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Monthly Archives: April 2019

  • Facebook Messenger is coming to Windows

    Posted on April 30th, 2019 at 14:38 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    For most of you this isn’t a big deal, but for those who have friends who incessantly use Facebook Messenger (harump!) it’s another app to stick on your PC.

    Facebook has just announced that it’s going to have a version of Facebook Messenger that works on Windows:

    We’re also launching a desktop app for Messenger that’s available for both Windows and MacOS. People want to seamlessly message from any device, and sometimes they just want a little more space to share and connect with the people they care about most. You can download Messenger Desktop — and enjoy the same features as the app on your phone — like group video calls, collaborate on projects or multi-task while chatting in Messenger. We are testing this now and will roll it out globally later this year.

    That’s kind of ho-hum. But this part’s worth noting:

    we are committed to making Messenger end to end encrypted by default.

    Sounds like it’ll be a usable desktop (not UWP) app. Unlike, say, Skype. Put down that brickbat.

  • Bing Ads rebrands as Microsoft Advertising

    Posted on April 30th, 2019 at 12:40 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Be still my beating heart.

    It’s official. MS Corporate VP Rik van der Kooi, posting on the Microsoft Advertising blog, notes:

    In the next year, we’re introducing more advertising products with built-in AI, more connected to your data and your business.

    Ginny Marvin has a good take on SearchEngineLand:

    The AI backbone that powers Bing has given the company the “right to innovate,” David Pann, general manager of global search business at Microsoft said during a keynote discussion at SMX East last year. He cited MSAN (MS Audience Network) and LinkedIn integrations as one example… Microsoft started integrating the audience data graphs of LinkedIn and Microsoft in 2017 and made LinkedIn data available for targeting in Microsoft Audience Network and then search ads last year.

    Lemme fire up that LinkedIn entry…

    Thx, @PKCano

  • Patch Lady – who actually plays Candy Crush

    Posted on April 30th, 2019 at 11:41 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Random stupid thought of the day…. who actually plays Candy Crush on their Windows 10 machines?  I mean seriously.  We have phones and tablets for games.  People use computers for work.  And if you want a game, around my office, solitaire is the one people play, not Candy Crush.  It seems to me that Microsoft cannot be making enough revenue stream from Candy Crush’s authors, nor can Candy Crush’s authors be having such a great financial deal with Microsoft given that so much time and energy is spent by Microsoft admins and users world wide to GET RID OF IT.

    The number of resources to de-crapify Windows 10 is staggering.

    Think of how much more we’d all embrace 10 if you just got rid of the stuff that shouldn’t be there in the first place, Redmond?

    So here’s my unofficial survey for the final day of April:

    Have you EVER played Candy Crush on your Windows 10 computer?  

  • Reprise: How to put a picture “avatar” on your account

    Posted on April 30th, 2019 at 07:50 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It’s easy. WordPress picks up your picture from a site called

    Gravatar is owned by WordPress, the company that makes the software that drives this site.

    We don’t support the full Gravatar shtick – you can’t click on an avatar on AskWoody and get all of the background info stored on Gravatar (sorry, it’s my privacy tin foil hat shining through) — but in spite of several legitimate privacy concerns, it works well for most people. I use it.

    Full discussion – including pro’s and con’s – here.

  • vpnMentor reports a data breach identifying 80 million US households

    Posted on April 29th, 2019 at 13:28 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I can’t verify this independently, but if it’s confirmed, we have one whale of a breach on our hands.

    vpnMentor’s blog says:

    The 24 GB database includes the number of people living in each household with their full names, their marital status, income bracket, age, and more…

    Full addresses, too, including zip codes, longitude, latitude.

    Apparently the list is indexed by households, not by individuals.

    vpnMentor says it’s looking for the owner of the database.

    Let’s see how this pans out.

    Thx Günter Born.

  • AskWoody is slow, but it’ll get better

    Posted on April 29th, 2019 at 11:11 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Real Soon Now (TM).

    We’re still processing those 1,000,000-plus replies from Windows Secrets – and the devs have identified an additional slowdown source that should be fixed shortly. I hope.

    Hang in there. Rest assured that those of us plunking away behind the scenes are even more frustrated than you….

  • How much junk will you get on a clean install of Win10 1903?

    Posted on April 29th, 2019 at 10:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Short answer: It’s a crap shoot.

    I posted a couple of weeks ago about the fine array of crapapps that appeared when I clean installed Win10 1903.

    Ends up that my install wasn’t exactly clean — I clean installed 1809 to a local account, went into the Release Preview Ring using an Insider account, installed the update (using a local account), then did one round of cumulative updates —  although at the time it was the best I could do.

    Since then, MS has released clean ISO versions to MSDN (which is now called MSDN Visual Studio Professional). They also released a test Enterprise version, which expires in 30 days, but I see the download links no longer work. Both of those clean copies are, uh, cleaner than the one I tested.

    Tero Alhonen installed a clean MSDN copy of Win10 Home and didn’t see the junk. Others have had different experiences. This from Martin Geuss:

    Paul Thurrott just went through the paces with Win10 Pro and got this:

    ‘Softie Michael Neihaus notes, quite correctly, that “Targeted apps can vary by region.”

    UPDATE: Michael clarifies, in reference to his post from a year ago:


    But you have to wonder… What will you see on your Start menu? If you sign in with a Microsoft Account, or upgrade from an older version of Windows, of course you’ll see vestiges of your old Start entries. With a Local account, if you install from Timbuktu I guess you’ll get Candy Crush Timbuk. My favorite is still “Seekers Notes: Hidden Mystery” in the Productivity section.

    I wonder if anybody at Microsoft has a more-or-less definitive answer? This is getting ridiculous. And 1903 isn’t that far away.

  • Where we stand with the April 2019 patches

    Posted on April 29th, 2019 at 08:22 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    With the six dirty Windows patches knocking out five different companies’ antivirus packages, things have been a bit rocky. There’s an update, but it’s not a simple one.

    We still don’t have an “optional non-security” patch for Win10 1809, but that’s OK, you wouldn’t want it anyway.

    Details in Computerworld Woody on Windows.