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Tech & Gaming

Computeractive 569

Computeractive is the UK’s best-selling computer magazine and your friendly guide to PCs, gadgets and the web! It includes regular news updates, project ideas, help and advice on popular reader queries, articles on anti-virus software, features on consumer rights, and a whole lot more to help you get the very best out of your computer. Get PC advice in plain English today – get Computeractive!

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United Kingdom
Dennis Publishing UK
R 40,83
R 615,39
26 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
from the editor

Windows 10 has been with us for nearly four and a half years, which feels like several millennia in computer years. In the history of Windows, only XP has survived for longer as the most current version – and Windows 10 will overtake that in August 2020. But the Windows 10 you’re using now is different to the one that came screaming into the world on 29 July 2015. It may look the same, but Microsoft has since added loads of new tools that you can’t afford to ignore. Our Cover Feature will show you the best ways to master these, whether you upgraded back in 2015 or more recently. If you’re planning to buy a new Windows 10 PC when support ends for Windows 7, turn to page 70. We’re selling…

2 min.
w7 remains stubbornly popular as the end looms

Fewer people appear to be upgrading their computers from Windows 7, with just weeks to go until Microsoft ends support for the 10-year-old operating system. According to research for November, Windows 10’s market share of Windows computers fell by nearly one per cent, following large rises since the summer. It’s the first time since February that Windows 10 has failed to increase its market share. The figures, from analysts Net Applications, also show that the sharp drop in Windows 7’s market share has stalled. In the four previous months its share fell by a massive 8.5 per cent, as Windows 10 increased its lead. But in November Windows 7’s share fell by just one per cent. It now runs on 31.2 per cent (around 500 million) of all Windows computers worldwide. This pattern echoes…

1 min.
openreach stocks up for winter woes

Openreach has stocked up on 62,000 kilos of rock salt and 1,700 snow shovels to help its engineers fix problems and lay broadband during periods of extreme weather this winter. It has also bought 3,400 ice and snow grips for footwear; 3,500 sets of snow socks for van tyres; 20,000 litres of screenwash; and 20,000 de-icer sprays. In addition it has prepared a fleet of 4x4 vehicles in areas that have “proved susceptible to storms and wild weather in recent winters”, helping engineers reach isolated communities quickly. An Openreach spokesperson said: “It’s impossible to predict what kind of winter we’re going to have, but we’re doing everything we can to prepare for the worst it can offer”. Openreach said that anyone spotting damage to its network, such as dangling cables from telephone poles or…

1 min.
more homes have smart tvs, but fewer have desktop pcs

Sales of smart TVs and web-connected speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home have risen sharply in the past few years, while sales of desktop PCs continue to fall, according to new research. Ofcom’s 2019 Tech Tracker survey found that 48 per cent of UK households now have TVs that connect to the internet, up from 42 per cent in 2018, and just five per cent in 2012. The number of homes with 4K TVs has more than doubled in the past two years, from 17 to 35 per cent. Meanwhile, voice-controlled smart speakers are now found in a fifth of homes, up from 13 per cent last year. Smart watches have jumped from three per cent in 2015 to 23 per cent in 2019. However, sales of more traditional technology devices show…

1 min.
send fewer emails to ‘save planet’

Computer users have been urged to send fewer emails in order to help save the planet, after research shows people in the UK send 64 million “unnecessary” messages every year. Researchers say one- or two-word replies such as ‘thanks’ or ‘you too’ are mostly pointless. If everyone sent just one fewer email every day it would help cut the UK’s carbon footprint by 16,000 tonnes per year, they claim. They say that in one year the energy produced by email servers, networks and systems creates a carbon footprint equivalent to 81,152 flights to Madrid. The study, commissioned by energy company OVO and led by Professor Mike Berners-Lee of Lancaster University, found that 49 per cent of Brits say they send emails to colleagues and friends within talking distance every day. Nearly three-quarters of people…

3 min.
in brief

NOVEMBER UPDATE BREAKS FILE EXPLORER Some Windows 10 users are reporting that the November Update is freezing File Explorer when they type in the search box. Many have complained on Microsoft’s community forums (www.snipca.com/33439) that they’ve had to force-restart Windows to get back control of their computer. Microsoft has yet to acknowledge the problem. MOVE FACEBOOK PHOTOS TO GOOGLE Facebook has released a tool that lets you move your photos and videos to Google Photos. For now it’s available only in Ireland, before being refined and launched worldwide in 2020. The tool is part of the Data Transfer Project, set up by Google in 2018 to make it easier to switch files between services. TOMORROW’S WORLD By 2037 half of newborns will be ‘e-babies’. These are tots born to parents who met through dating websites…