Microsoft to take a break from Edge releases: Hits pause button to align with Chromium

Plus: A release candidate for Azure DevOps, Pylance gallops into VS Code and hairdressing in Teams

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In Brief Microsoft's browser gang at Edge has said it will take a breather in order to "stay aligned with Chromium Project's release schedule."

The result is no Dev, Beta or Stable releases until the week commencing 13 July although those on the bleeding edge in the Canary channel will continue to receive daily builds from the project.

The pause came as Microsoft warned education and business users of Windows 10 devices that there was no escape from its browser; from 30 July "Edge Legacy" will be replaced by the Chromium incarnation (unless under the umbrella of Windows Server Update Services or Windows Update for Business.)

Education devices will be on the receiving end first, to accommodate back-to-school dates, while business machines will follow at a later date. The company has already begun unleashing the thing via Windows Update earlier this year, although a Blocker Toolkit has been made available to buy a little more time.

The new Edge will turn up by default from Windows 10 20H2 onward.

Azure DevOps Server. New name, still on-prem

Microsoft's habit of slapping the word "Azure" over its products has continued with Azure DevOps Server 2020 RC1, formerly known as Visual Studio Team Foundation Server.

Despite the Azure moniker, the release was most definitely an on-premises one and features either an ISO or web installer to exercise the iron in the data centre. Unlike 2019's edition, it also ditched support for Windows Server 2012; its Server 2016 and above from now on.

For those that like to keep their DevOps in the data centre (and goodness, there are a lot of you who do), the update included continuous deployment in YAML, a new test plan page and rich editing for code wiki pages among the new features.

A direct upgrade from the 2019 edition, or from Team Foundation Server 2015 or newer, is possible. If you've been running something a little earlier then the process will require what Microsoft delicately described as "interim steps."

It is surely only a matter of time before someone in Redmond decides it would be a good idea to append "365" to its DevOps server, to make the rebranding complete.

"What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?" Microsoft unveils Pylance

Named for Monty Python and the Holy Grail's Lancelot, Pylance is Microsoft's new language server for Python, using the Language Server Protocol to talk to the ever-popular Visual Studio Code.

2018 saw Microsoft's Python team release the Python Language Server, thus bringing Python Intellisense support to VS Code. As well as upping the performance, Pylance added richer type information, auto-imports and type checking diagnostics.

Microsoft already had a static type checking tool, in the form of the Pyright. Pylance contains the functionality of Pyright, and users are advised to uninstall the latter since conflicts may arise through using both. Pylance also spells the end of Microsoft's Python Language Server. While the server won't immediately be going anywhere, the team's efforts will shift to Pylance and, over time, the old server will be deprecated.

Adventures in hairdressing using Teams

Finally, we were vaguely alarmed to note that students at the UK's South Staffordshire College have been keeping up with the their studies into the dark arts of hairdressing by having a crack at their family's barnets.

While this Register hack bears more than a passing resemblance to the Addams Family's Cousin It nowadays, the situation has yet to reach the point where risking a "Hello? Can you hear me?" moment from someone wielding the shears is preferable to a grey-haired pony-tail.

The college has also put together a SharePoint site for the sharing of teaching resources and carried out assessments using Teams. It said it plans to continue using the site as the UK's coronavirus lockdown eases. ®

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