Bring an old PC back to life with Windows 10 thanks to the new bloat-free Tiny10

A new release of Tiny10 is out, a version of Windows 10 that strips away all the bloat so it’s a lean, mean, multitasking machine (hopefully).

Neowin spotted that Tiny10 x64 is now available, slotting in alongside the existing Tiny10 x86 installation (and of course, Tiny11 – the similarly lightweight take on Windows 11).

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What’s the difference between x64 and x86? Well, the latter is 32-bit Windows 10, whereas the former and fresh version of Tiny10 is a 64-bit incarnation. This means it can run 64-bit software and is more performant in general, plus it’s more secure, too (though note that your PC must have a 64-bit CPU – which it should do, unless it’s really old).

In short, the new x64 version is the one you want unless your PC is incapable of running it (due to the processor not being 64-bit).

As the developer points out, the key element here is the inclusion of the component store (also in the x86 version), which allows for Tiny10 to receive Windows updates. That is, of course, vital to maintain the security of the OS.

Note that Tiny10 x64 is labeled version 23H1 purely because it has been released now – in the first half of 2023 – and this does not refer to the version of Windows 10 it’s based on (which, in fact, is Windows 10 LTSC 21H2, build 19044.3031).

Analysis: One tiny step for Windows 10

Tiny10 is designed to be installed on an old PC, as with its seriously streamlined and debloated nature, it’ll run fast enough even on pretty ancient hardware. And as mentioned, this x64 take has advantages for better performance and security over the previous x86 release of Tiny10.

You can run Tiny10 on a PC that only has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of drive space, that’s how lean it is – and it’s likely to work okay with less system memory than that (maybe much less, as previous experiments have shown). Indeed, 1GB should be enough.

While Tiny10 is a useful option to get some additional life out of an ailing potato PC, there are caveats to bear in mind. We can’t be sure of the exact contents of any modified Windows installation (ISO file), so if you download and install Tiny10, you do so at your own risk (grab it here if you’re happy to proceed). That said, the developer has been around for some time, with no complaints from users yet.

Also, this is still a Windows 10 installation – just a heavily tinkered with and stripped-back one – so you will still need a valid license key to run it (though a Windows 7 or 8 license should do fine, too).

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Microsoft Teams will no longer suck up so much of your battery life

Using Microsoft Teams may no longer be such a drain on your laptop battery life thanks to a series of updates to the platform.

The video conferencing software will now require up to 50% less power to run during “energy-intensive” scenarios such as multi-person meetings than it did 18 months ago, Microsoft has revealed.

This is thanks to a series of changes and optimizations that should mean an end to battery-sapping video calls that can leave remote workers scrambling for their charger, or being forced to go on mute as their work laptop fans kick into overdrive.

Microsoft Teams battery life

“One of the challenges brought on by the ubiquity of Teams is the need to create equitable experiences across an incredibly diverse Windows device ecosystem,” Microsoft's Robert Aichner wrote in a blog post outlining a series of improvements made since June 2020.

Aichner noted that the moves should also allow users on low-end devices to have a much better experience running Microsoft Teams, meaning no one should suddenly drop out on calls, and ensure Teams meetings are as energy-efficient as possible, regardless of setup.

This has been a long process, with Microsoft continuing to optimize Teams as user numbers boomed during the pandemic amid work from home orders.

This has included camera optimization tools to reduce the demands on using video in meetings, with tweaks such as improving configurations, reducing code complexity for auto-exposure, auto-white balance, auto-aliasing, resulting in power draw reduction from the onboard camera and stability enhancements, and face detection processes.

Microsoft has also consolidated and improved video rendering, particularly in multi-person video meetings where different participants may join with wildly different video streams due to variations in hardware. This initially meant that a nine-person call using a 3×3 video grid required nine distinct rendering operations, but Microsoft combined the streams and composed them into a single video, significantly reducing the power requirements for each device used.

More recently, Microsoft Teams has also been allowed to tap into a device’s GPU to support improved rendering performance, which has recently been expanded to the user's video preview as well.

Aichner adds that this is not the end for Teams optimization, and the company hopes to continue to release new features and improvements for some time to come.

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This all-new version of Microsoft Teams will take over your working life

Small businesses will now be able to utilise video conferencing software and online collaboration tool much easier with the launch of the first ever stand-alone version of Microsoft Teams.

Available now, Teams Essentials provides small businesses with an affordable meeting solution that is ideal for hybrid work environments. At just $ 4 per user per month, the software giant's new offering is one of the most competitively priced video conferencing and collaboration solutions on the market today.

“We know how difficult the past 20 months have been for small businesses,” noted Microsoft's corporate vice president of Modern Work, Jared Spataro. “They’ve had to demonstrate extreme flexibility to adapt, often with limited access to tools and technology. Teams Essentials is built specifically to meet the unique needs of small businesses, enabling them to thrive in this new era of work.”

Microsoft Teams Essentials

SMBs that sign up for Teams Essentials will be able to hold unlimited group meetings for up to 30 hours and meetings with up to 300 people but they'll also get access to 10GB of cloud storage per user.

Teams Essentials also includes all of the existing and upcoming capabilities available in the free version of Teams such as easy invitations that only require an email address, Outlook Calendar and Google Calendar integration, virtual backgrounds, Together mode, always-available chats, polls and more.

Small businesses interested in purchasing Teams Essentials subscriptions for their employees can do so directly through the Teams website or from a variety of Microsoft Cloud Partners including ALSO, Crayon, Ingram, Pax8, Rhipe, TD Synnex, Telefonica (ES), Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone (IT) and Wortmann AG.

While Teams Essentials makes sense for small businesses that want to continue using their existing office software, for just $ 1 more at $ 5 per user per month, they can sign up for Microsoft 365 Business Basic which also includes access to the web and mobile versions of Microsoft's Office apps, 1TB of cloud storage per user, business-class email, Teams meetings recordings with transcripts and more.

Looking to improve your video calls? Check out our roundups of the best video conferencing softwarebest business webcams and best headsets for conference calls

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Microsoft Teams update will make your life harder, but for good reason

Microsoft is set to roll out an update for collaboration platform Teams that will add a layer of friction to using third-party app integrations, but for good reason.

According to a new entry in the company’s product roadmap, Microsoft Teams users will soon have to manage permissions manually for each third-party app they want to use via the web client.

“In order to better secure Microsoft Teams third-party applications that request native device permissions – such as camera, microphone or location access – we will be requiring users to manually opt-in for these permissions per app in the Microsoft Teams web browser experience,” wrote Microsoft.

This is already the case across the Microsoft Teams desktop and mobile clients, the roadmap entry goes on to explain.

The new web client permissions system is still under development, but should take effect for all users by February next year.

Microsoft Teams apps

Since the start of the pandemic, collaboration software vendors like Microsoft, Zoom and Slack have worked hard to expand upon in-built functionality (video conferencing, VoIP, messaging, file-sharing etc.) with third-party integrations.

In Microsoft’s case, the company is aiming to turn Teams into a central hub for work, by building as wide a range of functionality into the platform as possible, from cloud storage and CRM to project management, calendering and more.

Only last week, Microsoft revealed it is developing a new-look app store that should make it easier to identify the most useful third-party integrations on a per user basis.

As the number of Teams applications grows, however, the likelihood one might be abused for cybercriminal purposes rises too. To nip any potential issues in the bud, Microsoft will soon require users to manually specify app permissions across all Teams clients (desktop, mobile and now browser).

Of course, the measure won’t stop users from giving malicious apps access to their webcam and audio feed, but at the very least it will force people to think twice about which apps they engage with.

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