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  • Mary Jo Foley: There’s a reason why MS is starting to test Win10 20H1 so early… and, no, it isn’t because they’re switching to annual releases

    Posted on February 28th, 2019 at 10:27 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Crestfallen.

    Yesterday, Mary Jo Foley published a report relying on her sources inside Microsoft about the surprising “Skip ahead” testing of Win10 20H1 — the version that isn’t due out until a year from now.

    I had speculated that, maybe, somebody inside Microsoft had come to their senses, and they were using this as a way to move to once-a-year versions of Win10. Nope. At least, according to Foley’s sources:

    Some people wondered if this was a sign Microsoft might be moving to one Windows 10 feature update per year (nope).

    Crestfallen, I tell you. She has a plausible reason:

    The Windows team is close to finalizing Windows 10 19H1. If schedules had all aligned, the core OS team would already be well on its way to finishing the new core platform release (codenamed “Vanadium”), targeted for internal delivery by June 2019, which would be the base of the next Windows 10 release [version 19H2 or 1909]. But the timing just doesn’t work out. As a result, my contacts say, the new plan is for the core OS team to skip its internal June platform release and just focus on the December 2019 internal release (codenamed “Vibranium”) — which will be the basis for the Windows 10 20H1 release.

    Which makes me want to curl up and suck on my thumb.

    It seems that the Azure tail is now wagging the Win10 dog.

  • Fred Langa: “What’s the cheapest way to network an external hard drive?”

    Posted on February 27th, 2019 at 09:48 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Fred says, “How about $0.00?”

    If that surprises you, check out Fred’s latest column on Langa.com.

  • Bott: New UK-based study shows Win10 Home users are “baffled by updates”

    Posted on February 26th, 2019 at 09:43 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Credit: In Control with no Control: Perceptions and Reality of Windows 10 Home Edition Update Features (PDF)

    I can’t imagine why…

    Ed Bott has a new article at ZDNet that goes over the details

    users don’t understand how often updates are delivered, nor do they appreciate the difference between monthly quality updates and semi-annual feature updates.

    I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

    survey respondents think that the Windows 10 update approach is an improvement over that found in previous Windows versions. Among participants who had experience with earlier Windows versions 53 percent reported they felt updating Windows 10 is easier, versus only 8 percent who found the process more difficult.

    a majority of respondents agreed that the Windows 10 update process causes fewer interruptions than in previous versions

    I’d sure like an opportunity to sit down with those people. And carry a big stick.

  • MS easing transition from Win7 to Win10 by bringing ATP to Win7

    Posted on February 26th, 2019 at 05:42 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It took ’em a while, but Microsoft is now making ATP ( = Advanced Threat Protection) available to Win7 and 8.1 machines in corporate networks.

    Per Gregg Keizer in Computerworld:

    Windows Defender ATP is a service that detects ongoing attacks on corporate networks, then follows up to investigate the attack or breach and provides response recommendations and attack remediation. Software baked into Windows 10 detects attacks, while a central management console allows IT administrators to monitor the status of covered devices and react if necessary. Adding the EDR client software to Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs gives enterprise IT the same visibility into those machines as it has had into Windows 10 systems.

    Windows Defender ATP is a component within the most expensive Windows 10 licenses, such as those provided by the subscription-based Windows 10 Enterprise E5 or Microsoft 365 E5.

    The decision to add devices powered by those operating systems [Win7, 8.1] was first announced a year ago.

    Think of ATP on Win7 as a way to ease the migration from Win7 to Win10 in large enterprise networks. Most of you won’t be concerned.

  • If you’re having trouble logging in, you aren’t alone

    Posted on February 25th, 2019 at 14:45 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Credit: Papafox on Pixabay

    We’re seeing a huge backlog in new accounts and new posts. Today will probably go down in AskWoody history as the busiest day ever. We’re roping in all the AskWoody_MVPs to lend a hand.

    Please be patient. I’m still doing all of the Customer Support personally – I don’t want any of you to get the ol’ runaround – and it’s going to take a while to catch up.

    To repeat: If you have a problem logging in with a user account that looks like an email address, or if you can’t register a new one because the email is already taken, it’s not your fault.

    It’s a symptom of the dueling database problem we’ve been grappling with since absorbing the old Windows Secrets Newsletter into the AskWoody Plus Newsletter.

    If you’re having problems, please email me at CustomerSupport@AskWoody.com. Don’t send mail to my usual address. Then patience, please, as I wade through many hundreds of messages.

    We’ll get there. Promise.

    P.S. To answer the most frequent questions:

    • Just because you can log on to the site here doesn’t mean you have a “proper” AskWoody account. If your account name is also your email address, I strongly recommend that you change it. Shoot me mail at Customer Support.
    • All of the account renewals are for a year. If you’ve already paid for part or all of a year, never fear, I’ll pick it up in the database.
    • Unfortunately, there’s no way to simply change a username. WordPress protects them for many reasons, most of which have to do with site security. Instead, we’ll wipe out the old username and get you set up with a new one. Don’t worry. It’s easy.
    • It’s also easy to change your password – and highly recommended if I set it manually. Sign in then click on your picture in the upper right corner. Choose Edit and change your password there. By the way, the “Subscriptions” link right there does NOT show you your Plus Membership status. We’re working on coming up with a single place that’ll show you the status of everything.
    • If you want to test your new account, just click on the “Comment on the AskWoody Lounge” link above and post something worthwhile. Be aware of the fact that comments from new accounts are moderated — reviewed — before they’ll appear on the site. We do that for lots of reasons, but mostly to block spammers (of which we get hundreds every month).
    • To change your picture, “avatar,” see the instructions here.
  • Woody’s Windows Watch: How to get real help with Windows, Office, and more

    Posted on February 25th, 2019 at 04:08 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Yer lookin’ at it. Welcome to the best unbiased source of advice and help for Windows, Office, and other tech things that go bump in the night. And it’s free. AskWoody Plus members — the folks with gold ribbons on their pictures — are the ones who pay for it.

    Here are the details you need to get set up with a “proper” AskWoody account. Ask questions wisely. Get (or give!) help. And it doesn’t cost a penny.

    So get your account going and jump in with both feet. Invite your friends, too. We’re here to help everybody in an environment that’s at the higher end of the gene pool.

    Out this morning in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.7.0.

  • On Security: Patch Lady Susan Bradley explains why you might — or might not — want to protect your machine from Spectre and Meltdown

    Posted on February 25th, 2019 at 03:57 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft keeps releasing patches for Spectre, Meltdown, and similar vulnerabilities — tons of them. Do you really need them?

    Even if you have the patches installed, they may not be working. That’s intentional — in some cases you have to manually enable the patch.

    Here’s a quick overview of the problem, a look at Steve Gibson’s free InSpectre tool that’ll poke at your system, and some solid recommendations for when you might be at risk, and when you can gleefully thumb your nose.

    Out this morning to all AskWoody Plus members, in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.7.0.

  • Deanna’s Freeware Spotlight: Policy Plus

    Posted on February 25th, 2019 at 03:49 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Are you looking for the Group Policy Editor, gpedit.msc, on a Windows Home machine? Good luck with that. Microsoft only puts gpedit.msc on Pro and Enterprise machines.

    Ben Nordick has a better solution – a local group policy editor for all Windows editions called Policy Plus. It’s effective, wherever group policies work (not all group policies work in Win10 Home). It’s up-to-date with the latest Win10 version 1809 ADMX files available. And it’s, well, it’s gpedit – bless its little heart.

    Oh, and it’s free.

    Details in this week’s AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.7.0, out this morning to AskWoody Plus Members.