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Daily Archives: December 16, 2019

  • Significant changes for the FAST ring with latest Windows Insider build

    Posted on December 16th, 2019 at 16:44 joep517 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    With the latest Windows Insider Preview Build 19536, Microsoft announced a significant change to the FAST ring of the Insider program. FAST ring releases will no longer be tied to a particular Windows 10 release.

    Microsoft says: “Internally, our engineers work in development cycles with various milestones. The active development branch (called “RS_PRERELEASE”) is where the teams check in all their latest code changes into the OS. Moving forward, the Fast ring will receive builds directly from this active development branch and new features will show up in these builds first.” More information is available at Announcing Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 19536. See the “The Fast ring going forward” section.

  • Bott: Want to pay for Win7 Extended Support? Good luck.

    Posted on December 16th, 2019 at 10:04 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Ed’s headline didn’t quite put it that way, but he’s run up against the same roadblock we’ve been hitting. From his new article in ZDNet So you want to keep running Windows 7? Good luck with that, small businesses:

     I went in search of Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (the promised $50-for-the-first-year security patches), figuring it would be a simple task, and I could share the step-by-step procedure here. I discovered that unless you already have a relationship with a friendly Cloud Service Provider, the process is far more difficult than it should be… Microsoft doesn’t seem particularly interested in taking your money if your business is too small.

    Susan Bradley, in this morning’s AskWoody Plus Newsletter (Plus membership required), echoes the same lament:

    At this point, purchasing an ESU license isn’t easy. Microsoft recommends searching for a CSP through its online database. But most of those vendors are probably not interested in handling one or a few Win7 ESU purchases. They’re typically geared toward large businesses.

    For example, the local CSP I use currently doesn’t offer any licenses. The closest vendors I could find were six hours away. Amy Babinchak and I are looking for the best way for small businesses and individuals to obtain an ESU license. We’ll tell you about the process once we figure it out.

    I’ve been talking with Susan and Amy about the roadblocks they’ve encountered. I figured that some smart anointed Cloud Service Provider should be anxious to sell $50 patching licenses — they should sell like hotcakes. After all, with 200 million or so Win7 machines still huffing and puffing, signing up even a small percentage of those folks should at least pay for the effort, shouldn’t it?

    Or should it? Apparently CSPs can only look forward to $5 or so per license — and given the amount of tech support, paperwork and overhead involved, it looks more like a briar patch than a yellow brick road.

    We’ll keep you posted, but the situation for small businesses (and individuals) doesn’t look good.

  • Problems with the .NET updates

    Posted on December 16th, 2019 at 06:38 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This from Barry Dorrans on Saturday:

    It isn’t clear to me which .NET updates he’s talking about, but Barry knows whereof he speaks. He goes on to say that admins can block the rollout using opt out switches “in the comments in the blog post.” And he’s on vacation.

    I’m going to guess that he’s referring to KB 4533002 but may well be wrong. That patch is still available in the Update Catalog.

    Anybody have more details?

  • The Chrome OS FAQ, Part III: You’ve got a Chromebook. Now what?

    Posted on December 16th, 2019 at 01:15 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By JR Raphael

    So now that you’ve read Parts I and II of our Chrome OS FAQ, you’ve worked out what Google’s operating system is all about — and possibly picked out the Chromebook that’s right for you.

    Whew! It’s been a busy couple of weeks. (If you missed the first two parts of this series, no worries: just head over to issues 16.44.0 (2019-12-02) and 16.45.0 (2019-12-09) to get all caught up.)

    Now we’re ready for the really fun part: taking your first steps into the world of your shiny new Chromebook. Getting around Chrome OS is mostly self-evident — especially if you’re an experienced Windows user — but there are some initial steps you’ll want to take to get everything set up and configured the way you like it.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.46.0 (2019-12-16).

  • New laptops prompt new concerns

    Posted on December 16th, 2019 at 01:10 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Fred Langa

    Newly purchased PCs are raising some interesting hardware and warranty questions among users.

    Here are three examples from LangaList readers: two about battery care on new devices, and one about a new kind of extended warranty that includes anti-malware and driver-update services.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.46.0 (2019-12-16).

  • Closing out the patching year …

    Posted on December 16th, 2019 at 01:05 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Susan Bradley

    This is a busy time for Windows upgrading.

    Win10 1803 officially fell into the bit bucket this past November; Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 will suffer the same fate this coming January.

    Upgrading to a newer version of Windows 10 should be relatively painless. But the shift will be far more difficult and consequential for the mass of PC users still running Win7.

    Security is obviously a concern for Win7 users, but Microsoft has stated that Security Essentials updates will also end in January. However, it’s likely that third-party browsers and anti-malware apps will continue to get updates for some unknown period of time. Based on the XP experience, it could be months or years.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.46.0 (2019-12-16).

  • When moving to the cloud goes really badly

    Posted on December 16th, 2019 at 01:00 Tracey Capen Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    By Amy Babinchak

    Cloud computing is revolutionizing IT for small businesses, but there are still many skeptics.

    That surprises me as an IT consultant and provider. A well-implemented cloud environment can provide highly productive computing solutions, detailed security, and a boost to a company’s bottom line.

    Unfortunately, cloud services are not immune from botched installations. Recently, I was called in to investigate and repair a shockingly shoddy cloud implementation — easily the worst I’d ever seen.

    Read the full story in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.46.0 (2019-12-16).