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So there has been a lot of chatter about the next iteration of Windows and questions about where Microsoft is going with Windows. Will there be a Windows 11? Will Windows 10 stay the same way forever? What about Windows 10X? The future of Windows as an Operating System seems to be something called Windows Core OS. To understand what Windows Core OS is, you first have to understand a little bit about what Windows 10 is and is not. From the very beginning, Microsoft said that Windows 10 would be one Operating System that would simply work on multiple form factors. The reality though was significantly different. Windows 10 for desktops, Windows 10 for HoloLens, Windows 10 for IoT devices, Windows 10 for Surface Hub, Windows 10 for Xbox, etc are all Windows 10 but they are each unique and different Operating Systems. The truth is that Microsoft had to make substantial changes to each version of Windows to make them work on the specific hardware they were marketed for. Without those modifications, Windows 10 for desktops would be horrible or downright incompatible with an Xbox. While Windows 10 is different for each version, there are some common elements across all of its versions. OneCore and OneCoreUAP are some layers of Windows 10 that you can find across all versions of Windows 10 but unfortunately, most of the OSs are unique and built from scratch. It’s real simple here. If most of the Windows 10 Operating Systems for different devices are different code, it has to be tremendously inefficient to create, test, maintain and support each version. It’s an inefficient and expensive pain in the ass. Period. In addition, it’s a pain in the ass every time Microsoft wants to build a version of Windows 10 for a new device type, such as foldable, which seemed to come out of the blue in the last couple of years. Windows Core OS (WCOS for short) is a new, modern version of Windows and is a monumental step forward in making Windows a truly universal OS. In short, WCOS is a common denominator for Windows that works cross-platform, on any device type or architecture, that can be enhanced with modular extensions that give devices features and experiences where necessary. Basically, Microsoft is building a universal base for Windows that can be used across all these different devices. Windows Core OS strips Windows down to the bare minimum. It doesn’t include any legacy components or features and sticks to UWP as a core for the operating system as it’s lighter and already universal. From there, Microsoft can build out Windows Core OS with different components and features that it can then apply to devices where necessary. But this time, those components and features can be shared across the many different devices Windows Core OS will run on. Instead of having to develop a new version of Windows 10 for every new device type that comes along, Microsoft can simply begin with Windows Core OS and pull in common features and functions that are prebuilt. This would be infinitely more efficient for Microsoft with way fewer development dollars needed to make this happen. Learn more by visiting OUR FORUM.

   

Propelled by average enthusiasts in their shared quest to defeat COVID-19, the Folding@Home network is now pushing out 470 PetaFLOPS of raw compute power. To put that in perspective, that's twice as fast as Summit, the world's fastest supercomputer, making the network faster than any known supercomputer. It's also faster than the top seven supercomputers in the world, combined.  It's impressive that the Folding @Home network is now more than twice as powerful as Summit's 149 PetaFLOPS of sustained output: ORNL announced two weeks ago that Summit had also joined the coronavirus fight and has already found 77 different small-molecule drug compounds that might be useful to fight the virus. Summit employs 220,800 CPU cores, 188,416,000 CUDA cores, 9.2PB of memory, and 250PB of mixed NVRAM/storage for the task. But Summit is far faster than the other supercomputers further down the Top500 list. That means the Folding @Home network is also now faster than the world's top seven supercomputers, combined. That's equivalent to the horsepower of 27,433,824 CPU/GPU cores that are being used in the most powerful systems in the world. These leading supercomputers are typically only used by nation-states for decidedly more nefarious purposes, such as nuclear research, so seeing this type of compute power unleashed for the common goal of defeating the coronavirus is certainly encouraging. Here is a view of the enemy, stunning in its complexity, and deadly in its intentions. This virus may be sweeping the globe, pushing large portions of the world into isolation at both the national and personal level, but the global community is coming together through the Folding @Home network to fight back by furthering research into possible cures or vaccines. This consists of using your computer to complete small chunks of much larger problems, thus giving researchers access to an unprecedented amount of computing horsepower. Distributed computing has always been a great hobby because of the detailed stats compilation and the dizzying number of teams involved, but Folding @Home's addition of coronavirus research to its normal pursuits, like cancer, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's research, has led to an overwhelming amount of new users. Folding @Home reports that it has seen a 1,200% increase in contributors, with Bitcoin miners also joining the fight, and over 400,000 new volunteers have joined over the last two weeks. Unfortunately, that massive surge in demand has led to a shortage of work units (the small chunks of larger workloads sent to each user), but Folding@Home has expanded its capacity to serve units to speed production. Work units are still being issued and many more are in the pipeline. You can help, too, by simply installing the Folding@Home application and turning over some of your spare CPU or GPU horsepower to help defeat the virus. It only takes a few minutes to set up the program, and then it's effortless as the program runs in the background. Follow this thread on OUR FORUM.

FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) today warned of an ongoing phishing campaign delivering spam that uses fake government economic stimulus checks as bait to steal personal information from potential victims. "Look out for phishing emails asking you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government," IC3's alert says. "While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the news cycle, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails seeking your private information in order to send you money." The FBI issued another warning about a phishing scam impersonating the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2008 and trying to steal taxpayers' personal information using economic stimulus checks as bait. Similar campaigns might also ask potential victims for donations to various charities, promise general financial relief and airline carrier refunds, as well as try to push fake COVID-19 cures, vaccines, and testing kits. Other active phishing attacks are also taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to infect victims with malware and harvest their personal info via spam impersonating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other similar organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO). The FBI also says that scammers are also trying to sell products claiming to prevent, treat, diagnose, or cure the COVID-19 disease, as well counterfeit sanitizing products and personal protective equipment (PPE), including but not limited to N95 respirator masks, gloves, protective gowns, goggles, and full-face shields. To avoid getting scammed by fraudsters, infected with malware, or have your personal information stolen, IC3 recommends not clicking on links or open attachments sent by people you don't know and to always make sure that the websites you visit are legitimate by typing their address in the browser instead of clicking hyperlinks. You should also never provide sensitive information like user credentials, social security numbers, or financial data when asked over email or as part of a robocall. To make it easier to spot phishing and scam attempts, you can also check the domain of websites you visit for misspellings or for the wrong top-level domain (TLD) at the end of the site's URL — .com or .net instead of .gov, the sponsored top-level domain (sTLD) used by US government sites. You can read the full FBI Warning on OUR FORUM.

Apple has spent the past 10 years trying to convince everyone that the iPad and its vision of touch-friendly computing is the future. The iPad rejected the idea of a keyboard, a trackpad, or even a stylus, and Apple mocked Microsoft for taking that exact approach with the Surface. “Our competition is different, they’re confused,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook as he stood on stage to introduce the new Macs and iPads six years ago. “They chased after netbooks, now they’re trying to make PCs into tablets and tablets into PCs. Who knows what they will do next?” Every iPad has transformed into a Surface in recent years, and as of this week, the iPad Pro and Surface Pro look even more alike. Both have detachable keyboards, adjustable stands, trackpads, and styluses. With iPadOS getting cursor and mouse support this week, Apple has finally admitted that Microsoft was right about tablets. Let me explain why. Microsoft’s return to tablets was a rough ride and far from perfect. Bill Gates tried to convince the world that tablets would be a thing all the way back in 2002, but the hardware and software were far too primitive back then. The software maker eventually introduced the Surface RT alongside Windows 8 in 2012 as a clear response to the iPad, but it had an ARM-powered desktop operating system that didn’t support your favorite apps. It was slightly confusing, but Microsoft’s tablet principles were clear at the time. “Something is different about tablets, people still do desire a physical keyboard,” wrote former Windows chief Steven Sinofsky in a detailed blog post about Windows 8 back in 2012. “Even in the absence of software like Microsoft Office, the reality is that when you need to write more than a few quick lines of text, you yearn for something better than on-screen typing ... People benefit from the highly accurate, reliable, and fast user input enabled by a physical keyboard, and we think an OS and its apps should not compromise when one is available.” The message was clear: touch-based computing would be a first-class input for Windows 8 but not the only way to use the operating system. Microsoft insisted you needed a mouse for precision, a keyboard for typing, and a stylus for taking notes or drawing. These basic foundations led to the Surface Pro, with its variety of inputs to suit different needs. Read more of Apple's admission on OUR FORUM.

If you told to be back in 2013 that this generation would see first-person shooters return to frenetic retro experiences as tongue-in-cheek was they were colorful, I’d tell you to stop making shit up. Doom 2016 was the start of realizing that dream: the return to form for id Software’s iconic “daddy-of-first-person-shooters” was also the return of an often sidelined method of presenting an FPS. If you thought that 2016’s return to the demon-infested UAC was the true return to Doom, you haven’t played anything like Doom Eternal. While four years ago we were treated to a smidge of what the series could be again – complete with gruesome combat and pumping heavy metal – Eternal’s amp has been cranked up not just to eleven, but away past it. While the last outing of the demon-massacring Doom Slayer ended with the raging marine being sent back to Hell, Eternal instead begins with everyone’s favorite angry-man tackling the rise of the demon horde on Earth. It begins immediately: after steadily shooting your way through a few linear paths, the open combat arenas begin to show their antsy faces. Eternal’s first combat arena is by sure it’s smallest, but it makes a hectic first impression. In comparison to its older brother, this beginning section feels like a mid-game gore nest from Doom 2016. There are imps, zombie soldiers and even an Anachnotron to deal with. For the beginning of a game, Eternal holds no punches and as the game continues its arenas only get bigger, more populated and tougher. That’s not to say that Doom Eternal ever becomes too difficult. We played through the entire campaign on Ultra-Violence, this series’ version of hard mode. As the horde of demon foes expands to include Pinkies, Mancubi, Cacodemons, Tyrants, Archvilles and more, your arsenal of weapons will expand alongside them. As you speedily skate out of the training level, Doom’s combat becomes an eloquent display of ultra-violent gunplay amid grotesque homogenized environments that see their base design overwrought by the unstoppable infection of Hell. The strong core of 2016 lays the unshakable combat foundation that Eternal gleefully builds upon to craft the best shooter this generation has seen. Each combat arena no longer feels like a beautifully choreographed dance; each fight is more akin to a glorious display of freeform combat parkour as you hastily rush to change your direction and approach in a split second. Your core movements of double jumps, mantling, boost-dodging, wall-climbing, and monkey-bar-swinging are constantly in use as you skate around vast demonic warzones and blast away at the ever-oncoming danger. Every gun, from shotgun to plasma rifle to rocket launcher, shreds away the flesh of your foes. Every bullet that blasts against the hardened flesh of the demons takes away a chunk of its target. Eventually, as larger targets with more health take center stage, their bodies become horrifying walking carcasses. It’s a gruesome, barbarous addition that never needed to be added, but it makes combat so much more visceral. There's more to this review posted on OUR FORUM.

From the launch of Windows 10, our focus was on moving people from having to choose, to loving Windows. With the release of every new build of Windows 10, we have seen customer satisfaction improve as we have made fixes and added new capabilities and experiences. We are humbled that customers are choosing and loving Windows 10, and there has never been a more important time for a secure, reliable platform that can empower people to create, educate and communicate wherever they are. Today we’re delighted to announce that over one billion people have chosen Windows 10 across 200 countries resulting in more than one billion active Windows 10 devices. We couldn’t be more grateful to our customers, partners, and employees for helping us get here. One in every seven people on the planet is planning, creating, ideating, executing, moving, shaking and doing great things with Windows 10. Because no matter who or where in the world or life they are, Windows 10 provides them with the features and flexibility they need to achieve more. From the high-powered developer who needs the most advanced technology available to the business professional who needs to be productive at work and home, to the student in a developing market who is looking for a low-cost device for learning and self-improvement—Windows 10 is the platform to meet all these needs. With 100% of the Fortune 500 now using Windows 10 devices, it has become a critical platform for driving business transformation in the enterprise and beyond. As companies transition from Windows 7 to Windows 10, they are making a commitment to running their business more efficiently, more securely, and positioning themselves to offer better products, services, and solutions to their customers. New Windows 10 features and security updates are now delivered faster than ever before. We’ve evolved from releasing a version every three years, to releasing multiple versions per year. And with the recent decoupling of the new Chromium-based Edge browser from Windows 10, we can now deliver new builds to customers outside of the normal Windows 10 release cadence—and to more versions of Windows. With Windows 10, our focus has always been to put the customer at the center, to listen to feedback, and to have that feedback shape the development process. One of the strongest examples of this customer focus is our Windows Insider Program which now has over 17.8 million Insiders, with members in every country of the world. We have also strived to make Windows an open, inclusive and accessible platform that can empower everyone to achieve their goals. Our Windows Accessibility team focuses on human-centered design, a method where engineers and designers work to deeply understand peoples’ needs, and then co-design and continuously iterate on solutions directly with them. Learn more by visiting OUR FORUM.