Windows Experience Blog https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience Fri, 16 Jul 2021 18:05:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.7.2 https://blogs.windows.com/wp-content/uploads/prod/sites/2/2021/06/cropped-browser-icon-logo-32x32.jpg Windows Experience Blog https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience 32 32 Minions x Minecraft DLC now available in Minecraft Marketplace https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/07/16/minions-x-minecraft-dlc-now-available-in-minecraft-marketplace/ Fri, 16 Jul 2021 18:05:00 +0000 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/?p=176034 Minions x Minecraft DLC has launched in Minecraft Marketplace, bringing to that world a look for every plan, ruse, or misadventure. They are always ready to go the extra mile.

Minions a

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Minecraft DLC has launched in Minecraft Marketplace, bringing to that world a look for every plan, ruse, or misadventure. They are always ready to go the extra mile. Minions aren’t the only new arrivals in the Overworld. A whole slew of villains, including all six of the Vicious 6, also known as the world’s most notorious collective of villains and breakout stars from the upcoming “Minions: Rise of Gru,” are here too. Head over to Minecraft.net to find out more.]]>
Introducing the next feature update to Windows 10: 21H2 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/07/15/introducing-the-next-feature-update-to-windows-10-21h2/ Thu, 15 Jul 2021 21:58:02 +0000 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/?p=176019 While we are excited for the next generation of Windows with Windows 11, we are also focused on supporting the more than 1.3 billion monthly active devices o

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Windows 11, we are also focused on supporting the more than 1.3 billion monthly active devices on Windows 10. Today, we are introducing the next feature update to Windows 10: Windows 10, version 21H2. Windows continues to play an important role in people’s lives as they continue to work, learn and have fun in hybrid and remote environments. Our goal is to provide new features and functionality via a fast and reliable update experience to help keep people and organizations protected and productive. Version 21H2 will continue the recent feature update trend of being delivered in an optimized way using servicing technology. Today I will share details on scope, how we plan to service the release and next steps.

Updated features delivered in a fast, familiar way

Windows 10, version 21H2 will have a scoped set of features focused on productivity and security, prioritized to meet our customers’ needs based on feedback. New features focused on productivity, management and security include:
  • Adding WPA3 H2E standards support for enhanced Wi-Fi security
  • Windows Hello for Business supports simplified passwordless deployment models for achieving a deploy-to-run state within a few minutes
  • GPU compute support in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) and Azure IoT Edge for Linux on Windows (EFLOW) deployments for machine learning and other compute intensive workflows
Given the continuation of increased PC engagement for remote and hybrid play, learning and work, we will deliver Windows 10, version 21H2 using servicing technology (like that used for the monthly update process). For consumer or commercial users with devices running version 2004 or later, the Windows 10, version 21H2 update will have a fast installation experience. As this Windows 10 release is targeted for the second half of 2021, Home and Pro editions of version 21H2 will receive 18 months of servicing, and Enterprise and Education editions will have 30 months of servicing. In addition, we will also launch the next version of the Windows 10 Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) based on version 21H2 at the same time, and it will have five years of servicing as announced in February. More information can be found in my recent Windows lifecycle and servicing update, and we’ll have more news on future updates at a later date.

Next steps

Our launch approach for version 21H2 continues to fully leverage the Windows Insider Program to obtain user feedback and data insights on quality. Today we will begin releasing 21H2 builds to Windows Insiders who were moved to the Release Preview channel from the Beta channel because their specific devices did not meet the hardware requirements for Windows 11. This enables them to instead experience the latest innovations and enhancements in Windows 10 (note Insiders will not see new features noted in this blog right away, but in future Insider builds as they are ready). Broad availability of Windows 10, version 21H2 will begin later in the second half of this calendar year. We will provide more information on this release and the next Windows 10 LTSC release (including the next IoT Enterprise LTSC release) in the near term. You can always find the latest Windows servicing and update information on the Windows release health hub, now available in 10 languages. We look forward to hearing your feedback.]]>
As companies embrace hybrid work, a new era of hybrid computing emerges with Windows 365 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/07/14/as-companies-embrace-hybrid-work-a-new-era-of-hybrid-computing-emerges-with-windows-365/ Wed, 14 Jul 2021 15:15:11 +0000 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/?p=176023

As some regions begin to make their way out of the challenges and disruption of the past 18 months, a new world

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As some regions begin to make their way out of the challenges and disruption of the past 18 months, a new world of work is emerging. Organizations everywhere have been transformed through virtual processes and remote collaboration.

Microsoft’s latest addition to hybrid computing is Windows 365, a cloud service that introduces a new way to experience Windows 10 or Windows 11 (once it’s available later this year) 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 any device.

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.

Head over to the press release to get more details.

On the Microsoft 365 Blog, Wangui McKelvey, general manager of Microsoft 365, shares why bringing the cloud revolution to personal computing will be such a milestone for how customers work in the future and the opportunities this will create for Microsoft’s partners.

“The Windows experience is consistent, no matter the device. You can pick up right where you left off, because the state of your Cloud PC remains the same, even when you switch devices. You can get the same work done on a laptop in a hotel room, a tablet from their car between appointments, or your desktop while you’re in the office,” McKelvey says. “Seasonal workers also can ramp on and off according to the needs of the business, allowing the organization to scale for busy periods without the complicated logistical and security challenges of issuing new hardware. Further, companies can be more targeted in how they outfit specialized workers in creative, analytics, engineering, or scientific roles who need greater compute power and access to critical applications.”

Over at Innovation Stories, you can go behind the scenes to see how Microsoft developed Windows 365 and how it chose the Government of Nunavut – a territory in northeastern Canada that spans three time zones and features fjord-cut isles that stretch into the Arctic Circle off the west coast of Greenland – to pilot Windows 365.

McKelvey also appears in that story, revealing how Windows 365 was in the works before COVID-19, but “what really put the firecracker behind it was the pandemic, it accelerated everything,” McKelvey said. She explained that customers were asking, “’How do we create an experience for people that makes them still feel connected to the company without the physical presence of being there?”

]]> Candified LeBron James comes to Candy Crush Saga in ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ in-game event https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/07/09/candified-lebron-james-comes-to-candy-crush-saga-in-space-jam-a-new-legacy-in-game-event/ Fri, 09 Jul 2021 17:11:25 +0000 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/?p=176009 As movie goers around the world await the release of “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” Candy Crush Saga is rolling out an in-game adventure in partnership with King and Warner Bros.

From July 6-19, Candy Crush Saga players can interact with the stars,

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Candy Crush Saga on Windows 10 today.]]>
Summer tips to help kids be ready to go back to school https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/07/06/summer-tips-to-help-kids-be-ready-to-go-back-to-school/ Tue, 06 Jul 2021 16:02:31 +0000 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/?p=176003 We hope your kids are enjoying their summer. Needless to say, this past school year was a challenge for everybody, and summer fun was long overdue.

That said, your kids will inevitably get bored from time to time during the break from school, and th

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Head over to the Windows Resource Center to find it all.]]>
Get ready for back to school with savings from Microsoft Store https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/07/06/get-ready-for-back-to-school-with-savings-from-microsoft-store/ Tue, 06 Jul 2021 13:00:15 +0000 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/?p=175994 While summer break is in full swing, back-to-school shopping is underway with a quarter of shoppers already searching for items that will prepare them for the upcoming school year.

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quarter of shoppers already searching for items that will prepare them for the upcoming school year. Microsoft Store is helping students and families find simple tools to use at home, in the classroom, or on the go. Starting July 6, Microsoft Store is introducing a range of offers on laptops, PCs and accessories. Microsoft Store’s back-to-school deals and savings include: [caption id="attachment_175996" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Surface Go 2 Surface Go 2[/caption] Save $100 on Surface Go 2 + Type Cover
  • You can get Microsoft’s smallest, lightest 2-in-1 laptop and type cover for $100 off and receive a free sleeve (valued at $69.99) with purchase. The Surface Go 2 is perfectly portable with tablet-to-laptop versatility, making it a must have for whatever the school year has in store.
[caption id="attachment_175997" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Surface Pro X Surface Pro X[/caption] Save up to $300 on Surface Pro X
  • The ultra-thin Surface Pro X is available at $300 off. Built for the ways you study and connect; the Surface Pro X has up to 15 hours of battery life and touchscreen capabilities.
[caption id="attachment_175998" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]ASUS i3 VivoBook ASUS i3 VivoBook[/caption] Save $500 on select PCs, gaming PCs and monitors
  • Besides Surface, families can also find PCs and monitors on Microsoft Store on sale, including $140 in savings on the ASUS i3 VivoBook. The ASUS VivoBook is meant to be taken on the go and is great for transitioning between virtual and in-person classroom settings.
You’ll also receive peace of mind shopping at Microsoft Store as all purchases come with the Microsoft Store Promise, which includes free shipping and returns, personal, virtual shopping appointments, flexible payment options with Klarna, and helpful videos from our Microsoft Store associates. Additionally, for a limited time, save 20-30% on Microsoft Complete, Microsoft Store’s hardware warranty plan, when purchasing select Surface devices. If you’re unable to find your favorite item on sale, parents and students can save up to 10% year-round on select products at Microsoft Store.* *Cannot be combined with any other offer. Terms and conditions apply; see full agreement. Editor’s note – July 6, 2021 – The page above was updated to communicate the addition of a type cover to the Surface Go 2 offer.]]>
What’s coming in Windows 11 Accessibility https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/07/01/whats-coming-in-windows-11-accessibility/ Thu, 01 Jul 2021 17:00:16 +0000 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/?p=175977 Today, I’m excited to share more information about the Windows 11 accessibility journey.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced its What’s coming in Windows 11 Accessibility appeared first on Windows Experience Blog.

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upped commitments and ambitions for accessibility. And, we recently introduced Windows 11. An early preview of Windows 11 is available to Windows Insiders today and will start to be generally available later this year. I’m excited to share our ambition to empower people with disabilities to achieve more with Windows and more specifically, what’s coming in Windows 11. Note, this is a lengthy post, we’ve got a lot to share.

Beyond possible, efficient and yes, delightful

Accessible technology is a fundamental building block that can unlock opportunities in every part of society. A more accessible Windows experience has the power to help tackle the “disability divide” -- to contribute to more education and employment opportunities for people with disabilities across the world. Already, more than a billion people enjoy creating, connecting, learning and achieving on Windows. Beyond simply making these things possible, we aspire for each of our users across the disability spectrum to enjoy experiences that are efficient, fun and yes, delightful. Windows has a great opportunity. Our ambition is shaped by you. We have a lot to do, and what’s outlined below is just the start. Information about how to reach us to provide feedback or for assistance with Windows is included at the end of this post.

Windows 11 is the most inclusively designed version of Windows

Windows 11 was redesigned for productivity, creativity and ease of use. While it will feel familiar, e.g., with a Desktop, Start menu, Search, Taskbar, Settings and many other features that you have come to expect, it is also simpler, with a modern, fresh and clean design. Accessibility was considered from the start, with inclusive design reviews of new and redesigned features. And, beyond designing for accessibility with and for people with disabilities, we employed Trusted Tester conformance tests, usability tests and other processes to help ensure Windows 11 is accessible at availability later this year. Meanwhile, we’re excited to gather additional feedback from Windows Insiders about how we can further improve the experience. If you’re not a Windows Insider yet, now is the time to join! [caption id="attachment_176001" align="aligncenter" width="4000"]Windows 11 Start menu Windows 11 Start menu. Windows 11 is both familiar and simpler with a modern, fresh and clean design.[/caption] Windows 11 offers familiar assistive technologies like Narrator, Magnifier, Closed Captions and Windows Speech Recognition to support users across the disability spectrum. Windows 11 also supports assistive technologies created by our partners including popular screen readers, magnification programs, CART services, speech commanding and other experiences. Windows 11 also includes many improvements. People who are blind, and everyone, can enjoy new sound schemes. Windows 11 includes delightful Windows start-up and other sounds, including different sounds for more accessible Light and Dark Themes. People with light sensitivity and people working for extended periods of time can enjoy beautiful color themes, including new Dark themes and reimagined High Contrast Themes. The new Contrast Themes include aesthetically pleasing, customizable color combinations that make apps and content easier to see. Deaf and hard of hearing, language learners, and people in noisy or in quiet environments can enjoy redesigned Closed Caption themes that are easier to read and customize. And, multiple sets of users can enjoy Windows Voice Typing, which uses state-of-the-art artificial intelligence to recognize speech, transcribe and automatically punctuate text. People with severe arthritis, repetitive stress injuries, cerebral palsy and other mobility related disabilities, learning differences including with severe spelling disabilities, language learners and people that prefer to write with their voice can all enjoy Voice Typing. Ultimately, everyone can enjoy Windows’ simplified design and user experience. It is modern, fresh, clean and beautiful.

Windows accessibility features are easier to find and use

Importantly, more than improving existing accessibility features, introducing new features and making users’ preferred assistive technology compatible with Windows 11, we are making accessibility features easier to find and use. You gave us feedback that the purpose of the “Ease of Access” Settings and icon was unclear. And you said that you expected to find “Accessibility” settings. We listened and we changed Windows. We rebranded Ease of Access Settings to Accessibility and introduced a new accessibility “human” icon. We redesigned the Accessibility Settings to make them easier to use. And of course, Accessibility features are available in the out of box experience and on the Log on and Lock screens so that users can independently setup and use their devices, e.g., with Narrator. [caption id="attachment_176002" align="aligncenter" width="8000"]Windows 11 Accessibility Settings Windows 11 Accessibility Settings, formerly known as “Ease of Access” Settings.[/caption]

Windows accessibility just works in more scenarios

Windows 11 is a significant step towards a future in which accessibility “just works,” without costly plug-ins or time-consuming work by Information Technology administrators. With Windows 10, we made it possible for assistive technologies to work with secure applications, like Word, in Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG). With Windows 11, we made it possible for both Microsoft and partner assistive technologies to work with applications like Outlook hosted in the cloud, in Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). For example, with Windows 11, Office is accessible as a Remote Application Integrated Locally (RAIL) using Narrator. While that may sound like a lot of jargon to most people, the impact is significant. People who are blind will have access to applications like Office hosted in Azure when they need it. Windows 11 will also support Linux GUI apps like gedit through the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on devices that meet the app system requirements. And, we enabled these experiences to be accessible. For example, people who are blind can use Windows with supported screen readers within WSL. In some cases, the assistive technology experience is seamless. For example, Color Filters, “just work.” Importantly, the WSL team prioritized accessibility from the start and committed to enable accessible experiences at launch. They are excited to share more with Insiders and to get feedback to continue to refine the usability of their experiences. We look forward to sharing more about other new experiences we introduced last week like our partnership with Amazon to bring Android apps to Windows in the coming months.

Modern accessibility platform is great for the assistive technology ecosystem

Finally, I am happy to share that we have been working closely with assistive technology industry leaders to co-engineer what we call the “modern accessibility platform.” Windows 11 delivers a platform that enables more responsive experiences and more agile development, including access to application data without requiring changes to Windows. We embraced feedback from industry partners that we need to make assistive technology more responsive by design. We embraced the design constraints of making local assistive technology like Narrator “just work” with cloud hosted apps over a network. We invented and co-engineered new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to do both; to improve the communication between assistive technologies like Narrator and applications like Outlook that significantly improve Narrator responsiveness in some scenarios. The result is that Narrator feels more responsive and works over a network with cloud-hosted apps. We also embraced feedback from industry partners that we need to increase assistive technology and application developer agility to increase the pace of innovation and user experience improvements. We made it possible for application developers, like Microsoft Office, to expose data programmatically without requiring Windows updates. With Windows 11, application developers will be able to implement UI Automation custom extensions, including custom properties, patterns and annotations that can be consumed by assistive technologies. For users, this means we can develop usability and other improvements at the speed of apps.

Try Windows 11 and give us feedback

An early preview build of Windows 11 is now available to Windows Insiders. And, later this year, Windows 11 will start to be generally available. I’m excited for your feedback — both positive and constructive — to create better experiences for each of us. Whether you’re using an Insider build, or a generally available version, Windows 10 and Windows 11 make it easy to share your thoughts and suggestions — just press the Windows logo key + F to launch the Feedback hub and share what’s top of mind. Finally, if you are a customer with a disability and need technical assistance, the Disability Answer Desk is there to assist via phone (800-936-5900) and chat. In addition, we also have an ASL option available for our customers who are deaf or hard of hearing in the U.S. (+1 503-427-1234). Please contact us, we are always happy to help.]]>
Minecraft Marketplace Summer Celebration sale runs through July 12 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/06/29/minecraft-marketplace-summer-celebration-sale-runs-through-july-12/ Tue, 29 Jun 2021 20:12:23 +0000 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/?p=175960 Between June 29 – July 12, the Minecraft Marketplace Summer Celebration delivers a sale filled with items up to 33% off and two free 

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Between June 29 – July 12, the Minecraft Marketplace Summer Celebration delivers a sale filled with items up to 33% off and two free maps, the first of which is available now.

Rasa Studios created the first map, which includes four headliner games, seven mini-games, six custom skins and lots of gifts. Oreville Studios made the second map, a customized adventure that will launch July 9. It’ll have challenges and mini-games, more than 100 unique models, custom music and animated cutscenes.

Head over to Minecraft.net to get more details and install the Minecraft for Windows 10 Starter Collection if you don’t have it already.

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HP reveals its lightest consumer laptop: Pavilion Aero 13 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/06/29/hp-reveals-its-lightest-consumer-laptop-pavilion-aero-13/ Tue, 29 Jun 2021 16:07:26 +0000 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/?p=175953 HP has unveiled its lightest consumer laptop yet: the HP Pavilion Aero 13 laptop PC, starting at less than 2.2 pounds (1 kg).

This is also the first Pavilion laptop to feature a full magnesium aluminum chassis, a 4-sided narrow bezel and a 90% scree

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HP Pavilion Aero 13 on a desk, openWhen Windows 11 is available later this year, you should be able to upgrade this laptop to it [1]. Powered by up to the latest AMD Ryzen 7 5800U Mobile Processor with AMD Radeon Graphics, you can expect fast responsiveness when working or browsing, and smooth details while watching movies. Sustainability figures into every stage of its lifecycle, starting with post-consumer recycled and ocean-bound plastics, saving over 6,000 plastic bottles from entering the ocean [2]. The device features water-based paint, and its outer box and fiber cushions are 100% sustainably sourced and recyclable. It’s also EPEAT Gold Registered and Energy Star Certified. The HP Pavilion Aero 13 is expected to be available beginning in July at HP.com for a starting price of $749. Select U.S. retailers are expected to carry it later this fall. HP Pavilion Aero 13 deconstructed, floating in profile Find out more about it over at HP. [1] Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers, software or BIOS update to take full advantage of Windows functionality. Windows is automatically updated, which is always enabled. ISP fees may apply and additional requirements may apply over time for updates. See http://www.microsoft.com. [2] Based on HP’s internal analysis as of March 22. 6,417.32 recycled plastic bottles consumed, based on HP’s projected lifecycle volume. Manufactured recycled ocean bound plastic material in product speaker enclosure. Calculation based on grams per product (using 12.7 grams per 16.9 ounce “single serve” bottled water container) multiplied by projected shipment volume/ 12.7 grams.]]>
Gateway PC laptops equipped with latest generation Intel processors coming to Walmart https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2021/06/29/gateway-pc-laptops-equipped-with-latest-generation-intel-processors-coming-to-walmart/ Tue, 29 Jun 2021 14:59:52 +0000 https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/?p=175893 Gateway is expanding its Ultra-Slim Notebook series to include laptops outfitted with the latest 11th Gen Intel processors. These will be available exclusively in Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com.

These lightweight Windows devices

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th Gen Intel processors. These will be available exclusively in Walmart stores and online at Walmart.com. These lightweight Windows devices have the Intel Pentium Quad Core Processor and Intel’s Tiger Lake 11th Gen Processor for lightning-fast connections, computing power and superior visuals for gaming and streaming, as well as for creative projects and learning. Tuned by THX provides a more immersive entertainment experience with enhancements to maximize warmth, loudness and intelligibility from small speakers. Three Gateway laptops floating in different levels of openess Microsoft Windows 10 Home comes pre-installed. That means an easy start up and smooth connections, added security, password-free unlocking and Focus Assist to block notifications. It also includes Microsoft Photos and Xbox Game Bar to instantly chat with friends, monitor performance and make screen recordings. One model of Gateway Ultra-Slim Pentium Notebooks comes in a vibrant green and includes Minecraft Starter Edition (a value of $26.99), with free updates and community creations. Another notebook, a 2-in-1 touch screen convertible, powered by an Intel Celeron N4020 – Dual Core processor, comes not only with Windows 10 Home, but also loaded with Microsoft 365 premium personal apps and services. When you buy one of these devices, you’ll be able to upgrade to the next generation of Microsoft Windows when it’s available. Two Gateway devices side by side, one in tent mode You’ll find these ergonomically designed PCs in a variety of vibrant colors and screen sizes – over a range of prices, from $199.99 to $699.99. Head over to the press release to get more details on these devices.]]>