Woody Leonhard's no-bull news, tips and help for Windows, Office and more… Please disable your ad blocker – our (polite!) ads help keep AskWoody going!
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon
  • Looking at a 1 TB Surface Pro 2017? Make sure you know what you’re getting

    Posted on August 18th, 2017 at 05:47 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The new 1 TB Surface Pro 2017 actually has two 512 GB drives buried inside, leading to a panoply of problems: Automatically running Defrag overworks the drives, and you can’t restore a full image. Some solutions, but no acknowledgment from Microsoft.

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Microsoft’s defense of Surface quality problems

    Posted on August 13th, 2017 at 06:27 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Paul Thurrott has seen an internal Microsoft memo that tackles the Consumer Reports Surface reliability findings.

    Interesting read on Thurrott.com.

    Pardon me for sounding like a broken record, but Microsoft’s support on its own forums has been pathetic.

    UPDATE: Michael Allison at mspoweruser has an excellent analysis of the situation.

    If one were to take the Redmond line, the Surface line is immensely satisfying to customers, Intel was to blame for the Surface Pro 4 and Book issues, and that the subsequent products were better than the last one ( as if they were expected to get worse), etcetera. Microsoft will be working with marketing and other departments to share this information with consumers (So you can expect to see certain Microsoft news blogs touting the firm’s numbers in the coming weeks), and mount a full-fledged defence of the Surface.

    This guy knows whereof he speaks!

    As much as I love Surface, the firm is doing the wrong thing here. Now that Surface sales are threatened by Consumer Reports pulling their recommendation, Microsoft is stepping in. When Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3, 4, Book and Pro 2017 users were suffering from battery problems, reliability issues, hibernation issues, hot bagging, all this passion for their customers was nowhere to be seen.

    Yes, yes, yes!

    Check it out.

  • Microsoft Surface reliability problem: It’s more than hardware and software

    Posted on August 10th, 2017 at 10:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Consumer Reports yanked the “Recommended” imprimatur for Surface devices — but Microsoft’s Surface service should be sent to the woodshed, too.

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

  • Surface Pro Type Cover suddenly stops working

    Posted on August 10th, 2017 at 06:34 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’m seeing more and more reports of borked SP3 and SP4 Type Cover keyboards, likely linked to last month’s firmware/driver updates

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    UPDATE: According to Reuters, Consumer Reports has just removed the “recommended” designation for all Surface products.

    The non-profit publication surveyed 90,000 tablet and laptop owners and found that an estimated 25 percent of those with Microsoft Surface devices would be presented with “problems by the end of the second year of ownership,” according to a study published on Thursday.

    Why does that not surprise me?

  • The fine print behind Microsoft’s new Surface financing plan, “Surface Plus”

    Posted on August 1st, 2017 at 13:39 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you’re in the market for a Surface machine, there’s a new zero-percent 24 month payment plan that you should consider.

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    UPDATE: Mary Jo Foley confirms that the Surface Plus for Business is just a rebranding of the old Surface Membership.

  • Reported Type Cover problems with undocumented Surface Pro 4/Surface Book firmware update

    Posted on July 24th, 2017 at 04:57 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Microsoft released a new round of firmware and driver updates for the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 on Friday. There’s no documentation and plenty of complaints.

    Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    UPDATE: Will wonders ever cease…. three days after pushing the patch on Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 owners, Microsoft just published the details.

  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update 1607 = end of the road for Clover Trail chips, but security patches continue

    Posted on July 19th, 2017 at 20:09 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    No doubt you watched as the drama unfolded: Ed Bott at ZDNet reported on Monday that folks with older Atom Clover Trail based PCs — Atom Z2760, Z2520, Z2560 and Z2580 processors — were blocked from installing the Win10 Creators Update, version 1703. If you had the temerity to try to upgrade from 1607 to 1703 on one of these three-year-old machines, you were greeted with the nonsensical message:

    Windows 10 is no longer supported on this PC

    Uninstall this app now because it isn’t compatible with Windows 10.

    That sparked quite a furor online, where pundits were all over the map, trying to explain (and even excuse!) Microsoft’s callous behavior. Support for 1607 — the last version of Win10 available for these Clover Trail PCs — ends about a year from now. Folks who bought the Clover Trail PCs in the first wave of Win 8.1 mania, and upgraded to Win 10 (thank you, GWX), had unwittingly boxed themselves into a dark corner where security patches stopped in early 2018. Nevermind that Win 8.1 support goes to January 2023.


    A couple of hours ago, Ed posted an emailed statement from Microsoft that explains the sorry state of affairs, apparently laying the blame on Intel’s doorstep:

    If a hardware partner stops supporting a given device or one of its key components and stops providing driver updates, firmware updates, or fixes, it may mean that device will not be able to properly run a future Windows 10 feature update…

    these systems are no longer supported by Intel, and without the necessary driver support, they may be incapable of moving to the Windows 10 Creators Update without a potential performance impact…

    The statement came with an amazing offer:

    To keep our customers secure, we will provide security updates to these specific devices running the Windows 10 Anniversary Update until January of 2023.

    That means Microsoft’s on the hook to support 1607 for five years more than originally anticipated. Not cool for the Softies, because Microsoft’s been planning on dumping older versions of Win10 every 18 months. Windows as a Service, ya know.

    While I welcome the announcement, I can’t help but wonder what’s going to happen with the next bunch of aging processors.

    I also wonder what kind of conversations transpired between Satya Nadella and Brian Krzanich. Looks like the old Microsoft-Intel wars are back in full swing.

  • Microsoft closing Surface Hub manufacturing facility in Oregon, fires 124 workers, probably moves to China

    Posted on July 19th, 2017 at 14:48 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    From Mike Rogoway at The Oregonian:

    Just two years ago, Microsoft cast its Wilsonville factory as the harbinger of a new era in American technology manufacturing.

    The tech giant stamped, “Manufactured in Portland, OR, USA” on each Surface Hub it made there. It invited The New York Times and Fast Company magazine to tour the plant in 2015, then hired more than 100 people to make the enormous, $22,000 touch-screen computer.