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

Daily Archives: October 25, 2019

  • Microsoft fixes some NEC compatibility problems, but keeps the 1903 upgrade block in place

    Posted on October 25th, 2019 at 11:26 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    NEC was a major PC manufacturer, back in the time of pterodactyls. These days, not so much. But that doesn’t let them off the hook for compatibility problems.

    Microsoft just announced that it’s worked with NEC to fix a compatibility problem that kept NEC computers from working with Win10 version 1903. Quoth the Release Information Status page:

    Safeguard on certain devices with some Intel and Broadcom Wi-Fi adapters

    Microsoft and NEC have found incompatibility issues with Intel Centrino 6205/6235 and Broadcom 802.11ac Wi-Fi cards when running Windows 10, version 1903 on specific models of NEC devices. If these devices are updated to Windows 10, version 1903, they will no longer be able to use any Wi-Fi connections. The Wi-Fi driver may have a yellow exclamation point in device manager. The task tray icon for networking may show the icon for no internet and Network & Internet settings may not show any Wi-Fi networks.

    Because of that problem, Microsoft has been blocking Win10 1903 upgrades on NEC machines with the afflicted hardware.

    Now comes word that MS has fixed the problem. It’s resolved in this month’s second, optional, non-security cumulative update for 1903, KB 4522355 (although the fix isn’t mentioned in the KB article).

    Microsoft’s keeping the upgrade block in place until “mid-November,” no doubt waiting for next month’s first cumulative update, which should include the fix.

  • A short note on Microsoft earnings

    Posted on October 25th, 2019 at 10:53 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I don’t dig into Microsoft earnings statements anymore. Paul Thurrott sums up the reason nicely:

    Microsoft is eager for investors to believe that it’s the equal of Amazon AWS in the cloud, so it engages in a little bit of semantic trickery by inventing a non-business called Commercial Cloud that includes a revolving cherry-picked selection of products and services that put its own efforts in a good light.

    That’s precisely what’s happened. You can no more compare “cloud revenue” (whatever that means) from year-to-year or quarter-to-quarter than you can compare the number of bugs on your windshield. Amy Hood once again demonstrates her considerable, enviable magic.

    Suffice it to say that Microsoft made a heap of money, that Office subscriptions are raking it in, that Azure is receiving the lion’s share of the publicity, AI (whatever that means) is everybody’s dahlin’, and that Windows is still a small lump of coal in an undifferentiated, increasingly forgotten corner.

  • Microsoft reps continue to recommend Surface Pro 6 owners install a beta version of Windows

    Posted on October 25th, 2019 at 10:20 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I started to write about this a week ago, but decided to let it ride. Now, it’s back again.

    The advice being doled out for Surface Pro 6 owners on the Microsoft Answers forum is bad advice. In a nutshell, MS moderators continue to tell people experiencing the 400 MHz throttling bug or the Marvel driver bug that they should move to the Insider Program, join the Release Preview Ring, and install the latest beta test version of Win10 version 1909.


    There’s a reason why it’s called a “beta,” folks.

    Barb’s two screenshots come from this moderator reply about the .4 GHz throttling problem and this moderator reply about the buggy Marvell driver.

    You may not realize it, but Surface owners who put their machines in the Insider program regularly receive firmware and driver updates that aren’t released to the public. Those firmware and driver updates can’t be uninstalled. Something else they didn’t tell you in Insider school, eh?

    As Barb says, this is no way to treat a paying customer! Telling people to install a version of Windows that’s still in testing, just to fix a Microsoft-created bug, is simply lousy advice:

    Business customers and careful consumers should NOT have to update their OS and join Windows Insiders. They need a Surface Insiders group separate from the OS where folks can test drivers or better yet, make them available as separate downloads

    16 million Insider guinea pigs, ripe for the plucking. If you don’t mind a mixed metaphor. Or a plucked pig.

    UPDATE from Bowman:

    If MS REALLY thinks that they are testing against production builds in release preview, that they are wrong and this means no one is widely testing against RELEASED builds. Microsoft needs a stand alone Insiders Ring for Surface testing so that IT folks can test on dedicated machines, etc. What is especially egregious is that the Marvel bug seems to impact Enterprise mesh networks/roaming more than consumer and you know that businesses don’t want to push to 1909 or ANY new release.