Microsoft has revealed Task Manager in Windows 11 will be getting two major additions as it looks to offer users more customization and efficiency options when using Windows 11.
The new updates include closer working with the Edge browser, and also potentially a new Eco Mode aimed at saving processing power and battery life.
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First up, Task Manager will now be better geared towards managing Microsoft Edge and the resources and memory used by the browser.
The tool will now be able to display exactly what Microsoft Edge processes are using what amount of memory on your device. When clicking on Microsoft Edge in Task Manager, users will now see a list of processes under the browser, including specific tabs, extensions and subframes - and will now be able to select any of these to close individually.
(Image credit: WindowsLatest)
The GPU and crashpad will also be included in the list of processes, with tabs also displaying the specific site, icon and topic name to give you full visibility and pinpoint exactly which areas need shutting down.
The new updates are available now as part of Microsoft Edge 94 and Windows 11 Build 22000.282.
The rumored Eco Mode for Task Manager, set to launch within the next few months, will let users quickly identify and target particularly resource-hungry apps, giving their devices more space to work efficiently.
When activated, the tool will reportedly allow users to set the priority of such processes to "low", giving other programs the chance to seize priority for system resources.
Windows 11 is out now, with Microsoft keen to get users switched over to the newest offering as soon as possible - provided they have the right system requirements, although this may not always neccessarily help, reports have claimed.
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Xero has announced a reimagined version of its employee self-service app Xero Me which now comes with integrated expenses technology to make it easier for both organizations and their employees to track their expenses.
By integrating the company's Xero Expenses technology into Xero Me, small business employees using Xero Payroll in Australia, New Zealand and the UK will now be able to submit expense claims in the same place they access payslips, submit timesheets and manage leave requests.
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Executive general manager of business products at Xero, Simona Turin explained how the company's reimagined Xero Me app can benefit both small business owners and their employees in a press release, saying:
“Processes like onboarding, leave and expense management are time-consuming but critical to the optimal performance of any small business. The Xero platform is designed to make life easier for small business owners — so we wanted to give them and their staff an even easier way to manage those fundamental employee processes.”Xero Me
The Xero Me app is quickly becoming the central place for employees to manage critical people processes themselves and Xero plans to add even more functionality into the app going forward.
The reimagined app removes the need for employees to switch between multiple apps, systems and workflows for critical employee processes while creating a more seamless employee experience. Additionally, employers can ensure data is easily entered and stored in a single place.
The new Xero Me experience is rolling out in stages to all of Xero's global customers. In countries outside of Australia, New Zealand and the UK, this will be with Expenses-only functionality. This will still allow global employees to use the app to quickly submit expense claims though Xero Me will soon offer the ability to complete self-service setup for expense management.
Beginning this month, existing Xero Expenses app uses globally with a “Submitter” role will be able to download and transition to the reimagined Xero Me app to submit their expense claims. However, global Xero Expenses approvers and admins will still need to use the standalone Xero Expenses app to check and approve any claims.
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After months of speculation and public beta releases, macOS 12 Monterey has a release date of October 25.
Apple announced it in a press release after the October 2021 Event concluded, which saw the company announce two new MacBooks as well: the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) and MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021).
As for macOS 12 Monterey, it’s a software update that focuses on productivity, privacy and connectivity, but with some features being delayed for a future release.
However with the new MacBooks sporting new M1 Max and M1 Pro chips, it's a more substantial update than you may think at first, but it's also missing a feature that many have been looking forward to since WWDC.
The good news is that as with previous macOS updates, macOS 12 Monterey will again be a free upgrade for any compatible Mac or MacBook. If you have an Apple computer from the last five years, you should be good to get the update.
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(Image credit: Apple) Missing its most important update
While macOS 12 Monterey brings a bunch of new features, its most exciting one, Universal Control, won't launch with the operating system. Instead, it's scheduled for later this year.
Universal Control allows you to use an iPad as a second screen for your Mac, so you can drag and drop any files between devices seamlessly.
In a press release, Apple says that 'Coming later this Fall, Universal Control will make it easy for users to work effortlessly across their Mac and iPad.'
While it's a shame that the feature is still under development, anyone who's planning to buy one of the new MacBooks next week probably shouldn't be too disappointed, as these laptops look set to bring some great new features and performance upgrades.
Apple's Unleashed event explained how macOS 12 Monterey will be taking advantage of the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, showcasing how apps will be able to take advantage. Alongside this, there's also the new menu bar that's going to take advantage of the notch that's present in these new MacBooks.
Expect our review of macOS 12 Monterey and the new MacBooks soon, and with Universal Control and SharePlay still on the horizon, there's a lot to look forward to, even if their absence next week will disappoint many people.
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Now that the newest operating system from Microsoft is out, you might be wondering what the Windows 11 requirements are before grabbing that free upgrade. Since it is so new, not every Windows laptop or PC out there will meet the minimum requirements to take advantage of what the OS has to offer.
Some of the requirements are a bit unusual. Now that security is a focus, rare hardware like a TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module) is a must to make the new OS the most secure Microsoft has ever released. This will be frustrating to a lot of people looking to upgrade since they might not have the right hardware, even if they have a somewhat new laptop or powerful gaming PC.
But, there’s no need to rush out and buy a device just to get access to Windows 11 pre-installed as Windows 10 will be supported until 2025. But, you can do a few things to prep your current machine to make the leap to the new OS sooner than later.
If you head on over to the Microsoft page for Windows 11, you can find a section right at the bottom of the page for the PC Health Check App. While its original release caused a great deal of confusion (listing new, powerful PCs and laptops as unable to support the upcoming OS without stating a specific reason), this has since been fixed.
- Download the PC Health Check app found on the link provided above.
- Run the downloaded file and follow the onscreen instructions to start the installation process
- When installation has finished, run the application and you should see the "PC health at a glance" screen.
- Under the Introducing Windows 11 section, click the Check now button.
- When completed you will see one of two messages, either "This PC can run Windows 11" or "This PC can't run Windows 11".
There are still a few issues we will go over later but this is the quickest way to find out if your PC or laptop is windows 11 ready.
If you want a full overview of what components your device will need, here is the full list of minimum system requirements you need to meet to be eligible for the free Windows 11 upgrade:
- 64-bit processor (a full list of compatible CPUs can be found on the Microsoft Blog)
- 1Ghz clock speed
- 4GB of RAM
- 64GB drive
- UEFI, Secure Boot capable
- TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module)
- A display larger than 9-inches with HD Resolution (1366x768)
- DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x
- Internet connection
Most devices released in the last few years will meet these requirements with ease, save for one: the TPM 2.0 module took many people by surprise and caused many otherwise eligible devices to be rejected from the update, even resulting in temporary rapid inflation of prices for TPM modules as people scrambled to get one installed into their PCs.
The Trusted Platform Module is basically a little security co-processor that beefs up your PC’s defenses against being tampered with, but you wouldn’t be alone if you’ve never heard of it, though there's a chance that your device already has a TPM 2.0 module installed that needs enabling.
So before you run off to add one to your basket, try the following:
- Press Windows key + R
- When the box appears, type tpm.msc to open the Trusted Platform Module Management window
- Look for a sub-window titled TPM Manufacturer Information and check under Specification Version to see what TPM version your device has
(Image credit: Microsoft / The Verge)
A Windows 11 Readiness Audit conducted by LanSweeper revealed that over 55% of enterprise systems don't use a supported CPU to run the OS, with an additional 19% of laptops and PCs surveyed failing to meet the TPM 2.0 requirement, so if you find that Microsoft isn't content to upgrade your device, you won't be alone.
Microsoft has argued that the requirements for Windows 11 are in place for security reasons, so while the reasoning is justified, many of us will still be understandably frustrated that Microsoft is unlikely to change its stance on the matter.
If you attempt to install Windows 11 on a device that doesn't meet the system requirements then it's possible that you won't receive updates and that all future support will be dropped. If you try and force an installation anyway then some users have reported a pop-up window that asks you to sign a waiver that makes you acknowledge all damages to your PC due to a lack of compatibility will not be covered under your manufacturer's warranty.
Not all hope is lost if you're prepared to be a little naughty though. You can bypass the TPM 2.0 requirement thanks to a GitHub project that contains a script called 'Skip_TPM_Check_on_Dynamic_Update.cmd,' which will allow the Windows 11 installer to ignore an insufficient TPM module (or a lack of one entirely).
In fact, this script doesn't just remove the TPM 2.0 limitation, also allowing the Windows 11 installer to ignore other issues that don't meet the system requirements such as available storage space.
We're in no way advising that you do this mind – these requirements have been put into place for a reason and ignoring them could result in an unstable version of the new OS, likely the reason why the waiver exists. Ignoring Microsoft's restrictions could void your warranty and leave you with an unusable device in the worst-case scenario so if you're set on trying to bypass the strict system requirements, do so at your own risk.
If you don't fancy breaking any rules then don't fret. Windows 11 PCs and laptops are coming in the next few months so if you have the cash to spare and were in need of an upgrade, you can get the best of both worlds by just ensuring your next purchase comes with the new operating system installed.
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In various threads on the Teams User Voice forum, an official channel for customers to submit ideas for consideration, the company has acknowledged the validity of users’ complaints. However, solutions for many of these issues do not appear to be forthcoming.
Although some of the most upvoted ideas have already been implemented by Microsoft (like ability to reply to a specific chat message, which received 50,000 votes) and others are under active development, many more projects appear to have stalled completely.
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A common complaint on the User Voice forum is that Teams is not optimized for use in a small window, unlike rival applications such as Slack. The problem was first noted in 2016 and the forum post has since accrued almost 21,000 upvotes.
“The current chat layout is not suited for professional chats; it’s way too space-consuming,” complained the original poster, who called for a more compact design to accommodate different types of monitor setup.
Members of the Microsoft team have posted in the thread on 25 occasions, calling for further feedback, announcing the issue was under review and providing updates on progress. However, the latest post (from June) simply updated the status to “Planned”, without providing any further details, to the annoyance of some forum members.
Another post, which calls for the ability to move a project channel from one team to another, has even more public support, with 32,000 upvotes. The thread was also created in 2016, but the latest post from Microsoft (which is itself now a year and a half old) explains that the item has been put on hold for the foreseeable future.
“This continues to be on our backlog due to the prioritization of other work items. We will update when there is more to share,” wrote a member of the Teams engineering department.
This is not to suggest Microsoft hasn’t invested sufficient energy and resources into Teams; since the pandemic began, the company has pushed out a bounty of new features for the platform. However, the stagnant forum posts do call into question the effectiveness of the company’s user feedback mechanisms.
TechRadar Pro has asked Microsoft for comment on its specific plans with regards to the most popular ideas from the User Voice forum.
Windows 11 has another bug which slows down performance on the desktop, with this latest glitch wrapped up in the changes made to File Explorer – but the good news is that a fix has been deployed, albeit only in preview (testing) at the moment.
As you may be aware, File Explorer – which refers to the folders you open on the desktop, which contain your files – got some tweaks with the new OS, and Windows 11 offers a command bar which replaces the traditional ribbon that runs along the top of a folder window.
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This command bar is far more streamlined, offering core functions like copying or renaming files, with much less clutter, but the downside is it’s actually bugged right now, suffering from a memory leak as Windows Latest reports.
What’s happening, as Microsoft explains in the blog post for preview build 22478 of Windows 11 – which contains the cure for the issue – is that the command bar is being forced to do unnecessary extra calculations when the user switches between different folders, causing what the software giant describes as “an unexpected decrease in performance”.
Some Windows 11 users have also experienced problems when dragging over files to select them, or navigating files using the arrow keys within a folder, and the above bug is believed to be the cause of these hiccups, Microsoft reckons.Analysis: Not a great start for Windows 11 overall, is it?
The long and short of all this is that if you’ve been experiencing slowdowns while working with files and folders on your desktop in Windows 11, then these gremlins should be banished before long too long.
However, do note that the fix has only just been deployed in preview build 22478 which came out four days ago, and this is in the Dev Channel (which carries early builds). Before coming to the full version of Windows 10, it’ll have to progress to the Release Channel for testers, which may take a little time (particularly if the bug fix itself creates any extra gremlins, and that’s been known to happen in the past).
You may recall that Windows 11 was hit with File Explorer memory leak issues right at launch, so there’s been some unpleasantness around this central aspect of the OS. That’s disappointing, and the lack of responsiveness that these bugs can cause doubtless adds to the perception of a lack of polish from Microsoft here.
All in all, it’s been a bit of a rough start for Windows 11, but if you are encountering issues with the OS, then help is at hand. Simply head over to our article on Windows 11 problems and how to fix the most common issues that may confront you.
The release of Windows 11 has come and gone, but already there’s feature wishes for future releases of the newest Windows upgrade. One in particular from me is for 3D Pinball to make a return.
As a child, one of the primary reasons for using the family computer would be to see what search engines would bring in the way of games. While there were random Flash games of British Soaps and non-sanctioned Matrix games to play online, Windows itself had its fair share of games pre-installed.
One from Windows XP was 3D Pinball, where hours would easily be wasted in achieving a high score. With a programmer now having reverse-engineered the game to work on web browsers, and even Sony’s PlayStation Vita, it’s time to see the game return for Windows 11.
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Steve Jobs once said that having iTunes on Windows was akin to having a glass of water in hell, and while this quote is harsh in retrospect, playing 3D Pinball on an iPad Pro feels strange. It’s similar to playing a Sonic game on a Nintendo console, or using Apple Music on a Google Pixel device.
(Image credit: TechRadar)
Using the Z and / keys for the flippers, alongside the spacebar for launching the ball instantly takes you back to Windows XP. The sounds and graphics are intact, and you can even play 3D Pinball on your smartphone if you wish.
Using this in Windows 11, within a web browser, instantly takes you back to that time as well, and there are ways of using it as its own app as well. Playing 3D Pinball on a laptop with a touch screen is also possible, but a full screen mode would be much better for this orientation.
There are plans for new music tracks, multi-ball and other features to come soon, but as it stands, you’re at risk of losing many hours already to this new way of playing 3D Pinball, as I already have in iPadOS 15 and Windows 11.Time for a remake in Fluent Design
We’re in an age where remakes are a valuable commodity in the games industry. Pokémon, Resident Evil and other franchises have already seen critically acclaimed remakes. They tap into the nostalgia associated with our childhood years but updated for modern times with improved graphics and gameplay, and 3D Pinball can fit that brief perfectly.
(Image credit: Microsoft)
While there were other games included in Windows across the years, such as Minesweeper and Solitaire, 3D Pinball brought a competitiveness to the family PC. There was a thrill about beating the high scores of your relatives with every visit you made to them once a week.
A new 3D Pinball game that’s built from the ground up in Windows 11 could add to the mantra that Microsoft has about this release; that it’s an upgrade meant for everyone.
With a new focus on gaming thanks to HDR and the Xbox app being heavily featured for the Windows upgrade, a new 3D Pinball game with online multiplayer and leaderboards, alongside native touch-support for those with laptops that have this feature, could be a big temptation to many who are still waiting to update to Windows 11.
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Bounce tracking is yet another technique websites use to follow users around the web. The technique itself works by injecting additional sites between a site a user is currently visiting and another site they want to navigate to. Over time these intermediate sites learn what websites a user has visited which allows them to perform tracking in a similar way to using third-party cookies.
Beginning with version 1.32 of Brave on desktop, the browser will protect users against bounce tracking by automatically recognizing when they are about to visit a known tracking domain, skipping visiting the tracking site all together and instead directly navigating a user to their intended destination.
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Brave Software's new debouncing feature is currently available in nightly versions of Brave but will be rolled out to all users soon.Debouncing in Brave
With its new debouncing feature, Brave not only protects users against bounce tracking on websites but also bounce-tracking URLs used in other places across the web including links in affiliate marketing emails.
In order to know which URLs employ bouncing tracking, the company maintains a list on GitHub that is drawn from a mix of crowd-sourced and existing open source projects including the URL Tracking Stripper, Link Clearer and Clear URLs extensions. However, additional rules are also maintained by Brave Software and the company plans to keep this list up to date and add more bounce-tracking URLs to it going forward.
Debouncing isn't the only bounce tracking protection in Brave though as the browser utilizes query parameter stripping and warns users when they are about to visit a suspected bounce tracking site.
In addition to bringing debouncing to its browser, Brave Software is also working with the W3C to help standardize protections against bounce tracking so that they can be implemented by other browsers as well.
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A constant barrage of incoming notifications can be distracting while trying to work which is why Microsoft plans to roll out a new update for Microsoft Teams later this year to help users stay focused on the task at hand.
For those unfamiliar, Microsoft's Viva Insights app provides Teams users with personalized recommendations that help them do their best work. These insights are derived by summarizing data about your emails, meetings, calls and chats from Microsoft 365.
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At its core, Viva Insights helps users improve their productivity and well-being at work through a number of features including Headspace which offers guided meditations, virtual commutes to mindfully close out your workday, Microsoft To-Do, breathing breaks and more.Focus time in Teams
As part of its new update, Microsoft will expand Viva Insights' focus time feature to enable Microsoft 365 users to work uninterrupted with Teams notifications silenced.
With focus mode in Viva Insights, Teams users will be able to make progress on important work with focus music from Headspace playing in the background. This new immersive experience will also include a notification as well as a new focus mode page in the Viva Insights Teams app.
Microsoft 365 users can enroll or modify their focus plan settings or even book ad-hoc focus time in the Viva Insights Teams app.
Whether you're working from home or have already returned to the office, focus time in Teams should help you eliminate distractions so you can get more done during your workday.
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