Windows Insiders give thanks for latest release... Hang on. Where's the 64-bit Intel on Arm stuffing?

Also: Edge to take to the M1, and TypeScript 4.1 is here


In Brief Microsoft's army of unpaid Windows Insider testers can look forward to a Windows 10 turkey without that crucial bit of juicy 64-bit Intel on Arm stuffing.

After a number of test builds less exciting than lukewarm custard, Dev Channel testers were expecting great things from Redmond to round out November. After all, chief product officer Panos Panay said there would be 64-bit treats for the faithful, right?

Alas, barring a final, unscheduled push, the 64-bit Intel emulation for Windows on Arm promised for the Dev Channel build of Windows 10 is unlikely to appear this side of December. The Windows Insider team appears to be shutting up shop in light of the US holiday of Thanksgiving.

The most recent emission to the Dev Channel was build 20262, which was sadly bereft of features (even those that had been snatched away with the move to the FE_RELEASE development branch) in favour of less than a dozen fixes and the usual parade of known issues.

One might have hoped for a bigger bang to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Windows 1.0, but the big day itself saw just an update to test the servicing pipeline. One of Microsoft's Windows Insider bigwigs, Brandon LeBlanc, noted: "This update does not include anything new."

Just like the rest of them, it seems.

Still, we remain hopeful that the Windows team will relent and offer up 64-bit Intel emulation to loyal insiders running Arm-based hardware. We'd hate to start making comparisons between Windows on Arm and a Thanksgiving Turkey.

That's what the Surface Duo is for.

Got a new Apple M1 Mac? What's the one app you can't do without? Edge!

Windows on Arm may not seem to be at the forefront of Microsoft's corporate mind, but Apple's take on the hardware has attracted the attention of Redmond's finest with M1 support for Microsoft's Chromium-based browser "in the works."

A native version of Edge would join Office 2019 for Mac (recently emitted for Insider users) in Apple's Arm-based future. It took Microsoft quite some time to bring its new browser to its own Arm-based hardware. M1 fans, however, may have a considerably shorter wait. After all, a Chrome port is already doing the rounds.

Last week also saw the rolling out of features to the Canary and Dev Channels of Edge enabling the synchronising of history and tabs over multiple devices, including those running Linux and the General Availability of WebView2 for .NET.

The latter replaces the original EdgeHTML-based control with something a little more Chromium and is for anyone looking to embed web content in their applications. Declared fit for production back in October, the GA release adds support for .NET 5, .NET Core and .NET Framework Windows Forms and WPF applications running atop versions of Windows going back to 7.

The promised fixed distribution mode has also been made available for those who would prefer it if components they had carefully tested against did not update themselves at the whim of Microsoft.

TypeScript 4.1 takes a bow

Microsoft's JavaScript superset, TypeScript, was released last week. TypeScript's claim to fame is around its type declarations and annotations, and this month's increment extended the type functionality with support for template literal types, recursive conditional types and key remapping in mapped types.

It's a handy, if not earth-shattering, release. The template literal types functionality works pretty much the same way as template literal strings in JavaScript, except in type positions, and is a welcome addition to the language. The breaking changes, on the other hand, may not be, and include that abstract members can't be marked async and that resolve's parameters are no longer optional in Promises.

TypeScript continues to be a popular language, currently second behind Rust in Stack Overflow's most loved list and edging above C in the survey's chart of most popular technologies.

Riding high on Microsoft 365, AvePoint announces merger

As Microsoft has seen the uptake of its Teams platform soar as workers adapted to a life in sweatpants and t-shirts rather than shirts and ties, other companies have clung to its coat-tails and seen revenues rise too.

One example is Microsoft 365 specialist, AvePoint, which today confirmed merger with special purpose acquisition company Apex Technology Acquisition Corporation. While things had been ticking over nicely prior to the current pandemic, "the impact of COVID-19 and the growth of Microsoft’s cloud solutions, including Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams, have accelerated demand for our product," said AvePoint CEO Dr Tianyi Jian.

The deal, which the pair claimed puts an equity value of approximately $2bn on the combined company, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. The new company will be called AvePoint, but will add former Oracle CFO (and Apex leader) Jeff Epstein to its board.

The company will also benefit from $140m from private investors and the $352m held in Apex's trust account (as of 30 September.), so expect lots of purchaes over the next few years. ®


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