microsoft-logoSource: TechPowerUp!

It would seem Microsoft is ever looking for more creative ways of pushing its Windows 10 operating system towards the masses. Some Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users have apparently encountered one of these: a lock on system updates. The error message, which reads “Your PC uses a processor that isn’t supported on this version of Windows”, points towards a hardware lock-in in exchange for added security and updates.

A Microsoft Support page sheds some light on this issue: that Windows 10 is the only Microsoft operating system to support particular hardware configurations. Namely, systems based on Intel’s “seventh (7th)-generation processors or a later generation” (Kaby Lake); “AMD seventh (7th)-generation (“Bristol Ridge”) processor or a later generation”; and “Qualcomm “8996″ processor or a later generation”. This move on Windows 7 might make some sense; however, Windows 8.1 is still in its lease of life (and Microsoft support) until at least 2018.

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microsoft-windows10-logoStarting today the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will begin rolling out for our customers around the world*. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is full of new features and innovations that bring Windows Ink and Cortana to life; a faster, more accessible and more power-efficient Microsoft Edge browser; advanced security features; new gaming experiences and more. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update will start rolling out to Windows 10 Mobile phones in the coming weeks.

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is being rolled out to Windows 10 PCs across the world in phases starting with the newer machines first. You don’t have to do anything to get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, it will roll out automatically to you through Windows Update if you’ve chosen to have updates installed automatically on your device. However, if you don’t want to wait for the update to roll out to you, you can manually get the update yourself on your personal PC.

How to get Windows 10 Anniversary Update manually:

Go to Settings > Updates & Security > Windows Update

1. In Windows Update simply click Check for Updates.

2. The Anniversary Update will appear as, Feature update to Windows 10, version 1607. Click update and the update will begin downloading and installing.

Another way to get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will be by clicking “Learn more” just below the “Looking for info on the latest updates? In Windows Update.

I recommend that you disable any third party Anti-Virus and/or Anti-Malware programs before starting the Windows 10 Anniversary Update!

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amazon-lumberyardA Free, Cross-Platform, 3D Game Engine Integrated with Amazon Web Services and Twitch

Amazon Web Services Inc., an company, today announced Amazon Lumberyard, a free, cross-platform, 3D game engine for developers to create the highest-quality games, connect their games to the vast compute and storage of the AWS Cloud, and engage fans on Twitch. Amazon Lumberyard helps developers build beautiful worlds, make realistic characters, and create stunning real-time effects. With Amazon Lumberyard’s visual scripting tool, even non-technical game developers can add cloud-connected features to a game in minutes (such as a community news feed, daily gifts, or server-side combat resolution) through a drag-and-drop graphical user interface.

AWS is also announcing Amazon GameLift, a new service for deploying, operating, and scaling session-based multiplayer games. With Amazon GameLift, Amazon Lumberyard developers can quickly scale high-performance game servers up and down to meet player demand, without any additional engineering effort or upfront costs.

Amazon Lumberyard is free, and available today in beta for developers building PC and console games, with mobile and virtual reality (VR) platforms coming soon. Amazon GameLift has a small per-player fee, plus for both Amazon GameLift and Amazon Lumberyard, developers pay standard AWS fees for AWS services used. To learn more about Amazon Lumberyard, click here. To learn more about Amazon GameLift, click here.

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microsoft-windows10-logoBy Don Miller @

Windows 7 and 8/8.1 users this week will soon notice that the Windows 10 Update will be downloaded through Windows Update and attempt to install on your system. Especially if you have Windows Update set at “Install Updates Automatically”, which is the default setting. If so, after a reboot of you system Windows 10 Update will begin to install.

In Windows Update, under “Optional”, you have to check the box to download an item and install. “Recommended” items, will be downloaded and installed unless you change the default setting of Windows Update.

Now I am not to get into the whys and wherefores here, or if Microsoft is a corporate bully forcing an operating system on you. I just want to point out a couple things you can do to prevent this install from happening on your PC or laptop if you are not yet ready to make the change, or simply do not want to.

First, change the Windows Update setting from “Install Updates Automatically” to “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them.” Here is how you get to Windows Update and make the changes manually:

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

  • Open Windows Update by swiping in from the right edge of the screen (or, if you’re using a mouse, by pointing to the lower-right corner of the screen and moving the mouse pointer up), then tapping or clicking Settings, tapping or clicking Change PC settings, and then tapping or clicking Update and recovery.
  • Tap or click Choose how updates get installed.
  • Under Important updates, select the option that you want.
  • Under Recommended updates, select the Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates check box, and then click Apply.

Windows 7

  • To turn on or off Automatic Updates yourself, follow these steps:
  • Click Start, type Windows update in the search box, and then click Windows Update in the Programs list.
  • In the left pane, click Change settings.
  • Select the option that you want.
  • Under Recommended updates, select the Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates or Include recommended updates when downloading, installing, or notifying me about updates check box, and then click OK.

Here is how the Windows Update Panel looks like in Windows 7:

Now that you have completed that task, I recommend you download and install GWX Control Panel by Josh Mayfield. Not only does GWX Control Panel have settings to remove the annoying “Get Windows 10″ icon from your taskbar, but its also “protects you from unwanted Windows 10 upgrades and notifications without disabling important or popular operating system features, and without requiring you to change the way you work with Windows.”

GWX Control Panel is highly recommended by many windows news and help sites. You can visit Josh Mayfield’s website to view his user guide for GWX Control Panel. I recommend watching the following tutorial videos that Josh has created on how to set up GWX Control Panel. Click on the links below to view…



If you have already downloaded and installed GWX Control Panel, or are going to after watching the above videos, you will notice that Josh has made considerable upgrades to GWX Control Panel since the videos were made. Josh has added many actions within GWX Control Panel, including a button to directly access Windows Update so you can make the setting changes there. Very nice addition to GWX Control Panel!

I have installed GWX Control Panel on my wife’s laptop, which had the “Get Windows 10″ icon in the taskbar. Using GWX Control Panel, I was able to get rid of it. I also performed the recommend setting changes. Since then I have nor has my wife had any issues with the laptops performance. I have also installed GWX Control Panel on my desktop PC. I had no “Get Windows 10″ icon showing in the taskbar. I am assuming that since I have built my own PC, using OEM Windows 7, that may be the reason why. My wife’s desktop that I built is the same way. GWX Control Panel showed that the icon app was not running. On the laptop it showed it was running. Shows me this program is working nicely.

And once you decide to upgrade to Windows 10, you can make the changes in the GWX Control Panel to allow you to upgrade. Remember you have 30 days to try out Windows 10, and if you do not like it, you can revert back to your original system. I have played with Windows 10 on my PC by creating a dual boot setup with a clean install of Windows 10. So far, I have not had a single program that I have installed that hasn’t worked. And I must say, so far I am warming up to Windows 10. It is a vast improvement from Windows 8/8.1. Its functions and interface is more like Windows 7 with a bit of Windows 8/8.1 mixed in. I have not performed the Windows 10 upgrade on my Windows 7 system as of yet, as I wanted to really see if I would like Win 10 or not. So I cannot tell you how it well the update works. Most people I have talked to have said it worked just fine for them. If you do decide to update to Windows 10, make sure you back up all your important documents, photos, video, etc. Also I would recommend that you do not have any other storage drives to your motherboard, or any external drives connected when you perform the upgrade. Also, make sure you turn off any antivirus and anti-malware software too.

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Shrapnel Games has announced their annual Holiday Sale has launched and runs through December 15th. Included in this years sale are Sherman Tanks, wooden ships, modern choppers (the helicopter kind) and space bunnies. Just check out the complete list of games and sale prices to decide what titles need to be under your Christmas Tree this year.

Be sure to stop by Shrapnel Games for complete information on any of the games on sale, or to download demos. To purchase any of our titles visit our e-store, the Gamers Front, to take advantage of this special sale.

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microsoft-windows10-logoSource: Microsoft

Today, we reach our next milestone as the first major update to Windows 10 is now available for PCs and tablets. With this update, there are improvements in all aspects of the platform and experience, including thousands of partners updating their device drivers and applications for great Windows 10 compatibility.

Experience improvements in this update include:

  • Performance in everyday tasks, such as boot time now nearly 30% faster than Windows 7 on the same device.
  • With Cortana, you can use your device’s pen** to just scribble a note in the Cortana Notebook and Cortana will recognize the phone number, email address, and even physical address to help you set reminders. Cortana can also now keep track of your event and movie bookings too, sending you helpful reminders to know where to go and get there on time, plus the option to book and track an Uber**. We’re excited to make Cortana available in Japan, Australia, and Canada and India (in English) with features and experiences customized for each market.
  • Microsoft Edge offers improved performance and security, along with tab preview, which allows you to hover over your open tabs and get a preview of what’s on those websites without leaving the page you’re on. Microsoft Edge now syncs your Favorites and Reading list items across devices so you can easily get back to the content you’re interested in most. And, Cortana will now notify you of the best coupons** from your favorite retailers such as Staples, Macys and Best Buy when shopping in Microsoft Edge.

And much more with improvements to Mail, Calendar, Photos, Groove, Xbox, Store, OneNote, Solitaire, and more!

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directx-12-logoSource: GamesBeat

Microsoft revealed more about the next generation of its DirectX graphics application-programming interfaces today.

In a presentation during Microsoft’s Windows 10 event in Redmond, Wash., Xbox boss Phil Spencer revealed that DirectX 12 will represent a major upgrade over the previous generation of APIs. This is the backbone graphical fidelity in PC and Xbox One games, and better performance means developers can squeeze more details and better framerates from older hardware.

“Direct X will make your games even better,” said Spencer. “For CPU-bound games, DirectX 12 will increase the performance of those games by up to 50 percent.”

To give an example of the new capabilities in DirectX 12, Spencer rolled a video of a scrolling complex cityscape running on two machines with the same hardware. One of the systems, running DirectX 11, struggled and eventually froze as the scene drew in more details, but the DirectX 12 box continued rendering the scene smoothly.

But Spencer didn’t just talk about performance.

With DirectX 12, we also know that people are playing games on phones and other devices powered by battery,” he said. “We wanted to focus on performance but also on battery life. We’ve cut the power consumption required in half for the same scenes on Direct X 11.”

DirectX 12 will roll out with Windows 10, and Spencer revealed that Epic Games’ popular Unreal Engine will support the new standard.

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microsoft-windows10-logoSource: The Verge

Microsoft’s Windows 10 event is just getting started, and it sounds like the company is eager to make it as easy and cheap as possible for those running older versions of Windows to upgrade. Terry Myerson just announced on stage that, for the first year after Windows 10 launches, any device running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows Phone 8.1 will be able to upgrade to the latest version of MIcrosoft’s OS — for free. How exactly this program will work isn’t clear just yet — it’ll certainly be subject to some hardware requirements, particularly for older machines running Windows 7. But a simplified upgrade path will likely do a lot to help Windows 10 adoption — rather than dealing with a number of different versions of Windows and different upgrade costs, most consumers will simply take this free update and enjoy running Microsoft’s latest.

Read on…

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microsoft-windows10-logoBy Eddie Makuch @ GameSpot

Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 10 operating system could be the “best operating system we’ve ever created for gamers on PC,” according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer. On the Xbox Wire, Spencer hyped the January 21 Windows 10 event by saying he’s really excited to finally get to showcase “the great work that we’re doing” in the Windows 10 space as it relates to gaming.

Read more…

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microsoft-windows10-logoBy Niels Broekhuijsen @ Tom’s Hardware

In a blog post, Bryan Langley from Microsoft has written that the final version of the just-announced Windows 10 will come with DirectX 12. To be clear, the current technical preview that’s available does not come with DirectX 12.

In the blog post, Langley points out that Microsoft has also been working with Epic to create a DirectX 12 branch in the Unreal Engine 4 GitHub repository. If you’ve been granted a pass to the DirectX 12 Early Access program, you can already kick off your development for the new API on Windows 10.

What makes DirectX 12 so interesting is that it allows developers to code much closer to the hardware, resulting in reduced overhead and therefore improved performance. This is similar to AMD’s already-available Mantle API, which was designed from the ground up to deliver better performance than DirectX 11.

Read more…

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