Hooray! We've all made it to Friday. Today: clemency for Windows pirates — or not, what we learned from the latest Windows 10 Build notes, and what new feature Edge has.
AVAST, YE SCURVY SOFTWARE DOGS
Microsoft is offering Windows 10 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, provided those users had paid for a Windows license. It is also providing Windows 10 upgrades to people who maybe got their Windows 7 and Windows 8 versions through non-official channels, but those upgrades will have a big watermark on the desktop so anyone can see that the machine in question is not running the Genuine Windows operating system where everything's on the up-and-up.
The watermark appears to be the only significant impairment people with pirated copies of Windows face, as of right now.
WHAT'S NEW IN THE WINDOWS 10 BUILD 10120
The release notes were leaked online, and the big news seems to be in fixed Bluetooth bugs: users can now toggle Bluetooth on and off without extra personal area network (PAN) service discovery protocol (SAN) records being created, and Bluetooth devices now display as different icons on any laptop device. Screenshots got leaked too, and Edge is now the default PDF viewer for users; people who really liked the Windows Reader app will have to download it from the Windows Store.
Bonus Edge news: It now has a browser history feature. This is either a good or bad thing, depending on where you've been surfing the Web.
FROM US/FROM OUR SISTER SITES
Users who have Cortana installed on Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10: Say "surprise me" and Cortana will give you a riddle to solve. This brain-tickling feature follows Cortana's trivia-spouting feature: if you say "What's up?" Cortana will share a random factoid.
No word yet if Cortana will tell you a bedtime story like Siri will.
Microsoft, Apple and Google don't just do battle over operating systems, cloud-based businesses or mobile platforms. They're also engaged in a competition to see who will get to lock down the market on DNA research and its attendant reams of very useful data. This piece looks at all three companies and shares the innovations Microsoft Research has made in crafting technology that could encrypt genetic data — something that could safeguard privacy or allow researchers to share their data in the cloud provided the sharer and the recipient have the same encryption keys.