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
  • New update options for Win10 1903 explained

    Posted on April 4th, 2019 at 11:24 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    MS VP Mike Fortin just posted a much-anticipated announcement of the update (blocking!) capabilities in Win10 version 1903, when it ships. Fortin calls it the “Win10 May 2019 Update” which should confuse the living bewilickers out of everybody — previous Win10 updates around this time of year have been called “Spring” and “April” — but nevermind.

    We will provide notification that an update is available and recommended based on our data, but it will be largely up to the user to initiate when the update occurs.

    When Windows 10 devices are at, or will soon reach, end of service, Windows update will continue to automatically initiate a feature update [an apparent reference to the Win10 1709 SAC bug mentioned by John Wilcox yesterday]

    all customers will now have the ability to explicitly choose if they want to update their device when they “check for updates” or to pause updates for up to 35 days.

    We will increase the amount of time that the May 2019 Update spends in the Release Preview phase [painful reminder of the bluescreens in this week’s Win10 1809 cumulative update]

    the Windows 10 May 2019 Update will start to be available next week in the Release Preview Ring for those in the Windows Insider Program. We will begin broader availability in late May for commercial customers, users who choose the new May 2019 Update for their Windows 10 PC via “check for updates,” and customers whose devices are nearing the end of support on a given release.

    It’s an interesting take on a long-standing problem. If this works out the way Fortin says it will, we’ll have reason for celebrating. Yes, even Win10 Home users.

    UPDATE: Ed Bott has already posted an article on the topic. Ditto Mary Jo Foley. Paul Thurrott has a particularly engaging take on the topic (paid content – and well worth the price) that concludes, “What took so freaking long?”

    Zac Bowden just clarified an important point:

    Leopeva64 – who’s been right about many Win10 things lately – insists that the Pause (even in Win10 1903 Home) will go up to 35 days, not the “7 days 5 times” promised by Fortin. Looks like the trick is to go into Advanced Options. Yes, on Home.

    I remain cautiously optimistic.

  • Which is better, Outlook or G Suite?

    Posted on April 4th, 2019 at 08:08 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Preston Gralla has a detailed comparison of Outlook and Gmail-Calendar-Contacts in Computerworld.

    He digs into many nooks and crannies and comes to the conclusion:

    If simplicity is your goal, choose Gmail. If, on the other hand, you and your team need every bell and whistle possible, you’ll want Outlook.

    Which certainly matches my expectations.

    I used Outlook from the very beginning – wrote books about Outlook 97, 98, 2000, 2003, 2007 – and finally gave up on using the big O during the days of Outlook 2007. I moved to Gmail, Google Calendar and Contacts around then, and haven’t looked back. I’m a simple kind of guy, of course.

    Have you used both? (I mean, really used them?) What do you think?

  • Reliable reports of bluescreen after installing Win10 1809’s second March cumulative update, KB 4490481

    Posted on April 4th, 2019 at 06:46 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Martin Brinkmann advises that you better back up your system before installing KB 4490481, the Win10 1809 “optional non-security” second cumulative update for March (which, confusingly, was released on April 2).

    On ghacks.net:

    Ran into a System Service Exception error on restart after installing the update on one machine. System Restore fixed the issue, Startup repair did not.

    doctorwizz on Tenforums:

    I was rebooting from Win10 to boot to Win8.1. The update was installing on the shutdown phase and it was taking longer to install this time. So I tried to boot to Win10 again. It was continuing to update and bam. BSOD System Service Exception.

    From secondsight, also on Tenforums:

    I like doctorwizz above also have BSOD on every machine I have after restarting to complete this update. They all run Win 10 Enterprise. I don’t have any special software running and I’ve never had such problems before. I got out of the fix by doing a system restore and I’m back at 17783.379 now. I tried an experiment or two. I tried the standalone windows catalog installer….same thing.

    I also found a Chinese language post that may (or may not) be related.

    Of course, I recommend that you NOT install this second monthly cumulative update. Just follow the instructions in my Computerworld article and you’ll be fine.

  • Patch Lady – yeah right pull the other one

    Posted on April 4th, 2019 at 00:35 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So an email comes into the office and at this time of year we will often get files.  The email is spoofing a person that normally has emailed our firm (it’s a person who is in charge of our professional business society), and the email content isn’t that odd.  Another person in the office forwards it to me to deal with as I’m normally the one who deals with the annoying dropbox or cloud links.  I honestly got as far as clicking on the link…. it’s a sharepoint link from a Microsoft/Office 365 link.  <The virustotal report is here>  Given that the SharePoint site technically isn’t malicious it comes up clean.

    The page resolves and then it urges me to “select my email provider” and “use my email and password to authenticate”.  The ultimate url is branded a phishing site…but not a lot of a/v vendors!!  <The virustotal report is here>

    Needless to say I did not.  But man…. 250% increase in phishing …no kidding.  And some of it hosted on Microsoft’s SharePoint sites no less.