Newsletter Archives

  • First new Windows 11 functionality released in a cumulative update

    Microsoft has released February 15, 2022—KB5010414 (OS Build 22000.527) Preview ( Even though the title has “Preview” in it, this update is being released to everyone today. In addition to a long list of fixes, there is a new media player and notepad. Taskbar changes include adding the clock and date to multiple monitors. When the taskbar is center aligned the weather now appears on the taskbar at the left. An Amazon app store preview app is available in the Microsoft Store. See the above release notes for more details.

    Here is the blog post that Panos Panay published about this release – Bringing you closer to what you love with new experiences in Windows 11 | Windows Experience Blog.

    (Note from Susan – this is a preview update and will not be pushed to all, you have to ‘check for updates’ to get it. It WILL be in the next month’s cumulative update – look for the Alert for more info)

  • $68.7 billion? Peanuts.


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    Frenzy around corporate acquisitions is nothing new; but this time, for Microsoft, it seems overstated.

    Last week, Microsoft announced its planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard, the well-known maker of such game franchises as Candy Crush, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft. Part of the frenzy surrounded the price — almost three times more than Microsoft’s previous large acquisition, LinkedIn.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 19.04.0 (2022-01-24).

  • 68.7 billion dollars later

    Wes Miller has been at the forefront of Microsoft and Microsoft licensing for eons. His tweet today on the subject of Microsoft’s 68.7 BILLION (with a B) acquisition of Blizzard gaming made me chuckle

    Looking forward to writing about World of Warcraft for Education and Call of Duty for Business.

    For a company who totally BLEW it on the phone platform, they seem to be buying their way once again into the mobile world.

    The thing that gives me pause in all of this is that it feels like Microsoft sees Big Business customers and Gaming customers and those of us in the middle kinda have to piggy back on one or the other and just hope there’s enough scraps at the table left behind. What’s your take on this buy out?

  • Windows 11 Surfaces


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    Microsoft’s September event showcased its updated Surface lineup and doubled down on the Duo 2.

    While Microsoft’s livestream presentation of September 2 was not tremendously exciting, it was a well-done description of the new Surface devices and was hosted by Panos Panay, in fine form.

    I won’t bore you with every detail, but here are some good sources of information.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.37.0 (2021-09-27).

  • Windows 11 announced

    AskWoody Plus Newsletter Logo
    ISSUE 18.24 • 2021-06-28
    Watch for our special issue on July 5!


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    Why this? Why now? And what the heck is going on?

    On June 24, 2021, Microsoft announced Windows 11. I have no idea why. It is surely not for the cobbled-together reasons the company gave during its rather brief briefing on Thursday.

    Windows 11 Bloom Visit our new Windows 11 section in the forums and these topics:
    Questions about Windows 11
    Hardware questions relating to Windows 11

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.24.0 (2021-06-28).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.24.F (2021-06-28).

  • Reminder: What’s next for Windows?

    Microsoft’s live event entitled “What’s next for Windows” is set for Thursday, June 24 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Watch here. You can also visit that page to get a reminder.

  • The Next Windows


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    What is it? We don’t really know.

    By now, the news is out that Microsoft will host a livestream event on Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. The event does not have a title; the livestream page on Microsoft’s site just says, “Join us to see what’s next for Windows.”

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.21.0 (2021-06-07).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.21.F (2021-06-07).

  • Attention partners: Microsoft really is coming for your clients this time

    Microsoft has made the mistake of going around its partners in the past. Isn’t buying direct the way to go? No, not really. When there’s a healthy marketplace of trained professionals supporting and consulting small businesses then they are able to get just the type of support they want and work with someone that understands thier business goals and can help them move the technology in the same direction that their business is going. When the market isn’t attractive to partners, then consumers of the product have less choice and fewer support options. What Microsoft is doing here is alarming and all should be concerned. From end user, partner to distributor.

    Repost from Third Tier: Microsoft really is coming for your clients this time – Ultimate Support for IT Pros – ThirdTier

    There’s been a lot of false claims in the past that Microsoft was coming for your clients. But in this new round of intrusion into the trusted CSP-Client relationship, Microsoft really is coming for your clients. All around forums, user groups and social media the emails are being circulated and they are scary. In one complaint that I read on a private MVP group, the CSP, well let’s just quote them, “We almost lost a 50k/month Azure WVD client as Microsoft offered their implementation for free. We kept the client onboard thankfully, thanks to value-added services”

    I understand that Microsoft has a problem with some resellers not providing depth nor breadth of services to clients and tying those clients up making it difficult for other more active and consultive CSP’s and MSP’s to expand, but Microsoft really needs a way to determine whether a partner is active with the client or whether they have sold, migrated and are done. Those of us working actively with our clients shouldn’t be subject to any competitor coming in and disrupting our business.

    Here are a couple of samples of the email that your clients are getting from Microsoft.

    On Azure:

    I hope this email finds you well! My name is Blake Wheeler,and I am reaching out on behalf of Microsoft’s Azure Team. I spoke to Lisa from (Edit: Client name) and she referred me to reach out to you. I was reaching out to Lisa about the opportunity to participate in a Complimentary Deep Dive Evaluation. This will help you and your team assess any Cyber Security Threats, overutilization and/or underutilization of your network and provide a complete network and hardware scan for (Edit: client name) with reports tailored the way you want them.

    The first step for this evaluation is scheduling a Teams meeting with our Evaluations Specialist where they will go over the process in more detail. Please let me know a good date/time that you had 15-30 minutes of availability next week and I will get everything set up. I have attached a short deck with information on the process as well.

    On 365:

    On 365:

    Happy New Years! My name is [MS-REPNAME] and I work directly for Microsoft to help businesses get the most out of their relationship with Microsoft and I was recently assigned to support you and your company. I assist with device procurement and discounting, end-user training, general IT questions, licensing, etc.

    Do you have time for a brief intro call this week so we can learn how to best advance your IT strategies moving forward?

    Thank you! We look forward to a great partnership!


    If those email copies don’t make you angry, as they do this Microsoft fan, then perhaps re-read them. I’m not the alarmist type but this intrusion into the relationship with my client has really taken me aback.

  • So why do you buy a Windows PC?

    Interesting post from the guy who knows more about Windows licensing than the Attorneys who work for Windows licensing know about Windows licensing…..

    So think back to your last Windows pc purchase.  Exactly why did you buy it?  What compelling application do you run on it?

    Welcome to the PC Malaise Era

  • Microsoft salaries

    A real eye-opener.

    David Gershgorn on OneZero reports on a fascinating self-reported collection of salary statistics for Microsoft. Based on 310 entries submitted in the past year (again, I emphasize, this is self-reported):

    Based on this year’s respondents, the average entry-level engineer or program manager will have a total compensation of $125,665. A vast majority (87%) of that will come from an average base salary of $111,096, with an average cash award of $10,701 and stock award of $3,867.

    The numbers go up rapidly.

    At level 64, which includes only 11 of the respondents, salary counted for only 72% of an average total compensation of $234,249.

    Shoulda woulda coulda.

  • Panos Panay gets more of the Windows pie

    Report just in from Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet:

    Microsoft is moving part of the Core OS and Intelligent Edge (COSINE) team under Panay in order to create more of an end-to-end servicing and shipping experience… Some parts of COSINE engineering, specifically around the Windows core, are staying with Executive Vice President of Azure Jason Zander.

    Microsoft has long separated Windows “core” and Windows “what the customer sees” efforts into separate teams. Now, it seems, Panay is absorbing all but the base plumbing of the kitchen sink.

    I keep hoping that these restructurings will help Microsoft stabilize Windows 10.

  • Microsoft and TikTok – a match made in Clippy heaven

    I don’t have any particular words of wisdom to add to the ongoing debacle, except to say that Microsoft is very, very good at killing its acquisitions. Tell me when I can sign up for TikTokTeams.

    Tom Warren at The Verge has an interesting spin on the acquisition:

    The key part of any TikTok deal will be the data and users Microsoft gains access to… Microsoft has all the data it needs on business usage of software, but it hasn’t been successful with pure consumer services in recent years, which has left the company with a gap of insight into consumer behaviors.

    So Tom sees the acquisition as an acquihire-like bid to get even more data. An acquisnoop.

    Wonder if they’ll call it TikTokTelemetry?