Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18985 | Windows Experience Blog

Hello Windows Insiders, today we’re releasing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18985 (20H1) to Windows Insiders in the Fast ring.IMPORTANT: As is normal with pre-release builds, these builds may contain bugs that might be painful for some. If you take this flight, you won’t be able to switch Slow or Release Preview rings without doing a clean-install on your PC.
If you want a complete look at what build is in which Insider ring, head over to Flight Hub. You can also check out the rest of our documentation here including a complete list of new features and updates that have gone out as part of Insider flights for the current development cycle.
Not seeing any of the features in this build? Check your Windows Insider Settings to make sure you’re on the Fast ring. Submit feedback here to let us know if things weren’t working the way you expected.

Improving your Bluetooth pairing experience
For Windows 10 version 1803, we announced a new streamlined experience for pairing supported Bluetooth devices. The idea was simple—if a supported device was nearby and in pairing mode, we’d show a notification that prompted you to go through pairing. This saved you from opening Settings yourself and finding the right place to go. Today, we’re rolling out an update with improvements we hope you’ll like.
Here’s what’s new:
Pairing is all done in notifications now. You don’t need to go to the Settings app anymore to finish pairing.
For faster pairing time, we improved the UI by showing one less notification.
We added a Dismiss button to the first notification to give you more control while using Swift Pair.
To make the notification more helpful, now we show the device name and category when we can.
We’re excited for Insiders to try it out and share feedback. This new experience is currently rolled out to 50% of Insiders, and we’ll let you know as the rollout increases. Supported devices include:
Surface Ergonomic Keyboard
Surface Precision Mouse
Microsoft Modern Mobile Mouse
Surface Mobile Mouse
Microsoft Arc Mouse
Surface Arc Mouse
Surface Headphones

Improving your optional update experience
As some Insiders have noticed, we’re working on making it easier for you to see all optional updates (including drivers, feature updates, and monthly non-security quality updates) in one place. Once optional updates are detected, they will be listed in a new page under Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View optional updates. For drivers, you no longer need to browse Device Manager for a specific device to update. Windows Update will automatically keep your drivers up-to-date, same as before, but if you’re having a problem one of those optional drivers might help.

Snip & Sketch app update
After spending time in both the Fast and Slow rings, we’re now starting to roll out Snip & Sketch version 10.1907 to 100% of Insiders in the Release Preview ring. We will also be rolling this update out to a small percentage of those using retail builds. As a reminder, this update includes two notable improvements based on your feedback:
Single window mode: We’ve heard that some of you prefer your previous snip to close when you click New in Snip & Sketch, so you don’t end up with a bunch of windows. Going forward, this will be the default option. If you liked having multiple windows, don’t worry! That’s still an option too if you go to Snip & Sketch settings.
Zoom support: You can now zoom in on your screenshots if they’re a bit too small for you to annotate on (and yes, touch, CTRL+Plus, CTRL+Minus and Ctrl+Mouse wheel are supported!) If you prefer keeping a small Snip & Sketch window, we’ll also zoom out to ensure the whole snip fits in the Snip & Sketch window.

What snipping improvement would you like us to work on next? Let us know! Fastest way to get to the right place is to select the “…” menu in Snip & Sketch, and then choose Send Feedback.

We fixed an issue where adding a new Language Pack reported successful installation but was not installed.
We fixed an issue impacting the reliability of Settings when accessing the Network & Internet section.
We fixed an issue that could result in printer entries not displaying properly for non-admin accounts—the text overlapping, and not being clickable.
We fixed an issue resulting in Task Manager showing an unexpectedly high temperature for certain GPUs.
We fixed an issue resulting in Task Manger unexpectedly showing 0% CPU usage in the Performance tab.
We fixed an issue where the setting that enables Microsoft accounts on your device to go Passwordless (by requiring Windows Hello sign in and hiding the password option from the lock screen) was showing for local account users. Now the setting will only show for Microsoft account users.
We fixed an issue with the Reset this PC cloud download option not calculating the correct amount of space you needed to free up if you did not have enough disk space to proceed.
We fixed an issue with the Reset this PC cloud download option not working when specific optional features were installed.
At this time, we’re removing our known issue about Realtek SD card readers. If you are still encountering issues with any SD cards, please take a moment to check for driver updates, and file feedback if that does not resolve it for you.

There has been an issue with older versions of anti-cheat software used with games where after updating to the latest 19H1 Insider Preview builds may cause PCs to experience crashes. We are working with partners on getting their software updated with a fix, and most games have released patches to prevent PCs from experiencing this issue. To minimize the chance of running into this issue, please make sure you are running the latest version of your games before attempting to update the operating system. We are also working with anti-cheat and game developers to resolve similar issues that may arise with the 20H1 Insider Preview builds and will work to minimize the likelihood of these issues in the future.
Certain 2D apps (like Feedback Hub, Microsoft Store, 3D Viewer) are incorrectly being treated as having protected content within Windows Mixed Reality. During video capture, these 2D apps block their content from being recorded.
When capturing a repro video while filing a bug via Feedback Hub in Windows Mixed Reality, you won’t be able to select Stop video, due to the protected content issue noted above. If you want to submit a repro video, you will need to wait 5 minutes for the recording to time out. If you’d like to file the bug without a repro video, you can close the Feedback Hub window to end the recording and resume filing your bug when you reopen the app in Feedback > Drafts.
When viewing Optional drivers in the new section on the Windows Update page, you may notice older drivers showing as available for download. If accepted, they will attempt to install and fail to do so. This is a bug related to revised Windows Update detection logic rather than this new UI. The root cause is understood, and a fix will be available in an upcoming build.

The Windows Insider webcast is back on Tuesday, September 24! We’ll be talking about the upcoming 5-year anniversary of the Windows Insider Program, and then we’ll have guests from deployment and one of our leads for the 20H1 Bug Bash.
Tune in at 10 a.m. PDT / 5 p.m. UTC on the Windows Insider Mixer channel!

Hey Windows 10 Insiders, the Bing team wants to hear from you and get your unique perspective. Join them at exclusive Bing Listens events in Chicago and Boston, where you’ll interact directly with the team and get a chance to ask questions, give feedback, and share your ideas. There will be giveaways, prizes, and great food. This event will allow you to leave an impact on a future Bing product that will delight you, your friends, and family.
Choose a city below to learn more about the Bing Listens Tour and register today!
[Chicago] [Boston]
No downtime for Hustle-As-A-Service,Dona

VMware’s Bitnami acquisition grows its development portfolio

The rise of containers and the cloud has changed the face of the IT market, and VMware must evolve with it. The vendor has moved out of its traditional data center niche and — with its purchase of software packager Bitnami — has made a push into the development community, a change that presents new challenges and potential. 

Historically, VMware delivered a suite of system infrastructure management tools. With the advent of cloud and digital disruption, IT departments’ focus expanded from monitoring systems to developing applications. VMware has extended its management suite to accommodate this shift, and its acquisition of Bitnami adds new tools that ease application development.

Building applications presents difficulties for many organizations. Developers spend much of their time on application plumbing, writing software that performs mundane tasks — such as storage allocation — and linking one API to another.

Bitnami sought to simplify that work. The company created prepackaged components called installers that automate the development process. Rather than write the code themselves, developers can now download Bitnami system images and plug them into their programs. As VMware delves further into hybrid cloud market territory, Bitnami brings simplified app development to the table.

Torsten Volk, managing research director at Enterprise Management AssociatesTorsten Volk

“Bitnami’s solutions were ahead of their time,” said Torsten Volk, managing research director at Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), a computer consultant based out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. “They enable developers to bulletproof application development infrastructure in a self-service manner.”

The value Bitnami adds to VMware

Released under the Apache License, Bitnami’s modules contain commonly coupled software applications instead of just bare-bones images. For example, a Bitnami WordPress stack might contain WordPress, a database management system (e.g., MySQL) and a web server (e.g., Apache).

Bitnami takes care of several mundane programming chores. Its keeps all components up-to-date — so if it finds a security problem, it patches that problem — and updates those components’ associated libraries. Bitnami makes its modules available through its Application Catalogue, which functions like an app store.

The company designed its products to run on a wide variety of systems. Bitnami supports Apple OS X, Microsoft Windows and Linux OSes. Its VM features work with VMware ESX and ESXi, VirtualBox and QEMU. Bitnami stacks also are compatible with software infrastructures such as WAMP, MAMP, LAMP, Node.js, Tomcat and Ruby. It supports cloud tools from AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform and Oracle Cloud. The installers, too, feature a wide variety of platforms, including Abante Cart, Magento, MediaWiki, PrestaShop, Redmine and WordPress. 

Bitnami seeks to help companies build applications once and run them on many different configurations.

“For enterprise IT, we intend to solve for challenges related to taking a core set of application packages and making them available consistently across teams and clouds,” said Milin Desai, general manager of cloud services at VMware.

Development teams share project work among individuals, work with code from private or public repositories and deploy applications on private, hybrid and public clouds. As such, Bitnami’s flexibility made it appealing to developers — and VMware.

How Bitnami and VMware fit together

[VMware] did not pay a premium for the products, which were not generating a lot of revenue. Instead, they wanted the executives, who are all rock stars in the development community.
Torsten VolkManaging Research Director, EMA

VMware wants to extend its reach from legacy, back-end data centers and appeal to more front-end and cloud developers.

“In the last few years, VMware has gone all in on trying to build out a portfolio of management solutions for application developers,” Volk said. VMware embraced Kubernetes and has acquired container startups such as Heptio to prove it.

Bitnami adds another piece to this puzzle, one that provides a curated marketplace for VMware customers who hope to emphasize rapid application development.

“Bitnami’s application packaging capabilities will help our customers to simplify the consumption of applications in hybrid cloud environments, from on-premises to VMware Cloud on AWS to VMware Cloud Provider Program partner clouds, once the deal closes,” Desai said.

Facing new challenges in a new market

However, the purchase moves VMware out of its traditional virtualized enterprise data center sweet spot. VMware has little name recognition among developers, so the company must build its brand.

“Buying companies like Bitnami and Heptio is an attempt by VMware to gain instant credibility among developers,” Volk said. “They did not pay a premium for the products, which were not generating a lot of revenue. Instead, they wanted the executives, who are all rock stars in the development community.”  

Supporting a new breed of customer poses its challenges. Although VMware’s Bitnami acquisition adds to its application development suite — an area of increasing importance — it also places new hurdles in front of the vendor. Merging the culture of a startup with that of an established supplier isn’t always a smooth process. In addition, VMware has bought several startups recently, so consolidating its variety of entities in a cohesive manner presents a major undertaking.

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Microsoft releases 18M building footprints in Africa to enable AI Assisted Mapping

In the last ten years, 2 billion people were affected by disasters according to the World Disasters report 2018. In 2017, 201 million people needed humanitarian assistance and 18 million were displaced due to weather related disasters. Many of these disaster-prone areas are literally “missing” from the map, making it harder for first responders to prepare and deliver relief efforts.

Since the inception of Tasking Manager, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) community has mapped at an incredible rate with 11 million square kilometers mapped in Africa alone. However, large parts of Africa with populations prone to disasters still remain unmapped — 60% of the 30 million square kilometers.

Under Microsoft’s AI for Humanitarian Action program, Bing Maps together with Microsoft Philanthropies is partnering with HOT on an initiative to bring AI Assistance as a resource in open map building. The initiative focuses on incorporating design updates, integrating machine learning, and bringing new open building datasets into Tasking Manager.

The Bing Maps team has been harnessing the power of Computer Vision to identify map features at scale. Building upon their work in the United States and Canada, Bing Maps is now releasing country-wide open building footprints datasets in Uganda and Tanzania. This will be one of the first open building datasets in Africa and will be available for use within OpenStreetMap (OSM).

In Tasking Manager specifically, the dataset will be used to help in task creation with the goal of improving task completion rates. Tasking Manager relies on ‘ML enabler’ to connect with building datasets through an API. This API-based integration makes it convenient to access not just Africa building footprints, but all open building footprints datasets from Bing Maps through ML Enabler, and thus the OpenStreetMap ecosystem.

“Machine learning datasets for OSM need to be open. We need to go beyond identifying roads and buildings and open datasets allow us to experiment and uncover new opportunities. Open Building Dataset gives us the ability to not only explore quality and validation aspects, but also advance how ML data assists mapping.”
– Tyler Radford (Executive Director, Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team)

Africa presented several challenges: stark difference in landscape from the United States or Canada, unique settlements such as Tukuls, dense urban areas with connected structures, imagery quality and vintage, and lack of training data in rural areas. The team identified areas with poor recall by leveraging population estimates from CIESIN. Subsequent targeted labeling efforts across Bing Maps and HOT improved model recall especially in rural areas. A two-step process with semantic segmentation followed by polygonization resulted in 18M building footprints — 7M in Uganda and 11M in Tanzania.

Extractions Musoma, TanzaniaExtractions in Musoma, Tanzania

Bing Maps is making this data open for download free of charge and usable for research, analysis and of course, OSM. In OpenStreetMap there are currently 14M building footprints in Uganda and Tanzania (the last time our team counted). We are working to determine overlaps.

We will be making the data available on Github to download. The CNTK toolkit developed by Microsoft is open source and available on GitHub as well. The ResNet3 model is also open source and available on GitHub. The Bing Maps computer vision team will be presenting the work in Africa at the annual International State of the Map conference in Heidelberg, Germany and at the HOT Summit.

– Bing Maps Team

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Author: Microsoft News Center

For Sale – **Clear Out** Unifi, itx NZXT S340 elite, Ryzen

Hi all. Below are a few things I have for sale.

May split the below if I get the right offer. Would pref to keep mb/ram/CPU together

Unifi USG : £80

Mini itx – £200
I5 4570t
8gb ddr3 ram
MSI z87i dual nic itx
Lian li pc26q itx
430watt psu

ATX – £300
Ryzen 1600
8gb ddr4 ram
MSI b350 gaming plus
120gb SSD
630watt psu
Wireless card.
Next s340 elite black/red

H110 gt £40
Not used in a while sold as seen

Zyxel 2 bay Nas 325 – £25

Will upload photos tomorrow’s

Also looking for a fractal Node 804

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Behind the Design: Surface Headphones

Meet the Surface design team who built our first smart headphones

Vivian Nguyen

It’s 2 PM, and you need to finish a project by end of day. Coworkers in your open office space are chatting about the newest ramen spot. While you’d like to expound on the difference between Hokkaido- versus Tokyo-style noodles, you need to focus. You put on your Surface Headphones, and Cortana greets you with a quick update:

“Hi, you’ve got about 8 hours of battery left. You’re connected to [your device name].”

As your favorite Odesza song plays, you start work immediately.

YOUR WORKPLACE ACCOMPANIMENT

Composed with the design trinity of audio quality, comfort, and seamless integration, the Surface Headphones help you create a personal space in the modern workplace and in your modern life. The idea that, when you wear them, you escape into another world that lets you focus on you and what you need to get done. The Surface design team wanted to give you — the actual user — control over how plugged in (or not!) you want to be to your immediate environment. Check out the tech specs here.

And you can see that thoughtful approach in the hardware. Designing comfortable earmuffs was paramount because it’s the one part that touches you all the time. They initially considered a traditional donut shape, but with inclusive design at the heart of everything we do, we wanted to accommodate a diverse set of ear shapes. The earmuffs now fit ears of all shapes and sizes comfortably with even pressure points for a secure fit.

Tactile design wasn’t the only consideration. They set out to craft a device that’s both functional and beautiful. Creating a smooth seam on the earmuff, for example, was surprisingly difficult. See how the team wouldn’t take no for an answer in the video below:

See how the Surface design team wove together elegant hardware design, rich audio, and an intelligent assistant. Click here for the audio description version.

Every decision about the Surface Headphones keeps real people in mind — including the writing they don’t see or touch.

To create a holistic and seamless voice experience, Senior Writer Matt Lichtenberg, who focuses on hardware, and Senior Personality Lead for AI Chris O’Connor, who shapes the voice for intelligent experiences, fused their complementary skills. Because Cortana delivers the instructions, Matt and Chris needed to collaborate and bring together the what (instructions) and the how (Cortana).

“Words contribute to the whole experience,” said Matt, “and we wanted the headphones to be almost invisible to people while they’re wearing them. They shouldn’t have to think about them much.”

“I like to think of it as, we’re helping people achieve more with less energy,” said Chris. “How do they get the most out of this device with the least amount of effort? It’s the idea that design stays out of your way — it’s minimal and there to help you get stuff done.”

THINKING OUT OF THE BOX

From the onset, the design team wanted to understand how people naturally use headphones in a variety of vignettes. They developed a series of scenarios to answer key questions about how people interacted with the headphones.

For instance, when customers initially turn on the headphones, would they want to pair and go? Or would they download the Cortana app first?

As it turns out, most want to pair and go.

When you turn on other Bluetooth devices for the first time, you’ll need to put the device in pairing mode. With the Surface Headphones, they’re immediately in pairing mode and Cortana greets you with, “Hello, you’re ready to pair.”

You connect your device, and Cortana confirms with, “You’re paired to [device name].”

“It’s a challenge to create a rich and enjoyable out-of-the-box experience,” said Chris. “If it’s boring and tedious, people blow right through it. But if it’s enjoyable and people understand the value, they’ll reach an optimal state before carrying on.”

Design is an iterative process, and we’re constantly listening to feedback. We’ve heard customers ask for more device control to turn settings on or off, including the “Hey, Cortana” voice activation, touch controls, and voice prompts. So, we delivered.

The latest firmware update on the Cortana app can help you personalize your headphone settings, like reducing the number or duration of voice prompts. That means you can change your settings so a simple “Hello” plays when you initially turn on your headphones. The app gives you more control of your device, ensuring you get the best experience possible.

“It’s amazing how long it feels to say a few words, so you need to make them count,” said Matt.

Unlike computers, which require constant interaction, the Surface Headphones almost disappear into the background while you work, helping you focus while eliminating outside distractions. To help people achieve this, the voice writing team designed the voice prompts to avoid interruptions unless they’re critical, like letting you know when your battery is low.

“How do you thread the needle between being a voice prompt, a robot, and a conversational entity, but still get out of the way?” asked Chris. “This was one of the first areas where we had to practice design differently and pull back on personality to allow things to be shorter and faster.”

COMMUNICATING WITHOUT WORDS

Some interactions don’t even need words.

When the headphones are charging, for example, the LED light flashes. In this context, a visual cue is more intuitive. You don’t need to pick them up or put them on to know what’s happening.

In times when words feel unnatural, sound itself can communicate information. When you turn the left dial on the Surface Headphones forward, you hear a low-pitched beep to indicate maximum noise cancellation. Conversely, a high-pitched beep plays when you turn the dial in the opposite direction. This confirms the headphones are now amplifying ambient sound.

Inspired by the volume knobs of hi-fi stereos, which turn with a certain slowness, the hardware design team added headset dials to adjust volume, noise cancellation, or sound amplification. Rotating the dial is an intuitive motion that lets people choose the precise level of sound they want (or don’t want).

Our design anticipates different modes of communication contingent on how someone wants to use or interact with the headphones. But whether it’s audio or visual, each interaction remains succinct.

THE NEXT MOVEMENT IN VOICE DESIGN

The Surface Headphones are the first ambient device from Microsoft with an assistant. The Surface design team had a groundbreaking opportunity to radically reimagine headphones as more than just headphones.

In the past, people often confused or conflated digital assistants with voice control. But with increased investments in personality design and the future of interaction, Microsoft is experimenting with giving Cortana added dimension and awareness to help customers get the most out of a digital assistant.

“We decided to use the human metaphor for a digital assistant, because a real-life assistant isn’t just voice control. They don’t just take dictation. They understand what’s important to you, your family, your priorities, your goals,” explained Chris.

As we continue to infuse intelligence across our products and services, teams throughout the company are beginning to explore the potential for what a digital assistant could be.

“The headphones sparked a whole new area of thinking — one that we’re using to think through the same problem from other endpoints as we move on to work for the Office 365 apps,” said Chris.

And who knows? Maybe one day, when you slip on your Surface Headphones, Cortana can chime in with her favorite kind of ramen, too.

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Author: Microsoft News Center

What people are saying about the new book ‘Tools and Weapons’ | Microsoft On The Issues

“When your technology changes the world,” he writes, “you bear a responsibility to help address the world that you have helped create.” And governments, he writes, “need to move faster and start to catch up with the pace of technology.” 

In a lengthy interview, Mr. Smith talked about the lessons he had learned from Microsoft’s past battles and what he saw as the future of tech policymaking – arguing for closer cooperation between the tech sector and the government. It’s a theme echoed in the book, “Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age,” which he wrote with Carol Ann Browne, a member of Microsoft’s communications staff.

The New York Times, Sept. 8, 2019


In 2019, a book about tech’s present and future impact on humankind that was relentlessly upbeat would feel out of whack with reality. But Smith’s Microsoft experience allowed him to take a measured look at major issues and possible solutions, a task he says he relished.

“There are some people that are steeped in technology, but they may not be steeped in the world of politics or policy,” Smith told me in a recent conversation. “There are some people who are steeped in the world of politics and policy, but they may not be steeped in technology. And most people are not actually steeped in either. But these issues impact them. And increasingly they matter to them.”

Fast Company, Sept. 8, 2019


In ‘Tools & Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age,’ the longtime Microsoft executive and his co-author Carol Ann Browne tell the inside story of some of the biggest developments in tech and the world over the past decade – including Microsoft’s reaction to the Snowden revelations, its battle with Russian hackers in the lead up to the 2016 elections and its role in the ongoing debate over privacy and facial recognition technology.

The book goes behind-the-scenes at the Obama and Trump White Houses; explores the implications of the coming wave of artificial intelligence; and calls on tech giants and governments to step up and prepare for the ethical, legal and societal challenges of powerful new forms of technology yet to come.

-GeekWire, September 7, 2019


Tensions between the U.S. and China feature prominently in Smith’s new book, ‘Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age.’ While Huawei is its own case, Smith worries that broader and tighter strictures could soon follow. The Commerce Department is considering new restrictions on the export of emerging technologies on which Microsoft has placed big bets, including artificial intelligence and quantum computing. “You can’t be a global technology leader if you can’t bring your technology to the globe,” he says.

-Bloomberg Businessweek, Sept. 7, 2019


Tell us what you think about the book @MSFTIssues. You can buy the book here or at bookstores around the world.

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Author: Microsoft News Center