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WEEKLY NEWSLETTER 2 - 7 JULY 2018

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Tech Tip:

Windows 10's big Insider build showcases Skype,
a font maker and Task Manager tweaks:

By Mark Hachman Senior Editor, PCWorld | JUN 28, 2018 3:00 AM PT

Midway through developing new Windows Insider builds, Microsoft usually begins dropping some doozies. Wednesday's release of Windows 10 Insider build 17704 was no exception: Microsoft retired its Sets UI again, updated the Windows 10 version of Skype, and began promoting a new Fonts Maker app.

As it often does, Microsoft complemented its major updates with smaller, though more useful additions. Perhaps the most significant is an update to Task Manager that offers some insight into which apps and services are using the most power.

Here's what the latest Insider build version 17704 will add, and what it will taketh away:

Microsoft Font Maker app is official

In May, some people discovered that a Microsoft Font Maker app was live inside the Microsoft Store, though it wasn't necessarily visible without searching for it. Now, Microsoft is encouraging users to try it out.

Conceptually, Font Maker is pretty simple: The app encourages you to ink the letters of the alphabet, and then turns those letters into a font that you can "type" with. Only English is supported at present.

Skype for Windows 10 updated

Last June, Microsoft rolled out its revamped Skype experience, which radically revamped what users thought Skype should look like. Some of that experience has arrived on Windows 10 with the Skype for Windows 10 Insider Update, promising "all the latest and greatest Skype capabilities to Windows 10 users," Microsoft says.

Those include themed Skype layouts, the ability to take "snapshots" during a Skype call, and more. One interesting feature allows users to decide which other users appear within the group call, rather than let Skype decide.

Power usage within Task Manager

To Microsoft's credit, Task Manager has become increasingly more useful. The April 2018 Update added the ability to track the GPU usage as well as the traditional memory, CPU, and storage utilization. With Insider Build 17704, Microsoft has added two new columns: "power usage," and "power usage trend." Each will provide some insight into which apps or services are consuming the most power.

It's not clear whether Windows will actually measure the watts each app or service consumes, but it will show the energy impact of each, with language such as "very low" used to describe it. (This sounds similar to the way Windows describes the impact on your system's boot time via apps loaded at startup.)

The "trends" column won't light up immediately, but will instead start providing an impact after two minutes, Microsoft says.

Snipping Tool's stay of execution

At one point, Microsoft seemed determined to replace the current Snipping Tool with Screen Sketch, the on-screen inking tool that allows you to draw onscreen as well as capture part of it. Now, the company says that if you prefer to use Snipping Tool, you'll be able to: Microsoft said it will not remove Snipping Tool in the next update to Windows.

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Bob Backstrom
~ Newsletter Editor ~

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