Last night (18/05/2015) ITV broadcasted an episode of Scammers about the dramatic increase of cyber crime in Britain, a problem so worrying the government is secretly putting millions of pounds into specialist units to catch the crooks. Britain is under siege from scammers using the internet and technology to rob us blind. We follow Scam Squads as they go after the cyber crooks at home and abroad through the us…
We recommend you watch the full episode here so your aware of the scams and you can protect yourself from being their next victim.
If you are worried or have any questions contact us.
On Wednesday, Microsoft released a new preview of Windows 10 (build 10061) to the fast lane with a lot of changes since build 10049. However, it’s only a minor improvement of build 10056, which leaked outside of Redmond’s headquarters several days ago.
Instead of listing what’s new in Windows 10 build 10061 since build 10056, we’re going to be looking for the new official changes since build 10049. That will give Windows Insiders a better picture of what’s going on.
Below there is a list of all the changes found in Windows 10 build 10061:
Windows 10 build 10061
In the Start menu, you will notice that Microsoft has moved the power options (Sleep, Shutdown, and Restart) above the All apps button. The updated menu has by default two columns of Live Tiles hinting that now users can resize the Start menu by simply stretching the corners.
Groups are now a lot easier to manage and rename. You can also move groups around the Start menu, but it seems that there is a bug causing the menu to crash.
Also at times, if you click the Start button and move the mouse cursor away will cause the taskbar to hide for one second.
When clicking the All Apps button, you’ll now see a list of recent apps at the top with a button to clear the listing. In addition, when in All Apps, users will notice a new left-arrow icon indicating users how to return to the Start menu.
Tiles for desktop applications no longer use the color from the icon, but they take the scheme color from Windows.
Microsoft is also adding a new option on the Personalization page to disable transparency, and there support for AutoColor, which pulls the primary color from the desktop wallpaper.
Another noticeable change in Windows 10 build 10061 is that users can now drag and drop tiles on the taskbar or desktop, creating shortcut links.
In Windows 10 build 10061, Microsoft is not only enabling transparency for the Start menu, but for the taskbar and the Action Center too.
A new Windows Defender icon appears in the notification area, and Microsoft has also enabled the new calendar and digital clock when clicking the time.
On Task View, Microsoft has refined the window icon, the close button, and the thumbnails. The improvements also appear in the Alt + Tab and Snap Assist, and the Task View gets a new icon.
Now the Virtual Desktops supports unlimited desktops, and users will notice a new animation effect creating new virtual desktops. There is also a new experience to access virtual desktops after hitting the limit of the display.
Tablet Mode now is more optimized for touch-enabled devices. In build 10061, enabling Tablet Mode will cause the Start button, Cortana, and the Task View buttons to adjust their size and space out to be more comfortable with touch. Items in the system tray will also get more space out to improve “touchability”.
Users will see that entering to Tablet Mode will cause all the pinned and running apps to disappear from the taskbar to remove clutter. However, users can launch new apps from the Start menu and access running apps from Task View.
For those who want to see the pinned and running apps in the taskbar when in Tablet Mode they can now change the settings in the Settings app. Furthermore, now there is an option in Settings to boot directly into Tablet Mode.
When in Tablet Mode, Snap features a new divider similar the one we see today in Windows 8.1 when snapping apps side-by-side.
In Windows 10 build 10061, Cortana receives two new options: Find Song and Help.
Find Song works in the same way as the Shazam app.
Help aims to help users learn how to command Cortana.
Apps included in Windows 10 build 10061
The new version of the operating system bundles several new apps too. These apps include the new Music Preview and Video Preview, the new Outlook and Outlook Calendar apps (which is worth pointing out that these two apps were first spotted in build 10051). The Outlook apps also include new options to add different types of account (Exchange, Google, iCloud, POP and IMAP, and Advanced setup).
In addition, Microsoft is officially introducing a new Weather, News, Sports, and Money apps. For more information about these apps, you can check my previous write-up.
The new build of Windows 10 also bundles a new Microsoft Solitaire Collection Preview with a fresh new UI, and the app is now universal.
Windows 10 build 10061 includes the new Microsoft Family app to help parents configure parental control. We can also see a new People app and Windows Spotlight app, but all of these apps appear not to be working at this time.
Since build 10056 and in build 10061, Windows 10 shows various improvements happening the Settings app. For example, Microsoft is now moving the Display and Personalization configurations to the Settings app.
Microsoft is also removing the Screen resolution option from the right-click contextual menu in favor of the Display settings, which will take users to the new Display page in the Settings app. If you prefer, you can still access the display settings via the Control Panel, but we’re not sure for how long the option will be available.
Another big change is happening in the Personalization page, which now includes four new sections: Background, Colors, Lock screen, and Themes.
The most interesting setting in Personalization is Colors that offers the options to disable or enable transparency and the new dark theme across the Start menu, taskbar, and Action Center.
I recently wrote a guide to personalizing Windows 10 with all the new these new settings. You can check everything here.
It’s worth mentioning that the new Personalization settings were also spotted in Windows 10 build 10056, but in build 10061 is when the settings actually work and do not crash the Settings app anymore.
Microsoft also is enabling offline maps and the ability to check for an update in Maps.
The Settings app also offers three options to enable different Tablet Mode behaviors. These modes include “Immediately enter to Tablet Mode”, “Take me to the desktop” (default), and “Keep the mode I was in previously”. And there is an option to hide apps icons on the taskbar when in Tablet Mode. (These settings were also first spotted in build 10056.)
In the Devices sections now there is a Printers & Scanners section, which as the name implies is the place that users will go to install a new printer or scanners. Microsoft also offers a toggle to disable downloads of drivers or device software in metered connections to avoid extra charges.
Privacy adds two new settings: Radios to let users control if apps can run Wi-Fi or Bluetooth automatically to send and receive data.
Account info let users control if apps can access name, picture, and other account information.
Update & recovery in build 10061 features a new “For developers” option. However, we still cannot confirm the purpose of this app just yet.
Internet Explorer successor, Project Spartan, includes a few improvements in this new release of Windows 10:
- The new browser has a new version 0.11
- Users can find the downloads in the download manager
- Users can open a website with Internet Explorer from Spartan
- The “Add to” dialog has been refined
- Users can now save PDF opened in Project Spartan
- Microsoft enabled the “about:flags” page with new options
- There is a number of improvements to the EDGE rendering engine
These new improvements haven’t changed since build 10051, but they are new for those coming from 10049.
Wrapping things app
Microsoft recently announced new changes were coming to the Xbox app for Windows 10, and it requires users to be running build 10061 to enable most of the new features. The update for the app doesn’t come included in this build, but Microsoft has just released the update through the Store (beta). This update includes Game DVR for PC games, screenshots, Live Tiles, user profile update, new media controls, Xbox controller drivers, and a lot more.
Oh! And let’s not forget that there is a new Recycle Bin icon!
For those who have been running Windows 10 build 10049 will find that build 10061 has a bunch of new features and improvements. Those who have been running the leaked version (build 10056) will only notice just a few refinements. In either case users will find that Microsoft still has a lot of work to do if they want to launch Windows 10 sometime in the summer. The build still buggy and a lot of things don’t work.
Microsoft has revealed that Windows 10 will bring its voice-controlled assistant Cortana to PCs.
It also unveiled a headset that it said would one day project the operating system over views of the real world.
In addition, the firm announced that the OS upgrade would be offered free of charge for devices running Windows 8, Windows 7 and Windows Phone.
The offer, which is limited to the Windows 10’s first year of release, may aid its adoption.
It marks a change in strategy from Microsoft’s previous policy of charging for major updates, and could help avoid a repeat of the relatively slow uptake of Windows 8.
One analyst suggested the firm had needed to renew interest in its ecosystem.
“Overall, we know that about only about 10% of computers are running Windows 8 and the adoption rate among companies is similar or lower,” said Frank Gillett, an analyst at the Forrester consultancy.
“Developers are not paying much attention to Windows for mass market consumer apps, and you could even argue that for enterprise software most of the energy is going into mobile apps for iPad and Android tablets.
“Windows 10 is in effect a huge invitation to software developers to write exciting, powerful applications that will draw consumers.
“My hunch is that they can succeed in getting a new generation of PC and tablet applications. The challenge is getting people interested in its phones.”
Microsoft’s chief executive Satya Nadella said the HoloLens headset represented a “magical moment” of “category creation” that developers lived for.
The wearable tech’s augmented reality see-through lenses represent a major leap forward over Google Glass and other existing eyewear – assuming the machine lives up to its on-stage demo, in which computer-generated elements appeared in the world surrounding the wearer.
The company said that the final version of the machine would not need to be linked to other devices to work, and should be released within Windows 10’s “timeframe”.
It revealed Nasa was already working with the kit, and said the US space agency hoped to start controlling its Mars rovers with a prototype version as soon as July.
Other demos involving the machine included the wearer:
- playing Minecraft with the video game’s graphics appearing over living room furniture
- seeing a Skype video appear as if it was taking place on a building wall
- creating a model of a drone, which she saw in front of her face while shaping it by moving her hands and giving voice commands
“The true innovation HoloLens delivers will be determined by developer commitment in the months and years to come,” commented Geoff Blaber from the CCS Insight consultancy.
“Windows 10 is a defining moment for Satya Nadella early in his tenure as CEO.
“The collaboration required to deliver HoloLens to market is an encouraging sign that he’s breaking down the silos that slowed innovation and stalled execution in recent years.”
Cortana on PCs
Windows 10 brings the same operating system to devices of all sizes, rather than having different ones for PCs/tablets, mobile phones and the firm’s Xbox games console.
One of the key features that consumers will be able to use on PCs from “day one” is Cortana – the voice-controlled tool previously limited to Windows Phone handsets.
Microsoft executive Joe Belfiore demonstrated how the software could be told to:
- bring up Powerpoint presentation documents
- locate photos taken during a specific month
- dictate and send emails
- tell the user whether or not the weather forecast indicates they should wear a coat later
- show where their car is parked
In addition, Mr Belfiore showed how the software could be used to respond to requests that had been typed, rather than spoken into a PC.
Windows 8 had been criticised by some for placing so much focus on touch-centric commands rather than the mouse and keyboard.
But Mr Gillett said he thought the addition of Cortana’s voice controls could prove more popular.
“Voice is a going to complement other ways of interacting with the computer not be a substitute,” he said.
“If you had to say every command instead of touching or clicking, then that would be annoying.
“But if you can quickly say to Cortana, for example, schedule lunch with my mum next Tuesday, then that is powerful.”
Browsing with Spartan
Mr Belfiore also highlighted one of the core benefits of Windows 10: a single app will run on multiple types of device, with the user interface reformatting itself to suit the machine it is running on, rather than having a different program for phones, tablets and PCs.
He showed how this meant more advanced versions of the firm’s popular Office programs Excel, Powerpoint and Word could be brought to handsets running Windows 10 than were possible under Windows Phone 8. He also demonstrated a new “universal” Photos app that collates and sorts pictures taken with different devices.
Mr Belfiore also confirmed reports that the firm’s Internet Explorer web browser was being replaced by a new program codenamed Project Spartan.
This will have Cortana built-in to allow voice commands and provide extra personalised information – such as directions to a restaurant whose website is being looked at.
The software also includes a new “noting mode”, which will let users scribble or type over a page and then share it with others.
“Project Spartan shows a new Microsoft that is not afraid to depart from legacy in order to deliver a better experience,” remarked Carolina Milanesi from Kantar Worldpanel Comtech.
The new system also introduces the ability to stream Xbox One video games from the console to any other Windows 10 PC or tablet on the same wi-fi network.
This means that users will be able to play any game in their Xbox library on another device in another room of their home if the property’s main TV is being watched by someone else.
The facility is similar to the service Sony offers for its PlayStation 4 games machine that allows it to stream titles to Xperia phones and tablets and the PlayStation TV mini-console.
Many of the headline features of today’s announcements were widely expected.
Some – like voice dictation on mobile, a cloud-based music service and auto-enhance for photos – are strikingly similar to those already available on rival operating systems.
But others are genuinely innovative – quite aside from its awe-inspiring holographic ecosystem.
Gamers will appreciate making the traditional gaming experiences more social and cross-platform.
Heavy web users may be tempted by the collaboration and offline features of the Spartan web browser, as well as the deep integration of Cortana.
And the addition of this powerful natural voice assistant on the desktop is groundbreaking too.
But the case for voice interaction on PCs is not as well-proven as it is on mobile – and Cortana needs to be well executed, otherwise the tried and tested keyboard and mouse could still prove too tempting for users.
The key question: will the combination of the familiarity of past versions of Windows and an enhanced feature set be enough to tempt users to upgrade?
Offering Windows 10 free for the first year is a huge incentive to kickstart adoption.
Windows 10 is well positioned to capitalise on the resurgence of PCs.
But Microsoft is hoping for more than this: it needs the OS to provide a much-needed boost for its mobile ecosystem – and in this regard Microsoft is betting that its universal approach to coding apps will be enough to tempt users away from rivals.
Developers: over to you.