Today in the news: Microsoft moves toward mobile ubiquity by offering Cortana for non-Windows Mobile platforms, there's a new Windows 10 build and that forthcoming Solitaire tournament promises to get a little loud.
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Now, let's get to the news ...
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A CLOSER LOOK AT WINDOWS 10 BUILD 10125
The latest build of Windows 10 leaked onto the Internet this weekend. There aren't a lot of significant changes between this build and Build 10122 (which Windows Insiders got two weeks ago), but if you're keeping track of these things, here's what has changed:
- New icons for File Explorer and the Recycle Bin
- A Start menu that includes reminders if you've installed new app
- A new build of Microsoft Edge
- Windows Hello, which may or may not be working
AND IN WINDOWS 7 NEWS …
Gregg Keizer reports, "Microsoft wants enterprise IT administrators to play guinea pig by deploying a lot more fixes to Windows 7 and Server 2012 R2, another step in getting customers to help test patches before rolling them out everyone."
Why should IT admins play along? Because, Microsoft argues, proactively applying updates can prevent problems before they appear. The biggest problem that might be prevented is a heterogeneous environment that's difficult to manage.
CORTANA, MEET SIRI
Satya Nadella's focus on ubiquity-through-mobility was thrown into sharp relief with the news that Cortana will be available on mobile devices that run Android and iOS. Although there are a few capabilities that won't translate across platforms (launching specific apps or using your voice to toggle the device settings), Cortana will be able to do plenty: sync your data across devices, display reminders and updates, access anything in the cloud or do searches.
And how do you get Cortana on your iPhone? With a companion app called Phone Companion. Richard Hay also reports that "Microsoft will bring their Music app to these devices at some point this year as well. That means users will be able to stream their music collection stored in OneDrive directly to their Android or iPhones like we can on Windows and Windows Phone already."
Related: Microsoft is partnering with 20 different OEMs in Argentina, Brazil, China, Germany, Mexico and North America to pre-install Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Skype on Android devices. This is another facet of its Office-everywhere play with the — say it with me — mobile-first, cloud-first Microsoft model.
EVERYONE A WINDOWS 10 DEVELOPER IN THIS BRAVE NEW WORLD
Windows Insiders can now play with Windows App Studio Beta, an online tool meant to help anyone create apps, regardless of background or experience. On the back end, the tool builds the apps using the new Windows Universal Platform, and each app is built for responsive design, meaning it should render and perform well across a wide variety of devices and window sizes.
AND NOW, THE FUN STUFF
You already know that Microsoft's going to launch a Solitaire Tournament in honor of the game's silver anniversary. Now, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon has created an ad to hype us all up for the big event.