China’s Huawei poised to overcome U.S. ban with return to 5G phone market

SHENZHEN, CHINA – China’s Huawei Technologies is plotting a return to the 5G smartphone industry by the end of this year, according to research firms, signaling a comeback after a U.S. ban on equipment sales decimated its consumer electronics business.

Huawei should be able to procure 5G chips domestically using its own advances in semiconductor design tools along with chipmaking from Semiconductor Manufacturing International Co. (SMIC), three third-party technology research firms covering China’s smartphone sector said.

The firms, citing industry sources including Huawei suppliers, spoke on condition of anonymity because of confidentiality agreements with clients.

Huawei declined to comment. SMIC did not respond to a request for comment.

A return to the 5G phone market would mark a victory for the company that for almost three years said it was in “survival” mode. Huawei’s consumer business revenue peaked at 483 billion yuan ($67 billion) in 2020, before plummeting by almost 50% a year later.

The Shenzhen-based tech giant once vied with Apple and Samsung to be the world’s biggest handset maker until rounds of U.S. restrictions beginning in 2019 cut its access to chipmaking tools essential for producing its most advanced models.

The U.S. and European governments have labeled Huawei a security risk, a charge the company denies. Since then, Huawei has only sold limited batches of 5G models using stockpiled chips.

Stuck selling last-generation 4G handsets, Huawei fell from most rankings worldwide last year, when sales reached a low point, though it rose to a 10% market share in China in the first quarter, according to consultancy Canalys.

One of the research firms said it expected Huawei to use SMIC’s N+1 manufacturing process, though with a forecast yield rate of usable chips below 50%, 5G shipments would be limited to around 2 million to 4 million units. A second firm estimated shipments could reach 10 million units, without providing further details.

Huawei shipped 240.6 million smartphones worldwide in 2019, its peak year, according to Canalys, before selling its Honor unit that accounted for nearly a fifth of shipments that year.

The state-backed China Securities Journal newspaper this month reported Huawei had raised its 2023 mobile shipment target to 40 million units from 30 million at the start of the year, without referencing a return to 5G phones.

Huawei could produce 5G versions of flagship models like the iPhone rival P60 this year, with new launches likely in early 2024, the three research firms said, adding they were basing such predictions on information they had received via checks with contacts in Huawei’s supply chain and recent company announcements.

However, U.S. restrictions cut Huawei off from Google’s Android operating system and the bundle of developer services upon which most Android apps are based, limiting Huawei handsets’ appeal outside of China.

The research firms noted Huawei in March announced it had made breakthroughs in electronic design automation (EDA) tools for chips produced at and above 14 nanometer (nm) technology.

Chip design companies use EDA software to produce the blueprints for chips before they are mass manufactured at fabs.

The research firms, citing their own industry sources, believe Huawei’s EDA software could be used with SMIC’s N+1 manufacturing process to make chips at the equivalent of 7 nm, the powerful semiconductors typically used in 5G phones.

Washington barred SMIC from obtaining an advanced chipmaking tool called an EUV machine from Dutch firm ASML that is critical in the process of making 7 nm chips. But some analysts have found signs SMIC has nevertheless managed to produce 7 nm chips by tweaking simpler DUV machines it could still purchase freely from ASML.

The second research firm said it noticed Huawei had asked SMIC to produce chip components below 14 nm this year for 5G products.


Huawei wants to be reassuring for HarmonyOS

Officially presented a few weeks ago, Huawei’s new mobile operating system, HarmonyOS, aims to animate more than 100 terminals very soon. Huawei has already indicated that Android terminals that will migrate to HarmonyOS will not lose their precious data, but the Chinese group intends to make its OS a real competitor to that of Google.

For this, Huawei seems determined to put the package on the development of applications dedicated to HarmonyOS. According to the group, more than 4 million developers have confirmed their interest in the platform. There are already more than 134,000 applications based on HMS Core.

To inspire developers to join the cause of HarmonyOS, Huawei has launched its HMS Global Application Innovation Competition 2021 which invites all professionals to create applications through Huawei Mobile Services.

The competition is open to developers in China, Europe, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, with cash to be won (one million dollars), but also rewards such as marketing support, cloud resources…

The tens of thousands of apps already available can be enjoyed by more than 10 million users, and Huawei already claims that its HarmonyOS is the third largest mobile ecosystem in the world.


Surface Go 3: possible specs

The Surface Go 2, announced on May 6, 2020, has a 10.5-inch screen (1920×1080 pixels) and integrates Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y and Core m3 8100Y processors, 4/8 GB of RAM and 64/128/256 GB of storage. According to information received from WinFuture, the Surface Go 3 will still have a 10.5-inch screen with full HD resolution, but Microsoft will use better processors, namely the Core i3-10100Y and Pentium Gold 6500Y, both based on the Amber Lake architecture -Y.

No changes are expected for the other specifications, as well as for the design. There will therefore be versions with LTE modems, in addition to WiFi, Bluetooth and NFC chips. Prices should also remain unchanged (those of the Surface Go 2 are between 469 and 839 euros in Italy).

Together with the Surface Go 3, the announcement of the Surface Duo 2 with Snapdragon 888 processor, 5G modem and three rear cameras is expected. Other possible models are Surface Laptop 8 and Surface Book 4. Further rumors will certainly be disclosed over the next few days.


How to recover a Windows license key and determine if it is reusable on another PC?

What is the difference between an OEM, Retail and Volume license?

Simply put, OEM-stamped licenses are pre-activated licenses that come with new computers that already have Windows installed, and ready to go. This license is, in fact, attached to the machine on which it is located and can only be used with it. OEM licenses are usually saved directly in the PC’s BIOS or UEFI firmware. This is also the reason why you do not need to reactivate your copy of Windows when you reinstall Windows from a recovery partition present on the PC.

The so-called Retail Windows licenses are commercial licenses, which you have purchased in a dematerialized version or in a boxed version online or from an official reseller. In dematerialized (or digital) version, the license is associated with your computer and linked to your Microsoft account. Concretely, on a new machine, all you need to do is connect it to the Internet and identify yourself with your Microsoft account so that Windows activation is done automatically. If you bought a boxed version, you should have a physical installation version of Windows (like a DVD, or a USB key in the case of Windows 11). The license is usually listed somewhere in the box. Retail licenses can be transferred between machines, but can only be used on one PC at a time.

Windows Volume Licenses are, as their name suggests, licenses sold in bulk to companies, associations, governments, education, etc. and can be installed on a limited number of computers. Once this limit on the number of computers allowed to activate Windows is reached, this license key cannot be installed on another machine. This is typically the kind of license that you can find in attractive offers where the Windows 11 activation key is billed to you for less than ten euros. These license keys can potentially be reused, provided of course that their maximum number of uses has not been exceeded.

How do you know if your license key is reusable?

To determine if the Windows license key used on your old machine can be reused on your new PC, a simple command line is enough.

  1. Open Command Prompt
    From a Windows Administrator session, use the keyboard shortcut Windows + R, then in the Run window that appears, type cmd and press the Enter key to validate.
  2. Determine the type of your license key
    To find out the type of license key used to activate the copy of Windows on your PC, copy and paste the Slmgr -dli command in the Command Prompt and press the Enter key on the keyboard to validate.

Microsoft wants to improve Chromium

According to the specialized blog Windows Latest, Microsoft has published a new commit within the development directory of the open source project Chromium. The publisher wants the Chrome browser, and therefore its Edge, based on Chromium, to be able to respect this limited connection mode.

Windows 10 has WinRT programming interfaces that publishers can add to their applications to detect the presence of a metered network. When the user identifies a network with this option Microsoft also explains: “To better control your data consumption with a limited data plan, define this network connection as summer limited. Some applications may operate differently and thus reduce data consumption while connected to this network. »

Microsoft proposes to change a connection parameter making it possible to identify mobile data networks and to differentiate them from home Internet networks. The device is based on the same principle as the operation within Windows.

Connection sharing: towards a higher but better controlled use

According to Microsoft, more than 1% of network connections configured within Windows 10 would be configured in limited mode. It should also be noted that connection sharing from a smartphone has become commonplace since 35% of PCs have at least one limited registered network.

While not so long ago, mobile operators refused to activate the tethering mode, things have therefore greatly evolved. We also imagine that with the deployment of 5G, many users will be satisfied with a mobile data plan even for use at home. Depending on the size of this package, switching to a limited connection within Windows could therefore become common, especially at the end of the month, before its renewal.

By respecting this configuration option, Chrome, as well as browsers based on Chromium, will therefore consume less data.


TermWindows 11, with the 2023 update is truly an operating system for everyone. We tested the new features

More attentive to people with disabilities

On the accessibility front, for example, comes real-time transcription via machine learning of everything that comes through the sound card. It is activated by pressing the Windows + Control + L key combination and initially prompts for a local vocabulary download: the system works even without a permanent Internet connection.

While most video content already has subtitles, even automatic ones, this does not apply in the case of meetings on Teams, for example, or on Zoom. Thanks to real-time transcription, a deaf person will be able to follow the conversation without any problem.

The “caption,” as it is called in Italian, occupies the top of the desktop but can be repositioned like a normal window. Among the special features of the system is the possibility of including one’s own microphone as well and, above all, of automatically filtering vulgar content. The only limitation, at the moment, is the presence of English vocabulary only: it cannot be used with other languages.

Drag & drop on the taskbar at last, but tabs in Windows Explorer only in a while

Windows 11, we had seen last year, was a bit of a work in progress: old applications hidden under a newer theme, “dark” mode not flawless in its management and many other small limitations that held back many users, who preferred to stay on Windows 10. With the update, many of these things have been revised, especially in the menu and toolbar areas. The latter, and here many can breathe a sigh of relief, finally supports drag & drop: if you drag a Jpeg file to the Photoshop icon the app will be brought to the foreground and you can then automatically open the file, or a group of files.


For Windows 10, Microsoft has released a fix for corrupted disks and blue screens in Windows 10.

Microsoft has recognized and fixed a bug in Windows 10 that could have caused critical problems on systems running the chkdisk tool. This is a tool that can prove critical in the event of issues on a computer’s storage system: it can be run via command line and allows you to check volumes on a storage device and look for logical or physical errors on file system metadata. By running it on Windows 10 2004 and 20H2, users could have damaged the file system and prevented future access attempts.

The problem, and how to fix it
Microsoft has not yet specified which Windows versions the problems could occur on as a result of running chkdsk, a problem currently reported only on the KB4592438 and KB4586853 update pages released for Windows 10 2004 and 20H2 in December and November, respectively. The bug was reported by Günter Born, after Planet3DNow users had already reported it publicly.

Microsoft explains it this way, “It has been reported that on a small number of devices on which this update has been installed, the file system may become corrupted after running the chkdsk /f command, and the device will no longer boot correctly.” The problem has been fixed according to Microsoft for all unmanaged devices without the need for user intervention, although it may take up to 24 hours for the fix to be rolled out to all systems. To speed up the process, all potentially affected devices can be rebooted after downloading the package reported above.

What to do in case of an already damaged system
For those who have already run chkdsk /f on their system, damaging the file system, you can try to restore the boot by performing some basic steps provided by Microsoft. It is not certain, however, that the steps will lead to a complete restoration of systems functionality:

After a series of unsuccessful boot attempts, the system should be booted into the Recovery Console

From the Recovery Console, select Advanced Options

Select Command Prompt

Type chkdsk /f followed by the Enter key

Wait for the storage drive scan to complete. Once complete type exit followed by the Enter key

The device should boot as expected. If the reboot leads to the Recovery Console select Continue – Exit and continue with Windows 10

Once the steps are complete the system should reboot and scan the primary storage drive once again. Once completed the system operation should return to normal.


WhatsApp amazes everyone once again: now you can use it without your phone

By activating the appropriate beta function for iOS and Android, up to four devices can be connected without the phone being connected to the internet.

This new function has finally arrived, which has been awaited for years and is based on what Telegram already does, but for the time being can only be used in beta version. This allows up to four devices to be connected with the same account without the phone being connected to the web. This new feature works on both iOS and Android and requires no special installation.

Compared to Telegram, the world’s most widely used messaging system has always required a direct connection to the network, as can often be verified by using Whatsapp Web on a computer, which crashes when the smartphone is not connected. Finally, this beta function overcomes this limitation.

For now, this possibility is only open for WhatsApp Web, WhatsApp Desktop and Portal. This means that you will still need an active account on a mobile phone, but the latter will finally not have to be connected to the network. To take advantage of this possibility, the latest beta version on Android or iOS must be used, but in reality, it is sufficient to have the most up-to-date version.


Une interface moderne adaptée à tous les écrans

Au premier démarrage, Windows 11 est séduisant. Microsoft a modernisé l’interface de son système d’exploitation dont les fenêtres adoptent désormais des coins arrondis et usent d’effets de transparence qui allègent l’ensemble. Ce nouveau design reprend les codes du Fluent Design que Microsoft avait inauguré dans Windows 10 avec l’arrivée de nouvelles icônes pour les applications natives.

Pour imaginer Windows 11, Microsoft n’est pas allé chercher bien loin. La firme s’est largement inspirée du travail qui avait été réalisé sur Windows 10X, son OS imaginé pour les appareils tactiles à deux écrans et qui a finalement été abandonné. Les grosses tuiles ont disparu au profit des nouvelles icônes, plus distinguées et qui permettent d’alléger l’interface. Le tout est plus lisible et les animations que Microsoft a intégrées renforcent l’impression de rapidité et de fluidité par rapport à Windows 10.

Un gros travail sur l’ergonomie

Microsoft a pensé Windows 11 pour qu’il soit aussi simple que possible à utiliser. Et pour y arriver, la firme de Redmond n’a pas hésité à revoir de fond en comble certains éléments d’interface et certains menus.

C’est le cas du panneau des Paramètres de Windows 11 qui n’a pas échappé au ravalement de façade. Et c’est une bonne nouvelle. Microsoft l’a simplifié en affichant directement les différentes sections dans une colonne latérale, et en réorganisant les menus, désormais plus lisibles que sous Windows 10. La navigation y est plus naturelle, moins brouillonne, et ne perd par l’utilisateur comme c’était le cas sous Windows 10, grâce à l’affichage du chemin d’accès complet en haut de la fenêtre, pour chaque menu consulté.

Un bon Windows, mais encore quelques ratés

Si globalement la copie de Microsoft est plutôt séduisante, certaines nouveautés semblent avoir été pensées en dépit du bon sens. C’est le cas, par exemple, lorsque l’on souhaite choisir un navigateur par défaut. Si l’on oublie de cocher la petite case « Toujours utiliser ce navigateur Web » à la première ouverture d’un navigateur fraîchement installé, la procédure à suivre pour sélectionner un navigateur par défaut dans Windows 11 est devenue contre-intuitive.

Sous prétexte de laisser plus de choix aux utilisateurs, Microsoft ne propose plus de choisir un navigateur Web par défaut, mais demande à présent de choisir individuellement le navigateur utiliser pour chaque type de fichiers ou de liens. Finalement, ce qui nécessitait autrefois une seule action vous en demandera désormais plus d’une dizaine. Un procédé fastidieux qui semble avoir été pensé pour décourager le plus grand nombre de changer de navigateur par défaut, et qui arrange bien Microsoft : c’est son navigateur, Edge, qui est choisi nativement dans Windows 11.


Messenger / Instagram: Facebook explains why you can’t use all the features

Since the previous week, a message appeared on Facebook Messenger to warn many users that they no longer had access to certain functions without specifying which ones. The social network finally explains the origin of the problem: compliance with European rules.

After several days of misunderstanding for many users, Facebook has finally clarified what these “unavailable features” were due to “new rules regarding message services in Europe.”

This message appeared last week on Instagram and Messenger without the majority of subscribers really understanding what it meant. On Sunday on its blog, Facebook gave more explanations.

It is in fact the 2002 European ePrivacy Directive, on the protection, confidentiality and security of online data, which now applies to messaging services in the 27 European Union member states and other associated countries.

It is now known that the disabled features include personalised autoresponders or polls on Instagram and Facebook Messenger. The latter require the use of message content to function and Facebook must comply with privacy rules in this regard.

However, the Californian firm points out that the ePrivacy Directive prohibits messaging services from using data “to prevent, detect and respond to child abuse and other forms of harm”, as there is no legal basis for these tools. A content identification that Facebook has to put on hold until it complies with the EU, recalling its Project Protect initiative for the safety of children online and hoping to get it validated.

This temporary suspension of services also has an impact on some developers working with Facebook and the Messenger API, but also foreign companies operating in Europe through Facebook, especially for chat pages.

According to, Messenger also no longer allows audio, video or document integration, or photo galleries and buttons on the desktop version. Facebook says it is working to restore these functions quickly.