New Forza Horizon 4 footage takes you to Edinburgh in the spring

Tour the countryside.

Microsoft started off E3 2018 with a bang, taking the wraps off of the latest entry in its Forza series called Forza Horizon 4. The game takes place in Britain and features numerous enhancements over its predecessor. Today, during an official livestream, we got another in-depth look at the game.

Windows Central Podcast 99: Why Change the Shrimp?

This week on the Windows Central Podcast, we talk new builds, the definition of an Always-Connected PC, the future of UWP, and more!

We’re back with another exciting episode of the Windows Central Podcast! This week, Daniel Rubino and Zac Bowden talk about the week’s news in the Windows universe, including the latest build of Redstone 5, and trying to parse the actual meaning of ‘Always Connected PC’. They also speculate on the age old privacy question — Who is ‘they’? And, apropos of nothing, Dan seems to know an awful lot about how super-criminals use computers. Finally, Dan and Zac discuss the future for UWP apps on Windows 10 and the Lenovo Thunderbolt 3 Graphics Dock. Join us!

Help us make this show the best Microsoft podcast in the world. Tell your friends, share it on social media using the hashtag #wcpodcast, and give us a five-star rating wherever you download your podcasts! Thank you so much for listening!

Windows 10 build 17728 now rolling out for Insiders in the Fast ring

Another week, another Insider Preview build for us to test! Today’s build is 17728, and features under the hood improvements and changes to Narrator.

We’re back with another Windows 10 Redstone 5 build for Insiders in the Fast ring today, bringing with it more improvements and enhancements to the OS. We’re now at that point in development where new builds don’t really include new features, so today’s changelog is a little sparse.

Best Laptop for VR in 2018

Best overall
Best budget
Best mobility
Best design
Best 15-inch
Best luxury
Best overall

Alienware 17

A powerful gaming laptop with plenty of ports.

See at Dell

While the higher-end specs might be overkill for most people, you can land a mid-range Alienware 17 with enough power to run VR for about $1,799. This laptop has an 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H processor (CPU), 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a NVIDIA GTX 1070 OC graphics card (GPU) with 8GB of GDDR5 VRAM, and enough ports for Rift, Vive, or Windows Mixed Reality (WMR). The 17.3-inch display is big and beautiful, available in 1080p, 1440p, or 4K.

Bottom line: For the best VR-ready for most people, go with the Alienware 17.

Destiny 2: Forsaken – Legendary Collection goes up for preorder

Contains everything released so far.

Recently, Bungie announced the “Forsaken” expansion for Destiny 2, which should hopefully add a slew of new activities to the game and bring fans back. Forsaken is the first major expansion to Destiny 2 and launches on September 4, 2018. With two new destinations to explore, and new weapons, armor and “Super” abilities to acquire, the download takes players on an epic journey into the wild frontiers of our solar system where the lines between justice and revenge are blurred.

Amazon discounts State of Decay 2 to $19.99

Now that’s a great deal.

State of Decay 2 is a co-op multiplayer game which forces you to survive in the wake of a zombie apocalypse. Players have to work together, build bases, and form communities if they wish to survive in this hostile land.

Best Windows 10 apps of July 2018

From getting work done to managing your downloads, these are the best apps of July 2018.

This month I ventured outside of the Microsoft Store a bit to check out some great utilities and productivity software, but I also found some great apps inside the store suck as iDownload Manager. Here are some of the highlights I have to recommend.

The Istio service mesh hits version 1.0

Istio, the service mesh for microservices from Google, IBM, Lyft, Red Hat and many other players in the open-source community, launched version 1.0 of its tools today.
If you’re not into service meshes, that’s understandable. Few people are. But Istio is probably one of the most important new open-source projects out there right now. It sits at the intersection of a number of industry trends, like containers, microservices and serverless computing, and makes it easier for enterprises to embrace them. Istio now has more than 200 contributors and the code has seen more than 4,000 check-ins since the launch of  version 0.1.
Istio, at its core, handles the routing, load balancing, flow control and security needs of microservices. It sits on top of existing distributed applications and basically helps them talk to each other securely, while also providing logging, telemetry and the necessary policies that keep things under control (and secure). It also features support for canary releases, which allow developers to test updates with a few users before launching them to a wider audience, something that Google and other webscale companies have long done internally.
“In the area of microservices, things are moving so quickly,” Google product manager Jennifer Lin told me. “And with the success of Kubernetes and the abstraction around container orchestration, Istio was formed as an open-source project to really take the next step in terms of a substrate for microservice development as well as a path for VM-based workloads to move into more of a service management layer. So it’s really focused around the right level of abstractions for services and creating a consistent environment for managing that.”
Even before the 1.0 release, a number of companies already adopted Istio in production, including the likes of eBay and Auto Trader UK. Lin argues that this is a sign that Istio solves a problem that a lot of businesses are facing today as they adopt microservices. “A number of more sophisticated customers tried to build their own service management layer and while we hadn’t yet declared 1.0, we hard a number of customers — including a surprising number of large enterprise customer — say, ‘you know, even though you’re not 1.0, I’m very comfortable putting this in production because what I’m comparing it to is much more raw.’”
IBM Fellow and VP of Cloud Jason McGee agrees with this and notes that “our mission since Istio’s launch has been to enable everyone to succeed with microservices, especially in the enterprise. This is why we’ve focused the community around improving security and scale, and heavily leaned our contributions on what we’ve learned from building agile cloud architectures for companies of all sizes.”
A lot of the large cloud players now support Istio directly, too. IBM supports it on top of its Kubernetes Service, for example, and Google even announced a managed Istio service for its Google Cloud users, as well as some additional open-source tooling for serverless applications built on top of Kubernetes and Istio.
Two names missing from today’s party are Microsoft and Amazon. I think that’ll change over time, though, assuming the project keeps its momentum.
Istio also isn’t part of any major open-source foundation yet. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), the home of Kubernetes, is backing linkerd, a project that isn’t all that dissimilar from Istio. Once a 1.0 release of these kinds of projects rolls around, the maintainers often start looking for a foundation that can shepherd the development of the project over time. I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before we hear more about where Istio will land.

The Istio service mesh hits version 1.0

All Halo: The Master Chief Collection Insiders can now play the preview build

Test it out right now.

Almost a year ago, 343 Industries said that Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Halo MCC) was getting enhanced for Xbox One X. Aside from upgrading the resolution, the team would fix matchmaking and all the other online issues that still plague the game years later.

Playground Games continues hiring spree for RPG rumored to be Fable

Playground Games is expanding.

For months now, rumors have been floating around that Playground Games — Microsoft’s recent gaming acquisition — was developing the next Fable title. At E3 2018, Xbox head Phil Spencer stopped short of confirming that the developer was working on Fable, but instead said that the team was developing a separate project that’s an action role-playing game (RPG).