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Be Warned! Windows 10 May 2020 Update Can Potentially Render Your PC Useless

Be Warned! Windows 10 May 2020 Update Can Potentially Render Your PC Useless

Microsoft has confirmed this update may potentially cause some issues with your PC after the update. That risk, in the critical times of work from home, is perhaps not the best idea.

  • Last Updated: May 31, 2020, 10:06 AM IST

There is a lot broken with the Windows 10 May 2020 Update. As it is, this latest update, which bumps up your PC to Windows 10 2004 version, does bring significant new features as well as performance tweaks for all compatible PCs. However, you might just want to hold off for a while because Microsoft has confirmed this update may potentially cause some issues with your PC after the update. That risk, in the critical times of work from home, is perhaps not the best idea.

So, here is what it is. The Windows 10 May 2020 Update does reportedly cause issues with certain Nvidia display adapters, breaks the Always On, Always Connected functionality with some network adapters and causes restarts including those in the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 and Microsoft Surface Laptop 3, Conexant and Synaptics audio devices may not work well, the ability to connect with more than one Bluetooth device may be broken, variable display refresh rates with Intel graphics may not work and the functionality of certain Thunderbolt docks may be restricted. Microsoft has also confirmed that PCs that take advantage of the Fast Start option, will have trouble installing the Windows 10 May 2020 Update—users will need to manually restart their PCs for the update to be completely installed.

These issues crop up even after Microsoft took additional steps to ensure your PC is compatible with the update and also verify if all functionality will work after the update. Microsoft has also restricted the roll-out of the update to those who manually Check for Updates, instead of installing it automatically to PCs—at least that is for the time being.

The Windows 10 May 2020 Update bundles the new Edge browser, which is well placed to compete with Google Chrome, and rolls it out by default for all users. There are performance improvements across the board, updates to Your Phone and Cortana apps as well as more powerful virtual desktops. The Task Manager gets new features as well, with the GPU Temperature data now available for compatible hardware. The Swift Pair for Bluetooth accessories has been further simplified. The Settings app gets some design changes, while Windows Hello biometric authentication for compatible PCs adds a new layer of security for your data.

Microsoft has also depreciated or reduced the functionality of certain features in Windows 10. This includes the scaled back Cortana virtual assistant, Snipping Tool which is replaced by Snip & Sketch, OneSync Service which now has an alternative built into Outlook, MyPeople app and Windows to Go, to name a few. Some of these features, apps and options might still be around, but the writing seems to be on the wall for most of these and may be removed in subsequent software updates.




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Microsoft, Google Team Up to Launch New Built-In Spellchecker For Edge & Chrome Users

Pic Source: Microsoft

Pic Source: Microsoft

The new spell-checker will bring out a series of benefits like better support for URLs, acronyms, an improved shared custom dictionary, email addresses and more.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 30, 2020, 10:59 AM IST

Google and Microsoft have joined forces to launch a new and improved spellcheck experience for Chrome and Edge users. The new spell-checker, which improves the feature and brings about several new enhancements, replaces the previous Hunspell Spellchecker that was built on open-source proofing tools. According to Microsoft, the new built-in spell-checker brings about a series of benefits that include support for “additional language and dialects, an improved shared custom dictionary, better support for URLs, acronyms, and email addresses.”

“This feature was developed as a collaboration between Google and Microsoft engineers in the Chromium project, enabling all Chromium-based browsers to benefit from Windows Spellcheck integration,” Microsoft said in a blog post.

Microsoft and Google Worked in Tandem

As stated earlier, the Redmond giant worked with Google’s engineers in the Chromium project to launch the new Windows Spellchecker for the browsers. As explained by Microsoft, both the tech giants worked in tandem to make this happen.

“This feature was developed as a collaboration between Google and Microsoft engineers in the Chromium project, enabling all Chromium-based browsers to benefit from Windows Spellcheck integration. Our thanks go out to Guillaume Jenkins and Rouslan Solomakhin (Google), and Bruce Long, Luis Sanchez Padilla, and Siye Liu (Microsoft) for their collaboration on this feature,” Microsoft said.

How To Use Spellcheck in Edge and Chrome

To try your hand at this new feature, you will need to install the Microsoft Edge version 83 on Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. Moreover, if you want to install additional languages in the new spellcheck, you can do that by adding them to the Settings screen of Windows 10 or Edge browser and then enable it from there.

Similarly, if you are a Chrome user and is unable to find the new spellcheck, then you have to enable a flag and get it straight away. You have to head to chrome://flags/ and then search for ‘Use the Windows OS spellchecker.” Once you enable this setting, you have to restart your Chrome browser to see the changes.




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Here is How to Download The Windows 10 May 2020 Update on Your PC, Laptop or Windows Tablet

Here is How to Download The Windows 10 May 2020 Update on Your PC, Laptop or Windows Tablet

In case your Windows Update does not list the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, or the Windows 10 2004 update, you can also manually download this update.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 28, 2020, 10:38 AM IST

The Windows 10 May 2020 Update is now finally rolling out for PCs globally. This is a pretty major update in the Windows 10 update cycle, with significant changes under-the-hood adding new functionality and performance fixes for apps as well as across the board. The Windows 10 May 2020 update will bump up the Windows 10 version on your PC to 2004. You can download the Windows 10 May 2020 Update in two different ways, on any Windows 10 desktop, laptop, convertible or tablet.

The first method that you should try is the trusted Windows Update. For this, click on the Start Menu on your Windows computer desktop (the Windows icon on the bottom left of the screen) and open the Settings app. Here, click on the Update & Security option and then select Windows Update. Here, you may need to click on Check for Updates, in case Windows 10 hasn’t already done the search for you just yet. The Windows 10 2004 version should be listed here for download. You can go ahead and download this update from here. The installation size varies from PC to PC, and the download time will depend a lot on your internet speeds.

Windows 10 May 2020 Update-2

In case your Windows Update does not list the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, or the Windows 10 2004 update, you can also manually download this file. It can be done by going to Microsoft.com and selecting Windows 10 -> How to Get Windows 10 from the options bar on the top of the screen. You will see the Check for Updates option on the web page, along with other purchase options for Windows 10. Select the former and it will take you to a support page for Windows 10. Here are multiple troubleshooting steps for Windows Update in general, but what stands out is the option to “Get the Windows 10 May 2020 Update”. Click on this and it takes you to another support page which lets you manually download something known as the Update Assistant. Once that assistant is downloaded (it’s around 10MB in size), simply run it and it’ll detect which version of Windows 10 you are running and whether the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, or the Windows 10 2004 update, is compatible with your computing device. If yes, you can proceed to download it from here.

Windows 10 May 2020 Update-3

The Windows 10 May 2020 Update bundles the new Edge browser, which is well placed to compete with Google Chrome, and rolls it out by default for all users. There are performance improvements across the board, updates to Your Phone and Cortana apps as well as more powerful virtual desktops. The Task Manager gets new features as well, with the GPU Temperature data now available for compatible hardware. The Swift Pair for Bluetooth accessories has been further simplified. The Settings app gets some design changes, while Windows Hello biometric authentication for compatible PCs adds a new layer of security for your data.




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Don't Want Windows 10 May 2020 Update For Your PC Just Yet? Here is How to Pause Windows Updates

(Image: Microsoft)

(Image: Microsoft)

That trepidation may be for good reason. The recent history of Windows 10 updates doesn’t exactly infuse a lot of confidence, considering its broken critical functionality, including internet connectivity for a lot of users.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 28, 2020, 9:58 AM IST

The Windows 10 May 2020 Update is now finally rolling out for PCs. This is the major update in the Windows 10 update cycle, with significant changes under-the-hood as well as in terms of adding new functionality and performance fixes for apps and in general across the board. The Windows 10 May 2020 update will bump up the Windows 10 version on your PC to 2004. The new Edge browser, which is well placed to compete with Google Chrome, is now being rolled out for all users as part of this update. There are performance improvements across the board, updates to Your Phone and Cortana apps as well as more powerful virtual desktops. The Task Manager gets new features as well, with the GPU Temperature data now available for compatible hardware. The Swift Pair for bluetooth accessories has been further simplified. The Settings app gets some design changes, while Windows Hello biometric authentication for compatible PCs adds a new layer of security for your data.

If however, you are working from home because of the Coronavirus pandemic and don’t want to take any risks with any possible broken functionality on your PC because of a Windows update, there is a way to pause the download and install of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update for a while. And that trepidation may be with good reason. The recent history of Windows 10 updates doesn’t exactly infuse a lot of confidence, considering its broken critical functionality, including internet connectivity for a lot of users. With the new update on the horizon, you might want to hang on for a while and not update—just to see what feedback the new update gets from other users who do. You can pause updates from downloading and installing on your Windows 10 PC for up to 7 days at a time or select a time frame up to 35 days to stay update-free. Here is how to do it.

Click on the Windows 10 icon on the bottom left of the screen to open the start menu. Here, select the Settings menu, which opens a new app window. Here, either scroll down to find Windows Update or search for it. This opens the update page, which shows the list of pending updates if any, and the download as well as install status for each of these. Look a bit further down on this page, and you will see the “Pause Updates for 7 days” option. This is the ticket. You can select this option to pause the automatic download and install of the Windows 10 updates for up to a week at a time, and you need to keep repeating it for the paused situation to continue.

Have you also read?

Windows 10 Updates Are a Mess, Again: You Might Want to Pause These Updates Right Now

Work From Home Buying Guide: Best Laptops Under Rs 40,000 With Windows 10 & Chrome OS

If you want a bit more freedom in terms of selecting the window in which you don’t want Windows 10 to update, you must scroll a bit further down on the Windows Update page and select the Advanced option. This takes you to a further set of options, and here you can select a date up to 35 days from that time, to keep Windows Update from doing any automatic installations.

Recently, Windows 10 users have had bad luck with the updates rolled out for their PCs. Over the past couple of months, we have had the KB4554364 update and the KB4549951 update for instance, which saw users reporting on Microsoft’s own community forums about errors with the installation, some report serious performance hit, some say critical apps are no longer working while some report the updates broke Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality. This can be a big problem for people working from home right now and have a PC or laptop they rely on extensively right now to get work done.




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Windows 10 May 2020 Update is Now Live: The Big Changes Version 2004 Brings to Your Computer

Windows 10 May 2020 Update is Now Live: The Big Changes Version 2004 Brings to Your Computer

Microsoft Edge web browser, which now runs on Chromium, is being distributed with this update. That means anyone who still hadn’t updated Edge on their PCs will get the new and more powerful web browser by default.

  • Last Updated: May 28, 2020, 9:38 AM IST

The much-awaited Windows 10 May 2020 update is now available for download via the Windows Update on all compatible Windows 10 computing devices. This is a pretty big update, not just in terms of the bug fixes and new features, but also gets significant under-the-hood changes. The Windows 10 May 2020 update will bump up the Windows 10 version on your PC to 2004, from perhaps Windows 10 1909 that you may already be using. Microsoft is also talking about improvements to what they call the ‘go-to’ apps as millions around the world are working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic. You can now check for the Windows 10 May 2020 Update and download from Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Update.

Microsoft Edge web browser, which now runs on Chromium, is being distributed with this update. That means anyone who still hadn’t updated Edge on their PCs will get the new and more powerful web browser by default. Microsoft also says that there are memory improvements that land now—the latest version of Edge on the Windows 10 May 2020 update uses up to 27% lesser RAM than before. If nothing else, this is just another nudge to get you to switch from the resource hungry Google Chrome web browser, which is also based on the same Chromium innards.

There are updates across the board. The Task Manager gets new features as well, with the GPU Temperature data now available for compatible hardware. The Swift Pair for bluetooth accessories has been further simplified. The Settings app gets some design changes, while Windows Hello biometric authentication for compatible PCs adds a new layer of security for your data.

The Cortana assistant has been updated with a new chat-based interface where you can either speak or type your requests. The new and updated interface can be accessed from the Windows 10 taskbar and there are now quick searches for weather, news and more.

If you prefer to not pick up your Android phone and respond to calls as well as messages from the PC itself, the Your Phone app has been given the newer powers you probably were waiting for. Microsoft says will now be able to place, receive, or text reply to your incoming phone calls directly on your PC without having your Android phone right next to you. The Your Phone app also lets you send or receive texts, check new notifications and access the photo gallery on your Android phone, for instance, on the PC itself.

The biggest under-the-hood change to the May 2020 Update is the inclusion of the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL 2), with a custom-built Linux kernel. This should help improve the performance of Microsoft’s Linux subsystem in Windows.

If you are someone who juggles with a lot of apps, the updated Virtual Desktops feature should be quite useful in organizing open apps and switching between them. This is very similar to the multiple desktop functionality that Apple macOS Catalina also has for Mac computing devices and allows you to keep certain apps in different windows to reduce the clutter. These virtual desktops can also be renamed in Windows 10.




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Windows 10 May Get a Big Update Soon: Here is How to Pause if You Don’t Want Anything to Break

(Image: Microsoft)

(Image: Microsoft)

The recent history of Windows 10 updates doesn’t exactly infuse a lot of confidence, considering its broken critical functionality, including internet connectivity for a lot of users.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 25, 2020, 10:39 AM IST

This week could be an important one for Windows 10 users. Microsoft is set to release the biggest update for Windows 10 PCs for far this year, and it is expected to be rolled out this week. It is expected that the Windows 10 May 2020 update, as it is known, will bring the new Chromium-based Edge web browser, end of support for 32-bit versions, new icons for system apps such as Explorer, improvements for graphics performance and the ability to reinstall Windows 10 from the cloud, among other things. That’s all fantastic news but hang on for a moment.

The recent history of Windows 10 updates doesn’t exactly infuse a lot of confidence, considering its broken critical functionality, including internet connectivity for a lot of users. With the new update on the horizon, you might want to hang on for a while and not update—just to see what feedback the new update gets from other users who do. You can pause updates from downloading and installing on your Windows 10 PC for up to 7 days at a time or select a time frame up to 35 days to stay update-free. Here is how to do it.

Click on the Windows 10 icon on the bottom left of the screen to open the start menu. Here, select the Settings menu, which opens a new app window. Here, either scroll down to find Windows Update or search for it. This opens the update page, which shows the list of pending updates if any, and the download as well as install status for each of these. Look a bit further down on this page, and you will see the “Pause Updates for 7 days” option. This is the ticket. You can select this option to pause the automatic download and install of the Windows 10 updates for up to a week at a time, and you need to keep repeating it for the paused situation to continue.

Have you also read?

Windows 10 Updates Are a Mess, Again: You Might Want to Pause These Updates Right Now

Work From Home Buying Guide: Best Laptops Under Rs 40,000 With Windows 10 & Chrome OS

If you want a bit more freedom in terms of selecting the window in which you don’t want Windows 10 to update, you must scroll a bit further down on the Windows Update page and select the Advanced option. This takes you to a further set of options, and here you can select a date up to 35 days from that time, to keep Windows Update from doing any automatic installations.

Just recently, Windows 10 users have had bad luck with the updates rolled out for their PCs. Over the past couple of months, we have had the KB4554364 update and the KB4549951 update for instance, which saw users reporting on Microsoft’s own community forums about errors with the installation, some report serious performance hit, some say critical apps are no longer working while some report the updates broke Wi-Fi and Bluetooth functionality. This can be a big problem for people working from home right now and have a PC or laptop they rely on extensively right now to get work done.




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Work From Home Buying Guide: Best Laptops Under Rs 40,000 With Windows 10 & Chrome OS

E-commerce is open again. This means you can now order from Amazon and Flipkart and the orders will be delivered to you in all parts of the country, except in containment zones. This must come as a great relief for those who suddenly shifted to the world from home routine ahead of the lockdown to flatten the COVID curve, a few weeks ago. Chances are, you may not have had a good laptop or PC at home, for it perhaps wasn’t really a critical requirement thus far. But now, you can buy a new laptop or PC to rock the work from home situation, and not be bogged down by an aging and sluggish PC, a bad keyboard, a cracked screen or something you were simply bored of. It is also expected that work from home will be quite a regular thing for a lot of workers in a lot of companies, which means you should be armed with a good computing device.

Do not make the same mistake again of thinking the smartphone can be a PC replacement, because when it really comes down to it, you will need a laptop to get genuine work done. Here are some of the best budget laptops, some running Windows 10 and some Google Chromebook options, which you must add to your arsenal of work from home tools. So that this purchase remains light on your pocket, we are looking at laptops under the Rs 40,000 price point—to get the perfect blend between performance and longevity without breaking the bank. Plus, they should look good too.

HP Chromebook x360 - 12b-ca0006tu

HP Chromebook x360 – 12b-ca0006tu

Around Rs32,990

The biggest advantage of the Google Chrome OS software for computing devices is the sheer simplicity of everything. It is incorrect to assume that you must be locked into the Google ecosystem to be able to use a Chromebook—the variety of apps available for the Chrome OS is as wide as Android phones. That is why the full-fledged Play Store is also available on the Chromebooks. Microsoft’s Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps? The Spotify app? Video streaming apps. You name it, and the whole wide world of productivity, utility and entertainment apps are available. For any Android phone user, the switch could prove to be close to seamless—and that is a genuine value addition. In fact, this works brilliantly with the Intel Celeron N4000 processor with 4GB RAM, 64GB internal storage and a card slot if you wish to use that for adding more storage space. What’s most interesting is the square-is aspect ratio of the 12-inch display, and the hinge allows it to be folded all the way back into a sort of a tablet mode. Windows machines have never performed as well on this sort of hardware.

Dell Inspiron 14 5490

Dell Inspiron 14 5490

Around Rs 35,585

This started out with a price tag above the Rs 40,000 mark but price corrections have now pushed this beneath that virtual ceiling we have for this buying advice. That means you get the newer 10th generation Intel Core i3-10110U processor with 4GB RAM and a fast 512GB SSD. There is a 14-inch Full HD display which should do well for most productivity and entertainment tasks. The keyboard is not backlit though—perhaps you need to keep that in mind in case working in a dimly lit room is your thing. Dell’s ExpressCharge Boost tops up a fully discharged battery to 35% in 20 minutes and up to 80% in 60 minutes—great if you need to splash and dash. Then there is the Dell Mobile Connect app which pairs your iPhone or Android smartphone with your laptop, which mirrors most things from your phone on the laptop itself, thereby reducing distractions.

Lenovo IdeaPad 330

Lenovo IdeaPad 330

Around Rs 19,990

If you really are on a strict budget, the Lenovo IdeaPad 330 (model number: 330-15IKB) could be a steady enough pick. Do not expect this to be powerful or do anything more than basic computing, but what you get is a comfortable 15.6-inch HD display. This runs an Intel Celeron processor, along with 4GB RAM. There is a 1TB hard drive, and these basic specs are really all you should expect at this price. While there are many similarly priced laptops that don’t give you a preloaded Windows 10 operating system, this one does—and that is very important. A keyboard that is well laid out and the build quality doesn’t really betray its budget price tag.

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43

Acer Aspire 5 A515-43

Around Rs 38,369

This started out in life with a price tag around Rs 50,000 and that means you get specifications which are quite powerful. This runs the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U quad-core processor (for some reason, many potential laptop buyers still have a bit of mistrust towards AMD machines). This has 4GB of RAM to get Windows 10 and your apps purring along. What should also make a difference is the 512GB SSD, which will speed up performance. You get a 15.6-inch Full HD IPS display. The keyboard isn’t backlit. The laptop weighs around 1.8kg. You should probably also consider this if you are taken in by the large screen goodness of the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (model number 81W800FXIN).

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

Lenovo IdeaPad S145

Around Rs 35,010

We are specifically talking about the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 (model number 81W800FXIN) which runs the Intel Core i3-1005G1 processor with 4GB RAM and 256GB SSD. It looks like it means business and has the sort of serious personality that most good productivity centric machines have. This is ideal if you prefer large displays—this has a 15.6-inch Full HD screen for you to work on. Not the lightest, tipping the scales at 1.85kg, but that’s the compromise for a large screen laptop. You will quite like the keyboard, which has the sort of inspiration from the more expensive ThinkPad laptops, which make these genuinely good to type on. Lenovo also doesn’t clutter Windows 10 too much by preloading apps, which should also be good in the long run.

HP Notebook - 15s-du0093tu

HP Notebook – 15s-du0093tu

Around Rs38,990

And this price point, you get multiple laptops running the older generation Intel Core processors as well as some Celeron versions. However, this HP Notebook – 15s-du0093tu should hold up well with the Intel Core i3-8145U processor, with 8GB RAM and a 1TB hard drive. What you get is a 15-inch Full HD display, Windows 10 preloaded and six months of 25GB bundled Dropbox storage. This weighs 1.74kg and is 19.9mm thick. You also get a fingerprint sensor as an added authentication layer to keep your data safe. The HP Fast Charge feature charges a fully discharged laptop battery to 50% in 45 minutes, which should be handy in case you need to get stuff done in a hurry and don’t have access to power at the time. Oh, and the keyboard is backlit too.



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Microsoft Says More People are Buying Surface Devices Due to Rise in Remote Working

File photo of a Microsoft Surface Pro 7

File photo of a Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft this month launched Surface Pro X, Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 in India at a starting price of Rs 98,999, Rs 72,999 and Rs 98,999 respectively.

  • IANS
  • Last Updated: May 18, 2020, 3:15 PM IST

Already witnessing a strong commercial demand for existing Surface laptops, Microsoft India on Monday said that driven by the needs of remote working, the company is seeing a surge in demand for Windows PCs, including the new Surface line-up, to continue among both the enterprises and individuals in the country.

Microsoft this month launched Surface Pro X, Surface Pro 7 and Surface Laptop 3 in India at a starting price of Rs 98,999, Rs 72,999 and Rs 98,999, respectively. According to Amrita Sapre, Devices Head, Microsoft India, it is incredible to see customers adapt and scale to sustain critical products and services – all while preparing for a post-pandemic comeback and the ‘new normal’.

“We saw strong demand as companies and individuals around the world adjusted to working and learning remotely during Covid-19. We are seeing strong commercial demand with our Surface products. Driven by the needs of remote working, we expect the demand for Windows PCs including Surface, to continue,” she said. The all-new Surface Pro X is Microsoft’s latest 2-in-1 laptop. Measuring a mere 7.3mm and weighing at 774 grams, Surface Pro X features a 13-inch edge-to-edge PixelSense display.

The device also features a custom processor developed in partnership with Qualcomm, making it 2.3 times faster than previous generations, and is coupled with full solid-state drive (SSD) size and speed, and dual 4K video output via USB-C. Surface Pro X aims to offer an all-day battery life of up to 13 hours, fast-charging to about 80 per cent within just an hour and LTE connectivity.

“Surface Pro remains the most versatile 2:1 device you can buy – whether you choose Surface Pro 7 or the brand new ultra-mobile Surface Pro X. The Surface Pro X stands at the intersection of mobility, productivity and speed,” said Sapre. Redesigned from the inside out, the other device – Surface Pro 7 – is more powerful than ever with the latest quad-core, 10th Generation Intel Core processor, and is 2.3 times faster than previous generations.

Meanwhile, the all-new Surface Laptop 3 retains its iconic slim, sleek and lightweight design but is now twice as fast as previous generations, with faster multitasking and improved graphics. To help navigate the current environment people are turning to Windows PCs more than ever.

Over four trillion minutes are being spent on Windows 10 a month, a 75 per cent increase year on year. “Surface is driven by a singular ambition – to build the most productive devices on the planet to help people achieve more. As the Surface family of devices expands, our goal is to design a Surface for every person, every work style and every location,” said Sapre.

Surface delivers the security features you need, with modern and increased control to effectively manage devices, wherever they may be. “We have a multi-layered, end-to-end approach to security across the entire Surface portfolio. Organizations can revolutionize the way new devices get deployed with over-the-air, instant, and secure device deployment, including automatic device identification and imaging setup through Windows Autopilot,” informed the Microsoft India executive.

Recent advances in security research demonstrate that as more protections are built into the operating system (OS) and connected services, attackers are looking for other avenues of exploitation with firmware emerging as a top target. According to Sapre, Microsoft Surface has a unified approach to firmware protection and device security through complete end-to-end ownership of the hardware design, in-house firmware development, and a holistic approach to device updates and management.

“All Surface for Business devices ship with Windows 10 Pro, with powerful built-in security features including automatic updates, BitLocker, and cloud-powered intelligent security to protect your devices from modern threats,” said Sapre.



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Facebook Messenger Rooms For Video Calls is Now Available to Everyone; Should Zoom be Worried?

Facebook Messenger Rooms For Video Calls is Now Available to Everyone; Should Zoom be Worried?

At this time, Facebook Messenger Rooms will be competing for attention and video meeting hours with the likes of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Meet, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp and Google Duo, each of those being used for personal as well as work meetings.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: May 15, 2020, 8:56 AM IST

Facebook Messenger Rooms is now rolling out to all users around the world. It is available in desktop and mobile, and the global rollout will surely add some spice to the already very competitive video calls and video meetings app space. Messenger Rooms’ party piece is the fact that it allows up to 50 people in one group video chat, can be accessed via Facebook or Messenger apps and desktop versions and remains free of charge to use. However, do note that globally, users can create new Rooms via the Messenger app for the time being, while users in the US can create a room from Facebook.

Facebook is also pushing the privacy controls that in play here, something that has been a concern for many since the issues with Zoom brought this aspect to the forefront. Facebook says you can start and share Rooms on Facebook through News Feed, Groups and Events. You may drop by for a Group chat whenever it is convenient for you. There are options that let you control who can see your Rooms group and who is allowed to join your room. You can also remove people from your Room if you don’t like them and the Room group can also be locked so that no one else can join at the time.

Facebook says you must download or update to the latest versions of the Facebook and Messenger apps for Android and iPhone or iPad via the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store respectively, or the Messenger Desktop App for Windows 10 PCs via the Microsoft Store and for Apple Mac devices via the Apple App Store. At this time, Facebook Messenger Rooms will be competing for attention and video meeting hours with the likes of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, Google Meet, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp and Google Duo, each of those being used for personal as well as work meetings.




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Slim Laptops & Convertibles For The Work From Home Warriors: You Can Get One in Every Budget

If you thought having a laptop at home was optional, that was only valid in the previous world order. Here and now, when work from home is something that millions are doing around the world during the COVID pandemic, you need a good computing device at home to get the job done. And eventually, when we do step out of home, you will most likely still need a good enough laptop that is slim and light enough to carry around. It is a good thing then that ecommerce is now opening up in India in the yellow and green zones, which means you can order one and have it delivered.

Convertibles and slim laptops are something that have become common in the ecosystem of machines running the Microsoft Windows 10 operating system. Slim laptops pretty much define themselves, whereas convertibles are those that have hinge mechanism that allows you to push the display all the way back into a tent, presentation mode or a tablet mode. There are many options, in either category to choose from. The likes of HP, Microsoft, Lenovo and Dell have been making slim laptops and convertibles fashionable for a while now. While approaching this story, we did exactly what a consumer would do and went around shopping for the best prices and the possible deals. That is what a potential buyer would want, wouldn’t they? All the info in one glance, so they can weigh the options and make a decision.

The Dell XPS 13 has remained one of the best ultra-slim laptops even as the generations passed by. For some strange reason, the Dell India website seems a little shy about listing the variants and the individual pricing. It is just inconvenient to have to either call a toll-free number or chat with a human being just to get the price tags. That is a business decision by the company, and we are no ones to criticize it, but as a consumer, we wouldn’t want to spend much time on it anyway. Update: Dell has shared the pricing of the two XPS 13 models currently on sale in India via their Dell Exclusive Stores, large format retail and multi-brand outlets. These are the 2019 updates mind you, and the entry-spec variant with the 13.3-inch Full HD display, the Intel Core i5-10210 processor with 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD is priced at Rs 113,990. The higher spec option, with the Ultra HD display, the Intel Core i7-10510, 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD is priced at Rs 173,990. Nevertheless, here are some really cool slim laptops and convertibles that you can splurge on right now. At least get the feel-good factor going as you slog during work from home.

HP Pavilion x360 14-dh0107tu

HP Pavilion x360 14-dh0107tu

Around Rs 44,990

HP was one of the first PC makers, and remains one of most aggressive, with convertible PCs for consumers. The Pavilion x360 line-up has grown leaps and bounds over the past year and a bit more. The version that we are looking at here, specifically, is the HP Pavilion x360 14-dh0107tu. This gives you a 14-inch touchscreen with a geared hinge that goes all the way back to make this into a sort of a tablet. It is not short on power either, though you pay a slight premium for the convertible functionality. It runs an 8th generation Intel Core i3 processor, with 4GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. The SSD really helps with the performance aspect as well. The screen is a HD one, with the 1366 x 768 resolution, and that is adequate for most work as well as media streaming functionality—another positive being good battery life as well. The speakers are tuned by Bang & Olufsen, which certainly shows its results because the sound is richer and more detailed than what laptop speakers usually manage. You can buy this in the Mineral Silver and Natural Silver colour options.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Rs 72,999 onwards

The Surface Pro design, over the years, had not really been matched by anyone else. Not for lack of trying, but Microsoft has pretty much gotten this spot on to balance functionality as full-fledged laptop and the convenience of a tablet. The latest arrival, the Surface Pro 7, is no different. It is just the right size, just the right form factor and doesn’t compromise either on performance or battery life. But do remember, the Signature Type Cover keyboard, the Arc Mouse and the Pen are all optional accessories. The keyboard itself costs around Rs 10,000 depending on offers and deals, which adds to the cost. But once you do put this all together, it is worth the experience.

The Surface Pro 7 will be available in four variants in India, in the Platinum and Matte Black colour options. The Core i3 variant with 4GB RAM and 128GB storage costs Rs 72,999. The Core i5 version with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage costs Rs 88,999 while the Core i5 option with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage is a lot more expensive at Rs 1,16,999. The top spec Core i7 option with 16GB RAM and 256GB storage costs Rs 1,41,999.

Apple MacBook Air 2020

Apple MacBook Air

Rs 92,900 onwards

Refreshed just a couple of months ago, the new MacBook Air gets the latest 10th generation Intel Core processors and now start with twice the storage, which is a 256GB SSD. At this moment, you can buy the MacBook Air in the Core i3 and the Core i5 options—but you can have this configured with up to an Intel Core i7 processor and as much as 2TB of storage. The 13.3-inch Retina HD display remains one of the best in the laptop space—and supports True Tone as well which matches the colours on the screen according to the ambient lighting, to reduce eye strain. You can connect a 6K external display as well. This is also the first time the Magic Keyboard comes to the MacBook Air, a journey that started with the MacBook Pro 16 late last year and culminated a few days ago with the refreshed MacBook Pro 13. It runs macOS Catalina. The trackpad is 20% larger and you get the Touch ID security feature as well. Speakers have been upgraded as well, with the ability to sound louder and also reproduce twice the amount of bass the predecessor could. Design remains the sleek wedge-shape, and this is made of 100% recycled aluminum. Your colour choice remains between Space Grey, Gold and Silver. Weighs just 1.29kg.

HP ENVY X360 - 13-ar0118au

HP ENVY X360 – 13-ar0118au

Around Rs 74,998

This is a very powerful Windows 10 convertible. For starters, there is the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Processor with Radeon Vega 8 Graphics. That’s paired with 8GB RAM and a fast 512GB SSD. This mid-range chip should be more than powerful enough for most productivity tasks and even the occasional gaming sessions for casual gamers. What you get is a 13.3-inch Full HD resolution display. There is also the geared hinge that goes all the way back to make this into a tablet if that is what you need. There is a kill-switch that closes the webcam to protect your privacy. You also have a fingerprint scanner as an added layer of security for your Windows 10 installation and files. The backlit keyboard is very well laid out and a delight to type on. This is a very powerful convertible for enterprises as well as home users—it fits brilliantly in either usage scenario.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 7

Around Rs 1,31,028

Business users and enterprises tend to swear by the Lenovo ThinkPad laptops, and the X1 Carbon is one of those machines. This slim business laptop is now in its 7th generation, which should give you an idea of how popular it really is. In fact, its popularity isn’t just restricted to the men in suits. This runs the Intel Core i5-10210U processor and gets 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD with it. It is incredibly light, at 1.08kg and even lightest laptops have not been able to shed so much weight. This is robust too, with the military-spec ruggedness ratings—for extreme temperature changes, spills and drops. By default, you get a 14-inch Full HD IPS display, but you can configure this to a 4K screen as well. You’ll get a fingerprint reader, but a lot of the other stuff is optional, which means you will pay more for the likes of NFC and mobile broadband modules. Lenovo claims battery life of up to 18.3 hours on a single charge.

MarQ Falkon Aerbook

MarQ Falkon Aerbook

Around Rs 41,990

This is a pick out of the left field but hear us out on this. You get a 13.3-inch display in a form factor that is slightly smaller than most 13-inch laptops. And every little bit shaved off means more space in your bag, less bulk to carry around and is lighter as well. More to that point, this machine weighs 1.26kg, which is quite light for a laptop that isn’t compromising on specs. The MarQ by Flipkart Falkon Aerbook runs an 8th gen Intel Core i5-8265U processor with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. The keyboard is well laid out, the display is bright as well as crisp and the design doesn’t betray that this is a slim laptop on a budget. In fact, the silver finish gives it a very sophisticated look. Windows 10 loads quickly, app response is snappy, and it doesn’t feel sluggish for most tasks in your regular workflow. If you need a compact machine that doesn’t burn a hole in the pocket, and gets your work done, this is a very reasonable laptop to consider.

ASUS ZenBook Flip 14 UM462DA

ASUS ZenBook Flip 14 UM462DA

Rs 64,990 onwards

This is another one of those convertibles that really don’t hold back on the style and the performance bit. Your choice is between the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U and the AMD Ryzen 7 3700U processors, along with 8GB RAM and a fast 512GB SSD. We would recommend the Ryzen 5 for most users, unless you really intend to multitask and run really processor intensive tasks and apps, in which case do consider the Ryzen 7 for the extra performance headroom that it’ll offer. The 14-inch display is Full HD and Asus slimmed the bezel on the ASUS ZenBook Flip 14 UM462DA by 10% compared with the predecessor ZenBook Flip 14. The ErgoLift hinge allows you to push the display back as much as you want, all the way till it is flush with the base to become a large tablet. And when you are using this as a laptop, the keyboard tilts and lifts up, to give you an even more comfortable typing position. Asus claims battery life of up to 9 hours. The speakers on the convertible are configured by Harman Kardon, so expect better sound too compared with most laptops.