Microsoft looks like it’s going ahead with this unpopular Windows 11 move

Windows 11 could be about to get a watermark on the desktop when installed on a PC which doesn’t meet the official system requirements for the OS.

You may recall that the watermark, which appears above the system tray, bottom-right on the desktop, was previously spotted in limited testing with certain Windows preview builds, but the change has now made its way to beta and release preview builds (version 22000.588) that Windows Insiders use.

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This was highlighted by @XenoPanther, a keen Windows tester on Twitter, and as the move is reportedly now widely deployed to Release Preview, it’s likely only a matter of time before the change debuts on the full version of Windows 11.

This would mean that anyone who has installed Microsoft’s latest OS on a machine that isn’t officially supported by the software will see the warning message. It informs these users: “System requirements not met. Go to Settings to learn more.”


Analysis: Get ready for more restrictions on unsupported PCs

This is no major surprise, as Microsoft has always said that people shouldn’t be running Windows 11 on a machine that isn’t up to the required hardware spec, and has even observed that doing so could ‘damage’ your PC.

A one-line warning watermark is quite annoying and intrusively placed on the desktop, but on the bright side, it could have been worse – meaning that Microsoft isn’t placing major restrictions on Windows 11 with unsupported devices, such as not allowing apps to run, or removing the facility to get vital security updates.

That said, Microsoft has always said that unsupported PCs won’t be able to get updates – even though they still can – but it seems clear enough that eventually, updates will likely get cut off for these devices.

If you have hardware that doesn’t meet the requirements, the idea of allowing Windows 11 to be installed at all is just to give you a flavor of how the OS works – not to let you keep running it permanently. And then if you like it, the theory is that you’ll perform whatever hardware upgrades are necessary (like, for example, a TPM module) to support Windows 11, or at least that’s the impression we’ve always been given.

So, in short, this watermark is likely only the first step towards clamping down on folks who are permanently keeping Windows 11 on unsupported hardware.

Via Windows Latest

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iOS 15.4 update saves you going to an Apple Store to restore your Watch

With the release of iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5, Apple has finally made it easier to restore your Apple Watch without having to take it to an Apple Store for a Genius appointment.

Since its first release back in 2015, if you had an issue with your Watch where a factory reset wouldn't solve the issue, there was no direct port to plug in a lightning cable to restore from iTunes – similar to what you would do with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

A trip to an Apple Store close by to book a Genius appointment would be the only option, where their tech support would be able to forcibly restore your Watch through a secret data port.

But with iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5, this can be done anywhere, saving you a long trip and a headache.


Analysis: A long time coming

The ability to restore your own iPhone has been the standard since the first iPhone in 2007.

But while the Apple Watch has always had a secret data port that's at the bottom of the smartwatch, it's a port that's never been intended for consumer use, only by Apple. You would go to an Apple Store, see its tech support, or Genius as they're called, and they would be able to use this port to reset your Watch.

However there are situations where an Apple Store could be hundreds of miles away, and you've got a paperweight on your wrist. This is why it's a relief to have this feature in iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5.

Apple Watch in recovery mode

(Image credit: Apple)

All you need to do is place the Watch on a charger, press the side button twice, and a pop-up should appear on your iPhone, explaining that it's discovered an Apple Watch that needs to be restored.

After a half hour, the Watch will appear as though it's being used for the first time, and you can start to pair it to your iPhone again.

This is going to be a great help for many, and will reduce the stress at least in trying to find time to go to an Apple Store to do this.

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iOS 15.4 update saves you going to an Apple Store to restore your Watch

With the release of iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5, Apple has finally made it easier to restore your Apple Watch without having to take it to an Apple Store for a Genius appointment.

Since its first release back in 2015, if you had an issue with your Watch where a factory reset wouldn't solve the issue, there was no direct port to plug in a lightning cable to restore from iTunes – similar to what you would do with an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

A trip to an Apple Store close by to book a Genius appointment would be the only option, where their tech support would be able to forcibly restore your Watch through a secret data port.

But with iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5, this can be done anywhere, saving you a long trip and a headache.


Analysis: A long time coming

The ability to restore your own iPhone has been the standard since the first iPhone in 2007.

But while the Apple Watch has always had a secret data port that's at the bottom of the smartwatch, it's a port that's never been intended for consumer use, only by Apple. You would go to an Apple Store, see its tech support, or Genius as they're called, and they would be able to use this port to reset your Watch.

However there are situations where an Apple Store could be hundreds of miles away, and you've got a paperweight on your wrist. This is why it's a relief to have this feature in iOS 15.4 and watchOS 8.5.

Apple Watch in recovery mode

(Image credit: Apple)

All you need to do is place the Watch on a charger, press the side button twice, and a pop-up should appear on your iPhone, explaining that it's discovered an Apple Watch that needs to be restored.

After a half hour, the Watch will appear as though it's being used for the first time, and you can start to pair it to your iPhone again.

This is going to be a great help for many, and will reduce the stress at least in trying to find time to go to an Apple Store to do this.

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Your Microsoft Outlook calendar is going global

Your Outlook calendars could soon be more organized than ever thanks to a new update from Microsoft.

The company has revealed an upgrade to its email service that will allow users to display a second calendar type.

In the official entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap, the company notes that users will have “a variety of global calendars” to choose from. This could mean that the likes of the Chinese lunar calendar, Indian calendar and the Islamic calendar will soon be available as options within Outlook, so certain holidays or observances are not missed.

Outlook calendars

The feature is still listed as “in development” for the time being, but Microsoft has included a preview release for March 2022, and a scheduled general release for May 2022, so users should be able to benefit within the next few weeks.

When it does release, the update will be available to all Outlook Web users across the world.

The news is the latest in a series of recent updates announced for Outlook as Microsoft looks to make the service an ideal partner for hybrid working.

This includes the ability to browse and reserve meeting rooms on a work phone, meaning you won't be caught without a space ahead of an important meeting. Previously, Outlook users had to search for available meeting rooms using the desktop app or another alternative system implemented by their company, so this offers a significant upgrade.

A separate update entitled “working hours and location” will allow users to set a notice showing where they are working, whether that be at home, in the office, or anywhere else in particular, giving managers more visibility on where their key employees are.

The company is also planning on adding Microsoft Editor functionality on mobile platforms, signalling an end for embarrassing spelling and grammar mistakes on smartphones, as well as adding text predictions to Outlook for Android and iOS.

And in a bid to add a bit more vibrancy to what can be quite a dull platform, another upgrade will soon let users customize the color of the events in their calendar app, letting them not only liven up the view, but also create better distinction and visibility into their working week.

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Zoom says it’s not going anywhere just yet

Video calling giant Zoom says it is looking at a shift in focus as it looks to evolve and move with the changing work environment.

The video conferencing company has revealed its latest quarterly results at the end of its FY 2022, showing another strong performance even as workers around the world return to the office, but its weaker outlook for the year ahead did raise some eyebrows.

Overall, Zoom saw Q4 FY2022 revenues of $ 1.07 billion, up 21% year on year, with total revenues for the whole of its FY2022 of just over $ 4 billion, up 55% year over year, with net income of $ 1.37 billion.

Zoom future

In order to stay successful going forward, Zoom says it is now looking to set its sights on larger, enterprise customers.

“In fiscal year 2022, we delivered strong results…along with increased profitability and operating cash flow growth as our global customer base continued to grow and find new use cases for our broadening communications platform,” said Zoom founder and CEO, Eric S. Yuan. 

“Looking forward, we are addressing a large opportunity as we expect customers will continue to transform how they work and engage with their customers. It is apparent that businesses want a full communications platform that is integrated, secure, and easy to use. We are proud to lead the charge of the digital transformation for communications.”

After seeing a huge rate of growth during the pandemic, many have questioned how Zoom can stay relevant and profitable as the return to the office continues.

However the company has remained bullish, saying it can play an important role in the post-pandemic world through helping facilitate and encourage hybrid working as employees look to split their time between the office and a more comfortable home environment.

It has also been testing the waters in several new areas and industries, including the launch of Zoom Contact Center, a customer service platform that lets companies quickly interact with customers.

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