Tech Advisor June 2019

Every issue of Tech Advisor is packed with the latest news, reviews and features plus comprehensive and impartial buying advice as well as easy-to-understand tutorials and workshops to help you to get the most from your PC. Whether you want to buy the best value equipment or make the most out of equipment you already own, Tech Advisor delivers expert advice you can trust.

United Kingdom
IDG Communications - UK
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min
windows 7 to use pop-ups to warn users of its impending death

Windows 7 support ends about nine months from now, on 14 January 2020 – and if you’re still using this operating system, you’ll see more than this story reminding you of that date. In fact, according to Microsoft, you could see several pop-up reminders warning you to upgrade to Windows 10 before the year is out. Microsoft says that Windows 7 users will see a notification appear on their PC “a handful of times” before the year is out. The company didn’t say what message it would contain, though, or when or where it would appear. “By starting the reminders now, our hope is that you have time to plan and prepare for this transition,” Microsoft said in a blog post. “These notifications are designed to help provide information only, and if…

3 min
microsoft ports xbox live to android and ios

Previously, Microsoft appeared poised to widen the reach of its gaming ecosystem, connecting games on iOS, Android, and even the Nintendo Switch to its Xbox Live multiplayer platform. Only two of the three came through, however, as Microsoft announced last month that its Xbox Live SDKs would be ported to Android and iOS. As for the Switch, Microsoft had no comment. Sharing achievements, friends lists, and gameplay was the first step toward establishing Microsoft’s gaming ecosystem within the Windows PC and Xbox console. According to Windows Central, Microsoft was preparing to unveil a cross-platform SDK (or XDK) at the Game Developers Conference in March at a special session. That session, once named ‘Xbox Live: Growing and Engaging Your Gaming Community Across iOS, Android, Switch, Xbox, and PC’, now has been renamed…

2 min
microsoft teams taps ai to boost new features

Microsoft Teams is moving ahead in its gradual replacement of Skype for Business, which was once Microsoft’s go-to solution for collaborating via video or text. Last month, Microsoft announced several new collaborative features that lean toward business use, especially for those who work in collaborative environments at an office. One of the flagship features – background blurring for remote or home workers – has been beefed up with the ability to select a custom background. Other improvements include better whiteboarding, in both virtual spaces and the real world. When Microsoft Teams launched two years ago this week, Microsoft pitched it as a collaborative messaging environment that would compete with Slack. That foundation has been built up over time with closer ties to other Office apps, such as Word or PowerPoint, services such…

5 min
google’s stadia service lets you play games anywhere

It’s safe to say that going into GDC 2019, Google’s keynote was the most anticipated on the schedule. Rumours had flown for weeks, though calling them ‘rumours’ is perhaps underselling it. We knew Google was working on streaming games to the Chrome browser, after last year’s Project Stream tests, and it was clear we’d see more about those ideas. GDCC was the official reveal, though. It’s called Stadia, and already the old box-under-the-television paradigm feels outdated. Streaming games anywhere ‘Building a game platform for everyone.’ That’s the tag line Google went with during its presentation. You have a desktop? A laptop? A phone? Then you have Stadia. It’s that easy. This is the future that game streaming allows. No, seriously: Google showed it to us. An onstage demo went from laptop to phone to…

11 min
lenovo thinkpad x1 extreme

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme is not for the avocado-toast-eating youths. You know, the ones who take a laptop clad in brushed aluminium or maybe rose gold to Starbucks so they can fill out an application for university. When a real businessperson thinks about the coolest laptop they could use to put together a proposal for a hostile takeover of a multi-billion pound competitor with 25,000 employees, they think all black and all business. And yes, Lenovo’s famous ThinkPad X1 Extreme is of the latter sort. It channels FTSE 100, a bull market, and power suits. And with its 15in display, it provides extra real estate for that your huge spreadsheets and slick presentations – with surprisingly little weight penalty. Just don’t expect the performance to be as extreme as its…

9 min
hp spectre folio

The HP Spectre Folio is an eye-catching hybrid that surrounds its components with leather – and that’s not the only area where it stands apart from the competition. It’s got a unique moving mechanism involving two hinges, for starters, and it has a CPU that promises increased efficiency when compared to the silicon used elsewhere. As attractive as this machine is, though, its price is a little high. Can it do enough to convince us of its worth when more powerful rivals are available for less? Design The Folio look and feels fantastic. Brown leather covers the back of the screen and the base, and comes around to the front of the machine, with the keyboard and screen secured tightly to the material. This isn’t a normal folio case. The leather and metal…