Features that will be removed in the next Windows 10 Update

When Microsoft talked about Windows 10 before releasing it they said it will be around for a long time and will be getting updates in a different way than we were used to.

Looking back at this it looks like we already got a sneak preview at this concept with Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 (and remember the Windows XP Media Center disc 2?).

Continue reading Features that will be removed in the next Windows 10 Update

H.264 H.265/HEVC Video Extension – Windows 10 Insider

Windows 10 logo

About restoring your video playing experience. HEVC Video Extension on Microsoft Store

The last fey days I had some trouble getting the latest Windows insider slow ring update on my main pc. (Version 16232). I’ve seen this screen a few times now:

Something to do with drivers on my installation. I had to uninstall some drivers from my mouse, audio- and graphics-card to get the update the update installed. Stupid thing about the error was that the GSOD (Green Screen of Death) was at the end of the setup and it automatically did a rollback. I couldn’t choose any other way and with the rollback it also wiped the installation files. Thankfully the rollback works great and as soon as the old Windows installation is up and running it sees an insider update and downloads the whole set again and again and so on….

But anyway I’m running now Build 16232 with the Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge functionality. More info on this feature here and here.

The next day after installing the update and my drivers again 🙂 I wanted to resume watching a video on my pc. The video opened with the default Movies and TV app which I actually really like and audio started but my screen kept black.

Maybe I didn’t see the announcement (or maybe there is no announcement as I still can’t find it when googling for it now) but it looks like Microsoft has pulled H.264, x264, H.265 aka HEVC codec support and maybe more from their base OS. You now have to install a small add-on from the store to get the functionality back.

Download it from Microsoft here:

microsoft.com/en-us/store/p/hevc-video-extension/9n4wgh0z6vhq

It probably has something to do with royalties or some lawsuit for a patent infringement but it’s a bit weird there was absolutely no information out there before this happened. The word H265 or H264 hasn’t been mentioned at the Windows Insider blog for the last year.

After installing this add-on I could play my video files again.

 

 

Spotify for Windows 10 – finally available in the store

Microsoft announced that Spotify for Windows 10 is now available to download in the Windows Store*. Microsoft announced their partnership with Spotify in early May and is  bringing the Spotify app to Windows 10 and Windows 10 S customers following on the heels of the release of Surface Laptop and Windows 10 S last week. The Spotify app is available today in all 60 countries where Spotify is available and offers the same familiar experiences as the Win32 application**.

With Spotify on Windows 10, you can enjoy, discover and share millions of songs wherever and whenever you want. Make and share your own playlists, or let Spotify suggest something great for you. Listen for free or subscribe to Premium for higher quality listening and to take your music offline

*PCs and tablets. To download this app, your PC or tablet must be running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update or greater. 

**The Spotify app for Windows 10 is available in the following markets, Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, Uruguay, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Windows 10 Insider – Gaming improvements

Windows 10 logo

Microsoft released a new Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 16226 for PC to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring yesterday.  They have spent some time on making improvements for gamers this time. cross-platform multi-player could become a less exotic thing.

Gaming Improvements

New help options: We have added a new “Xbox Networking” section under Settings > Gaming. Here, we’ll help you attempt to identify and resolve issues preventing you from using voice chatting and playing multiplayer games with other Xbox Live users.

 

Track your GPU performance

For the Task Manager fans out there, we’re happy to share that we’ve heard your feedback and we’ve updated Task Manager to now include GPU info. Our engineering team used the feedback you gave us that is part of this Feedback Collection https://aka.ms/olx5pn to prioritize and to design the feature – thank you! The Performance tab shows GPU utilization information for each separate GPU component (such as 3D and Video encode/decode), as well as graphics memory usage stats. The Details tab shows you GPU utilization info for each process. Please note that this feature is still under construction and you will find issues and bugs.

Windows Server 2016 docs are now on docs.microsoft.com

Windows Server logo

Microsoft announced the availability of the IT pro technical documentation for Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile on docs.microsoft.com.

docs.microsoft.com?

Docs is a crisp new design that should work better on your phone, tablet, and PC. You’ll see new ways to engage with Microsoft and contribute to the larger IT pro community on docs.

Performance Tuning Guidelines for Windows Server 2016

When you run a server system in your organization, you might have business needs not met using default server settings. For example, you might need the lowest possible energy consumption, or the lowest possible latency, or the maximum possible throughput on your server. This guide provides a set of guidelines that you can use to tune the server settings in Windows Server 2016 and obtain incremental performance or energy efficiency gains, especially when the nature of the workload varies little over time.

It is important that your tuning changes consider the hardware, the workload, the power budgets, and the performance goals of your server. This guide describes each setting and its potential effect to help you make an informed decision about its relevance to your system, workload, performance, and energy usage goals.

Warning

Registry settings and tuning parameters changed significantly 
between versions of Windows Server. Be sure to use the latest 
tuning guidelines to avoid unexpected results.

You can download the official document here.

Power Throttling your background apps on Windows

Most people have multiple apps running at the same time – and often, what’s running in the background can drain your battery. In the latest Insider Preview build (Build 16176), Microsoft allows you to run background work in a power-efficient manner, thereby enhancing battery life significantly while still giving users access to powerful multitasking capabilities. With “Power Throttling”, when background work is running, Windows places the CPU in its most energy-efficient operating modes – work gets done, but the minimal possible battery is spent on that work.

Microsoft mentioned in January that they where doing some power experiments. Power Throttling was one of those experiments, and showed up to 11% savings in CPU power consumption for some of the most strenuous use cases. This capability should help many of you see a nice boost in battery life!

Background Moderated apps are the Power Throttled ones.

Power Throttling is currently available only for processors with Intel’s Speed Shift technology, available in Intel’s 6th-gen (and newer) Core processors. Processors where the first number after i3, i5 or i7 starts with a 6 are currently available (for example i5-6400, i7-6600). Other processors, read older ones, will likely be added to the support list in the future.

A passage from Microsoft:

How does it work? To give great performance to the apps you’re using, while at the same time power throttling background work, we built a sophisticated detection system into Windows. The OS identifies work that is important to you (apps in the foreground, apps playing music, as well as other categories of important work we infer from the demands of running apps and the apps the user interacts with). While this detection works well for most apps, if you happen to notice an app that is negatively impacted by Power Throttling, we really want to know!! You can do 3 things:

1. Provide feedback! Please run the Feedback Hub and file feedback under the Power and Battery > Throttled Applications category

2. Control power throttling system-wide, using the Power Slider. Windows works hardest to keep the processor in its efficient ranges when you’ve selected “Battery Saver” or “Recommended”, and turns off completely when you’ve selected “Best Performance”.

Power Slider

3. Opt individual apps out from Power Throttling:

  • Go to Battery Settings (Settings >  System > Battery).
  • Click on “Battery Usage by App”.
  • Select your app.
  • Toggle “Managed by Windows” to “Off”.
  • Uncheck the “Reduce work app does when in background” checkbox.

Note that benchmark results may vary with power throttling turned on. While most benchmarks run fine and produce great performance results, some benchmark processes may be affected by throttling. Our general recommendation is to always run performance benchmarks while plugged in, as power throttling does not apply in that case.

I find a few things weird in this text. First of all, why mention music apps? It’s not like an app playing music would need full power of a 6th generation Intel Core processor. Are there some restrictions with apps that use DirectSound or Direct3D?

And as you can read in the final sentence this feature won’t be available on your Desktop. Why? Why wouldn’t I want 11% power-savings (or even more since desktops processors are likely to use more power) on my desktop?

Windows 10 Creators Update – What’s new

Windows 10 logo

See what’s new with the recent Windows 10 update with pictures to explain the changes.

Microsoft Edge

Set tabs aside in Microsoft Edge
Organize tabs

Sticky tabs

Pin tabs to keep your favorite sites in the same place every time you open your browser. Press and hold (or right-click) a tab, then select Pin.

Screenshot showing the tabs menu in Microsoft Edge

Preview pages

See small snapshots of pages by using your mouse to hover over open tabs. Or select Show tab previews to see visual previews of all your open tabs.

Image showing tab previews in Microsoft Edge

Save tabs for later

Save a group of tabs for later by selecting Set these tabs aside . When you’re ready to see them again, select Tabs you’ve set aside , then select Restore tabs.

Image showing the Set tabs aside and See tabs you''ve set aside buttons

 

Start Menu

Creating tile folders on Start
Organize with folders

Themes

Select the Start button, then select Settings > Personalization to preview and play with all the new settings.

Online gallery of themes
Themes are back

Night Light

Select the Start button, then select Settings > Display . Turn on Night light or select Night light settings to set your own schedule.

Night light settings on and off
Easier on the eyes – You should give this a try

Settings

Settings has been fine-tuned to make searching and getting help simpler. Apps and Gaming now have their own settings categories, and links to support, feedback, and other help is more readily available.

360° videos

The Movies & TV app now comes pre-stocked with 360° videos that let you look (or mouse) up, down, and all around as the video plays. You can also watch movie trailers, get recommendations based on your viewing habits, and browse and buy new movies and TV content right in the app.

Windows Defender Antivirus

Windows Defender is now Windows Defender Antivirus, featuring built-in virus and threat protection, as well as family options to help keep you safe online. Visit the Windows Defender Security Center to see how Windows is helping protect your PC.

Windows Defender Security Center

How to get the Windows 10 Creators Update

Starting yesterday, the Windows 10 Creators Update is rolling out to Windows 10 PCs across the world in phases, starting with newer machines first but If you don’t want to wait, you can manually get the update now.

The easiest way is to upgrade your pc with the new version is to download the upgrade assistant from here. direct link: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=799445

Just run the app and follow the instructions.