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  • ‘Always Connected PC’ – Windows 10 on ARM – talking points

    Posted on December 5th, 2017 at 14:16 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The big Qualcomm presentation in Hawaii is over and there’s likely to be a zillion opinion pieces appearing in the next few hours. Coverage at the keynote wasn’t very good — both phone and WiFi coverage apparently sucked — but at least the internet feed went well (give or take the Chinese translation).

    You’re going to hear a lot about new Windows PCs that run a full day without charging, while at the same time supporting the full Windows ecosystem — x86 compatibility. I have no doubt that PC makers will be able to meet the battery spec, sooner or later. At the same time, I’m very skeptical about the ability to emulate Windows on Snapdragon chips. Or any non-Intel/AMD chips, for that matter.

    “Always Connected PC” doesn’t excite me all that much. If I need something that’s on more-or-less immediately, I grab my phone.

    Microsoft has a sales pitch for the Always Connected Faithful, just posted on the Windows blog. I could pick the post apart, but you’ll have more fun without a spoiler. Just ask yourself how Microsoft measures “lower costs.”

    Don’t get me wrong. The innovations from Snapdragon are indisputable. The intent of Always Connected PCs is tremendous. Inevitable, actually.

    That said, Win 10 S (which apparently ships on the new Always on PCs) still leaves me cold. The promised ability to upgrade Win10 S to “real” Windows is a compelling feature — if the emulated “real” version of Win10 works, without bringing the PC to its knees, or completely clobbering battery life.

    Time will tell.

  • Big bunch of Office non-security patches released

    Posted on December 5th, 2017 at 12:55 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    There’s a list of 21 updates (did I count that correctly?) on the Office TechNet site.

    UPDATE: Martin Brinkmann has his usual thorough list up on ghacks.net.

    As usual, these patches are listed as Important, but not checked. Usual rule applies: If it ain’t checked, don’t check it. We’re still on MS-DEFCON 3 and you should install all of the CHECKED Windows and Office patches.

    If you hit any problems, or hear of any, please YELL REAL LOUD!

  • The Pollyannish Assumption and AskWoody

    Posted on December 5th, 2017 at 10:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Ben Thompson has another enlightening post on Stratechery called The Pollyannish Assumption. It’s a nuanced exploration (as are all of Thompson’s Stratechery missives) of the problems with “managing user-generated content.”

    Which just happens to be what we’re trying to do on AskWoody.

    The article talks about Apple’s failure to recognize its “root” password security fault, even though a description was posted, repeatedly, on their own site, over the course of weeks. He then goes on to talk about powerful sites and their ambiguous obligations.

    There is a line: what is broadly deemed unacceptable, and what is still under dispute; the responsibility of these new powers that be is to actively search out the former, and keep their hands — and algorithms and policies — off the latter.

    As most of you know, I’ve struggled with the problems of content and how/if possibly offensive material appears on the AskWoody Lounge. In at least one recent instance we’ve had a religious zealot infiltrate the system, and possibly knock it out.

    Bottom line is that I’m an unabashed Pollyanna. I hope and expect that folks can participate here in a genteel way. It’s quite remarkable that things have gone so well, particularly because we tackle topics that generate lots of angst and bickering — and for good reason.

    I’m convinced that the mods and good old-fashioned peer pressure have kept us out of the shallow end of the gene pool. As we wind up the year, I wanted to say “thanks everybody,” and hope that we can keep this general level of conversation going, for a long time to come.

  • Windows Update in Win7 now appears to be working properly

    Posted on December 5th, 2017 at 02:28 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    @MrBrian notes, and @abbodi86 confirms, that the bad value <ExpiryDate> updates itself when you check for Windows updates.

    Bottom line: You don’t need to do anything. As of a few hours ago, Windows Update should work normally.

    Windows Update’s new expiry date on Win7:


    Which seems to me to be just as arbitrary as the old one.