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.

Windows Phone – fragmentation is coming

Good news: some Windows Phone users will get a new version of their Operating System (OS)

Microsoft promotional text:

From sleeping better to easily managing your children’s screen time

Sometimes it’s the little things that delight the most. And with the Windows 10 Creators Update, there are many delightful updates and features based on your feedback.

By reducing the blue light emitted by your screen, the night light feature helps you sleep better. With night light, when you’re working late your brain is more ready to power down for a good night’s sleep. Smartphone users love this feature and now, it’s coming to Windows 10 with the Creators Update.

The mini view feature lets you keep an ever-present small window on top of what you’re doing. This means you can do things like binge-watch your favorite show, carry on a Skype conversation or control your music, regardless of what else you’re working on.

Windows Hello can use any paired iPhone, Android or Windows Phone to detect when you step away from your PC or tablet, automatically locking it behind you for an extra measure of security and privacy. This remote lock feature works with smartphones, fitness bands or any device that’s paired to your PC or tablet.

The bad news: not every Windows 10 phone is getting this update. The list is kind of short.

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL
  • HP Elite x3
  • Lenovo Softbank 503LV
  • MCJ Madosma Q601
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
  • Microsoft Lumia 640/640XL
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
  • Microsoft Lumia 950/950 XL
  • Trinity NuAns Neo
  • VAIO VPB051

This means that a lot of phones with Windows 10 will not be upgraded to a current Windows 10 release. While platform fragmentation is not a new ‘happening’, Android was fragmented as soon as the second version was released and it’s gotten worse since then, Microsoft had a good track record with these kind of things. It’s not like the creators update will require new drivers with another API level or something like that.

It’s a shame, the Windows Phone market was already business only imho and nothing stresses an IT department more when one device can handle something and another one which looks the same through the eyes of a end-user cant.

Is your Open command window here replaced with open PowerShell window here?

While PowerShell on Windows 10 doesn’t take forever to open like it did with previous Windows versions it is still a larger burden on your system then good old CMD. I am on Windows 10 build 15058 and I noticed Microsoft has changed the right mouse button menu while holding the shift key. The shift key provides me the open PowerShell window instead of the command window here.

Mouse click/keyboard modifier combinations for shell objects

  • SHIFT+right click: Displays a shortcut menu containing alternative commands

  • SHIFT+double click: Runs the alternate default command (the second item on the menu)

  • ALT+double click: Displays properties

To change this behaviour you need to do a little bit of registry editing.

Here’s what you need to do

  1. Open Regedit.exe
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Background\shell
  3. Make a backup by right clicking with your mouse on the shell Key in the left view and choosing export.
  4. Change permissions on the same shell Key by right clicking shell and chosing permissions. Click on advanced in the new dialogue box. Another dialogue box will open where you can change the ownership rights. I suggest you change it to the group Administrators and check the box “Replace owner on subcontainers and objects
  5. Navigate to cmd (one level lower) and rename the DWORD HideBasedOnVelocityId to ShowBasedOnVelocityId
  6. Navigate to Powershell (beneath cmd) and to the opposite, rename the DWORD ShowBasedOnVelocityId to HideBasedOnVelocityId

And you’re done.