Microsoft

Leo Tests the Microsoft Surface Duo

Duo

Episode 1727

Leo got the Microsoft Surface Duo Android device this week, the first Android phone that Microsoft has ever produced. The oversized "phablet," has dual screens and opens up like a paperback book. Both screens can work in concert or independently, and Leo says with the Kindle App, it's the best digital reading experience he's ever had. It has also given him all-day battery life, so it's quite usable.

But the Duo has its buggy issues. It can crash and freeze up, forcing one to reboot. Microsoft has pushed out an update, but it hasn't really helped. It also has a terrible camera. 

Get a Chromebook/iPad Over Windows for Browser Usage

If you do most computer work in the browser, get a Chromebook or iPad instead of a new Windows PC. It's not worth plunging into the complicated and frequently clumsy predicaments (such as being unable to update or upgrade) Microsoft creates if you rarely need the desktop features of Windows 10. On iPad or Chromebook, you'll likely save money and probably be more secure in many respects. There's a chance that Microsoft will be moving everything to the Azure cloud in the future anyway.

How Can I Update My Windows When It Says My PC Doesn't Support It?

Windows

Episode 1725

John from Springfield, IL

John is getting a warning that his version of Windows 10 is nearing its end of service and he needs to update to the latest version. But when he tries that, it then says his PC isn't supported for the latest version. So now what does he do? Leo says that is the most annoying issue, where Microsoft infers that users have to buy a new computer because Windows 10 will stop be supported for the hardware. It's a very hostile way to act towards users.

Don't Buy Windows Computers That Have No Room for Updates

If you are a Windows user, do not buy a personal computer/laptop with so little storage that it can't easily download the latest Microsoft updates because it can't fit them. Even if they're super cheap and tempting. It makes very little sense when Microsoft is pushing out such massive updates while PCs exist with such small hard drives. Windows 10, version 2004 has system requirements of 32GB or larger!

Microsoft Surprises with New Tablet-like Announcement

Duo

Episode 1719

Microsoft surprised everyone this week with the announcement of a two-screen mobile device, that Leo describes the Surface DUO as a kind of folding notebook you'd get at a bookstore. Like a pocket-sized portfolio or Moleskine. It has two 6" screens that when unfolded creates an 8" diagonal tablet running Android. The screens can work in concert or independently for multi-tasking.  Leo stresses that Microsoft insists the DUO is NOT a phone, but an internet-enabled device that can also make phone calls.

TikTok to be Banned From Revenue in US Starting September

Tik Tok

Episode 1717

TikTok will be banned on September 20th in the United States, according to the White House. Leo says that technically, the ban is only on money that is transferred out of the US to China, including ad revenue.  The President has also given Microsoft the OK to buy TikTok and they have until Sept 20 to get a deal done. Not only that, but Trump wants the US to receive a cut of the deal if it happens. 

Leo Uses TikTok

TikTok

Episode 1716

Leo downloaded and installed TikTok today, to get the experience before the US bans it. Is he worried about his data getting grabbed by the PRC? Not at all. Leo says it's the most creative and fun app going right now. TikTok has been trying to avoid the ban by having a US CEO, hired over 10,000 US jobs, and even courting Microsoft to buy their US operations. But the White House seems in earnest to ban it. 

Why Isn't My Surface Pro PC Being Updated?

Surface Pro 7

Episode 1715

Jose from Modesto, CA

Jose has a Windows Surface Pro PC that hasn't been updated to the latest Windows 10 yet. What gives? Leo says that those are "feature updates" and Microsoft is updating the Surface Pro hardware last. Don't try and force it. It'll come sooner or later. And really, there's nothing in it Jose really needs right now. Security updates through "Patch Tuesday," and other critical updates will come separately and those are more important. 

Microsoft Announces New Games and online gaming service

Xbox

Episode 1713

Microsoft announced some new versions of old games at their annual Xbox Games Showcase including Tetris and Halo Infinite. Microsoft is also making all their games available through Microsoft Game Pass, a monthly subscription service. Leo also says that Microsoft is also working on a new streaming game service, codenamed XCloud, which won't require a game platform. Users will play anywhere on any device, as the game servers will do all the work.

Windows Disk Clean-Up Tool for Thumbnail Restoration

If you are using Windows 10 and can not see the thumbnails for your photo files (or otherwise), try rebuilding the thumbnail cache. There's a little-known program called the Windows Disk Clean-up Tool that can do the job. Select "This PC" > [Your Drive] > "Properties" and finally check the "thumbnails" option (while unchecking the other options) to rebuild the icons next to your files' names. It may take a while, but just wait it out and you should be good to go. Not everyone names all their files descriptively, so it's really handy to keep thumbnails visible!