Microsoft is planning to require every Windows 10X app — Win32, Universal Windows Platform (UWP) and Web apps — to run in containers as a way to better secure and improve the performance of devices running Windows 10X. The 10X container (codenamed “Vail”) is similar to — though not the same as — the lightweight VMs/container model used by Microsoft’s Windows Subsystem for Linux. The 10X container will include a lightweight version of Windows (Win32), which will be loaded only by those apps which require it. In some cases, shims, or programming interfaces meant to assist with compatibility, also will play a role in enabling apps like the new Edge browser and Microsoft’s own Office apps, to run on 10X.
Update: Thanks to a presentation discovered by The Walking Cat, here’s some more 10X container info. There are three types of containers in Windows 10X: Win32, MSIX and Native (UWP). MSIX and native containers already exist. Win32 containers are meant to provide the highest compatibility levels for existing apps, including Win32, WinForms, WPF and Electron apps. It provides an environment similar to a desktop OS. A single Win32 container will run all Win32 apps on 10X.
Microsoft’s goal is to ensure that most existing Windows applications will “just work” with no developer modifications required, on Windows 10X. For developers who are interested in making their applications work better and in a more customized way on 10X, Microsoft is making available the programming interfaces, information about hinge positions, transitions and new proposed Web standards in that space.
In addition to releasing early versions of the 10X emulator and SDK today, Microsoft also is refreshing the already-available SDK for its Android-based Surface Duo device. The preview SDK for Duo, as of today, will include all of Microsoft’s Java native samples as Kotlin samples; drag and drop support for helping with moving data between two apps on dual-screen devices; and support for Android Sutdio, Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code users on macOS and Ubuntu Linux and Windows.
Microsoft’s pitch for both kinds of dual-screen devices isn’t just that more screen real estate is better. It also is trying to build a case that users can be more productive when using two side-by-side, connected screens than a single screen because they can stay in their “flow” and not have to switch between apps.
It’s not just on the use-case front where Microsoft has its work cut out for it with dual-screen devices. Microsoft also has some big execution challenges with its dual-screen devices is an understatement.
Microsoft has said both the Surface Duo and the Neo will be available for purchase in time for holiday 2020 and seems to be sticking with that commitment. This doesn’t seem like a stretch for the Surface Duo, which is basically a plain-vanilla Android device with some Microsoft extensions. The Duo emulator is the existing Android Studio emulator.
The Surface Neo, though a Windows 10 device using a Microsoft-built emulator, will be expected by most customers to run all Windows apps. I’ve heard that in its own internal testing so far, Microsoft has not found providing Win32 app compatibility to be a slam-dunk. Because the Win32 subsystem running in the container in 10X isn’t a full operating system implementation, more than a few existing Win32 apps don’t run well or at all.
In addition, Microsoft also is in the midst of trying to figure out what to do about app distribution. As I’ve reported previously, Microsoft has been stepping back from requiring Windows 10 apps to be delivered via the Microsoft app store. During today’s Microsoft 365 Developer Day, I’m not expecting Microsoft to talk about its plans to deprecate the Microsoft Store for Business and Store for Education.
However, there may be some talk today during the virtual developer event about how the company is devising a new model for application reputation, as officials hinted last year would be happening. Microsoft needs to build an app reputation system that will help customers know that apps are trustworthy and safe to download. Microsoft is expected to make this new app-reputation model a built-in part of Windows 10X and subsequently make it available across the entire ecosystem, from what I’ve heard.
Microsoft is looking for developer feedback on its dual-screen vision and deliverables, in earnest, starting today. Windows 10X testers, start your engines.
Who said you have to spend hundreds of dollars to get your hands on a new smartphone? Sprint has a deal that could score you a Samsung Galaxy S10 absolutely free when you lease the device for 18 months and add a new line of service. Another offer scores you the Galaxy S10e for only $5 per month with the same stipulations.
Today’s deal on Samsung’s Galaxy S10 requires approved credit and saves you over $30 off the usual monthly cost to lease this device. You should see the discount applied within two months, however you’ll owe the remaining balance on the phone if you cancel early.
Sprint is offering customers the Samsung Galaxy S10 for $0 per month when you sign up for an 18-month Flex Lease and add a new line of service. You could also score the Galaxy S10e for $5/month with a Flex Lease by adding a new line to your account.
Limited Time Offer
Sprint’s Flex Leases are perfect for those who get tired of using the same phone after a while. Once 18 months has passed, you’re able to return the phone and switch to a new one. How often do you do anything with your old smartphones anyway? Sprint also gives you the option of paying off the remaining balance on the phone to keep it if you decide you don’t want to give it back.
Samsung Galaxy phones sold by Sprint include Galaxy Forever, which allows you to return the device you have and switch to the latest Samsung Galaxy phone at any time after 12 months of lease payments have passed.
Set against signing up for Sprint? Verizon has a deal on the Samsung Galaxy S10 as well. You can score a $150 prepaid card when purchasing the Samsung Galaxy S10 device of your choice at their new low price, as well as up to $500 off the purchase price when you trade-in an eligible device.
Samsung’s Galaxy S10 features an immersive 6.1-inch Cinematic Infinity Display that is absolutely gorgeous, so much so that we called it the best-ever display in our in-depth review. Inside, it’s powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor, 8GB RAM, and has up to 512GB of storage. There’s also an in-display fingerprint sensor, 3,400mAh battery with Wireless PowerShare feature, and exceptional triple rear camera setup. You really can’t beat a deal like this on a phone this good.
We reviewed the S10 last year, calling it “the best-ever Galaxy S” and rating it with 4.5 out of 5 stars. If you’d like to know more about the latest Samsung Galaxy devices before buying, this Everything You Need To Know guide is pretty helpful, too.
Could SpaceX’s Starship feature an homage to a famous manga-inspired sci-fi film?
CEO Elon Musk shared an image Tuesday of the company’s upcoming rocket, designed to send humans to Mars and beyond, mocked up with images from Alita: Battle Angel. The 2019 American film is based on the ’90s Japanese manga Battle Angel Alita, and tells the story of a cyborg named Alita that works to uncover her mysterious past.
“Battle Angel Starship,” Musk wrote to his 31.5 million Twitter followers, sharing an image of the under-development rocket emblazoned with an image of Alita, the quote “all or nothing,” and the words “Mars Hunter Warrior,” a reference to Alita’s future bounty hunter role. The ship also features the number 99, commonly associated with the character and a number she uses when playing motorball.
Oh, and of course, it features a giant SpaceX logo.
The design was warmly received by Alita fans, with one declaring it “so amazing” and another stating that “now Alita has officially her own spaceship!”
Musk has been known to regularly share memes and jokes that reference science fiction and anime. Earlier this month he shared an image of Bernie Sanders standing in the United States Senate, photoshopped to look as if he’s explaining the famously abstract ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion. In October 2018, he professed his love of anime over Twitter and declared that he owned a chibi Wolverine. Musk mentioned in January 2017 that Ghost in the Shell was “not the ideal ending” and the then-forthcoming live-action version had “a lot of potential.”
Unfortunately that potential never seemed to quite materialize. The live-action Ghost in the Shell scored 44 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Alita: Battle Angel also received a similarly muted 61 percent. The original works of both are hailed as classics.
Although it seems like a lighthearted joke in Musk’s downtime, he has been known to make references to science fiction in his work. Tesla vehicles are fitted with a Ludicrous mode and expected to offer PLaid power at a later date, both references to cult classic Spaceballs. SpaceX’s two rocket recovery ships are named Of Course I Still Love You and Just Read the Instructions, both references to Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels. The red Tesla Roadster that launched on the first Falcon Heavy trip features the words “Don’t Panic,” a reference to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series.
The mockup also resembles a piece of aerial history: the nose art of World War 2 planes. The designs painted on planes in the era took a number of shapes: cobras, sharks, celebrities of the era like Ernie Pyle. But perhaps the most famous of these designs were sexualized pinup models of famous actresses like Rita Hayworth.
Musk’s art could be a tribute to this history, but it’s also worth noting that the character of Alita is presented as a teenager.
Whether this latest image is a sign of things to come for Starship may become clear relatively soon. SpaceX is aiming to launch the rocket on a fully-reusable orbital flight this year, the first step toward its more ambitious projects. These include a trip around the moon with Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, scheduled for around 2023. It also includes sending the first humans to Mars, where they will be tasked with building a city by 2050. This will be designed to support future missions for the Starship, acting as a refueling base so people can fly out further and explore other planets in the solar system.
We’ll have to wait and see whether “Mars Hunter Warrior”s will somehow feature in these plans.
The hardware will boast 12 TFLOPS of GPU power, which Microsoft notes is twice that of Xbox One X, based on an AMD Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architecture. A Variable Rate Shading technique allows the GPU to prioritize individual effects on specific game objects rather than focus on the entire screen. It will also sport hardware-based DirectX ray-tracing. The post also confirms SSD storage and 120 FPS support.
As for what all that power will go towards, Microsoft shared some end-user features too. The Quick Resume feature promises to be faster without waiting through loading screens, and now it can be used with multiple games at once. Xbox Series X will be backwards compatible with all previous generations of Xbox games and accessories. A new “Smart Delivery”‘ feature is essentially cross-buy, letting you purchase a game once and play it on whatever is the best hardware available. Microsoft says that developers and publishers will be able to choose to use the feature on games that release first on Xbox One and then later come to Xbox Series X.
The Xbox Series X is Microsoft’s first volley into the next generation, as the company has noted that it’s switching to just Xbox for its branding going forward. That means we may see multiple hardware revisions within the Xbox family, similar to a smartphone model. We don’t know a price or release date yet, but Microsoft may reveal those at its E3 2020 presentation. For more details, check out everything we know about Xbox Series X.
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