News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Panos Panay gets more of the Windows pie

    Posted on August 6th, 2020 at 11:11 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Report just in from Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet:

    Microsoft is moving part of the Core OS and Intelligent Edge (COSINE) team under Panay in order to create more of an end-to-end servicing and shipping experience… Some parts of COSINE engineering, specifically around the Windows core, are staying with Executive Vice President of Azure Jason Zander.

    Microsoft has long separated Windows “core” and Windows “what the customer sees” efforts into separate teams. Now, it seems, Panay is absorbing all but the base plumbing of the kitchen sink.

    I keep hoping that these restructurings will help Microsoft stabilize Windows 10.

  • FBI Private Industry Notification: Win7 is a leaky boat

    Posted on August 5th, 2020 at 07:42 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The US Federal Bureau of Investigation released PIN number 20200803-002 which says, inter alia,

    The FBI has observed cyber criminals targeting computer network infrastructure after an operating system achieves end of life status. Continuing to use Windows 7 within an enterprise may provide cyber criminals access into computer systems. As time passes, Windows 7 becomes more vulnerable to exploitation due to lack of security updates and new vulnerabilities discovered. Microsoft and other industry professionals strongly recommend upgrading computer systems to an actively supported operating system.

    Migrating to a new operating system can pose its own unique challenges, such as cost for new hardware and software and updating existing custom software. However, these challenges do not outweigh the loss of intellectual property and threats to an organization.

    The announcement is long on conventional wisdom but, as best I can tell, presents no new information. There are some old examples of long-patched security holes (EternalBlue, BlueKeep) and advice that you check your antivirus, spam filters, and close up Remote Desktop access. Most of all, though, the FBI says you should move from Win7 to Win10.

    Which shouldn’t surprise anybody.

    Catalin Cimpanu has a detailed look on ZDNet.

  • Win10 version 2004 gets “optional” fixes for many problems – but OneDrive still suffers

    Posted on August 5th, 2020 at 07:25 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The “optional, non-security, C/D Week” patch for Win10 version 2004, KB 4568831, claims to cure many of the ills that afflict the latest version of Windows. Mayank Parmar has an overview in Windows Latest:

    Microsoft has finally published an optional update to address at least four major bugs in Windows 10 version 2004, including Storage Spaces file corruption issue where the disk-failure protection feature is broken. (That’s the Parity Space bug I talked about on June 18 -WL.)

    While the problem with Drive Optimize tool remains unpatched and unacknowledged, Microsoft says it has included fixes for problems affecting Storage Spaces… This patch also allows Windows built-in data protection software to work as intended.

    I’m skeptical that the optional update actually fixes all of those problems, but stranger things have happened.

    In addition, Günter Born says he’s found evidence of yet another long-standing Win10 bug:

    After upgrading to the next build, OneDrive fails and delivers ‘OneDrive cannot connect to Windows’. There can also be printer problems.

    He reports on a German blog reader, Martin, who has both a description and a solution of the bug that only occurs when you do an in place upgrade.

  • August 2020 Office non-Security Updates have been released

    Posted on August 4th, 2020 at 12:43 PKCano Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The August 2020 Office non-Security updates have been released Tuesday, August 4, 2020. They are not included in the DEFCON-3 approval for the July 2020 patches. Unless you have a specific need to install them, you should wait until Susan Bradley (Patch Lady) approves them and any problems have been reported.

    Remember, Susan’s patching sequence and  recommendations are based on a business environment that has IT support and may have time constraints on the updating process. Consumer patching should be more cautious due to limited technical and mechanical resources. The latter is the reason for the AskWoody DEFCON system.

    Office 2016
    Update for Microsoft Office 2016 (KB4484418)
    Update for Microsoft Project 2016 (KB4484477)
    Update for Skype for Business 2016 (KB4484464)

    Office 2010
    Update for Microsoft Office 2010 (KB4484454)
    Update for Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 (KB4092435)

    There were no non-security listings for Office 2007 (which is out of support) nor for Office 2013.

    Updates are for the .msi version (persistent). Office 365 and C2R are not included.

    Security updates for all supported versions of Microsoft Office are released on the second Tuesday of the month (Patch Tuesday).

  • The TRS-80 turns 43 years old

    Posted on August 3rd, 2020 at 13:56 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Released Aug 3, 1977.

  • Microsoft and TikTok – a match made in Clippy heaven

    Posted on August 3rd, 2020 at 09:29 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I don’t have any particular words of wisdom to add to the ongoing debacle, except to say that Microsoft is very, very good at killing its acquisitions. Tell me when I can sign up for TikTokTeams.

    Tom Warren at The Verge has an interesting spin on the acquisition:

    The key part of any TikTok deal will be the data and users Microsoft gains access to… Microsoft has all the data it needs on business usage of software, but it hasn’t been successful with pure consumer services in recent years, which has left the company with a gap of insight into consumer behaviors.

    So Tom sees the acquisition as an acquihire-like bid to get even more data. An acquisnoop.

    Wonder if they’ll call it TikTokTelemetry?

  • Hello! Has anyone seen 2004?

    Posted on August 2nd, 2020 at 23:12 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Susan Bradley

    Have you received the May feature release of Windows 10 — aka Version 2004?

    So here it’s the start of August — 68 days after the release of Microsoft’s newest Windows — and I have not seen Win10 2004 offered to any of my home PCs. These are my unmanaged machines: a home-built SilverStone small-form-factor desktop, a Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop, an older Surface, and a newer Surface Go.

    On every one of my systems, Windows Update taunts me with a message that effectively says “your machine isn’t worthy.”

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.30.0 (2020-08-03).

  • Is powerline networking secure?

    Posted on August 2nd, 2020 at 23:08 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Fred Langa

    An AskWoody Plus reader questions whether data is safe when traveling over common AC electrical circuits.

    Plus: Yet more tips from your fellow subscribers on hard-drive destruction, salvaging — and maybe even revival!

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 17.30.0 (2020-08-03).