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Microsoft Announces Windows 365 Cloud Streaming Service

Microsoft today announced Windows 365, a cloud service that introduces a new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11 (when it becomes available) to businesses of all sizes. Windows 365 takes the operating system to the Microsoft cloud, streaming the full Windows experience — apps, data and settings — to personal or corporate devices. Secure by design and built with the principles of Zero Trust, Windows 365 secures and stores information in the cloud, not on the device, providing a secure, productive experience for workers from interns and contractors to software developers and industrial designers. Windows 365 also creates a new hybrid personal computing category called Cloud PC, which uses both the power of the cloud and the capabilities of the device to provide a full, personalized Windows experience. The announcement represents a groundbreaking development as organizations around the world grapple with the best ways to facilitate hybrid work models where employees are both on-site and distributed across the globe.

Qualcomm Wants to Build an M1-Like Processor for PCs

Qualcomm is trying to get into the PC space with their mobile Snapdragon chips, which offer great battery and decent performance. However, so far only Apple managed to get the right formula for developing custom low-power, high-performance chips. It is exactly Apple's M1 processor in question that Qualcomm intends to mimic. According to the recent interview with Qualcomm's new CEO Cristiano Amon, we are informed that Qualcomm plans to produce laptop chips that would directly compete with Apple's. That means that, despite the ecosystem differences of Apple M1 (macOS) and Qualcomm Snapdragon (Windows-on-Arm), the company wants to deliver equal if not better performance and great battery life.

With the recent acquisition of Nuvia, Qualcomm has a team of very talented engineers to back up its claims. The company also recently hired some of the developers behind Apple's M1 chip. The company notes that it will be using only the best solutions for its upcoming SoC, which will include a 5G modem. Mr. Amon has also noted the following:
We needed to have the leading performance for a battery-powered device. If Arm, which we've had a relationship with for years, eventually develops a CPU that's better than what we can build ourselves, then we always have the option to license from Arm.

PrintNightmare: Microsoft Issues Critical Security Updates for Multiple Versions of Windows

Remember that hideous, remotely exploitable vulnerability on Windows' Print Spooler service, which would enable remote attackers to run code with administrator privileges on your machine? Well, Microsoft seems to be waking up from this particular instance of PrintNightmare, as the company has already issued critical, out-of-band security updates (meaning that they're outside Microsoft's cadenced patch rollout) for several versions of windows. Since the Print Spooler service runs by default and is an integral part of Windows releases (likely since the NT platform development), Microsoft has even pushed out patches to OSs that aren't currently supported.

Microsoft has issued correctives for Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1, a variety of supported versions of Windows 10, and even Windows 7. As per Microsoft, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, and Windows 10 Version 1607 products are still missing the security patches, but they're being actively worked on and should be released sooner rather than later. The security patches include mitigations for both the PrintNightmare issue (CVE-2021-34527), as well as another Print Spooler vulnerability that's been previously reported (CVE-2021-1675). The mitigations are being distributed via Windows Update, as always, and the relevant packages are KB5004945 through KB5004959 (depending on your version of Windows).

GIGABYTE Motherboards Feature TPM 2.0 Function to Support Windows 11 Upgrade

GIGABYTE TECHNOLOGY Co. Ltd, a leading manufacturer of motherboards, graphics cards, and hardware solutions, announced that the BIOS of their series motherboards, including Intel X299, C621, C232, C236, C246, 200, 300, 400, 500 lineups, as well as AMD TRX40, 300, 400, 500 motherboards are TPM 2.0 function ready, which can pass the upgraded Windows 11 OS. verification.

Windows 11 is the latest operating system from Microsoft, and features dozens of exciting new functions and Android APP support to effectively improve productivity, system security, and gaming performance. However, most of the users might be confusing that Windows 11 requires TPM 2.0 support means they need a TPM module on board for Windows 11 upgrade.

Microsoft Acknowledges Severe, Unpatched, Actively Exploited Print Spooler Service Vulnerability "PrintNightmare"

Microsoft has acknowledged the existence of a severe and currently unpatched vulnerability in Windows' Print Spooler service (CVE-2021-34527). The vulnerability affects all versions of Windows, and is being actively exploited as per Microsoft. Poetically named "PrintNightmare", the vulnerability was published earlier this week as a PoC (Proof of Concept) exploit by security researchers, which believed the flaw had already been addressed by Microsoft at time of release (the company patched up another Print Spooler vulnerability issue with the June 2021 security patch). The code was made public and quickly scrapped when developers realized it gave would-be bad actors access to an unpatched way into users' systems - but since it's the Internet, the code had already been forked in GitHub.

The vulnerability isn't rated by the Windows developer as of yet, but it's one of the bad ones: it allows attackers to remotely execute code with system-level privileges. This is the ultimate level of security vulnerability that could exist. Microsoft is currently investigating the issue and developing a patch; however, given the urgency in closing down this exploit, the company is recommending disabling of the Windows Print Spooler service wherever possible, or at least disabling inbound remote printing through Group Policy. If you don't have a printer, just disable the service; if you do, please disable the Group Policy as per the steps outlined in the image below.

Windows 11 to Enable Dynamic Refresh Rate on the Desktop - A Hint of Support for Multi Chip Module GPUs?

Microsoft seemingly has one more trick up its sleeve to increase attractiveness of Windows 11. Via a Microsoft blog post, the company revealed that Windows 11 will introduce support for Dynamic Refresh Rate on the Desktop, the 2-D realm of work e-mails, personal accounting, and social media. This means that Windows will be able to dynamically change your screen's refresh rate to save power consumption - scaling it to the scenario at hand.

For example: if you are reading a TechPowerUp article, Windows will dynamically reduce the refresh rate down to 60 Hz while you do so to conserve power. However, should any user interaction occur, such as a mouse movement or other input (like moving the browser window down and revealing a TechPowerUp wallpaper), Windows will automatically restore the refresh rate to its user-defined value.

AMD FSR FidelityFX Super Resolution is Coming to Xbox Consoles

Just a few days ago, we have reviewed AMD's FidelityFX Super Resolution technology, which represents an answer to NVIDIA's Deep Learning Super Sampling technology used to upscale images t certain resolutions. As the review predicted, AMD's presence in consoles like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S must result in the integration of the technology in that field, not only the PC space. And today seems to be the day that Microsoft and AMD join forces to bring AMD's FSR technology to consoles. In the latest Xbox Game Development Kit preview, Microsoft is shipping AMD's FSR tech, giving game developers an easy way to integrate it into the games and thus manipulate resolution to give us the best possible frame rates.
Jason Ronald (Twitter)Excited to continue our close partnership with @AMD and see what game developers can do with FidelityFX Super Resolution, available to preview in our GDK today for @Windows, @Xbox Series X|S and #XboxOne consoles.

Microsoft Announces Windows 11 is Coming as a Free Upgrade Over Windows 10

Yesterday, we reported the launch of Microsoft's next-generation Windows 11 operating system. Featuring a broad range of improvements that include the new and redesigned UI elements, 40% smaller updates, layouts, widgets, and a bunch of other stuff, existing Windows 10 users are wondering how and when they will be able to experience the new OS. The OS is coming later this year, with some preview beta builds supposed to arrive in the coming weeks. That means that a large portion of people is interested in trying out even the beta version. However, there is an important note about the new OS. When it officially comes out, all of the existing Windows 10 users can upgrade to Windows 11 for free, by just performing the software update.

To run the new OS, Microsoft lists a few new requirements like 4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of storage, 1+ GHz dual-core processor, and Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0. The TPM 2.0 needs to be physically present, however, it is often turned off in BIOS, so future users need to enable it in BIOS as well. For more details, please head over to Microsoft website to find greater details on the upgrade.

Microsoft Launches Windows 11 Operating System

Microsoft is today holding a virtual Windows Event to showcase what is next for Windows. As we have made reports earlier in the past few weeks, the Redmond giant has shown-off the next-generation Windows 11 operating system, which will make a major improvement compared to Windows 10 both internally and as far as looks are concerned. We were live-blogging all of that, and at exactly, 11 am Eastern Time. You can find the whole live blog below, and check out the new Windows 11 OS features.

14:43 UTC: The event is about to start...

ASUSTOR Launches AS-T10G2 10 Gigabit Ethernet Card

The all-new AS-T10G2 is here, bringing increased efficiency and speeds to the much beloved AS-T10G. The AS-T10G2 uses the AQC-107 controller, which offers increased performance, and lower power requirements. Using the Lockerstor 16R Pro, transfer rates were found to be up to 1127 MB/s when reading and 1124 MB/s when writing. The AS-T10G2 also supports IP, TCP, UDP checksum offload to reduce CPU usage for a more efficient experience.

The AS-T10G2 is equipped with a 10 Gbps 8p8c RJ-45 Ethernet port. The AS-T10G2 supports automatic switching between all major Ethernet speeds and is compatible with four lanes of PCI Express 3.0. Pop it into an ASUSTOR NAS running ADM 4.0 or a PC to upgrade network speeds to 10-Gigabit Ethernet. The AS-T10G2 is compatible with both full-height and half-height computers, making it compatible with almost any device featuring a PCI Express slot, ensuring affordable, yet high speed networking for both homes and businesses.

Microsoft Acknowledges Windows 10 Taskbar Text Clarity Issue

Microsoft has recently acknowledged the blurry text issue encountered with the News and interests button in the taskbar. The issue was introduced with update KB5001391 and affects users with certain monitor configurations. This can affect users running Windows 21H1, 20H2, 2004, and 1909 and Microsoft has confirmed that they are working on a solution to be released in a future update. The only "solution" currently available is to disable the News and interests text and icon.
MicrosoftAfter installing KB5001391 or later updates, the news and interests button in the Windows taskbar might have blurry text on certain display configurations.

Microsoft Clears Way for Windows 11: Windows 10 Support to End October 14th, 2025

Microsoft has revealed the date when support for Windows 10 is going to end - effectively confirming that their original vision of Windows 10 being "the last Windows OS ever" is now dead. The information comes from Microsoft's own update to Windows 10's support life cycle page, which the company has amended with the final resting date set for October 14th 2025 for both Home and Pro versions of the operating system. Previously, the support life cycle page listed end of support dates for various release versions of Windows 10 - not the entire OS.

Adding this to the announcement that Windows would get a new, "next-gen" update; the related teaser art which omits the shadow of the window crossbar, making the cast shadow look either basically unrealistic (some Raytracing seems to be needed by Microsoft's art personnel) or, infinitely more likely, the omitted shadow serves to approximate the cast shadows as much as possible to 11. No official announcement by Microsoft, but usually 1 + 1 = 2.

Intel 12th Gen Core Alder Lake to Launch Alongside Next-Gen Windows This Halloween

Intel is likely targeting a Halloween (October 2021) launch for its 12th Generation Core "Alder Lake-S" desktop processors, along the sidelines of the next-generation Windows PC operating system, which is being referred to in the press as "Windows 11," according to "Moore's Law is Dead," a reliable source of tech leaks. This launch timing is key, as the next-gen operating system is said to feature significant changes to its scheduler, to make the most of hybrid processors (processors with two kinds of CPU cores).

The two CPU core types on "Alder Lake-S," the performance "Golden Cove," and the low-power "Gracemont" ones, operate in two entirely different performance/Watt bands, and come with different ISA feature-sets. The OS needs to be aware of these, so it knows exactly when to wake up performance cores, or what kind of processing traffic to send to which kind of core. Microsoft is expected to unveil this new-gen Windows OS on June 24, with RTX (retail) availability expected in Q4-2021.

Microsoft Announces New Event to Showcase "What's Next for Windows"

When Microsoft announced its Windows 10 operating system, the company set it to be a platform that would last for many years. Instead of the regular releases like we have seen in the past years with Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8, Windows 10 is a bit different. Microsoft designed the OS to be a product that receives plenty of updates over the years, however, it is still the same project. We are, of course, wondering if we are going to get something different and will Microsoft develop a new OS that is a successor to the 10. It seems like we are about to find out what the Redmond company plans to do with its OS offerings in the upcoming Microsoft Event scheduled for June 24th.

Starting at 11 a.m. Eastern Time, you can tune in to watch the event and find out what the company plans to do. The event website says "Join us to see what's next for Windows". By saying this, we are sure to see some advancements coming to the OS, however, we are still guessing what that may be. You can watch the live stream on Microsoft's website on June 24th, which you can check out here.

Intel Announced 5G-ready Additions to its 11th Gen Core Processors

Today at Computex 2021, Intel announced two new additions to the lineup of 11th Gen Intel Core processors. These new processors, combined with Intel's co-engineering work with independent software vendors (ISVs) and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), continue Intel's leadership in mobile compute—delivering the world's best processors for thin-and-light Windows-based laptops. Intel also introduced its first 5G product for the next generation of PC experiences, Intel 5G Solution 5000, following the previously announced collaboration with MediaTek and Fibocom.

"We've taken the world's best processor for thin-and-light Windows laptops and made the experience even better with the addition of our two new 11th Gen Intel Core processors with Intel Iris Xe graphics. In addition, we know real-world performance and connectivity are vital to our partners and the people who rely on PCs every day, so we're continuing that momentum with more platform capabilities and choice in the market with the launch of our first 5G product for PCs: the Intel 5G Solution 5000," said Chris Walker, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of Mobility Client Platforms.

Microsoft Boss Teases "Next Generation of Windows" Announcement "Very Soon"

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took to the Build Conference to announce "an imminent announcement" on the "next generation of Windows". The Microsoft CEO said that we should be expecting news on a revamped Windows experience that aims to be "one of the most significant updates to Windows of the past decade to unlock greater economic opportunity for developers and creators". There was no word on when we can expect such an announcement - or even available deployment of such version of windows - but considering this was done during the Build Conference, it makes sense that we actually won't be hearing about this until after the end of the Conference.

It's expected that this "next generation of Windows" comes with a revamped Windows store experience - which we already know Microsoft was prioritizing as of late. At the same time, the new version of windows could possess a radical new interface aesthetic redesign, pushing it more into the digital render space we've been slowly walking towards. Whatever this update actually encompasses, according to Satya Nadella, we won't have to wait too long for it. Look after the break for the excerpt on the release of this "new Windows".

MAINGEAR Launches New ELEMENT Lite Notebook Featuring 11th Gen Intel Processor and Iris Xe Graphics

MAINGEAR—an award-winning PC system integrator of custom gaming desktops, notebooks, and workstations—today launched the MAINGEAR ELEMENT Lite, a 15" ultra-premium notebook designed in collaboration with Intel. Featuring Intel Iris Xe Graphics and up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, the MAINGEAR ELEMENT Lite pairs next-generation hardware with a sleek and minimal machined aluminium alloy chassis for maximum power, speed, and portability. The new MAINGEAR ELEMENT Lite is the perfect Windows laptop for work and play on the go.

Custom designed and engineered in collaboration with Intel, this uncompromising notebook PC comes equipped with up to an Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor running at 2.8 GHz with a Max Turbo Frequency of 4.7 GHz on 4 cores / 8 threads. Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics make multimedia viewing, content creation, and even light gaming a breeze. ELEMENT Lite systems can be equipped with 16 GB of DDR4 memory and up to 2 TB of user-replaceable PCI-E Gen4 M.2 NVMe SSD storage. MAINGEAR optimized the ELEMENT Lite to pack exceptional performance and cooling into its frame without sacrificing on battery life or upgradeability. It weighs in at just 3.64 lbs (1.65 kg) and is 14.9 mm thin—making it the thinnest notebook that MAINGEAR has ever offered.

Microsoft to Kill Internet Explorer 11 Once and for All in 2022

Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser has been one of the biggest browsers in the world by market share. However, that was some years ago and the browser technology keeps developing to a point where a 3-month non-updated browser is slow and insecure. The latest version of Internet Explorer is version 11, which you can find still running on your Windows PC. You might wonder why is it still present when Microsoft announced its Chromium-based Edge browser some time ago. Well, many applications have built-int code that needs Internet Explorer to work. If there is no IE browser, the application would display errors and likely not run well.

However, Microsoft today announced that the company will be moving on from IE 11 and that it is finally killing it by June 15th, 2022. The IE browser represents a code that is probably hard to maintain and a potential security hole. That is why the company is deciding to end it in 2022. If you are wondering how the company plans to migrate a plethora of apps from needing IE, Microsoft is preparing Internet Explorer compatibility mode on its Edge browser. That way it ensures that all of the existing applications would run under the Edge browser and that old and insecure piece of code is removed from Windows.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 21.5.1 Drivers

AMD has today updated its Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition version 21.5.1 drivers, bringing many features on board as well as fixing a lot of issues that have appeared in the past. Starting with support for the Resident Evil Village PC game, AMD promises to deliver up to 13% better frame rate at 4K maximum settings, while using the Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics card. The comparison was conducted with a reference to the previous driver, 21.4.1, which didn't allow the card to reach as high FPS as it is now possible with the proper support for the game. Another game that is added to the support list is Metro Exodus PC Enhanced Edition. Some fixes have been implemented, as the incorrect performance metrics that may have incorrectly reported temperatures on Ryzen 5 1600 series processors. For a detailed list of bug fixes, please take a look at the list below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 21.5.1

Microsoft Preparing Updated Windows Store Application

Microsoft is reportedly developing an updated Windows Store that will introduce a new modern and fluid design along with changes to how developers submit applications. The current Store has seen limited adoption and is criticized for its unintuitive design and slow loading times, the new Store will follow Microsoft's updated design language and will feature new layouts, designs, and fluid animations. The Store will continue to be published as a UWP app and will receive monthly updates to introduce new features and improvements. This update should also improve stability when downloading and installing large games and applications.

The current Store has seen limited adoption due to the restrictive requirements for developers, Microsoft currently only allows UWP (Universal Windows Programs) and packaged MSIX programs to be uploaded but will now allow traditional unpackaged Win32 apps also. Microsoft will also allow developers to host their apps and updates with private content delivery networks and integrate third-party commerce functionality. These changes will grant greater control to developers and hopefully entice more applications to join the Store. Microsoft is expected to officially announce their plans for the new Store at Build 2021 with a public preview following.

NVIDIA Enables GPU Passthrough for Virtual Machines on Consumer-Grade GeForce GPUs

Editor's note: This is not a part of April Fools.

NVIDIA has separated professional users and regular gamers with the company's graphics card offering. There is a GeForce lineup of GPUs, which represents a gaming-oriented version and its main task is to simply play games, display graphics, and run some basic CUDA accelerated software. However, what would happen if you were to start experimenting with your GPU? For example, if you are running Linux, and you want to spin a virtual machine with Windows on it for gaming, you could just use your integrated GPU as the GeForce card doesn't allow for virtual GPU passthrough. For these purposes, NVIDIA has its professional graphics card lineup like Quadro and Tesla.

However, this specific feature is about to arrive in even the GeForce lineup offerings. NVIDIA has announced that the company is finally bringing the basic virtual machine passthrough functions to the gaming GPUs. While the feature is representing a step in the right direction, it is still limited. For example, the GeForce GPU passthrough supports only one virtual machine and SR-IOV feature is still not supported on GeForce. "If you want to enable multiple virtual machines to have direct access to a single GPU or want the GPU to be able to assign virtual functions to multiple virtual machines, you will need to use NVIDIA Tesla, Quadro, or RTX enterprise GPUs.", says the NVIDIA FAQ. GeForce virtualization, which is now still in beta, is supported on R465 or higher drivers.
The full content from NVIDIA's website is written below.

Samsung is Preparing Exynos SoC with Radeon GPU for Next-Generation PCs

In 2019, AMD and Samsung have announced that they will be joining forces to develop a new class of mobile SoCs, carrying the Exynos name and having a Radeon GPU inside. These Exynos SoCs could be used for almost everything that needs a low-power processor. While the original plan was to have these processors run inside Samsung's mobile phone offerings, it seems like there is another application for them. If the rumors coming from ZDNet Korea are correct, we are in for a surprise. According to the source, Samsung is preparing to use the Exynos SoC with Radeon graphics in the company's next-generation laptops lineup.

While there is little to no information regarding the specifications of the said system, we can expect it to be a fully Samsung-made laptop. That means that Samsung will provide display, RAM, storage, battery, and other components manufactured by the company or its divisions. This laptop is expected to replace Samsung's Galaxy Book S, which currently uses Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx SoC. The new PC is going to be Windows 10 based system. For more details, we have to wait for the announcement.

Critical Flaw in Windows 10 Could Corrupt Your Hard Drive

Windows OS security is taken seriously, as the OS is wide-spread across millions of PCs around the world, however, there may be issues where OS has some security flaw that is found by external researchers. Due to the sheer code base of the new OS like Windows 10, there are a plethora of bugs and security flaws waiting to get discovered by someone. And today, thanks to the team of cybersecurity researchers, we have found out that in Windows 10 file-system called NTFS, there is a bug that corrupts your hard drive by simply triggering a specific variable name in a file.

If the end-user inside Windows 10 tries to access the NTFS attribute called "$i30" in a specific way, the flaw is exploited. The NTFS search index attribute, specifically the string "$i30", is containing a list of files and subfolders in a directory, and there is even a log of deleted files and folders. After running a specific command inside the command line (CMD) or inside the browser, Windows will start to display warnings of "File or directory is corrupted and cannot be read". After that, the OS will prompt a user to restart the machine and repair the damaged drive, so the Windows disk check utility will start. Once corrupted, Windows 10 will start displaying a notification indicating that the main file table (MFT) on the particular disk is corrupted and thus can not operate. Starting from the build Windows 10 Build 1803 the OS is vulnerable until the current version and a possible fix is expected to be released soon.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 461.09 WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA today released GeForce 461.09 WHQL drivers. The drivers do not appear to include any day-one game optimization, but features an important security update, and a handful fixes. With this release NVIDIA also identified an interesting issue to fix in a future driver update. Apparently, GPUs based on the "Turing" and "Ampere" graphics architectures exhibit increased idle power consumption on machines with certain higher refresh-rate G-SYNC monitors.

Among the fixes with GeForce 461.09 WHQL are a bug that caused an FPS counter to appear on Windows Mail and Calendar apps; a BSOD noticed on GeForce GTX 750 Ti; system freezing to solid color and screen-flickering noticed on the GTX 1080 Ti, improper HDR implementation when connected to certain LG OLED TV models; and a BSOD known to occur when waking up machines from sleep that have three 4K UHD monitors plugged in. Grab the drivers from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 461.09 WHQL

Microsoft is Engineering Custom Processors for Servers and Surface PCs

Designing a custom processor can be a rewarding thing. You can control your ecosystem surrounding it and get massive rewards in terms of application-specific performance uplift, or lower total cost of ownership. It seems like cloud providers have figured out that at their scale, designing a custom processor can get all of the above with the right amount of effort put into it. If you remember, in 2018, Amazon has announced its Graviton processor based on Arm instruction set architecture. Today, the company has almost 10% of its AWS instances based on the Graviton 1 or 2 processors, which is a massive win for a custom design.

Following Amazon's example, the next company to join the custom server processor race is going to be Microsoft. The Redmond based giant is looking to build a custom lineup of processors that are meant to satisfy Microsoft's most demanding sector - server space. The company's Azure arm is an important part where it has big and increasing revenue. By building a custom processor, it could satisfy the market needs better while delivering higher value. The sources of Bloomberg say that Microsoft is planning to use Arm ISA, and start building independence from the x86 vendors like Intel and AMD. Just like we saw with AWS, the industry cloud giants are starting to get silicon-independent and with their scale, they can drive the ecosystem surrounding the new processors forward rapidly. The sources are also speculating that the company is building custom processors for Surface PCs, and with Windows-on-Arm (WoA) project, Microsoft has laid the groundwork in that field as well.
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