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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Microsoft: Windows 10 version 2004 Feature Update is now available for (nearly) everyone

Microsoft has changed the status of both Windows 10 version 2004 and version 1909, marking them as being ready for “broad deployment”. In the case of Windows 10 version 1909 (or Windows 10 November 2019 Update), the company says it is “designated ready for broad deployment for all users via Windows Update”. For Windows 10 version 2004 (aka Windows 10 May 2020 Update), however, the status has been updated to indicate that it is merely “designated for broad deployment”. And there is a reason for the difference between the two. See also: Quick! Upgrade to Windows 10 for free in… [Continue Reading]


Original URL: https://betanews.com/2021/02/05/microsoft-windows-10-2004-broad-deployment/

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10 Years After Its Discontinuation, Some Fans Still Love Microsoft’s Zune Mp3 Player

“It was weird to own a Zune in 2005,” remembers a new article in the Verge. “It is even weirder to own a Zune in 2021 — let alone 16 of them. And yet, 27-year-old Conner Woods proudly shows off his lineup on a kitchen table.”
They come in all different colors, shapes, and sizes, and each can be identified by that telltale black plastic D-pad just below the screen. He owns the entire scope of the brief Zune lineup — from the svelte Zune 4 to the chunky Zune HD — and among the microscopic community of people who still adore Microsoft’s much-derided MP3 player, no collection of dead tech could possibly be more enviable.

Woods picked up his Zune foraging habit during the pandemic, while he was furloughed from his job working security at Best Buy. “I taught myself to solder, began buying up dead Zunes, and repairing and


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Salesforce strikes deal to acquire Slack for $27.7 billion

Enlarge / Slack is evaporating into the Salesforce cloud, you could say. (credit: Aurich Lawson)
Salesforce, a cloud-services company that targets businesses, has announced that it will acquire workplace communication service Slack for $27.7 billion. The announcement follows a week of rumors and a steep bump in Slack’s value on the stock market in anticipation of the deal being made official.
Neither company has yet to announce in any detail what this will mean for users and customers. Salesforce is sure to include Slack in some of its broader bundles and, to more tightly integrate Slack with its other software services, “Slack will be deeply integrated into every Salesforce Cloud” and will become “the new interface for Salesforce Customer 360,” the press release says.
But anything else beyond that is speculation at this point. New features and development priorities or adjusted pricing models are possibilities, but we also don’t yet know when


Original URL: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1726892

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Microsoft 365’s ‘Productivity Score’ raises serious privacy concerns

Microsoft has attracted the attention of privacy campaigners over the Productivity Score feature of Microsoft 365. The tool uses telemetry to enable employers to track the activities and performance of workers. The analytics tool has been criticized for being a serious invasion of privacy, as it gives employers the ability to closely monitor individuals. One data privacy researcher describes it as “turn[ing] Microsoft 365 into a full-fledged workplace surveillance tool”. Productivity Score assigns a score out of 800 to employees, and reports details such as how much time has been spent using different tools such as Word, Microsoft Teams or… [Continue Reading]


Original URL: https://betanews.com/2020/11/27/microsoft-365s-productivity-score-privacy-concerns/

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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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Microsoft: No Driver Updates Allowed for Windows 7 and Windows 8

An anonymous reader shares a report: Microsoft has announced that it is ending the ability to cross-sign drivers, effective 1 July 2021. This will effectively make it impossible to release new or updated drivers for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 systems, including Server 2012 R2. This is not an exaggeration. The only option that will remain available to devs who want to release drivers for versions of Windows other than Windows 10 will be to have those drivers pass HLK/WHQL testing. Unfortunately, not all drivers are even eligible for HLK/WHQL testing, and even for those that are eligible, getting some drivers to pass the HLK/WHQL tests is effectively impossible. […]

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


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Microsoft releases PowerToys v0.23.0 with promise of new Video Conference utility

It’s been around a month since Microsoft last updated PowerToys for Windows 10, so it’s nice to be able to report that a new version has finally been pushed out. PowerToys v0.23.0 is a release that focuses on “stability, localization and quality of life improvements”, and there are numerous fixes to the various the utilities that make up the suite. Unfortunately, there are no new tools in this version, but Microsoft has given an update about the upcoming Video Conference utility. See also: Microsoft resolves issue that wiped out many of its services Microsoft issues warning about actively exploited Zerologon… [Continue Reading]


Original URL: https://betanews.com/2020/10/01/microsoft-releases-powertoys-v0-23-0-new-video-conference-utility/

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Windows XP Source Code Leaked

Artem S. Tashkinov writes: Gizmodo Australia reports: On Thursday, users on 4chan posted what they claimed was the source code of Windows XP. Posting an image of a screenshot allegedly of the source code in front of Window’s XP iconic Bliss background, one user wrote ‘sooooo Windows XP Source code leaked’. Another Redditor helpfully has uploaded the code as a torrent, assisting in its spread. While there is no confirmation that this code is definitely Windows XP, independent researchers have begun to pick through the source code and believe it stands up to scrutiny.

The Windows XP source code is not the only code which might have leaked. A screenshot of the torrent files contains files and folders named, Xbox, Windows Research Kernel, MS DOS 6.0, Windows NT 3.5 and 4 source code, Windows Embedded and CE and many others. If true, that could spell a disaster for Microsoft because


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