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Windows 11 available on October 5

Today, we are thrilled to announce Windows 11 will start to become available on October 5, 2021. On this day, the free upgrade to Windows 11 will begin rolling out to eligible Windows 10 PCs and PCs that come pre-loaded with Windows 11 will start to become available for purchase. A new Windows experience, Windows…

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Today, we are thrilled to announce Windows 11 will start to become available on October 5, 2021. On this day, the free upgrade to Windows 11 will begin rolling out to eligible Windows 10 PCs and PCs that come pre-loaded with Windows 11 will start to become available for purchase. A new Windows experience, Windows 11 is designed to bring you closer to what you love.

As the PC continues to play a more central role in our lives than ever before — Windows 11 is ready to empower your productivity and inspire your creativity.

Here are 11 highlights of this release

  1. The new design and sounds are modern, fresh, clean and beautiful, bringing you a sense of calm and ease.
  2. With Start, we’ve put you and your content at the center. Start utilizes the power of the cloud and Microsoft 365 to show you your recent files no matter what device you were viewing them on.
  3. Snap Layouts, Snap Groups and Desktops provide an even more powerful way to multitask and optimize your screen real estate.
  4. Chat from Microsoft Teams integrated into the taskbar provides a faster way to connect to the people you care about.
  5. Widgets, a new personalized feed powered by AI, provides a faster way to access the information you care about, and with Microsoft Edge’s world class performance, speed and productivity features you can get more done on the web.
  6. Windows 11 delivers the best Windows ever for gaming and unlocks the full potential of your system’s hardware with technology like DirectX12 Ultimate, DirectStorage and Auto HDR. With Xbox Game Pass for PC or Ultimate you get access to over 100 high-quality PC games to play on Windows 11 for one low monthly price. (Xbox Game Pass sold separately.)


  1. Windows 11 comes with a new Microsoft Store rebuilt with an all-new design making it easier to search and discover your favorite apps, games, shows, and movies in one trusted location. We look forward to continuing our journey to bring Android apps to Windows 11 and the Microsoft Store through our collaboration with Amazon and Intel; this will start with a preview for Windows Insiders over the coming months.
  2. Windows 11 is the most inclusively designed version of Windows with new accessibility improvements that were built for and by people with disabilities.
  3. Windows 11 unlocks new opportunities for developers and creators. We are opening the Store to allow more developers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to bring their apps to the Store, improving native and web app development with new developer tools, and making it easier for you to refresh the look and feel across all our app designs and experiences.
  4. Windows 11 is optimized for speed, efficiency and improved experiences with touch, digital pen and voice input.
  5. Windows 11 is the operating system for hybrid work, delivering new experiences that work how you work, are secure by design, and easy and familiar for IT to deploy and manage. Businesses can also test Windows 11 in preview today in Azure Virtual Desktop, or at general availability by experiencing Windows 11 in the new Windows 365.

Thank you to the Windows Insider Community

The Windows Insider community has been an invaluable community in helping us get to where we are today. Since the first Insider Preview Build was released in June, the engagement and feedback has been unprecedented. The team has also enjoyed sharing more behind the scenes stories on the development of Windows 11 in a new series we launched in June, Inside Windows 11. We sincerely appreciate the energy and enthusiasm from this community.

Rolling out the free upgrade to Windows 11 in a phased and measured approach

The free upgrade to Windows 11 starts on October 5 and will be phased and measured with a focus on quality. Following the tremendous learnings from Windows 10, we want to make sure we’re providing you with the best possible experience. That means new eligible devices will be offered the upgrade first. The upgrade will then roll out over time to in-market devices based on intelligence models that consider hardware eligibility, reliability metrics, age of device and other factors that impact the upgrade experience. We expect all eligible devices to be offered the free upgrade to Windows 11 by mid-2022. If you have a Windows 10 PC that’s eligible for the upgrade, Windows Update will let you know when it’s available. You can also check to see if Windows 11 is ready for your device by going to Settings > Windows Update and select Check for updates*.

Ready to elevate to 11? There’s never been a better time to purchase a new PC

October 5 is right around the corner — and there are a few things you can do to get ready for Windows 11. First, if you’re in need of a new PC now — don’t wait. You can get all the power and performance of a new Windows 10 PC and upgrade to Windows 11 for free after the rollout begins on October 5**.

We’ve worked closely with our OEM and retail partners to bring you powerful Windows 10 PCs today, that will take you into the future with Windows 11. Here are a few to check out.

The Acer Swift 5 (SF514-55) ultrathin-and-light notebook marries an uber-stylish design with the latest performance technology. Powered by 11th Gen Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 processors and verified to meet the requirements of an Intel Evo platform, the Swift 5 has the power and performance to seamlessly run multiple applications and provides up to 17 hours of battery life for all-day productivity. The touchscreen display is covered with a layer of Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass, and you have the option to further include an antimicrobial solution on the touchpad, keyboard and all covers of the device. Click the link above for more details on the Acer website.

The new Acer Swift X (SFX14-41G) notebook represents a new segment within the Swift portfolio, the first of its series to come powered with discrete graphics, all at 3.06 pounds. Up to a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU, combined with up to an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U Mobile Processor and 16 GB of RAM offers creative professionals such as video editors or photographers plenty of power. True to the Swift family, all this hardware has been fitted into a metal chassis 0.7 in thin. Click the link above for more details on the Acer website.

Asus Zenbook Flip 13 OLED UX363 has an all-new design that combines ultimate portability with supreme versatility. Its NanoEdge FHD OLED display and 360-degree ErgoLift hinge make extra compact, and the super-slim 13.9 mm chassis houses a wide range of I/O ports for easy connectivity. Its Intel Core processor gives effortless performance for on-the-go productivity and visual creativity.

Asus Zenbook 14 UX425 has an all-new design that’s just 13.9mm slim. It has a four-sided NanoEdge display with a 90% screen-to-body ratio for immersive visuals, and there’s a complete set of full I/O ports. The latest 11th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and all-new Intel Iris Xe graphics makes it a perfect portable companion.

Each of Dell Alienware’s X-Series laptops include Alienware Cryo-tech cooling technology and this generation features a patent-pending Quad Fan design engineered to provide the highest levels of gaming performance. Both the Alienware x15 and Alienware x17 are made of premium materials, including magnesium alloy and CNC-machined aluminum designed for structural rigidity, and are finished with a carefully formulated stain-resistant paint formula. Built for marathon gaming sessions, these laptops feature HyperEfficient voltage regulation technology which is designed to allow the system to perform at the highest levels for hours of gameplay.

The Dell XPS 13 is crafted using authentic premium materials, precision cut to achieve a flawless finish in a durable, lightweight design. Designed to create the perfect affinity between aesthetics and functional purpose, it delivers powerful performance and a larger 4-sided InfinityEdge display.

If you’re looking for something extra special, the HP Spectre x360 14 features cutting edge 2-in-1 design and superb performance with the latest Intel Core processors along with all-day battery life.

If you’re a creator looking for a device that is as flexible as your workflow, the HP ENVY x360 15 is a mobile creative powerhouse, featuring AMD Ryzen or Intel Core processors, and Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 for fast connectivity. The Spectre x360 is available at Best Buy and HP.com; the ENVY x360 15 is available at select retailers including Best Buy, Costco, Walmart and HP.com.

Meet the versatile 2-in-1 Lenovo Yoga 7 convertible series, available in 14-inch sizes and designed with rounded edges to feel more comfortable in your hands. Immerse yourself in a vibrant Full HD IPS touchscreen display with your choice of either 11th Gen Intel Core or AMD Ryzen 5000 Series mobile processors plus integrated graphics. Available in Slate Grey hue, go anywhere with a 71WHr battery, a metal chassis that impresses from every angle and thoughtful details such as a webcam privacy shutter. Click the link above for more details on the Lenovo website.

Master multitasking with the thin and light Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Pro series, offering consumers a choice of an LCD or super-vibrant OLED display for greater immersion. Available in a 14-inch size and Light Silver hue, the laptop features either 11th Gen Intel Core or AMD Ryzen 5000 Series mobile processors – both models offer optional NVIDIA GeForce MX450 graphics to boost your content creation. Enjoy the convenience of Windows Hello and an IR camera with a raised notch for easier opening, plus a backlit keyboard. Click the link above for more details on the Lenovo website.

Samsung Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360 reshape the PC for mobile-first consumers by bringing together next-generation connectivity, ultra-portable design and elevated performance. Equipped with 11th Gen Intel Core processor, Intel Iris Xe graphics, and AMOLED display within super-thin and light body for increased mobility, the Galaxy Book Pro series let you maximize productivity, enjoy immersive entertainment and unleash creativity. With complete Samsung Galaxy ecosystem integration, the Galaxy Book Pro series is now the ultimate link between your devices, fully connecting your digital world. The Galaxy Book Pro and Galaxy Book Pro 360 are available in 13-inch and 15-inch models with color options ranging from Mystic Navy, Mystic Silver and Mystic Bronze for Galaxy Book Pro 360 and Mystic Blue, Mystic Silver and Mystic Pink Gold for Galaxy Book Pro.

Surface Pro 7  is ultra-light and versatile. Whether at your desk, on the couch, or in the yard, get more done your way with the best-selling Surface 2-in-1 that features a laptop-class Intel Core processor, all day battery life, HD cameras and a stunning 12.3-inch PixelSense touchscreen display. It transforms from tablet to laptop with pen and touch input, a built-in Kickstand, an optional removable Type Cover, and it easily connects to multiple monitors. Click the link above to learn more about Surface Pro 7.

Surface Laptop 4 offers style and speed. Do it all with the perfect balance of sleek design, speed, immersive audio and significantly longer battery life than before. Stand out on HD video calls backed by Studio Mics. Capture ideas and use your favorite Microsoft 365 applications on the vibrant PixelSense touchscreen display in 13.5-inch or 15-inch models. Choose between 11th Gen Intel Core processors or AMD Ryzen Mobile Processors with Radeon Graphics Microsoft Surface Edition. Click the link above to learn more about Surface Laptop 4, including available color finishes and material options.

We’ll be relaunching the PC Health Check app soon, so you can check to see if your current PC will be eligible to upgrade. In the meantime, you can learn more about Windows 11 minimum system requirements here.

If you’re preparing for the upgrade and you’re not already using OneDrive, check it out. It’s a simple way to help keep your files secure and make it easier to transition through the upgrade or to a new device.

For organizations that are managed by IT, today we announced new capabilities coming in Microsoft Endpoint Manager to help you to assess your readiness for Windows 11 and hybrid work at scale. You can learn more in the Microsoft Endpoint Manager Tech Community blog.

For customers who are using a PC that won’t upgrade, and who aren’t ready to transition to a new device, Windows 10 is the right choice. We will support Windows 10 through October 14, 2025 and we recently announced that the next feature update to Windows 10 is coming later this year. Whatever you decide, we are committed to supporting you and offering choice in your computing journey.

The first version of a new era of Windows

As Panos shared in June, Windows is more than an operating system; it’s where we connect with people, it’s where we learn, work and play. We can’t wait to see what Windows 11 empowers you to do and create.

*Note, certain features require specific hardware; see our Windows 11 specifications page for more information.

**The Windows 11 upgrade will start to be delivered to qualifying devices beginning on October 5, 2021 into 2022. Timing varies by device.

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Babylon.js 5.0: Key Engine Advancements – Part 3

Our mission is to create it one of the most powerful, beautiful, and simple web rendering engines in the world. The latest Babylon.js 5.0 engine packs a ton of new improvements to help you create stunning experiences. Unlimited Morph Targets No matter what you call them, Blend Shapes, Shape Keys, or Morph Targets, Babylon.js 5.0 adds…

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Our mission is to create it one of the most powerful, beautiful, and simple web rendering engines in the world. The latest Babylon.js 5.0 engine packs a ton of new improvements to help you create stunning experiences.

Unlimited Morph Targets

No matter what you call them, Blend Shapes, Shape Keys, or Morph Targets, Babylon.js 5.0 adds rocket fuel to your ability to use influenced vertex positions. This new feature now gives you literally unlimited amounts of Morph Targets. Want to have a complex animated face with thousands of Morph Targets to get that perfect expression? Now you can, all in the web, all for free!

See it in action here: Unlimited Morph Targets Demo

Learn more: Unlimited Morph Targets Documentation

YouTube Series: Tech Artist’s Journey YouTube Playlist

Order Independent Transparency

Rendering transparent objects is complicated! The Babylon.js Platform has always strived to make it as easy as possible to help you inform the system of rendering order, alpha index, run depth-prepasses, and much more, so your scene can look correct. With Babylon.js 5.0 we’ve wrapped a bow on it all. All of the complexity of rendering transparent objects can now disappear with one single, simple line of code:

Try it out: Order Independent Transparency Demo

Learn More: Order Independent Transparency Documentation

WebXR Advancements

WebXR is an incredible web standard allowing web developers to create amazing cross-browser XR experiences. Using WebXR to add a mobile AR component to your web site can be a simple and fun way to engage your readers/users even further. While the technology to render world-locked 3D objects has existed in Babylon.js for some time, Babylon.js 5.0 steps the beauty-factor up several notches with the introduction of Light Estimation. This powerful yet easy-to-use new feature allows your Babylon.js scenes to estimate the light in your real-world location and automatically match the lighting and shadows of your virtual world-locked object. This creates a cutting-edge level of immersion between the physical and digital worlds…and it’s all here in Babylon.js…all for free! Babylon.js 5.0 also adds support for WebXR image tracking and WebXR Layers!!!

Check it out on your Android Phone: Light Estimation Demo, Image Tracking Demo

Learn More: Light Estimation Documentation

glTF Updates

The Babylon.js Platform prioritizes support for the absolute latest and greatest advancements to the glTF file format. This means every new version of Babylon.js unlocks new beautiful advancements in rendering capabilities, and Babylon.js 5.0 turns up the heat! With full support for KHR_materials_volume, KHR_materials_transmission, and KHR_materials_ior, you can now render some absolutely STUNNING visuals!

Check it out: KHR_materials_volume Demo

Learn More: KHR_materials_volume, KHR_materials_transmission, KHR_materials_ior

Mixed Reality Toolkit for Babylon.js

Babylon.js 5.0 also adds updated support for the world’s most advanced 3D interface component library, Mixed Reality Toolkit. This advanced library makes it incredibly easy to add advanced XR UX elements into your Babylon.js scenes such as: holographic slates, 3D Sliders, Touch Holographic Buttons, Touch Mesh Buttons, and much much more!

Check it out: MRTK Demo

Learn More: MRTK Documentation

Material Plugin Manager

When it comes to creating real-time shaders power, performance, and flexibility are critical! Babylon.js 5.0 brings introduces a brand new feature that doubles down on all of three. The Material Plugin Manager gives you the ability to add custom code to any Babylon.js shader. This means that you can fully customize any advanced shader, such as PBR, to go even further. The Material Plugin Manager provides developers with the flexibility to fully customize the power, performance, and look of any shader!

Check it out: Material Plugin Manager Demo

Learn More: Material Plugin Manager Documentation

Much Much More

Wow that’s a lot, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg! Improved Shadow Performance, Vertex Animation Textures, a brand-new Build System, there’s more to Babylon.js 5.0 than you can imagine! Want a full view of everything that’s new? For a full list of features, enhancements, and fixes you can head on over here.

Babylon.js 5.0 launches the Babylon.js platform to incredible new heights and we cannot wait to see you reach for the stars with it!

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In their mission to diversify STEM education, twin brothers use Windows 11

Twins Miles and Malik George are almost always in sync. They graduated at the top of their high school class as co-valedictorians. At MIT, these bioengineering students embraced and expanded upon their love of science. They were also in multiple diverse groups on campus such as Nu Delta Fraternity, The Standard, and Laureates and Leaders.…

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Twins Miles and Malik George are almost always in sync.

They graduated at the top of their high school class as co-valedictorians.

At MIT, these bioengineering students embraced and expanded upon their love of science. They were also in multiple diverse groups on campus such as Nu Delta Fraternity, The Standard, and Laureates and Leaders.

This last program is dedicated to helping under-represented students get Ph.D.s or M.D./Ph.D.s and has a selective entry process. The two fondly remembered the program as instrumental in shaping their academic careers.

They worked with MIT Admissions as Admissions Ambassadors to increase the number of underrepresented students that apply to and attend the university. On campus and virtually, they worked in several biological engineering labs. They’re about to graduate and will be pursuing Ph.D.s in Biological Engineering at MIT.


They’re both passionate about bringing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to under-served communities through hundreds of funny and informative lessons posted to TikTok and other social media. Their mix of memes, dances and trivia reach all kinds of audiences. They teach what they find exciting about science.

“The more curious you are about one subject, the more you learn about that subject, the more curious you become about everything else,” Miles says. “Curiosity is the reason why people keep innovating. And so as long as people are curious, people will keep learning.”

“Curiosity leads to solutions, you know?” Malik adds.

The brothers will host a private virtual education event for students May 17 in partnership with Microsoft Stores. This session will reach 10,000 students and will feature an inspirational fireside chat, STEM demonstration and interactive Q&A.

The twins strive to be role models for the next generation, to inspire them to follow their dreams.

“In high school we did a lot of science fairs. Being able to count on your hand how many people look like you in a room of over a hundred people, it’s pretty sad,” Malik says. “As we became involved in science ourselves, we wanted to make sure that people saw there are people that look like us in the field and that they can and should feel welcome to do so as well.”

They’re both PC gamers who enjoy comic book universes and socializing with their many friends.

They are part of a tight-knit family, helping their parents with gardening and jigsaw puzzles, watching movies together and doting on the senior Shih-tzu (who is the fifth member of their household).

But they are also individuals.

Malik is the “explainer.” As his brother shares, “He’s going make sure that if he’s telling you about something, you know everything that there is about the topic and he’s going make sure you understand it at the end of the day.”

“If I’m the explainer, then Miles is the convincer,” says Malik. “You know, he can summarize any topic – no matter how advanced – in a couple sentences to any age group and they’ll understand it.”

This works well when they’re doing presentations, which have reached more than 1,000 students remotely (ranging in age from late elementary school to high school seniors) since January 2021. They’ve been getting more interest about K-12 presentations and plan to continue those.

“I’ll do the intro. He does methods and results. I do the conclusion. He gives you the scientific know-how, how to learn. Then I bring it back at the end,” Miles says.

They also have different work styles – though both are also lifetime PC users. For as long as they can remember, they’ve always been on Windows, starting from their childhood.

“If you were to look at my desktop, you will see at least three applications open at once. If you look at Miles’ desktop, you’ll see one application open, but he’ll have three desktops that he’ll switch between,” Malik says.

Multiple desktops are one of Miles’ favorite Windows 11 features.

“I have one program that I’m focused on. When I’m done focusing on it, I’ll switch to another desktop and that’s what I’m working on then,” he says. “Each assignment gets its own desktop, and I will get to it when I get to it.”

They’ve discovered other Windows 11 features that make them even more efficient.

“As a student, I am constantly searching through emails, especially through keyword search,” Malik says. “I globally search by who sent it or a keyword and it will just show up right there. And I can read it or I can click it and reply from the same place. Windows 11 really takes away flipping back and forth between things. And then anything that you don’t have open, you can also just go through the Start menu.”

They also make great use of Snap Assist.

“I can have an essay snap to the right on Word. I can have some internet research article on the left,” Malik says. “And then if I need to check my email, it would just pop up in the center and I don’t have to cover what I was already working on.”

They like that they can tailor Windows 11 to what works best for each of them.

“It really feels like a personalized experience when I’m online. And it really visually is a much better experience than what I’m used to,” Miles says. “As a researcher, I’m used to a lot of diagrams, a lot of graphs. It really combines multitasking with this beautiful element of note taking and annotating directly on the screen.”

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Babylon.js 5.0: News Tools – Part 2

We are artists, developers, creators, and dreamers and we want to make it as simple as possible to enable everyone to bring their ideas to life. With this new version of Babylon.js, we set out to make it even easier to develop thanks to a suite of new and exciting tools. Animation Curve Editor Creating and…

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We are artists, developers, creators, and dreamers and we want to make it as simple as possible to enable everyone to bring their ideas to life. With this new version of Babylon.js, we set out to make it even easier to develop thanks to a suite of new and exciting tools.

Animation Curve Editor

Creating and modifying animation data in a rendering engine can be complicated and verbose, but not anymore! Babylon.js 5.0 adds a built-in Animation Curve Editor (ACE), making it incredibly easy to create and modify animation data directly in your Babylon scene. As with all Babylon.js Platform tools, you can also save your animation data to the Babylon.js Snippet Server and load it back into your Babylon.js scene with one single line of code!

See it in action here: Play with the Animation Curve Editor

Learn more: Animation Curve Editor Documentation

Performance Profiler

Performance is one of the most important things to keep in mind as you create advanced interactive 3D experiences. After all, you don’t want to create an awesome experience that only runs on the most high-end graphics cards, right? You want to create something that EVERYONE can enjoy, and this means keeping track of and optimizing the performance of your scene. Babylon.js 5.0 makes performance debugging and management a breeze with the introduction of the new Performance Profiler. This handy tool allows you to see a real time graph of key performance indicators of your scene, all hooked up live! Make a change, see the impact on perf. It’s really that simple!

See it in action here: Performance Profiler Demo

Learn more: Performance Profiler Documentation

GUI Editor Beta

Babylon.js has a powerful GUI system that offers countless widgets, controls, and properties to help you create rich GUIs. With Babylon.js 5.0 that powerful system becomes far simpler to use with the introduction of the GUI Editor Beta. While still in active development, the GUI Editor Beta is a rich and modern tool, allowing you to create the perfect GUI with a simple and intuitive drag-and-drop interface. Say goodbye to thousands of lines of GUI code and hello to a world of design with the GUI Editor Beta and loading your creations with a single line of code!

See it in action here: GUI Editor Beta Demo

Try it out for yourself: GUI Editor

Learn more: GUI Editor Beta Documentation

New Node Material Nodes

The Node Material Editor is one of the most advanced tools available in the Babylon Platform. One simple UI that helps you generate stunning GLSL shaders with ease. With Babylon.js 5.0 the Node Material gets even better with the introduction of several powerful new nodes!

Check out the new nodes:

Learn More: Node Material Documentation

Asset Librarian

The Babylon.js Platform offers a large library of free Creative Commons 0 assets available for you to use in your Babylon.js scenes, completely for free. With Babylon.js 5.0, accessing these assets is easier and faster than ever! The new Asset Librarian brings a new Assets namespace that you can use in your projects to easily access the 200+ free assets to make your Babylon.js scenes soar.

Try it out: Asset Librarian Demo

Learn More: Asset Librarian Documentation

Dev Stories Documentation

Babylon.js 5.0 adds a whole new category of documentation called “Dev Stories.” These new tutorials are designed to walk you, step-by-step, through some common scenarios that many Babylon.js developers ask about. From setting up a Babylon.js project quickly, adding interactive 3D elements to your e-commerce site, to deploying your Babylon.js project to a Native Application, “Dev Stories” are rich, deep, detailed tutorials aimed at helping you take your project from idea to reality!

Check It Out: Dev Stories!

“Going The Distance With Babylon.js” A New Book               

We are also incredibly excited to share that alongside Babylon.js 5.0, community member and talented author Josh Elster has written an entirely new book about Babylon.js 5.0. Published by Packt Publishing, “Going The Distance With Babylon.js” is written from the mindset of taking you through the entire development process of building a game with Babylon.js from the ground up. We are thrilled to partner with Josh and Packt on this book and think it’ll be a great addition to your library and accelerate your Babylon.js learning journey.

Pick Up Your Copy Here: Babylon.js 5.0: The Book

Beside the tooling, there are also a ton of new features in the engine itself. Check out part three to learn more about the exciting new improvements with Babylon.js 5.0.

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