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Posted on Nov 30, 2016 in Newsletter, Welcome | 0 comments

TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 42 – Creator updates, new Windows skins and more

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TWT Newsletter NG – Issue 42

Welcome to the November 2016 TWT Newsletter

November already! The countdown to Christmas has begun in earnest now that the Halloween treats and costumes are resigned to the bargain bins in stores. In this months newsletter we take a look at some more exciting Windows 10 developments and take a brief look at a tool that can finally stop Windows 10 looking so dull.

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In this months issue:-

What’s new at
Another Windows 10 update? Microsoft goes creative with big push into 3D and VR
Tip of the Month – Hover over links to see where they go
Free Utility of the Month – Wunderlist
Windows Store App of the Month – Pin Steam
Windowblinds 10.5 means it’s bye bye to boring in Windows 10

What’s new at

Just one tutorial update last month as we push on with our Windows 10 Superguide Anniversary Update behind the scenes.

picture OneDrive Windows 10 Tutorial

In this video tutorial, we’ll give you a tour of the OneDrive features built into Windows 10. Click here to view the tutorial.

Another Windows 10 update? Microsoft goes creative with big push into 3D and VR

On the 26th October in New York City, Microsoft called a press conference to discuss the next update to Windows 10. While we’re still scrambling to update our guides for the recent anniversary update, Microsoft went ahead and announced even more new features for the OS as well as some new PCs in what was an exciting press conference.

Getting creative

The next update to Windows 10 is going to be called the “Creator Update”. It will launch in Early 2017. The focus on the update is, as you might have expected, making it easier than ever to create content using Windows. Microsoft want to make it really easy to create and edit 3D content in particular. To that end they announced a new version of one of the most long running Windows apps, Paint. Paint 3D will allow you to mix 2D and 3D content seamlessly, without needing a degree in graphical design or 3D modelling. In an impressive demonstration, a Windows phone was shown quickly and easily scanning a sand castle into a full 3D object that could then be used in Paint 3D.

Microsoft also announced there would be a community driven selection of free to use 3D models and assets, so that anyone can set about creating or doodling in 3D easily.

Continuing the theme of 3D, Microsoft demonstrated their eagerly anticipated Hololens system again. If you’re not familiar, Hololens is an augmented reality headset, which has the ability to overlay holograms into the users field of vision. Hololens was shown manipulating objects in augmented reality. The presenter showed one practical application for this, by browsing a furniture catalogue on the web and then dragging virtual models of the furniture he saw on the website into his room to see what they would look like in place. As well as augmented reality, there were also a number of more affordable virtual reality headsets announced too, though a VR demonstration of a virtual living room complete with virtual widescreen TV was a little less convincing.

Getting social

Social integration in Windows 10 is one thing that seems to have taken a step back. compared to the slick People app in Windows 8, Windows 10 lacks any real social networking features at all. The creator update aims to address this with the new “My People” app/feature. Now, your most frequently used contacts will be placed directly on your taskbar. The aim is to make it easier to quickly share files, information or other data with these contacts, and to make it easier to access communications from them. It remains to be seen how effective this is, with so many different messaging and communication services in use today, many with their own proprietary apps or websites, it may be that lack of support for a wide enough range of social networks and messaging services kills the feature.

Getting your game on

There are also lots of improvements in the creators update for procrastinators too, in the shape of improvements for games and gaming. Gamers will now be able to stream their gameplay and let friends watch across the internet as they play. Those gamers that own Xbox One consoles will be able to buy games on PC and play them on their consoles too. Certain games will also allow you to compete cross platform with gamers on either PC or Xbox console. Microsoft also showed off new tournament and matchmaking features for games, however it seems likely these will only work in the limited number of Windows Store games and not with the more popular Steam or games, for instance.

New hardware, oh my!

Not one but two new PCs were announced at the event. First of all, an update to Microsoft’s flagship laptop, the Surface Book. Now cramming in even more power into the same form factor, the new machine has a high end i7 processor and a high end price tag to boot ($2,999).

Even more interesting is the Surface Studio, a new all-in-one desktop PC. Far from being just a typical destkop powerhouse, the machine comes with some innovative features. A built in super high resolution display can be set to any angle, even folding nearly flat to act like a canvas for drawing with a stylus pen. The machine also supports the curious new “Surface Dial”, a shiny looking twiddly thing that can sit on the screen and aid in selecting colours and various other tasks. You can read more about the machine and see some more pictures here.

Overall the event was exciting and most in the IT community agreed that it upstaged Apples event that was held a few days later. Notable by its absence was the Surface phone, which remains just a rumour for now and any upgrade to the surface tablets, which are expected to be announced next year. As a die-hard desktop PC user the Surface Studio particularly appealed to us and it’s good to see this form factor of PC still getting some love. Microsoft certainly seem to be embracing Windows 10s versatility and it’s great that there’s a PC to suit the creative needs of all of us.

Tip of the Month – Hover over links to see where they go

Click this link for some cute pictures of puppies! Did you click it?, if you did, were you mad that we lied to you and in fact sent you to a page full of pictures of kittens? Although a link may say one thing, it can actually take you anywhere. Avoid this kind of disappointment in future and also check out any potential suspect or ‘phishing’ e-mails by hovering your mouse pointer over a link before you click it. When you do this, most browsers or e-mail applications will show you the true destination of the link, usually in the bottom left of the Window. This works in Internet Explorer, Edge, Google Chrome and Firefox and many more programs.

This technique is useful if you ever get a suspicious e-mail. Rather than clicking on a link and seeing where it goes, hover over instead. If you were expecting to go to “” but instead the link reads more like “” then alarm bells should be ringing. Err on the side of caution and assume all e-mails are phishing (fake) e-mails unless you’re 100% sure they are not.

Did you try the technique on the link above? You will notice that the destination seems to be full of gobbledegook. That’s because many links are specially designed to track when you click them. You can spot these kinds of links too with the hover-over method.

Free Utility of the Month – Wunderlist

Still using sticky notes for reminders, either physical ones stuck to your monitor or the sticky notes app in Windows 7/8? If so, you might want to consider switching to a dedicated app for keeping track of your to-do lists. Wunderlist is one such app that manages to-do tasks with great efficiency. You can add to-do tasks and lists, create reminders and much more. Your tasks are also synced to your phone (Windows, iOS or Android), tablet or other PCs, basically anywhere you have an internet connection.

Never forget to buy milk again! Get Wunderlist desktop here. You can also download a version specifically for tablet PCs in the Windows store here.

Windows Store App of the Month – Pin Steam

It’s great that the new Windows 10 Start menu and Start screen have lovely big tiles, but it’s disappointing that only the so called “Modern” or “Universal” Windows apps get to have the big, beautiful tiles, while regular Windows apps get just the same little icons they’ve had for years.

If you’re using your Windows PC or tablet for gaming, you’ve probably installed the Steam gaming service. This popular program is an online store and community for PC gamers and currently the most popular service. Using Pin Steam, you can create beautiful looking tiles for your Steam games. Pin your favourite games to your Start menu or screen easily, give them their own group or just make it super easy to find the games you’re currently playing.

Pin Steam is completely free, so if you’re a gamer there’s no reason not to check it out, you can find it in the Windows store here.

Windowblinds 10.5 means it’s bye bye to boring in Windows 10

Windows 10 may be fast and functional, but don’t you find it a little…boring looking? Certainly, many users seem to feel this way. The lively Aero glass theme of Windows 7 has given way to a flat, minimalistic look for Windows 10 with the emphasis on minimal eye candy in order to squeeze every last minute from your laptop’s battery.

If you hanker for the days when Windows wasn’t so sterile, you may be delighted to know that Windowblinds 10.5 is now here. With full support for the Windows 10 anniversary update, you can now change the look and feel of Windows to suit your personality and your preferences. Unlike earlier versions of Windowblinds, even the universal or modern Windows 10 apps are skinned, giving a clean consistent look across all of your apps and across the Windows settings.

As well as different themes, Windowblinds 10.5 can apply textures and patterns to your taskbar and windows too. Apply a cool granite look, or cute things up with paw prints, the choice is yours!

You can find out more about this awesome Windows skinning and theming utility by visiting this link.

That concludes our newsletter for November. On behalf of the team here at TWT, I’d like to say thank you to all our readers, new and old for your continued support. The TWT Newsletter will return on the 10th December 2016 for more tips, tricks and techniques to help you get the best out of your PC, be it Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10. We hope that you found this newsletter informative and useful. If you did not then please let us know why, you can contact us by visiting this page. If you have enjoyed this newsletter, feel free to pass it on to all your friends and family, or better still encourage them to sign up for their own copy. Until next month, keep checking and enjoy happy, safe and stress-free computing!

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