Here's the new build, Insiders... wait for it... wait for it... Is it Windows 10X's upcoming ... Oh. You can change refresh rate of the display

Also: Teams goes native on Arm and Calculator pops up in Canonical's snap store


In Brief Windows Insiders on the bleeding edge Windows 10 dev release channel that hoped to twiddle a knob or switch in the latest Windows 10X iteration had to settle for a drop-down menu for the refresh rate of a given display.

The dropdown, emitted in last week's build 20236, is a nice toy for sure, and will be welcomed by those who remember poking around .ini files back in the day. However, it is not really what those unpaid testers signed up for.

To rub salt into the wound, Microsoft also used its Insider orifice to trumpet the visibility of recent searches in the Windows search box, a server-side modification that will be rolling out to all users running Windows 10 1903 and higher.

As well as a swathe of fixes (including one for a regression that broke NVIDIA CUDA vGPU acceleration in the Windows Subsystem for Linux), Microsoft also pushed out a Cumulative Update for the build which it insisted was merely to test the servicing pipeline. Nothing to see here. Much, alas, like the rest of the Dev Channel, judging by recent releases.

Teams on Arm

The steady drip of native Arm64 applications for Windows 10 on Arm continued last week with the release of Teams for the platform.

It has been a while coming, particularly considering the time that has passed since the company's flagship Surface Pro X debuted (indeed, the pricey Microsoft fondleslab has enjoyed a spec boost in the meantime.) However, like customers using Visual Studio Code, those who have spanked the big bucks on Microsoft's top hardware now need no longer endure Intel emulation for Teams.

A look at the UserVoice channel for Teams indicates that long suffering customers who might have whinged at how slow and occasionally wobbly the emulated version was, are mostly delighted with the update.

The only question is why it has taken so long to get a key bit of the Microsoft Office ecosystem whipped into shape for its premier Surfaces.

Hide from the world with PowerToys Mute

Although very much a work-in-progress feature, Microsoft has rolled out the Video Conference mute feature as part of the experimental version 0.24.0 release.

The pre-release feature will mute both audio and video with a single keystroke; handy during those video conferences that have blighted the lives of newly remote workers. Being pre-release, however, means that there are plenty of issues to catch the unwary, including the microphone of some Surface devices requiring a bit of a faff to restore to life after a mute.

As well as camera and microphone fixes, the release also includes an ominous "add telemetry for settings" element. Those pondering exactly what that telemetry might be can pop into the repo for the retro-inspired project and have a poke around.

This is the New Microsoft, after all.

Counting down to the Windows 10 October 2020 Update

We're midway through Marchtober, and the Windows 10 October 2020 Update (aka 20H2) has yet to put in an appearance, despite patch Tuesday having been and gone.

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The release, parts of the code for which have likely already slithered onto the computers of 20H1 users (it is, after all, just a jumped-up Cumulative Update), received an update in the Beta and Release Preview Channels on the Windows Insider program last week. Build 19042.572 (KB4579311) brought with it fixes regarding "a possible elevation of privilege in win32k" and a Group Policy service issue that could wipe critical files from system32 where a policy is set to delete cached profiles.

The latter issue can result in 0x5A (CRITICAL_SERVICE_FAILED) boot failures.

Windows loves Linux (well, Calculator does)

It has been over a year since Microsoft dumped the source for the Windows Calculator into GitHub in an effort to persuade developers to get involved in coding for the thing.

While some still cling to the hope that Windows might one day become a mere emulation layer atop the Linux kernel, others have set about making the dream a reality. That is if by "Windows", one means "Calculator."

The Uno gang, famed for their cross-platform development tooling, have demonstrated their smarts with a port of the Windows Calculator to show off what is possible (although Linux fans likely already have their number-wrangler of choice installed, such as the likes of gcalculator.)

Still, it remains impressive to see code that was once the preserve of the Windows OS popping up in Canonical's snap store. Next up, the entire Windows shell? Maybe not. ®

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