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After all the excitement of Windows 10 2004, Insider builds go back to square one

Also: Multi-window Teams, Skype does the Blankety Blank dance, and more

Roundup It has been a busy seven days in Redmond. In addition to the Windows 10 May 2020 Update finally being released, we also saw Skype flashing nine tired lockdown faces at once, some Azure database tweaks and more.

Microsoft celebrates the release of Windows 10 2004 with a new Insider Build

As the long-awaited emission of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update got under way, the Windows gang partied in the only way they know how: a Fast Ring emission devoid of any new features.

Hopes that cracking open the update gates might also signify the start of something a little more exciting for long-suffering Fast Ringers were dashed as the only fixes listed in build 19635 included one dealing with borked cellular data and another to tackle display flashing on certain devices.

The issues were familiar, and included the old faithful "update process hanging for extended periods of time."

However, of exciting whizz-bang features (such as GPU access for the Windows Subsystem for Linux) there remained none.

Samsung's Lakefield-powered Galaxy Quest... S

After first muttering about the device late last year, Samsung has finally pulled the sheets off the Intel version of its Galaxy Book S, joining the Qualcomm 8cx-powered incarnation.

It'll be a bittersweet moment for the company's best buddy, Microsoft, which looked likely to be using the exotic chippery in its dual-screen Neo. The fate of the Neo remains uncertain at the moment after the "delayed" moniker was slapped on it.

The battery life is the question. Qualcomm's version of the Galaxy Book S is one of the better examples of the type out there (as are others, such as Microsoft's Surface Pro X), but Windows 10 has to fall back to an emulation mode where native versions of apps do not exist. 64-bit Intel apps do not run at all.

Intel hardware is not bedevilled by the same issues.

With Microsoft's own Neo now delayed, those wishing to see what Intel (maybe) had in store for the Redmond's foldable, Samsung is the first to bring the chips to market.

The Register will have more on the Samsung gear later today.

Microsoft aims the rebrandogun at Azure Cosmos DB extension, adds Azure PostreSQL support

Now called the snappy "Azure Databases" extension for Visual Studio code, Microsoft has updated the freebie add-in with extras for Azure PostgreSQL.

The preview extension allows users to manage and query databases, including Cosmos DB and Azure Database for PostgreSQL. It also supports MongoDB, Graph (Gremlin) and SQL.

It is a neat little add-in, although lacks the richness of the Azure Data Studio. It also does not support viewing or editing tables; commands or stored procedure are very much the name of the game here.

Fashionably late, Skype adds a 3x3 view for video calls

It's been a while coming, but the messaging platform Microsoft used to punt before Teams became the new hotness has acquired the ability to show nine call participants at once.

"Just like that old TV show," exclaimed the Windows giant.

Presumably not Blankety Blank quiz show, although we have to confess a certain fondness for the early 1980s antics of Wogan and the shiny Chequebook and Pen prize on offer to lucky winners.

The latest update – which has been making its way to Windows, Mac and Linux installations over the last week – also added some global hotkeys for use when Skype is minimised as well as the ability to create moderated groups; handy for virtual classrooms when an admin might want to eject a user to a virtual naughty step for a while.

Teams also has the grid view for its video chats, as well more daily active users than the veteran Skype (depending on how you measure it).

The new functionality is handy, but possibly a case of too little, too late as conferencing alternatives, such as Zoom, have romped away with both market and mindshare.

Chatting in Teams goes multi-window

There was good news at long last for Teams fans seeking the ability to park chat sessions in their own windows just like Skype did for, er, years. The gang announced that the feature has finally rolled out to General Availability, closing out an issue that attracted more than 20,000 votes and has been lurking for almost four years.

The lengthy wait (and what has been spat out) has left some customers frustrated. One particularly terse comment gave the company "an F for execution". We suspect that wasn't F for "Fantastic".

Now it has actually arrived (for desktop Windows or Mac only – Linux, mobile and web fans don't get to join in the fun just yet), the implementation is straightforward; hovering over a chat shows a "Pop out chat" option, or the user can click on an icon in the chat itself or double-click on a profile icon. The chat then appears in a separate window.

It does, alas, only support one-on-one or group chats. Some users were left grumbling about channel chats or the closing of windows when switching companies.

Still, it's a start and will go some way to mollifying those that really miss that old IM experience. ®

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