Windows 10 Mobile rollout for older phones seemingly delayed until February

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Windows 10 Mobile has been available on new phones like the Microsoft Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL since November 2015, but the mobile operating system’s roll out to older handsets has been repeatedly delayed.

The latest reports suggest that Windows 10 Mobile won’t become available to Windows Phone 8 devices until the end of February. The roll out was previously supposed to begin in January, but for unknown reasons, it seems like Microsoft has delayed the update once again.

The news originates from French carrier Bouygues Telecom, who originally stated that Windows 10 Mobile would begin rolling out in the week of January 18th. Since then, the information provided to the carrier has changed, and although they’re waiting for “more precise communication”, they believe the update won’t be available until late February.

This information also seems to gel with the latest information from Vodafone Australia, who say that they’ve finished testing Windows 10 Mobile and are only waiting on “confirmation of rollout schedule” before they proceed. It seems that the OS was originally going to be distributed this week, but Microsoft has now pushed the launch back, leaving carriers waiting for release approval.

For Windows Phone fans waiting patiently for a Windows 10 Mobile upgrade, this latest news will come as a disappointment. There is a chance that Microsoft is using the delay to polish the operating system for public release, but the company could also be waiting for MWC 2016, held in late February, to announce a roll out during their press conference.

Firefox 44 hits stable channel with support for push notifications

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Firefox 44, the latest release channel build of Mozilla’s web browser, is now available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android. Notably, Firefox 44 lets users receive push notifications from websites so long as permission is granted (opt-in).

Mozilla says the push notification feature is similar to web notifications with the exception that you can now receive notifications from websites even when they aren’t open. As you can imagine, this could be incredibly useful for things like e-mail, weather, social networking and shopping – you know, sites and services that you’d otherwise manually check for updates. Push notifications can be managed in the Control Center.

It’s worth noting that Mozilla is simply playing catch-up at this point as it relates to push notifications. Google first introduced push notifications in Chrome nearly three years ago with Apple’s Safari following suite a few months later.

Elsewhere, Firefox 44 enables H.264 video playback (so long as you have a native decoder), improves warning pages for certificate errors and untrusted connections and enables WebM/VP9 video support on systems that don’t support MP4/H.264. The fullchange log can be viewed on Mozilla’s website.

Neverware wants to turn your old computer into a speedy ‘Chromebook’

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There’s no shortage of options when it comes to deciding what to do with an old computer once it has been replaced. Repurposing an old machine is certainly a noble cause but when it takes 10 to 15 minutes just to boot into Windows, what good can it really server?

New York City startup Neverware has a pretty great idea – transform that old clunker into a speedy “Chromebook.” And now, you can give it a try without wiping your hard drive thanks to a new dual boot option.

Chromebooks have been one of the surprise hits of the past few years. Unlike netbooks which attempted to run desktop-class versions of Windows on underpowered hardware, Chromebooks utilize a lightweight (albeit limited) OS that’s far less demanding. As a result, manufacturers have been able to churn out slim Chromebooksthat are deceptively quick and affordable enough to cause major disruptions in the entry-level laptop market.

Using Neverware’s CloudReady software (free for individuals), you can essentially create your own Chromebook (it’s not technically a Chromebook as Google owns the trademark for that name). The software is a variation of Chromium, the open source version of Chrome.

Odds are, your old laptop or desktop is probably still faster in terms of raw processing power than most new Chromebooks so you’ll end up with a very usable system absolutely free.

Ace the MCSA Windows Server 2012 & Cisco Network Associate Ceritifcations

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For an IT pro it’s important to get certified training with systems from the biggest companies in the networking game. You can lift your CV to the next level with this package of MCSA Server 2012 & Cisco Network Associate Certification Training, now available at a low $69.99 — 94% off its regular price. With this package, you get in-demand, certifiable skills training in two foundational IT networking systems.

First, dive into three courses covering all the ins and outs of Windows Server 2012, Microsoft’s flagship server management environment. These classes will give you a deep understanding of overseeing any small or large-scale computer network, including comprehensive training in private cloud, server infrastructure, desktop infrastructure, messaging, communication, and SharePoint features. Once you’ve finished, you’ll be ready to take Microsoft exams that’ll grant you Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certification, a benchmark stamp of approval for any networking specialist.

Then, you’ll be ready to conquer Cisco’s world-class array of networking hardware and software with comprehensive Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA): Routing and Switching training. These two courses will cover everything you need to know to run a Cisco wireless network, including LAN switching technologies, how to troubleshoot, WAN technologies, IP services and more. Again, you’ll finish with the skills to ace the CCNA exams, adding another impressive tool to your IT networking skill set.

Huawei takes on Surface, iPad Pro with 2-in-1 MateBook running Windows 10

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Huawei at Mobile World Congress pulled back the sheet on its first-ever 2-in-1 running Windows 10. The Huawei MateBook is an incredibly thin 2-in-1 that aims to take on devices like the Surface and the iPad Pro in the productivity category.

The MateBook features a 12-inch IPS LCD display operating at a resolution of 2,560 x 1,400 that’s powered by an Intel Core M processor of your choosing. It measures just 6.9mm thick – rivaling the thinness of today’s flagship smartphones – and tips the scales at only 640 grams.

The keyboard folio is backlit with 1.5mm of key travel. Rather than Bluetooth, the keyboard interfaces with the tablet via a proprietary connector on the side of the tablet. Speaking of, that’s where you’ll also find the device’s fingerprint reader, tucked neatly between the volume rocker buttons. Ars Technica found the trackpad to be surprisingly large and responsive while the two angles of tilt (54 and 67 degrees) were described as sensible choices.

There’s also the optional MatePen, a stylus that offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity with an elastomer tip should you have the need for it.

Its all-metal unibody design certainly looks the part of a premium device with smooth, rounded edges and chamfered buttons. Huawei says its 33.7Wh battery is good for around 10 hours of standard use.

The Huawei MateBook starts at $699 which includes an Intel Core M3 processor, 4GB of RAM and 128GB of local storage. On the upper end, you can expect to pay $1,599 for a Core M7 processor, 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Note that accessories like the keyboard folio and stylus are extra ($129 and $59, respectively). Look for it to go on sale in the US “in the coming months.”

Windows Search alternatives: find a file in record time

Most people find it difficult to organize thousands of files stored on their computers in a clear way. So do I. Without a system, it often becomes problematic to me to find a particular file on my PC, especially since a directory contains a large number of unmanageable items or I don’t remember the exact name of a needed file. This is where a desktop search utility usually comes to the rescue, but the default Windows Search app locates files too slowly and doesn’t provide a variety of settings. In this article, I’ve decided to present you with the most interesting alternatives to the Windows Search tool that work fast and flawlessly.

Everything

Search Engine FiltersSearch Engine Filters

The program with the most ambitious name on our list isEverything. It is free, portable, quick, and really great. Developed almost seven years ago, this desktop search utility stays highly competitive among other alternatives to Windows Search and provides the most convenient way to find files and folders by their names on your computer. Due to scanning your files on the very first launch, Everything creates its owndatabase of the files’ indexes which in turn helps the program spend less than two seconds to display the search results. Moreover, Everything is equipped with truly advanced search options. You may set the tool to match a case, match a path, match a whole word, match a diacritics, etc. while looking for a file. Or you may use somesyntax symbols to specify your search inquiry, for example, whether you search for two words together (x and z) or separately (x | z), whether you want to exclude something from the list (!y) or want to find everything that starts and ends with needed letters (a*e, where * any number of any type) or just look for the exact phrase (“qwerty”). Everything is possible with Everything! Include spaces in a search string, search for file types, find a file in a specific location and much, much more. Also, I cannot but mention that the program is absolutely free.

UltraSearch

UltraSearchUltraSearch

UltraSearch is another decent program for an instant search, that, importantly, is being developed by a reputable software company, JAM Software (see also TreeSize Professional). In comparison to Everything, the UltraSearch utility does not store indexes of your files in its database, but attains its great speed by working directly on the Master File Table (MFT) of the NTF system. MFT is a special entry that contains all the information about a file, including its size, time and date stamps, permissions and data content. It even identifies NTFS hardlinks (directory entries that associate names with files and folders). And what makes two programs similar is their support of regular expressions (the use of syntax symbols): with UltraSearch you can also find file extensions, exclude certain folders, sort the results according to certain criteria, use wildcards. UltraSearch is a freeware program as well. One of its advantages is that it can show the additional information of a file and export the search results to several types of files: RTF, HTML, CSV andExcel. The possible drawback of UltraSearch is the banner in the program interface advertising the download of other software by this developer.

Listary

Action MenuAction Menu

If minimalism is what comes first to you, thenListary as a simple and elegant search utility for Windows will definitely satisfy your taste. There are different ways to start and complete the search process with Listary (the Favorites and History search, the Fuzzy Navigation, the Projects search, and others), but the easiest and the one that is set by default is called ‘Find as you Type‘. This feature is designed to recognize suffixes, prefixes or other parts of any files, folders, drives, or apps anywhere in Windows Explorer or in programs like 7-Zip, Total Commander, XnView, etc. The results are instantly shown next to the Listary’s search box. As you type, the application brings up a menu with the results, which you can browse using the up / down keyboard arrows. By clicking or pressing the Enter button, you can quickly open any file. The right keyboard arrow over a file activates the context menu. Another way of activating the search function is using the key combinations like Win + S or Win + W. This feature works both under the file managers and open / save file dialogs. The free tool Listary also comes with dozens of configuration settings to customize the search engine to the full.

In case you want to go further in personalizing your computer, study the article on how to get rid of default apps in Windows 10.

How to a create a USB recovery drive for Windows 10

A Windows 10 USB recovery drive is a bootable USB device that gives you access to a number of troubleshooting and recovery tools. If your operating system doesn’t want to boot anymore, or if when it does you see a bunch of errors, having a recovery drive can be very handy, as it will allow you to easily deal with those problems yourself, without having to pay someone else. Unfortunately, realizing that you don’t have a recovery solution after your Windows is no longer functioning properly won’t do you any good. You should make it beforehand, to be prepared in if (or rather, when) Windows 10 starts acting up.

Storage space analysisStorage space analysis

If you’re wondering what you need in order to make a USB recovery drive, the obvious answer is a USB memory stick. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you the exact storage capacity that the device should have. According to Microsoft, it’s supposed to be around 3 or 4 GB, but when I did this on my work PC it required 8 GB, and my home computer needed even more than that. At the beginning of the process, the recovery tool will analyze your system and tell you the amount of space required to create recovery drive. You should also know that going through with this will purge any files you have on the USB stick, so make sure that you’ve backed up the data or no longer need it. Lastly, you will need the password to your Windows 10 administrator account, because this tool will need admin privileges.

The first step is to click on the Start Menu button, then simply type “Create a recovery drive” (without quotes). By the time you get to “Create a rec”, you should see a button at the top of the menu (in the Best matchcategory) named Create a recovery drive. Click on it. If you want the longer version, you need to right-click the Start Menu, then go to Control Panel –> System and Security, click on the blue Recovery button from the bottom-right and select the Create a recovery drive option.

Recovery Drive windowRecovery Drive window

Now, a new window will pop-up, telling you about the usefulness of creating a recovery drive. You should notice that there’s small check box in the middle of the window with the text “Backup system files to the recovery drive”. If checked, this option will allow you to use some advanced recovery features and even completely reinstall Windows 10, so I suggest that you enable it. Click the Next button and, as mentioned previously, the recovery tool will analyze your PC, displaying the amount of storage space required for the recovery files. (The system analysis could take a while, so you may need to wait for several minutes)

Once the scan is completed, plug in the USB stick that you want to turn into a recovery drive (make sure that its storage capacity is equal or higher than the one required), then select the drive in question and click Next. There’s one more confirmation screen telling you (once again) that everything on your USB stick will be deleted, and if you’re sure that you want to go through with this, click the Create button. The process will begin, and, depending on your PC’s performance, it can take between 10 and 30 minutes (even more in some cases). After it’s done, click the Finish button, remove the USB stick from your PC and keep it somewhere safe so that you can use it when your Windows 10 stops working properly or no longer boots.

As one last piece of advice: if possible, I recommend using a USB 3.0 port and device both for creating the recovery drive and for the actual recovery process. It’s going to make everything a lot faster, and nobody likes to wait. If you’re interested in more Windows 10 troubleshooting solutions, you might want to take a look at our previous articles: “How to enable Cortana, no matter which country you’re in” or “How to fix Windows 10-related WiFi problems“. Additionally, you could check out these “7 solutions to speed up Windows 10” or find out what are the “Best tweaks and tricks to improve Windows 10’s performance“.