Microsoft announces Windows 11, generally available by the holidays

After weeks of leaks and hype, Microsoft today officially announced Windows 11, the next version of its desktop operating system. While the company may have once said that Windows 10 was the last version of Windows, forgoing major point launches for a regular cadence of bi-annual upgrades, but it clearly believes that the changes — and especially the redesigned user interface — in this update warrant a new version number.
Microsoft plans to release Windows 11 to the general public by the holidays, so we can probably expect it sometime around late November. Before that, we’ll likely see a slew of public betas, starting next week.

If you followed along with the development and eventual demise of Windows 10X, Microsoft’s operating system with a simplified user interface for dual- and (eventually) single-screen laptops, a lot of what you’re seeing here will feel familiar, down to the redesigned Start menu. Indeed, if somebody


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Version 2 of Google’s Flutter toolkit adds support for desktop and web apps

At an online event, Google today announced Flutter 2, the newest version of its open-source UI toolkit for building portable apps. While Flutter started out with a focus on mobile when it first launched two years ago, it spread its wings in recent years and with version 2, Flutter now supports web and desktop apps out of the box. With that, Flutter users can now use the same codebase to build apps for iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Linux and the web.
“The big thing that justifies the major version number shift is, of course, the availability of web and desktop support,” Flutter product lead Tim Sneath told me. “And that’s just a fairly profound pivot. It’s rare for products that you suddenly have all these additional endpoints.”
Image Credits: Google
He noted that because of Flutter’s open-source nature, web and desktop support had been “cooking in the open” for a while, so the


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Python creator Guido van Rossum joins Microsoft

Guido van Rossum, the creator of the Python programming language, today announced that he has unretired and joined Microsoft’s Developer Division.
Van Rossum, who was last employed by Dropbox, retired last October after six and a half years at the company. Clearly, that retirement wasn’t meant to last. At Microsoft, van Rossum says, he’ll work to “make using Python better for sure (and not just on Windows).”
A Microsoft spokesperson told us that the company also doesn’t have any additional details to share but confirmed that van Rossum has indeed joined Microsoft. “We’re excited to have him as part of the Developer Division. Microsoft is committed to contributing to and growing with the Python community, and Guido’s on-boarding is a reflection of that commitment,” the spokesperson said.
The Dutch programmer started working on what would become Python back in 1989. He continued to actively work on the language during his time at the


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Here is the first stable release of Microsoft’s new Edge browser

Right on schedule, Microsoft today released the first stable version of its new Chromium-based Edge browser, just over a year after it first announced that it would stop developing its own browser engine and go with what has, for better or worse, become the industry standard.
You can now download the stable version for Windows 7, 8 and 10, as well as macOS, directly. If you are on Windows 10, you can also wait for the automatic update to kick in, but that may take a while.
Since all of the development has happened in the open, with various pre-release channels, there are no surprises in this release. Some of the most interesting forward-looking features like Collections, Microsoft’s new take on bookmarking, are still only available in the more experimental pre-release channels. That will quickly change, though, since Edge is now on a six-week release cycle.
As I’ve said throughout the development cycle,


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Microsoft introduces Windows 10X for dual-screen devices

At its annual Surface hardware event in New York, Microsoft today announced the expected set of updates to its existing hardware lineup. The biggest surprise, though, was surely the announcement of the company’s dual-screen Surface Neo, which will go on sale before the 2020 holiday season. To make this kind of dual-screen device possible, Microsoft also built a new version of Windows 10: Windows 10X.
Microsoft says it’s announcing the hardware and software today in order to get it into the hands of developers ahead of the launch.
Just like HoloLens, Surface Hub and Xbox use the core technologies of Windows 10, the dual-screen Surface, too, will run this new version, as will dual-screen devices from Dell, HP, Lenovo and other partners. Unsurprisingly, these devices — and Windows 10X — will feature improved pen support (and a virtual keyboard).

Microsoft teases Neo dual-screen Surface, set to debut holiday 2020

Windows 10X is the result


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GitHub gets a CI/CD service

Microsoft’s GitHub today launched the beta of a new version of GitHub Actions with full continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) capabilities built right into the service. General availability is planned for November 13.
The company also today announced that it now has more than 40 million developers on its platform.
Ten months ago, GitHub launched Actions, its workflow automation platform. Developers could already take actions to trigger all kinds of events and use that to build custom CI/CD pipelines. At launch, the GitHub team stressed that Actions allowed for building these pipelines, but that it was a lot more than that. Still, developers were obviously quite interested in using Actions for CI/CD.
“Since we introduced GitHub Actions last year, the response has been phenomenal, and developers have created thousands of inspired workflows,” writes GitHub CEO Nat Friedman in today’s announcement. “But we’ve also heard clear feedback from almost everyone: you want CI/CD! And


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Windows gets a new terminal

Windows 10 is getting a new terminal for command-line users, Microsoft announced at its Build developer conference today.
The new so-called “Windows Terminal” will launch in mid-June and promises to be a major update of the existing Windows Command Prompt and PowerShell experience. Indeed, it seems like the Terminal will essentially become the default environment for PowerShell, Command Prompt and Windows Subsystem for Linux users going forward.

The new terminal will feature faster GPU-accelerated text rending and “emoji-rich” fonts, because everything these days needs to support emojis, and those will sure help lighten up the command-line user experience. More importantly, though, the Windows Terminal will also support shortcuts, tabs, tear-away windows and theming, as well as extensions. It also will natively support Unicode and East Asian fonts.
The idea here, Microsoft says, is to “elevate the command-line user experience on Windows.”
The first preview of the new Windows Terminal is now available.


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Microsoft’s Official Guide for a DIY, Raspberry Pi-Powered Magic Mirror with Face Detection

Smart mirrors have been all the rage this year, and it looks like Microsoft’s getting into the game too. While Microsoft’s mirror is teased as a commercial product, they’ve released the source code if you’re interested in making one for yourself.

Read more…


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First look: Microsoft’s Windows 10 Anniversary Update preview


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