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Weekly Windows Newsbytes – Week 18/2019

New Insider build 18890

The Windows Insider team surprised Insiders and released Fast Ring build 18890 on Wednesday, May 1st, only five days after build 18885 appeared. According to discussion on Ten Forums, the build seems to work fine when installed, but quite a number of users have had to try the upgrade several times before succeeding with it.I surely and sincerely hope that Microsoft will fix apparent issues and problems in their UUP (Unified Update Platform) upgrade method.

Case in point: One issue that users are reporting is the SFC /SCANNOW command failing at 34%. Something for the Insider team to check? You bet!

April 2019 OS market share stats released

Although Windows 7 is already in intensive care, only waiting for the family to to unplug it from life support, quite a number of Windows 7 users still cling tenaciously to this beloved operating system. Netmarketshare.com released OS statistics for April 2019 this week. Windows 10 market share passed Windows 7 late last year, but its growth is certainly not what Microsoft had hoped. Both W7 and W10 have, depending on the source, just under 40% share. This should make the End of Life on January 14, 2020, and beyond, quite interesting to watch.

Good news for coders

Coders got good news on Thursday, May 2nd:

At the moment, the feature is only available to Windows Insiders. You can download the free Visual Studio Code here.

Office 365 and new Outlook simplified ribbon

On the MSDN blog, Microsoft’s Office team announced a new, simplified ribbon for Outlook on Thursday, May 2nd:

… we’re introducing a new feature in Outlook that allows you to use a new, simplified ribbon. This smaller, more compact ribbon shows you the most common commands in a streamlined interface that resizes dynamically with your Outlook window.

Some time earlier, Office 365 got some snazzy new icons, too.

A new look for the Office 365 component application icons.
[Click image for full-sized view.]

New innovations in Azure Machine Learning

On Thursday, May 2nd, Scott Guthrie (Executive Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise Group, Microsoft) announced some new things coming to Windows, Windows IoT and Azure in the lead-up to the Build conference next week:

To begin, we’re announcing several new AI services and capabilities that makes it easier for developers to build AI-powered applications. Furthering our commitment to building the most productive AI platform, we’re delivering key new innovations in Azure Machine Learning that simplify the process of building, training and deployment of machine learning models at scale. These include new automated machine learning advancements and an intuitive UI that make developing high-quality models easier, a new visual machine learning interface that provides a zero-code model creation and deployment experience using drag-and-drop capabilities and new machine learning notebooks for a rich, code-first development experience.

Read more in Scott Guthrie’s post.

Lighter side: Microsoft Solitaire in Video Game Hall of Fame

Microsoft Solitaire was introduced in Windows 3.0 back in May, 1990. It was an integral part of teaching PC users to use a new device, the mouse. As free program bundled with operating system, it was an instant hit, and greatly helped users to understand how to use computer mouse.

Microsoft Solitaire meets all the criteria for the World Video Game Hall of Fame: influence, longevity, geographical reach, and icon-status. And yet it is often overlooked—perhaps because it’s a digital version of a centuries-old game, and because it so common as to seem commonplace.

Read more: World Video Game Hall of Fame


Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.

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