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  • The scale of tech winners

    Posted on October 14th, 2017 at 16:01 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Fascinating piece from Ben Evans:

    Microsoft was working on smartphones and mobile devices 20 years ago, and now it’s killed Windows Mobile, acknowledged that the PC is going the way of the mainframe and, like IBM, has to make its way in a market shaped by other companies. There probably won’t be a technology that has 10x greater scale than smartphones, as mobile was 10x bigger than PCs and PCs were bigger than mainframes, simply because 5bn people will have smartphones and that’s all the (adult) people.

    Check it out.

     

  • How to get the latest version of Win10 Fall Creators Update, version 1709, build 16299.19

    Posted on October 14th, 2017 at 07:01 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The terminology is daunting, but appears to be a step in the right direction.

    I’m facing a problem that many of you have asked about. I have two test machines. After nursing both of them through the Fall Creators Update testing process, version 1709, I want to leave one of them on 1709, and let the other take off with 1803.

    Microsoft first addressed the problem – forking of the RS3 and RS4 branches – by introducing a brand new Insider setting called “Skip Ahead.” We’d never had that before — somehow we got from 1607 to 1703 without skipping ahead, but I digress.

    If you jumped out of the Windows Insider program as soon as it became clear that build 16299 was due to become the “RTM” version of Win10 1709, you now need to jump back in, if you want to get the latest 1709 build, 16299.19.

    More than a year ago, I complained loudly about the terminology surrounding the beta testing process. There have been some changes – for the better, I think – and you need to come to grips with those changes if you want to keep your machines updated with beta builds.

    In the new order, beta testers (“Windows Insiders”) have two different choices to make. One is called “What kind of content would you like to receive?” and the  other is “What pace do you want to get new builds.” You get hit with those questions when you enter the beta program, or you can adjust them manually while inside the beta program by going to Start > Settings > Update & Security, then choosing Windows Insider Program on the left. Here’s a little translator.

    What kind of content would you like to receive? = Just fixes, apps, and drivers

    will get you new beta builds of the current beta version. (This option used to be called “Release Preview” but the new terminology is much more descriptive.) If you want your machine to go from 16299.15 to 16299.19, this is the choice you need.

    I’m not sure if it’s Microsoft’s plan – I haven’t seen anything definitive – but this would be an ideal setting to replace the confusing manual-install-only previews of cumulative updates, like this one. Windows 7 and 8.1 now have Previews of the non-security portions of monthly patches. I wonder if we’ll ever see a unified approach to this easily defined step – where customers are allowed to test a cumulative update before it’s released?

    What kind of content would you like to receive? = Active development of Windows

    with sub-options Fast and Slow put you on the delivery rings we used to know as Windows Insider Fast and Windows Insider Slow. That’s straightforward enough. We don’t yet know for sure what will happen when time comes to jump from 1709 to 1803, but it seems likely that either of the “Active development of Windows” options will keep you on the old version – in this case, early next year, you’ll stay on 1709. When that happens, heaven only knows if it’ll be different from being on the “Just fixes, apps and drivers” side.

    What kind of content would you like to receive? = Skip ahead to the next Windows release

    with the only option here being Fast. Although the intent of this setting is clear right now — you want to start working on version 1803, RS4, the next version of Win10 — the “Skip ahead” part won’t be very descriptive after 1709 drops, next week. It looks like you’ll revert to the Active development of Windows / Fast option, which is to say the Insider Fast ring.

    Anyway, as of this moment, if you want to get 16299.19, and update version 1709, you need Just fixes, apps, and drivers or you need Active development of Windows / Slow. If you want to charge ahead with 1803, currently at build 17017, you need either Skip ahead to the next Windows release or Active development of Windows / Fast.

    Confusing enough? (Thx to Günter Born.)

    Now toss this beta bug into the mix. If you’re running build 17017, RS4, the beta of 1803, and you choose Active development of Windows, the Windows Insider Program app tells you “This content is currently on an older release of Windows. If you select this, we will continue to send you content from your current release and will move you over as soon as possible.” Which, of course, is completely bogus. You’re running 17017, the latest bestest test version of Win10 ever.

    UPDATE: @PKCano posits an interesting question:

    I’m currently on Active development of Windows / Fast. If I try to change to Skip ahead to the next Windows release, I get this informative explanation:

    Skip Ahead is now closed. If you select this option going forward, you will have your Windows Insider Program settings reverted.

    Could somebody translate that into plain English? Why is the option not grayed out, if it isn’t available. And what in the blue blazes is “reverted”? Sounds like some sort of Brexit terminology to this beleaguered Yank. Does it mean you’ll get kicked out of the program and won’t be able to come back? And… for the cynics among you… is that a good thing?