Windows 10 October 2020 Update has arrived... and so have the fixes. Plus: Fancy a discount on a Surface Duo?

Also: Teams migration, Windows 10 on Surface Hub 2S


In Brief Windows 10 20H2 is out. And yet Windows 10 20H2 also remains lurking in both the Beta and Release Preview Channel for the company's loyal army of unpaid testers. While the latter is understandable, those running the former would be forgiven for hoping that there might be a whiff of things to come in the form of 21H1 (or whatever the next release ends up being called).

Instead, Release Preview Channellers (and a bit later, those in Beta) were given a patch in the form of build 19042.608. It's a slightly odd order of deployment, considering the purpose of the channels. Far be it from The Reg to wonder if those behind the Windows Insider programme are making things up as they go along these days.

Those lucky Insiders got the odd-looking Skype Meet Now icon in their taskbar. A click will fire up a Zoom-bashing friends and family call without recourse to a pesky sign-up.

The update also includes fixes for The Browser That Will Not Die Internet Explorer around Group Policies, Arm64 devices, and the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) 2.

The patch came as Microsoft sneaked out an update to the Dev Channel, build 20241.1005, at the end of the week. There were no excitingly themed splash screens this time around, though, just another test of the company's servicing pipeline.

How does one keep growing Teams? Migrate from third parties

Microsoft has opened up a beta of import capabilities for its Slack-for-Suits platform, Teams.

The functionality uses Microsoft Graph to slurp data from a third party into Teams and requires that it be possible to map whatever is lurking in that third party to the chat structure in Teams. Then, as long as the data is the correct format and an Office 365 tenant existing for the import data (and the team members have Azure Active Directory accounts, in it goes.

It is a neat bit of functionality, but limited at present. While the dream of a seamless migration through a recreated message flow is a worthy one, there are some relatively large missing pieces: private channels and group chat messages are out of scope, as are @ mentions, announcements and cross-channel posting.

To what we expect will be the horror of many, emojis are also not considered in scope.

Microsoft lops $200 off the price of the Surface Duo

The launch of Redmond's dual-screen behemoth has gone well. So well in fact that the company is luring punters with a $200 discount in its US store. The price for the 128GB version now stands at $1,199 while 256GB is $100 more.

It is debatable how many extra customers the reduction will see Microsoft acquiring. If size matters, then the 6.7-inch iPhone 12 Pro Max is still $100 cheaper. The Duo will also react badly to moisture, has the guts of something more 2019-ish, and a camera and bezel that only a true believer could love.

Still, if the cash burning a hole in your pocket was $200 short of that demanded by the Microsoft store at launch, then now is the time to strike. Or maybe hold fire, and see what gets dealt with in version 2.

Windows 10 update inbound for the Surface Hub 2S. 2X? Nothing to see here, sir

Microsoft has emitted the Windows 10 Team 2020 Update for Surface Hub devices via its Windows Update for Business channel. Teased back in July, the update improves things for Azure Active Directory-joined devices as well as brings support for Chromium Edge.

Proximity Join with Teams, to allow calls to be taken on a nearby Surface Hub using a laptop or phone, is supported, as are FIDO2 security keys and dual-pen inking (although the latter needs a firmware update before two people can express themselves at the same time all over the jumped-up whiteboard).

Team 2020 is based on Windows 10 20H2, and hit New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Belgium, and Mexico last week. Other countries, including the US and UK will follow in November before things go global in December.

Those who splashed the cash on first-generation hubs could have a little longer to wait: "As soon as we have the update ready for 1st-Generation Surface Hubs, a new and improved Surface Hub Recovery Tool (SHRT) will become available too."

No mention was made of the 2X in Microsoft's announcement, although there was a reference to the compute unit (or "cartridge"), something that might one day be replaced by something a little beefier.

In the meantime, just be glad that nobody thought to shoehorn "Azure" somewhere into Surface Hub Recovery Tool. That might have turned SHRT into something altogether less savoury. ®


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