through the rings, we will be flighting the service upgrades through the internal rings first. We won’t have any new builds from the Development Branch for you this week, but plan to return to schedule next week.
As part of this upgrade, any changes to the Windows Insider ring settings via Settings > Update & Security > Windows Insider Program will not take effect until the service upgrade has finished. If you are setting up a new device or changing rings, your device will not receive new builds available to that ring until the upgrade is complete.
In the meantime, keep sending us feedback on any issues you run into on the latest Insider Preview builds via Feedback Hub.
 The last build was released last week with build number 14915 .

Google comes up with a battery test now, claims more battery life in Windows

A recent blog post from google claims more battery life (around 2 hours) for the same hardware when we compare the current version 53 with version 46 which was released around an year ago.
Chrome 53 brings many improvements over its predecessor

Focus on Speed of browsing

The blog post explains that the Chrome team has a major focus on Speed of opening web pages. The chrome team explains they have made speed around 15 percent faster on both versions-the desktop and Android if we compare Chrome 46.

Battery life improvements

Along with Speed, the focus now shifts to battery life improvements as well. The chrome roughly allows you to watch around 2 hours more of video if the hardware is used according to the following video:

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HKRsFD_Spf8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

But the team says not only the battery life improvements for video playback have improved, the improvements have also been done for browsing and other platforms as well:
Of course, people use their browsers for more than just video. That’s why we’ve been improving battery life across the board, tracking progress using power measurement tools. As one example, Chrome for Mac now uses 33 percent less power for everything from videos and images to simple page scrolling. Whether you’re planning a vacation or getting work done, you now get more browsing time from a single battery charge.
Well we cannot compare Edge this time with Chrome 53, but I hope both browsers would improve simultaneously.
Missing movie maker in Windows 10? Microsoft may add it in future

Missing movie maker in Windows 10? Microsoft may add it in future

When Windows 8 was released years ago, Microsoft introduced new Modern apps. With these modern apps, some of the apps present in earlier versions of windows were removed as well, for example the Movie maker.
Windows movie maker was a very handy app to merge audio and pictures to create a movie and was very popular in Windows XP era. As far as present and future is concerned, though the movie maker has no comparison with software like Power director, but some people still find it useful and handy.



According to a tipster from Windows central, a Microsoft support page is being created for windows 10 PC's. It looks like it would come through windows store. The chances are high that it would come before 2017 when the support for Windows essentials ends.
More details to follow...

Windows 10 growth steady, Windows 7 gains and windows xp looses in august

The free windows 10 offer expired last month, but the August statistics show window 10 gaining 1.86 percent last month, according to Netmarket share. The OS now claims 22.99 percent of the world's market which is pretty impressive if we see the OS is almost an year old.
As far as Windows 7 is concerned, it also gained 0.25 percent. On the other hand, Windows XP is down to 9.24, which seems very large if we see the OS support from the software giant.
The other OS almost remain same, which is explained using the following:

As far as browsers are concerned, Google chrome stays at the top with around 53 percent and Internet explorer being the second with 27 percent.
Microsoft Edge is at 4th position with 5 percent of the users.

Windows spotlight updated, now shows the location and details about the Image

Windows spotlight updated, now shows the location and details about the Image

Windows spotlight is a cool feature in Windows 10. With spotlight, one sees bing wallpapers as a lock screen. It brings freshness to your lock screen.
More recently, with theWindows 10 Anniversary update, the lock screen and login screen were merged. By merge, I mean that both lock screen and login screen have the same Image as background.
I am a big fan of Images like these and sometimes I am curious to find more details about the Image being shown. The feedback for this was quite around for sometime, and Microsoft has listened to the same.
 A reddit user has spotted the same feature with the location being displayed of the Image just along the feedback at the top right.

Other users are reporting that there is a detailed explanation about the Image at the left. I will update this as soon as I get an Image.

This is quite a handy feature added by Microsoft. Most probably it has been updated with recent cumulative update for windows 10.
Queries?Post in comments.......
Microsoft working on blue light reduction feature on Windows 10

Microsoft working on blue light reduction feature on Windows 10

After the release of the Anniversary update last month, the focus now shifts to builds from new branch widely called Redstone 2. The newest build from this branch is build 14915. This build contains some code that hints to bringing a new feature which reduces blue light feature to the platform.
Twitter user core points to the same with the following tweet;
This means a quick action toggle would reduce blue light when the toggle is pressed.Somewhat like this:

 This feature was Introduced in Apple devices a while ago named night mode . However in Microsoft windows, f.lux is always a handy tool to adjust your screen temperature. Even though Microsoft is late to the party, but it is always a great move.